Samsung is expected to launch its flagship Android smartphone in an exclusive event on March 14. However, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have anything to show off at this year’s Mobile World Congress.
Besides unveiling the Galaxy Note 8.0, the Korean giant also quietly announced something called the HomeSync. HomeSync is a media streamer, which is in many ways identical to the Apple TV. It’s essentially an Android powered set top box that hooks up to your television.
The HomeSync is powered by a 1.7 GHz dual-core processor of unknown make, 1 gigs of ram, and runs Android Jelly Bean (probably Android 4.1). It provides full access to the Play store, unlike many other similar products which only support apps that are optimized for the idiot box. HomeSync supports streaming of games, audio, and video from your Galaxy device to the TV wirelessly at full HD (1080p). The biggest draw of the Samsung HomeSync is its 1 TB storage that supports up to 8 different profiles, with password protection of content, and easy sharing.
The HomeSync is slated to go on sale in April 2013; however, Samsung provided no inputs on the expected market price.
We have been hearing about Google TV for quite a long time now. However, it has failed to capture a huge section of the world market because of Google’s lack of focus on this division. However, Google TV is gaining traction recently, as it struck its first launch deal with Korea’s UPlus IPTV. Google TV already has hardware deals with its manufacturing partner Sony.
Sony builds a set-top-box like device that can be plugged into any HDTV and it also doubles up as a gaming device. If you have not seen this device out in the wild, it is only because Google has poor focus on Google TV right now. However, the device used in Korea is yet another device developed by LG UPlus itself.
With Google TV in the u+tv G, you get more content to watch than ever before, and an easier way to find whatever you’re looking for. New and existing LG UPlus subscribers can get the u+tv starting today, bringing live TV and 50,000 on demand titles, now integrated with Google TV apps like Search, YouTube, Google Play and Chrome.
The UPlus service providing Google TV already runs regular TV subscription. Thus, this is not a Google TV exclusive launch, but Google TV will run parallel to the existing TV subscription service on the UPlus devices, that are manufactured by LG UPlus. With this launch, Google TV will be launched in ten countries worldwide.
It looks like Google just does not want to give up on Google TV. GTV has had a disastrous start, and is the sole reason for Logitech’s huge losses last year, but the big-G is in no mood to leave the product alone.
Today, Google announced on the official Google TV blog that the company would start rolling out a new YouTube app for all GTV devices. The new app is wayfaster and smoother than the current version, and is also much easier to navigate around. The new version of the app also has many new features including, Discover, which as its name suggests allows for easier discovery of new content on YouTube.
The app now also allows users access to playlists and videos via the new channel pages of their favorite channels, see related videos from the same user by pressing the up/down button on their remote, and the ability to thumbs up a video or add it to any of your playlists, all while watching the video itself.
Owners of various Google TV devices can update the in-built YouTube app using the Android Market.
Back in late October, Google announced that it will finally start rolling out the much awaited Honeycomb update for devices running Google TV. The update was first meant to be rolled out to Google TV devices manufactured by Sony, and then to the Logitech Revue, which has been a disastrous product for the company.
Today, Logitech has finally announced via a blog post that the Android 3.1 Honeycomb update for the Revue will start rolling out from this week onward. For the unknown, the Honeycomb update for the Revue brings with it lots of changes, including access to the Android Market. At the moment, 50 apps are specifically available for Google TV on the Android Market, including Google’s own Music app.
The whole UI has also been refreshed, and makes browsing through content much easier. The in-built Google Chrome browser has also been updated to the latest version, and brings enhanced search capabilities and keyboard navigation along with support for Adobe Flash 10.2.
Logitech Revue users will automatically get the update when they start their device next time. New Revue owners will get the update when they activate their device. Revue owners can find more info about the update here.
Google has just announced via the GoogleTV’s official blog that they will soon be rolling out a major update for its Google TV platform. With this update, the big G is hoping to revive this dead platform.
Google has focused on four main areas in this update, which are as follow-:
1) Keep it Simple – The whole interface of the Google TV has been redesigned, and is now much simpler. The home screen is now customizable, and users also get an ‘App drawer’ similar to their Android handsets.
2) Make it easy to find something – Google has vastly improved the search feature of with this update, and has made it easier for users to find content from Live TV, Netflix, YouTube, HBO GO and more services. There is also a dedicated “TV & Movies” app, which lets users browse through 80,000 movies and TV episodes from across a bunch of services.
3) Make YouTube better on TV – The software update will tightly integrated YouTube with Google TV, and make it easy for users to find their desired content on YouTube.
4) Bring more apps to TV – Lastly, the software update will bring a bunch of apps for Google TV through the Android Market. Developers can now port their Android apps to TV, or create new ones. Right now, more than 50 developers have released apps specifically for Google TV.
The software update will be coming to Sony devices from early next week. Logitech devices like the Revue will get the update soon after.
This piece of news will interest only the small bunch of Logitech Revue owners out there. Google announced at Google I/O this year that Google TV will also get Honeycomb update sometime this year.
Well, a beta build of Android 3.1 Honeycomb for the Logitech Revue has leaked online. While this may get a lot of Revue owners excited, the problem is that most of the stuffs don’t work in this beta build.
Here is a small list of what works, and what does not :
Overall improvement in performance
New UI is clean and compliments features very well
TV/Movie listings display what looks like DVD covers when available
What does not works:
Sound issues while watching TV
No root access
It’s not possible to downgrade to 2.1 at the moment
No Google Apps
The Intel Atom CPU inside the Revue is incompatible with 99.99% of the apps on the Market
Revue users who are interested in flashing this update, can find the required steps here. But before that, I guess they need to find the Revue and wipe off the dust that it has collected!
The best feature of SageTV is its extensive support for media formats and its presence across multiple platforms. However, the store, technology and support links on the website are not following any page suddenly.
This is a disappointment for many who think a mod of XBMC could have done a much better job than SageTV. The Acquisition of a full blown and operational service indicates how serious Google is getting about Google TV now. Expect more news on Google TV very soon.
If you are still not clear about what SageTV is all about, this YouTube video will come to your rescue.
We’re thrilled to announce that SageTV has been acquired by Google.
Since 2002, we’ve worked to change the TV viewing experience by building cutting-edge software and technology that allows you to create and control your media center from multiple devices. And as the media landscape continues to evolve, we think it’s time our vision of entertainment management grows as well. By teaming up with Google, we believe our ideas will reach an even larger audience of users worldwide on many different products, platforms and services.
We’ve seen how Google’s developer efforts are designed to stimulate innovation across the web, and as developers have played a core role in the success of SageTV, we think our shared vision for open technology will help us advance the online entertainment experience. We look forward to joining Google, and while we don’t have anything specific to announce at this time, we encourage interested developers to email: [email protected]
Google is treading gradually into the hardware world with its Android powered devices and the Google TV. Not surprisingly, both these products are powered by the Android OS. Recently, a new technology has been unveiled which will be in use in the Google TV. The Google TV promises a new search that brings channel surfing and web surfing under the banner of Google TV Search.
Jill Szuchmacher, the business development lead for Google TV commented on the new technology saying,
We have developed something called Google TV Search that draws from a corpus of content, live TV, listings, for example, as well as in the case where there is content available on the Web. We’ve built out what we call a Quick Search Box that drops down a series of search results that are most relevant for TV.
There are some concerns on how the search will rank results and this will be a driving factor behind the growth of related businesses. The search listing will involve both Web content and regular TV content, which do not merge too well either. The ranking system as clarified by Szuchmacher:
There is a lot of secret sauce happening on the back end to connect the user to the best results, regardless of where it comes from.
Now that is not really a clarification. It does not tell us if there will be scope for SEO in Google TV Search.
Currently, Logitech is stealing the show with regard to Google TV. However, another contender Sony is also manufacturing a Google TV lineup with hardware specs as detailed here.
Sony Google TV generates occasional buzz and this time as the launching date is nearing, they have revealed detailed specs.
The Sony Google TV will be a TV with an Atom processor and the ability to surf the web. Moreover, it is not just a particular TV model. It is however, a family of TV sets that comes in four flavors of 24′, 32′, 40′ and 46′ screen size. Just two days ago, Sony released the TV controller, which looked like a mini-keyboard from a sci-fi movie. This time, the hardware specs add to the details. The specs as leaked by SonyInsider are:
As far as pricing of these Sony Google TV, get ready to shell out $1299.99 for the 32â€² (NSX-32GT1), $1499.99 for 40â€² (NSX-40GT1) and $1899.99 for 46â€² (NSX-46GT1). Unfortunately, pricing info was unavailable for 24GT1 model, however we assume it should be under one grand. In related news, the widely discussed Sony Internet TV Box, NSZ-GT1, was listed on an internal website and mentions an eject button, WLAN module, and an included HDMI cable. Considering this information, its logical to assume that the eject button is an appropriate mechanism for what we believe is an included Blu-ray player in the device.
The October 12 launch date is awaited and until then, we will probably have more pictures and news like these from Sony, to drool upon.
The last time Google officially said something about the Google TV was at the Google I/O Conference. Since then, the whole Internet world has been upbeat about Google’s next product and curious as to how it will change their daily lives. Now in a blog post, Google has given the whole world a glimpse of the upcoming Google TV along with the details about some of their content partner. The list of content partner for the Google TV includes some big names like Turner Broadcasting, NBC Universal, HBO and NBA. Google has even partnered with Amazon to provide Google TV owners with access to Amazon’s Video on Demand service.
Here is a video which gives us a sneak peek into some of the apps which Google TV will offer -:
As you can see from the video above, Google TV will feature some handy applications like Twitter, Pandora, Napster etcetera. Google has also been working with some of the popular media companies for optimizing their content like USA Today and New York Times.
The blog post also states that Google will reveal more information about the Google TV in the upcoming few weeks. Looks like Google TV is shaping up to be the perfect Apple TV killer!