Subject: General Tech | December 6, 2017 - 12:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amazon, google, Alexa, youtube
Google has decided that YouTube should not work as advertised on any Amazon devices, in retaliation to Amazon refusing to stream Amazon Prime Video over Google Cast nor sell Google devices online. Currently you will just be redirected to YouTube.com when you launch your app but Google is planning on blocking all access from Echo or Fire TV in the near future. None of us particularly care about Google and Amazon's relationship problems but sadly, similar to children whose parents are going through a divorce, we are the ones who suffer. These two companies have been at it for a while, The Register covers some of the highlights of their disfunctional relationship here.
"Google is trying to stop Amazon Echo Show devices from streaming YouTube videos – and from January, it will block Amazon’s Fire TVs from accessing the vid service, too."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Qualcomm’s Disruptive Technologies: 5G Gigabit LTE And The Return Of ARM-Based Windows PCs @ Techgage
- Macronix comes up with new 3D NAND structure @ Fudzilla
- Yahoo and Mozilla sue each other over Firefox Quantum's switch back to Google @ The Inquirer
- Tesla’s Gigafactory might be behind a global battery shortage @ Engadget
- Get ready for laptop-tab-smartphone threesomes from Microsoft, Lenovo, HP, Asus, Qualcomm @ The Register
Subject: Displays | January 5, 2017 - 07:00 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Westinghouse, Ultra HD, UHD, tv, television, seiki, FireTV, Element, CES 2017, CES, amazon, Alexa, 4k
In a market packed with UHD TVs, a trio of budget television manufacturers have introduced new Amazon Fire TV-powered 4K televisions at CES, with new models announced from Seiki, Westinghouse, and Element. These TVs are "the world’s first 4K Ultra HD Smart TVs with Amazon Fire TV built in", with remotes supporting Alexa voice commands.
Quoting the press release, the new models from Seiki, Westinghouse, and Element will all offer the following features:
- Sizes: 43", 50", 55" and 65"
- 4K Ultra HD 3,840 by 2,160 panel resolution on all models
- The latest Amazon Fire TV user interface, including easy access to over-the-air TV programming (separate HD antenna required), simple TV input setup, and component switching
- Through the included voice remote with Alexa, customers can search for content and programming, control TV inputs and settings, and access Alexa skills to play music, get the news, check weather, sports scores, and more
- Voice remote with Alexa enabled control of smart home devices from multiple brands, including Belkin WeMo, Philips Hue, Wink, Insteon, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, TP-Link, Ecobee and more
- Access to more than 7,000 channels, games, apps and Alexa skills, including over 300,000 TV episodes and movies from Amazon Video, HBO NOW, Hulu and more
- Amazon Prime customers get unlimited access to Prime Video, featuring thousands of movies and TV episodes at no additional cost to their membership. Plus, with Amazon Channels, Prime members can now get HBO, SHOWTIME, STARZ, PBS KIDS, and over 100 more services. They only pay for the channels they want—no cable required, no additional apps to download, and easy online cancellation.
- 3 GB memory and 16 GB internal storage
- Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet connectivity
- Streaming resolution at 4K Ultra HD (2160p), 1080p, 720p up to 60 fps
- One-year limited warranty and great customer support
We have seen a similar idea with Roku TVs from Hisense, TCL, and others, as budget TV makers look to differentiate themselves; and the integration of the popular Amazon Fire TV for the OS may help position Seiki and company more favorably. Hopefully improvements in backlighting tech and UHD panel production cost reductions will result in a "trickle-down" effect for better picture quality for TVs selected on cost alone, but for now improved user interface design can go a long way in making these budget TVs pleasant to use.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at https://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: General Tech, Networking | January 3, 2017 - 03:01 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: wireless keyboard, Smart Storage, smart home, Smart Assistant, Lenovo, connected, CES 2017, CES, Alexa, 500 Multimedia Controller
Lenovo is announcing a trio of new connected devices beginning with the Amazon Alexa-powered Smart Assistant.
“The Lenovo Smart Assistant with Amazon Alexa is like having your own digital assistant at home. Featuring Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service, this voice-controlled high-definition speaker with far field microphones, is there to lend a hand whenever you need it. Want to know what the morning traffic is like? Forgot to order that book from Amazon? Longing to hear your favorite playlist? Simply ask Alexa. She has all the answers to help simplify your life. What’s more, she can even help remotely with the Amazon Alexa App, which is free to download for Android and iOS.”
The Smart Assistant offers high definition sound with a speaker system that combines a 5W treble and 10W bass speaker, and the Harman Kardon Edition takes this further with a ported design for enhanced sound.
Next we have Lenovo’s Smart Storage, which provides up to 6 TB of connected storage over a wireless (or wired) home network.
“Despite this remote storage center’s compact size, the Lenovo Smart Storage comes with a big challenge: How will you and your family fill it? Capable of storing up to 6 TB of photos, movies, and other digital files, this dual-band WiFi storage system can connect wirelessly to almost any smart device you own, worldwide. You’ll maintain absolute administrative control, ensuring your data and content are secure and safe—and with Auto Sync enabled, your data will back-up automatically when within WiFi range. DLNA support also ensures you’ll be able to enjoy your movies and music on any device, anytime.”
Finally we have the Lenovo 500 Multimedia Controller, which combines a compact keyboard and touchpad in a small wireless control device for the living room.
“Want to browse the web from your couch? Or turn on your favorite playlist from the dining table? We’ve got you covered with the Lenovo 500 Multimedia Controller. It’s not only a mouse and keyboard in one, it’s also a remote control optimized for your Windows operating system. With an ergonomic design and up to 8 months battery life, the versatile Lenovo 500 Multimedia Controller will make your life easier.”
The controller is designed for Windows PCs (support for Windows 7 through 10), and uses a nano USB dongle for its 2.4 GHz wireless connection. The touchpad DPI is adjustable for user preference, and the unit offers up to 8 months of battery life from a pair of AAA batteries. At 5.71 x 3.37 x 0.74 inches (and 141 grams) this is a pretty small device, but certainly larger than some of the smart TV remote keyboards certain models have shipped with.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at https://pcper.com/ces!