Category: Set-top-boxes

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Google is testing Android on set-top-boxes

Posted by Charbax – March 10, 2010
Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

According to WSJ, Google is currently testing Android features on set-top-boxes.

It would be really nice to hear from Google what their strategy is for Android on HDTVs as well as for licencing Youtube HD access to cheap sub-$100 set-top-boxes that are based on Sigma Designs or Realtec processors, that come with Ethernet ports and which are powerful enough to stream 720p 2mbit/s or 1080p 4mbit/s from Youtube, if only they would provide an API to eventually display overlay advertising on the high bitrate videos or to charge end-users for the bandwidth through micro-payments.

I just bought the CinemaTube BV-5005 which is one of those Realtec based media streamers that should be able to strewam all contents from Youtube in up to HD but for some obscure licencing issues are not yet able to get access to the Youtube API for streaming legally. I will be posting an extensive video-review and an interview filmed at their CeBIT booth one of these next few days.

The service—which runs on TV set-top boxes using elements of Google’s Android operating system—allows users to search content from Dish as well as other Web video, like YouTube, and to personalize a lineup of shows, according to these people.

Viewers can search by typing on a keyboard, instead of using a remote control. Google hopes to link the service up with its nascent TV ad-brokering business, allowing it to target ads to individual households based on viewing and TV search data.

Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704869304575109912574043580.html

Via: http://searchengineland.com/google-testing-tv-search-service-with-dish-37572

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Argosy HV335T and HV339T

Posted by Charbax – March 3, 2010

Argosy released a new affordable full HD video player the HV335T based on the Realtec processor and is releasing a new one with DVB-T and composite video recording the HV339T.

PlayOn!HD, PlayOn!HD Mini and PlayOn!HD DVR

Posted by Charbax – March 2, 2010

A.C.Ryan PlayOn! HD media players are on the market and new cheap ones are being introduced such as the PlayOn!HD Mini with MSRP 99€, you can connect any USB hard drive and the Ethernet to play most video formats up to 1080p high profile at full bitrates. The PlayOn!HD is already on the market and comes barebones for MSRP 149€ to insert any 3.5" hard drive inside for storage. The new PlayOn!HD DVR also records two DVB-T channels at the same time up to 1080i each, and can record PAL resolution from the composite inputs in Mpeg2 9.8mbit/s formats. Those recordings can then be played back on the device or streamed over the Internet.

Texas Instruments talks about Archos at Mobile World Congress 2010

Posted by Charbax – February 23, 2010

Ameet Suri, Strategic Marketing Manager at Texas Instruments, explains some of how Texas Instruments is working with French company Archos on powering the awesome Archos 5 Internet Tablet series running Android, what kind of work goes into it, he tells a bit about how TI supports Archos and how Archos innovates in the industry.

Full disclosure, I am a huge fan of Archos and have been for years and I also run the biggest Archos forum community at http://forum.archosfans.com

Opera 10 for Android Nexus One and the iPhone

Posted by Charbax – February 16, 2010

Opera seems to have a pretty snappy web browser for Android, for the iPhone, for Windows Mobile and for Symbian phones. They are right now negociating licensing deals with carriers, with manufacturers about providing the Opera browser version 10 on all these devices as soon as possible.

Flash 10.1 on all devices at Mobile World Congress 2010

Posted by Charbax – February 15, 2010

Flash product manager Richard Galvan explains the whole status of Flash 10.1 support on all devices, on Android, hardware acceleration, software optimizations, interoperability, backwards compatibility. The next version of Flash authorting software enables Flash application developers to output their apps not only in any version of Flash, also in one-click to Adobe Air 2 and even to the iPhone application format to upload directly to the itunes app store.

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Tim Sweeney talks about Unreal Engine on ARM Powered devices

Posted by Charbax – January 25, 2010

Tim Sweeney is the founder of Epic Games, he is in charge of the Unreal Tournament, Gears of War and plenty more very famous game franchises. But not only does his company make games, Epic makes the most famous and most popular 3D game engines on which hundreds of other games all over the industry are based on.

Now the Unreal engine is being launched for the Nvidia Tegra2 processor and has been showcased to run on other OpenGL ES based ARM Powered devices like the ipod touch.

In this interview, I ask when we will see Android devices with support for the Unreal Engine, and how many games does he think will work on all these ARM Powered devices that have the advanced 3D acceleration built-in.

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A message to Boxee about the Boxee payments system

Posted by Charbax – January 20, 2010

I posted this comment to Avner Ronen's announcement about the upcoming Boxee payments system:

It was nice to film Boxee Box at CES.

And congratulations to them with all those people thinking they were the best of the show.

I wish the Boxee project good luck in revolutionizing the TV world. It’s a big deal though, I think that industry is not only a multi-trillion dollar industry worldwide, they also basically control the minds of people. TV stations are decisive in elections, they make or break politicians and one cannot become famous without TV.

While I am amazed to see all Boxee's cool TV remote interfaces work so smoothly on an ARM Powered Tegra2 device, I’d like to see confirmation that Boxee Box definitely support everything and all codecs on that platform. If they really will support all the same content sources such as Youtube HD, Hulu, all the podcasts, BitTorrent RSS and more.

Since Boxee is building an open system, perhaps the best way to implement pay-per-view would be to implement an open platform that not only supports Boxee payments but could support any other payment system where Boxee might not even see 1% of the transaction revenues. It’d probably be weird though for Boxee to be that open even on the payment opportunity side of things.

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Sheeva Plug 2.0 and Plug Computer 3.0 at CES 2010

Posted by Charbax – January 19, 2010

Here is one of the cheapest NAS and home networked computer system available on the market. For less than $100 you get a Marvell powered plug computer which functions not only as a NAS, it can host a bunch of applications and runs on open source embedded Linux software.

Marvell slim desktop solution Ebox based on the Marvell Armada 510 processor

Posted by Charbax – January 18, 2010

Marvell is showing an awesome looking full Ubuntu 9.10 desktop solution, based on their Marvell Armada 510 processor and system on chip design, manufacturers can now make desktop computers running Ubuntu to be sold for as little as $100 to $150 depending on volumes and margins taken by retailers. You get HDMI output, e-sata, 3 USB ports, audio in/out, all integrated in one ultra slim and light desktop box. It can playback 1080p video, output 1080p Ubuntu user interfaces and also render 3D games like Quake3 at the same time. This ebox Ubuntu desktop example is manufactured by Quanta.

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