Archives For HDTV

Roku TV Launching This Fall

Dave Zatz —  January 6, 2014 — 8 Comments

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Nearly two years after announcing their MHL Streaming Stick designed to make dumb TVs smart, Roku has now inked deals with Hisense and TCL to produce Roku TVs — in sizes ranging from 32″ to 55″ that are expected to ship this fall. It’s a great win for manufacturers looking to integrate a mature and continually updated platform. But, like LG, Roku and their partners will soon learn if a television operating system matters to shoppers the way it does in mobile as these guys collectively work to shorten the consumer television refresh cycle. Continue Reading…

Netgear Puts A RDK Set-Top On A HDMI Stick

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With CES mere days away, it’s time to flex our predictive musculature. Mari’s gone broad with the TV trends, but I’m dialing it down to a single set-top manufacturer we know so well. Unlike years past where TiVo hid themselves at the end of an obscure, dusty hallway for invite-only meetings, TiVo’s invested in a real booth for 2014. Go big, or go home! And their prime Central Hall location will provide a much larger stage to tell the compelling Roamio story. Reinforcing TiVo’s more visible approach, beyond the booth, I’ve counted at least five events TiVo management will be speaking at. While I expect TiVo to make some noise around their analytics group and viewer behavior, a partner announcement or two isn’t out the question, and we’re still awaiting TiVo Roamio upgrade offers, I remain most interested in retail TiVo functionality. Continue Reading…

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By way of our pal @evleaks comes an exclusive image of the refreshed webOS UI headed to at least one LG Smart TV. As you can see, the new card carousel is a looker. And, unlike competing Samsung and Panasonic Internet-connected televisions, apps aren’t buried in a silo-ed grid of icons (and ads). Of course, there’s way more to an experience than sexy visuals… which is why one of our top priorities at CES next week is to track down and spend some quality time with one of these sets.

It was many years ago at CES that Dave and I both found ourselves enthralled by HP’s coffee-table-sized touchscreen on display at one of the many press events. There’s something visceral about the feeling of moving and shifting digital objects on a table, and it’s very different from the feeling you get when manipulating a tablet. With a tablet, the movements are mostly in your thumbs and index fingers. With a digital table, your gestures are broad and sweeping.

Of course, where HP (and Microsoft, and others) failed with its touchable table, Apple has soared to unimaginable success with the iPad and its successors. ln fact, we’ve been so caught up in the tablet market that little effort’s been expended on bringing touch-control to larger screens. (Motion-controlled TV interfaces are a different matter entirely.) The one big exception I know of is the Lenovo Horizon Multimode Table PC. Lenovo showed off its Horizon product at CES 2013, but given how little I’ve heard about it since then, I was shocked to discover the Table PC is actually available for sale. You can make it your own for only $979.

Now into the void steps Westinghouse. With a slight twist on the tabletop idea, Westinghouse is introducing a new interactive whiteboard for CES 2014. It’s a large tablet turned on its side, and it comes in 55″, 65″, 70″ and 84″ screen-size varieties. (The 84″ version supports 4K video.) According to the YouTube demo, the new product operates like a standard tablet running Window 8, but it includes a whiteboard mode with text recognition, annotative capabilities that work even on video, and a six-point IR touch system. Continue Reading…