Amazon Fire TV

Amazon Fire TV is a tiny box that connects your HDTV to a world of online entertainment. With a huge selection of TV episodes and movies, voice search that really works, plus exclusive features like Amazon FreeTime, it’s the easiest way to enjoy Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, low-cost movie rentals, music, photos, games, and more.

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What’s on Amazon Fire TV?

Amazon Fire TV combines all your favorite subscriptions and streaming services with Amazon’s massive selection of digital content. Watch over 200,000 TV episodes and movies, rent videos from just 99 cents, or kick back with your favorite sports, news, music, and games.

Perfect with Prime

Prime members enjoy unlimited, commercial-free streaming of tens of thousands of popular movies and TV shows including The Hunger Games, Marvel’s The Avengers, Downton Abbey, Justified, Dora the Explorer, and Amazon exclusives like Alpha House at no additional cost. Eligible customers can try Amazon Prime for 30 days for free.

Voice search that actually works

The Amazon Fire TV remote has a built-in mic so you can instantly search TV shows, movies, actors, directors, and genres using just your voice—no more typing with your remote to find what you want.

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Powerful performance

1080p HD video, Dolby Digital Plus up to 7.1, smooth gaming, and ultra-fast streaming—everything about Amazon Fire TV is fast and fluid. It’s all thanks to a quad-core processor with 3x the processing power of Apple TV and Roku, a dedicated Adreno 320 graphics engine, and 2 GB of memory—4x that of Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast.

Immediate video start with ASAP

The exclusive new ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction) feature predicts what movies and TV episodes you’ll want to watch and gets them ready to stream instantly. The more you use Fire TV, the more accurate ASAP becomes, dynamically adapting to your viewing habits.

Easy to set up and use

Amazon Fire TV arrives pre-registered to your Amazon account and sets up in minutes. A user-friendly interface makes it easy to browse popular movies, shows, and personalized recommendations straight from your home screen.

Great for gaming, too

Fire TV is the easiest, most affordable way to game on your HDTV. Play blockbuster titles like Minecraft-Pocket Edition, The Walking Dead, Monsters University, the Amazon exclusive Sev Zero, plus great free games. There are over a hundred titles to explore, with thousands more coming soon. The average price of paid games is only $1.85.

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Music, photos, and video

Stream millions of songs through Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn. Fire TV also makes it easy to enjoy photos and videos from your smartphone or tablet, so you can share favorite moments on the big screen with family and friends.

Amazon Fire TV Roku 3 Apple TV Google Chromecast Features Price $99 $99 $99 $35 Voice Search compchart checkmark Amazon Fire TV

HDMI
video out (up to 1080p)

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core Memory 2 GB 512 MB 512 MB 512 MB Ethernet (wired connectivity) compchart checkmark Amazon Fire TV
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compchart checkmark Amazon Fire TV Games Number of Games 100+ (thousands more coming soon)
Less than 100
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Amazon Fire TV Technical details

Size and Wieght: 4.5″ x 4.5″ x 0.7″ (115 mm x 115 mm x 17.5 mm). 9.9 oz (281 grams) SOC Platform: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8064 Processor: Qualcomm Krait 300, quad-core to 1.7 Ghz GPU: Qualcomm Adreno 320 Storage: 8 GB internal Memory: 2 GB LPDDR2 @ 533 MHZ Wi-Fi Connectivity: Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi (MIMO) for faster streaming and fewer dropped connections than standard Wi-Fi. Supports public and private Wi-Fi networks that use the 802.11a/b/g/n standard with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0 with support for the following profiles: HID, HFP 1.6, SPP Cloud Storage: Free cloud storage for all Amazon content Ports: 5.5 mm DC Jack, Type A HDMI 1.4b output, w/HDCP, Optical Audio (TOSLINK), 10/100 Ethernet, USB 2.0 Type A Audio: Support for Dolby Digital Plus, 5.1 surround sound, 2ch Stereo and HDMI audio pass through up to 7.1 Content Formats Supported: Video: H.263, H.264, MPEG4-SP, VC1. Audio: AAC, AC-3, E-AC-3, HE-A, PCM, MP3. Photo: JPG, PNG Output Resolution Supported: 720p and 1080p up to 60fps System Requirements: High-definition television, HDMI cable TV Compatibility: Compatible with high-definition TVs with HDMI capable of 1080p or 720p at 60/50Hz, including popular models from these manufacturers: Hitachi, JVC, LG, Mitsubishi, NEC, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, Vizio, Westinghouse Warranty and Service: 1-year Limited Warranty and service included. Regional Support: Certain services may not be available outside the U.S. Included in the Box: Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV remote, 2 AAA batteries, Power Adapter, Quick Start Guide

Fire TV Remote Technical details

Size and Weight: 1.5″ x 5.5″ x .6″(38.3 mm x 139.9 mm x 16.1 mm). 68 grams or 0.15 lbs with batteries (45.5 grams or 0.10 lbs without batteries) Batteries: 2 x AAA (included) Bluetooth: Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR with support for the following profiles: HID, HFP 1.6, SPP Voice Search: Dual digital microphones with noise suppression technology integrated Buttons: Voice, 5-way Directional, Back, Home, Menu, Rewind, Play/Pause, Fast Forward.

 

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Categories : Amazon Fire TV

Google Chromecast review

 Google Chromecast review Google Chromecast review

A new generation of “cord-cutters” has abandoned the traditional concept of TV, instead using web streaming, catch-up services and devices such as Apple TV to watch shows whenever it’s convenient for them – rather than when the broadcaster says so.

And Google’s £30 Chromecast might be the ideal device for the entry-level cutter. Compatible with Netflix, YouTube, Google Play movies and now BBC iPlayer (with the arrival of Chromecast in the UK), it’s a cheap, simple way of getting web-sourced movies and shows onto your living room TV. But is it just too limited?

If you thought the puck-sized Apple TV was small, wait until you see the Chromecast, which more than anything resembles a USB memory stick. A mere 35g in weight and possessing a single button, this dinky dongle plugs into a spare HDMI socket on your TV.

Google Chromecast – Small and simple 2
It can’t draw power via HDMI, however, so you’ll also need to hook it up to a USB port or wall socket. It’s not the most elegant of solutions, adding as it does to the cable spaghetti behind your telly, but if your TV’s got a spare USB socket (and many do) you could replace the fairly long USB-to-micro-USB cable that’s bundled with the Chromecast for one that’s shorter and a little neater for just a couple of quid.

Setup couldn’t be much simpler. Once plugged in, the Chromecast displays a setup screen on your TV and opens up its own Wi-Fi network. Connect to that on your computer, phone or tablet, change the Chromecast’s settings so that it’s hooked up to your main home Wi-Fi network and you’re ready to go.

As well as “casting” iPlayer, YouTube, Netflix and Google Play videos, you can also use Chromecast to beam tabs from the Chrome browser (desktop version only) onto your TV screen. To do so, you’ll need to install an extension in Chrome. Again, very easy.

To cast video to your TV you simply tap the icon that appears in both the mobile app and desktop versions of Netflix, BBC iPlayer and YouTube. After a few seconds, the video will begin playing on your TV, in quality up to 1080p if its available. 5.1-channel surround sound is also supported (with no dedicated audio output on the Chromecast itself, you’ll have to connect your TV’s audio output, if it has one, to an external speaker setup).

Video quality depends on the source material to a large degree. Old, low-res YouTube videos look decidedly ropey on the big screen, while newer HD clips and Netflix material fares much better. In fact, with up to Full HD Netflix and 720p or 1080p YouTube videos, the crisp detail and colour reproduction is on a par with HD broadcast services such as Sky HD, or even better if you’ve got an internet connection that’s compatible with Netflix’s Super HD streams, with which Chromecast is compatible.

You control playback and volume using the device from which you’re casting. There’s a momentary delay from the time you press the button, but it’s not long enough to become an annoyance.

Google knows the way to British hearts. Casting BBC iPlayer is now just as simple as doing so with Netflix and YouTube. With smartphones and tablets on your home network, it’s just a case of making sure the iPlayer app is up to date before hitting the new in-app Cast button.

Cast button in BBC iPlayer app
BBC iPlayer on desktop hasn’t been treated to a Cast button just yet, but if you’re happy to settle for lower quality streams, you can as ever cast a tab from Chrome. Stick to Casting from mobile devices and streams max out at 720p, which makes for a perfectly crisp picture – as with Netflix, iPlayer automatically adjusts the quality depending on the connection but as long as you’ve got fairly solid broadband you should be up to 720p very shortly after starting the stream.

As with any Chromecast-friendly app, you can still navigate around your smartphone or tablet as The Great British Sewing Bee is playing on your TV screen.

There’s no support for BBC Radio or BBC Sport just yet, but we’re sure both are just a matter of time. Somewhat surprisingly you can even cast live BBC TV – we’d recommend you check your TV license is in order if you’re going to make use of that feature.

And it’s good news for those eager streamers who imported a Chromecast from the US – the BBC iPlayer app works fine with those, too.

Anyone who picked up a Chromecast as a cheap way of getting Netflix on the telly probably adores it. But that won’t stop ‘Casters getting excited at the prospect of ten – yes ten! – new apps. There’s no update to the Chromecast itself, just download the compatible apps and look for the Chromecast symbol at the top. Just keep your expectation in check – these are not the apps you’re looking for.

New Chromecast app BeyondPod for playing podcasts through the TV
In the first batch of Google dongle-friendly apps comes Plex, Avia and RealPlayer Cloud, all hell bent on becoming your go-to media server and cloud storage buddy. But RealPlayer Cloud, for Android, iOS, Kindle Fire and desktop, isn’t available outside the US yet (we pre-registered for updates here in the UK) and the popular but sometimes messy Plex requires a US$3.99 per month PlexPass.

That’s not a huge amount but considering the Chromecast itself is only £30 and everything else is free (bar the Netflix sub), it seems unncessary. Plex is rolling out Chromecast compatibility to free users in the near future, but for now we’d give Avia Media Player a go. It’s far from perfect itself and enabling Chromecast compatibility requires a one-off payment of £1.86 (US$2.99), but it does the job.

If you can forgive connection and buffering stutters, you can now play your own local videos plus media dragged in from Dropbox, Facebook and Picasa. Videos have a video reel icon rather than a thumbnail, which is very annoying if you shoot a lot of untitled smartphone footage, but making playlists is easy and it’ll do until Google introduces a better integrated alternative.

Still, there’s nothing here to rival Roku’s incoming £50 Streaming Stick, which promises easy playback of locally stored videos on smartphones and tablets with the Roku app.

Elsewhere in the new Chromecast apps are VEVO for ad-laden music videos, Red Bull TV for skateboarding and motorsports, PostTV for news footage from The Washington Post and the confusing but useful BeyondPod Podcast Manager for blasting out Brian Cox in audio-only form. There’s also the international video app Viki for fans of Korean or Venezuelan TV, and playlist app Songza, which had dropped off the Google Play store at the time of writing but will probably be back on soon.

So the best Chromecast apps are still the ones that have been there all along – Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies. Here’s hoping this is the first wave in Google’s long game to catch up to the £99 Apple TV, which still has the upper hand in terms of simple AirPlay mirroring as well as extra apps such as Sky News and Vimeo.

Chromecast’s other ability is tab-casting from computers running the Chrome web browser: just click on the cast icon and whatever tab you’re currently on will appear on your TV screen. This feature is still in beta, and it’s not nearly as rock-solid as video casting. You can’t see an on-screen pointer, so there’s no way to use your TV as a proper monitor, and while embedded videos (from Vimeo, say) work, they do so with stuttering playback and choppy sound.

Google Chromecast – Casting web pages 2
As a little bonus feature, it’s fine, but it really needs to be viewed as such, at least until Google can perfect it and bring it out of beta. We’re hoping that happens sooner rather than later, as it could open up almost all of the streaming services on the web and make Chromecast a far more flexible video-on-demand device.

The Chromecast is cheap, easy to use and works well for Netflix, YouTube and now BBC iPlayer, but it’s not really bringing anything truly essential to the video streaming table just yet. If you have an Apple TV, PS3, Xbox 360, smart TV or smart set-top box, chances are the Chromecast just isn’t necessary, because these are all able to get YouTube, Netflix and more onto your telly already (and they don’t require a companion device to do so).

The addition of more essential apps (rather than filler we’ve never heard of) and a more robust web-casting experience could make Chromecast a far more appealing prospect for tech-heads in the future, though. Plex, Avia and RealPlayer Cloud fill a gap but we hope Google is working on its own AirPlay-rivalling solution for mirroring locally stored videos and photos. If not, there’s always the £50 Roku Streaming Stick, which lands in Blighty in May.

But if you’re on a budget and want to re-awesomise your dumb TV or you’re just fed up of squinting at videos on your laptop then this dongle is still your cheapest route to Netflix nirvana.

Original review by Sam Kieldsen, additional words and testing by Sophie Charara

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Categories : Chromecast

Roku Review: Say Goodbye To Cable

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Categories : Roku 3

KEEDOX® Mini Multi Media Player

KEEDOX® Mini Multi Media Player 300x300 KEEDOX® Mini Multi Media Player Specification:

Chipset: Boxchip F10

Supported Files: Video:AVI,MOV,MP4,DAT,TS,VOB,AVI,XVID,MKV,TS,M2TS,H.263,H.264,RM/RMVB,M2TS,MTS,TP,AVC HD,TS. codec: H.264, MPEG1/2/4, DivX, Xvid, RM/RMVB VC1

Audio: MP3 , WMA , WAV , ReaLAudio , OGG , AAC.aac , AAC.mp4 , AAC.m4a , FLAC.flac , FLAC , ASF , AIF/AIFF , MKA , APE.

Picture:JPG, BMP, GIF, PNG, TIFF,RAW

Subtitle:SMI,ASS,SSA.SRT,SUB,SUB+IDX,ISO/DVD navigation

Input Interfaces:USB HOST: USB 2.0 high speed

Card Slot: SD/MMC/MS/SDHC

Output Interfaces:Video/Audio Output: HDMI 1.3a, Composite Video (HDMI cable is not included)

Power Supply:

Input: AC 100-240V 50/60Hz

Output: DC 5V, 2A

Dimension: 80x56x15 mm

Package included:

1 x Full HD Media Player

1 x Power Supply

1 x AV Cable

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1 x Remote Control

1 x User Manual (English version)

Categories : Keedox

Micca MPLAY-HD 1080p Full-HD Digital Media Player For USB Drives and SD/SDHC (Realtek 1055)

Micca MPLAY HD 300x300 Micca MPLAY HD 1080p Full HD Digital Media Player For USB Drives and SD/SDHC (Realtek 1055)Micca makes 1080p video playback affordable with the compact and convenient MPLAY-HD digital media player. Just connect it to your TV or HDTV as you would a DVD player and enjoy your videos, music, and photos from a USB drive or flash memory card.

Powerful

The MPLAY-HD plays many more video and audio formats than other players on the market. Built on the newest generation Realtek 1055 hardware and software, the MPLAY-HD is simply the most powerful media player in its class. Compare the specifications – don’t settle for less!

Convenience

The MPLAY-HD makes finding and playing your media files quick and easy. Its media library feature is like Google for your videos and music, finding exactly what you want is just a quick search away even when you have thousands of files.

Performance

The MPLAY-HD offers broad video/audio codec and file format support at up to 1080p Full-HD resolutions, as well as HD audio formats. The following is a brief summary, please download the MPLAY-HD user’s manual for full details:

- Video Files: AVI, MKV, TS, TP, TRP, M2TS, M2T, MPG, MP4, M4V, MOV, VOB, ISO, IFO, DAT, WMV, ASF, RM, RMVB, FLV

- Video Codecs: H.264/AVC, VC-1(WMV9-HD), MPEG1/2/4, DivX, Xvid, RV8/9/10

- Audio Formats: MP3, OGG, WMA, WAV, AAC, FLAC, AC3, DTS, True-HD, DTS-MA/HR

- Subtitles: SRT, SMI, SUB, SSA, IDX+SUB

- Photo Files: JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIF, PNG

Compatibility

The MPLAY-HD can be used with all TVs/HDTVs as well as home theater systems with its extensive connectivity:

- Video: HDMI 1.3, CVBS/Composite

- Resolution: NTSC, PAL, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p

- Audio: SPDIF coaxial, analog stereo

- Storage Interface: Dual USB 2.0 host ports, SD/SDHC flash memory card reader

- File System: Up to 2TB, FAT32, NTFS (MBR Only)

What’s Included

- Micca MPLAY-HD

- IR Remote

- Cable

- 100-240V AC Adapter

 

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Categories : Micca MPLAY-HD