A pair of fresh updates of the Play Movies & TV app rolled out to both Android TV and regular devices yesterday. Like many other recent updates, there's not a lot of new functionality to see on the surface, particularly for the Android TV version. Phones and tablets gained a new toggle to control notifications about expiring rewards, but that's about it. However, a teardown shows a few improvements scheduled for future updates, including 4K support, a special channel for watching trailers, and recommendations for similar TV shows. Read on for details or skip to the bottom for download links. Read More
As with all devices formally announced today at Google's event (so far), we already knew about the Chromecast Ultra. The name and price was leaked two weeks ago, and not long after, the first images of the device appeared. After 30 million Chromecast devices have been sold, Google has formally announced the Chromecast Ultra.
The new device has the same hockey puck shape as the current Chromecast, but now with a 'G' logo in the place of a Chrome design. As expected, the Ultra will be capable of 4K playback with HDR and Dolby Vision. Read More
YI Technology is going after GoPro for the action cam market in a big way with the YI 4K. This follow-up to last year's HD camera competes with the GoPro HERO4 by coming with an LCD screen, offering twice the battery life, and costing half the price. Yeah, you're looking at getting two hours of continuous 4K recording for $249.99. Read More
You can pair an Android TV box with any TV to get Google smarts in your set, but there are also a few TVs with Android TV built-in. They're usually a bit more expensive than similar TVs, but that's not the case for RCA's new Android TV 4K sets. They come in 50, 55, and 65-inch varieties, and the smallest one starts at just $499. Read More
Unless, that is, you and your friends strap yourselves to lawn mowers and sling each other around on wet surfaces often. In that case, maybe you have seen people have this much fun in this manner. But for most of us, this LG V10 video is giving us a first. Read More
If you use Plex, you already know it's an amazing tool for managing your completely legitimate media library. It really is great - and today, it just got a little better, especially if you've been hankering to play back 4K videos on your Android or Android TV device.
Plex v4.8 for Android adds three things, but they're all pretty significant. First on the list is 4K HEVC (aka the H.265 codec) playback support. Now, the main reason that's really useful is, essentially, for playback on Android TV devices connected to a 4K display. While it'd be fine to downscale to 1080p on smartphones, if you've got a 4K television, you want 4K content. Read More
NVIDIA's SHIELD Android TV box has only been available for a few weeks, and it's already getting its over-the-air update. This one improves a handful of the SHIELD's app functions and its accessories. Notably, software build 1.2 enables 4K output in Google's Photos & Videos app, provided of course that you have a 4K TV to view them on. According to the changelog it also improves streaming performance for both Netflix and Google Play Movies. Read More
Are you ready to watch ALL THE PIXELS? You certainly are if you've got a fancy 4K TV - the new top-of-the-line industry standard is begging for content, and Netflix is at the front of the queue. The streaming service has been offering some of its home-grown shows like House of Cards and Daredevil in 4K resolution to subscribers of a premium $12-a-month plan. Now you can access that sweet "UltraHD" video on Android TV... if you've got compatible hardware.
At the moment, the only Android TV devices capable of outputting in 4K aren't Android TV devices at all, they're Sony's latest batch of high-end smart TVs, which use Google's latest set-top box as an embedded operating system. Read More
Video quality keeps getting better, which means file sizes keep getting larger, things keep getting more complicated, and software must continue to work harder. According to Googler François Beaufort, the developmental version of Chrome now has a new video renderer that should be able to handle 4K content without stuttering.
You can try things out for yourself by installing Chrome Dev from the Play Store, enabling chrome://flags/#enable-new-video-renderer, and restarting the browser. This should work on your PC and Android devices alike.
Hey look, it now says "Disable." I guess that means it's working.
If your device previously struggled to play 4K60, 4K, or 1080p60 videos on YouTube, try again now. Read More