Even in a world with Chromecasts and other streaming devices, it's often just easier to plug your phone directly into your TV with an HDMI cable and an adapter. Some people depend on this functionality quite a bit, and for those of you that do, it might not please you to hear that Google's Pixel smartphones will not support the company's own USB Type-C to HDMI adapter. Read More
USB Type-C is fast becoming the standard for mobile devices, and it's more than just a reversible plug design. USB Type-C can do a lot more than microUSB could, and that now includes native HDMI output. The HDMI Founders organization has developed HDMI Alternate Mode for Type-C, which could enable easy video-out on future devices. Read More
Lenovo has taken the opportunity at its Tech World 2015 conference to announce the Lenovo Cast, a new accessory that aims to mirror your Android device's screen to the TV. The device is puck-shaped and connects through a cable to the HDMI port on your television.
Unlike the Chromecast, which uses Google's proprietary casting technology, Lenovo Cast is built on Miracast and DLNA, the standards that are available in most modern Android devices (sometimes under the Miracast option and other times under Wireless Display). Read More
The Chromecast is great! Wouldn't it be even greater if it could actually run Chrome, instead of being a point for streaming video and music? ASUS seems to think so. Tucked into an announcement of new Chrome OS laptops, Google posted a preview of the Chromebit on the official Chrome blog. It's basically Chrome OS on a stick: plug it into the HDMI port on your TV, add some MicroUSB power, and you've got access to a full copy of Chrome OS.
This isn't exactly a new idea - thanks to miniaturization of low-power hardware, manufacturers have been able to cram Android, various flavors of Linux, or even Windows onto these tiny HDMI sticks. Read More
Google has done a spectacular job of improving and adding features to Chromecast. The low-cost streaming dongle continues to get better, even as it starts to close in on its 2nd birthday. The latest change makes it possible for Chromecast to receive commands from a TV remote, but it may not work on a lot of older televisions. This means users can finally enjoy the convenience of pausing and resuming with the push of a physical button without first turning on the casting device.
This is possible through the use of HDMI-CEC, the protocol that allows multiple devices on an HDMI chain to communicate between each other. Read More
Nexus devices might be a great deal compared to other devices in the market, but you pay the price when it comes to accessories. They're either horrendously expensive or take so long to go on sale it's almost time for a new version of the device. We might be lining up for the second one here, as Asus has just now posted English listings for the wired and wireless charging docks for the 2013 Nexus 7.
Asus started selling the wireless PW100 dock in parts of Asia and Europe in recent weeks, but we're still without an official announcement stateside. Read More
Seeing what it clearly believes is an untapped market, Netgear announced NeoMediacast, which gives pay TV providers an alternative to the traditional set-top box. This is an Android-powered system in a Chromecast-sized package that simply plugs into the back of your TV via an HDMI port. The idea here is that service providers can offer apps and premium content stores to give their subscribers access to everything they currently get through their cable boxes.
While comparisons to Chromecast are inevitable, it's important to remember that the two products serve entirely different market segments. While Chromecast is tailored toward anyone who has a TV and a mobile device or laptop, NeoMediacast is only being sold to service providers, who will, after customizing it to suit their requirements, sell or lease it to their customers. Read More
The phones and tablets are about to start falling from the sky like rain at the IFA trade show in Berlin, but before we get to the juicy mobile hardware let's talk about something really exciting: cables. It's finally time for HDMI to get a major revision after the 1.4 spec from 2009, and the 2.0 release of HDMI adds some necessary enhancements to its bullet list.
Most notable among the new additions is support for 4K or "UltraHD" at up to 60hz. The 1.4 spec supported 4K, but only up to 24hz, which is the standard for movies and television; 60hz should be much more comfy for extended game sessions. Read More
Android manufacturers have been using the Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) standard since 2011. While most Android device owners are blissfully unaware that their gadgets can output HDMI (among other things) via a nifty little adapter, power users treasure MHL as an easy way to expand functionality. Today the MHL LLC announced the 3.0 revision of the standard, including a ton of new goodies.
First of all, MHL 3.0 will support video output of up to 4K (or "Ultra HD," usually 3840 × 2160 pixels) resolution. That should be a big plus for those who can afford the early crop of 4K televisions and monitors, even if there's a definite lack of content that actually takes advantage of it. Read More
Chromecast is one of the slicker devices to come out of Google HQ in a while. After you're all set up, just tap a button on YouTube or Netflix, and BAM, whatever you were watching is now on your television. It's really awesome.
For the researchy-types like me, the Chromecast comes with two piece of software to dig through. The first is the physical device software, which, while it is sort-of Android based, it's only Android-based at the low level. While that has some interesting things going on like dev and beta channels, there aren't any APKs to decompile, so it's really not my department. Read More