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set top box

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NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV Now Available From NVIDIA And Amazon, SHIELD Pro Coming In June

So you've read our exhaustive review of the NVIDIA SHIELD and decided that it's the Android TV device for you. Whelp, it's available for purchase right now in the US, from both NVIDIA's own store and Amazon.com. The standard 16GB SHIELD is $199.99, but it looks like the SHIELD Pro ($299.99) with its 500GB internal hard drive won't be available until June. According to the NVIDIA Store it's coming on the 3rd, while Amazon says it won't be in stock till the 12th.

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Razer's Forge TV Bundle Is Up For Pre-Order On Amazon, Release Date Set For May 1st

Let's be honest here: there hasn't been much movement for Android TV since the Nexus Player was released way back in November. Though Sony has committed to using ATV in its upcoming smart TVs, the actual availability of Google's latest set-top box is depressingly low. But two gaming-centric Android TV units are on the horizon, and one of them is from veteran PC accessory vendor Razer. The Forge TV now has an unconfirmed release date (May 1st) and at least one pre-order retailer (Amazon).

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NVIDIA SHIELD Set-Top Box Hands-On And Gaming Breakdown

In a lot of ways, NVIDIA's SHIELD (not to be confused with this SHIELD or that SHIELD) is a typical set-top box. And in many ways it isn't: though NVIDIA has built its living room invader on Android like the previous products in the line, the OS underneath is merely a means to an end. And that end is selling you games, in every form and fashion that the company can come up with.

SHIELD will release its Android TV-powered console sometime in May with a suggested retail price of $199. We took a good long look at both the hardware and the games that NVIDIA hopes you'll play on it.

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Razer's Forge TV Is The Gamer's Android TV Box, Complete With Mouse And Keyboard Support And SHIELD-Style PC Game Streaming

We've known that Razer was working on its own branded version of an Android TV set-top box for more than half a year, but at CES 2015 the well-known gaming peripheral company has given the gadget its coming out party. The Razer Forge TV hopes to be the go-to choice for gamers, with support for up to four simultaneous players, keyboard and mouse input, and (eventually) streaming high-end games from a local gaming PC.

The Forge TV box itself is a nondescript slab that looks something like a blacked-out version of a Mac Mini with Razer's triple snake logo on top.

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Roku Introduces Chromecast-Like Screen Mirroring For Android And Windows

Roku already gave users the ability to stream content from their Android devices to their set top boxes, but now the company is taking things a bit further. Instead of select files, the company will give people to capability to stream whatever is on their screen. We've seen this from Miracast devices, we've seen it from Chromecast, and now we're seeing it from Roku. Update: In fact, Roku is using Miracast to deliver this functionality.

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This feature, which is still in beta, will be available to people who own a Roku 3 or a Roku Streaming Stick. It is rolling out to folks starting today, and it should become available to everyone within a matter of weeks.

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Streaming Set-Top Box Showdown: Chromecast vs. Amazon Fire TV vs. Roku 3 vs. Roku Streaming Stick

Last month I took Amazon's Fire TV for a test drive and came away pretty damn impressed. It's a nice box with a lot to like – but there's also some pretty stiff competition in the streaming box arena. Companies like Google and Roku are both ready to take your money in exchange for enhancing an otherwise stale television experience.

Since there a variety of options on the market today, we decided to take four of the most popular and put them in a head-to-head deathmatch. We've got Google's Chromecast, the Roku Streaming Stick, Roku 3, and Fire TV all ready to duke it out and answer one question: which one is worth your money?

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Android TV Rumored To Launch At Google I/O With Pano Interface And Hardware Partners

Let's face it: at this point, Google TV is a certified flop. For all its good points, its adoption was hampered by expensive hardware, limited apps, and a clunky interface. Google is hoping to revive their set-top plans with "Android TV," an as-yet unverified platform revealed by The Verge last month. Others found more details of Android code powering a Google set-top box in the Android 4.4.3 changelog. Now anonymous sources tell GigaOM that the device will get a formal introduction, if not a full rollout, at Google I/O in June.

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According to the report, which comes with no verifiable information of its own, Google will introduce Android TV as its next-generation television platform.

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Amazon Video Press Event Scheduled For Wednesday, April 2nd, Android Set-Top Box Expected

Mega-retailer Amazon has scheduled a press event for Wednesday, April 2nd in New York City. The press invitation teases the event with the phrase, "Please join us for an update on our video business from [Amazon Kindle VP] Peter Larsen." A background with a couch and a bowl of popcorn makes it clear that Amazon's sights are set squarely on the living room.

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The Verge is fairly certain that the event heralds an Amazon-branded set-top box, a la Roku or Chromecast. That would certainly make sense, given the Amazon game controller we saw earlier this month. Said controller featured Android-style navigation buttons, which also jibes with Amazon's interests in Android as a software and distribution platform for the Kindle Fire series of tablets.

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Samsung HomeSync Is Finally Shipping In The US, Free Companion Android App Now Available In The Play Store

Over seven months ago, Samsung quietly debuted the HomeSync, an Android-powered set top box that combines Google TV features with a home media server. The device was scheduled for an April release, but this date came and went without further information, leaving us wondering if the device would ever become widely available in the US. Well, it's here. You can now purchase the HomeSync from Amazon, Best Buy, or Samsung directly for $299.99.

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Since this isn't your typical set top box, there's quite a bit of hardware tucked away inside. You're getting a 1.7GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of memory, 8GB of flash store, and 1TB of hard disk space.

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Qualcomm And The Amazing Technicolor Dream Box: Chip Maker Teams Up With Color Company For Media Streamer

If you thought that Google and Nestle were unlikely bedfellows, just wait till you get a load of this one. Qualcomm wants a piece of the low-cost streaming entertainment pie, and they intend to bring an Android-powered set-top box (a la Google TV or Chromecast) to market. There's not much information available about the hardware, but it will be called SVELTE, it'll use a Snapdragon 600 processor and an LTE wireless radio, and it will be distributed by Technicolor.

Yes, that Technicolor - the company that blew people's minds in 1939 with The Wizard of Oz and still shows up at the end of movie credits.

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