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.
Even if you're not paying for Rdio's streaming music service, you can now get your groove on with the mobile app. In an effort to attract more users from Spotify and Pandora, Rdio has made its personalized radio streaming service free in the app. The new feature goes live later today with an app update in Google Play.
Rdio has 10 different station types, including those based on artists, genres, songs, and the hyper-personal "You FM." There's no offline caching, and you can't queue up specific songs, but Rdio does have over 20 million tracks to pull into the radio stations.
It's not often that RCA does something worth talking about these days, but the company has apparently been working on a product dubbed the Internet Music System (model number RCS13101E). This device streams media to the included speakers, or to a TV over HDMI. That's cool, but the important thing is that it's powered by Android with Google apps included. It has just started popping up in Walmart stockrooms, and will presumably be on sale soon.
You're probably used to TV streaming apps requiring logins and sometimes cable subscription checks. Not the case with the new NBC app. It will allow anyone in the US to browse currently running programs and watch a few episodes from the device. And would you believe it isn't a nightmare to use?
There are about 20 shows available in the app, each with the last 4-5 episodes. It would be nice to have more streaming content, but it is free.
Once a good soap opera sinks its teeth in, the best days of our lives are those where we don't miss an episode. I would turn down a job at a general hospital if it meant I wouldn't have to miss today's episode. These stories serve as a guiding light that get me through each day as the world turns. The ability to take these shows with me would be a godsend, and even though I don't speak Spanish, I get how exciting it is to see NBC launch another Telemundo app into the Play Store that's aimed specifically at novelas and TV shows.
I love the Chromecast. I'd easily call it the best $35 I ever spent, ranking just above those tanks of gas that got me to job interviews on time and that one Thai restaurant I really like. All I need is the addition of Hulu Plus support, and then I would have little need to turn to anything else for projecting content onto my TV. But here's the thing, Google's neat little dongle sold out roughly as fast as tickets to a Green Bay Packers home game, and while the Google Play store has Chromecasts in stock now, many of you still haven't gotten your hands on one.
The Roku app is great for controlling a Roku set-top box, but that's what you have a remote for, right? The app previously included audio and picture streaming from Android devices, but now it goes one step further. The new update allows Android devices to stream video directly to the player over WiFi.
The 'Play on Roku' tab in the interface has a new entry for videos, which should pull up all the compatible videos on your device organized by folder.
Update: It turns out you can get a Samsung HomeSync in the US... if you live in the greater Chicago area. AT&T is selling the devices at its flagship store on Michigan Avenue, and only at this store. We called up the location for information about pricing and availability, here's what we were told: the HomeSync is $299 (no contracts or anything), is currently in stock at that location, and you do not have to be an AT&T customer to purchase one.
The Chromecast add-ons just keep coming, don't they? The latest tool to take advantage of Google's dirt-cheap media streamer is called Fling, from Plano, Texas developer Leon Nicholls. Unlike most of the tools from Koushik Dutta and others, this one expands Chromecast's desktop streaming powers. The Fling Java tool streams local video and audio files directly to Chromecast, and uses the popular VLC media player to transcode the ones that Chromecast doesn't support.