While it's hardly taking the world by storm, it looks like Android TV is gaining enough of a footing that there are now high-end televisions equipped with Google's entertainment OS being discounted on a regular basis. (Of course, that might simply indicate that no one is buying them. Either way, it means low prices for us.) Today's television deal comes from Sharp, and it's a big-un: the LC-70UE30U, a 70-inch, 4K smart TV. Buydig's eBay outlet has a new model on sale for $1599.99, a solid $200 off of the price for most remaining new stock.
The LC-70UE30U includes Android TV running on a quad-core processor of unknown origin (though I'm betting it's one of Qualcomm's inexpensive SoC systems). Read More
We've been posting a lot of great deals on Sony's 2015 4K TVs the last few weeks. The only problem with those panels is that, even on sale, they start at $900. That's a healthy wad of cash to burn on a new TV, even if it is a great one.
Fortunately, Sony doesn't just make 4K TVs, they still produce some 1080p models and they are quite a bit more affordable, especially the outgoing 2015 models. The 55 Inch KDL-55W800C is on sale right now for $699 on eBay, which is a hundred bucks less than its current listed price (Amazon also has it on sale for $25 more and Best Buy for just $15 more)... Read More
Android 6.0 already includes support for pausing and time-shifting on TV devices, but Android N adds a more robust method of creating multiple recordings in supported apps. These can be scheduled in advance or triggered as you're watching. There aren't any apps yet to test this, but it sounds very much like DVR functionality. Read More
Google had a hit on its hands from the moment it released the original $35 Chromecast a few years ago, but not everyone who has a TV knows about all the cool things a Chromecast can do or that they can get one so cheaply. Apparently, Google wants to make it easier for people to start casting by simply building cast support into TVs, starting with Vizio. Read More
The Play Books update from a couple of days ago turned up the first sign of life for the Family Library we've seen since mid-November. At the time, I made a quick prediction that matching strings would pop up fairly soon in Google's other content apps, and Play Movies & TV is the first to follow through. But this wasn't just a mirror image of the same strings, there's actually a bit of new information regarding movies sold as a bundle and seasons of television shows.
In case anybody is curious, this update doesn't have anything in the way of notable new features. Read More
Considering its reliance on many, many balls, Verizon's latest network comparison ad is fairly innocuous. It uses statistics from a Root Metrics study to boast about Verizon's wireless coverage and performance in relation to its competitors AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. The ad is obviously intended to make Verizon look good, and the combination of a condescending voice-over and an elaborate visualization are particularly disparaging to the cheaper, smaller networks. Read More
You would think that a streaming video app for a TV channel would support Google's TV platform, but before today you'd be mistaken in the case of Showtime Anytime. There is finally a version of the app with Android TV support. Read More
Sky Go is the way Sky provides subscribers with the ability to take their favorite channels, shows, and movies with them when they stand up from in front of the TV. The latest update to hit the mobile app gives the experience a visual refresher. Read More
Yesterday, I was starting work on some sketches for Android TV. When it was time to move into Sketch (my current mockup tool of choice, mostly because of its Zeplin integration), I realized I hadn't really seen any good ready-made sheets, frames, or stickers for Android TV UI. So I decided to just go ahead and build a few screens, and then maybe - if they came out decent - upload them for other designers who might want to do a quick TV mockup or two.
The Sketch file you'll find below has 7 artboards, covering the Android TV home page, a basic leanback UI, a video player, a list, settings, and keyboard/text input. Read More
This is HUGE. It might be the best news to come out of CES this year. Scratch that. It is the best news to come out of CES this year. Not just because it affects the way millions of people could potentially enjoy and experience TV and movies, but because it proves that when a company has enough clout and will, it can make licensing arrangements globally instead of tiptoeing around each country's policies and agencies. Read More