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tv

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Comcast adds D-pad and voice control to Xfinity TV Remote app

There are a lot of things to dislike about Comcast, but adding features to an app is always appreciated... even when it's Comcast. The Xfinity TV Remote app is getting an update today, and it includes two features brought over from the X1 Remote app: a D-pad and voice control.

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HBO NOW streaming app gets an official Play Store beta version

HBO's online and app-based streaming options are surprisingly competent  - they put the likes of DirecTV and Comcast, much larger organizations with ostensibly more resources, to shame. But that doesn't mean that there's no room for improvement. To that end, HBO is now publishing a beta version of, um, NOW, the cable-free standalone app for streaming cordcutters. It's available on the Play Store now via the standardized opt-in interface.

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Comcast plans to launch 'Xfinity Stream' app to replace Xfinity TV [Update]

Comcast is the most hated company in America by many estimations. It is unfortunate, then, that Comcast is the only cable company serving wide swaths of America. Actually, that might have a lot to do with how disliked it is. At least Comcast is trying to make its apps better. After spending a few years improving the Xfinity TV app (it isn't bad now), the company has announced the successor—Xfinity Stream.

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Weekend poll: What smart TV system do you use?

The war for your television's operating system (or, the operating system / platform you use to display content on it) is heating up. CES saw a refresh of the loved SHIELD Android TV console, and a new such box from Dish. We also saw Alexa on TVs, as well as continued attempts by the likes of Samsung and LG to push their own smart TV solutions.

So, I wanted to get a snapshot of what kind of smart TV system you're using here at the beginning of 2017. I'm allowing multiple answers on this poll, because I think people definitely may use a variety of platforms depending on both the TV and the content they're consuming, as not all platforms offer all services or features.

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Google Home makes a guest appearance on Modern Family to the absolute delight of Phil

Modern Family's resident nerd and geek, the awkwardly and adorably funny Phil Dunphy is no stranger to hot gadgets and new technology products that we all drool over. In the last Modern Family episode, Phil seems to have decked the Dunphy house with some Google love: there's a Google Home right on the kitchen counter and it's not just there for show, it's also part of the plot — albeit a very small part.

Toward the start of The Alliance episode (season 8, episode 8), Claire talks about the romantic Italian movie she and Phil watched the evening before. Phil then turns toward Google Home and says, "OK Google, play the soundtrack to Spaghetti for Pepe." The nice female voice in Home answers him and starts playing some Italian-sounding music.

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Sling TV introduces recording with a closed beta for its Cloud DVR service

While Sling TV makes a pretty compelling offering for those who want to ditch expensive conventional television service, its all-live setup is something of a bummer - recording has become so ingrained in the premium TV mindset that it's hard to give up. The company is rectifying that shortcoming with Cloud DVR, a (wait for it) DVR service that uses cloud storage to hold recorded TV episodes and other content. It's in closed beta right now - prospective users can sign up and cross their fingers at this address.

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Yahoo View arrives on Android to offer up a slice of Hulu's formerly free TV content

Did you know that there's nothing free on Hulu anymore? I didn't, until I tried to track down the latest episodes of awful-yet-addictive CW superhero shows that I pour into my eyes like the pop cultural equivalent of fast food. Yes, it turns out the networks that comprise Hulu's adulterous corporate parents have walled off all those TV episodes behind a paywall. But fear not, cable-cutting penny-pinchers: at least some of those shows have a new home on Yahoo View. According to Yahoo, the app is available only in the US.

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Nick Jr. now has an official app, probably more for your kids

If you're reading this site, you probably aren't the target market for the new official Nick Jr. app. But if you have kids, this app might be just the thing to distract your children while doing other tasks. Nickelodeon's sister channel, Nick Jr., finally has its own app available on Android and iOS.

The app features full-length episodes of recent Nick Jr TV shows for free, with hundreds of additional episodes available by signing in with your TV provider. If your child's attention span isn't quite that long, there's also a healthy selection of smaller clips to enjoy, including exclusive content. The Nick Jr.

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Lenovo launches the Yoga Tab 3 Plus, a "personal TV"

Lenovo has announced the Yoga Tab 3 Plus, a mid-sized tablet that the company claims is better than a portable television, at IFA in Berlin. The Chinese company is specifically touting the Tab 3 Plus's screen and audio.

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Latest Mr. Robot episode pokes fun at Android users, security issues

You may have heard of Mr. Robot, an award-winning show about a clinically-depressed cybersecurity engineer hired by "Mr. Robot" to join a group of hacktivists. The latest episode, "eps2.6_succ3ss0r.p12," opens with a discussion between a Nexus owner (Mobley) and an iPhone owner (Trenton). Take a look at the clip:

For context, the terminal window open on Trenton's screen is creating a custom MP4 file with the Stagefright vulnerability. When Mobley is tricked into visiting the page to prove his superiority as an Android user, the infected video file loads on his phone (despite his claims that Chrome on Android has "better HTML5 compliance").

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