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Casting to NVIDIA SHIELD TV now supports 5.1 Surround Sound in some apps and 4K YouTube at 60fps

NVIDIA's SHIELD TV is one of the best Android TV set-top boxes on the market (though the competition isn't that heated threr), but it's also quickly becoming one of the best overall video set-top boxes, even with Roku, Amazon, and Apple in the game. It was only a couple of weeks ago that the SHIELD TV added 4K streaming from Google Play Movies, and now it's announcing a couple of other improvements to its casting feature.

A new Google Cast Receiver update has opened up new capabilities to the SHIELD TV and NVIDIA was quick to jump on board and verify they all work as intended.

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Epix launches "EPIX Cast" streaming feature, no additional hardware required

Premium cable and satellite television network Epix has launched its very own casting technology that doesn't require any extra hardware. The imaginatively named "EPIX Cast" enables any Android device loaded with the Epix app to stream content to any connected TV set. This is all part of the company's "TV Everywhere" approach, which it hopes will attract customers through being easy to use and ubiquitous.

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The Google Home app gets a new Listen tab for music suggestions and discovery

I listen to music when I am doing most any activity, especially for work, school stuff, and the gym. Sometimes, though, it's difficult to find the right artist or playlist that suits my particular mood at a given moment. Luckily, Google Play Music has those suggestions throughout the day for various activities, and a similar feature has arrived for the Home app.

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Google Cast app gets promised update to make it Google Home [APK Download]

The era of the Google Cast app has come to an end—long live Google Home. An update is rolling out right now in the Play Store that includes the Home rebranding. It still does the same things, but the layout has changed. You can also expect some features for the Google Home hardware in this app as soon as the device ships.

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The Google Cast app is becoming Google Home

Back in March, Google renamed the official Chromecast application as 'Google Cast', and it is now renaming it again. Several users have sent us the below screenshot, showing the Google Cast app informing them that it will become 'Google Home.'

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First Chromecast Preview firmware removes all Chrome branding

Not too long ago, Google began offering users the chance to test unfinished Chromecast firmware. The first preview firmware, version 1.21.72444, began rolling out to users recently. Google's release notes for the update only state, "General bug fixes and stability improvements." Really helpful, Google.

Thankfully, tipster Rafael sent us the screenshots above and below. They indicate that all references to the word 'Chrome' have been removed. The current public firmware shows the Chrome logo when the device starts up, which is now replaced by a Google logo.

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Google Slides now supports using Android Wear to control presentations [APK Download]

It's a bit difficult to get excited over updates to presentation software. But the latest Google Slides update brings a new feature that should have been implemented ages ago - remote control with Android Wear devices. Google Slides has supported streaming presentations to Chromecasts for a while now, but you have always had to control the show from your phone (or your laptop, if using the web version).

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The latest Google Slides update installs a companion app on your Android Wear device. When you start casting a presentation, a notification appears on your watch that opens the Wear app. The top of the UI shows the time you have spent on the current slide, the orange bar indicates how far along you are in the presentation, and the bottom shows a preview of the next slide.

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Google Cast now fully integrated with Chrome, allows casting to Hangouts

Google has been testing Cast support in Hangouts for over a year, with the most recent sighting back in July. The feature never rolled out widely or was officially acknowledged by Google, until now. Casting directly to Hangouts is coming to everyone soon thanks to full Google Cast integration with Chrome on the desktop.

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Chromecast's Fast Play Content Prediction feature has been delayed, still being worked on

Remember Chromecast's "Fast Play" feature? Well, some of it is out there in the wild now: for example, apps now can be pre-fetched by the Chromecast when they're loaded on your phone (this works for all Chromecasts). But the one feature a lot of people were looking forward to - video prefetching, aka Content Prediction - still isn't released.

Content Prediction is one piece of the larger Fast Play puzzle, but it's an important one. Content Prediction lets the Chromecast start to buffer a video before you even press the play or Cast button on your smartphone, with the idea that the video will start playing, essentially, instantaneously once you start it.

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Google releases new Cast SDK 3.0.0 from I/O 2016 for developers

Google has offered the Cast SDK to developers in some capacity for three years, but there have long been some annoyances that made it difficult to implement and maintain in certain apps. Cast SDK v3.0 was announced at I/O 2016 last month, and now it's available to developers. This version of the SDK seeks to simplify several elements of the old one to make developers' lives a little easier.

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