Last month, Xiaomi took the stage in an online-only event to show off a slew of products, including its Redmi 9 phone series and its new true wireless earbuds. Among them was also the hotly anticipated and often-leaked Mi TV Stick, which the company has now finally released in India, where it will become available for purchase starting August 7.
Android TV is an open ecosystem with a lot of moving pieces, and that means sometimes bugs show up in unexpected places. Recently, some TiVo customers received startling security warnings about a company called SEI Robotics being granted full access to their Google accounts. Worse, revoking that access (as the notification recommended customers to do) could fully wipe out your smart home setup, removing smart speakers, Nest devices, and other Assistant-compatible hardware and services from your account. Google has since resolved the security warnings, but it sounds like customers that had their smart home setups wiped clean will need to rebuild them.
Even if you're not a Prime customer, there are still some good deals to be found on Prime Day. Roku is discounting a bunch of products starting today, most notably its 4k Ultra box and Streaming Stick+, lowering the prices to $69.99 ($30 off) and $49.99 ($10 off) respectively in multiple shops, including its own online store.
Roku's little streamer that could, the Roku Streaming Stick, is down to impulse buy territory. The diminutive device is just $35 at several retailers right now, including Amazon, Best Buy, B&H, and Target, among others. That brings it down to the normal price of the base-model Chromecast and makes it a considerably more appealing purchase.
If you're still a little behind on your Christmas shopping or if you got a new TV during Black Friday and are looking for a relatively inexpensive way to make it smarter, there's a neat deal for you today: Roku is discounting its new (2017) Streaming Stick from $49.99 to $39.99. It's only $10 but this is a nice 20% off a new product.
When Corbin reviewed the new Streaming Sticks from Roku, he liked their small size and praised their speed, software, and remote. He also liked that you could view plenty of streaming services, including Amazon Prime Video and Google Play Movies and TV on the same unit (many other similar offerings lack one or the other).
Roku was one of the first companies in the streaming set-top box market. Over the years, it has released quite a few devices, ranging from Chromecast-shaped sticks to 4K-capable boxes. You may recall that Roku revamped its lineup last month, and now sells five different products for different use cases.
Slightly over a year ago, Roku announced three new streaming devices - the Roku Express, Roku Premiere, and Roku Ultra. The company's lineup became rather confusing, and the 4K/HDR-ready Roku Ultra was a hard sell against the $69 Chromecast Ultra. Today, the company announced a refresh for its entire hardware lineup, alongside a major new OS update.
In a press release today, PBS KIDS has announced its own streaming stick. Much like the Android app it is able to pull live streamed content from the provider, which as of last year has a new 24-hour channel, as well as give kids access to more than 100 hours of recorded content. Parents that pick one up can rest easy knowing what their children are watching is going to be appropriate content.
The Matchstick is, or someday may be, a $25 media streaming stick that's similar to the Chromecast, but based on Firefox OS. Its developers promise more powerful hardware and an open platform that supports video and many existing Chromecast apps. The Kickstarter project amassed nearly five times its $100k funding goal by the time the campaign ended in October.
Now for the bad news. The project announced today that it's not going to meet its goal of shipping this month. Deciding that the device is not yet ready, the team has pushed the release date back until some time in August.