Jun 26 2014

News - SiliconDust Brings STB-free TV to Google, er..., Android TV


When GoogleTV first came out, it was an interesting idea but poorly executed. Refusing to give up on the idea Google has soldiered on and yesterday GoogleTV became Android TV, bringing their little-black-box OS closer to their main branch of Android which should provide greater access to the catalog of apps available through the Play store. Alongside this, it looks like SiliconDust has been busy writing a plugin which provides Live TV from their popular network tuners, which means you finally don’t need an MSO provided STB to view Live TV; removing the kludge of HDMI pass-through and IR-blasting from the mix. Frankly, I think this is really slick and hopefully just a stepping stone towards full CableCARD DVR support (can’t be that hard, can it?). I imagine SiliconDust have the same thing in mind because included in their PR is a link to download the plugin that POCs the Live TV integration – hopefully someone takes up the challenge and makes it happen.

Pleasanton, CAJune 25, 2014Silicondust USA Inc., innovators of the HDHomeRun® network attached TV tuners, today announced that it was selected to participate in the Google I/O Developer Sandbox being held in San Francisco. Google I/O is an annual developer-focused conference featuring in-depth sessions focused on innovations for web, mobile and social breakthroughs to bring together thousands of developers. SiliconDust is demonstrating its HomerunInput plugin enabling Live TV as a core component to Android TV’s platform. HomerunInput uses SiliconDust’s HDHomeRun devices to deliver a Live TV source for Android TV devices.


UPDATE: According to Engadget (thanks Skye), all Android TV devices have to have PlayReady DRM (one way to make Copy-Once content work).

There are a few hardware requirements to ensure that Android TV doesn't offer an inconsistent (or miserable) user experience: 2GB of RAM, 8GB of flash storage, WiFi and/or Ethernet, Bluetooth 4, Play-ready DRM and Widevine level one.



Oct 31 2011

News - GoogleTV Still Alive, Finally Gets an Update

Good for Google for continuing to update and not abandon their GoogleTV platform which has gotten off to a terrible start. I find a bit of irony in the update going first to Sony users, with Logitech soon to follow, especially considering how much flack Logi has gotten for all the wasted money they put into these boxes. Great rundown from the gang at Engadget.

Other than finding new things to watch on TV in a few new ways, the addition of Market apps is the biggest difference between Google TV and all the other connected TV platforms out there. So far, there aren't yet APIs to tell third party apps what you're watching and allow them to interact with it, but they're described as "heading down that path." Some of the 50-or so apps that will work on Google TV at launch include ones we've seen from TBS, TNT and other providers, as well as TV friendly versions of common apps like Flixster and IMDB. For music there's still Pandora and Napster, joined by Plex, Qello and more right out of the gate. Sports fans can try out Thuuz and Are You Watching This?! XL to get alerts and immediately tune to whatever game is deemed the most interesting, while there's also an AOL HD app that brings some of our videos to the TV as well. One of Google TV's strength has always been its ability to handle a wide range of internet content, and that's not changing this time around. The Chrome browser and search is a little more simplified, along with a My Photos app that checks another box on the "family friendly" features list by pulling in pics from your online albums.


Jul 28 2011

News - Logitech Revue Price Slashed in Half

It sounds like May's price reduction of the GoogleTV-based Logitech Revue to $199 wasn't enough to goose sales of the struggling device because Logitech has decided to reduce the price again this quarter to $99. Apparently, the whole affair has been enough to cause Logitech and now former CEO, Gerald P. Quindlen, to part ways. Even with the new pricing, it's a bit difficult to imagine the Revue taking off in any meaningful way until the GoogleTV platform itself has been updated and considering that several content owners have blocked the device. What do you think? Can a $99 Logitech Revue compete with the likes of AppleTV and Roku?

This is becoming a trend. After a disappointing Q4 saw Logitech reduce the price of its Revue it revealed today that after a net loss of $29.6 million for the first quarter it is cutting the price of the Revue to $99, as well as saying goodbye to CEO Gerald P. Quindlen. Quindlen had been an outspoken supporter of the Google TV box (see the video after the break) but according to Logitech this price cut and corresponding $34 million hit to its finances are necessary to "remove price as a barrier to broad customer acceptance." In the midst of these results -- as well as lowered sales in several regions and key products like Harmony remotes -- Chairman and former CEO Guerrino De Luca will assume the role of acting CEO while a long term replacement is sought.

Engadget HD

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