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Roku updates Streaming Stick with HDMI interface, lower $50 price

03/04, 3:31pm

Loss of MHL, lower price point to help compete with Google Chromecast

Roku has updated its Streaming Stick, in what appears to be a move to compete against other streaming devices, and the Google Chromecast. The new Roku Streaming Stick is usable on a wider range of televisions than the previous model, thanks to a change away from Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL), as well as pricing it at half the cost of the original.

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Briefly: Titanfall Special Edition Bundle, Roku deliberates US IPO

02/24, 2:20pm

Xbox One's Titanfall Special Edition Bundle now available for pre-order

Multiplayer game Titanfall is now available for pre-order as part of a special edition console bundle, according to Xbox One's blog. Titanfall will utilize new patty and chat improvements that have been in development for Xbox One, as well as multiplayer alerts for matches while users are watching TV, and more. In light of the game's upcoming launch, Xbox and Titanfall's creators -- Respawn Entertainment and Electronic Arts -- have announced the Xbox One Titanfall Bundle, priced at $500. The bundle includes a digital download of Titanfall, an Xbox One console and Kinect sensor, a wireless controller, a chat headset, and a one month Xbox Live Gold membership. The pre-order has begun, with the bundle available officially March 11.

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Roku expands to smart televisions, shipping Roku TV this fall

01/06, 11:44am

TCL, Hisense to manufacture TVs with Roku-driven smart functionality

Roku is expanding its reach from Internet-connected set-top boxes into smart televisions. The Roku TV, developed in partnership with television manufacturers TCL and Hisense, will provide all the functionality of its existing streaming video devices but built into the television itself, with the first units set to reach customers and retailers sometime this fall.

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Apple TV, Roku at 80 percent of third-party set-top box market

12/17, 2:48pm

NPD sees Apple TV, Roku far away in the lead

Apple TV and devices from Roku hold the vast majority of the third-party set-top box market, according to industry analysis firm NPD. Speaking with AppleInsider, an analyst from the firm said that the two systems dominate the third-party box market with roughly 80 percent share between the two of them. As the set-top market expands with a proliferation of devices, the share held by those two entities could make it difficult for other players to carve out a niche.

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Google may take on Apple TV with a Nexus set-top box

12/08, 6:00pm

Google said to prep set-top box

Google may be preparing to release a Nexus-branded set-top box, according to new reports. This according to The Information, which claims that the search giant is planning to release an Android-powered set-top box in the next year. The move would mark an even stronger move into television for Google, and likely a full rework of its previous efforts to conquer that segment.

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Briefly: 4oD on Now TV and Roku, PayPal accepts gift cards online

11/27, 12:15pm

Channel 4 on-demand video service reaches Roku, Now TV streaming devices

4oD, the on-demand video service from British broadcaster Channel 4 is now available to use on the Roku and the Now TV streaming set-top boxes in the United Kingdom. The on-demand offering from Channel 4 accompanies similar services such as the BBC iPlayer and Demand 5 on the devices, as well as Sky's own Now TV prepaid Internet-based satellite television service.

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Briefly: PlayCast for Roku users, Pyle Audio's wireless headphones

11/19, 5:14pm

PlayOn announces availability of PlayCast channel in Roku channel store

MediaMall Technologies, owner of PlayOn media server software for streaming
video content, has announced the availability of its new PlayCast channel in the Roku channel store. PlayCast allows users to send any video from a PC browser to a Roku-connected TV, much like Google's Chromecast service. When used with PlayOn, PlayCast gives users the ability to cast videos from an Internet browser. PlayCast is available in the Roku channel store; PlayOn, which can be accessed through subscription, is available in monthly, annual and lifetime payment options, starting at $9 per month.

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Apple postponing HDTV plans due to lack of content deals

11/11, 12:40pm

Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV negating need for full-scale TV set

Apple is no longer planning to ship a dedicated TV set in 2014, claims NPD DisplaySearch. The firm quotes sources in the TV supply chain industry, who add that one of the main obstacles is the company's inability to secure deals for proprietary content. While Apple is potentially an attractive partner, earlier reports have suggested that TV networks are reluctant to risk the lucrative deals they have with cable and satellite companies, which typically bundle channels into packages.

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Wall Street Journal: Amazon to launch set-top media streaming box

10/03, 9:45pm

New device allegedly to run apps, stream from multiple sources

Amazon is reportedly in the process of designing a set-top box, similar in form and function to an Apple TV or Roku media streamer, to be released before the holiday buying season. Divergent from Apple, Amazon is allegedly offering an app ecosystem for the device, allowing gaming or media streaming from sources other than just Amazon purchases.

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Roku updates Roku LT, Roku 1, Roku 2 to match Roku 3

09/25, 7:30am

Roku line refresh shipping to US, UK, Ireland

Roku has refreshed a majority of its line of streaming set-top boxes, in order to coordinate with its existing Roku 3. While the Roku 3 remains the same, the new Roku 1, Roku 2, and Roku LT all have a number of hardware and software updates, as well as an overhaul in external design to match the current flagship model.

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RealPlayer Cloud launches, offers online storage, video reformatting

09/25, 6:44am

RealPlayer Cloud app streams video from storage to smartphones, Roku

RealNetworks has launched its own cloud storage app specializing in video. RealPlayer Cloud for iOS, Android, computers, and Roku will allow users to store video files online, with the new app able to stream or download videos from the storage, automatically reformatting the video to match the device and the available connection speed.

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Briefly: Blue HTC One heads to Best Buy, Roku Android app update

09/10, 5:14am

Best Buy to start selling metallic blue HTC One from September 15th

The blue version of the HTC One will be going on sale through Best Buy from September 15th. Identical to the normal model except for color, the "metallic blue" smartphone will be available on AT&T and Verizon, along with Sprint, though the retailer has yet to reveal per-carrier pricing. It is suggested by Engadget that it could cost as much as $700 off-contract through the retailer.

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Briefly: Moto X reaches Sprint, Roku 3 launches in Canada

09/06, 2:59pm

Moto X goes on sale through Sprint, $100 credit for number transfers

Sprint has started selling Motorola's flagship smartphone, the Moto X, on its network. Priced at $200 alongside a two-year contract, the carrier will be offering customers switching their number to Sprint a $100 instant credit off the up-front cost of the device. Though it is not launching with Moto Maker customizations, Sprint states that it will be available to its customers "in the coming months."

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Barnes and Noble launches Nook Video apps for iOS, Android, Roku

08/19, 3:10pm

Steps into territory dominated by Amazon, Netflix

Barnes & Noble is releasing iOS, Android, Nook, and Roku apps for its Nook Video service, according to an announcement. The apps let people watch movies and TV shows that they've rented or bought from the service, as well as items in a person's UltraViolet collection. In the case of the mobile apps, videos can be downloaded for offline viewing; when a video is streamed, though, progress is automatically synced between devices.

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Briefly: Redbox Instant on Roku, XCom Global US MiFi Internet launch

08/06, 4:44am

Redbox Instant app downloadable on Roku in United States

Redbox Instant by Verizon is now available to use on the Roku set-top box. Downloadable through the Roku Channel Store and usable on Roku 3, 2, HD, and LT models as well as the Roku Streaming Stick, the Redbox service provides access to over 5,500 streaming movies and more than 1,500 movies at 43,000 Redbox kiosks. Redbox Instant with four DVD credits costs $8 per month.

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Briefly: Nokia Lumia 1020 on AT&T, Sky launches Now TV Box in UK

07/26, 4:33am

AT&T starts shipping 42MP Nokia Lumia 1020 to customers

AT&T has started selling the Nokia Lumia 1020 to customers. Available as a pre-order since July 16th, the Windows Phone 8 smartphone with the 41-megapixel PureView camera and Carl Zeiss lens is now shipping from the carrier's online store, and is expected to be in retail locations later today or over the weekend. The Lumia 1020 is priced at $300 when bought on a two-year contract, $659 off-contract, or $33 per month under AT&T Next.

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Remote for Roku Streaming Stick spotted at FCC with audio output

06/27, 12:42pm

Headphone socket to allow private audio streaming on Roku stick

Roku will be adding an audio output to the remote control for its Streaming Stick, according to filings with the Federal Communications Commission. The filing reveals two version of the remote control, showing a version with the headphone socket built into the side of the device, as well as a more conventional model with the new addition removed from view.

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Time Warner in talks with Apple, MS, Samsung, about streaming video

06/04, 4:33pm

Could merge TWC TV app into Apple TV

Time Warner Cable is in talks with Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft for streaming video deals similar to the one it has with set-top maker Roku, CEO Glenn Britt hinted at today's Bank of America/Merill Lynch Global Telecom and Media Conference. "You should assume we're talking to everyone who makes devices like this, whether it's Samsung smart TVs, Apple, Microsoft," said Britt. Time Warner brought a TWC TV app to Roku boxes in March, letting people watch live TV without a separate dedicated cable box.

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Roku gains $60M in new funding round, working on Smart TV software

05/31, 10:10am

Working with device OEMs to make Roku software for TVs

Roku has received another injection of investment to develop its streaming set-top box. The $60 million round of funding comes from new investors Fidelity and Hearst Corp, as well as from previous investors such as broadcaster BskyB and News Corp, and brings the total amount of money invested into Roku to $130 million.

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Roku adds PBS, PBS Kids programming to line of video streamers

05/08, 4:43pm

Apps include local content as well as nationally syndicated programming

Media streamer hardware maker Roku has deployed a new app set, adding PBS and PBS Kids content to most of its line of video streaming set-top boxes within the US. Now available for streaming are shows such as American Experience, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, Masterpiece, and Nature. Children's programming now available due to the new additions include Curious George, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Dinosaur Train, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!, and Super WHY.

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Report: Amazon plans to release own set-top box by fall

04/24, 2:59pm

Device would directly compete with Apple TV, Roku

Amazon is planning to extend its range of tablets and ebook readers by selling a set-top box, according to a report. The device, said to be coming out sometime in the fall, will provide streaming content, such as movies and TV shows to the user from the company's Instant Video catalog as well as Prime Instant Video.

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HBO considers allowing HBO GO outside of cable packages

03/22, 10:56am

Service might still be tied to Internet service

HBO may be relenting on its position towards allowing HBO outside of cable TV subscription packages, Reuters reports. CEO Richard Plepler says that the company is considering allowing access to HBO GO, its digital streaming option, via bundles with broadband Internet subscriptions. That would likely add about $10 to $15 to a person's Internet bill. "We would have to make the math work," says Plepler.

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Roku releases its fastest media streamer to date -- Roku 3

03/05, 11:41pm

New device has motion sensitive remote with headphones

Today, Roku is launching its fastest media streamer to date. Benchmarked by the company at over five times faster than previous players, the new Roku 3 streamer boasts wide connectivity, a new user interface, a remote with a headphone jack for private listening, and an updated Roku Channel store.

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Spotify streaming comes to Roku

12/20, 6:39pm

Roku 2 players, Streaming Stick get Spotify channel

Music streaming service Spotify will be available on yet another device, as the company announced today that a Spotify channel would be added to a number of Roku devices in the coming months. Owners of the Roku 2 streaming box will now have access to the Spotify channel, along with the more than 600 other video, entertainment, and casual game channels available on the device. Spotify's channel will also be coming to the Roku Streaming Stick today.

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Amazon pushes Cloud Player app to Roku, Samsung Smart TVs

12/13, 1:25pm

Also releases iPhone, iPod touch versions of Instant Video

Amazon has released versions of its Cloud Player for Roku set-top boxes and Samsung Smart TVs. The update comes at the same time as apps for Amazon Instant Video became available to download in Apple's App Store for the iPhone and iPod touch, four months after it became available on the iPad.

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Roku adds Sky's Now TV streaming service to Channel Store

11/28, 12:15pm

UK Roku users able to watch Sky Movies content

Roku has added UK satellite broadcaster Sky's pay-per-view video streaming service Now TV to its devices. Users will be able to select the app from the Roku Channel Store, and will see the service expanding its range from its current availability on computers, the Xbox 360, YouView, iOS devices and a number of Android portables.

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Hitachi sets Roku-friendly HDTVs, Sound bar for fall sales

11/09, 5:45am

Sound Bar features Coneq processing, Bluetooth streaming

Hitachi has unveiled its fall lineup of high definition televisions and accessories for the US. The new list of HDTVs, divided between the Value series and the UltraVision UltraThin LED series, are also accompanied by 32-inch and 40-inch Sound Bars. Containing six speakers and using Coneq 3D sound processing the Sound Bars can also be used to stream music through its Bluetooth connection.

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Briefly: Velocomp phone mount, Team GB S III, Roku Pandora

08/01, 2:43pm

Velocomp unveils iBike Moto iPhone motorcycle mount

Velocomp has launched a new motorcycle mounting system for the iPhone, the iBike Moto. The mount is made of machined aluminium by motorcycle specialist Techmount, attachable to the handlebars and capable of swiveling 360 degrees. A water- and shock-resistant case covers the iPhone, closed by a Click-Latch mechanism. The included iBike Moto App acts as a digital dashboard and fuel gauge, as well as the mapping system. The iBike Moto is on sale for $80.

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Roku gains $45M investent from BSkyB, News Corp, others

07/26, 4:09pm

Funds earmarked for increased production, Roku marketing

Roku has secured funding from BSkyB and News Corp. A third partner that declined to be named, along with previous investors Menlo Ventures and Globespan Capital Partners, join the funding round and bring the strategic investment total to $45 million. Roku has already earmarked most of the new capital for specific purposes, with generous portions going toward advertising, expanding into new international markets, and increasing manufacturing for existing product lines.

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Roku 2, LT, HD patch update improves video performance

07/15, 7:43pm

Language support for German and Spanish also included

Roku is now pushing out a software update for its set-top box line. The update to version 4.8 brings performance optimizations to the Roku 2, Roku LT and Roku HD players, along with some additions to help developers for the system. Hints of more channels and features, as well as an upgrade to the Roku iOS and Android apps, are also mentioned on the Roku blog.

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Time Warner Cable gearing up IPTV streaming for Roku, more

04/27, 8:15pm

Roku set-tops to get TWC live TV streaming

A leak late Friday has revealed that Time Warner Cable is planning to offer live TV on media hubs. The Engadget tip had Roku being the first of multiple devices that would stream IP-based TV. The Roku implementation wasn't clarified, but would presumably go through a custom Roku channel.

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Roku players arrive in Canada

04/16, 7:50am

Roku media hub arrives with slight premium

Roku on Monday kicked off its Canadian launch. The country will get two higher-end models in the lineup, the Roku 2 XD and Roku 2 XS, both of which can handle 1080p video; the XS bundles in the Wii-like motion remote and includes both Ethernet and USB for wired access and local content. Canadians get much of the same content, including Netflix, Rdio music, and major sports like the MLB and NHL, although US-specific services like Hulu Plus are out of contention.

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Roku HD shows up in stores

04/10, 8:20pm

Roku HD arrives unannounced

The Roku HD that recently surfaced at the FCC has materialized in stores. Dave Zatz spotted the media hub at a retail store, already on sale for $60. Its features, such as 720p playback and the rounded design, suggest that it's a cost-cutting version of the Roku 2 HD at the same price.

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Skitter channel feeds Roku boxes live TV

04/09, 7:35pm

Works with content providers to provide streaming

Atlanta-based Skitter has launched a streaming service to offer TV broadcasts directly over the Internet to Roku or WD Live set-top boxes. The service is currently available in Portland, Oregon, with plans to expand to 5 other metro markets by the end of June. What differentiates Skitter from previous efforts to offer live TV over the web is that the company has negotiated licenses for retransmission rights with broadcasters such as ABC, NBC and CBS in each of the markets it serves.

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Roku launch into Canada said 'imminent' through Amazon

04/03, 4:45pm

Roku to bring 2 XD, 2 XS to Amazon.ca very soon

The retail launch of Roku hardware in Canada is nearing, GigaOM believes. This lines up with earlier rumors, and two of the Internet players are said to begin selling through Amazon's Canadian website. The devices may then reach physical store shelves later on, though which ones isn't made clear.

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Plex reaches Roku media boxes in channel form

03/27, 10:55pm

Plex branches out to Roku for first time

Plex on Tuesday said its custom media interface had reached Roku's Internet Players for the first time. The new version shows as a Roku Channel Store option and brings a new, streamlined version of the interface within its self-contained section. All subscribed channels are available, as well as access to audio, photo, and video from a local Plex Media Server.

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Third-gen Roku HD box arrives at FCC

03/16, 6:20am

Third-gen Roku HD inbound

Roku has had its third-gen Roku HD box revealed by the FCC as it goes through its wireless certification. The new box retains the same design as previous versions, however it is highlighted by the return of full-size composite outputs. FCC notes also show that the device will pick up a new remote control when it ships.

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Roku remote app reaches Android

03/02, 8:15pm

Turns smartphones into remotes for media players

Roku has released an app for Android devices (free, Android Market). With it, users can control one of the company's streaming media players with a smartphone instead of the remote that normally comes with the hub. Roku made a similar app available for iOS devices in December (free, App Store).

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Roku looks to add more TV providers' channels

02/13, 6:45pm

Verizon and Comcast apps on the way

Roku is reportedly working to broaden its partnerships with cable providers to expand the range of TV channels that can be accessed from the company's set-top box. The new content is expected to arrive through official apps that are currently available for subscribers who already pay for traditional cable service.

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Roku ships to UK, gets BBC iPlayer

02/10, 7:40am

Roku branches out to UK in earnest

Roku's international plans became real Friday after it began UK and Ireland. The Roku LT and Roku 2 XS are now available for 50 and 100 respectively (60 and 120 euros). British customers are simultaneously getting BBC iPlayer to catch up on the past one to two weeks of TV shows.

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Roku Streaming Stick gives Internet video to MHL-ready TVs

01/04, 11:00am

Roku Streaming Stick offers alternate to full hubs

Roku preceded CES by creating a unique alternative to its usual Internet Player hubs. The Streaming Stick plugs into any TV whose HDMI ports support MHL, a normally mobile-oriented technology that supplies power as well as audio and video. While it needs a newer TV, it gives buyers full access to Roku's Internet channels in 1080p, such as Amazon Instant Video and Netflix, with Wi-Fi built-in.

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Nintendo reportedly plans Apple-style app store for Wii U

12/29, 9:35am

Nintendo Wii U may have full tablet-like apps

Nintendo's Wii U may have a full-fledged app store similar to the iPad or Android by the time it ships, according to a rumor early on Thursday. The portal as portrayed by The Daily would give non-gaming apps such as MLB.tv the option of running on the regular TV interface, but it would also allow for more tablet-like apps that run just on the gamepad's 6.2-inch touchscreen. There would be a "wider variety" of apps than what DSiWare and WiiWare offer now, the source said.

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Roku outs update to original set-top boxes, new Amazon UI

12/23, 10:30am

Roku updates original boxes with 3.1, more

Following last week's update of its Roku 2 and Roku LT set-tops, Roku has now released an update for owners of the original device. Version 3.1 brings with it not only an assortment of bug fixes and performance improvements but also a number of new features. There is now support for the recently launched iPhone remote control app.

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HBO Go streaming at last reaches Time Warner Cable viewers

12/16, 9:45pm

HBO Go spreads to TWC viewers

Ending one of the longer waits for access, Time Warner Cable said it would carry HBO Go within the next month. The deal will let those who subscribe to a traditional TV package stream HBO's current and back catalogs. TWC will need to run a "short" beta before the public launch to make sure the authenticated system works.

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Roku iPhone remote control app ready to go

12/15, 3:35pm

Roku iOS app provides visual channel browsing

Roku has quickly followed up on its recent set-top box update with the promised matching iPhone app (App Store). Going beyond what Apple's equivalent Remote app does for the Apple TV, it supports both a one-for-one remote control as well as a truly visual browser. Viewers can flip through the individual channels on the iPhone and get to their ratings without having to look up to the TV.

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Roku software update brings support for iOS, Android remotes

12/13, 10:30pm

Players add more games, MKV support

Roku has announced that it is set to introduce a software update for its Roku 2 and Roku LT set-top boxes. Version 4.2 brings a number of significant new features, including support for mobile remote apps for iOS and Android devices. The company will offer the iPhone app sometime in the near future, followed by the Android equivalent.

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Apple TV seen taking third of 2011 Internet set-top market

12/12, 3:10pm

Apple poised to dominate smart TVs, says analyst

The Apple TV is on track take 32 percent of the Internet-ready TV set-top market in 2011, claims research firm Strategy Analytics. Both Apple and Roku set-tops are said to be doing well as a result of their makers lowering prices. Globally, the market for such devices is forecast to reach just under 12 million units by the end of the year.

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Apple TV 3,1 reappears with J33 codename

11/28, 11:25pm

iOS 5.1 gives away new Apple TV name

A recently discovered third-generation Apple TV has reemerged in the wake of the iOS 5.1 beta. New hunts in the file system by iH8Snow for 9to5 have seen it get the codename J33, in step with the iPad 3's J-series naming. Apple had been using K codenames even up to the iPad 2's K95.

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Roku Internet players to reach Canada, UK in early 2012

11/17, 10:10am

Roku leaves US for first time

Roku branched outside of the US for the first time Thursday with word it would sell its media hubs in Canada and the UK. Both countries will get devices like the Roku LT and Roku 2 sometime in earl 2012. As part of the expansion, Roku is also adding regional support for its Internet channels, letting local providers support just one country.

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Convergence's Bridge hopes to unify media hub controls

11/14, 8:35am

Convergence Bridge mixes remote, keyboard, pad

Convergence Technologies is hoping to build a universal remote intended for networked media hubs, not just traditional home theater hardware. The Bridge uses a gamepad-like shape that holds both a joystick to replace the mouse, a full QWERTY keyboard, and buttons for common remote control tasks. The device talks over IR and RF (using RF4CE) and should support Apple TV, the Boxee Box, Google TV, and Roku players, as well as most Macs, Linux, and Windows PCs.

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