TP-Links new smart home lineup includes a light-switch with built-in voice assistant

Thanks to competitive pricing and a wide assortment of good products, TP-Link has quickly become one of the leading smart home device manufacturers. They’ve announced a series of new products at CES 2019, including smart doorbells, security cameras, and smart plugs, but the most interesting new device is a smart light switch with a built-in voice assistant that you talk to through its integrated speaker and microphones. Read more ›

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JBL Link Bar soundbar with built-in Android TV will be released in Spring 2019 for $400

The JBL Link Bar, which was announced last May at Google I/O, is an interesting device that puts a full-fledged Android TV media player into a soundbar. Despite rumors of a Fall 2018 release, the company wasn’t able to release the $399.95 soundbar and optional $299.95 subwoofer before the year ended. JBL has now announced at CES 2019 that the Link Bar will be available some time this Spring. The 100-watt soundbar will double as a Google Assistant smart speaker, thanks to its far-field microphones, and house 3 HDMI ports for input switching.

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Tablo announces new 4-tuner OTA DVR with internal drive slot and adds commercial skipping

Tablo has made a couple of new announcements for CES 2019. The first is the release of a new product called the Tablo QUAD which is an over-the-air DVR that packs in 4-tuners, which is twice as many as in their existing Tablo DUAL models. It doesn’t have any built-in storage, but it does feature a user accessible 2.5″ internal hard drive slot, which is a first for a Tablo device, that gives customers a sleeker alternative to using an external drive connected to the device’s USB port. Also being announced is a new automatic commercial skipping feature. Read more ›

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NVIDIA’s first 65-inch gaming TV with a built-in Shield TV will be released next month for $4,999

NVIDIA showed off their big format gaming display (BFGD) a year ago at CES 2018 with the expectation that it would be released in the summer. The summer came and went but now HP has announced that it will be released in February for $4,999. While NVIDIA’s tech will power the display, multiple manufacturers are expected to create their own versions of the BFGD. HP’s Omen X Emperium will be the first and it features a 144 Hz high refresh-rate 65-inch HDR panel with what is essentially a Shield TV built-in. Read more ›

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Apple is putting iTunes and AirPlay on Samsung TVs

Samsung has announced that their 2018 and 2019 TVs will be gaining an Apple iTunes app as well as support for AirPlay 2, the latest version of Apple’s proprietary casting protocol. This marks the first time that Apple iTunes content has ever been available on non-Apple hardware, outside of Windows PCs. If there ever has been an indicator that content is king and hardware is a distant second when it comes to streaming media, it is this new partnership. Read more ›

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Sony is actively blocking Kodi on their Bravia televisions running Android TV

Sony has blacklisted the media center app Kodi on some models of their Bravia televisions that run Google’s Android TV operating system, according to a tweet on Kodi’s official Twitter account which CordCuttersNews has spotted. By blacklisting Kodi’s package name, they’re blocking the perfectly legal app from running on their TVs. Read more ›

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New Fire TV apps of the week — Dec 30 – Jan 5

This week there were 23 new apps and games released for the Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Cube, Fire TV Stick, and Fire TV Edition televisions. Suby and Maladdin: Jump are a couple of new free games that are simple enough for young kids to try and enjoy. SubFire TV 2 Beta is a new client app for a Subsonic home music server. Think of it as an alternative to Plex for streaming your own media from your PC to your Fire TV. Continue on for the full list of new apps and games released in the last 7 days. Read more ›

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Going to CES 2019 for the week

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is this upcoming week and I’ll be heading out there. It’s a very difficult show to cover as just a single person, but I’ll do my best to write about the most interesting streaming media, Fire TV, and Alexa related announcements. I’ll post here every chance I get, but if you’d like more frequent updates and a look at some of the gadgets I see that don’t make it to the site, you can follow me on Instagram (@esaba) and/or follow me on Twitter (@elias). I’ll also be helping out my buddy Lon Seidman some evenings for his daily CES Dispatch videos on his YouTube Channel, so you may see me pop up there, like I did last year.

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Autocomplete will soon be coming to Amazon Silk browser for Fire TVs

A new upcoming feature for Amazon’s Silk browser on Fire TV devices should make entering URLs a lot easier. The release notes for the app have been updated to say that autocomplete suggestions for the search/URL field are being added. As you can probably guess, the field will populate a list of suggestions that you can select from, as you type something out, to save you from having to type out an entire URL. While the feature is included in the current release notes, I’ve learned that it’s not yet available and will soon be rolling out slowly. Only certain Fire TV models, such as the Fire TV 3, are currently receiving the new version 71 of Silk at first. Other models will receive the update soon. Once all Fire TV models have access to version 71 of Silk, the autocomplete feature will be remotely enabled for everyone to use.

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Roku Channel will soon offer paid premium subscriptions to Showtime, Starz, Epix, and more

Later this month, Roku will begin selling premium subscriptions to streaming services directly through The Roku Channel. Roku executives have indicated that The Roku Channel is the future of the platform and will probably become the actual home screen of Roku devices, so it’s no surprise to see paid content make its way to the channel. Customers will be able to subscribe to Showtime, Starz, Epix, and other services in a manner that is very similar to Amazon Prime Video Channels. Read more ›

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