Amazon to increase Music Unlimited subscription price next month in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, and Japan

Amazon has revealed that the price of its Music Unlimited subscription will be increasing. US customers who pay $9.99/month with start paying $10.99/month in February. Students on the discounted plan will now pay $5.99/month instead of $4.99/month. There’s no mention of the annual $89.99/year plan increasing, so signing up for that seems to be a good way to dodge the price increase, at least for the next year. The slightly cheaper price that Prime members pay already increased a few months ago, so that’s not changing again. The new prices go into effect on February 21. Read more ›

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Plex’s local media server features are taking a backseat to its more recent ad-supported streaming success

Plex originally made its name as a great way to consume and organize your own local media through its server capabilities. I, personally, switched from using Kodi to Plex in recent years as the primary way of watching my own media collection for a number of reasons. The days of Plex being a constantly improving hub for your local media might be numbered as the app now has more users watching its ad-supported streaming content than using it to watch local content from a Plex Media Server. While that shift is likely great for Plex as a business, it’s reason enough to be concerned if you enjoy its local media capabilities. Read more ›

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Amazon now forbids Fire TV apps from directly launching content within other streaming apps

Amazon has changed its policy regarding how Fire TV apps interact with other apps. Specifically, Fire TV apps can, allegedly, no longer directly launch movies or TV shows within other Fire TV apps. The practice, known as deep-linking, is important to the convenience of streaming aggregator apps, like Plex, JustWatch, and Reelgood, as it allows users to jump from one app directly to content in another app. According to Plex vice-president of marketing Scott Hancock, who spoke with Jared Newman from TechHive, Amazon asked Plex to remove deep-linking from its app. Read more ›

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Prime Video Channel subscribers get to dodge HBO Max price hike for 3 months

Last month, HBO Max returned as a Prime Video Channel subscription. For the same $14.99/month price as subscribing through HBO directly, Prime members could once again bundle HBO Max with other streaming subscriptions with some small advantages. This week, HBO announced it will be increasing the regular subscription price to $15.99/month, effective immediately. However, if you managed to subscribe through the Prime Video Channel offering before the price increase was announced, you’ll be given a three-month grace period where you’ll continue to pay $14.99/month before the price increases to $15.99/month. Your first billing date after April 11th will be the first time you’re charged the increased price.

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Amazon Luna cloud gaming is coming to LG Smart TVs

LG has announced that Amazon Luna cloud gaming is coming to its line of smart TVs. Samsung was the first non-Fire TV Smart TV to add built-in support for Luna when it was added last year and now LG joins the group of Luna-compatible devices. LG says Luna support is coming to its “latest TVs” but hasn’t specified which models or model years that entails. LG TVs as far back as 2020 models now support NVIDIA GeForce NOW cloud gaming, so, hopefully, Luna support will eventually be applied that far back as well.

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First signs of a new Chromecast with Google TV spotted

The original 4K Chromecast with Google TV was released in 2020 and is starting to show its age. Google released the 1080p Chromecast with Google TV late last year after months of leaks and rumors, but nothing has been found related to a new 4K model. That is, until now, since the first evidence of a new 3rd Chromecast model has been spotted. Read more ›

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Channel Up/Down buttons on Fire TV Remotes have gone mainstream

Over the years, the number of buttons on Fire TV remotes has slowly increased. Among the most recent button additions are channel up and down buttons, which first appeared a few years ago when Amazon updated the remote that ships with Fire TV Smart TVs. Stand-alone Fire TV streaming media players typically haven’t included remotes with channel buttons, that is, until the release of the 3rd-gen Fire TV Cube last year which is the first stand-alone model that includes a remote with channel buttons. Amazon has now made a change that elevates channel buttons on Fire TV remotes to default status. Read more ›

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Your next Fire TV remote may never need replacement batteries or charging, thanks to a built-in solar panel

Among the never-ending stream of new gadgets coming out of the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show (CES), I spotted what is clearly an unbranded Fire TV Voice Remote with a built-in solar panel. The prototype remote comes from Ambient Photonics, a relatively young company with ambitions to “bring low light energy harvesting technology to mass scale.” In place of standard AA batteries, the Fire TV remote being demonstrated features a small high-density photovoltaic cell that harvests ambient room light to power the device without the need for replacement batteries or manual charging. Read more ›

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Newest Fire TV Cube 3rd-Gen is finally on sale for the first time ever in the US

It took longer than most people expected, but the all-new 3rd-gen Fire TV Cube has finally gone on sale for the first time in the US. For a limited time, you can buy the latest Fire TV Cube on sale for $124.99, which is 11% off the regular price of $139.99. The new Fire TV Cube has been on sale in Europe and Australia a few times since it was released in October, but this is the first time it has been discounted in the US, apart from a very limited discount for select qualifying customers a few months ago. While 11% off isn’t much of a sale, it’s certainly better than paying full price. The rest of the Fire TV lineup is also on sale, but those discounts are also a bit mediocre. If you need a Fire TV Stick soon you’ll save a bit with this sale, but if you’re looking for a great deal on a Fire TV Stick, you’re better off waiting for a better discount. As for the new Fire TV Cube, there’s no telling if this first sale will kick off the trend of the Cube always going on sale along with the rest of the lineup or if this is a one-off discount that won’t return for a while. Either way, you’re probably better off picking one up now if you’ve been holding out for a discount because, based on the fact that Amazon didn’t drop the price at all during Black Friday and the holidays, it doesn’t seem like Amazon is eager to drop the price of the new Fire TV Cube.

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Amazon CES News Roundup: New Ring devices, new Alexa features, and more

This is the week of the big Consumer Electronics Show (CES). While Amazon doesn’t typically make many announcements at CES, there are usually a few noteworthy things related to Alexa, Echos, Ring, and other Amazon brands that come out of the show. Here is a roundup of the top news from Amazon at CES. Read more ›

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