Upcoming 1080p Google Chromecast is rumored to cost $29.99

Hints of an upcoming new Google Chromecast with Google TV have been circling around since the start of the year. The device is expected to be cheaper than the existing $49.99 model released in 2020 and only support up to 1080p content. A new report from WinFuture claims that retail sources say the new model has already started arriving at retailers, which indicates the launch is imminent. Further, these sources claim the price of the new device will be €40. Comparing that to the existing 4K Chromecast, which sells for €69.99 in Europe, means the device will likely be $29.99 in the US. Read more ›

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YouTube TV 5.1 surround sound is now supported on more Fire TV models and Apple TV

Earlier this year, YouTube TV added support for 5.1 surround sound to the latest Fire TV Stick models, including the Fire TV Stick 4K Max, 3rd-gen Fire TV Stick, and Fire TV Stick Lite. YouTube TV has now announced the expansion of 5.1 audio support to more Fire TV models, as spotted by Digital Trends. The list of supported devices now includes the the Fire TV Stick 4K and the Fire TV Cube, as well as the Apple TV. YouTube TV did not specify which Fire TV Cube model, 1st or 2nd Gen, is now supported, so I assume it is both. It also lists “Fire TV Stick with 4K Ultra HD” as supported, but that doesn’t really correlate to an actual Fire TV model, since both 4K-capable Fire TV Sticks are already explicitly included in the list of compatible devices, so it’s unclear what that means. Also unclear is if older Fire TV Stick models, like the 2nd-gen Fire TV Stick, are also supported.

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Fire TV Stick 4K is just $18.99 on Woot with Free shipping for Prime members

Woot currently has the Fire TV Stick 4K available for just $18.99 when you enter promocode FIRE at checkout. This great deal is for the same exact Fire TV Stick 4K that Amazon sells but Woot’s bundle does come with the older remote. The older remote is just missing the TV Guide button and the four app shortcut buttons on the bottom, compared to the latest remote that Amazon now includes with the Fire TV Stick 4K. The lowest price that Amazon has ever sold the Fire TV Stick 4K is $24.99, so this is a fantastic deal if you’re okay not having those extra buttons. Since Amazon owns Woot, you’ll also get free shipping if you’re a Prime member. Also available is a Used 2nd-gen Fire TV Stick for $4.99 when you use the same FIRE promocode. That bundle comes with the same remote as the Fire TV Stick 4K bundle, so it’s definitely worth getting for the remote alone, but I wouldn’t recommend using the 2nd-gen Stick as your main device due to how slow it has become.

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First epsiode of HBO’s ‘House of the Dragon’ is free to watch on YouTube

HBO has put the first episode of its Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon, on YouTube for everyone to watch for free. I’m sure it’s not a coincidence that this is happening just after Amazon released its new series, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Both shows are under a lot of pressure from critics and audiences, given the immense success of Game of Thrones and The Lord of the Rings series. The first episode on YouTube is, unfortunately, region locked to the US. However, Sky has uploaded its own version, found here, for those in the UK. Both versions on YouTube will require you to log in to watch, due to them being age restricted.

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Amazon’s ‘The Rings of Power’ series draws 25 million first-day viewers but reviews are blocked for 3 days

Amazon has announced that there were more than 25 million viewers globally that watched its original series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power on the first day. That makes it the biggest premiere in Prime Video’s history. That’s good news for Amazon given that it’s the most anticipated Amazon original series to date and the most expensive to make. However, Amazon has executed its relatively new policy of putting a 3-day hold on all Prime Video reviews for the new series to stave off those unhappy with the release. Read more ›

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All Fire TV models are on sale for Labor Day — Starting at $19.99

Amazon has put its entire lineup of Fire TV devices on sale for Labor Day. Starting at the cheap end is the Fire TV Stick Lite for $19.99, which is $10 off. Stepping up to include TV controls on the remote gets you the Fire TV Stick for $24.99, which is $15 off. Paying another $5 extra moves you from 1080p to 4K resolution with the Fire TV Stick 4K for $29.99, which is $20 off. Next is the Fire TV Stick 4K Max for $39.99, which is $15 off. That’s the newest model in the lineup and the best buy if it’s within your budget. Some customers that qualify can get it down to $34.99 using promo code UP4KMAX or ADDFTV. Lastly is the Fire TV Cube for $69.99 but you really should pass on that since it seems like a new 3rd-gen Fire TV Cube is right around the corner. These prices are pretty close to as low as you’ll see until Black Friday comes around in November.

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Prime Video leans more into Dolby Vision HDR by adding support to both new and old Amazon Originals

When it comes to High Dynamic Range (HDR) formats, most experts agree that Dolby Vision is the superior format, edging out HDR10+ content and significantly outperforming HDR10 and HLG content. That’s why it’s unfortunate that Prime Video tends to favor HDR10 and HDR10+ as its format of choice, with the selection of Dolby Vision movies and TV shows available on the streaming service being quite sparse, especially when it comes to Amazon originals. That could finally be changing as Amazon has released its highly anticipated The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power series in Dolby Vision and, more surprisingly, gone back and added Dolby Vision to an older Amazon original series for the first time. Read more ›

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First smart TVs running Tivo OS will be from Vestel and released next year in Europe

Xperi, the parent company of Tivo, has announced that Vestel will be the first manufacturer of “Powered by TiVo” smart TVs running its upcoming Tivo OS platform. These TVs, which will be arriving in Europe sometime in 2023, will be the first new option in the smart TV space since Amazon entered the market in 2017 with Fire TV Smart TVs. They’ll be competing directly with smart TVs running Roku OS, Android/Google TV, and Fire OS. Read more ›

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Get the PJ Masks Racing Heroes game for FREE on Fire TV — Normally $3.99

The game PJ Masks: Racing Heroes has just gone Free for a limited time. This game normally costs $3.99 and is well reviewed with a 4.2-star rating from thousands of reviewers. It’s compatible with all Fire TV models except the 1st-gen Fire TV and 1st-gen Fire TV Stick. It can be played using the regular Fire TV remote control so you do not need to have a gamepad to play, but it is compatible with game controllers as well if you have one. Since this is normally a paid game, it has no ads which is ideal for young kids.

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Amazon ups the free Luna games for Prime Members from 4 to 6 games in September

Amazon is continuing its trend of offering Prime members a selection of games to play for free through Luna Cloud Gaming for free each month. However, unlike all past months which offered four games to play for free, there will be six games available during the month of September. The six free games are Earthworm Jim, EVERSPACE, Hot Wheels Unleashed, Riptide GP: Renegade, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair, and Ys IX: Monstrum Nox. As for those of you paying for a subscription, you’ll be getting some new games in September. Luna+ Channel subscribers will see Endling — Extinction is Forever and Tetris Effect: Connected added to the lineup. Family Channel subscribers are getting Smurfs: Mission Vileaf and Youtubers Life added and Retro Channel subscribers will get Baseball Stars 2 and Metal Slug added. These Luna games are playable on most Fire TV models, computers, phones, tablets, and newer Samsung Smart TVs. They work best with the Luna Controler, thanks to its ability to connect directly to Luna’s game servers over wifi for reduced latency, but any Bluetooth, Xbox, or PlayStation control works as well. You can even use your phone as a virtual controller if you don’t have a physical control yet.

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