Archive for December, 2011
Seas0nPass untethered jailbreak for Apple TVs on 4.4.4 detailed, iOS apps coming soon? (Update: video!)Saturday, December 31st, 2011
Now that pod2g has done the heavy lifting and released an untethered jailbreak for iOS5, the Seas0NPass tool has been updated for your untethered jailbreaking pleasure on Apple TVs running even the latest 4.4.4 update. Redmond Pie has a full walkthrough and how-to that should help you get things going, so that you no longer have to choose between extending your device’s capabilities beyond Apple’s restrictions (
still no Plex support on 4.4.4 though Update: Plex Beta 4 has been released which is compatible with 4.4.4., thanks Christo & Tulio) and features like AirPlay mirroring. Even more interestingly however, a few hackers may be close to unlocking iOS apps for use on the Apple TV. There’s nothing released yet but we’ll be following @themudkip and @westbaer on Twitter for further updates as they’re available. In the meantime, check out a couple shots of iOS apps running on the Apple TV after the break, courtesy of Steven Troughton-Smith.
Update: Still images not enough to get you going? Check after the break or hit the YouTube link for a quick video demo of iOS apps running on Apple’s TV box. Our friend STS hopes this may push the folks in Cupertino to open their doors to apps officially similar to the way things happened back in ’07 on the iPhone — for now we can only wait.
As yet another year of spectacular technological gains and enormous losses comes to a close, we present to you our best attempt at a comprehensive look back: Engadget Distro’s Year In Review. In “Technology_In_2011.zip” we’ll provide a compressed month-by-month timeline of just a few of the year’s standout stories and announcements. We’ll also bring you the year in corporate mudslinging with a collection of the most outrageous “CE-Oh No He Didn’t” moments and present “The Top 10 Crappiest Crapgadgets of 2011,” as selected by our readers. Looking ahead, we have our predictions of what’s to come at CES 2012, TechnoBuffalo’s Jon Rettinger gives us some insight into his distaste for OS wars in “Q&A” and Don Melanson offers up his list of the year’s must-reads. So, in the interest of retrospection, hit that download link and let’s reflect.
LG let us know at CES 2011 that it had 4K LCD televisions in the pipeline, but unfortunately they didn’t make it out this year. Expect for that to change in 2012, as the company just announced it’s bringing an 84-inch “ultra definition” (3840×2160) TV to Las Vegas to go along with its 55-inch OLED. It has all of LG’s Cinema 3D and Smart TV features built-in, including support for that upgraded Magic Motion remote and voice control. There’s no official word yet on when we’ll see these on shelves or at what price, but it certainly looks production ready compared to other prototypes that have been displayed over the years. While we don’t have easy sources of 4K-res video content yet, one of the reasons LG is making the jump first is for 3D. Its Cinema 3D tech uses a Film Pattern Retarder (FPR) screen and passive glasses that result in lowered resolution, but with those extra pixels there’s no question about whether viewers are still getting at least an HD picture. So far 4K at home is the domain of Sony and JVC’s high-priced projectors, but we’ll see if any other companies (we’ll check off Toshiba right now) show off upgrades in size and resolution of their HDTVs this year. Check the press release after the break for a few more details.
Gallery: LG 4K UDTV
This is the last EHD podcast of the year and the last until we’re on the ground at CES, so next week will be one of our rare misses — we’ll make it up to you, we promise. Until then, there’s plenty of news to tide us over as LG, Sony and Samsung have all been busy with pre-CES teases of their latest technology. Also seeing a lot of action is the mobile remote apps segment, while newcomer RUWT?! has our attention, Roku, DirecTV, Western Digital, Logitech and Control4 all also had something to contribute. Verizon also has a new media server DVR replacement to talk about, while HBO Go has extended its reach to all major cable providers and the Super Bowl will be streaming online for the first time. We’ll check in again from Vegas in a few days, until then press play and have a happy New Year!
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Producer: Trent Wolbe
00:16:57 – So, what’d you get?
00:20:17 – DirecTV HDUI is rolling out across the land, iPad app adds 12 more live streaming channels
00:22:28 – Verizon FiOS TV’s new media server scheduled for late 2012
00:27:06 – It’s not TV, it’s HBO Go, and it’s finally coming to Cablevision
00:29:15 – Super Bowl to be streamed online and to Verizon phones for the first time
00:35:00 – Boxee 1.5 nears release, will be final desktop version
00:36:45 – Roku brings v3.1 software update to first-gen boxes, Amazon Instant Video channel gets refaced
00:38:00 – WD TV Live, Live Hub get an official iOS remote app, Vudu streaming and more
00:40:45 – Logitech Harmony Link app gets customization-focused iPhone, Android update
00:41:30 – Control4 MyHome app takes up residence on Android while Android@Home is out of town
00:42:33 – Are You Watching This?! sports tracker for Android adds remote control for DirecTV, TiVo, Google TV
00:47:25 – Sony divisions to elope in Vegas, celebrate the marriage of Television and Internet at CES 2012
00:48:57 – LG’s Magic Remote enables voice control for its smart TVs
00:52:30 – LG’s 55-inch ‘world’s largest’ OLED HDTV panel is official, coming to CES 2012
00:54:13 – Sony sells its stake in Samsung LCD team-up for 9 million
00:55:15 – Samsung releases CES 2012 teaser, hints at upcoming Smart TV products (video)
00:57:42 – Engadget Primed: ports, connectors and the future of your TV’s backside
00:59:50 – Must See HDTV (December 26th – January 1st)
After a quickie Blu-ray dropped in the fall sans-extras, Transformers: Dark of the Moon is getting a full fledged release January 31st complete with 3D and four hours of bonus features. There’s actually two versions coming, first up is the .99 four disc Ultimate Edition with a 2D copy on one disc, a Blu-ray full of extras, a Blu-ray 3D copy, and a DVD with the film in standard def plus iTunes / Windows Media Player compatible digital copies. Even though it’s coming with that old school digital copy disc, this flick will also be Ultraviolet ready, so if you’re packing the correct assortment of logins and software it can be downloaded or streamed on other devices. The other release is a seven-disc Limited Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Trilogy set that dedicates two discs each to the first two movies, and three for DotM as well as a signed plaque from the director. We may have to wait to see Martin Scorsese’s Hugo to see a Blu-ray 3D release to watch a good movie on the format, but the extensive work done in creating Transformer’s visual effects should definitely hold over AV junkies until Avatar gets a wide release. Check out the press release with a full list of extras and a picture of the LCE after the break.
It’s Monday, and almost as regular an occurrence as the day itself, we’re here to help by letting you listen into the recording booth when the Engadget HD podcast goes to mp3 at 5:30PM. Please be a part of it by reviewing the list of topics after the break, then participating in the live chat as you listen in.
Yeah, it’s pretty unfortunate that you’ve got to work tomorrow (well, unless you’re down with Boxing Day), but let’s take it one 24-hour window at a time, shall we? It’s not as if you’ve had any shortage of gizmos to choose from this year, and while you aren’t likely to get a Transformer Prime, there’s plenty of other stocking stuffers to look forward to. Speaking of which, what’d you find under your tree this morning? A Kindle Fire? That new laptop you’ve been longing for? A few new cables to do… cable-y things with? Let us know in comments below, and be sure to press play on your way there. Hopefully that’s not your kid.
DirecTV began quietly seeding its HDUI to customers back in November, but judging by our tips inbox it has recently picked up the pace of the rollout. It’s live in many areas already where you’re probably enjoying the sweet, sweet new guide with its 16×9 graphics and speedier interface, but if you don’t yet have it, check out the thread at DBSTalk with estimated rollout dates for many areas. Also by way of the forum comes word of 12 new channels including AMC, Velocity and HD Net that were just added to DirecTV’s live TV streaming iPad app. Of course, the update still won’t play nicely with jailbroken iPads, so a cracked version will be required in those cases. Check out the list of channels after the break, if you’re not seeing them in the app try hitting the “edit” button at the top right, finding them in the list and clicking the green plus symbol to add them manually.
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]
Filed under: Cellphones
The FCC has approved the first device to use the much buzzed about “white spaces” between television broadcast frequencies to transmit data. The recipient of the honor is a receiver from Koos Technical Services that’s designed to be a last-mile connection for surveillance cameras and telemetry systems. The radio will tap into database run by Spectrum Bridge to ensure it doesn’t interfere with other broadcasts. Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement that, “we are taking an important step towards enabling a new wave of wireless innovation. Unleashing white spaces spectrum has the potential to exceed even the many billions of dollars in economic benefit from Wi-Fi, the last significant release of unlicensed spectrum, and drive private investment and job creation.” For now, only the city of Wilmington, NC will be able to benefit from the approval, as the FCC continues to iron out the details that will prevent these devices from interfering with wireless microphones. Check out the press release after the break for more info.
The Are You Watching This?! app has a long history of making sure sports fans don’t miss the big games with its bookmarklets and apps that popped up notifications or emailed reminders. Now a new upgrade on Android, along with a few connected TV platforms, has taken things to the next level. In its newest iteration, the free app ties into DirecTV, TiVo or Google TV setups with IP control for one click switching to the appropriate channel — key when a game is coming down to the last play and you’re not sure where the remote is or which channel NBA / NFL / MLB etc. action is on. There’s varying levels of filtering options so users can see alerts just when their team is playing, any decent matchup or just the must-see finishes.
We gave it a shot and found it worked as advertised, only requiring the app to be installed and enabled on the Google TV and our Android phone (DirecTV and TiVo boxes should be ready to go), however even though we already had our local channels set up on the TV, we had to enter our ZIP and cable provider on the remote app as well. We’re starting to see similar companion technology built into apps from DirecTV, TiVo and Comcast, as well as Dijit’s software, however the RUWT? game tracker algorithm and focus on live scores gives it a leg up for sports freaks. Check out the video trailer embedded above for a quick look or hop over to the Android Market to install it on phone, tablet and/or TV.
Couch potatoes may soon be able to get a more complete Android app experience without leaving the living room, or picking up a tablet or smartphone. Myriad’s new Alien Vue is a customizable OEM platform that enables TV and set-top box manufacturers to bring Android to their existing products, adding support for apps designed for Google TV and HTML5. Myriad is the developer behind Alien Dalvik, which allows you to run Android apps on non-Android devices, including iOS and MeeGo. Alien Vue brings that concept to the living room, and includes a branded app store, web browser and portable device control, letting you control your TV and other home theater devices using a phone or tablet. But unlike Dalvik, it’ll be up to manufacturers to add support for Vue — you won’t be hacking your TV and installing the software yourself. We’ll be bringing you a full hands-on from CES, but jump past the break for a quick video demo.
LED TV Deal: Sony PS3 3D Display Bundle – $299.99 Shipped (24-inch LED HDTV, 3D Glasses, Motorstorm for PS3)Monday, December 19th, 2011
Warpia will be showcasing its latest media multitasker, the ConnectHD, at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show. The ConnectHD comes with a wide-angle wireless HD video camera and a multi-directional microphone, allowing users to make 720p video calls au naturel or otherwise from the living room via apps like Skype or MSN Messenger. It can also be used for playing PC webcam games and streaming media from your PC to an HDTV in 1080p. Although the ConnectHD won’t come with extra appendages to help you do all that stuff at once, it does come with a wireless USB PC adapter, a wireless USB TV adapter, a HDMI cable and, naturally, the requisite software for the device. Pricing is pegged at a piggy bank-busting 9.99, placing it right alongside Biscotti’s TV Phone.
We’re still waiting for Time Warner to bring its live TV streaming to Android, but the platform is enjoying some exclusive support today with two new apps. The first is the My TWC account management app which lets subscribers view their services, pay bills, adjust call forwarding and, soon, tap into their voicemail remotely. The other one is a new version of its TWC TV app, reformatted to work on phones even while the TWCable TV app on iOS is still a tablet only affair. iPhone and Android owners alike shouldn’t have to wait long for their relief however, as the iPhone edition is slated to arrive in January, and ICS-enabled live TV streaming is still on the roadmap for “early next year.” Hit up the corporate blog for the full feature lists and breakdowns, or just head over to the Android Market to install either free app.
Some have pegged Ron Wayne as unlucky; not only did he lose big by backing out of one of the most successful companies in consumer electronics, but a set of documents he once sold for a reported 0 recently demanded .6 million at auction. Earlier this month, Brian Heater spent two days in the Nevada desert following Apple’s third founder, a man known best for his proximity to two guys named Steve and notoriously unfortunate timing. In this issue of Distro, we’ll get a glimpse inside Ron’s world — a place occupied by slot machines, antique firearms and collectible coins — and discover what he really thinks about his onetime business partners. Also in this issue, we’ll double your pleasure with a pair of LG smartphone reviews: the Nitro HD and DoublePlay. Dana Wollman will rip through Jawbone’s troubled fitness device, the Up, and take Lenovo’s IdeaPad U400 for a spin. Ross Rubin will serve up his opinion on “WebOS’ Open Sores” and we’ll explore the gadgets we can’t let go of in IRL. So get to downloading!
Thanks to the addition of a delightfully sinister Moriarty, the memory of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic detective is only slightly less tarnished than in the previous installment of Guy Ritchie’s bombastic franchise.
Logitech’s Revue isn’t the only connected TV platform getting some holiday season update action, as Roku just announced a major update coming to all of its Roku 2 players (and the LT) with a slew of new features to. The two biggest additions we noted were support for MKV playback — but no official local streaming channel yet, only USB playback is listed — and mobile support for an official Roku iPhone app (unofficial ones are already available on many platforms, expect an Android version afterward) it says is “coming soon.” That’s not all however, as 3D (read: polygons, not glasses) game performance has been upgraded with new titles arriving soon to take advantage of it, while WiFi, Bluetooth remote battery and audio performance have all been tweaked. Hit the company blog for the official list of tweaks and keep an eye peeled for v4.2 build 1006 rolling out over the next couple of days to experience them firsthand. OG Roku boxes unfortunately appear to be left out of the fun for now — the march from a onetime Netflix-only streamer to 300+ channels is not without a few casualties.
Pocket-Lint: Standing 4 foot high and 8 foot wide, we’re not sure if the Behringer iNuke Boom is the world’s largest iPhone/iPad/iPod dock, but we do know it’s the loudest. The…
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If you’ve actually heard of the WTV recorded TV file format, then you’re probably a Windows 7 Media Center fan, and thus you’re excited at any indication that Microsoft hasn’t completely forgotten about you. That small gesture came this week with the new Xbox Dashboard update, but sadly it isn’t much to get excited about. It’s bad enough that it took Microsoft over three years to add support for WTV at all, but now it’s here and it’s one step above useless. Sure, you can play the files — after waiting almost 30 seconds for them to load — but you can’t fast forward, rewind, skip around or even resume. The list of shows only displays the episode title and rather than the actual show name, and that’s the only metadata you get. Speaking of the show title, that is also the only way to sort — no folders or by date. So yeah, the new Dashboard supports WTV, but not in a way which actually makes it useful. Better than nothing, we guess.
Sharp Corporation claims they may top 1 million big-screen televisions (60 inches or above) sold in North America alone by March of next year, and expects growth the next fiscal year. With a stronger hold on the Japanese market then its competitors, the company is expanding overseas to bolster competition and avoid Asia’s current market forecast — a projected billion decline in LCD sales by 2015. According to Kozo Takahashi, head of the American operations division, big-screen purchases in the United States are set to triple this upcoming year despite a declining trend in the North American market. While audio visual equipment accounts for more than half of Sharp’s revenue, the company sees the need to market its other products more aggressively in the Americas to remain globally competitive.
T3: The Pioneer X-SMC3 speaker dock for Apple iPods streams from Wi-Fi-enabled kit, while AirPlay means wireless listening from numerous Apple devices. The Pioneer X-SMC3 is a jack of all trades, and…
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Gizmodo: Can’t get enough block-rockin’ beats but haven’t figured out how to fit your mixing tables in the back of your Civic? No worries, Pioneer’s new MIXTRAX technology…
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No matter how you feel about Roboto, there’s no denying the anticipation that’s built up around the latest overhaul of the Android operating system. In this week’s issue of Distro, Brad Molen gives you the sweet lowdown on Mountain View’s Ice Cream Sandwich, while Zachary Lutz explores why Carrier IQ is leaving a sour taste in some user’s mouths. We also have reviews of two Android tablets: Motorola’s Xoom 2 and ASUS’ Eee Pad Transformer Prime. Zach Honig and Richard Lai take us inside Tokyo Motor Show 2011, Ross Rubin considers a trip with Siri and Box Brown tackles the cosmos and Facebook’s “like” button in the Engadget comic. So hit that download button and feed your brain.
Filed under: Announcements
Samsung reshuffled its managerial hierarchy yesterday, promoting Kwon Oh Hyun, head of its DRAM operations, to vice chairman. Kwon, who successfully steered Samsung through an industry-wide price slump last quarter, will continue to head up the company’s chip and LCD divisions, while working alongside Jung Yeon Joo — the former CEO of Samsung C&T Corporation who was also promoted to vice chairman. The restoration of this “top-two” structure was one of several moves the Samsung Group made on Wednesday, including the announcement of six new presidents. Kwon’s advancement, however, is certainly the most noteworthy. As the Korea Times reports, the move has already garnered speculation among industry observers, some of whom believe that Kwon’s new position signifies Samsung’s equal commitment to both component and product divisions. In a statement, Samsung praised the executive for navigating its DRAM business through choppy economic waters, while crediting him for the “strengthening of Samsung’s market leadership in memory products.” Read more at the source links below.
Wildly overwrought portrait of four college buddies reunited for a weekend of drug-fueled debauchery and soul searching. Like a drunken evening, there are some good moments but it’s not worth it in the end.
It seems like only yesterday that we released our Windows Phone 7 app out into the wild, bringing Microsoft mobile fans the dose of gadget news they were waiting for. But, just as Microsoft made improvements to its OS with Mango, so did we go back in the lab to bring you a better Windows Phone Engadget experience. Now, the fruits of our labor are complete. The WP7.5 version still delivers all the Mobile, HD, ALT and classic content you’ve come to know and love, but takes advantage of Mango’s multitasking to let you play podcasts in the background while perusing our written words. Landscape mode and Live Tile support are also baked in, and we’ve made it even easier to share and save your favorite posts using Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Evernote, Instapaper, and Read it Later. Sound good? Well, what are you waiting for, hit the source link and see for yourself!
While US viewers continue to wait for the expat-edition Global BBC iPlayer app, BBC Worldwide has announced a new version launching December 8th specifically for iPhones and iPod Touches. Like its big brother app for the iPad, this free download lets subscribers stream or download shows for offline viewing, as well as stream video to the Apple TV via AirPlay. Whole new categories of programming are coming online soon including music, arts and culture, and radio, and now it can all fit in one’s pocket. Check the gallery for a couple more screenshots, or after the break for a press release with all the applicable pricing and regional information that’s available.
The list of pay-TV providers that don’t have an app that turns your iPad into another TV screen has grown one shorter today, as Cox Communications announced its Cox TV Connect app. Like other apps from Cablevision, Time Warner, and DirecTV it’s restricted to use within the home (and for jailbreakers, judging by error code 144 you may be restricted once again) while connected to Cox internet service. The description promises “over 35 ” channels available, a glance at the listing on Cox’s support site reveals a distinct lack of Viacom offerings (Spike is shown in the screenshots, but isn’t on the list), which isn’t surprising given the video giant’s legal wrangling over other similar apps. We’re not seeing any support for any kind of second screen interaction with what’s on TV or remote control features, although the existing Mobile Connect apps have some of that covered. It does however support viewing on up to 5 tablets at once, so if your family is squeezed for screens this may be just the ticket, check after the break for a press release or hit the iTunes link below to download the free app.
Gallery: Cox TV Connect iPad app
Engadget Distro Issue 16 examines the Galaxy Nexus, Audi’s R18 prototype and Fanatec’s sim-racing gearSunday, December 4th, 2011
Finally pulled yourself out of last week’s turkey coma? Awesome. You’ve managed to regain consciousness just in time for a freshly baked edition of Engadget Distro. In this installment we discuss the nearly perfect Samsung Galaxy Nexus, talk up terrible product names and take a Fanatec Forza gaming duo for a test drive. Speaking of cars, we also have an exclusive look at the Audi R18 prototype and it’s tech savvy pit crew, Ross Rubin offers his take on Apple’s TV in Switched On and you’ll get a another peek into our messenger bags with IRL. Pretty sweet, eh? Go on, hit that download now because it’s Friday, and you all deserve a little pre-weekend leisurely reading.
Verizon has a pretty serious head start in the LTE race. To make sure it stays at the front of the pack, Big Red has entered an agreement with SpectrumCo (a joint venture between Comcast, Time Warner and Bright House) that sees 122 AWS spectrum licenses transferred to the carrier for .6 billion and some commercial agreements. The deal will allow the companies to become authorized retailers for each others products, eventually giving the cable companies the ability to offer Verizon Wireless service as wholesalers. For its part, the House that Droid Built scores a boat load of new spectrum that may become crucial in expanding its network and ensuring that speeds don’t drop off significantly as more customers transition to 4G. Check out the full PR after the break.
Update: Wondering how this impending love affair affects Comcast and Time Warner’s existing deals reselling Clear’s mobile broadband? Per CNET, not great, as the duo will gradually shift those using the WiMax provider to alternatives in the next six months.
By now, you should all be familiar with Griffin’s Beacon universal remote system, as we’ve gotten our hands on the iPhone version and let you know about the one for Android, too. Well Dijit, who creates the apps that work with the Beacon hardware, wasn’t done, and so has released an iPad-specific app to take advantage of the extra screen real estate it affords. Dijit calls it a “reimagined” version of the iPhone app and it provides both a new look and some new functionality to the Dijit experience. We got to spend some time with the app at gdgt Live in San Francisco, and found it to be quite similar to the recently released Android version. Head on past the break for a video breakdown of Dijit for iPad and our impressions of the app in action.
After waiting years for someone to deliver the first RVU-capable multiroom DVR setup, info leaked to SatelliteGuys indicates we only have to hold out one more week for DirecTV’s HR34 DVR. While DirecTV has yet to make an official announcement, retailer info states that it will be available starting Thursday for just after rebate (9 rack rate), bringing five tuners, 1TB of storage, whole home DVR service in up to four active rooms, and more. Of course, we’ll need to see some of the RVU-compatible HDTVs mentioned (Samsung 6000, 6400, and 6420 series) released before we can ditch the extra satellite TV boxes for good, but this is the first step. Hit the source link for more details including a full spec sheet PDF.
A Chinese company throwing French around in its product names. Right. Oddities aside, it looks as if the LePhone will soon have LeCompany — Lenovo will be pushing out its first smart TV in the first quarter of 2012. The simply-titled LeTV will be an internet-connected display, but outside of that, hardly anything else is being made public. There are no launch regions specified, nor a screen size. We’re presuming it’ll attempt to tie into the greater “Lenovo Cloud,” which will purportedly be similar to services already offered by the likes of Apple and Google, though users will be granted access to 200GB at first. Can’t imagine too many folks opting for a Lenovo desktop, laptop, smartphone and television, but hey — ecosystems are indeed all the rage these days.
Update: Our brethren over at Engadget Chinese also learned that LeTV will be branded as IdeaTV outside China (as pictured), though not much else was mentioned at the event.