Have you been laying around your living room thinking that your smart TV isn't smart enough? Samsung's 2013 TV lineup includes an updated smart TV platform that features a redesigned Smart Hub interface, new ways to search and discover content, plus improvements to its gesture and voice control.
Thanks to a winning combination of solid performance, lots of content, and affordable prices, Roku streaming media players have become a favorite choice of many staffers at Consumer Reports—including me. That's why we were especially interested in taking a first look at the company's newest model, the $100 Roku 3, which replaces the Roku 2 XS at the top of the company's lineup.
If you were bummed when Netflix split its hybrid streaming/disc-by-mail service into two separate (and higher-priced) offerings, here's something you may like: Redbox Instant, which combines unlimited streaming with one-day disc rentals via kiosks. I gave Redbox Instant a spin when it was in a private beta and required an access code to register; yesterday the service had a soft launch, so you can now get your own one-month free trial.
If you've ever wondered why Netflix movies look better at your friend's house than in your own living room, Netflix has launched a new website that compares Internet speeds from various broadband providers.
Looking to turn a plain-Jane television into an Internet TV? The new Roku 3 flagship streamer ($100) has an updated user interface that should make finding movies and TV shows easier, plus a new motion-sensing remote control with a built-in headphone jack for private listening. And the device's more powerful processor will provide faster browsing and navigation, the company claims.
Leveraging an asset—a Hollywood movie studio—that competitors like LG and Samsung must envy, Sony is planning a summer launch of a new distribution system that will allow Ultra HD TV owners to download 4K movies to a new streamlined media player.
Google TV, which just a year ago looked like it was on life support, seems to be gaining some converts here at CES: Both Netgear and Asus announced new streaming-media players that use that platform to delivers video, apps, and other Web-based services.
Polaroid, a brand that's had a somewhat tumultuous recent history, will now be found on a line of TVs, Blu-ray and DVD players, and other home-theater accessories manufactured by an entity called SU Holdings Group for sale in the U.S and Canada.
Ever wish you could access your Blu-ray or DVD library from almost anywhere you had an Internet connection? Good news: Walmart is expanding its Disc to Digital program, where you can go into a participating Walmart store and get UltraViolet digital versions of previously purchased movies—You can now do it at home too, using the new Vudu To Go app.
Are you a disgruntled Netflix subscriber who used to get both discs and streaming as part of one low-cost plan? Well, here at CES we expect to learn more about a new hybrid disc/streaming service called Redbox Instant that promises to return what Netflix took away.
Did you or your kids get a Wii U for the holidays? Nintendo TVii—the streaming-video service promised for the new gaming console that wasn't quite ready at launch—is a very good reason your Wii U should be in the living room instead of the basement, though it definitely has room to grow.
Looking for a new big-screen front projection system that would be right at home in Dr. Evil's living room? LG is heading to CES promising the first demos of its new "Hecto" Laser TV projection system, which includes a new 1080p front projector lit by lasers, paired with a special 100-inch screen.
A couple of weeks ago, editors and testers on Consumer Reports' electronics team shared their personal holiday wish lists with the world. It's great fun to dream about your ideal techie gift—but not all gadgets are equally wonderful, wished for, and wanted. Not to sound ungrateful or &Scrooge-like, but here's what our experts DON'T want this year!
Ample picture quality now comes from small packages; you can stream high-quality video content using a smart phone or Roku's tiny, Wi-Fi-connected Streaming Stick, for example. Now a gadget that's almost as small as those, the 3M Streaming Projector Powered by Roku, can beam video images onto a wall or physical screen in your home. Unfortunately, the device's performance is commensurate with its modest size, I found in some informal tests.
Boxee TV, the new streaming media player that offers a cloud-based DVR service for subscribers, is now available. But you can only get it at Walmart stores, walmart.com, or directly from the Boxee.tv for the remainder of the holiday season.
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