Smart TVs are becoming commonplace, but a new set-top device promises to take TVs "beyond smart." In addition to providing the usual applications and content streamed from the internet, TVPro says it will turn TV into an intelligent interactive display with PC functionality. It will even get you fit.
Boxee’s latest set-top box retains its predecessor’s internet TV–streaming roots, but adds live TV and DVR capabilities to the mix. In fact, the Boxee TV’s primary focus is now live TV and its revamped user interface and simplified remote is designed to appeal to a wider audience than the Linux-based Boxee Box
. Although the device is primarily a DVR for recording live TV, it comes without any onboard storage at all. Instead, the Boxee TV uploads recordings to the cloud, making the device “the first ever No Limits DVR.”
Philips has been teasing us with the promise of the 58-inch 3D capable Platinum Series Cinema 21:9 TV since IFA 2010, but the company finally looks set to deliver. Showing off the new set at IFA 2011
, Philips revealed plans to launch the cinema-proportioned TV in September. The Platinum series boasts an ultra-wide 21:9 (2.39:1) aspect ratio and 2,560 x 1080p pixel resolution panel.
has not received quite the warm welcome that was hoped for, in spite of sterling efforts from Logitech
. While the search giant makes upgrades to the service for Android 3.1 and readies it for Android Market, Geniatech is offering what it says is the first Android-embedded set-top system for HDTVs. The company says that as well as offering full 1080p high definition video decoding, its Android TV can also act as a digital media player, digital photo frame, games console and internet browsing platform.
Anyone who thought making the switch from their old 4:3 analogue TV to a 16:9 widescreen digital model would mean the end of unsightly black bars at the top and bottom of the picture will likely have discovered otherwise – particularly if they also picked up a Blu-ray player along with the new TV. With most movies filmed in the wider 2.35:1 or 2.40:1 and many of these now available on Blu-ray, cinephiles are once again faced with the choice of viewing the entire image with black bars, or zooming or stretching the image so it fills the entire screen. The new Cinema 21:9 Gold Series LED TV from Philips
solves this dilemma with its 21:9 aspect ratio allowing widescreen movies to be displayed in all their glory.
With the increase in popularity of home theater PCs and internet capabilities being built into HDTVs
, browsing the Web sitting on the couch is becoming a popular pastime. But with the web being a “lean forward” technology that requires more complicated input controls than the “lean back” consumption of traditional television, the ol’ remote control just doesn’t cut it anymore. While there’s been some outside-the-box designs, such as the GlideTV Navigator
, the all conquering keyboard is already launching an offensive on the lounge room. The latest unit to join the fight is the GKM571R-581R 2.4 GHz wireless on-lap keyboard from IOGEAR.
Here's a fun application from CES 2011
that allows users to centralize broadcast television, mobile TV and internet TV all in one place. Fuugo is a video content aggregator application from Axel Technologies that runs on a wide range of devices, including mobile platforms.
Internet-connected television is not new, with LG’s Netcast, Panasonic’s Viera Cast, Samsung’s Internet@TV and Sony’s internet-integrated Bravia all presenting cut-down versions of the internet. The world’s first TV with an Android operating system though, is a breath of fresh air by comparison, using proprietary graphics processors inside the set to enable the 42 inch HD LED Lava Scandinavia to handle the full internet experience you’d get with a normal computer. Gizmag’s Mike Hanlon and Noel McKeegan spent some time with the Scandinavia recently and came away VERY impressed.
The latest player in the Internet-to-your-TV world is the Boxee Box by D-Link. This set-top device is likely to put up a fair fight in the face of some big name competition including Apple TV
, Sony Internet TV
(armed with Google TV) and Logitech Revue
(also running Google TV).
Smart TV has landed. Logitech has announced a full line of products to allow users to make the most of Google TV, including what used to be referred to as a set-top box with a specially designed keyboard controller, a high definition camera that fits on top of the HD television and a smartphone app that will turn an iPhone, iPad or any Android device into a system remote. Users will already need to have a HD television, a satellite or cable provider and a broadband line to benefit from the unit and accessories, but can then look forward to additional online content played through the TV and seamless search across all available programming.