Monthly Archives: May 2015

0 2192

New device may finally crack the code for Android gaming devices

The Shield TV will be the first Android TV device to get the new Tablo app

The Nvidia Shield is available for consumers bringing with it an Android TV interface complete with a small selection of top TV apps including Netflix, Hulu Plus and Sling TV. Two weeks ago the Streaming Advisor published one of the most scathing pieces we have ever released concerning the Razer Forge TV console. The product has a number of limitations and we took a close look at them. To see that story click here. It appears that Nvidia has put a great deal more thought into this product or in this case products. There are two models. Read more.

0 2414

The Lenovo Cast, a small round Miracast receiver was announced this Wednesday at the TechWorld show in Beijing. The company announced a scant group of details regarding the device including dual band wi-fi, which has become the standard for streaming devices since 2013. The company is touting it as a Chromecast competitor, but I don’t see it. At $49.00 the device is more expensive and offers one feature Miracast support. For those unfamiliar with Miracast it is a standard that allows users of Windows 8.1 and Android devices to share the screens of their devices with a and recreate the screen image on a television either internally equipped with Miracast capabilities or a compatible dongle or set top box. The problem I see with the Lenovo Cast though is not only are there a vast number of Miracast dongles and receivers already on the market there are three devices at or below the same price range that absolutely dwarf its functionality. 

The Fire TV Stick
At 39.00 The Fire TV stick may be the best value in streaming due to its price, portability, app selection, hackability and the new firmware update that allows the device to use hotel wi-fi. It supports over 1000 apps natively including Netflix, Its own library of Amazon Prime movies and TV shows, it’s a la carte prime streaming service, Hulu Plus, Sling TV and far more on top of Miracast screen mirroring. The device is Android based which means that Android apps can be sideloaded with other Android apps like Kodi to add yet more functionality. The dongle is the number 1 selling streaming device on Amazon.com.

The Roku HDMI Streaming Stick
The Roku HDMI Streaming stick costs 47.99 and offers 2000+ channels/apps. This includes every popular streaming app outside of iTunes because iTunes is exclusive to Apple products. Otherwise you name it they got it. Netflix, Hulu Plus, Watch ESPN, HBO Go and even Amazon’s on demand and a la carte movie service.  The list goes on and on and that is not even factoring in the multitude of private channels. The device also supports Miracast from Android phones and tablets as well as windows 8.1 computers.

The Google Chromecast
The $35.00 Chromecast, which is the device that the Lenovo Cast is apparently picking a fight with is most similar to the Lenovo cast because neither support apps natively and both support a form of screen mirroring. The Chromecast is a receiver that is compatible with Android, IOS devices, Windows and Mac computers. It has two main functions. Mobile devices can cast compatible apps which includes Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO Go, YouTube, Google Play and many more see here . Casting from mobile devices and select websites provides seamless video playback and even allows users to close apps and multi task on their devices once the video begins streaming. As a screen mirroring device the Chromecast through its Google Cast extension for the Chrome browser will allow users to mirror their Mac or Windows laptop screen both by casting individual Chrome tabs or its still beta screen mirroring feature.

This might be the last time you see the Lenovo Cast Mentioned Anywhere
The device was announced Wednesday during a quiet period of the media cycle so it has garnered quite a bit of attention. But as it stands now I see no compelling reason to purchase a Lenovo Cast especially with three options for both Android and PC mirroring at a lower price and with a longer track record. The other devices all support far more features and and entertainment apps. The Lenovo cast actually does very little to differentiate itself from other simple Miracast receivers. For a one function item its asking price is far too steep. One note devices should not attempt to put themselves on the same level as more versatile products. Lenovo makes wonderful hardware including the popular and dependable thinkpad laptops but this entry will fall flat on the market.

 

0 1689

Apple TV rumors have morphed from being about television sets to streaming services. The latest rumor regarding the plans to bring a streaming TV service is pretty predictable. According to multiple sources the service which had been rumored to be announced at the Apple developers conference in June along with a refresh of the Apple TV set-top box, has reportedly hit a snag in its roll out due to the lack of support for local television affiliates. Aside from the fact that this pattern regarding the reporting of unsubstantiated rumors as though they were facts and then backing away from them after the headlines fade is getting old it does portend something for the future. As companies start looking at streaming as a linear  television solution this issue will likely pop up again and again? As much as people say that they expect the local channels on any TV service it really may not be worth the trouble. Why do we say that?

0 13703

C Cloud TV for Roku is an iptv stream that has been developed share Internet based TV streams on Roku. The feeds come from various links including it appears sites outside of the US. This is apparent if you choose to access programming on one of the 10 channels that are available at any given time. We honestly question the legality of this because I can’t imagine that ABC has sanctioned its feed to be be shown in the US for free with Chinese subtitles. The Streaming Advisor was contacted by a person who said he was a fan of the service. My suspicion is that the source is actually the owner of the service who’s home page has no contact information. I expect that this channel will not be up for long but for the sake of keeping current we are sharing it with you today. Take a look at the video for more information.

0 1546

Why Amazon succeeds in the market and "Android TV" will continue to fail

The Fire TV is an Android device no matter what you see on the surface.

The Google Nexus Player debuted in January as the first Android TV set-top box. Unfortunately for Azus and Google the arrival was accompanied with a great deal of enthusiasm and followed up with a yawn in the market. After 5 months the system can not crack Amazon’s top 40 streaming devices. This month we have seen the rollout of the Razer Forge console/set-top box. Meant to be a video game and streaming system the device has a number of problems as reported on the Streaming Advisor here

0 491

The Streaming Advisor will not be publishing today and observation of Memorial Day. On this day please remember the sacrifices that have been made for the cause of your freedom.

0 3460

The Roku Platform is now available in Italy. Roku’s channel lineup is available via the  Sky Online TV

Roku powered boxes are now available in Italy.
Roku powered boxes are now available in Italy.

Box. Sky, a European Pay TV provider offers its Online OTT service through the set-top box additional The box will also support VEVO, Red Bull TV, Spotify, WSJ Live, Vimeo, Facebook as well as the Roku Media Player that allows consumers to stream media from a computer or USB storage device to their TV.Sky licenses products in four European countries now including Austria, Germany and the UK. Roku CEO Anthony Wood has long contended that Roku is not just a product but a platform. As Roku continues to show up on TV’s and branded devices the strategy is becoming more clear. While customers can not use an actual Roku in Italy access to its lineup is available.

0 1240

Sling TV announced that the Google Nexus Player finally gets to join the rest of the streaming world as a partner. The service has been available on Nexus competitors the Fire TV and Roku line of products along with apps for computers, IOS and Android Tablets. Sling has been promising support for the Nexus player for months.

Incentive Deal
Like the Roku 3 and Fire TV the Nexus player normally retails for $100.00. As part of a special arrangement between Amazon and Asus, customers who sign up for three months of Sling Television customers can save 50% on the cost of of the item with a three month subscription to the service.

That thud you just heard was another promising device dropping dead before it had a chance to see its voice change. The device is the Razer Forge. A cutting if overly polite hands on review of the device by Lon Seidman pointed out some serious problems with the streaming device/console that sound like an early obituary and another major black eye for the Android TV Platform. The Razer Forge is currently incapable of supporting Netflix. Yes Netflix the app that is on every single connected device but you smart toaster (as of the writing of this article) is absent on this super hyped $100.00 box. And that is hardly the end of it.

No Remote

The Chromecast is intentionally and almost ingeniously minimalist. Acting as a go between with a TV and connected device and using the simple launch feature or even beta mirroring to share the content it has remained a top seller currently #2 on Amazon’s streamer category. But in all the reviews I have read or written about set top boxes I have never listed the existence of a remote control as a hindrance. And while there are apps to control the Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV and many other devices none have never forced people to control an entire interface with a phone or tablet. The idea is brazen and smacks of a poorly placed cost cutting effort. If this current issue is corrected it could still haunt the device long after through reviews. Even worse Seidman reports that the app crashes often. And oh sorry Apple users. The millions of you will not even be able to get an app for your devices. But they promise one is on the way. In the meantime enjoy your $100.00 coaster.

The Controller does not pair without the app
A game console without a plug and play controller. Why didn’t Nintendo think of that in the 80’s? Imagine how popular the groundbreaking console would have been with parents on Christmas morning if there had been 4 steps or so to even start using the gamepad to play Super Mario Brothers. How about a firmware update for the lightgun on 20 floppy disks? In the case of the gamepad, and I am talking the official Razer Forge gamepad, in order to use it wirelessly you must use the Android controller app (that crashes all the time) to pair the game controller. Again you must have an Android device and not an IOS device to access the Forge. Thankfully the controller will work when plugged in via USB. That being said I would experiment with standard USB wireless controllers and see if you can save yourself the hassle.

No Netflix
No Netflix on the Razer Forge Really? As stated at the beginning of this story, the Razer Forge does not support Netflix. Will it later? We don’t know. But to release what they likely hoped to see as a mainstream device without an app that has 50 million plus subscribers is patently insane. Maybe they could not come to a deal with the company, maybe there is a hardware issue but what ever the cause this has to be repaired. It would not be so glaring if the company didn’t also advertise the Android TV Platform. The Nexus Player, the first “Android TV” set-top box does offer Netflix. The Netflix issue along with lack of HBO Go and others speaks to the same problem we addressed last year when discussing whether the rebranding from Google TV to Android TV would help. Having multiple devices utilizing the platform in glaringly different ways could do a lot to hurt every single product that advertises as Android TV powered.

No Game Interface
The Razer Forge is advertised as a GAME CONSOLE. Yes I was yelling because to not have a video game specific menu on a gaming device makes as much sense as selling a printer without a power cord (you know who you are Staples). Yes users can get games from the Google Play store but there should be a simple intuitive way to find and add games. A store with categories Shooters, RPG, Side Scrollers etc. The Fire TV which has bought in on games in a big way has a rudimentary game store interface to help cut through the clutter but the Google Play store is expansive and returns far too many options.

Final Thoughts
Will the Razer Forge be the next Ouya? On the Cord Cutter podcast today Luke from Cord Cutter News said that he thinks that the device will get a major update in the future. Razer better have something substantial in mind. To exclude every potential user who does not own an Android device is tantamount to selling a car that only runs on gas from the Costco Gas station.

 

0 785

Box Top Theater, a longtime destination site for value hunters and streaming enthusiast is back in business after an absence. The company has hit the ground running by offering anyone who buys products from their site $10 off on products from Armada and Jynx media. The sale which will last through July 6 includes the long beloved Jynx Box Live and Armada’s Mach 8 Android with Code Red.

We had a chance to work with the Android Mach 8 last year. See our video bellow.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wIpi7j_E3g