Samsung HomeSync, the new Android mediahub

Samsung HomeSync

Samsung is not only selling a lot of Smart TV’s and smartphones, as of now, you can also get a media hub from the Korean consumer electronics giant. With this box, it’s completing their hardware ecosystem by creating an Apple TV competitor.

The HomeSync is an Android powered device that can stream films, series and games and it allows owners of a Samsung smartphone to beam content on their phones onto the television. Indeed, just like Apple TV does with AirPlay. But there are also many other ways to connect to the HomeSync. It comes with a USB 3.0, Micro USB and optical audio connection and it supports WiFi 802.11n and bluetooth 4.0

To operate the Samsung HomeSync, there is a Jelly Bean Media player and since it is an Android device, Google Play store can be accessed for extra apps.

Users (up to eight separate accounts can be set-up) will have the ability to store content encrypted.

Under the hood is a 1.7GHz dual-core processor, 8GB flash and a 1TB hard drive.

XBMC available for Apple TV 2

Apple TV

For those who think Apple TV is great but Apple TV with XBMC would be even better there is some good news. XBMC is now available for the jailbroken 5.2 version of the software (iOS 6.1).

To install XBMC, check out their wiki page.

Use HBO Go on your Apple TV

HBO Go on Apple TV

No, there is no HBO Go app for Apple TV but there is a new version of the iOS app that allows you to stream HBO Go content to your Apple TV using AirPlay. This news was brought by President and COO of HBO Eric Kessler at the D: Dive Into Media event. The app can already be downloaded and the Airplay option is also available for the Cinemax MAX GO app from HBO.

Streaming from your phone or tablet might be even better then playing from Apple TV. More and more second screen devices will act like a remote control. However, using a seperate app for every content supplier / channel might not be best solution in the end. But that’s why there are companies like Dijit that try to combine a remote control, an EPG and social features.

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Job posting at Apple spark new rumours about a coming Apple TV or iTV

Apple TV

Just like there are spotters at factories trying to figure out what a new iPhone would look like based on displays, antenna’s or processors they spot at a plant, FCC and patent watchers who meticulously read all new filings hoping to find a hint for new technology, keeping an eye on recent job openings is one other way to try to predict where technology companies are heading. Today, all Apple watchers are focussed on the job opening of Software Engineering – Manager Apple TV in Cupertino that suggest the company is in increasing their in investment in the development of a (new) Apple TV or even iTV.

Needless to say this does not prove anything. But Apple fans are hoping for an Apple product so badly that all bits of information are hot. Even proven untrue like the suggestion of an Apple TV event next months I also picked up earlier this week.




IGN opens a channel on Roku, more gaming to come?

IGN Entertainment

IGN Entertainment (formerly known as Imagine Games Network) is the home for many gamers. It’s an entertainment portal with lot’s of news, reviews and trailers of games on popular platforms like Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PC and 3DS. But it’s not only about games, there is also a lot of information about films and series, mostly sci-fi, fantasy, action etc.

Today they announced to have their on channel on Roku. This seems not such a big news event, but come to think of it, Xbox started of as a gaming platform and is trying to become an entertainment hub with streaming video as an important part. Just like Roku. And although the most recent rumours about Apple releasing a SDK for Apple TV next month proved to be (again) just a rumour, Apple is expected to release it at some point. Maybe sooner than later, and when that happens, game developers will be among the first to develop for the new platform. And eventually kill competing platforms like Xbox 360, Playstation and Wii U. Or as former Xbox creator Nat Brown states it at his blog:

“Apple is already a games competitor broadly, even if Apple-TV isn’t yet a game platform or a console. Mobile generally and iPad specifically have grown the total hours of game play and grown the overall game market. Only in the last 18-24mo has that overall growth turned from a segment-expanding rising tide to a tsunami swamping the console game vendor profit boats hitched to the docks. It is accelerating. Apple, if it chooses to do so, will simply kill Playstation, Wii-U and xBox by introducing an open 30%-cut app/game ecosystem for Apple-TV. I already make a lot of money on iOS – I will be the first to write apps for Apple-TV when I can, and I know I’ll make money. I would for xBox if I could and I knew I would make money. ”

So maybe this channel is a first step for Roku to do more with games. Clearly games and films are growing closer with all the films and series based on computer games and vice versa. And gamers are always looking for new and better ways to enjoy games and their favorite content. Bringing games to a set-top box or media player seems like the inevitable thing to do.


Apple TV, the latest rumours and developments.

Apple TV

The game is on. With big competitors like Microsoft (the new Xbox 720 is supposed to be coming soon and a Windows 8 based ecosystem), Amazon (Kindle, Amazon Prime Instant Video but also golden oldy IMDB), Google (Google TV, Android) and since yesterday even Intel but also the smaller ones like Netflix, Dijit and Roku, Apple must feel the pressure building up. And clearly CEO Tim Cook could use a success of his own. This could be the iWatch, it could be Apple iTV or even both. Whilst the continuous stream of rumours seem to indicate that something is bound to happen, it is time to sum up the most recent stories.

Techcrunch writes about an analyst note suggesting that an event around Apple TV will be organised in March. At this event, an offical SDK (Software Development Kit) is to be introduced. The quoted analyst Peter Misek also suggest the introduction of an Apple Television set somewhere in September or October.
If there is going to be a real television, this could be based on technology from Loewe. Stocks of the German hardware manufacturer jumped initially more than 40% on the rumour that Apple is about to launch a bid of 4 euro per share for the troubled company. Obviously all parties decline comment or simply deny but that is part of the game. Interesting to know also, is that Apple allegedly invested heavily in supplier Sharp last year in order to secure continued supply of displays for their telephones. But Sharp also builds televisions and owns 28% of the stocks of Loewe.

The big issue in the end however, will probably not whether or not Apple can build a television. The success of adding a TV set to the ecosystem will probably depend on content. MIT Technology Review wrote a good read on the Apple TV and, amongst others, also stresses this point. Where the music industry had not much choice working together with Apple and allowing them to sell songs instead of albums, the producers of films and series are in a completely different positions. And so far they are exploring new ways to distribute content to the livingroom whereas the only thing the music industry did was taking legal action in an effort to stop progress. Getting the major media companies on board and / or buying libraries and / or creating their own content (like Netflix and Amazon are doing) will be key to the success of any kind of Apple TV or iTV.


Jailbreak for Apple TV 5.2, update for aTV Flash to support 5.2

Jailbreak Apple TV

Firecore announced a new version of aTV Flash (black 2.2) and SeasOnPass today to get the most out of the latest version of Apple TV. The new version obviously supports Bluetooth keyboards and offers some minor improvements to backups, DVD playback and some bug fixes.

In order to install the new version of aTV Flash, a jailbreak is needed. Get SeasOnPass first and follow the instructions on how to do so. After installing, let us know what your experiences are. Good or bad.