A recent report by PC World is suggesting that Dell has recently started beta testing thumb drive sized Android mini PCs that could give Google's recent Chromecast a run for its money. Dubbed project Ophelia, the device is said to be similarly sized to the Chromecast but would feature much more functionality as it will run a full version of Android instead of a slimmed down version of Chrome OS like the Chromecast does.
Project Ophelia features the same style direct HDMI connectivity that Chromecast does and is said to feature a full version of the Google Play Store that would allow users to download the full complement of apps, games, movies, and books that other Android devices use. It will feature both Bluetooth 4.0 and and Wi-Fi, so wireless keyboards, mice, and the various Android-to-Android Wi-Fi-based remote apps that are growing so popular should work well.
Sources say that project Ophelia should retail for around $100, but for now, only beta testers are getting there hands on Ophelia, and we don't expect a release until sometime during the next fiscal quarter which could be as late as October. While the $100 price tag is a bit on the high-end in my opinion, this little device could spell big trouble for companies like Pivos, producer of the Xios DS Android-based set-top box that is one of the leading sellers for Android HTPCs.
Not even a week ago we reported that Netflix secured themselves an addition 630,000 more subscribers thanks to the fourth season of Arrested Development , but now we have series creator Mitch Hurwitz saying that it is "definitely" coming back.
We've been hearing whispers of a fifth season, but when the series' creator comes out and talks about it, it gives us more confidence. It looks like they're ready to either pull the trigger on an Arrested Development movie, or a fifth series of the cult show. The news comes from a Q&A at the Just for Laughs comedy conference in Montreal last week.
Netflix chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, asked the question himself: "are we going to do more" to which Hurwitz replied with "definitely". Hurwitz talked about multiple possibilities, with the movie being first, and then a fifth season. Maybe we might end up with a three-part episode before the fifth season begins. Hurwitz asked Sarandos: "are you game for that" with Sarandos replying with "absolutely, in any form".
It looks like the future of Arrested Development isn't looking so blue after all...
When Google first announced Chromecast, I instantly knew it was going to be big. The $35 media streaming dongle has become an instant hit among technophiles everywhere in the US. When originally launched, Google offered the device for $35 and included three months of Netflix for free, which essentially made the device cost a total of $11 if you are already a Netflix subscriber.
Today, we found out that device has sold out on every online outlet it was being offered at. In just 36 hours, so many units were sold on the Google Play Store that shipping times were eventually listed as 6 to 8 weeks. Amazon and Best Buy's online store have both sold out, but Best Buy says that they still have some units available in-store.
I placed my order for the Chromecast just an hour or so after it was announced and selected two-day shipping, but Google has still not sent any shipping info to me, so tonight I'm going to head to my local Best Buy and see if they have any units in stock so I can bring all of you readers a wonderful review the first of next week.
Chromecast may just be the kick in the pants that Google TV needs. According to one employee, Google will be providing Google TV support for Chromecast. With all the talk of a new Google TV set-top box being readied for launch, this could mean that you would be able to plug your Chromecast into this new box, or it could mean that Google is bringing a Google TV app to Chromecast.
Warren Rehman, an employee of Google said that "Google TV isn't dead" and went on to confirm that Google will be integrating Chromecast into Google TV in some form. Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that earlier this year at CES, they got a closed doors, private demo of Google's upcoming set-top box. The new Google TV box is said to feature a built-in camera, motion sensor, and have support for Google Hangouts.
This seems to be the week for cheap home theater streaming devices. Two days ago, Google launched its Chromecast in the US and today, the UK's Sky TV has announced their own low-cost set-top box. Dubbed the NOW TV, the set-top box is essentially a rebranded Roku 2 XS with modified software that allows it to stream content from Sky's IPTV platform.
The device also features built-in apps for iPlayer, Demand Five, Spotify, Facebook, and several other Sky channels. From what we can tell, users are not able to add any additional apps, and there is no app store in which you can buy new apps. For some, this may not be that big of a deal as the low cost of entry--about 10 euros--offsets the lack of features and apps.
What if Superman punched you? Other than it destroying you, you'd be surprised at the science behind it
There has been a lot of discussion about the destruction of Metropolis in Zack Snyder's reboot of Superman, Man of Steel. Sure, there's insane amounts of destruction, but when two God-like (fictional) beings fight each other in an otherwise realistic portrayal of a city, what do you think would happen? Other than it causing an estimated $700 billion worth of damage, it would be an intense few nanoseconds.
The video above goes into the science of what would happen if Superman punched you, and has so many numbers and facts that it'll make you laugh out loud at how ridiculous it would be if Superman really did punch someone in real life. The punch itself would be so quick, you wouldn't even see it for one. Secondly, it would have so much force it would create a 1km deep crater in the ground.
It would take just a few nanoseconds for it to happen, before a blast radius of several kilometers engulfed into fury and flames. So, what we see in Man of Steel is more 'realistic', but it could've been so much worse. I loved the destruction in Man of Steel, and thought it was one of the more realistic superhero movies to depict God-like beings fighting in a city.
Ever since Google's Chromecast media streaming dongle was announced yesterday, I have been curious as to what hardware lies inside. I am after all, one of the type of people who enjoy taking things apart to see how it ticks. Thanks to the FCC and Anandtech I do not have to wait for my Chromecast to arrive. The FCC Chromecast documents have been released and they contain images of the naked Chromecast PCB.
Powering the device is a Marvell DE3005 chip while AzurWare silicon handles the Wi-Fi duties. For those interested, you can view the full FCC documentation along with the photos and even the devices user manual by visiting Source #3 below. I placed an order for a Chromecast unit shortly after the announcement yesterday. No shipping info has been provided yet, but we are hoping to have our unity by Monday or Tuesday and will have a full review up shortly thereafter.
For years, most have been wondering when we'd start properly hearing about James Cameron's sequel to Avatar. Well, James' partner, Jon Landau, took the stage of SIGGRAPH, showing the public their first test footage for the upcoming movie.
The test footage unveiled a "noticeable improvement" in their virtual camera techniques, with a much higher quality output in a scene that involved a human and a Na'vi walking around on the surface of Pandora. The presentation happened at the Autodesk Users Group event during SIGGRAPH, with Landau stressing that this test footage was from several months ago, and it isn't at the point that they'd like to be.
There's much more to read about the test footage at SIGGRAPH at The Hollywood Reporter. I'm hoping for a huge leap in special effects, considering the entire movie pretty much happens inside of a 'virtual world'.
Earlier I reported on Google's new HDMI media streaming dongle dubbed Chromecast. I was so enthralled by it that I immediately went to the Google Play Store and placed my order. Fast forward a few hours and the Chromecast has now popped up on Amazon and if you are an Amazon Prime Member, the dongle is actually cheaper than if you were to purchase it from Google.
My order for the Chromecast placed through the Google Play store ran me $54 and some change including 2-day shipping. Being an Amazon Prime subscriber, I could have waited a few hours and ordered the same device with the same shipping for $35 total, and for an extra $11 I could have it shipped overnight. Unfortunately, Amazon has updated the page and says that the devices will not ship for an additional 1-2 days so you could still have the device in by Monday if you play your cards right.
This morning Google announced the release of a new media streaming dongle dubbed Chromecast. The small $35 HDMI dongle mirrors content that is being played on a nearby smartphone, computer or tablet. Coming in at just 2-inches long, the device plugs directly into your HDTVs spare HDMI port.
The device is able to run certain apps and if you are an early adopter, you will get a free three month Netflix subscription. Google says that Chromecast runs a simplified version of Google's Chrome OS and unfortunately, it will require a separate USB power source. The device features 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and comes with an HDMI extender, a USB cable and a USB power source.
Chrome apps that work with Chromecast will feature a "cast" button that will push the video feed to your Chromecast connected television. "Once Chromecast is plugged in, you just go to YouTube on your smartphone," Google reps said. "You'll see the cast button in your UI and you press it -- Chromecast will pull the info you requested from the cloud and play it on your TV." Google demoed the device at this morning's breakfast event and showed how Chromecast could display a YouTube video from your tablet onto your TV, and still allow you to use other apps on your tablet at the same time.
With a Need for Speed movie coming out in the near future, it looks like Sony may have felt a little jealous without their own feature film based on a driving franchise. Well, the Japanese company have just greenlit a feature film based on their super popular Gran Turismo series.
You wouldn't guess who saw potential in the series, with Dana Brunetti and Mike De Luca being the producers on board. They've previously worked on The Social Network and 50 Shades of Grey. They have obviously seen that Gran Turismo has sold over 70 million copies in the last 15 years, so we know it's a huge title.
What could it be about, exactly? It could go in the direction of the Aaron Paul vehicle (pun intended) Need for Speed, or it could turn into what the Fast & Furious franchise is now - fast cars, over-the-top action and hundreds of millions of dollars in box office revenue.
The fourth season of Arrested Development was a huge success for Netflix, where they added 630,000 more subscribers in the US during Q2 2013. Investors were hoping for an additional 900,000 or so new customers, but you can't really complain at over half a million more, can you?
The figures come from Netflix's latest announcement, where we also found out they earned 49 cents per share during the quarter, higher than the Wall Street estimates of around 40 cents. They generated $1.07 billion of revenue, which fell within Wall Street's expectations. We can expect Netflix to go forth with more original programming, such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.
Oh, and we can't forget the talks of a fifth season of Arrested Development, either.
I'm still adjusting to the awesomeness that was Man of Steel, but while I was over in Melbourne for PAX Australia 2013, I read that the director of Man of Steel, Zack Snyder, confirmed a Superman/Batman movie for 2015.
At the end of the DC panel at Comic-Con 2013, Zack Snyder tool the stage, gesturing that moderator Chris Hardwick should move out of the way where he said "I'm gonna take the lectern from you, because some sh*t's going to happen up here. It's official that we are going to make another Superman movie. And you say, Zack, what is the movie about? But you don't want me to tell you that. You want to go and see the movie. But I can say that maybe there's a single element that will be in the film that I could... help you out with. I was thinking about how to do that. I pored through the DC Universe to look for a way to tell this thing. We're writing the thing now, but I came across a thing I found that'll help you understand it."
While this is exciting news, it doesn't confirm a sequel to Man of Steel, which is weird. Harry Lennix, who starred in Man of Steel, read a line from Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns: "I want you to remember, Clark, in all the years to come, in all your most private moments, I want you to remember my hand at your throat. I want you to remember the one man who beat you."
Google showed Google TV off before it was fully baked, so all of the goodies inside were oozing out instead of being fully-functional features that blew people away and had consumers throwing money at their product.
But, it looks like they're at it again, and according to The Wall Street Journal's inside sources, Google are pitching the idea of an online TV service to media providers and distributors. The difference between it not working before, and it working now, is that content providers are looking for nationwide distribution - something Google can provide, very easily.
The WSJ are reporting that Google has the system developed and is shopping it around to various partners. The world of TV has changed since Google first introduced Google TV, with the likes of Netflix and their smash hits like the fourth season of Arrested Development and House of Cards doing very, very good business online.
We've been reporting on a rumored TV service from Intel for a couple months now, and today we finally found out what the service will be named. GigaOM has reported this morning that Intel's TV streaming service will be called OnCue, with the report being based on trademark filings around the globe and the hiring of an ad agency to prepare the official launch of the brand.
GigaOM also said that Intel plans to launch the TV service before the end of the year and that Intel plans to compete with traditional cable TV and satellite services by offering a live TV feed as well as a catch-up service that will allow users to watch missed shows a la carte. The service will also reportedly feature an on-demand service that will allow users to watch the latest new releases without having to rent them from services such as Netflix, Amazon, or RedBox. There's no word yet on what channels will be featured upon launch, but we're sure the offering will be substantial.
As a huge fan of Arrested Development, this is music to my ears (while I work at the Banana Stand). Bloomberg are reporting that Netflix and the production company behind Arrested Development, Imagine Entertainment, are negotiating for a fifth season of the cult TV show.
Reed Hastings, Netflix's CEO, said earlier in the year that it's not surprising that the company would bring the show back for a fifth season. Netflix have had great success by developing a new, unique and most of all, refreshing model for TV distribution. This is where they offer the entire season up front so that users can watch it at their own pace, or sit down and watch it in one setting.
Netflix's most popular show, something I finished watching last week and positively loved, House of Cards, was a huge hit for the company earning back their $100 million investment in just a few weeks time.
James Bond is a huge franchise, we all know that, but just how big could the Splinter Cell franchise be when it makes a stealth move onto the silver screen? Well, according to Splinter Cell: Blacklist's Creative Director, Maxine Beland, she'd like it to be "as big as James Bond."
During an interview with GamesRadar, Beland said: "I really want Splinter Cell to have an amazing movie franchise and to be as big as James Bond. There are some great Bond movies, and they're obviously a big point of reference for us. At the same time, I'm so hungry for a good Splinter Cell movie. I know we're developing one now, and that people are responding to it."
We are to expect a Splinter Cell movie in the near future starring Tom Hardy of Inception and The Dark Knight Rises fame.
Thanks to Icon Home Entertainment, we have four copies of the 2012 action/drama Zero Dark Thirty on Blu-ray to give away!
Nominated for five Academy Awards, Zero Dark Thirty is the gripping firsthand account of seal team six, the elite group of agents who successfully located and assassinated U.S. enemy number one - Osama Bin Laden, the elusive head of terrorist organisation Al Qaeda.
Thanks to Disney Home Entertainment, we have two copies of the hit 2013 Wizard of Oz prequel Oz: The Great and Powerful on Double Play Blu-ray to give away!
Nickel and dime magician Oscar Diggs (James Franco) travels from precinct to precinct with his travelling act, breaking hearts and making a little cash with his carnival tricks which astounds less discerning crowds. His downtrodden, yet loyal assistant Frank (Zach Braff) stage manages his act, but when Oscar is hunted down by the burly man for his sleazy unrequited love, facilitates his quick escape to safety via hot air balloon. But when said balloon is sucked into a forming tornado, Oscar is flung into a land significantly different to Kansas--the Land of Oz.
The 4K revolution (or is that resolution?) is upon us, with Sony now selling their 4K Ultra HD Media Player in the US. The media server will push out 4K content to Sony Ultra HD TVs and only Sony TVs, it will not work with any other brand of 4K TV unfortunately.
Sony's media player comes pre-loaded with 10 movies, with a number of shorter movies also included. As for hardware, we have a 2TB HDD inside, gigabit Ethernet, two HDMI out ports, a USB 3.0 port and SD card slot on the front, and a USB 2.0 on the back for an external HDD. Sony will also be launching their Video Unlimited 4K Ultra HD service that will give consumers TV shows, movies and shorts to download.
4K movies will cost $30 to buy, or you can rent them for 24 hours for just $8. Sony's 4K Ultra HD Media Player costs $700.
Guillermo del Toro's latest movie is nearly here folks, and before we all go and see Pacific Rim, you should check out the latest trailer which should have you buying pre-sale tickets.
Yeah, thought so. The last trailer before Pacific Rim hits theaters concentrates on the human side of things, showing off less of the actual fighting. But, it gets the idea that it's pretty much the end of the world, and this is their last chance. Get ready for some special effects porn like nothing else.