AirParrot 2 brings Mac & Windows screen mirroring to Chromecast, drag and drop media streaming

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AirParrot, the app that lets you send your desktop display to an Apple TV-connected TV, is today releasing version 2 with Chromecast support and number of other new features. Sure, you can mirror your Mac’s display to an Apple TV using Apple’s built-in AirPlay feature, but AirParrot provides features beyond what Apple offers and also support for screen mirroring from Chromebooks and Windows. Today’s release makes it the first to enable full screen mirroring support to Chromecast with audio support and more. 

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Netflix updated for iOS 8, adds 1080p video playback for iPhone 6 Plus

Netflix for iPhone 6

Netflix updated its iPhone and iPad app to version 7.0 today adding optimization for the larger displays on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus introduced in September. The updated version of Netflix shows more content like titles and genres as well as previews of movies and TV shows when browsing for something to watch. In addition to optimizing the Netflix app for iPhone 6 users, Netflix says the new version of its app will now offer video playback in 1080p, full HD, for users with the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. Read more

Chromecast iOS app updated w/ backdrop feature for viewing news & weather, photos, more

Google today updated the Chromecast app for iPhone and iPad users adding a feature announced earlier this year at Google I/O called Backdrop. When the Chromecast HDMI streaming stick isn’t playing content like Netflix or Pandora Radio through your TV, it already displays the current time and featured photos as a screen saver, but now Chromecast users can display additional content like weather conditions and news headlines on Chromecast-connected TVs. Chromecast also now supports using your own photos from Google+ albums as the backdrop. Read more

Apple TV loses ground to Roku and Chromecast, drops to 3rd most popular set-top box in U.S.

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A new report compiled by Parker Associates and discovered by Gigaom revealed that the Apple TV has lost some U.S. market share to competitors like the Roku and Chromecast last year, causing it to become only the third most popular device in the category.

According to the report, Google’s Chromecast and the Roku streaming device each sold around 3.8 million units in 2013—though the figure is more impressive in the case of the Chromecast, which was only introduced in the second half of the year. Apple, on the other hand, reportedly moved 2 million devices, putting it just below the others.

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MLB At Bat mobile apps adding Chromecast support today for Premium subscribers

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Google announced today on its Chrome blog that Major League Baseball is adding support for its $35 Chromecast streaming stick through the MLB At Bat app for Android and iOS. That means that users with the app and an MLB.TV Premium subscription will be able to stream live and on-demand video content from the app (or from a browser tab in Chrome through MLB’s site) to a Chromecast connected TV. You’ll also be able to use the phone or tablet you’re streaming from as a second-screen experience to “check scores, stats and news” while watching the game on the bigger screen: Read more

Google’s new Photowall app turns your Chromecast-connected TV into an interactive photo frame

Adding to the capabilities of the Chromecast HDMI streaming stick, Google is out with a new app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users called Photowall that lets you turn your Chromecast-connected TV into a live, interactive photo frame.

Google’s Photowall app allows you alone or a group of Photowall users to beam not just one photo, but an entire collage of images to your TV through your Chromecast. The app includes the ability to doodle or annotate images before beaming to your big display as well.

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How-to: Setup and Use Chromecast to stream your content from a Mac and iOS device

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The Chromecast, Google’s streaming HDMI dongle came out last summer. It is compatible with any Android device running 2.3 or later, iOS device with iOS 6 or 7, and any Mac or PC. Initially, users were able to stream Netflix or Youtube from an iOS device and Android device, Google Play Movies and Music only on Android, or cast websites using the Chrome browser on a computer. The Chromecast works differently from Airplay in that you can multitask and do other tasks on the device or you can let it go to sleep while streaming.

Very quickly after its release, Chromecast has received support for Hulu +, Pandora, and HBO GO. Last month a major update added ten new apps including Plex, Vevo, Songza, Red Bull TV, Post TV from the Washington Post, Viki, RealPlayer Cloud, Avia, Revision3 Internet Television and BeyondPod. The most recent update the Chromecast received allowed users to stream Google Play Movies and Music directly from the Chrome browser on a computer.

In this How-to, we’ll discuss how to setup the Chromecast, use it with a Mac and iOS device and explore its gaming potential.

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Review: Seiki’s 39-inch 4K TV as a display for a 2013 MacBook Pro with Intel Iris

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On Black Friday week, Amazon ($449) and Sears ($499) went into a price war on the 39-inch “120Hz” Seiki 4K displays culminating in a Sub-$400 price (that I jumped on) for the 39-inch variant.

I’ve been using it as a 4K, 3840×2160 display for my MacBook Pro 2013 base model (no discrete graphics) off and on for a week.

How is it as a HDTV? Can you use it as a 4K display? Should you? Here’s my take: Read more

Chromecast adds support for 10 new apps including Plex, Vevo, & Songza

(via Flickr)

(via Flickr)

Google announced today a major round of app additions for its media streaming Chromecast HDMI stick including Plex, Vevo, Songza, and more.

Chromecast, which retails for $35 (currently $32.88 on Amazon Prime), can now play local files synced with your Plex media library from iOS, Android, or Chrome. Plex support is highly requested and offers a major advantage for content consumers looking to play content from a device to an HDTV.

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Apple TV will get more Chromecast-y in an iOS 7 update next week

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Photo: cnet.com

We mentioned last week that an Apple TV software update would allow owners to stream content from a friend’s Apple TV box elsewhere, and AllThingsD now has a little more info on how this will work.

The new software will allow people who have purchased content from Apple’s iTunes store to play that stuff on other people’s TVs, via its Airplay system.

The key part is that they will be able to tell an Apple TV box they don’t own to stream the media they do own, directly from the cloud. That’s a change from the current system, which requires users to  download stuff to their iPhones and iPads and fling it to the TV from there. It also echoes the way Google’s new Chromecast device works …  Read more