Smart TV Stories September 8, 2015

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Rdio adds support for more connected speaker systems & smart TVs

Popular music streaming service Rdio is today announcing an expansion of its support for connected speaker systems and smart TVs, including Google’s new Google Cast for Audio platform introduced earlier this year. 

In addition to supporting speakers that integrate Google’s Cast for audio platform, the music service is now available on Harman/Kardon, Denon, and the DTS Play-Fi Whole-Home Wireless ecosystem featuring leading brands such as Definitive Technology, Phorus, Polk Audio and Wren. The company also noted that it’s now available on Samsung smart TVs and arriving soon on smart TVs from LG and Hisense.

Previously Rdio was only available on Sonos speakers and setup boxes like the Apple TV and Google Chromecast.

Rdio is available free with ads or as an ad-free service for $9.99/month unlimited or on certain devices for $3.99/month with a limited number of on demand songs per day.

Smart TV Stories January 13, 2015

The AllCast media streaming app–which allows photos, music and video to be beamed from a mobile device to an Apple TV, Roku, Xbox, FireTV and a range of smart TVs–has now made it to iOS, following the release of the Android app last month (shown in the above video). It’s compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and is optimized for iPhone 5 and up.

The app works in a very similar way to the Chromecast stick–or, as the developer puts it, “no setup necessary, it just works like magic” …  expand full story

Smart TV Stories April 17, 2014

LG’s new Connect SDK helps bridge the gap between mobile apps and TVs

LG today announced a new system to help bridge the gap between a range of televisions and mobile software. The Connect SDK is an open-source, multi-platform tool that developers can use to make their mobile apps compatible with different TV set-top boxes and smart TVs. In a press release, Samuel Chang, LG Electronics USA vice president and head of the LG Silicon Valley Lab said:

Connect SDK is breaking down barriers to enable apps and devices to work together harmoniously. The screen size, capabilities and social nature of Smart TVs enable experiences that consumers will absolutely love.

Connect SDK is designed to address the problem of connecting apps with a second screen, the TV, which still serves as a main point of content consumption for many households. The company has released versions of the SDK compatible with devices on both iOS and Android.

Smart TV Stories January 12, 2012

When Steve Jobs told his biographer Walter Isaacson that he finally “cracked the code” to building an integrated television set that is user-friendly and seamlessly syncs with all of your devices, Samsung Australia’s Director of Audiovisual Philip Newton told the Sydney Morning Herald that Jobs’ was talking about connectivity.

He laughed off the mythical iTV and dissed Jobs’ TV brain wave as “nothing new,” saying the future is now and it is his company’s Smart TVs:

When Steve Jobs talked about he’s ‘cracked it’, he’s talking about connectivity – so we’ve had that in the market already for 12 months, it’s nothing new, it was new for them because they didn’t play in the space. It’s old news as far as the traditional players are concerned and we have broadened that with things like voice control and touch control; the remote control for these TVs has a touch pad.

Samsung is promoting Smart TVs left and right at the CES show that is underway this week in Las Vegas. The company is showing off apps and games such as Angry Birds running smoothly on Smart TVs. Feature-wise, Samsung Smart TVs are beating Google TVs to the punch with capabilities such as voice interaction, facial recognition, integrated camera controls for multi-video conferencing and multitasking.

Sony, Panasonic and LG are also pushing integrated television sets built around the Smart TV platform. While not officially an exhibitor, Apple reportedly dispatched 250 employees to attend the show and monitor what competition is doing; among them is the head of iOS product marketing Greg Joswiak. Apple has been rumored for months to launch 32- and 37-inch television sets in the summer of 2012. Does Samsung see Apple as a threat?

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