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Over Melting Danger: Sony Recalls 1.6 Million BRAVIA TVs

Posted: 12 Oct 2011 03:14 AM PDT


Second bad news for Sony today: Following the hack attempts at three of their networks, the company today announced [JP] that it will recall a total of 1.6 million BRAVIA LCD TV sets sold in Japan and other regions. The problem is a backlight component inside the TVs that could overheat and make the upper casing melt.

The eight TVs in question were sold after 2007. Here are the model numbers: KDL-40D3400, KDL-40D3500, KDL-40D3550, KDL-40D3660, KDL-40V3000, KDL-40W3000, KDL-40X3000 and KDL-40X3500.

A Sony spokeswoman told Bloomberg that a total of eleven incidents were reported in Japan since 2008. In this country, Sony started selling five of the TVs affected by the recall in September 2007 (using the model numbers KDL-40X5000/40X5050/40W5000/40V5000/40V3000).

Just 189,000 of the BRAVIAs were sold within Japan, meaning most of the users affected by the recall are probably located in the US and Europe. Sony claims that outside no incidents outside Japan were reported so far but urges owners everywhere to stop using the TVs in question and to immediately contact the company.

Sony Reports Massive Hack Attempt On Networks: 93,000 Accounts Affected Globally

Posted: 12 Oct 2011 01:40 AM PDT


Sony is suffering from yet another hack attempt on its networks. But this time, the company seems to be better prepared, and apparently all credit card information is safe. Philip Reitinger, Sony’s Chief Information Security Officer, has posted an article on the official PlayStation blog explaining the incident.

According to Reitinger, the Sony Entertainment Network, PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment Network were affected. The company halted about 93,000 user accounts across these networks and warned users to secure log-in details via e-mail.

Details are scarce at this point, but a Sony spokesman is quoted as saying that his company observed attempts to hack into 35,000 accounts in the US and another 24,000 in Europe between October 7 and 10. Again, Sony is claiming that “if you have a credit card associated with your account, your credit card number is not at risk.”.

In July, Japan was the last country to resume PlayStation Network services after Sony reported a severe data breach in April.

Daily Crunch: New Shiny

Posted: 12 Oct 2011 01:00 AM PDT

Eye Slack Haruka: You Know, For Eye Slack

Posted: 11 Oct 2011 07:33 PM PDT


Fresh from Japan we have the Eye Slack Haruka, a $131 skin toner designed to reduce unsightly bags under your apparently pre-teen eyes. The kit is powered by two CR2032 cells and runs in two modes – “hard” and “soft.” “Hard” mode sends tiny jolts of electricity into your eyes, ensuring your eyes will get a sufficient amount of energy while soft vibrates your eyes gently, which sounds like a real treat.

I personally just love the image of the lady getting her eyes zapped.

Incidentally, once you’ve fixed up your eyes, why not try this crazy nose lengthening solution. It’s shaped like a butterfly, friends, a butterfly that lengthens your nose.

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iPhone 4 Prototype Sellers Sentenced: Probation And $250 Fine

Posted: 11 Oct 2011 07:14 PM PDT


We don’t want to turn into TCMZ or anything here, but since this was such an inflammatory story to begin with and we followed up on the criminal charges a couple months ago, it seemed worthwhile to put a cap on the whole “stolen iPhone 4″ saga.

If you’ll remember, Jason Chen (editor at Gizmodo at the time) was sheltered from prosecution by journalism protection laws. But the pair of guys who sold the phone to them, Brian Hogan and Sage Wallower, weren’t so lucky. They were charged with misappropriation of lost property and possession of stolen property.

They were spared anything more than media overexposure and a slap on the wrist, though, after they entered a no contest plea in court. San Mateo county DA Richard Wagstaffe told CNET:

We asked for some jail time. The judge considered that Wallower had served in the armed forces and Hogan was enrolled in San Jose State, and neither had any criminal record, and decided that jail time wasn’t required. Someone from my office called Apple’s general counsel. This is a fairly routine theft case. This was a couple of youthful people who should have known better.

The two will pay $250 each in restitution to Apple, do 40 hours of community service, and will have a year of probation. Having escaped the grasp of the law myself for a similar reason (i.e. general harmlessness and lack of a record), I can empathize.

That pretty much exhausts the iPhone 4 story, and I have to say I’m glad to see it go. Nothing good came of it, but at least now we can say that nothing too bad did either. Now let us never speak of it again.

91% Of Kids Aged 2-17 Playing Video Games, Says Report

Posted: 11 Oct 2011 04:55 PM PDT


It’s a little-known fact that the phrase “the children are our future” was actually originally uttered by a gaming company executive. A very forward-thinking person, indeed, seeing past both the gaming world’s early for-kids branding and the hardcore face it would wear during the early 2000s. He saw all the way to the point where gaming was so unavoidable as a cultural force that even toddlers would be unable to avoid its draw.

A study by NPD Group has determined that around 91% of kids aged 2-17 play games (and not just tag and such), comprising a group some 64 million children strong. If that isn’t a market, I don’t know what is.

The biggest growth was seen in mobile devices, not surprisingly, but the jump is remarkable: in 2009 only 8% of kids in this range were doing mobile gaming. Now, that number is 38%. Furthermore, the biggest growth has been seen in the 2-5 age range. More kids are playing more games, some before they can speak properly.

Again, the growth isn’t necessarily a surprise, but it’s always a little bit of a shock when you see the numbers. There’s no argument any more that games do not make up a significant and growing part of popular culture. As these gamer kids grow up, that part is only going to become larger.

This trend has a lot to do with smartphones, I would wager. Not only do many parents have apps for their kids to play with on their iPads and phones, but more and more kids in elementary and middle school have phones capable of doing more than making calls and sending texts. Essentially it’s been a huge stealth distribution of low-cost gaming consoles.

The upsurge in young people gaming, especially in mobile, will probably be followed by a software rush. Zynga is probably in the best position to take advantage, being for many kids a more relevant gaming platform than Nintendo or Sony.

The full report is available for purchase if you’re interested in more than the highlights.

Asus Zenbooks Enter The Ultrabook Fray, Starting At $999

Posted: 11 Oct 2011 04:41 PM PDT


The promise of the ultra-cheap ultrabook hasn’t quite been fulfilled yet, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a few sexy machines before the new ones hit. Acer’s Aspire S3 dropped yesterday, and we’ll have a review up soon, but the new Asus Zenbooks, rumored and pictured earlier but only actually announced today, are the ones I’ve been waiting for.

You’ve got two basic models: the 11.6-inch UX21 and the 13-inch UX31. But there’s more, much more.

Both laptops have 4GB of RAM, a Bang and Olufsun audio system, USB 2 and 3, micro HDMI and mini VGA out. The UX21, at $999, comes with a Core i5-2467M mobile processor that can be upgraded to an i7 for $200. Its 11.6″ screen is the usual 1366×768. You’re stuck with 128GB of space, alas.

The UX31 looks like the one to get, though: for just one more benjamin (that is to say, for $1099 total) you get a a much better 1600×900 13.1″ screen, a superior i5 processor (2557M), an SD card reader, and a more capacious battery. It too can be upgraded: you can snag a 256GB drive for $250 extra, and then get an i7 for another $100 on top of that.

As we heard, it’s thin and light: it’s 0.11″ at the front and 0.67″ at the rear. The case is aluminum, and there’s a nice brushed design on the lid. The UX21 weighs 2.43lb, and the UX31 is slightly heavier at 2.86lb. How the build quality stacks up against its biggest rivals (the S3 and of course the MacBook Air) will have to be decided after some hands-on time.


Posted: 11 Oct 2011 02:56 PM PDT

Earlier today we ventured to downtown New York for a demo of a BMW equipped with MOG’s music streaming app. MOG has been working with Mini and BMW on this app for a while. The BMW version is slated to launch in mid-October and it works with BMW’s new ConnectedDrive technology, available in 2011 and beyond models. MOG’s music library contains 12 million songs.

To launch the app, put your iPhone in a dock under the armrest and you’ll see an automotive MOG version of the app display in the infotainment system in the dashboard.

Use the iDrive control dial situated between the seats to select music by artist, album or song. BMW tells us they have done significant testing to ensure the system is safe for driving. Controls are also available on the steering wheel and instrument panel.

The infotainment system is designed to seamlessly juggle between music, GPS and Bluetooth.

Check it out.

Company: BMW

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), (English: Bavarian Motor Works) is a German automobile and motorcycle manufacturing company. Founded in 1916, it is known for its performance and luxury vehicles. It owns and produces the MINI brand, and is the parent company of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

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Company: MOG
Launch Date: January 6, 2005
Funding: $24.9M

MOG Inc. is a next-generation music media company founded in June 2005 by David Hyman, former CEO for Gracenote. MOG has one simple goal: to perfect your music-listening experience. MOG's all-you-can-eat, on-demand listening service provides access to a deep library of over 11 million songs from over a million albums through its mobile apps on iPhone and Android, on the Web and through streaming entertainment devices such as Roku, Sonos and internet connected TVs. It surpasses all other music subscription...

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Near-Final Motorola Spyder And Xoom 2 Photos Leaked

Posted: 11 Oct 2011 02:55 PM PDT


Motorola was being mighty cryptic with their teaser video yesterday, but some newly leaked photos may shine a light on what they’ve got in store for us come next week. Engadget managed to get their hands on some more shots of the new Motorola Spyder and Xoom tablet, and they almost look ready to ship.

The Spyder (also known as the Droid RAZR and Droid HD) now sports some Verizon branding and a funky carbon fiber-esque finish around the back. Engadget’s tipsters mentioned that the pictured device was running at 1.5GHz, but that the finished product would indeed have a 1.2GHz processor.

Also on deck is the smaller, reportedly IR-friendly version of the Xoom 2. The body still keeps those slightly curved edges, but Motorola seems to have gone for a different backplate than the more robust metal one seen in earlier photos. If prior reports hold true, then the new line of Xoom tabs come in at around 9mm thick, which would definitely fit the “thinner” criteria that Motorola played up in their teaser video.

They may not be the most tantalizing photos in the world, but they show off products that look very close to release. With Motorola’s event one week away, I wouldn’t be surprised to see either (or both!) of these things take the stage.

Bangladesh Announces National Laptop Line Starting At $130

Posted: 11 Oct 2011 02:41 PM PDT


Nationalized technology efforts are becoming more common as countries begin to question their reliance on foreign powers for the means to participate in modernity. China is starting to design its own processors, India is subsidizing a national tablet, and now Bangladesh (working with fewer resources, but similar intentions) has taken the wraps off a new line of ultra-cheap laptops.

The computers are branded Doel, after the country’s national bird (the magpie), and the cheapest comes to around $130, and runs Android. You scoff, but it’s a free and popular OS with plenty of room for extensibility and customization. Sure, it won’t run Crysis and the media player sucks, but it’s more than sufficient for basic computing: browsing, word processing, and document management.

They’re manufactured by contractors managed by ISS, the state-owned telecom over there. At the moment only 10% of the parts are made in Bangladesh, but ISS managing director Mohammad Ismail was confident that within six months they would be able to produce 60%. Naturally the processor and RAM and such are imported. The project was announced several months ago, but today marks the official launch of the devices.

The 10,000 Taka ($130) Model 2102 has an 800MHz VIA 8650 processor, 512MB of RAM, and a 10″ 1024×600 display. There’s no internal storage, but there’s an SD card slot. Not the hottest piece of hardware on the market, no. I would actually advise people to upgrade to the 12,000 Taka ($160) Model 0703, which brings in a better screen, Atom N456 with twice the clock speed, double the RAM, a 250GB HDD, and a better webcam. It runs a “Linux Based OS” but that can be adjusted. There are more specs and pictures at DotNews.

So basically, they’ve got their own locally-designed set of netbooks. Sure, the richest countries in the world are entering the “post-PC era,” but when generations need to be introduced to the rudiments of computing, netbooks are still a good idea. Hopefully this program gets a little traction and Bangladesh succeeds in its push for a more digital nation.

The T-Mobile Amaze 4G Review: A Nice Camera In A Big Phone

Posted: 11 Oct 2011 11:58 AM PDT


Short Version: Shutterbugs will love this well-built and powerful Android phone, but folks looking for thin and light may want to look elsewhere.


  • 8 megapixel camera
  • 4G Support
  • Android 2.3
  • 16 GB on board memory/MicroSD card support
  • $259 with contract


  • Great camera
  • Fast processor
  • Great interface


  • Big and heavy
  • Some issues with low-light shots
  • Casing and screen take fingerprints and dirt


The Phone

The Amaze 4G is by all rights a bog-standard Gingerbread phone with a very specific purpose. It was built to take great pictures and little else although it does run on T-Mobile’s “4G” network with theoretical speeds of 42 Mbps on HSPA+. I saw 1161 kbps down and 1238 kbps up in a known 4G area in Brooklyn, which isn’t exactly hitting 4G speeds but where I am it’s pretty fast. Speed results naturally vary based on tower position and location.

The phone is running a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 Processor with Gingerbread 2.3.4 on board. HTC has added Sense 3.0, a UI improvement to the standard Android experience that adds detailed widgets and improved icon menus to the experience. Going from Sense to a phone running stock Android is fairly jarring and its one of the best aspects of this phone.

Otherwise, we’re talking about a big and bulky beast. The phone weighs 6 ounces and it feels like it weighs more. The rear panels are made of matte plastic and metal and the case is sturdy, though a bit sensitive to dirt and fingerprints. Battery life is good – about 48 hours of use on one charge, 24 hours with a day of heavy use. It has 16GB of storage space on board and supports MicroSD cards for expansion.

The Amaze as a few other bells and whistles including SRS simulated surround sound and an FM radio. However, the real draw here is the camera.

The Camera

The camera is the centerpiece of this phone. It has an 8-megapixel sensor and can shoot 1080p video. It supports a number of interesting shooting modes including SmartShot, a multiple exposure method of grabbing the best shot, and ClearShot HDR, an “HDR” mode that allows for clear shooting in low and odd light. There is also BurstShot, a 5 frame sports mode that grabs action, and a panoramic SweepShot. Finally, there is Perfect Pics for crowds of subjects. It has smile and blink sensing so you can grab the right photo of the whole family.

There is also a terrible “portrait” mode that adds a blurred vignette around the subject. Stay away. The camera also has a manual mode for handling white balance, sharpness, saturation, contrast, and exposure. It adds a bit of control to the image that some folks may enjoy.

Most are reporting zero shutter lag although I did find some issues with image handling after the shot. You can take a great photo quickly, but it takes a few seconds of processing to modify and store it, at least in some of the more imaging intensive modes.

The camera has F/2.2 wide angle optics (bright for a camera phone) and a backside illuminated sensor for greater light sensitivity. The camera is, in short, fantastic in most light. I took some excellent shots on a trip to the beach last weekend including a sunset shot of the beach in the late afternoon. It starts to break down near dusk night and HDR mode allowed for some clever fixes. Once the sun goes down, however, it’s another story.

Unfortunately, in the end, Amaze needs lots of light to produce great shots. Evening shots, even in night mode, are often blurry and fuzzy even in HDR mode. The flash is adequate but definitely washes out the subjects and, provided you’re shooting a still object like a sunset. Consider this:


If you’re taking photos of your friends in a big, fancy nightclub in the dark, the dual flash LEDs can do quite a job. Want something a little less emphatically lit? You might be out of luck.

In full sunlight, however, the camera is as good or better than most point and shoots I’ve used. The front-facing camera works well, although not as well as the rear sensor. The phone supports video messaging through Qik and Skype.

The Bottom Line
I’m a big fan of the Amaze’s impressive camera but I came away wondering if the size and weight of this behemoth won’t bog folks down. It’s a massive phone with a big, hefty screen and it definitely has all of the tools necessary to be a great phone. However, compared to thinner and lighter phones like the Galaxy S II, this is a boat anchor.

If you’re an avid photographer, however, and you don’t want to lug around a point and shoot, this phone will definitely do the trick. Whereas previous Android iterations depended on gimmicks (the 3D phone, the huge screen phone), this one excels at picture taking in a way that will impress friends and family. This isn’t a camera for “in a pinch” situations. This is a standalone camera replacement.

Is the Amaze 4G worth the $249 price tag? Potentially, although I’d be hard-pressed to recommend it as a “phone” and not as a cameraphone. Sure it has all the right pieces in all the right places but it’s a bit too big, even in an era of huge phones. If you like the camera features, this is the phone for you. If you’re looking for a more well-rounded – and thinner – package, perhaps the Amaze will not amaze.

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Want To Be Ready for iOS 5 Tomorrow? Get iTunes 10.5 Now

Posted: 11 Oct 2011 11:29 AM PDT


If you’re not already running on the developer build of iOS 5 (whether you’re an actual developer, or a cough-cough-yeah-for-sure-I’m-totally-a-”developer”-shut-up-and-give-me-iOS-5), tomorrow’s the big day. After roughly 4 months of Beta builds, iOS 5 is finally launching to everybody.

Before you can dive in, though, you’ll need iTunes 10.5 — anything less just won’t do the trick. Looking to ensure that their servers don’t eat it too hard with tomorrow’s launch, Apple has opted to make the iTunes bit of the equation available this morning.

It’s been a while since 10.5 began rolling out in Beta capacity, so here’s a quick recap of the big new features:

  • iTunes Match: For $25 a year, iTunes Match will give you legal digital access to any songs you own (be it through legal means or not). Match won’t actually launch until late October, but support is built into 10.5.
  • Patches a number of Windows-specific security issues
  • WiFi syncing support (when paired with iOS 5)
  • Purchase history (for books, apps, etc) through iCloud

If you’ve got a beta build of iTunes 10.5 already up and running, you’ll need to reinstall manually to move to the final release (the Beta considers itself “Up to date”, though it’s set to expire in around 3 days.) Otherwise, you can update iTunes through the usual means, or by downloading it manually here.

Company: Apple
Launch Date: January 4, 1976
IPO: October 12, 1980, NASDAQ:AAPL

Started by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne, Apple has expanded from computers to consumer electronics over the last 30 years, officially changing their name from Apple Computer, Inc. to Apple, Inc. in January 2007. Among the key offerings from Apple’s product line are: Pro line laptops (MacBook Pro) and desktops (Mac Pro), consumer line laptops (MacBook) and desktops (iMac), servers (Xserve), Apple TV, the Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server operating systems, the iPod (offered with...

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus Gets Listed For Pre-Order

Posted: 11 Oct 2011 08:11 AM PDT


When Samsung first announced the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus WiFi-only tablet, they failed to mention anything about pricing or availability. We assumed that meant that there would be a bit of a wait before we got the chance to get up close and personal with the slate, but maybe we were wrong. J&R electronics retailer has listed the device for pre-order in both the 32GB and 16GB flavors.

At J&R you can pre-order the 16GB model for $399.99, while the 32GB Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus will cost you $499.99, reports Unwired View. The 32GB model is listed as “out of stock” at the moment, while the 16GB model seems to still be listed as available. Either way, the “Add To Cart” button for the 32GB version is still functional, and seems to just be another way of placing your pre-order.

As a refresher, the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus sports a 1024×600 WSVGA touchscreen, Android 3.2 Honeycomb, a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, a 3-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front-facing shooter for video chat. It features support for a microSD card and packs the Netflix app straight out of the box.

Unfortunately, J&R offers up no time frame for shipments, but simply states that they are waiting on shipments from the manufacturer. Still, if you’ve had your heart set on a 7-inch Honeycomb tablet from Samsung, a pre-order at J&R’s will surely put one of the very first Galaxy Tab 7-inchers in your hands.


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AT&T Adds Five New Android Phones To Their Lineup

Posted: 11 Oct 2011 07:11 AM PDT


If you thought that AT&T’s Android lineup was a bit lacking, then today’s announcement just may change your mind. AT&T has pulled back the curtains on a fleet of five new Android-powered smartphones that should hit wireless retailers just in time for all that holiday commotion.

The new Samsung Captivate Glide may bear a resemblance to its distant cousins the Stratosphere and the Epic 4G, but the similarities are purely cosmetic. While this Gingerbread handset packs a similar 4-inch Super AMOLED display, it also has a dual-core 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor under the hood and 1GB of RAM to help keep things running smoothly.

As you can tell, it also sports a comfortable-looking four row keyboard, but perhaps less obvious are the HSPA+ radio, an 8-megapixel rear camera, and a 1.3-megapixel frontfacer.

Motorola’s Atrix 2 actually seems like a mixed bag as far as upgrades go. It rocks a sleeker body than its predecessor, not to mention an new HSPA+ radio so users can finally push the limits of AT&T’s Faux-G network.

An unnamed 1GHz dual-core processor is calling the shots, which is a bit odd considering how proud they were of the original’s Tegra 2 chipset, and the display has been bumped up to 4.3 inches without a similar bump in resolution. That bit of stretching means that the Atrix 2 is working with a slightly lower pixel density than the original model, which may be a disappointment for current Atrix fans. It indeed runs Gingerbread, and an 8-megapixel camera capable of shooting 1080p video rounds out the package.

These two are the new heavyweight additions to AT&T’s portfolio, but let’s not forget the company’s new mid-and-low-range options.

Pantech joins the fray here with their Gingerbread-powered Pocket. It follows some of the design language used in some of Pantech’s other phones, which is my polite way of saying that it’s awfully squarish.

It’s got a 4-inch SVGA display, a 2GB microSD card, and a 5 megapixel rear camera. The Pocket lives up to its namesake by squeezing everything into a slim frame that’s only 11.3mm thick, so even the skinny jeans fans among you shouldn’t have too much trouble toting this thing around.

The Samsung DoubleTime gains the dubious distinction of being the only phone here to be stuck with Android 2.2/FroYo. Really? Even the ZTE gets Gingerbread?

In any case, the DoubleTime’s big gimmicks are its flip-open design and the internal and external touchscreens mounted on either side of the top half. It rocks a 600MHz Qualcomm processor, comes with a 2 GB microSD card, and will only be available in white with pink trim.

The AT&T Avail, made by ZTE, is the company’s second prepaid Android device. It’s pretty blase as far as smartphones go: it features a 3.5-inch touchscreen, and a 5 megapixel camera. That’s it. It seems like even AT&T is having trouble getting excited over this thing but in fairness, it’s probably meant to sell at a low off-contract price.

Sony Japan Prices First Playstation Vita Games

Posted: 11 Oct 2011 06:08 AM PDT


The launch of Sony’s new handheld console Vita in Japan is just two months away (December 17), so it’s about time big S made some official announcements regarding software prices. In a nut shell, the first batch of titles will not be sold for cheap.

To be more concrete, the prices for a total of four launch games are now fixed, namely:

  • Uncharted: Golden Abyss: 5,980 Yen/US$78 for the cartridge vs. ¥4,900/US$64 for the download version
  • Hot Shots Golf: 4,980 Yen/US$65 vs. 3,980 Yen/US$52
  • Ridge Racer (pictured): 3,980 Yen/US$52 vs. 3,580 Yen/US$47*
  • Katamari: 4,980 Yen/US65$ vs. 4,480 Yen/US$58*

*Ridge Racer’s download version will, between December 17 and March 31 next year, cost just 2,980 Yen/US$39. Katamari’s downloaded version will be discounted to 3,980 Yen/US$52 in the same time frame.

Prices for games to be sold outside Japan are not yet fixed, but keep in mind the retail prices listed up above are usually undercut by 10-15% (especially by big Japanese electronics discounters) once the games are actually ready to hit stores. Another thing worth mentioning is that the dollar amounts appear to be high partly because of the crazy exchange rate between the dollar and the yen currently (1US$=76.73 yen).

The console itself will be sold in Japan for 25,000 Yen/US$326 (its price will be US$250 in the US).

Roku Introduces The $49.99 Roku LT Streamer, Adds HBO GO To Channel Offerings

Posted: 11 Oct 2011 06:00 AM PDT


Back in 2008, the Roku media player was simply a way to watch Netflix streaming video on your TV. Now just a few years later, the service offers over 300 different media channels and a bevy of various models, the latest of which is the Roku LT.

The Roku LT is for the budget-minded consumer, priced at just $49.99. With built-in wireless, the Roku LT streams video in 720p and has access to all of Roku’s 300+ channels including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, Pandora, EPIX, Crackle, and Disney.

Even better, Roku has added a new channel to its service and I think it’s one you’ll enjoy: HBO GO. Unfortunately, you’ll need an HBO GO subscription to enjoy it. But if you didn’t get enough time with Game Of Thrones’ Lord Ned Stark the first time around or you want an extra dose of True Blood‘s Sookie Stackhouse, a Roku LT will certainly go to good use. Other HBO content includes Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos, Sex and the City, Deadwood, plus HBO original films, miniseries, sports, documentaries and specials.

If you’re looking for more out of a media streaming player, like perhaps some games, Roku still has what you’re looking for. Announced a couple months ago, the Roku 2 line of streaming devices (including the Roku 2 HD, Roku 2 XD, and the Roku 2 XS) offer motion-based gaming with one of the hottest titles of the year: Angry Birds. More game titles are on their way, but of course the price tag on these things is a bit higher.

While you can get a Roku LT for about $50 come November, the Roku 2 line will cost you anywhere between $60 and $100. In my opinion, if you can spare the extra $10, the Roku 2 HD with Angry Birds is worth it.

Company: Roku
Funding: $22.4M

Roku is a consumer electronics firm which specializes in home digital media products. They’re best known for creating the first set-top streaming box for Netflix. The company was founded by ReplayTV founder Anthony Wood. “Roku” means “six” in Japanese, a reference to the six companies Wood has launched.

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