Lo and Behold! Google TV Unveiled

There you go folks. Google has spilled the beans about its latest and grandest plan of conquering our lives. Google has just launched Google TV. This time Google is aiming to bring web contents we enjoy consuming on our computers to the sweetest spot in our homes – those areas where we sit back, relax and enjoy watching TV shows and programs.

But exactly is Google trying to bring in here? It’s not a TV set. It’s not a TV media player but what Google has been known for – software platform. And for Google TV, Google is interweaving the web and TV into a single platform.

Google TV will let us watch contents we enjoy from the web. It has  a built-in search with auto-suggest function, a web browser in Google Chrome, a TV homescreen console, and most importantly it has Android running in the background.

How will Google TV change our viewing habits? And how will it affect commercial TV programs. For our TV viewing habits, Google TV will give us more choices and possibly more TV viewing time. For commercial TV programs, this is like Google hauling competition. Google TV might blur the thin line that separates canned TV programs, to freely available online entertainment content.

So, what’s the big plan? Google is working with Sony and Logitech to bring in Google TV on set-top boxes, Blue-Ray players and other media hardware. Google is also releasing the Google TV SDK and web APIs to let third-party developers create more exciting and fun apps that will run alongside Google TV.

It’s going to be fun and exciting in the next few days. Google TV is certainly going to make waves. And if Apple rocked the tablet world recently, Google will certainly rock the TV world soon as well.

Boxee Brings NHL Game Center Live to its Updated Service in Beta

NHL GameCenter Live Home Screen 300x187 Boxee Brings NHL Game Center Live to its Updated Service in BetaFor those of you who are currently using Boxee, which is currently in beta have a reason to rejoice as Boxee announced two new exciting features of its service. First is that NHL GameCenter LIVE is now available on Boxee.  If you are subscribed to this service on a monthly or annual basis, you can now enjoy watching great Hockey games and fights in HD mode on Boxee.

The other part of Boxee’s exciting announcement is related to updates to its service which is currently in beta mode. The latest version of Boxee beta has some interesting new features such as the following:

File Identification Progress – This feature lets you to easily see how many files Boxee is scanning, has identified, and doesn’t recognize in your media collection.  You can check the status of its media from any menu sidebar or from the Media settings menu.

Manual Movie and TV Show Identification – This feature lets you tell Boxee what’s in your media collection. It allows you to change incorrectly labeled files, find and identify unresolved files and select files to label them correctly.

Facebook & Twitter in your Boxee feed – Boxee Beta now lets you see recommendations from your Facebook and Twitter friends and contacts within Boxee. You can see shared videos in your feed with an icon on the right that tells you where they are from.

New & Improved RSS Management - The new version of Boxee Beta also now lets you better manage, discover and play RSS feeds in Boxee. You can search, arrange by category or sort through the most popular, top rated, new and HD feeds available on your Boxee account. You can then use the RSS feeds app to play back your favorites.

Bug Fixes and Fixes and Fixes, and Fixes! – Of course, just like any other version updates, the new Boxee Beta has addressed hundreds of bugs and issued various fixes to these.

iPad e-Books Pricing to Compete Competitively Against Kindle

iBook 490x367 iPad e Books Pricing to Compete Competitively Against Kindle

When the issue on the e-books pricing of those who will be in the iPad’s iBookstore started spreading, many are saying that it will be to Amazon’s advantage.  The Kindle Store’s average price for an e-book is pegged at $9.99 and Amazon is even sacrificing some sales just to maintain this pricing even at a loss for them.

Analysts are saying that the iBookstore will not be able to compete against this pricing and that e-books to be sold will be priced higher than the e-books sold in the Kindle Store.

That may not be necessarily true at all.  The blog AppAdvice got hold of a preview that shows otherwise. It seems that most e-books that will be sold in the iBookstore  are also priced at $9.99. In fact, out of the 32 e-books that were on the New York Time’s Bestsellers, 27 titles have $9.99 price tag.

In fact 4 of  the top 5 bestsellers will be sold in the iBookstore for $9.99.

If the iBookstore will be able maintain this price ceilings for most of the books that will be made available once the iPad is launched, Amazon is definitely facing a stiff challenge to their well established and widely accepted e-book business.  Indeed Amazon has all the reason to be worried and should start working on various enhancements to the Kindle store as well possibly on the Kindle device as well.  But except for the lack of color display and other computing functionalities, I think Amazon may have already exhausted all possible features that it could probably include in the Kindle.

So, will you be buying the iPad and use it as an e-book reader and purchase your e-books from the iBookstore? Or will you use the Kindle App for Tablets which will also run in the iPad and purchase your e-books from the Amazon Kindle Store still?

Justin.TV Finally Arrives on the iPhone

For Justin.TV’s take on the iPhone market, it’s better late than never. While others have already made some applications that allowed online video streaming a long time ago, Justin.TV is banking on its million of users to make their iPhone venture a successful one.

Unfortunately though, Justin.TV’s iPhone doesn’t allow you to record your own video and stream it live yet. Although this feature is set for a future release. Still, the application is worth taking a look at as it brings some pretty good features.

The app lets you connect to your existing Justiv.TV account or create an account if you’re new to Justin.TV within the application.  The moment you logged in to Justin.TV via the app, you will be presented with a list of featured videos and screen caps.  You can tap on any of these videos and watch it stream on your iPhone. If you want to watch more videos other than the ones suggested by the app, you can always use the app’s search function. The app will also let you delete video channels from the menu initially given to you.

Another major feature of the Justin.TV iPhone app is the chat facility that you can find at the bottom right-hand corner of the video screen. It allows you to chat from within the app. You can also share channels with friends via the iPhone’s email facility. Future plans include sharing on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks.

The Justin.TV app is available now for free download from the iTunes Apps Store.

Via NewTeeVee

Introducing the iPad’s Latest Challenger, Samsung Slate PC

samsung q1 a 490x267 Introducing the iPads Latest Challenger, Samsung Slate PC

Whether we all like it or not, the Apple iPad has already marked its niche into the electronics industry. Despite the fact that it hasn’t even arrived on any user’s lap yet, the iPad, despite the many flaws and shortcomings thrown at it by critics is now becoming a benchmark for all other tablet PCs that are to be released by other manufacturers.

Take the case of Samsung which is reportedly preparing their own slate-like tablet PC. According to Philip Newton – Samsung Australia’s director of  IT Division, Samsung’s planned slate PC will boast of PC-grade processor and connectivity. It will be powerful enough that will drive users to make it as their primary computing devices. Incidentally, in case you’re not aware this is one feature that the iPad won’t probably achieved with any of its soon-to-be-released units.

Speaking at the Samsung Forum in Singapore, Mr. Newton even hits on the iPad saying that it lacks the processing power and connectivity features that slate-type platforms should have to spark interests among users.  Mr. Newton even said that those Atom-powered devices even have more potential than the iPad has.

Is this a hint that the Samsung slate PC will be running on Android? Unfortunately, that remains to be seen, since details and information about the Samsung slate PC are not yet known.

The good news is, we only have to wait until the second half of this year as Samsung promises to deliver the said device by then. In case you’re doubting Samsung’s capabilities to come with mini-computing device, just take a look at the picture above which is actually the Samsung Q1 UMPC  released sometime in 2006.  Unfortunately that UMPC didn’t reap much success for Samsung. But hey, who knows, with the interest on tablet-like devices today, Samsung might actually become successful with this one.

Surprise! Folks Don’t Go to Twitter for Breaking News, Facebook Wins Again

Screen shot 2010 03 17 at 4.56.14 AM 490x310 Surprise! Folks Dont Go to Twitter for Breaking News, Facebook Wins AgainFollowing their report that Facebook has just beaten Google again as the U.S. most visited site, Hitwise is now reporting another Facebook triumph. This time is has something to do with where people go to if they want to know the latest and most breaking news. Opsie! Sorry folks, you’re wrong, not from Twitter but from Facebook.

According to Hitwise, Twitter is only at the no.39 of the list of which sites people go for breaking news. And you’ve guessed it right, Facebook is almost at the lead, landing at the no. 3 spot. It even beat Google which is at eleventh place.

Additionally, Facebook drives 3.64% traffic to news and media sites, followed by Google  with 1.27% and Twitter accounting for only 0.14% of traffic driven to those sites.

Now, here’s a rather interesting point raised by Hitwise’s data. Twitter visits may have more than doubled and yet where could these visitors go to right after they’ve gone through Twitter.com? According to the report, majority of those visitors go to social networking and entertainment sites.

But wait, how come then that Twitter is hailed as the new media news source if it doesn’t even comes close to Facebook as leader in driving traffic to news sites. Venture Beat has an interesting analysis. According to VB, those news posted on Twitter timeline came from variety of sources. And most often than not those tweets do not link back to the “traditional media” source of news. Another reason is the fact that most of the news reported by Twitter users are based on their experiences and were not yet reported by news media sites.

There you go folks, it looks like we need to call Facebook as the new king of new media news source and take the title away from Twitter now.

Sony Playstation Network Starts Offering HD Movies

Screen shot 2010 03 10 at 5.29.37 AM Sony Playstation Network Starts Offering HD MoviesSony Computer Entertainment America has just snagged a content distribution deal with several major movie studios that will allow Playstation 3 owners to have some great movie titles delivered via the Playstation Network.  This deal just made the Playstation as the first to offer HD movies from practically all the major studios, hence establishing itself as a powerful home entertainment platform not just for video gaming but for total entertainment as well.

Among those who agreed on the movie distribution deal are 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. The deal includes both purchase and rental of the major studios’ titles on their movie catalogs.

To kick this deal off, here are new titles available today on the Playstation Network:

  • “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian”, “Jennifer’s Body” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox” – 20th Century Fox
  • “Up”, “G-Force”, “Earth” – Walt Disney Pictures
  • “Star Trek”, Paranormal Activity”, “Zoolander” – Paramount Pictures
  • “This Is It”, “2012″, “District 9″ and “Zombieland” – Sony Pictures
  • “The Hangover”, “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince”, “Wizard of Oz” – Warner Bros
  • “Inglorious Basterd”, “Couples Retreat”, “Public Enemies” – Universal

There are great movie titles. One is even nominated for the Oscars recently – Inglorious Basterd”. So if you own a Playstation 3 and have registered for the Playstation Network, you can grab these great movies and have delivered to you via your connected Playstation 3 console.

Techmeme Intros Mediagazer, Media News Aggregator

Screen shot 2010 03 09 at 5.02.40 AM 490x362 Techmeme Intros Mediagazer, Media News Aggregator

From the same people behind tech news aggregator Techmeme comes a similar service called Mediagazer, aggregating your daily dose of media news. Mediagazer is backed by media companies such as WordPress, Seesmic, Zemanta and others.

So, if in your daily browsing of the Internet you encounter questions such as “What do news organizations need to do to survive?”,  “Will books become extinct?”, “Can video bring television and the internet together?” and other questions regarding new or old media Mediagazer will organize them in a similar fashion as Techmeme. In other words, everything else that don’t fall under Techmeme, you can find it on Mediagazer.

Mediagazer is organized through the same technology and process as Techmeme, that is combining automated aggregation technologies with direct editorial input from human editors. The media news memetracker collects relevant takes on an issue and package these into group of links.

And just like Techmeme, Mediagazer also makes it easier to share headlines via a recently introduced “share” button. A mobile site is also up and running if  need to get your daily fix of media news  via smartphones on mediagazer.com/m or through mediagazer.com/mini for simpler phones.

So there, another site to monitor for daily news coverage. Hopefully, the human editors of Techmeme and Mediagazer will be able to distinguish clearly what should be aggregated on each of these news verticals and duplication of entries will not happen.  Otherwise, they  might as well combined these two aggregators later on.

Internet TV Guide Clicker Redesigns its Homepage, Goes Full Blast with New Features

clicker 490x538 Internet TV Guide Clicker Redesigns its Homepage, Goes Full Blast with New Features

Clicker, an Internet TV guide which just launched 3 months ago is gearing up for a full blast operation as it launches a new homepage coupled with some new features.  If you’re like me who just learned about this site now, Clicker’s dictum is to help you, Internet TV consumers to find the right show, right when you need to find it – as in Now.

What Clicker does is to catalog all broadcast programming online including TV-quality web original shows. It then delivers a seamless and well organized experience for you to find what’s available to watch and watch isn’t. It also tells you where to watch the Internet TV show as well as which of these shows are well worth watching.

And to make all these happen, Clicker has redesigned its homepage and peppered it with social, personalization, recommendation and management features.

Key features of Clicker’s new homepage include the following:

  • Search on top – to make it easy for users with small screen resolution to use Clicker’s main service – Search
  • Headliners – include important shows and episodes, breaking news and other important TV content
  • Popular Shows/Episodes – a placeholder for soon to be personalized recommendations feature of Clicker
  • Clicker Right Now – lets you peek into what other Clicker users are doing/watching
  • Categories – browsing Clicker’s catalog by subject
  • Playlist – used to be buried on the second layer of Clicker’s site and is now place prominently on the homepage

So there, if you’re into Internet TV programs, check out the newly redesigned Clicker.com now.

Wal-Mart to Enter the VOD Market, Eyes Vudu Movie Service

Screen shot 2010 02 23 at 5.30.36 AM 490x293 Wal Mart to Enter the VOD Market, Eyes Vudu Movie Service

Wal-Mart has been in the DVD retailing business for quite some time now. And while this has been doing good for them, the company lacks one service which has been the the more popular way of bringing digitial movies to U.S. consumers – video-on-demand service.

But Wal-Mart may be preparing up to enter this arena soon, as New York Times is reporting that the video company is eyeing Vudu, an online movie service provider. Although the deal has not been confirmed yet by both companies,reports had it they have began informing Hollywood studios about the deal.

If the deal is indeed true, Wal-Mart maybe facing up stiff challenge against the likes of iTunes, Netflix and other online video-on-demand services. While Vudu for its part has been pretty much making some noise especially during the recent CES Event wherein the company managed to struck some deals with LCD TV manufacturers in putting Vudu services in their products.

Previously, Vudu has been advocating the use of a separate device that would connect to home TVs but could not manage to get some leverage. Since then, the company concentrated on delivering online movie service instead.

We’ll see whether this deal would make some headway in the coming days. It will be exciting to watch how Wal-Mart would put up a challenge against iTunes, Amazon, and other big names in the video-on-demand service. And whether which one will emerge as the households’ choice of VOD provider.