Philip has covered the Mac market since 1999, with a focus on the iPhone, iPad and iOS in recent years. In all that time, he has never tested a fart app. More by Philip Michaels
When you’ve dimmed the living room lights to approximate that movie theater experience, you don’t want to kill the mood by fumbling for a way to control your TV. Logitech is looking to provide a little illumination in the form of a backlit keyboard aimed at controlling a connected TV.
Logitech’s Illuminated Living-Room Keyboard K830 features a QWERTY layout that’s much better suited for tapping in search terms and passwords than a standard remote interacting with an on-screen keyboard. But when the only light in the room is being thrown off by the warming glow of your TV, hitting the right keys can be a challenge. So Logitech includes a backlighting feature so that the K830 automatically dims or brightens its keys depending on the ambient light.
There isn't even a consumer-ready virtual reality headset on the market yet, but that isn't stopping a few filmmakers from thinking it's the future. One of the pioneers in the area is Condition One's Zero Point—a film that's as much a discussion of VR's potential as it is a showcase for new technology.
According to Condition One founder Danfung Dennis I was the first person outside the company to sit through the full twenty-minute version of Zero Point, which had me walking through the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, cowering in the midst of a military training exercise (with a full 360-degree image and head-tracking), and flying off a cliff attached to a drone.
I caught up with Dennis to ask him about some of the challenges associated with VR filmmaking—and they are numerous—to get an idea of what this new medium will look like five or ten years down the line. Read on for details on binaural microphones, sickness-inducing escalators, and the limitations of capturing a GB of data per second.
Products for creating and distributing 4K content, including cameras that will open the door for live sports and music events, are a hot trend at this week’s National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas.
With the broadcast industry on board, wider distribution of 4K content, which has a 3840 by 2160 pixel resolution, is much closer to reality.
For Netflix subscribers, the 3840-by-2160 resolution streams are available on 4K televisions that support HEVC/H.265 decoding capabilities. This requirement may leave out early adopters who picked up a 4K TV last year, but 2014 models that are hitting the market now shouldn’t have problems.
Ian is an independent writer based in Tel Aviv, Israel. His current focus is on all things tech including mobile devices, desktop and laptop computers, software, social networks, Web apps, tech-related legislation and corporate tech news. More by Ian Paul
Every few weeks it seems that Google expands the capabilities of the Chromecast TV dongle. Recently, the company rolled out a developer SDK to allow third-parties to take advantage of Cast functionality. Now Google is adding some extra Cast features to YouTube.
Private videos will now work with your Chromecast, and you can also send YouTube live streams to your Chromecast, Android Police reports. However, there’s one big caveat for live streams: they will only work if you send them from a desktop browser to your Chromecast. Google’s Android app for YouTube is still lacking Cast functionality.
According to Google’s YouTube and YouTube.com support page for Chromecast, live content won’t work, nor will videos not approved for mobile playback. Nevertheless, many users are reporting that the new functionality is working for desktop web browsers.
Monty Ashley lives in Seattle, where he watches movies and television, reads books, and plays games. He's trying to learn Latin, for reasons known only to him. He has written for Wizards of the Coast, Television Without Pity, and Previously.TV, and podcasts with The Incomparable. More by Monty Ashley
Microsoft took the wraps off plans for original programming on Monday because, honestly, isn’t that what everyone’s doing these days?
Actually, it’s more than just Fear of Missing Out that’s motivating Redmond to join the likes of Amazon, Netflix, and now Yahoo in producing original programming. Microsoft brought in CBS entertainment group president Nancy Tellem and former HBO executive Jada Miranda last year in a push to produce original and interactive programming for Xbox; Tellem was part of last May’s Xbox One unveiling, where she provided a few broad details about the company’s plans, but few specifics. (The biggest news at that May 2013 event: Steven Spielberg would be involved with a Halo-based series for Xbox Live and Microsoft would team up with the NFL to provide more interactivity for football fans.)
Monday’s news, first reported by Bloomberg provided more details. The new Xbox television studio will launch in June with six original television series from experienced producers like Seth Green’s Stoopid Buddy Stoodios and the JASH comedy collective created by Sarah Silverman, Michael Cera, Tim and Eric, and Reggie Watts. The first two shows to launch will be Every Street United, a reality show about the world of street soccer, and Humans, a remake of the Swedish show Real Humans, in which robots are the servants of humans.
Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for the IDG News Service. More by Stephen Lawson
A power problem caused a widespread outage on AT&T’s U-verse broadband service Monday that some customers said affected both TV and Internet service.
"Earlier [Monday], a power-related issue caused a loss of some TV channels for U-verse customers," AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel said via email late Monday. "Technicians worked to quickly resolve the issue, and the service is running normally. We know our customers count on their U-verse service, and we apologize for the inconvenience."