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Carlszone



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PostSubject: Google TV News   Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:21 pm

Hi

Welcome to the first edition of Google TV News on The Community. No matter what name Google decides to call this platform, it will always be GTV to me. As w/Webtv, the name MSNTV just didn't click for long time users.

So, Google TV for the purposes of this thread will refer to Android TV and will include all devices, TVs and related news, but should be not limited to this platform. News, posts and info on other competing streaming devices as they relate to GTV would be welcomed.

Thank You

Carl

PS: Please feel free to post news articles. I will begin posting after the 7 day waiting period for posting links.
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GFyre



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PostSubject: Re: Google TV News   Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:23 pm

wel Glad you could make it Carl, and we'll be looking forward to the articles and discussions that will ensue.


GF
thumbsup
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GFyre



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PostSubject: Re: Google TV News   Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:14 am

I saved some of the last articles posted, did you want them posted here? Or do you think they're no longer up -to -date, Carl?

GF
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Carlszone



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PostSubject: Re: Google TV News   Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:53 pm

Yes!!!
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JUST HENRY
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PostSubject: Re: Google TV News   Sun Oct 27, 2013 2:01 pm

Welcoming the activity !

With a Google bot in residence , many may stop by . thumbsup pcwave 

_________________

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Carlszone



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PostSubject: Re: Google TV News   Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:26 am

PC Mag: Report: Android TV to Replace Google TV Brand

By David Murphy October 13, 2013 12:37pm EST

Farewell, Google TV? According to a report, the search giant is officially abandoning the Google TV brand.

It's important that we clarify that it's just the brand designation that's going away. Google-based television services will indeed continue onward; they just won't be called Google TV anymore. According to GigaOm, Google hasn't officially confirmed anything, but unnamed partners are saying that Google will now rebrand its efforts as "Android TV."

Meanwhile, a number of partners simply aren't using the "Google TV" moniker anymore, preferring instead to describe their various televisions as being able to access "the latest Google services" for televisions. A number of Google's own developers aren't even using the Google TV branding. Take, for example, a recent "Android TV Developer Day" event scheduled in Seoul, or the various Google employees who have now started to refer to themselves as being affiliated with "Android TV" instead of Google TV across various social media sites.

Google TV first hit the market in Oct. 2010 via the Logitech Revue. Since then, it's been a bit of a struggle to keep the iteration of Android that powers Google TV up to date compared to the iterations of the OS found on the world's various mobile and tablet devices.

The company announced in May that Android 4.2.2 would come Google TV within a few months; LG seems to be the first major manufacturer taking Google up on its offer, with an update likely scheduled to arrive later in October. Other manufactures, however, will be updating their devices later.

However, once manufacturers push into the new Android territory, it will presumably be easier for them to update to successive iterations of Android – like KitKat (4.4) — going forward. That does depend on manufacturer timelines, although Google is allegedly relaxing its requirements for those looking to use Google TV in their devices. According to GigaOm, Google initially required those making use of Google TV to include a QWERTY keyboard with their devices, in addition to meeting various hardware requirements.

"The next generation of Android TV devices running Google services could possibly be a lot more customized, with manufacturers picking and choosing from a range of services and apps," the blog said.

For now, Google has seen success with its $35 Chromecast dongle, which allows users to "cast" Netflix, YouTube, Google Play, and Hulu Plus from a PC or mobile device to the TV.
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Carlszone



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PostSubject: LG Google TV update drops Flash but delivers more Play Store apps  HD   Sat Nov 02, 2013 5:36 pm

Engadget: LG Google TV update drops Flash but delivers more Play Store apps  HD

By Sharif Sakr Posted Oct 25th, 2013 at 1:29 PM


Owners of LG Google TVs having been waiting on this Android 4.2.2 update for a good while. Not only does it bring relief from the sickly sweetness of Honeycomb, with no ROM hackery required, but it also adds NDK support, allowing more apps and games to run on the big screen and to be controlled by the Magic Remote (see the video below for more). One downside is that update switches out the original desktop-style Chrome browser with the Android version instead, which won't do much good for Flash-based content, but the browser does gain better HTML5 support and a new Vudu app as compensation. According to Android Police, the refresh has reached some GS6400 users already and is expected to roll out to other models over the coming days.



Last edited by carlszone on Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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overtimeman



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PostSubject: Re: Google TV News   Sun Nov 03, 2013 11:36 pm

Thank You Carl for posting Android TV news again!Glad to see you back in action.Take care,Carolina Mike! thumbsup
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Carlszone



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PostSubject: Re: Google TV News   Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:34 am

Hi Mike from the SC

Great hearing from ya!

Thanks

Carl
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Carlszone



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PostSubject: Re: Google TV News   Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:22 pm

CNET Reviews Digital Media Receivers Vizio digital media receivers Vizio Co-Star LT

CNET: Vizio Co-Star LT Allows Cable Picture-In-Picture


With the ongoing popularity of the Roku family and the Apple TV it's natural for AV manufacturers to want to take a piece of the action. While most TV manufacturers have a similar box, devices such as Sony's NSZ-GS8 are based on the much-maligned Google TV platform. Unfortunately for the well-known search giant, people never took to its set-top box due to a combination of obtuse early software and high-profile spats with content producers and manufacturing partners.

Vizio, after releasing its own Google TV box last year, has shifted to its inhouse smart TV suite for its newest box: the Co-Star LT Stream Player. Vizio claims its VIZIO Internet Apps Plus is "more intuitive" and comes with several streaming options including Hulu Plus, Netflix, YouTube and VUDU.

Whether you will find this more intuitive is a matter of contention as many Vizio apps are based on Yahoo Apps and I found have a very widgety feel to them. Native applications like Netflix provide a more satisfying experience.

The device also takes advantage of the recent changes to Netflix and YouTube mobile apps that enable users to "swipe" content to the device. While Vizio calls this "second screen" this is not a Vizio-specific feature and is what allows competitors like the Chromecast to function.

Unusually for a cheaper set-top the Co-Star LT also incorporates an HDMI input so that users can browse apps while still watching live TV. Additionally it comes with a USB port for media playback from compatible devices.

Given that at $79.99 the Vizio sits in the middle of Roku's cheapest and most expensive options it'll be interesting to see if an HDMI input is enough to woo existing Roku users. Given the popularity of Roku and its comparative selection of apps, early indications are "No".

By Ty Pendlebury

Ty Pendlebury joined CNET's New York office in 2011 after five years as CNET.com.au's Home Theater specialist. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and has also written for PC magazines and music press.
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overtimeman



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PostSubject: Re: Google TV News   Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:40 pm

Being a roku owner they were the first Netflix streamer.When they first came out that was the only app/channel they offered.Now they have over 800 to choose from including the private channels developers have made.Vizio being a late comer as for as a streaming only unit has a lot of catching up to do.I have both roku and GS7 on my living room TV and enjoy them both but roku still doesn't offer a youtube channel.Carolina Mike!
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Carlszone



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PostSubject: Xbox One Preview: Does Microsoft Solve The Problems Of Integrative TV?   Sun Nov 10, 2013 4:50 pm

(Thanks to Catfish Rivers of Google TV Forums)

University Herald: Xbox One Preview: Does Microsoft Solve The Problems Of Integrative TV?

Posted by Scott Bickard on Nov 08, 2013 02:56 PM EST

Xbox One will officially hit the shelves on Nov. 22, though publications such as CNN's tech website CNET have already tested the new console in a living room demo arranged by Microsoft.

The living room set up emphasized how much "One" embraces the notion of video game systems being more than just a place to play "Madden" or "Grand Theft Auto." Microsoft's newest console promises to be a full home entertainment system where all one's needs come from just "One" source, according to CNET.

That's mostly the case, except for a few hiccups that have plagued other integrated TV initiatives like Google TV, according to CNET.

Just as Internet leaks predicted, the Xbox One has its own TV Guide (OneGuide), Blu-Ray playback, and voice and motion controls via a program called Kinect. OneGuide, however, isn't perfectly synched with DVR. CNET testers said it was difficult to schedule a recording too far in the future (as in, anything later in the day or night) and that the guide doesn't easily access previously recorded shows and movies. To do either of those two things, one better use the remote, according to CNET.

A unique feature of One's integrate approach is a channel for the streaming TV sites Hulu that will appear on the OneGuide next to actual channels like ESPN, FX, etc. Other online entertainment sites such as YouTube and Netflix could eventually join the guide, too, according to CNET.

Microsoft will offer a strong list of apps for One, though their availability is listed as somewhere between the Nov. 22 launch and spring of 2014, CNET reported. Apps can be accessed at the same time through a "cool" feature called SNAP, but without any hierarchy between the audios of both apps, their simultaneous use can feel out of synch, according to CNET. For example, a user could be playing GTA V while receiving NFL score updates via a side bar at the same time, except the volume distribution for each will be the same.

Despite a few complaints, the CNET team was impressed with Xbox One and felt it would need to experience it in a true living room setting to see if it actually combines one's entertainment choices into "One" of if it is just "One" of many.

© 2013 University Daily News, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
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Carlszone



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PostSubject: Re: Google TV News   Sun Nov 10, 2013 4:54 pm



Last edited by carlszone on Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Carlszone



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PostSubject: Re: Google TV News   Sun Nov 10, 2013 4:55 pm

Good Grief!

That video makes Google TV look like it was developed by cavemen.

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Carlszone



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PostSubject: Android: The OS For Serious People?   Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:13 pm

Forbes: Android: The OS For Serious People?

ENTREPRENEURS | 11/13/2013 @ 6:00AM |2,040 views

Recently some good minds have dug into the difference between customers who choose Android and iOS devices (in most cases, phones). Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures in his blog “A VC” took a look at the top 40 apps for the two platforms, which are remarkably different, and drew intriguing conclusions about users.

The Pew Internet Project has published basic demographic data on Android and iOS users. And, CivicScience, a Pittsburgh start-up that provides professional market research platform based on web polling*, took a close look at the preferences and lifestyle characteristics of 130,000 smart phone users.

Fred Wilson’s analysis revealed strong differences between Android and iOS users’ app preferences:

Five of the top ten iOS apps are games, but only two of the top 10 Android apps.
Nine of the top 40 Android apps are utilities, but only three of the top 40 iOS apps.
The shopping apps in the Android top 40 are Amazon and eBay (everyday value stores); on iOS they are GroupOn, Black Friday, and Target Cartwheel (more opportunistic shopping).
This data made me think that Android might well be the OS for serious people. Fred speculates that Android users are a “barbell” (two-peak) distribution of young, price-sensitive buyers and over-forties like Fred (and me) who care about a bigger screen and utility, and iOS has the university students and young adults in the middle.

Android market share / iOS market share versus income, education, and age. Data via Pew Internet Project.

Pew sheds more light on the demographics (source). The chart at right shows relative penetration of Android/iOS versus income, education, and age. Clearly education/income is a big factor: more affluent people prefer iPhones. [I put these two variables together because education and income are strongly correlated.] Age may be a factor too: younger people prefer Android. But we could just be seeing the income effect again: older people tend to be more affluent.

CivicScience provides a more textured, multifaceted understanding of who Android and iOS users are. Some highlights from their analysis:

Android users prefer Country, Classic Rock, and Metal music more than the average smartphone user (they “over-index” for these things). iOS users over-index for Alternative, Indie Rock, and and Pop/Top 40.
Android users over-index in geek jobs; iOS users over-index in professional/managerial roles.
Android users over-index for action and horror movies; iOS users for drama and comedy.
Finally, at the coffee shop, Android users go for the plain coffee, and iOS users go for cappuccino and the like.
So, who are those guys, the Android users? Partly they are a less affluent group: less educated, younger, and lower income.

I also see a difference in character. Android users are a tech-savvy but pragmatic bunch (geeks, utility apps, Amazon shoppers, big screens, regular coffee), while iOS users live larger (managers and professionals, opportunistic shopping, the daily cappuccino). And while iOS users are actualizing the self and livin’ the dream (Indie Rock, casual games, dramatic movies), Android users are sadder, more fatalistic, looking for some escape (country music, action movies).

For me this has an echo of the big divide in U.S. society between the affluent, successful, powerful few and the many who soldier on with quiet competence in jobs they dislike, struggling to make ends meet. It’s no surprise that, as it’s product advantage diminishes, Apple recently hired the CEO of Burberry to run its retail business (more), and appears to be morphing into a luxury goods company.

====================

*New Atlantic Ventures, in which I am a partner, is an investor in CivicScience.
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Carlszone



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PostSubject: Netflix Rolls Out a Gorgeous New UI for Smart TVs, Roku Boxes, and Game Consoles   Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:32 pm

Venture Beat: Netflix Rolls Out a Gorgeous New UI for Smart TVs, Roku Boxes, and Game Consoles

November 13, 2013 9:00 AM
Tom Cheredar

Netflix is launching a brand new user interface that will unify its TV screen watching experiences regardless of what device you may be using, the company announced late yesterday.

The new interface is much more open, and less boxy than previous iterations. It opens up with a horizontal row of show titles that you can scroll through. As you go from title to title, the headlines and descriptions are featured in the top left corner and you can see some expanded artwork for the show on the opposite side. Thumbnails for each show are also larger, and the entire navigation seems a big more inviting.

“More than a year and half in the making, this new experience evolved through a process of design exploration, iteration and testing that extended throughout all parts of the Netflix TV experience,” said Netflix VP of product innovation Chris Jaffe in a blog post. “We set out to deliver an update that would make it even easier to discover something great to watch and we think we succeeded.”

Probably the biggest difference is that the new TV interface will appear very similar across multiple device platforms, meaning you’ll be able to see the same UI on Roku boxes, smart TVs, Blu-ray players, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360. This unified experience is definitely a good thing for Netflix, and definitely makes the over all service seem nicer.

Netflix also said its upgraded a few other features as part of the UI refresh. First of all, all versions of the new interface will bring support for Netflix Profiles, the feature that allows multiple people to create their own queue of titles. Netflix is also adding support for voice controls (via Kinect) on Xbox  360, and support for pointer-based navigation on smart TVs. The company has also redesigned how the auto play feature works.

The new interface begins rolling out today, and should reach all devices over the next two weeks. For a closer look at the new interface, check out the demo video from Netflix below.

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Carlszone



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PostSubject: Re: Google TV News   Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:39 pm

This sounds great! Only one problem. Nowhere is Google TV mentioned. Why is it  that we always seem to get apps & updates last if at all?
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Carlszone



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PostSubject: LG's Smart TV Watches You: Spyware Ads Report Your Behavior In Creepy Detail   Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:46 pm

Apple Insider: LG's Smart TV Watches You: Spyware Ads Report Your Behavior In Creepy Detail

Wednesday, November 20, 2013, 07:59 am PT (10:59 am ET)
By Daniel Eran Dilger

"Smart TVs" are bringing PC-style spyware and banner ads to the living room, collecting detailed logs of data that include every time the channel is changed and the names of every media file watched. In the case of sets from LG, data is being sent to the factory unencrypted, even after users attempt to turn the data collection off.

A report by blogger "DoctorBeet" from the UK detailed an option (above) on an LG Smart TV for "collection of watching info," which a network packet analysts indicated continues to collect and report data even after being turned off.

Using Wireshark, a network utility to monitor local network traffic, the user found his Smart TV was transmitting a unique device ID listing the names of programs he watched, noting that "this information appears to be sent back unencrypted and in the clear to LG every time you change channel."

The LG Smart TV was also found to the post names of media files he played from an external USB stick. LG has previously depicted USB file playback as a way to watch pirated movies, portraying in a TV manual (below) a listing of files ripped from DVD, including The Aviator and Pixar's The Incredibles as reported by Torrent Freak.

"It would easily be possible to infer the presence of adult content or files that had been downloaded from file sharing sites," he wrote. "My wife was shocked to see our children's names being transmitted in the name of a Christmas video file that we had watched from USB."

He wrote to LG's UK help desk and "asked them to comment on data collection, profiling of their customers, collection of usage information and mandatory embedded advertising on products that their customers had paid for," and reported the following response from the company:

"Good Morning. Thank you for your e-mail. Further to our previous email to yourself, we have escalated the issues you reported to LG's UK Head Office.

The advice we have been given is that unfortunately as you accepted the Terms and Conditions on your TV, your concerns would be best directed to the retailer. We understand you feel you should have been made aware of these T's and C's at the point of sale, and for obvious reasons LG are unable to pass comment on their actions.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us again. Kind Regards,

Tom
LG Electronics UK Helpdesk"

Readers commenting on the report note that such behaviors may be subject to provisions of the UK Data Protection Act that restrict data collection, as well being as a "serious breach of EU Directive 95/46 on Data Protection."

LG pitches Google-style web ads at TV advertisers

LG Electronics, known as Lucky-Goldstar until 1995 and now Samsung's primary rival in South Korea, profiles its "LG Smart Ad" advertising platform to potential advertisers in an online video that states:

"LG Smart Ad analyzes users favorite programs, online behavior, search keywords and other information to offer relevant ads to target audiences. For example, LG Smart Ad can feature sharp suits to men, or alluring cosmetics and fragrances to women!

"Furthermore, LG Smart Ad offers useful and various advertising performance reports —that live broadcasting ads cannot—to accurately identify actual advertising effectiveness."

The video then depicts ads capable of targeting not only its Smart TV and BluRay players, but also the firm's LG Smart Refrigerator, "and more."

The video specifically portrays advertising from State Farm insurance, Hyundai's Santa Fe vehicle and McDonalds, and outlines that ads portrayed on the Smart TV's home screen are found to "grab the most attention" in eye tracking tests "since the home screen is the first thing users see on Smart TVs."

The company promotes the fact that its Smart TV uses the same size and shape of ad banners as web pages, allowing advertisers to reuse their existing internet advertising on Smart TV navigation screens, including the device's search results and "Smart World" and "Game World" TV app markets.

LG's Smart TV is also described as adding pre-roll and post-roll ads to "target audiences" when users attempt to watch videos, following the model of Google's advertising in YouTube.

A spokesperson for the company in the video states, "this is more about quality of view," explaining that with a Smart TV, "the relaxed person or family" offers a "different level of experience for audience and different level of value to marketers."

The video concludes with a voiceover line that appears to be borrowed from a movie portraying a dystopian future:

"LG Smart ad brings compelling and more effective ads to you on a larger scale! Keep your eyes open for a smarter lifestyle made possible by LG Smart Ads. LG Smart Ad: making the world smarter!"

The video ends with the title text: "From brand awareness to customer interaction LG Smart Ad brings them all to your reality."

LG further details its ad program on a website that boasts, "LG Smart AD offers real-time reporting that enables publishers to intuitively view and analyze the ad performance of the publications. The report is all time accessible through Seller Lounge, which is Smart TV application management portal. Its global settlement system ensures publishers' payments to be delivered anywhere in the world."

LG sees no future use for Android on TV

Despite being a significant Android licensee in smartphones and an initial partner in the ill-fated Google TV initiative, LG has, since its acquisition of Palm's webOS from HP, distanced itself from a reliance upon Google in the TV space, choosing instead to blaze its own trail into TV ad revenue.

This summer, LG's director of Smart TV content Matthew Durgin, when asked at a tech conference if Android would play a role in the company's future TV sets, answered, "Not that I can see, to be frank with you. I think that LG's TV platform has evolved to the point where it's become a very strong differentiator for us in the market."

Citing the February purchase of webOS from HP, Durgin said LG now has "a development team in Silicon Valley who's developing for the 2014 platform using webOS."

Industry watching TV

While borrowing the "smart" label from the smartphone industry, Smart TVs haven't been a huge hit with consumers. Samsung, Google and Microsoft are all pursuing the market with devices that attempt to deliver relevant, valuable advertising achieved through following viewer's behaviors.

Apple TV, in contrast, has aimed more at selling content subscriptions and media purchased from iTunes, streamed from iCloud or beamed with AirPlay without adding any advertising or presenting banner ads on the home screen or throughout its navigation pages.

With iTunes Radio, available on Macs, iOS 7 devices and Apple TV, Apple has embarked upon more conventional radio-style advertising that can be avoided with an iTunes Match subscription, an extension of Apple's iAd program.


In 2010, at the release of iOS 4, Steve Jobs outlined iAd as a new way to help monetize free apps, noting that "people aren't searching on a mobile device like on a desktop," one of the first public hints describing how Post PC devices would differ from the PC model created by Microsoft in the 1990s.

Rather than trying to replicate the banner ad experience of the web, Jobs outlined iAd as an effort to present a new type of interactive advertising that didn't simply take users to a web page but created an immersive environment for relating to a brand or exploring a product, an experience that was inviting, optional and easy to escape from.
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Carlszone



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PostSubject: Re: Google TV News   Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:57 pm

Hi

While this is obviously an Apple slap at LG & Google TV, I've come across this complaint a few times while trying to get a consensus on how well the Jelly Bean update was being accepted. Once users turn the tracking feature off, there should be no packages being sent back to the company. In the UK this should result in some heavy fines & a few lawsuits if this practice is proven to be true.

There have been other complaints of actual advertising appearing on the devices themselves.

What were they thinking...

Carl
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Carlszone



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PostSubject: LG Promises Update For 'Spying' Smart TV   Thu Nov 21, 2013 2:46 pm

BBC: LG Promises Update For 'Spying' Smart TV

21 November 2013 Last updated at 12:49 ET
By Jane Wakefield
Technology reporter

LG has admitted it continued collecting data on viewing habits even after users had activated a privacy setting designed to prevent it.

The television maker has apologised to its customers and told the BBC it would issue an update to correct the problem.

UK-based IT consultant Jason Huntley, who raised the issue in a blog, welcomed the "positive step".

Viewing information helps manufacturers deliver relevant advertising and programme recommendations.

"I hope that their future products will reflect this decision and keep customers clearly informed as to their data collection practices before they take place," he said.

LG launched an investigation in the wake of his blog, which was reported widely in the media.

'Not personal data'

"We have verified that even when this function is turned off by the viewers, it continues to transmit viewing information, although the data is not retained by the server," LG said in a statement.

"A firmware update is being prepared for immediate rollout that will correct this problem on all affected LG Smart TVs so when this feature is disabled, no data will be transmitted," it added.

Since the issue became public it has emerged that Sony's PlayStation also collects data from every Blu-ray disc that is played.

Samsung, the world's largest TV maker, is yet to respond to questions about its operations.

LG stressed that the information gathered was not personal but viewing information.

"This information is collected as part of the Smart TV platform to deliver more relevant advertisements and to offer recommendations to viewers based on what other LG Smart TV owners are watching," the firm said.
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Carlszone



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PostSubject: Chromecast Gets HBO Go—and Google Gets a Small Win With TVs   Thu Nov 21, 2013 2:56 pm

Chromecast Gets HBO Go—and Google Gets a Small Win With TVs

Bloomberg Businessweek
Technology
By Joshua Brustein November 21, 2013

Chromecast is an appealing, simple approach to streaming Internet video. The little device made by Google (GOOG) plugs into the back of a TV, allowing users to send video from a Web browser to the bigger screen. Solving the technical aspects of Internet TV hasn’t been the hard part for Google, which has already tried and failed twice to gain a toehold inside televisions. So the ability to run HBO’s (TWX) app through Chromecast, announced on Thursday, is an indication that maybe the third attempt will be a charm after all.

Access to content continues to be the major stumbling block for Silicon Valley companies making TV-related products. Content owners are wary of undermining their lucrative deals with broadcasters and cable providers, who pay them to carry their channels. This reluctance has led to technological solutions such as Aereo’s antenna farms, and potential legislative measures like U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller’s (D-W.Va.) new proposal to counter anticompetitive practices limiting Internet television.

Google’s first attempt to create an Internet-connected TV fell flat after it drew a hostile response from content companies. Intel (INTC) also recently decided that butting its head against Hollywood was an exercise in futility.

Getting HBO to make content from its Go service available on Chromecast is a small step, and one that stops far short of clearing a path for people who want to get rid of their cable subscriptions while keeping HBO. At this point, the premium cable network seems to be getting pretty comfortable with providing HBO Go on a variety of platforms. People want to watch Game of Thrones anywhere they please. The fact that Chromecast can offer it is an incremental step forward, and Google can take comfort that this time, at least, its Internet TV technology appears to be headed in the right direction.

Brustein is a writer for Businessweek.com in New York.
©2013 BLOOMBERG L.P. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. MADE IN NYC Ad Choices
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Carlszone



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PostSubject: Have a Chromecast? And HBO GO? Well, Do a Happy Dance   Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:04 pm

Wired: Have a Chromecast? And HBO GO? Well, Do a Happy Dance

BY ROBERTO BALDWIN11.21.1312:37 PM

Google’s Chromecast dongle just got another streaming service. Hold on to your dragons: HBO GO support is available starting today.

The not-quite-a-set-top-box Chromecast is Google’s answer to the Apple TV and Roku line of streamers. But unlike other over-the-top devices, the small dongle is controlled via Android and iOS devices, or through the Chrome Browser instead of a remote. With a supported app like Netflix — or now HBO GO on your phone or tablet — you can “cast” videos to a connected TV and continue using other apps on your device. When using the Chrome browser, you can cast any online video to your TV.

While other streamers also let you push online video to your TV, the Chromecast’s $35 price point makes it particularly compelling. Even if you already have a set-top box in your home, the inexpensive Google streamer can be used as a secondary streamer for a spare TV or as a travel solution. Now instead of dealing with the horrible cable TV set up in your hotel room, you can enjoy the ongoing dragon adventures of Kalisi and the rest of those wacky kids on Game of Thrones
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PostSubject: SFR Launches Google Play Set-top Box   Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:49 pm

Broadband TV News: SFR Launches Google Play Set-top Box

November 21, 2013 08.57 Europe/London By Robert Briel

French operator SFR has started offering customers a new hybrid STB using Android 4.2 combining access to DTT channels and Google Play apps.

The new box is available for rental at EUR3 a month and turns the television into a Google TV giving access to Google services on their TV sets, including YouTube, Google Play Movies, Google Play Music, Chrome, Picassa and hundreds of apps on PlayStore.

The box also gives access to dozens of radio stations and the on-demand and catch-up TV service from France’s main broadcasters MyTF1, 6play, Pluzz). In addition, viewers will also have access to SFR video club, the operator’s VOD portal with its catalogue of over 3,000 titles.

Connection to the TV set is via HDMI and the STB has two USB ports (which can connect to external hard discs), dual-band Wi-Fi, and acts as a media player capable of reading many audio and video codecs including Dolby Digital and DTS.

The new STB is mainly aimed at customers who are not able to receive IPTV, but can still be used by IPTV customers seeking more web TV content or a second TV gateway for their home.
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Carlszone



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PostSubject: Google Chromecast’s Biggest Fan? Netflix Founder Reed Hastings   Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:35 pm

Variety: Google Chromecast’s Biggest Fan? Netflix Founder Reed Hastings

The CEO touts Google’s cheap TV companion as 'the all-time great stocking-stuffer'

NOVEMBER 22, 2013 | 09:00AM PT
Todd Spangler
Digital Editor, New York@xpangler

Guess which Google product will be sitting under Reed Hastings’ Christmas tree.

SEE MORE: From the November 19, 2013 issue of Variety

The Netflix CEO is especially bullish on Google’s Chromecast — touting the cheap adapter as “the all-time great stocking-stuffer” in an exclusive interview with Variety.

Netflix was the critical launch partner for the $35 Chromecast dongle, which went on sale in late July and sold out initial inventory in less than a day. A big enticement was the limited-time offer of three free months of Netflix with a Chromecast purchase (a promo for which Google footed the bill).

SEE ALSO: PHOTOS: Variety’s Holiday Gift Guide: Jeff Koons Dom Perignon, Fitbit Wristband, A.O.C. Cookbook, More

Hastings expects even bigger things from the little gizmo. He wanted to work with Google because he sees an opportunity to create a new category: a low-cost device that turns a regular TV into a smart TV coupled with “this radical, beautiful proposition that there is no remote control.”

Chromecast keeps its bill of materials low in part because it includes no remote control, with all browsing and navigation functions handled on a smartphone or tablet app. The wireless USB-drive-size adapter plugs into an HDMI port on the back of any high-def TV.

SEE ALSO: HBO Go Streams to Google Chromecast

“The tablet or phone is the best remote control because you don’t have to learn to use another interface,” Hastings said, adding, “We think this will be a very big category.”

So far, Hastings said, Netflix has been extremely pleased with the reception of the Chromecast. Sales have vastly exceed Netflix’s initial expectations, he added, though neither he nor Google will provide unit shipment figures. “We see great activation rates, great usage rates and very high-quality streaming on Chromecast,” he said.

But by and large, Netflix has not seen Chromecast produce a wave of new subscribers — because most of the initial buyers of the device already had Netflix.

Hastings’ chief complaint about the product? He wants Google to launch the device globally ASAP.

Chromecast will be in countries outside the U.S., according to Mario Queiroz, VP of product management at Google, though he wouldn’t discuss timing.

Netflix, as the No. 1 Internet video subscription service, was important to have in the product at launch, Queiroz said. “Netflix had strengths of knowing this market really well,” he added.

Chromecast was originally envisioned as a new way to sling YouTube video onto a TV set, so that’s a core feature of the device, and it also incorporates the ability to access video and music content purchased through the Google Play store.

It took Google about 18 months from initial concept in December 2011 to launch. Queiroz admits that the company was caught off-guard by the overnight popularity of the device: “Given the price point and the new user interface model, it was difficult to predict what the adoption was going to be,” he said. “The market demand exceeded our expectations.”

While Queiroz won’t reveal how many Chromecasts have shipped to date, he noted, “We are making money on the product.” And Google is running TV ads as part of a bigger marketing campaign for the device as the holiday shopping season gets under way.

Nobody expects Chromecast to take over the streaming-device market anytime soon. In the holiday retail crush, Google’s cheap set-top-on-a-stick will compete with category leaders Apple TV and Roku, both of which have more extensive content partnerships. Consumers also will be pummeled with a torrent of ads flogging Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One, which offer a range of video-to-the-TV services.

Since the summer launch, Chromecast has added Hulu Plus and Pandora, and this week HBO updated its apps to support the device; more services are in the pipeline. “Given we have a product that we know really resonates with consumers, the next step really is about bringing lots and lots of content to the product,” Queiroz said. As for the status of the Internet company’s older Google TV project, Queiroz said that’s alive and well. He noted, however, that Google is in talks with consumer electronics companies about building Chromecast into their devices.

“The more apps that are Chromecast-enabled, the more interesting it is for manufacturers to offer a Chromecast-enabled device,” he said.

Priced to Sell

Chromecast is cheaper than most over-the-top hardware:

Chromecast – $35
Roku (with limited features) – $50
Apple TV – $99
Bravia Smart Stick – $150
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Carlszone



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PostSubject: Information Commissioner Investigates LG Snooping Smart TV Data Collection   Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:53 am

The Guardian: Information Commissioner Investigates LG Snooping Smart TV Data Collection

TV sets send information about viewing habits and files stored on attached USB disks back to Korean company

Charles Arthur
theguardian.com, Thursday 21 November 2013 12.25 EST

That "smart TV" you bought might be smarter than you expected. LG's smart TV sets send information back to the Korean company about what programmes you have watched, and even what files you may have stored on a USB disks attached to them, a British owner has found.

That has triggered an investigation by the the information commissioner's office over whether sending the data has been done without the user's proper consent.

The ICO says that it has "recently been made aware of a possible data breach which may involve LG smart TVs" and that it will be making inquiries.

The discovery of the data transmission was made by Jason Huntley, a UK-based IT consultant who blogged about his discovery that a setting buried deep in the system defaults included one which said "Collection of watching info", which was set to "on". He found that the data was sent whether the setting was "on" or "off".

On Thursday, LG defended its actions, saying that "information such as channel, broadcast source etc that is collected by certain LG smart TVs is not personal but viewing information". This was collected "to deliver more relevant advertisements and to offer recommendations to viewers based on what other LG smart TV owners are watching".

It conceded that the system also collected filenames of attached USB disks, which it said was "part of a new feature being readied to search for data from the internet (metadata) relating to the program being watched".

An LG spokesperson said that the company is now preparing a software update that will ensure the data is not collected if the relevant setting is off, and would stop collecting filenames.

Earlier this week, the company said that the owner had consented to the collection by accepting the terms and conditions displayed on the TV when it was set up – and so should complain to the retailer.

Millions of TVs with the ability to connect to the internet have been sold in the past two years: according to the consultancy IHS Suppli, 66m were sold in 2012, making up nearly a third of all TV sets sold. By 2015, it forecast that 55% of all TVs sold will be smart TVs, at 141m annually.

But until now it had been thought that the "smart" element was principally one-way - from the internet to the TV, rather than from the viewer to the TV set owner.

Dan Wallach, of Princeton University's centre for information technology policy, said the key problem was "incompetence", adding: "Somebody thought it was a good idea to build these TVs with all these features and nobody ever said 'maybe we need some security people on the design team to make sure we don’t have a problem', much less 'maybe all this data flowing from the TV to us constitutes a massive violation of our customers’ privacy that will land us in legal hot water'. The deep issue here is that it’s relatively easy to build something that works, but it’s significantly harder to build something that’s secure and respects privacy."

A growing number of smart TVs also offer app stores, like those found on smartphones and tablets - which could mean that they are seeking to gather more data on their users.

Data was not encrypted, meaning that it could be picked up by any system in between the TV set and LG's servers. Although the servers were not active, they could have been turned on at any time to receive user information.

In a statement, LG told the Guardian: "Customer privacy is a top priority at LG Electronics and as such, we take this issue very seriously. We are looking into reports that certain viewing information on LG smart TVs was shared without consent. LG offers many unique smart TV models, which differ in features and functions from one market to another."
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