Roku

Chris Nuttall

Roku is a feisty and fleet-footed Silicon Valley company that has been running ahead of a flood of internet-connected devices threatening to engulf its tiny set-top box.

With its new lineup just launched, Roku stays out in front on price and content and gets in just ahead of its biggest challenger to date – Apple TV, which is due to go on sale by the end of the month. Read more

Paul Taylor

With Google TV coming to screens near you in the autumn, internet-enabled television is set to attract a lot  of eyeballs.

For those that cannot wait for the Google/Sony/Logitech/Intel product, there are already plenty of set-top box options for streaming movies and adding internet content channels to your TV. We explore some of these in the Personal Technology column in Friday’s Business Life section of the FT. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Seagate Technology and Western Digital are two Californian companies that dominate the global hard drive market and are in constant, close competition with one another.

Western Digital overtook Seagate in the first three months of 2010 in hard drive shipments for the very first time on a quarterly basis, according to a recent iSuppli report. On Wednesday, it unveiled its latest attempt to challenge it in the media player category, with the WD TV Live Plus HD. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Roku added a mixed martial arts channel to its lineup on MondayWith Google, Intel, Logitech and Sony expected to announce a new internet TV platform on Thursday at Google’s annual developer conference, the latest View from the Valley column in the FT’s Digital Business section looks at how companies are fighting over the keys to the digital home:

“You can seal up the letterbox and lock all the doors, but it won’t help you resist the next digital revolution invading your home. Technology companies, retailers, content makers and service providers are fighting over the digital keys to the house, but their mode of entry will be subtle and largely invisible to the consumer.” Read more

Chris Nuttall

Pure, the market leader in internet radios in the UK, has just announced its British invasion of the US will begin with the launch of three models on July 1.

The subsidiary of chipmaker Imagination Technologies, in which Apple and Intel have a combined 27 per cent stake, gave me the US version of its Evoke Flow model to try out and its performance and features suggest Pure can give established players Logitech, Roku, Livio and Grace a run for their money in America. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Internet content will be arriving on televisions in a multitude of ways at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, with the Popbox getting out ahead of the field as a smarter than average set-top box.

Announced today by Syabas, maker of thePopcorn Hour  streaming device for enthusiasts, the Popbox has more mainstream appeal in its looks and features and introduces the concept of internet apps for the TV. Read more

Chris Nuttall

With streaming Netflix movies now available on TV screens through the Xbox, PlayStation 3, Tivo, several Blu-ray players and LG HDTVs, the little Roku set-top box, which became one of the first Netflix streamers 18 months ago, is in need of some differentiation.

That came today with the launch of 10 free channels on the box, which sells for as little as $80.
Pandora radio, Facebook and Flickr photos, FrameChannel feeds, MobileTribe social networking and video from Blip.TV, Mediafly, Motionbox, Revision 3 and TWiT make up the lineup.

(This review was first published on November 23 2009) Read more

Chris Nuttall

Another day, another internet box bringing content to the television.

A day after Roku announced it was adding Amazon’s Video on Demand to its $99 box, another Silicon Valley company, ZillionTV,  has unveiled its own device and content partners including the big five Hollywood studios.

(This post was first published on March 5 2009) Read more

Chris Nuttall

Despite being invited, there was no one from the cable industry represented on the TV of Tomorrow Show’s Over The Top panel this week – probably because they were outside guarding their lunch, which the panelists seemed bent on eating.

Over The Top refers to a new range of internet-based entertainment and information services being fed into televisions that vault over the top of services being provided by the established cable and satellite players in the US. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Amazon has found itself another route to the television and Roku another use for its set-top box under a partnership announced today.

The internet retailer has been exploring ways to widen access to its Video on Demand service beyond the computer and has already made it available through Tivo digital video recorders and Sony Bravia TVs. Read more