Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

The idea of virtual reality has been around for a very long time, but few have been able to perfect the idea like the boys at Oculus Rift.

This company not only smashed through its Kickstarter campaign goals but still has investment flowing in with Facebook purchasing the company and now Samsung working with them to create a headset for its own media.

Of course, in any great market, others will strive to take a piece of the pie as the public is hungry for the new technology. The gaming industry is worth nearly $80bn, and some games gross more than some films nowadays so the fruit is there for the picking.

Oculus may be seeing its first real rival from China in the form of ANTVR. Still small and mobile enough to do what it wants without the huge corporate board that Oculus has with Facebook peering over its shoulder demanding results.

The ANTVR Kit includes a customisable remote, which is compatible with all games. The coolest form the remote takes is the hand gun which I think most of us will enjoy, giving you that "Time Crisis" type feel which we all enjoyed back in the 90's arcade scene.


The controller can be a simple joy pad, or happily transform into a joystick or steering wheel making it very versatile.

The headset is equipped with Full HD display (1920x1080, 1.03 megapixel per eye) and will give an IMAX style viewing environment with its large screen. They creators have even thought about glasses wearers making sure there is enough room inside to still wear them. It supports all the mainstream platforms including PC, Xbox, PlayStation and Android devices. All you need is a standard HDMI signal to use the headset as a screen.

The headset can be wireless, but currently it is an expensive add-on which we don't really think you need. We do like the idea of the "shotgun style" bullet reload to change the batteries in the device.

This is certainly a formidable rival for Oculus, it's price point is pretty much the same and it looks no lesser quality than its bigger brother and presents Oculus with a spin....the cool controller.

Starting at $300 with an estimated delivery date of September, we really cannot wait to test these out for ourselves.

Over on Kickstarter

Just as we thought that the next real estate to be conquered by the big firms was your wrist, the living room war stepped up a gear. All we have heard recently is new watches coming out that will connect to your smart phone, but the real money is to be made in your house with you sitting in front of your TV.

TV habits are changing. Sitting down and watching programmes live is a diminishing hobby where people’s lives have become busier and we just have no time to fit in with a broadcasters time constraints. The generation of streaming is here, where at a touch of a button we can watch most series and episodes of our favourite shows at any time WE want.

As internet speeds get faster, streaming is not such an annoying task. We will see no more “buffering” or “Downloading” messages as the speed of our broadband just excels. We were lucky enough to speak to one of the top people at one of the big Tech firms and the future they see for viewing habits is very different. We will be sitting watching shows and if you want you can hook up to see other people’s comments from services like Twitter directly on-screen. Whether this be for football cup finals or the finale of your favourite series, you will be able to see the opinions of the rest of the viewing community live as if you were sitting with them right in your home (of course you have the choice not too.

Amazon have been looking to get into this action for a while, and why not? They have the e-reader market pretty much cracked, so the TV side would have been obvious. The problem is, the competition for the living room is becoming pretty congested, as the likes of Apple, Samsung, Xtreamer, Xbox, Roku and Chromecast already sit comfortably.

The Amazon Fire TV is aiming to be a little different. It comes with a Bluetooth remote control, loads of apps (which includes Netflix) and also puts gaming front and centre with the option of buying a dedicated games controller for the box.

Amazon Fire TV

Inside a quad-core processor is the brain with a dedicated GPU and 2GB of RAM which Amazon says should make operation smooth and pretty fast. Dual band Wi-Fi, 1080p support and Dolby Digital Surround Sound via the HDMI are also included.

Controlling this power is the Android OS which means that lots of the existing Android marketplace apps will run on this unit along with the competitor Netflix. Amazon’s own streaming system Prime is also supported along with music services like Pandora, iHeartRadio and TuneIn which are coming next month.

The optional controller is an interesting addition, as none of the others (other than Xbox and Playstation) have this and they will be looking to take of advantage of the Android eco-system. Having this library to call upon makes it a better buy than an Apple TV as the latter will only allow you to AirPlay devices from your other OS device and not run games of its own.


Having a wider apps library to call on makes the Fire TV instantly a much better gaming companion than an Apple TV. With an Apple TV you can AirPlay a game from your iPhone to your TV, but it doesn’t have a games library of its own.
Having a wider apps library to call on makes the Fire TV instantly a much better gaming companion than an Apple TV. With an Apple TV you can AirPlay a game from your iPhone to your TV, but it doesn’t have a games library of its own.

Other than the controller, this is just another TV streaming device on the market, not offering an awful lot more than the competition. If you are trying to compare this with the Apple TV, then it is just another Android vs OS argument, so we would suggest sticking with what ever eco-system you are already in.

When launched, it will probably be around the £99 for us UK people, but at present it can be bought for $99 in the US.

The IFA, one of Europe’s biggest electronic shows took place in Berlin on Thursday to show off some of the latest tech manufacturers have to offer.

As usual, manufacturers were clambering to beat each other with the next biggest launch and some did not disappoint. With the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch, we were dying to hear of something else to feast our eyes on.

TP Vision are a little late in the 4K TV arena, but under the Philips brand they have announced the Series 9000 high def LED-lit LCD TV. The TV has a 6 core processor and is running at a 900Hz Perfect Motion refresh Rate which should result in some seriously smooth playback.

Along with the cool Philips Ambi Light technology which projects lights from onscreen footage on to the wall behind, the TV also has a full host of smart features to ensure it is at the forefront of TV tech. Smart features include Cloud gaming and TV 3.0 which has a load of online TV channels to scroll through including Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

There’s built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi and the panel also supports Miracast for mirroring your Android phone’s screen. With HD to 4K upscaling and ‘Micro Dimming Pro’ backlighting for improved contrast, this TV is bound to seriously impress.

Launching late September in the UK, you will be able to choose from a 65″ (65PFL9708) and an 84″ (84PFL9708) model. Prices are expected to start from £4,500 and £13,000 for the two sets.


TP Vision, the collaboration of two prominent players in the TV industry has finally given birth to what we think could be a work of art for the home. Already this line of TV’s has won the Red Dot design award for excellent product design.

Philips and TPV have combined assets and skills to bring out the beautiful DesignLine Edge TV made from a single sheet of glass which has a gradient tint to blend the TV in with the glass itself. Turn it on and the picture appears to float in mid-air, surrounded by the glorious glow from the awesome AmbiLight LEDs at the back lighting the wall behind.

It’s available in 46 & 55 inches and features the impressive Philips Perfect Pixel engine, along with Active 3D support. One of the more notable things is the inclusion of 2-player full-screen gaming and the ability to convert 2D to 3D which will be interesting to see how good this really is.

In the box, the set will include a brushed aluminium remote which doubles as a keyboard with integrated mouse pointer to access the Smart TV features like a web browser. The Design Line will also support the MyRemote app, which lets you control the TV itself, share multimedia content from your iPad/smartphone and watch live TV in another room.

Inside its sleek frame, the unit boasts WiFi Miracast so that you can share content from iPhones, iPads and other Android devices straight to the TV over your WiFi network. Also featuring MultiRoom technology, the unit lets you stream what’s being shown on the TV to any compatible TV anywhere in the house and will allow USB hard disk recording.

All this design and spec comes at a price, releasing in June in the UK, the 46” will be £2000 and the 55” will be £2800. Let’s hope this is the future for our living room.

DesignLine TV