Sony BRAVIA Smart Stick revealed, it’s Google TV in a Chromecast-looking dongle

Sony BRAVIA Smart Stick MHL dongle revealed with Google TV and Sony apps

The Sony NSZ-GU1 Google TV device we've seen pop up in FCC filings has been at least partially revealed today, and it's called the Sony BRAVIA Smart Stick. The blog post doesn't specifically mention any Chromecast-style features, but it is an MHL dongle that runs both Google TV and Sony's own BRAVIA apps. The features are just like Google TV boxes Sony has released before, with a remote (that the FCC filings showed is at least similar to the previous ones) that has QWERTY and voice search support. Additionally, its "picture-and-picture" feature lets users see a browser in one window and TV in another. Since it's a true Google TV device it can install and run Android apps from the Play Store, but any other details will have to wait until it's officially announced on Sunday (the truly dedicated can dig into the source code, linked after the break). Of course this does leave one other question: Now that app support is available as a simple plug-in dongle, does that mean Sony is going to ship plain-jane HDTVs and leave the "smart" features for add-on accessories like this one?

Update: @CJ_000 points out the web-based instruction manual is up on Sony's site, and should answer most questions about how it works. It also lists the pre-installed apps, and at least so far, Hulu Plus is not among them. We're not seeing any DIAL-related features available to start with, so now we really want to know when it will be available, will it work with TVs other than Sony and how much will it cost?

Update 2: Reader Bryan points out a page in the manual that confirms this accessory is only for 2013 model year (and later) Sony HDTVs.

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Source: Sony Blog

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The Engadget Interview: Daniel Sennheiser (video)

The Engadget Interview Daniel Sennheiser video

"I've worked for Sennheiser since I was born," the company's co-CEO says with a laugh. Five years ago, Daniel Sennheiser and his brother took over the reigns of the eponymous audio company, the third generation of a legacy that began in 1945, weeks after the close of World War II, when their grandfather Fritz opened Laboratorium Wennebostel. Two decades later, the company would go on to to revolutionize personal audio with the introduction of the open headphone.

"One of our engineers discovered that you can take a microphone transducer and put it close to your head and suddenly there's a near-field effect that creates very good sound quality," explains Sennheiser. "And suddenly the open-ear headphone was born. That was the first hi-fi headphone in the world. That didn't exist at the time. We had 100-percent of the market." A quick glance around the floor of IFA will confirm that's certainly no longer the case anymore.

Follow all of our IFA 2013 coverage by heading to our event hub!

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Samsung brings its first OLED 4K TV to IFA, we go eyes-on

Samsung brings its first OLED 4K TV to IFA, we go eyes-on

Sony outed the very first 4K OLED television at CES last January, and now Samsung is catching up with its very own. We swooped by the firm's slice of show floor at IFA to lay eyes on its latest TV, and walked away quite impressed. The 55-inch Ultra HD set packs a powerful visual punch, delivering sharp visuals and incredibly vivid colors. So vivid, in fact, we were suspicious that the sample footage was HDR video -- it may very well be, but that doesn't take away from the hardware's color reproduction prowess. Big blue's panel far and away outpaces non-OLED 4K displays when it comes to bright and lively color. Viewing angles on the screen are remarkable too, as glancing at the screen just a few degrees askance won't blur or mute picture quality. As for form factor, Samsung's set is contained into a sleek and extremely thin shell. No pricing or release window is on the docket, but you can check out the gallery below to ogle at the TV for yourself.%Gallery-slideshow83288%

Follow all of our IFA 2013 coverage by heading to our event hub!

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Roku 3 finally goes on sale in Canada for $110

It wouldn't surprise us to hear that some people in Canada have already managed to snag a Roku 3. But, the truth is the miniature video player's just now officially hitting shelves there, nearly six months after its release in the US. Evidently, The Great White North availability signifies a footprint expansion for Roku's newest box, and it provides interested Canucks streaming access to over 450 channels -- even newly minted ones like Livestream's. The Roku 3 will be available for $109.99 at many brick-and-mortar and online shops across Canada, including Future Shop, Best Buy, Staples, Walmart and more.

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Source: Roku

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Marshall shows off its mini Stanmore speakers at IFA (eyes-on)

Marshall shows off its mini Stanmore speakers at IFA eyeson

Look familiar? Yeah, yeah, it's built in the classic Marshall amp style, but the new Stanmore speaker also has a lot in common with the already announced Hanwell. The big difference? Size. The newly announced speaker is a diminutive take on its older sibling -- though it's not tiny by any means. The speaker's got a number of inputs: 3.5-millimeter, RCA, Bluetooth and optical audio. It comes in black and cream colors and will run you €400 here in Europe. It's not cheap, certainly, but man it's a pretty speaker. %Gallery-slideshow81818%

Follow all of our IFA 2013 coverage by heading to our event hub!

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Source: Marshall Headphones

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GetGlue for iPhone’s redesigned TV guide adds VOD and streaming video listings

GetGlue for iPhone's new guide includes streaming video sources,

GetGlue is continuously massaging its socially connected app for TV watchers, and the latest update reflects some of the ways TV viewership is changing. Like Foursquare’s recent changes, after an initial focus on check-ins and sharing, the new updates are all about helping users figure out what they’re doing / watching next. There’s a redesigned guide (again) in v5.0, now offering a personalized view at not only what’s on right now via traditional broadcast networks, but also video on-demand and internet services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, iTunes, HBO Go and more than a dozen others. With the rise of on demand viewing from a number of sources, it will be interesting to see if GetGlue can fill in some of those viewership statistics companies like Netflix have kept private.

There’s also a new “Search & Discover” feature to find programs with browsing by genre or curated lists from GetGlue staff. Reworked show pages feature more social tie-ins, and the app also lets users directly add images, videos or news articles to their posts for some IntoNow-style meme creation and spreading. Finally, DirecTV customers can connect the app to their satellite boxes and change the channel directly from GetGlue’s guide. The new app is rolling out today, let us know if its social networking focus is helping you finding new shows to watch or if it’s just another source of oversharing on Twitter and Facebook.

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Source: iTunes

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Ceton Echo Windows Media Center extender won’t support Android after all

Around nine months ago Ceton unexpectedly announced plans to support the Android operating system and apps on its $179 Echo Windows Media Center extender, but now that's not happening. According to the company, Android is "up and running" on Echo hardware in its labs -- we saw screenshots back in February -- but early beta tests with home users showed a problem with an internal component. That flaw apparently causes a failure to update in some cases, and since efforts to find a workaround have been so far unsuccessful Ceton is shelving the project (presumably alongside its Q DVR). There's no question this is disappointing for Echo users that expected the feature, but the possibility of a bricked box seem worth avoiding. We haven't talked about the Echo much since it came out of beta with a fix for 1080i output issues -- if you're an owner then let us know if you were (still) waiting for Android, or if you've moved onto another solution like Roku, Ouya or Chromecast.%Gallery-slideshow47995%

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Source: Ceton Blog

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Must See HDTV (August 26th – September 1st)

Must See HDTV August 26th  September 1st

As the NFL prepares for its debut in a couple of weeks, the college football season kicks off Thursday night with a number of interesting matchups planned. Syfy is dropping a pilot for another time travel show tonight called Rewind, while BBC America brings another Doctor Who-related special Saturday. Madden NFL 25 leads the videogame pack, while Blu-ray releases include The Walking Dead season three, Sons of Anarchy season five and Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby. Look after the break for our weekly listing of what to look out for in TV, Blu-ray and videogames.

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CBS strikes a deal with Verizon, continues war of words with TWC

CBS strikes a deal with Verizon, continues war of words with TWC

Normally, content providers and pay-TV platforms striking deals to deliver channels to subscribers is sort of non-news. But not every signed contract comes against the backdrop of an almost month-long blackout affecting millions of customers. While Time Warner Cable is still CBS-less, Verizon has locked up the broadcaster's channels for another three years, including CBS Sports Network, which has been missing in many of FiOS's larger markets.

If you read between the lines of the press release (embedded after the break), you'll see this message isn't aimed at customers or even the news media, it's directed squarely at Time Warner. New York, Los Angeles and Dallas -- the three cities that are currently mired in the blackout -- are called out specifically as areas where CBS stations are available through FiOS TV. As part of the statement released, president of television networks distribution Ray Hopkins said, "This deal was reached in a short period of time, and CBS has once again achieved fair value for our over-the-air rights." And, just to rub some salt in the wound, the press release ends with a reminder that CBS also owns the highly desirable Showtime. With the war of words clearly continuing between the two feuding media giants, we wouldn't hold our breath for a resolution anytime soon.

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Via: RCR Wireless

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