Apple is one of the few companies that has managed to stay active in China where regulation of digital services is strictly controlled by the countries many agencies. That was until last week when several of Apple’s services were shut down in China.
Apple’s iBooks store and iTunes movies were shut down last week, following the demands of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television. Apple has since responded saying that they hope to “make books and movies available again to our customers in China as soon as possible”, something that implies there is a condition to the services.
Apple managed to launch Apple pay in the country just two months ago, and with it counting China’s as its second biggest market, any services that are stopped would have a huge impact on the company. China is known for the censorship of its technology, with the country hidden behind “the great firewall” while it’s suspected that several groups within the country are behind large-scale hacks in other countries.
Netflix is a huge company, with price increases to help cover the increased traffic that people use with the HD streaming experience. In a recent call though Netflix may look at helping you watch those movies on the go while avoiding the data usage costs that come with offline viewing.
CEO Reed Hastings responded to questions about the possibility of letting its subscribers watch shows offline by saying that they would “keep an open mind on all this”. Part of the reason Hastings gives for this open approach is the “uneven set of networks” that Netflix is noticing as they expand to new areas of the world.
With Netflix’s Chief Product Officer, Neil Hunt, stating last year that they wouldn’t add the feature thanks to the “complexity [it brings] to your life”, directly followed by “with Amazon Prime”. Amazon Prime lets you download and stream shows, and with a new pricing model offering monthly subscriptions, Netflix may be changing their tone to help fight off the competition in the media streaming market.
With services like Sky Go, Amazon Prime and even BBC’s iPlayer letting you watch content offline, Netflix is one of the few services that doesn’t offer offline viewing, something that can often put people on or off services when their internet cuts out mid-show.
Announcing a partnership with the international drone racing association (IDRA) on Wednesday, ESPN is looking to stream drone races online starting off in August with the US National Drone Racing Championship in New York. Streamed via ESPN3 live, the footage will then be edited to a one-hour special to be streamed on one of ESPNS’s TV channels.
Unlike with other sports, drone racing can be viewed from two perspectives, both the view following the drone and the view that its pilot gets to see, provided via a first person camera mounted on the front. With ESPN also carrying the 2016 World Drone Racing Champion in Hawaii in October, ESPN accredited this uptake to the “unprecedented rise in popularity” of the event, even saying it may go alongside NASCAR and Formula 1 as the “next behemoth racing sport”.
With drone racing having its first champion courtesy of the Drone Prix that was hosted in Dubai earlier this year, drone racing contests are appearing all around the world as people look to race their drones and show off their skills as the next generation of racers!
Who hasn’t heard of Final Fantasy? With a new game, Final Fantasy XV, set for release in September, fans are excited for anything to keep the series going. To help the game receive a warm reception, Square Enix are sorting people out with not one but two forms of entertainment before the game even begins.
Set for release later this year, Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV will be a 3D-animated film focused on King Regis. Set for a digital release in 2016 and will feature voice work from the likes of Aaron Paul, Lena Headey and Sean Bean.
Before you have to wait that long though you can start to enjoy Final Fantasy XV. Created by the same studio as Sword Art Online and Black Butler, A-1 Pictures, the anime will be released in five-ten minute episodes, straight to YouTube for everyone to watch.
If that wasn’t enough you can already enjoy the series with the first episode already going live, with the entire series reported to tie into the game demo. If you want to start enjoying Final Fantasy now you can find the episode below, a little something to help with the wait before the movie or game gets released later this year.
Video gaming has come a long way in recent years. Traditionally it was something you did at an arcade, with people playing games for hours after hours trying to beat the top score. The games then came home, with people being able to enjoy their frustration and enjoyment in private, then they went back to being public with streamers and tournaments bringing e-sports to the whole world. Dara O’Briain looks to continue this by bringing some of the games back to your TV screen.
With a few exceptions, shows about video games have rarely taken off. An example of this can be found back in 2003 when BBC Two released the series Time Commanders. Putting people into historic battles using Rome: Total War while military specialists would compare their tactics to the actual tactics used in the battle. People prefer to play games rather than watch them.
These days people prefer to play games rather than watch them, but comedian Dara O’Briain latest show, Go 8 Bit, could change that by giving two teams give rounds to complete against one another. Ranging from classic games like Pac-Man and Pong to more modern games (I doubt we will get to see them play Mortal Kombat) the series could inspire people to watch and even play some classics.
In addition to the video games “larger-than-life game-inspired physical challenges” could be included as part of the show. We are thinking paintballing on CS:GO inspired maps and a few laps the studio in Mario Kart themed boxes.
Would you watch the show? Who would you like to see take part in the competitions?
Rick and Morty has been a smash hit and while, sure, it’s not the most “tech” news we’ve brought you today, I’m certain that many of our readers will be fans of the crazy antics of the show. After the end of Season 2, Mr. Poopybutthole said in a video (see below) that Rick and Morty would be quite some way off.
““tune in to Rick and Morty Season 3 in like… a year and a half… or longer.”
That would have put the show somewhere near April 2017, but co-creator Dan Harmon told the audience at Magic City Comic Con to expect the show much sooner than expected.
The show is now expected to air towards the end of this year! And while that’s pretty great news for fans, things get even better. The show is stepping up from the usual ten episodes and giving us fourteen full episodes to enjoy for Season 3!
“I think Season 3 is—we’re targeting around the end of this year,” Harmon said, “You guys do realize we’re at the beginning of this year?” he added. “Is there any press here?” Harmon asked. “Nobody blog about this. We’re doing 14 episodes this year.” So I guess, Harmon was betrayed by his fans, they told everyone! (thanks guys).
Rick and Morty Season 3 is already well underway, with writers of the show showing off new scripts and we’ve heard that voice recording sessions are well underway too. What the future holds for Rick and Morty remains to be seen, but at least we don’t have to wait as long!
MacGyver has been receiving quite a lot of attention lately, especially since CBS is actually planning to reboot the show. The American action-adventure television series was created by Lee David Zlotoff, and it had a very good run from 1985 to 1992. However, even though the series’ reboot is undoubtedly newsworthy, what’s arguably even more impressive is the fact that the show will soon receive its own movie courtesy of Lionsgate. That’s right, CEO Jon Feltheimer has recently revealed that the studio is actually working on a MacGyver movie that will be produced by Lee David Zlotoff and Neal Moritz; the man responsible for the Fast And The Furious franchise.
As for the show’s reboot, it looks like Furious 7 director James Wan will take on the role of executive producer. The plot will involve a prequel to the original series, and it will highlight MacGyver getting “recruited into a clandestine organization where he uses his knack for solving problems in unconventional ways to help prevent disasters from happening.” Interestingly enough, James Wan wanted to produce a MacGyver film back in 2012 but he had to scrap those plans in order to focus on Furious 7.
Are you excited about this upcoming MacGyver movie? I know I am.
A quick break from the world of tech news for a moment, as we take a look at the wider world of product reviews. Just when you thought the new-new Top Gear couldn’t get any more different from the old-new Top Gear, we get a bombshell like this. Not only is Chris Evans already onboard and filming for the new season of the show, which will air in May this year, but he’ll now be joined by Matt LeBlanc. That’s right, the legendary TV star who for many years played the beloved Joey Tribbiani on Friends, is taking up a seat in TG studio and behind the wheel!
“As a car nut and a massive fan of Top Gear, I’m honoured and excited to be a part of this iconic show’s new chapter,” said Matt. “What a thrill!”
Top Gear show fans will recall that there’s, at least, one good reason for calling Matt in to join the team after he set the fastest-ever Star in a Reasonably Priced Car lap time. He clocked up an impressive 1m 42.1s in the Kia Cee’d, so he’s obviously got some talent behind the wheel.
Chris Evans said of his new TG presenter: “Matt’s a lifelong fellow petrolhead and I’m thrilled he’s joining Top Gear. Acting out our craziest car notions on screen is a dream job and I know we’ll both be debating some epic road trip ideas. We can’t wait to share what we’ve been up to on screen later this year,” he added.
Matt isn’t new to top gear, with his fast lap time, helping test the new Kia Cee’d in the following season, as well as driving The Stig around in an McLaren MP4-12C and hosting the Top Gear spin-off “The Races.” So while he may have seemed like the oddball choice, perhaps it’s been staring us in the face longer than we realised.
Don’t think we’re done yet though, Top Gear say we’ll find out news about additional Top Gear cast members shortly!
Archer, one of the biggest hits in modern animated comedy is set to return to our screens this year. After six strong seasons, the show is showing absolutely no signs of slowing down or running out of sarcastic quickfire wit to entertain the masses, and H. John Benjamin, Aisha Tyler and Jessica Walter, to name but a few, will all be returning to reprise their now famous roles.
CES John Landgraf announced this weekend at a TCA executive session that the show will be returning to the FX network. As some of you may already know, the show was renewed for two more seasons during season 5, meaning that season 6 and the soon to be screened season 7, are the only confirmed seasons coming to FX. That’s not to say that more seasons of the Adam Reed and Floyd County Productions show won’t be commissioned after this one, but for now, the contract only covers them throughout 2016.
At least now we can look forward to more iconic moments such as this.
Let’s just hope that the team can keep the magic alive for another season and that we’ve got many more years of Archer ahead of us. As I’m sure that many of the tech loving community that read eTeknix are also fans of the world’s greatest secret agent; Dutchess. Keep an eye on FX on March 31st for some sterling action.
The cast is getting back together on their old TV network, NBC, to pay tribute to the veteran sitcom director James Burrows. Burrows has recently held his 1000th TV episode, he has helmed series such as Taxi and the Bob Newhart Show. He has directed 15 episodes of friends, one of which was the pilot episode.
While the special is about Burrows, the reunion of the cast of Friends — which launched in 1994 and ran for 10 seasons — is obviously the highlight. All six original cast members (Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer) are on board.
The average friends episode took 5 hours to film, meaning that in total around 1180 hours were spent making the entire 10 seasons. That is a fair old time for a TV series! Hopefully, the two hour’s air time will be enough to please the immense amount of fans that loved the show. The news comes as a surprise, especially over the news on the 1st of may last year, which came from the shows co-creator Marta Kaufman telling us that there would be no chance of a reunion.
“There will never ever – it’s not to going to happen. They have to let it go,” she told E!’s Marc Malkin on the red carpet for the premiere of her new Netflix show, Grace and Frankie.
Well, that clearly has changed – for this short little get together anyway! The episode will be aired on the 21st of Feb.
The first minute of the first episode of The X-Files revival has been made available online by FOX, at the website doyoustillbelieve.com. The 60-second tease is little more than a general recap, encompassing the nine year-long TV show and two movies, with Fox Mulder delivering a subdued voiceover.
“My name is Fox Mulder,” the voiceover begins. “Since my childhood I’ve been obsessed by a controversial global phenomenon.”
“In 1993, the FBI sought to impugn my work, by bringing in a scientist and medical doctor to debunk it, which only deepened my obsession for the better part of a decade, during which time that agent, Dana Scully, had her own faith tested.”
David Duchovny, who plays Mulder, spoke about how emotional an experience it was for him to read the first script for The X-Files’ revival, absent from our screens for nearly 14 years.
“It was nostalgia. Just to see Mulder and Scully on the page and all that stuff. Honestly, I wish I never said it because it’s brought up all the time. Think of it this way, it’s like reading a letter from camp that you wrote when you were fifteen. It was nostalgia or something,” Duchovny said, via Business Standard. “It didn’t have to do with the actual words on the page. It was the fact – ‘Oh, I’m reading an X-File.’ Try to put it to bed with all your readers. Don’t ask him anymore why he cried! I felt emotional, I didn’t cry.”
The two-night premiere of The X-Files revival airs on 24th and 25th January on FOX. The series will be aired in the UK on Channel 5 sometime in February, to be announced.
CES 2016: Streaming various forms of video content has revolutionized our viewing habits and provided a more convenient, legitimate alternative to traditional TV broadcasts. Roku’s ability to offer over 100 video channels has made their devices a popular choice for consumers wanting a flexible and no compromise viewing experience. During CES 2016, the company unveiled their plans to integrate streaming functionality into 4K TVs and already working with TCL, Haier, Hisense, Insignia and Sharp to launch nearly 60 new Roku TV models.
Additionally, Roku is releasing the TV HDR reference design to partners which enables them to utilize HDR technology in upcoming 4K smart TVs. Not only that, the system is based on the HDR 10 standard and should contain Dolby Vision support.
CES 2016: Tablo is a DVR which allows users to access traditional TV broadcasts through streaming hardware like Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast and Apple TV. During CES, the company announced that an official app will be coming to LG’s smart TV webOS 2.0 operating system. From this spring, Tablo customers will also be able to enjoy broadcast programming using both a live TV grid guide and recordings screens. Tablo is planning to release software updates on a regular basis and aiming to be the primary choice for Apple users wanting to access local broadcasts.
The majority of US residents can watch high definition TV for FREE simply by plugging in an Over-The-Air (OTA) HDTV Antenna. This makes the device a great choice to expand programming options beyond traditional streaming. Furthermore, you can record footage and watch these programs on any piece of hardware. It also saves you money because the viewing experience is free and doesn’t require a hefty cable bill.
Do you still watch TV shows via normal programming or prefer to watch content on demand?
Televisions are becoming thinner and thinner yet bigger and bigger, more homes are adopting at least a 40-inch screen and above with the aim of enjoying a wide variety of entertainment on a Full HD or even a 4k screen. LG have noted this and might have taken it to slightly over the top heights after unveiling a 98-inch Television screen at CES 2016 which is being held in Las Vegas, (and eTeknix are there, yes I know)
The South Korean electronic manufacturer has unveiled this mammoth screen that boasts a 98-inch UHD with 8K resolution, below is an image to demonstrate this, it looks imposing and it feels as if it could provide a fantastic experience if you played Call of Duty or GTA on it, only pity is you might be playing it in the garden when you consider the size.
Understandably, there has been no word concerning the official price, my guess is it would be very expensive when you consider Sharp’s 98 inch offering at 2015 CES had a price of over $130,000 dollars (£88,591.77) Content is also slightly limited on the 8K front when you consider consumers are not exactly overwhelmed by a vast array of 4K TV let alone 8K.
Only time will tell whether this TV will be a viable product if it is, my guess is the price will be for those who have enough room in their house for such a gadget.
Doctor Who is a science fiction show that has spanned generations, with multiple actors coming and going as both supporting and main characters featuring some of the biggest names in their credits and having inspired more than a few minds. It recently celebrated the ending of the 9th series, the 35th season to air in total after a 16-year break split the series in two. So why not celebrate it by rewatching the 9th season with some added content?
Doctor Who has spread from being a show from the BBC to a show enjoyed by people all over the world. The show is set to re-air on BBC America with a small twist, that is you can watch the whole series again, week by week with a little extra content. Ranging from comments from Twitter or Tumbler, with artwork and images laid over top of the show you can enjoy the series with all the extra content you could ask for, including little pieces of trivia like you can see in the trailer below at 0:14. With the series starting on January 30th, you could soon find yourself rewatching the series in the meanwhile as you wait for the next series later this year.
Do you think shows should have extra content like this laid over top of the show or should they focus on the show and avoid distracting you from the show?
2015 was the year that cable TV companies could no longer dismiss ‘cord cutting’ – eschewing traditional television services in favour of new online alternatives, both legal and illegal – as a fad. US cable providers lost 4.9 million customers last year with that figure expected to jump by 12.5% in 2016, and that’s not counting the scores of young people who have grown up with online services and have no intention of ever signing up for cable packages. Wall Street has taken notice, too late, with billions lost over the last half-decade. Cord cutting is a real threat to old media, and it’s only going to become more popular.
How are the cable companies responding to this crisis? How do they intend to attract back old customers and tempt new young consumer? By putting their prices up, of course. From January 2016, AT&T, Verizon, Dish, DirecTV, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable will all be putting up their rates, by between $2 and $10 a month.
“Comcast, the nation’s largest cable provider, announced earlier this month that subscribers nationwide will see prices go up an average of 3.9 percent, and increases already have taken effect in some markets. The company will also hike its “broadcast TV fee” by 66 percent from $3 a month to $5. This relatively new fee covers the cost of retransmission fees that over-the-air broadcast TV networks like CBS, NBC, ABC and FOX charge cable companies for redistributing their networks on pay-TV systems.”
The cable providers are justifying the price rise as necessary to cover the cost of its programming. In other words, the companies are losing customers, and therefore revenue, and yet the programming output remains the same. Therefore, existing customers are having to pick up the slack left by cord cutters who have jumped ship:
“Cable and satellite companies say the higher prices cover some but not all of the higher programming costs. The amount that Time Warner Cable pays local broadcast channels has risen 85 percent in the past two years, while its costs for carrying sports networks have increased 116 percent since 2008, according to spokesman Bobby Amirshahi.”
71% of cord cutters attest to moving away from cable subscriptions due to rising costs. As ever, old media is too entrenched in its stubborn methods to turn that shotgun away from its own foot.
There’s always a buzz about what is new in the tech world. People have marketing campaigns pushed at them every day, showing how fantastic it would be to upgrade to a flat panel TV, high-definition, 3D and more recently, 4K, OLED, curved and more types of TV. Of course, new tech isn’t the primary concern for everyone and a recent report from the BBC proves just that.
The statistics show that around 9000 people in Britain are still using an older black and white TV. This isn’t a huge number, especially given the millions of TV viewers in the country, or that the first colour TV broadcasts started almost 50-years ago. I’m 31 years old now, and I personally haven’t seen a black and white TV in the house in since the late 80’s!
“We like the glow of valves, rich sound and wonderful warm smell of these old sets. Older people who grew up with black-and-white still love it and don’t see why they should throw away their perfectly good set to get color they don’t even want.” said TV and radio historian Jeffrey Borinsky. “Unfortunately even the youngest black-and-white sets are more than 20 years old and very few people now mend TVs at all. In a few more years this group will have gone to TV heaven,” he added.
I’m partly amazed there are still old black and white TV’s still working, but I guess the saying “they don’t make them like they used to” still rings true. Of course, the other saying of “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” is also valid, and perhaps many of the viewers holding onto their old sets don’t use it that often, or just like watching Betamax tapes of classic black and white movies! Of course, there is one other reason, a black and white TV licence is about £50, while a colour one is around £150 per year.
It’s not only England that are rocking it old-school, as there are a few hundred sets also in use in Scotland. Although I do wonder what the global usage of older TVs is these days.
TV Licensing Scotland spokesman Jason Hill said: “It’s astounding that more than 550 households in Scotland still watch on a black and white telly, especially now that over half of homes access TV content over the internet, on smart TVs. Whether you have the latest 4K TV or a black and white set from the 1970s, if you are watching or recording live television, then you do need a TV licence.”
Do you still have an old black and white TV in your house or have you upgraded to something a little more modern?
I think it’s pretty obvious that this story is going to contain spoilers for Big Bang Theory, but you must have known this before you even clicked the link, right? If you’re ok with that, keep on reading. Don’t worry, we’ve not completely abandoned technology news, but some stories are just too much fun to pass up.
In a story line that has been playing out for over five years now, the awkward love story of Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler has finally reached something of a conclusion; I am of course speaking of coitus.
The moment happens in the special Star Wars: The Force Awakens-themed Big Bang Theory episode which aired in the US, although it will no doubt be playing to a UK audience very soon.
‘Why are you shaking?’ Asked Sheldon. ‘I’ve been waiting for this for so long. I’ve built it up in my head. I don’t know what to expect,’ Amy admitted. ‘Neither do I. But we can find out together,’ he replied.
I don’t want to spoil much more than that to be honest, the episode is an absolute belter, possibly one of the best yet. If you want to find out even more about the scene, you can check out the video clip below!
The time for holiday festivities is almost upon us and as the modern tradition of consumerism continues to grow, it becomes harder and harder to pick the right gifts for people every year, or perhaps it’s just me who struggles? Either way, we’ve sat around a Christmas fire, or just a general fire in November and December, getting into the gift buying state of mind and picked a range of our favourite products which we’ve reviewed here at eTeknix throughout 2015, as what better products to recommend than the ones we’ve had in our own hands and tested!
We’ve got a huge range of budgets covered here today, although I think it’s fair to assume that given we play around with graphics cards and a lot of enthusiast friendly products, there are some real wallet busters here too. Of course, you can use this guide to find some of the best products of the year to treat your family, friends and more, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t just spoil yourself too!
Rock Band 4 Band in a Box
Get ready to rock out this Christmas and no doubt many other days. Pick up the guitar, drum sticks, or just butcher your favourite song on the microphone. Rock Band 4 – Band in a Box is a fantastic gift and it’s a great thing to deploy at parties too, certainly beats the usual Karaoke chaos! It comes with the guitar, microphone, drums and the game for $249.99. To save costs, the standalone game with the guitar is just $129.99. In the UK, the Band in a Box is £219.99, while the guitar and game is just £109.99.
The Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX Mid-Tower chassis is by far my favourite chassis of 2015, it just oozes high quality inside and out, with capabilities for high-end water and air cooling and so much more. It is available from Overclockers UK for £139.99 and is available in both Gun Metal and black.
What a fantastic little chassis this is! Built from beautifully finished brushed aluminium and available in a wide range of colours, this would make a great gift for someone building a new gaming system this Christmas. The Raijintek Styx chassis is available from Overclockers UK for just £64.99.
Another expensive chassis on our list, but one of the best we’ve seen this year. If you’re wanting to build someone, or yourself, a gaming PC that not only looks great but is as silent as you could ever hope for, the Silent Base 800 Window is the way to go. It is available from most popular retailers for 149,90EUR/119 GBP/149,90 USD ex. VAT.
Corsair Strafe RGB MX Silent Red Mechanical Keyboard
Featuring the innovative Cherry MX Silent Switches, the Corsair Strafe RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is simply amazing to use. It’s packed full of features and is by far the quietest mech we’ve ever tested. A little expensive, but I’m sure anyone would be happy to unwrap this at Christmas. The Strafe is available for £139.99 from Overclockers UK, while the MX Red and the MX Brown are priced at £129.95. If you want the non-RGB version, you can find the MX Red and the MX Brown at £99.95 each.
Thermaltake Commander Gaming Gear Keyboard and Mouse Combo
The TteSports by Thermaltake Commander Keyboard and Mouse Combo is a great gift for Christmas, it’s affordable, has a nice range of features and you get a keyboard and a mouse in a single nice and tidy (and easy to wrap) box! With prices around £23.99 it’s hard to say no to such a great deal! Readers in the US can pick one of from Newegg for an equally impressive $29.99.
RGB mechanical keyboards are everywhere this year, but the XTi from Cooler Master is my personal favourite so far. It’s no-fuss and bold design is great for home and office, gaming or work, with the added bonus that it’s incredibly durable and has some of the nicest lighting tones I’ve seen so far, even if it does only allow for a mixture of red and blue! You can pick up the XTi from Box for just £134, although there’s also a deal that includes a free mouse here!
The Gaming Scimitar RGB MOBA/MMO Gaming Mouse is packed full of features that will put a smile on any PC gamers face. With RGB lighting, excellent performance and a customisable keypad on the side, it’s one of the best mice we’ve ever tested. better yet, it’s only £69.95 from Overclockers UK.
The Logitech G502 is a prime example of how great a gaming mouse can truly be. This is without a doubt the best mouse sensor we’ve ever tested and the rest of the mouse isn’t exactly lacking in features either. I’d be tempted to buy this one for myself this Christmas, but you could always treat someone else with it too. It’s available directly from the Logitech website (with free shipping) for just £69.99.
A relatively new entry on the peripherals market, the G.Skills MX780 is a fantastic gaming mouse, with a switchable left or right handed grip that makes it ideal for a wide range of gamers. With a retail price of just $59.99 it is exceptional value for a Christmas gift, and given its spec, it’ll go head to head with many of the best mice on the market.
We were absolutely blown away by the Corsair Void series, some of the best sounding, most comfortable and best-looking headsets we’ve ever seen! They would make a great gift, but be careful, if you try them out before you give them away, you may want to keep them. The Corsair Void USB 7.1 RGB Headset is available from Overclockers UK for just £79.99. This is £10 cheaper than the Wireless headset which is £89.99, I prefer the wireless and think it’s not much more to pay for the extra tech, but you’re own preferences will obviously determine which model you prefer.
Eager to get the best of the best gaming headset for you or your loved one? Then make no exception, the Astro A40 TR Headset with Mix Amp Pro is the way to go. This is one that’s sure to leave a dent in your wallet, but as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. Available from the Astro store for £200, plus around £48 for the optional Mod Kit, the Astro is expensive, but the sound quality, features and comfortable fit are priceless.
SSD prices are dropping constantly and there really has never been a better time to invest. If it’s for your own system, you can give yourself a great upgrade without spending a fortune, but the smaller drive sizes make excellent gifts to those who could do with a performance upgrade on their system. The Crucial BX200 comes with an MSRP of £234.49 ($299.99) for the 960GB model and £66.49 ($84.99) and £116.99 ($149.99) for the smaller 240GB and 480GB models, plus the small boxes are super easy to wrap up as a gift.
Give the gift of a connected home this Christmas, from streaming your movies around the house, to backing up those important files, there are a lot of benefits to owning a NAS. Not the cheapest of gifts, but it’s one of those products where if you buy cheap, you’ll likely regret it in the long run. The QNAP’s TS-251 Turbo NAS can be found at NewEgg for $384.99, at Scan UK for £295.32, or through Geizhals starting at €284.
AMD have created a mighty powerhouse with the R9 380X and the Sapphire Nitro is one of the finest examples. It’s fast, sleek and affordable, more than enough power for 1080P ultra gaming, or 1440p high gaming, making it a great addition to anyone who wants the latest PC games for Christmas. The Sapphire Nitro R9 380X is currently available from OverclockersUK for £199.99. NeweggUS currently has this card listed for $229.99.
Spend a little more, get a lot more, the GTX 970 is a superb card, but one that may be getting a little expensive for those looking for a Christmas gift. With enough power to play anything on the market and even delve into high-end resolutions, it’s a strong contender for something to put under the Christmas tree, or even put on your own wish list. The Gainward Phoenix GTX 970 is currently available in the UK from SCAN for £273.56 and for an estimated $360 in the US.
It wouldn’t be Christmas if we couldn’t all hope and dream, but the Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 980Ti is currently one of the best cards on the market and we would be crazy not to suggest the best of the best. Available in the UK for the £599.99 it’s certainly not cheap, although we’ve seen some great deals bringing it down below £500, so it’s best to shop around. Just imagine the look on your partners face when they unwrap this monster on Christmas day!
Getting a little more back to reality and reasonable prices, DDR4 memory is dropping in price quite nicely now. It was super expensive at launch, but now you’ll often find DDR4 kits at equal or lower prices to their DDR3 equivalents. That makes them a great upgrade for Christmas, but make sure you have a DDR4 motherboard to go with it!
Snapped up a 4K TV in the Black Friday deals? The Nvidia Shield Console is the most powerful Android device on the market, and it’s the perfect media player for Plex, 4K content on Netflix and more. Even better, it’s also a very powerful gaming system, with many AAA games available to play, as well as game streaming features that will leave you wondering why this device doesn’t cost more than £149.99! You can buy the Shield TV and accessories directly from Nvidia here.
Think someone could do with a cooling upgrade for their system, or perhaps even parts towards a new system build this Christmas? Treat them to an AIO water cooler and they’ll be able to reduce the noise from their system and unlock its overclocking potential! The Thermaltake Water 3.0 Extreme S is a little expensive, but it’s still a competitively priced AIO at just £81.98 and would make a great gift, especially if you’re just going to treat yourself.
The Atlas is one of the coolest coolers we’ve seen this year, a tiny form factor with big performance and virtually silent acoustics. Building a system for someone or upgrading your own, this is one cooler you’ll want to consider and given that it’s available from Overclockers UK for a very reasonable £42.95, it’s another great addition to our buying guide.
Need a premium cooler but don’t want to pay a premium price this Christmas? The be quiet! Shadow Rock Slim is more affordable, but still packs some impressive performance figures. It’s available from Scan.co.uk for just £30.52 + shipping here in the UK and from Amazon.com for $49.90 + $9.80 shipping in the US.
Love your music on the go, when you’re out at the park, or anywhere for that matter? The Mercury box offers up a huge sound from such a tiny box. Built from aluminium and featuring a waterproof design, it’s one of the best mobile speakers on the market, great for listening to music wherever you are! Available from Amazon.com for just $48.99 and readers in the UK can get it from Amazon.co.uk for £49.99.
The perfect stocking filler, a 10,000 mAh mobile battery. This has enough juice to charge most mobiles several times, and it’ll even recharge high-end devices such as iPads with ease too. Perfect for travelling, and best of all, it’s super lightweight and affordable. The power bank is £13.99/$14.99/€15.99 and you can order it directly from OnePlus.
Nothing says I love you like a kick-ass gaming PC. Of course, budgets vary wildly from hundreds to even thousands of pounds/dollars, but that’s the joy of buying a PC, or building your own, there’s so much to choose from! With so many awesome system integrators around these days, you can’t go far wrong. Chillblast, CyberPower, PC Specialist, Vibox, Freshtech or Overclockers UK.
Gaming in the living room? Why not invest in a CyberPower Syber Steambox! Prices start at £485 and go right up to £1905, giving you a great choice to suit your needs, and your budget.
A whole lot of gaming for not a lot of money from Chillblast, with their very competitive Fusion NightHawk, a great option for those looking for their first gaming PC at just £599.
Another mid-budget powerhouse, this time from Vibox with their Element X. At just £649, this MSI R9 380 and AMD FX-6300 powered computer is great for gaming and would make a great gift this Christmas.
Time to bring out the big gun’s and really treat yourself? Or perhaps you just want your friend or family member to open a present they’ll never forget? The FreshTech Solutions Stealth Gaming PC is an absolute beast, powered by some of today’s latest and greatest hardware. Of course, it’s not cheap at £1412, but this is not your run of the mill gaming PC.
It would seem Amazon keep expanding on their technology, from the Kindle to the Echo, they produce more and more technologies that we now feel we need, that we never even considered before. The next one has a simple and nice name, Alexa, and she’s looking forward to helping you get your house straight.
Alexa is available on Amazon Fire devices running version 5 (and Fire TV Sticks running Fire OS 5.0.3) and higher. Alexa is a system designed to allow you to voice control your connected home systems.
From playing your prime music stations to playing your music collection, even your audible books. You can even re-order items, so remember that pet food and supplements you order? Why not re-order more in a single sentence?
You can even use Alexa to create your shopping lists, check your calendar or toggle your home devices.
Imagine sitting down to watch a movie and realising the lights are a little too bright, one sentence later the lights have dimmed to that of a cinema and with another sentence, your movie begins and you enjoy your popcorn in comfort having never left your seat.
We live in a world full of technology, that much is obvious, but when it comes to movies and TV, the actors live in a completely different dimension to conventional technology, one where almost none of it makes any sense. Obviously, sitting and clicking a mouse is a little boring to watch, so movie and TV producers, writers, directors, etc, come up with more and more imaginative ways to make it more involving, often with hilarious consequences. Just look at the image above, flip a PC chassis on its side, stick a microscope on top, instant science equipment!
Take this iconic scene from NCIS for example, and wow are there are lot of NCIS examples I could pick from. There’s so much wrong with this scene it’s hard to even quantify. Two people sharing a single keyboard, windows flying all over on the screen and let’s not forget that they stopped the hacker by pulling the plug… like the entire database that was being hacked was only on that one PC? Effectively they cut themselves off and left the hacker to carry on, or at least that’s what would have been the case in real life.
Why bother to get appropriate props to fit the scene when you can pull a power supply out of your bag and call it a hard drive. This one really makes my brain hurt, but it’s also one that makes me laugh my ass off every time I see it.
Why use a keyboard when you can use VR and gloves. This is futuristic as hell, but imagine holding your arms out and about 1-foot above your desk for extended periods of time just to use a computer! That’s a future I don’t want to live in.
The whole “zoom and enhance” thing has been played out a lot, but CSI really pushed things to ridiculous levels. Zooming into insane levels of detail from some crappy security camera footage. OH COME ON! And pay close attention to the sound effects, computers don’t do that? It would be incredibly irritating after about… five minutes?
It seems to be a fascination of TV and movies to make everything a computer does “beep”, from typing, moving a cursor, copying a file, deleting something, you get that constant *beep boop beep boop* and I have yet to see a real PC that does anything like this, with the exception of a kids V-Tech toy.
Need to hack something? Don’t worry, all it takes is some dancing, a lot of screens, furious typing and the smarts to solve a digital Rubix cube. Hacking is boring in real life, it’s just code and commands, so movies add visuals to make it look interesting, but it’s still completely absurd.
Don’t even get me started on the whole Hackers movie. I loved it, but this scene is far more interesting than it should be, without even getting started on how they were generating cool text graphics on the TV network in real time.
There’s little I need to say here, “Is that a 12-core!?” is possibly the funniest “tech” moment in TV history. One that I feel won’t be topped for a long time, or until the next season of NCIS.
Not even the mighty Batman can escape the absurdity, using mobile phones to feed vast amounts of information like this. I’ve no idea why they need so many odd looking displays with huge gaps, even a 1cm bezel is distracting on multi-monitor setups, so this is a terrible configuration. Also, how did they stream so much data to his HUD? I don’t recall seeing a super-power Wi-Fi antenna sticking out his butt.
Buzz words are a great way of making it sound like you did something technical, or really anything at all.
Then again, we’re saved by the IT Crowd who know how silly tech can be on TV, but embrace it to give us comedy gold such as this.
Got a favorite movie or TV tech moment you want to share with us? Feel free to leave it in the comments section below.
BBC Three broadcasts a number of hard-hitting documentaries and comedy favorites including American Dad. The channel is quite popular among the 20-30 age bracket and an integral part of the BBC. The BBC’s budget has spiraled out of control in recent years and they have been forced to make efficiency savings. As a result, the broadcaster lost the viewing rights to expensive sports contacts including the French Open Tennis and full Formula One coverage. On another note, the BBC’s Trust has finally confirmed that BBC Three will move to an online only model and no longer be broadcast on traditional TV. BBC Three’s Controller Damian Kavanagh described the announcement and said:
“BBC Three is not closing, we are reinventing online. We will not be a scheduled 7pm to 4am linear broadcast TV channel but we will be everywhere else giving you the freedom to choose what to watch when you want. We will be available on BBC iPlayer on connected TV’s and via set top boxes and consoles like the PS4 so you can watch on a big TV with friends, if you want. We will be on mobiles and tablets so you can watch on your own in the bath, if you want. The truth is we will be available to you in more places than ever before including linear TV.”
While this has angered quite a lot of BBC Three’s audience, the decision does seem logical given the future of media and the channel’s young demographic. Most people in their early 20s are accustomed to streaming online video via YouTube, Netflix and similar services. In the modern age, people expect content instantly and don’t want to rely on traditional scheduling. The BBC’s long-term future is still up for discussion but it appears this move is going to cause some controversy.
Black Friday sales are almost upon us and retailers have already started to discount items via flash deals. Although, the major discounts should start tomorrow and really ramp up on Friday. One example which caught my eye is the NVIDIA Shield TV which offers 4K streaming functionality, an excellent supply of Android games and GeForce Now subscription service. The Shield TV features a Tegra X1 processor, 3GB RAM and supports a host of services from Netflix to Plex. If you’d like to know more about the Android TV, please visit our comprehensive review here.
Later on today, or possibly tonight, the NVIDIA Shield TV will be discounted to £119.99 which includes the gamepad and remote worth £39.99 on its own! At £119.99, this is great value and a suitable choice for NVIDIA users wanting to stream their game library to a TV or people demanding the best possible performance. While there are cheaper alternatives out there, the Shield TV’s specification and 4K streaming functionality is an attractive proposition at this discounted price.
The sale will commence on NVIDIA’s Store relatively soon until stocks last. I can see this deal being quite popular and it’s already been posted on HotUKDeals. As a result, it’s best to keep an eye out on the official store to see when the deal finally goes live.
The Nvidia Shield TV is here at last, the much-anticipated successor to the already feature packed and exciting line of Android-powered Nvidia gaming devices. The original Shield is a great little hand-held, and we’ve tested it extensively since it was released, pushing the limits of what can be done with it, just check out the links below to see more. Then we have the Shield Tablet, a mini powerhouse of mobile gaming that still dominates the mobile gaming market for Android, in my opinion at least. Now we’ve got the Shield TV, a set-top box packed with some of the latest and greatest Nvidia mobile hardware, promising greater performance than any previous Shield devices, and more than any other competing devices on the market.
“NVIDIA SHIELD is an amazing Ultra HD streaming media player, delivering incredible resolution in favorite apps like Netflix 4K and YouTube 4K, YouTube, KODI (XBMC), and PLEX. Vivid 10-bit color and rich Dolby 7.1 surround sound make this a true home theater experience. Or plug your headphones into your SHIELD controller or SHIELD remote for a private listening experience.” said Nvidia
Equipped with the powerful new Nvidia Tegra X1 processor, which features an impressive 256-core GPU and 3GB of RAM, offers up 4K capability, support for a huge range of video and audio formats, 16GB of storage, high-speed networking and so much more; I’m amazed this little box only costs £149.99!
“Explore a world of entertainment, powered by Android TV. Tap into Google Play for a huge, dynamic selection of movies, TV shows, and apps. Say “Oscar-winning movies” or “launch Netflix” and let Google’s advanced voice commands do the work for you. Get personalized recommendations on your home screen. Even cast a show or pictures to your TV from your PC, Android, or iOS device with built-in Google Cast. SHIELD makes it fast and easy.” Said Nvidia
Equipped with a range of cool apps as standard, you’ll also find Shield Hub, Nvidia GRID and more, so there’s no doubt that this is going to be a multimedia powerhouse right out of the box.
The packaging is nice and tidy, with a good image of the Shield on the front, as well as the main spec; such as this being the 16GB model.
Around the back, we can see it’s powered by Android TV, supports voice search, 4K and gaming.
As a nice bonus, we also have the Shield remote, an optional £39.99 accessory.
The remote is super sleek, with a nice mixture of brushed aluminium finishes and a few simple buttons. The microphone button lights up in green when pressed and theirs a microphone at the top for voice controls.
At the base, a small micro-USB recharging port and a 3.5mm jack for headsets/headphones.
And finally, a brushed aluminium back.
It fits nicely in your hand and the control buttons are simple enough, a directional D-pad with a central select button, as well as a back and ok button below that.
Opening up the box, everything is very nicely packaged.
There’s a modular plug for international users, HDMI cable, micro USB cable, Shield controller and a support guide.
A professor in Arizona has developed the world’s first white laser, a rather simple sounding innovation at first, but one that could have a significant impact on a huge range of technologies over the next few years and beyond.
The white laser technology could be used to create much more vivid images for TV screens, as well as offer faster and more secure communications using LiFi technology and more. The creator, Professor Cun-Zheng, has been working on his white laser technology for almost a decade, and his work is being award with top honours from Popular Science Magazine.
“With lasers we can produce many more colors than the standard LED. You can represent any colors you want to represent in a more truthful manner,” said Ning. “To grow for the first time a semiconductor that would be made red, green, and blue at the same time, and furthermore we were able to demonstrate that single piece of material can actually have laser actions simultaneously so that the overall light coming out is white,” he added.
Laser TVs are nothing new, but they’re wildly expensive and not quite ready to take on the current crop of consumer hardware. This new technology uses razor-thin lasers that would represent just one pixel each on the screen, using three colours to mix to white, or any other colour required for each “pixel”. Much like OLED technology, this doesn’t require a backlight, but can produce even more vivid colours and detail.
“That was really exciting when you put a laser TV side-by-side, with the best LCD or LED TV, and there’s no comparison, the kinda color you see is immediately so vivid,” said Ning.
This is great news, but don’t expect to see a per-pixel laser TV set on the shelves too soon, this is just the first step of getting this hardware working, bringing it to market is the next step.
Bounty Hunters, Unlikely Heroes, Escaping from Jails and Spaceships. The Riddick series has brought all of this and more to the screen, with actors such as Karl Urban and Dame Judi Dench starring in the film’s that at times seem to have been created by Vin Diesels determination to see the Riddick Universe expand. Riddick is an unlikely hero with a dark past, wanted around the universe for crimes and escaping prisons, one of which you can even play in Escape From Butchers Bay before having to escape yet again in the games sequel Assault on Dark Athena, both made by Tigon Studios, founded by (you guessed it) Vin Diesel himself. With his latest film, the Last Witch Hunter, being based on his D&D character and his love for the game, what’s next for Vin Diesel? The answer came in an Instagram post from the man himself.
In the pictures description, Vin Diesel states that “last night Our company had a party to launch Our TV division”. He then goes on to explain how Merc City, a new series, will follow the mercs and bounty hunters in the Riddick universe. He then ends the post by stating that next month “DT begins writing the next Chapter in the Chronicles of Riddick… FURIA”, DT standing for David Twohy, a screenwriter who has worked on every single Riddick film since Pitch Black started it all off.
Are you excited to see more from Riddick? Did you enjoy the Riddick games and do you want to see another one released for the new film or TV series?
Streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu and others have revolutionized the way we watch video content. In the digital age, there’s no need to wait for your favourite TV shows, or watch a bunch of adverts, as streaming services offer instant gratification. Netflix is evidently the most popular choice due to the superb TV and film library. However, many customers outside the US have to use a VPN as content is restricted on a geographical basis. Nevertheless, the affordable pricing and huge range of shows in the USA is proving a popular combination and according to research firm RBC Capital Markets, 51 percent of US internet users watched content on Netflix during the last 12 months.
Netflix’s viewing figures as a percentage even surpassed YouTube which finished in second place. The data is intriguing and illustrates the popularity of streaming services. As a result, it’s perfectly feasible for traditional TV to struggle in the next decade as consumers expect more and become sick of TV scheduling. Furthermore, Netflix now offers a premium service capable of 4K streaming, which is bound to please customers with a brand new 4K television. Although, the company has gradually increased the subscription costs over time. Therefore, it’s unknown how expensive Netflix might be in the next few years.