IconBit announces Four new Android TV/Media Player Set-Top Boxes at CES, Two with 3D Functionality

Most of you are familiar with Google TV, but I am sure not that many of you have heard of an Android TV. Yes, Android TV. Imagine having the capability of a full blown android experience on your television just by adding a neat little set top box. A Russian based company called IconBit has created just that — a line of set-top boxes that will bring the Android OS to any HDMI compatible television.

We had a chance to meet with the IconBit team at CES and got a rundown on their latest Android endeavors. They have created 4 different boxes that all access the Android Market and a couple that come with a gesture controlled remote (think Nintendo Wii). One of the more exciting bits of news was the announcement that all 4 devices will be upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in the near future. All units provide a tablet-like experience on your home television and can be linked up with an external hard drive for storing your favorite media files.
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Google and LG teaming up for a Nexus TV?

Plans are supposedly on the table for LG to get first access to Google TV software. The partnership is expected to be similar to that which Google struck with Samsung and HTC for creating Nexus phones. At this time both parties have declined to comment but neither have debunked the claims either. I personally own Sony’s NSX32-GT1, the 32″ television. Since purchasing the device, Google TV has certainly matured and it seems manufacturers agree if the number of new Google TV partners are any indication. If ICS is in these systems’ future, it will get even better, fast.

One thing is for sure, the Google TV LG previewed at CES (above) certainly looks fitting of the Nexus brand. With design lines like that, I’m sure LG can bring a proper Nexus TV to market. Get another perspective of that new LG Google TV after the break.
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Turn Your TV into an Android 2.3 Internet TV with iGoGo TV

I have been interested in Google TV for a while but convincing my sweetie that I need to turn our TV into a giant Android device is well, darn near impossible. Given Google’s announcements at CES this year regarding its TV service and who they would be partnered with, it wouldn’t be long before more devices hit the market. Well this device was brought to my attention earlier this afternoon and after looking at it I think it could be something worth looking into. Magic-Pro iGoGo TV looks to turn your TV into a full Android 2.3.1 tablet of sorts. It has the following specs: 
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Microsoft Signs Yet Another Patent Licensing Deal, LG Is The Latest To Fall Victim


Microsoft just keeps seeing those royalties come in. It has just announced LG has signed a licensing agreement for devices which runs Android or Chrome. This arrangement for Microsoft is similar to that of Huawei and Samsung already in place. Here’s Microsoft attorney Horacio Guitierrez making an official statement of Microsoft’s newest licensing deal:

 “We are pleased to have built upon our longstanding relationship with LG to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. Together with our 10 previous agreements with Android and Chrome OS device manufacturers, including HTC, Samsung and Acer, this agreement with LG means that more than 70 percent of all Android smartphones sold in the U.S. are now receiving coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft. “We are proud of the continued success of our program in resolving the IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome OS”.

70 percent of all Android smartphones in the US have Microsoft patent licensing deals huh? Microsoft continues to indirectly impact the Android ecosystem. Moreover, it looks as though LG’s smartphones won’t be the only ones affected. LG’s future TV lineup which will be Google TV-powered and likely use Chrome will also fall under the new patent licensing move. All eyes are now on you Googlorola.

[via Microsoft]

Hands on with the OnLive gaming service [Video]

We had a chance to sit down with OnLive CEO Steven Perlman. As you know OnLive is a cloud based gaming service that was officially launched about a month ago. It’s basically a Netflix type of service for gaming. You can buy in at a monthly rate of $9.99 a month or purchase individual games for approximately $40+ each. Right now there about 200 games available from every genre. You can play with people all over the world and even watch games in action as they are happening as a spectator. You can quickly and easily save highlights from your games and share the via them and others can rate them.

OnLive works on your tablet, smartphone, Logitech Revue, or the recently released Vizio VAP430. Since it’s cloud based, it always saves your game data so you can seamlessly switch from the TV to your tablet or vice verse. You can even pair the controller with tablets and the USB connector works with the Logitech Revue. The app for the revue just launched, however, you can only use it as a spectator. In the coming weeks an update will take place in which it will give us the ability to play any of the 200+ games.

This is truly an amazing service and I believe it’s the future of gaming. Whether you’re a hardcore or casual gamer, you need to checkout this hands on video presentation by Steven.

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Vizio and Google announce the VAP430 standalone Google TV streamer

Google TV is alive and kicking at CES this year, but with Logitech backing out of standalone units, who’s going to pick up the pieces? Vizio and Google just announced the Vizio VAP430 Stream Player. This is a standalone unit that will turn any HDTV into an enhanced VIZIO Internet Apps Plus and smart TV incorporating the latest Google TV. It includes a Chrome browser and will play music, video, and pictures stored on any computer, hard drive, or smart phone connected to a local network or the cloud. Just like the Logitech Revue, it has a pass-through HDMI port for your cable or satellite box, which creates a seamless television experience.

“We’re excited about what Google TV brings to our new VAP430 Stream Player,” says Matthew McRae, VIZIO’s Chief Technology Officer. “This isn’t just an ordinary streaming box that accesses a few predetermined video services. It’s a true entertainment portal that opens up everything the Web has to offer, as well as all the content consumers already have stored on computers and hard drives. And the incorporation of Google TV and our V.I.A. Plus interface makes it all incredibly easy to setup and a joy to use.”

They also plan on launching the VBR430 3D Blu-ray player, which combines the features of the VAP430 with Blu-ray’s state-of-the-art high-definition video and audio playback capabilities. No pricing was announced, but pre-orders will start in the spring for the VAP430.

For all the latest from CES, you can checkout our coverage here.

Full press release after the break:

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Google Announces TV Partners For CES 2012


Next week just can’t come soon enough. As we get closer and closer to CES 2012 (which Talk Android will be at by the way giving you nonstop coverage of everything Google and Android), we continue to see announcements from big time manufacturers and companies and Google is no exception. Following the blockbuster 2011 for Google TV, the Mountain View giant has announced they are looking to do bigger and better things for 2012. They’ve announced a star-studded lineup of TV partners which will feature Google-powered technology. Here’s Google itself the list of partners as well as its excitement for the partnerships:

  • LG – We’re thrilled to welcome global consumer electronics leader LG to the Google TV family. LG will showcase a new line of TVs powered by Google TV running on their own L9 chipset at CES.
  • Marvell – Also new to the Google TV family this year is Marvell, an innovative worldwide leader in chipsets. Marvell will be showcasing a new generation of Google TV solutions which will help bring more products across more price points to consumers.
  • MediaTek – We’re also excited to partner with MediaTek, the leading Taiwanese chipset designer. MediaTek chipsets will power yet another wave of Google TV devices.
  • Samsung – We’re excited to work closely with Samsung to bring Google-TV powered Samsung devices to market in 2012.
  • Sony – We’re happy to build on our partnership with Sony. At CES, Sony will unveil new devices for the US and plans to offer Google TV powered products in several countries around the world in 2012.
  • Vizio – Last year we announced our partnership with Vizio at CES. This year we’re excited to join Vizio as they hold private demos at CES showcasing their new line of Google TV-powered products.

Very nice lineup indeed. Let’s see how many more living rooms and bedrooms Google can invade now that they will be going full-throttle from CES 2012 and beyond.

[via Google TV Blog]

Marvell Armada 1500 CPU Up to Bat as Google TV Switches to ARM

Well Google TV moved from x86 to ARM processing and Marvell wants everyone to know that its Foresight platform is what will be powering the next generation of Google TV hardware. Powering the device is an Armada 1500 dual-core CPU that promises PC-like performance but with cellphone-like power management. It will have support for Blu-ray 3D, video encoding/decoding and upscaling. Considering the initial lackluster market response, Marvell Co-founder Weili Dai sees this as an opportunity to fundamentally change content producers and consumer relationships.

This may be a good thing as a there is similar hardware powering the OnLive Microconsole and it may be what’s running Vizio’s Google TV with the inbuilt OnLive capabilities. Besides lower heat production and power requirements the chip will power the device for less money which may mean that we will see cheaper devices, like the Revue, in a lot more houses in 2012. Who knows, maybe CES this year will have some more insight on what we will see from Google TV and what Google TV 2.o and has to offer this year. Hit the break below to see the official press release. 
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