Two More Google Products: Google WiFi Mesh Router, and Google Home, an Amazon Echo Competitor

Google made a bunch a new product announcements with their Pixel phones, Daydream View VR headset, and Chromecast Ultra 4K dongle, but in this post I’ll write about two other new products: Google Home an Amazon Echo competitor powered by Google Assistant and supporting multi-room, as well as Google WiFi (Mesh) router aiming at providing WiFi all over the house by combining multiple WiFi routers. Google WiFi Router Most households now use a single router to provide WiFi to the home, but inevitably this introduce some dead or “slow WiFi” zones within the house. One way to work around this is to use WiFi repeaters, but it’s not always easy to setup and may lead to lower bandwidth. Google WiFi router uses a technology called mesh WiFi, where each router work together to determine the best path for your data using Network Assist technology to automatically choose and update the best channel for your device in real-time. The router(s) can …

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Upcoming 4K HDMI Streaming Sticks – Chromecast Ultra and EZCast 4K

Google has been introducing several “MadebyGoogle” device including the latest Chromecast Ultra support 4K and HDR, but it’s not the only 4K HDMI dongle to stream videos from your phone that’s about to be release as EZCast sticks are also getting an upgrade with EZCast 4K dongle supporting 4K Miracast, DLNA, and EZCast own protocol. Chromecast Ultra Chromecast Ultra specifications: Connectivity – 802.11ac (2.4 GHz/5 GHz) WiFi, Ethernet port (on power adapter) Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K resolution, HDR support USB – 1x micro USB port for power and data Dimensions – 58.20 ⌀ x 13.7 mm Weight – 47 grams (device); 101 grams (power adapter) Chromecast Ultra ships with a power cable (2m) and a power adapter with an Ethernet port. The device can be used with devices and/or computers running Android 4.1 and higher, iOS 8.0 and higher, Mac OS X 10.9 and higher, Windows 7 and higher. It will start selling for $69 in …

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AudioCast M5 is a ChromeCast Audio Alternative with Local Audio Files and Multi-Room Support

ChromeCast Audio launched earlier this year together with ChromeCast 2.0 in order to bring ChromeCast experience specifically to audio files via your speakers or audio system. Wireless audio streamer are not exactly new, and I’ve reviewed a few including SoundMate WM201, and the company behind the SoundMate models, UyeSee, has launched a new AudioCast M2 wireless multi-room sound streamer that looks familiar… The main features of AudioCast M5 are listed as follows: Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n with WPS button Audio Output – 3.5mm stereo jack Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port Multiroom streaming – Stream same song to all speakers, stream different songs to different speakers, stream same or different song to different group speakers using a single smartphone . Streaming from phone’s internal storage, UPnP/DLNA server, online music service including Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and more coming with Tital, Dezzer, GoogleMusic, Tunein, etc… Stereo Pairing – Turn two AudioCast M5 into separate left and right speakers. Mobile Apps …

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ChromeCast 2.0 and ChromeCast Audio Announced for $35

Google released the original ChromeCast in 2013. The $35 device allows users to stream online video from your smartphone to your big TV, and since then Google and the community has brought various improvement to make more with the device, and thousands of apps can be installed in the little device. Google has now released a new ChromeCast, as well as ChromeCast Audio to stream audio to speakers. The hardware has been upgraded but the complete specifications are not available, but we do know ChromeCast 2.0 support 802.11 b/g/n and 802.11ac for higher quality 1080p video streaming, and Marvell tweeted about the new ChromeCast devices, so it’s likely another Marvell SoC has been used, maybe Armada 1500 Plus (88DE3108) [Update: ChromeCast 2.0 is based on Armada 1500 Mini Plus (88DE3006) dual core Cortex A7 processor] The new ChromeCast still works with iPhones, iPads, Android phones and tablets, Mac and Windows laptops, and Chromebooks. ChromeCast audio does what ChromeCast did for …

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Amazon Introduces $39 Fire TV Stick to Compete with Chromecast, Roku Streaming Stick

Amazon has decided to put Fire TV media player functionality into a low cost HDMI TV stick called “Fire TV stick” to offer an alternative to the likes of Google Chromecast, and Roku Streaming Stick. The device is based on a Broadcom BCM28155 dual core processor with the same VideoCore IV GPU/VPU found in BCM2835 SoC used in the Raspberry Pi. Fire TV stick hardware specifications: SoC – Broadcom BCM28155 (Capri) dual core ARM Cortex A9 processor @ 1.0 GHz with VideoCore IV GPU/VPU System Memory – 1GB RAM with half reserved to the system, and the other half dedicated to video. Storage – 8 GB internal storage Video / Audio Output – HDMI 1.4b output, w/HDCP 1.4. Resolution: 720p and 1080p up to 60fps Video Codecs – H.264 Audio – AAC-LC, AC3, eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis Connectivity – dual-band/dual-antenna 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (2×2 MIMO),  Bluetooth 3.0 (HID, HFP, HPP profiles). Other part of Amazon website indicates …

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MatchStick’s Firefox OS Firmware Ported to MK808B mini PC

MatchStick is an HDMI Stick running Firefox OS and designed to stream online video, mirroring browsers, etc.. which makes it very similar to a Chromecast, even using the same DIAL protocol. The hardware is based on Rockchip RK3066, and Mozilla released an SDK for the device. Since there are quite a few Rockchip RK3066 TV sticks out there, BalintBanyasz announced he ported MatchStick’s firmware to MK808B (with RK903 Wi-Fi module), and has now provided the firmware and instructions on Freaktab. The firmware is based on Linux kernel 3.0.36+ used in Android 4.2.2. Once you’ve flash the firmware (matchstick-flingone-b2g2.0-201409281739-mk808b.img.7z) to MK808B, and installed MatchStick app / add-on in your Android device or Firefox Browser (iOS app coming) soon, you can “fling” a YouTube video from your phone / browser to your TV through MK808B as follows: Open MatchStick app on your phone in order to detect the hotspot (MatchStickXXXX) created by MK808B. Click on the ESSID and press “Set up”.  Select …

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$18 Matchstick is an HDMI TV Stick Running Firefox OS (Crowdfunding)

A few month ago, a Firefox OS HDMI streaming stick (codenamed netcast) by Mozilla that would compete with Google Chromecast was previewed. It is now called Matchstick, based on Rockchip RK3066 and has just been launched on Kickstarter. MatchStick technical specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3066 dual core Cortex A9 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Mali-400 MP4 GPU System Memory – 1GB DDR3 (micron) Storage – 4 GB flash.  (FORSEE, NCEFES86 eMMC) Video Output – HDMI Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi (AP6181?), but the board supports other Wi-Fi modules include AP6210 and AP6330, and many people are asking for dual band Wi-Fi in comments, so maybe a stretch goal… USB – 1x micro USB port for power Power – 5V via micro USB port. TPS659102 PMIC. Dimensions – 110 x 40 x 11 mm The Firefox OS dongle will come with an HDMI extension Cable, a micro USB Cable, and a 5V power adapter. The company claims MatchStick is an open …

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Mozilla Netcast is ChromeCast-like Device Powered by Firefox OS

According to Gigaom, Mozilla has been working on an HDMI TV dongle that might be codenamed Netcast with ChromeCast like video streaming and screen mirroring functionalities, and that runs Firefox OS with an open bootloader. There aren’t any hardware details available for the device, but we more or less know how it will work. As you are using your Firefox browser or another Firefox OS, you can simply click a “Casting button” to watch YouTube videos, mirror the screen or so on. I also understand it will be compatible with ChromeCast apps. Gigaom got hold of an engineering sample and gave it a try run Firefox browser in Android (Nexus 7), and playing a YouTube video on the TV using Netcast. It’s also working with Google Music, Plex, but some other apps are not working just yet. Mozilla’s media casting device has not been officially announced yet, so we don’t know when it will be available, nor its price. But …

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