MHL (Mobile High Definition Link) Turns Your Phone into a Set-Top Box, Game Console and more

MHL (Mobile High Definition Link) was introduced at Mobile World Conference 2011, some progress has been done since then. For now Two HDTVs are MHL compliant: the Toshiba WL800A and the Samsung UN46D7000. The Toshiba TV already have a firmware upgrade that provides MHL support, a firmware upgrade will come later for the Samsung HDTV. MHL provides market disruptive features that such as the ability to charging MHL compliant phones and tablets, control them with the TV remote through one simple MHL connector (micro-USB to HDMI). In the demo below, they show the phone connected to the Toshiba WL800A and being controlled with the TV remote control to play videos (including trick modes: pause, ffwd, etc..), play Android games and use a web browser. Once you install Google TV 2.0 in your phone (you’ll probably need Android 4.0) or tablet, you can get a great TV experience via your mobile device. If you have an MHL enabled smartphone and TV, …

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Google TV 2.0 For Android 3.1 Released

Back in August, Google released a Preview of Google TV Add-on for the Android SDK. Google has now announced a software upgrade for Google TV a software running on Android device (Smart TV / STB) such as the Sony NSX-24GT1 Google TV that bring web video (e.g. YouTube, Netflix and more) to the TV. Google admits the initial version of Google TV wasn’t perfect and they even asked partners not to show product with Google TV at CES 2011. Let’s see what improvements Google TV 2.0: 1. Keep it simple The interface is now much simpler. The new customizable home screen gets you to your favorite content quickly. And within “all apps” you can see all of your shortcuts, similar to your Android phone or tablet. 2. Make it easy to find something worth watching Search has been improved across the board for content from Live TV, Netflix, YouTube, HBO GO, and more. There’s also an app called “TV & …

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Mentor Embedded Inflexion UI Demo for STB/IPTV

Mentor Embedded developed a user interface for STB/IPTV demo using their Inflexion UI framework and they showcase it at ARM Techcon 2011. The demo runs on Android and looks very smooth thanks to OpenGL ES hardware acceleration. They also have a separate demo with pandaboard and a laptop running Sourcery codebench development tool to show how to develop a simple user interface with Inflexion UI. Finally, they showcase “Stella“, a self-balancing robot with 2 wheels. The board is based on TI Stellartis (Cortex M3) micro-controller and runs Mentor Embedded Nucleus RTOS. Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011. www.cnx-software.com Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

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New Remote Technologies to Control Smart TVs

With Internet-connected flat TVs and set-top boxes, we can now use browse the web and play games. But the traditional remote is not up to the task and new solutions are needed to interact with smart TVs and internet STB such as gesture recognition,  wii-like remotes and tablet/smartphone control. A few companies showcased their solutions at IBC (International Broadcasting Convention) 2011, which took place between the 9th and 13th of September 2011 in Amsterdam: PrimeSense Gesture Recognition PrimeSense, an Israel-based company known for its range image sensor embedded in the “Kinect” motion-based controller for Xbox, began to promote the sales of its range image sensors to TV and STB makers.  PrimeSense ran a prototyped UI software on a notebook PC and controlled the UI by using a gesture recognition device connected to a PC. The UI can be operated by moving a hand. You can then control TV screen like the touch-sensitive screen of a smartphone or tablet. It is …

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Chumby NeTV: Open Hardware and Software STB

Althought not officially announced, Chumby is currently developing a Linux-based IPTV media player that can be remotely controlled by a Wi-Fi connected Android device. It will be offered as an open development platform where both software and hardware will be made available to developers. NeTV is built around a Marvell Armada 166 processor clocked at 800 MHZ (88AP166 – Armada 100 Family) with 2GB RAM, a MicroSD slot and Wifi. The media player is powered via micro USB and comes with a 7-button IR remote, although you might prefer to use your Android device to control the device via a WiFi connection.  NeTV STB supports  HD resolution (480p, 720p & 1080p24 “True Cinema”). On the software side, NeTV provides what they call “Smart Event Display” that allows you to receive personalized internet news via Twitter, Facebook and other internet news source. Android users can also enjoy seamless SMS and email updates on their news banner. Users will also be able …

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Toshiba STB Stor-E TV Pro powered by Rockchip RK2918

IFA 2011 will officially start today (2nd of September) in Berlin until the 7th of September. But Toshiba has already showcased some of its products including the media player Toshiba STOR.E TV PRO powered by Rockchip RK2918 processors (ARM Cortex A8). This media player will allow any television with an HDMI port to have all the features of recent smart televisions. The STOR.E TV PRO has one HDMI output (1080p), 3 USB 2.0 ports, an Ethernet port, Wifi support, Bluetooth support (for the remote), a USB device port and a 2-in-1 card reader. Both sides of the remote can be used, there is a “dumb” side (my words) with 2 buttons and the arrow keys and the other side features a full keyboard. The set-top box will have the usual features such as video playback, picture display, music playback and web browser (based on webkit) with Adobe Flash Plugin 10.2 support. But it also has a video conference option that …

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Preview of Google TV Add-on for the Android SDK

Google announced that Android Market is coming to Google TV at Google I/O with a preview of the Google TV Add-on for the Android SDK. Google TV devices will be Android compatible with the upcoming OS update to Honeycomb. That means developers can build new Android apps for TV, optimize existing mobile or tablet apps for TV and/or distribute those apps through Android Market. Although this add-on does not contain all features of Google TV, it will allow developers to emulate Google TV and build apps using the standard Android SDK tools. It also provides new APIs for TV interaction, such as TV channel listing. Google TV emulation is currently supported on Linux with KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) only, but Google will provide support for other operating systems later on. An existing Android app may work well on Google TV or it may require fixes depending on the design and use case. You can test your apps to determine if …

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ARM TechCon 2011: Software & System Design Schedule

ARM Technology Conference (TechCon) 2011 will be hosted in Santa Clara on the 25-27 October 2011. There will be many events and classes related to Chip Design and Software & System Design. The Software & System Design events will take place on the 26th and 27th October 2011. Here’s the schedule for Software & System Design events for the 26th of October: Time Class Track 11 am The 2012 Compute Subsystem Creating Smarter Systems 11 am Practical Cortex Debugging: Serial Wire Viewer and ETM Tracing Developing/Debugging 11 am Integrating a CMOS Imaging Sensor into an ARM-Based Embedded Application Human Interface Design 11 am Embedded IPv6 – Now is the time Networking & Connectivity 11 am RSA & AES Libraries protected against side-channel attacks Safety & Security 11 am Introduction to the ARM Architecture The Fundamentals of ARM 12 pm Optimizing SoC development through a common design foundation Creating Smarter Systems 12 pm Tips and Tricks for Debugging with CoreSight Developing/Debugging …

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