An ultra-cheap Wi-Fi router wants to solve your streaming music woes

Streaming music through your home entertainment system should be simple, but like many forms of media, it often becomes hopelessly tangled in a morass of broadly incompatible standards the moment you try to stream it from device A to device B. It’s a mess. And of all the incompatibility hells we deal with on a daily basis, the sad state of audio affairs can be particularly tragic: nothing...

Netflix streaming speeds on Comcast jump 65 percent after controversial deal

Netflix customers on Comcast are already seeing the benefits of a controversial pact between the streaming service and cable provider. Comcast jumped five spots in Netflix's ranking of ISP performance for the month of March. It now sits in fifth place, delivering an average streaming speed of 2.5Mbps — up from the pitiful 1.15Mbps average Comcast delivered to Netflix subscribers in January.

"This month’s rankings are a great illustration of how performance can improve when ISPs work to connect directly to Netflix," said Netflix. It's also a great illustration of what happens when Netflix pays off cable providers to speed things up: Comcast now charts above Verizon FiOS and even Time Warner Cable, the very company it's hoping to snatch up in the coming months.

Netflix's 'deal with the devil' seems to be working


Amazon Fire TV review

My name is Dan Seifert and I’m addicted to cable TV.

Last fall, I tried to break that addiction. I became one of the growing number of Americans to cancel their cable TV service. I went from a couple hundred channels to zero. I’ll have lots of free time, I said. Maybe I’ll even catch up...

Gadget VS Gadget

Trial by Fire: can Amazon stand out in a fierce set-top box market?

Today marked the introduction of Amazon's Fire TV set-top box, setting up the latest battle in a relentless war between electronics companies for a presence in your living room. In a letter to customers on Amazon's website, CEO Jeff Bezos describes Fire TV as "the easiest way to enjoy Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, low-cost video rentals, and more." But others including Apple, Roku, and Google have all made similar claims in the past. Amazon says its device is more...

Rdio, Vudu, and Crackle now support Google's Chromecast

Rdio just updated its mobile apps for iOS and Android with support for Chromecast, letting users listen to the music service on any TV connected to Google's $35 streaming device. The large-screen interface is very basic, but that's probably a good...


Amazon announces $99 Fire TV set-top box, available now

Apple and Roku have a new competitor in the living room. Amazon just announced its own video streaming device: the $99 Amazon Fire TV. It starts shipping today. "We need to invent and simplify on behalf of customers," said Amazon's Peter Larsen. During the presentation, Larsen went over three pain points of current devices: search, performance, and "closed ecosystem." Fire TV promises to avoid the problems that plague other living room...


Nest thermostat arrives in the UK ahead of an 'aggressive' European expansion

Although it's only been available to buy in the US and Canada so far, the Nest Learning Thermostat has already been installed in over 120 countries around the world. As of today, the market for its purchase is growing in number with the addition of the UK, where you'll be able to buy the home automation device for £179 (or £249 with the recommended professional installation included).

The Learning Thermostat is, at its core, an app to...

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