We have a Google TV box for watching Amazon Video, YouTube, Netflix, and video from any website. But frankly it uses a slow and clunky search screen that forces you to move the cursor around the alphabet to spell even short titles. The new ASUS “Chromebox,” coming up in March will list for $179 and works with just about any keyboard, monitor, or TV, wirelessly.
AirCastLive lets you take a video or photo that shows up immediately on your friend’s TV. The catch: Both of you must be using either a Roku player or the Google TV set-top box. These devices are useful for watching Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon movies anaircastlived TV shows, so you may want one anyway. Roku streaming boxes are $50. This fall, Roku is coming out with its own TV set. It will connect to standard cable boxes, but won’t require a Roku player.
Our Danish niece loves her Google Chromecast, a $35 gizmo that can beam movies from your smartphone to your TV and opens the way to video services like Netflix. Unfortunately, the whole world has already written about it, so here’s something new from Apple TV.
VizioFandemonium is a fan site for owners of Vizio TVs, but anyone can join the site and win prizes there. You get 10,000 points for signing up. Earn more points for things like connecting your account to Facebook and joining their email list. For 40,000 points, get a free three-month subscription to Netflix.
Online TV is on. Amazon.com has announced six new pilot programs, leading off with “Alpha House,” starring John Goodman. It was created by Gary Trudeau, the creator of the Doonesbury comic strip. Alpha House is about four senators who rent a house together. Viewers will get to vote on whether this program or one of the five others becomes a full series.
Americans watch the most online videos but haven’t been buying Internet-connected TVs. According to NPD Display Search, only about 20 percent of TVs shipped in North America connect to the Internet. Ours doesn’t either, so we bought a Google box, which lets us watch PBS extras and plenty of other shows. It costs $150. If you feel like going big-time, LG sells an $1100 model that responds to voice commands: if you want the History Channel, you just say so.