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Archive | November 1, 2010

How to increase Netflix 6 streaming devices limit – call Netflix and bug them

Let’s face it, with Netflix streaming capable devices popping out everywhere at very low (under $100) prices  and Netflix clients available on most modern smartphones, the number of such devices in an average family will soon be larger than 6 which is the current limit per one Netflix subscription. Sure, you can go to your account and activate / deactivate devices as you need them, but it is annoying, especially in 2010. When I want to watch a movie, I want to turn on whatever equipment I have and start watching immediately, not to go on the Internet and configure stuff.  I am sure that I’m not alone in this predicament and there are other families that have a bunch of iPhones / iPads / iPod touch / connected TVs / Google TV and various media streamers or Blu-ray players Netflix capable. I am currently at 12 (including XBOX 360 / PS3 consoles) and while not necessary a typical case, more and more people will share my pain soon. And, by the way, I am not counting any of the PCs capable of streaming Netflix  😀

What to do?

I just called Netflix customer service and while the CSR couldn’t change the limit of 6 devices allowed at one time for my account, he seemed extremely eager to get the necessary feedback from me. If I understand the situation correctly, the 6 devices limit comes from the content providers and Netflix would actually love to be able to raise it. What we can do is to call Netflix (phone 1-866-716-0414) and ask them to increase your limit. It won’t happen right away but at least there is an interest from Netflix and if they get enough requests they might be able to lobby their case successfully with the content providers.

Google TV media streamer becomes a game streamer via GameString Adrenalin

If you already looked into our in-depth Google TV review, you probably realized it is a quite capable box, but in dire need of applications to show its potential. One of these applications is coming from AfterCAD via their GameString Adrenalin service and allows you to stream your PC games directly on your big TV. Adrenalin  actually streams the PC output to a browser, so presumably you can see it everywhere there is a full browser involved, but  it happens that Chrome on Google TV is a very capable browser so the Adrenalin – Android (Google TV) combination is quite a happy marriage.

The service is currently in beta and you can sign for free right from your Google TV Chrome browser at adrenalin.gamestring.com. The launch is scheduled 76 days from today.

Check after the break for the full press release and a video demo-ing World of Warcraft on your TV via Google TV. Read More…

RIP Philips Pronto – the high-end remotes line is discontinued

To be honest, here at Review Horizon, we are avid fans of Logitech Harmony remotes and we never cared that much for the Philips Pronto remotes (even more overpriced than the Logitech ones), however, Pronto remotes certainly have their own followers, especially in the high-end area.
As a high-end product, you need to be smart in the way you sell it and unfortunately that didn’t happen with Philips. As a result, they searched for several years for a buyer with more marketing skills that could get some profit out of the Pronto line. Unfortunately, we are still in recession and high-end products don’t sell that well. Failing to find a buyer for the line, Philips decided to discontinue it leaving the field completely open to Logitech. Here is Philips official word:

“In December 2009, Philips announced the intention to relocate some of its existing remote control activities in Leuven, Belgium to Asia. At the same time, the intention was communicated to investigate alternative strategic options for the Pronto business, as this activity no longer fits with the Philips strategy. Following thorough research, no suitable partner was found for the acquisition of these activities. As such, Philips confirms today that it will discontinue the Pronto product line and related activities.”

Xbox 360 Fall 2010 Dashboard Update is out

Today the XBOX 360 owners have a reason to rejoice – The Fall 2010 Dashboard Update is out and, like usual, it brings out a ton of goodies. Let’s see what they are:

1. ESPN streaming – This is huge and might be the necessary argument for some to skip cable / satellite TV subscription. If you already have XBOX Live Gold and you are getting your internet through one of the approved ISPs, you can stream ESPN live and/ or clips in full HD glory. If your ISP is not yet affiliate, you will still have access to streaming, but not the live events.

2. Netflix search with live results update – this is something that we really expected ,especially that now PS3 got its disk-less Netflix too and search as well. What we didn’t expect (or we did, but we had different hopes) is that Netflix access still requires Live Gold subscription…Come on Microsoft, PS3 and Wii are doing it for free.

3. Music and Zune Pass added to Zune Video along with some neat UI changes

4. Kinect (of course) including gesture based UI interaction a la Minority Report

5. Dashboard changes – now you can see three panels at the same time, side by side instead of all of them overlapped

You can see the full list of changes at Major Nelson’s website.