Alexa Announcements lets you broadcast a message to all of your Echo devices

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Amazon’s Echo devices are getting a nifty new feature today.

Amazon has revealed Alexa Announcements, a new feature that lets you send a voice message to every Echo in your house at the same time. To make an announcement, just say “Alexa, announce that…” or “Alexa, tell everyone…” or “Alexa, broadcast…”.

The feature is supported on the Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Dot, Echo Show, Echo Spot, and Echo Look. It’s rolling out to devices in the U.S. and Canada beginning today.

This is different than the two-way intercom feature that Amazon previously rolled out to the Echo and is intended for quick messages that you want everyone to hear. For example, you could announce that dinner is ready or that you’ll be leaving for the mall in five minutes, all without having to go from room to room and saying the same thing to all of your family members.

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Alexa can now broadcast your voice to every Echo in the house

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Telling the family that dinner’s ready or reminding the kids it’s time for bed won’t require as much shouting if you’ve got a smart home with Echo speakers scattered around. Today Amazon announced a new feature called Alexa Announcements, which will let you simultaneously broadcast a voice message to every Echo in the house.

Users already had the intercom-style ability to carry on two-way conversations between rooms, but the one-way Announcements function is meant for the kind of grand pronouncements that you want everyone to hear. They’ll play back on all supported devices, which include the Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Dot, Echo Show, Echo Spot, and Echo Look.

You send an Alexa Announcement by saying “Alexa, announce that…” followed by…

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How to watch live broadcast TV on your Apple TV without cable

You can watch live broadcast television on your Apple TV without needing a cable subscription with HDHomeRun.

Being a cord cutter (actually, I’ve never had cable, so I haven’t technically cut any cords), I’m always on the hunt for new ways to keep myself entertained. On Apple TV, I use a handful of apps that, either I subscribe to a streaming service for (like Hulu and Netflix), or offer a free streaming TV feature that doesn’t require a cable subscription (like PBS and The CW).

For those looking for “cable lite” in the form of small packaged cable subscriptions from services like Sling TV and DirectTV Now, we’ve got a list of the best streaming live TV services. Keep in mind, though, that most of these services don’t offer unlimited access to broadcast channels like NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox. What I’m referring to is the ability to watch any broadcast channel available in your area.

There is also this thing called broadcast television, which anyone can watch as long as they have a TV that supports digital television (or a digital conversion box) and an over-the-air (OTA) HDTV antenna. The thing about broadcast television is that I couldn’t watch it on Apple TV. I’d have to switch my TV input over, and then flip through the channels until I found something to watch. I rarely watched broadcast television because I tend to stick with Apple TV for my TV and movie watching activities.

That is until I got HDHomeRun. With HDHomeRun, not only can I watch live broadcast television on my Apple TV, I can also watch it on my iPhone or iPad. Plus, with a subscription, you can record live TV and watch it the way a person with cable and a DVR would watch TV. Skip those commercials!

There are a few options for broadcast television transmitters, but from my experience, HDHomeRun is the most versatile with other third-party apps like Plex, Emby and Kodi.

I’m going to explain a little bit more about what HDHomeRun is and how to set it up.

What is HDHomeRun?

It’s a box, about the size of an Apple TV, maybe a little smaller, that acts as a transmitter. When connected to your internet router and your OTA antenna, it makes it possible for you to watch live TV on any other device that is also using the same internet connection.

Here’s how it works: You connect an ethernet cable to your home’s internet modem. Then, you connect your OTA antenna to it (the antenna does not need to be connected to your TV set). Then, you plug it into a power source.

Then, using the companion app on your iPhone, iPad, or computer, you scan for local channels, just like you do when setting up broadcast television on your TV set. Then, you watch TV.

You can start watching TV on your computer right away when you download the official HDHomeRun app on your Mac or iPhone and iPad.

If you want to get broadcast television on your Apple TV, you’ll have to download a third-party app. I highly recommend Channels.

With the app installed on your other devices, all you have to do is open the app, scan for your HDHomeRun, and start watching live TV.

Why would I want HDHomeRun

First off, you’re probably only going to be interested in using HDHomeRun if you are a cord cutter (if you don’t have a cable subscription). There is an HDHomeRun box specifically for people that have a cable subscription, but I’m focusing on people that don’t pay for cable and want to watch broadcast TV on their iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV.

You might be asking, “How is this any different from simply watching CBS, NBC, or ABC on my TV?” Because that’s what I asked, at first. Actually, there are two main benefits to using HDHomeRun as a broadcast television channel transmitter.

The obvious benefit is that you can watch broadcast television on any supported device in your house, including computers, smartphones, tablets, Xbox One, set-top boxes (like Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV), and other media centers that support such apps as Plex, Emby, and Kodi. You don’t just have to watch TV on your TV. You can watch it anywhere.

A second benefit is that, with the HDHomeRun DVR subscription, you can record live TV and watch it when you want, even when you don’t have an internet connection. Even app channels for Apple TV don’t offer that — cable subscription or not.

If you’re the type of person that would only watch broadcast television on your TV set and don’t care about being able to record shows to watch later, HDHomeRun is not the set up for you.

If, however, you like the idea of watching your local news on your Mac, iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, or you want to be able to record live TV and watch it at your leisure without needing a cable subscription to do so, you should think about investing in HDHomeRun.

What do I need in order to watch free live TV on my Mac, Apple TV, iPhone, or iPad?

Most importantly, you’ll need to be living in a country that supports digital TV that receives either ATSC, DVB-T and DVB-T2, DVB-C or QAM.

You’ll also need the HDHomerun box.

  • HDHomeRun Connect Duo – $ 99 – Probably the box you want. It works with 802.11ac (for HD playback) or 802.11n (for SD playback) wireless internet connectivity and lets you stream live TV to two devices at the same time.
  • HDHomeRun Connect Quatro – $ 149 – This is the same as the Connect Duo, but has four tuners instead of two. If three or more people in your household watch different TV channels at the same time from different devices, you might want to spend the extra $ 50 so the kids don’t fight.
  • HDHomeRun Extend – $ 179 – The same as the Connect, but with video transcoding. If you have a poor internet connection in your area, this is the model you should get. The Extend compresses videos in real time so you aren’t maxing out your bandwidth.
  • HDHomeRun Prime – $ 129 – This is the box that is only for cable subscribers. It requires a digital cable subscription and a CableCard, which you can rent from your provider.

If you don’t already have one, you’ll need an over-the-air HDTV antenna with a coax connector that is able to work as a receiver in your area. Depending on how far away you are from your local channel broadcast center, you might only need an indoor antenna, which you can get for about $ 15 – $ 30, or you might need an attic or outdoor mounted antenna, which could cost as much as $ 150. You can figure out which type of antenna you’ll need by using TV Fool’s signal locator.

If you’re on the Apple ecosystem, you’ll also need to download the HDHomeRun app for Mac, iPhone or iPad. HDHomeRun is not yet compatible with Apple TV. However, there are a variety of software options that range in price from a few dollars up front, to a monthly subscription. It all depends on what you want or need.

My preferred app for watching live TV on Apple TV is Channels for Apple TV, which costs $ 24.99. The iPhone and iPad version costs $ 14.99 (and you do have to buy them separately). It has a few extra features — it records up to 30 minutes of a channel you’re watching so you can pause it and come back later (great for skipping commercials).

You can also use Plex with your Plex Pass subscription, Emby with your Emby Premier subscription, or Kodi if you side load it to Apple TV. These apps are great for DVR recording, but require a little bit of set up and a subscription for the former two. If you don’t already use Plex, Emby, or Kodi, you may want to stick with Channels.

If you do plan on recording full episodes of shows or movies, you’ll also need a hard drive with 6-8 GB of disk space per hour of recording. So, you might need to invest in a 1, 2, or 3 TB external hard drive to store your shows, which range in price from $ 25 – $ 130, depending on how much live TV you want to record and watch later.

How do I set up HDHomRun?

It’s easier than you think, but SiliconDust, the company that makes HDHomeRun didn’t do a very good job of explaining how to set it up. The simple instructions are actually a tad bit too simple. Here’s a little more detail on what you’ll need to do.

The first thing you should do is suss out where you’re going to set up the HDHomeRun. The box needs to be connected to your modem, the antenna, and a power source at all times, though none of it needs to be connected to your television set or computer. Be sure you’ve got a good location to set everything up.

The next thing you should do is disconnect your OTA HDTV antenna from your TV set if you haven’t already. It doesn’t need to be connected to it anymore It doesn’t even have to be in the same room as your TV set. Instead, connect your antenna to the HDHomeRun box using the coax cable.

Next, connect the HDHomeRun box to your home modem or router using the included ethernet cable. Just plug one end of the ethernet cable into the box and the other end into the ethernet port on the modem or router. The HDHomeRun will always need to stay connected to the modem or router, so make sure you’ve got room nearby to set up the box and antenna. You could also invest in a longer ethernet cable if you need to.

Then, plug the box into a power source. Any old wall plug will do.

After you see a solid green light on the HDHomeRun box (just below the ethernet port), go to myhdhomerun.com to scan for channels in order to prepare to watch live TV.

Last, download the necessary software. You can download a compatible app for your Mac right from myhdhomerun.com. You can also download the HDHomerun app for iPhone and iPad. On Apple TV, you can use Plex with your Plex Pass subscription or Emby with an Emby Premier subscription, or you could also side load Kodi and use the HDHomeRun add-on. If you don’t already use Plex, Emby, or Kodi on your Apple TV, you should probably get Channels for Apple TV (my personal recommendation) or InstaTV Pro.

Once you open one of the apps, the channels should automatically populate for your viewing pleasure. If you don’t see your channels, you can rescan from within the app and you should see them after that.

Any questions?

Do you have any questions about what HDHomeRun is, how it works, or how to set it up? Put them in the comments and we’ll help you out.

Updated February 2018: Updated available HDHomeRun boxes and included information regarding the HDHomeRun app for iOS.

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Snapchat will not let users broadcast Live

 Snapchat is finally getting Live video, but you won’t be able to broadcast. Today Snapchat announced it will pipe snippits of NBC’s Live Olympics coverage directly into its app. But when TechCrunch asked if users would be able to go Live, a Snap spokesperson told us on background that there’s no intention to open up broadcasting to Snapchatters. They said users have not… Read More
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Decentralized Live Broadcast Platform Coming in Third Quarter of 2018

YouLive, a project by a group of Blockchain technology experts, is well on its way to become the first-ever decentralized live streaming platform based on the technology, MMW has learned.

As the creator of video content, the broadcast industry has also taken the lead in the broadcast industry, not only in China, but also in the rapid development of the global broadcast industry.

Some agencies expect the market size of the broadcast industry to increase from 30 billion U.S. dollars to 100 billion U.S. dollars by 2017-2020. YouLive, an ambitious project by a group of Blockchain technology experts, is well on its way to become the first-ever decentralized live streaming platform based on the technology.

So what’s on tap for the new offering?

Youlive, a decentralized live streaming platform which promises to create value for end users, is going to be launched soon. Youlive is a decentralized live streaming platform where members create can value with ‘Token’ as the unit of measurement. The developers of the platform indicated that in the third quarter of 2018, the Youlive client will be officially launched. They anticipate that the number of Youlive platform anchors will reach 1 million in 2021 and the number of communities will exceed 100 million by the third quarter of 2018.

“The anchor can also receive direct broadcast room advertising revenue share and shares of additional revenue. All anchors can earn in the form of smart contracts that would send live tokens directly into the wallet. This will completely change anchors’ passive low position in the industry, have complete control over the content they create, and have the right to obtain economic benefits”, said one top executive of YouLive in a provided release.

The post Decentralized Live Broadcast Platform Coming in Third Quarter of 2018 appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.


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Facebook prototypes Messenger Broadcast for businesses

 Facebook may soon be ready to squeeze more money out of its 1.3 billion user chat app. The company has internally developed “Messenger Broadcast”, a self-serve mass-messaging interface that lets businesses send marketing messages to users. Facebook confirmed to TechCrunch that it’s testing the feature internally, but hadn’t trialed it to the public or with businesses as… Read More
Mobile – TechCrunch

Philo streams pay TV — without sports or broadcast channels — for $16 a month

AMC, A&E, Scripps, Discovery and Viacom are in, and they’re investing $ 25 million.

Do you like paying to watch cable TV over the internet? Do you hate watching sports?

Then this might be an option for you: Meet Philo, the newest and long-promised “over the top” web TV service.

Philo shows programming from some three dozen cable TV networks — none of which offer sports — and delivers them to your phone, laptop or connected TV.

The fact that none of the programmers contributing channels, along with $ 25 million in new venture funding — A&E, Scripps, Discovery, AMC and Viacom — pay big fees for sports means that Philo costs much less than other web TV services. The base package will cost $ 16 a month, compared with $ 35 a month for YouTube TV, or $ 40 a month for Hulu’s live TV option.

That $ 16 a month will get you access to live and on-demand programming from the likes of Comedy Central, AMC and A&E.

But the fact that TV programmers sell their stuff in bundles means Philo subscribers won’t just be living without ESPN or Fox Sports 1 — they’ll also have to live without Disney-owned channels like ABC or the Disney Channel, or Fox-owned channels like Fox News or FX. Also not included: Anything owned by CBS or NBCUniversal (NBCUniversal is an investor in Vox Media, which owns this site).

If you care about the fate of the TV industry, you’ll be interested in this package — sometimes referred to on Wall Street as the “loser bundle,” because many of the channels in the package aren’t included in other TV bundles.

If it does well, it may undermine the value the industry places on expensive sports rights. If it doesn’t, it may strengthen the value of sports networks like ESPN and leagues like the NFL.

And if you’re a consumer, you should be interested in Philo simply because it offers another flavor of TV: Even if it’s not what you want, it’s a choice. And until a few years ago, pay TV meant almost no choice, period.

Now things are getting more interesting. There’s a variety of skinny and not-so-skinny bundles available to anyone with a broadband connection, and you can also mix and match a la carte services like HBO and Netflix.

In the end, you may decide to pay the same amount for the same stuff you were getting with traditional cable — but you don’t have to. That’s real change.

Philo isn’t launching with a full complement of apps: It will work on your web browser and on Roku boxes and iOS devices, but it doesn’t have dedicated apps for Chromecast, Apple TV or Amazon Fire devices. The company says it will get to those down the road.

Also on the development roadmap: New “social TV” functions that will let you show your friends what you’re watching and vice versa. And if you’re both online concurrently Philo will give you the ability to sync up your viewing, so you’re both watching the same show at the same time.

A few years ago, a bunch of tech companies, including Facebook and Netflix, spent a bunch of time trying to make watching videos a shared experience, and none of those efforts worked. The consensus at that time: Who wants to tell people what you’re watching?

But Philo, which started out as a service that sold web TV to college students, says its young target users are much more comfortable with the idea. It seems like a stretch, but so does a live TV package that doesn’t include sports or broadcast channels. Let’s see what happens.


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Broadcast for Google Home is rolling out now, allowing you to talk to everyone in the house

A ton of products and features were announced at Google’s October 4th event, and among those was a broadcast feature for the Google Home line. If you have several Homes in your home, this is sure to come in handy when you need to communicate something with the entire house.

A simple “Ok Google, broadcast…” ahead of your intended message will get it sent out through every Home in the house, much like a PA system.

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Broadcast for Google Home is rolling out now, allowing you to talk to everyone in the house was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Microsoft’s game broadcast service Mixer now works in 21 languages

You certainly don't need to speak English to watch or broadcast games on Microsoft's Mixer, but wouldn't it be nice if you could navigate in whatever your native language happens to be? There's now a good chance you can do just that. Mixer.com now…
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Viber adds pinned messages and replies in groups, plus broadcast messages

Viber is still playing catch-up with more popular messaging apps and every couple of weeks it adds several features that have been available on other messengers for a while. That’s still a good thing though, in my opinion, since users who prefer Viber have the same handy and interesting options than those who are on Telegram or WhatsApp.

In the latest update to Viber 7.7.0, the app added a couple of useful new options for groups.

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Viber adds pinned messages and replies in groups, plus broadcast messages was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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