Category Archives: Home + Entertainment Articles + News!

Home is where your heart lies, but tech makes it so much better!

Here, you will find articles on home technologies, including but not limited to appliances, IoT, televisions, home theatre, etc.

Chromageddon - The Day Chromecast + Home Died Worldwide!

Chromageddon – The Day Chromecast + Home Died Worldwide!

Chromageddon is upon us! The world woke up today to a world of silent Chromecast and Google Home devices. What the heck is going on??? How do we fix it???

Updated @ 2018-07-01 : Google still refuses to tell us what caused Chromageddon. But let’s see what we can dig out about this debacle.

Updated @ 2018-06-28 : Google just reported they have a fix! We added details on what we need to do to restore the affected devices, and an update on a bad firmware being the cause of Chromageddon.

Originally posted @ 2018-06-27

 

Chromageddon – The Day Chromecast + Home Died Worldwide

Chromageddon took down Chromecast and Google Home devices worldwide sometime in the evening of 26 June 2018 (US Pacific Time). Since then, they have all refused to obey their masters’ commands.

Users of Google Home were greeted with the dreaded “There was a glitch. Try again in a few seconds.” response to every command. No matter how long and hard they cajoled their Google devices, they stayed silent.

They were all still alive, still connected to the network, but functionally nothing more than space-heating paperweights.

It took Google more than 12 hours to fix the problem after they realised Chromageddon was real. The real tragedy though was the complete lack of communication with their users.

Sure, Google responded to messages on Twitter, but even when people alerted them to the issue, it took more than 12 hours before they realised something truly bad was happening. Even then, they did not inform their other customers who are probably spending hours trying to troubleshoot their non-functioning devices.

Needless to say, other than informing those who reported issues when a fix was available, they steadfastly refused to tell us WHY Chromageddon happened. I suppose Google expects us to trust them to learn something from this debacle…

 

What Devices Are Currently Affected? Updated!

For most part, they are almost all Google Chromecast 2 and Google Home devices, but here is the full list of devices reported to be affected by Chromageddon :

  • Google Chromecast (1st Gen)
  • Google Chromecast (2nd Gen)
  • Google Home
  • Google Home mini

Surprisingly, both Google Chromecast Ultra or Chromecast Audio do not seem to be affected, although they are far less popular and their users have not yet realised the downtime.

 

How Do We Fix Chromecast + Home? Updated!

So far, all efforts to self-fix the problem have failed spectacularly :

  • Screaming futilely at the silent devices – Failed
  • Restarting Chromecast or Google Home – Failed
  • Rebooting the modem and/or router – Failed
  • Resetting Chromecast or Google Home to factory defaults – Failed
  • Asking Google tech support for help – Failed
  • Praying to the Google Gods – Failed

Although Google refuses to confirm, Chromageddon is most likely due to a problem with their servers. So when their servers have a hiccup, everything goes down. Google hinted at that with these tweets :

Our Engineering team is already on it. Hang in there — we’ll keep you updated.

There’s an ongoing issue with Chromecast and our team is already working on a fix ― we’ll keep you posted.

Our team is aware of this issue and working on a stable fix. Stay tuned.

At 6:18 AM (GMT+8) on the 28th of June, Google announced that they have a fix for Chromageddon that will automatically roll out over the next 6 hours. To get your Chromecast and Google Home running immediately, all you have to do is REBOOT them.

“We’ve identified a fix for the issue impacting Google Home users and it will be automatically rolled out over the next 6 hours. If you would like an immediate fix please follow the directions to reboot your device. If you’re still experiencing an issue after rebooting, contact us at Google Home Support. We are really sorry for the inconvenience and are taking steps to prevent this issue from happening in the future.

While there is a way to reboot your Google devices via the Google Home app, many people cannot actually get connected to the affected devices. So the simplest way to get them working again is to physically turn off power to those devices, and then turn them back on again.

 

Isn’t Chromageddon Due To A Firmware Update? Updated!

At first, everyone thought it might have been a firmware update that bricked the devices. Some even claimed that it only happened after their affected devices were updated.

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However, many of those who could still connect to their Chromecast reported that they were still on the 1.29.104827 production ​firmware. That firmware is several months old, or it’s not possible for it to suddenly act up globally.

Some have reported that their Chromecast is on the 1.30.113131 preview firmware. That is only possible if they had specifically opted to participate in the Google Preview Program. Even so, this preview firmware was released in sometime in April 2018.

When Google announced a fix, and that all we needed to do was to reboot our devices, it confirmed our deduction that it was a server-related issue on their end. We can safely confirm that Chromageddon was NOT due to any firmware update.

 

What Chromageddon Teaches Us

We all know that personal assistants like Google Home and Amazon Echo (Price Check) are always connected to cloud servers, and come with their fair share of privacy concerns. However, most of us are probably not aware that “dumb” video streaming devices like Chromecast connect to such servers as well.

Privacy concerns with devices “dialling home” are bad enough. Chromageddon is now proof of just how vulnerable such a system design can be, if these devices have to be connected to Google’s servers to even function.

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iflix To Localise Signature Shows From Complex Networks

KUALA LUMPUR, June 21, 2018 – iflix today announced a ground-breaking content partnership with youth culture media company, Complex Networks (“Complex”), to create localised versions of world-class proven content formats. The all new original series will be showcased in a newly created premium, dedicated Complex branded channel, which will additionally showcase the network’s most popular global series, available to audiences on iflix’s platform for free.

 

iflix To Localise Signature Shows From Complex Networks

The partnership will see a significant expansion of the Company’s Original Content offering, affirming its focus on developing compelling, highly addictive and hyper-local programming. The new production slate includes Hot Ones, the viral interview show where celebrities eat increasingly hot wings while answering questions.

Hot Ones launches this fall in Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines. The localized format will feature a new familiar local host, and popular regional hot sauces will be added to the line-up alongside Hot One’s The Last Dab. iflix licensed formats include:

  • Hot Ones watch your favorite celebs laugh, cry, and divulge their deepest secrets while eating progressively spicier wings
  • Sneaker Shopping spotlights the styles, silhouettes and significance of sneaker culture through the eyes of bold-faced names in music, sports, film, television and pop culture.
  • Complex Closets goes inside the closets of the biggest pop culture figures today to talk about the shoes that define their style.
  • Don’t Believe the Hype tells you what’s hot and what’s just hot air. Sneakers, clothes, tech, food—nothing is safe.
  • Get Sweaty features the hottest celebrities getting fit in the coolest gyms.
  • Price the Hype is the ultimate game show for hypebeasts. Contestants compete head-to-head, proving their knowledge through trivia and challenges, with both money and sneakers on the line.

The collaboration with Complex underscores iflix’s growing focus on creating viral, snackable content specifically for Millennial and Gen Z generations, nearly 90 per cent of which come from emerging and developing markets in Southeast Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Bombarded with demands on their attention and stringent benchmarks for ‘the best of’ everything, this enormous and hugely influential audience segment leads the way in defining and shaping trends and innovation in media and culture. This latest content offering from iflix represents a significant step forward, combining world-leading formats, and best practices with cultural relevance and local flair.

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Quotes On The iflix – Complex Networks Partnership

iflix Group Chief Content Officer, Sean Carey, commented, “We are committed to delivering the very best in snackable and short form content to our subscribers, particularly the “now” generation, a growing force with significant influence on taste and trend. Raised through the convergence of the internet, mobile technology and social media, millennials and the youth generation are well-informed global citizens on the verge of decision-making roles and their prime spending years, inevitably carrying a high lifetime value. We’re thrilled to be working with Complex, a market-leader to meet this demand.”

iflix Global Head of Short Form, Craig Galvin, added, “We have an incredible opportunity to deliver a uniquely local product based on a truly international format with mass appeal. Complex Networks has set the standard for trend-exploring, culture-defining millennial media. We are thrilled to partner with them through our production house, Studio2:15, to experiment and play, break rules and create new content with, to ensure mobile-savvy, time-poor, and globally conscious iflix subscribers are catered to”.

“The interests and topics that fuel youth culture resonate globally with millennials and gen-z,” said Shawn Strickland, EVP Development, Distribution and Business Affairs. “This is an exciting opportunity to expand our programming with iflix, the emerging markets leader in entertainment, and develop versions of our programming that highlights the regional talent and passions.”

 

Complex Networks

Complex Networks currently produces over 30 daily and weekly series across its award-winning brands, available through YouTube, social channels, and a growing list of distributors including Verizon, Fuse, Facebook and MSG Network. Its flagship shows Sneaker Shopping and Hot Ones each have over 250 million lifetime views, and its newest series The Burger Show captured over 4 million views in its first month of launch.

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The 2018 Samsung QLED TV Range Revealed!

Announced in March at New York, the 2018 Samsung QLED TV range is finally being introduced! Let’s take a look at the 2018 Samsung QLED TV technologies, prices and availability!

 

The 2018 Samsung QLED TV Technologies

Consumers are always after larger screens, better image quality and hassle-free installations. But to top it off – the new consumer trend includes AI-based technologies, and smartphone connectivity. The 2018 Samsung QLED TV range attempts to address those demands.

Samsung Q Picture Technology

The 2018 Samsung QLED TV range features the new Direct Full Array which uses a panel with zones of smartly controlled backlighting that adjust automatically to deliver deep blacks and pure whites. This reduces blooming and halo effects, and enables deeper contrast, with inky blacks and brilliant whites.

Advanced Anti-Reflection technology ensures that the 2018 Samsung TVs’ spectacular picture quality can be enjoyed from almost any angle, and also helps boost contrast. Aligned with the new products, which include models wider than 55 inches, Q Engine technology automatically upscales on-screen content to UHD levels to further enhance viewers’ immersion.

Samsung Q Style Technology

Samsung’s 2018 QLED TV range will come with Magic Screen – an energy-saving function that allows the TV to elegantly display images, as well as real-time information such as the weather or news. For wall-mounted TVs, Magic Screen can mimic the pattern on the wall behind the TV to create an astonishing visual effect in which the TV blends seamlessly into the wall.

Samsung has lso introduced a simple solution to eliminate cable clutter – the One Invisible Connection, which integrates power cables and data lines that were previously separated – into a single thin cable. Available up to 15 meters, it frees consumers from having to place their TV near data or power outlets.

Samsung Q Smart Technology

The 2018 Samsung QLED TVs are designed to seamlessly connect with SmartThings-compatible devices to offer users even greater control over their home’s smart technology. In addition, users can access a variety of apps on the QLED TVs that they can enjoy at any time through one intuitive menu.

 

The 2018 Samsung QLED TV Price List

Here are the launch prices for the 2018 Samsung QLED TVs, Smart TVs and accompanying soundbars.

  • Samsung Q9F 4K Smart QLED TV (75″) : RM 34,904 / ~US$ 8,752
  • Samsung Q9F 4K Smart QLED TV (65″) : RM 18,866 / ~US$ 4,731
  • Samsung Q8C 4K Curved Smart TV (65″) : RM 16,980 / ~US$ 4,258
  • Samsung Q8C 4K Curved Smart TV (55″) : RM 9,433 / ~US$ 2,115
  • Samsung Q7F 4K Smart QLED TV (75″) : RM 31,131 / ~US$ 7,806
  • Samsung Q7F 4K Smart QLED TV (65″) : RM 15,093 / ~US$ 3,785
  • Samsung Q7F 4K Smart QLED TV (55″) : RM 8,489 / ~US$ 2,129
  • Samsung HW-NW700 5.1 Channel Wall-Mounted Soundbar : RM 2,923 / ~US$ 733
  • Samsung HW-N650 5.1 Channel Panoramic Soundbar : RM 2,451 / ~US$ 615
  • Samsung HW-N550 3.1 Channel Soundbar : RM 1,602 / ~US$ 402
  • Samsung HW-N450 2.1 Channel Soundbar : RM 1,225 / ~US$ 307
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If you are in the US, here are some purchase links :

  • Samsung QN65Q9F 4K Smart QLED TV (65″) : $3,498
  • Samsung QN75Q7F 4K Smart QLED TV (75″) : $4,498
  • Samsung QN65Q7F 4K Smart QLED TV (65″) : $2,398
  • Samsung QN55Q7F 4K Smart QLED TV (55″) : $1,598
  • Samsung HW-NW700 5.1 Channel Wall-Mounted Soundbar : $698
  • Samsung HW-N650 5.1 Channel Panoramic Soundbar : $418
  • Samsung HW-N550 3.1 Channel Soundbar : $318
  • Samsung HW-N450 2.1 Channel Soundbar : $198

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The BenQ TK800 4K HDR Projector Revealed!

BenQ just announced the release of the BenQ TK800 4K HDR Home Entertainment Projector, arriving just in time for the coming World Cup 2018! If you are looking for a 4K projector with HDR capability, check out these details of the new BenQ TK800 home projector!

Don’t forget to check out our BenQ TK800 4K HDR Projector Preview!

 

BenQ TK800 Viewing Party

The capabilities of the TK800 were put put to the test when BenQ Malaysia invited guests and home theatre enthusiasts to experience the TK800 firsthand at an exciting viewing party in Kuala Lumpur.

Guests were able to see for themselves the superb picture quality of the TK800 4K HDR Home Entertainment projector as it projected a live telecast of a sporting event, displaying crisp details, natural colours and all the action.

Product Manager of BenQ Malaysia Ms. Jeane Liew said, ”The launch of the BenQ TK800 4K HDR Home Entertainment projector comes at the right time as Malaysians are now appreciating and enjoying more 4K content. In keeping with BenQ’s phenomenal growth, we are glad to announce that BenQ Malaysia will be offering a 3-year on-site warranty, which is one of the longest in the industry”.

 

BenQ TK800 4K HDR Projector

Featuring true 4K 3,840 x 2,160 UHD resolution with 8.3-million distinct pixels, the BenQ TK800 (Price Check) produces lifelike realism utilising projector-optimised HDR to enhance brightness and contrast range with one-step image optimisation and automatic HDR natural colour rendition.

The BenQ TK800’s innovative 4K colour wheel achieves 92% of the Rec. 709 colour gamut in conjunction with a high 3,000 lumen brightness for awe-inspiring projected picture quality in environments with bright ambient lighting such as living rooms and backyard parties.

Football + Sport Modes

The Football Mode preserves natural skin tones, intensifies the vibrant colours of the lush green grass on the pitch while simultaneously enhancing the clarity of the announcer’s commentary over the loud background noise of a cheering crowd in an open-air stadium.

Sport Mode is ideal for indoor sports and prioritises realistic skin tones, enhancing wood tones as well as offering vivid reds combined with balanced green and blues. The acoustic clarity of a sports commentator’s voice and other subtle details such as squeaking sneakers, referee whistles, and ice scraping under skates are retained and enhanced.

CinemaMaster Audio+ 2

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The BenQ TK800 (Price Check) also boasts of a CinemaMaster Audio+ 2 sound system that has been upgraded to offer a significantly wider frequency range and 5-watt power, utilising materials such as an aluminium driver diaphragm and resonant sound chambers for delicate details, pure vocals, and resounding bass.

Other Features

A true 4K DLP projector with high brightness for the living room, the sleek and compact TK800 blends beautifully into any décor in an elegantly simple fashion. The BenQ TK800 (Price Check) also integrates auto keystone correction and 1.2X zoom flexibility to accommodate any space.

Powered by renowned Digital Light Processing, the 2015 Academy Award of Merit Oscar winning projection technology used in 90% of the world’s digital cinemas, the TK800 delivers long-lasting picture quality with precise colors and razor-sharp clarity without maintenance or degradation.

 

BenQ TK800 Price + Availability

The BenQ TK800 DLP Projector is now available in Malaysia at a retail price of RM 5,599 (inclusive of 6% GST) / US$ 1,499. Here are some purchase links for your convenience :

Don’t forget to check out our BenQ TK800 4K HDR Projector Preview!

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The 2018 LG Electronics Home Technology Showcase

LG Electronics today showcased their new line-up of home technology products. With the theme, “Create a better life“, the 2018 LG Electronics home technology showcase includes their new OLED and Super UHD TVs, InstaView Refrigerators, and TWINWash washing machines.

 

The 2018 LG Electronics Home Technology Showcase

The 2018 LG Electronics home technology showcase kicked off with a performance by the VIVAS LED water drummers – an all-female ensemble. LG Electronics specifically featured them to showcase “pitch perfect black” quality of their new OLED TVs.

 

Pitch Perfect Black With 2018 LG OLED TVs

The new 2018 LG OLED TVs redefines the viewing experience with its ability to deliver pitch perfect black. They also feature Cinema HDR capability, projected through Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR by Technicolour, HDR10 Pro and HLD Pro.

The 2018 LG OLED TVs also feature the α9 Intelligent Processor that deliver better picture quality through these improvements :

  • Noise Reduction – the processor cleans away grainy imaging and expresses smoother contouring of colours.
  • Image Enhancement – the processor analyses the image frequency, allowing it to increase depth and image quality.
  • True Colour Accuracy – the processor supports the 33x33x33 colour space, which is 7.3x larger than the conventional 17x17x17 colour space, allowing more accurate colour reproduction, and a wider colour spectrum.
  • 4K High Frame Rate (HFR) : HFR reduces eye fatigue with a smoother motion, and a more life-life picture quality.

The new LG ThinQ AI technology is also embedded in the 2018 LG OLED TVs, enabling users to command the televisions to perform instructions. They also support the Dolby Atmos surround sound technology.

 

2018 LG Super UHD TVs With Nano Cell Display

The 2018 LG Super UHD TVs boast Cinema HDR capability, as well as Full Array Local Dimming (FALD) for deeper blacks, a wider colour gamut and a greatly improved contrast ratio. These new LED TVs also have a wide viewing angle of 60 degrees, with a wide colour gamut, thanks to its Nano Cell Display with IPS Nano Dots.

For a more immersive viewing experience, the 2018 LG Super UHD TVs also support Dolby Atmos, which realistically renders a 360-degree soundscape for a true home cinema experience.

 

2018 LG InstaView Refrigerators

The 2018 LG InstaView refrigerators provide improved accessibility with the Knock-On feature. With just two knocks on the screen, the user can check on items inside without opening the door, reducing cold air loss by up to 41%.

This year, the Knock-On feature will be available in side-by-side models, as well as the multi-door models. To further improve energy efficiency, they will feature the LG Inverter Linear Compressor. By , using a linear piston drive, it is possible to reduce power by up to 32%, with up to 25% less noise.

The Inverter Linear Compressor also offers these other benefits :

  • LINEARCooling – allows even cooling, with granular temperature regulation in steps of 0.5 degrees Celsius
  • NatureFRESH – precise temperature control keeps produce in the refrigerator fresh for longer
  • DoorCooling – allows for even and fast cooling in any part of the refrigerator

 

2018 LG TWINWash Washing Machines

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The 2018 LG TWINWash incorporates TurboWash, with multi-spray capability for faster and better cleaning performance. These LG washers with TurboWash and TWINWash capabilities allow customers to wash two loads of laundry of different wash cycles at the same time.

 

2018 LG DUALCOOL Air Conditioners

The 2018 LG DUALCOOL air conditioners is now filled with R32 refrigerant, which delivers faster cooling performance while being environmentally-friendly. Its Dual Inverter Compressor saves up to 70% of energy used, while deliver 40% faster cooling performance.

These new air conditioners are also enhanced by Smart ThinQ, allowing you to access and control their functions using an app. The app can also alert you about low levels of refrigerant, helping you maintain the air conditioner’s performance and lifespan.

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