Google Nexus Player at the FCC

Well, that didn't take long. Just a couple of days after Google stopped pre-orders of the Nexus Player while it waited for the FCC's all-clear, its Android TV puck has received approval. There aren't any surprises in the regulatory filing, but it should let you both pre-order the WiFi media hub soon and (hopefully) get it around that originally promised November 3rd release date. If you were worried that you'd have to make do with a Chromecast for a little while longer, you can relax.

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Disney's upcoming animated film Big Hero 6, about a boy and his soft robot (and a gang of super-powered friends), is perhaps the largest big-budget mash-up you'll ever see. Every aspect of the film's production represents a virtual collision of worlds. The story, something co-director Don Hall calls "one of the more obscure titles in the Marvel universe," has been completely re-imagined for parent company Disney. Then, there's the city of San Fransokyo it's set in -- an obvious marriage of two of the most tech-centric cities in the world. And, of course, there's the real-world technology that not only takes center stage as the basis for characters in the film, but also powered the onscreen visuals. It's undoubtedly a herculean effort from Walt Disney Animation Studios, and one that's likely to go unnoticed by audiences.

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Google Nexus Player

If you were dead set on ordering the Nexus Player this weekend, you're about to be disappointed. Google has quietly halted pre-orders of its Android TV media hub because it has "not been approved" by the FCC -- the company would be in trouble with US regulators if it took your hard-earned dollars for something it can't ship. There aren't any hints as to when the Nexus Player will get the all-clear, but you can be sure that we'll keep our eyes peeled. Hopefully, the approval arrives before November 3rd so that you can get that Android TV set-top box on time.

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At last, our long national nightmare is nearly over. Earlier this week HBO announced plans to introduce a standalone streaming service in 2015. This is especially exciting for those of us who've been "borrowing" our parents' HBO GO access. Are you ready to put your money where your mouth is? Stop by the Engadget forums to let us know if you'd be willing to pay for access to HBO's catalog -- how much.

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When the long-awaited Halo: The Master Chief Collection gets released next month, the first thing players will have to do is download what's estimated to be a 20GB update, according to developer 343 Industries. The day-one patch, which is required to unlock multiplayer and add other features, isn't particularly shocking when you consider that this a 4-in-1 title -- still, that's asking for a lot of hard drive space from users. "Our philosophy has been to give Halo fans the best possible experience and not compromise the quality or features of the collection," Dan Ayoub, Halo External Development's studio head, wrote in a blog post. "The result is that Halo: The Master Chief Collection will take up almost all of the usable space of a single Blu-ray (45 GB)." In addition, Ayoub let it be known that Spartan Ops, a co-op mode for Halo 4, won't be coming to The Master Chief Collection until December, which will likely disappoint a few fans of the franchise. But, most importantly, how do you feel? Let us know in the comments section.

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Last night an apparently refreshed model of Google's Chromecast streaming dongle popped up in FCC filings (as pointed out by Zatz Not Funny), just like the original did in March last year, but don't get too excited. Unfortunately, the documents don't show any real difference that we could find, and missing features like support for 5GHz WiFi will still be absent whenever the H2G2-2A hits the streets. Need more confirmation? Six members of the Chromecast team took part in a coincidentally-timed AMA on Reddit this afternoon, and according to Google Jacky Hayward "we don't have any new user-facing features planned for this device." Whatever changes there are in the new model "it will have the same features as the original and most users won't notice a difference."

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Chances are you've heard Roland's iconic TR-808 drum machine at some point during your music streaming. While the name may not ring a bell, artists and producers have been using its trademark sounds since 1980. We're talking the likes of Afrika Bambaataa, Beastie Boys and Kanye West. In fact, the piece of kit has amassed such a massive reputation that the company trotted out a new version last year. Now, the machine is getting a documentary that will chronicle its rise. Set to hit theaters in 2015, 808 details the music that got its sonic chops from Roland's device, including interviews from Rick Rubin, Phil Collins, Fatboy Slim, Questlove, Diplo and many more. Fans of the TR-808 recall that it was discontinued at the height of its popularity, and the film chats with Roland founder Ikutaro "Mr. K" Kakehashi to find out how that came to pass. The documentary is an effort from Atlantic Records' film arm, and is being directed by Alexander Dunn. Can't wait for it to hit the big screen? Catch the trailer just after the break.

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We're creeping up to the PlayStation 4's one year anniversary and the system is finally getting its 2.0 firmware update. Even better, there are a bunch of surprises; let's dive in. First up we have the expected: SharePlay which lets you virtually pass the controller for help, YouTube exports and themes. A post PlayStation Blog notes that in addition to those, a USB music player, the ability to change colors of the PS4 dashboard (if custom themes aren't your thing), as well as improvements to streaming are en route. There's content organization, voice commands and, last but not least, a new backup feature that lets you archive all your settings, media and data to a USB device coming too. Like the Xbox One patch that hit this week, this adds a whole slew of features that ideally would have been available when the system launched last year. Join us after the jump for a breakdown, yeah?

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Less than a day after HBO finally promised to let users cut out the middleman, CBS has decided to do the same. The company is launching CBS All Access, which charges $6 a month to stream new episodes of its shows the day after broadcast. You'll be able to stream 15 of its prime-time shows in this way, including big hits like NCIS and The Big Bang Theory as well as 6,500 episodes of classic TV from the CBS back catalog as a sweetener. That'll enable you to binge down on classic shows like, uhm, MacGyver and I Love Lucy whenever and wherever you want. The platform will also enable you to watch the live streams from the Big Brother house when that show returns next year, which seems like an adequate apology after CBS helped kill off Aereo.

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We knew that the October update coming to the Xbox One would make it act more like the 360, but Redmond has packed a few other features into it too. In addition to double-tapping the Guide button to call up your friends list and achievements, this patch adds what amounts to two-factor authentication for your account (something new for Xbox-only Microsoft logins), according to Xbox Live's Larry "Major Nelson" Hyrb. A select few markets are getting access to a tweaked Live TV setup option too, which will automatically detect the set-top box plugged into the One's HDMI-In port (sounds like HDMI-CEC to us). The new media player app is improved, with support for MKV and access to media stored on DLNA servers. You can hide any games that are cluttering up the "ready to install" portion of your collection now as well. Handy! The 249MB update is rolling out starting today, and you should be able to force the download from the system's settings menu.

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What's happened in the past 24 hours of this connected life? Quite a bit: Google dropped the curtain on its new line of Nexus devices including Motorola's $649 Nexus 6 smartphone, the Nexus 9 tablet from HTC and the Nexus Player set-top streaming puck. Apple has you covered ahead of tomorrow's iPad event too with an early look at its new set of slates. We also have a review of the Galaxy Note 4 and some other wild stories for you right in the gallery below.

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Look, folks, Netflix is (kind of) in the business of making you happy. So, what better way to do just that than by adding Friends to its content portfolio, right? Well, thanks to a new deal with Warner Bros., Netflix announced today it is bringing all 10 seasons of the popular series to its streaming service next year, on January 1st, 2015. The bad news, though, is that the Friends episodes will only be available in the US and Canada when it debuts on the platform, and there's no word on whether this will change anytime after the fact. For the rest of you, it's only a matter of time before you can reunite with Chandler, Joey, Monica, Phoebe, Rachel and Ross -- you know, in case you haven't already.

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Netflix is no longer an up and comer, it's a giant, pushing out well-regarded original content -- in 4K even -- and constantly expanding its reach. Today we learned that HBO will finally hop off its cable-only throne and do battle with some sort of internet-only service next year, and as Netflix reveals how it did in the last three months, we'll find out how it plans to respond. According to CEO Reed Hastings' Q3 letter to investors, despite the "inevitable" move, he believes "it is likely we both prosper as consumers move to Internet TV." Meanwhile, his company has grown to 53 million customers worldwide and figures it will crack 57 million by the end of the year. The bad news? Those price hikes for new customers appear to have slowed growth, with Netflix adding 980,000 customers in the US, lower than both the 1.29 million net additions in the same period a year ago -- when it passed HBO in paid subscribers -- and the 1.33 million the company predicted just three months ago. There should be plenty to talk about when Netflix has its investor call at 6PM ET (live video streaming -- watch it embedded after the break).

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Nintendo's big exclusive game for its Wii U home console is Bayonetta 2. It was Nintendo's big coup announcement ahead of the Wii U's launch. Bayonetta's notable not just for being good -- the first game is critically-acclaimed -- but also for being made by a developer other than Nintendo. And hey, it's October, so that means games are being released into the wild. Among them is Platinum Games' Bayonetta 2, featuring the stylishly appointed, combat-ready Rapunzel-alike you see above. The series is known for its over-the-top, goofy-yet-calculated style, and we're gonna put the latest one through its paces in a stream for you just below starting at 4PM ET.

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