Category Archives: Press Release

Humax introduces AURA: First Android TV 4K Freeview Play Recorder

Ultra High Definition Recorder powered by Android TV with built-in Google Assistant, Chromecast, Google Play Store apps and Kids’ Zone

  • First Freeview Play Recorder powered by Android TV technology with crystal clear 4K HDR picture quality
  • Built-in voice control via Google Assistant and access to Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BT Sport and thousands of other apps via the Google Play Store
  • Freeview Play provides 70+ subscription-free channels and 20,000+ hours of on-demand entertainment
  • Quick and easy set-up – simply log in with a Google account
  • Humax AURA App for iOS and Android enables remote planning, recording and viewing on the go
  • Watch TV on any screen: download and enjoy recordings on mobile devices
  • Chromecast built-in: stream favourite content from phone, tablet or laptop to a TV screen
  • Dedicated Kids’ Zone with timed content, safe for the youngest family members
  • Three digital tuners: record up to four programmes at once while watching a fifth*
  • 1TB and 2TB options for up to 500 and 1,000 hours of recordings
Humax AURA_angle left
Humax AURA

Humax has today announced AURA: the first 4K Freeview Play Recorder powered by Android TV technology. This Ultra High Definition TV recorder provides a multitude of subscription-free and top-up entertainment delivered with crystal clear 4K HDR picture quality.

With integrated Google Assistant and access to thousands of apps via the Google Play Store, AURA syncs with the user’s Google account to deliver a customised home entertainment experience built around the individual or family. For ultimate flexibility, Google Assistant also provides voice control for frequently-used TV commands, and allows users to ask questions, discover information and activate smart home devices.

Humax AURA Freeview Play home_whitebkg
Humax AURA Freeview Play home_whitebkg

Humax AURA will be available from November 2020 from Amazon, Humax Direct and electrical retailers with an SRP of £249 for the 1TB model and £279 for the 2TB version.

Powered by the ultra-fast Android TV platform and with Freeview Play built-in, the new Humax box enables rapid access to favourite shows, movies, sports and other programming on live TV. Freeview Play provides the UK’s most popular on-demand apps such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub and All 4, all of which are located together for maximum ease and convenience. For even further entertainment options, users can top up their viewing with paid streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BT Sport and Google Play Movies, and explore and choose from a huge variety of apps and games to download from the Google Play Store.

Humax AURA Freeview Play home
Humax AURA Freeview Play home

Freeview Play provides 95% of the nation’s most-watched TV, all for free. There are more than 70 live TV channels, alongside nine on-demand players: BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5, UKTV Play, CBS Catchup Channels UK, Horror Bites, STV Player and BBC Sounds.

With more than 20,000 hours of on-demand content and over 700 box sets to choose from, Freeview Play also helps viewers make the most of its content with its Explore Freeview Play interface hosted at Channel 100. Home to a universal search function and hand-picked content recommendations, it is easy for viewers to find their favourites and discover new shows. As well as the ability to watch, pause, rewind and record live TV, Freeview Play includes an intuitive seven day TV guide with scroll back functionality.

Humax introduces AURA: First Android TV Freeview Play Recorder
Humax introduces AURA: First Android TV

Catering for even the most avid of viewers, AURA incorporates three digital tuners, allowing up to four programmes to be recorded at once while the user watches another live channel*. Two hard drive options (1TB and 2TB) are available, enabling up to 500 or 1,000 hours of recordings to be stored, giving owners almost unlimited capacity to capture their favourite programmes, series and movies.

Thanks to the Humax AURA app, many features of AURA can be accessed on a mobile device, such as streaming recordings around the home or downloading shows to watch later on the move. The app also affords users the freedom to schedule recordings or set reminders when away from home.

Setting up AURA is extremely simple. By logging into their Google account, users have instant access to all their downloaded apps, YouTube settings, music downloads, as well as Google Home connectivity.

Creating a home screen that is completely personalised to the viewer’s preferences, AURA allows app icons to be moved around easily, keeping all frequently-used apps and content in one place. Suggestions for content the user might enjoy based on their Google preferences are also displayed on this page.

Humax introduces AURA: First Android TV
Humax introduces AURA: First Android TV

With Chromecast built-in as standard on Android TV, AURA enables users to stream photos, videos, music and other media to their TV screen from a laptop, tablet or mobile phone via a home Wi-Fi network.

AURA’s accompanying remote control offers several quick access ‘hotkeys’: a Freeview Play button, Top Picks for content recommendations, a Google Assistant button to activate voice control, TV Guide button plus dedicated keys for Android Home, Amazon Prime Video and the Humax Kids’ Zone.

Google Assistant is integrated into the remote control, allowing users to benefit from Google Home services – simply press the button to activate voice control and ask an unlimited number of questions such as finding out the weather or travel information, choose favourite types of content, change channel or volume – or connect to smart home devices to play music, switch on the lights or heating, and much more.

Developed by Humax, the Kids’ Zone on AURA provides a safe environment for children to watch content curated specially for the youngest members of the family. Episodes can be browsed, searched and selected by duration, allowing parents to pick a show that will fill a suitable slot before dinner or bedtime, for example.

Rob Peacock, director at Humax, commented, “AURA is designed to sit at the heart of a family’s home entertainment experience. The very first Freeview Play Recorder to be built on the Android TV platform, it provides a fully integrated environment that reflects the preferences and favourite content of the individual or family – with lightning-fast access to everything they need in one place, and outstanding picture quality. With such an extensive array of features, users will never miss their favourite show, movie or sporting event, and thanks to a combination of Google technology and the Humax AURA app, they can enjoy the freedom of entertainment on any screen or device, wherever and whenever they wish.”

More information on Humax AURA can be found at https://uk.humaxdigital.com.
Visit www.freeview.co.uk for a full list of Freeview Play channels and services.

Pricing and availability

Available from November 2020, Humax AURA has a suggested retail price of £249 for the 1TB model and £279 for the 2TB model. Retailers include Currys, Argos, Amazon, very.co.uk, Richer Sounds, Euronics (CIH), independent electrical stores and Humax Direct. Prices include VAT.

Staffordshire University lands Sponsorship Deal to offer Esports Degrees

TeamSpeak signs partnership deal to sponsor Esports degrees at Staffordshire University 

A new partnership will give Staffordshire University students exclusive access to TeamSpeak software used by the world’s top esports teams.

TeamSpeak offers the number one team communications solution for large scale esports events and is currently used in live production by some of the world’s most prestigious esports events, such as The Overwatch League, The Call of Duty League, ESL, Blast Pro Series, and FaceIT.

The company has also been working closely with Activision Blizzard during the lockdown to enable both players and broadcast crews to work from remote locations around the globe and create seamless productions in place of LAN based events.

The sponsorship will see Staffordshire University integrate this industry-standard software into the curriculum allowing students on BA (Hons) Esports and MA Esports degrees to work on professional setups for broadcasting and esports tournaments.

Professor Ieuan Ellis, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Staffordshire University, said:

“Staffordshire University is a digitally leading provider of higher education strongly connected to the technology and games industries. We are delighted to be partnering with TeamSpeak to provide our esports students with access to sector-leading software to support their learning experience.”

Sponsorship of the Esports degrees at Staffordshire University is TeamSpeak’s latest venture into the education sector. The company recently embarked on a large-scale project to provide competitive voice comms for all High School Esports in the USA, with the ultimate goal of supplying colleges and college leagues around the world.

Marc Henson from TeamSpeak commented: 

“Staffordshire University is an established provider of games industry degrees and introduced the UK’s first Esports degree its Stoke-on-Trent campus in 2018. The University has since founded Digital Institute London which also offers courses in esports and other leading digital degrees.”

Staffordshire University Associate Professor Bobbie Fletcher, who heads up the Department for Games and Visual Effects, added:

“This partnership is a great alliance between academia and industry and we are truly honoured to be working with TeamSpeak. Bringing these two worlds together will give the students an authentic learning experience that they can take with them into employment and beyond.”

Set Yourself Up as an Esports Legend at a Fraction of the Price

The video game market is worth £5.4 billion in the UK. It’s no surprise then that e-sports is a growing pastime with 7% of the British population (four million people) having tuned into the digital competitions.
The impartial price comparison website, PriceSpy.co.uk, has researched how much the average e-sports professional spends on regular equipment updates and how non-professional players can get the same performance for a fraction of the price.
Top e-sports professionals reveal how much they spend to be at the top of their game  
A new study from PriceSpy.co.uk, looks at 60 of the world’s best e-sport professionals and reveals the true cost to compete.
  • The average e-sport professional regularly spends £781 on the latest gaming accessories
  • The £781 comes from an average spend of a mouse (£80), mousepad (£21), monitor (£476), keyboard (£117), and a headset (£87)
  • As wireless products become more advanced, professional gamers are beginning to integrate them into their setup – 50% of surveyed Valorant players have a wireless mouse
  • Every gaming professional said they use a mechanical keyboard and 97% currently have a 240 Hz monitor

For professional e-sports players, the right set-up can mean the difference between a victory and a defeat. Not only does this mean having a top-of-the-range computer with the right graphics card and CPU. Other important factors include a monitor’s refresh rate, the sensitivity of a mouse, plus the speed and customisability of a mechanical keyboard.

Independent comparison service, PriceSpy.co.uk, spoke to 60 of the world’s top e-sport professionals in Counter:Strike Global Offensive and Valorant, to find out which accessories they’re using at the moment.

The study reveals that e-sport professionals spend an average of £781 on just a mouse, mousepad, monitor, keyboard and headset.

Ninjas in Pyjamas team member, Fredrik “REZ” Sterner, doesn’t believe this high cost is always necessary. REZ said: “Having top of the range gear is important for a professional. But to spend that kind of money isn’t necessary if you’re at the beginning of your career or if you’re just playing for fun. If you are looking to buy new equipment, always try out the product before purchasing it. An expensive buy doesn’t necessarily mean the best result.”

Among the study’s Counter-Strike professionals, only one is using a wireless product: a headset that costs £259. Valorant players are much more likely to embrace wireless tech with 50% of surveyed players using a wireless mouse.

Ossie Bayram, commercial director at PriceSpy said: “The fact that players are even considering buying a wireless mouse means that the technology has become much more reliable. In professional gaming, milliseconds can mean the difference between victory and defeat, especially when it comes to mouse and keyboard sensitivity.

“However, even though wireless products are becoming more reliable, at the top end they are much more expensive than wired versions. If you want a professional level performance for a lower price, then stick with wired products.”

Mouse sensitivity is a key factor for gamers and is measured in dots per linear inch (DPI). Surprisingly, the study shows that the professional players don’t need the highest DPI possible. The most popular max DPI among professionals is 3,200.

Effective dots per inch (eDPI) gives a better idea of true mouse sensitivity. eDPI is calculated by multiplying the mouse DPI with the in-game sensitivity. In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, professionals are playing with an average eDPI of 859.06 while Valorant professionals have an average eDPI of 235.46.

Top picks among Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Valorant pros

Item

Top pick

Cheapest price on PriceSpy.co.uk

Mouse

£87.72

Mousepad

£13.11

Monitor

£448.99

Keyboard

£100.00

Headset

£64.99

About the study

PriceSpy has gathered information about what equipment 60 of the world’s best e-sport professionals are using, including 50 Counter-Strike:Global Offensive pros and 10 Valorant pros. The surveyed teams include Astralis, Team Liquid, Fnatic, Dignitas, FaZe Clan, GODSENT, Cloud9, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Team SoloMid and Immortals.

Information about the equipment was collected from Liquipedia the 5th of August 2020, while prices were collected from PriceSpy the 13th of August 2020.

Joby Announces ‘Freehold’ Phone Case with integrated mount and loop

JOBY ANNOUNCES THE NEW FREEHOLD™ PHONE CASE WITH FINGER LOOP AND MULTI-ACCESSORY MOUNT

Feel the freedom to create with new JOBY FreeHold™ smartphone cases.

  • Protective case with built-in finger loop for a secure, ergonomic hold
  • Innovative flexible wrapping arms grip the phone to a variety of objects for fun creative images and videos
  • Tripod adapter attaches phone to your favourite GorillaPod® or any standard tripod

JOBY, the creator of award-winning mounts, stands and grips designed to elevate the potential of the latest mobile and imaging devices, announces the launch of FreeHold – a protective smartphone case series with built-in finger loop and modular attachment system. With FreeHold, JOBY now provides a complete ecosystem of products for run-and-gun content creators, further solidifying itself as a leader in smartphone accessories.

Designed for mobile content creation, FreeHold empowers you to easily view and use your smartphone in new and fun ways. Capture and share the most creative images and videos.

FreeHold’s built-in stretch-elastic finger loop hugs your fingers, giving you a dependable hold while snapping pics or vlogging – so, you know your phone isn’t going anywhere! Say “bye-bye” to scuff marks and broken screens.

JOBY knows that smart photography is much more than taking selfies and requires hands-free capability to reach your fullest potential. Slide the finger loop down and witness the magic! Once the finger loop is released, a patented connection point is revealed. Here is where you can attach the two accessories: flexible wrapping arms and ¼” tripod adapter. These are included in both cases and in the complete kit.

You can purchase the Joby Freehold from Amazon here

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