The digitally created city of Meereen in 'Game of Thrones'

We've already seen how digital effects make Game of Thrones' world more believable, but there were some spectacular scenes in the show's fourth season: giant city-states, an undead horse and battles involving thousands of cavalry. Want to know just how important computer graphics were in bringing those moments to life? Graphics house Rodeo FX will gladly show you. As you'll see in the footage below, some environments (such as Meereen's pyramid-laden landscape) depended very heavily on computer effects, with only a few live humans and real-world places involved. And that cavalry battle demanded even more work -- animators populated the field with "smart" horse soldiers that reacted both to each other and the world around them. You may not want to watch the demo clip if you haven't caught up on the show, but it's otherwise worth checking out to see how fantasy and reality can blend together.

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Russia's recent crackdown on "things it doesn't want to hear" may take a nostalgic turn if culture committee member (and kickboxer) Batu Khasikov has his way. He wants to invoke the USSR days by banning foreign films that "demonize or present Russia in a primitive, silly way." He said films showing the nation's citizens as a "threat to mankind" should also be a no-no -- like A Good Day to Die Hard and other recent flicks with cliché Russian baddies. Fortunately for Russian action fans (or not, depending on your taste) that film and others would remain, as any ban passed would only apply to new titles. Oddly, the cultural ministry recently made a list of its top foreign film picks, including Apocalypse Now, which it ironically called a critique of "capturing foreign territories."

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Ever since Microsoft cut its motion- and voice-sensor from the Xbox One package, the second version of Kinect has been in limbo. Sure, you could still get one if you shelled out $500 for the deluxe version of Xbox One, but there was no way to pick one up on its own. What if, say, a new Dance Central game for Xbox One were to be announced? Microsoft always said it would offer the device standalone, and now it's got a release date and price: October 7th for $150 ($50 less than the Windows version, for those wondering). Even better: Kinect on Xbox One comes with the aforementioned new Dance Central game. Not a terrible nod to the most important third-party game studio making Kinect games.

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The generous group over at Good Old Games is prepping to bring another medium into its trademark DRM-free digital distribution platform: movies. Starting today, you can head over to GOG.com and download or stream a handful of gaming-and-geek focused documentaries. What's on tap? Art of Playing, TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard and Indie Game: The Movie (seen above) among others, and you can check out the first two flicks in this list absolutely free of charge. If none of those strike your fancy the company promises more titles will be added on a weekly basis. Don't expect to see Guardians of the Galaxy pop up on the site's digital shelves in the coming months, though.

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Large chunks of the US will have woken up this morning in a panic. No, not a natural disaster, their Time Warner Cable internet was down. A mother-of-all-outages saw TWC's Internet service down from New York to, well, pretty much everywhere (see map below). What's more curious, is that a statement from the company claims it was due to planned maintenance that went awry. Still, for at least an hour and a half, Netflix's main beef with the company won't have been about neutrality.

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Showtime's Anytime streaming portal has already been available to Xbox 360, Roku and other capable gadgets with the proper cable subscription. Now, Apple TV owners can access the network's library of programming and the cable channel's live feed (East and West coast) via the compact set-top box. Customers on Time Warner Cable, Comcast Xfinity, Cox, DirecTV, AT&T U-Verse, Verizon FiOS, Optimum and Bright House Networks can input their credentials to start streaming the likes of Dexter, Homeland, and Masters of Sex -- just to name a few. If you'll recall, Apple TV also received apps for NFL Now, ACC Sports and WWE Network (among others) over the last few months.

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The Engadget Live tour continued last week, with the latest stop taking place in Boston. Just like at our previous two events, in Austin and Seattle, Beantown didn't disappoint and the reader turnout was incredible. Attendees were treated to a night filled with a myriad of activities, giveaways and social mingling. Want to know what you missed? Check out the picture gallery bellow, where you'll also get a glimpse of what the sponsors brought over to the Royale venue to share with the Engadget aficionados in attendance.

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Apple's annual month-long concert series in the UK kicks off next week, and to make sure that you're properly equipped to stream the performances, there's a new Apple TV app that'll do just that. Starting Monday, September 1st with deadmau5 and lasting through the end of the month, sets will be beamed to your living room right from the stage of the Roundhouse in London. Of course, should you find yourself away from home, tunes are also available on iPhone, iPad and iPod to catch the latest. While you can peruse the full list of acts here, scheduled artists include Beck, Pharrell Williams, Ryan Adams and Mary J. Blige.

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A curated Shomi movie section

Canucks don't have much choice for streaming video services. Netflix is the de facto pick, and its Canadian division's selection (historically smaller than in the US) isn't going to satisfy everyone. However, cable giants Rogers and Shaw think they have a better option for some viewers -- they've just unveiled Shomi, a mostly TV-focused service that might have a few aces up its sleeve. The offering blends automatic recommendations with handpicked selections; if you're looking for nothing but comic book adaptations or movies with dating disasters, you may have an easier time finding what you want. Shomi is also leaning heavily on exclusive deals for past seasons of big TV shows like Modern Family, New Girl and Sons of Anarchy, so it may be your best bet if you're looking for a Hulu Plus equivalent.

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Blue Microphones, as the company's name suggests, specializes in recording equipment, from professional studio mics to desktop models to mobile accessories. Today, Blue is breaking into a brand new product category, though not really out of its comfort zone, with the launch of the Mo-Fi headphones. It's a move you may have been expecting, given Blue announced its intentions at the beginning of the year, and has continued to tease this first foray into listening gear ever since. Put simply, the idea is to bring the kind of high-fidelity audio you'd get from a home sound system to other, more portable devices (as long as you're willing to pay for it). Blue's Mo-Fi cans are available in the US today for $350, and will be coming to the UK "soon" for £275.

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This week in TV gets started off with a bang thanks to the Primetime Emmys. Netflix snagged 31 nominations for its original content, now we'll see if it can take home more trophies than the three it won last year as House of Cards faces off with Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, True Detective, Downton Abbey and Mad Men for the Outstanding Drama Series award. Of course, the streamer isn't resting on its laurels having just introduced Bojack Horseman last week, and it's kicking off a new run of stand-up comedy specials this week with Jim Jeffries: Bare. Fans of The Walking Dead and Sons of Anarchy can grab the latest seasons on Blu-ray, while Madden NFL 15 lights up game consoles this week and the college football season gets started. All of that against the backdrop of FXX's Every Simpsons Ever marathon which will keep running until Monday. We've got a new format to show you what's new this week, hit the gallery below to check out each day's highlights, including trailers and let us know what you think (or what we missed).

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Between Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, TiVo, Xbox One and Playstation 4, our entertainment centers are getting pretty crowded. Who even has room for all those remotes? Thankfully, though, there are a number of apps and devices that can turn your smartphones and tablets into the ultimate universal remote. How have you tamed your massive controller collection? Tell us in the Engadget forums.

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I want YOU for targeted political ads

Like it or not, another US election is almost upon us -- and this time around, the incessant political advertising may cut a little too close to home. Both Democrats and Republicans are using a new TV ad targeting system from DirecTV and Dish that takes advantage of voter records to put personalized campaign ads on your DVR. If you tend to swing between both parties, you may get different commercials than lifelong supporters. You may also get reminders to vote early if you frequently cast absentee ballots. And unlike conventional targeting methods, which run ads on shows they believe certain demographics will watch, these promos will automatically appear on any show you record as long as there's a free slot.

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TiVo Roamio OTA

For the past eight years, a CableCARD and a TiVo DVR have gone hand in hand. No more! Within the next few weeks, the limited edition TiVo Roamio OTA DVR will be available from select Best Buy stores for an initial price of $49 (plus $15/month service with a one-year commitment). That's $150 cheaper than the existing base model TiVo Roamio, and still boasts the four tuners, 500GB of storage, integrated WiFi and almost the same software and accessories (TiVo Stream, though it doesn't support TiVo Mini). The main missing features, for a fourth of the price, are a CableCARD slot and whole-home capabilities. This means you'll need an antenna and (ideally) to live somewhere with decent over-the-air reception. It's an especially interesting offering for those looking to cut the cable/satellite cord, while keeping access to new shows from the big networks. TiVo might not be kidding about this being a limited edition either: The company is clear in pledging its allegiance to its cable TV customers while at the same time attempting to appeal to those not interested in paying more than 20 bucks for a monthly TV subscription. So, depending on the reception from customers and partners, we could see TiVo axing the Roamio OTA if things don't work out.

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LG only just brought its 55-inch 1080p OLED to a $3,500 price that's within the limits of mainstream credit cards, and it's already back with something better. The curved 4K OLED TV we saw at CES is about to go on sale in Korea, and will arrive soon everywhere else, meaning well-heeled buyers don't have to choose between Ultra HD resolution and the sweet black levels offered by this newer display technology. We don't have an official US price for the TV yet, but HDGuru's usually reliable retail sources say the 65-inch 4K model (there's also a 77-inch version) will arrive for about $7,000 next month, while the 77-inch version has a £20,000 price tag in the UK. In Korea it will cost 12,000,000 won ($11,738), however US prices are usually much lower. LG exec Hyun-hwoi Ha isn't mincing words either, calling the new display "the pinnacle of technological achievement" and saying the tech will overcome LCDs in sales in just a few years. Can OLED pull off what plasma couldn't? LG is betting it will -- meanwhile Samsung seems convinced that OLED isn't quite ready for prime time.

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