Recognizing that there's no shortage of set-top boxes and smart speakers capable of streaming music around your home, global WiFi provider Fon has decided it wants to do things a little differently. Billed as a new "modern cloud jukebox," the company today introduced the Gramofon, a stylish little box that is actually part music streamer and part WiFi router.

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Aereo New York City

The big US broadcasters are primarily leaning on legal action to shut down Aereo's antenna-based streaming TV service, but what if the startup prevails in court? Apparently, the media giants aren't too worried; they have some backup plans. The Wall Street Journal claims that CBS is considering a subscription-based video service of its own that would offer both live and on-demand shows for a few dollars per month. While it would still include ads, there might also be an option to pay for Showtime's premium programming.

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Ready for more new features on your Xbox One? Major Nelson just announced that the April software update Microsoft has been beta testing will start rolling out to all systems tonight. The big new feature is the return of notifications for when people on your favorites or friends lists come online, like it did on the Xbox 360. Other fixes are supposed to make Kinect's voice and gesture recognition better, and there are new UI tweaks to make sure you know the status of game saves as well as updates for your games and apps. GameDVR clips should be better looking, 50Hz Blu-ray discs will play at their native rate and yes, there is another update for controllers that addresses audio quality with third-party headsets using the adaptor.

Finally, for any updates after this one the Xbox One will be able to reboot to standby silently instead of just turning off, and you'll be able to check manually for updates. That doesn't apply for this update though, so Xbox One owners can watch for a reboot while they keep an eye on tonight's eclipse, or wait for it to download over the next few days.

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The past few months have been very active for Netflix, as it's faced new challenges with getting its video streams into homes. It responded to customer complaints and dropping average speeds by making a new connection deal with Comcast, while others like AT&T and Verizon also lined up with their hands out. For Comcast users at least, the recent deal between the cable provider and Netflix does seem to be bearing fruit. Thanks to the agreement -- which allows Netflix to connect its network directly with Comcast's infrastructure to bypass the bottlenecked third parties -- average speeds for streams on the network have surged up to 65 percent, going from 1.51Mbps in January to 2.5Mbps in March.

Netflix also notes that it has also seen "early improvements" as a result of its deal with Telenor, an internet service provider in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. "We are dedicated to delivering a great streaming experience and invest in continually improving that experience," states Netflix on its blog. Even if similar deals are on the way with other ISPs, so long as net neutrality only covers traffic over the last mile, Reed Hasting likely has a few more furious Facebook messages in store.

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The drastic change in the way people consume media has stirred up the argument that TV as we knew it is dead. But while prime-time ratings have dipped since the rise of services like Netflix and solid programming from networks such as AMC and HBO, the first quarter of 2014 has been very kind to prime-time TV in the US. According to a report from MoffettNathanson, prime-time TV ratings saw a surge of four percent compared to the previous quarter, and in the process marked the first time TV has seen any sort of growth since over a year ago. As Re/code notes, researcher Michael Nathanson says this is television's "best performance since the last quarter of 2007."

But there's a reason for this: Nathanson points out that the increase in TV ratings is largely due to major events that have taken place this year, including the Oscars, the Sochi Winter Olympics, playoff games from the NFL and, most recently, the NCAA's March Madness tournament. We'll see if ratings can keep up this momentum going forward, but, at least for the time being, it's safe to say good ol' TV is far from being put to rest

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Welcome to the first edition of the Joystiq Weekly Wrap-up, where we present some of the best stories and biggest news from our beloved sister-publication. After the break you'll find, among other things, Pokémon, the Big Bad Wolf and the final word on Titanfall's ongoing multiplayer examination. Our brothers and sisters in arms are on the ground in Boston this weekend for PAX East too, and you can find all of that coverage right here. Pour a frosty beverage and join us for the week's gaming news, won't you?

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If you were worried that legendary game developer Sid Meier wouldn't get his chance to make a new Alpha Centauri, it's time to put those fears to bed. Civilization: Beyond Earth is coming this fall, and, as the name suggests, it takes the venerable PC strategy series to the stars. As Rock, Paper, Shotgun tells it, publisher Electronic Arts still holds the rights to the Alpha Centauri name (which was a Civ spin-off to start), so this is developer Firaxis' effort at a sequel, sans the actual title. The trailer below doesn't show any game-play, but it paints a simultaneously somber and epic picture of just why humanity has to leave Earth. Joystiq and PC Gamer have meaty features and interviews with info from the dev team, so if you're jonesing for more details on the game's randomly-generated alien planets, be sure to check 'em out.

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If you can believe it, Syfy may be getting back to its pre-name change roots. A notable addition to its plans for the next year is a new TV series based on a popular series of sci-fi books known as The Expanse. The first book Leviathan Wakes snagged nominations in 2012 for the Hugo Award for Best Novel and Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. Set 200 years in the future, it focuses on a ship captain and detective searching for a missing young woman, with a sprawling story and scope that have netted comparisons to both Star Wars and Game of Thrones. We'd be more than pleasantly surprised if it reached anywhere near those heights, but Syfy president Dave Howe is claiming this is the network's "most ambitious series to date."

The books are written under the pseudonym James S.A. Corey by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, who will be among the show's producers. Whatever happens with the show, we'll get the full 10-episode season Syfy ordered based on a script by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby (Children of Men -- sort of, Iron Man) who are the show's writers and executive producers. Whether it is anything like Game of Thrones it's at least a return to Battlestar Galactica-style scifi for the network instead of a new series of Celebrity Ghost Stalker Makeup Artists. Syfy alone is also working on new series 12 Monkeys, Dominion, Ascension and the second season of Helix, which combined with Netflix's Sense8 from the Wachowskis, Amazon's The After from X-Files creator Chris Carter and the return of Heroes on NBC next year make this an interesting time to be a sci-fi fan.

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NBC app for iOS

The big US broadcasters like to tout the strength of their mobile TV apps, but actually viewing the apps' content on a TV has frequently proven elusive. That's a rather glaring omission, don't you think? Some credit is due to NBC, then, as it recently updated its iOS app with AirPlay support. Unfortunately, it's pretty basic at this stage. All you can do is turn on AirPlay mirroring and beam whatever is on your mobile device's screen -- you're out of luck if you'd like to see optimized videos, let alone do something else on your iOS gear while you watch. Still, it's good to see NBC catch up on features that services like Hulu have had for quite a while.

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Nov. 14, 2011 - Irvine, California, U.S. - Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey, 20, right, is the inventor of a virtual reality gami

Last month's news that Facebook bought startup Oculus VR for $2 billion spurred many loud and often furious reactions from gamers and especially those who participated in the project's initial Kickstarter. If you're among those wondering what's next for Oculus and haven't been convinced by the written words of founder Palmer Luckey and others (including John Carmack and Sony's Shuhei Yoshida), perhaps hearing them will make a difference. Reviewed.com tracked down Luckey at the PAX East event today and got him on camera talking about Oculus and Facebook. As he's expressed before, Luckey says the plan is to "promote the long-term adoption of virtual reality, not short-term financial returns." In his words "the games industry is the only industry that's really well equipped to build interactive immersive 3D worlds," so don't expect the focus of Oculus to suddenly change now that it's in cahoots with Zuckerberg and company. So, after a couple of weeks to think about it -- and the addition of notable former Valve / iD software employee Mike Abrash to the Oculus team -- how do you feel about the acquisition now?

(Iribe/Luckey Photo:Ana Venegas/The Orange County Register/ZUMAPRESS.com)

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Default recording options in TiVo's spring DVR update

TiVo has been rolling out a firmware update that has given some DVR users a lot more than they were bargaining for. Officially, the refresh supplies Mini, Premiere and Roamio units with a very helpful page for default recording options as well as a host of bug fixes. However, that's when it's working -- quite a few subscribers have been dealing with glitches instead. Some Mini users have received an error that prevents installing the update without unplugging the set-top box for up to three days. Meanwhile, others have seen some of their gear roll back to older code, which can wipe out customizations and break multi-device setups. There are reports of spontaneous reboots and other hiccups, too.

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Exploring Borneo with an Oculus Rift VR headset

Ever want to get immersed in a wildlife documentary? Like, really immersed? You're going to get your chance soon. Atlantic Productions has revealed to Realscreen that its upcoming Sir David Attenborough project, Conquest of the Skies, is destined for Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets. The studio is shooting all of its footage using an eight-camera rig that will give VR viewers a chance to catch the action from every possible angle.

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Chvrches concert at Columbiahalle in March 2014

It's that time of year once again: Google and T-Mobile are streaming the Coachella festival live on YouTube. Tune in between April 11th and April 13th and you'll see big-name musicians play without making a pilgrimage to Indio. Much of the experience will be familiar if you've watched before. However, there is a social twist to this year's proceedings -- if you're in a Hangouts video chat at the right moment, you'll have a chance to speak with artists like Chvrches and Zedd while they're backstage. Yes, you may have a better time than fans who paid a premium to be there in person. We wouldn't count on getting that VIP treatment, but it's undoubtedly an added incentive to start streaming.

[Image credit: Viktor Rosenfeld, Flickr]

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DirecTV's Genie DVR setup will serve up to eight rooms in your house (four at once) but what if you're trying to get TV outside, or in a room that's not already wired? It's not the most common situation now, but if that's an issue, DirecTV is matching the wireless set-top boxes coming from Dish and AT&T with one of its own. The Wireless Genie Mini just needs power (and a wireless bridge connected to the main DVR) and it's ready to stream live or DVR'd TV. It's been available as a test in several markets for a few months now, but now anyone in the US can get one for $99, and if you already have the bridge, there's no need for an installer to come out. We liked the Genie system when we reviewed it and thought it was a good competitor to Dish's Hopper DVR system -- we'll see if this year's battle over wireless boxes helps guide any customers to one service or the other.

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SONY DSC

"I woke up that morning and saw the announcement," Shuhei Yoshida tells us, remembering the day Facebook acquired Oculus VR. "And I was like, yeah!" Yoshida laughs and thrusts his arms in the air like an excited child. "For me, it was a validation for VR." As head of Sony Computer Entertainment's Worldwide Studios, virtual reality (and Sony's Project Morpheus) has become important to Yoshida. He wants to see it, as a medium, succeed.

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