Like taxes, iPhones and, well, Madden, you can count on a new Skylanders game every year. If you're unfamiliar with the franchise, that may just be a symptom of not being around kids -- the toy / video game series is a dominant force in the kids gaming market, sharing responsibility with biggies like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft for bringing in 80 percent of Activision's earnings in 2013. Each new entry in the game series comes with a new physical device for reading toy figurines; when said figurines are placed on the device (called a "portal"), they're transported into the game world and playable in-game.

Between the figures ($5 - $7 apiece, on average) and the games (anywhere from $7 to $60), it's easy to understand why the franchise is so profitable. Thankfully, the franchise is also lauded by most critics as a pretty decent game, too. The next entry, Skylanders: Trap Team, arrives this October and it's the largest game in the franchise to date.

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It's that time again: Apple has just posted its Q2 2014 financials, and there are some interesting device sales numbers to peep at. Apple saw a big year-over-year jump in the number of iPhones sold (43.7 million this time vs. 37.4 million in the same quarter last year), thanks at least in part to a deal that brought the 5s and 5c to China Mobile -- a carrier that has over 750 million subscribers. Alas, Apple never breaks down its sales figures between models, so how many people opted for the colorful (and cheaper) 5c instead of the 5s is still a mystery. It didn't warrant a mention in the earnings release, but the company's moved 20 million Apple TVs (the hobby days are well behind it) and Mac sales surged slightly, too. The iPod did about as well as we thought... which is to say not well at all. The company sold fewer than half this quarter than it did during the same time last year, but it's no secret the venerable music players were slowly falling by the wayside.

But then there's the iPad.

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Let's just cut to the chase: Aereo's battle with broadcast TV hit the Supreme Court this week and it's one of the biggest entertainment-related court confrontations since the Betamax case in 1984. Confusion levels have been high, but Ben and Richard are your legal eagles and they break the situation down into its simplest terms. Time Warner Cable recently announced a potential money-saving alternative to cable box leasing, with its $99 set-top box that will stream cable TV and internet video. Netflix, on the other hand, has stated that it will raise its prices for new customers, although it's giving existing users a two-year grace period. There's a heap of HD news to run though this week, so you'll have to tune in to catch it all. Just head down to the streaming links below for this week's episode of the Engadget HD Podcast.

Hosts: Richard Lawler, Ben Drawbaugh

Producer: Jon Turi

Hear the podcast:

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Comcast FCC Court Battle

After existing Open Internet, or net neutrality, regulations were struck down in court earlier this year, it appears the FCC is ready to come back with new ones. Re/code reports Chairman Tom Wheeler confirmed they will be on the table at an agency meeting May 15th. While that report indicates the rules will be the same, but justified under a different part of the law, the Wall Street Journal's sources say that new rules will be proposed tomorrow, with at least one notable change. According to the rumor, the new net neutrality rules will still bar ISPs from blocking certain sources over the last mile, but will allow them to sell special access to others. It sounds like the type of "managed connection" that Comcast, for example, is using to distribute video on-demand to its Xbox 360 app.

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Soon you might be able to simply ask your Apple TV to start playing 'House of Cards' rather than fumbling through a series menus. Code found in iOS 7.1's software development kit indicates that Siri is one its way to a new device, likely Apple's set-top box. In the operating system's documentation, the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad are represented by "1" and "2." The most recent files also include a new device indicated by a "3." For our non-developer friends following along at home, that means the digital assistant is headed to a different product. While the 3 could potentially represent something entirely new (like the fabled iWatch), Apple has previously used the number to represent its TV product in code. It's also currently being used in several iOS-based Apple TV apps.

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If you've missed a few episodes of the Cosmos revival or maybe just want to fill the universe-sized hole in your media rack, the series hits Blu-ray and DVD this summer. Come June 10th (two days after the final episode airs), you'll be able to watch the doc's 13 installments plus a smattering of bonus features whenever you want. And speaking of supplements, the release will sport a five-part documentary chronicling the... documentary's making, with the Blu-ray getting an interactive history of the universe dubbed "The Cosmic Calendar." The price-tag on that 662-minute space-time odyssey? Sixty bucks for the Blu-ray and $50 for the DVD, but Amazon has each listed for a few ducats less.

[Image credit: Associated Press]

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AOL doesn't just want short clips of newsy content on its online video platform, AOL On. That's why the company (which, disclosure, owns Engadget) has signed a non-exclusive deal with Miramax to screen some of its movies on the service. The first flicks from the agreement will go up on April 30th, with "tens" of films from the catalog being made available on a rotating basis each month. Neither company was ready to disclose what particular titles we could expect, so while most of us are hoping to catch Clerks, Trainspotting and Pulp Fiction for free, don't be surprised if they wind up being the lesser lights contained on this list.

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HBO's always been stingy about who gets to stream its cherished TV assets but on May 21st, some of the network's vintage material will get a wider release. The company has signed a deal with Amazon to bring its classic shows, including The Sopranos, The Wire and Deadwood to Prime Instant Video members (check out the list here). If you're waiting for newer fare -- by which we mean Game of Thrones -- you'll be disappointed, but seasons of HBO's other new shows, like True Blood and Veep will arrive roughly three years after their first broadcast. As part of the deal, HBO Go will launch as an app on Amazon's Fire TV set-top box, which is due to land at some point towards the end of the year. In the meantime, however, you can prepare yourself for a May binge-a-thon by buying in plenty of snacks and bottled water.

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If we're being civil, Japan's relationship with the Xbox could be described as "tenuous" at best, and the release date for Microsoft's latest game console probably won't do much to change that. Come this September 4th, gamers in the country will finally be able to claim an Xbox One for themselves. Yes, that's around 10 months after it launched in the US and other "first tier" countries, and seven months after the PlayStation 4's Japanese debut. Redmond's Eastern wing hasn't mentioned pricing just yet (what, one announcement isn't enough?), but with E3 on the horizon it likely won't remain unknown for too much longer.

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Roku has just announced that the YouTube app, once exclusive only to the Roku 3, is now available to all of the company's "current-gen" players. That includes the Roku LT, Roku 1, the Roku 2, the Roku HD, the Roku Streaming Stick... and, well, pretty much all of them. Like we announced back in December, the YouTube app lets you send videos from your phone or tablet to the tiny media streamer when you're connected to the same wireless network. You're also able to sign in and watch your favorite subscribed channels -- like, ahem, ours perhaps? -- as you would on your computer. In other news, Roku has also announced that the Fox Now channel is now finally available to Comcast customers (it's already accessible via other providers like AT&T U-Verse and Dish). Simply link the app up to your Xfinity account, and you'll be able to watch the upcoming season of 24 whenever you like. To get either the YouTube or Fox Now app, simply download it from the store or just hit the links in this very sentence.

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We have no doubt the justices of the Supreme Court are well versed and prepared for any copyright law, but do they understand TV or the hows and whys it can be so frustrating sometimes? Like many of us, possibly not that well -- like why HBO can't keep its streaming service up during Game of Thrones? -- which could make reaching a decision in the case between Aereo and the broadcasters seeking to put it out of business especially difficult. During today's oral arguments Justice Antonin Scalia wondered whether the cable- and satellite-only network HBO might be picked up by Aereo's antenna-to-internet setup. The justices were mostly on point, however, needling lawyers for the networks about a previous case for Cablevision's cloud DVR, and how a ruling in their favor could affect cloud internet services.

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There's no word on another new season or movie for Arrested Development, but now the show's creator Mitch Hurwitz is working with Netflix on something new. As first reported by Deadline Hollywood, Hurwitz has signed a multi-year deal to create and produce a new original series under his The Hurwitz Company banner. After resurrecting his old show for a new season (and grabbing a few Emmy nominations) on the streaming video service last year, the relationship is clearly deep, and Netflix's Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos says it's "lucky to be in business with... a true genius." So far Netflix's strategy has been to snag series from talented, experienced teams and it seems to have worked out well. Still, no matter what the new show is we'll still be keeping an eye out for news on more AD in the future, especially once our rates creep up a buck or two.

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It's Tuesday, which is time for the Engadget HD Podcast and we hope you'll join us for the live recording at 9PM. The big news we kick this week's show off with is from Time Warner Cable in the way of a Fan TV box that delivers content from multiple sources. The Aereo case has finally had its, so we'll discuss the latest news from the Supreme Court. A few newsy streaming stories, some interesting content news and the usual odds and ends round out this week's show. If you'll be joining us, take a peek at the topics after the break and then get ready to participate in the live chat.

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How do you fight cord-cutters? Offer an internet streaming service with all of cable TV's best content. It sounds like a bit of a stretch, but it could be happening: the distribution deal that settled Disney and Dish's ad-skipping dispute also gave the TV-provider the rights to stream Disney-owned channels over the internet. Sources close to Bloomberg are now saying that Dish is hoping to launch the service before the end of the summer.

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Last summer Fanhattan showed off its Fan TV box that promised to put cable TV on the same level as internet streaming services, but with the odd twist that cable TV providers would be the ones to sell it. After a short test period with Cox Cable last year, Fanhattan has formed a partnership with Time Warner Cable to sell the $99 boxes to its subscribers (available for pre-order now, shipping in the next few months). It doesn't need coax or a visit from the cable guy, but it will have live TV and video on-demand from TWC, plus streaming video from services including Redbox Instant, Target Ticket (coming shortly after launch), Crackle and Rhapsody. Time Warner Cable has been on the forefront of transitioning to internet streaming with its TWC TV apps, and the Fan TV box plays directly into that.

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