Oculus TV Debuts as Smart TV for Viewing in Virtual Reality

Oculus officially debuted Oculus TV, a free app and dedicated hub for watching flatscreen video in virtual reality via the Oculus Go headset. By introducing Oculus TV, first announced at last month’s F8 conference, the company makes good on its interest in non-gaming uses of VR. Oculus TV features a virtual home theater with what Oculus says is the equivalent of a 180-inch TV screen, and supports access to streaming video services including Showtime, free web service Pluto TV, Red Bull TV, and Facebook Video. Continue reading Oculus TV Debuts as Smart TV for Viewing in Virtual Reality

LG Unveils OLED TV That Rolls Out Like a Projector Screen

Four years after LG Display demonstrated an 18-inch, rollable OLED screen with the promise of larger future versions, the company has delivered with a 65-inch 4K version. Most reviewers are reporting eye-popping colors and perfect blacks; The Verge awarded the display Best Prototype at CES and described it as “absolutely stunning,” noting that it “goes from its native 16:9 to a wider 21:9 cinema mode at the press of a button.” In fact, the TV has three modes: the first mode unrolls the screen up from the base about a third of the way to offer content such as news, photos, weather and sports; the second rises to a 21:9 aspect ratio ideal for movie viewing; and the third mode presents the full 16:9 screen for watching television content. Continue reading LG Unveils OLED TV That Rolls Out Like a Projector Screen

Engadget to Unveil its Best of CES Winners Onstage Tonight

Engadget posted finalists across 16 categories for its annual Best of CES awards. The winners — including the People’s Choice Award — will be announced during a 5:00 pm PST ceremony from the Engadget CES stage. For those interested in a list and brief description of all the nominees, visit Engadget. Our audience may find the following categories of particular interest: Best Home Theater Product — Optoma 4K Alexa Projector, Hisense 150-inch Laser TV Projector, Channel Master SMARTenna+; Best PC or Tablet — Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, Dell XPS 15 2-in-1, Acer Swift 7, HP Spectre x360; Best Phone or Mobile Device — Lenovo Miix 630, Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra; and Best TV Product — The Wall by Samsung MicroLED TV, LG 2018 C-Series OLED, TCL 6-Series Roku TVs, Nvidia 65-inch Big Format Gaming Displays. Continue reading Engadget to Unveil its Best of CES Winners Onstage Tonight

Dish’s AirTV Box Fuses Streaming, OTA Channels with EPG

At CES, Dish debuted AirTV, a 4K set-top box that features Sling TV, Netflix and Android TV for streaming apps and OTA channels, with the Sling TV guide as an organizer for all of the content. The accompanying remote control, which connects to the box via Bluetooth and offers voice controls, provides dedicated buttons for the streaming libraries. The set-top box is “about the size of an Apple TV or Roku box,” with ports for power, Ethernet, HDMI and USB. AirTV is priced at $100 or $130 for the antenna-compatible version. Continue reading Dish’s AirTV Box Fuses Streaming, OTA Channels with EPG

Engadget Editors Release Their Official Best of CES Awards

Engadget published its Best of CES winners this evening, and for the fourth consecutive year Razer has taken the People’s Choice Award, this time for its Project Ariana 4K gaming projector. Best of the Best went to LG this year: “It’s rare that a product truly blows us away at CES, but LG’s W-Series OLED TV did just that. At just 2.6 millimeters thick across its entire body, it’s the slimmest TV we’ve ever seen … the TV also supports more HDR standards and comes with a Dolby Atmos-enabled soundbar.” Among the additional winners: UVify’s Draco HD drone (Best Robot or Drone), Dell’s XPS 13 2-in-1 laptop (Best PC), the Asus ZenFone AR smartphone (Best Mobile Device), Dish AirTV (Best Home Theater Product), the self-balancing Honda Riding Assist motorcycle (Best Automotive Technology and Best Disruptive Innovation). Continue reading Engadget Editors Release Their Official Best of CES Awards

Sony CEO Reveals Plan to Make Products ‘Objects of Desire’

During his CES presentation, Sony president and CEO Kazuo Hirai revealed plans for the company’s future, including an emphasis on creating personal experiences for customers, generating sustainable growth for the Sony brand through continued innovation, and developing new products as “objects of desire.” “When you experience one of our products, interact with one of them, we want to generate an emotional response,” he explained. Hirai recognized Mike Fasulo, president/COO of Sony North America, for his “incredible efforts in this pursuit,” and announced the company’s new 4K OLED offerings, new 4K Bravias and Android TV OS. Continue reading Sony CEO Reveals Plan to Make Products ‘Objects of Desire’

Razer Purchases THX with Plans for VR and Global Expansion

Razer, which develops hardware and services for the gaming world, announced this week that it is acquiring THX from Creative Labs, with plans to run the iconic audio company (founded by filmmaker George Lucas in 1983) as an independent subsidiary with a focus on overseas expansion and new device areas such as VR headsets. THX is expected to continue operating under current management, led by CEO Ty Ahmad-Taylor. Razer, run by CEO Min-Liang Tan and valued at $1.5 billion, also acquired gaming startup Ouya last year. Financial terms of the THX deal have not been disclosed. Continue reading Razer Purchases THX with Plans for VR and Global Expansion

CEDIA Expo: 4K Players, Projectors Coming to Home Theaters

During last week’s CEDIA Expo in Dallas, Sony showcased its new line of Full HD home theater projectors, including two models that support 4K. Sony is also providing high dynamic range support with its VPL-VW665ES, which allows HDMI input of HDR content with a 300,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. Meanwhile, Kaleidescape debuted its Encore line with the 4K Strato movie player, the “world’s first 4K Ultra HD high dynamic range movie player for the home.” Kaleidescape showed new Alto players and the Terra server, which simultaneously streams 4K content to up to seven Strato players. Continue reading CEDIA Expo: 4K Players, Projectors Coming to Home Theaters

New Universal Remote Controls All Your Smart Home Devices

While universal remotes are primarily used to control cable boxes and TVs, Cupertino-based startup NEEO is taking the idea a step further. The company claims its universal remote can control a home theater system and almost every smart device that a homeowner could imagine. The NEEO touchscreen remote works with over 30,000 Internet-connected gadgets such as the Nest, Philips Hue and others. It also uses hand recognition software to create profiles for each user. Continue reading New Universal Remote Controls All Your Smart Home Devices

Dolby Atmos Surround Sound Tech Coming to Home Theaters

Dolby Labs is bringing its Atmos surround sound tech to the living room through Blu-ray and streaming services. Dolby Atmos, the cinema sound system introduced in 2012, will be available via Blu-ray without the need for players to upgrade hardware. Partners will offer receivers, speakers and other devices to help deliver the Atmos experience to the home, while existing BD players that conform to the Blu-ray spec will support Atmos content on a Blu-ray Disc, according to the company. Continue reading Dolby Atmos Surround Sound Tech Coming to Home Theaters

Roku Unveils New Simplified Models from Basic to Powerful

Roku has unveiled its new line of streaming players, offering a simplified means of distinguishing models based on features and power. The company has done away with product names like LT, HD and 2XD. Consumers now have a simple selection and can choose among the entry level Roku LT, the increasing features of the Roku 1 and Roku 2, or the most powerful, the Roku 3. The Roku 1, 2, and 3 will be available in the U.S. U.K., Ireland and Canada. Continue reading Roku Unveils New Simplified Models from Basic to Powerful

Music App Plays Man of Steel Soundtrack in Surround Sound

For those who purchase the newly released “Man Of Steel: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” limited deluxe edition CD, a unique feature joins Hans Zimmer’s musical score. The deluxe edition includes an access code to download the Z+ Music app for iOS devices that allows users to play the soundtrack in 11.1 channel surround sound using any headphones, including earbuds. The free Z+ app will soon be available to Android users. Continue reading Music App Plays Man of Steel Soundtrack in Surround Sound

Liberty Global Looks Beyond the Horizon with Multi-Screen Video Platform

  • Liberty Global unveiled a new video delivery platform at IBC in Amsterdam that the company claims will reinvent television by combining the interactivity of the Web with cable and personalized content.
  • The multimedia gateway will create a wireless network that connects the TV to personal devices such as computers, tablets and smartphones, reports Communications Technology.
  • The technology, dubbed Horizon, centers on a PC as “the heart of the digital home,” includes a 3D user interface, and is presently undergoing field trials in the Netherlands. Liberty Global suggests it will be commercially available next year.
  • Sixty content providers — including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter — have already signed up to develop applications for the platform.
  • The platform has a number of tech partners including Samsung, which built the multimedia home gateway, powered by the Intel Atom CE Media Processor.
  • NAGRA Media Access will provide the conditional access solution that will support MoCA and Wi-Fi, and participate in the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) ecosystem.

Projector News: Are We Close to Affordable 4K Devices for the Home?

  • ETCentric contributors have recently submitted a number of interesting announcements related to high-end projectors for the home. The following are a few highlights:
  • Sony announced its VPL-VW1000ES with 4K resolution, 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and 2,000 ANSI lumens of brightness that allows it to project on screen sizes up to 200-inches. “During the presentation Sony showed a 4K clip from its upcoming ‘Spiderman’ flick on a VPL-VW1000ES that looked every bit as beautiful as you might imagine,” reports Engadget. Price is rumored to be less than $25,000.
  • JVC is introducing a new line of home theater projectors that features e-Shift technology, which takes 2D HD content and upconverts and scales to a 4K signal (3840 x 2160) to display at “4K precision,” twice the horizontal and vertical resolution of Full HD. The projectors are also 3D-enabled with a 2D-to-3D converter derived from JVC’s professional 2D-to-3D converter and includes user adjustments for 3D depth and subtitle geometry correction. While Sony indicated its projector would be available for less than $25,000, Engadget reports “the top of the line JVC has an MSRP of just $12k, while the cheaper model will be $7,999 when they all ship in November.”
  • Epson’s new home theater projectors feature full HD, active shutter 3D, with 1080p resolution and Bright 3D Drive Technology, which drives the panels at 480Hz, essentially doubling the image refresh rate of 240Hz panels, up to 200,000:1 contrast ratio, up to 2,400 lumens of color and white light output — and enable viewing on larger screens and in a range of ambient light conditions. “The primary difference between the $4,000 6010 and $3,000 5010 (the wireless HD-equipped 5010e will run about $3,500) is the included accessories and options: like ceiling mounts, 3D glasses and additional lens modes,” reports Engadget. “The budget 3010 ($1,600) and 3010e ($1,800) models sport a more modest 40,000:1 contrast ratio and 2,200 lumen rating, but do have a pair of built-in 10W speakers.”
  • Panasonic’s new PT-AR100U home theater projector offers 1080p resolution, a 50,000:1 contrast ratio, and 2,800 lumens of brightness. “Panasonic even aims to make the PT-AR100U less fiddly than a typical projector, with a Light Harmonizer feature that senses ambient lighting and color and automatically adjusts the projector’s white balance, gamma, and sharpness to compensate,” indicates Digital Trends. Expect the projector to be available in October for under $2,000.

Belkin Unveils New Wireless Home Theater Solutions for HDTV Streaming

  • Belkin announced three new products this week designed to streamline home theater configurations and deliver HD content wirelessly.
  • The company’s new $250 ScreenCast AV 4 wirelessly connects up to four home theater devices (such as a Blu-ray player) to an HDTV via a transmitter connected to the device’s HDMI connection. The transmitter can locate AV equipment up to 100 feet away.
  • The ScreenCast AV 4 can transmit full-HD 1080p resolution, 3D video, and up to 5.1 channels of surround sound. “The included infrared emitter connects to the ScreenCast AV transmitter and relays the signal from your AV devices’ remote controls, allowing you to use the existing controllers, even when the devices are located in another room,” explains the press release.
  • In addition to its ScreenCast AV 4, Belkin has unveiled two other new products. “The company’s Universal HDTV Adapter and Universal Wireless AV Adapter, meanwhile, offer up wireless for TVs, making it possible to stream content with dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz,” reports Engadget. “The Universal Wireless HDTV Adapter offers up streaming for a single Internet-ready set, while the Universal Wireless AV Adapter works with up to four AV devices. Both are available this month, and will run you $79.99 and $99.99, respectively.”

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