Samsung, LG, Others Advancing MicroLED TV Screen Tech

Samsung has been demonstrated MicroLED wall-sized TV screens at the last two CES confabs in Las Vegas. Dubbed The Wall, the screen comes in a gigantic version at 219 inches and, now, a smaller one at 75 inches. The latter is only a prototype, but the 146-inch version is for sale, for a price that depends on installation costs. The last new screen technology to be debuted was OLED, on Sony XEL-1 TVs in 2008. OLED now dominates high quality images on TVs and most high-end smartphones, although there are plenty of older LCD screens to be found. Continue reading Samsung, LG, Others Advancing MicroLED TV Screen Tech

Alexa Support Comes to Devices From Toshiba, Sony, Others

Toshiba revealed that many of its OLED, 4K and Full HD Smart Range TV sets will respond to Alexa voice control starting next year. Via Alexa, consumers will be able to change the channel or volume, offer movie recommendations, read the news or launch more than 45,000 Alexa skills. Toshiba also introduced its first Android TV, a 55-inch model, with Google Assistant voice, which became available last fall, to control smart home devices and the TV volume, search for movies, and launch apps. Bose, Marshall and Sony are among those also introducing Alexa-enabled products. Continue reading Alexa Support Comes to Devices From Toshiba, Sony, Others

New Phones, 8K TVs, Alexa Garner the Most Attention at IFA

While the IFA conference in Berlin has traditionally targeted consumers in Europe, the show has recently become a global launching pad for products being readied for the holiday shopping season, one reason IFA has become more significant. According to TechCrunch, this year’s more notable announcements included Alexa routers from Netgear and Huawei; 8K TV sets from LG, Samsung, Sharp, Toshiba and others; smartphones such as the Sony Xperia XZ2, LG G7 One and HTC U12 Life; Polaroid’s new instant camera the OneStep+; and Lenovo’s Yoga Book C930 convertible, which features an E Ink display instead of a keyboard. Continue reading New Phones, 8K TVs, Alexa Garner the Most Attention at IFA

Sony, Harman Kardon and JBL Debut New Smart Speakers

At the Berlin trade show IFA this year, manufacturers showed smart speakers that incorporate voice assistants from Amazon and Google. Sony debuted its LF-S50G, one of the first third-party products, including Google Assistant and offering 360-degree sound and a digital clock, due out in December for $200. Another rival is the $250 Harman Kardon Allure, which offers Amazon’s Alexa and features ambient lighting that keeps the music’s beat. In addition, JBL’s new LINK series features three wireless speakers with Google Assistant and Chromecast support. Continue reading Sony, Harman Kardon and JBL Debut New Smart Speakers

Panasonic Intros 4K Blu-ray Player, Ultra HD OLED, LED TVs

During its CES press conference, Panasonic introduced its new Ultra HD products. The company confirmed that it plans to ship an Ultra HD Blu-ray player “later this year,” joining Samsung as the second major manufacturer to introduce a 4K BD player. Panasonic also touted its CZ950 4K Ultra HD OLED TV, originally announced last September at IFA in Berlin, and the first OLED set to receive THX certification. Additionally, Panasonic highlighted its new flagship DX900 LED TV series, one of the first to meet the UHD Alliance’s just announced Ultra HD Premium specification. Continue reading Panasonic Intros 4K Blu-ray Player, Ultra HD OLED, LED TVs

Samsung Could Unveil Google Glass Competitor in September

Unnamed sources at Samsung suggest the company is developing a Google Glass competitor, currently named Galaxy Glass, that could possibly debut at September’s IFA trade show in Berlin. Google Glass is expected to be commercially available the latter half of this year. According to a Samsung official: “It will be interesting to see which companies get better stakes in the race for smart glasses. Players definitely want to enjoy a ‘first-mover’ advantage in this new and highly lucrative market.” Continue reading Samsung Could Unveil Google Glass Competitor in September

Ultra HD TV: Samsung and Sharp Demonstrate 8K Tech at CES

While much of the fanfare surrounding Ultra HD at CES this week was related to 4K technology and related products, its sibling 8K (at 16 times the resolution of 1080p) also had a presence. Samsung showcased its first 8K screen, a 98-inch QUHD or Quad Ultra HD, while Sharp demonstrated an 85-inch 8K display, in addition to a prototype combined with Dolby 3D glasses-free technology (that delivered nearly 4K resolution per eye, but with a rather narrow viewing angle). Continue reading Ultra HD TV: Samsung and Sharp Demonstrate 8K Tech at CES

IFA 2013: No 4K Format War Expected with Next-Gen Blu-ray

According to the Blu-ray Disc Association, the announcement of a next-generation Blu-ray Disc compatible with Ultra HD is imminent, putting to rest concerns of a potential 4K format war. During the IFA conference in Berlin, Marty Gordon, VP for Alliances & Communications at Philips and spokesman for the BDA, said that an announcement regarding an enhanced Blu-ray format involving a traditional-looking disc is expected in the near future. Continue reading IFA 2013: No 4K Format War Expected with Next-Gen Blu-ray

IFA 2013: Samsung Smartwatch Targets the Health Conscious

Samsung unveiled a prototype of its new smartwatch at the IFA show in Berlin last week. The Galaxy Gear is expected to rival a new wave of devices from Apple, Microsoft, LG, Sony, Pebble and others. The prototype boasts a high quality AMOLED display, 4-megapixel camera, and tiny speakers in the clasp. For those who are concerned about health and fitness, the watch is able to track health data at the gym, measure heart rate, help devise workouts, and track food intake by taking photos of meals. Continue reading IFA 2013: Samsung Smartwatch Targets the Health Conscious

IFA 2013: Philips Launches Cloud TV and Explorer Storage Apps

During this week’s IFA 2013 in Berlin, Philips TV 3.0 was unveiled, including a number of cloud-related services intended to change the viewing habits of Philips’ Smart TV owners. The company is launching a new Cloud TV app, an over-the-top service that provides access to hundreds of TV channels which can be sorted by genre, favorites and themes. Philips also unveiled the new Cloud Explorer app for storage of personal media such as videos, music and pictures. Continue reading IFA 2013: Philips Launches Cloud TV and Explorer Storage Apps

Sony Betting on 4K with Video Download Service and New TVs

Sony announced on Wednesday a new 4K video download service called Video Unlimited 4K, along with the unveiling of two new 4K television models. The announcements are part of a larger 4K Ultra HD initiative from Sony. While the service will initially be available only in the U.S., and challenges may result from the limited number of film and TV titles and the large file size of 4K videos, Sony has plans to expand its offerings and sees a strong future in 4K. Continue reading Sony Betting on 4K with Video Download Service and New TVs

Acer Announces 4K for Phone and Touch for Low-End Laptop

Acer announced that its Liquid S2 smartphone will offer 4K video recording capability. While offering 4K video recording on a smartphone may currently seem unnecessary, it may become a more widely adopted feature of upcoming handsets. Meanwhile, Acer will also be including a touchscreen option for its low-end E1 laptop. The option of touchscreen for the Acer laptop may help overcome some of the initial confusion faced by Windows 8 users. Continue reading Acer Announces 4K for Phone and Touch for Low-End Laptop

Technicolor Certified Program Ensures Hues Across Devices

Technicolor, working with Portrait Displays, has developed a new standard for guaranteeing the hue quality across computer and mobile device panels. The Technicolor Color Certified Program will provide displays that meet the standard with a seal of approval. “For the end user, the result should be consistent tones across all certified devices either automatically or when the Technicolor color setting is enabled for specific programs or apps,” explains Engadget. Continue reading Technicolor Certified Program Ensures Hues Across Devices

HDTV Prototype Unveiled by Vestel: Would You Buy a BitTorrent TV?

  • The first BitTorrent certified HDTV was demonstrated at the IFA trade show in Berlin last week, although ZDNet points out that torrent fans will be “hard-pressed to get their hands on one (especially in the U.S.).”
  • The Vestel prototype uses BitTorrent’s Chrysalis platform to simplify the process of downloading and converting torrents to view.
  • Although the idea may be exciting to many, it’s a bit early to celebrate. “Not surprisingly, there’s no information about any kind of release dates or distribution model for the TV (or even basic specs like screen sizes, etc.),” reports ZDNet. “Vestel is obviously not a household name, and past BitTorrent-based networking products from the likes of Netgear haven’t been runaway successes.”
  • “Major retailers might not want to stock a BitTorrent TV for fear of offending their digital content partners,” adds the post, “so this might be a niche product that you’d have to track down online. Or it could wind up being vaporware altogether.”
  • ZDNet asks its readers if they would consider buying a BitTorrent TV — a good question for our ETCentric crowd. What are your thoughts?