CES 2013: Samsung Launches Ultra HDTVs as Part of New Lineup

Samsung is previewing 85-inch and 110-inch Ultra HD LED TVs; a new flagship Smart TV, the F8000 LED with quad-core processor; and a 55-inch OLED TV with Multi-View feature. The company is also extending its “Smart” capabilities including voice recognition and introducing its 2013 Evolution Kit to bring new features to existing Samsung displays without requiring a new television. Continue reading CES 2013: Samsung Launches Ultra HDTVs as Part of New Lineup

CEA Study Indicates U.S. Adoption of 3D TV on the Rise

Approximately 21 percent of U.S. homes now have a 3D-capable television set, after 5.6 million sets were sold in 2012, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. While 3D TV sales have fallen short of industry’s hopes, video viewing in 3D is on the rise, with 42 percent of 3D-capable HDTV owners watching at least five hours per week. “Consumer interest in 3D TVs and 3D content continues to grow as ownership rates increase,” says Kevin Tillmann, a senior research analyst at CEA. Continue reading CEA Study Indicates U.S. Adoption of 3D TV on the Rise

CES 2013: A Look at Some of the More Interesting Predictions

A favorite pastime of analysts in recent years has been attempting to forecast what will prove to be the top trends emerging from the annual International CES confab in Las Vegas. Of course, this year is no different, as consumer electronics continue to branch out from purely an interest of the technorati, become more intrinsically tied to our lifestyles and subsequently draw more mainstream media attention. As we get ready to hit the show floor when the exhibition opens its doors tomorrow, we take a look at some of the more interesting forecasts recently published. (One of our favorite pastimes is discovering who will be right and who will end up missing the mark.) Continue reading CES 2013: A Look at Some of the More Interesting Predictions

CES 2013: Phones to Tout Quad Cores, 1080p and Flexible Screens

The smartphone continues to grow in popularity and power as the always-on processing unit of choice. Quad-core units, phones with screen displays of 1080p and outsized “phablets” are expected to take center stage at the 2013 International CES. There’ll be a wow-factor, like the 5.5-inch flexible screen Samsung prototype, and a now-factor, like wireless pocket chargers from Energizer and Lilliputian that provide up to 20x life. Continue reading CES 2013: Phones to Tout Quad Cores, 1080p and Flexible Screens

Apple and Samsung Tighten Control of U.S. Smartphone Market

Apple and Samsung continue to dominate the U.S. smartphone market, according to a new report from Tavis McCourt, technology analyst for financial services firm Raymond James. While iPhone retention remains roughly 86 percent, Samsung is consolidating the Android space domestically as it has already successfully achieved in much of the European market. Continue reading Apple and Samsung Tighten Control of U.S. Smartphone Market

CES 2013: Entertainment Trends Drive New Technologies

With entertainment spending growing to $18.7 billion according to IHS Screen Digest, the entertainment industry is reaping the rewards of offering consumers more choice and options in how they consume content. TV Everywhere’s multi-channel, multi-device approach is finally complementing rather than cannibalizing. The year saw strong growth in Blu-ray discs. UltraViolet’s 7 million households and 8,500 titles now position the format to grow significantly in 2013. Video streaming or SVOD tripled in the first three quarters of the year to an estimated $1.7 billion. And studios continue to experiment with their windowing strategies for electronic sell-through. In this environment, the CE industry continues to respond and innovate. Continue reading CES 2013: Entertainment Trends Drive New Technologies

CES 2013: Are Consumers Ready for the Cost of Ultra HD TVs?

Ultra HD television sets will be featured at next week’s 2013 International CES. And while the technology promises four times the resolution of current TVs, pricing for these higher-resolution models are expected to range from $8,700 to $25,000. Additionally, there is little available in terms of UHD content, other than upscaled versions of existing content. Will consumers be excited about the prospect of Ultra HD? Continue reading CES 2013: Are Consumers Ready for the Cost of Ultra HD TVs?

CES 2013: Trends Flying Somewhat Under the Radar

In addition to the highly anticipated array of UHD TVs, new smartphones, Android devices, cloud developments and Internet-connected everything, next week’s CES promises interesting new products and services related to a number of sectors not yet drawing the same amount of press attention. Watch for news involving small flexible displays, green technology, home automation, home projections systems, 3D printing and more. Continue reading CES 2013: Trends Flying Somewhat Under the Radar

CES 2013: Ultra High Definition TVs Coming to Las Vegas

CEA predicts that Ultra High Definition (UHD) will be “prominently displayed” at the International CES. The surge in interest followed an International Telecommunication Union-led agreement on two UHDTV standards (effectively 4K and 8K). That occurred in August and since then the focus in the U.S. and the majority of countries looking at UHDTV has been on the 4K flavor (the main exception being NHK, which is developing its 8K Super Hi-Vision system). Continue reading CES 2013: Ultra High Definition TVs Coming to Las Vegas

Year in Review: Top Tech Policy Stories of 2012

From Kim Dotcom and the rise of patent troll lawsuits to Apple v. Samsung and the public outcry against SOPA/PIPA, 2012 was a dramatic year in terms of copyright law, tech-related legislation and Internet policy. Response to the SOPA/PIPA bills in January helped set the tone as the debate in Washington raged, and consumers and companies took to the Internet in protest. At one point, politicians were flooded with a record eight million e-mails from regular Internet users in just a few days. So what were the top tech policy stories for 2012 — and how will they impact us moving forward? Continue reading Year in Review: Top Tech Policy Stories of 2012

CES 2013: Samsung and LG to Debut Flexible Smartphone Screens?

Will the flexible smartphone screen change the face of mobile phone design in 2013 and mark the biggest change since the introduction of the touchscreen? Rumors suggest manufacturing rivals Samsung and LG are working on it. Speculation regarding flexible display development dates back to 2002, and in the last six years we’ve seen some interesting prototypes and low volume products at CES featuring E-ink and Electronic Paper Display technologies. To address slow response times (especially with video) and challenges with handling color, flexible OLED displays emerged. Continue reading CES 2013: Samsung and LG to Debut Flexible Smartphone Screens?

Amazon Announces Cloud Player Now on Roku, Samsung Smart TVs

Amazon’s cloud-based music storage and streaming service is now available on Roku and Samsung’s Smart TVs, allowing users to play digital music on a single device. The app “finally gives Roku a good response to Apple TV’s iTunes Match,” notes CNET. Months ago Roku announced that the Amazon Cloud Player was “coming soon.”

Like its competitor iTunes Match, Amazon Cloud Player charges $25 per year to store up to 250,000 songs. It also includes a feature that automatically identifies music files and upgrades the quality using a 256 Kbps file from the Amazon catalog. “That’s a ton of digital music, although the competing Google Play Music allows you to store up to 20,000 tracks for free and is available on Google TV devices,” explains the post.

The release was announced the same day that Amazon added its Amazon Instant Video app for the iPhone and iPod touch.

According to a related post from CNET, the Instant Video streaming app “allows for access to over 140,000 movies and television shows that can be downloaded for purchase or rental.”

Amazon offers access to its streaming library across devices including the iPad, Kindle Fire HD, PlayStation 3, PCs and Macs. The app is only available to customers who pay for the company’s $79-a-year Prime membership.

TIME Lists Top 10 Gadgets of the Year: iPhone 5 Takes Top Spot

  • Although Apple may have to cede the top spot on smartphone sales, its iPhone 5 still sits at No. 1 in terms of overall device and operation system quality, earning the coveted TIME Magazine ‘gadget of the year’ award.
  • TIME’s Harry McCracken calls the iPhone 5 ‘one of the most artfully polished gadgets anyone’s ever built,’ adding that ‘when it comes to melding hardware, software and services so tightly that the seams fade away, Apple still has no peer,'” VentureBeat reports.
  • “Despite 5 million units sold in its opening weekend, and stellar sales results that catapulted iOS back into the mobile operating system lead in November, the iPhone 5 probably can’t catch the Samsung Galaxy S III, which launched in the summer and reached 18 million units by early November,” the article continues.
  • Apple did not, however, gain recognition from TIME for its iPads, even though the new iPad mini earned a warm welcome by many in October.
  • TIME‘s top 10 gadgets are as follows: 1) iPhone 5, 2) Nintendo Wii U, 3) Sony Cyber-shot RX100, 4) Raspberry Pi Model B, 5) Lytro, 6) Apple 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display, 7) Microsoft Surface with Windows RT, 8) Samsung Galaxy Note II, 9) Nest, and 10) Simple.TV.

Tech Industry Calls on Congress to Allocate More Mobile Spectrum

  • A team of tech companies including Apple, Samsung, and Nokia has submitted a letter to Congress requesting that it allocate more spectrum for mobile data, reports The Verge.
  • The letter argues the spectrum addition “is timely and relevant” to discuss alongside fiscal cliff debates.
  • “Now is the time to ensure the incentive auctions are as robust and successful as possible at liberating spectrum,” reads the letter. “We should also turn our collective attention on ways to reap the economic benefits of underutilized federal spectrum assets.”
  • “Other signatories include Intel, RIM, Qualcomm, Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, and Ericsson, all of which are members of the High Tech Spectrum Coalition,” notes the post. “The group believes that upcoming spectrum auctions won’t meet the demand for wireless broadband, nor will it be possible to ‘engineer our way out of this problem’ with more efficient technology.”
  • The letter asks Congress to urge spectrum holders to “become more efficient, to share with one another, to vacate, or to lease their spectrum.”
  • An earlier report this year also recommended the government consider sharing spectrum with commercial partners, since it’s “increasingly difficult to find desirable spectrum that can be vacated by federal users.”

CES 2013: Samsung to Possibly Unveil 4.99-inch 1080p Touchscreen

Samsung may unveil its own smartphone-sized 1080p display during January’s CES in Las Vegas, on the heels of HTC’s Droid DNA. “Full high definition displays are all set to be next year’s must-have new smartphone feature, although their size will see them used on hardware that tips over into smartphone/tablet hybrid territory,” reports Digital Trends. Continue reading CES 2013: Samsung to Possibly Unveil 4.99-inch 1080p Touchscreen

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