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

CES: Kodak Enters the Mobile Market with Ektra Smartphone

Kodak’s digital Super 8 camera was not the company’s only nostalgic throwback showcased in Las Vegas. The camera company has finally entered the mobile market with its own Android smartphone – or at least a phone that licenses the Kodak name. Tech company Bullitt Group is behind the Kodak Ektra, which borrows its name from Kodak’s Ektra camera from the 1940s. That makes sense, since the phone is designed to mimic a point-and-shoot camera, featuring a 21-megapixel rear cam (but no optical zoom) and vintage leather finish. Continue reading CES: Kodak Enters the Mobile Market with Ektra Smartphone

Valve to Launch New PC-Based Console for the Living Room

Valve plans to release the first of its Steam Machines, a hybrid between PC-based and console gaming, to consumers on November 10th. The Linux-based device will be produced by Alienware, and combines the graphical capabilities of a traditional desktop PC with the usability of a home console. Coupled with the Steam Machine will be a new gamepad featuring two haptic touchpads that Valve claims will offer the precision of a mouse and keyboard control scheme. It will launch in three models ranging from $499 to $749. Continue reading Valve to Launch New PC-Based Console for the Living Room

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

Nvidia Unveils New Computing Platforms for Cars at 2015 CES

During its CES press conference, Nvidia announced two new computing platforms for automobiles — the Drive CX and the Drive PX, both of which are centered on the idea that future vehicles will require an increased number of screens and great deal of computing capability. The Drive CX is a digital cockpit for powering the infotainment system, based on the company’s new X1 processor, and featuring an advanced visual computing architecture. The Drive PX is Nvidia’s image processing solution for self-driving cars. Continue reading Nvidia Unveils New Computing Platforms for Cars at 2015 CES

GoPro’s Hero4 Black Features 4K Video Recording at 30 FPS

GoPro will launch its Hero4 line on October 5th with some notable new features. The $499 Hero4 Black, which the company claims doubles the performance power of its predecessor, supports cinema 4K video recording at 30 fps, 2.7K at 50 fps, and 1080p at 120 fps. Meanwhile, the $399 Hero4 Silver features a touchscreen display, 2.7K recording at 30 fps, 1080 recording at 60 fps, and 720p at 120 fps. Both models include 12-megapixel photo resolution, improved audio capture, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and more. Continue reading GoPro’s Hero4 Black Features 4K Video Recording at 30 FPS

IBC 2014: SanDisk Premieres Record-Breaking 512GB SD Card

SanDisk unveiled its new 512GB memory card at the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam last week. The $800 Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I card — which SanDisk touts as “the highest capacity SD card on the market” — is designed for professionals that shoot 4K video, Full HD video and high-speed burst mode photography. The new offering marks an increase in SD card capacity by 1,000 times in just over a decade. It was only 2003 when consumers were scrambling for SanDisk’s 512MB cards. Continue reading IBC 2014: SanDisk Premieres Record-Breaking 512GB SD Card

Canon Unveils New Vixia Camcorders and PowerShot Cameras

Canon unveiled new models of its Vixia camcorders and PowerShot cameras at CES, including the $300-$450 Vixia HF R52, HF R50 and HF R500 camcorders with 57x zoom; the $400 Vixia mini X compact personal camcorder with 12.8 megapixel sensor; the $250 PowerShot SX600 HS with 18x optical zoom and 16-megapixel CMOS sensor; the $200 ELPH 340 HS with 12x optical zoom; and the $350 PowerShot N100 digital camera, which includes a new “dual capture mode.” Continue reading Canon Unveils New Vixia Camcorders and PowerShot Cameras

Samsung Introduces New Jumbo Screen Galaxy Tablets at CES

Samsung has updated its mobile computing line with two new models, the Galaxy NotePRO and the Galaxy TabPRO. Both are offered with 12.2-inch screens (the TabPRO also comes in 10.1-inch and 8.4-inch configurations) and are touted as the first mobile devices to offer 16:10 screen ratios. Each features sharp WQXGA displays at 2560×1600 resolution (more than 4 million pixels) for full HD viewing. The tablets run Android 4.4 KitKat. Continue reading Samsung Introduces New Jumbo Screen Galaxy Tablets at CES

Sharp Introduces Quattron+ Series and SmartCentral Platform

At its CES press event today, Sharp unveiled its new AQUOS Quattron+ (Q+) series of LED televisions and a new SmartCentral smart TV platform. In 2014 Sharp will offer 19 different AQUOS LED TVs 60-inches and larger. The company claims its Q+ series offers the highest resolution Full HD TV. The SmartCentral platform helps viewers search, discover and share content, while the SmartCentral mobile app connects smartphones and tablets to Sharp TVs. Continue reading Sharp Introduces Quattron+ Series and SmartCentral Platform

Netflix Exec Says to Expect Streaming 4K in Year or Two

According to Neil Hunt, chief product officer for Netflix, the service is expecting to stream movies and television programs in 4K resolution within the next year or two. While playback of 4K, which delivers about four times the HD resolution of 1080p, requires compatible monitors (and could eat up a consumer’s monthly data cap), Netflix is preparing its proprietary Open Connect content delivery network to address issues involving larger bitrates. Continue reading Netflix Exec Says to Expect Streaming 4K in Year or Two

Standards Effort: Companies Team Up for Full HD 3D Glasses Initiative

  • Panasonic, Samsung, Sony and X6D Limited (XPAND 3D) are collaborating in an effort to standardize 3D glasses. The companies have launched the “Full HD 3D Glasses Initiative” licensing program and will open a test center later this month.
  • “Currently, we have wholly incompatible active-shutter models based on different technologies, which the consortium wants to replace with a unified standard that will let you use the same pair of spectacles on any display or at any theater that uses the XPAND 3D standard,” reports Engadget.
  • According to the press release: “Infrared and Bluetooth enabled radio frequency system 3D active glasses technologies are licensed within the licensing program. All information including licensing fees and process requirements to become a licensee, are available on the Initiative’s official website.”

NICT Demonstrates Largest Full HD Glasses-Free 3D Display

  • NICT, working with JVC Kenwood, has developed a 200-inch autostereoscopic full HD 3D display (the world’s largest), that shows video from 57 different angles. The unit was presented at CEATEC Japan this month.
  • According to the presentation, “no matter which angle you’re viewing from, you can see a Full High Definition resolution image. With an ordinary display, the viewing range is basically around 180 degrees, but with this one, it’s 13 degrees, which is very narrow.”
  • “To show such a large range of viewing angles, the display uses 57 projectors in an array, with each one specially tuned to create uniform levels of brightness and color balance across all viewpoints,” reports DigInfo TV.
  • ETCentric staffer Phil Lelyveld comments: “With 57 projectors(!) this is an interesting brute-force approach to autostereo 3D…”

Canon DSLR: Improved Image Quality and Blazingly Fast Speed

  • Canon’s latest high-end DSLR, the recently announced $6800 EOS-1D X, is expected to ship by March 2012.
  • Features include: 61-point AF system, 1GB Ethernet port, three DIGIC image processors, up to 12 fps RAW shooting, 18-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor.
  • “Images will supposedly be less noisy at extreme ISO settings and the improved processor system will reportedly offer truer colors and more natural contrast, even in low lighting,” reports Digital Trends. “Canon has included continuous Full HD video recording for longer movies sessions (nearly 30 minutes) and new compression files — one in an editing format and another completely compressed file.”
  • The post features a brief video from PetaPixel showcasing “what shooting an 18-megapixel image at 14-frames-per-second looks and sounds like.”