Philips Releases 43-Inch, 4K Ultra HD LCD Computer Monitor

Philips launched a new 43-inch, 16:9 computer monitor in the U.S. this week that features a 4K Ultra HD LCD display touting 3840 x 2160 resolution, 178-degree horizontal and vertical viewing angles, and a 5ms response time. Model BDM4350UC touts 10-bit color support (with color reproduction rated at 1.07 billion colors) and a dynamic contrast ratio of 50,000,000:1. The IPS monitor — which also features MultiView functionality, built-in 7-watt speakers, and a four-port USB 3.0 hub — is currently available on Amazon for $800. Continue reading Philips Releases 43-Inch, 4K Ultra HD LCD Computer Monitor

Razer Blade Stealth Ultrabook Sweeps Top Awards at CES

Now that the CES dust has settled on Las Vegas — analysts, journalists and tech bloggers can’t seem to say enough about the Razer Blade Stealth Ultrabook, which is generating an impressive number of awards from “Best PC” and “Best of CES” to “People’s Choice Award.” Engadget, Mashable, TechRadar and SlashGear are just a few of the numerous publications that are praising the $999 Razer Blade Stealth. The gaming laptop runs Windows 10 and touts a 12.5-inch multi-touch display with IGZO 16:9 aspect ratio. The Razer Core, an external graphics docking station, is also on its way. Continue reading Razer Blade Stealth Ultrabook Sweeps Top Awards at CES

CES: Philips is Third Manufacturer to Unveil 4K Blu-ray Player

Philips has joined Panasonic and Samsung in announcing a 4K UHD Blu-ray player with support for high dynamic range. The BDP7501 offers upscaling for non-4K content and includes HDMI, Wi-Fi and Ethernet for connectivity. It also includes built-in support for HEVC and VP9 codecs, which should make it ideal for streaming 4K content from services such as Netflix and YouTube. What may set it apart from early competition, however, is its unique compact design, more akin to a set-top box than a standard disc player. The BDP7501 is expected to ship this spring for under $400. Continue reading CES: Philips is Third Manufacturer to Unveil 4K Blu-ray Player

Royole-X Personal Theater Headset Touts Superthin Display

Royole is demonstrating a new foldable headset at CES in las Vegas this week that is designed to make movie-watching and gaming an immersive experience. The AMOLED display in the visor is only .01mm thick, so it is flexible enough to make this headset less clunky. The $699 Royole-X headset does not feature a field of view as wide as most VR headsets, but the 3,300 PPI display reportedly makes the image crisp enough to feel like a movie theater. It also comes with noise-canceling headphones. Continue reading Royole-X Personal Theater Headset Touts Superthin Display

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

YouTube Readies New Ad-Free Service for Monthly Subscription

Google-owned YouTube is reportedly readying the launch of its much anticipated online subscription service. Sources indicate a launch is likely by the end of October. Two offerings are expected: an updated version of its Music Key service (previously launched in beta) and a new service that offers access to all YouTube content without ads. Earlier reports suggest the bundled offering would be available for $10 per month. While YouTube has hinted in the past about an upcoming subscription service, it has yet to unveil firm plans or a timeline. Continue reading YouTube Readies New Ad-Free Service for Monthly Subscription

Google Rumored to Debut New Chromecast Hardware, Apps

If rumors are true, on September 29, Google plans to release new Chromecast hardware and Spotify support as well as an updated app for the streaming device. The company will also introduce Chromecast Audio, a second Chromecast device — codenamed Hendrix — to Wi-Fi-enabled speakers in the home. The new device is distinct from Google Cast for Audio, a platform for making speakers and other audio hardware Chromecast-compatible. The new Chromecast app offers “What’s On,” which allows users to browse content on Chromecast-supported apps. Continue reading Google Rumored to Debut New Chromecast Hardware, Apps

Amazon Debuts New Tablets and TV Devices to Lure Shoppers

One year after the disappointing release of its Fire smartphone, Amazon is introducing a line of low-cost devices including a new tablet and smart TV plug-ins. The Seattle-based company debuted seven new products yesterday that are slated for release by this year’s holiday season. Among the announcements: a 7-inch Fire tablet with front- and rear-facing cameras that will run for less than $50, an updated $100 Fire TV set-top box that now supports 4K, and a Fire TV stick with voice-activated wand that turns your TV into a cloud-based personal assistant. Continue reading Amazon Debuts New Tablets and TV Devices to Lure Shoppers

IFA 2015: Samsung is First to Announce 4K UHD Blu-ray Player

As 4K UHD TVs slowly come to market, and streaming services continue to introduce support for 4K and high dynamic range programming, Ultra HD Blu-ray is the next logical step. During its press conference at the IFA trade show in Berlin yesterday, Samsung became the first company to officially announce a 4K UHD Blu-ray player. Samsung’s UBD-K8500 supports HDR, offers 64 times the colors of standard Blu-ray, and plays UHD content at up to 60 frames per second. 20th Century Fox is providing content for the player, and plans to issue all its new releases in 4K Ultra HD with HDR. Continue reading IFA 2015: Samsung is First to Announce 4K UHD Blu-ray Player

LG to Intro New Flat Series of HDR-Compliant 4K OLED TVs

LG announced that its first flat-screen 4K OLED TV lineup will be available next month. The EF9500 series will be similarly priced to the curved EF9600 series ($5,500 for the 55-inch model and $7,000 for the 65-inch model). However, the new series will mark the first fully HDR-compliant OLED TVs, capable of displaying high dynamic range content from streaming sources and components such as Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and players shipping later this year. HDR offers more contrast between light and dark images for a superior viewing experience. Continue reading LG to Intro New Flat Series of HDR-Compliant 4K OLED TVs

Thunderbolt Adopts USB-C, Universal Port of the Near Future

From desktops, laptops and tablets to game consoles and other CE devices, the Universal Serial Bus has been the industry standard for cable and connection interfaces for about 20 years. It has been speculated that USB-C, developed by the USB Implementers Forum, would soon become the successor to the USB standard. Intel announced during Computex in Taiwan last week that Thunderbolt 3 will embrace USB-C functionality, and initially offer data transfer rates twice as fast as Thunderbolt 2 and four times that of USB 3.1. Teaming the two could be a game-changer. Continue reading Thunderbolt Adopts USB-C, Universal Port of the Near Future

Oculus Reveals PC Specs for Upcoming Launch of Rift Headset

Oculus is getting ready for the release of its long-awaited Oculus Rift VR headset with recommendations for PC specs and a special event on June 11. The company recommends a powerful GPU to handle rendering. The Rift will initially require a desktop PC running Windows 7 SP1 or newer, 2 USB 3.0 ports, and HDMI 1.3 video output supporting a 297MHz clock through a direct output architecture. Meanwhile, Oculus has halted work on Mac and Linux support while it readies the PC software for launch. Continue reading Oculus Reveals PC Specs for Upcoming Launch of Rift Headset

Xbox One Likely to Add DVR Functionality Sometime This Year

In a post yesterday about the death of Windows Media Center, tech journalist and blogger Paul Thurrott cited unnamed sources regarding an update to Xbox One’s live TV functionality that would add television recording. This would allow Xbox One to replace TiVo and other DVRs in many households. Microsoft recently unveiled a tuner that enables the console to accept over-the-air broadcast TV signals. It also offers the options to pause live TV and stream live content to mobile devices via SmartGlass. Continue reading Xbox One Likely to Add DVR Functionality Sometime This Year

Nvidia Unveils Set-Top for 4K Movie and Video Game Streaming

Nvidia, a company best known for its graphics chips, has plans to launch a new set-top box with significant processing power and Ultra HD resolution. The $199 console, known as the Nvidia Shield, runs on the powerful new Tegra X1 processor and Android software. The Shield was designed to deliver streaming video games through Grid, described as a “Netflix of videogames.” Consumers will also be able to stream 4K video from Netflix, YouTube, and the Android TV version of Google Play. Continue reading Nvidia Unveils Set-Top for 4K Movie and Video Game Streaming

Matchstick Delays Shipping; Opts for Hardware, DRM Updates

Matchstick, the first HDMI streaming media stick based on the Firefox OS, announced that its originally planned February shipment date has now been pushed to August. The company says it has “decided to release the product when it is ready.” The decision to delay is the result of updating the hardware to a faster quad core chipset, improving the antenna to avoid the Wi-Fi connectivity issues experienced by similar products, and developing DRM support in order to attract more premium video apps such as Netflix. Continue reading Matchstick Delays Shipping; Opts for Hardware, DRM Updates