YouTube Streams Globally in Standard Definition for a Month

Due to increased Internet traffic during the coronavirus, YouTube will reduce the quality of its streaming videos to standard definition for a month. Viewers will, however, be able to choose to watch in high definition. In instituting lower resolution, the Google-owned company is extending the policy enacted in Europe, where regulators asked all streaming companies — including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video — to do so. Sony, Microsoft and others are also working to minimize the impact of game downloads on bandwidth. Continue reading YouTube Streams Globally in Standard Definition for a Month

SES Begins Ultra HD Linear TV Trials with Small Cable Ops

The transition to Ultra HD is the classic chicken-and-egg scenario: Programmers don’t launch services because pay TV operators can’t distribute them, and consumers don’t buy UHD TV sets because there’s nothing to watch. Fifteen years ago that was the identical conundrum for High Definition, however, and now HDTV is ubiquitous in the U.S. Ultra HD just got one step closer to that with satellite operator SES’s launch of its first trials of Ultra HD 4K linear channels, to be followed by subscriber tests later in 2016. Continue reading SES Begins Ultra HD Linear TV Trials with Small Cable Ops

Panasonic Revives 8K Research, New Cameras Slated for 2018

Panasonic has renewed its efforts to develop 8K image sensors for video. The company had stopped R&D in this area in 2011, in response to financial considerations, but as its earnings increased, it revived its work in this sector, now pledging to invest $80.8 million (10 billion yen) into R&D. Production of the sensors is likely to be outsourced, and production models are expected on the market by 2018. The first targeted use for the 8K sensors will be consumer and broadcast cameras. Continue reading Panasonic Revives 8K Research, New Cameras Slated for 2018

Rollable, High Definition TVs and Phone Screens May Be Next

Cracked screens may be a thing of the past once high-resolution, ultra-thin screens make it possible to roll and bend television and phone displays. These screens are made out of phase-change materials that can exist in two states: an ordered crystal and a disordered glass. LG has already developed an 18-inch, 1-million-pixel television screen that can be rolled into a compact cylinder. By 2017, LG is hoping to use this technology to make a 60-inch rollable TV. Continue reading Rollable, High Definition TVs and Phone Screens May Be Next

Google Rates Local Internet Providers on Streaming Quality

Google recently released an online tool that allows Internet users to see how well different Internet providers in their area are able to stream videos from YouTube. By detecting a user’s location and averaging video consumption rates over the last 30 days, Google’s Video Quality Report displays a graph that shows the percentage of videos streamed properly in high or standard definition and patterns in video consumption during different times of the day. Continue reading Google Rates Local Internet Providers on Streaming Quality

Samsung Unveils New PC Monitors, Including $700 4K Model

Samsung announced its new line of consumer monitors this week, including the UD590, its first Ultra HD 4K display designed for desktop use. The 28-inch desktop monitor, featuring a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, is currently available for pre-order at $700. Other 4K models due out this year are expected to cost $1,000 or more. Samsung also announced two 24-inch and two 27-inch 1080p displays ($250-$330), all featuring PLS-WVA panels with wide, 178-degree viewing angles. Continue reading Samsung Unveils New PC Monitors, Including $700 4K Model

CE Manufacturers Concerned Over Lack of Global 4K Standards

Journalist and ETCentric community member Adrian Pennington published a story last week regarding the need for global UHD standards, which included comments by Pixel Power CTO Nick Wright. “The staggered introduction of Ultra HD 4K production, distribution and display equipment risks fragmenting the market, adding unnecessary cost and yet again ending any chance of fielding a single, worldwide television standard,” writes Adrian. “The issue is causing concern among many manufacturers.” Continue reading CE Manufacturers Concerned Over Lack of Global 4K Standards

Ultra HDTV Sees Jump in Model Options and Drop in Prices

Ultra high-definition TV prices are plummeting as more models enter the market, and many of those models will be revealed at CES in Las Vegas this week. When Ultra HDTVs first entered the market, prices ranged from $9,000 to $25,000, yielding little interest from most consumers. Now, many of them have seen prices slashed to just a couple thousand dollars, and those price reductions — combined with more options in the market — are drawing the attention of potential buyers. Continue reading Ultra HDTV Sees Jump in Model Options and Drop in Prices

SD Association Announces Next-Gen Ultra High-Speed Spec

To address the anticipated needs of professional and consumer 4K recording, the SD Association recently announced a new specification and branding designed for memory cards capable of handling 4K video. According to the group, “a new Ultra High Speed (UHS) Speed Class 3 (U3) symbol will indicate products capable of recording 4K2K video and will operate exclusively on SDXC UHS-I and UHS-II memory cards and devices and SDHC UHS-I and UHS-II memory cards and devices.” Continue reading SD Association Announces Next-Gen Ultra High-Speed Spec

Hollywood and Electronics Industry Must Build Digital Bridge

As movies are released in higher-definition formats that require more data to play on various devices, the film and CE industries must build a “digital bridge.” So said Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment President Mike Dunn at a keynote Monday at the CEA Industry Forum in Century City. The new 4K Ultra HD format has sharper imagery and sound, but is not yet cost-effective. New Blu-ray players are being developed to address that, while cloud storage will also play a role. Continue reading Hollywood and Electronics Industry Must Build Digital Bridge

Virtual Retinal Display from Avegant Provides Vivid Realism

Michigan-based startup Avegant has created a prototype head-mounted virtual retinal display (VRD) device that provides extremely sharp definition and depicts images realistically. The technology uses two million micromirrors to project directly into the eye. Avegant’s device will provide new ways to experience media online or on television. The company, which expects the display’s release in early 2014, also envisions content to be produced specifically for it.

Continue reading Virtual Retinal Display from Avegant Provides Vivid Realism

Share 4K Video Through Your Phone or Tablet with MHL 3.0

The Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) standard for connecting smartphones and tablets to HDTVs and other home entertainment products will receive an upgrade allowing support for 4K video. MHL currently supports up to 1080p, but the need for 4K resolution will increase as more 4K TVs are sold. The backward compatible MHL 3.0 will also support simultaneous data and video feeds and provide power to charge the mobile device. Continue reading Share 4K Video Through Your Phone or Tablet with MHL 3.0

Cox Launches Contour Personal TV Experience on the iPad

Cox Communications is introducing a new service that offers a personalized TV experience for its subscribers. With the Contour service, Cox is attempting to offer Netflix-like recommendations. Cox will use Contour to learn what its subscribers enjoy and combine “on-demand” features with live TV. Marketed separately from other Cox services, Contour includes three components: a data-driven TV guide, more powerful DVR and a redesigned app. Continue reading Cox Launches Contour Personal TV Experience on the iPad

New Apple Services Could Eventually Replace Game Consoles

Apple is hinting that it is developing bridges to connect devices, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops to televisions, avoiding the need for dedicated game consoles. In a little noticed announcement at its annual Worldwide Developer’s Conference, Apple revealed that it is allowing third party manufacturers to produce game controllers for iOS devices. Apple will also begin to use new faster Wi-Fi standards to improve services such as AirPlay. Continue reading New Apple Services Could Eventually Replace Game Consoles

New Nexus 7 with Android 4.3 to Be Available by Next Week

While an official Google event is scheduled for today that may or may not include tablet news, a new Nexus 7 is rumored to be offered at Best Buy beginning July 30th. The leaked Best Buy flyer reveals updated hardware, with a 1920 x 1200 high definition display, 16GB of storage, and a price of $229. If true, Google will offer a seven-inch HD tablet ahead of Apple. The current iPad mini does not have a high-definition screen and has a starting retail price tag of $329. Continue reading New Nexus 7 with Android 4.3 to Be Available by Next Week

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