Whole Home Wi-Fi Devices Improve Performance, Connectivity

Wi-Fi devices are improving as part of what’s called “whole home Wi-Fi,” featuring better technology with more effective antennas, more efficient network architecture, and sleeker designs. Among the new Wi-Fi devices recently reviewed are Netgear’s Orbi, Ubiquiti Networks’ AmpliFi, and Linksys’s Velop. The move to improve Wi-Fi comes at a time when the Internet of Things and connected devices in the home grow in importance and market share. Wi-Fi routers that work seamlessly are crucial to their smooth functioning. Continue reading Whole Home Wi-Fi Devices Improve Performance, Connectivity

Content Distributors Look at Evolution of 4K UHD, HDR, More

Consumer Reports is scrupulous about buying the products it tests and reviews. It’s fitting then that the organization’s electronics senior editor Jim Willcox brought together a panel to talk about the latest 4K UHD TVs without inviting a single television set manufacturer. After all, he says, they all have booths on the CES 2017 floor. He opened the discussion with a thought that 4K is in fact a Trojan horse, bringing features such as High Dynamic Range (HDR) that are more demonstrable to viewers. Continue reading Content Distributors Look at Evolution of 4K UHD, HDR, More

China’s Tencent Pictures Seeking New Hollywood Acquisitions

Alibaba Pictures Group and Dalian Wanda Group have been spending big to acquire Hollywood companies, in their quest to make homegrown movies and capture a bigger portion of that nation’s huge box office. Now, Tencent Pictures, the film unit of China’s biggest Internet company, has joined that fraternity, with chief executive officer Edward Cheng saying acquisition targets could be in Hollywood and include creative and/or production companies. China’s box office is projected to reach $10.4 billion in 2017. Continue reading China’s Tencent Pictures Seeking New Hollywood Acquisitions

Big Tablets Become a Reality in Work and Consumer Spaces

In 2013, Fox News was apparently ahead of the game when it introduced giant touchscreen tablets in its newsroom. What was unusual then is now becoming a trend, as these oversized megatablets are making their way into work and consumer environments. Defined as anything larger than 13-inches, which leaves plenty of room for a range of different sizes, the gigantic tablet has found its way into Carnival Cruise Line ships and McDonald’s fast food restaurants. Continue reading Big Tablets Become a Reality in Work and Consumer Spaces

Apple Considers Curved OLED Screen for Next Year’s iPhone

A future iPhone featuring a curved OLED screen could be available by next year. According to Apple’s suppliers, Apple has requested thinner OLEDs and new prototypes with higher resolution than screens offered by Samsung. As Apple gets ready for next year’s 10th anniversary of its popular iPhone, the company has been contending with slowing smartphone sales. Samsung, Google and Xiaomi are among those that have already made the transition from conventional LCD displays to thinner and lighter OLED tech that does not require the same backlight and allows for flexible designs. Continue reading Apple Considers Curved OLED Screen for Next Year’s iPhone

Valeo, Wheego to Test Autonomous Cars on California Roads

The California Department of Motor Vehicles issued permits to French auto company Valeo North America and the privately held Wheego Electric Cars to test a single autonomous vehicle with up to four operators on public roads. Another company receiving a permit was Cruise Automation, which was then acquired by General Motors for $1 billion. So far, Alphabet’s Google has driven 2 million miles in autonomous vehicles on public roads. Permits are a marker of which companies are moving forward in the new field. Continue reading Valeo, Wheego to Test Autonomous Cars on California Roads

Sony to Unveil Two PlayStation 4s: 4K Pro and Smaller Version

Sony plans to debut a high-end console, PlayStation 4 Pro (formerly “Neo”). Set to ship November 10 for $399, PlayStation 4 Pro will boast a faster processor, more storage, and 4K graphics. Sony will also release a more energy-efficient, 30 percent smaller PlayStation 4, to go on sale September 15 for $299. This console replaces the original PlayStation 4, which debuted November 2013 at $399. All PlayStation 4 consoles will be able to play back high dynamic range images, including, via a software update, older PlayStations. Continue reading Sony to Unveil Two PlayStation 4s: 4K Pro and Smaller Version

Sonos-Amazon Partnership Highlights Need for Improved Mics

Since Amazon debuted Echo in 2014, digital tinkerers have been creating hacks to connect Amazon’s speakers to Sonos’ better speakers. Now, Sonos has introduced a system, developed with Amazon, to let users do just that. With a limited beta test version available this year, the system will be released widely in 2017. This partnership highlights a larger problem in audio technology: digital assistants from Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft are being held back by limitations in microphone technology. Continue reading Sonos-Amazon Partnership Highlights Need for Improved Mics

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