ShowEast: Digital Cinema Turns to Laser Projection Tech

To address complaints that theater screens are too dark, especially when showing 3D films, the digital cinema industry is experimenting with laser technology. Advocates of laser-illuminated projection assert that benefits include lower operating costs, reduced power consumption and increased system lifespans. However, others are concerned that the cost may be too exorbitant and fear the involvement of the FDA, since it monitors the use of lasers. Continue reading ShowEast: Digital Cinema Turns to Laser Projection Tech

Sony’s Newest Pro-Quality Cameras Threaten Bulky DSLRs

Sony’s newest cameras, the Alpha 7 and 7R, are what the company calls “the world’s smallest full-frame interchangeable lens models” — and they’re threatening the bulky DSLRs that have been standard for years. The full-frame sensored cameras weigh only about a pound each, yet they record images that are equal in detail and sharpness to those from larger models like the D800 and the Canon 5D Mark III. The new Sony cameras will be on the market in December. Continue reading Sony’s Newest Pro-Quality Cameras Threaten Bulky DSLRs

Sony to Launch Curved LED HDTV, Promises Immersive Viewing

Sony is getting ready to launch its new 65-inch curved screen HDTV. While LG and Samsung introduced curved OLED HDTVs this summer ($10,000 and $9,000 respectively), Sony’s $4,000 display is the first curved LED HDTV featuring contrast-enhancing LED backlighting. According to Sony, the new TV produces richer 3D video and has a wider viewing angle with a curvature designed to make the viewing experience seem more natural. Continue reading Sony to Launch Curved LED HDTV, Promises Immersive Viewing

Sony Launches Pair of Xperia Android Phones and SmartWatch 2

Sony’s new flagship Android phone, the $650 Xperia Z1, is now available in the U.S. The 5-inch phone features a massive 20.7-megapixel camera and can attach additional lenses. The company is also introducing its 6.4-inch Xperia Z Ultra, with a 4G LTE option, and its $200 SmartWatch 2 this week. The SmartWatch 2 will compete with Samsung’s Galaxy Gear, the Pebble, Qualcomm’s Toq and a slate of new wearable devices expected to launch soon. Continue reading Sony Launches Pair of Xperia Android Phones and SmartWatch 2

Overlap Emerging Between Free-to-Play and Console Games

Although competition is fierce, developers of both free-to-play games and console games are trying to compromise and attract a wider range of gamers. Both sides see an opportunity to bridge the gap with a new generation of game consoles from Microsoft and Sony. Free-to-play games can attract a demographic of casual gamers to the console, while consoles provide a new gateway to loyal gamers with a tendency to spend heavily on video games. Continue reading Overlap Emerging Between Free-to-Play and Console Games

Sony is First Big Studio to Ink Production Deal with Netflix

Sony Pictures Television has inked a deal to produce a psychological thriller for Netflix. From the creators of the FX legal drama “Damages,” the series is slated to begin production early next year. It marks the first time a major Hollywood studio will produce a program for the streaming video service. Following in the footsteps of cable networks such as HBO and AMC, Netflix is aggressively pursuing original content. The success of its Emmy-winning “House of Cards” could help pave the way. Continue reading Sony is First Big Studio to Ink Production Deal with Netflix

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

First YouTube Music Awards to Feature Worldwide Performances

YouTube will be hosting its first ever YouTube Music Awards on Sunday, November 3 in New York. The event will feature notable performers including Eminem, Lady Gaga and Arcade Fire, among others. It will be modeled after such events as the MTV Video Music Awards, but winners will be chosen by YouTube’s online visitors. In addition to big name artists, YouTube performers such as dubstep violinist Lindsey Stirling and CDZA will be featured. Continue reading First YouTube Music Awards to Feature Worldwide Performances

Sony and Microsoft Target Gamers and More with New Consoles

Sony and Microsoft, the gaming industry’s two leading console makers, are preparing to go head-to-head this holiday season with new game consoles that also serve as media entertainment hubs. According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, more American shoppers are leaning toward purchasing Sony’s PlayStation 4 over Microsoft’s Xbox One. In response to their interest in dedicated game devices, 26 percent of respondents indicated they are likely to purchase the new PS4, while 15 percent chose the Xbox One. Continue reading Sony and Microsoft Target Gamers and More with New Consoles

BlackBerry Selling Phones Directly After Bleak Earnings Report

If things weren’t already looking bleak enough for BlackBerry, the company released its latest earnings report on Friday. Second quarter results for the three months ending August 31 show revenue of $1.6 billion, down 49 percent from the previous quarter and 45 percent from the same quarter last year. The company also reported an adjusted loss of $248 million. And on the heels of a near $1 billion inventory markdown, BlackBerry announced it will start directly selling unlocked smartphones. Continue reading BlackBerry Selling Phones Directly After Bleak Earnings Report

Netflix Makes Super HD and 3D Options Available to All Users

Netflix is starting to provide all of its subscribers with access to Super HD and 3D content. The company announced that it is no longer obligatory for a subscriber to have Open Connect to access higher bitrate HD streams, as well as 3D titles. Netflix may face challenges convincing ISPs to adapt Open Connect; issues related to peering and local content caching are not completely resolved. Netflix also plans to unveil Ultra HD, with four times the screen resolution of HD, in 2014. Continue reading Netflix Makes Super HD and 3D Options Available to All Users

Intel Looking for Backers to Help Keep Pay TV Service Alive

Intel executives have spoken with Amazon and Samsung in search of a strategic partner willing to back its Web-based pay TV service that it hopes to launch by the end of 2013. If Intel cannot find a backer to help fund and distribute the service, it is possible that the plan will be dissolved. Earlier in the year, Intel executive Erik Huggers disclosed that the company plans to sell an OTT pay service that includes a wide array of broadcast and cable TV networks. Continue reading Intel Looking for Backers to Help Keep Pay TV Service Alive

Amazon Launches Offline Viewing of Videos on New Kindles

Amazon is launching an offline viewing feature for its Prime Instant Video service on the new line of Kindle devices. The move is an attempt to catch up to Netflix and make the Amazon offering distinct from other subscription video services. Google is planning its own offline video feature for YouTube mobile apps as well. It remains to be seen if offline viewing will be a desired feature in the long term, but Amazon is the first to offer such an option. Continue reading Amazon Launches Offline Viewing of Videos on New Kindles

Two Competing Visions for the Future at Tokyo Game Show

At the Tokyo Game Show, two keynotes presented very different visions regarding the future of video games. This year’s theme was “Limitless Evolution,” and Sony executives talked about the evolution of consoles, increased connectivity through a suite of Sony hardware, and the rise of downloadable content. In contrast, the CEO of GungHo Online Entertainment discussed the importance of luck and timing today, in addition to the runaway success of certain free-to-play mobile games. Continue reading Two Competing Visions for the Future at Tokyo Game Show

IBC 2013: Broadcast Community Debates the Future of 4K TV

During the recent International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam, the broadcast community debated the practicality of Ultra HD, challenges involved with achieving it, and whether consumers will care. While industry interest remains mixed, companies such as Sky Deutschland and BSkyB are presently testing 4K broadcast transmissions. Stakeholders in Europe are expected to be early adopters of the format, with one estimate projecting more than 110 million Ultra HD displays to reach homes by 2025. Continue reading IBC 2013: Broadcast Community Debates the Future of 4K TV

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