CES: DTS Demos New Format That Offers Object-Based Audio

At CES, DTS demonstrated its new DTS:X codec that separates audio into objects rather than traditional channels (for example: dialogue or gunshots, instead of left, right, front, rear). The immersive sound technology is similar to Dolby Atmos, but DTS:X keeps dialogue separate, so the volume can be controlled independently during viewing. The company showed how DTS:X works with a television’s built-in speakers by screening a soccer match and switching audio between teams, sideline microphones and broadcast announcers. Continue reading CES: DTS Demos New Format That Offers Object-Based Audio

Smart Home Push Continues, Despite Slow Consumer Adoption

Numerous tech giants, startups and telecoms have recently introduced new smart home products, hubs, sensors and apps, yet consumer adoption has been comparatively slow, as people take their time getting comfortable with the concept. However, that did not slow manufacturers such as Samsung, LG and Whirlpool from demonstrating new connected appliances at CES. And while major players including Google, Lowe’s, Apple and others continue to push various smart home solutions, progress of the digital home has so far been incremental. Continue reading Smart Home Push Continues, Despite Slow Consumer Adoption

ONvocal Introduces its Mix360 3-Way Control Headset at CES

The ONvocal Mix360 Bluetooth headset and phone app allow you to easily balance the volume of your music player, phone, speaking voice, and the ambient noise around you. This is an elegant solution for people who spend a lot of time on the phone while on the go. According to the company, the tech allows Mix360’s “playback to rival the sound quality of a wired connection, and high-performance speakers deliver deep bass, clear vocals, and sparkling highs.” The Mix360, which worked well during its CES demo, sells for $299. Continue reading ONvocal Introduces its Mix360 3-Way Control Headset at CES

EPI Announces New Philips 34-Inch Curved UltraWide Display

Envision Peripherals Inc. (EPI), a North American subsidiary of TPV that brings Philips displays to market, unveiled a 34-inch curved IPS display at CES today. The new Philips Brilliance Curved UltraWide LCD Display offers a “gentle curve” with “subtle immersion effect,” featuring a 21:9 panoramic aspect ratio with over one billion color depth and UltraWide QHD 3,440 x 1,440 resolution. The display also features an ultra-narrow bezel and a built-in pair of 7W DTS stereo speakers. Continue reading EPI Announces New Philips 34-Inch Curved UltraWide Display

Amazon’s New $199 Echo Speaker Interacts with Shoppers

Users can listen to music through Amazon’s new Echo speakers, but more importantly, this new device listens to users as well. Similar to Siri, users can ask the Echo speakers (which go by the name Alexa) about the weather, news, math problems, definitions, and anything else that can be looked up on Wikipedia. They can also set timers and make shopping lists. Someday those shopping lists may make it possible for Amazon to create an online ordering service through voice commands. Continue reading Amazon’s New $199 Echo Speaker Interacts with Shoppers

Will.i.am Unveils New Smartwatch with Streaming Music Service

Musician and tech entrepreneur will.i.am has introduced the PULS smartwatch in order to fill what he perceives as a void in a wearable market that does not adequately take fashion into account. At Dreamforce 2014, he presented PULS as a wearable that does not need to be tethered to a phone since it has its own SIM card. The device looks more like a cuff, and has speakers and a touchscreen display. PULS connects via Wi-Fi and has carrier partners for 3G — AT&T in the U.S. and O2 in the U.K.  Continue reading Will.i.am Unveils New Smartwatch with Streaming Music Service

Samsung Unveils New Galaxy Note 4 Phone and VR Headset

Samsung’s updated Galaxy Note 4 can serve as a screen in a new virtual reality headset accessory. The phone has a higher resolution 5.7-inch display and camera, and can snap into the Gear VR headset to provide users with an immersive video game or concert experience. Samsung has partnered with Facebook’s Oculus VR to develop a new headset, the Gear VR Innovator Edition. This wireless headset contains speakers and electronics to display the Note 4’s screen in a 360-degree experience. Continue reading Samsung Unveils New Galaxy Note 4 Phone and VR Headset

Sony Planning to Debut a Pair of Curved 4K TVs Next Month

Sony will soon join LG and Samsung in offering curved 4K LCD television sets. The Japanese company is expected to unveil two models at 65- and 75-inches during next month’s IFA show in Berlin. While Sony has yet to announce pricing and availability, the curved sets will compete with Samsung’s HU9000 line, which includes a 65-inch model priced at $4,300 and 78-inch model at $8,000. Sony currently sells a 65-inch curved 1080p TV for $2,500. Continue reading Sony Planning to Debut a Pair of Curved 4K TVs Next Month

Dolby Atmos Surround Sound Tech Coming to Home Theaters

Dolby Labs is bringing its Atmos surround sound tech to the living room through Blu-ray and streaming services. Dolby Atmos, the cinema sound system introduced in 2012, will be available via Blu-ray without the need for players to upgrade hardware. Partners will offer receivers, speakers and other devices to help deliver the Atmos experience to the home, while existing BD players that conform to the Blu-ray spec will support Atmos content on a Blu-ray Disc, according to the company. Continue reading Dolby Atmos Surround Sound Tech Coming to Home Theaters

Dolby Wants to Bring Atmos Surround Sound to Mobile Devices

Dolby plans to introduce a surround sound experience for tablets and smartphones. During last month’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the company detailed how algorithms running on an audio processor chip or ARM processor core could simulate Atmos-like surround sound by essentially tricking the user’s brain into thinking the audio is 3D. While it is not clear when the tech might become available to consumers, Dolby says the first iteration will be ready for hardware partners by the end of this year. Continue reading Dolby Wants to Bring Atmos Surround Sound to Mobile Devices

Home Entertainment: Sony Demos 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector

At CES this week, Sony announced the development of a 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector that has the ability to cast a 4K Ultra HD image up to 147-inches diagonally. Housed in an attractive credenza with built-in speakers, no special wiring is required. The unit is simply placed against a bare wall and the image is then “thrown” directly above it, as opposed to across the room. Expected to launch in the U.S. by summer of 2014, a prototype was demonstrated at the Sony booth. Continue reading Home Entertainment: Sony Demos 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector

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