Google Plans to Release Modular Mobile Phone in Puerto Rico

Google wants to redefine the way mobile devices are designed, built and sold. The Ara Smartphone, expected to release later this year in Puerto Rico, is a unique mobile device with replaceable components. Owners of the Ara will have the option to purchase additional hardware from a store, to enhance and upgrade their mobile devices rather than having to buy an entirely new phone every couple of years. A growing number of developers are reportedly working on a wide range of Ara modules. Continue reading Google Plans to Release Modular Mobile Phone in Puerto Rico

UltraFlix Aims to Become Your Choice for Streaming 4K Content

NanoTech Entertainment is hoping that its 4K movie-streaming service, UltraFlix, will become the Netflix of Ultra HD. However, its immediate obstacle is a lack of 4K content, which is expected to change now that more companies are embracing the format. Consumers who already purchased a 4K smart TV from Hisense, Samsung, Sony or Vizio likely already have the UltraFlix app (next up is LG, Panasonic, Sharp and Toshiba, according to NanoTech). Competing with Netflix and Amazon could prove an additional obstacle. Continue reading UltraFlix Aims to Become Your Choice for Streaming 4K Content

Amazon Announces Streaming 4K Content for Prime Members

Amazon Prime members who enjoy free two-day shipping and unlimited streaming of music and video can soon add Ultra HD to their subscription perks. Amazon announced yesterday that it is releasing a catalog of television shows and movies that stream in 4K, joining Netflix in a move that may provide consumers with another reason to consider a UHD TV purchase. Current UHD models offered by LG, Samsung and Sony feature a built-in chip capable of decoding 4K video streamed from Amazon. Continue reading Amazon Announces Streaming 4K Content for Prime Members

Intel Looks to Eliminate PC Cables with its Skylake Platform

Intel believes that the wireless display and charging features of its next-generation Skylake platform will soon result in Intel reference designs that will eliminate all cables from personal computers. During Computex, the chipmaker detailed how docking, wireless power and connectivity will form the foundation of its post-Broadwell reference designs. Skylake is expected by the second half of next year, suggesting that devices based on Intel’s designs would hit the market as soon as 2016. Continue reading Intel Looks to Eliminate PC Cables with its Skylake Platform

Sony, Panasonic May Team Up for Mobile Panel Tech Venture

Sony and Panasonic are reportedly in early discussions to create a joint venture in next-gen panel tech for mobile devices with key Apple supplier Japan Display Inc. While OLED tech for TVs has been a pursuit of numerous companies, LG and Samsung have led the charge for smaller screens in mobile devices. According to people familiar with the matter, Japanese manufacturers hope they can compete with their Korean rivals in smaller panels through the new joint venture. Continue reading Sony, Panasonic May Team Up for Mobile Panel Tech Venture

Toshiba Demos Ultra HD 4K Mobile Workstation in Las Vegas

Toshiba’s 2014 offerings include a 4K Ultra HD mobile workstation, expected to hit the market this summer at an estimated $2,000. The Tecra was shown at CES with the TUM-32PRO1 4K professional monitor, a 31.5-inch UHD panel (3840×2169 pixels) that offers multiple color modes, including the popular Abobe Super Wide Color Gamut, “which in layman’s terms means up to 99 percent color accuracy with the source material onscreen,” said Toshiba’s Joseph D’Avanzo. Continue reading Toshiba Demos Ultra HD 4K Mobile Workstation in Las Vegas

CES 2014: Exciting Possibilities for Future of 4K Ultra HDTV

At January’s 2014 International CES in Las Vegas, the ETC reporting team will be looking at how vendors are positioning 4K UHD TVs, including what features they consider compelling, and how they are building out the full consumer experience with an ecosystem of products and services. Features we’ll be watching for include resolution and pixel count, extended dynamic range, wider color gamut, a “director’s intent” setting, the latest in 3D, advances in audio, and more. Continue reading CES 2014: Exciting Possibilities for Future of 4K Ultra HDTV

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

Netflix Hopes to Bring Increased Intelligence to Smart TVs

Netflix has started a quiet effort to address problems with smart TVs. The company is in talks with tech companies and consumer electronics manufacturers in order to find improvements to user interfaces, remote controls and other smart TV components. The idea of Internet content combined with TVs began in the mid 1990s, but some believe progress has been slow. New apps, services and compelling content are needed to engage viewers to purchase and use smart TVs. Continue reading Netflix Hopes to Bring Increased Intelligence to Smart TVs

Streaming Movies from Intel-based Laptops to Samsung TVs

Intel and Samsung announced a partnership this week that will allow Samsung TV owners to stream movies directly from PCs running Intel’s latest processors. The companies are teaming to integrate Intel’s Wireless Display technology directly into Samsung’s TVs, which will eliminate the need for a separate receiver to play media content on TVs streamed from a PC. The technology is expected to reach consumers by the end of this year. Continue reading Streaming Movies from Intel-based Laptops to Samsung TVs

Deezer Expands Global Music Streaming with Smart TV Deals

The streaming music service Deezer has announced partnerships with Samsung, Toshiba and LG that could possibly make the Deezer app available to some 600 million people across more than 150 countries. However, the deals are limited in scope since Deezer will initially only be available on Samsung smart TV models produced from 2011 (Europe only) and LG models from 2011 (worldwide). Deezer does not have a deal in place for the U.S. Continue reading Deezer Expands Global Music Streaming with Smart TV Deals

CES 2013: Toshiba Teams With RED For 4K Ultra HD Demo

Toshiba showed that it is serious about 4K with a range of Ultra HDTVs, including the L9300 series that will be available in 58-, 65- and 84-inch LED models. To demonstrate what native 4K would look like on its displays, the company showed 4K content shot with a RED Epic camera and played from the soon-to-be-released, $1,450 REDRAY 4K Cinema Player. Continue reading CES 2013: Toshiba Teams With RED For 4K Ultra HD Demo

CES 2013: Smart TV Alliance Announces 5 New Members and SDK

Smart TV Alliance announced on Sunday that five new members have joined to help develop and launch smart TV applications and services. The new members include manufacturers Panasonic, ABOX42 and TechniSat, and solution providers IBM and Specific Media. Additionally, the organization announced a new software development kit designed to optimize the smart TV experience with 3D video, high quality video and audio, updated DRM and more. Continue reading CES 2013: Smart TV Alliance Announces 5 New Members and SDK

CEATEC News: Toshiba Unveils New 55-Inch Naked-Eye 3D TV

  • Toshiba is showcasing its 55-inch Regza 55X3 TV at CEATEC this week in Japan. The unit boasts a resolution of 3,840×2,160 — and glasses-free 3D at 1,280×720 — for what TechCrunch is calling “the first TV of its kind.”
  • “The TV features 5,000:1 contrast ratio, LED backlight, a new processor called ‘REGZA Engine CEVO Duo,’ a face-tracking function to enable high-quality 3D pictures for viewers, REGZA LINK, five digital tuners, 10W×2ch+10W speakers, four HDMI ports, and two USB ports,” reports TechCrunch.
  • TechRadar reports that the Toshiba TV joins Sony’s VPL-VW1000ES projector and Sharp’s 60-inch LCD in the 4K offerings featured at CEATEC this week. The report also suggests Toshiba hopes to ship 1,000 units a month of the Regza 55X3. “This is high hopes for a technology that’s burgeoning in the cinema market but is brand new in the home,” indicates TechRadar. “And with the economic climate as it is will be something of a battle, even with both Sony and Toshiba on board.”
  • The Regza 55X3 will be available by December in Japan for $11,730 (U.S.).

Toshiba ZL2 TV: Glasses-Free 3D, 4K2K and Face Tracking

  • Toshiba announced its new flagship 3D TV, the ZL2 series, which offers glasses-free 3D, 4096 x 2160 resolution, upscaling of low-res to high-res 3D, and facial recognition used to customize viewing angles.
  • The TV uses lenticular “lenslets” that can be modified for up to nine different viewing angles.
  • Check out the article for the author’s impression after watching 3D on the ZL2. Introduction: “I got a chance to watch the TV’s 3D mode in action, and it’s pretty great. It’s not magical, however. Instead of the typical dimming of shutter-based 3D TVs, it feels like you can see the black lines dividing the pixels. It’s not that the picture is actually low resolution, however, there’s still plenty of detail on screen, it just happens to ‘show the seams’ more than I’d like. It’s very pleasant to watch, and I didn’t get a 3DS headache or any nausea.”
  • The ZL2 is not for everyone: current pricing of the 55-inch model is equivalent to $11,424 U.S. dollars.

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