Netflix Now Tops Broadcast, Cable, YouTube for TV Viewing

According to a new Cowen & Co. survey of U.S. consumers, subscription-video service Netflix is now the top choice for watching entertainment content on TV. In response to the question, “Which platforms do you use most often to view video content on TV?” — 27 percent of the 2,500 respondents said they prefer Netflix, while 20 percent opt for basic cable, 18 percent for broadcast television, and 11 percent for YouTube. Meanwhile, Netflix is reportedly testing a new Ultra tier that would allow simultaneous streaming of Ultra HD video and audio across four devices. Continue reading Netflix Now Tops Broadcast, Cable, YouTube for TV Viewing

Sony PS Vue Offers HBO, Cinemax as Standalones or Bundle

Following Sony’s recent announcement that the company’s PlayStation Vue streaming service would offer HBO and Cinemax, both premium cable channels are now available as standalones for $15 per month or as part of a new bundle. In addition, the HBO Now app launched yesterday on PS3 and PS4 consoles. According to The Verge, “the new Ultra bundle will include all of Vue’s current offerings, including HBO and Showtime, for $64.99 per month in most locations, and $74.99 per month in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, and Miami. PlayStation says Vue is the first streaming service to offer live programming from HBO and Cinemax without a bundle subscription.” Continue reading Sony PS Vue Offers HBO, Cinemax as Standalones or Bundle

Sony to Launch Ultra 4K Movie Streaming Service Next Week

Sony is slated to roll out its 4K movie streaming service on Monday, April 4. First announced at January’s CES in Las Vegas, the new service will be called Ultra. Viewers will be charged $30 to purchase new Sony-produced films and $12-15 to upgrade pre-owned movies from their UltraViolet cloud locker. Ultra will also offer 4K HDR content such as extras previously only featured on discs. Consumers who buy a 2016 4K Sony TV will get four UHD movies bundled with their new television. Transactional VOD rentals are not expected to be an option featured with the launch. Continue reading Sony to Launch Ultra 4K Movie Streaming Service Next Week

Sony Announces 4K Video Storefront, Array of New Products

During the Sony keynote at CES, CEO Kazuo Hirai announced that the PlayStation 4 console system — which he suggests, “sets the benchmark in collaboration, artistry, imagery and design” — sold more than 5.7 million units over the holidays for a total of 35.9 million units since the console’s launch. PlayStation VR goggles will ship the first half of 2016, reportedly in the $300 range. Sony Electronics president and COO Mike Fasulo took the stage to announce “Ultra,” the company’s new video app that enables users to purchase and stream 4K movies on Sony’s Android TVs. Sony also unveiled a range of new cameras, 4K TVs, audio products and more. Continue reading Sony Announces 4K Video Storefront, Array of New Products

Ultra HD: Consumer Adoption on the Rise with Lower Prices

New data from analyst IDC finds that shipments of 4K televisions have reached over one million per month and are projected to reach upward of 15.2 million for 2014. Consumer adoption is on the rise as the average selling price has dropped 85 percent worldwide in the last two years, from $7,851 in 2012 to $1,120 in 2014. A new report from BI Intelligence predicts a faster adoption curve than HDTV, with 4K TVs to be found in more than half of North American homes within 10 years. Continue reading Ultra HD: Consumer Adoption on the Rise with Lower Prices

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

Report: UHD TV to Reach One-Third of U.S. Households by 2020

According to a new report from Strategy Analytics, Ultra High-Definition is poised for rapid adoption in the U.S., with a projected 33 percent of households expected to have UHD TV sets by 2020. The report, “Ultra High-Definition TV Displays: Global Market Forecast: 2012-2020,” predicts that North America will become the leading region in UHD penetration by 2020, and entry level prices for UHD TVs will drop below $2,000 this year from one or more of the major brands. Continue reading Report: UHD TV to Reach One-Third of U.S. Households by 2020

Sony Confirms FIFA World Cup Final to Broadcast Live in 4K

Journalist and ETCentric contributor Adrian Pennington forwarded us exclusive confirmation that FIFA has signed broadcasters to go live with the Ultra HD signal of three World Cup matches from Brazil. The news has been confirmed by Sony, which serves as the production partner to FIFA and host broadcaster HBS. Previous announcements pointed to the 4K recording of the World Cup Final and two earlier matches for a FIFA Films 4K movie to be distributed online after the event, but now broadcasters also plan to take the feed live. Continue reading Sony Confirms FIFA World Cup Final to Broadcast Live in 4K

Atlantic Develops VR Content for Oculus Rift, Project Morpheus

Adrian Pennington forwarded us news that British television producer Atlantic Productions is developing virtual reality narrative content, including documentary, CG and drama pilots for Facebook’s Oculus Rift and Sony’s Project Morpheus. Atlantic Productions is the company behind noted nature documentaries such as “Galapagos,” “Kingdom of Plants” and the BAFTA-winning “Flying Monsters 3D.” Atlantic hopes to bundle some of its VR content with the Oculus Rift when it becomes commercially available. Continue reading Atlantic Develops VR Content for Oculus Rift, Project Morpheus

Technicolor Ultra HD Set-Top Box Supports High Frame Rate

Earlier this week, Technicolor revealed a prototype of its new Ultra HD set-top box that will allow viewers to watch TV in 4K resolution and at high frame rates twice as fast as typical 30 fps set-tops. Targeted for cable and satellite services, it is is the industry’s first high frame rate 4K STB. Technicolor, which is hoping to start rolling out the first Ultra HD boxes in about a year, is showcasing its family of STBs at this week’s National Cable & Telecommunications conference in Los Angeles. Continue reading Technicolor Ultra HD Set-Top Box Supports High Frame Rate

ITU Group is Testing High Dynamic Range Format Proposals

According to David Wood, chairman of the International Telecommunication Union group working to recommend a global blueprint for UHD, high dynamic range (HDR) technology “may well be an important feature of Ultra HDTV in future years, though the jury is still out, and will take some months to reach a verdict.” The group is currently considering HDR as an addition to UHD, and is looking at format proposals from companies including Dolby, Philips, Technicolor and the BBC. Continue reading ITU Group is Testing High Dynamic Range Format Proposals

Google and AT&T Race to Expand U.S. Fiber Optic Networks

AT&T announced plans to bring its high-speed fiber optic network, AT&T U-verse with GigaPower, to as many as 100 cities, including some that are already part of Google Fiber’s planned expansion in the next few years. AT&T and Google have fiber optic development planned in several of the same cities, such as San Antonio, Texas; San Jose, California; Atlanta, Georgia; Charlotte, North Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; and the Raleigh-Durham region of North Carolina. Continue reading Google and AT&T Race to Expand U.S. Fiber Optic Networks

New Sony Media Player to Access 4K Library and Stream Netflix

As a follow-up to its original $700 4K media player, Sony has announced a new model, the FMP-X10, that will provide access to Sony’s Video Unlimited 4K download library and be able to stream 4K Netflix content. The new player, available this summer, will be compatible with Sony Ultra HD sets and include 1 terabyte of storage. A price has yet to be announced. Sony’s Video Unlimited 4K library currently features more than 200 titles (45GB-60GB files), about 50 of which are available for free. Continue reading New Sony Media Player to Access 4K Library and Stream Netflix

SMPTE Tech Summit: Understanding the Human Vision System

The first Saturday morning session of SMPTE’s Technology Summit On Cinema at NAB focused on factors that could impact the UHD TV rollout, including research on what humans are able to see and observe. During a panel titled “Understanding the Human Vision System,” Dr. Jenny Read of Newcastle University Institute of Neuroscience set the stage by discussing four parameters of vision: spatial resolution, temporal resolution, dynamic range, and color perception. Related studies from Dolby, EBU and EPFL were presented. Continue reading SMPTE Tech Summit: Understanding the Human Vision System

Sony, FIFA to Shoot Three World Cup Matches and Film in 4K

Sony and FIFA revealed their 4K plans for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, scheduled for Brazil in June/July. Three matches are scheduled to be shot in 4K: one match from the round of 16, one match from the quarterfinals, and the July 13th final match in Rio de Janeiro. In addition to select broadcasters, the live 4K coverage will be made available to select cinemas internationally. Sony and FIFA also have plans to jointly produce the Official 2014 FIFA World Cup film in 4K. Continue reading Sony, FIFA to Shoot Three World Cup Matches and Film in 4K

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