Apple Acquires Virtual Reality Live Streaming Service NextVR

Apple has purchased NextVR, a virtual reality video service that offered 360-degree access to live events, including sporting events from NBA, WWE and NHL. With a VR headset, users could enjoy the feeling of “presence” in NextVR’s panoramic stereoscopic 3D scenes. The company also offered 2D smartphone access and planned to support augmented reality devices. The service never became popular, however, and a failed 2019 funding round followed by the coronavirus-related cancellation of sporting events left it struggling to survive. Continue reading Apple Acquires Virtual Reality Live Streaming Service NextVR

CES 2020 Showcased 8K TVs But Critics Remain Skeptical

At CES 2020, 8K was much in evidence with flagship TV sets from LG, Samsung, Sony and TCL. The only content these manufacturers were able to show, however, was from YouTube’s 8K demo reels, featuring animal and nature scenes. The question for some attendees was if it’s worth buying a very expensive 8K TV to watch HD or 4K content. Many of these TVs — such as Samsung’s 8K Q950 QLED model — showed another trend: nearly bezel-less frames, something consumers seem to appreciate, and even want in a 4K version. Continue reading CES 2020 Showcased 8K TVs But Critics Remain Skeptical

Machine Learning Is Being Used to Upscale Classic Games

Gamers have discovered a way to use machine learning to improve the graphics of older games. Called “AI upscaling,” the technique uses an algorithm to take a low-resolution image and, based on training data, generates a version with more pixels. Although upping the resolution of images is not new, machine learning has improved both the speed and the quality of the end result. On the r/GameUpscale subreddit, which is moderated by Norwegian teacher and student Daniel Trolie, users share “tips and tricks” on the practice. Continue reading Machine Learning Is Being Used to Upscale Classic Games

Technicolor, Vubiquity Partner on HDR Video Upscaling System

Technicolor and Vubiquity inked a deal to debut an HDR video delivery service to distributors later this year, enabling a large-scale rollout to consumers at a “premium rate.” Vubiquity provides the technology for video distribution to linear channels and on-demand streaming. Technicolor offers its HDR Intelligent Tone Management system, which “upscales” video mastered for existing standards into HDR video, and its HDR distribution technology that lets a single video signal work for HDR TVs and older models. Continue reading Technicolor, Vubiquity Partner on HDR Video Upscaling System

IFA 2015: Samsung is First to Announce 4K UHD Blu-ray Player

As 4K UHD TVs slowly come to market, and streaming services continue to introduce support for 4K and high dynamic range programming, Ultra HD Blu-ray is the next logical step. During its press conference at the IFA trade show in Berlin yesterday, Samsung became the first company to officially announce a 4K UHD Blu-ray player. Samsung’s UBD-K8500 supports HDR, offers 64 times the colors of standard Blu-ray, and plays UHD content at up to 60 frames per second. 20th Century Fox is providing content for the player, and plans to issue all its new releases in 4K Ultra HD with HDR. Continue reading IFA 2015: Samsung is First to Announce 4K UHD Blu-ray Player

Samsung Takes Orders on $120K 105-Inch Curved Ultra HD TV

Samsung Electronics America announced that it is now taking orders on its 105-inch curved Ultra HD LED LCD TV, which offers 5,120 x 2,160 resolution (11 million pixels) and features a cinematic aspect ratio. The massive curved set will be built to order for a suggested retail price of $119,999. Each sale will be supported by Samsung Elite Service, which includes field engineers being dispatched to customers’ homes to explain features and configure the TV for an optimal viewing experience. Continue reading Samsung Takes Orders on $120K 105-Inch Curved Ultra HD TV

Study Predicts 4K Adoption Will Be Faster Than That of HDTV

New research by Parks Associates suggests that 4K televisions will trace a similar trajectory in terms of price and consumer adoption that played out with HDTVs over the last 15 years. However, the study’s findings point to a slightly quicker progression for 4K. While HDTVs took about 15 years to achieve a certain level of affordability and ubiquity, Parks predicts that 4K will reach mass market prices within two to three years and exceed 80 percent penetration of households in 10-12 years. Continue reading Study Predicts 4K Adoption Will Be Faster Than That of HDTV

Technicolor Demos New High Dynamic Range Imaging System

Technicolor demonstrated a high dynamic range (HDR) imaging technology at CES this week that intends to improve the consumer viewing experience. The company has plans to propose its imaging tech to the Moving Picture Experts Group in hopes of including it in the HEVC compression scheme for streaming 4K content. Technicolor is also demonstrating developments targeting the Internet of Things, in addition to connected cars and Ultra HD delivery. Continue reading Technicolor Demos New High Dynamic Range Imaging System

Pixelworks Enables Content Owners to Upscale HD/2K to 4K

The advent of 4K TVs presents much the same conundrum that HD did when it arrived: fabulous new display technology but very little content. One solution is to upscale HD and 2K content to 4K, but the result isn’t always ideal. “Generally, any form of scaling creates an adverse effect on the image, even though the 4K display is better,” said Graham Loveridge, Pixelworks SVP of strategic marketing and business development. “That’s because the pixels are being stretched. You’re creating a ramp rather than a sharp transition.” Continue reading Pixelworks Enables Content Owners to Upscale HD/2K to 4K

Sharp Introduces Quattron+ Series and SmartCentral Platform

At its CES press event today, Sharp unveiled its new AQUOS Quattron+ (Q+) series of LED televisions and a new SmartCentral smart TV platform. In 2014 Sharp will offer 19 different AQUOS LED TVs 60-inches and larger. The company claims its Q+ series offers the highest resolution Full HD TV. The SmartCentral platform helps viewers search, discover and share content, while the SmartCentral mobile app connects smartphones and tablets to Sharp TVs. Continue reading Sharp Introduces Quattron+ Series and SmartCentral Platform

Best Buy Now Selling Sony 4K Televisions in its U.S. Stores

In an effort to boost lagging television sales, Best Buy announced that 700 of its U.S. stores will start selling Sony 4K Ultra HDTVs this week. The home theater departments of Best Buy and Magnolia stores will prominently display the 4K sets and offer demonstrations that tout the benefits of the new format over current 1080p offerings. The demos are expected to emphasize up-scaling capabilities to help attract consumers. Continue reading Best Buy Now Selling Sony 4K Televisions in its U.S. Stores