LG to Intro New Flat Series of HDR-Compliant 4K OLED TVs

LG announced that its first flat-screen 4K OLED TV lineup will be available next month. The EF9500 series will be similarly priced to the curved EF9600 series ($5,500 for the 55-inch model and $7,000 for the 65-inch model). However, the new series will mark the first fully HDR-compliant OLED TVs, capable of displaying high dynamic range content from streaming sources and components such as Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and players shipping later this year. HDR offers more contrast between light and dark images for a superior viewing experience. Continue reading LG to Intro New Flat Series of HDR-Compliant 4K OLED TVs

Samsung Targets Google and Apple with Plans for Tizen TVs

Samsung Electronics plans to extend its Tizen operating system beyond mobile phones to its new smart TVs beginning next month. At CES, Samsung CEO BK Yoon announced that Tizen TVs would initially launch in the U.S. and Korea, followed by a rollout to additional international markets later in the year. Samsung, which has spent years developing Tizen as an alternative to Google’s Android mobile operating system, is looking to better compete in software and services with OS leaders Google and Apple. Continue reading Samsung Targets Google and Apple with Plans for Tizen TVs

LG Launches Open Source Connect SDK for App Developers

Rather than copying Chromecast to webOS, LG released an open source Connect SDK late last week that integrates media casting, making it easier for developers to bring their apps to connected devices such as Roku streaming boxes, Google’s Chromecast, Amazon’s Fire TV and LG’s own TV sets. By combining existing multiscreen and home sharing protocols such as Google’s Cast SDK, DLNA and DIAL, developers’ mobile apps only need one set of code to work on a variety of big screen devices. Continue reading LG Launches Open Source Connect SDK for App Developers

ETC Presents the 2014 CES Final Report: Executive Summary

During the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, held January 6-10 in Las Vegas, ETC tracked the keynote addresses, evolving industry trends and product demos relevant to our member companies. More than 105 original stories and a regularly updated Flickr stream were made available on ETCentric and via daily email alerts. We’ve prepared an excerpt of the Executive Summary from ETC’s CES Final Report, a document which is prepared as an exclusive benefit for ETC’s Gold and Platinum members. Continue reading ETC Presents the 2014 CES Final Report: Executive Summary

Engadget Announces the Best of CES 2014 Awards Winners

As official partner to the Consumer Electronics Association, senior editors from Engadget selected finalists for this year’s Best of CES awards. At the end of the week, they had selected winners across 13 categories, in addition to a ‘Best of the Best’ winner — the Oculus Rift ‘Crystal Cove’ prototype. Engadget also announced that the People’s Choice Award went to Razer for its first wearable device, the Nabu, which registered nearly 50 percent of the more than 54,000 reader votes. Continue reading Engadget Announces the Best of CES 2014 Awards Winners

CES 2014: Compelling Products Generating Early Buzz (Part 2)

Yesterday we published a first pass list of products and services we’re looking forward to seeing next week at the annual Consumer Electronics Show. Today we’re continuing the list with more that should be of interest to those who work in entertainment media technology. While yesterday’s report focused on gaming, wearable devices, connected vehicles and 3D printing — today’s list takes a look at cameras and camcorders, media players, streaming media and some very large Ultra HD televisions. Continue reading CES 2014: Compelling Products Generating Early Buzz (Part 2)

LG Plans to Debut its New webOS TV During CES in January

It’s been nearly a year since LG purchased HP’s webOS to power its future televisions. At a recent semiconductor event held in Seoul, Korea, LG researcher Hong Sung-pyo announced that the company has plans to debut a new TV running its version of the defunct smartphone OS at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. The webOS-powered TV will reportedly run a 2.2GHz dual-core processor with 1.5GB of RAM, enabling multitasking features. Continue reading LG Plans to Debut its New webOS TV During CES in January

New Firefox OS Looks to Power More Affordable Smartphones

Mozilla, the maker of the Firefox browser, recently announced the debut of the first smartphones powered by the Web-based Firefox OS. These modest smartphones are targeting first time buyers and consumers looking for less expensive alternatives to iPhones and Android phones. Firefox OS may not compete on the same level with Apple and Google, but it does present an opportunity for new Web-based devices that can offer many features. Continue reading New Firefox OS Looks to Power More Affordable Smartphones

New Mobile Operating Systems Look to Disrupt iOS and Android

Apple and Google dominate the smartphone software market with a combined 87 percent control, but new competitors hope to chip away at this duopoly. New entrants including Tizen, the Mozilla Foundation and Ubuntu hope that introducing competing operating systems would help convince consumers to purchase products through alternatives to the Google or Apple stores. Continue reading New Mobile Operating Systems Look to Disrupt iOS and Android

HP Update: We Say Farewell to TouchPad and WebOS

  • HP has decided to end its recently launched TouchPad tablet and will take a $100 million loss on unsold inventory. (Interestingly, tech columnist Andy Ihnatko was getting ready to write a mixed but generally positive review of the TouchPad for the Chicago Sun-Times.)
  • Additionally, on the heels of the company announcing it would be integrating its webOS with smart appliances and other devices, HP now says there will be no more webOS phones. It did apparently leave the option open to licensing webOS to third parties.
  • In related news, AllThingsD reports that HP’s recent decision to stop the development of its webOS puts it’s personal computer business in a perilous position, and rumors are spreading as to what the company’s next step will be.
  • The most likely option involves a spin-off PC business as a separate company, much like Motorola did at the beginning of the year.
  • If HP decides to sell instead, it is likely that an Asian company will step forward to make the purchase — and the front-runner seems to be Samsung. The predicted price if a sale were to occur is placed at around $20 billion.

Forget the TouchPad for Now: HP Wants to See webOS Everywhere

  • Despite the TouchPad’s dismal retail performance, HP is forging ahead with webOS.
  • HP is in talks to license webOS for use in smart appliances, cars, gadgets “and just about anything else that has a screen,” reports Digital Trends.
  • The company is taking a similar stance to that of Google with Android in terms of integrating the OS in smart appliances and other devices. HP plans to integrate webOS into all of its computers by next year.
  • “I happen to believe that webOS is a uniquely outstanding operating system,” said HP CEO Leo Apotheker during the D9 conference. “It’s not correct to believe that it should only be on HP devices. There are all kinds of other people who want to make whatever kind of hardware they make and would like to connect them to the Internet.”
  • “We are fans of webOS,” explains Digital Trends, “but if HP hopes to expand the platform, it will have to deal with the performance issues we’ve seen on the TouchPad and Palm Pre devices and work to drum up more interest from the developer community.”

HP Launches 4G Version of its TouchPad Tablet

  • HP unveiled a new 4G version of its TouchPad tablet on Amazon this week.
  • The tablet features a faster 1.5 Ghz processor, an updated webOS, 32GB of memory, 4G and Wi-Fi capabilities, and a 9.7-inch LED touchscreen.
  • It retails for $699 and is available for pre-order on Amazon.com (although the listing does not include a release date).
  • According to PCMag: “Over the weekend, HP offered a $100 discount on the TouchPad, as did retailer Staples, allowing users to get as much as $200 off the tablet. It’s not clear if that was the original intent, however. Staples said rather cryptically that the coupons ‘were meant for different audiences,’ and did not respond to follow-up questions.”

HP CEO Leo Apotheker Discusses New Online Strategy

In his first public appearance since joining Hewlett-Packard in November, CEO Leo Apotheker delivered a speech in San Francisco that outlined the company’s new online strategy that he explained will target both consumers and businesses. Apotheker emphasized cloud computing and an online app store as part of his vision to bring HP to the forefront as “the platform for the cloud and connectivity.” He suggested that the app store would include programs from HP as well as from other companies.

Apotheker dismissed speculation that HP would be acquiring software maker SAP AG or any other provider of transactional business programs. The Wall Street Journal reports that his goal is to address the “increasing amount of unstructured data — information that isn’t easily categorized”; HP will “focus on products and services that will help businesses better make sense of them.”

Apotheker explained that the company’s webOS operating system (newly acquired along with Palm last year) is designed for smartphones and tablets, but will also ship on HP PCs, providing the company with a greater scale. HP plans to produce laptops and desktops with webOS working alongside Windows, enabling computers to interact with HP’s smartphones and tablets.