Tag - Ultra HD
Apple continues to focus its consumer desktop efforts around all-in-one iMac designs, for better or worse, with its most recent upgrade efforts centered on bringing Retina displays to them. The latest refresh to the 21.5-inch iMac brings with it a 4K Ultra HD panel with support for the P3 color gamut favored by graphic designers, giving it additional appeal. While the new display is a real highlight, the question is: should you jump in with the entry-level model, our review unit, or go for one of the other options? Check out our review for the pros and cons.
The latest generation of the Roku streaming set-top box is finally offering support for 4K-resolution content. The Roku 4 is now able to push the high-resolution content to Ultra HD televisions at up to 60 frames per second, with the device able to stream 4K TV shows and movies from Netflix, M-Go, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, and YouTube with HEVC and VP9 support, as well as upscaling 1080p content to 4K resolution.
The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) will commence licensing the Ultra HD Blu-ray format starting August 24. The format provides expanded color range, high frame rate up to 60fps and up-to 3840x2160 resolution. Product announcements are expected for the 2015 holiday season.
Sony is finally preparing to release a trio of televisions running on Android TV in the United States, sets it previewed at CES in January. The 54.6-inch and 64.5-inch X900C, and 74.5-inch X910C are Ultra HD-resolution Triluminos televisions with a very slim almost-frameless design, measuring as thin as 0.2 inches for the majority of the screen, with them also including the X-Reality Pro Picture Engine for upscaling HD content to 4K.
The Blu-ray Disc Association yesterday announced completion of the Ultra HD Blu-ray specification. In addition to delivering content in up to 3840x2160 resolution, the Ultra HD Blu-ray format enables delivery of a significantly expanded color range and allows for the delivery of high dynamic range and high frame rate content.
Comcast will be giving owners of Ultra HD televisions something to watch in the future, with the company revealing its upcoming Xi4 set-top box will be able to handle 4K-resolution content. The new cable box announcement is accompanied by other smaller items, including the ability to stream content from a smartphone or tablet to the device for viewing on the television.
Philips' new Smart Laser Backlight Ultra HDTV isn't like all those other 4K displays you'll see at CES this week, the company says. Rather than using white LEDs to backlight the picture (and correcting the standard bluish cast), a red laser and cyan LEDs combine to give the image what Philips hopes customers will find to be a richer, more accurate look. Along with backlighting technology, the new model comes with side mounted vertical full-range (but wired) speakers which can be detached.
Entertainment streaming platform provider Roku made a number of announcements today at CES regarding Roku televisions and expanded HD content streaming. Roku will be partnering with television manufacturers Haier and Insignia to produce new HDTV models of Roku televisions, while NetFlix works on delivering 4K compatible content through Roku's platforms, and a previous Roku TV maker will focus on debuting a Roku 4K Ultra HD TV for the new year.
Samsung has outlined a new higher tier of Ultra HD televisions for 2015, which it is giving the SUHD designation. The JS9500, JS9000, and JS8500 ranges each include televisions in nine screen sizes ranging from 48 inches to 88 inches, with the screens said to be using Samsung's nano-crystal semiconductors to produce a higher-quality image.
Linux users of the Ubuntu variety can now watch Netflix without hacks or workarounds. The ability to stream Netflix comes with the latest build of the Chrome browser for the operating system, for up-to-date Ubuntu users. Netflix also confirmed that subscription fees for users wanting to stream 4K Ultra HD video are increasing.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE