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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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
French show carries on with iPhones
Following a prolonged power loss in a French TV studio, the crew was able to use a combination of limited studio lighting and a number of iPhones to continue taping the Saturday episode of talk show On n'est pas couché ("We're Still Awake"), using the resulting footage in the first edited episode. The Plus-model iPhones used for the impromptu shoot completion were either iPhone 6 Plusses (which shoot in 1080p) or 6s Plus models (which can shoot in 4K). The decision to use the iPhones to complete the show was made after a power outage at France 2's studio stretched to more than three hours. http://bit.ly/299wqDt
Scrivener for iOS to arrive in late July
For some long-time Scrivener users, to quote Paul Simon, "these are the days of miracle and wonders." As it marks its 10th anniversary in business, developer Keith Blount has announced that the long-awaited iOS version of his creative-writing tool Scrivener is to be submitted to the App Store, following strong praise from beta-testers. The program, expected in late July, will sell for $20 and work with both the iPad and iPhone. When we interviewed Blount last January, he added that Scrivener 3 for Mac would follow along shorty afterwards. http://bit.ly/2901XLE
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu