Ready For That HDR-Ready Home Theater? Hold On

April 23rd, 2015 · 4K Flat Panel, Blu-ray Titles, Connected TVs, HDMI, HDR, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, News, Sound Systems, Surround Sound Systems, UHD (4K) Media Players, UHDTV, Video Processors

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From the hurry- up and-wait department: a recent HDMI 2.0a spec. extension, which supports metadata for high- dynamic range (HDR)-encoded 4K Ultra HD video passed over HDMI connectors may not be as seamlessly updatable as generally expected for some home theater components.

Jeff Park, senior technical specifications manager for the HDMI LLC, told HD Guru that whether or not new HDMI 2.0-enabled A/V receivers, media players or HDR-enabled televisions already in the market can be updated with a simple firmware download or more extensive hardware changes, is “solely dependent on the manufacturer and their system design. The HDMI specification never defines upgradability criteria.”

More on the status of HDMI 2.0a upgrading after the break:

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Pentax Unveils K-3 II DSLR with 1080 60i/30p Video

April 22nd, 2015 · Digital Camera/Camcorder, News

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Ricoh’s Pentax brand introduced Wednesday the next version of its ruggedly designed K-3 DSLR that adds the ability to capture Full HD 1080 30p/60i video.

The Pentax K-3II DSLR, which will be available in May at a $1,099.95 suggested retail price, features a 24.3 “effective megapixel” (24.71 native MP) APS-C sized CMOS image sensor. The camera further sharpens image details by omitting a low-pass filter.

More on the K-3 II features and specs after the break:

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Review: Sony XBR-X950B Series 4K Ultra HD TV

April 21st, 2015 · 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Connected TVs, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, Product Reviews, Review, UHDTV

 

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The 65-inch Sony XBR-X950B series 4K Ultra HD TV ($5,998 unilateral pricing policy) delivers unmatched brightness, superb picture contrast, and admirably accurate color with a little fine-tuning. The X950B earns the company’s ‘flagship’ moniker on performance alone, and this TV sets the bar for image quality comparisons with the best displays of 2015.

Read more about the Sony XBR-X950B after the break:

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Sony Prices Sound Bars, A/V Receivers

April 20th, 2015 · Audio, News, Sound Bars, Sound Systems, Surround Sound, Surround Sound Systems, Wireless Audio

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On the heels of the sendoff of its spring TV line, Sony took the wraps off its latest sound bar and A/V receiver assortment to help complete the home theater experience.

The company announced retail availability and pricing on four new Sound Bars – the HT-ST9 (pictured above), HT-NT3, HT-CT780, and HT-CT380, as well as the STR-DN860 and STR-DN1060 A/V receivers. Most of the new home audio products are HDCP 2.2 compliant (except for the HT-CT380), supporting playback of copyright-protected 4K content.

More on Sony’s sound bar and receiver options after the break:

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Hot Deals on 4K UHD and HDTV Closeouts –Save Up to 64%!

April 19th, 2015 · 2160p, 3D UHDTV, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Connected TVs, Curved Screen, LED LCD Flat Panels, OLED, UHD 4K OLED, UHDTV

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As the selection of discontinued models continues to clog dealer inventories, the manufacturers are upping the ante by giving their retailers larger instant rebates, which translate into savings up to 64% off of the m.s.r.p. prices and up to thousands lower prices than their 2015 replacements.

For example the LG Electronics 65UB9500 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD 120Hz 3D LED TV (2014 Model) is now $2199.99, while the very similar (according to the LG website other than a somewhat potentially wider color gamut) the 2015  65UF9500 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD 120Hz 3D LED TV is currently selling for $1800 more at $3999.99.

We lead with the week’s best deals after the break.

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Sony Spotlights HDR In 2015 4K UHD TVs

April 19th, 2015 · 2160p, 3D HDTV, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Connected TVs, Full Array LED Backlit with Local Dimming, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, News, UHD 4K OLED, UHDTV

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Sony gave its 2015 4K Ultra HDTV products a formal sendoff by unveiling six new series of UHD LED LCD TVs, highlighted by XBR65X930C and XBR75X940C models offering enhanced performance dynamics, including the ability to display a wide color gamut and high dynamic range.

The 2015 line also includes some of the thinnest LCD screens to date, and makes use of a new X1 4K processor for improved contrast, color and clarity. New smart TVs also include the Android TV OS, bringing greater compatibility and interoperability with a wide range of smartphones and tablets. Sony also continues to make high-performing Full HD TV models more and more affordable.

Among the new 2015 4K UHD TV series, the X830C, 850C, and X930C/X940C are available for pre-order now and will ship in May, Sony said. The X900C/X910C will be available this summer.

More on Sony’s 2015 4K Ultra HD and Full HD TV models after the jump:

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Review: Vizio SB4051-C0 40″ 5.1 Sound Bar System

April 15th, 2015 · Audio, Product Reviews, Sound Bars, Sound Systems, Surround Sound, Surround Sound Systems

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The humble AV receiver (AVR) remains the prime choice for audiophiles that desire a surround sound experience. However, the web of wires and added complexity of AVR ownership isn’t for everyone and that’s where the new Vizio 40″ 5.1 Sound Bar System (SB4051-C0) saves the day. The SB4051 offers easy setup, convenient connection options, and a solid audio upgrade for weak TV speakers.

Read more about the Vizio SB4051-C0 Sound Bar System after the break:

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Vizio Launches M-Series 4K UHD TVs, Demos Dolby Vision

April 14th, 2015 · 2160p, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Audio, Connected TVs, Full Array LED Backlit with Local Dimming, HDR, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, News, Sound Bars, Sound Systems, Surround Sound Systems, UHDTV

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Vizio first showed prototypes of its Reference Series Ultra HDTV line more than a year ago, but it still wasn’t ready to reveal release plans for the high-end enhanced 4K UHD sets at its New York City press conference Monday evening.

Instead, the company worked with Dolby to play up the high dynamic range (HDR) characteristics of the Dolby Vision system that will be a key feature of the new displays, which are expected to hit the market this year. It also took the wraps off a mid-range 2015 M Series 4K Ultra HD LED LCD TV line (pictured above) and seven new soundbars designed to fit with the 2015 TV class.

More on Vizio’s Spring TV and sound bar offerings after the break:

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