Philips Ultra HD Blu-ray Player Gets `Creed’ Bundle

June 13th, 2016 · 2160p, 3D Blu-ray player, Blu-ray Discs, Blu-ray Players, Blu-ray Titles, News, UHDTV

 

Anyone who buys a new Philips branded Ultra HD Blu-ray player, being released to stores later this month by P&F USA, will receive an Ultra HD Blu-ray copy of “Creed,” the latest installment of the “Rocky” saga from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

When the Philips BDP7501 Ultra HD Blu-ray player goes on sale at a $399.95 suggested retail price later this month, the company said purchasers will receive a bundled “Creed” combo pack that includes an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc with the feature film in 4K with high dynamic range (HDR), a Blu-ray disc with the feature film and special features in HD, and a Digital HD version of the feature film.

P&F said the offer will extend through September.

Read more on the Philips Ultra HD Blu-ray offer after the jump:

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Sony Offers Father’s Day TV, Blu-ray Promotions

June 11th, 2016 · 2160p, 3D Blu-ray player, 3D HDTV, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Amazon, Blu-ray Players, Connected TVs, Digital Media Receivers, HDMI, HDR, News, Streaming Services, UHDTV

                                              A Sony X850D Series 4K Ultra HD TV

Sony is celebrating Father’s Day with a number of promotions on televisions and Blu-ray Disc players, in addition to releasing its recently announced UHP-1 premium audio/video player.

Sony is running a Father’s Day promotion between June 12th-25th offering instant rebate savings on some of its popular TV and Blu-ray Disc models.

Read more on Sony’s Father’s Day Promotions after the jump:

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Nanosys Sheds Light On Next-Gen Quantum Dot Displays

June 10th, 2016 · 2160p, Connected TVs, Curved Screen, Full Array LED Backlit with Local Dimming, News, OLED, OLED, UHDTV

                                               Jason Hartlove, Nanosys CEO

Samsung in association with partner Nanosys from Milpitas, Calif. is looking to reshape our image of television using nano-scale particles, called quantum dots, to produce new ranges of color and brightness.

Recently, Samsung revealed it has been working in association with Nanosys to develop what it expects to be the new future of television display technologies called QLED. This technology is essentially a hybrid between Samsung’s SUHD Quantum Dot 4K Ultra HD HDR LED LCD TVs and OLED technology, now marketed by LG Electronics and others.

With the new approach, pioneered by Samsung and Nanosys, quantum dots will be applied to a self-emissive inorganic LED light source to produce QLED displays that are brighter, more efficient and more color accurate than LED and OLED TVs. In addition, Samsung is working on technologies for ink-jet like printing of these quantum dot substances to help reduce production costs.

Nanosys is also working on a new quantum dot film technology due next year called Hyperion, which will enable LED TVs to reach 90 percent of the very wide color gamut Rec. 2020 standard.

Samsung recently brought HD Guru and a group of technology reviewers out to the Nanosys manufacturing operations in Milpitas to meet Jason Hartlove, Nanosys president and CEO, to find out more about what’s going on with his company’s approach to quantum dots and the Samsung/Nanosys plans for new technologies like QLED just ahead of us.

Read our Q&A report with Hartlove after the jump:

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Vizio Adds 9 Google Cast Soundbars

June 8th, 2016 · Audio, Connected TVs, HDMI, News, Sound Bars, Sound Systems, Streaming Services, Surround Sound Systems, Wireless Audio

 

Vizio introduced this week nine soundbars which take a page from some of the 2016 “entertainment display” lines by adding support for Google Cast audio streaming from connected mobile devices.

Vizio’s new soundbars incorporate Wi-Fi connectivity but don’t require embedded audio-streaming apps in the hardware to connect to popular music streaming services or stored songs on mobile devices and notebooks. Users control the apps and streaming playback on their Google Cast enabled mobile devices to begin streaming music directly from the cloud to the soundbar or TV.

In the recent model lines, certain Vizio smart TVs and displays have been used to data mine viewers’ playback and use habits for collection and sale to advertisers, content producers and others. Similarly, Google systems can mine consumer listening or video streaming habits, and don’t give the user ability to opt out of that data collection and still continue to use the Google-enabled device features.

Vizio, Philips, Polaroid and other TV makers this year have moved to the use of the Google Cast system to provide smart TV streaming and other services, without the need to invest in proprietary smart TV operating systems, which often require apps for services to be specially written for the platform, which can be expensive and limiting to the number of possible app selections. Google Cast gives manufacturers the ability to reduce cost and expand streaming selection.

More than 1,300 Google Cast-enabled audio, video or gaming apps can be controlled from a user’s  smartphone, tablet, Chromebook, or Mac or Windows laptop and streamed to the soundbar or Google Cast TV/display.

Read more on Vizio’s Google Cast soundbars after the jump:

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Review: `Deadpool’ Delivers In Ultra HD Blu-ray

June 3rd, 2016 · 2160p, Amazon, Blu-ray Discs, Blu-ray Players, Blu-ray Titles, Disc Reviews, Full HD 1080p, HDR, Surround Sound, UHDTV

As movies based on comic book franchises go these days, Deadpool was a breath of fresh air.

Loaded with irreverent one-liners, and often breaking the fourth wall to speak directly to the audience to poke fun at itself, comic book movies, the actors and even the studio, the movie succeeds as both a very funny comedy and one of the more entertaining Marvel superhero action flicks to date.

Ryan Reynolds, who also played the similarly campy, though less funny, Green Lantern from DC Comics and Warner Bros., was the perfect actor to pull off a comic book movie targeting adults. His Chevy Chase-like tongue-in-cheek delivery combined with superhero-looking physique command the attention of the audience without going too far over the top. Co-star Morena Baccarin, who I used to have trouble getting out of my mind as the reptilian leader in the mini-series remake of V, stands up as both a beautiful distraction and a desirable main squeeze for the movie’s hero.

Director Tim Miller does a fantastic job taking a relatively low-budget and a lesser-known comic book character and making magic happen. Almost more impressively, the movie does very well using the new medium of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with high dynamic range (HDR) to make select colors and lighting pop as you would expect from a colorful comic book franchise.

Read more on our review of the Ultra HD Blu-ray of Deadpool after the jump:

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Integra Unveils DRX AV Receiver Line

June 2nd, 2016 · 2160p, Audio, HDMI, News, Sound Systems, Streaming Services, Surround Sound, Surround Sound Systems, UHDTV, Video Processors

 

Integra, the high-end audio brand of Onkyo USA, launched Thursday four models in its new DRX series of 7.2-channel network AV receivers, offering support for Dolby Atmos and DTS-X object-based surround sound, MQA audio decoding and support for Tidal and Google Cast streaming.

Each of the models also include video upscaling up to 4K Ultra HD resolution and include a new graphical user interface, Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry (VLSC) for noiseless signal processing and a next-generation of Integra’s AccuEQ featuring AccuReflex Phase Alignment Technology with adjustment for object-based surround-sound formats.

All models are available now and include the DRX-2 ($800 suggested retail price), the DRX-3 (MSRP $1,000), DRX-4 ($1,300) and DRX-5 ($1,700).

Read more about the Integra DRX AV receiver line after the jump:

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Comcast’s 4K/HDR Plans Are Getting `Whacky’

June 1st, 2016 · 2160p, 4K Flat Panel, Cable TV, Connected TVs, Digital Media Receivers, DVR, HDMI, HDR, LED LCD Flat Panels, News, Test Equipment, UHD (4K) Media Players, UHDTV, Wireless HD

 

Trying to get a handle on what’s going on with Comcast’s plans to launch 4K Ultra HD video and high dynamic range (HDR) content as part of its regular TV service offerings is a bit like playing a game of Whack-A-Mole.

Executives with the giant Cable Multi System Operator (MSO) have made repeated statements about plans for 4K Ultra HD supporting set-top boxes, like the Xi4, which was due last year, and was to offer supporting movie streaming like the service it currently provides through a streaming app on certain Samsung 4K Ultra HDTVs. But the Xi4 has yet to appear.

The Xi4 was to have been followed by the Xi5 (pictured at top), which is a wirelessly connected client for the company’s XB6 multi-service gigabit wireless gateway that will also support the MSO’s Xfinity Home service, according to a report by Multichannel News. At the recent INTX Show in Boston came word from Comcast executives that the Xi5 is now slated to arrive on July 4, 2016.

But the device apparently will launch with HDR-supporting programming either without or before supporting 4K Ultra HD resolution. Comcast has said very little officially on its plan.

At initial launch, the Xi5 will be available in limited markets with plans to roll out more broadly in the coming months.

Read more on Comcast’s changing 4k/HDR plans after the jump:

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Review: Vizio’s P50-C1 4K Ultra HD Display With Dolby Vision

May 31st, 2016 · 2160p, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Blu-ray Discs, Blu-ray Players, Connected TVs, Full Array LED Backlit with Local Dimming, HDMI, HDR, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, UHDTV

 

Vizio’s 2016 P Series “home theater entertainment displays” have been getting glowing grades as reasonably priced 4K Ultra HD products with high dynamic range (HDR) capability, and a quick glance at demo material would seem to confirm that.

However, we’ve learned the hard way that just because a TV looks great in the showroom doesn’t mean it is necessarily going to perform that way in the real world. So we made arrangements to borrow a new 50-inch Vizio P50-C1 ($999.95 suggested retail) model and ran some tests to see what all hype was about.

Screen sizes and models in the P Series include: the 50-inch P50-C1, the 55-inch P55-C1 ($1,299.95 suggested retail), the 65-inch P65-C1 ($1,999.99) and the 75-inch P75-C1 ($3,799.95). All models have smart functionality built on the relatively new Google Cast streaming system, and all ship with a 6-inch 1080p Android tablet in the box to control all of the display’s settings as well as the Google Cast streaming platform.

The tablet comes with a charging stand and can be used for typical tablet activities in addition to controlling the big screen (no camera is included). Wisely, Vizio also throws in a more conventional button-style remote for those who prefer to control their video the old-fashion way.

Our verdict was that while the display has an impressive-looking overall picture, and very good price, there are still some issues that need to be clarified before making a purchase.

Read more of our review of the Vizio P50-C1 after the jump:

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