Review: Kaleidescape Strato The Best 4K Player We’ve Tested

July 26th, 2017 · 2160p, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Blu-ray Discs, Blu-ray Players, Blu-ray Titles, Connected TVs, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, DVD Players, electronic program guides, Full HD 1080p, HDMI, HDR, News, OLED, UHD 4K OLED, UHDTV, Ultra HD Blu-ray Players

 

If you are a videophile looking for the best Ultra HD Blu-ray player the industry has to offer, you might not want an optical disc player at all, but, rather, a movie player based on hard drive storage.

We say this after recently testing the Kaleidescape Strato hard-drive-based set-top box designed to store and play hundreds of purchased movies and programs in up to full Ultra HD Blu-ray quality with HDR and advanced lossless audio including: Dolby TrueHD (including object-based Dolby Atmos), DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS:X, and PCM.

Movies are downloaded, stored and cataloged on the unit’s internal hard drives and can be quickly accessed through an elaborate and attractive graphical user interface, which provides information not only on the content, but on the technology in which it’s presented. Users need only press a button to see if they are listening to Dolby Atmos, or watching true 4K Ultra HD video with HDR.

However, if you have one of the latest-and-greatest 4K Ultra HDTVs with HDR support, the picture and sound quality will be fairly obvious without the need for additional visual aids.

Read more of our review of the Kaleidescape 4K Strato server and movie player after the jump:

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Nikon Teases New D850 Full-Frame DSLR

July 25th, 2017 · 2160p, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Digital Camera/Camcorder, Digital Cameras, Lenses, News, UHDTV

 

Nikon celebrated its 100th Anniversary Tuesday by making a pre-release teaser announcement of its newest mid-range full-frame DSLR — the D850.

The FX-format D850 is slated to succeed the D810, and is “engineered with a range of new technologies,” the company said, without providing specs or details.

Read more about the Nikon D850 sneak peek after the jump:

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Pay TV Providers Ready New Native 4K UHD Offerings

July 24th, 2017 · 2160p, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Cable TV, Connected TVs, DVR, HDR, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, News, OLED, OLED, OTT services, Satellite TV, Satellite UHD 4K TV, Streaming Services, UHD 4K OLED, UHDTV

 

Significantly more native 4K Ultra HDTV content may be coming soon through a cable or telco TV operator in your area, thanks to a series of technology trails under way by more than 30 U.S. pay TV providers.

Commercial satellite TV distribution service SES, which offers backbone technologies and services of satellite-delivered video programming to pay-TV companies, said Monday it had signed on an additional 9 cable and telco companies to begin testing its 4K content delivery platform. The additional operators helped SES tally more than 30 companies now in trials with its 4K content distribution technology.

SES’s all-in-one Ultra HD platform combines satellite distribution services, reception gear, and one of the largest 4K Ultra HD channel line-ups available in the world. Channels offered through the system include: Fashion One 4K, Travelxp 4K, 4KUNIVERSE, NASA TV UHD, INSIGHT TV, UHD1, C4K360, Funbox UHD, Nature Relaxation 4K and SES’s UHD demonstration channel.

The rollout of specialized programming lineups parallels the launch of native HD and Full HD content in the early phases of those video transitions, but the availability of over-the-air broadcasts in 4K will likely take a bit longer to arrive around the country than it did for the first high-definition TV broadcasts.

This makes the availability of content via pay-TV services all the more important.

Read more about the SES 4K Ultra HD pay TV trials after the jump:

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CTA Forecast: 4K Ultra HDTVs To Grow 59% In 2017

July 21st, 2017 · 2160p, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Connected TVs, HDR, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, News, OLED, OLED, UHD 4K OLED, UHDTV

 

The Consumer Technology Association released mid-year forecasts this week showing that newer technologies like high dynamic range (HDR) are helping to boost sales of some 4K Ultra HD TV segments, but overall, the television business is seeing shipment declines this year.

High dynamic range offers pictures with a wider range of contrast from darker blacks to deeper whites while preserving fine color and grayscale detail in both the darkest and brightest portions of the picture.

Most consumers will see it as much more vibrant and realistic colors overall, with bright peak elements appearing (and measuring) brighter than the surrounding elements in the picture. Things like bright torches at night and explosions seem more real.

The CTA’s “U.S. Consumer Technology Sales and Forecasts” said this week that these HDR features are continuing to resonate with consumers. The report said that 4K UHD TVs are one of the industry’s fastest growing segments, far outpacing the transition to HDTV, with unit sales forecast to hit 16.7 million units. The CTA said that would represent a 59 percent increase, and generate $14.6 billion in wholesale dollar revenue, up 45 percent from 2016.

These advanced televisions represent one of a series of “connected” product categories that the CTA shows bringing growth in unit sales and factory dollar volume to the overall consumer electronics industry.

Read more about the CTA’s mid-year sales forecasts after the jump:

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Paramount To Release Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos Ultra HD Blu-ray Titles

July 20th, 2017 · 2160p, 3LCD front projectors, 3LCD projectors, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Blu-ray Discs, Blu-ray Players, Blu-ray Titles, Connected TVs, Dolby Atmos, HDR, height channels, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, News, object-based audio, OTT services, Streaming Services, Surround Sound, UHDTV

 

Paramount Home Media Distribution will start mastering and releasing movies with Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR) and, in some cases, with Dolby Atmos object-based surround sound on Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs and video streaming, Dolby revealed Thursday.

Paramount joins a list of top Hollywood studios that have committed to Dolby’s HDR format, which among other things, enables dynamic metadata that makes use of material color graded at varying brightness levels on a scene-by-scene or even shot-by-shot basis, instead of grading at one set level across an entire production.

The added flexibility is said to produce images that are more lifelike and detailed.

Because support for HDR10 is deemed mandatory in Ultra HD Blu-ray specifications when using HDR, and because Dolby Vision also shares the same Electro Optical Transfer Function (EOTF) as HDR10 any UHD Blu-ray Dolby Vision HDR discs are also expected to include support for HDR10.

Read more about Paramount joining the Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos list after the jump:

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EPA Issues `Final Draft’ Of Energy Star V.8 For TVs

July 18th, 2017 · 2160p, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Connected TVs, electronic program guides, Full HD 1080p, HDR, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, News, OLED, OLED, Test Equipment, TV Tables, UHD 4K OLED, UHDTV

 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this week issued the Final Draft Version 8.0 of its Energy Star TV specifications, which are to take effect April 16, 2018.

In the process of completing the draft, the EPA offered industry stake holders an opportunity to comment on any concerns in criteria outlined in the second draft of the specifications that were being updated and revised.

The EPA said many of the submitted comments concerned proposals to require Automatic Brightness Controls (ABCs) on all or most of the pre-established picture modes in a television as well as requests that software updates delivered after the initial setup of a television not be allowed to boost power consumption levels above that which was tested and certified for Energy Star approvals.

The EPA said most of the fielded comments were “generally supportive.”

Read more on the EPA’s Engery Star for Televisions v.8 final draft after the jump:

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Sharp P7000, P8000, P5000 LED LCD TV Lines Hit Retail

July 17th, 2017 · 2160p, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Amazon, Connected TVs, Full Array LED Backlit with Local Dimming, Full HD 1080p, HDR, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, News, UHDTV

 

New 2017 Sharp TVs from manufacturer Hisense USA are now available at select retail stores across the country, including Abt.

The line, which was first introduced at CES 17, offers a combination of advanced picture quality and value price points – a theme, which carries throughout the assortment, including the new P7000 and P8000 lines, with 4K Ultra HD HDR capability.

The company did not mention the shipping or availability schedule for its P9500 or P9000 4K Ultra HD QLED TV lines, which were also announced in January and are to add advanced quantum dot technology for wide color and HDR enhancement.

Read more on the Sharp 4K Ultra HD LED LCD TV models after the jump:

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AT&T To Bring Multi-Platform Cloud DVR Feature To Pay-TV Services

July 14th, 2017 · 2160p, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Connected TVs, DVR, electronic program guides, HDR, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, Live OTT services, News, OLED, OTT services, Satellite TV, Satellite UHD 4K TV, Skinny TV services, Sling Box, Streaming Services, UHD (4K) Media Players, UHDTV

 

AT&T said it will launch a “cloud DVR” feature to enable subscribers to its DirecTV Now live over-the-top streaming service, DirecTV satellite TV service, and U-verse telco-tv service to store recorded programs on remote servers instead of hard drives in a set-top box.

AT&T revealed through a press statement this week that new cloud DVR capability is slated to begin this summer through an invitation-only beta trial of the new feature that will enable DVR recording on DirecTV Now.

The company didn’t reveal how it plans to select the initial beta testers.

Read more on AT&T’s multi-platform cloudDVR plans after the jump:

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