Roku Adds RCA Brand To Camp Of Roku TV Licensees

April 26th, 2017 · 2160p, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Blu-ray Players, Cable TV, Connected TVs, Full HD 1080p, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, Live OTT services, News, OTT services, search and recommendation, Streaming Services, voice command

 

Roku revealed Tuesday that the RCA brand has joined the stable of TV vendors that will offer integrated Roku TVs this year.

The RCA trademark is currently licensed for TV marketing in most of North America by Technicolor to Display-Vu Corp. an affiliate of Curtis International.

Roku said RCA brand TVs will leverage the Roku TV platform to build and deliver smart TVs that run the Roku OS in the U.S. and Canada. Delivery of the first RCA Roku TVs is expected “in the coming months,” Roku revealed.

RCA branded TVs, under various licensees, long have been staples of discount giant Walmart in addition to Sears and other high-volume discount store chains. At one point in its history–under Thomson SA, which later became Technicolor–the TV brand was a perennial color television market share leader in the United States. It was also among the first brands at the launch of the television industry.

Under licensee On Corp., the RCA TV brand was used to market lines of “Roku-Ready RCA TVs,” like the model pictured at top. Those models bundled RCA HDTVs with a Roku streaming stick to add the Roku streaming experience. The fully integrated sets, speed up the process of using the TV and finding and selecting streaming services and favorite programs, and integrate easy to find sources for cable and satellite TV boxes, Blu-ray players and other devices.

Read more about the new RCA Roku TV plans after the jump:

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Oppo Delivers Flagship Audiophile UDP-205 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player

April 25th, 2017 · 2160p, 3D Blu-ray player, Audio, Blu-ray Discs, Blu-ray Players, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, HDMI, HDR, News, object-based audio, Sound Systems, Surround Sound, Surround Sound Systems, UHDTV, Ultra HD Blu-ray Players, Video Processors

 

Golden-earred home theater enthusiasts will be happy to learn that Oppo Digital’s eagerly awaited audiophile-grade Ultra HD Blu-ray player, model UDP-205, is now available on the company’s web site.

The sister model to Oppo’s high-quality $549 UDP-203, which was HD Guru’s top-performing Ultra HD Blu-ray player pick last year, the UDP-205 rings in at an eye-watering $1,299, but Oppo assures that the universal disc player supports 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and many other digital audio and video formats, in addition to producing state-of-the-art audio accuracy.

Read more on Oppo’s new flagship audiophile-grade UDP-205 Ultra HD Blu-ray player after the jump:

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Sling TV Cloud DVR Feature Now Available On Apple TV

April 24th, 2017 · Amazon, Connected TVs, DVR, electronic program guides, News, OTT services, Skinny TV services, Streaming Services

 

Live over-the-top (OTT) streaming service Sling TV said Monday that the cloud DVR service it has made available to Sling TV subscribers using Amazon FireTV, Roku and Android media streaming adapters for the past several weeks is now available for Apple TV users as well.

Owners of Apple TV media streaming devices who have a Sling TV subscription are now able to purchase 50 hours of DVR storage for $5 per month. The service allows Sling TV viewers to time shift favorite live programs to view later, provided the program is on one of the channels that permits cloud DVR functionality, Ben Weinberger, Sling TV chief product officer, posted in a blog on the Sling TV web site.

Read more on the addition of the Sling TV Cloud DVR option to Apple TV after the jump:

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Review: Samsung HW-MS650 1-pc Soundbar Delivers Bass Of A Subwoofer

April 21st, 2017 · Audio, center channel, Connected TVs, front channels, HDMI, HDR, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, News, OTT services, rear surround channel, Sound Bars, Sound Systems, Streaming Services, sub woofer, Surround Sound, Surround Sound Systems, UHDTV, Ultra HD Blu-ray Players, Wireless Audio

 

It’s becoming more and more common that purchasers of new 4K Ultra HDTVs and even Full HD 1080p models get their new big-screen home and quickly become entranced by the immersive visual experience offered by the latest and greatest video technologies. But then comes the disconnect – the sound from the TV’s tiny speakers is flat, shrill and lacking deep bottom to match the illusion of reality on screen.

Most on-board TV sound systems today lack the punch of the bass and mid-range clarity to hear both detail and understandable dialog. An obvious solution is to purchase a full-blown multichannel surround system, but that can be very expensive and you’ll need a room with sufficient space to set up speakers and components.

The next best option then is a soundbar, which will produce fuller top-end and midrange sound along with deep bass. This usually means getting a 2-piece soundbar with an external subwoofer, but here again space is needed on the floor somewhere near the TV for the sub, presenting the challenge of hiding the black box and connecting wires within the room décor while not blocking the sound needed to complete the AV sensory experience.

Of course, one-piece soundbars have been around for years but without the sub, the tiny woofers in these thin, squat and elongated boxes are left to do the heavy lifting. The included woofers are typically small and woefully inadequate to create the deep bass and room-shaking bottom needed to sell the reality of explosions and rocket launches in a movie without introducing ear-mashing distortion at peak volumes.

Enter Samsung’s new HW-MS650 Sound+ soundbar , created with the help of audio engineering experts at Samsung’s new and elaborate Northern California sound lab. Samsung’s audio team has created a one-piece soundbar offering a surprisingly wide, full, clear top-end and midrange plus impressively deep integrated bass that sounds as if an external subwoofer is hidden somewhere in the room.

Read more of our review of the Samsung HW-MS650 after the jump:

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Samsung, Amazon To Bring HDR10+ Metadata, Content To 4K Ultra HDTVs

April 20th, 2017 · 2160p, 4K Curved Screeen, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Amazon, Connected TVs, HDR, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, News, Streaming Services, UHDTV

 

Samsung Electronics and Amazon used the site of next week’s National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Convention Wednesday to formally announce that Amazon Video will be carrying content with dynamic metadata supporting Samsung’s HDR10+ technology.

HDR10+ is a Samsung-developed “open standard” that will bring HDR-like benefits—including enhanced contrast and colors–to a wide range of HDR-supporting Ultra HDTVs.

All of Samsung’s 2017 Ultra HDTVs, including the top-tier Q series models, support HDR10+ out of the box, and Samsung’s 2016 4K Ultra HDTVs will soon add support for it through a pending firmware update, the company said.

Samsung will be looking for additional partners to consider adding support for the open HDR10+ system in broadcast and streaming services as well as other televisions.

Read more on Samsung’s HDR10+ announcement after the jump:

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Hulu Readies Live TV As Sling TV Links Up With LG

April 20th, 2017 · 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Cable TV, Connected TVs, Digital Media Receivers, DVR, Full HD 1080p, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, LG Electronics, News, OLED, OLED, OTT services, Satellite TV, Skinny TV services, Streaming Services

 

The selection of live over-the-top TV services is about to get even larger following reports this week that Hulu is planning to launch its long-promised live TV service next month.

The launch timing report first surfaced on TechCrunch, which cited internal company communications and confidential sources. The May launch will be a bit behind schedule after Hulu originally sought to deliver the service sometime during the first quarter of 2017.

If accurate, Hulu’s Live TV service will join a similar YouTube TV service that launched earlier this month, in addition to Dish’s Sling TV, Sony’s PlayStation Vue, fuboTV and DirecTV NOW, all offering similar propositions to help viewers “cut the cord” with scaled-down channel packages (and prices) delivered over broadband connections.

In related news, Sling TV said this week that LG TVs with the webOS smart TV operating system will be adding an app enabling LG smart TV owners to receive for the first time its services directly through the TV without the need for an add-on media adapter. More on this below.

Read more on the latest live OTT TV developments after the jump:

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Sony Introduces A9 Silent-Shooting 4K UHD Mirrorless Camera

April 19th, 2017 · 2160p, Digital Camera/Camcorder, Digital Cameras, HDR, News, UHDTV

                                                             Sony Electronics U.S. president Mike Fasulo

Sony used an elaborate New York City press event to launch the new flagship of its Alpha professional level lineup in the A9 mirrorless full-frame camera.

Promoted as the ultimate tool for professional photographers and photo journalists, the $4,499 suggested retail camera (body only, shipping in June) offers a number of revolutionary features including silent burst shooting at speeds up to 20 fps with Auto Focus and Auto Exposure; 4K Ultra HD video capture at up to 30 fps internally and an advanced AF/AE system capable of 60 frame calculations per second.

Add to that fact that the camera is “half the size and weight of other cameras in its class.”

At the same time, Sony introduced a new FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master telephoto lens (available in July at a $2,499 suggested retail) with reduced size and weight to complement the diminutive A9 body.

Read more about Sony’s A9 mirrorless full-frame interchangeable lens camera after the jump:

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Hisense Gears Up To Seize Opportunities In Changing TV Market

April 14th, 2017 · 2160p, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Amazon, Connected TVs, Front Projection, front projectors, HDR, Laser HDTV, laser projectors, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, News, UHDTV

                                The Hisense H9D 4K Ultra LED LCD TV

As other popular television brands are feeling the pinch of failed acquisition plans and under-performing television businesses, China’s Hisense is gearing up for an expansion of business in the United States in 2017.

Mark Viken, Hisense USA marketing VP, told HD Guru Friday that challenges facing his competitors, Vizio and LeEco, in the wake of LeEco’s failed acquisition and the continued collapse of the once giant TV maker Toshiba in Japan, spell opportunity for Hisense, which by some accounts is the world’s third or fourth largest television maker.

“There’s a little bit of disruption in the force and we are looking at an opportunity to build the business behind our great products and great supply. Corporately, we are very sound financially and if there are opportunities, I don’t think the company will be afraid to invest in those,” said Viken.

A giant in its native China, Hisense, Viken said, has only scratched the surface of what it intends to bring to the U.S. and other global territories, where Hisense was known for many years primarily as an original equipment manufacturer for other TV brands.

Read more on Hisense’s accelerating marketing plans after the jump:

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