DISH Adds NBA Team Pass As DirecTV Goes OTT

October 25th, 2016 · Connected TVs, News, Satellite TV, Satellite UHD 4K TV, Second Screen, Sling Box


It’s been a big week in the satellite TV world, with word that DISH is going after sports enthusiasts with a new team-specific subscription offer for NBA fans, following word that DirecTV is about to launch an over-the-top live-channel streaming service to rival DISH’s Sling TV.

DISH revealed Tuesday that it is the first multi-channel TV service provider to offer subscribers the new NBA Team Pass package providing access to all the games of a favorite NBA team throughout the season for a reduced rate of $119.

Subscribers may elect to follow any one of the 30 NBA teams through the add-on sports package to get access to live out-of-market games.

DISH will continue to offer NBA League Pass, which provides access to all out-of-market NBA games throughout the full season for a $199 fee offering up to 40 live games from around the league every week and on demand.

The offering is especially beneficial to displaced fans who might live in a market other than that of their favorite NBA team.

Read more on the DISH’s NBA Team Pass after the jump:

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Netgear Nighthawk X10 Router To Make 4K Streaming A Snap

October 19th, 2016 · 2160p, Connected TVs, News, routers, Streaming Services, UHDTV, Wireless HD


Those having trouble smoothly streaming 4K Ultra HD video to multiple devices in the home, office or on the go at the same time might have an inadequate or poorly performing Wi-Fi router.

Netgear introduced Thursday a possible solution in its speedy Nighthawk X10 AD7200 Smart Wi-Fi router (model R9000) that combines a beefy 1.7GHz quad core processor, AD7200 quad-stream Wave 2 Wi-Fi architecture and next-generation high-speed 802.11ad Wi-Fi technology in one low-profile device.

The router, which is available through e-commerce, CE and AV retailers now, rings in at a $499.99 suggested retail price, and is said to deliver blazing-fast combined wireless speeds at up to 7.2Gbps.

The latest MU-MIMO technology used by the router supports simultaneous streaming, while 160MHz doubles Wi-Fi speeds to mobile devices. Further, the router is equipped with four proprietary external Active Antennas that amplify the Wi-Fi signals to maximize range and throughput of the short-range AD system around the home or property.

Read more on the Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 Smart Wi-Fi router after the jump:

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LeEco North America Launches Product, Content Ecosystem Including 4K Ultra HDTVs

October 19th, 2016 · 2160p, 4K Flat Panel, 4K Front Projection, 4K LED LCD, Connected TVs, electronic program guides, Full Array LED Backlit with Local Dimming, HDMI, HDR, LCD Flat Panel, News, Second Screen, Streaming Services, UHDTV

                               LeEco CEO JT Jia at the company’s press conference Wednesday.

China-based tech and content company LeEco let its unusual and highly comprehensive global marketing plan for North America out of the bag Wednesday, unveiling an assortment of high-performance and highly styled 4K Ultra HD LED LCD TVs it will leverage in its “disruptive” ecosystem strategy.

The synergistic plan will link hardware, Cloud-based internet delivery, content, diverse hardware products and price-aggressive online retailing.

Starting Nov. 2nd, two new series of LeEco-branded TVs will be sold over the company’s ecommerce portal, with a package including streaming content services and programming, some of which LeEco is producing itself through its LeVision unit. Revenue from the streaming services and advertising over the platform will help to subsidize the cost of the TV hardware, enabling aggressive price points for premium TVs.

Meanwhile, the Vizio TV operations, in which the company announced plans to acquire controlling interest, will continue to market its own value-directed TV products through traditional retail channels in North America.

The LeEco “ecotvs” are only one part of the company’s comprehensive assortment of global products and businesses, which each play into the ecosystem that links direct products and devices through the company’s LeCloud servers, platforms and user interfaces.

LeEco’s LeVision unit is producing popular movies for the Chinese market, and has recently expanded to produce movies for a global market including the upcoming release, “The Great Wall,” starring Matt Damon. LeEco boasts that its content ecosystem will be open, meaning that content it produces for its own streaming services will be open for distribution via other services as well.

At one point in the company’s flashy West Coast sendoff that was live-streamed on the website, LeEco Chairman JT Jia said people have variously compared LeEco to Apple, Netflix, Samsung, Tesla and Disney all in one.

That’s because in addition to innovative TVs, LeEco is marketing a line of advanced smartphones, virtual reality headsets, set-top streaming boxes, headphones, electric bicycles, and even electric cars. It is also offering an over-the-top streaming platform and “Ecosystem User Interface (eui)” to help users easily navigate available programing from many content partners. LeEco also will have on its products a LeView section that ties premium content together using its aforementioned cloud service, employing advanced digital rights management supplied by Qualcomm to assure major participating studios like Lionsgate that their movies and television programs won’t be pirated.

Read more on LeEco’s formal North American sendoff and its forthcoming TVs after the jump:

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Review: Roku Ultra Streams Brilliant HDR 4K Video

October 17th, 2016 · 2160p, Amazon, Connected TVs, Digital Media Receivers, electronic program guides, HDMI, HDR, screen mirroring, search and recommendation, Second Screen, Streaming Services, UHD (4K) Media Players, UHDTV


Adding HDR 10 high dynamic range (HDR) support, to a package containing a powerful quad core processor, and fast dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity, the new premium Roku Ultra set-top media streamer provides one of the most complete solutions for receiving the best video quality the Web has to offer.

The inclusion of HDR makes 4K Ultra HD a suddenly very sensible enhanced feature benefit, by presenting improvements in contrast and color are a very noticeable.

To get the most out of this device, a higher-performing 4K Ultra HDTV will be necessary. This will enable you to enjoy both the high resolution and wide contrast performance benefits offered by streaming videos encoded with HDR metadata as well as 8x better resolution benefits of 4K Ultra HD.

If you don’t have a 4K Ultra HDTV with HDR and don’t plan on getting one, a less expensive Roku option is available from among the list of new devices the company just introduced along with the $129.99 Roku Ultra.

The new flagship Roku rings in at the same price as last year’s Roku 4, which brought 4K Ultra HD streaming to the Roku family for the first time, and there are many similarities between that device and the Roku Ultra. But the Ultra nearly completes the 4K Ultra HD picture with the addition of HDR. But the new streamer supports only the HDR 10 format, and does not support the rival Dolby Vision system, which is currently found on a handful of movies from Warner Bros. and others on the Vudu streaming app. You can still watch those movies in 4K resolution, but you won’t get the boost in brightness, contrast and color of HDR that makes pictures pop. Luckily, the libraries of supporting HDR 10 content is ramping up, so plenty of options are now or will soon be available to test the new performance benefits available by this latest advancement.

Read more of our review of the Roku Ultra after the jump:

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Vizio Reveals Firmware Update Redo For P-, M- Series 4K Ultra HD `Displays’

October 13th, 2016 · 2160p, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Connected TVs, HDMI, HDR, News, Second Screen, Streaming Services, UHDTV, Ultra HD Blu-ray Players


Owners of Vizio 2016 P- and M-series 4K Ultra HD “entertainment displays” who might have been experiencing problems with the recent firmware update that delivered compatibility with the HDR 10 high dynamic range format, will be pleased to know that the company has released a firmware update to its firmware update.

Vizio said Wednesday that the latest update will be rolling out to SmartCast Series (P- and M- series) displays. These models lack built-in over-the-air tuners and therefore do not qualify to be called television sets or TVs.

Read more on Vizio’s firmware update for 2016 P- and M-series “entertainment displays” after the jump:

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IHS Study: 4K Ultra HD HDR To Take Major TV Market Share By 2020

October 12th, 2016 · 2160p, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, 720p HD, Full HD 1080p, HDR, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, LG Electronics, News, OLED, UHD 4K OLED, UHDTV


Shipments in the U.S. of consumer television sets supporting high dynamic range (HDR) picture enhancements will reach more than 4 million units in 2016 on a path to growth that should reach more than 30 million units by 2020, according to market research released Wednesday by IHS Markit.

Paul Gagnon, IHS Technology director of TV research cautioned that the long-term growth prospects are conditioned on the consumer electronics industry doing an adequate job of properly communicating the benefits of the broader contrast ratio and wider color gamut afforded by the new technology.

“As with many new technologies in the TV market, the ability to introduce them to consumers in a way that communicates the value is crucial to achieving lasting premiums and profits,” Gagnon said.

Read more on the HDR TV sales forecast after the jump:

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Review: Sony XBR-55X930D Offers Stunning 4K HDR In An Edge-lit Display

October 11th, 2016 · 2160p, 3D HDTV, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Connected TVs, HDMI, HDR, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, Streaming Services, Test Equipment, UHDTV


The 55-inch Sony XBR-X930D Series of 4K Ultra HD TV is one of the company’s top level edge-lit 4K LED LCD TVs this year, reaching “premium level” brightness, black level and high dynamic range (HDR 10 format) performance to produce superb picture contrast, and accurate colors.

The X930D series represents Sony’s third-best assortment of 4K Ultra HDTV models for 2016, and at the current $1,698 retail price for the 55-inch model we tested, you’ll get a respectable bargain and satisfying picture quality if you’re not quite ready to pony up for one of Sony’s higher-performing units with full array LED backlighting and local dimming. That feature only comes in the step-up Sony X940D or new flagship Z series models, in addition to top of the line Samsung sets and P- or Reference Series Vizios. The trade off will be an image without the same degree of black level richness, and some detail crushing in both the bright white and deep black areas of the picture.

What you will get in this television is a beautiful image with decent motion processing, wonderful 10-bit panel performance that almost completely eliminates banding (Sony won’t say if it uses a 10-bit panel but it sure looks like it), an improved (not perfect) viewing angle from last year’s models, and beautiful HDR performance with vibrant specular highlights and deep blacks in the same frame, while mitigating to some extent the fine detail crushing in the dark shadows.

Performance-wise, the X930D stands shoulder to shoulder with Samsung’s curved-screen UN55KS9500, which is that brand’s top-performing 55-inch edge-lit curved LED LCD TV this year, and currently runs about $300 more.

Read more about the Sony XBR-55X930D after the break:

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Hitachi Adds 4K Ultra HDTVs With Built-In Roku OS

October 6th, 2016 · 2160p, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Amazon, Connected TVs, HDMI, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, News, Streaming Services, UHDTV


Hitachi America introduced Thursday three 4K Ultra HD Roku TV models in the U.S., each featuring the Roku OS smart TV platform.

Models include the 50-inch 50R8 ($499 suggested retail), the 55-inch 55R7, ($599 suggested retail price), which will be available at Sam’s Club in early October, and the 65-inch 65R8 ($999). The 50- and 65-inch models will follow shortly behind the 55-inch 55R7, Hitachi said.

All models include quad-core processors, offer 3840x2160p 4K Ultra HD resolution and the Roku easy user interface with access to more than 3,500 streaming service apps with more than 350,000 movies and TV episodes. The sets will also feature Roku’s 4K Spotlight channel that offers curated 4K streaming content for quick and easy access to native 4K Ultra HD titles from providers like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon and others.

Read more on Hitachi’s Roku TVs after the jump:

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