Abt Begins Summer Sales With Memorial Day TV Specials

May 25th, 2017 · 2160p, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Blu-ray Discs, Blu-ray Players, Connected TVs, electronic program guides, Full Array LED Backlit with Local Dimming, HDMI, HDR, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, LG Electronics, News, screen mirroring, Second Screen, Streaming Services, UHDTV, Ultra HD Blu-ray Players

HD Guru retail partner Abt Electronics is celebrating the summer early with store wide Memorial Day specials on big-screen televisions, as well as various consumer electronics products, major appliances and home furnishings.

The limited time special runs through Monday May 29th, and includes heavily discounted prices, and other incentives including $50 and $100 bonus discounts when the appropriate codes are used on purchases over $500 and $1,000, respectively.

Abt is an HD Guru recommended retailer, largely due to its long history of keeping customers satisfied with service, free technical support, free shipping on most purchases, no sales tax requirement for many states, frequent bargains with 30-day low-price guarantees and flexible, no-hassle return policies.

Our editors have known the Chicagoland-area retailer for years and have first-hand experience purchasing items from its Web site and phone support staff for shipments over long distances.

See key 4K Ultra HDTV Memorial Day specials from Abt after the jump:

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Hisense H9D, H9D+, H7D, H6D 4K Ultra HDTVs Hit Stores

May 24th, 2017 · 2160p, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Connected TVs, HDMI, HDR, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, News, UHDTV

Hisense USA, which introduced the highly popular high-value H8C 4K LED LCD TV series last year, revealed today that select models from its 2017 H9D and H9D Plus 4K “ULED,” and H7D and H6D series of 4K Ultra HD Smart TVs are available now at authorized retailers around the country.

All of the models in the respective series hitting the market now will have 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution and will support high dynamic range (HDR) at varying quality levels determined by series. All 4K models will also have 10-bit panels, advanced 4K upscaling technology and will include a dbx-TV on-board surround sound system.

Hisense said the H7D and H6D models will start appearing in stores today, and the H9D and H9D Plus models will begin to arrive shortly thereafter.

Read more about the 2017 Hisense 4K Ultra HDTVs available now after the jump:

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LeEco Announces Massive U.S. Layoff

May 23rd, 2017 · 2160p, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Connected TVs, Full HD 1080p, HDMI, HDR, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, News, OTT services, Streaming Services, UHDTV

 

UPDATE! The future of Chinese tech giant LeEco’s ambitious plan to conquer the United States and the rest of the world through a consumer electronics/streaming services ecosystem play got a lot more complicated Tuesday.

LeEco officially announced that it had laid off 325 U.S. employees, after failing to raise needed capital funding.

“The breadth of our business model is capital intensive, and our leadership has been working to secure the appropriate level of funding for the U.S.,” LeEco said in a company statement Tuesday afternoon. “While we’ve made progress in growing our distribution channels, the challenges with raising new capital have made it difficult in the past few months to support all of our business’ priorities. As a result, the capital we do have will have to be highly focused resulting in a significant restructuring and streamlining of our business, operations and workforce. This will impact approximately 325 people in the U.S.

“We believe that our vision to remove the barriers between screens for consumers is right, and analysts have acknowledged this. Because we can’t access the capital needed at this time, we will need to take a phased approach to the U.S. market.”

“We will continue to operate in the U.S. with our existing product portfolio that puts content at the heart of the experience, and we believe that our products can compete,” the company said.

LeEco said it remains committed to the U.S. and will continue supporting consumers. The company said that last week it finalized a plan on-shoring up a customer care call center in order to enhance the customer experience for U.S. consumers.

“Our goal is to continue to gain momentum,” the company continued. “In the past few months, we have gained a large foothold in Chinese-speaking households in the U.S. by offering tailor-made products and content for this community. We believe this provides us an opportunity to build on our strengths and grow from there.”

According to Bloomberg  the company is left with just 50 workers here.

Read more about LeEco’s layoff after the jump:

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EPA Considering More Stringent Brightness Controls On Energy Star TVs

May 22nd, 2017 · 2160p, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Calibration, Full HD 1080p, HDR, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, News, OLED, UHD 4K OLED, UHDTV

 

Those concerned with how the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) work on the Energy Star 8.0 standard for television energy consumption will impact next-generation 4K Ultra HDTVs and HDTVs have until Wednesday to submit comments before the measure moves to the final draft process.

Among considerations under review are putting non-defeatable automatic brightness controls (ABCs) in all or all-but-one picture mode in a television set, which could have ramifications for the flexibility TV purchasers will have in calibrating picture settings for optimal picture quality under specific room lighting conditions.

The EPA is also looking at the next set of energy consumption criteria for 4K Ultra HDTVs and high dynamic range (HDR), after receiving feedback from environmental watch dog groups who want the current level of energy use by such systems scaled back. The issue puts environmentalists at odds with some set manufacturers striving to achieve brighter and brighter HDR TV sets as the technology evolves.

One good note for picture quality fans is that it appears that the EPA is prepared to wait a bit longer on any requirements for 4K Ultra HDTVs and HDR as they study the market to get a better idea of what the actual impact is.

Jeff Joseph, senior vice president of communications and strategic relationships for the Consumer Technology Association, said Monday that “requiring that all energy savings features, including Automatic Brightness Control, persist across all preset picture modes puts the EPA squarely in the business of designing TVs. Only TV manufacturers have the experience, expertise, and user input to make such decisions related to the performance of their preset picture modes and all functionality of their products. If ABC is enabled by default in all preset picture modes, these modes will likely look very similar, if not identical. More, the requirement is completely unnecessary since consumers already receive a message that the TV is not in its best energy savings mode when ABC is disabled.”

Read more on the EPA’s next criteria for Energy Star for televisions after the jump:

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Sony Adds Pair Of Wide Angle Full-Format Lenses

May 18th, 2017 · 2160p, Digital Camera/Camcorder, Digital Cameras, Full HD 1080p, HDMI, HDR, Lenses, News, UHDTV

 

Sony continued to expand its arsenal of full-format E-mount lenses this week, with the addition of a pair of new wide-angle zooms that will fit nicely on the just introduced Sony A9 pro-level mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, among others in the Sony line.

The new lenses include the Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM ($2,198 retail), pictured at top, and the Sony FE 12-24mm f/4 G ($1,698). The new wide zooms are positioned as pro lenses for professional photographers, photo journalists and sophisticated advanced amateurs looking to take very high-quality stills and up to 4K Ultra HD video images.

The new lenses can be pre-ordered starting Friday – May 19th. The 12-24mm lens is expected to hit retailers in July, while the 16-35mm lens will be available in August.

Read more about Sony’s new wide-angle, full-format lenses after the jump:

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Marantz, Integra Add Advanced AV Receivers With Multi-room Audio

May 17th, 2017 · 2160p, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Amazon, Audio, center channel, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, front channels, HDMI, HDR, height channels, Home Automation, Live OTT services, News, object-based audio, OTT services, rear surround channel, Sound Systems, Streaming Services, sub woofer, Surround Sound, Surround Sound Systems, UHDTV, voice command, Wireless Audio

 

The AV receiver market continued to expand this week, with new introductions from high-end component brands Marantz and Integra.

Marantz unveiled a pair of slimmed down receivers hitting retail shelves this month in its NR1608 ($749 suggested retail) and NR1508 ($549) models, each of which combines advanced home theater surround sound support with multi-room music distribution.

Rival Integra, meanwhile, introduced a pair of 7.2-channel network AV receivers targeting the custom installation market in the DRX-3.1 ($1,000 suggested retail) and the DRX-2.1 ($800). Both models also support advanced home theater surround sound, and multi-room audio distribution.

The receivers from both brands include support for some of the latest 4K Ultra HDTV technologies, including, (either out-of-the-box or via a future firmware update), Dolby Vision and hybrid log-gamma (HLG) high dynamic range (HDR), in addition to the generic HDR10 system.

Read more about the new Marantz and Integra audio video receivers after the jump:

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Element, Amazon Unveil First `Fire TV Edition’ 4K Ultra HDTVs

May 16th, 2017 · 2160p, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Amazon, Connected TVs, electronic program guides, HDMI, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, News, OTT services, Streaming Services, UHDTV

Element’s Sung Choi and Amazon’s Sandeep Gupta present an Element 4K UHDTV – Fire TV Edition.

TongFang Global, manufacturer of televisions sold in the United States under the Element and Westinghouse brands, formally introduced Tuesday the first 4K Ultra HD televisions to incorporate the Fire TV operating system without the need to add on a separate set-top box or HDMI-connected media adapter.

Called the “Element 4K Ultra HDTVs – Fire TV Edition,” the televisions will fully implement the Fire TV OS giving users faster and snappier access to a host of streaming apps, including Netflix, which is prominently featured, and of course Amazon Instant Videos.

The TVs will have the same advanced content search and recommendations system used in its latest popular Fire TV set-top box and Fire TV Stick, with programs culled from user search and viewing data prominently featured in scrolling ribbons of program thumbnails on the set’s home page.

Like other Fire TV devices, the new TVs will also feature Alexa-assisted voice search and control commands via a mic built into the special Fire TV remote that ships with the TVs. The remote is virtually identical to those offered with the advanced Fire TV outboard adapters, sporting a diminutive, minimalistic button design that features the Netflix fast-access button prominently. All of the Element 4K Ultra HDTVs – Fire TV Edition will be Netflix certified models, assuring Netflix is prominently positioned and ready for fast loading and content playback.

Element will offer four models in the 43- ($449 suggested retail), 50- ($549) , 55- ($649) and 65-inch ($899) screen sizes. Pre-orders will begin today through Amazon.

TongFang will also have four 4K Ultra HD – Fire TV Edition televisions available in the same screen sizes and offered at similar price points and feature packages under the Westinghouse brand later this year, company executives said.

Read more on the Element 4K Ultra HDTVs – Fire TV Edition sets after the jump:

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Polk Unveils MagniFi MAX SR 5.1-Ch. Sound Bar With Wireless Surrounds

May 16th, 2017 · Audio, center channel, front channels, HDMI, News, rear surround channel, Sound Bars, Sound Systems, sub woofer, Surround Sound, Surround Sound Systems

Polk Audio introduced Tuesday its MagniFi MAX SR 5.1-channel sound bar, one of the company’s most advanced to date.

The MagniFi MAX SR incorporates Polk Audio’s Stereo Dimensional Array (SDA) digital surround technology that is said to expand the sound stage, while adding detail and immersive surround sound.

The MagniFi MAX SR package includes a pair of SR1 wireless surround speakers that automatically connect and pair with the sound bar to provide rear channels. The sound then can be easily fine tuned via volume and left/right balance controls through the MagniFi MAX bar.

The MagniFi MAX SR system will be available through authorized Polk retailers at a $599 suggested retail, starting in August. Polk will also make the sound bar ($499 suggested retail price) and Polk SR1 ($149) wireless surrounds available separately.

Read more about the Polk MagniFi MAX SR sound bar after the jump:

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