Roku Kicks Off National Streaming Day Promotion

May 15th, 2017 · 2160p, 720p HD, Connected TVs, Digital Media Receivers, Full HD 1080p, HD 3D Content, HDMI, HDR, Live OTT services, News, object-based audio, OTT services, Skinny TV services, Streaming Services, UHD (4K) Media Players, UHDTV

 

Roku, the maker of some of the most popular add-on media streamers for accessing more than 5,000 streaming channels, is offering free content and a $10 discount on its popular Roku players in celebration of National Streaming Day on May 20th.

Kicking off the week leading up to the special day, anyone interested in adding so-called “smart TV” functionality to an unconnected television or a smart TV that might lack some popular services, can purchase one of several Roku set-tops or a USB streaming stick for a special savings as well as get access to free content available to Roku customers.

In celebration of the event, Roku released the findings of a recent study of streaming viewer uses and preferences, including data from Nielsen showing the average American spends 30.55 hours a week watching television, and that streaming continues to soar as Roku users streamed more than 3 billion hours of video and music in the first quarter of 2017 alone, up from more than 9 billion throughout 2016.

Read more on Roku’s promotion and streaming video user data after the jump:

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Review: LeEco uMax85 4K Ultra HDTV Is A Solid HDR, 3D Performer

May 12th, 2017 · 2160p, 3D HDTV, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Amazon, Calibration, electronic program guides, Full Array LED Backlit with Local Dimming, HDMI, HDR, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, News, screen mirroring, Streaming Services, UHDTV

 

For some, one of the primary benefits of getting a 4K Ultra HDTV is to enjoy sharp, clear high resolution images on the largest screen sizes they can afford.

LeEco has attempted to answer that desire by offering its 85-inch uMax85 4K Ultra HD LED-LCD TV at a surprisingly low $5,499 suggested retail price, with periodic sales dropping that under the $5,000 threshold at select times.

The huge set features a full-array back lighting system with 448 zones of local dimming. This affords greater local control of each of the zones across the LCD back plane, enabling the back light to be almost completely turned off when generating dark blacks, or boosted to generate bright whites and yellows when watching specular highlights in high dynamic range (HDR) content, without bleeding over into neighboring LED zones.

The result is a huge picture with inky black levels that don’t crush low-light details but still keep colors bright, natural and accurate. However, the peak highlights were only moderately bright for a 4K/HDR set of this size and price, and the lack of a color management system makes it difficult to fine tune color points, perfectly.

The uMax85 does not employ quantum dot technology, although LeEco has shown its next-generation uMaxQ85  model that is to expected to bring that capability in the future.

What you do get is a big moderately bright picture that we tested at surpassing 90 percent of the DCI/P3 color gamut, as advertised. With a picture this big, the eye can easily pick up the resolution benefits that the 4K 3840x2160p pixels (four times that of Full HD 1080) provide when viewing native 4K content.

Colors illuminated by spectral and specular highlights in HDR10 content are bright, vibrant and lifelike. The set automatically recognizes an incoming signal from an Ultra HD Blu-ray player or a streaming movie and switches the set into “HDR Mode”. Where available in streaming content, the uMax85 will play the alternative Dolby Vision HDR profile, and eventually that will be available via certain Ultra HD Blu-ray discs as well.

Read more of our review of the LeEco uMax85 after the jump:

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TCL Launches 2017 Roku TVs With Dolby Vision HDR

May 11th, 2017 · 2160p, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Amazon, Connected TVs, Full HD 1080p, HDR, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, News

 

TCL formally introduced Thursday its first Dolby Vision-enabled 2017 4K Ultra HD Roku TVs which will soon begin to appear at authorized dealers around the country.

Roku TVs, which are built around a simple to use on-screen user interface and huge library of streaming service apps, have been among the most popular smart TVs in the industry for the last two years. The TCL release marks the first time Roku is offering a 4K Ultra HDTV product that streams 4K/HDR content supporting both the baseline HDR10 and premium Dolby Vision HDR platforms.

Among a few benefits, Dolby Vision utilizes dynamic metadata which allows grading for color and brightness levels on a scene-by-scene, and even frame-by-frame basis for a more realistic presentation than the standard HDR10 profile. That so-called generic HDR format uses only static metadata requiring that an entire movie is graded at one level from beginning to end.

TCL is offering six such models across two series — the C and P series, which both include 4K/HDR with Dolby Vision, and a wide color gamut, produced through the use of “NBP Photon Technology,” which is basically a poor man’s quantum dots. The technology uses phosphor coated LEDs to produce a quantum dot-like wide color gamut coverage area.

The TVs also employ Contrast Control technologies for a wide range of brightness levels to produce deeper blacks and brighter whites.

Read more on TCL’s new C and P Series 4K Ultra HD Roku LED LCD TVs with Dolby Vision after the jump:

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Onkyo Unveils TX-RZ20 AV Receiver Series Trio

May 10th, 2017 · 2160p, 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, Second Screen, Sound Systems, Streaming Services, sub woofer, Surround Sound, Surround Sound Systems, UHDTV, Wireless Audio

 

Onkyo USA introduced this week three new 7.2-channel audio/video receivers in its premium RZ series, due to hit retail stores in June.

The new models are targeted at discerning home theater aficionados looking for a multifunctional network AV receiver that is easy to use and presents accurate and immersive music and sound.

The models include: the THX “Certified Select” TX-RZ820 ($1,399 suggested retail), pictured at top; the THX Certified Select TX-RZ720 ($1,099) and the TX-RZ620 ($899).

Read more about the new Onkyo RZ series network AV receivers after the jump:

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Gap: Samsung, LG, Vizio, Sony Topped Q1 TV Retail Placements

May 8th, 2017 · 2160p, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Amazon, Connected TVs, Full HD 1080p, HDR, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, LG Electronics, News, OLED, UHD 4K OLED, UHDTV

 

If you are preparing to go into a consumer electronics retail store or major department store chain to purchase a new TV, be prepared to see a lot of the same familiar brands dominating the presentation shelves.

That’s because television retail placements over the first three months of 2017 continued to follow close to the same established patterns for shelf share by brand as in recent periods.  Samsung, LG, Vizio and Sony, respectively, comprised the top four labels occurring most often on retail showroom floors and in newspaper ad circulars during the period, according to new report released by San Diego-based market research firm “gap intelligence.”

During the first quarter of 2017, the TV retail shelf space of the four major brands dominated the placement rankings: Samsung, LG, Vizio, and Sony captured a combined total of nearly 60 percent of all TV placements across the United States, said Deirdre Kennedy, television market researcher for gap.

Read more on first quarter 2017 TV shelf-placement rankings after the jump:

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LG C7P, E7P, G7P 2017 4K Ultra HD OLED TVs On Special

May 6th, 2017 · 2160p, 4K Flat Panel, Amazon, Connected TVs, HDR, LG Electronics, News, OLED, OLED, Streaming Services, UHD 4K OLED, UHDTV

 

Let the 2017 television sales begin! Select LG dealers have begun the price slashing on select 2017 4K Ultra HD OLED TVs early.

LG has relaxed its unilateral pricing policy (UPP) terms for 2017 4K Ultra HD OLED TVs in its E7P and C7P series, including the 65-inch and 55-inch screen sizes, listings on Amazon show now. It is also offering the 65-inch 65G7P Signature Series model for a limited time at a reduced $6,498 through authorized dealers.

Amazon and its affiliate dealers are now showing special sale prices on the models, reflecting a $503 savings and more, per model, on LG’s originally announced prices of $4,499.99 and $5,999.99, for the LG 55E7P and LG65E7P, respectively; and  $3,499.99 and $4,999.99, for the 55C7P and 65C7P , respectively.

Read more about the LG 55C7P and other C7P and E7P models on sale after the jump:

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DirecTV Now Live OTT App Comes To LeEco TVs

May 4th, 2017 · 2160p, 3D UHDTV, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, Connected TVs, Digital Media Receivers, electronic program guides, Full Array LED Backlit with Local Dimming, HDMI, HDR, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, Live OTT services, Microdisplay Rear Projection, News, OTT services, Skinny TV services, Streaming Services, UHDTV

 

LeEco announced Thursday that the app for the DirecTV Now live over-the-top (OTT) streaming service is now available on its Super4 X43 , X55 , X65 and uMax85 4K Ultra HDTVs, via a firmware update that is being delivered now.

The move marks the first time the DirecTV Now app for live streaming TV service will be available on a smart TV platform. LeEco TVs have a smart TV platform based on the Android TV operating system. Up until now, DirecTV Now has been only available on a variety of media adapters and gaming consoles.

To initiate the software update, users need to power on the LeEco TV and connect to the internet. A software update alert will then appear on screen with the option to update the firmware. The software can also be manually updated from the TV’s home screen by navigating to the System Update app.

Read about the LeEco 4K Ultra HDTV update with DirecTV Now after the jump:

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Hulu Kicks Off Beta Launch Of Live OTT TV Service

May 3rd, 2017 · Cable TV, Connected TVs, Digital Media Receivers, electronic program guides, Full HD 1080p, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, Live OTT services, News, OTT services, search and recommendation, Skinny TV services, Streaming Services

 

Over-the-top (OTT) streaming service Hulu officially introduced Wednesday the beta launch of Hulu With Live TV, its skinny TV service with monthly pricing packages starting at $39.99 for 50 channels.

The service–which joins a growing field of slimmed-down live OTT streaming providers including: Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, Direc TV Now and YouTube TV–will include major over-the-air (OTA) broadcast network programming from ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC offering local TV stations corresponding to the viewer’s market (where available), and a selection of cable TV networks including ESPN, CNN, Fox News, TBS, TNT and Disney Channel.

Showtime will be offered as a premium channel add-on for $9 extra.

However, the local broadcast network stations only will be available in Chicago, L.A., New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco to start. Hulu said it is working with station groups to add local channels in additional markets going forward.

Read more on the Hulu With Live TV beta launch after the jump:

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