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The future is already here, and that future is Ultra HD, or 4K. 4K content streaming isn't going to be too far away, with Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, already talking about it.
Hastings was interviewed by Claus Bülow Christensen, the producer of the Copenhagen Future of TV Conference, where the Netflix CEO said that 4K video will arrive on tablets, notebooks and PCs first as resolutions on these devices continuously improve. This will lead to a world filled with cheaper 4K TVs, and thus, a future of 4K is not too far away.
Streaming 4K content to devices has been a topic that Hastings has been interested in, stating that the minimum requirement for streaming 4K content would be around 15Mbps. He added that anyone with a 50Mbps connection would have no problems at all. Problem is, here in Australia, the land of backwards Internet, our newly appointed government thinks 25Mbps is enough for anyone, forever.
On September 18th, Apple will be releasing a major software update for its Apple TV set-top box alongside its rollout of iOS 7. While not much is known about the update we do know that it will allow content purchased from the iTunes Store to be played on an Apple TV that does not own the content. At the moment users have to load the content onto a mobile device for playback on an Apple TV via airplay loosely similar to how Google's Chromecast works.
While many Apple TV aficionados were let down yesterday when the Cupertino-based company did not release a new set-top box, this update, when combined with the addition of new apps for VeVo, The Weather Channel, The Disney Channel, and The Smithsonian Channel, Apple TV fans should be happy at least for a few more months. Personally I love my Android-based Pivos XIOS DS media center which does everything Apple TV does, but some much more as well. Toss the $45 Chromecast into the mix, and I see no need for an Apple TV.
If you have a 4K-capable display or TV sitting in your house or office somewhere and wanted to play some content on it, you might want to check out Sony's Video Unlimited 4K service.
Sony's Video Unlimited 4K service offers up 4K content to rent or buy on Sony's 4K Ultra HD Media Player, with over 70 movies and TV shows. It includes one of my favorite TV shows of all time in 4K: Breaking Bad. 24-hour rentals will set you back $3.99, while 4K movie rentals will cost $7.99. If you want to purchase a 4K movie outright, it's going to cost you $29.99.
Sony is hoping to have over 100 titles by the end of the year, and we should see it grow extensively going into 2014.
New rumors have popped up that suggest Apple will release a new Apple TV set-top box during next week's launch event on September 10. A recently discovered filing from the Department of Homeland Security shows that on August 25, Apple took delivery of a shipment that was labeled as "Set Top Box with Communication Function"
Just a week earlier than that, a similar shipment arrived that was labeled simply "Set Top Boxes," which is leading several industry insiders to believe that Apple will indeed release a refreshed version of its Apple TV. This makes sense, too. With iOS 7 pending and two new iPhones scheduled to launch on the 10, Apple would be smart to cash in on the crowds of customers that are about to flood its stores.
It's been a long time coming, but the World of Warcraft movie finally has a filming date: January 2014. Duncan Jones is going to be getting into the director's chair for this, with his previous movie, Moon, being one of my favorite of recent years.
Legendary showed off some decent test footage at Comic-Con, announcing the studio would start filming in early 2014. Warcraft will start shooting in Vancouver on January 13, 2014, with casting yet to be announced. Since January is only a few months away, we should begin to hear about casting very, very soon.
Rumors are pegging the movie to not be some PG-rated flick, but will be a full-blooded fantasy flick, in the same path as The Lord of the Rings and will reportedly follow the RTS games from the 90s, and not World of Warcraft. The World of Warcraft, er, world, will be used in a future movie, with the current movies taking it slower and concentrating on the mid-90s titles.
CBS's blackout on Time Warner Cable has stretched into weeks, leaving all of its subscribers without the popular broadcast TV channel. As a result, TWC has decided to offer their customers a free work around that will allow them to get CBS via the over-the-air broadcast signal.
The company has started distributing digital TV antennas that, when connected to an HDTV with a built-in digital tuner or a digital tuner box, will allow consumers to receive up to 30 local over-the-air broadcast channels. This allows TWC subscribers to still get their CBS fix while it continues negotiations with CBS to bring the service back. The free antennas come in the form of a $20 Best Buy gift card, which is enough to cover a low-end HD antenna from the blue big box store.
"We regret that CBS has put our customers in this position by continuing to withhold its channels," TWC said in an email to customers. "We are trying to strike a balance between our desire to restore the channels as soon as possible and our responsibility to all of our customers to hold down the rising cost of TV."
Philips is set to launch a new 65-inch 4K ultra high definition television next month at the IFA 2013 show in Berlin, Germany. How do we know this? The company announced today that the new TV has already won an award from the EISA for best product of 2013-2014.
Phillips notes in the press release that the Ambilight XL hardware package will be offered at a significantly lower price point than the current Ultra HD smart TVs the company sells, which retail beginning at $7,000. The company did not, however, release any official numbers. We fully expect the TVs to retail in the $6000 range.
Samsung has just unveiled its 55-inch curved OLED TV, pricing it quite competitively against fellow South Korean rival, LG, and its own 55-inch curved OLED TV. Samsung is selling its KN55S9C display at just $8999.
LG, on the other hand, is selling their 55-inch curved OLED TV in the states for $14,999 exclusively through Best Buy. The Korea Times has reported that the price drop is lower than the $13,000 originally charged for the Korean version, where they add: "Samsung's price cut came as a result of improved manufacturing yield, and [Korean] customers that already purchased one will be refunded the difference."
$8999 is a lot to drop on a 55-inch curved OLED, so this new TV will mostly cater to those who enjoy luxury. But, at $6000 cheaper than the LG OLED TV, you wouldn't want to have one of those in your living room and reading this news right now.
Today, LG launched a new product that is sure to bring out tons of nostalgia for millions of people all over the world. The company released the 32NL630R, a retro-styled 32-inch LCD TV. As you can tell from the photo below, the TV is designed to look like 60s and 70s era CRT-based sets.
While the TV may look retro, its internal components are anything but. The TV features a full 1080p IPS-based display, supports USB-based storage, and MHL video for mobile devices. Unfortunately, the retro-themed TV might not make it to the US and is currently only been sold in South Korea at a price point of $754.
Today, BenQ announced the release of another device in its 3-D projector lineup. Dubbed the W1500, this 1080p projector is capable of producing 3-D video up to 84 inches in size from as little as just 6 feet away. The company says that the W1500 is the first wireless projector to have a built-in 5GHz Wireless Home Digital Interface.
The projector is able to wirelessly play video from compatible set-top boxes from up to 65 feet away. It is compatible with Apple TV and mobile devices and features two HDMI inputs. A composite video is also present. The projector is capable of projecting images as small as 40 inches all the way up to 300 inches in size. The company says that it has a lamp life of 6000 hours and two built-in 10W speakers.