News / Media

Dolby, Philips Debut 3D Format

April 12th, 2012

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Dolby Laboratories and Royal Philips Electronics this week unveiled a new 3D format, which the companies say can deliver “full HD 3D content to 3D-enabled devices, including glasses-free displays.”

Dolby and Philips are debuting the Dolby 3D technology at the NAB show in Las Vegas this week.

“The focus of the project will be to work with original equipment manufacturers of display panels and entertainment devices to enhance the performance of 3D consumer devices to make viewing of 3D content just as convenient and appealing as viewing of 2D content on a high-quality screen is today,” the companies said in a statement. “This project is uniquely positioned to enable the industry’s adoption of 3D by working on standardization and licensing of the technology.”

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Posted by chantal Thu, 17 May 2012 16:17:00 GMT

Bang and Olufsen Brings 3D TV in US

February 22, 2012

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Bang & Olufsen this week announced that its 3D ultra flat 65-inch plasma TV is set to arrive in the U.S. The BeoVision 12 was shown at International CES in January.

“The arrival of the BeoVision 12 solidifies our commitment to the premium segment of wide-screen home cinema solutions,” Zean Nielsen, President of Bang & Olufsen America, Inc., said in a statement. “Furthermore, it strengthens our 3D large screen TV portfolio and complements our home integration and personalized installation services.”

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Posted by chantal Wed, 07 Mar 2012 17:14:00 GMT

HDTVs get more interesting

by Jeff Bertolucci and Tim Moynihan, PCWorld Feb 14, 2012 12:52 pm

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In 2011, 3D technology sparked the most HDTV buzz at the International CES trade show. At this year’s industry gathering, however, 3D definitely took a backseat. Upcoming developments in high-definition TV are more varied and more interesting, and they offer a lot more mainstream appeal. Big, beautiful HDTVs earned the most accolades at CES this year. Most notable were superslim OLED displays, voice- and gesture-control interfaces, and ultrahigh-resolution sets.

Sure, 3D is still around: Many of the new sets unveiled at this year’s show will have passive, active, or glasses-free 3D viewing when they come to market. However, 3D has moved significantly down the list of marquee features, even though we’ll see more 3DTVs in 2012 than ever before.

Some of the most interesting TV technologies we saw at CES are too content- or price-prohibitive to make a splash in 2012. That said, they offer an intriguing look at the near future of HDTVs. Here’s a quick roundup of some of the best of the show.

OLED stunners

Judging by the initialisms alone, LED and OLED may seem similar—but when it comes to TV tech, they’re entirely different animals.

A traditional LED (light-emitting diode) set is actually an LED-backlit liquid crystal display television—in such a set, LEDs illuminate an LCD screen from behind or from the edges. But in an OLED (organic light-emitting diode) TV, the source of illumination and of the resulting image are one and the same; with no backlighting needed, OLED allows for superthin, energy-efficient sets that produce deep blacks, sharp contrast from pixel to pixel, vivid colors, and a stunning picture overall. At this year’s CES, companies showcased the promise of OLED beautifully. Gorgeous, 55-inch OLED TVs from LG and Samsung—as well as a Crystal LED prototype from Sony that uses similar technology—stole the show. What’s more, these sets are as razor-thin as they are razor-sharp: The thinnest, LG’s OLED model, measures less than 0.16 inch thick and weighs just 16.5 pounds.

Alas, while the LG and Samsung OLED sets are both slated to be available by the end of the year (Sony’s is strictly in prototype form at this stage), they’ll cost a pretty penny. Although neither company has announced pricing or release-date specifics just yet, the OLED HDTVs are expected to cost anywhere between $8000 and $10,000 when they arrive.

Voice- and gesture-controlled TVs

In 2012, even couch potatoes might get a workout, and quiet nights in front of the tube may involve a lot more talking. If CES was any indication of what’s to come, hand gestures and voice input may soon replace the standard remote control.

At CES, LG demoed sets that users can control with a Wii-like, movement-sensitive device, as well as remotes holding built-in microphones for voice control. Samsung, meanwhile, moved its gesture- and voice-control functions inside the HDTV, showing off a set that lets users change channels, control the volume, and perform other tasks with gestures and spoken commands. An embedded camera drives a face-recognition system that can log you in for customized features, parental controls, and access to social networking sites.

Numerous other tech companies are developing voice and gesture products that sit outside of the television itself. For instance, voice-recognition company Nuance announced Dragon TV, an app that adds speech controls to HDTVs, set-top boxes, and remote controls.

Will any of these alternative inputs supplant the tried-and-true analog clicker? That remains to be seen, but 2012 should be a testing ground for voice and gesture input, especially given the number of Web-connected sets that would otherwise require a keyboard to control them.

Superhigh resolution

Want to see every pore, blemish, and cosmetic surgery scar on actors’ faces? Finding 1080p to be insufficiently detailed? Good news is on the horizon.

At CES, LG demoed a so-called 4K TV that displays more than 8 million pixels at a resolution of 3840 by 2160—four times the pixel count of a 1080p HDTV. Samsung, Sharp, and Toshiba also showed 4K TV sets. And Sharp upped the ante by showing an 85-inch display with 8K, 7680-by-4320-pixel resolution (16 times that of a 1080p set). In demos, these very high-resolution sets had notably better image quality, sharper lines, and finer detail than a 1080p set, even when upconverting 1080p footage from a Blu-ray player.

However, this is a TV technology best enjoyed up close, which seriously limits its potential for in-home viewing. From a distance, the 4K and 8K sets appear only slightly sharper than a 1080p set; but once you draw nearer, the extra detail and resolution are remarkable. For example, in a huge crowd scene on an 8K TV, you can see the facial features of people far in the back—about 80 or so yards from the camera—but spotting such detail requires getting very close to the screen.

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Posted by chantal Fri, 24 Feb 2012 17:46:00 GMT

WealthTV Launches 3D Channel

WealthTV 3D will offer 24 hours of 3D programming, 7 days a week.

January 26, 2012 | by Rachel Cericola

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WealthTV has been providing teases of its 3D content for about two years. Now, you can get the lifestyles of the rich and famous in your face 24/7.

The network just announced plans to launch WealthTV 3D full time. Available through Roku boxes in the U.S., additional launches are expected soon—including via conventional cable systems.

WealthTV 3D provides a variety of 3D options, including travel programs, documentaries, live events, sports, culinary adventures, and much more. The network also has a high-profile partner in Don King Productions, with the two producing title fights for 3D audiences.

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Posted by chantal Thu, 09 Feb 2012 17:12:00 GMT

CES 2012: Smart TVs Take Over at LG, Samsung, Sharp, Panasonic and Sony

Gesture control, smart search and social sharing are in store.

January 10, 2012 | by Grant Clauser

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While 3D still will play an important role in all the major TV makers’ 2012 plans, all of them also will be focusing strongly on smart TV features that go beyond just a screen full of apps for Netflix and Pandora.

At the opening “press day” at the Consumer Electronics Show, LG spoke a lot about the company’s new line of Google TVs. The new models will include the Google TV platform built into a CINEMA3D TV that uses LG’s FPR passive glasses technology. Also included will be a Magic Remote Qwerty—a remote that combines the features of LG’s Wii-like remote and a QWERTY keyboard to make use of social media and other web features easier. The system allows for multitasking, so users can tweet or browser the web while watching TV. LG’s Magic Remote also adds voice recognition this year to allow voice-controlled commands to access TV features.

Not all LG smart TVs will include Google TV. For the non-Google models, the company’s Netcast system will provide access to about 1,200 apps and include smart search functions to make it easier for users to search for content over a variety of apps at the same time.

Other CES news from LG included the expansion of the company’s FPR passive glasses CINEMA3D TV line, including a 4K 3D LED model, an 84-inch LED TV and a 55-inch OLED 3D TV that’s only 4mm thick.

Sony, one of the original product partners with Google TV, will also launch new products featuring that platform, including a line of TVs, a set-top-box and a connected Blu-ray player.

Sony also demonstrated a 4K Crystal LED TV that does not require any backlighting and two prototype glasses-free 3D TVs

Sharp’s biggest news was about their new largest screen size (an 80-inch LED 3D TV), but the company also has developed a new smart TV system called Smart Central. Smart Central combines the TVs content apps into a system that’s categorized into areas such as video, games, photos, social and more. Also included is Sharp’s Aquos Live feature that allows users to get help with their TVs live directly through the online connection. New feature called Beamzit lets you play content from wirelessly-connected PC—it sounds like a DLNA variation, which we’ll check on later at the show. Smart Central will be available on 60-inch and larger TVs

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Posted by chantal Fri, 13 Jan 2012 17:31:00 GMT

The Future Of TV Is Coming, Slowly But Surely

Dan Frommer Oct. 3, 2011

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Like every other form of media, television stands to be profoundly changed once software and the Internet play a more important role. It has taken longer to be transformed than for other media, such as newspapers and music. But slowly, surely, it is happening. Here, we’ll outline some of the changes to expect over the next ten years or so, and some companies to watch in each field. Content and Programming

Long-form shows and linear TV will continue to exist for a long time. But consumption habits will continue to change. More will be watched on-demand and via time-shifting. This, plus different viewing devices and advertising capabilities, will lead to more short-form “pro” content. (Also, why should a news show be exactly 30 minutes every day? How about 15 minutes on slow news days and 50 minutes if a lot is happening?)

Eventually, things like channel numbers will go away. Networks will emerge, merge, and fold. Someday, your search bar may be your channel guide. But that’s going to take a while.


Today, most Americans pay for TV service from a cable or satellite company. If the TV industry can make the right moves, that will continue indefinitely. But the Internet is starting to disrupt this, as more shows and live feeds are available through streaming services.

Where it gets interesting is that the companies that currently provide TV service also are the ones that own the fastest broadband pipes into your home — Comcast, Verizon, and the like. So they are unlikely to go away — they just might have to change their business model to charge more for Internet access, as fewer people pay for TV service and as bandwidth demand grows. (They will also continue to try to develop web and mobile services of their own, to convince people to continue paying for TV service with more value.) One interesting trend will be to see what the satellite companies — which don’t have a broadband pipe into your living room — end up doing.

One misplaced assumption is that TV is necessarily going to get cheaper as more streaming is available. Sure, you may end up picking fewer “channels” or services to subscribe to, but you might also have to pay more for them, or at least spend more on Internet access to stream all that video. The cable guys will also try to force their content partners into schemes where you can only access certain streaming programming if you prove that you’re a cable subscriber. This “authentication” concept is called “TV Everywhere,” and you’ll probably see more of it soon.

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Posted by chantal Fri, 28 Oct 2011 16:16:00 GMT

Home theatre apps take over entertainment

Move over movie critics, remote controls and TV listings


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New apps for smartphones and tablets are normally used on the go, but there are several that make sitting in your home theatre more enjoyable.

No, the apps can’t set up your system - but one can help you better understand the words used to describe home theatre technology.

It’s called Home Theater Glossary, was developed by Deep Powder Software, and is available from the App Store or the Android market.

It gives definitions for some basic words and common terms. They can be searched, or looked up alphabetically, offering simple results for even the most complex terminology.

If a word you need to know is not listed, well, there’s a direct feedback feature so you can bring the developers up to speed!

“Clicker” apps

A number of apps are available that turn your mobile device into a fully functional remote control.

RedEye, for example, controls almost any equipment that receives infrared control signals - TVs, cable boxes, stereos, DVD players, VCRs and more.

The iOS or Android app is free. A small hardware device actually generates the infrared signals; it’s available online and at some retailers (here in Calgary, Memory Express is one).

Beacon, from Griffin Technology, ( also turns a smartphone into a remote control.

Another software and hardware combo, it uses Bluetooth signals from your device and converts them to the infrared that most TV and stereo components expect.

You can change channels on a set-top box, pump up the volume on your sound system, program your DVR, and more through your touch screen display.

Logitech is releasing a similar product, a wireless device that connects to your iPad, iPhone, or Android smartphone and turns it into a universal remote.

But its new Harmony product line actually adds more features to the iPad version (over the smartphone apps).

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Posted by chantal Thu, 20 Oct 2011 16:23:00 GMT

Sharps 80-inch LED TV is Worlds Biggest

Published Sep 30, 2011 By HD Living

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First the 70-inch LED LCD TV was a big deal, but now the company has gone and come out with an even bigger one, an 80-inch model will be available next month for $5,499.

The LC-80LE632U includes most of the features of Sharp’s other premium TVs including 1080p resolution, built-in Wi-Fi, media apps and Aquous Advantage Live online support. This model is not 3D-enabled.

Sharp says the 80-inch TV delivers more than double the screen area of a 55-inch TV. Even at that size, the unit is only 4-inches deep (the same as my several-years-old 50-inch plasma).

The LC-80LE632U is based on a full-array backlit panel with local dimming. It boasts a dynamic contrast ratio of 6,000,000:1 (no word on the standard contrast ratio), 120 Hz refresh rate, 10-bit video processing and advanced pixel control to minimize light leakage.

Among the media apps built into the TV are Netflix, Vudu and CinemaNow. The Aquous Advantage Live feature allows live online customer service directly through the TV.

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Posted by chantal Fri, 14 Oct 2011 16:18:00 GMT

Hands On Review: Toshiba 47TL515U 3D LCD TV

Several online options, 2D to 3D conversion, and super thin.

September 16, 2011 by Grant Clauser

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In January at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, Toshiba grabbed a lot of headlines with its autostereoscopic (glasses-free) 3D TV. The company is still talking about that TV nine months later, but the 3D TVs they’re actually selling fall into the passive glasses category.

This one in particular is a 47-inch unit with a very slim design and a full suite of video and networking features. It’s an edge-lit LED LCD TV with some local dimming, which helps improve black levels. It includes four HDMI ports, plus the standard assortment of analog inputs. There’s also a USB port for connecting thumb drives and such.

As stated previously, it’s a passive 3D TV, which means that it puts most of the 3D technology in the LCD panel rather than in the glasses. The passive glasses are similar to the ones you’ll get in most commercial theaters, and in fact the glasses you snuck out of the theater will work with this TV. This method has some pros and cons which I’ll get into later.

The TV assembles easily enough. In fact, it’s so light, under 50 pounds, that one person can unbox it and assemble the stand. The TV swivels on the stand, so if you put it on a table you can turn it to face viewers on different ends of the room—not important if you’re hanging it on a wall though. It’s also just slightly more than an inch thick, so it will look great on a wall.

The Toshiba remote is a mix. It’s nice-looking, with contrasting shiny black and metallic gray. It includes a backlight button that’s very bright. I found the button layout frustrating though. The buttons are painfully small, with nano-sized type and cramped so close you have to hold it up to your face to see what’s what. You’ll get used to it, but never really like it.

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Posted by chantal Wed, 05 Oct 2011 16:11:00 GMT

Best New Home Theater Projectors from CEDIA 2011

Trends include 4K, 3D and 2:35

September 12, 2011 by Grant Clauser

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CES may be a gadget-lover’s dream event, but CEDIA is the golden ticket if you’re into the best home theater gear. This is place with the world’s top electronics companies show of their newest technology. Most readers will get their first chance to experience these products in dealer showrooms a few months from now, so let me share some of the highlights in big picture projectors.

Overall, there were two new(ish) trends in home theater projectors at the expo. The first was 4K. Several companies made a big deal showing off projectors that feature resolution previously only found on professional projectors meant for saurus-sized screens. Now you can get a projector in your home that throws 4096 x 2160 pixels on your basement theater screen. The only problem with that is you’ll find no 4K material to show on it. That doesn’t mean all those extra pixels are wasted. Plain old 1080p will be scaled to 4K by the projector’s video processor, making it nearly impossible to see any pixel structure on the screen.

The second trend is in projectors that have a native CinemaScope setting for a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. HDTV is in 16:9 aspect ratio, as are a lot of Blu-ray movies (or 1.78:1, or 1.85:1 …), but many are in the much wider 2.35:1 format. With conventional projectors, you needed an anamorphic lens and a mechanism for applying it to take full advantage of the wider aspect ratio. The new projectors eliminate that need (you’ll still need a screen masking system to make it look it’s best).

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Posted by chantal Fri, 30 Sep 2011 16:06:00 GMT