Tag Archives: 4k nieuws

‘New Mutants’ Co-Creator Blasts Film for Misspelling His Name and ‘Whitewashing’ a Character.

Date: 8/28/20 –

Written by: Phillip Martinez –

New Mutants - Courtesy of 20th Century Studios.
New Mutants – Courtesy of 20th Century Studios.

New Mutants is finally out in theaters after years of development limbo and re-shoots. But while many comic book fans may be excited to see Magik, Wolfsbane and the film’s other mutants on the big screen, their co-creator isn’t so happy with the adaptation.

Bob McLeod, the artist and inker who co-created the characters alongside writer Chris Claremont for Marvel Comics in the 1980s, went on social media on Friday to voice his displeasure over the changes that the studio and director Josh Boone made to the source material.

In a lengthy Facebook post, and in several tweets, McLeod explained his issues, which include stylings of the characters, a misspelling of his own name and even an accusation of whitewashing.

“I was very excited when I heard they were making a New Mutants movie. I thought making it into a horror movie was perhaps an interesting idea, but not at all how the characters should be introduced to the public at large. But, hey, my characters in a movie!” McLeod wrote on Facebook. “I never would have thought that would actually happen. But then, I was disappointed when they didn’t give Dani braids, although I like [actress] Blu Hunt. I was disappointed when Rahne wasn’t a redhead with spiky hair, although I adore [actress] Maisie Williams. I was disappointed that Sam isn’t tall and gawky, although I do like [actor] Charlie Heaton.

The biggest problem with casting and styling, though, involves the Afro-Brazilian character of Roberto da Costa, a.k.a. Sunspot. In the film, he’s played by a light-skinned Brazilian actor, Henry Zaga. “Mainly I was very disappointed that Roberto isn’t short and dark-skinned. Yet another example of Hollywood white-washing. There’s just no excuse,” McLeod wrote. “So basically, [director] Josh Boone erased everything I contributed to the way the characters look.”

Perhaps most insulting of all to McLeod is the fact that, even though this movie has been stalled and sitting on the shelf for a very long time (filming took place way back in 2017), his name is misspelled in the movie’s credits. He wrote on Facebook: “And now, the movie has come out at last, and apparently they’ve credited someone named Bob Macleod as co-creator. They couldn’t even be bothered to check the spelling of my name sometime in the last three years. And that can’t be fixed. That will be on the movie forever. I think I’m done with this movie.”

Newsweek reached out to 20th Century Studios regarding the mistake, but did not receive comment in time for publication.

Date: 8/28/20 –

Written by: Phillip Martinez –

Source: https://www.newsweek.com

Samsung Rolls Out Filmmaker Mode for The 2020 QLED LCD TVs

Date: 13 Jul 2020 –

Written by: Rasmus Larsen –

Samsung has started rolling out Filmmaker Mode via a firmware update for its 2020 QLED LCD TVs. It is available now in the US but still pending in Europe. Update: Now also available in Europe.

FILMMAKER MODE FOR SAMSUNG TVS:

Filmmaker Mode was announced in August 2019 by the UHD Alliance. It is a new picture mode for TVs that aims to preserve creative intent by disabling things like motion smoothing and respecting the frame rate, colors, more. The initiative is backed by directors such as Christopher Nolan, Ryan Coogler, Martin Scorsese, and James Cameron.

Filmmaker Mode is available as a new picture mode from the picture menu on Samsung 2020 QLED LCD TVs after installing firmware update 1301.5. The update is compatible with Samsung Q950T, Q900T, Q850T, Q800T, Q90T, Q80T, Q70T, and LS03T (The Frame), according to the release notes.

Samsung rolls out Filmmaker Mode for 2020 QLED LCD TVs.
Samsung Rolls Out Filmmaker Mode For 2020 QLED LCD TVs.

FlatpanelsHD has yet to try Filmmaker Mode on Samsung TVs but we have examined it on LG CX and Panasonic HZ1000 where it is largely identical to the already available Cinema Professional picture modes in the two TVs, respectively. Vizio and Philips are also launch partners but have yet to enable it.

Samsung notes that Filmmaker Mode can be enabled manually or automatically if it detects the corresponding flag in the content. This flag has not yet been implemented on discs or streaming services so at this time Filmmaker Mode remains a manual option. It works with both SDR and HDR content.

The update is rolling out now in the US but still pending in Europe. Update: now also available in Europe as firmware ver. 1304. If you are not seeing it via the TV’s built-in update function you can go to Samsung’s support page here to download it manually onto a USB thumb drive. USA: Firmware version 1301.5 can be downloaded from Samsung support.

Date: 13 Jul 2020 – Written by: Rasmus Larsen – Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

List of 4k, HDR and Atmos Movies & TV Shows on Netflix.

List of 4k/HDR/Atmos Movies & TV Shows on Netflix
List of 4k/HDR/Atmos Movies & TV Shows on Netflix
Netflix 4K HDR Movies & TV Shows
Netflix 4K Movies & TV Shows


Here’s a list of movies, TV shows, documentaries, and comedy specials streaming on Netflix in 4k Ultra HD. Some titles feature HDR (High Dynamic Range) for improved color depth that will display in Dolby Vision or HDR10 depending on your device. And, some titles offer Dolby Atmos audio for immersive sound effects. We’ve updated the format of this list. You can now click on the table header to see all titles under that category. For example, click on HDR to view all HDR titles in alphabetical order.

NETFLIX 4K AND HDR MOVIES, TV SERIES & SPECIALS:

#blackAF4kDolby VisionAtmosSeries
100 Humans (1 Season)4k5.1Series
13 Reasons Why (4 Seasons)4kDolby Vision5.1SeriesNew
1983 [Polish]4k5.1Series
1994 (Limited Series) [Spanish]4k5.1Series
3% (Seasons 1-3)4k5.1Series
A Series of Unfortunate Events (Season 3)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
A Tale of Two Kitchens4k5.1Series
Abstract: The Art of Design (2 seasons)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
After Life4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Afterlife (2 Seasons)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Alexa & Katie4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Alias Grace4k5.1Series
All About the Washingtons4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Almost Happy (1 Season) [Spanish]4k5.1Series
Altered Carbon (2 Seasons)4kDolby VisionAtmosSeries
Always a Witch “Siempre bruja” [Spanish] (S1)4k5.1Series
American Vandal4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Anima (15min short)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Animal World [Mandarine]4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Anne with an “E” (3 Seasons)4k5.1Series
Another Life (Season 1)4kDolby VisionAtmosSeries
Arrested Development4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Atypical4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Audrie & Daisy4k5.1Series
Awake: The Million Dollar Game (Season 1)4k5.1Series
Babies (2 parts)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Bad Blood (Seasons 1-2)4k5.1Series
Bard of Blood (1 Season)4k5.1Series
Basketball or Nothing4k5.1Series
Best. Worst. Weekend. Ever.4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Better Call Saul Seasons 1-2 (AMC)4k5.1Series
Black Earth Rising – Limited Series4k5.1Series
Black Mirror (Seasons 1-5)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Black Summer4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Blood on Rome4k5.1Series
Bloodline4k5.1Series
Bloodride (1 Season) [Norwegian]4k5.1Series
Blown Away (Season 1)4k5.1Series
Blue Planet II (BBC)4k5.1Series
Bolívar (1 Season) [Spanish]4k5.1Series
Bonding4k5.1Series
Breaking Bad (5 Seasons) – AMC4k5.1Series
Brews Brothers (1 Season)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Broken (Season 1)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Cable Girls (6 Seasons) [Spanish]4k5.1Series
Castle and Castle4k5.1Series
Chambers4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Cheer (1 Season)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Chef’s Table (6 Volumes)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Chef’s Table France4kDolby VisionAtmosSeries
Chelsea Does4k5.1Series
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Part 24k5.1Series
Collateral Limited Series4k5.1Series
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee4k5.1Series
Connected: The Hidden Science of Everything (1 Season)4kDolby Vision5.1SeriesNew
Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes4k5.1Series
Cooked4k5.1Series
Cooked with Cannabis (1 Season)4k5.1Series
Cosmos Laundromat (Short) [Dutch, English]4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Cricket Fever: Mumbai Indians4k5.1Series
Crime Diaries: Night Out [Spanish]4k5.1Series
Crime Diaries: The Candidate4k5.1Series
Criminal: United Kingdom (1 Season)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Dancing Queen4k5.1Series
Dark (3 Seasons)4kAtmosSeriesNew
Dark Desire (1 Season)4kDolby Vision5.1SeriesNew
Dating Around (2 Seaasons)4k5.1SeriesNew
Daybreak (1 Season)4kDolby VisionAtmosSeries
Dead to Me (2 Seasons)4kDolby Vision5.1SeriesNew
Dear White People (Vol. 1-3)4k5.1Series
Designated Survivor (Season 3+)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Diagnosis (1 Season)4k5.1Series
Dirty John (Season 1)4k5.1Series
Dirty Money (2 Seasons)4k5.1Series
Disenchantment (2 Parts)4k5.1Series
Disjointed4k5.1Series
Dogs (Season 2 coming soon)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Dolly Parton: Heartstrings (Season 1)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Don’t F**k With Cats (Limited Series)4k5.1Series
Dracula (1 Season)4kDolby VisionAtmosSeries
Dynasty4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Easy (Seasons 1-3)4k5.1Series
Elite (3 Seasons)4k5.1Series
Everything Sucks4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Exhibit A (Season 1)4k5.1Series
Extracurricular (1 Season) [Korean]4k5.1Series
Extreme Engagement (Season 1)4k5.1Series
F is for Family4k5.1Series
Family Business (Season 1) [French]4k5.1Series
Family Reunion (Part 1)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Fary: Hexagone (2 Parts) [French]4k5.1Series
Fastest Car (2 Seasons)4k5.1Series
Fear City: New York vs. The Mafia (1 Season)4kDolby VisionDolby AtmosSeriesNew
Fearless4k5.1Series
Feel Good (1 Season)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Fightworld4k5.1Series
Fire Chasers4kDolby Vision5.1Series
First and Last4k5.1Series
First Team: Juventus4k5.1Series
Flaked4k5.1Series
Flinch4k5.1Series
Follow This4k5.1Series
Followers (1 Season) [Japanese]4kDolby Vision5.1Series
For the Love of Spock4k5.1Series
Formula 1: Drive to Survive (2 Seasons)4kDolby VisionAtmosSeriesNew
Free Rein4k5.1Series
Free Rein (Seasons 1-3)4k5.1Series
Freud (1 Season) [German]4k5.1Series
Friends from College4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Frontier4k5.1Series
Fuller House (5 Seasons)4k5.1Series
Gentefied (1 Season)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Girl / Haji (1 Season) [English / Japanese]4kDolby VisionAtmosSeries
Girl Boss4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Girls Incarcerated (Seasons 1-2)4k5.1Series
Glitch (3 Seasons)4k5.1Series
GLOW4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Go! Live Your Way (Seasons 1-2)4k5.1Series
Godless – Limited Series4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Good Witch (Seasons 1-4)4k5.1Series
Grace and Frankie (6 Seasons)4k5.1Series
Green Door [Mandarin}4k5.1Series
Gypsy4k5.1Series
Happy Jail (Limited Series]4k5.1Series
Hasmukh (1 Season) [Hindu]4k5.1Series
Haunted (2 Seasons)4k5.1Series
Hibana Spark [Japanese]4kDolby Vision5.1Series
High Seas (Season 1)4k5.1Series
Historical Roasts (Season 1)4k5.1Series
Hold the Dark4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Hollywood (1 Season)4kDolby VisionAtmosSeriesNew
Home For Christmas [Scandinavian] (Season 1)4k5.1Series
Home Game (1 Season)4kDolby VisionAtmosSeriesNew
Homecoming4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Homemade (1 Volume)4k5.1SeriesNew
Hong Kong West Side Stories (Season 1)4k5.1Series
Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On4k5.1Series
House of Cards4k5.1Series
How to Fix a Drug Scandal (Limited Series)4k5.1Series
How to Sell Drugs Online Fast (Season 1) [German]4k5.1Series
Huge in France4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Hyperdrive (Season 1)4k5.1Series
I Am Not Ok With This (1 Season)4kDolby VisionAtmosSeries
I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson4k5.1Series
Immigration Nation (Limited Series)4kDolby Vision5.1SeriesNew
Insatiable (2 Seasons)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Inside Bill’s Brain (Limited Series)4k5.1Series
Inside the World’s Toughest Prison’s (4 Seasons)4k5.1Series
It’s Bruno (Season 1)4k5.1Series
Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father (3 Seasons)4k5.1Series
Jailbirds (Season 1)4k5.1Series
Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich (1 Season)4k5.1SeriesNew
Jinn (Season 1)4k5.1Series
Juanita4k5.1Series
Killer Ratings (Season 1) [Portuguese]4k5.1Series
Kingdom (2 Seasons)4k5.1Series
Knights of Sidonia (Japanese, 2 Seasons)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Ladies Up [Indian]4k5.1Series
Lady Dynamite4k5.1Series
Last Chance U (Part 1-2)4k5.1Series
Legends of Strength  (One Season)4k5.1Series
Leila (Season 1)4k5.1Series
Lenox Hill (1 Season)4kDolby VisionAtmosSeriesNew
Living Undocumented (1 Season)4k5.1Series
Living With Yourself (1 Season)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Locke & Key (1 Season)4kDolby VisionAtmosSeries
Longmire (Seasons 4-6)4k5.1Series
Losers4k5.1Series
Lost in Space (2 Seasons)4kDolby VisionAtmosSeries
Love4k5.1Series
Love 101 (1 Season) [German]4k5.1Series
Love, Death & Robots (Vol. 1)4kDolby VisionAtmosSeries
Lucifer (4 Seasons)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Luis Miguel – The Series (Season 1)4k5.1Series
Luna Nera (1 Season)4k5.1Series
Lunatics4k5.1Series
Magic for Humans (3 Seasons)4k5.1SeriesNew
Malibu Rescue: The Series (Season 1)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Maniac4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Marcella (3 Seasons)4k5.1Series
Marco Polo4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Marianne (1 Season)4k5.1Series
Marseille4k5.1Series
Marvel’s Daredevil (Seasons 1-3)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Marvel’s Iron Fist (Seasons 1-2)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Marvel’s Jessica Jones (Seasons 1-3)4kDolby VisionAtmosSeries
Marvel’s Luke Cage (Seasons 1-2)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Marvel’s Punisher (Seasons 1-2)4kDolby VisionAtmosSeries
Marvel’s The Defenders (1 Season)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Master of None4k5.1Series
Medal of Honor4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Medici The Magnificant (3 Seasons)4k5.1Series
Merry Happy Whatever (Season 1)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Messiah (1 Season)4kDolby VisionAtmosSeries
Middleditch & Schwartz (1 Season)4k5.1Series
Million Yen Women (Japanese)4k5.1Series
MindHunter (2 Seasons)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Monarca (1 Season)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Money Heist (Part 3+) [Spanish]4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Most Beautiful Thing4k5.1Series
My Holo Love (1 Season)4k5.1Series
My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman (Season 2)4k5.1Series
Mystery Lab (1 Season) [Portuguese]4k5.1SeriesNew
Nailed It (4 Seasons)4k5.1Series
Narcos (Seasons 1-3)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Narcos: Mexico (2 Seasons)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Netflix Presents: The Characters4k5.1Series
Never Have I Ever (1 Season)4kDolby Vision5.1SeriesNew
Next in Fashion (1 Season)4k5.1Series
Nextgen4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Night on Earth (1 Season)4kDolby VisionAtmosSeries
Nightflyers (Season 1)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
No Good Nick: Part 1, 24kDolby Vision5.1Series
Nocturne (Short)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Norsemen4k5.1Series
Northern Rescue4k5.1Series
October Faction (1 Season)4kDolby VisionAtmosSeries
Omniscient (1 Season)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
On My Block4kDolby Vision5.1Series
One Day at a Time4k5.1Series
One Spring Night (Season 1)4k5.1Series
Orange is the New Black (7 Seasons)4k5.1Series
Osmosis4k5.1Series
Our Planet (Behind the Scenes)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Our Planet (Limited Series)4kDolby VisionAtmosSeries
Outer Banks (1 Season)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Outlander (Seasons 1-2)4k5.1Series
Ozark (3 Seasons)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Pandemic: How To Prevent An Outbreak4k5.1Series
Paquita Salas (Seasons 1-3)4k5.1Series
Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj (6 Volumes)4k5.1Series
Peaky Blinders (5 Seasons)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Perfume4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Pine Gap – Season 14k5.1Series
Planet Earth II (BBC)4k5.1Series
Prince of Peoria (2 parts)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Puerta 7 (1 Season) [Spanish]4k5.1Series
Queen Sono (2 Seeasons)4k5.1SeriesNew
Queer Eye: More Than a Makeover (5 Seasons)4j5.1SeriesNew
Quicksand4k5.1Series
Ragnarok (1 Season)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Raising Dion (1 Season)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Rapture4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Real Rob4k5.1Series
Reckoning (Limited Series)4k5.1Series
Requiem4k5.1Series
Restaurants on the Edge (1 Season)4k5.1Series
Rhythm + Flow (1 Season)4k5.1Series
Rilakkuma and Kaoru (1 Season)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Rotten (2 Seasons)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Russian Doll4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Rust Valley Restorers (1 Season)4k5.1Series
Sacred Games4k5.1Series
Salt Fat Acid Heat4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Samantha! Season 24k5.1Series
Samurai Gourmet (1 Season)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Santa Clarita Diet4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Say I Do: Surprise Weddings (1 Season)4k5.1SeriesNew
Self Made (Limited Series)4kAtmosSeries
Selling Sunset (3 Seasons)4k5.1SeriesNew
Sense 84k5.1Series
Seven Seconds4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Sex Education (2 Seasons)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Sexy Central (Season 1) [Mandarin]4k5.1Series
Shadow4k5.1Series
She’s Gotta Have It (Seasons 1-2)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Skin Decision Before & After (1 Season)4k5.1SeriesNew
Somebody Feed Phil4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Soundtrack4kDolby VisionAtmosSeries
Space Force4kDolby VisionAtmosSeriesNew
Special4k5.1Series
Spectros (1 Season) [Portugese]4k5.1Series
Stranger Things (Seasons 1-3)4kDolby VisionAtmosSeries
Street Food: Asia (1 Season)4kDolby VisionAtmosAtmosSeries
Street Food: Latin America (1 Season)4kDolby VisionAtmosSeriesNew
Suburra: Blood on Rome [Italian]4k5.1Series
Sugar Rush (Seasons 1-2)4k5.1Series
Summertime (1 Season) [Italian]4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Super Drags4k5.1Series
Surviving Escobar4k5.1Series
Sweet Magnolias (1 Season)4kDolby VisionAtmosSeriesNew
Taco Chronicles (Volume 1) [Spanish]4k5.1Series
Tales by Light4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Tales of the City (Limited Series)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Tango: Season 14k5.1Series
The Adventures of Sabrina4kDolby Vision5.1Series
The Big Flower Fight (1 Season)4k5.1SeriesNew
The Big Show Show (1 Season)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
The Blacklist (Seasons 1-5) (NBC)4k5.1Series
The Chef Show4k5.1Series
The Chef Show (3 Volumes)4k5.1Series
The Christmas Chronicles4kDolby Vision5.1Series
The Comedy Lineup4k5.1Series
The Confession Killer (Limited Series)4k5.1Series
The Confession Tapes (Seasons 1-2)4k5.1Series
The Crown4k5.1Series
The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell4k5.1Series
The Dark Crystal (1 Season)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
The Devil Next Door (Limited Series)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
The Disappearance of Madeline McCann4kDolby Vision5.1Series
The Eddy (Limited Series)4kDolby Vision5.1SeriesNew
The End of the Fu***ing World4k5.1Series
The English Game (1 Season)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia (1 Part)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
The Family (Limited Series)4k5.1Series
The Final Table (1 Season)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
The Forest of Love: Deep Cut (Limited Series) [Japanese]4k5.1Series
The Get Down4k5.1Series
The Good Cop4kDolby Vision5.1Series
The Gooplab w/Gwyneth Paltrow (1 Season)4k5.1Series
The Great British Baking Show4k5.1Series
The Hard Way4k5.1Series
The Hateful Eight – Extended Version Season 14kDolby Vision5.1Series
The Hateful Eight: Extended Version / Season 14k5.1Series
The Haunting of Hill House4kDolby Vision5.1Series
The House of Flowers (Spanish)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
The Hunt (Season 1) (BBC)4k5.1Series
The I-Land (Limited Series)4kDolby VisionAtmosSeries
The Iliza Shlesinger Sketch Show (1 Season)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
The Innocence Files (Limited Series)4k5.1Series
The Innocent Man (Limited Series)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
The Innocents4kDolby Vision5.1Series
The Kominksy Method4kDolby Vision5.1Series
The Last Czars (Season 1)4k5.1Series
The Let Down (Seasons 1-2)4k5.1Series
The Letter for the King (1 Season)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
The Mechanism (Season 2)4k5.1Series
The Mire (1 Season) [Polish]4k5.1Series
The Naked Director (Netflix Series) [Japanese]4k5.1Series
The New Legends of Monkey4k5.1Series
The OA4kDolby Vision5.1Series
The Order (Season One)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
The Pharmacist (Limited Series)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
The Politician (2 Seasons)4kDolby Vision5.1SeriesNew
The Princess Weiyoung (Season 1) [Mandarin]4k5.1Series
The Protector4k5.1Series
The Protector (1 Season)4k5.1Series
The Queen and the Conqueror  [Spanish]4k5.1SeriesNew
The Rain (2 Seasons)4k5.1Series
The Ranch4kDolby Vision5.1Series
The Redeemed and the Dominant: Fittest4k5.1Series
The Society (1 Season)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
The Standups4k5.1Series
The Stranger (1 Season)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
The Travelers (3 Seasons)4k5.1Series
The Trial (1 Season) [Italian]4k5.1Series
The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez (Limited Series)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
The Umbrella Academy (2 Seasons)4kDolby Vision5.1SeriesNew
The Unremarkable Juanquini (1 Season) [Spanish]4kDolby Vision5.1SeriesNew
The Valhalla Murders (1 Season)4k5.1Series
The Victim’s Game (1 Season) [Mandarin]4k5.1Series
The White Helmets4k5.1Series
The Who Was? Show4k5.1Series
The Witcher (Season 1)4kDolby VisionAtmosSeries
The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes4k5.1Series
The Writer (Season 1) [Arabic]4k5.1Series
The Writer: Season 14k5.1Series
Tidelands  (One Season)4k5.1Series
Tidying Up with Marie Kondo4k5.1Series
Tiger King (1 Season)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Tijuana4k5.1Series
Til Death Do Us Part (Season 1) [Mandarin]4k5.1Series
Tiny Creatures (1 Season)4kDolby Vision5.1SeriesNew
Top Boy (1 Season)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Toy Boy (1 Season) [Spanish]4k5.1Series
Traitors4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Transformers War for Cybertron (Chap. 1)4kDolby VisionAtmosSeriesNew
Trial By Media (1 Season)4k5.1SeriesNew
Trigger Warning with Killer Mike4k5.1Series
Trinkets (Season 1)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Troy: Fall of a City4k5.1Series
Turn Up Charlie4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Typewriter [Hindi/English]4k5.1Series
Ugly Delicious (2 Seasons)4k5.1Series
Ultimate Beastmaster4k5.1Series
Ultraman: (Season 1)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Unbelievable (Limited Series)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Unbreakable: Kimmy Schmidt4k5.1Series
Unnatural Selection (Limited Series)4kDolby Vision5.1Series
Unorthodox (Limited Series)4k5.1Series
Unsolved Mysteries (1 Volume)4kDolby VisionAtmosSeriesNew
Unstoppable (1 Season) [Spanish]4k5.1Series
Unwell (1 Season)4kDolby Vision5.1SeriesNew
V Wars (Season 1)4kDolby VisionAtmosSeries
Vagabond (1 Season) [Korean]4k5.1Series
Valeria (1 Season) [Spanish]4k5.1SeriesNew
Vampires (1 Season) [French]4k5.1Series
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Last Updated: Aug. 10, 2020.

Last Updated: Aug. 10, 2020

Source: https://hd-report.com

Vinyl Outsells CDs for The First Time Since The 80s.

Date: 14 Sep 2020 –
Written by: Dan Sung –

Leg Warmers to outdo socks next?

Image credit: https://pxhere.com/en/photo/98327
Image credit: https://pxhere.com/en/photo/98327

Break out your crimpers and Transformers collection, records have outsold CDs in the US for the first time since the 1980s.

Despite physical media sales dropping by 23 percent in the first half of 2020, compared to the previous year, vinyl continues to buck the trend with a rise in sales of 2.3 percent. That may not sound like much but, compared to the drop in CDs by 43.2 percent, and in the face of the pandemic, that’s a positive bonanza for the groovy plastic disc.

According to RIAA, total music sales (digital and physical) still managed a climb of 7 percent overall in the face of the closure of music retail outlets, music venues and the cancellation of festivals and other music-based gatherings all over the world. That’s a slight slow down compared to 2019’s 9 percent growth but certainly nothing dramatic.

As for the humble LP/EP, sales so far in 2020 total an impressive 8.8 million records in the US at a value of $232.1m. To do CDs their dues, there were more units shipped (10.2 million) but sales were only $129.9m. Let’s see how long before that record falls.

Break out your crimpers and Transformers collection, records have outsold CDs in the US for the first time since the 1980s.

Despite physical media sales dropping by 23 percent in the first half of 2020, compared to the previous year, vinyl continues to buck the trend with a rise in sales of 2.3 percent. That may not sound like much but, compared to the drop in CDs by 43.2 percent, and in the face of the pandemic, that’s a positive bonanza for the groovy plastic disc.

According to RIAA, total music sales (digital and physical) still managed a climb of 7 percent overall in the face of the closure of music retail outlets, music venues and the cancellation of festivals and other music-based gatherings all over the world. That’s a slight slow down compared to 2019’s 9 percent growth but certainly nothing dramatic.

As for the humble LP/EP, sales so far in 2020 total an impressive 8.8 million records in the US at a value of $232.1m. To do CDs their dues, there were more units shipped (10.2 million) but sales were only $129.9m. Let’s see how long before that record falls.

Date: 14 Sep 2020 –
Written by: Dan Sung –
Source: https://www.whathifi.com

Panasonic unveils its first Android TVs for Europe

Date: 10 Sep 2020 –
Written by: Rasmus Larsen –

With HX700 and HX710, Panasonic will for the first time in Europe offer TVs based on Google’s Android TV platform instead of its own Firefox My Home Screen platform.

Image Credits: Panasonic. 
Panasonic Unveils its First Android TVs for Europe.
Image Credits: Panasonic

PANASONIC ANDROID TVS:
As reported exclusively by FlatpanelsHD in December 2019, Panasonic had plans to introduce its first-ever Android TVs in Europe this year. Here they are in the form of the mid-range HX7 series; 43-inch to 65-inch LCD TVs with 4K Resolution.

While the TV hardware is pretty basic, the move is noteworthy because Panasonic like LG and Samsung has spent years developing and refining its own TV platform. First alone and later in collaboration with Mozilla and its Firefox OS. After Mozilla threw in the towel, Panasonic renamed Firefox OS to MyHomeScreen and continued development.

Is this an acknowledgment from Panasonic that it needs a partner like Google to stay competitive against the likes of Samsung’s Tizen, LG’s webOS, and Apple’s tvOS? We would not go as far. From our sources, we have heard it described as an experiment. If it turns out to be a big seller, Panasonic may decide to implement Android in more of its TVs but there is no guarantee that it will happen.

APPS, CHROMECAST AND MORE:
Nevertheless, it still raises interesting questions. For example, why would a buyer pick the more expensive but very similar (in terms of display technology) HX800 or even HX900 when HX700 comes with the full Android TV platform?

Besides a much wider selection of apps and games, Android TVs offer built-in Chromecast, Google Assistant, and more. Also worth noting; HX700 will probably be Panasonic’s first TVs with Disney+. On the other hand you will not Panasonic’s advanced tuner features like TV Anywhere and in-house streaming. The remote control relies on Bluetooth and has a built-in microphone for Google Assistant.

Panasonic Unveils its First Android TVs for Europe.
Image Credits: Panasonic

The TVs support HDR with three formats; HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision. However, adjust your expectations. The LCD TVs are not equipped with LED zone dimming or similar technologies required to deliver the HDR picture experience. HX700 has a black frame while HX710 has a silver-colored frame. They are otherwise identical and will both be available in Europe in 43-inch, 50-inch, 55-inch, and 65-inch sizes starting from October/November, depending on your region.

Date: 10 Sep 2020 –
Written by: Rasmus Larsen –
Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

Apple TV app arrives on Vizio TVs with 4K HDR & Atmos support.

Date: 09 Sep 2020 –
Written by: Rasmus Larsen –

Apple and Vizio are rolling the Apple TV app with access to Apple TV+, iTunes movies, and channels and with a free 3 month trial. Content is available in up to 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos.

APPLE TV APP ON VIZIO TVS:
After the launch on select Samsung TVs, LG TVs, Roku, and FireTV, the Apple TV app is now rolling out to Vizio TVs from 2016 or later powered by the SmartCast platform. It will be available in the US and Canada. The app provides access to the Apple TV+ subscription service with titles like Greyhound, The Morning Show, Ted Lasso, and Central Park. It also offers access to the iTunes movie library where users can rent or buy over 100,000 movies and TV shows, including titles available in 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos, which is supported on compatible Vizio TVs, the company noted.

Apple TV app arrives on Vizio TVs with 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos support.
Apple TV app arrives on Vizio TVs with 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos support.

“With the Apple TV app coming to Vizio SmartCast TVs, customers can enjoy an even Broader range of exciting entertainment, including the popular and award-winning Apple TV+ service,” said Mike O’Donnell, Chief Revenue Officer, Vizio. The app supports channels meaning subscription content from partners including Showtime, Starz, and CBS All Access. In addition, Vizio TVs support Apple’s AirPlay 2 and HomeKit systems. The companies said that new customers in the US can sign up for a free three month trial to Apple TV+ after which it will renew at the standard $5 per month rate. The Apple TV app will also launch on select Sony TVs later this year.

Date: 09 Sep 2020 –
Written by: Rasmus Larsen –
Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

LG’s Entry Level BX is its Most Affordable OLED of 2020.

Written by: Kob Monney 
Date: September 7, 2020

LG’s BX OLED has finally gone on sale, and it’s the South Korean manufacturer’s cheapest OLED set for 2020.

LG’s entry-level BX is its most affordable OLED of 2020.
LG’s Entry-Level BX is its Most Affordable OLED of 2020

LG’s entry-level B series OLED TV is usually the last of its OLED TVs to go on sale, and LG has confirmed that the BX is available to purchase from retailers such as Currys and John Lewis & Partners.

EVERY LG OLED AND NANOCELL EXPLAINED:
The B series OLEDs tend to use a less advanced picture processor (hence the more affordable price). Rather than use the α9 Gen 3 processor seen on the CX OLED and GX OLED, the BX opts for the α7 Gen 3 processor that’s used on LG’s premium 4K NanoCell sets.

The list of features is effectively the same as what’s on the premium OLEDs. There’s support for Dolby Vision IQ and Dolby Atmos sound, the former tailoring Dolby Vision HDR to suit the lighting conditions for your room; the latter providing higher-quality TV audio. Filmmaker Mode is also included, though there’s literally no content been made available in the format yet.

LG’s ThinQ AI tech turns the TV into a central smart hub for the home with support for Google Assistant and built-in Amazon Alexa. Connections are downgraded from the CX and GX. Instead of all the HDMI ports supporting the 2.1 spec, there are only two, with the other two supporting the HDMI 2.0 spec. You still get eARC compatibility for piping through Dolby Atmos content.

LG’s webOS interface has nearly all the apps you’d want in Apple TV, Disney+ and Netflix. There’s still no Freeview Play, but there is the BBC iPlayer app, which arrived at the beginning of September. We’re still waiting on word for the rest of the UK catch-up apps.

And the BX continues LG’s approach to gaming with NVIDIA G-SYNC compatibility, as well as VRR and ALLM for slicker gaming responses and auto-switching into Game Mode. There’s 120fps support, which may make this an ideal OLED if the next-gen consoles are confirmed to cost a pretty penny.

The LG BX is available to purchase in 55-inch for £1299 and the 65-inch for £1999 sizes now.

Written by: Kob Monney 
Date: September 7, 2020
Source: https://www.trustedreviews.com

48″ OLED TVs in High Demand, Especially Among Gamers.

Date: 27 Aug 2020 –
Written by: Rasmus Larsen –


Bringing OLED technology to smaller TV sizes has proven to be a success, according to industry sources in Korea via Pulse News. Especially with Gamers.

ALTERNATIVE TO LCD MONITORS:
Earlier this year, LG launched the first 48-inch OLED TV. Previously, OLED display technology was reserved for 55 inches or larger, while LCD technology spans to full spectrum.

The TVs have reportedly been in high demand since launch, the article claimed based on industry sources and research firm Omdia formerly IHS Markit. Sales were boosted by the general stay-at-home entertainment boom from the global coronavirus pandemic.

“The LG 48-inch CX 4K OLED TV sold out in one minute during the South Korean electronics maker’s three pre-order events held locally since its domestic release in late July, according to industry sources on Thursday. The model also had gone out of stock in just one week of its release in some European markets,” the report said.

48" OLED TVs in high demand, especially among Gamers.
48″ OLED TVs in High Demand, Especially Among Gamers.

The report notes that LG has seen high demand from especially gamers. 48-inch OLED is not cheap but smaller LCD gaming monitors with similar features, and subpar picture quality, can often cost the same or more. 4x-inch LCD TVs typically lack advanced features to keep costs down. LG’s 48-inch CX OLED TV on the other hand offers HDMI 2.1, HDMI VRR, AMD FreeSync, and Nvidia G-Sync Compatible.

Sony also recently launched a 48-inch OLED TV but it lacks many of the gaming features found in LG’s model. Additional TV makers are expected to launch 48-inch OLED models later this year.

Date: 27 Aug 2020 –
Written by: Rasmus Larsen –
Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

Yamaha Launches First AV Receivers with Multiple HDMI 2.1 Inputs.

Date: 26 Aug 2020 –
Written by: Rasmus Larsen –


Yamaha has unveiled its first AV Receivers with HDMI 2.1 inputs for 8K60, 4K120, VRR, and more. The RX-V receivers are also the first to feature multiple HDMI 2.1 inputs.

YAMAHA HDMI 2.1 RECEIVERS:
Marantz and Denon introduced the first AV receivers with HDMI 2.1 but Yamaha’s new RX-V AV receivers will be the first to feature more than one HDMI 2.1 input.

“In fact, no other AV receiver on the market offers as many 8K HDMI inputs as Yamaha, with three on the RX-V6A (7 inputs total) and all four inputs on the RX-V4A,” the company said.

This may prove useful if you are planning to invest in both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X or a next-generation game consoles plus a next-generation video player in the future. HDMI 2.1 is required for 4K120 (4K at 120fps) and 8K signals. Having HDMI 2.1 in your receiver ensures that it does not become a bottleneck (for pass-through to a TV) in a HiFi setup.

new Yamaha AV Receiver RX-V6A. Photo Credits by: Yamaha
Yamaha RX-V6A. Photo: Yamaha

The receivers also support optional HDMI 2.1 features such as Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), Variable Refresh Rates (VRR), Quick Frame Transport (QFT), and Quick Media Switching (QMS), said Yamaha. All HDMI 2.1 features will require a firmware update.

Furthermore, the company has included support for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Dolby Vision pass through all inputs, AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, multi-room audio, and voice control.

The Yamaha RX-V6A. Photo Credits: Yamaha
The Yamaha RX-V6A. Photo: Yamaha

The alternative to upgrading to an HDMI 2.1 receiver is to connect next-gen game consoles and players directly to an TV with HDMI 2.1 plus support for HDMI eARC, which can then return full-quality audio back to an HDMI 2.0 receiver with eARC support.

Yamaha’s new RX-V4A and RX-V6A will be available in August and September 2020 for $440 and $600, respectively.

YAMAHA RX-V RECEIVERS – SPECIFICATIONS:

RX-V6A AT A GLANCE:
– 7.2-ch., 100 Watt AV Receiver with Zone 2.
– 8K/60Hz & 4K/120Hz*, HDMI 2.1 with HDCP 2.3 and eARC 7-in and 1-out.
– Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization*.
– YPAO Multi-Point automatic room calibration.
– Voice control with Amazon Alexa, Siri via AirPlay 2 and Google Assistant.
– MusicCast multi-room app control with optional wireless surrounds.
– $599.95 MSRP, available Sept. 2020.


RX-V4A AT A GLANCE:
– 5.1-ch., 80-Watt AV receiver.
– 8K/60Hz & 4K/120Hz*, HDMI 2.1 with HDCP 2.3 and eARC 4-in and 1-out.
– YPAO automatic room calibration.
– Voice Control with Amazon Alexa, Siri via AirPlay 2 and Google Assistant.
– MusicCast multi-room app control with optional wireless surrounds.
– $439.95 MSRP, available Aug. 2020.

* Available via Firmware Update…

Date: 26 Aug 2020 –
Written by: Rasmus Larsen –
Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

Google Play Movies Now Offers Movies in HDR, HDR10+ And Dolby Vision.

Date: 20 Aug 2020 –
Written by: Rasmus Larsen –


Google’s Movie Service, Google Play Movies, Now Offers Movies in 4K and HDR10+ in 117 countries. Samsung is a launch partner but additional platforms will follow.

Google Play Movies Now Offers Movies in HDR, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision.
Google Play Movies now offers movies in HDR, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision..

HDR10+ MOVIES:
As promised at CES 2020, Google now offers movies in HDR10+, the dynamic metadata HDR format developed mainly by Samsung. Google also recently added support for Dolby Vision, meaning that some of its movies are available in a total of three HDR flavors.

Some of Google’s first titles in HDR10+ include The Joker, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Shazam, and Crazy Rich Asians. Additional titles will be added over time.

Samsung is a launch partner and it was confirmed that Google’s HDR10+ titles will be made available on “other additional platforms in the future as well”

“The HDR10+ service is now available on Samsung Smart TV in 117 countries including North America, Europe and Korea,” said Samsung. “Users can now enjoy high-resolution HDR10+ 4K HDR content on the Google Play Movies.”

The Joker is now available in HDR10, HDR10+ and in Dolby Vision on Google Play Movies...
The Joker is now available in HDR10, HDR10+ & Dolby Vision on Google Play Movies.

HDR10+ STILL STRUGGLING:
In 2017, Samsung, Panasonic and 20th Century Fox formed the HDR10+ alliance but HDR10+ has been struggling to build momentum against Dolby’s HDR format, Dolby Vision, which is more widely adopted.

Panasonic now supports Dolby Vision in addition to HDR10+ in its TVs while 20th Century Fox has been swallowed by Disney who has seemingly abandoned HDR10+ for Fox titles. Samsung is the sole holdout.

Google’s launch cannot be seen as a win for HDR10+ either as the company is also offering content in Dolby’s HDR. Samsung said that there are now 108 HDR10+ partners worldwide, although only a handful of these are consumer-facing companies. The company added that it remains committed to the format.

Date: 20 Aug 2020 –
Written by: Rasmus Larsen –
Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

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Samsung Takes Lion’s Share of Global TV Market in H1.

Date: August 19, 2020 –
Written by: Korea Bizwire –

This Photo Shows Customers at a TV Store in Seoul. Photo Credits: Yonhap
This Photo Shows Customers at a TV Store in Seoul. Photo Credits: Yonhap.

SEOUL, AUG. 19 KOREA BIZWIRE:
Samsung Electronics Co. remained the top TV vendor in the first half of the year, a report showed Wednesday, despite a contraction of the global TV market due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Samsung accounted for 31.3 percent of the world TV market in terms of value in the first six months, according to market tracker Omdia, up 1.3 percentage points from a year ago.

By shipment volume, Samsung’s market share reached 20.7 percent in the first half of the year, up 1.7 percentage points from a year ago.

The South Korean tech giant shipped 19.07 million TVs in the first six months of the year, compared with 19.02 million TVs a year earlier, Omdia said.

Brisk sales of QLED TVs and strong performances in North America and Europe in the second quarter of the year helped Samsung maintain its status.

Samsung’s QLED TV sales jumped 28 percent on-year to 1.4 million units in the April-June period. Its market share of 75-inch TVs reached 65.5 percent in North America and 54 percent in Europe.

In the first half of the year, global TV shipments reached 91.87 million units, down 7.7 percent from a year earlier, as the pandemic subdued consumer spending.

In terms of value, the market contracted 17.8 percent on-year to US$39.7 billion, according to Omdia.

LG Electronics Inc. was the runner-up to Samsung with a 17 percent market share in the first half of the year, up 1 percentage point from a year ago, Omdia data showed.

In terms of shipments, LG was also second with an 11.7 percent market share after delivering 10.79 million TVs. However, when it comes to the second quarter alone, the company came in third behind China’s TCL.

Industry observers said TV sales in the second half are likely to be larger than the first half due to promotional events around Thanksgiving Day and year-end holidays, though a resurgence of virus cases in many countries could dampen their efforts.

Date: August 19, 2020 –
Written by: Korea Bizwire –
Source: http://koreabizwire.com

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Philips launches its first 2020 OLED TVs with Android 9.0, DTS and Play-Fi.

Date: 14 Aug 2020 –
Written by: Rasmus Larsen –


The first 2020 OLED TVs from Philips are rolling out now in Europe. The OLED805 and OLED855 feature 4K, Ambilight, Android 9.0 and for the first time DTS and Play-Fi. Additional OLED models for 2020 will be unveiled soon.

PHILIPS 2020 OLED TVS:
Like last year, OLED805 and OLED855 and in some regions OLED865 feature 4K Resolution, support for multi-HDR HDR10, HDR10+, HLG and Dolby Vision, Android TV version 9.0, and of course Ambilight.

New major features this year are DTS Play-Fi and an upgraded P5 AI video processor that has been optimised through machine learning to enhance the picture in five areas, the company explained; source, color, contrast, motion and sharpness. We will take a closer look in our upcoming review.

The First 2020 OLED TVs From Philips Are Rolling Out Now in Europe.
The first 2020 OLED TVs from Philips are rolling out now in Europe.

As for DTS Play-Fi integration, the company says that it is the first step towards building a complete wireless connectivity platform. In addition to multiroom music support, DTS Play-Fi lets users connect speakers wirelessly to the TV in up to 5.1 surround sound.

The OLED805, OLED855 and OLED865 are technical identical. The difference lies in design and the table top stand. Another new development worth highlighting is the revamped remote control in leather with backlit buttons.

The New OLED TVs From Philips Will Compete Head to Head With OLED TVs From LG, Sony, Panasonic And Other TV Brands in Europe.
The new OLED TVs from Philips will compete head to head with OLED TVs from LG, Sony, Panasonic and other TV brands in Europe.

GOOGLE, DOLBY & B&W PARTNERSHIPS:
The new OLED TVs from Philips will compete head to head with OLED TVs from LG, Sony, Panasonic and other TV brands in Europe.

Sony and Philips have both embraced Google’s Android TV platform that offers access to apps via the Play Store whereas LG is positioning its OLED TVs as console friendly by including HDMI 2.1 ports, and Panasonic has a customized, high brightness OLED panel in its flagship model.

Besides its partnerships with Google and Dolby, Philips has partnered with Bowers & Wilkins. These 8 Series OLED TVs will not come equipped with B&W speakers but the company has teased that it will soon unveil additional 2020 models with B&W speakers.

We expect to hear more in early September during IFA 2020. Philips OLED 8×5 models are rolling out now in Europe and will be more widely available in a few weeks.

Date: 14 Aug 2020 –
Written by: Rasmus Larsen –
Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

TCL launches upgraded 6 Series 4K LCD TVs with miniLED and VRR.

Date: 12 Aug 2020 –
Written by: Rasmus Larsen –


TCL has launched upgraded mid-range 6-series 4K LCD TVs starting at $650. The 2020 generation features miniLED dimming zones, Roku, and 120Hz plus VRR for gaming.

TCL 6-SERIES 4K LCD TVS:
The new TVs from TCL will compete with mid-range LCD TVs from the likes of Samsung, Vizio, and Sony. Like Samsung, TCL uses QLED technology to improve colors on its LCD TVs.

The New 6-Series models For 2020 4K LCD TVs With miniLED and VRR.
The New 6-Series models For 2020 4K LCD TVs With miniLED and VRR.

The new 6-series models for 2020 feature a VA LCD panel with 4K resolution and local dimming with up to 240 zones in 75 inches, which is significantly lower than the company’s 8-series but still more than most mid-range TVs.

TCL says that it is utilizing miniLED rather than standard LED in the backlight unit. Normally miniLED would allow a manufacturer to increase the number of dimming zones but here TCL is most likely using it to reduce energy consumption and ensure that the TV stays relatively slim despite its zone dimming capabilities.

The TVs are powered by the company’s AIPQ Engine video processor. It was confirmed that the TVs will support up to 120Hz input, although it did not specify at what resolution.

There was no mention of HDMI 2.1 ports either but it did say that variable refresh rate VRR for smoother gaming is supported. In addition, the TVs are the first to feature a THX certified game mode.

The TVs Support HDR High Dynamic Range.
The TVs Support HDR High Dynamic Range.

The TVs support HDR High Dynamic Range. Content presented in the wider luminance and color range is available through Netflix, Apple TV, and other apps on the Roku platform inside.

The three HDR formats supported are HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision. Dolby Atmos is supported although you will need an external sound system to take advantage of the object-based audio format.

TCL’s 2020 6-Series is rolling out now in the US. A 55-inch model 55R635 costs $650, a 65-inch model 65R635 costs $900, and a 75-inch 75R635 model costs $1400.

The TCL Company also launched the new 6-Series LCD TVs with 4K Resolution.
The Company Also Launched New 6-Series LCD TVs With 4K Resolution.

NEW 5 SERIES MODELS:
The company also launched new 6-Series LCD TVs with 4K resolution, quantum dots for an expanded color gamut, and local dimming with a limited number of dimming zones up to 80. The TV supports HDR including Dolby Vision but it remains to be seen if the LCD panel inside is capable of delivering actual HDR. TCL’s 5 series models are available in the US in sizes from 50 to 75 inches starting at 400 dollars.

Date: 12 Aug 2020 –
Written by: Rasmus Larsen –
Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

Philips Debuts New 4K LCD TVs With Ambilight

Date: 05 Aug 2020 –
Written by: Rasmus Larsen –


2020 LCD models from Philips are rolling out now in Europe. The new mid-range TVs feature Ambilight, 4K and DTS Play-Fi. They run either Android or Saphi.

PHILIPS 2020 LCD TVS:
In Philips’ 2020 line-up you get Ambilight from PUS7805 and up, and Android TV from PUS8505 and up. The more affordable models run the company’s own Saphi platform, which has a different selection of streaming apps.

The new LCD TVs launching now are mid-range models. An upgraded version of ‘The One’ (PUS8505) TV comes with all of the essential features of a modern TV, said Philips.

Philips New TV Line For 2020.
Philips New TV Line For 2020

A new feature this year is DTS Play-Fi from PUS8505 and up, which lets you connects compatible speakers wirelessly to the TV. In addition, it lets you connect a Philips TV to a DTS-powered multiroom system.

The TVs also support Dolby Atmos audio from apps such as Netflix, which can be transmitted to a sounder or receiver via HDMI.

Philips Will Soon Introduce New High-End 9 Series LCD TVs.
Philips Will Soon Introduce New High-End 9 Series LCD TVs

HIGH-END LCD TVS COMING LATER:
Besides the new 7 and 8 series LCD TVs, Philips will soon introduce new high-end 9 series LCD TVs, including PUS9005 that reintroduces 4-sided Ambilight. The mood lighting system can be extended through Philips Hue. Ambilight also offers game and music modes.

Due to the market situation and dearth of content, the company is taking wait-and-see approach to 8K. All of the new mid-range models feature 4K resolution. A low-end 6 series model with HD resolution will be introduced only in select markets. Philips is not alone is in phasing out HDTVs.

The upcoming 9 series TVs will also feature Bowers & Wilkins speakers. We expect to hear more about the plans in early September at an online event. Usually, Philips would unveil its latest TVs at the IFA show in Berlin but IFA is more or less cancelled this year due to coronavirus.

The 2020 LCD TVs from Philips are rolling out now in Europe, with the 9 series models expected this autumn.

Date: 05 Aug 2020 –
Written by: Rasmus Larsen –
Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

Panasonic Launches New Flagship HZ2000 OLED TV for 2020

Date: 31 Jul 2020 –
Written by: Rasmus Larsen –


The successor to last year’s GZ2000, which received our Reference Award, has arrived. HZ2000 features the 2020 OLED panel with improved BFI, Filmmaker Mode, improved sound, and more.

HZ2000 REPLACES GZ2000:
Last year’s GZ2000 was the first TV to use a customized version of LG Display’s standard OLED panel, which is used in all OLED TVs on the market today. This panel has higher average and peak brightness up to 1000 nits and we gave it our Reference Award.

Here comes the successor in the form of HZ2000. On top of improved brightness capabilities, the OLED panel features the improved BFI (Black Frame Insertion) system of the 2020 OLED panel.

Panasonic Launches New Flagship HZ2000 OLED TV for 2020.
Panasonic Launches New Flagship HZ2000 OLED TV for 2020.

In addition, Panasonic says that HZ2000 offers an improved 3.0.2-channel speaker system for Dolby Atmos as well as HDMI eARC. It also comes with Filmmaker Mode and Dolby Vision IQ – like HZ1000 that we recently reviewed.

Finally, the company says that version 5.0 of its MyHomeScreen TV platform has some user interface tweaks. There are still no plans to provide software updates for MyHomeScreen after purchase.

On the other hand Panasonic is not yet ready to move to HDMI 2.1, which means that HZ2000 may not be an ideal partner for next-generation game consoles and video players. LG, Samsung and Sony have all begun the transition to HDMI 2.1 in high-end 4K TVs.

On the other hand Panasonic is not yet ready to move to HDMI 2.1, which means that HZ2000 may not be an ideal partner for next-generation game consoles and video players. LG, Samsung and Sony have all begun the transition to HDMI 2.1 in high-end 4K TVs.

Panasonic HZ2000 is available now in Europe in 55 and 65 inch sizes starting at £3300 / €2900.

Date: 31 Jul 2020 –
Written by: Rasmus Larsen –
Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

Sony Unveils First Ready for PlayStation 5, 4K, 8K TVs.

Date: 29 Jul 2020 –
Written by: Rasmus Larsen


The first ‘Ready for PlayStation 5’ TVs are the recently launched X900H (XH90) and Z8H (ZH8) models. The new program covers 4K120 support, a new Bravia Game Mode, and more.

READY FOR PLAYSTATION 5:
Sony’s TV and PlayStation division have jointly launched a new initiative to mark TVs that are ready for the next-generation video/audio features in PlayStation 5.

The company said that its X900H (XH90) 4K LCD TVs and Z8H (ZH8) 8K LCD TVs are the first models to receive the stamp of approval. Both will support 4K resolution at 120fps (frames per second) via HDMI 2.1. X900H (XH90) has input lag of just 7.2 ms (in 120fps mode). Z8H (ZH8) will support 8K from PS5 following a firmware update.

TV makers like LG and Samsung are also offering TVs with HDMI 2.1.

New Sony TV XH90 in 4K / 60 fps and 4K / 120 fps.
New Sony TV XH90 in 4K / 60 fps and 4K / 120 fps.

“The XH90 displays gameplay images of up to 4K resolution at 120 fps with a very low input lag of 7.2ms. The ZH8 is capable of displaying incredibly detailed 8K resolution images4 while also showcasing 4K resolution gameplay images at super-smooth 120 fps (supporting spec varies by PS5 game). Both TVs will provide extremely smooth gaming experiences with the PS5 console,” said Sony.

The company indicated that some future models will also be labeled ready for PS5. It should be noted that Sony’s new 4K LCD flagship X950H (XH95) and new 2020 OLED models (A8H/A8 and A9) are not part of the program. These TVs lack HDMI 2.1 ports.

BRAVIA GAME MODE:
The initiative also covers a new ‘Bravia Game Mode’ that automatically puts the TV into game mode after a game loads on PS5. It sounds like HDMI ALLM, which is also supported in TVs from other manufacturer, although Sony refrained from mentioning ALLM by name.

Furthermore, this feature lets the TV wake from stand-by together with PS5. It will also be possible to control the PS5 console via the TV remote control.

Lastly, the company highlighted ‘immersive sound’ without providing any further details as to what level of support is required by the TV. With PlayStation 5 Sony has developed a new ‘Tempest’ object-based audio technology to provide more immersive game audio – similar to Dolby Atmos. With object-based technology each sound can be encoded as an object rather than pre-mixed to surround channels.

Sony released this graphic as part of its announcement.

New Sony TV HX90 Ready for PlayStation 5
New Sony TV HX90 Ready for PlayStation 5

Sony’s First 48″ OLED TV Will Cost €1900 / £1800.

Date: 24 Jul 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen


Sony’s first 48-inch OLED TV will be available in Europe starting from August for €1900 and £1800. It is a new high-end A9 model.

48″ HIGH-END TV FROM SONY:
Over the last decade, we have seen TV makers push their best picture quality and most advanced features up into larger screen sizes. First 46 inches, then 55 inches, and now even 65 inches for some TV brands.

That changes in 2020 with the launch of the first 48-inch OLED TVs. The smaller panel is, besides higher pixel density, identical to the larger 55 to 77 inch panels, so you will get the same great picture quality. This includes 4K resolution, 100Hz, pixel-level luminance and color control for HDR as well as accurate colors in up to DCI-P3.

LG was the first manufacturer to launch a 48 inch OLED model and starting next month, August, Sony will also offer a 48 inch OLED TV in Europe, with availability in other regions including North America to follow later. It is a new high-end A9 model with Android TV, Acoustic Surface sound, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, AirPlay 2, and more.

Sony’s first 48-inch OLED TV will be available in Europe.

Sony UK and Sony Germany have today announced that the 48-inch model will cost £1800 and €1900 at launch. It will start shipping in Europe in late August. This puts it approximately 200 to 300 Euro or pounds higher than LG’s 48 inch model, which unlike Sony’s model features HDMI 2.1 ports and features.

Sony has confirmed only a 48-inch A9 model for 2020 but it may have more to share in early September during IFA. We expect to see 48 inch OLED TVs from other TV makers announced at the same time.

At launch, a 48 inch OLED TV will be significantly more expensive than a 46 to 50 inch LCD TV but in terms of picture quality it is night and day.

Date: 24 Jul 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen
Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

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Peacock Launches Without 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos

Date: 15 Jul 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen


NBCUniversal’s Peacock launches today in the US, with free and premium tiers. The new streaming service will not offer 4K HDR or Dolby Atmos at launch. It will not be on Roku or FireTV either.

PEACOCK UNFOLDS ITS FEATHERS:
Peacock will have a free, ad-supported tier with limited access to 13,000 hours of content, a $5/month tier with 20,000 hours of content and ads, and a $10/month tier with full, ad-free access. That is the good news.

The bad news is that, like WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, Peacock is not offering 4K HDR video or Dolby Atmos audio at launch. Movies and TV series are available in up to HD resolution. There is no word on when to expect it either. Up to 3 simultaneous streams are allowed.

It is not because NBCUniversal lacks movies in 4K HDR. Universal Studios is one of the most prolific studios when it comes to releasing UHD Blu-ray discs and 4K HDR movies through video-on-demand services such as iTunes and Vudu.

Peacock Launches Without 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos.

Peacock will roll out today on Apple TV including the Apple TV app, Android TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, Vizio SmartCast TVs version 2.0 or later, and LG webOS TVs version 3.5 or later. It effectively means that many owners of recent Vizio and LG TVs will not be able to download the app.

Again like HBO Max, Peacock will not be available on Roku and Amazon FireTV at launch. These TV platforms are, according to most estimates, the biggest two in the US. Negotiations have reported stalled over terms for revenue sharing from ads.

With Peacock, you will have access to new originals from NBCUniversal as well as popular catalog titles from Universal, Focus Features, DreamWorks, and Illumination such as Jurassic Park, E.T., Meet the Parents, Shrek, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live, King of Queens, Everybody Loves Raymond, Two and a Half Men, and Frasier. Coming soon are titles like Trolls World Tour, The Office, and new original TV shows.

NBCUniversal is the latest to enter the streaming wars after Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max, and Quibi. Peacock will launch in the US today and later internationally. You can check it out on peacocktv.com.

Date: 15 Jul 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen
Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

Marantz Unveils its First Receivers with HDMI 2.1

Date: 14 Jul 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen


Marantz has unveiled its first line of 8K ready receivers with HDMI 2.1 for 4K 120 fps and 8K 60 fps passthrough. However, only a single input port is HDMI 2.1 compatible.

MARANTZ HDMI 2.1 RECEIVERS:
Marantz new SR series of AV receivers SR5015, SR6015, SR7015, and SR8015 are its first 8K ready models, or more specifically its first with an HDMI 2.1 port.

HDMI 2.1 enables the receiver to pass through 4K 120fps and 8K 60fps signals from a next-generation game console or video player. The company added that the receivers also support pass-through for optional HDMI 2.1 features such as Dynamic HDR, QMS Quick Media Switching, VRR Variable Refresh Rate, ALLM Auto Low Latency Mode and QFT Quick Frame Transport.

Like Denon’s first HDMI 2.1 receivers, the new Marantz receivers are equipped only with a single HDMI 2.1 input 40 Gbps. Additional HDMI 2.1 players or consoles should be connected directly to the TV that can feed lossless audio back to the receiver via HDMI eARC.

Marantz new SR series of AV receivers SR5015, SR6015, SR7015, and SR8015.

The new 2020 SR-Series AV receivers represent the next major step forward in home theater, not just for Marantz, but the entire home entertainment industry, said Jake Mendel, global brand manager, Marantz. Marantz fans will be some of the first to experience new levels of incredibly sharp image quality, remarkably fast gaming and immersive surround sound. But more importantly, superior Marantz HDAM-SA3 amplification based on decades of extensive tuning transports the listener ever closer to their music.

TVs with HDMI 2.1 are already available in the market and the first players and consoles are expected to launch later this year. With HDMI 2.1 capable receivers starting to emerge the pieces for next generation of video and audio are starting to fall into place.

The receivers support Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Auro 3D, and IMAX Enhanced along with many other features that are listed in the table below. Marantz’s new receivers will be available in the US and Europe starting from August to September.

Date: 14 Jul 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen
Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

LG Releases FreeSync Premium Update for its CX, GX OLED TVs

Date: 13 Jul 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen


LG has released the promised firmware update to add support for FreeSync Premium (with HDR) on its 2020 CX and GX OLED TVs. The same update enables ATSC 3.0.

FREESYNC PREMIUM WITH HDR:

LG has released firmware version 03.10.20 in the US and Europe. The new firmware includes support for AMD FreeSync Premium, which LG had promised to add to select 2020 OLED TVs as reported first by FlatpanelsHD at CES 2020.

While PC monitors require the FreeSync Premium Pro tier to support HDR together with FreeSync, TVs only need to support the FreeSync Premium tier for HDR. AMD and owners confirm that HDR is working correctly together with FreeSync on LG’s CX and GX OLED TVs.

LG 2020 TVs already offered support for HDMI VRR and Nvidia’s G-Sync Compatible. With AMD FreeSync the TVs now support three VRR flavors – the widest support found in any TV. Samsung has been offering FreeSync in its TVs for a few years now but only recently added HDMI VRR. Sony just launched its first TV with HDMI VRR although it will require a future firmware update.

VRR provides smoother gameplay with a compatible PC or game console such as Xbox One S/X. VRR also reduces input lag and tearing.

AMD FreeSync Premium in LG 2020 TVs

The supported frequency range for AMD FreeSync Premium in LG 2020 TVs is 40-120Hz. Below that range, LFC (Low Framerate Compensation) kicks in. LG’s 2020 TVs support up to 4K at 120fps with maximum 4:2:0 and 8-bit over HDMI 2.0. Exact VRR support over HDMI 2.1 remains unclear as there are no HDMI 2.1 players/consoles available. LG has only said that 40-120Hz will be supported for 4K over HDMI 2.1.

LG’s 4K BX OLED and 8K ZX OLED TVs ranges will also gain support for FreeSync. Firmware updates for these sets are still pending.

A couple of caveats here. Users are reporting that if you enable FreeSync detection on a specific HDMI port, this HDMI port will no longer accept Dolby Vision signals; even if FreeSync is not engaged. It has also been reported that LG’s FreeSync implementation suffers from the same black level fluctuations as its HDMI VRR implementation.

Firmware version 3.10.20 also includes Apple AirPlay improvements, Sport Alert improvements, and support for ATSC 3.0 WX/GX only, meaning the new nextgen TV standard in the US. The firmware is available now in the US and Europe.

Date: 13 Jul 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen
Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

Sony Launches X900H (XH90), Its First 4K TVs With HDMI 2.1

Date: 03 Jul 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen


Sony X900H in the US and XH90 in Europe is now available in 55 to 85-inch sizes. It is Sony’s first 4K TVs with HDMI 2.1 ports and VRR, although it will require a firmware update.

THE PLAYSTATION 5 TV?
In 2011, Sony launched the PlayStation 3D monitor for PlayStation 3. Fast-forward to 2020 and the company has announced PlayStation 5. For users who want to pair up PS5 with a Sony TV, X900H (XH90) could prove to be the PlayStation 5 TV.

X900H (XH90) is Sony’s first 4K model with HDMI 2.1 ports, and its first TVs with VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) and ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) period. Previously, Sony offered HDMI 2.1 ports only in 8K TVs.

Why is that important? Well, the company has confirmed that PlayStation 5 will support gaming in up to 4K120 as well as VRR for much smoother gameplay with lower lag. This will require an HDMI 2.1 connection between PS5 and the TV.

Sony is not the first manufacturer to offer HDMI 2.1 ports in its 4K TVs. LG has been offering it since 2019 in its high-end LCD and OLED TVs. Samsung recently launched its first 4K TVs with HDMI 2.1 as part of its 2020 line-up. Sony is specifying a 48-120Hz frequency range for VRR in X900H, which is in line with Samsung’s implementation but less than LG’s 40-120Hz VRR in its OLED TVs.

Sony X900H 4K TV with HDMI 2.1.

HDMI 2.1 REQUIRES FIRMWARE UPDATE:
Besides HDMI 2.1, X900H features a full array local dimming (FALD) system behind the LCD panel, HDR support, Android TV, Dolby Atmos, AirPlay 2, and HomeKit. It is also equipped with the company’s new Acoustic Multi-Audio speaker system from 65″ and up.

We will not know how well Sony X900H performs as next-generation gaming TV before we get a chance to hook it up to PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X, and we are not even sure that the firmware update required to enable HDMI 2.1 input and VRR will make it in time, but we sure hope so.

The company has yet to announce 4K OLED TVs with HDMI 2.1 but we suspect that it has more planned for the second half of 2020.

Sony XH900 in the US and XH90 in Europe is available now in 55 to 85 inches.

Date: 03 Jul 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen
Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

tvOS 14 Enables YouTube 4K – iOS 14 Enables YouTube 4K HDR Via VP9.

Date: 25 Jun 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen


Apple confirms that tvOS 14 will enable YouTube in 4K on Apple TV 4K. YouTube in 4K HDR is also enabled in iOS 14 on some iOS devices, via Google’s VP9 codec that Apple has resisted for years.

YOUTUBE 4K 60FPS IN HDR ON APPLE DEVICES:
Three years after the launch of Apple TV 4K, the box will finally stream YouTube in 4K resolution starting this fall with the release of tvOS 14. Although not highlighted on stage at WWDC20, the company confirmed the news on its website.

Watch the latest YouTube videos in their full 4K glory. Your favorite music, slo‑mo, outdoor, and vlog footage never looked better,” announced Apple.

Another surprising twist is that iOS 14 also enables YouTube in 4K, 60 fps, and HDR on recent iPhone and iPad devices, according to users on reddit and social media. The twist is that iOS 14 is delivering YouTube’s 4K HDR via Google’s VP9 video codec that Apple has resisted for years.

YOUTUBE 4K 60 FPS in HDR ON IPHONE WITH IOS 14 BETA. PHOTO: REDDIT USER SQUID04


APPLE CAVES IN:
It is a strange turn of events and ultimately Apple has caved in. To be clear, Apple could have enabled Google’s VP9 on iOS / tvOS and macOS several years ago.

That is why the news of YouTube 4K support led to speculation that Apple had instead started its transition to the newer AV1 codec, developed by the Alliance for Open Media of which both Apple and Google are founding members. But that does not seem to be the case – at least not yet.

A quick summary: There are, roughly speaking, two ways to bring 4K streaming to your devices. Via the industry standard HEVC format or via Google’s royalty-free VP9 format. Google has resisted using HEVC on YouTube, causing pains for some partners and users.

Apple had resisted using VP9 in any form on any device, affecting video quality on YouTube. The third option is to use the next-generation AV1 format that Apple, Google and many others are backing. YouTube has already started transitioning to AV1 for 4K streaming as well as 8K streaming to 8K TVs.

VP9 was already supported on Android, recent Smart TVs, and in some PC browsers.

There are a couple of questions that remain unanswered. While some iPhone/iPad devices with iOS 14 support 4K HDR via VP9-2 (VP9 profile 2), it is not yet clear if Apple TV 4K will too. As you can see from its statement above, Apple mentions 4K for YouTube but makes no mention of HDR for YouTube on Apple TV 4K.

The functionality is not yet enabled in the tvOS 14 beta either so we cannot check. Perhaps it will show up in a later tvOS 14 beta or perhaps it will require an update for the YouTube App.

Date: 25 Jun 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen
Source: reddit, twitter
Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

LG Installs its First LED Cinema Screen.

Date: 16 Jun 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen


Following in the footsteps of Samsung, LG is getting into the cinema market. Not with projectors, but rather gigantic modular LED screens.

LED CINEMA SCREENS:
Samsung installed the “world’s first” LED Cinema Screen in July 2017 and Sony has been exploring the concept for years. LG has now installed its first LED cinema screen. It was installed in Taiwan in partnership with Taiwan’s Showtime Cinemas and Dolby. The installation includes a full Dolby Atmos system.

LG LED Cinema Screen.

By replacing the conventional projector with huge, modular LED screens, LG says that the projector room can be repurposed as seating space. The company claims that its LED cinema screens have 100,000 hours of lifetime (LED brightness half-time).



“We are excited about our collaboration with LG Electronics to bring our combined expertise to movie goers in Taiwan,” said Jed Harmsen, CPof Cinema & Content Solutions at Dolby Labs. “With the lifelike images created by LG’s LED Cinema Display and the immersive audio delivered by Dolby Atmos, moviegoers will be able to enjoy an elevated and thoroughly captivating cinematic experience.”

LED cinema screens can get much brighter than projectors and have far superior contrast to let cinemagoers experience HDR for the first time in cinema. Like OLED, LEDs are self-emitting meaning that each pixel emits its own light for pixel-level luminance and color control. The price of the system was not disclosed.

Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com
Written by: Rasmus Larsen
Date: 16 Jun 2020

Panasonic HZ980 OLED TVs Join 2020 Line-Up.

Date: 15 Jun 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen


Panasonic has taken the wraps of yet another range of 4K OLED TVs that will be part of its 2020 line-up for Europe. HZ980 features HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and Atmos.

FOUR OLED TV RANGES:
In addition to the flagship HZ2000 and the more affordable HZ1500 and HZ1000 ranges, Panasonic will this year offer HZ980 OLED TVs in 55 and 65 inches. HZ980 will be Panasonic’s most affordable OLED TVs in 2020 but the TVs still come with 4K resolution, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, HDMI eARC, and Dolby Atmos support. New features for 2020 such as Filmmaker Mode and Dolby Vision IQ are also included.

Panasonic HZ980 4K OLED TV 2020 Line-Up for Europe.

In the other hand you are not getting the swivel stand of HZ1000 and the ‘Smooth Motion Drive Pro’ system gets a downgrade to non-Pro. Further specifications are available by following the link below.

Like LG and Philips, Panasonic now has a wide line-up of OLED TVs. Sony, Toshiba, Grundig, Bang & Olufsen and other brands are also selling OLED TVs in Europe. Panasonic HZ980 will be available in Europe from July starting at €1800 / £1700 for a 55-inch model.

Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com
Written by: Rasmus Larsen
Date: 15 Jun 2020

Denon Announces First HDMI 2.1 AV Receivers for 8K60, 4K120 pass-through.

Written by: Rasmus Larsen
Date: 05 Jun 2020

Denon has announced its new range of 8K ready receivers, which are the first to support HDMI 2.1 for pass-through of 8K60 and 4K120 signals from next-generation consoles and players.

HDMI 2.1 RECEIVERS:
We do not usually cover receivers but in the transition to HDMI 2.1 in 8K and 4K TVs there are some important factors to take into account. With HDMI 2.1 players and TVs you must either take advantage of the TV’s eARC port or buy a HDMI 2.1-capable receiver, if you want the best video and audio. Earlier this year, Yamaha’s plans to launch new receivers with HDMI 2.1 leaked. However, Denon is the first company to officially announce “8K ready” HDMI 2.1 receivers. Denon’s AVR-X6700H ($2,499), AVR-X4700H ($1,699), AVR-X3700H ($1,199) and AVR-X2700H ($849) will be available from later this month.

Denon 2020 AVR-X6700H AV Receiver

Besides HDMI 2.1 ports for 8K60 and 4K120 pass-through from example from PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X you are getting support for optional HDMI 2.1 features such as VRR, QMS, and ALLM. However, it is worth noting that only a single HDMI input is HDMI 2.1.

“It also supports the latest video technologies such as 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz pass-through, Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, Dynamic HDR, HLG,” said Denon.

The receivers support Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro 3D along with a bunch of other features. We refer to the specifications table below. More details can also be found on denon.com. TVs with HDMI 2.1 are already available in the market and the first players/consoles are expected to launch later this year. With HDMI 2.1-capable receivers starting to emerge we are not starting to see a more solid foundation forum under the next generation of video/audio experiences.

DENON 2020 AVR-X6700H – SPECIFICATIONS:

PREMIUM-PERFORMANCE DISCRETE 11-CHANNEL AMPLIFIER IN A MONOLITHIC DESIGN:
Delivers a precise and powerful 140W per channel 8 ohms, 20Hz-20kHz, THD: 0.05%, 2 ch. drive, to provide trusted, precise and powerful Denon sound.

Full 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz support and upscaling:
With the latest technology in HDMI support, you can enjoy 8K quality video from your 8K source devices with the highest quality available, with 1 supported 8K input and 2 outputs allowing for 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz pass-through. 8K upscaling is available on all 8 HDMI inputs.

THE LATEST IN HDMI SUPPORT:
With 8 advanced HDMI inputs with full HDCP 2.3 support and 3 HDMI outputs connect to all your favorite media devices and output up to 3 monitor displays so you can enjoy from any room.

Enjoy your favorite immersive 3D audio: Enjoy immersive, 3D audio from sources like Dolby Atmos, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization, DTS:X, DTS Virtual:X™, DTS:X Pro and Auro-3D.

DTS:X PRO SUPPORT:
With the latest in DTS technology, enjoy DTS:X Pro that can process up to 13 channels via future firmware update.

IMAX ENHANCED TECHNOLOGY:
Delivers a true IMAX theater experience at home. Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) HDMI support: Through the main HDMI output, connect your TV with eARC HDMI support to allow uncompressed and object-based audio formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X directly from your smart TV app to your AV receiver.

The latest in video compatibility:
The latest HDR format support including HDR10, HDR10+ (New in 2020), HLG, Dolby Vision, as well as Dynamic HDR (New in 2020), to provide the greatest picture quality for brightness, clarity and contrast.

The next generation in movie immersion: With 8K/60Hz pass-through and upscaling, Dynamic HDR and Quick Media Switching (QMS), enjoy crystal clear and smoothest picture in the highest quality available.

THE LATEST IN GAMING EXPERIENCES:
With 8K/60Hz pass-through and upscaling, Dynamic HDR and Quick Media Switching (QMS), enjoy crystal clear and smoothest picture in the highest quality availableWith 4K/120Hz pass-through, Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Quick Frame Transport (QFT), enjoy your gaming experience with amazing imaging, as well as reduced lag and latency.

NEW DSP FOR MORE PROCESSING POWER:
With 13.2 ch. max audio processing, connect external power amplifier to the AVR-X6700H to power two additional channels to enjoy a 13.2 ch. home theater setup.

Works with your favorite voice assistants: Use your voice to control the AVR-X6700H and wireless music services hands-free, works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Siri and Josh.ai.

WIRELESS STREAMING FROM THE MOST POPULAR MUSIC SERVICES:
Enjoy all your favorite music services like Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music HD, TIDAL, SiriusXM, Deezer and more to have limitless music listening enjoyment. The AVR-X6700H also lets you enjoy your music via AirPlay 2, letting you stream your favorite tracks from Apple Music.

ROON TESTED CERTIFIED:
Get more out of your digital music library with searchable, surfable information about your favorite artists and songs. Find lyrics, concert dates, photos, bios, reviews and more.

FRONT WIDE SPEAKERS SUPPORTED FOR DOLBY ATMOS AND DTS:X PRO UP TO 13 CHANNEL SETUPS:
Supports front wide speakers for a more seamless front surround stage reproduction either in 9.1.2 or 9.1.4 speaker setup.

PHONO INPUT:
With its included phono input, the AVR-X6700H lets you connect your turntable and play vinyl records. Enjoy your collection with exceptional quality and sound.

DUAL SUBWOOFER OUTPUTS:
Smooths out low frequencies for better bass dispersion.

HEOS BUILT-IN WIRELESS MULTI-ROOM MUSIC STREAMING TECHNOLOGY:
Listen from any room for a connected, whole-home audio experience. The AVR-X6700H also works with the newly introduced Denon Home speakers to let you enjoy a whole-home audio experience. High-resolution audio streaming for Hi-Fi enthusiasts: Enjoy your favorite Hi-Res quality file playback with FLAC, ALAC, and WAV support, as well as DSD 2.8/5.6MHz.

ALL ZONE TV AUDIO:
Play the audio from your TV to another zone for your favorite shows without losing fully discrete surround sound in the main zone.

BUILT-IN BLUETOOTH AND WI-FI WITH 2.4 GHZ / 5 GHZ DUAL BAND SUPPORT:
Solid wireless network connectivity even in congested environments.

BLUETOOTH AUDIO TRANSMITTER:
Enjoy your favorite audio through your Bluetooth headphones late at night or with your family member who is hearing impaired. This feature supports Bluetooth-only playback as well as simultaneous playback with connected speakers.

Award-winning Denon guided setup assistant and graphical user interface:

Easy and intuitive out-of-box and setup experience.

Smart TV connectivity:
Control the Denon AVR-X6700H with your TV remote via HDMI CEC.

AUDYSSEY MULTEQ XT32, DYNAMIC VOLUME, DYNAMIC EQ, LFC AND SUB EQ HT:
Delivers the ultimate equalization for your individual room including subwoofer EQ.

OVRC AND DOMOTZ PRO REMOTE SYSTEM MONITORING AND MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY AND RS232 CONTROL:
Lets custom integrators monitor and troubleshoot remotely, drastically reducing downtime.

CUSTOM INSTALL READY:
The Denon AVR-X6700H features external control and IP control capabilities for easy customization and compatibility with third-party integration solutions.

EQUIPPED WITH TWO 12V TRIGGER OUTPUTS: Connect up to two other devices such as a cooling fan or projector and operate on standby power.

AMAZING AUDIO BUILT ON 110 YEARS OF INNOVATION:

Denon is the defining audio company of Japan. Founded in 1910, we enable the moments that matter through the relentless pursuit of quality, innovation and audio performance.

Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com
Written by: Rasmus Larsen
Date: 05 Jun 2020

First Dolby Vision Titles Appear in Google Play Movies.

Date: 19 May 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen


Joker and A Simple Favor are the first two movies available in Dolby Vision HDR through Google Play Movies. The company is also planning to add support for HDR10+.

DOLBY VISION AND GOOGLE:

Earlier this year, Google announced that it would start offering movies in HDR10+ format later in 2020. The company made no mention of the other dynamic HDR format Dolby Vision so it is surprising to see Dolby Vision titles arrive first.

Joker and A Simple Favor are the first movies available in Dolby Vision through Google Play Movies. FlatpanelsHD first spotted them yesterday on the Nvidia Shield 2019 device. Joker is available in Dolby Vision in the US and Europe.

If you search for ‘Dolby’ in the app you also see ‘Top Dolby Vision movies’, which suggests that Google is in the process of rolling out support.

Joker is Available in Dolby Vision in Google Play Movies.

The company is rumored to be planning a new Android TV device in a stick form factor similar to Chromecast Ultra. Support for Dolby Vision (and Dolby Atmos?) could be announced officially at the same time.

Google Play Movies is not the first online storefront to offer movies in Dolby Vision. Apple TV (iTunes) and Vudu have been offering movies in the premium HDR format for some time, and Apple currently offers a total of 616 Dolby Vision titles so Google has some catching up to do.

A Simple Favor is Available in Dolby Vision in Google Play Movies.
Joker and A Simple Favor are Available in Dolby Vision in Google Play Movies.

Date: 19 May 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen
Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

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Panasonic 2020 LCD TVs Now Available.



Date: 02 Jun 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen


Panasonic has launched its 2020 HX models in Europe. The new LCD TVs in 40 to 75 inch sizes feature 4K resolution and the latest version of My Home Screen.

PANASONIC 2020 LCD TVS:

Panasonic’s new LCD TVs for 2020, unveiled in February, are now rolling out in Europe. The company will also launch new OLED TVs soon.

HX940, HX900 and HX800 are edge-lit LCD TV ranges with 4K resolution. The TVs are powered by the company’s HCX video processor (HCX Pro in HX940) and feature HDR support. However, due to the TVs’ edge-lit LCD panels you should step up to the OLED models if you seek the HDR picture experience.

The TVs are also capable of decoding and outputting Dolby Atmos to an external soundbar or receiver system. Apps such as Netflix are accessible via Panasonic’s My Home Screen platform that has reached version 5.0 in the 2020 models.

Panasonic HX900 and HX940 feature a switch stand that can be adjusted between wide and narrow position.

HX900 and HX940 feature a switch stand that can be adjusted between wide and narrow position. Panasonic says that the narrow configuration lets users buy a larger TV without having to also replace furniture at home.

Panasonic’s TVs will compete with mid-range LCD TVs from brands such LG and Samsung. Unlike its competitors, Panasonic has no LCD TVs with zone dimming capabilities this year.

Panasonic HX800, HX900 and HX940 are rolling out now in Europe.

Date: 02 Jun 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen
Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

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Netflix Has Started Reverting Streaming Quality Back to Normal.



Date: 13 May 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen


Many users in Europe are reporting that Netflix has reverted streaming quality back to normal with 4K HDR up to 15 Mb/s bitrate. The company says that it is working with ISPs to increase capacity.

NETFLIX STREAMING QUALITY:

In mid-March Netflix lowered its streaming quality in Europe in response to a request from the EU to help ease strain on the internet infrastructure in these times of nationwide lockdowns.

Netflix subscribers in Denmark, Norway, Germany and other European countries have contacted FlatpanelsHD or taken to forums to report that streaming quality has been restored, meaning 4K HDR streaming at up to 15 Mb/s bitrate. HD bitrates are also reverting back to normal.

However, the changes do not apply universally yet. On 2020 TVs that we are currently testing, Netflix’s 4K HDR streaming quality is still capped to maximum 7.62 Mb/s.

In a statement to FlatpanelsHD, Netflix says that it is working with internet service providers to increase capacity. Netflix said that it added four times the normal capacity in April. So depending on your device, ISP, and perhaps other factors, you may not be seeing Netflix’s normal streaming quality just yet. But the process has started. –

“Please note, we are working with ISPs to help increase capacity. In the last month alone we have added four times the normal capacity. As conditions improve we will lift these limitations,” Netflix said in a statement to FlatpanelsHD.

Date: 13 May 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen
Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

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HBO MAX is Live – Without 4K HDR.

Date: 27 May 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen

WarnerMedia has today launched HBO Max, its new stand-alone streaming service that will compete with Netflix, Hulu and others. 4K HDR is not supported at launch but it is “part of the roadmap”.

HBO Max is Live:

HBO Max has arrived in the US. For $15 per month you get access to 10,000 hours of content, including Warner Bros and New Line movies, HBO series, and more. Movies include The Matrix, Gremlins, The Lord of the Rings, Casablanca, The Wizard of Oz, and DC titles.

WarnerMedia is the latest player to enter the ‘streaming wars’ after Apple and Disney entered the arena in late 2019 and NBCUniversal soft-launched its new streaming service Peacock in mid-April, with a full launch in the US planned for mid-July 2020.

HBO Max is – or will soon be – available on Apple TV, Android TV, select Samsung TVs, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Chromecast, and AirPlay. For more details see the table below.

The service is launching in the US first, with international availability to follow at some point in the future.

HBO MAX IS LIVE WITHOUT 4K HDR

4K HDR is “part of the roadmap”

At launch, HBO Max delivers HD resolution and 5.1 surround sound. We have yet to gain access (update: we’re in!) but the existing HBO Now and HBO Go services have often been under fire for offering low-bitrate HD streaming. It is not clear if HBO Max will offer increased bitrate. With so many great movies and TV shows, many of which already mastered in 4K HDR, it is disappointing to see HBO Max launch without support for 4K resolution and HDR of any flavor. The company’s official statement on the matter is that 4K HDR is part of the product roadmap. It has not commented on its plans for Dolby Atmos.

“4K HDR is a part of the HBO Max product roadmap but we don’t have any additional information to share at this time,” said WarnerMedia. You can check out HBO Max on hbomax.com where you can sign in with your existing HBO account or create a new. It costs $15 per month after a free 7-day trial.

HBO Max – Supported TV Platforms:

Android TV:
Android TV (with Android OS 5 or later) This includes most Sony Android TVs (2016 models and later) as well as the AT&T Streaming TV box.

Apple TV:
Apple TV (4th gen or later) with the latest tvOS software. If you have an Apple TV (2nd or 3rd gen), see Other ways to stream on your TV.

Samsung TV 2016 Models and Later:
Download the HBOMax app on your Samsung TV and sign in. Or, if you need to sign up, see How do I sign up?

Not all Samsung TV models are supported. For a list of compatible TV models, go to HBO Max on Samsung TV and choose Compatible devices. If your TV model is not listed, see Other ways to stream on your TV.

PlayStation 4:
Xbox One:

Other Ways to Stream on your TV:

Chromecast:
Cast HBO Max from your phone or tablet to your TV.

Airplay:
Share HBO Max with your Apple TV (2nd or 3rd generation).

HDMI cable:
Connect your computer, phone, or tablet to your TV.https://www.youtube.com/embed/9yLNhhHs3-k?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparentHBO Max Launching onMay 27

Samsung Upgrades 2020 TVs With Unmatched Video App Offerings.

Written by: Editor
Date: 31 May 2020


Aiming to allow its products to feature what it calls the most competitive content app offerings, Samsung Electronics UK has announced that all TVs in the 2020 line-up now feature app offerings such as Netflix and NOW TV.

The new upgrade is now live across all models for 2020 which includes the Q950TS QLED 8K and also Samsung’s 2020 Full HD range. Samsung says that ‘unique’ to the company, its 2020 Smart TV owners will now have ‘unrivalled’ access to the best collection of app platforms available in the UK, ensuring endless entertainment options.

Users will have access to over 50 app offerings from streaming firms including the likes of Netflix, Prime Video, Rakuten TV and Disney+, in addition to local players BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, NOW TV and BT Sport.

“This is a proud moment for us at Samsung. Not only do our 2020 TVs guarantee access to the UK’s leading app platforms, an offer that is currently unique to Samsung, but we’re pleased to also be in a position to offer this upgrade across our full range. ,” said Guy Kinnell, Vice President, TV and AV, Samsung Electronics UK. “Traditionally, upgrades like this happen in phases for the various TV models, but new for 2020 is that this upgrade reaches every Smart TV in our range from the get go – meaning that the very best entertainment offerings are accessible for all.”

Written by: Editor
Date: 31 May 2020
Source: https://www.rapidtvnews.com

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LG Gallery And Wallpaper 2020 OLED TVs Now Available.

Date: 29 May 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen

LG is rolling out its new Gallery TV and a refreshed version of the Wallpaper model. The OLED TVs are available in 55 to 77 inches with HDMI 2.1, webOS, Apple features, and more.

GALLERY AND WALLPAPER OLED TVs:

LG has phased out its E series of picture-i
n-glass OLED TVs and introduced GX, a new line of TVs designed to hang flush on the wall. The company has also refreshed the design of its Wallpaper OLED TV WX.

The Gallery GX screen not as slim as the Wallpaper WX screen, which has a separate electronics speaker box that has been redesigned for the 2020 version. On the other hand all ports, speakers, and electronics are built-in. GX comes bundled with a slim wall bracket solution. An optional soundbar SNX7 for GX will also be available, said LG.

LG GALLERY GX OLED

With self-emitting OLED technology, LG is promising excellent picture quality including pixel-level control for HDR. GX and WX support three HDR formats (HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision). The TVs also feature 4K resolution, HDMI 2.1 ports, Filmmaker Mode, and the Alpha 9-3 video processor.

LG GALLERY GX OLED

Both new TV models feature HDMI 2.1 ports with support for up to 4K120 inputs from next-generation game consoles and video players. In addition, GX supports three variable refresh rate systems: HDMI VRR, AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync.

The company’s webOS platform offers access to streaming apps, including the Apple TV app and Disney+, but not HBO Max that launched earlier this week. New streaming services are increasingly prioritizing platforms like Apple’s tvOS over Smart TV platforms.

LG WALLPAPER WX OLED

Like Samsung with its Serif TV and ‘The Frame’, LG has aspired to create unique TVs that can set it apart from the competition. GX is a step up from CX, while WX is a unique TV that no other manufacturer can offer at this time. Later this year, the South Korean company will introduce the world’s first rollable TV (RX).

LG GX and WX are available now in the US and Europe, with broader availability expected next month. Further details about pricing and availability can be found in the table below.

Date: 29 May 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen
Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

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Philips Hue Box Gains Support For Dolby Vision and HDR10+

Date: 29 May 2020

Written by: Rasmus Larsen

The Philips Hue Sync box that lets you sync Philips Hue lights to the action on-screen now works with Dolby Vision and HDR10+ content. The update also adds support for voice assistants.

Philips Hue Sync Box updated

The ‘Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box’ was launched in February 2019 but at the time it lacked support for Dolby Vision and HDR10+, meaning that it could not produce any light effects from a HDMI signal with Dolby Vision or HDR10+ passed through it.

The latest update adds just that.

From now onwards you can enjoy synchronized surround lighting effects from your Philips Hue lights when watching Dolby Vision or HDR10+ content with compatible TVs, the company announced.

Not all devices are compatible:

However, be aware that not all TVs and playback devices are supported, seemingly due to variances in Dolby Vision profiles. A list of compatible devices is included in the table at the bottom. The software update also adds support for popular voice assistants, including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri. This lets you power on/off, start or stop light sync, switch HDMI, and switch between sync modes via voice commands to an external compatible device. Lastly, the box can now be configured to work with infrared commands from your TV remote control or Harmony universal remote. The software update is free and can be installed via the Hue Sync mobile app. The Philips Hue HDMI Sync is available for 230 dollars in the US and 250 Euro in Europe from meethue.com.

Philips Hue Sync – Compatible Dolby Vision devices:

TV models that support Dolby Vision from these brands have been tested:

TVs:
LG – Only 2017 and later
Sony – All
Vizio – All
TCL – 2018 and later
Panasonic – All
Philips – All

The following HDMI Sources that support Dolby Vision have been tested:

Sources:
Apple TV 4K – Yes
FireTV 4K – Yes
Chromecast Ultra – Yes
Nvidia Shield (2019 models) – Yes
Xbox One S/X (only apps) – Yes
Blu-ray players – No

Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

Written by: Rasmus Larsen

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Nvidia Shield TV gets Prime Video update to fix ongoing 4K issues

Written by: Ben Schoon
Date: Apr. 22 2020

nvidia shield tv pro

The best Android TV set-top box for a while now has been Nvidia’s Shield TV. The box is typically great at displaying 4K HDR content, but lately, some users have been trouble with that. Specifically, Amazon Prime Video hasn’t been playing 4K on the Shield TV, but a fix is now rolling out.

Confirmed by Nvidia staff on the company’s forums, Amazon is rolling out an update to fix 4K issues. For a few weeks, users have been experiencing issues with 4K playback, especially on the 2019 Shield TV Pro. Content that would normally be 4K HDR — such as Amazon’s Originals — would instead be played in 1080p SDR.

While the exact cause of this isn’t clear, it does seem that Amazon has figured out a solution through an app update. It’s important to note that this is not a system update.

Rolling out over the past couple of days, an update to Prime Video is designed to fix the 4K issues Shield TV owners have been experiencing. Based on some users who have already updated the app on their TVs, it seems to do the trick. This update will be available to all users within the next 3 days.

Source: https://9to5google.com

HFR – The One UHD Technology You Rarely Hear About

Date: 08 Apr 2020
Written by: Yoeri Geutskens


If you’ve been keeping up with Ultra HD TV technology, you may recall that there are essentially six pillars to it:

1. UHD or Ultra HD Spatial Resolution 4K or 8K.
2. HDR or High Dynamic Range.
3. WCG or Wide Color Gamut.
4. Deep Color Resolution.
5. HFR or High Frame Rate.
6. NGA or Next-Generation Audio.


Most of these we’ve got by now. You can go to an electronics store and buy a 4K TV with HDR, WCG, 10-bit color and a Dolby Atmos sound bar or AVR, and they’re not even expensive anymore. The one piece that’s missing? HFR, or High Frame Rate. It’s probably the least understood in terms of benefits and how it works – by consumers but likely also by the creative industry. Even science is still lacking. It’s probably the most controversial of all UHD technologies. Many misconceptions abound, so here’s an attempt to shed some light on what we know and what we don’t know. Many misconceptions abound, so here’s an attempt to shed some light on what we know and what we don’t know.

HFR FOR MOVIES:
What do we mean by HFR? That depends what we are talking about. When it’s about film, anything above 24fps (frames per second) will be called HFR. It’s not very common. The number of high-profile movies with HFR you can count on one or two hands. First we had Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, shot in 3D at the double frame rate of 48fps. Since then, we’ve had director Ang Lee taking things further with Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk shot at 120fps and Gemini Man starring Will Smith, both shot at 120fps and in 3D. Latter movie was screened in different ways: 2D theaters showed it in 24fps; 3D theaters showed it at 60 or 120fps, depending on their capabilities. And with good reason: Ang Lee pursued high frame rate in order to overcome issues inherent to projection of 3D images at 24fps – strobing and flicker, just like Peter Jackson did. James Cameron has a slightly different approach but prefers to use 120fps in certain parts of 3D movies to avoid judder in shots that pan or have lateral movement across the frame. But HFR for movies is a very divisive technique. Some people love it, a majority of people seem (I don’t have any hard numbers here) to hate it. 24fps is sacred.

DIRECTOR ANG LEE FILMING ‘GEMINI MAN’. PICTURE CREDIT: PARAMOUNT

But why? Well, part of the reason is that’s what we’re used to. This video does a good job explaining why we’ve got 24fps, and why we’ve kept it. But if more pixels and more colors and more bits per color and more audio channels are good, why would more frames per second be bad? Doesn’t it add more realism? Yes, it does, and that’s exactly why it’s bad for movies. Realism is not the point – quite the contrary. It’s very similar to the discussion around analog, chemical film grain: Some people dislike it, but like 24fps frame rate it’s something our brains have been conditioned for since almost 100 years. Although most of us will not consciously notice it, our brains register it subconsciously and know we’re watching a proper film, a possibly epic story. It helps with our suspension of disbelief and puts our brains into ‘movie watching mode’ and immerses us, pulls is into the story. Some refer to 24fps as a ‘dream-like cadence’. Heightened realism takes away from that. It breaks the magic spell. As one moviegoer succinctly put it: “I didn’t see Gandalf et al – instead I saw a load of actors dressed up in some odd costumes.” Billy Lynn and Gemini Man triggered many of the same type reactions, as you can see on social media. Some compare it to a home video shot on a GoPro or a smartphone, looking “hyper-real” or “like a videogame”; others refer to the “Soap Opera Effect” as it’s called (a bit of a misnomer), and the dreaded motion interpolation that their in-laws have enabled on their TV.

Ian Mckellen As Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies. Picture Credit: Warner Brothers

Much however is unknown about how our brains process frame rates and motion perception. More scientific research into this area would probably be justified.

How come we (most of us at least) subconsciously perceive 24fps frame rate without being bothered by judder?

Are our brains really conditioned into seeing 24fps as ‘epic’ yet when we see 60i or 60p this mechanism shuts down and we go into ‘soap opera’ mode?

And yet for videogames, which nowadays are also a lot about storytelling, High Frame Rate has evident benefits that gamers appreciate apparently. So do people who play videogames at high frame rates (120fps and above) perceive movie frame rates differently?

Also, provided the Soap Opera Effect is real, there must be an Inverse Soap Opera Effect whereby TV content converted from 60fps to 24fps suddenly starts to look epic? What points to this is a common technique in sports news shows, where they cut the frame rate to 24, 25 or 30fps, crop the picture to get a wider aspect ratio (adding black bars at the top and bottom) and add dramatic music when they want to make a game summary look epic.

Does frame rate matter for traditional cel animation movies, and if so, how?

At what frame rate above 24fps does the magic stop working? 25? 30? 48? 60? Anecdotal evidence (the three Hobbit movies) suggests 48fps is already guaranteed to blow it, but where is the border?

Although soap operas are never in 3D, 3D does not seem to help with suspension of disbelief or make something more epic. Perhaps even contrary. Is this because 3D adds realism which, like HFR and absence of grain, breaks the spell rather than sustaining it?

Is this behavior learned? Would someone from another culture who’s never been to the cinema experience frame rates the same way?

So many questions, so few answers. With the advent of Filmmaker Mode and this insistence of accurately reproducing 24fps frame rate, it’s easy to forget that before Ultra HD Blu-ray, the original Blu-ray Disc and HD-DVD were the first home media ever able to handle this frame rate. Broadcast TV, all consumer videotape formats, LaserDisc and even DVD used interlaced video. Yes, DVD was the first format to offer Progressive Scan, but not at 24fps. An important lesson from the history of Hollywood that’s perhaps easy to forget because most of it happened so long ago is that every major technology transition also led to new movie genres and significantly shifted the balance between existing movie genres. HFR is a powerful new tool for movie making in a larger toolbox, so exploration is required. The old ways will not work with HFR, simply because they are built on different assumptions about movie making. Maybe HFR will give rise to entirely new genres, maybe it will take computer animation to heights that we can’t yet imagine. Combined with computer animation HFR may give rise to CGI actors that are more convincing than live actors. We just don’t know yet. What we do know based on past experience though is that every time a major innovation presents itself this discussion flares up: “Who wants to hear actors talk”, “No one wants color film”, and so on. This line of thinking is usually a losing argument over time. It’s not a given that 24fps is going to last forever. So what’s going to happen next? These transitions take many years, sometimes even decades when you have a firmly established structure such as the Hollywood studio system with its worldwide cinema distribution system but innovation never stops, also in the film industry. New secondary tools for movie making are implemented into current workflows and embraced by the industry. Helicopters? Awesome, let’s do flyover shots. Drones? Cool. Large LED screens? Using giant LED screens showing rendered virtual environments instead of green chromakey walls, like they used for shooting The Mandalorian? Absolutely. Anyway, it’s too early to draw conclusions. We’ve had fewer than ten HFR movies, from only a handful of directors. All of these have been conceived as a way to do 3D better. Meanwhile 3D itself has taken decades for Hollywood to get it right, become mainstream and get accepted as more than a novelty feature. For now, the best advice is to go see HFR with your own eyes (and an open mind) to form your own opinion and not accept any dogmas as absolute truth.

CONVERGING TECHNOLOGIES:
It’s important to bear in mind that Hollywood movies are still made and optimized for cinema. The technical capabilities of cinema guide movie production and as such many of the ‘truths’ in Hollywood are based on this system. Things could change if suddenly home entertainment becomes a much bigger market for Hollywood, which was actually already happening in 2018 and 2019, and perhaps much more dramatically so in 2020. Movie production optimized for TVs would most likely look different from film production optimized for cinema. After all, what works well at the cinema doesn’t necessarily work well on a TV set. Research by Dolby Labs found that higher brightness makes judder more apparent, as does higher contrast. What looks good in SDR judders too much in HDR, so colorists end up grading HDR darker to avoid this, which defeats the whole purpose. The study also showed that at 50 nits – the typical brightness with traditional theatrical projection – 24fps is the ideal frame rate whereas at 1000 nits – achieved on now fairly common and not too expensive HDR TVs – 32fps would be preferred. Although television came several decades later than cinema, the two technologies have been on parallel paths, going through many of the same innovations. Film went from silent movies to sound, from black & white to color, from mono to stereo to digital surround sound Dolby Digital, DTS, SDDS, initially all on optical film with an ever-growing number of channels. These changes have been noticeable but followed an evolutionary approach. But more recently the cinema business has seen some innovations that are major technical changes but entirely behind the scenes and very subtle if at all noticeable to the viewer: from chemical film to digital projection, with movies distributed on HDDs in cartridges and soon possibly online. The next major step in cinema is probably going to be the most drastic one in a century: from projection on a silver screen to ‘direct view’ displays. Of course, no CRT, no plasma, no LCD, no OLED but real LEDs. These bring far greater brightness, contrast and dynamic range, and will bring cinema screens back on par with home cinema – where they are now essentially running behind on spatial resolution, dynamic range and brightness – only way bigger. It will also add the flexibility to use higher frame rates though whether this will be used is doubtful, given the above considerations and the generally conservative nature of the movie business. This switch will also bring new entrants to the market. Samsung, which has never been in the cinema projection business, has launched its ‘Onyx Cinema LED Technology’ – 34-feet (10-meter) diameter screens with true 4K 4096 x 2160 resolution. The first cinemas rolling this out since 2017 were Lotte Cinema World Tower in Seoul, Paragon Cineplex Theatre in Bangkok, Pacific Theatres Winnetka in Chatsworth, California, just north of Los Angeles, Pathé Beaugrenelle in Paris, Sambil Leganés in Madrid, and the Shoudu Cinema in Beijing.

Samsung’s Onyx Cinema Led Direct View Display.

This transition is going to take years. This stuff isn’t cheap, and the technology it’s replacing isn’t cheap either. It’s a capital investment. But cinema and TV technology are converging further than ever. In the future, a cinema screen will basically be a very large TV set – typically with a far superior Dolby Atmos system. Expect this transfer of TV technology to the cinema to feed back into the home. The first signs are already here. If you’ve got deep enough pockets, you can buy Samsung’s ‘The Wall’ micro-LED display. It’s a modular system, which means you can construct various screen sizes and resolutions. One module measures 16×18 inch and counts 360×360 pixels. An HDTV will use 18 modules, a 4K display 76 and an 8K one 288. There’s no limit, really. 16K displays are also possible. The only constraint is basically money. A single module will set you back about $10,000 so you can do the math.

Size Options for Samsung’s The Wall Micro-Led TVs.

The specs and sizes for Sony’s Canvas or Cledis Crystal LED Integrated Structure or Display System are very similar. This technology is of course aimed mainly at professional applications but Sony explicitly says it’s also available for living rooms. Now for this to become something for the mass market, we need a price reduction of about 99%. That sounds very steep, but we’ve witnessed exactly that in the 4K TV market over the past seven years. Great news: like the cinema product, the home product offers strong HDR (perfect blacks and 1000 nits peak brightness), wide viewing angles, great 3D, and 120fps HFR.

HFR FOR OTHER TV CONTENT:
So if it is only for scripted, acted content that low frame rate matters, are higher frame rates better where realism matters i.e. nature documentaries and live sports? Evidence suggests so. HFR adds to the sense of ‘being there’ in a good way. But before we go into that, back to the definition of HFR. Broadcast TV comes in a range of resolutions now. The trend is upward but very slow. A related trend is that slowly but surely we seem to be getting rid of interlaced video, where ‘fields’ (half frames with only the odd picture lines or the even ones) are displayed successively. Sure, at 1080 HD resolution there’s still a lot of 50i and 60i content but at Ultra HD resolutions only Progressive Scan with full frames is permitted. Various frame rates are allowed (including fractional ones), but 50p and 60p are not considered HFR – they’re Standard Frame Rate. When organizations like the Ultra HD Forum speak of High Frame Rate they mean at least double that – 100 or 120fps and beyond. What drives the (very slow) move to higher frame rates? Is it a silly numbers race, like some would argue the move to higher spatial resolution (4K, 8K) became? Not quite. Even if we don’t need or want it for movies, there are definite upsides. First, why are we moving to higher screen resolutions? Just because TV makers can, and they see TVs with higher resolutions having higher margins? No, there’s more behind it than technology push. Since many decades, TVs are getting bigger and bigger. It’s a pretty constant trend, and the average diameter grows by about 1 inch per year across all territories, even if these averages vary from region to region. In the meantime, our viewing distance does not change much. Living rooms (also varying in average size geographically) did not get significantly bigger. That’s why we need more pixels. Now with higher resolutions, the risk of motion blur increases. With 8K, this is particularly visible. 8K sports content, like the Olympic Games, you probably do not want to watch at frame rates lower than 100fps. Although Japanese public broadcaster NHK has announced quite some time ago they’ll shoot and transmit many parts of the Olympics in 8K, they have not yet said at what frame rate.

THE DIFFICULTIES WITH HFR:
While shooting, recording and transmitting HFR may be relatively straightforward (arguably more so than HDR), there is a complication: How to achieve backward compatibility with Standard Frame Rate TV sets and transmission systems? At the moment there are two approaches to this, and DVB and ATSC solve this in different ways. Here it’s going to get a little more technical. What the two have in common: Both use a technique called temporal sublayering for backward compatibility of HFR with SFR. ATSC includes optional temporal filtering for enhancing the standard frame rate picture when temporal sublayering is used,

HFR: DVB and ATSC – temporal sublayering:
How does this work? In ATSC and DVB both, PID (program ID) = 0 is the SFR version, and PID = 1 is the HFR enhancement element, to be used along with PID 0 to reproduce the HFR version. In DVB, it actually wouldn’t matter which PID you viewed, they are just the odd and even frames, so each represents a half-frame rate feed, with just a slight timing offset. In ATSC, the frames are a bit different. The frames in PID 0 are a weighted sum of the odd and even frames of the HFR signal. The result is that the PID 0 content has an artificial motion blur. The HFR camera needs a 360 degree shutter (i.e., photons are being captured essentially 100% of the time; the camera doesn’t blink). The contents of the PID 1 frames are the weighted difference between the two signals. The trick here occurs in the receiver: As in DVB, if you don’t know better, show PID 0, you’ll get a usable SFR signal with full motion blur (depending on the weightings). If you do know better, you recover consecutive HFR frames by summing and differencing the two PIDs frames to reconstitute the original odd & even frames of the HFR.

In HFR demos the Ultra HD Forum has given over the last few years, they showed the DVB technique and sometimes, in earlier demos, done it poorly: The camera didn’t have a 360-degree shutter, it was more like 180, so the camera was capturing 100fps, but the exposure was 1/200th second in duration. Odd frames went to PID 0, even to PID 1, and when viewing only one of those, the play-out was 50fps, but the shutter was effectively 90 degrees (still a 1/200th of a second exposure), giving a very staccato, strobe-like presentation which was hard to watch. Eventually, they got a HFR camera with a 360-degree shutter, so the SFR playout appeared as if having a 180 degree shutter, which looks acceptable.

High Frame Rate is Especially Beneficial for Sports Content. Picture Credit: Ultra HD Forum.

To be sure, these two flavors are not competing in the same market, can coexist in software or silicon in the same TV set, probably do not involve any license fee and are not a matter for a future format war, just in case anyone gets worried. The ATSC and DVB solutions can be used for terrestrial TV, DTH satellite TV, cable TV and (multicast) IPTV. So what about (unicast) OTT streaming? There this compatibility is not an issue at all. The VoD provider just plays out the version that matches the capabilities of the viewer’s system. That can be 60 or perhaps 120fps (in the future, that is – current products such as Apple TV, Roku, ChromeCast and Amazon Fire TV don’t go beyond 60fps) but different frame rates will simply be different versions of the same asset, in the same way that a HD and 4K resolution are different version of the same asset.

HFR IN PRACTICE:
So can you go to a store and buy a HFR TV or monitor? One area where this will come in handy is gaming. Current gaming PCs as well as the upcoming PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, the ninth generation of consoles, are (going to be) capable of HFR output. PC/gaming monitors already cater to that. High Frame Rate is one of the few feature areas where monitors are ahead of TVs. Most don’t do a too impressive job in terms of high dynamic range, contrast, peak brightness, wide color gamut, resolution, etc. But while TVs currently don’t exceed 60fps (claims about 120Hz, 240Hz, etc. are often marketing overstatement), gaming monitors can now routinely handle 144fps, 165fps and even 240fps. They’re locked in a numbers race, trying to keep up with graphics cards output capabilities. To what extent the human eye can appreciate the difference between 144fps and 240fps remains a question. Mark Rejhon, founder of Blurbusters, argues in favor of a “retina refresh rate” of over 1000fps based on quite extensive research that he’s been doing.

HFR demo with HLG HDR BY LG / EBU / 4 EVER PROJECT AT IFA 2016.

LG has given HFR TV demonstrations as far back as 2016, and more recently in 2018, when they announced sets for 2019. On 2018 models HFR support is still limited: They can play HFR files from USB, as proven in this LG OLED C8 test. Since 2019 LG high-end TVs have had HDMI 2.1 ports with 4K at 120fps via FRL (Frame Rate Link – HDMI 2.1’s new signalling system for 48Gb/s bandwidth), LG says. 2020 LG high-end TVs have the same HDMI 2.1 support with 4k120p via FRL. Here’s how they promote that on their website:

4K HFR GAMEPLAY ON A 2020 LG OLED TV.

It’s a feature that few reviewers pay attention to, probably because there’s so little HFR content out there, but it’s one of the things that makes LG’s current high-end UHD TVs intriguing. They are ready for 4K HFR from PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X (even if they may require a firmware update to fully enable HDMI 2.1 after certification). Very few other TVs are. LG is also specifying VRR with 4K 40-120Hz frequency range. Actually it’s also possible to do 4K120 (limited to 8-bit SDR and 4:2:0 chroma) over HDMI 2.0 bandwidth, but it is out of spec. Samsung has been doing it however since 2019 (in high-end TVs) and LG since 2020 (at least in OLED TVs). Several generations of TVs have 1080p120 support, even sometimes 1440p120. This is well within the HDMI 2.0 bandwidth. Test site Rtings has been certifying 1080p120 and 1440p120 in their reviews for some time now, as in this 2017 Sony A1E OLED TV review (check ‘supported resolutions’). There may even be older TVs out there. It could be going to take some time before we start seeing HFR content available, especially live content. There’s a good chance with HFR that, like with 4K resolution, streaming platforms will take the lead over broadcasters. So maybe look to DAZN rather than ESPN. But the chicken and egg situation that so often exists when the hardware makers or content providers need to innovate first you don’t need to worry about. The TV manufacturers have already done their part. Once 120fps TVs become common, broadcasters may begin shooting sports matches in HFR. This does not necessarily have to be in 4K. A program in 1080p at 100 or 120fps with HDR will look quite stunning. Until they’re ready for that, you can use motion interpolation to do the job.

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. Picture Credit: 20th Century Fox.

If you want to experience HFR for yourself, at home, you can buy the 4K HDR Ultra HD Blu-ray of Billy Lynn or Gemini Man. Both are authored at 60fps HFR, as the UHD BD standard doesn’t handle 120fps. In fact it also doesn’t handle 48fps, so you’re out of luck if you wanted to watch The Hobbit Trilogy at the proper frame rate. The regular 1080p HD SDR 2D Blu-rays and 3D Blu-rays contain the movie at 24fps. There is no Ultra HD Blu-ray of this yet but when it does arrive it’s surely going to be 24fps, too. A 3D Blu-ray of Billy Lynn comes bundled with the 4K disc, if you buy the right edition (linked above). Gemini Man was not released on 3D BD in most markets, but it was in Germany. The 3D discs are also 24fps. Unfortunately, the HFR format doesn’t support 3D and the 3D format doesn’t support HFR. VoD/streaming services do not offer any 3D or HFR content at the moment.

RECOMMENDED READING:
You can read more facts about and impressions of The Hobbit here on FlatpanelsHD, or read about the aftermath. There is plenty of coverage for Ang Lee’s movies but long before the days of internet, Douglas Trumbull – Visual Effects Supervisor for classic movies including 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Trek and Blade Runner – did many experiments with HFR. This article about his movie Brainstorm offers a great summary of that. Trumbull and Cameron were speakers at a 2012 Siggraph panel session on HFR cinema, a report of which you can read here.

STANDARDS REFERENCED:
DVB UHD-1 Phase 2 (ETSI TS 101 154 v2.3.1)

ATSC 3.0 (A/341) Many thanks to Bill Redmann, Director of Standards, Immersive Media Technologies at InterDigital, for his explanation of the DVB and ATSC approaches to HFR/SFR compatibility and his contribution to this article.

Date: 08 Apr 2020
Written by: Yoeri Geutskens

Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

No Need to Reduce Video Streaming Quality, Say Experts and ISPs

Date: 23 Mar 2020

Written by: Rasmus Larsen

There is no need to reduce video streaming quality, experts and internet service providers say after Amazon, Disney+, Netflix and YouTube have responded to a request from EU.

Amazon, Disney+, Netflix & YouTube:

Netflix was the first streaming service to reduce its bitrate for 4K HDR, HD and SD video streams while YouTube has made SD the default option (the user can still manually select higher quality) after European Commissioner Thierry Breton urged streaming services in Europe to “switch to standard definition when HD is not necessary” due to the coronavirus situation. Over the weekend, Amazon confirmed that it too will reduce its bitrate. Disney+ will deliver reduced bitrates in Europe for 30 days after launching in parts of Europe tomorrow. There are reports that Apple TV+ has also drastically reduced its streaming quality but the company has yet to comment on the matter. At this time, FlatpanelsHD is not seeing any impact to Apple TV+ streaming quality in Europe.

MORE THAN ENOUGH CAPACITY:

Is it really necessary? Not at all, a leading internet expert told Decrypt after EU urged streaming services to act. – “That just tells me they don’t understand how the Internet works,” David Clark, senior research scientist at MIT, told Decrypt. Clark has been leading the development of the internet since the mid-1970s, according to his biography. He argues that it is a myth that the internet can reach a peak. For example, a corner of the internet in a local area may be experiencing congestion but “it is not a systemic failure“.

Netflix and others are already automatically scaling down video quality in case of any congestion. – “It already does that automatically. You don’t have to tell them to. It just does it,” Clark added. His sentiment is being echoed by ISPs (internet service providers) in the UK, Nordics, and elsewhere.

We have more than enough capacity in our UK broadband network to handle mass-scale homeworking,” Howard Watson, CTO of BT in the UK, told BBC. “Even if the same heavy data traffic that we see each evening were to run throughout the daytime, there is still enough capacity for work applications to run simultaneously.”

We will NOT run out of bandwidth. Our broadband network is built for many times the data consumption that is being seen now,” Thomas Woldiderich, Branch Manager for telecommunications policy at the Danish Energy Association, wrote in response to the news.

Netflix’s action is most of all symbolism. The EU already has rules in place to deal with any potential pressure on networks.

Source: Decrypt, BBC, Danish Energy Association

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YouTube and Amazon Prime Video join Netflix in Cutting Your Streaming Quality

Date: Fri, Mar 20, 2020
Written by: David Snelling

YouTube and Amazon have both now confirmed that they will join Netflix by reducing the quality of streams. This change is being put in place in a bid to help networks cope with the increased demand as millions stay home during the coronavirus outbreak.

YouTube and Amazon Prime Video subscribers could see the quality of their boxsets and movies plummet as firms attempt to help networks cope with the millions of people staying at home to avoid the spread of the coronavirus crisis. Both streaming platforms have confirmed plans to join Netflix, which has announced plans to restrict the amount of bandwidth that will be available to those who pay for Ultra HD quality until things return to some form of normality.

This radical change is thought to offer a significant saving, which would reduce data consumption by around 25 percent – allowing more people to stream at once during these unprecedented times. To put this into some perspective, an hour of standard definition video uses around 1 GB of data, while HD can use up to 3 GB an hour.

Now YouTube and Amazon have both agreed to follow Netflix with users about to getting lower quality streams sent to their devices. Explaining more about the decision, a spokesperson for YouTube said: “We are making a commitment to temporarily switch all traffic in the EU to standard definition by default.”

We are in ongoing conversations with the regulators including Ofcom, governments and network operators all over Europe. We will continue our work to minimise stress on the system, while also delivering a good user experience.

Amazon prime video netflix
YouTube Has Now Joined Netflix in Dropping Video Quality (Image: GETTY)

And a spokesperson for Amazon confirmed: “Prime Video is working with local authorities and Internet Service Providers where needed to help mitigate any network congestion, including in Europe where we’ve already begun the effort to reduce streaming bitrates whilst maintaining a quality streaming experience for our customers.

Despite this news of networks coming under increased pressure, it seems the UK’s broadband firms are confident they can cope. BT says its networks are built to support “evening peak” network capacity, which generally equates to at least ten times daytime demand. As a result, the broadband company is confident it can handle mass-scale home-working in response to COVID-19.

Speaking about the challenges ahead, Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer division even with a massive increase of people working from home, broadband traffic won’t reach the levels of peak times where millions of people stream HD video at the same time. That’s the kind of traffic we’ve built our networks to support. We’re making sure there’s plenty of capacity in the network and that critical services are supported, and our network has more than ten times the amount of capacity needed for normal everyday use.

Working from home won’t generate significantly more traffic across our network than working in the office, even with more video calling and conferencing. So if more people need to work from home, our network will keep up with demand.”

Date: Fri, Mar 20, 2020
Written by: David Snelling
Source: https://www.express.co.uk

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A Terrible Time to Own a 4K TV as Netflix, Sky and YouTube Make Radical Changes.

4K TV Sky, Netflix Amazon
Why 4K TV Won’t Get as Much Content on its Screen (Image: GETTY)

Date: Sat, Mar 21, 2020
Written by: David Snelling

4K TV owners are being hit by some drastic changes with services such as Netflix downgrading the quality of its content and Sky not broadcasting any live 4K sport. These updates have been implemented in a bid to help networks cope with the increased demand as people are told to stay at home.

4K TV owners are being hit by some drastic changes with services such as Netflix, Amazon and YouTube downgrading the quality of their content and Sky not broadcasting any live 4K sport. If you own a pin-sharp 4K TV then now is a disappointing time to be sat in front of it.

With the coronavirus forcing millions to stay at home, many of the world’s biggest broadcasters are currently reducing the quality of their content to help broadband networks cope under the increased strain.

Earlier this week, Netflix confirmed that it would now start lowering the standard of its streams in a bid to help reduce data consumption by 25 percent.

Speaking about the changes the streaming company said: “Following the discussions between Commissioner Thierry Breton and [Netflix chief executive] Reed Hastings, and given the extraordinary challenges raised by the coronavirus, Netflix has decided to begin reducing bitrates across all our streams in Europe for 30 days.”

Netflix has now been joined by YouTube and Amazon Prime Video who also say they are temporarily stopping consumers watching in HD and 4K.

In a statement, YouTube confirmed: “We are making a commitment to temporarily switch all traffic in the EU to standard definition by default.

And Amazon added: “Prime Video is working with local authorities and internet service providers where needed to help mitigate any network congestion.

As a quick guide, an hour of standard definition video uses around 1GB of data meanwhile, HD can use a staggeringly higher 3GB an hour.

BT recently announced that its networks could cope under the increased pressure with the firm saying, its networks are built to support “evening peak” network capacity, which generally equates to at least ten times daytime demand.

However, it seems streaming services are now trying to help soften the load especially for areas with ageing copper cables.

Along with these streaming services, Sky Sports fans are also seeing a huge drop in the content they can view in 4K.

Sky broadcast a large number of events in this pin-sharp quality including some of its Premier League games and all of the F1 action from every race around the world. With all top-flight sports on hold, there’s less for people to watch in ultra HD.

The satellite TV firm is clearly aware that its offerings are currently much less attractive with the company now allowing subscribers to cancel their Sky Sports packages without facing any extra charges.

Of course, dropping the quality of streams makes perfect sense during these difficult times but your 4K TV certainly won’t offer the same stunning experience until things get back to normal.

Date: Sat, Mar 21, 2020
Written by: David Snelling
Source: https://www.express.co.uk

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YouTube Reduce Streaming Quality to SD Resolution in Europe

Date: 20 Mar 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen


YouTube will also lower its streaming quality in response to EU’s request to help reduce strain on internet bandwidth, according to Reuters.

YouTube in SD Earlier this week, European Commissioner Thierry Breton urged Netflix and other major streaming services to switch to standard definition when HD is not necessary. Netflix has said that it will reduce bitrates across all streams in Europe.

Google’s YouTube says that it will also reduce its streaming quality in Europe by making SD resolution the default.

We are making a commitment to temporarily switch all traffic in the EU to standard definition by default,” the company said in a statement to Reuters.

However, it is not clear if users will be able to manually adjust streaming quality on YouTube. At this time, the YouTube player in our browser still automatically jumps to 1080p.

The report from Reuters said that the decision was made after European Commissioner Thierry Breton spoke to Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki.

Source: Reuters

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4K vs 8K: Study finds that few viewers can see the difference

Date: 04 Mar 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen


A double-blind study carried out by Pixar, Amazon, LG, ASC and Warner Bros found that few viewers can tell see the difference between 8K and 4K content on an 88-inch 8K OLED TVs, according to a report by Techhive.

4K TV vs 8K TV:

Multiple TV makers have started selling 8K TVs but there has not been much research into the benefits of 8K TVs. FlatpanelsHD has also found that some of the early 8K TVs are not capable of reproducing 8K resolution and last year we advised our readers not to buy an 8K TV of any type.

A comprehensive, double-blind study carried out by Pixar, Amazon, LG, American Society of Cinematographers (ASC), and Warner Bros – and described in impressive detail by Techhive – has now examined the subject, with the goal of finding out if viewers can see a difference between 4K and 8K.

A Comprehensive, Double-Blind Study 4K vs 8K

For the double-blind study seven different native 8K HDR10 video clips see box above were shown on an 88-inch 8K OLED TV (LG 88Z9) to 139 participants over three days. Participants were seated in two rows at about five and nine feet from the screen, respectively. The 4K Clips were Downscaled from the 8K Clips and then Upscaled Again to 8K on a PC using four-pixel duplication cubic.

In each session, the 4K and 8K versions of each clip were played in three sequences, though the sequences for each clip were not presented one immediately after another. In two of the sequences, the 4K and 8K versions were randomly assigned the labels “A” and “B” and played twice in an alternating manner—that is, A-B-A-B—after which the participants indicated which one looked better on a scoring form see Fig. 3.

In the third sequence, the 4K version was played four times, though the participants still saw the labels “A” and “B” alternate and scored them as before. This provided a control group to assure more robust statistics, Techhive explained and added that each participant was evaluated for their visual acuity.

THE RESULTS:

Since it was a comprehensive study that also took into account the viewers’ visual acuity, for example 20/20 vision or 20/10 vision, results were presented in several different ways. In the average of all results, the 8K clips were rated marginally Slightly Better than the 4K clips, said Techhive.

When evaluating only results from viewers with better 20/10 vision, two 8K clips A Bug’s Life and The Nature Footage were rated “Slightly Better” than the 4K Clips.

Lastly, all “slightly better“, “better” and “much better” responses were combined into a single “better” score to account for the nuance that people may have different perspectives on what is, for example, “slightly better” as opposed to “better“. The outcome was these two graphs.

Left: Distribution of Scores – Right: 3 Grades of “Better” Combined into Single Score.

As you can see, many viewers rated the 4K Version Higher than the 8K Version, which obviously should not happen. Believe the reason you see a large number of People Rating 4K better than 8K is that they really can’t see a difference and are simply guessing.

The more interesting point is the fact that for all clips except Clip 7, most people scored 4K the same as 8K. And 8K better than 4K is second most scored option. For Clip 7, it’s different, and most people scored 8K better than 4K, which was an interesting take-away, said Michael Zink, VP of Technology, Warner Bros. We recommend that you read the full article on Techhive.

Date: 04 Mar 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen
Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

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Netflix Lowers Streaming Quality in Europe in Response to EU Request

Date: 20 Mar 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen


In response to EU’s request to help reduce strain on internet bandwidth, Netflix will reduce its streaming quality in Europe by lowering the bitrate for 30 days.

REDUCED STREAMING QUALITY:

Earlier this week, European Commissioner Thierry Breton urged Netflix and other major streaming services to switch to standard definition when HD is not necessary and said that he had already discussed the initiative with Netflix CEO Reed Hasting.

To beat #COVID19, we stay at home. Teleworking and streaming help a lot but infrastructures might be in strain. To secure Internet access for all, let’s switch to standard definition when HD is not necessary,” Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for internal market, wrote on twitter on March 18.

Netflix has now responded to EU’s request – partially. It says that it will begin reducing bitrates across all streams in Europe for 30 days. Netflix estimates that it will reduce traffic in Europe by approximately 25%.

“Following the discussions between Commissioner Thierry Breton and Reed Hastings – and given the extraordinary challenges raised by the coronavirus – Netflix has decided to begin reducing bit rates across all our streams in Europe for 30 days,” a spokesperson from Netflix said. “We estimate that this will reduce Netflix traffic on European networks by around 25% while also ensuring a good quality service for our members.”

NOT SD RESOLUTION:

FlatpanelsHD has found that Netflix still offers streaming in HD resolution as well as 4K HDR10 and 4K Dolby Vision for now. The company has not capped its streaming quality to SD resolution.

It appears that Netflix’s approach is rather to cut off the higher bitrate levels. This is possible because Netflix uses adaptive bitrate meaning that all content is encoded and stored at multiple quality levels (bitrate, resolutions etc.). The viewer will automatically get the highest quality level available based on broadband speeds and hardware.

At the time of writing, FlatpanelsHD is seeing a 35-50% reduction in bitrate for some 4K streams while other 4K streams appear to be unaffected. We are seeing a more modest reduction in bitrate for HD streams but there are fluctuations here, too. As Netflix is still rolling out the changes, it is too early to draw conclusions. We refer to the comments section below for more information on how to check streaming quality on your Netflix streams at home.

This means that Netflix streaming in Europe will look more compressed than usual higher levels of artefacts, softer details etc. but still relatively good compared to many other streaming services. Apple, Amazon, Disney, Google and YouTube have not announced plans to reduce their streaming bitrate at his time.

Date: 20 Mar 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen
Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

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8K is Making Progress Bit by Bit

Date: November 12, 2019

Written by: Thierry Fautier

It happened first at IFA 2019, Europe’s largest consumer tech conference in Berlin. 8K was everywhere. At IBC2019, expectations for 8K technology demonstrations were high. Since almost every TV maker around the world has announced 8K TV production. Many have even replaced their 4K TV offer with 8K.

As 2019 comes to a close, 8K continues to show strong interest, but what are the potential hurdles to overcome before mainstream adoption? We still don’t have enough information on next-generation MPEG codec or on Versatile Video Coding (VVC) licensing. And are we certain that VVC is the right option?

Phase 1: the demonstrations for future tech in today’s world

There is real-world proof that encoding for 8K is possible today. Here’s a rundown on some demos that showcase the possibility of 8K video:

  • The live BT sports demo: This was a collaborative effort. From Amsterdam, multiple partners came together to deliver one hour of live broadcast in 8K showcasing the Gallagher Premiership Rugby 7s tournament. It proved that 8K can be produced and transmitted live from the stadium to the studios.
  • Harmonic’s IBC2019 8K TV demo: This showed the next step from stadium to screen. With VVC, we can reach 8K resolution with close to 50% bit rate reduction over the popular High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), but that’s not all. Harmonic was also live streaming using content-aware encoding (CAE) technology to provide different bit rates and resolutions from a KPN data center to the IBC Future Zone over a private line. We used updated firmware on a Samsung TV to decode the stream based on the DASH.JS player. The content of an equestrian show jumping contest that leads to an average of 14 m/s using CAE. This represented a world first.  We can now measure the true potential of CAE and see how TV sets convert up to 8K. Today, NHK is transmitting live at 85 Mbps via satellite and using the compression techniques developed three years ago and it provides a less than optimal result. The Harmonic demo validates that CAE efficiency depends on content complexity. Even at 39 Mbps, we are still more than 50% lower than HEVC in production at NHK. This matches what VVC promises in 2022, proving that we can use today’s technology to deliver tomorrow’s content, and without burning the budget.

Phase 2: 8K adoption is starting, and it’s exciting

8K is now being delivered with technology that was developed almost three years ago, which explains the 85 Mbps figures. We are now entering the second phase. Operators want more affordable bit rates, with a goal to come close to what is currently used for 4K OTT streaming (a 25 Mbps connection is required for Netflix in HDR). We have demonstrated that it is now possible with a range of 14 Mbps to 39 Mbps, without any optimization done for 8K, using cloud-powered encoding and CAE technology.

2019 was the 8K pre-game. There are more 8K TVs being made, and sales are predicted to pick up in 2020. This is especially the case in countries where 8K will be available. Tomorrow’s 8K streaming experience on connected TVs is in the starting block and waiting for the go-ahead to launch at full speed. 2020 is just around the corner and the games are about to begin. And we mean the actual games. The 2020 Tokyo games are expected to be the first large-scale 8K content ever produced. Will you be watching?

Source: https://www.harmonicinc.com

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The HDTV is Officially Dead.

Date: 27 Feb 2020
Written by: Yoeri Geutskens

In barely seven years, 4K TV has evolved from high-end niche product to not just mainstream proposition but in fact to the low end of the TV market. On its way it’s pushed HDTV out of the market, meanwhile it’s been put under pressure already by the advent of 8K TV. The Resolution Gap was already big; now the chasm is gaping. The overlap has reduced to almost zero. How so? There are several resolutions used in broadcast television: 480p (SD), 720p, 1080i (HD) and 1080p (Full HD). Yes, 4K Ultra HD broadcasts exist but they cover well under 1% of all programs available. Meanwhile in TV hardware, we’ve got two resolutions you can choose from in 2020: 4K and 8K. Most major TV brands have phased out HDTVs, which until last year covered the low end of the market, where margins are low.

ONE OF THE FIRST 4K TVS – THE $24.999 2012 SONY BRAVIA XBR-84X900

4K TV now fulfills that role. That may sound surprising, because 4K ijs relatively new. The first 4K model, the Sony XBR-84X900, was introduced about seven years ago, at the end of 2012, at a price level of $24.999. Now you can buy one at $249.99! That’s a price erosion of 99% over a 7-year stretch, or close to 50% annually. That’s how steep the price erosion is in this business. No wonder even major electronics firms have difficulty competing and remaining profitable, and quite a few have divested their TV operations to license their brand name to leaner manufacturers. Granted, that entry-level $249 TV is a just 43-inch in size – a substantially smaller model than the 84-inch model Sony debuted back then. It’s also a second-tier brand – Insignia. But it uses the same display panel technology (edge-lit LCD), it’s got the exact same number of pixels, and in some ways it’s more advanced. It’s got HDMI 2.0 instead of v1.4 (which could not handle HDCP 2.2 copy protection that most source devices demand, or 4K input at frame rates higher than 30 fps); it can handle HDR signals, even if its peak brightness is not great. It’s got built-in streaming functionality and comes with a range of apps for all sorts of video services. And if size does matter, you can now get a 75-inch 4K TV for well under one grand – one twenty-fifth or just 4% of what you had to pay at introduction.

2019 $249 UHD TV

FAST EVOLUTION FOR HARDWARE:
It may also come as a shock that in this short period of time, 4K has evolved from the very high end of TV to the mainstream and low end of the market. Low end you say? Yes, for a number of brands, such as Sony, the most basic models are now 4K and HD has been dropped from the range. Samsung has confirmed only a single HDTV in its 2020 range – a 32” version of The Frame, their high design models, which by definition are not low end and likely have some margin left in them. LG confirmed they will not have any new Full HD or HD-Ready TV models in 2020. Panasonic would not confirm their plans for this year but so far it seems they have no new HDTV models on offer. At the same time, 4K is moving away from the high end: This year, one year after 8K TVs commercially debuted on the market with models you could actually buy – as opposed to the prototypes we’ve been shown at CES and IFA for years – Samsung has announced it will no longer offer its most premium display features on 4K models; it reserves those for its 8K QLED TV range. 8K now represents the high end, 4K the mainstream and low end. Meanwhile, TV broadcasting has a hard time catching up, because there’s no business model that offers them any incentive to upgrade. They’ll need to replace their entire production workflow, which is expensive and something they normally do once every seven to ten years. However, even when they start producing in 4K, it’s likely too costly to distribute it in that resolution. That’s because bandwidth is scarce, especially with terrestrial broadcast, but even with DTH (direct-to-home) satellite and cable/IPTV spectrum is limited, and a 4K channel simply takes the same capacity as four HD channels, unless you overly compress it, but that would defy the whole point of Ultra HD. Meanwhile 4K doesn’t bring any additional revenues. Advertisers aren’t paying more money to advertise on 4K TV channels, and the extent to which operators can charge more for these channels is limited. As a result, for 4K content we’re dependent on streaming platforms, for which bandwidth is not an issue, at least not their issue. It’s ironic perhaps that while the overall amount of bandwidth available to us increases year over year, the bandwidth for traditional broadcasting does not, and in many cases even shrinks, where airwaves are reallocated from radio and TV to mobile data. Of course, the relevance of broadcasters does not depend mainly on the resolution they’re transmitting their content in, but this widening gap does add to the worries many of them have about staying relevant in a time where we are witnessing a shift from linear TV watching to on-demand viewing, happening right under our eyes.

WHERE BROADCAST TV IS NOW:
It’s 2020, and America’s biggest sporting event, the Super Bowl, only just now got broadcast in 4K for the first time, on selected distribution channels and, significantly, streaming platforms. It may be telling that while the production mostly was shot with HDR cameras, the base resolution was 1080p (with some 720p thrown in for good measure), and upscaled to 4K for distribution. The 2018 World Championship soccer games were shot and offered in 4K/HDR by broadcasters in some 25 countries on one-off pop-up channels, removed again as soon as the event was over. 2019 had no such major sports event, and this year we’ll have the European Championships, likely following the same patterns as the world cup two years earlier. The other main sports event this year is going to be the Olympic Games and again the prospects for 4K TV owners aren’t great, since the transmission rights in most countries are held by public broadcasters, who have even more difficulty ponying up the money needed to facilitate UHD programs than commercial ones. In another ironic twist, the 2020 Olympics take place in Tokyo, Japan – the country that’s the farthest advanced with 8K production. The 8K feed is expected to be available only domestically, but in Japan the market penetration of 8K TVs is going to be lower yet than in North America and even Europe. That’s because Japanese living rooms are typically much smaller than American ones, and TV sizes are proportionally smaller (and resolutions accordingly lower).

WILL BROADCAST TV EVER CATCH UP:
Will broadcasters ever catch up with the resolutions consumer TVs have arrived at, or should we accept that there will forever be a discrepancy between the capabilities of the displays we’re watching and the content we’re viewing on it? Given the economic realities of the TV business, probably the latter. This is not a new phenomenon however. Even as HDTV hardware had attained dominance over SDTV in the market, most channels were still in HD. It’s just that the gap is getting wider. Someone watching the local news on a high-end TV in 2020 may very well be looking at an SD signal upscaled for an 8K display. That will not look great. Whether it’s acceptable depends on how critical the consumer is, and on how compelling the content.

BBC REGIONAL NEWS BREAK IS STILL BROADCAST ONLY IN SD. (SOURCE: INFORMITV)


THE HDR ALTERNATIVE:
One way for broadcasters to catch up with the TV hardware evolution is to start transmitting programs in HDR. According to the Ultra HD Forum, 1080p HD with HDR also qualifies as Ultra HD and frankly, improved dynamic range contributes more to picture quality than increased spatial resolution. It takes only a modest amount of extra bandwidth – between 0% and about 25% over an SDR channel, depending on the HDR format used. This changes the economics drastically. To what extent broadcasters will need to overhaul their production workflow again depends a lot on what HDR format they choose. More about that in a future article. We seem to have reached an inflection point. What it means for TV hardware and broadcast business only time will tell.

Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

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What is Dolby Vision? The dynamic HDR Format Fully Explained

Written By: Simon Cohen

Date: January 11, 2020

what is dolby vision hdr for tvs 2
DOLBY VISION

Of all the new TV technologies to emerge over the last few years, it’s arguable that none has had as big an impact on overall picture quality as High Dynamic Range, or HDR. When properly implemented, HDR can make a huge difference in perceived picture quality. We think it has been more impactful than the move from Full HD (1080p) to 4K Ultra HD or even 8K resolution.

But not all HDR is created equal; in fact, HDR is a catch-all term that refers to several distinct and competitive technologies. The one with the biggest brand recognition is Dolby Vision. Dolby Labs has done such a good job of marketing Dolby Vision as its own platform, many consumers aren’t even aware that it’s an HDR format.  That shouldn’t be a surprise: TVs that have Dolby Vision technology, are often labeled as “4K HDR TV with Dolby Vision” making it seem as though the two terms aren’t related.

But what is Dolby Vision? How is it different than other HDR formats? And more importantly, how can you get it at home? We have all the answers right here.

What is HDR?

Before we get into Dolby Vision specifically, let’s quickly recap HDR in general. High Dynamic Range is a technology that lets filmmakers and content creators produce videos with increased brightness, greater color accuracy, and better contrast than what was previously possible. While HDR is often utilized in high-quality theaters, it has also become increasingly popular for home viewing. When HDR content is viewed on a quality HDR-compatible TV, you can tell right away — the increase in overall picture quality is dramatic, offering a touch of cinematic quality on the small screen.

There are five major HDR formats to discuss for home use: Two static formats and three dynamic ones. The two static formats are HDR10, the version that every HDR-capable TV supports, and HLG, a version designed for broadcast applications. Static in this case means that the data required to show HDR content is determined once based on the entire movie or TV show. Once the video starts to play, that information doesn’t change.

The three dynamic formats include Advanced HDR by Technicolor, and two much more commonly known formats for the home: HDR10+, a license-free format developed in part by Samsung, and Dolby Vision. Unlike static formats, dynamic formats can adapt as you watch, boosting or reducing HDR elements based on each scene, down to a frame-by-frame level of detail. It takes way more data to do HDR this way, but experts agree: Being able to fine-tune color, contrast, and brightness for each scene can have a big impact on HDR quality.

So What’s so Special About Dolby Vision?

what is dolby vision hdr for tvs

As touched on above, Dolby Vision is a proprietary, dynamic HDR format developed by Dolby Labs. By adjusting the picture on a scene-by-scene (and even frame-by-frame) basis, it lets you see more detail with better color accuracy. It is constantly making adjustments so that each image on the screen is optimized. But there’s more to it than that.

In addition to the ability for content creators to tweak picture settings at a highly granular level, Dolby Vision supports a much wider range of possible settings than the more conventional (and static) HDR10. For instance, HDR10 supports a maximum picture brightness of 1,000 nits for TVs. Dolby Vision can go much brighter — up to 10,000 nits.

The same is true for color accuracy. HDR10 lets content creators specify color using 10 bits of data, whereas Dolby Vision supports up to 12 bits. That spec might not seem like a big deal — after all, that’s only a difference of 2 bits — but it makes a huge difference. With 10 bits, you can pick from amongst 1,024 shades of each primary color, which gives you over a billion total possible colors. Again, that sounds huge until you realize that 12 bits give you 4,096 shades and a total of over 68 billion colors.

If that sounds like overkill, when it comes to your TV, it is. For the moment, there are no TVs you can buy that are capable of displaying 10,000 nits of brightness or the 68 billion colors that Dolby Vision provides. Even the brightest TVs on the market tend to max out at 2,000 nits of brightness, and not even LG’s newest 8K OLED TV offers better than 10-bit color support. That said, TV technology is advancing very rapidly so Dolby Vision’s current above-and-beyond specs may seem perfectly reasonable in another five years.

What about HDR10+?

The Samsung-backed HDR10+ format is similar to Dolby Vision in that it’s also a dynamic format that can optimize on-screen images on a scene-by-scene basis. It has support for higher brightness and color-depth than the HDR10, but it doesn’t quite go as far as Dolby Vision in its specifications. In theory, this means that you’ll get better results with Dolby Vision, but for now, the biggest difference between the two standards is availability.

Few devices currently support HDR10+ and even fewer sources of content are available in HDR10+, though this is beginning to change. In time, thanks to the free licensing of the HDR10+ standard, we could see the tables turn. If you’re wondering about future support for these competing formats, here’s something to keep in mind: Any device that currently supports Dolby Vision ought to be able to support HDR10+ too, via a firmware upgrade. Moreover, there would be little cost to manufacturers that chose to do this. The same is not true for Dolby Vision, which adds a licensing cost in addition to the cost of developing the firmware itself.

Which TVs support Dolby Vision?

tcl 65r617 press

While Dolby Vision is more prominent than HDR10+, not all new TVs are Dolby Vision-compatible. One prominent brand that does not support it is Samsung, which is all in on HDR10+.

Major brands that offer Dolby Vision include LG, TCL, Vizio, and Sony, but Dolby Vision support can vary from model to model. Before you buy, make sure to read the full specs for the model you’re considering. If it works with Dolby Vision it will likely say so and usually quite prominently.

What else do I need for Dolby Vision?

what is dolby vision hdr for tvs netflix

A Source of Dolby Vision Video:

In addition to having a Dolby Vision-compatible TV (or other devices — some smartphones and tablets are now Dolby Vision-compatible), you’ll need a source of Dolby Vision video. Lots of 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays support Dolby Vision, and video streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video offer a good selection of both Hollywood movies and original series in the format. Disney+ and Apple TV+ both have deep support for Dolby Vision as well as Dolby Atmos — the company’s popular surround-sound audio format. Where you won’t find Dolby Vision is broadcast TV. For the moment, HDR content from over-the-air channels is rare, and when it’s available it uses either HDR10 or HLG due to the lower bandwidth requirements of these HDR formats.

Amazon Fire TV Streaming Stick 4K
Dan Baker/Digital Trends

A Dolby Vision Capable Device:

If you use a set-top box, game console, or Blu-ray player for your streaming video content, it also needs to be Dolby Vision-compatible — not all of them are. Roku streaming devices like the Roku Streaming Stick+, for instance, only support HDR10. By contrast, some Roku TVs, like those made by TCL, do support Dolby Vision. The Apple TV 4K supports Dolby Vision, but the Apple TV HD doesn’t. Amazon’s 4K Fire TV Stick is one of the few devices that supports all four of the top HDR formats: HDR10, HLG, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision.

Nvidia’s older Shield TV streamers don’t support it, but the 2019 Nvidia Shield TV and Shield TV Pro do. Microsoft’s Xbox One S and One X have supported Dolby Vision since 2018, but you won’t find it on the basic Xbox One. Sony’s PlayStations do not support Dolby Vision. Again, it pays to do your research.

Finally, if your chosen Dolby Vision device requires an HDMI cable (instead of the dongle-style that plugs directly into a TV) make sure you buy an HDMI cable that is guaranteed to be compatible with Dolby Vision. Any cable that bears the “HDMI Premium Certified” label is ideal. Cables that are rated for lesser speeds may work, but be prepared in the event that they don’t. The good news is that you can buy Premium Certified HDMI cables for less than the price of an IMAX movie ticket.

A FEW GOTCHAS:

Sometimes, even when you do everything right, things still don’t work as planned. We have found instances where even if you have a Dolby Vision source, playback device, and TV, you still don’t get Dolby Vision. One recent example comes from Disney+ where some viewers were surprised to learn that despite having a fully compatible setup, they still weren’t getting Dolby Vision on their Xbox consoles. The reason? The Xbox Disney+ app doesn’t yet support Dolby Vision even though many titles on the service are labeled Dolby Vision.

Another issue you may have heard about also relates to Dolby Vision and Disney+. Some experts have taken issue with how The Mandalorian — an exclusive Disney+ streaming show presented in Dolby Vision — looks. They say it looks too dark, and that even the brightest on-screen moments aren’t as bright as they expect from a Dolby Vision title. Are they right?

As it turns out, yes and no. Yes, The Mandalorian looks dark. But it’s not the fault of Dolby Vision or Disney+’s handling of Dolby Vision. Instead, the show’s creators made a choice during the production process to scale back on the brightness that Dolby Vision allows, in order to infuse the scenes with a more somber tone. The key here is this: Just because a movie or show is available in Dolby Vision, it doesn’t mean you’ll experience every possible color from the Dolby Vision palette, or have your eyeballs seared by the format’s huge brightness capabilities.

Creators will still choose to use Dolby Vision to express their creative intent, and sometimes that might mean a more subdued approach.

What about Dolby Vision IQ?

dolby vision iq hdr tv light sensors ces 2020

At CES 2020, Dolby Labs debuted a new video technology called Dolby Vision IQ. You can think of it as an enhancement to Dolby Vision: Using light sensors built into new Dolby Vision IQ-enabled TVs, the software can optimize Dolby Vision content based on the ambient light in your room. In this way, Dolby Vision becomes even more dynamic: It changes the additional color and contrast info on a scene by scene basis and then changes it again based on your viewing conditions. At the moment, only LG and Panasonic support Dolby Vision IQ, but more manufacturers are expected soon.

So there you have it — Dolby Vision fully explained. As the HDR landscape shifts over time, we’ll be updating this article to reflect the latest changes, equipment, and support.

Source: https://www.digitaltrends.com

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The Innovative Zephyrus G14 Brings Incredible Power to a 14-inch Form Factor.

After setting the bar for ultra-slim gaming laptops with the original ROG Zephyrus, our engineers continue to redefine what’s possible in the category. The latest example of their boundary-breaking spirit debuts at CES 2020 in the new Zephyrus G14, which puts unprecedented power in a 14-inch form factor that’s portable enough to go anywhere and priced to bring premium gaming to everyone.

Cutting-edge components will take you most of the way to an amazing gaming experience, but the real challenge is getting them to work together in such a small machine. Despite a compact chassis that’s under 20mm thin, the Zephyrus G14 pairs exclusive 4th generation AMD® Ryzen™ CPUs with up to an NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX™ 2060 GPU. Carefully customized cooling ensures these processors perform at their best, and you can optimize for gaming or creative pursuits with a choice between high refresh and high resolution displays, both with Pantone® Validated colors and Adaptive Sync variable refresh rate technology.

g14-faceoff
ROG Zephyrus

More than 10 hours of battery life and the ability to charge from compatible Type-C power packs, the G14 gives you the freedom to roam. Subtle styling in Moonlight White or Eclipse Gray moves seamlessly between personal and professional lives, accentuating a versatile design filled with thoughtful upgrades that enhance everyday use. When it’s time to be seen, you can light up the optional AniMe Matrix™ display to show custom graphics, animations, and other effects across over a thousand mini LEDs embedded in the lid.

The Zephyrus G14 is intelligently equipped to fit into your lifestyle, bridging creativity and play, school and work, at home and on the road. It makes gaming more accessible and portable without compromising the experience or diluting ROG DNA.

Small size with big impact:

Packed into a much smaller footprint than 15-inch alternatives, the G14 easily slips into conventional laptop bags and backpacks. The system is only 17.9mm thin and 1.6kg without the custom LED matrix. Shrinking such a powerful laptop down to this size requires careful attention in every category.

Super-svelte chassis can sometimes feel flimsy and cheap, so our designers bolstered the palm rests with honeycomb reinforcements that add strength with minimal material. The magnesium-aluminum alloy deck is forged and machined for a perfect fit, then finished to resist fingerprints for a fresher look day to day. High strength and low weight also make magnesium alloy ideal for the lid, whose distinctive dot matrix design is produced by a CNC milling process that puts 6,536 precise perforations in the exterior panel.

grey-anime
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

The understated take on the ROG slash appears on every Zephyrus G14, but it really comes to life with the AniMe Matrix display available on select models. This bold step forward for personalization spreads 1,215 mini LEDs across the lid, letting you fully express your individuality and creativity. Each LED emits a tasteful white glow with 256 levels of brightness control.

The monochrome palette and pixelated pattern have a deliberately retro feel with surprising flexibility. You can import animated GIFs and other graphics, build custom animations frame by frame, and type text messages with different fonts. Visualizations react to music and other audio, creating a unique platform for DJs and other artists. An upcoming update will enable system functions that show new email notifications in addition to the date, time, and battery level. Mix multiple types of content for an even more custom look.

white-rear-anime
Asus Zephyrus G14

Perfecting the AniMe Matrix display was one of the most difficult parts of the G14 project. We went through 15 iterations just for the mask that evenly distributes light from each LED, added a diffusing layer to soften the glow, and experimented with different diameters to find just the right size for the tiny openings in the lid. Alignment has to be perfect to get the ideal effect, especially since the individual lights are rectangular rather than square. We also had to carefully balance the number of mini LEDs to minimize heat, controller hardware, and power requirements. The patented design is a testament to our innovative spirit.

Powerful graphics for serious gaming:

Stunning looks on the outside deserve great graphics on the inside. Pumping out fluid frame rates in popular games requires a potent GPU, so the Zephyrus G14 comes with up to a GeForce RTX 2060 augmented by ROG Boost up to 1298MHz at 65W. The discrete GPU is based on the latest NVIDIA Turing architecture, which melds dedicated cores for programmable shading, real-time ray tracing, and artificial intelligence. This combination enables improved lighting, shadows, and other in-game effects, and it also offers a diverse array of compute resources for accelerating demanding workloads like content creation, 3D modeling, and deep learning.

Turing’s dedicated video encoder is largely responsible for the G14’s ability to game and stream simultaneously. The specialized hardware allows higher stream quality with minimal performance impact, and it’s compatible with Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), a popular capture tool among burgeoning creators and aspiring Twitch streamers.

Choose high refresh or high resolution:

The display controls how many frames per second reach your eyes, and it’s often compromised in smaller laptops. With the G14, we provide a choice between two premium panels tailored for different needs. You can select a faster Full HD display that goes up to 120Hz or opt for a higher WQHD resolution.

Smaller laptop screens aren’t usually available with higher refresh rates, but being able to see more FPS is so important for gaming that we worked with one of our panel providers to create a new 14-inch display capable of keeping up. The 120Hz panel doubles the speed of typical laptop displays, making high-intensity action much smoother.

g14-gray-topdown
ROG Zephyrus G14

Adaptive Sync variable refresh rate technology adds another level of smoothness and immersion by closely coordinating frame delivery between the GPU and display. Game performance varies constantly depending on what you’re playing and what’s happening in the scene. Most displays refresh at a consistent rate, which creates problems when new frames aren’t ready at the right time. Adaptive Sync synchronizes the refresh rate of the display with the frame rate of the GPU to eliminate visual tearing that can ruin immersion, and it also minimizes stuttering and input lag that can hinder your game.

Adaptive Sync support extends to the WQHD display, and it can be even more effective at the lower potential FPS associated with the higher resolution. The extra pixels are primed for creators who want to see more detail in their work, but they also appeal to gamers who prefer taking in their surroundings at a slower pace. Thanks to smaller dimensions, the WQHD panel has a higher pixel density than typical 4K desktop monitors. Even the Full HD panel matches the PPI of a 28-inch Ultra HD display.

Both displays are factory calibrated and Pantone Validated to ensure creators get the color accuracy they crave. The IPS-type panels have wide viewing angles and cover 100% of the sRGB range. They’re framed by exceptionally thin bezels, creating an 85% screen-to-body ratio that makes these screens feel larger and more engrossing no matter what you’re creating, watching, or playing.

Nonstop speed:

Our work with AMD to bring previous-gen Ryzen processors to the 15-inch Zephyrus G GA502 spawned a new breed of slim gaming laptops priced to bring gaming to a wider audience. For the G14, we collaborated more closely to create a series tuned specifically for the smaller chassis. The fastest 4th Gen Ryzen Mobile CPUs have power envelopes extending up to 45W, but we worked with AMD to tune those chips for the G14’s unique form factor and cooling capabilities, resulting in a special 35W variation based on the same silicon. The chips retain up to 8 cores and 16 threads to blast through your most demanding workloads, but they dial back the clocks slightly to make thermals more manageable. There’s still ample muscle for demanding applications like video editing and 3D rendering, and for heavy multitasking like mixing gaming with streaming, recording, and chats.

Cutting-edge 7nm fabrication technology helps condense so much power into a small and efficient package. The Zephyrus G14 lets you tackle a huge range of everyday tasks on the road, without fretting over where to find the nearest power outlet.

With up to 32GB of fast DDR4-3200 RAM across dual channels, you can do it all at the same time and have enough headroom for bigger projects. There’s loads of wicked-fast storage supplied by an NVMe SSD with up to 1TB of capacity, meaning minimal load times for all your favorite games and apps.

One of a kind cool:

Ultraslim chassis already leave little room for airflow, and a smaller footprint makes the G14 even harder to keep cool, but our thermal engineers made the right adjustments. They developed an exclusive feature that dynamically adjusts the power available to the CPU based on the GPU temperatures. It can make changes every second to react to spikes in GPU utilization, ensuring optimal gaming performance for the conditions.

This is the first ROG laptop to feature an ErgoLift hinge that tilts the keyboard at a more comfortable angle. The bottom of the display lifts the back of the machine when you open the lid, giving the vents in the base more room to breathe. The design hides part of the lower bezel, too, but in doing so it can impede airflow from the rear exhaust ports. We cut vents into the bezel and widened the distance to rear heatsinks to compensate. It’s a delicate balance, because making the gap larger increases the depth of the chassis and also makes the hinge more susceptible to downward pressure, requiring a stiffer spring.

g14-white-ergolift
The Zephyrus G14

The rear exhausts and heatsink fins are shaped to direct air both up, away from the bezel, and down, towards the vents cut into it. Two more outlets line the flanks, and all four of them are filled with ultra-thin copper fins as slim as 0.15mm. The slender profile allows both higher density and lower air resistance than typical fins that are twice as thick. There are 209 heatsink fins totaling 68,868mm2 of surface area, comparison with 15”. They dissipate thermal energy from a network of five heatpipes that cover the CPU, GPU, and VRM responsible for powering them.

Dust and other particles inevitably get sucked into laptop fans, but our self-cleaning cooling system helps to avoid accumulation that can compromise performance and stability over time. It uses anti-dust tunnels to catch particles and direct them out the back of the chassis. They take space away from the fan, and the G14 doesn’t have a millimeter to spare, so we shortened the tunnels to make room for the same size of fan used in the 15” Zephyrus models. This custom design offers higher airflow while retaining good dust ejection, striking a better balance for this size of machine.

Even our n-Blade fans are tweaked to optimize acoustics in the super small chassis. They’re made of a special liquid crystal polymer that lets the incredibly thin blades hold their shape at high RPMs. Instead of using 83 identical blades like our existing fans, the Zephyrus G14 alternates between 81 blades that are 50mm and 51.2mm long. The uneven outer edge reduces noise caused by turbulence but doesn’t adversely affect airflow.

Fan speeds are controlled by an intelligent algorithm that responds automatically to temperature changes. Three expertly tuned operating modes let you quickly adapt to different scenarios using a convenient keyboard shortcut, while Scenario Profiles seamlessly switch between modes based on your preferences for individual games and applications. With the highest fan speed and frequencies, Turbo mode is the best for maximum performance. Performance mode strikes a better balance for gaming, while Silent mode goes further to reduce acoustics for lighter work and entertainment.

Top off with Type-C charging:

ROG created the first gaming laptop capable of being powered by DC or USB-C input, and the technology is a perfect fit for the mobile Zephyrus G14. With support for USB Power Delivery, it can handle lighter work powered by up to a 65W Type-C adapter that’s much smaller than the 180W unit required to unleash the discrete GPU. Use a USB-C adapter to lighten your load on the road or around town. When it’s time to plug in and fully recharge the G14, fast-charging support reverses the direction of the flow, using up to 3A to quickly rejuvenate smartphones and other devices.

If the battery runs low and you can’t stop to charge or even find a free wall socket, you can buy precious time with a compatible Type-C power pack.

Flexible options on the go:

The Type-C port with USB Power Delivery is also capable of driving an external monitor via DisplayPort 1.4. Add HDMI 2.0b, and you can power everything from a classroom projector to a slick workstation with dual 4K displays. There’s plenty of connectivity for external devices through a secondary Type-C port focused on USB functionality, plus two Type-A ports for additional gear like a mouse, gamepad, and thumb drive. No dongles needed.

g14-white-rightedge
Zephyrus G14

The Zephyrus G14 amps up wireless networking with Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) connectivity, also known as 802.11ax. When paired with a compatible router, Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) boosts peak interface bandwidth up to 2.4Gbps, and improves efficiency for crowded spaces like coffee shops and libraries. It also reduces latency, meaning less lag for sensitive activities like online gaming, and expands upstream capacity, which provides more bandwidth for live-streaming.

Keyboard enhancements go beyond ErgoLift to improve your everyday routine. The G14 is the first ROG laptop to integrate fingerprint login into the power button. A single press wakes the machine and briefly caches your fingerprint, saving it to authenticate when Windows is ready to log in. On machines with multiple users, the OS automatically detects the right account.

g14-black-leftedge
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Despite smaller chassis dimensions, the keyboard takes cues from larger Zephyrus gaming laptops. Key switches with ROG Overstroke technology actuate earlier in the stroke for quicker, more responsive input, while N-key rollover ensures that every press registers, even when you’re mashing multiple keys at once. Even the shape and placement of the keys is geared toward accuracy and convenience. Fire off function commands intuitively thanks to spacing that mimics desktop layouts, and access essentials like volume and mic mute instantly with dedicated hotkeys.

Immerse yourself in sound:

Multidimensional sound brings greater depth and direction to all a wide range of audio experiences, and it can even provide a competitive advantage in games. In the Zephyrus G14, Dolby Atmos technology enhances spatial immersion with virtual surround sound for both headphones and speakers.

The Dolby algorithms are also optimized to maximize loudness and fidelity for the G14’s integrated speakers. Two tweeters positioned above the keyboard fire high-frequency sounds directly at you, while two woofers beneath them offer deep bass amplified by the ErgoLift design. This quad-speaker setup delivers perfectly balanced audio across the spectrum. You can pump up the volume on movies, music, and games without losing clarity or detail.

 ROG Zephyrus G14
ProcessorUp to AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS
Display14″ 120Hz FHD IPS-level panel with Adaptive Sync technology
14″ 60Hz WQHD IPS-level panel with Adaptive Sync technology
14″ 60Hz FHD IPS-level panel with Adaptive Sync technology
GraphicsUp to NVIDIA® GeForce RTX 2060 6GB GDDR6
MemoryUp to 32 GB DDR4 3200MHz
StorageUp to 1 TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD
WirelessIntel WiFi 6 (802.11ax)
Bluetooth 5.0
Connectivity1 x USB3.2 Gen2 Type-C (DisplayPort 1.4 and Power Delivery)
1 x USB3.2 Gen2 Type-C
2x USB3.2 Gen1 Type-A
1x HDMI 2.0b
1x 3.5mm headphone and microphone combo jack
KeyboardBacklit Chiclet Keyboard, N-key support, 1.7mm travel distance, 4 Hotkeys, Golden Curve, Power key with Fingerprint
Audio2x 2.5W speakers with Smart AMP technology
2x 0.7W tweeter, Array Microphone
AC Adapter180 W AC Adapter
OSWindows 10 Pro
Windows 10 Home
Size324 x 222 x 17.9 mm
Weight1.6 kg
ROG Zephyrus G14

Meet the next game changer

Little details and big ideas put the Zephyrus G14 in a class of its own. No other 14-inch laptop offers comparable power in such a slim package, especially at an affordable price. This new addition to the Zephyrus family raises expectations for what’s possible in such a portable form factor, and brings an exhilarating gaming experience to a versatile laptop made for everyone.

The Zephyrus G14 will be available starting in the first quarter of 2020, and you can see it on display at our CES 2020 showcase, located at the Planet Hollywood Las Vegas Resort and Casino. For a media tour, or for more details on configurations, availability, and pricing in your region, contact your local ROG representative.

Seagate Launches a Fast PCIe Gen4 SSD and an Expandable Storage Dock for Gamers

Written By Paul Lilly 

Date: November 12, 2019

Another blazing fast SSD that leverages the PCI Express 4.0 bus.

Seagate FireCuda 520 SSD
Image Credits Seagate

Seagate is expanding its storage lineup with a couple of products it’s marketing toward gamers. One is a new generation FireCuda 520 SSD, and the other is the other is a FireCuda Gaming Dock.

Starting with the former, the FireCuda 520 SSD is one of a handful of drives that leverages the PCI Express 4.0 bus for incredibly fast read and write speeds. For sequential reads, it tops out at 5,000MB/s, which is par for course among current PCIe 4.0 SSDs. And for sequential writes, it’s rated to deliver up to 4,400MB/s. (The maximum throughput of an x4 Gen4 link is around 8,000MB/s, so we’re still not hitting that bottleneck at least.)

Seagate is offering the FireCuda 520 SSD in three capacities, those being 2TB ($429.99), 1TB ($249.99), and 500GB ($124.99), available now at places like Amazon. They’re backed by five-year warranties.

While Seagate is taking direct aim at gamers, the truth is, the best SSD for gaming is not a PCIe 4.0 drive when factoring in bang-for-buck (especially with Black Friday deals around the bend). It doesn’t even have to be an NVMe drive at all—even some SATA 6Gbps drives are just fine for a gaming PC.

Regardless, on paper, the FireCuda 520 series is extremely fast. In order to tap into that speed, you’ll need a motherboard that supports PCIe 4.0, and so far only AMD’s X570 offerings fit the mold (in the consumer space). So, it’s third gen Ryzen or bust if you want to fully utilize these kinds of drives. You can still install them on PCIe 3.0 motherboards, just the top-end speed will not be quite as high.


Segate’s other new storage offering is its FireCuda Gaming Dock. It’s essentially an external storage device with a built-in 4TB hard drive, and a PCIe Gen 3 slot for optional higher speed expansion—you can add an M.2 form factor SSD.

The dock connects to PCs via Thunderbolt 3. It also includes a spattering of other ports, including a Thunderbolt 3 accessory port, a DisplayPort 1.4 connector, a GbE LAN port, two 3.5mm jacks (audio-in/mic-out and audio-out), four USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, and a USB 3.1 Gen 2 charging port. And of course it lights up.

Seagate has priced  the dock at $349.99 and says it will be available later this month. It’s backed by a three-year warranty.

Written By Paul Lilly

Date: November 12, 2019

Source: https://www.pcgamer.com

How to Download Videos with VLC YouTube included.

Written by: Karen Nelson

Date: October 11, 2019

It is likely that you have heard and used VLC media player for playing streaming videos. But it is more likely that you are fooled by its name VLC media player is by no means a one-trick pony. Instead, it is a feature packed powerful tool which is not only capable of playing streaming videos but also able to download videos from all the popular websites, like YouTube.

Today, you are going to learn about how to download video with VLC on Mac/Windows and solve a series of problems involved when using it all in one passage.

VLC’s hidden feature download video from Internet:

In fact, there are two methods to download videos with VLC. Here I will introduce the easier one. Please follow the steps below with VLC downloading a YouTube video as an example.

Step 1. Fire up VLC

After installing VLC media player to your Windows or Mac, fire it up.

Step 2. Copy the Video URL from YouTube

Go for the video on YouTube and copy the link from the browser’s address bar above the page.

Step 3. Paste the Video URL into VLC and Start Playing

On Windows:

Click on “Media” > “Open Network Stream” in VLC main interface.

VLC Open Network Stream to Download YouTube

Then under the Network tab on the pop-up window, you should then enter the YouTube video URL that you have copied from YouTube. Press the “Play” button to start playing the video.

VLC Enter YouTube Video URL

On Mac:

Click on “File” > “Open Network”, enter the YouTube video URL and click “Open”.

Step 4. Get and Copy Codec Information of the YouTube Video

On Windows:

Hit “Tools” > “Codec Information” to copy the full URL besides the “Location” title. This is the direct URL of the YouTube video.

Copy VLC Codec Information

On Mac:

Select the YouTube video in VLC, hit “Window” > “Media Information”. You are looking for the “Location” input box.

Step 5. Enter the URL into Address Bar and Download the YouTube Video

Open a web browser page and paste the copied Location URL into the address bar before hitting “Enter” on your keyboard. More clicks of “Save” button might be needed after that, which depends on the video link and the setting of your browser.

Problems tackled in YouTube downloading using VLC:

Now, have you learned about how to download YouTube videos using VLC yet? Don’t worry if you encounter some problems when in practice. The first thing you need to do is to repeat the above steps more carefully in order to rule out the possibility of not following the right procedures. If that problem does continue to exist, you might need to read the second part of the passage. We have listed some common problems involved in saving video from websites with VLC and given out our solutions.

Problem 1:

“Sadly this didn’t work for me. It downloaded the video but instead of getting a playable video I get a file called “file” in my download folder.”

Solution A: Put an extension to the file name when it gives you “Enter file name”, like “.mp4” or “.avi”.

Solution B: Use a video converter to convert the file into “.mp4”.

Problem 2:

“I could download some YouTube videos with VLC while others didn’t work.”

Solution: Check if the video is tagged “Age-restricted video (based on Community Guidelines)”. If that is the case, the video will NOT download using the established method due to YouTube policies. There is no way of getting rid of it. So try VLC alternatives.

An alternative to VLC for downloading web video including YouTube:

The built-in download feature of VLC cannot go without drawbacks since it is not an expert in video download. Indeed, some videos are highly protected by their website program and prevented from grabbing by VLC. To solve such a problem, I suggest you to try some online tools to download videos from popular websites for offline viewing.

VideoSolo Online Video Downloader is one of the best free online downloaders on the internet for grabbing YouTube videos. Aside from YouTube, it claims to support Facebook, Instagram, Dailymotion, Vimeo, SoundCloud, etc. in almost all browsers and all operating systems including Mac/Windows/Android/iOS. With a clean and intuitive interface, VideoSolo Online Video Downloader is very easy to use within just several clicks.

In addition, VideoSolo now released a video downloader for Mac users which can also download Pornhub videos easily. But the Windows version is in the development.

You can take a try with it from the button below.

Download

Follow the 3 steps to grab videos from the Internet easily with VideoSolo Online Video Downloader.

Step 1. Go to the page containing your loved video and copy the video link from the address bar above.

Step 2. Head to the VideoSolo Online Video Downloader homepage and paste the video link into the search box. Press the “Download” button to the right of the box to interpret the video.

Paste Video Link

Step 3. After deciding on the output format and quality, hit the corresponding “Download” button to the right hand. Then the browser immediately pops up a download dialog; if not, click the menu button > “Download” on the pop-up window, or right-click the mouse and select “Save as”.

Download YouTube Video

Hope the above information can settle your problems when downloading videos with VLC on your Mac or Windows. If you are not so satisfied with VLC’s inherent download function, your best bet is to try VideoSolo Online Video Downloader, which is quite easy and efficient to use.

Karen Nelson is a editorial director of VideoSolo, who writes high-quality product tutorials, reviews, tips and tricks regularly.

Source: https://www.videosolo.com/tutorials/download-video-with-vlc.html

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What Are The Best TV Brands?

It May Be Time to Reevaluate Your Brand Loyalty

Credit:

Written by: Lee Neikirk

Date: December 3, 2019

Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

The history of dominant brands in the TV marketplace is a long and fascinating one. After World War II, Japan ramped up nationwide efforts to secure dominance in many consumer electronics markets, the end result being that by the latter half of the 1990s, Japanese brands like Sony, Panasonic, and Toshiba were dominant in the marketplace.

If you’re a little older, you may remember a time when fledgling TV brands Samsung and Lucky Goldstar—er, LG—were first crowding onto the shelves, and the consensus was that the LED TVs coming out of South Korea were of lesser quality than their Japanese counterparts.

However, those days are way behind us: Samsung and LG are beloved TV brands in the states, Panasonic has exited the US market entirely, and Chinese brands are gaining footing, especially in value brackets. If you’re still laboring under the idea that it’s Sony or nothing, it might be time to update your notions about TV brands, especially if you want to get your hands on the very best TVs.

We should note the list below is not in order of quality—we let our reviews and roundups do the talking there.

TV-brands-SAMSUNG
Samsung Incredibly Popular Still, With Beautiful High Quality TVs

Samsung has been the leader in the TV market for a long time now, owning the top market position year after year. Samsung may not always offer the best TV on the market—our reviews typically favor OLED models, which Samsung does not make anymore—but across the board its thin, sleek TVs have proven incredibly popular with consumers.

As it stands, Samsung’s premium UHD LED TVs—now dubbed ‘QLED’ by Samsung—have struggled to beat out competing OLED models for several years, but overall the company’s TVs are still some of the best on the market. Samsung TVs are typically well-designed, with a slew of high-end features and excellent build quality.

You are definitely paying (a little) more for the Samsung name–especially early in the year before prices drop—but you can also expect to get a high-quality TV even if you’re not spending a ton.

Sony: Name recognition and phenomenal picture quality.

TV-brands-SONY
Sony Name Recognition and Phenomenal Picture Quality

Sony is not quite the dominant player in the US market that it once was. The company even spun off its TV division (“BRAVIA,” which stands for Best Resolution Audio Video Integrated Architecture), something it also did for its struggling VAIO laptop business.

However, in 2019, Sony seems poised for a comeback, hitting the US market with a long list of 4K and HDR TVs, including a couple of ultra-premium OLED models. While Sony TVs tend to be a little pricier than certain competitors, they also tend to be high quality TVs that look great right out of the box.

Of course, no matter the brand, not every TV is going to be a winner even if the brand’s output is usually reliable—that’s what TV reviews are for. But generally, Sony’s high-end 4K and OLED TVs are beautiful to behold.

LG: OLED TVs are superior, but prices are still fairly high.

TV-brands-LG
LG OLED TVs are Superior, But Prices Are Still Fairly High

LG’s OLED TVs have widely been considered to be the best TVs in the market for around five years now. OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) technology operates in a fundamentally different way than traditional LED/LCD tech, and at this point we can all agree that it’s better—especially in a dark room.

However, LG’s top 2019 OLED TVs—from the “affordable” C9 OLED TV up through the extravagant W9 “wallpaper” OLED—don’t come cheap. Even the cheapest, on sale, refurb’d 55-inch OLED TVs still retail around $1,300. They look great, but that’s a ton of money for most people.

Outside of LG’s OLEDs, we typically aren’t overly impressed with the company’s IPS panel-equipped LED TVs. They aren’t bad at all, but they don’t sweep the top spot in brackets and categories the way that the company’s OLEDs do. Even still, LG continues to be one of the best brands for its OLED TVs alone.

Vizio: Still makes some of the best TVs for the money.

TV-brands-VIZIO
Vizio Still Makes Some of The Best TVs For The Money

It used to be Vizio TVs were known for giving you the best picture quality at the lowest price possible. You’d get one at Walmart or Costco, and it looked like every corner had been cut except maybe the raw picture quality. But if you wanted a massive 70-inch TV for thousands less than the competition, Vizio was the way to go.

Nowadays, not only does Vizio still produce TVs that punch well above their weight, but Vizio competes pretty handily in the premium sphere, too. Take last year’s P-Series Quantum: a 65-inch 4K/HDR smart TV with quantum dots that started at just $2,200 and is now available for around $1,500. It was up there in quality with some of the best Samsung “QLED” TVs and even LG’s OLED TVs.

This year, we’re expecting a lot of great 2019 TVs from Vizio, including a new “V” Series which ostensibly serves as Vizio’s entry-level series. While some Vizio TVs aim a little too low for our tastes, the middle- and upper-tier models (M-Series, P Series) are quality picks year after year.

TCL: A newer player with some fantastic sub $1,000 TVs.

TV-brands-TCL
TCL A Newer Player With Some Fantastic Sub $1,000 TVs

If you haven’t heard of TCL, you’re in for a surprise. There’s a lot of “I’ve never heard of that brand” brands in the TV market you should usually avoid. Players like Element, SuperSonic, and even better known brands like Westinghouse, Insignia, and Dynex may be on your radar, but in our experience they’re generally unreliable in everyday circumstances.

China’s TCL is the exception. For the last couple of years, the brand has swept the “high value” categories of most sites, releasing consistently
excellent 4K/HDR Roku TVs that even AV geeks and cinephiles have been very excited about.

We haven’t seen the 2019 version yet, but the 2018 TCL 6 Series TVs were some of our favorites for good reason: you could get a 55-inch 4K/HDR smart TV for $600, and it was really darn good. That’s the dream, folks, and it’s something TCL has been making a reality.

If value is your game, take a look at the TCL TVs next time you’re thinking of upgrading.

Hisense: A massive worldwide force just cracking the US market.

TV-brands-HISENSE
Hisense A Massive Worldwide Force Just Cracking the US Market

Last but definitely not least, Hisense TVs have come a long way in the last few years, with the company owning significant marketshare worldwide and in markets like Australia. While the company has struggled to get a clean foothold in the US market, generally Hisense TVs (which include Sharp-branded sets in the states) are good, quality TVs.

The main issue with Hisense has been availability. We’ve tested some excellent high-end Hisense TVs only for them to be stuck “backordered” for months on end. That does seem to be getting better, but it pays to do your research to make sure the Hisense model you’re about to buy is actually worth it.

On the lower end of things, Hisense TVs tend to be more readily available and frequently compete with the best TVs around $500. The company’s Roku TVs (and especially its 8 Series from the last couple years) have been strong value picks, and are definitely worth considering.

Written by: Lee Neikirk

Source: https://www.techradar.com

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