Tag Archives: 8k news

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

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

Sharp Unveils New 120 Inch 8K Display: Up to 120Hz, HDMI 2.1 and 2048 Dimming Zones.

Date: 11 Sep 2020 –
Written by: Anton Shilov –

Sharp’s next-generation 8K LCD has HDMI 2.1 & 120Hz refresh rate.

Image credit: Sharp
Image credit: Sharp

Sharp has announced its next-generation ultra-large display featuring an 8K resolution, advanced backlighting with 2048 local dimming zones, and an HDMI 2.1 input. Given its dimensions, the Sharp 8M-B120C is designed primarily for commercial applications, but users with large homes and deep pockets can certainly use it for gaming and home entertainment. 

The Sharp 8M-B120C is based on a 120-inch UV2A II LCD (presumably IPS/IGZO) panel featuring a 7680×4320 resolution, 600 nits typical brightness (i.e. peak brightness in HDR mode is considerably higher), a 3500:1 contrast ratio, a 6 ms GtG response time, an up to 120 Hz refresh rate (albeit only for 4K content), and 176 degree / 176 degree horizontal / vertical viewing angles. The display uses a direct LED backlight featuring 2048 LEDs for enhanced contrasts. Given the display’s vast dimensions and power consumption, the unit is rated for up to 16 hours of continuous operation. 

Sharp says that the 8M-B120C monitor can reproduce 1.07 billion colors and is designed to cover a significant portion of the ITU-R BT.2020 color gamut. Meanwhile, to make the colors look more vivid, the 8M-B120C has a little better representation of red than defined by the BT.2020, according to the company. The display supports HDR technologies, such as HLG. 

Being the first company to release its 8K display over five years ago, Sharp has been gradually improving its panels featuring a 7680×4320 resolution as well as displays and televisions. When compared to predecessors, the Sharp 8M-B120C supports a higher typical brightness (600 nits vs. 400 nits), a faster response time (6 ms vs. 8 ms), and an HDMI 2.1 input that will make the unit compatible with upcoming consoles, players, and other equipment.

Image credit: Sharp
Image credit: Sharp

While the Sharp 8M-B120C is not a television, it does support the company’s super resolution technology used on the company’s Aquos 8K TVs that upconverts content to the panel’s native resolution as well as enhancing its quality. Furthermore, the display can also playback music and video files. 

As far as connectivity is concerned, the Sharp 8M-B120C is equipped with an HDMI 2.1 input which supports 4Kp120 and 8Kp60 formats over a single cable, four HDMI ports, a D-Sub (VGA) connector for a PC, and a 3.5-mm stereo audio input. The device also has a 100 Mbps Ethernet as well as two USB 3.0 ports. 

Premium video quality offered by the Sharp 8M-B-120C is accompanied by a Dolby Audio-badged audio subsystem featuring four 10-W speakers as well as two 15-W speakers. The LCD also has analogue and optical audio outputs. 

Featuring a 120-inch diagonal size, the Sharp 8M-B120C is enormously large and measures 107 x 32 x 78 inches (2717 × 805 × 1979 mm). It is also heavy: it weighs 454 Pounds about 206 KG with it stand. 

Sharp plans to start taking orders on its 8M-B120C display in late September and at least initially will make them to order. Recommended pricing of the product has not been announced, but we are certainly dealing with a premium LCD that will be priced accordingly.

Date: 11 Sep 2020 –
Written by: Anton Shilov –
Source: http://m.sharpusa.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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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