By Pete Putman • Dec 27 2013, 5:10pm
For those of us who focus on trends in display technology, trends in digital photography seem to be happening in another, parallel universe.
Yet, what happens in that universe has a very real impact in ours.
For the third year in a row, shipments and sales of digital cameras have declined worldwide — and the […]
By The HT Guys • Dec 27 2013, 6:03am
At the start of each new year we look into our high def crystal ball to make our best predictions on what we think the coming year will bring in the way of HDTV and Home Theater.
The ball tends to be a bit cloudy, and each year we struggle to even get close to 50%.
So let's take a look at how we thought 2013 would shake out to see how we did.
By Ken Werner • Dec 27 2013, 12:34am
Quantum Materials is the new quantum dot (QD) company in town.
It needs to play catch-up with the established players, but it is offering something different.
The two established players — QD Vision of Lexington, Massachusetts and Nanosys Inc.
of Milpitas, California — dominate the consciousness of those who spend time thinking about the application […]
By The HT Guys • Dec 20 2013, 6:02am
There are so many Home Theater in a Box systems out there many of which cost less than $400.
But seriously, what can you get for $400.
A good center channel typically costs more than most HTIB systems on the market today.
Each year we try to assemble a Home Theater in many boxes that we would be proud to show off in our homes.
Our system will have at a minimum a HDTV, Blu-ray Player, Receiver, and 5.1 speakers.
By Pete Putman • Dec 13 2013, 3:38pm
As the winds of change push more and more consumers away from conventional pay TV packages and toward streaming, 'over the top' video, an interesting report has just arrived from Needham and Co.
analyst Laura Martin.
By The HT Guys • Dec 13 2013, 8:45am
If you happen to be lucky enough to have budget for a new HDTV this Christmas, but still aren't sure which one to buy, we've got you covered.
We're back with another annual edition of the HDTV buying guide.
Staying true to form, we're going to break the sets down into categories by screen size, just like we did last year.
By The HT Guys • Dec 6 2013, 7:50am
It is that time of year where we get to spend your money again! We kick off our holiday buying guides with receivers.
Our goal with these guides is not necessarily about getting the latest product.
Its about getting a good product at a great price so you may see some of last year's gear on the list.
All these receivers are readily available online or at a big box store.
By Pete Putman • Dec 2 2013, 8:51pm
Depending on who's calculating the numbers, sales on Black Friday (and Thanksgiving) were either very goodâ?¦or not so great.
By The HT Guys • Nov 28 2013, 7:39pm
Thanksgiving is a time to, well, to give thanks.
So that's what we're going to do; give thanks for everything we have in our lives.
The things we're most thankful for: our families, our health, our friends, and our wonderful listeners, don't make good topics for a show about HDTV and Home Theater.
So as is tradition over the last five Thanksgivings, on today's show we give you our list of consumer electronics things we are thankful for.
By The HT Guys • Nov 22 2013, 7:57am
We have been covering the Aereo story for a few months now.
Aereo is a service that allows you to watch and record live television from anywhere within you home coverage area via an Internet connected device.
What Aereo does is connect you to a dedicated antenna that pulls in OTA TV signals and then sends it to you via the Internet so long as you are physically in your local network coverage area.
By Pete Putman • Nov 15 2013, 7:31pm
Earlier this week, there were a few 'coincidental' press events and trade shows, all in New York City or just across the river in New Jersey.
And all of them featured discussions about or demonstrations of UHDTV technology.
By The HT Guys • Nov 15 2013, 9:08am
As the years come and go, one thing remains the same, Black Friday has some killer good deals for the home theater enthusiast.
In 2008 the cheapest Blu-ray player was $128 and a 50-inch 720p plasma was going for $900.
In 2009 the Blu-ray player price dropped to $78 and you could get a 50-inch 1080p plasma with a Blu-ray player for $1000.
In 2013, it seems like you can get all of that, and more, for less than $1000.
By The HT Guys • Nov 8 2013, 8:06am
Its been a while since we talked about subwoofers and since the subwoofer has the single biggest impact in your home theater experience.
We thought it would be good to go over some basics in what to look for and how to setup your subwoofer.
By Pete Putman • Nov 1 2013, 7:24pm
The second-quarter financial results are in, and things are looking very different for these former giants of the consumer electronics industry.
By The HT Guys • Nov 1 2013, 6:32am
You can control the volume on your surround sound system, it isn't a simply on or off switch.
You can control the brightness and the contrast on your television, you can even change channels, pause and fast forward and maybe even run web enabled apps and content.
But your lights are either on or off.
It's time to face the facts, you have dumb lights.
But they don't have to be dumb.
By Ken Werner • Oct 31 2013, 8:35pm
Forecasting the market for technologies and for product categories early in their commercial lifetimes is a very tricky business.
First there are no straight lines — or even curved ones — representing historical sales data that can be projected forward.
Of course, reputable market intelligence companies, and there are some, don’t make their predictions based […]
By Ed Milbourn • Oct 28 2013, 2:42pm
So, you thought it was dead – eh? Have none of it! Reminds me of color TV in the 1950’s.
With great fanfare, color was introduced with an approved standard only to fail both technically and commercially.
A technically revised standard was introduced in 1963, and commercial re-marketing began in 1954, again with great fanfare.
Alas, most manufacturers and content providers (except RCA) vacated the color TV market by 1956.
The product category went into virtual eclipse for about seven years – until ABC and CBS started color casting popular programs.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Similarly, 3DTV was rushed to market three years ago - without a coherent marketing strategy, an ill-defined standard, technical deficiencies and content starved.
Of the technical deficiencies, probably the most acute was the need for glasses.
That, in itself, was probably not sufficient to derail 3DTV, as watching 3D with glasses is not a new phenomenon, but coupled with faulted content dist ...
By The HT Guys • Oct 25 2013, 6:40am
We'll receive emails from time to time asking us for a little more coverage of projectors so for today's show we decided to take a look at the top five selling home theater projectors on ProjectorPeople.com.
By Pete Putman • Oct 18 2013, 8:29pm
Panasonic's giving up on plasma displays; Mitsubishi's giving up on projectors.
Who will be the next to throw in the towel?
By The HT Guys • Oct 18 2013, 5:04am
Many of us are constantly on the lookout for the next big thing in Home Theater.
When the HDTV revolution hit, we couldn't get enough.
Then there was HD-DVD and Blu-ray, followed by a flop or two, like 3D.
Right now it looks like it might be 4K HD.
But what if 3D was just the precursor to the real next big thing, Virtual Reality.
By Ken Werner • Oct 17 2013, 5:04pm
On Wednesday, October 16th — a day that came close to living in infamy — I stood on a New Have Line station platform and, luckily, thought to check my email.
I was on my way to a luncheon presentation for a large New York financial advisory group that wanted me to speak on the […]
By The HT Guys • Oct 11 2013, 6:53am
We threw out a speaker specification a couple episodes back while reviewing the Cerwin Vega VE Series Speakers and afterwards realized that we all may not share the same level of comfort and understanding with the various specs and measurements thrown around when shopping for or comparing speakers.
Of course how they sound to you is really all that matters, but often a solid understanding of what all those numbers mean can help you make a more informed buying decision.
By Ken Werner • Oct 9 2013, 9:45pm
On the morniing of October 3rd, three companies announced the formation of a joint venture that will place into volume production a transparent conductor that is much more flexible, more electrically conductive, more optically transparent, and less expensive than the material that has been the standard solution for decades, and still is.
That standard solution […]
By Pete Putman • Oct 7 2013, 10:02pm
Last Monday, a press release from Toshiba Corporation crossed my desk.
And it wasn't all unexpected.
By Pete Putman • Sep 30 2013, 2:34pm
Chinese LCD TV manufacturers are quickly gaining ground on Korean TV heavyweights LG and Samsung — and they've used UHDTV, a barely-hatched technology, to do it.
By The HT Guys • Sep 27 2013, 6:57am
Ara was looking for a use for his Harman-Kardon receiver that was put out to pasture by his Denon.
He figured why not put a surround system in his master bedroom.
All that was needed was five speakers since he also had a subwoofer that was put out to pasture by his Hsu VTF-3 MK4.
A lot of devices get put out to pasture in the Derderian household.
Since this was so far beyond what Ara's wife wanted in the bedroom the cost had to be very affordable.
By The HT Guys • Sep 20 2013, 7:29am
It's that time of year again - a whole fall slate full of new HDTV shows.
These new shows give ut the opportunity to make new friends, share some laughs, and have an adventure or two, all from the comfort of your comfy living room sofa.
When we were kids we looked forward to Christmas and the first day of summer.
As adults, we look forward to the fall more than anything else.
Yes, the kids are back in school, but also our favorite shows are coming back with new episodes and we get the opportunity to fill the DVR with brand new series.
By Ken Werner • Sep 16 2013, 5:29pm
E Ink recently announced the availability of Carta, its new electrophoretic imaging film, which will be the face of Amazon’s new Kindle Paperwhite eReader.
The Paperwhite can be pre-ordered now and will ship on September 30.
What Carta does, said E Ink Product Management Director Giovanni Mancini in an exclusive phone conversation on September 10, is [...]
By The HT Guys • Sep 13 2013, 7:19am
Each year in Germany consumer electronics manufacturers come together to display their wares at IFA.
The IFA or Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin (International radio exhibition Berlin, aka 'Berlin Radio Show') is one of the oldest industrial exhibitions in Germany.
Kind of like CES, manufacturers announce new products and services.
This year was no exception.
We'll try to run down announcements as they pertain to Home Theater.
By The HT Guys • Sep 6 2013, 6:07am
When it comes to movie sequels, 2.0 is rarely better than 1.0.
In fact, we struggled to think of a single instance where a 2.0 movie was better than the 1.0.
But in technology, we crave the latest and greatest, and the next version of anything gets our heart rates up.
When the HDMI licensing group announced HDMI 2.0, we could hardly contain our enthusiasm.
By Ken Werner • Sep 5 2013, 5:25pm
Samsung and LG have both started shipping 55-inch curved-screen TV sets.
The volumes are low and the prices are high, but they are shipping.
In the US, you can buy Samsung’s offering from Amazon for $8999.
LG’s version is $14,999 in the US, but the company has cut its price for the Korean market to [...]
By Pete Putman • Sep 4 2013, 8:07pm
Communications and Content World Javits Center, New York City, NY Wireless display connectivity has been the goal of inventors for several decades.
Now, several manufacturers are now shipping or preparing to roll out wireless connectivity products for projectors, monitors and document cameras in 2013.
This presentation will compare/contrast the different systems being advanced for wireless […]
By Pete Putman • Sep 4 2013, 8:02pm
Next-Gen Image Formats: More, Better, or Faster Pixels? 21 October 2013 This one-day technical Symposium will provide you with an understanding of the technology landscape, separating fact from fiction.
Presentation: “UHDTV: The Big Picture on Bigger Pictures”
By Pete Putman • Sep 4 2013, 7:51pm
The HDMI 2.0 Specification has finally been released.
Is it already obsolete?
By The HT Guys • Aug 30 2013, 6:47am
It's hard to believe that only about 5 years ago most of us had to watch TV when the Networks wanted us to.
Our first DVRs were so liberating because it allowed us to watch television on our own terms.
No more missing programs because they conflicted with another show or were on late at night.
The only real issue was that when DVRs first came out you had to watch in one room, typically the family room.
By The HT Guys • Aug 23 2013, 6:21am
There was a lot of buzz a couple weeks back when Google announced the release of a new HDMI device called the Chromecast ($35).
We weren't immune to the curiosity, so we ordered one.
The popularity made them tough to get, but when ours finally arrived, we couldn't wait to see if it would live up to expectations.
We'll admit, we set our own expectations.
Google didn't do much to hype it up.
They simply said, here it is, at a very reasonable price, have at it.
By Ken Werner • Aug 22 2013, 6:49pm
Both Technicolor and THX have introduced and demonstrated 4K certification systems for consumer television.
At first glance, you might think these certifications are addressing the same issues and are therefore competitive.
However, interviews with the THX and Technicolor development teams , as reported in my previous two posts, revealed just the opposite.
THX’s approach will be [...]
By The HT Guys • Aug 16 2013, 6:57am
Just about everything we add to our home theaters need an Internet connection.
Sure you can use WiFi but nothing beats a hardwired connection.
If you have an older home it may be difficult to string wire yourself or costly to hire someone to do it for you.
One option that is dead simple and as easy as plugging a device into a socket is Ethernet over Powerlines.
We have reviewed many over the years but as technology improves we like to test newer products to see if data rates are getting faster.
On this episode we take a look at the ZyXEL 500 Mb/s Fast Ethernet Powerline Wall-Plug Adapter.
By Pete Putman • Aug 14 2013, 3:56pm
And it's cheaper by $6,000.
Are we about to see an OLED TV prices war start up?
By Pete Putman • Aug 12 2013, 7:55pm
For the first time ever, the number of pay TV subscribers has taken a downward turn.
And that trend is likely to accelerate.
By Pete Putman • Aug 9 2013, 3:11pm
Here's the latest Home Entertainment Report from the Digital Entertainment Group.
And it shows that the trend away from physical media to downloads and streaming is gaining strength.
By Pete Putman • Aug 9 2013, 3:05pm
In a recent interview, Toshiba's CEO says he won't give up on the company's money-losing television business.
By The HT Guys • Aug 9 2013, 7:22am
Last week we gave you our opinion on which TV to buy for under $1000.
This week we'll do the same for AV Receivers, but for less than $600.
As with TVs, there are many factors to consider when buying a receiver.
And there's also personal preference, past experience and brand loyalty.
We've used all of those factors to compile the list, and we assume you'll apply your bias to it and find the one that fits your home theater just right.
By Ken Werner • Aug 3 2013, 8:42pm
Both Technicolor and THX have demonstrated that platforms carrying their 4K certification can produce very-high-quality up-converted 4K images.Â
In my last post, I reported on a conference call with members of THX’s San Francisco-based certification team, which described the philosophy behind the THX program and some of the practical aspects of their implementation.
This time, I [...]
By The HT Guys • Aug 2 2013, 7:06am
If you wanted to setup a home with multiple zones in the fastest way possible its pretty clear there is only one way to go, wireless.
There are plenty of solutions for Apple's Airplay technology built in but what about if you use Windows Media Player? What would you say if we found a system that works with just about any protocol out there and sounds great too? That's where the Allaire ARIS Wireless Speaker System by Aperion Audio comes in.
By The HT Guys • Jul 26 2013, 7:35am
In our last episode we spelled out the reasons the Blu-ray disk, and the DVD for that matter, may not be around for much longer.
That sparked some healthy debate at the watercooler and in our email.
As you can imagine, pristine, high quality audio and video aren't the only reasons to hang on to the disk format.
In the interest of point-counterpoint, 'we report, you decide,' this week we'll cover the reasons why Blu-ray could hang around for a while.
By Ken Werner • Jul 25 2013, 8:20pm
The consumer television industry needs something new that will excite consumers and stimulate sales.
3D was a bust, OLED is struggling to raise its manufacturing yields out of the mud and bring its prices down from the stratosphere, and quantum-dot-enhanced color gamuts have yet to penetrate the consumer consciousness.
But Ultra HD (or 4Kx2K, or [...]
By Pete Putman • Jul 19 2013, 6:13pm
Mohu's Leaf and Ultimate indoor TV antennas have scored highly in my tests.
So how well does the Mohu Sky outdoor antenna work? Read on, and find out.
By The HT Guys • Jul 19 2013, 2:15pm
Ask anyone who knows something about home theater what is the highest quality audio and video available to mere mortals today and they will tell you Blu-ray.
Blu-ray video is stunning and the audio is simply amazing.
But we don't have to tell you that.
So does Blu-ray have a future? The following are some reasons why Blu-ray may not be around for too much longer.
By The HT Guys • Jul 12 2013, 7:40am
For many avid campers and outdoor enthusiasts, time spent away in the wilderness is a great opportunity to unplug and distance yourself from all of the technology that surrounds us everyday.
For others of us, the idea of being away from HDTV for an extended amount of time puts us into a bit of a panic.
But don't fret, there are ways to experience the great outdoors and bring your HDTV along for the trip.
By Ken Werner • Jul 11 2013, 7:15pm
Display panels are only parts of systems, platforms, and ecosystems.
Â Most people understandably focus at the system level or higher, with only a few of us reserving special attention for the display panel itself.
Â At trade shows, you can tell who we are because we sometimes watch a TV set or monitor with our noses [...]
By The HT Guys • Jul 5 2013, 6:47am
We have been talking about HDMI for pretty much as long as we have been doing this show, that's more than six years.
Every now and then we do a deep dive on the latest specification which currently sits at 1.4a.
On today's show we'll look at what current specification supports and what's on the horizon.
By The HT Guys • Jun 28 2013, 6:35am
The Society for Information Display held their annual Display Week conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada last month from May 19 - 24.
The show came and went without so much as a mention on the HDTV Podcast, but in our reading and research since the show, it turns out some very cool innovations were on display.
Next year's show will be in San Diego, we might have to make a day trip out of it.
By Ken Werner • Jun 27 2013, 8:36pm
At CE Week, being held this week at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York, Seiki introduced a 39-inch 4Kx2K (or 3840x 2160, or Ultra HD) TV set for the astounding MSRP of $699.
The model is available for pre-order starting today (June 27) at www.sears.com, with other on-line and brick-and-mortar retailers to follow.
Included with [...]
By Ken Werner • Jun 21 2013, 10:45pm
At Pepcom’s Digital Experience event, held last night (June 20, 2013) at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York, Marseille Networks introduced the VTV-122X family of video processing chips, which up-converts SD and HD 2D video to 4K resolution, and up-converts 3D video from legacy HDMI sources to 1080p.
Both Marseille and Technicolor, whose booth Marseille [...]
By The HT Guys • Jun 21 2013, 7:20am
We received an email from Mark in Watertown South Dakota asking us about our opinion of Netflix SuperHD and we thought what a great idea for a feature.
If you haven't heard of it before, Netflix SuperHD claims to provide superior 1080p video quality for the same price as regular streaming.
But not everyone is eligible.
By Pete Putman • Jun 17 2013, 8:23pm
Last week marked my 20th consecutive trip to InfoComm and it was a hectic time in Orlando.
I got in Sunday night and spent most of Monday setting up equipment for my four classes and presentations at InfoComm, including two Super Tuesday sessions (Future Trends, Things You Never Thought About) while I was also co-teaching [...]
By The HT Guys • Jun 14 2013, 6:47am
CE Pro, the magazine for professional consumer electronics installers, is back with another annual installment of the CE Pro Brand Analysis.
They put out the survey every year to determine what brands dealers, integrators and resellers offer the most.
While we were checking out this year's update, we came across another White Paper about Home Theater Design Tips & Mistakes that covered some points we thought would be worth talking about.
By Ken Werner • Jun 13 2013, 3:46am
InfoComm 2013 — being held this week at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida — was once primarily a projector show.
There are still a lot of projectors to be seen, but the center of gravity has moved to flat panels, and if you were looking for two words to describe this year’s [...]
By The HT Guys • Jun 7 2013, 5:58am
If you have been listening to the show for the last few weeks you probably know that Ara added some new gear to his home.
In the family room he added a Denon AVR-2313CI 7.2 AVR ($600) and in the media room he added a HSU Research VTF-3 MK4 Subwoofer ($649).
This episode gets into Ara's impression of both products.
By Pete Putman • Jun 4 2013, 2:10pm
Pay TV system operators may be shooting themselves in the foot as they try to keep up with Verizon and Google Fiber.
By Ken Werner • Jun 2 2013, 11:58pm
Manufacturers of large display panels don’t make much — or any — money on panels for television, so the rapidly growing market for digital signage is a bright spot.
SID Display Week — held May 19-24, 2013 in Vancouver, B.C.
— is a display technology show that is not known for a focus on digital signage, [...]
By The HT Guys • May 31 2013, 6:16am
There's a lot of buzz in the home theater industry around the forthcoming Ultra High Definition, or UHD televisions, sometimes called 4K TVs.
It turns out the UHDTV specification, often referred to simply as Rec.
2020, gives us quite a bit to be excited about, quite a bit more than just a bump in resolution.
When we'll ever get content for it, or whether or not televisions will really be able to take advantage of it anytime soon remains to be seen.
But the spec looks good.
By Ken Werner • May 30 2013, 8:28pm
LCD always wins — well, almost always.
With its incredible depth of technical development, sophisticated and frighteningly efficient manufacturing, octopussian supply chain, multiple applications, huge volume, and effective distribution, LCD has held off all serious competitors for computer and television displays.
Indeed, LCDs for consumer applications such as TV are so inexpensive than panel-makers make little [...]
By Pete Putman • May 24 2013, 4:04pm
The once-safe market of small to mid-sized classroom and conference room projection continues to cede ground to large LCD displays with each passing month.
With lamp-free technology, projector manufacturers have shown they've finally seen the light.
But is it too late?
By The HT Guys • May 24 2013, 6:03am
We have been talking about the demise of plasma for at least three years.
But with each passing year manufacturers come out with plasma TVs that are simply the best TVs on the market.
In a CNET article titled Best HDTVs Overall, the top 5 TVs were plasma, and that doesn't even include the forthcoming Panasonic ZT60 which won best of show at CES.
In the following paragraphs we'll try to compare and contrast the plasma and LED LCDs and see if there is a real reason why LEDs are putting plasma out of business.
By The HT Guys • May 17 2013, 7:11am
We're willing to admit, and we probably aren't the only ones, that 3D simply is not the next big thing in home entertainment.
Sure it sounded cool on paper, but in reality 3D at home just doesn't provide the immersive 3D experience you get in a theater.
Couple that with eye fatigue, headaches and seizures and 3D hasn't delivered.
Of the two options vying for the title of next big thing, OLED and 4K, which one has a better chance of claiming the throne?
By Ken Werner • May 15 2013, 11:17pm
Network TV shows that are hits in their first season usually do well in the second, which is necessary if they are to become long-term cash cows for the networks that carry them.
But not this year.
With very few exceptions the hits of the 2011-2012 season fizzled in 2012-2013.
Fox'sÂ New GirlÂ fell from 8.4 to 6.16 [...]
By Pete Putman • May 10 2013, 6:35pm
Aereo, broadcast television, video-on-demand, and streaming are dominating the news lately.
They have more in common than you might think...
By The HT Guys • May 10 2013, 5:25am
Recently manufacturers announced their new AVR lines.
Pioneer was no exception.
We were able to obtain one of their entry Elite models the VSX-70.
The VSX-70 has an MSRP of $750 and is available now.
By Ken Werner • May 3 2013, 3:24pm
A classic line from vaudeville was “Dying is easy; comedy is hard.” Compared to bringing large OLED displays into the mainstream, it now seems that comedy is a piece of cake.
If we ever get large OLEDs right — that is, if we learn how to print the front plane; use IGZO or graphene or carbon [...]
By The HT Guys • May 3 2013, 6:33am
We like to occasionally take a look at the top selling products at Amazon as a barometer of what is occurring in the larger Consumer Electronics market.
Sometimes what we find shocks us, other times is confirms our suspicions, and sometimes it just flat out doesn't make any sense at all.
Yesterday we took a look at the top 10 selling HDTVs.
What we found was in some was surprising, but it certainly wasn't shocking.
By Pete Putman • May 1 2013, 8:46pm
Ahhhâ?¦spring has arrived, and a young man's fancy (at least in our industry) turns to thoughts of the annual SID DisplayWeek and InfoComm trade shows and conferences.
And one of the things I'll be following closely is the trend to lamp-free projection.
By The HT Guys • Apr 26 2013, 6:12am
We here at the HDTV and Home Theater Podcast are always looking for new products that make your home theater better.
So when we find products that claim to revolutionize something we can't wait to try them out.
We read about the Mohu Sky HDTV Antenna and how it used military technology and kind of chuckled to ourselves about how could that make a difference.
Since we were within the specs of the claimed 60 mile radius we decided it was worth yet another antenna test.
And yes it does make a difference!
By The HT Guys • Apr 19 2013, 7:02am
A lot of emphasis is traditionally placed on buying the best equipment you can afford for your home theater.
Ask just about anyone and they'll tell you to stretch your budget as far as you can, dig deep to make sure you're getting the right receiver or amplifier, buying those outrageously expensive speakers or paying too much for speaker wire or interconnects.
If you do that, your home theater will sound amazing and you'll be the envy of the neighborhood.
By Ken Werner • Apr 18 2013, 10:28pm
Some Asian news organizations published stories earlier this year that Panasonic was leaving the plasma TVÂ business, leaving the plasma panel business, getting out of the TV business entirely, or just gettingÂ out of the panel business and buying panels from outside to put into its TV sets.
None of these stories were or are true.
It was one [...]
By Ryan Gibbs • Apr 18 2013, 2:21pm
Set in the world of male strippers, Magic Mike is directed by Steven Soderbergh and stars Channing Tatum in a story inspired by his real life.
The film follows Mike (Tatum) as he takes a young dancer called The Kid (Alex Pettyfer) under his wing and schools him in the fine arts of partying, picking up women, and making easy money.
Ok, as a guy I was very hesitant to watch this movie...
By Ryan Gibbs • Apr 17 2013, 2:03pm
When long-term congressman Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) commits a major public gaffe before an upcoming election, a pair of ultra-wealthy CEOs plots to put up a rival candidate and gain influence over their North Carolina district.
Their man: naïve Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis), director of the local Tourism Center.
At first, Marty appears to be the unlikeliest possible choice but with the help of his new benefactors' support, a cutthroat campaign manager and his family's political connections, he soon becomes a contender who gives the charismatic Cam plenty to worry about.
As Election Day closes in, the two are locked in a dead heat, with insults quickly escalating to injury until all they care about is burying each other, in this mud-slinging, back-stabbing, home-wrecking comedy.
This movie is exactly what it’s supposed to be...
By Pete Putman • Apr 12 2013, 9:45pm
A press release from Dealnews.com crossed my desk last week and explained how there were now 'Insanely good laptop deals, with Ivy Bridge laptops at better-than-Black Friday prices.' The reason? Sluggish sales for Microsoft's Windows 8 OS, which is apparently well-suited to touchscreen devices like tablets, but a real non-starter for laptops and desktops.
Windows 8, [...]
By The HT Guys • Apr 12 2013, 5:58am
We recently received an email from a listener who was asking whether a 7.1 system was something that he should wire his home with.
This got us thinking that there are probably a few listeners that may benefit from a discussion on whether a 7.1 system is worth it for them.
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 10 2013, 2:40am
Panasonic, an industry leader and pioneer in the development of emerging video technology, announced today pricing and availability of its first-ever line of Streaming Media Players which were unveiled last month at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show.
The line-up features two models -- the DMP-MST60 and the DMP-MS10 featuring VIERA Connect and IP VOD respectively.
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 10 2013, 2:20am
Panasonic, a major developer and contributor to the success of the Blu-ray format, announced today pricing and availability of it 2013 Blu-ray Disc Player lineup which was unveiled last month at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show.
The line-up features two new Full HD 3D models (DMP-BDT330 and DMP-BDT230) and two 2D Blu-ray Disc Players (DMP-BD89 and DMP-BD79) as well as continuations of two successful Full HD 3D 2012 models (DMP-BDT500 and DMP-BBT01).
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 10 2013, 2:17am
In partnership with ESPN 3D, Cox Communications announced today that Cox Advanced TV Plus customers in Virginia will have the option to view coverage of the Masters Golf Tournament on April 11-14, 2013 on the new ESPN 3D channel 896.
Specific equipment and minimum levels of service are required to access Cox channel 896.
Customers will need...
By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 8 2013, 1:59am
Sony Electronics is announcing prices and availability for its new 4K Ultra High Definition TV sets unveiled at CES in January.
The new XBR-55X900A (55-inch) and XBR-65X900A (65-inch) 4K Ultra HD LED TVs will cost $4,999 and $6,999 respectively and are available for order online and at retail beginning April 21, 2013.
Sony is also announcing its 4K Media Player, the FMP-X1, and video distribution service – both industry firsts.
By The HT Guys • Apr 5 2013, 7:56am
Despite Roku being the pioneer in modern streaming boxes, the Apple TV has become the device all others are measured by.
But has that changed with the recent release of the Roku 3 just a few weeks ago? We aren't sure about that, but we know Roku has certainly become even more compelling.
At only $99, there's really no downside to it.
By Ken Werner • Apr 2 2013, 4:37am
On March 20, Samsung held its New York line show at the Museum of American Finance on WallÂ Street.
The event featured Samsung’s new line of smart TVs and three celebrities — model KateÂ Upton, Eli Manning, and rapper Flo Rida — and it was hard to tell whether many of the mediaÂ types were more interested in [...]
By Ed Milbourn • Apr 1 2013, 2:50pm
Sometime in the mid to late ‘70’s while strolling among the catacombs of the CES exhibits in the “old” South Hall, I was attracted to a small exhibit space manned by a tall, erect German gentleman.
With a very thick accent, he was demonstrating 10:1 time compression digital B/W video via a commercial satellite link.
Using side-by-side 13” monitors to compare the compressed versus uncompressed video...
By Ryan Gibbs • Apr 1 2013, 2:21pm
From the director of Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin comes an unfiltered, comedic look inside the life of an American family.
After years of marriage, Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) are approaching a milestone meltdown.
As they try to balance romance, careers, parents and children in their own hilarious ways, they must also figure out how to enjoy the rest of their lives.
Featuring Melissa McCarthy, Jason Segal, Megan Fox, John Lithgow and Albert Brooks, This is 40 is a candid and heartwarming comedy about the challenges and rewards of marriage and parenthood in the modern age.
Let me begin this by stating that I’m 38 years old.
So I went into this movie with the thought process that I could relate to some of the themes and situations that would be presented in this feature.
After watching it...
By The HT Guys • Mar 29 2013, 6:22pm
We are on record of being huge fans of the Harmony remote control.
Why not, before the Harmony our coffee tables had four remotes and practically required a user's manual just to turn the home theater on.
With a good universal remote, buttons labeled 'Watch TV' or 'Watch Blu-ray' make using the system as simple as pressing one button.
By Pete Putman • Mar 25 2013, 11:27pm
HDTVexpert tests yet another box full of indoor digital TV antennas.
Read on to see which ones performed best!
By Ken Werner • Mar 22 2013, 6:24pm
Samsung's new high-end Galaxy S4 smartphone was introduced last week with an over-the-top, broadway-style extravaganza at New York's Radio City Music Hall.
The 5-inch, Full HD (1920×1080) AMOLED display has a pixel density of 441 pixels per inch (ppi), which makes the 326 ppi of Apple's newest, the iPhone 5, look decidedly unimpressive.
You may appreciate [...]
By The HT Guys • Mar 22 2013, 7:07am
In an effort not to be outdone by their peers, many Consumer Electronics companies try to announce their new products at the same time everyone else does.
This makes it very easy for us the consumer to know what we want to buy.
We don't have to wait for that last straggler to tell us what's coming before we plunk down our hard-earned cash.
Right now it's AV receiver season.
If you're in the market for a new receiver for your home theater, have we got a show for you.
By Ryan Gibbs • Mar 15 2013, 2:25pm
Ralph (John C.
Reilly) is tired of being overshadowed by Fix-It Felix (Jack McBrayer), the "good guy" star of their game who always gets to save the day.
But after decades doing the same thing and seeing all the glory go to Felix, Ralph decides he's tired of playing the role of a bad guy.
He takes matters into his own massive hands and sets off on a game-hopping journey across the arcade through every generation of video games to prove he's got what it takes to be a hero.
On his quest, he meets the tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch) from the first-person action game Hero's Duty.
But it's the feisty misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) from the candy-coated cart racing game, Sugar Rush, whose world is threatened when Ralph accidentally unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens the entire arcade.
Will Ralph realize his dream and save the day before it's too late?
Growing up in the 80’s and witnessing the birth of home gaming and mall arcade venues, Wreck-It Ralph wa ...
By The HT Guys • Mar 15 2013, 7:09am
Media players have become the bridge to all our content.
Whether that content is located in the cloud or on a server somewhere on your local network, these media players turn the digital bits into hours of multimedia enjoyment.
We've looked a few devices over the years and they keep getting better and better.
The WD TV Play is the latest one we look at and at $70 (Buy Now) its priced in about the middle of the pack.
By Ryan Gibbs • Mar 14 2013, 2:24pm
Based on the best-selling novel by Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a modern classic that captures the dizzying highs and crushing lows of growing up.
Starring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a moving tale of love, loss, fear and hope-and the unforgettable friends that help us through life.
I absolutely loved this film - specifically...
By Pete Putman • Mar 12 2013, 2:52pm
In less than twenty years, Samsung has risen from a 'who's that?' manufacturer of cheap electronics to the pre-eminent CE brand, dominating the worldwide market for smart phones and televisions, and leading the charge for adoption of organic light-emitting diodes through its subsidiary, Samsung Mobile Display.
The rise in Samsung's fortunes has paralleled the decline of [...]
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Mar 10 2013, 2:25pm
As I mentioned in this article Sony announced at CES 2013 the near future availability of a 4K player and a 4K content distribution service, expected by mid 2013.
People that have a 4K display today will have to wait for 4K content to arrive in some form to show the potential of their 4K panel/projector, or use the TimeScapes nature video and suitable computer equipment (such as RAID hard drives and 4K video cards).
There are currently two Sony 4K servers that are used for demos...
By The HT Guys • Mar 8 2013, 6:27am
When Netflix decided to get into the streaming business, the company needed a device in your home theater to stream movies to.
Just weeks before the box, codenamed Griffin, was to hit store shelves, the project was canceled.
But it didn't die, it came to market under the Brand name Roku and started its own little revolution.
Roku continues to innovate and recently announced the launch of the Roku 3.
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Mar 7 2013, 3:56pm
This small device promises to make "any TV" Smart, giving you access to Internet streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, etc., network content, and even browsing capabilities and email, all using your own TV as display device.
The idea is great, the device is relatively low in price but I should add: when it works and when you have the compatible TV.
The first question I asked myself is: which kind of TV can actually be made "Smart" based on the connectivity and specifications of the SmartStick?
By Ken Werner • Mar 5 2013, 3:39am
Digital Signage Expo (DSE), running from February 26 to 28 this year in Las Vegas, had 22% more exhibitors this year than last, but the growth felt larger than that and the high energy level was palpable.
Exhibitors I questioned were pleased with their booth traffic, with some “complaining” of being too busy.
One exhibitor [...]
By The HT Guys • Mar 1 2013, 7:47am
We've watched streaming media go from incredibly choppy and blocky to smooth and nearly HD.
As bandwidth increases so does the quality of streaming media.
You can easily listen to CD quality audio but streaming Blu-ray quality video is a ways off...
or is it? We have an interview with Mark Henninger, an AVS Forum 'Newsbreaker', and we discuss a series of articles he wrote where he compares movies on iTunes, Vudu, and Blu-ray.
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Feb 28 2013, 3:40pm
HDTV was implemented within the effort of the DTV transition and since 1998 the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) published yearly statistics of shipped DTVs.
Just a few years ago estimates of 113 million (M) households with 3.1 TVs on average per household were published (up from 2.6 a couple of years earlier).
The current data is...
By Pete Putman • Feb 26 2013, 5:12pm
The annual Hollywood Post Alliance Tech Retreat is more popular than ever, attracting over 500 attendees to this year's conclave in Indian Wells, CA.
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Feb 26 2013, 3:48pm
Contrary to what many at the press have been preaching since 3DTV was introduced in 2010, 3D is still alive and active in the industry, and many consumers still want to experience 3D at home.
What it should be dead is the approach of inflated advertising and improper reporting of 3DTV as a whole new television set or system that replaces what you have, although it appears that the market and the industry have finally adapted to the idea of considering 3D as what it should have been considered since day one...
By Ryan Gibbs • Feb 25 2013, 3:12pm
Repentant convict Carl Lucas (Luke Goss), aka Frankenstein, is a legendary driver in the brutal prison blood sport known as Death Race.
Only one victory away from winning freedom, Lucas is plunged into his most vicious competition yet: the first-ever desert Death Race.
Through South Africa’s infernal Kalahari Desert, Lucas is pitted against his most ruthless adversaries and powerful forces at work behind the scenes to ensure his defeat.
Also starring Danny Trejo and Ving Rhames, Death Race 3; Inferno is an insane, action-packed thrill ride.
This is going to be one of my shortest reviews to date.
This movie reaffirms for me that if there’s...
By Ryan Gibbs • Feb 22 2013, 3:11pm
Academy Award winner, Denzel Washington stars in this “riveting and powerful nail-biting thriller” from Robert Zemeckis, the Academy Award winning director of Forrest Gump and Cast Away.
Airline pilot Whip Whitaker (Washington) miraculously lands his plane after a mid-air catastrophe, saving nearly every soul on board.
But even as he’s being hailed for his heroic efforts, questions arise as to who or what was really at fault.
Action-packed, engrossing and powerful, Washington’s performance is being hailed as “a triumph” and one that “will be talked about for years.”
Flight will rank alongside Leaving Las Vegas as one of the...
By The HT Guys • Feb 22 2013, 8:55am
Most of us have wireless networks in our homes these days, there's nothing like the convenience of instant Internet without wires.
But we've also come to the painful realization that our wireless networks just can't live up the the rigors of HD streaming, especially if we want to stream multiple videos to different TVs.
But as they say with technology, if you don't like it, just wait a while and someone will fix it.
Supposedly the new wireless spec, 802.11ac, can do just that.
By Pete Putman • Feb 21 2013, 9:20pm
By my count, LG missed three promised deadlines last year for the commercial introduction of its 55-inch OLED-TV set.
Samsung, apparently never happy with the idea of bringing OLED-TVs to market before their time, grudgingly said it, too, would introduce a 55-inch OLED-TV in 2012, but when LG missed its final deadline of the year [...]
By Ryan Gibbs • Feb 21 2013, 3:10pm
Academy Award nominee Gary Oldman, Christian Slater, and Dane Cook headline this outrageous action-comedy about greed, revenge, and a desert full of dead Elvis impersonators.
A priceless Apache war mask has been stolen from an Indian casino causing criminals, frat boys, tomahawk-wielding hit men, modern-day cowboys, and a six-foot-tall blonde assassin to rampage through a small town in hopes of claiming the treasure first.
Guns, Girls and Gambling is an action-packed comedy where the laughs pile up faster than the body count.
This is the kind of cinematic experience where everything you need to know...
By Ryan Gibbs • Feb 20 2013, 3:08pm
Set in London in 1921, Florence Cathcart (Rebecca Hall), author of the popular book "Seeing Through Ghosts," has devoted her career to exposing claims of the supernatural as nothing but hoaxes.
Haunted by the recent death of her fiancé, she is approached by Robert Mallory (Dominic West) to investigate the recent death of a student at the all-boys boarding school where he teaches.
When students at the school report sightings of the young boy's ghost, she decides to take on the case.
Initially, the mystery surrounding the ghost appears nothing more than a schoolboy prank, but as Florence continues to investigate events at the school, she begins to believe that her reliance on science may not be enough to explain the strange phenomenon going on around her.
This movie differs from what people perceive as a typical scary/horror movie...
By Ryan Gibbs • Feb 19 2013, 3:08pm
Welcome to the Hotel Transylvania, Dracula's (Adam Sandler) lavish five-stake resort, where monsters and their families can live it up, free to be the monsters they are without humans to bother them.
On one special weekend, Dracula has invited some of the world's most famous monsters--Frankenstein and his bride, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, a family of werewolves, and more--to celebrate his daughter Mavis's 118th birthday.
For Dracula, catering to all of these legendary monsters is no problem--but his world could come crashing down when one ordinary guy stumbles on the hotel and takes a shine to Mavis.
What can I say about Adam Sandler...
By Pete Putman • Feb 19 2013, 12:27am
Despite sitting on a $140-billion Mount Everest of cash, Apple has been the target of slings and arrows from many technical analysts (including yours truly) and financial analysts.
Last week, our friend Jamie Townsend, Managing Partner for Strategy & Research at TownHall Research (www.townhallresearch.com), issued a client newsletter with the headline “Lack of a Phablet [...]
By Ryan Gibbs • Feb 18 2013, 3:04pm
In the futuristic action thriller Looper, time travel will be invented - but it will be illegal and only available on the black market.
When the mob wants to get rid of someone, they will send their target 30 years into the past, where a "looper" - a hired gun, like Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) - is waiting to mop up.
Joe is getting rich and life is good...
until the day the mob decides to "close the loop," sending back Joe's future self (Bruce Willis) for assassination.
Every once in a while, Hollywood gives us...
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Feb 15 2013, 11:10pm
In my last article of this Living with 4K series I mentioned the near future 4K download players introduced at CES 2013 by REDRay and Sony.
I also discussed the issues to movie collectors regarding the possibility of having, or not, a 4K disc from Blu-ray or otherwise.
As I said in my other article, on the roundtables I participated about Blu-ray I always received a NO response when I asked the president of the Blu-ray Association, Mr.
Andy Parsons, if the association was working on a 4K version of Blu-ray.
However, on a recent exchange with him last week Mr.
Parsons shared with me better news about the possibility of 4K in Blu-ray...
By The HT Guys • Feb 15 2013, 8:26am
A few weeks ago we received an email from a good friend of the show, Jack, telling us about an article he read about HDMI cables.
He pointed us to a comment to the article where a reader said that with better HDMI cables changing channels resulted in the tuner locking onto it about a Â½ second faster than with cheap cables.
(Note: in the accompanying video we credit Michael with sending us the email and actually seeing a difference in lock speeds.
Michael helped us with the setting up the test cases).
By Pete Putman • Feb 14 2013, 11:39pm
Sometimes you need a breather to appreciate how topsy-turvy the world of consumer electronics has become.
By Shane Sturgeon • Feb 12 2013, 10:49pm
WD®, a Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) company, and a world leader in storage solutions for the connected life, today unveils WD TV® Play™, a versatile media player that streams popular Internet channels, as well as personal photos, music and movies from other networked devices in the home, directly to an HDTV.
Priced at just $69.99 USD, WD TV Play expands upon the existing WD TV family of products, offering an engaging new app-based user interface to allow customers to easily personalize their entertainment experience.
With the Wi-Fi® connected WD TV Play media player, customers can easily stream hit movies, view the latest viral videos, catch up on TV shows and stay connected to social networks through apps such as...
By Terry Paullin • Feb 9 2013, 4:00am
(Consumer Electronics Show) - That immutable bastion of ultra-hype for what's happening sometime next year - maybe ....
set in the perfect confluence of fantasy, caprice and wishful thinking ...
As I stood in the Central Hall of the L.V.
Convention Center, I found myself in front of a scene that made me laugh out loud, and was remindful of the ever increasing spin all around us.
The displays in front of me had signage that heralded "The future of TV" (4K of course) coming soon (2nd qtr.) - and up and to the left was an even bigger sign from a different manufacturer that informed "8K - The future of TV".
We have obsoleted ourselves before we even hit the street.
God bless the Marketing Department.
I wish I could put a finger on it, but I can't.
It has happened with such regularity that it can't be coincidence.
Every time the next new thing comes along...
By The HT Guys • Feb 8 2013, 6:04am
We have reviewed a handful of wireless HDMI systems in the past, and have been impressed each time at how much better they're getting and how quickly the prices have fallen.
An unfortunate incident in the Russell home recently required a replacement wireless HDMI setup, kicking off a new round of research into what is available on the market now.
By Pete Putman • Feb 7 2013, 10:22pm
A new color specification for automatic calibration and tuning of smaller color displays could reduce returns of products purchased on-line, provide product differentiation, and improve customer satisfaction.
By Terry Paullin • Feb 5 2013, 3:20pm
Some time ago, maybe three or four years back, I penned the first of the above titled reviews - something about "digital is in/analog is out", I think.
To no one's surprise, things continue to change in our amusing little A/V world and in my opinion (see Column Title) at an ever increasing rate.
Here's an update, as I see it...
By Ryan Gibbs • Feb 5 2013, 3:12pm
The narrative architect behind the Bourne film series, Tony Gilroy, takes the helm in the next chapter of the hugely popular espionage franchise that has earned almost $1 billion at the global box office: The Bourne Legacy.
The writer/director expands the Bourne universe created by Robert Ludlum with an original story that introduces us to a new hero whose life-or-death stakes have been triggered by the events of the first three films.
On the verge of having their conspiracy exposed, members of the government’s intelligence community will stop at nothing to erase all evidence of their top-secret programs – even the agents involved.
Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) must use his genetically engineered skills to survive the ultimate game of cat-and-mouse and finish what Jason Bourne started.
The movie shows the domino effect caused by Jason Bourne's activities.
We are introduced to two more operations in this movie...
By Terry Paullin • Feb 4 2013, 3:15pm
From time-to-time most of us get confronted with an allegation from this direction or that, from one manufacturer or another proclaiming "This changes everything ..." or "Sets a new standard for ..." or "An experience like never before ..." - each hoping to keep our attention just long enough to finish the paragraph.
Lucky me, as a journalist, I get piles of press releases, even from companies who can't spell Home Theatre (...
that IS how you spell Home Theatre, isn't it?) claiming this uber status for their latest and greatest.
Most can be quickly discounted as someone trying to reinvent the wheel and call it "visionary".
The thought that a few of these might actually be something new under the sun can similarly be dispelled with a Google search or two.
But on that odd, rare occasion, the real deal comes along.
This month's column is about one such game changer...
By Ryan Gibbs • Feb 4 2013, 3:08pm
From creative genius Tim Burton comes Frankenweenie, a heartwarming tale about a boy and his dog.
After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life-with just a few minor adjustments.
He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor's fellow students, teachers and the entire town all learn that getting a new "leash on life" can be monstrous.
A stop-motion animated film; Frankenweenie was filmed in black and white and rendered in 3D, which will elevate the classic style to a whole new experience.
Even though the movie presentation was flawless, as mentioned above, the movie itself was very lacking.
Now before you read on, you should know that...
By Pete Putman • Feb 2 2013, 12:11am
At the recently-concluded Integrated Systems Europe show, projector manufacturers showed concern about the impact of super-sized, inexpensive LCD displays.
And they're fighting back.
By Pete Putman • Feb 1 2013, 10:17pm
Recent articles in the New York Times and other national publications indicate the demand for ebooks has slackened — and the demise of traditional bookstores may be to blame.
By Ryan Gibbs • Feb 1 2013, 3:50pm
Overachiever Lauren is suddenly on her own after her boyfriend breaks up with her.
Free spirit and irrepressible Katie is about to lose a dream apartment unless she can find a roommate.
They reluctantly agree to room together even though they have nothing in common, until Lauren discovers that Katie is working as a phone-sex operator, and recognizes a good business opportunity.
But as their business partnership takes off, their newfound friendship finds unexpected challenges that may leave them both, as they say, hanging on the telephone.
I had my reservations when it came to actually watching this movie.
It didn’t seem like a movie that a guy would be drawn to watching without the help of a woman.
By The HT Guys • Feb 1 2013, 8:18am
There are a few reasons you would want to automate your home.
Very close to the top of the list is saving money.
And the one item that uses the most energy is your heating and air conditioning system.
Today we'll take a look at four thermostats that let you monitor and control your HVAC system from anywhere in the world.
When you decide to build out a complete automation system these thermostats can be integrated right in.
By Shane Sturgeon • Feb 1 2013, 12:35am
Nearly a quarter of high-definition television (HDTV) owners in the U.S.
(22 percent) purchased their televisions for the specific purpose of watching the Super Bowl, according to the forthcoming Sports and Technology Study V by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®.
No other sporting event comes close to prompting that many purchases of HDTVs.
Accordingly, more adults surveyed identify themselves as fans of football (79 percent) than any other sport, including baseball (53 percent), basketball (51 percent), racing (28 percent) and hockey (27 percent).
Super Bowl fans will use...
By Pete Putman • Jan 31 2013, 6:19pm
The OLED-TV story was in a rut for months:Â Samsung and LG had beautiful 55-inch prototypes, but repeatedly missed their promised product introduction dates.Â But things are changing.
The big CES surprise came from Panasonic, which showed a very impressive technology demonstration of the 'World's Largest 4K OLED.'Â At 56 inches, it does beat LG and [...]
By Ryan Gibbs • Jan 31 2013, 3:39pm
From the writer of Training Day comes a gripping, action-packed cop drama starring Academy Award nominee Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena.
In their mission to abide by their oath to serve and protect, Officers’ Brian Taylor (Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Pena) have formed a powerful brotherhood to ensure they both go home at the end of watch.
But nothing can prepare them for the violent backlash that happens after they pull over the members of a notorious drug cartel for a routine traffic stop.
Seen from the point of view of the officers, gang members, surveillance cameras, dash cams and citizens caught in the line of fire, a 360 degree perspective creates a gritty, compassionate and intense portrait of the city’s darkest streets, and the brave men and women patrolling them.
End of Watch is the most realistic cop film that I have seen, at least in recent years.
The film is shot from a variety of cameras, whether it is Brian Taylor's personal camera, the dashboard cameras in the ...
By Pete Putman • Jan 31 2013, 1:42am
At its big media event on CES's Press Day, Sharp's new CEO Toshi Osawa introduced TFT backplanes made from indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) as being the 'most exciting technology ever,' a sentiment echoed by corporate EVP Kozo Takahashi.
At CES, Sharp heavily promoted its IGZO TFT technology and showed several shipping products that incorporate IGZO [...]
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Jan 30 2013, 3:47pm
As mentioned in the previous article of this “Living with 4K” series two companies (Red and Sony) have announced their solution for playing 4K content on the new Ultra-HDTV displays introduced in 2012 and showed at CES 2013 in much larger selection by many manufacturers, including Samsung, Sony, LG, Sharp, Hisense, Westinghouse, Vizio, and Radio Shack (just testing if you are paying attention).
One common denominator of these two companies is that their 4K players are not disc based, such as a new Blu-ray disc with larger capacity and more efficient compression for 4K could be, the units rather download, store, and playback 4K content using an Internet connection and an internal hard disc drive, like one would do using a computer.
Red’s 4K player is called, guess what?, Redray, with an MSRP of...
By Pete Putman • Jan 30 2013, 5:20am
At CES there was an extensive and exuberant RCA TV booth, the likes of which have not been seen for many years. RCA created all-electronic color TV, invented the liquid-crystal display, and — within the memories of people who aren't all that old — dominated the consumer television industry. But, eventually, RCA existed only as a brand [...]
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 29 2013, 4:15am
Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America, a division of Sharp Electronics Corporation, is announcing a series of striking, large-format professional LED displays for the indoor digital signage market.
This latest family of Sharp professional LED large-format displays feature stunning clarity, outstanding energy efficiency and advanced connectivity.
Key features include choice of portrait or landscape orientation, 24/7 operation, Sharp's UV2A LCD technology, picture-in-picture mode, ability to enlarge or daisy chain images on multiple monitors, built-in speakers, and an interface expansion board with comprehensive input/output capabilities including DisplayPort®.
With 700 cd/m2 brightness and LED backlighting, these displays boast energy-efficient, high-definition images.
The most impressive of the new series, the PN-R903 LED display, features...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 29 2013, 4:07am
Samsung Electronics America, Inc., a leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies, today announced that the FiOS TV app now supports 75 live channels and is available for compatible Samsung 2011 and 2012 Smart TVs and Smart Blu-ray™ players.
The app, initially released in July on the Samsung Smart Hub platform, now lets Verizon's FiOS TV and FiOS Internet subscribers watch 75 live FiOS TV channels and more than 25,000 FlexView on-demand movies and TV shows on these TVs and Blu-ray players without requiring a set-top box.
This furthers both Samsung's and Verizon's commitment to developing ways to help consumers enjoy "TV Everywhere."
FiOS subscribers that have FiOS TV and FiOS Internet subscriptions can easily download...
By Pete Putman • Jan 29 2013, 1:45am
Chinese TV set makers were at CES in force, determined to take more of the North American market — not only with sets sold under private labels but, increasingly, under their own.
This trend has been visible for the last couple of years, but this year it was dramatic, with elaborate exhibits laid on by [...]
By Terry Paullin • Jan 28 2013, 3:08pm
No, I haven't invented yet another "New Math".
I think there are many examples in life where Less is More.
This time I'm talking about one relatively new case that's close to our home (theatre) - or, at least half of our home, the audio half.
I was thinking lately about how Audio has been getting a short shrift in recent H.T.
A scan of contemporary periodicals dedicated to Home Theatre reveals more inch/columns aimed at; "4K", "streaming video", "edge lit", Big Screen", "black levels", "2.35 aspect ratio" ......
all video fair.
So why the Aural snub?
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Jan 28 2013, 4:53am
Yes I said "Redray", not "Blu-ray" 4K player.
This is an update of my "Living with 4K - Part 2 - 4K Content, when?" article.
According to RED DIGITAL CINEMA, this 4K player is expected to be available by early 2013.
I requested a unit for review back in December so this is just an introductory article, which I will continue with a full review when RED sends me a review unit.
I also plan to review the 4K media server Sony lends to new owners of new Sony 4K panels to display some 4K movies until the consumer market can supply it (see further below).
The server is configured as a Dell computer CPU with recorded 4K movies, it comes in a big box with a bunch of accessories, including a tablet, 16-feet HDMI high-speed cable, etc.
I will compare both media players using my 4K Sony projector.
The Redray player is not...
By The HT Guys • Jan 25 2013, 7:28am
To take full advantage of an automation system, you need a server running that can take action based on events that may occur, these are often called 'triggers.' You can run a software package on a computer you leave on 24/7 or you can buy a dedicated device for it.
If you're like us and have Insteon devices in your home, one option to look into is the Insteon Hub from SmartHome.
By Terry Paullin • Jan 24 2013, 3:33pm
It's that time of year again when H.T.
pundits, ivory tower consultants and I-got-nothin'-better-to-do bloggers put pen to paper - O.K., fingers to keyboards and make all kinds of predictions, forecasts and wild speculations based on the last "customer survey" they saw regarding the future of Home Theatre.
I wish just once I could hear...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 24 2013, 11:33am
Americans who are in the market for a new TV – perhaps in time for Super Bowl Sunday – will find models that are bigger, better, smarter, and cheaper, according to the latest Consumer Reports TV tests.
The full report, which features Ratings of 140-plus LCD and plasma TVs, can be found...
By Rodolfo La Maestra • Jan 22 2013, 3:51pm
As you may already know, small OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) panels have been introduced to consumers in several forms for several years, and at CES 2012 LG and Samsung showed their 55-inches 1080p OLED HDTV prototype panels, both displaying stunning images and with prices said to be around $10,000 USD when available toward the second part of 2012, however, the OLED panels have not yet appeared at local stores, although they are expected soon in 2013.
At least LG announced at CES 2013 panel availability for the first quarter in the US, at a higher price: $12,000.
As I covered in this article, LG’s WOLED HDTV uses a white OLED design and implements passive 3D technology displaying half resolution images per eye both eyes viewing simultaneously using low cost 3D glasses, while Samsung’s Super OLED HDTV uses a more classic RGB design and implements active-shutter 3D technology that renders full resolution images per eye displayed in alternate fashion.
If you are interested to ...
By Pete Putman • Jan 19 2013, 2:23am
In a CES surprise, Sony introduced its Triluminos TVs with quantum-dot backlights courtesy of QD Vision, which significantly extend color gamut.
By The HT Guys • Jan 18 2013, 8:48am
We have had slingboxes for the past 5 years and they have come in quite handy! There have been plenty of Sundays where the Slingbox has allowed us to keep up with our favorite football team.
In general the Slingbox is life saving device for those of us who spend some time on the road.
Today we take a look at the latest Slingbox, the Slingbox 500.
It has a street price of $288 and is available now.
By Pete Putman • Jan 17 2013, 10:08pm
At CES, Asian set makers showed smaller - and much cheaper - 4K TVs.
By Pete Putman • Jan 14 2013, 7:36pm
4K, 3D, tablets, OLEDs, gesture and voice control, and wireless — choose a gadget; everybody was showing it in Las Vegas.
And the biggest booths showcased Chinese technological prowess.
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 12 2013, 4:34am
Toshiba's Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today announced the L9300 Series of 4K Ultra HD TVs.
Featuring four times the resolution of today's 1080p full HD TVs, the new Toshiba L9300 Series TVs deliver the ultimate viewing experience for movies, TV shows, video games, photo viewing and PC applications.
Powered by Toshiba's proprietary CEVO 4K Quad+Dual Core Processor, L9300 Series TVs deliver the highest quality UltraHD image processing, including Resolution Restoration to restore clean near UltraHD image quality from less than 4K content, Color Gamut Enhancement to create color intensity that matches the resolution impact and Surface Brilliance Enhancement that brings images to life like never before.
"Ultra HD represents the new pinnacle of home theater image quality and Toshiba is already leading the way in this ...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 12 2013, 4:24am
LG Electronics (LG) today demonstrated its continued OLED TV market leadership with a revolutionary curved model, the EA9800, shown for the first time here today at the 2013 International CES.
Featuring proprietary WRGB technology, the incredibly thin display features a dramatic curved design and a vivid picture quality that is practically indiscernible from colors found in nature.
The unique new EA9800 model features the industry's very first curved screen ergonomic design with full...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 12 2013, 4:02am
Hauppauge Digital, Inc.
(Nasdaq: HAUP), the world's leading developer and manufacturer of TV tuners and HD video recorders, has launched two new models in their line of high definition video recorders.
One model is geared toward home media enthusiasts, while the other is designed for advanced gamers.
The new model for home media users is called HD PVR 2 model 1512.
HD PVR 2 users can create a library of their favorite cable TV or satellite TV programs in HD.
HD PVR 2 has a built-in...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 12 2013, 2:50am
OmniVision Technologies, Inc.
(NASDAQ: OVTI), a leading developer of advanced digital imaging solutions, today announced a new complete liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS) chipset solution for low-cost, low-power and high-definition (HD) pico projection systems.
The single-chip LCOS panel OVP7200 displays native 720p HD video...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 12 2013, 2:48am
Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a leading global entertainment company, and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., are partnering to expand the availability of popular theatrical titles in 3D for the home entertainment market, the two companies announced today from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Utilizing Samsung's proprietary 3D image processing technology, the two companies will...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 12 2013, 2:43am
today announced its THX® 4K Certification program, which features newly developed tests and parameters to ensure that the latest 4K HD televisions are able to present content in full Ultra High-Definition (Ultra HD) resolution with image clarity far superior to that of conventional HDTVs.
THX 4K Certified televisions not only meet industry 4K performance guidelines but also present content that most accurately reconstructs the original HD master image.
The new Sharp LC-60HQ10 is the world's first THX 4K Certified display, capable of converting standard HD content into a 4K2K picture with staggering detail and precision, bringing the entertainment experience to life.
The THX 4K Certification program is the only performance standard...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 12 2013, 2:39am
NEC Display Solutions of America, a leading provider of commercial LCD display and projector solutions, announced today the addition of the 55-inch V552 and 65-inch V652 to its commercial-grade V Series.
The high-performance, full HD panel makes these models ideal for extended operation times, including retail stores, restaurants, indoor venues, training facilities and corporate boardrooms.
NEC's V552 and V652 utilize...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 12 2013, 2:35am
The 2013 International CES® opened its doors today featuring more than 3,250 exhibitors across 1.9 million net square feet of exhibit space, breaking both space and exhibitor records that were set last year.
Innovation propelled this year's preshow press events that kicked off with 74 companies showcasing their latest tech at CES Unveiled on Sunday night, and nearly 30 exhibitors launching new products during CES Press Day.
Owned and produced by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®, the 2013 International CES, the world's largest annual innovation event, opens today and runs through...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 12 2013, 2:21am
CES 2013, LVCC Central Hall Booth #10926 –Toshiba's Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today announced its full line-up of 2013 HDTVs as well as new PCs on display at this year's International Consumer Electronics Show.
Highlights include an UltraHD TV, new premium LED TVs with Cloud TV functionality, an all-new line of Media Box and Universal Disc Players along with a new Satellite® touchscreen Ultrabook™....
By The HT Guys • Jan 11 2013, 6:54am
Another CES has come and gone.
At the risk of being permanently banned, we've brought back everything we saw and did in Vegas to share it with everyone who couldn't be there.
As with every CES, we saw some amazing things and some not so impressive ones as well.
Big themes from this year were: 3D is waning, 4K (UltraHD) is emerging, and Plasma may be on the verge of a comeback.
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 11 2013, 6:25am
Get ready for an all out visual thrill ride.
Sharp today unveiled nearly twenty 60" plus class TV models as part of its new line of AQUOS LED TVs, with more models that feature Quattron technology, more choices in the fast growing 60", 70" and 80" screen classes, striking new slim designs and the world's largest LED TV, the 90" AQUOS.
For the first time...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 11 2013, 6:19am
This week at CES in Las Vegas, Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America, a division of Sharp Electronics Corporation, is presenting its new 32" class professional LCD monitor series, which features Sharp's ground-breaking IGZO™ technology and touts 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution.
According to industry research, demand for Ultra High-Definition displays, commonly referred to as "4K2K", is forecast to...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 11 2013, 6:14am
Sony Corporation ("Sony") announced today that it has developed the first 4K (3840 x 2160) OLED (organic light-emitting diode) television.
To demonstrate its latest achievement, Sony will display a 56-inch prototype at The International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The world's first and largest* 56-inch OLED TV achieves 4K resolution by using the latest oxide semiconductor TFTs and Sony's own 'Super Top Emission' technologies.
Up until now, in order to force light through the OLED layer, OLED TVs used low-temperature polysilicon (LTPS) thin-film transistors (TFTs).
However, there were some challenges inherent in the manufacture of large OLED displays...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 11 2013, 6:08am
To compliment the electronics industry's launch of 4K Ultra HD Televisions, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) is proud to leverage its growing 4K asset library to present "Mastered in 4K" Blu-ray™ titles.
While maintaining the studio's commitment to the highest possible quality Blu-ray releases, the "Mastered in 4K" offering takes these efforts even further.
"Mastered in 4K" Blu-ray releases will feature titles such as...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 11 2013, 4:57am
Sony is unveiling an impressive line-up of new BRAVIA TVs, with new 4K Ultra HD models at sizes and prices that put 4K within reach of a wider audience, and new LED sets that complement superb picture quality with features like WiFi™ and NFC.
With these new TVs, Sony's goal is clear: deliver the most immersive home entertainment experience, with the highest picture quality, regardless of the content or source.
Following the successful launch of its 84-inch 4K LED TV in September 2012, Sony is expanding its 4K UHD XBR LED TV line by adding...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 11 2013, 12:33am
Panasonic, an industry and technology leader in High Definition and Smart TV technology, introduces its 2013 line of Smart VIERA® Plasma HDTVs.
Continuing its tradition of developing award winning Plasma HDTVs, Panasonic has introduced an enhanced 2013 lineup built around user personalization and advanced networking features, increased connectivity, re-mastered picture quality, and stunning design elements.
Ranging from 42-inch class to 65-inch class, the 16 new models provide the highest quality picture and breadth of viewing options directly to the consumer.
Building on its reputation for creating innovative products, Panasonic's 2013 VIERA televisions have become more than a screen, now functioning as an extension of all lifestyle and mobile devices.
The 2013 Smart VIERA Plasma line-up features...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 11 2013, 12:28am
Panasonic announces five new Full-HD camcorders to expand its product lineup for 2013.
The new lineup includes the HC-X920, HC-V720, HC-V520, HC-V210 and HC-V110.
The high-end HC-X920 model is equipped with the New 3MOS System PRO with BSI (Backside Illumination) Sensor to enhance the three MOS sensors for excellent shooting performance even in dim lighting situations.
The use of the BSI Sensor reduces noise to 50% of previous models.
The X920 captures and records momentous scenes in high-definition in any environment, including the bright outdoors to dimly lit indoors.
The X920,V720 and V520 all feature the new...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 11 2013, 12:18am
Panasonic, an industry leader and pioneer in emerging video technology, launches two new streaming media players, the DMP-MST60 and the DMP-MS10 featuring VIERA Connect and IP VOD respectively.
The two media players continue Panasonic's innovation in the A/V category and feature VOD up-conversion and DLNA certification with other networking and video quality features.
Panasonic's 3D-capable streaming media player...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 10 2013, 11:58pm
Panasonic, an industry and technology leader in High Definition and Smart TV technology, unveiled the new 2013 lineup of VIERA LED/LCD HDTVs that redefine the home entertainment experience and add simplicity and luxury to the home.
The 2013 VIERA LED/LCD product line achieves the ultimate in advanced design with outstanding picture quality, easy operation and enhanced connectivity and personalization options.
For 2013, all Panasonic VIERA LCD models are LED.
The 2013 Smart VIERA LED/LCD line-up features...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 10 2013, 11:39pm
Panasonic, a major developer and contributor to the success of the Blu-ray format, today introduced an expanded Blu-ray Disc Player lineup with two new Full HD 3D models – the DMP-BDT330, DMP-BDT230, and two 2D Blu-ray Disc Players – the DMP-BD89 and DMP-BD79.
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 10 2013, 11:26pm
As the television and cinema industries accelerate their progression towards Ultra HD (4K), Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) today announced it is launching a dedicated demonstration Ultra HD channel for Europe on the EUTELSAT 10A satellite.
The first transmissions of content filmed in 4K will start on...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 10 2013, 10:59pm
Haier today announced its 2013 line of televisions characterized by new designs such as an ultra-thin frame, enhanced sound solutions, and other features such as Roku® streaming.
This line-up continues Haier's plan to further its goal of making technology simple and accessible to the consumer, helping to take consumers' home entertainment experience to new heights.
Select Haier televisions will come ready for use with the new Roku...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 10 2013, 9:29pm
VIZIO, America's #1 large size HDTV company1, revealed today its expanded 2013 HDTV collection, highlighted by an all-new line of M-Series Razor LED™ Smart TVs featuring an elegant, modern ultra-slim bezel and razor-thin profile.
VIZIO's new HDTV line-up continues to demonstrate the brand's leadership in HDTV technology with advanced innovations like its first Ultra High Definition TVs (4K2K), part of the brand's flagship XVT-Series, as well as the all-new, all-LED2 E-Series line which features a sleek, slim-frame design and advanced Smart TV features and Theater 3D™ available on select models.
Ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction with HDTVs" by J.D.
Power and Associates3, VIZIO will showcase its new 22" to 80" sized collection at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, NV.
VIZIO's new M-Series Razor LED Smart TVs are the must-have centerp ...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 10 2013, 5:49am
Epson America, Inc.
today expanded its award-winning line of 3LCD home theater projectors with the highly versatile and affordable 3LCD PowerLite® Home Cinema 750HD – offering families and first-time home theater enthusiasts an affordable and versatile 2D and true 3D big screen entertainment solution.
The Home Cinema 750HD is Epson's brightest home theater projector to date – projecting a bright and colorful display with up to 3,000 lumensi of color and 3,000 lumens of white brightness for dark or light rooms.
Offering full HD, active shutter 3D with...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 10 2013, 5:43am
Stream TV Networks is proud to debut its proprietary Ultra-D™ 2160p technology which features an Ultra-D™2160p powered display, delivering the sharpest 3D experience outside of the cinema – no glasses required.
The technology also incorporates the new Ultra-D™2160p SeeCube™ real-time conversion set top box, which provides 2D to 3D-without-glasses and 3D-with-glasses to 3D-without-glasses content conversion in resolutions up to true 2160p.
Visitors to STREAM TV'S CENTRAL HALL BOOTH #8225 will witness...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 5 2013, 1:52am
LG Electronics (LG ) is ushering in the new year with an expanded family of Ultra High Definition TVs* with new screen sizes for 2013.
At next week's International CES® in Las Vegas, LG's award-winning 84-inch class (84.04 inch diagonal) Ultra HD TV will be complemented by 55- and 65-inch class (54.6- and 64.7 inch diagonal respectively) models.
These new sizes offer the same stellar resolution and immersive viewing experience as LG's 84-inch class Ultra HD TV, which earned the CES 2013 "Best of Innovations" award in the Video Display category.
LG was the first company to...
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 5 2013, 1:50am
Consumers are seeking high-definition televisions (HDTVs) with the latest built-in features as a growing number of U.S.
adults own smart app-enabled displays, according to new research from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®.
The study, Beyond 2D Viewing: Understanding the Demand for Advanced Television Features, examined whether current built-in television features, such as 3D and Internet-connected applications, are meeting the needs of consumers.
Consumers are using the built-in features on their HDTV at a high rate, with an increasing number gaining access to...
By The HT Guys • Jan 4 2013, 7:21am
Each year we make our way through the California and Nevada deserts to spend some quality time with the latest in electronics.
Today we will focus on what the large manufacturers are planning on showing.
This information is compiled by reading through the countless press releases we get sent each day starting in November.
The next show will focus on what we see when we are there in person.
We usually try to find the cool stuff that the smaller, lesser known companies are showing.
By Shane Sturgeon • Jan 3 2013, 3:47am
LG Electronics (LG) announced today that it will begin accepting pre-orders for its eagerly-awaited 55-inch class (54.6-inch diagonal) WRGB OLED TV (Model 55EM9700) in South Korea this month with deliveries scheduled to begin next month.
Other markets where the revolutionary LG OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) TV will be available will be announced over the next several weeks along with their respective prices.
The announcement comes just days before the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), where an early version of the TV last year was awarded "Best of Show."
More than 1,400 LG retail stores in...