Samsung may not have perfected the mobile app store game but it still has the audacity to attempt something grander: Samsung Apps – the world's first multi-device app store. The idea is to let content owners and app developers reach a greater audience with apps that are compatible with different devices: HDTVs, Blu-ray players, home theater systems and phones.
Samsung Apps is “the world's first HDTV-based application store where users can download and purchase applications from select 2010 Samsung HDTVs, Blu-ray Players and Home Theater systems via the upgraded Internet@TV – Content Service.” Internet@TV is a widget-based TV service powered by Yahoo's Widget engine.
Samsung plans to have only free apps available at the time of Samsung App's spring 2010 launch. The paid ones will debut in the summer. You can expect a wide gamut of apps, including video, information, lifestyle, games, and sports.
There's slender, and then there's Samsung's disgustingly thin 40-inch LED TV panel measuring just 3.9mm thick, or a third the size of the company's previous panel. We say "disgusting" only because some of us are still bitter over dropping a couple grand on a bulky rear-projection earlier in the decade.
The super-slim backlit LED display boasts a 120Hz refresh rate, full HD resolution support, and a 5000:1 contrast ratio. It's also the world's thinnest LCD panel, measuring 7mm slimmer than Samsung's full production LED TV panel and about 45mm thinner than conventional LCD displays. Prior to today, LG held the title with its 5.9mm LED TV.
So when and where can you buy one? Good question - Samsung hasn't released the 3.9mm panel yet, but according to Akihabaranews.com, the company hopes to do so very soon.
Western Digital has announced the second iteration of its TV connected media player. The new WD TV Live HD takes all that was awesome about the old, and adds some new tricks. The box still has wide codec support for playing files from USB drives, but it now also streams content from Youtube, Pandora, and Flickr. Users can also connect network drives to the new version to view files.
The WD TV Live HD, as the name would suggest, outputs 1080P HD video via a HDMI 1.3 port. Composite and component are also available. If you need to get video off that USB drive and on to your TV, the WD TVs provide an attractive alternative to media center PCs. The new WD TV device has an MSRP of $149.99.
Buying an LCD HDTV just got a whole lot easier. According to Dr. Raymond M. Soneira, of DisplayMate, the quest for minimal response times is as foolish as comparing raw processor speeds. It’s the real world that matters, and for live video mid- to high-range LCDs perform just fine regardless of their rated response times.
Dr. Soneira compared the motion blur characteristics of eight LCDs and two Plasmas against a Sony Professional HD Trinitron Studio monitor, using a battery of motions tests from the proprietary DisplayMate Multimedia with Motion Bitmaps Edition software. His conclusion: “there was essentially no visually detectable motion blur on any of the LCD HDTVs in all of the extensive live video content that we assembled.” Motion blur is more likely a subjective rather than an objective phenomenon.
The good news from this report is it isn’t necessary to ‘buy up’ to 120 Hz or higher refresh rates, strobed LED backlighting, or advanced motion blur processing (which Dr. Soneira claims can introduce “ugly motion artifacts”). Stick with a reputable brand, in the mid- to high-range, without regard to response times, and you’ll be fine.
Onwers of LG's LH50 LCD series and PS80 plasma series can now access VUDU's library of on-demand 1080p movies via LG Netcast.
"LG is proud to lead the charge on delivering high-quality streaming movies for the high-def family-room experience," said Peter Reiner, senior vice president, marketing, LG Electronics USA. "VUDU offers content in 1080p resolution with Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround sound, enabling the ultimate streaming movie experience on premium LG HDTV models."
After applying the automatic software update (if applicable), owners of the above mentioned models will be able to rent the first HD or HDX movie free of charge. After that, normal rental charges apply, which ranges from $0.99 to $5.99 per movie with no subscription or monthly fees.
Having trouble seeing what all the fuss is about after buying a new HDTV? Better get your eyes checked, says Vision Express. According to a study by the UK optometry chain, as many as one-third of adults and children are in need of glasses, contact lenses, or a stronger prescription in order to take advantage of the higher resolutions offered by high definition displays.
"Even a marginally short-sighted person sitting on a sofa watching an HD broadcast may not see the full benefits in enhanced image quality," said Phillip Hyde, head of professional services as Vision Express. "If you're investing in HDTV, you ought to have your eyes checked to make sure you get the full benefit."
So there you have it. The next time some killjoy disses your new Blu-ray player and swank new 52" LCD TV, you can confidently accuse them needing to see an eye doctor.
The decision of whether or not to pick up a Blu-ray player at the same time an HDTV is purchased may soon get a little easier, as the two are poised to come together in a single package. As of next month, Sharp will become the first company to offer an LCD HDTV with a built-in Blu-ray player and recorder.
32" LC-32DX1 (1366x768)
37" LC-37DX1 (1366x768)
42" LC-42DX1 (1920x1080)
46" LC-46DX1 (1920x1080)
52" LC-52DX2 (1920x1080)
Sharp's new Aquos DX series will allow viewers to watch a program on one channel while recording on another at the same time. By supporting H.264/MPEG4 AVC encoding, Sharp says its built-in recorder will be able to hold up to 11 hours of high-definition video in 720p on a single 25GB Blu-ray disc.
Pricing will start at about $1700 for the 26-inch model and run up to $5000 for the 52-inch set. Japan gets first crack at the new sets starting on November 20, with U.S. availability by the end of the year.
Autostereoscopic. Ever heard that term before? Philips hopes you'll be hearing a lot more of it, and yesterday announced a line of Quad Full Autostereoscopic 3D HDTVs during a 3D event in Hollywood.
A Quad-HDTV means it's screen resolution checks in at 3840x2160 (8.29 million pixels), or four times that of the highest HDTV standard, and otherwise known as 2160P. Combined with autostereoscopic technology, the end result is that 3D images can be made to look believable without having to wear those funky glasses or other specialized headgear. Instead, images target a specific eye, but rather than require a strict viewing angle, Philips says its 56-inch HD 3D display has a generous 160-degree viewing angle.
As expected, first-run products won't come cheap with early rumblings putting this TV in the $25,000 ballpark. But Philips isn't the only one pushing 3D technology - Toshiba and Sanyo have both said they're working on competing autostereoscopic displays, which could drive down the price if this technology takes off.
You know it, we know it, the whole damn world knows it: On ever-so-rare occasions, there are technologies that we, the nerd elite, have ever-so-slightly... umm... overhyped. That's right, we said it. Overhyped. It's just that when we're talking with engineers or reading about about some hot new technology, we get so damn excited. So excited! And can you really blame us? I mean, who wouldn't get excited when you hear about CPUs that clock in over 4GHz, or instruction sets that will multiply your CPU's performance? And geez, who wouldn't want to turbocharge his gaming framerate? Hell, we shouldn't be blamed for overhyping, it's those damn engineers fault!
In case you do blame us, hit the jump before you collect your torches and pitchforks, and definitely read our apology to the world before you bring an angry mob to Maximum PC HQ.
I purchased a 37-inch Westinghouse LVM-37W3SE LCD 1080p HDTV monitor in June 2007. A few months later, I found out that this particular model has faulty firmware that prevents it from working properly with many devices. For example, the Nvidia driver recognizes it as a different model Westinghouse 1080i monitor and refuses to set it in 1080p mode. I contacted customer support and received permission to return it. The monitor was returned in November, and it was received by Westinghouse two days later. I hadn’t heard anything from them until about a month ago, when I finally made a call to find out about the RMA status. (I’ve been out of the country on a business trip.)
I was promised a follow-up by several people, but no one would commit to when the monitor would be sent. They basically asked me to wait until I received my product. It has now been more than seven months, and I believe I have waited long enough! Thank God my trusty 15-inch LCD is still working fine.