Feeling left out because your internet provider isn't on board with Netflix's Open Connect program that provides access to its Super HD high-bitrate 1080p streams? Let that feeling of abandonment go, as the company has announced all of its customers (with compatible players) now have access to the higher quality video (and, in the US, 3D). According to Netflix the move is based on a combination of performance data and member requests, although we'll consider ourselves unofficial beta testers after a glitch temporarily switched it on for all providers back in August. Netflix is going to keep pushing its Open Connect platform, and reminds users that actually getting the video streams with less compression depends on the network connection available. Let us know if you're seeing a few new shades and sharper edges in OITNB, or if things have stayed pretty much the same.
Source: Netflix Super HD
Ever since Netflix introduced its SuperHD streaming with higher quality 1080p video and 3D support at CES in January, it's been restricted to only ISPs participating in its OpenConnect CDN program. Tonight, either there's some kind of glitch or that participation has been expanded, because users with previously unsupported ISPs are seeing SuperHD buttons on Netflix as well. We've been able to confirm it and even stream SuperHD and 3D video on previously unsupported ISPs like Comcast and Verizon. There are several reports on Twitter of people suddenly seeing the option as well, and we've contacted Netflix to see what's going on. So far the company has not responded, but if you've been waiting for some higher quality streaming options, hit the test page to see if you have the green light then try it out on a SuperHD-ready device (PS3, Roku, Apple TV, Wii U, Windows 8 and some others).
If you're yearning for a super high res HDTV and the usual suspects' products are just a bit too pricey, there's a new challenger about to join: China's TCL. Its fall lineup of televisions leads with a 50-inch 4K model (shown above) due in September priced at just $999. It joins Seiki as a Chinese manufacturer bringing budget priced Ultra HD panels to the US with this 120Hz edge lit LED model that packs 4 HDMI inputs with MHL support. If the 7E504D's 3,840 x 2,160 resolution screen isn't a must-have for you, it does have some more traditional HDTVs on the way in the form of its 5510 series.
They include 40-, 46- and 55-inch 1080p models, priced at $399, $499 and $799, respectively. The largest one includes built-in WiFi with Smart TV features including Netflix, YouTube and Yahoo Apps, and all go on sale in August. So far, reviews of the Seiki UHDTVs have suggested resolution isn't everything even at these prices (and especially at this screen size) -- we'll be waiting to see if TCL's scaling, contrast, motion processing and other qualities can match up with the big guys.
Gallery: TCL 4K TV, 5510 HDTV
Filed under: HD
24/07/2013 - Android 4.3 brings 1080p Netflix streaming
After revealing Google's new Nexus 7, Director of Product Management Hugo Barra revealed that the company has teamed up with Netflix to bring higher resolution video streams to compatible devices, a feature you'll only enjoy on devices running the just-announced Android 4.3. Yep, Netflix will now run at 1080p resolution, with the video-streaming company one of the first to use the new set of DRM APIs announced in tandem with this latest OS release. Unfortunately, of course, you'll just have to wait for that pesky OTA update before you can try it.
We've been impressed with Oculus Rift from the start, and have been following the VR headset closely ever since. The developer edition has been in the hands of devs for a couple months now, and while Palmer Luckey and Nate Mitchell have certainly received rave reviews of the headset from many, they've also heard lots of feedback about ways to improve it. The number one request from users and devs? A higher-resolution screen than the 1,280 x 800 panel in the dev device. Well, after months of research and tinkering to find the right hardware combination, team Oculus is finally ready to show off a Rift with a 1,080 x 1920 display, and we got to demo the thing.
Before heading into the land of 1080p, we got to explore a demo built with Unreal Engine 4 in the existing dev headset. After looking around a snowy mountain stronghold inhabited by a fire lord in low res, we switched to the exact same demo running at 60 fps on the HD prototype device -- and the difference was immediately apparent. Surface textures could be seen in much higher fidelity, colors were brighter and less muddied and the general detail of the entire environment was greatly improved.
Kaleidescape launched its online offering in beta late last year, and now it's officially open, becoming what it claims is the first store to provide "internet delivery of Blu-ray quality movies." The Kaleidescape Store goes beyond other 1080p services (Vudu, iTunes, Xbox and PSN come to mind) by promising the disc-equaling higher bitrates, extras and lossless audio options they don't have. There's no streaming to be had here, only downloads, with file sizes we saw ranging from 23GB (Austin Powers) to as much as 55.4GB (Inception) and everywhere in between.
While the store is only built to work with Kaleidescape's high-end disc-playback systems -- these usually start in the thousands of dollars, and you'll need M-Class hardware for HD -- it currently offers movies from Warner Bros. with an Ultraviolet copy attached, so buyers can play them back on mobile devices through apps such as Flixster and Vudu. Ultraviolet support also means $6.99 upgrades of DVD purchases to Blu-ray-quality HD, and potentially disc-to-digital type features later. Naturally, anyone interested will need an internet connection with a generous / non-existent bandwidth cap, but we imagine that's not out of the price range for these niche owners. Still, it does provide an idea of the difficulty others like Sony and Netflix will face when trying to digitally distribute feature films in 4K to a wider audience. Check out a few screens of the store in the gallery, and the Random Thoughts blog link below for firsthand impressions from a beta tester.
Gallery: Kaleidescape Store
Filed under: HD
10/12/2012 - Silicon Image reveals UltraGig 6400 wireless HDMI output for next-gen phones and tablets
Up 'til now, the WirelessHD standard has been best suited to large, thirsty devices like laptops, AV adapters and projectors. If we wanted video output from a battery-powered weakling of a mobile device, then we'd either be looking at a WiFi-based option, which can sacrifice bandwidth and latency, or at a wired connection like MHL, which effectively means tethering ourselves to the TV. However, Silicon Image claims it's come up with a new WirelessHD transmitter, the UltraGig 6400, which allows for gaming and full 1080p60 video and yet is easily light-footed enough to fit into a smartphone or tablet.
The company's optimistic photoshop above shows off the compactness of the module relative to the type of flagship phone it'd one day like to be part of: the silicon itself is 10mm x 7mm in area, or a fifth the size of the older WirelessHD Gen3. Just as importantly, the 60GHz transmitter consumes less power than a smartphone's own local display (around 500mW, with a 30-foot line-of-sight range), has a mere 5ms latency to allow for interactivity, and shouldn't add more than $10 to the cost of manufacture. Of course, we'd have to add a little more to that sum in order to purchase the mains-connected HDMI receiver box -- but in return we'd get to enjoy all our mobile vices at something much closer to life-size.
While Netflix Watch Instantly movie streams are mostly useful for casual viewing, if you're interested in the actual quality of the video provided you may have noticed a few changes recently. Chronicled in a thread on AVS Forum and reported to us by several tipsters, more than a few users have noticed their streams on 1080p-capable hardware (PlayStation 3, WDTV Live) no longer rock the "X-High" notification (on PS3, hit select to view more information bout your streaming details) that had previously let them know they were getting the highest quality possible. We checked with Netflix, and according to the company, it's rolling out better encoding that improves picture quality despite using a lower bitrate. That means 1080p works even for people with slower connections, and increases detail on "textures, shadows, skies, and particularly faces." As a result, what was previously called "X-High HD" is now being labeled a tier lower.
While it wasn't mentioned specifically, some are theorizing the move is tied into Netflix's use of eyeIO's video encoding tech, which it announced earlier this year, to shrink the size of streams. eyeIO claims it can chop bandwidth by more than half for a 720p stream, something we're sure a company that's pushing as much data as Netflix would appreciate. Still, some viewers in the thread are claiming a noticeably softer picture as a result. Check after the break for the statement from Netflix, then take some time for "research" and let us know if you're noticing any changes in picture quality lately.
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]
While HDX video has been a trademark for the Vudu service for years, when it launched streaming and Vudu-to-go downloads for PCs last year, they were limited to standard definition. That's been corrected recently, as the service is now offering 1080p or 720p HDX video via the web. What you still won't get on the PC unfortunately is higher quality sound as it's still limited to stereo audio for now, and in our tests we weren't able to access the Flash streams on a phone or tablet. Just log into the website and you should be able to try it out for yourself, however you will need adequate internet speed and an HDCP-compliant display -- check out the details at the link below.
Vudu brings HDX 1080p streaming and downloadable movies to PCs originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 15 Nov 2012 22:49:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Vudu Support | Email this | Comments
You might say Dave Zatz just had a happy accident. While he was hunting for the as yet unofficial Logitech Harmony Touch in Best Buy, he discovered the Slingbox 350 and 500 -- two more living room gadgets that have yet to receive an official introduction. The placeshifting hubs both look to be major improvements over the aging Slingbox Pro HD and Solo, making 1080p streaming available as long as the connection is up to snuff. Those who spring for the 500 should also get long overdue support for WiFi without having to use a wireless bridge, although they may miss the Pro HD's ATSC tuner. Outside of the networking, Sling Media is making expansion its upsell angle: the 500 supports USB media sharing and HDMI, while the 350 has to make do with whatever can pipe through its component and composite jacks. Zatz was unfortunately foiled in an attempt to buy one of the new Slingboxes and couldn't get final pricing, but Best Buy's suggestion to try again around mid-October hints that we won't have long to wait for a much-needed upgrade to our remote TV viewing.
Slingbox 350 and 500 show up unannounced in Best Buy, flaunt 1080p and built-in WiFi originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 30 Sep 2012 18:33:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Zatz Not Funny | Email this | Comments
Epson has decided not to mess with success, as it's left the new Home Cinema 3020, 3020e, 5020, 5020e and Pro Home Cinema 6020 projectors largely untouched from last year. All the models still carry full 1080p resolution, active shutter 3D, 2D-to-3D conversion, WirelessHD and a pair of RF 3D glasses. There's a slight bump in brightness for the lower-end 3020/3020e models from 2,200 to 2,300 lumens and a 100,000:1 contrast hike for the 5020/5020e and 6020 models. Otherwise, the new projectors remain unchanged, right down to the colors, housings, 3LCD tech, 6,000 hour lamp and Fujinon Opticinema lenses for the 6020. Prices also carry over from the previous models, at under $4,000, $3,000 and $2,000 for the high- to low-end models, respectively. The projectors will start arriving in October and with little other competition in that price range, Epson can probably rest on its laurels -- at least for a while longer.
Epson leaves well enough alone with its new Home Cinema projector lineup originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 06 Sep 2012 01:38:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink Slashgear | | Email this | Comments
Sony is continuing to build out its NXCAM video camera line with the new interchangeable lens NEX-EA50EH, a surprise entrant that's aimed firmly at the run and gun professional crowd. It sports the same APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor as other cameras in the NEX line, and has notably added a rocker-style zoom lever for its brand new SEL18-200PZ 11x E-mount Servo Zoom Lens. That item is one of the first large sensor servo zooms we've seen, and packs continuous variable isis, auto focus and "Optical Steady Shot" active image stabilization. Another eyebrow-raiser is the model's still photo talent, with the ability to shoot 16MP RAW stills, a mechanical shutter with its own release button and a flash hot-shoe all squeezed in. Video is recorded up to 60fps at 1080P in AVCHD 2.0, presumably at 28 or 17 Mbps, to SD/SDHC/SDXC cards, Sony Memory Sticks or Sony's dedicated external SSD unit, which attaches to the camera. All that is topped off by an onboard shotgun microphone, a shoulder mount form factor and $4,500 price point (which has already changed twice on B&H). That means a lot of pros who want large sensor results -- without all the DSLR foibles -- may be sorely tempted. See the PR and video after the break for all the details.
Filed under: Digital Cameras
Sony unveils NEX-EA50EH pro camcorder with nary a dog or pony (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 18 Aug 2012 03:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink Sony Alpha Rumors | B&H Blog | Email this | Comments
27/07/2012 - LG Launches 4K HDTV in Korea
27/05/2012 - Silicon Image pushes new MHL 2.0 chips for phones and HDTVs with 1080p60 video, faster charging
After taking a few years to get off of the ground, MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link) technology is now found in many modern phones as well as HDTVs from LG, Toshiba and Samsung. Now, Silicon Image has announced its second generation of chips to go in those devices with enhanced features. MHL if you'll recall, lets mobile devices connect to HDTVs via HDMI, while passing power and control signals along with the video. According to Silicon Image its new chips, the SiI8240 MHL transmitter (for phones, tablets, cameras and laptops) and SiI9617 MHL Bridge (for HDTVs, monitors and projectors) and dual-mode IP core (like the one in Samsung's Galaxy S II) upgrade the previous generation's capabilities with the ability to pass 1080p video at 60Hz (up from 30Hz) and charge up to twice as fast. There's a few more details in the press releases after the break, if you're wondering whether or not your phone / HDTV is down with MHL then check the specs or hit the Wikipedia link below.
Silicon Image pushes new MHL 2.0 chips for phones and HDTVs with 1080p60 video, faster charging originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 27 May 2012 03:27:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
A closer look at Apple TV's software update and 1080p movies originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 19 Mar 2012 14:35:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
iTunes movies in 1080p: less than or equal to Blu-ray image quality? originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 14 Mar 2012 16:56:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Ars Technica | Email this | Comments
09/03/2012 - Apple TV update takes Digital Copy to the iCloud
DirecTV and Pandora join forces, let you jam out via connected HD DVRs originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 08 Mar 2012 19:39:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | DirecTV | Email this | Comments
Fox and Universal titles blocked from Apple TV's iCloud, HBO is the culprit originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 07 Mar 2012 15:44:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | All Things D | Email this | Comments
07/03/2012 - Netflix on new Apple TV supports 1080p, all boxes get integrated signup and pay via iTunes
Netflix on new Apple TV supports 1080p, all boxes get integrated signup and pay via iTunes originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 07 Mar 2012 14:47:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Netflix Blog | Email this | Comments
It looks like we were blind-sided a little by that decidedly iPad-esque invite, because Apple has something more for us -- it's just announced the latest iteration of Apple TV and it can do 1080p video. The new UI inches slightly closer to iOS territory, with a splash of new color and a whole range of third-party apps willing to play with the new box. This includes access to Photo Stream alongside old favorites like Netflix, Flickr and YouTube. Expect improved connectivity to the iCloud (including your movie content) and better integration of your iTunes playlists directly from the refreshed UI. The good news: the price is going nowhere -- the new model matches the 2010 version at $99. The bad? You'll have to wait until next week to get your hands on one. Pre-orders start today.
Apple reveals 1080p Apple TV: $99, arrives March 16th originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 07 Mar 2012 13:11:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Xbox 360 system update gets its colors in order, makes it mandatory originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 16 Feb 2012 05:55:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Major Nelson, PlayStation blog | Email this | Comments
20/01/2012 - Microsoft acknowledges Xbox 360 color space problem in last update, is working on a fix
[Thanks, Vinny P, Brad R. and everyone else who sent this in]
Microsoft acknowledges Xbox 360 color space problem in last update, is working on a fix originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 19 Jan 2012 20:10:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | @Major Nelson (Twitter) | Email this | Comments
Gallery: Sony glasses-free 3DTV eyes-on
Sony demos 24- and 46-inch glasses-free 3DTVs, we go eyes-on (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 11 Jan 2012 23:04:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | | Email this | Comments