Tag Archives: 4K News

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

Date: 8/28/20 –

Written by: Phillip Martinez

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Date: 8/28/20 –

Written by: Phillip Martinez –

Source: https://www.newsweek.com

Samsung Rolls Out Filmmaker Mode For The 2020 QLED LCD TVs.

Date: 13 Jul 2020 –

Written by: Rasmus Larsen –

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

FILMMAKER MODE FOR SAMSUNG TVS:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vinyl outsells CDs for the first time since the 80s.

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

Leg Warmers to outdo socks next?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Panasonic Unveils its First Android TVs for Europe.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Apple TV App Arrives on Vizio TVs with 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos Support.

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

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

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

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

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

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

LG’s entry-level BX is its most affordable OLED of 2020.

Written by: Kob Monney 
Date: September 7, 2020

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

LG’s BX OLED has finally gone on sale.
LG’s BX OLED Has Finally Gone on Sale.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

48″ OLED TVs in high demand, especially among gamers.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yamaha launches first AV receivers with multiple HDMI 2.1 inputs.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

YAMAHA RX-V RECEIVERS – SPECIFICATIONS:

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


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

* Available via Firmware Update…

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

Google Play Movies Now Offers Movies in HDR10+

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


Google’s Movie Service, Play Movies, now offers movies in 4K and HDR10+ in 117 Countries. Samsung is a launch partner but additional platforms will follow.

Google Play Movies now offers movies in HDR10+
Google Play Movies Now Offers Movies in HDR10+

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Philips Launches its First 2020 OLED TVs With Android 9.0, DTS And Play-Fi.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TCL Launches Upgraded 6 Series 4K LCD TVs With miniLED and VRR.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Philips Debuts New 4K LCD TVs with Ambilight.

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


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

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

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

2020 LCD Models From Philips are Rolling out now in Europe.
2020 LCD Models From Philips are Rolling out now in Europe

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

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

Philips 2020 LCD TV Models.
Philips 2020 LCD TV Models.

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

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

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

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

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

Panasonic Launches New Flagship HZ2000 OLED TV for 2020.

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


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

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

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

Panasonic Launches New Flagship HZ2000 OLED TV for 2020.
Panasonic launches new flagship HZ2000 OLED TV for 2020.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Date: 29 Jul 2020 –
Written by: Rasmus Larsen


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

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

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

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

Sony 4K / 60fps and 4K / 120 fps TVs.
Sony 4K / 60fps and 4K / 120 fps TVs.

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

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

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

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

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

Sony released this graphic as part of its announcement.

Ready for PlayStation 5 Bravia HX90 TVs
Sony Ready for PlayStation 5 The Bravia HX90 TVs

Peacock Launches Without 4K, HDR and Dolby Atmos.

Date: 15 Jul 2020 –
Written by: Rasmus Larsen –

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

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

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

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

Peacock Launches Without 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos

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

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

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

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

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

Marantz Unveils its First Receivers with HDMI 2.1.

Date: 14 Jul 2020 –
Written by: Rasmus Larsen


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

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

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

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

Marantz Has Unveiled its first line of 8K Ready Receivers.

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

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

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

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

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

Date: 13 Jul 2020 –
Written by: Rasmus Larsen


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

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

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

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

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

AMD FreeSync Premium in LG 2020 TVs

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

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

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

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

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

Sony Launches X900H and XH90, its first 4K TVs with HDMI 2.1.

Date: 03 Jul 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen

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

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

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

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

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

The Sony X900H HDMI 2.1 TV.

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

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

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

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

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

tvOS 14 Enables YouTube 4K – iOS 14 Enables YouTube 4K HDR via VP9

Date: 25 Jun 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen

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

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

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

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

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


APPLE CAVES IN:
It is a strange turn of events and ultimately Apple has caved in. To be clear, Apple could have enabled Google’s VP9 on iOS / tvOS and macOS several years ago. That is why the news of YouTube 4K support led to speculation that Apple had instead started its transition to the newer AV1 codec, developed by the Alliance for Open Media of which both Apple and Google are founding members. But that does not seem to be the case – at least not yet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

LG Installs its First LED Cinema Screen

Date: 16 Jun 2020 –
Written by: Rasmus Larsen


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

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

LG LED Cinema Screen

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



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

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

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

Panasonic HZ980 OLED TVs Join 2020 Line-Up

Date: 15 Jun 2020 –
Written by: Rasmus Larsen


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

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

Panasonic HZ980 4K OLED TVs that will be part of its 2020 line-up for Europe.

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

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

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

Denon announces first HDMI 2.1 Receivers for 8K60, 4K120 Pass-Through.

Written by: Rasmus Larsen
Date: 05 Jun 2020

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

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

Denon 2020 AVR-X6700H AV Receiver

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

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

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

DENON 2020 AVR-X6700H – SPECIFICATIONS:

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

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

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

ENJOY YOUR FAVORITE IMMERSIVE 3D AUDIO: Enjoy immersive, 3D audio from sources like Dolby Atmos, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization, DTS:X, DTS Virtual:X™, DTS:X Pro and Auro-3D.

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

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

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

THE NEXT GENERATION IN MOVIE IMMERSION: With 8K/60Hz pass-through and upscaling, Dynamic HDR and Quick Media Switching (QMS), enjoy crystal clear and smoothest picture in the highest quality available.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ALL ZONE TV AUDIO:


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

BUILT-IN BLUETOOTH AND WI-FI WITH 2.4GHZ AND 5GHZ DUAL BAND SUPPORT:


Solid wireless network connectivity even in congested environments.

BLUETOOTH AUDIO TRANSMITTER:


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

AWARD-WINNING DENON GUIDED SETUP ASSISTANT AND GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACE:

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

SMART TV CONNECTIVITY:


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

AUDYSSEY MULTEQ XT32, DYNAMIC VOLUME, DYNAMIC EQ, LFC AND SUB EQ HT:

Delivers the ultimate equalization for your individual room including subwoofer EQ.

OVRC AND DOMOTZ PRO REMOTE SYSTEM MONITORING AND MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY AND RS232 CONTROL:

Lets custom integrators monitor and troubleshoot remotely, drastically reducing downtime.

CUSTOM INSTALL READY:

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

EQUIPPED WITH TWO 12V TRIGGER OUTPUTS:

Connect up to two other devices such as a cooling fan or projector and operate on standby power.

AMAZING AUDIO BUILT ON 110-YEARS OF INNOVATION:

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

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

First Dolby Vision Titles Appear in Google Play Movies

Date: 19 May 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen


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

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

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

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

Joker is Available in Dolby Vision in Google Play Movies.

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

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

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

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

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Panasonic 2020 LCD TVs Now Available

Date: 02 Jun 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen


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

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

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

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

Panasonic 2020 TV Line-Up HX900 and HX940

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

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

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

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

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Netflix Has Started Reverting Streaming Quality Back To Normal



Date: 13 May 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Samsung Upgrades 2020 TVs with Unmatched Video App Offerings

Written by: Editor –
Date: 31 May 2020


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

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

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

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

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

HBO Max is Live – Without 4K HDR

Date: 27 May 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen

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

HBO Max is Live:

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

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

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

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

HBO MAX IS LIVE WITHOUT 4K HDR

4K HDR is “part of the roadmap”

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

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

HBO Max – Supported TV Platforms:

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

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

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

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

PlayStation 4:
Xbox One:

Other Ways to Stream on your TV:

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

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

HDMI cable:
Connect your computer, phone, or tablet to your TV.

HBO Max Launching on May 27

Philips Hue Box Gains Support For Dolby Vision and HDR10+

Date: 29 May 2020

Written by: Rasmus Larsen

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

Philips Hue Sync Box updated

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

The latest update adds just that.

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

Not all devices are compatible:

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

Philips Hue Sync – Compatible Dolby Vision devices:

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

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

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

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

Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

Written by: Rasmus Larsen

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

Written by: Ben Schoon
Date: Apr. 22 2020

nvidia shield tv pro

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

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

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

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

Source: https://9to5google.com

HFR The One UHD Technology You Rarely Hear About

Date: 08 Apr 2020
Written by: Yoeri Geutskens

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

UHD or Ultra HD spatial resolution 4K or 8K.
HDR or High Dynamic Range.
WCG or Wide Color Gamut.
Deep color resolution.
HFR or High-Frame Rate.
NGA or Next-Generation Audio.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Samsung’s Onyx Cinema Led Direct View Display.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4K HFR GAMEPLAY ON A 2020 LG OLED TV.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Date: 08 Apr 2020
Written by: Yoeri Geutskens

Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

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

Date: 23 Mar 2020

Written by: Rasmus Larsen

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

Amazon, Disney+, Netflix & YouTube:

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

More than enough capacity:

Is it really necessary? Not at all, a leading internet expert told Decrypt after EU urged streaming services to act. – “That just tells me they don’t understand how the Internet works,” David Clark, senior research scientist at MIT, told Decrypt. Clark has been leading the development of the internet since the mid-1970s, according to his biography. He argues that it is a myth that the internet can reach a peak. For example, a corner of the internet in a local area may be experiencing congestion but “it is not a systemic failure”. Netflix and others are already automatically scaling down video quality in case of any congestion. – “It already does that automatically. You don’t have to tell them to. It just does it,” Clark added. His sentiment is being echoed by ISPs (internet service providers) in the UK, Nordics, and elsewhere. – “We have more than enough capacity in our UK broadband network to handle mass-scale homeworking,” Howard Watson, CTO of BT in the UK, told BBC. “Even if the same heavy data traffic that we see each evening were to run throughout the daytime, there is still enough capacity for work applications to run simultaneously.” – “We will NOT run out of bandwidth. Our broadband network is built for many times the data consumption that is being seen now,” Thomas Woldiderich, Branch Manager for telecommunications policy at the Danish Energy Association, wrote in response to the news. “Netflix’s action is most of all symbolism. The EU already has rules in place to deal with any potential pressure on networks.”

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YouTube and Amazon Prime Video join Netflix in cutting your Streaming Quality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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It’s a Terrible Time to Own a 4K TV as Netflix, Sky and YouTube make Radical Changes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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YouTube Reduce Streaming Quality to SD Resolution in Europe.

Date: 20 Mar 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Reuters

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4K VS 8K: Study Finds That Few Viewers Can See The Difference.

Date: 04 Mar 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen


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

4K TV VS 8K TV:

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

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

A comprehensive, double-blind study

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

In each session, the 4K and 8K versions of each clip were played in three sequences, though the sequences for each clip were not presented one immediately after another. In two of the sequences, the 4K and 8K versions were randomly assigned the labels “A” and “B” and played twice in an alternating manner—that is, A-B-A-B—after which the participants indicated which one looked better on a scoring form see Fig. 3. In the third sequence, the 4K version was played four times, though the participants still saw the labels “A” and “B” alternate and scored them as before. This provided a control group to assure more robust statistics, Techhive explained and added that each participant was evaluated for their visual acuity.

THE RESULTS:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Netflix Lowers Streaming Quality in Europe in Response to EU Request.

Date: 20 Mar 2020
Written by: Rasmus Larsen

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

REDUCED STREAMING QUALITY:

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

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

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

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

NOT SD RESOLUTION:

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

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

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

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

Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

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8K Is Making Progress Bit by Bit

Date: November 12, 2019

Written by: Thierry Fautier

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: https://www.harmonicinc.com

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The HDTV is Officially Dead

Date: 27 Feb 2020
Written by: Yoeri Geutskens

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

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

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

2019 $249 UHD TV

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

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

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

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


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

Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com

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What is Dolby Vision? The dynamic HDR format fully explained

Written By: Simon Cohen

Date: January 11, 2020

what is dolby vision hdr for tvs 2
DOLBY VISION

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

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

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

What is HDR?

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

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

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

So What’s so Special About Dolby Vision?

what is dolby vision hdr for tvs

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

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

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

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

What about HDR10+?

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

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

Which TVs support Dolby Vision?

tcl 65r617 press

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

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

What else do I need for Dolby Vision?

what is dolby vision hdr for tvs netflix

A Source of Dolby Vision Video:

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

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

A Dolby Vision Capable Device:

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

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

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

A FEW GOTCHAS:

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

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

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

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

What about Dolby Vision IQ?

dolby vision iq hdr tv light sensors ces 2020

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

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

Source: https://www.digitaltrends.com

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Super Bowl LIV will be broadcast in 4K HDR, but there’s a catch.

Written By Caleb Denison

Date: January 23, 2020

There may be thousands of hours of 4K and HDR content available to watch online from Netflix, Amazon, Apple TV, and Disney+, but folks still complain there’s no 4K content to watch on their new 4K TVs. As large as the cord-cutter club may be, the vast majority of Americans still get their TV programming from cable and satellite providers like DirecTV, Dish, and Comcast Xfinity, and most broadcasters don’t supply much (if any) 4K content to watch. That’s about to change.

For the first time, 4K TV-owning football fans the nation over will be able to enjoy the biggest game of the year with more detail, better contrast, and more realistic color. Fox Sports has announced Super Bowl LIV will be delivered in Ultra High Definition 4K HDR to a massive audience.

What’s more, I’ll be on the ground in Miami with a crew from Digital Trends to bring you all the behind-the-scenes action as crews buckle up to deliver their biggest broadcast ever.

Rich Shibley/Digital Trends

How can I watch Super Bowl LIV in 4K HDR?

In order to enjoy this year’s game with the best picture quality and sound, you’ll first need a 4K HDR TV. If you don’t already have a 4K HDR-capable set, the good news is that a new one doesn’t have to set you back a small fortune. We’ve got several 4K TV suggestions for under $500. With that said, if you spend a bit more, you’ll get even better picture quality.

With the right TV in place, you’ll need to choose how you’re going to get the 4K HDR program from Fox. The network has told Digital Trends that it will feed the signal to DirecTV, Dish Network, Comcast Xfinity X1, Altice Optimum, and Verizon FIOS. If you subscribe to one of these providers, you’ll need to make sure you have a subscription tier that gets you access to the 4K-capable channels that will carry the game.

If you’re not subscribed to one of those services, you’ll need to use a streaming app. Fox has told me that the FOX Sports, FOX NOW, and FuboTV apps will carry the game in 4K HDR. However, you’ll want to make sure that the streaming device you use to access those apps is 4K HDR capable.

If you have purchased a 4K HDR TV in the last few years, there’s a good chance it is a smart TV with apps built right in. For many folks, this is the easiest way to get the game in 4K HDR and the most likely to get you the best quality picture.

If you use a separate streaming box or stick, it seems your results may vary. Fox told me that, for now, the Amazon Fire TV 4K will deliver 4K HDR, while the Apple TV 4K will offer 4K SDR (standard dynamic range). I’ve reached out to Fox for confirmation on whether the Roku platform will be supported, and if so, whether the broadcast will be in HDR or SDR. I’ll update this article when I find out, but for now, I have to wonder if Roku players or Roku TVs will be supported at all. If not, that would leave many 4K TCL TV owners in the dust.

Source: Peter G. Aiken / Getty Images

Will it be that much better?

Those who are able to enjoy Super Bowl in 4K HDR or 4K SDR will enjoy a much-improved picture over prior years, though I will point out that those who get the HDR version will net the most benefit.

Technically speaking, FOX will produce the broadcast natively in 1080p at 60fps (frames per second) in HLG HDR, then upconvert the signal to 2160p (4K UHD) at 60fps with HLG. The fact that the game is being natively produced in 1080p is, alone, a pretty noteworthy factor as far as resolution is concerned, but the HDR mastering that will take place will likely make the biggest difference.

In the past, the best cable and satellite providers could deliver was a 720p/1080i signal. With the game being produced in 1080p, we’ve already taken a leap forward. That it will be professionally upconverted to and delivered in 4K just takes the upconversion work off the shoulders of our TVs.

If your TV doesn’t support HLG HDR (most do) or your streaming box or platform can’t deliver it, not to worry, you’ll still get a better picture than before. But if you can unlock HDR, expect more vibrant colors and much better contrast. The gleam of stadium lights off of helmets should be particularly spectacular, as will the subtle details in the darker shades of the action.

Professional sports broadcasting has always been a gateway to mass adoption in many different TV tech areas. Streaming TV didn’t really take off until pro sports were widely available. Now, with FOX providing Super Bowl LIV in 4K HDR, the floodgates may open, rushing in more and more ultra-high definition, high dynamic range content to feed our fancy new TVs the signal they have been crying out for.

Date: January 23, 2020

Written By Caleb Denison

Source: https://www.digitaltrends.com

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Disney+ announces additional European launch dates.

Date: 21 Jan 2020

Written by: Rasmus Larsen

Disney+ will now launch in the UK and other markets in Western Europe on March 24th, one week earlier than the March 31st release date that was originally announced. Pricing has also been officially confirmed as £5.99/€6.99 a month or £59.99/€69.99 a year. The service’s initial European roll out will cover the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland.

The news means that March 24th will be the first time much of Europe will be able to legally watch the original content that has debuted on Disney’s streaming service following its official launch in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and The Netherlands last year. These originals include the hit Star Wars TV show The Mandalorian, as well as High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, a live action version of Lady and the Tramp, and The World According to Jeff Goldblum. The service launched in de US and Canada last year.

The service’s UK pricing is the same as Netflix’s standard definition tier, however Disney+ is only offered at a single price with no additional features locked behind more expensive subscription plans. Variety notes that Disney’s service launched with almost 500 movies and 7,500 TV episodes across the company’s Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic brands.

After its initial March 24th launch, Disney says the streaming service will come to Belgium, the Nordics, and Portugal later in summer 2020.

Source: https://www.flatpanelshd.com