Tag Archives: Ultra High Definition TV

PTJ 124 News: The Long View

The Consumer Electronics Show has lumbered into Las Vegas for its annual Unveiling O’ the Gadgets. As suspected, lots of smarthome systems, fancy TVs and wearables are in the spotlight. We’ll have a full rundown of the show next week, but some bullet points include:

Netflix has long had its suggested videos area to help you find things to watch based on your viewing preferences, and now the streaming service is going to start anointing new television sets as worthy. (It was just four years ago at CES 2011 when Netflix announced some manufacturers were adding a Netflix button to their remote controls.) Roku is also one of the companies that will offer Netflix recommended models in its Roku TV line of sets, the latest of which will also support 4K Ultra HD streaming content.


ESPN is following HBO out into the world of untethered-to-a-cable subscription apps. The sports network will be among the channels available on the new Sling TV service from the DISH network.

Facebook has just acquired Wit.AI, a company that turns spoken words into instructions that robots can understand. Perhaps in the near future,  the Roomba will be able to handle your status updates as well…

Gogo, which provides inflight Internet services to many airlines, does not want its users to stream video and hog bandwidth enroute and has gone so far as to issue a fraudulent HTTPS certificate to anyone onboard who dares to visit YouTube during their flight. The company was busted by Adrienne Porter Felt, an engineer on the security squad for Google’s Chrome browser, and she even posted a screenshot to her Twitter feed of the fake certificate. Gogo’s chief technology officer Anand Chari then posted a statement on his company’s blog explaining Gogo’s actions. And so it goes.

Another week, another lawsuit against Apple. This time, two plaintiffs are suing the company because they say their 16-gigabyte iOS devices do not really come with 16 gigabytes of storage, and that the iOS 8 system takes up even more precious space. Apple had no comment.

For those who like to complain, the Federal Communications Commission has launched a new site called the Consumer Help Center. You can use it to file complaints about various FCC-regulated industries.


Yahoo Mail has updated its app for iOS and now it can track your packages for you. Here’s hoping the hackers don’t get ahold of this.

Behind every flop, there’ a story, and Fast Company has a very detailed long read about the development and fallout of Amazon’s failed Fire Phone. The site has an additional post about post-Fire Phone changes at Lab126, the quasi-secret R&D arm of Amazon that develops the company’s hardware.

The Internet Archive has now added more than 2,300 old MS-DOS games to its Software section. Duke Nukem 3D, Cannon Fodder 2 and Prince of Persia are among the early 1990s titles you can play with emulation software right in your browser.


And finally, 2015 marks the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope. To celebrate, NASA has released a new high-def version of the classic “Pillars of Creation” image from the Eagle Nebula that was originally photographed in 1995. Although the Hubble won’t last forever and eventually degrade, NASA has its successor: the James Webb Space Telescope is in the works and the agency hopes to launch it this decade — and there’s an eye in the sky that we don’t actually mind one bit.

Episode 42: False Starts and Tiny Antennas

They were created pre-Internet but are more popular than ever. J.D. gives us the lowdown on the ubiquitous animated GIF. In the news, NYC-based tech startup Aereo continues to ruffle the feathers of major television broadcasters; Sony announces cheaper and smaller Ultra HD TVs; Google removes thousands of apps from the Play Store; the U.S. Nave deploys the first laser weapon; and Facebook releases Home, their new front-end app for next generation Android devices.

Episode 36: Talking Apps and Malware Traps

If you’re too busy to get news headlines, weather updates or the latest social media posts from your friends, not to worry! J.D. introduces to some apps that will read them all for you. Sony announced its long awaited PS4 gaming-console this week and one feature captures El Kaisers attention: Ultra HD support. Pedro fills us in on the new video format in his Tech Term of the Week. In the news, Nasa’s Mars Rover drills into Martian soil for the first time; meteors rain down on Russia; Ubuntu gets into the tablet and smartphone business; Facebook contemplates autoplay video ads; and Apple gets hit by a virus attack.

King of All Gadget Gatherings

The Consumer Electronics Show, also known as CES, has been around since June 1967, when it was first held in New York City. It’s packed up and headed west for Las Vegas since then, but over the years, plenty of products first introduced at the show have come and gone (the VCR, the CD, HDTV, Microsoft Bob…)


So what about this year?

Try Ultra High Definition TV. Big pixels here – 3840 x 2160 — on big screens with prices that start around $12,000 and shoot way up north from there. Samsung showed off its 85-inch UN89S9 ultra high-def set that floats on its own massive easel. No price announced yet. Want something bigger? There’s The Westinghouse UltraHD 4K TV with 110-inch screen. After the massive price tags that will certainly get cheaper, getting content in native 4K resolutions is going to be the tough part – and storing it, as some experts are calculating that a movie in the full 4K resolution will need just under 10 terabytes of space to store. So we’ll see if UHD gets any more traction than 3D HDTV.

As for smartphones, Sony announced its upcoming Xperia Z LTE phone, due out in the first quarter of this year. It runs Android Jelly Bean, has a 5-inch 1080p screen, sports a 13-megapixel camera with HDR video and runs on a 1.5 gigahertz Qualcomm qua-core processor. It also comes with built-in protection of you get a case of the dropsies. The Xperia Z has anti-shatter glass on the front and back AND it’s water-resistant; Sony claims the phone can stay submerged for up to 30 minutes and still function. As the BBC calls it, it’s a bath-friendly phone.

But aside from big TVs, phones, tablets and the usual stuff we see at CES every year, there’s always the more offbeat gadgets at every show. The memorable oddities for 2013 include:

  • The Fitbit Flex band, a wearable wristband that monitors its wearer’s movement, sleep, and calories burned all day, every day.
  • The Hapilabs smart fork, also known as the Hapifork, is a Bluetooth-enabled eating utensil that that monitors the speed of your eating so you don’t gobble too fast and make yourself sick.
  • The Vuzix M100 Smart Glasses, a tiny screen that hangs out in front of your eye to provides visual access to your smartphone display, basic Web content and other info from your smartphone and applications.

Can’t get enough of CES news? Checkout the exhaustive coverage from CNET, The New York Times and Engadget for starters. And when you’ve had enough, kick back with a nice Elvis movie. It is, after all, the King’s birthday week.