Rumours have recently been spreading saying that Sony would be working on a 4K variation of their PS4. Sadly it would seem those rumours were overblown but you could soon be watching 4K Videos on demand with Sony offering its streaming service from April.
The 4K films featured as part of ‘Ultra’, their streaming service, will retail at $30, including a selection of special features and will be available through Sony’s new 4K screens. Alongside their new films, people will be able to upgrade films they’ve purchased from Sony’s online store 4K versions at a “discounted” price.
Those with Ultraviolet movies will be able to enjoy them alongside their new films with the ability to link to their UV collections meaning that all those UV codes you’ve been adding to that account may finally see some use.
With 4K players costing upwards of hundreds of powers on their own, $30 a movie doesn’t seem that bad when you compare the prices. The limited collection of movies that will include the likes of The Walk, Concussion and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, may put people off but with it building upon Ultraviolet and other systems people may decide to skip the discs altogether and stick to streaming 4K content in order enjoy the latest quality in movie experiences.
The Iron Giant is known as one of the all-time greats when it comes to animated films, with it receiving a digital remastering under the name of “signature edition” last year, with high-definition video and even two additional scenes. Come September you can own the collectors edition of the film and more.
For $14.97 you can own a Blu-ray copy of the signature edition of the film, including both the original and the remastered high-definition forms of the film. Included on the disk will be the documentary, The Giants Dream, a definitive look at the creation of the film.
Feel like you need even more awesome in your life? Go to $74.99 and the Ultimate Collectors Edition is yours, featuring not just the signature edition of the film, the documentary but also a hardcover art book but also collectible Mondo art cards, a letter from the director Brad Bird and to decorate their desks a 4-inch plastic statue of the Iron Giant itself!
With a bunch of other features including looks behind the creation of the film and an alternative opening, the film is there for anyone who wishes to see a classic or relive a dream. If you’re not one for collectors editions as well the film will be available in digital format for downloading, what more could you ask for?
When it comes to digital content, companies both love and hate the ease at which they and others can copy and distribute content, with everything from your favourite games to the latest movies being stored in memory smaller than your finger nail. In a move to help protect their content, companies are looking at new ways to stop people from copying their content. Documentation found by Wikileaks points that Sony may be looking to take Blu-Ray protection to a whole new level.
The Blu-Ray disc association is responsible for anything to do with the format, and it would seem that they are now working on an Advance Access Content System (AACS) which would feature not just advanced cryptography in hopes of preventing people from uploading your favourite movies online, but from version 2.0 in their Ultra HD collection would require an internet connection for the “enhanced” protection.
It should be noted that the internet connection is only required for the first time you play the disc on a select device, the idea being that it would download its “key” for later use to the hardware, acting as an authorization token for playing the movie. There are also notes regarding the Digital Bridge device, a device that creates “managed copies” of your favourite movies meaning you can place it on your phone or tablet and still be protected by AACS.
Warner Bros. and Intel subsidiary Digital Content Protection have filed a lawsuit against LegendSky, the creator of the HDFury series of devices that can be used to bypass HDCP 2.2 copy protection on 4K video content.
4K video content flooded torrent sites at the end of November last year, indicating that the copy protection on these materials – in this case, primarily ripped from Netflix and Amazon Prime Video – had been cracked. The lawsuit filed by Warner Bros. and Digital Content Protection indicates that HDFury gear could have been responsible for obtaining this 4K content. The two plaintiffs accuse LegendSky of being in breach of DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions and enabling copyright infringement.
“The HDFury Devices harm copyright owners like Warner Bros. because they enable Digital Content to be displayed without the protections of HDCP, thereby enabling users to access copyrighted works, make and/or distribute copies of copyrighted works […] all without the permission of the copyright owner,” Warner Bros.’ complaint, courtesy of TorrentFreak, reads. “The HDFury Devices harm DCP because, among other things, they undermine the effectiveness of HDCP, lower the value of HDCP, and thereby jeopardize DCP’s ability to license HDCP to Digital Device manufacturers and Digital Content owners.”
Standards change, we went from video tapes and floppy disks to Blu-rays and USB’s, all the while the video’s we watch became clearer and contained more features. The next standard to come out will be titled Ultra-HD Blu-ray, and is set to include 4K resolution, a term that many are saying is the next must-have piece of technology. Following on from the likes of Fox and Sony, Warner Bros have announced some of their first releases.
With the announcement that by the end of 2016 over 35 titles will be available on the new format, with even more titles available by “digital retailers”. The first available titles released by Warner Bros will be Mad Max: Fury Road, San Andreas, The Lego Movie and Pan.
In their statement, they continue to list some of the technological advantages that will come with the new format. These include Dolby Atmos, a new system which is set to surpass surround sound by offering the ability to ‘move’ sound around the room, placing its location anywhere in the room before watching as people turn their head to hear the jet fly overhead or the crash of a pan hitting the floor behind the middle row of seats in the cinema.
With the players for this new format expected to be announced at CES this week, are you looking to upgrade? Do you own a 4k screen already and if so would you recommend it to anyone?
Mad Catz didn’t just have a new mouse to present us today, they’re also ready with a new headset under the TRITTON brand. The new headset is called the Katana and it is a HD 7.1 Wireless headset, but it isn’t an ordinary one. The Katana is the world’s first headset to draw its audio signal directly through HDMI to deliver eight channels of uncompressed sound for pure high-definition audio quality. With near-universal compatibility across gaming consoles, PCs and smart devices, the Katana HD features state-of-the-art DTS Headphone:X audio technology that faithfully recreates the spatially accurate immersive sound experience from your favorite game.
The TRITTON Katana is the new flagship headset and comes with a flagship pricetag too. It can currently be pre-ordered for $249 and is expected to ship during December 2015.
The headset itself features 50 mm drivers and crystal clear interference-free chat through an omnidirectional boom mic. The earpieces feature intuitive controls to control your audio, mute the mic, tweak the volume or change the EQ settings. The drivers have a frequency response from 20Hz to 20kHz and the microphone has a frequency response from 20Hz to 5kHz.
Along with the Katana HD 7.1 Wireless Headset and the omnidirectional boom mic, you also get the heart of the operation, the headset nase station with a 1 meter long USB to Micro USB Power Cable. The HDMI pass through is truly a great idea and one that makes the setup a lot easier. No need to worry about multiple audio devices any more.
A 1 meter HDMI cable is also included as you’ll need one extra when using pass through than without. Mad Catz also added a USB to Micro USB headset play-and-charge cable that is 1.5m long and a 3.5mm to 3.5mm chat cable for Xbox One users. No matter what platform you’re using, you’ll be able to use the TRITTON Katana HD Wireless Headset.
Wireless Range: 33ft (10m)
HDMI with Full Pass-Through
Driver Size: 50mm
Headset Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
Microphone Frequency Response: 20Hz – 5kHz
Battery Type: Rechargeable Lithium-Ion
Battery Life: 20 Hours
The Katana headset is available in black and orange as well as white and orange version.
Marvel have been releasing film after film, bringing together TV series, online series, and movies to create a rich and diverse universe. Marvel have called each set of films they aim to release (normally ending with a big film containing several of their heroes) a phase. With Marvel phase 2 recently over, the limited collector set is now available for pre-order and it impresses.
The first phase was what started it all, with Iron Man (1 and 2), the Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America, all coming together in The Avengers as one of the biggest films ever seen before. As if this collection of amazing films wasn’t enough, they went further and created a collectors edition and we all know that nothing bad comes in collectors editions.
In this case, the Blu-ray’s (both 3D and 2D) came in sleeves that were hidden nicely within a metal case alongside Shield documentation on the Avengers Initiative. As if that wasn’t enough, the case also carried a replica Tesseract (Devices Of Ultimate Power supplied separately).
So why would we expect any less from the Phase 2 collection? With films like Iron Man 3, Captain America 2 and the second Thor film carrying on strongly from the first, while the Guardians of the Galaxy join the universe and Ant-man being the latest to join. This time, your collection is ordained with the orb from Guardians of the Galaxy.
Being a huge marvel fan I own several films, but you can’t help but appreciate the effort and style found in the collectors editions. Do you buy collectors editions? Are they not worth the difference in price? Voice your opinions in the comments.
CES 2016 is rapidly approaching and there’s no doubt that many of the leading technology manufacturers from all around the world will be there, showing off their latest wares. CES is no stranger to huge product launches and reveals, but without many hints at what we will actually see at the event, which is due to kick off in the first week of January next year, here’s a quick run down of what I’m hoping to see. Of course, these aren’t so much predictions, as wishful thinking, but I like to think I’ve been going to CES for long enough to make an educated guess of how things will go down.
Cheaper 4K Displays
This one is obvious, some of the first 4K displays in the world were first seen at CES, then the year after, we saw them finally dropping down below $1000 both in the home cinema and desktop display markets. Panel production is quickly ramping up and the hardware is becoming more consumer friendly by the day, with increasing levels of content and more so, 4K gaming capable PC hardware.
Ultra HD Blu-Ray Players
Ultra HD is coming, with the first prototype player being shown at CES 2015 and Computex 2015. The format officially launches in January and discs will be available at retail, so that means we need consumer ready players and CES is the perfect launch pad for them. Expect all the big names, Sony, Samsung, Panasonic and many others to have something ready to show off and bundle with their 4KTV ranges throughout 2016.
Oculus, Vive, PlayStation VR and about a dozen others are set to fully launch throughout 2016, so you can bet they’ll all have something to show. We’re nearing the end of the first wave of development for consumer VR and that means they’ve got one big show to say “we’re better at this than the other guy!” Personally, I’m thinking Oculus will be the front-runner, but Vive is certainly the strongest contender to take them down a few pegs.
Smart watches, clothes, shoes, glasses, the list goes on and on. There’s no doubt that the market is crammed with wearable tech right now, but for me, even the most recent wearable tech such as the Apple Watch and well, any smartwatch actually, has done little to excite me or make me feel compelled to reach for my credit card. This year, I’m hoping to see something really worthwhile in this part of the market. Lighter, faster, more features and longer battery life, that’s where this market needs to go.
Faster processors, more powerful graphics cards, new feature packed motherboards, innovative CPU coolers, kick-ass PC cases and so much more, this much is pretty much a given for any big technology event. What we will see will no doubt features dozens of amazing products and you can rest assured that we’ll be there in Las Vegas bringing you the latest.
What are you hoping to see revealed or launched at CES 2016?
More and more people are upgrading to a 4K capable TV or monitor these days, and with services like Netflix and Amazon Prime offering content, albeit a limited library, ready to stream 4K movies and TV shows, it’s easy to see why. The prices of 4K TVs and monitors have been falling steadily and it now makes perfect sense to go for 4K vs a standard HD set if you’re upgrading.
Of course, streaming isn’t a viable option for everyone, mostly due to bandwidth limitations. I personally don’t have fast enough internet for streaming in 4K, so disc based media is certainly the way to go. I’m also a bit of a movie and home cinema buff, so streamed content, with its limited bitrates, compression and more, are simply a deal breaker for me; although perhaps not so for everyone else.
Ultra HD Blu-Ray has been a long time coming, with the format only having been finalized this year and Samsung revealing the first consumer model player at IFA this month. All the major studios are behind the new format and have helped shape the standards for it, but when can we expect discs to hit the market?
The new format will offer up a greatly improved resolution, wide colour space, HDR, HFR and much more, helping future proof the discs for quite some time and providing formats that we now often see used in the cinema, right in your own living room. The first discs are now expected to launch in January, with many of the major studios and networks pushing the Ultra HD discs on the same day they release the HD Blu-Ray.
Thank you AVForums for providing us with this information.
The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) has announced that Ultra HD Blu-ray is ready, completing the specifications and releasing new logo (above). The new 3,840×2160 resolution format is expected for consumer release later this year.
“For years, Blu-ray Disc has set the standard for high-definition picture and audio quality in the home. Ultra HD Blu-ray will do the same for UHD home entertainment,” Victor Matsuda, chairman of the BDA Promotions Committee, said. “The technical capabilities of Blu-ray Disc, in particular its significant storage capacity and high data transfer rates, will enable the delivery of an unparalleled, consistent and repeatable UHD experience.”
As well as 4K resolutions, Ultra HD Blu-ray boasts high dynamic range (HDR) – delivered using BD HDR or other supported HDR formats, such as Dolby Vision – high frame rate, a wider colour gamut, and object-based immersive sound. Ultra HD Blu-ray players will be backwards-compatible with standard Blu-ray discs, so there’s no need to replace your entire TV and movie library immediately.
The first Ultra HD Blu-ray licences are scheduled for this Summer, and in the meantime the BDA will be working with industry leaders to test the format, making it ready for market later in the year.
Sony’s subscription game streaming service, PlayStation Now, is being introduced to the PlayStation 3 on May 12. The service went into open beta back in September, offering the option to rent individual games. With the new implementation, PS3 owners will soon be able to subscribe to the service for a monthly or quarterly fee. All of this information was announced by the PlayStation Now senior director Jack Buser via the PlayStation Blog earlier today.
With the new implementation, PS3 owners will soon be able to subscribe to the service for a monthly or quarterly fee. All of this information was announced by the PlayStation Now senior director Jack Buser via the PlayStation Blog earlier today. In this blog, it was also confirmed that 5 new games will be added to the library in May. These games will be: Fat Princess, F1 2014, Sanctum 2, Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce and Farming Simulator. With those additions, the library will now offer more than 120 titles to stream.
The service was officially launched earlier this year onto the PlayStation 4 and is now in open beta stages on PlayStation Vita, PlayStation TV, 2015 US Sony Blu-Ray players and selected 2014 Sony TV’s in US and Canada. The pricing is a little on the high side, $19.99 per month or $44.99 per quarter, but I’m sure if you like watchable and playable media; this will be a good service for you.
Do you already use this service? Let us know what you think in the comments.
Thank you to Polygon for providing us with this information
Netflix just reported its first quarter financial performance and shareholders sure have to be happy with the news that sent shares up more than 10%. The company reported that there were 2.3 million new domestic subscribers and 2.6 million non-domestic subscribers.
The company beat market expectations of $0.69 adjusted earnings per share on a revenue of $1.57 billion by having an adjusted earnings per share of $0.77, with GAAP profit per share of $0.38 on a revenue of $1.57 billion.
With streaming media becoming so prevalent, the huge gain in members is no surprise with more people finding the joys of on-demand entertainment. The fact that Netflix is producing some amazing high-quality original programming is probably responsible for some of the new subscribers, but really it is just icing on the cake. In case you forgot that Netflix still has a DVD and Blu-ray by mail option it is interesting to see that it only accounted for $85 million during the same time, showing the sheer dominance of streaming media. Netflix had negative cash flow in the same period due to its “growing original content investment” though they still have $3 billion in cash and equivalents. Worth noting is that the revenue is weaker thanks to the increasing power of the US dollar, reducing international revenue by $48 million using 2014 exchange rates.
Thank you Tech Crunch for providing us with this information
You can purchase the Star Wars Digital Movie Collection on Friday April 10th from retailers such as Vudu, Xbox, Google Play, iTunes, Amazon, as well as others. Digital copies of the movies will be available for your streaming pleasure this weekend.
With more and more people watching movies without being tied to physical media, this move comes as not surprise though many out there still prefer to have a physical copy of the media. There will be new features included with the collection to entice people into the purchase. There will be a “Discoveries from the Inside” featurette for each movie, and so-called “Conversations” between key contributors. No word on pricing as of yet but Vudu is taking pre-orders for $90 which is the same as the Blu-Ray set.
ASUS, humble motherboard makers have now delved into the mini PC segment. This can only be a good thing, as ASUS know how to make the motherboards, maybe it can produce an extremely compact system from the vast company knowledge. We saw one regular (boring) looking mini PC, the VIVO mini, this could sit happily behind your TV without a fuss. The next was a Chromebox, a little more of a funky design with the power button on the corner, but still nothing too spectacular here. Then we move onto the ROG not-so-mini, mini PC. This little beast is something you want to shout about. Okay it only has a GTX 750Ti for the time being, but it’s only a matter of time before ASUS figure out how to squeeze a GTX 970 ITX graphics card into it. This is a serious bit of kit, with a serious ~£800 price tag. A little over priced for what it is, but innovation has to start somewhere right?
Along with the more consumer-friendly mini PC’s, we also saw ASUS keep things simple, displaying a small range of external Blu-Ray and DVD writers. It’s good to see a huge company keep the old technology users in the loop; maybe they don’t want to go digital just yet.
We look forward to seeing what else ASUS has to offer, maybe they do have a more powerful ROG gaming mini PC coming up, but it just wasn’t ready for the show?. Any news or updates from ASUS, we will keep you updated.
Addonics Technologies announced their new Sapphire Combo Blu-ray/HDD and Sapphire Combo DVD-RW/HDD external enclosures that combine optical and hard drive storage into one small package with one connection.
The new enclosures are perfect for use where only a single eSATA or USB 3.0 connection is available, and it would be equally great during reinitialization of systems.
The Blu-ray model is equipped with a Blu-ray player/DVD burner while the DVD model is equipped with a DVD burner. Both models will allow you to play movies or access data stored on all popular optical media and allow you to burn video or data onto optical discs. The integrated Snap-In Mobile Rack that allows any 3.5-inch SATA hard drive to be conveniently added or removed.
An added bonus is the AES 256-bit encryption trough the optional Addonics CipherUSB where no extra configuration of software is needed. Once encrypted, the information on the disc will be invisible in any ordinary Blu-ray or DVD/CD player.
The MSRP for the Blu-ray model is $269.00 while the DVD model is fairly cheaper at just $189.00.
Thanks to Addonics for providing us with this information
Who knew that home release copies of Jackie Chan’s Police Story 3: Super Cop would be used to save the environment? Researchers at Northwestern University, apparently. They discovered the azure nanoscopic pattern on Blu-ray discs can be implemented to improve the efficiency of solar panels.
The team bought up several copies of Police Story 3 (on sale at Best Buy, at the time), pressed plastic stamps out of the data side of the Blu-ray discs. The stamps were used to manufacture solar panels with the exact same pattern as the Blu-ray disc. After comparing numerous different pattern-pressed solar panels over the course of a few months, the researchers concluded that the Blu-ray patterns were the most efficient, by an impressive 20%.
You don’t have to be a big fan of the Star Wars franchise to know that many fans got fed up when George Lucas started making adjustments to the originals, detracting from the little details that people loved about the original movies. Rumors are kicking around this week with the prospect of an “original” cut making it to Blu-ray, which is no doubt something that would excite the long-standing fan base of the movies.
The only issue we know of here is that Disney do not own the rights to the original cuts of the movie, these are still owned by Fox.
Fox owns distribution rights to the original Star Wars, No. 4 in the series, in perpetuity in all media worldwide. And as for the five subsequent movies, Fox has theatrical, nontheatrical, and home video rights worldwide through May 2020.
In fact there are a lot of hurdles on this one, Lucas himself has already said he wasn’t keen on the idea in the past, so many different business deals would have to go right and of course it will likely result in a product that hardcore fans still aren’t happy with. With a bit of luck, this one will see the light of day, but don’t hold your breath.
Thank you i09 for providing us with this information.
Good news is on the horizon for Xbox One users this August. All Xbox One systems will be getting an update that will allow them to playback high-definition content through 3D Blu-ray discs, putting the console one step ahead of the rival Playstation 4 in the never-ending war between Microsoft and Sony.
In addition to the new support for 3D movies, the update which will be available to download towards the end of August will also include a couple of other nifty features, which Microsoft hope will make the entertainment experience better still. These extras include a low battery notification on-screen for your controller to work alongside the existing visual warning on the controller, more possibilities for interaction with your friends from the home page and more importantly the ability to purchase games and DLC from your phone – no matter where you are.
Although there is the ability to purchase games, apps and DLC through the Xbox Live website, in the same way you can with the Xbox 360, the move to the mobile platform fits in with our connected lifestyles and like many of the other update features, it aims to put more selling points on the Xbox One’s already large list versus the Playstation 4.
Pioneer have been hard at work developing a new media based on the current Blu-ray standard. This new format is still effectively a Blu-ray, but has a staggering 256GB of unformatted capacity at its disposal. This is achieved by staggering eight layers, doubt the number of layers used in the Blu-ray XL format, which can only support 100GB at maximum capacity.
256GB is very impressive for the Blu-ray standard, but Pioneer say they’ve already made progress towards a 512GB edition. Both of these new formats, if they make it to market, would prove incredibly useful as backup discs, giving us a quick way to mirror devices such as SSD hard drives for a cheap and removable backup. They also have big implications for 4K video, given that currently the Blu-ray format doesn’t have the capacity to hold 4K video formats, at least not at the length of a feature film.
Sony and Panasonic have created 300GB discs of their own, but they required new hardware that wasn’t in keeping with the Blu-ray format. Pioneer’s disc will still require new drives, but because it sticks with the existing standard for Blu-ray, it will be much cheaper for optical drive makers to adopt, which would then be reflected in a more reasonable retail price.
Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.
Arctic were formally known as Arctic Cooling and for a very good reason, as their main focus was of course; cooling. They have now developed the company into much more and offer a vast product lineup of sorts to the consumer who believe value is a major aspect of any purchase.
As of late, Arctic have started to develop audio products including headphones and headsets and with a big focus being on the home entertainment market in general. With this in mind, they have created their very own entertainment centre, known as the MC001 series. Within this series is an array of different variants including the MC001-DVDs which incorporates a SSD as the main storage drive and DVD burner, though today we are looking at something a bit different.
The MC001-BD is the same device but with a few subtle differences. Instead of including a SSD, Arctic have plumped for a large 500GB 7200RPM 16MB cache mechanical hard drive and a 4x Blu-Ray player for those wanting to watch HD content. Also included on the model we have today is a DVB-T tuner for watching live TV whenever you want.
Unlike other devices on the market, this is not just an entertainment or media centre but is a fully fledged desktop PC with Windows 7 Home Premium bundled on it, so that you can do work, surf the web or use it as its main purpose, being a media/entertainment centre.
With a sleek and slim design, the unit is designed to seamlessly integrate with your home theatre television arrangement with a style that matches, but can it offer an affordable solution to a DIY home-built system in a HTPC chassis?
Sapphire have always been regarded as one of the key partners for AMD based products, especially in the UK, as some regard them as the biggest AMD partner when it comes to graphics card products. Over the years they have decided to move into other segments in the computer market and today sees us delving into that area as we aren’t looking at a graphics card from Sapphire, or even their new ventured market of motherboards which happen to be made for the Intel and AMD platforms but instead we look at another Intel based product from the market leader.
Sapphire delved into the nettop market at the start of 2011 with the release of the Edge HD mini PC which offered up a simple ATOM/ION based solution in a small form factor with a wealth of connectivity options. There was sadly a few things that let the mini PC down and it mainly came down to the hardware used inside. Whilst it offered up a high-end ATOM/ION combination at the time, it was still a bit behind in terms of playing HD content to the fullest and Sapphire knew this too.
Moving forward to the present day and we see the Edge HD2 being released with slightly improved features, current hardware and also comes with the choice of having a bundled version of Windows 7 as standard. The original Edge mini PC gave us an ample Intel Atom D510 CPU running at 1.66GHz, 2GB DDR2 and a 2.5″ 250GB hard drive and whilst these are impressive considering the size that the Edge came in at at 19.3×14.8×2.2cm at 530 grams, Sapphire felt they could offer something slightly more impressive.
The Edge HD2 works off of the success of its predecessor but gives users a slightly improved set of specifications with a D525 1.8GHz Atom CPU, 2GB DDR2 800MHz, 2.5″ 320GB HDD and still utilising the nVidia ION2 graphics to give a perfect fully featured system in a small form factor that is smaller than most router and access point solutions and did we mention that it also comes with VESA mount capabilities?