Samsung unveils new remote with Siri-like voice controls and touch support

By on February 7, 2012 at 1:40 PM.

Samsung unveils new remote with Siri-like voice controls and touch support

Samsung has developed a new universal remote control for its televisions and home theater accessories that ditches dozens of buttons in favor of Siri-like voice command support and a touch pad. As Apple reportedly readies an assault on the TV industry, established vendors such as Sony, LG and Samsung looked to cut the Cupertino-based firm off at the pass during this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. All the big names at this year’s show added voice controls and gesture support to their flagship HDTVs, and now Samsung has taken the wraps off its new voice-controlled universal remote, Nikkei’s Tech-On blog reports. The device allows users to speak commands in many cases rather than typing on a keyboard or pressing buttons, and it uses a combination of Bluetooth and infrared connectivity to improve reliability. While Samsung hasn’t yet stated exactly which devices will be compatible with its new remote, it did say TVs, set-top boxes, Blu-ray players and other accessories will be supported. More →

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Apple’s Siri-enabled iTV already being tested by potential partners, report claims

By on February 7, 2012 at 7:30 AM.

Apple’s Siri-enabled iTV already being tested by potential partners, report claims

Prototypes of Apple’s upcoming HDTV are already being tested by multiple potential carrier partners Apple is trying to woo, The Globe and Mail reports. The Canadian paper calls the iTV “a product that has the potential to revolutionize TV viewing by turning conventional televisions into gigantic iPads,” and claims at least two Canadian carriers are currently testing the Apple television in their labs. Apple’s forthcoming iTV can be controlled using voice commands or by making gestures in the air, and it supports Web browsing as well according to the report. Apple is said to be in talks with Canadian carriers Rogers and BCE regarding potential broadcast partnerships in Canada, though the content and terms Apple is seeking are unclear. Apple is expected to launch an iOS-powered HDTV later this year that will replace the conventional remote control with voice commands interpreted by Siri. The iTV may also offer a customized channel subscription model and iOS app support according to earlier rumors. More →

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Apple may partner with Verizon, AT&T and others for iTV content

By on February 6, 2012 at 3:15 PM.

Apple may partner with Verizon, AT&T and others for iTV content

Apple will launch its own HDTV called the “iTV,” analyst Peter Misek of Jefferies & Company said on Monday. We’ve written dozens of reports on Apple’s alleged upcoming HDTV, and most speculate that the device will run a version of iOS along with the company’s Siri voice engine that will remove the need for a traditional remote control. Misek also said that Apple is in talks to partner with carriers such as Verizon Wireless and AT&T for access to exclusive and non-exclusive content, Bloomberg reported on Monday. Best Buy recently leaked possible details on the iTV and the retailer’s survey suggested the device will have a 42-inch display and a $1,499 price tag. The TV could launch near the middle of this year, although a recent report suggested that the television’s launch might be pushed back due to limited display availability. More →

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Best Buy leaks possible Apple iTV details; 42-inch display, $1,499 price tag

By on February 6, 2012 at 12:29 PM.

Best Buy leaks possible Apple iTV details; 42-inch display, $1,499 price tag

Best Buy has reportedly been testing the waters for a possible “iTV” offering from Apple. According to The Verge, the retail giant has been circulating a customer survey that provides some very specific details about an Apple HDTV to gauge consumer interest. Here are the details:

  • 42-inch 1080 LED display
  • Runs iOS
  • App Store functionality
  • iCloud for access to all your music, TV shows, movies, photos, and videos
  • iPhone and iPad as a remote control with AirPlay to push content from your devices to the TV
  • Built-in FaceTime camera and microphone (we’d imagine Siri, as well)
  • Netflix, YouTube, Flickr support
  • $1,499 price

This list, while detailed, could be easily have been put together by anyone familiar with Apple’s current Apple TV product, though the 42-inch display size and price of $1,499 could be solid indications of what we can expect from Apple. The Cupertino-based company is rumored to be preparing to launch its first HDTV featuring iOS and Siri later this year. More →

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Apple’s iTV launch reportedly hampered by display availability

By on February 3, 2012 at 9:05 AM.

Apple’s iTV launch reportedly hampered by display availability

Apple has been widely rumored to be readying a Siri-enabled television for release this year, but a new report claims component availability issues will prevent the highly anticipated “iTV” from launching in the first half. Citing unnamed sources within Apple’s supply chain, DigiTimes on Friday reports that Sharp, rumored to have been contracted to supply display panels for Apple’s debut HDTV, is not yet ready to ship the indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) panels Apple will use in its iTV. According to the site’s sources, upcoming HDTV models from Samsung and LG will occupy much of the OLED panel capacity during the first half, so Apple has chosen to instead utilize IGZO panels. Sharp is reportedly not yet ready to mass produce its latest IGZO panels, however, and Apple’s iTV launch may have been pushed to the second half as a result. Apple’s iOS-powered iTV will reportedly support apps and feature voice controls powered by Siri as well as access to on-demand content through iTunes. More →

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Apple iTV, iPhone 5 and new MacBook Air cast a ‘dark shadow over CES’

By on January 17, 2012 at 1:20 PM.

Apple iTV, iPhone 5 and new MacBook Air cast a ‘dark shadow over CES’

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show had record attendance and a number of terrific products unveiled during various CES press conferences should make waves when they hit the market later this year. A dark cloud loomed over the show, however, and the staggering number of ultra-slim notebook PCs and voice-controlled HDTVs on display in Las Vegas last week made it clear that companies are gearing up to do battle with one competitor in particular. Read on for more. More →

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CES 2012 recap: New TV tech excites, tablets are toast

By on January 13, 2012 at 3:31 PM.

CES 2012 recap: New TV tech excites, tablets are toast

The Consumer Electronics Show is one of the biggest technology trade shows in the world, and this year’s CES was as big as it has ever been. It was estimated that between 140,000 and 150,000 people attended the show in Las Vegas this week — CES’s record stands at 149,529, achieved last year — and the show was as busy as we’ve ever seen it. Hundreds of companies touted thousands of gadgets and all of the big names were there showing off their upcoming wares. As is always the case, however, a few products managed to outshine the rest. Here, we provide a quick rundown of our favorite tech from CES 2012. More →

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LG CES 2012 booth tour

By on January 12, 2012 at 11:05 AM.

LG CES 2012 booth tour

Samsung and Sony each brought their A-game to the Consumer Electronics Show this year when it comes to high-end HDTVs. If there was one other brand that could easily give these tech giants a run for their money though, it was LG. The South Korea-based company had a handfull of other devices to show off at CES 2012, but televisions took center stage in the firm’s booth and sets on display ranged from entry-level offerings to high-end stunners that were absolutely beautiful. Of all the TVs LG had on display at CES, our clear favorite — it’s not even close, really — was the company’s new 55-inch OLED model. The gorgeous panel on this HDTV gives Samsung’s Super OLED displays a run for their money, and we would be hard pressed to say which screen produces deeper blacks and more vivid colors. No pricing has been announced and we’re sure this set will cost a pretty penny, but it could very well find its way to BGR headquarters once it hits the market. Pictures can hardly do LG’s new OLED HDTV justice, but several photos can be found in our LG booth tour, which follows below.

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Samsung CES 2012 booth tour

By on January 11, 2012 at 6:50 PM.

Samsung CES 2012 booth tour

There is no clear cut winner or loser at the Consumer Electronics Show but if there was, Samsung would easily be a top contender for the crown. The South Korea-based consumer electronics giant came to CES 2012 with guns blazing, showing off everything from new televisions, ultrabooks and smartphones to a revolutionary new washing machine. Yes, a washing machine. Samsung had a gigantic booth packed to the brim with cutting-edge tech, but the stars of this year’s show in our eyes were Samsung’s new Super OLED HDTVs. The only word that can possibly describe them is gorgeous. They’re unbelievably slim, incredibly bright, and they produce colors unlike anything we’ve seen on a TV before… but we’ll let the pictures do the talking. Our CES 2012 booth tour featuring Samsung follows below.

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Live from LG’s CES 2012 press conference

By on January 9, 2012 at 11:06 AM.

Live from LG’s CES 2012 press conference

The Consumer Electronics show is always a massive event for the home entertainment industry, and 2012 is shaping up to be the biggest year yet. Hundreds of companies will showcase thousands of products, but among the companies that managed to generate some real buzz ahead of the show, LG really looks like it has some gems on its hands this year. The company previewed its new nearly borderless 55-inch OLED HDTV last week and it has a few Cinema Screen 3D models with just a 1-millimeter bezel surrounding its gorgeous display panels. LG surely has plenty more gear in store for us — including at least one smartphone and next-generation Google TV devices — so hit the break to watch all the action unfold in our live coverage. More →

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Apple’s iTV could offer dynamic backlighting for improved picture quality

By on January 5, 2012 at 7:05 PM.

Apple’s iTV could offer dynamic backlighting for improved picture quality

Apple recently filed for a patent called “Dynamic Backlight Adaptation for Black Bars with Subtitles” that may be used to provide improved picture quality in its rumored HDTV. Apple explained in the patent application that the black bars above and below video on widescreen televisions can make it tough for a television panel to display blacks properly. “These non-picture portions complicate the analysis of the brightness of the video images, and therefore can create problems when determining the trade-off between the brightness of the video signals and the intensity setting of the light source,” Apple said in the patent. “Moreover, these non-picture portions can also produce visual artifacts, which can degrade the overall user experience.” Apple’s solution would be to dynamically change the backlighting. Read on for more. More →

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Apple prepping 42-inch and 50-inch iTV models as talks with TV industry stall, report claims

By on January 4, 2012 at 11:55 AM.

Apple prepping 42-inch and 50-inch iTV models as talks with TV industry stall, report claims

Apple’s design boss Jonathan Ive is reportedly hard at work on two models of Apple’s upcoming “iTV,” a new report claimed on Wednesday. Earlier rumors suggested that Apple is preparing to launch 32 and 37-inch HDTVs this summer, but USA Today cites an anonymous former Apple employee in stating Apple is prepping a 42-inch model and a 50-inch model. The report also reaffirms a number of previously reported iTV features such as Siri-powered controls, iOS app support, AirPlay, iCloud support and deep iTunes integration. USA Today also notes that stalled negotiations with content providers within the TV industry are a “major roadblock” for Apple. A la carte availability of top-tier TV shows is said to be a key to the success of Apple’s HDTV, but Apple has reportedly been unable to secure the licensing agreements it would need to offer content using its desired distribution model. “I do expect Apple to make an attempt, since I expect the living room to remain a center for family entertainment, and that touches on all areas of consumer products that Apple is already making,” Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak told USA Today. More →

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Ticonderoga: iTV, ‘iPad mini’ and iPhone 5 with NFC and 4G extend Apple’s lead in 2012

By on January 3, 2012 at 10:20 AM.

Ticonderoga: iTV, ‘iPad mini’ and iPhone 5 with NFC and 4G extend Apple’s lead in 2012

Apple will further extend its lead in the technology sector this year as it launches a number of new products that will leave its competition scrambling, a new report suggested on Tuesday. Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White made Apple his top pick in 2011 and the stock was his top performer, having grown 26% during his coverage. In 2012, Apple remains White’s top stock pick as a trio of new products is set to extend Apple’s lead in the new year. Read on for more. More →

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