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System Integration for the Connected Home

TVs, Displays and Mounts

The SPUD Pop-Up Display

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SPUD monitorCustomers wanting display both large and portable might soon have a solution with the Spontaneous Pop-Up Display (SPUD)-- a collapsible projector-and-screen combo one can open and close like an umbrella.

When collapsed the SPUD is around the size of a large hardback book, and it opens into a 24-inch 720p display similar in look to a photography light dffuser, with the projector at the back of the unit. Connectivity comes through USB and HDMI, while the internal battery promises up to 3 hours of use on a single charge. Maximum brightness reaches 785 nits.

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IHS Predicts Rapid Growth for HDR TVs

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High Dynamic Range (HDR) TV shipments are to reach 4 million units in 2016 before growing to over 30m by 2020, IHS reports-- but the market for standard dynamic range (SDR) displays compatible with basic HDR formats will be four times as large.

IHS HDR TVs

Thus the analyst predicts nearly all the 112 million 4K TVs shipped in 2020 will be HDR-compatible, but only 30% will have "true" HDR performance capabilities. It also says global 4K TV demand should continue growing in 2016, even if overall TV shipments should decline "slightly," leading to concerns of lack of volume growth in the total market and continuous price erosion, particularly in categories such as 4K.

Technologies of the HDR variety promise to improve ASPs and profits, but only if the benefits of such technologies are communicated well to consumers.

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Sky Germany Details UHD Plans

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Sky Germany is to start 4K UHD broadcasts from 14 October 2016 with the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and Hertha BSC, viewable at higher resolutions for subscribers owning the Sky+ Pro STB.

Sky Germany UHDFollowing the 14 October match is the Bayer Leverkusen and Tottenham Hotspur Champions League match on 18 October. For viewers not interested in football the broadcaster will offer a number of films in 4K resolution on the Sky on Demand service, including Hotel Transylvania 2, The Walk, Salt and Evil Dead.

The STB downloads UHD movies overnight to HDD before access via the blue button on the remote.

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Google to Launch Chromecast Ultra?

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The Google event taking place on 4 October 2016 will surely see the search giant reveal a smartphone or two, but both Android Police and VentureBeat claim the company has another surprise in store-- a 4K-capable Chromecast.

Chromecast UltraReportedly dubbed the "Chromecast Ultra," the device will supposedly be sold alongside the current Chromecast dongle. Being 4K-capable the device carries more powerful hardware, allowing it to stream higher resolution content from mobile devices to HDMI-equipped displays. Android Police adds the 4K dongle was originally meant for a 2015 release, but the launch was scrapped for an unknown reason.

Interestingly, if one is to check the latest version of the Chromecast firmware (currently available in beta form to members of the Chromecast Preview program), the Chromecast logo appears no more in the software. Replacing it is the Google "G" logo, the same VentureBeat claims will adorn the Chromecast Ultra hardware.

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Samsung Showcases Quantum Dots at IFA 2016

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Samsung commits further to quantum dot technology at IFA 2016 as it announces the KS9800-- an 88-inch quantum dot SUHD TV the company claims is the largest in the world.

Samsung IFA 2016Capable of "the ultimate in picture quality and brilliance," the KS9800 is able to push up to 1 billion colours. It is actually just one of 19 SUHD TVs given a European launch at IFA 2016, available in sizes ranging from 43- to 88-inch and all produced in a cadmium-free manner using "the most stable and reliable display materials available anywhere."

In fact, Samsung is so confident in the reliability of quantum dots it offers a 10-year warranty covering against the effects of burn-in with all SUHD TVs featuring the technology.

Quantum dots also find use in PC monitors-- launched at IFA are the 34-inch CF791 and the CFG70, a curved monitor promising a 1 millisecond moving picture response time and 144Hz refresh rate.

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ITU’s New HDR-TV Standard

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ITU

ITU announces its new standard for High Dynamic Range TV.

ITU's Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) developed the standard in collaboration with experts from the television industry, broadcasting organizations and regulatory institutions in its Study Group 6.

"High Dynamic Range Television will bring a whole new viewing experience to audiences around the world," says ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao, welcoming the announcement. "TV programming will be enhanced with brighter pictures that add sparkle to entertainment and realism to news coverage."

"High Dynamic Range Television represents an important step towards the virtual-reality quality of experience to be delivered by future broadcasting and multimedia systems," notes François Rancy, Director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau.

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Salamander Designs Creates Low Profile Wall Cabinets

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Salamander cabinetSalamander Designs announces an addition to the Chameleon collection-- Low Profile Wall Cabinets, with 30cm depth allowing for easy concealing of AV electronics and wiring in a low profile cabinet.

Available in an array of styles, the floor-standing shallow depth cabinets are designed to be easily affixed to the rear wall for added safety and stability, particularly when using the optional integrated TV mount. Each cabinet is constructed on an extruded aluminium frame enabling easy customisation for just about every applications.

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