LG bring World’s first curved 4K OLED TV to the UK

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LG Electronics have announced the forthcoming arrival of what they’re calling the “World’s First Curved ULTRA HD 4K OLED TV in the UK”. Technically it’s going to be two TVs, a 77” and 65” model, both of which are due to go on sale from October.

Both models combine Ultra HD 4k (3840 x 2160 pixels) with LG’s proprietary WRGB OLED technology.  The mammoth 77” headline model is the recipient of the highly-prized Best of Innovations at CES 2014 and is reported to be the World’s largest screen of its kind.

The colour temperature of each pixel is automatically controlled by the LG Colour Refiner, resulting in superior consistency and balance.  For high resolution viewing options, the 77EC980V and 65EC970V are equipped with LG’s own True 4K Engine Pro, which can upscale SD, HD or Full HD content into near-4K picture quality.

LG are calling these TVs “future-proof” (we would hope so at this price!) as they able to decode broadcast signals in both H.264 and HEVC H.265 formats, at 30p or 60p. A built-in decoder also makes it possible to display ULTRA HD 4K content from external devices connected via the TV’s HDMI, USB or LAN ports.

Side view of the TV
Side view of the TV

The folks over at The Register were recently invited to check out the TVs at a press event in London.  Overall their first impression appears to be favourable, with the reviewer stating that vivid, faithful colours and image clarity aside, what you also get are great viewing angles regardless of whether it’s 4K or Full HD” but as he also points out: “[…]at these prices, that’s precisely what you’d expect. 

Putting aside their concerns of the over-used display model, the team at HDTVtest were also generally in praise of these latest TVs from LG stating that:

We’d seen a lot of the demo material previously on 4K LED LCDs, and while the resolution was the same on both, the impact generated by OLED display technology was in a different league.

Guide retail prices are £19,999 for the 77” and £5,999 for the 65” LG Curved ULTRA HD 4K OLED TVs. As mentioned before, both models are set to be available “from October”.

Samsung’s S9C (Curved OLED TV) Gets UK Launch

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Looks like a 55” Pringle, actually a telly. Say hello to the Samsung S9C.

The brand’s first ever curved OLED TV – and the world’s second ever curved OLED set, following LG’s 55EA980V – the S9C is already available in Korea, parts of Europe and the US. From September 5th, it will be available in the UK.

Perhaps the largest TV-shape revolution since widescreens emerged 15 years ago, the curved design takes the lead from IMAX technologies. Mirroring the natural curvature of your eye, the idea is the screen creates more depth, allowing for a more immersive, cinematic experience. Close your eyes and you can smell the popcorn. No wait, don’t close your eyes… You’re watching the TV.

Of course it’s not just about the striking design and screen shape, the S9C has loads to boast about… Being OLED, the pixels are self-emitting. There’s no need for backlighting or colour filters and the screen’s contrast ratio is top of the range, creating more true-to-life colouring and allowing absolute blacks to grace our screen for the first time (unless you have one of the aforementioned LG 55EA980Vs of course).

There’s more; the S9C is the very first TV to offer Multi View functionality. Ever been frustrated with your partner’s viewing choice and don’t want to wait to watch your chosen show or film later? Then you’re in luck; the 55” screen can be split to show two full HD screens!

Sound clash not included; just don the 3D glasses… They come complete with full stereo speakers, allowing you to tune into your own chosen content (3D or conventional HD) and completely ignore the viewer sitting beside you.

Naturally with this type of functionality the S9C is full smart-enabled with categories for on demand programs, movies, social networks, applications, photos, videos and music. There’s also a platform for hard and software updates. What’s most interesting about the smart functions is Samsung’s own S Recommendation feature. Exploring your viewing data, it makes suggestions on other content that suits your tastes and habits.

Samsung haven’t given any prices with their announcement but, based on prices elsewhere in the world, the S9C is rumoured to go for about £6500-7000. Steep? Possibly, but not over the top considering the technology at play, plus that it’s almost £1000 cheaper than its LG competitor.

Whether the curved revolution will truly take over the TV world remains to be seen; certain tech commentators have been quick to call the shape ‘gimmicky’ and have highlighted the fact that if you’re not sat directly in front of the screen the curve will actually detract from the experience. But at a cool 55” inches, there’s plenty of space to fit all of my family. And two screens to keep us happy, too.

Canon’s Latest Camcorders: Standing Out to be Outstanding

Canon-XA252

With even the cheapest compact cameras, digital SLRs and more recently wearable devices like the GoPro possessing high quality video recording potential, you may think the market for camcorders has somewhat deteriorated.

There is no longer much need to buy a specific video recording device, as even our smartphones and tablets have the ability to not only capture footage, but also edit the results. What used to be a job for the professional is now easily performed by almost anyone with the inclination.

Therefore, if you’re a camera manufacturer, it seems essential to either develop a device that possesses a multitude of capabilities, or produce a camcorder with unrivalled features and quality. One camcorder specialist in particular appears to be targeting both.

Expanding its range of handheld video cameras, Canon has unveiled three camcorders aimed specifically at a professional market. You can replace the word professional with rich if making movies is just a hobby or interest. From the high-end XA25 priced at £2099, to the £1699 XA20 and finally the most affordable LEGRIA HF G30 that costs £1299.

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All three camcorders have been developed using a brand new picture taking system, which concerns the lens as well as the image sensor and processor. The 20x zoom wide-angle lens featured on all models offers a 26.8-576mm focal range and has borrowed technology from Canon’s premium XF305 camcorder.

As you can imagine, these cameras look to cover all the basics and overcome the common stumbling blocks such as low-light performance and noise reduction.
In addition, an improved Optical Image Stabiliser (IS) system enhances picture quality on the move while an 8-blade circular aperture ensures any background blur is ‘beautiful’ according to Canon. I didn’t even realise this was possible, but even high-quality blur is important apparently.

In some respects, the additional technology and newly developed systems are arbitrary; as for the price you would expect exceptionally high quality images. The respective camera’s ease of use and additional intuitive features are therefore what matters when it comes to differentiating itself from competitors like Panasonic.

Canon-XA20

The XA25 and XA20 feature a removable handle, which can be added or taken away to suit the shooting situation. A new OLED touchscreen gives greater resolution and colour, allowing the user to control exposure as well as aperture, shutter speed, iris, gain and exposure with a customisable control dial.

One interesting additional feature is that each camera features integrated dual band Wi-Fi support (2.4GHz and 5GHz). This handy addition means the user can look at recorded footage on a smartphone or tablet browser without the need for playback software. You can also transfer footage to FTP servers at up to 150Mbps via a wireless access point and play back videos on a supported TV or computer. Even though you’re likely to use the camera for high-quality video, the possibility of uploading to YouTube or Facebook at bitrates of up to 24Mbps exists.

Therefore these cameras appeal exclusively to filmmaking professionals or highly dedicated and passionate amateur video producers. There is no doubting Canon’s ability to develop a camcorder that produces the best possible images, but its additional features and functionality is where it hopes to gain the upper hand.

LG takes viewing to another level with new OLED TV

LG has unveiled their new “Ultimate Display” OLED TV at Monaco’s Sale des Etoiles. Measuring an impressive 55-inches, the TV is the world’s largest and slimmest OLED TV, and LG officials have vowed that they will be the first company to make the sets available to European consumers in the second half of the year.

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Based on WRGB technology, LG’s latest product is the result of years of research. LG are no strangers to the OLED TV market – they released the first OLED set back in 2009. Their newest creation boasts a set of appealing specs and features, including LG’s 4-Colour Pixel technology, a Colour Refiner, Smart TV capabilities, and the company’s CINEMA 3D technology. The TV’s slim silhouette is thanks to carbon fibre reinforced plastics, which enabled the company to create a final product that has a thickness of only 4mm and weighs 10kg.

“In the history of television, there have been very few innovations as impactful as the coming of OLED TV. We say THE ULTIMATE DISPLAY because LG OLED TV is truly above all expectations and beyond everyone’s imagination with uncompromising picture quality and beautiful design. This year, we plan to make OLED synonymous with LG” said Havis Kwon, President and CEO of LG’s Home Entertainment Company.

OLEDs differ from LCD or LED displays by creating their own light, and so eliminating the need for any backlighting.

“With OLED TV leading our premium product line-up in Europe, we have a very strong case to become the number one TV brand in this region. Until that day, we will continue to develop the products that have made us the most innovative home entertainment company in the industry,” said Stanley Cho, head of LG’s Europe Operations.

The 55-inch OLED TV is just one of several new products released as part of LG’s summer range. With a focus on smart technology, LG are a competitive force in the TV market this year, and are reaffirming their place as a popular premium technology brand.

The House of the Future at Grand Designs Live

Back in the eighties we were often treated to visions of what the house of the future might look like. Opinions varied but normally seemed to revolve around skin tight jumpsuits, pills replacing food and, more often than not, rocket packs. By 2010, we were told, we’d all be taking weekend trips to the moon.

It was all very adventurous and looking back you can’t help but wonder if they were taking it entirely seriously? However, these days we know better. We don’t want jet packs or rocket ships or even laser guided bread knives. What we need is the same tech as today only very slightly better. And that’s exactly what you’ll find if you head to Grand Designs Live this May.

House-of-the-Future

The House of the Future Exhibition presented by Phillips promises to showcase the best the world has to offer in consumer domestic technology. There will be more gadgets than we could possibly hope to cover here, but let’s give it a go anyway.

The headline act looks set to be WiPower; the futuristic technology that promises to free us from the tyranny of plugs. Yes electricity has gone wireless. The boffins behind WiPower have been wowing audiences around the world with there cable free light bulbs. Now it is London’s turn and the results look to be truly amazing.

Elsewhere the emphasis is on intelligence. We have intelligent wardrobes, a smart oven that knows when to open and even an image conscious mirror that knows how to flatter its owner.

It comes from Phillips and makes use of the latest LED technology to shed a flattering light on even the most unappealing forms. The reflection panel is made up of lots of small Organic LEDs (OLEDs). As you pass in front these dim transforming them, for a brief moment into a mirror. The OLEDs that do stay lit subsequently bathe you in a warm and flattering light. So if you want to see yourself as you do, rather than the world does, this is for you.

Of course no house of the future would be complete without a few gadgets designed to deal with the coming environmental apocalypse. Global warming is on its way. Water in the future will be scarce. However, should the worst come to pass fear not. Electrolux will be showcasing a waterless washing machine that uses negative ions to wash nano coated clothes. All it does is lie on top of them and physics does the rest.

So there you have it. What a brave new world we’re getting into. So if you want a glimpse at what the future might bring head along to ExCel in Docklands, London, between May 1st and May 9th.