Apple Announces New Apple TV 4K Device With High-Frame-Rate HDR and Dolby Vision

Apple April 20 announced the next generation of Apple TV 4K, delivering high frame rate HDR with Dolby Vision.

The new Apple TV 4K features an A12 Bionic chip that provides a significant boost in graphics performance, video decoding and audio processing, according to Apple. The Siri Remote also has a new design.

The new Apple TV 4K will be available starting at $179 (U.S.) from apple.com, in the Apple Store app, and at Apple Store locations. Apple TV 4K is also available through Apple Authorized Resellers and select pay TV providers.

Customers can order the new Apple TV 4K beginning April 30, with availability beginning in the second half of May in more than 30 countries and regions, including the United States. Apple TV HD with the new Siri Remote will be available for $149. The new Siri Remote will be available separately for $59, and is compatible with the previous-generation Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD.

“Apple TV 4K is in a category of its own, leveraging a deep integration of Apple hardware, software, and services that delivers a massive upgrade to any TV for the very best cinematic experience,” Bob Borchers, Apple’s VP of worldwide product marketing, said in a statement. “With the A12 Bionic and the all-new Siri Remote, Apple TV 4K lets customers enjoy their favorite shows, movies, and more in the highest quality, with simple and intuitive controls. And of course, Apple TV 4K offers easy access to Apple services, along with thousands of apps on the App Store for even more entertainment options.”

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With A12 Bionic, Apple TV 4K now supports high frame rate HDR (high dynamic range) and Dolby Vision video, enabling fast-moving action at 60 frames per second (fps) to play more smoothly and appear more lifelike, according to the Apple announcement. Apple is working with leading video providers around the world, including Fox Sports, NBCUniversal, Paramount+, Red Bull TV and Canal+, as they begin to stream in high-frame-rate HDR. With high-frame-rate support in AirPlay, videos shot on iPhone 12 Pro can be displayed in full 60-fps Dolby Vision on the new Apple TV 4K.

Through a new color balance process, Apple TV works with iPhone and its advanced sensors to improve a television’s picture quality, according to the announcement. Apple TV uses the light sensor in the iPhone to compare the color balance to the industry-standard specifications used by cinematographers worldwide. Using this data, Apple TV automatically tailors its video output to deliver much more accurate colors and improved contrast — without customers ever having to adjust their television settings, according to Apple.

The new Siri remote for Apple TV

The new Siri Remote features a clickpad control that offers five-way navigation for better accuracy and is also touch-enabled for fast directional swipes. The outer ring of the clickpad supports a circular gesture that turns it into a jog control, which can be used for finding a scene in a movie or show. The new Siri Remote also has a power button that controls a TV’s power and another for mute to eliminate the need for other remots. Using Siri, customers can search for specific shows or movies, control smart home accessories, check sports scores or the weather and more, according to Apple. Siri now works on Apple TV in Austria, Ireland, and New Zealand, joining the 13 countries and regions that already support Siri.

Apple TV 4K runs tvOS. AirPlay on Apple TV 4K lets customers effortlessly share videos, school projects and other content from their iPhone, iPad or Mac directly to the TV. Videos shot on iPhone 12 Pro can be displayed in full 60-fps Dolby Vision with high frame rate support in AirPlay. Apple TV 4K can be used as a home hub to control HomeKit accessories, and allows customers to view HomeKit video cameras and doorbell notifications on the television screen. With multiuser support on Apple TV 4K, family members can see personalized recommendations for shows, movies and music, access their purchased apps in the App Store, or play games on Apple Arcade.

For the first time, AppleCare+ will be available for Apple TV, providing three years of technical support and additional hardware coverage, including up to two incidents of accidental damage protection every 12 months.

Kaleidescape, Sony Mount Joint Promotion

Kaleidescape, designer and manufacturer of home movie servers and players, has mounted a joint promotion with Sony Electronics offering a $3,000 discount to customers purchasing a Kaleidescape system alongside one of four Sony projectors: VPL-GTZ380, VPL-VW5000ES, VPL-VW995ES or VPL-VW915ES.

“This joint promotion with Kaleidescape underscores our unwavering commitment to provide the finest in 4K HDR entertainment,” Jeff Goldstein, head of custom integrator channel sales at Sony Electronics, said in a statement. “Besides being an incredible deal, this incentive ensures that our customers will get the very best from their premium Sony projector.”

Kaleidescape delivers reference-quality 4K HDR movies at the source, optimizing for the highest resolution, dynamic range and contrast capabilities of Sony’s high-end projectors, according to a company press release. With more than 12,000 movies and shows to choose from within its interface, Kaleidescape employs proprietary metadata to adjust Sony’s projectors to display every movie in native aspect ratio.

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“Sony is synonymous with 4K innovation and shares Kaleidescape’s vision for delivering the finest picture and sound quality,” Kaleidescape CEO Tayloe Stansbury said in a statement. “When you combine Sony’s finest projectors with Kaleidescape’s exceptional products, like the newly released Terra movie server with 48TB storage, the result is a 4K HDR experience you can’t take your eyes off.”

A streaming device cannot maximize a high-end projector’s innovative capabilities and stops short of delivering the best possible viewing experience, according to the press release. In contrast, a Kaleidescape system is designed to play 4K HDR movies with a video bitrate four times higher while reproducing lossless audio at up to 10 times higher than any streaming device.

YouTube TV Bows 4K Content, Will Launch Mobile Phone Video Tool to Compete With TikTok

Online TV platform YouTube TV has 3 million subscribers, 85 channels and access to the MLB World Series and the NFL, among other high-profile events. Now, the Google-owned platform is offering subs access to 4K content (4K HD TV required), offline content, and unlimited concurrent streams at home so the whole family can stream on different screens at once.

YouTube TV now supports a combination of SD, HD, 4K, VR, HDR and live video, as well as DVR on nearly every device with an Internet connection — from desktops to mobile, and gaming consoles to VR headsets.

“While the majority of YouTube videos are watched on mobile, our fastest area of growth is the TV,” Neal Mohan, chief product officer for YouTube, wrote in a blog post. “Later this year, we’ll launch a redesign of the YouTube VR app homepage to improve navigation, accessibility and search functionality.”

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Separately, Google in March will roll out YouTube Shorts, a mobile phone-centric platform that aims to compete with TikTok, enabling creators and artists to shoot snappy videos. Currently, Shorts is available in beta in India. Since the beginning of December, the number of Indian channels using Shorts creation tools has more than tripled, and the YouTube Shorts player is now receiving more than 3.5 billion daily views globally, according to the company.

“In the coming weeks, we’ll begin expanding the beta to the U.S., unlocking our tools to even more creators so they can get started with Shorts,” Mohan wrote.

2012

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Sony Pictures;
Sci-Fi;
$30.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for intense disaster sequences and some language.
Stars John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Danny Glover and Woody Harrelson
.

There’s nothing like a Roland Emmerich disaster film to brighten your day during a pandemic, making our current situation look rosy by comparison.

The director (The Day After TomorrowIndependence Day) has given us many an epic about the end of the world, but none perhaps so gloriously catastrophic as 2012, in which we watch cities collapse and continents crumble as John Cusack mugs his way through the chaos famously predicted by the ancient Mayans. Basically, it’s something about planets aligning, solar flares, the center of the Earth heating up and the world ending in 2012 (Transpose the last two numbers and you get 2021. Hmmm…). But honestly Emmerich fans don’t really dwell too much on the whys and hows of it all. They’re too busy waiting for the next earthquake, volcano explosion and tsunami to wipe out America and the world. Iconic shots include Los Angeles sliding into the ocean, St. Peter’s Basilica rolling over worshippers, and the John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier toppling onto the White House — all of which look disastrously wonderful in 4K with HDR.

Woody Harrelson offers some scene-chewing dark humor as a conspiracy theorist waiting at Yellowstone National Park for the explosion of the super volcano. The president (Danny Glover) and his daughter, a scientist who predicts it all, a Russian oligarch and his mistress, and a plane-flying stepdad all make appearances, but at the core of the film is Jackson Curtis (Cusack), a struggling writer and limo driver who is trying to save his ex-wife and children from pending doom. The actors add to the fun with performances that are, as always in an Emmerich film, bordering on the cartoonish, but just convincing enough to keep audiences relishing the action and going with the premise.

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The 4K disc features Dolby Atmos sound and the Discovery Channel’s 2012 Apocalypse featurette, which speculates on the likelihood of the disastrous events in the film using footage from the movie. Actually, the featurette is interesting because it answers some of the scientific questions one might have about how probable this all is. (Basically, it’s not. Whew!)

Bonus features on the Blu-ray in the combo pack include an interactive Mayan calendar; five featurettes on bringing the epic to life; deleted scenes; an alternate ending; “Picture-in-Picture: Roland’s Vision”; feature commentary; and an Adam Lambert music video.

2012 is one of those 4K discs that enthusiasts are going to want pop into their player to show off their home theater.

2014 Epic ‘Godzilla’ Due on 4K Disc and Digital March 23

The 2014 action-adventure Godzilla will be released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack and digital on March 23 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla marked the long-awaited big-screen return of the King of the Monsters. The adventure pits Godzilla against malevolent creatures that, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.

Directed by Gareth Edwards (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) from a screenplay by Max Borenstein and a story by David Callaham, Godzilla is based on the character “Godzilla,” owned and created by Toho Co. It stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass), Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai, Inception), Elizabeth Olsen (Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame),  Juliette Binoche (The English Patient, Cosmopolis), and Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), alongside David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck, The Bourne Legacy) and Bryan Cranston (Argo, TV’s “Breaking Bad”).

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The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and Blu-ray disc of “Godzilla” will feature a Dolby Atmos soundtrack. The Ultra HD Blu-ray contains the previously released special features “MONARCH: Declassified,” offering new evidence not contained in the film that unravels the massive cover-up to keep Godzilla’s existence a secret, and “The Legendary Godzilla,” a behind the scenes look at the monsters in the film.

DeMille Classic ‘The Ten Commandments’ Arriving on 4K Ultra HD March 30

Director Cecil B. DeMille’s 1956 epic The Ten Commandments will arrive on 4K Ultra HD for the first time on March 30 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

The release commemorates the film’s 65th anniversary and is available in time for Easter.

Filmed in Egypt and the Sinai with one of the biggest sets ever constructed for a motion picture, DeMille’s last motion picture made Charlton Heston, who plays Moses, a superstar. In the classic story of Moses, once favored in the Pharaoh’s (Yul Brynner) household, Moses turns his back on a privileged life to lead his people to freedom.

As part of the restoration done in 2010, the film was scanned in 6K and those files were the basis for this Dolby Vision version, which “shows off the full beauty of the original VistaVision negative,” according to a Paramount press release. The VistaVision format used special cameras to feed 35mm film into the camera horizontally in order to capture a wider image spread over two 35mm film frames, giving VistaVision twice the resolution of regular 35mm film. In addition, Paramount spent more than 150 hours doing new color work and clean-up on the scan, according Paramount. The move to Dolby Vision created the opportunity to further improve the look of the film with blacks enhanced and improvements made to smooth out special effects mattes.

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The 4K film presentation contains an introduction by DeMille, an intermission, an overture/exit music card, and an entr’acte card, along with a DTS-HD 5.1 lossless soundtrack.

The new set includes a 4K Ultra HD disc, two Blu-ray discs, and access to a digital copy of the film.

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The disc contents include:

4K Ultra HD Disc

  • 1956 feature film in 4K Ultra HD
  • Commentary by Katherine Orrison, author of “Written in Stone: Making Cecil B. DeMille’s Epic The Ten Commandments”

 

Blu-ray Disc One

  • 1956 feature film in high definition (Part 1)
  • Commentary by Katherine Orrison, author of “Written in Stone: Making Cecil B. DeMille’s Epic The Ten Commandments”

 

Blu-ray Disc Two

  • 1956 feature film in high definition (Part 2)
  • Commentary by Katherine Orrison, author of “Written in Stone: Making Cecil B. DeMille’s Epic The Ten Commandments”
  • Newsreel footage of the film’s New York premiere
  • Theatrical trailers, including at 10-minute “making of” trailer

LG to Bow QNED Mini LED TVs at Virtual CES

LG Electronics will introduce its first-ever QNED Mini LED TVs at the virtual CES 2021 as part of its 2021 premium LCD TV lineup.

The 2021 lineup includes 10 new 4K and 8K models covering screen sizes of up to 86 inches.

“As the first TVs to combine quantum dot and NanoCell technology in one product, LG QNED Mini LED TVs produce incredibly accurate colors while the advanced LED backlight offers better contrast and deeper blacks for images of exceptional vibrancy and realism,” according to the press release.

The TVs have a refresh rate of up to 120Hz, according to the company.

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LG’s Mini LED backlighting comprises up to almost 30,000 tiny LEDs that produce a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1 when paired with up to 2,500 dimming zones and advanced local dimming technology for the 86-inch 8K QNED.

“Our new QNED Mini LED series is a premium home entertainment option that expands and improves the LCD TV space and gives consumers another terrific viewing choice,” Nam Ho-jun, SVP of R&D at LG’s Home Entertainment Company, said in a statement. “These TVs deliver an experience that set them apart from other LCD TVs and speak to our commitment to innovation and pushing the standard forward.”

LG’s 86-inch 8K QNED TV will be on display in LG’s virtual exhibition booth during CES 2021 starting Jan. 11.

Warner Releasing ‘V for Vendetta’ on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Nov. 3

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release 2005’s V for Vendetta on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and digital Nov. 3.

Based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd, V for Vendetta was adapted and produced by the Wachowskis (The Matrix), and directed by James McTeigue. The film stars Natalie Portman as a woman in futuristic Britain who becomes the unlikely accomplice of a mysterious freedom fighter (Hugo Weaving) in his radical effort to rid the country of oppression. The cast also includes Stephen Rea, Stephen Fry, John Hurt and Tim Pigott-Smith.

The 4K Ultra HD release of V for Vendetta comes from a new scan of the original camera negative and includes HDR and a Dolby Atmos soundtrack. The combo pack includes a 4K disc with three new extras, a regular Blu-ray Disc with previously released extras, and a digital copy of the film.

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New extras on the 4K disc include the featurette “V for Vendetta Unmasked”; a conversation between McTeigue and Lana Wachowski; and Portman’s previously unreleased audition footage.

Extras from the previously released Blu-ray include a theatrical trailer; a montage of Cat Power music played to images of the film; a “Saturday Night Live” digital short Easter Egg; and the featurettes “Making V for Vendetta,” “Designing the Near Future,” “Remember, Remember: Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot” and “England Prevails: V for Vendetta and the New Wave in Comics.”

Horror Films ‘House by the Cemetery’ and ‘New York Ripper’ Coming to 4K From MVD

Two horror films from “The Godfather of Gore” Lucio Fulci, The House by the Cemetery and New York Ripper, are coming out on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Blue Underground and MVD Entertainment Group Aug. 25.

Both feature Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos sound.

In 1981’s The House by the Cemetery, a young family moves from their cramped New York City apartment to a spacious new home in New England. But this is no ordinary house in the country: the previous owner was the deranged Dr. Freudstein, whose monstrous human experiments have left a legacy of bloody mayhem. Now, someone — or something — is alive in the basement, and home sweet home is about to become a horrific hell on earth.

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The film stars Catriona MacColl (The Beyond), Paolo Malco (The New York Ripper), Ania Pieroni (Tenebre), Carlo De Mejo (City of the Living Dead) and Dagmar Lassander (Hatchet for the Honeymoon).

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Special features include audio commentary with Troy Howarth, author of Splintered Visions: Lucio Fulci and His Films; a deleted scene; theatrical trailers; a TV spot; poster and still galleries; “Meet the Boyles,” interviews with stars Catriona MacColl and Paolo Malco; “Children of the Night,” interviews with Stars Giovanni Frezza and Silvia Collatina; “Tales of Laura Gittleson, an interview with star Dagmar Lassander; “My Time With Terror,” an interview with star Carlo De Mejo; “A Haunted House Story,” interviews with co-writers Dardano Sacchetti and Elisa Briganti; “To Build a Better Death Trap,” interviews with cinematographer Sergio Salvati, special make-up effects artist Maurizio Trani, special effects artist Gino De Rossi, and actor Giovanni De Nava; “House Quake,” an interview with co-writer Giorgio Mariuzzo; a Catriona MacColl Q&A; and “Calling Dr. Freudstein,” an interview with Stephen Thrower, author of Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci.

The 1982 film The New York Ripper, co-written and directed by Fulci, follows a blade-wielding psychopath on the loose in the Big Apple killing beautiful young women. As NYPD detective Fred Williams (Jack Hedley) follows the trail of butchery from the decks of the Staten Island Ferry to the sex shows of Times Square, each brutal murder becomes a sadistic taunt.

Extras include audio commentary with Troy Howarth, author of Splintered Visions: Lucio Fulci and His Films; “The Art of Killing,” an interview with co-writer Dardano Sacchetti; “Three Fingers of Violence,” an interview with star Howard Ross; “The Second Victim,” an interview with co-star Cinzia de Ponti; “The Broken Bottle Murder,” an interview with co-star Zora Kerova; “I’m an Actress!,” a 2009 interview with Kerova; “The Beauty Killer,” an interview with Stephen Thrower, author of Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci; “Paint Me Blood Red,” an interview with poster artist Enzo Sciotti; NYC locations then and now; the theatrical trailer; and a poster and still gallery.