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Weekly Tech Wrap-Up: Roku 4k, Ultra HD Blu-ray, PS4 price drop, & more

roku-4-player-remote-headphones-1024Here’s our weekly wrap-up of news from last week in the entertainment and tech industry.

Vizio Reveals Pricing of Reference Series 4k TVs
Vizio’s new Reference Series 4k Ultra HD TVs are sure to raise the bar for excellence in displays, mainly given support for HDR (High Dynamic Range), Dolby Vision, 800-nit brightness, and 384 Active LED Zones. For now though, the 65″ class and 120″ class models are only available as “Special Order” for either the 65” ($5,999) or 120″ ($129,999) models. Read more

First Ultra HD Blu-ray player to sell in Japan
Starting next month, Panasonic will begin sales of the DMR-UBZ1 Ultra HD Blu-ray player, the first generation player to support HEVC (H.265) 4k video at 60p, and a wide color gamut standard (BT.2020) with brightness range up to 10,000 NIT. The player, which also features a 3TB hard-disk drive, will sell for 400,000 yen (US$3,327). Read more

Another Apple TV killer? Roku rocks with 4k support
The new Roku 4 streaming media player will support 4k, and cost less than Apple’s upcoming Apple TV that doesn’t support UHD playback. Joining Amazon’s upgraded Fire TV player, the device comes with HDMI 2.0 — the specification required for transmitting 4k Ultra HD content. But like the Fire TV, does not come stock with HDMI 2.0a firmware for HDR content. Read more

PlayStation 500GB model drops $50
In the US, the PlayStation 500GB model has dropped $50 from $399 to $349, following a similar price drop in Japan. Available packages on Amazon at that price include The Last of Us, Nathan Drake, and upcoming Star Wars Battlefront bundles. Although, holding out for a 1TB PS4 (currently priced at $429) might be worth the wait. Read more

HBO Now launches on Roku
HBO’s over-the-top streaming service launched on Roku last week, giving anyone with a Roku player the opportunity to get HBO without paying for cable or satellite TV service. Don’t confuse the service with HBO Go, the existing app channel for those who subscribe to HBO through a service provider. The $14.99 per month service does require decent broadband though, so add that to your budget unless you get free internet somewhere. Read more

Make sure those cables support HDMI 2.0
Cable manufacturers have a way to test the stability of cables supporting HDMI 2.0 — the standard that allows 18 Gbps of bandwidth for the transfer of 4k Ultra HD content to UHD TVs. According to HDMI Licensing, the “Premium HDMI Cable Certification Program” is intended to “give consumers absolute peace-of-mind.” Read more

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HD Report provides news, commentary, and information about home entertainment media and technology. HD Report has been a Google News partner since 2006, and can also be found on Twitter, Apple News, Facebook, and Microsoft's Bing News.

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