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  • Apple Discussing Early iTunes Movie Rentals with Hollywood Studios

    Posted Thu Dec 8, 2016 at 12:15 PM PST by
    itunes

    The company is reportedly working to offer new rentals sooner to customers.

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  • Bluetooth 5 Spec Officially Launches, Offers Improved Wireless Performance for Connected Devices

    Posted Thu Dec 8, 2016 at 10:45 AM PST by
    bluetooth 5

    The latest Bluetooth spec has been adopted.

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  • Dolby Exceeds 2,000 Dolby Atmos Enabled Cinema Screens & 500 Released Movie Titles

    Posted Wed Dec 7, 2016 at 08:30 AM PST by
    Dolby Atmos LOGO

    The immersive audio format continues to expand to more theaters and films.

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  • Netflix Reveals Second Trailer for 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' Starring Neil Patrick Harris

    Posted Wed Dec 7, 2016 at 07:45 AM PST by
    netflix unfortunate events

    Count Olaf will arrive on Netflix in January.

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  • Motor Trend OnDemand Debuts Mike Musto's 'The House of Muscle'

    Posted Wed Dec 7, 2016 at 07:15 AM PST by
    motor trend

    The automotive SVOD/OTT service has added a new streaming show.

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  • Google Play Expands Lineup with New 4K Ultra HD Movie Selection

    Posted Tue Dec 6, 2016 at 01:30 PM PST by

    Several movie titles are now available in Ultra HD.

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  • Marantz Details New Reference Series SA-10 SACD Player/DAC and PM-10 Amplifier

    Posted Tue Dec 6, 2016 at 11:15 AM PST by
    marantz reference

    Two new audio components have been revealed.

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  • Hulu Launches Ultra HD Streaming Support, 4K Lineup Includes James Bond Films

    Posted Mon Dec 5, 2016 at 10:30 AM PST by
    Hulu Logo

    The streaming platform now offers select content in 4K Ultra HD.

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  • Netflix Renews Marvel's 'Luke Cage' for Second Season

    Posted Mon Dec 5, 2016 at 09:15 AM PST by
    luke cage netflix

    "Sweet Christmas!" The streaming series is set to return for another batch of episodes.

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  • DirecTV Set to Broadcast First Live 4K Ultra HD NBA Game in US Tonight

    Posted Sat Dec 3, 2016 at 09:45 AM PST by
    DirecTV

    Basketball fans can catch the first live 4K broadcast of an NBA game in the US at 7 p.m. MT/9 p.m. ET on DirecTV.

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  • Don't Miss 'Moana' in Dolby Cinema

    Posted Fri Dec 2, 2016 at 04:14 PM PST by
    Moana

    This week I had the great fortune to do something quite rare in the new-parenting universe. I went to the cinema. Twice! And, during this week's different-day double-feature, I realized a couple things. First, nothing replaces the full experience and scope of going to a movie theatre. More important, though, contrasting experiences underscored how vital it is to seek out a quality auditorium when stepping away from our home theatres.

    My first screening was the contained sci-fi drama, 'Arrival', which is wonderful and heartbreaking and smart and everything in between. Screenwriter Eric Heisserer and director Dennis Villeneuve and the rest of the cast and crew made an incredibly moving and suspenseful film. I loved every frame.

    But I also loathed every frame.

    Arrival

    No, there weren't any focus issues or obvious projector problems. The sound was actually quite good. Cellphones stayed in pockets. And the auditorium itself was a modern and well-maintained Arclight location. But the contrast. Good lord, this purposefully shadowy movie was cast almost entirely in smudged GRAYNESS thanks to certifiably abysmal black levels. And with no black levels -- no contrast -- you lose colors and the overall image seems softer. It's a feedback loop for mediocrity.

    I hadn't realized it until this moment, but swapping between my Panasonic Plasma and the VIZIO P-Series and the LG E6 OLED (review next week!) has spoiled my ability to watch content on displays with crap contrast. I almost walked out because it's a bit of an artistic tragedy to watch films this way.

    Then came my saving grace.

    Then came 'Moana', which is currently heading into its second weekend at a variety of multiplexes, including several Dolby Cinema at AMC premium auditoriums.

    Moana

    If you don't know what I mean by Dolby Cinema, have a read over HERE to catch up. The quick definition is this: Dolby Cinema, or Dolby Cinema at AMC, is a state-of-the-art cinema experience that combines Dolby Vision (a dual 4K laser projection system with a MILLION-TO-ONE contrast ratio) with Dolby Atmos (a fully hemispherical surround sound system that adds more subwoofers, full range and overhead speakers, and individual speaker amplification to standard commercial surround sound), leather recliners, and a massive screen.

    Dolby Cinema (along with other competing laser projection systems) is one of THE BEST ways to watch movies. It's on par going out and buying yourself an OLED or Full Array Local Dimming equipped Ultra HD LCD, only the screen is probably taller and wider than your house.

    Moana

    'Moana' is Disney's latest Princess story. Like 'Frozen', it is modern with a fully realized (but flawed) female lead whose story is all her own. In other words, she's not waiting to be saved by a loving prince. Moana is the daughter of a Pacific Islander chief. She dreams of exploring the open ocean, but Dad won't let her leave the protective boundaries of their island's reef. Moana is also special; she has been chosen by the ocean itself to take on a special journey to find and escort the demi-god, Maui, across the sea so he can return the stolen heart of an island. If Moana fails, her island will die along with everyone she knows and loves. It's also a musical with a chicken sidekick and tons of details portraying the Pacific Islander voyager cultures. Much like 'Arrival', I loved every single frame and can't wait to share it with my little girl.

    On top of a great story and characters and action, I was fortunate enough to catch 'Moana' at the AMC Del Amo 18, which is home to one of the newest Dolby Cinema at AMC auditoriums. The best way to describe this film's video and audio quality is to say, if it was an Ultra HD Blu-ray with Dolby Atmos sound, it would be one of the best looking and sounding discs in your collection.

    'Moana' is pure demo material from start to end.

    Moana

    The Dolby Vision graded imagery was gobsmackingly gorgeous and rendered with a dazzling array of colors. Unlike Pixar productions, Disney Animation Studios productions offer less semi-photo-real surfaces, but that's not a problem at all. Moana's Island is drenched in tropical forest greens and turquoise waters and pink sea shells. Her side-kick chicken bursts with a mix of brown and purple. Moana's manta-ray spiritual guide shimmers in and out of the rolling waters with a neon glow. Maui's tattoos appear handmade in a deep shade of black. Volcano-monsters erupt with red and orange lava. And this one underwater realm of bioluminescent monsters features some of the most vivid colors ever put to film (to digital?). It's all incredible. Textures too are well rendered and bold, from creatures and clothing to the canoe sails to Moana's hair (both dry and wet). Dolby Cinema at AMC typically only plays is 2D, but the Dolby Vision version of 'Moana' is so clear it feels like you're watching glasses-free 3D.

    (For what's it's worth, I checked with Dolby and did confirm 'Moana' is in the DCI P3 color space, but I thought maybe that sequence in the underwater land of the monsters was Rec 2020.)

    Moana

    'Moana's Dolby Atmos mix is shut-up-and-take-my-money good. If THIS track doesn't convince Disney's home entertainment division to include the Atmos mix on the Blu-ray, we may never hear a Disney film at home beyond 7.1. Compare this mix to what Marvel's doing with Atmos and it's a clear demonstration of how filmmakers can 1) utilize this technology in vastly different ways and 1) a lesson on how you can build entire aural universes with object-based audio. This mix rockets back and forth between intimate and grand, delivering everything from the subtle nuances of gently lapping waves and pecking chickens to the hemispherical immersion of epic Disney musical numbers to the all out assault of action sequences that are as thrilling as anything in 'Mad Max Fury Road'.

    I just can't get over how Dolby Atmos, when done as right as it was here, tears away the sensation of sitting in a darkened room and propels audiences directly into the story. One moment I was a husband and father in his mid-30s, and the next I was a young princess listening to the songs of my ancestors, charging across the tropical seas with voices and orchestras and sound effects cascading all around me. I was also a fan of the mix's aggressive use of overhead sounds and deep rumbling bass. Like I said, demo material... made all the more pleasurable because the movie's also pretty great.

    Moana

    I write about Dolby products a lot. Sometimes because they invite me. Sometimes because I need a story. And sometimes, like today, because I'm simply in awe of what I've just experienced. As such, my goal here is to shout into this universe that QUALITY matters. Quality impacts the emotional experience of going to the cinema. And sure, quality won't save a bad movie, but it certainly adds to the magic of the good ones.

    So do yourself a favor. Don't miss the chance to see 'Moana' in a Dolby Cinema before it's too late (click HERE for a list of locations). We may never get another opportunity to see and hear it as the filmmakers intended... on a sixty-plus-foot screen with laser-quality black levels surrounded by several dozen high-end speakers. Cheers.

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  • CBS All Access Adds Streaming Support for NFL Games

    Posted Fri Dec 2, 2016 at 12:15 PM PST by
    NFL Logo

    Football games will now be available through the streaming TV service.

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  • Comcast Preps Sling TV Support for X1 Platform

    Posted Fri Dec 2, 2016 at 06:30 AM PST by
    slingtv

    The internet TV service will be available through Comcast's X1.

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  • Amazon Readies New Original Kids Series 'Bug Diaries' & 'Sigmund and the Sea Monsters'

    Posted Fri Dec 2, 2016 at 05:30 AM PST by
    Amazon Prime Instant Video

    Two new streaming kids shows are heading to Prime Video.

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  • Cyber Monday HD Gear Deals Week: Up to 54% off LG & TCL 4K Ultra HD TVs!

    Posted Thu Dec 1, 2016 at 03:15 PM PST by
    lg super 4k UHD TV

    Amazon is offering big discounts on select LG and TCL 4K TVs!

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  • LeEco Expands 4K Ultra HD TV Availability to Amazon, Best Buy, and More

    Posted Thu Dec 1, 2016 at 01:00 PM PST by
    leeco 4k tv

    The company's Ultra HD TV lineup is now available through various retail and online stores.

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  • Turner & Criterion Bring FilmStruck Streaming Service to Apple TV

    Posted Thu Dec 1, 2016 at 11:30 AM PST by
    new apple TV

    The streaming platform geared toward film buffs is now available on Apple TV.

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  • Verizon & Fingerprint Team Up for New GizmoTab Next-Gen Kid's Tablet

    Posted Thu Dec 1, 2016 at 11:00 AM PST by
    gizmotab

    The educational tablet is now available through Verizon.

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  • HBO & Cinemax Join Amazon Channels Streaming Lineup for Prime Members

    Posted Thu Dec 1, 2016 at 09:30 AM PST by
    hbo now westworld

    Prime members can now subscribe to HBO and Cinemax directly through Amazon.

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  • YouTube Launches 4K Ultra HD Live Streaming Support

    Posted Wed Nov 30, 2016 at 11:00 AM PST by
    YouTube

    The internet video platform now offers 4K live streaming capabilities.

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