Tags ‘720p’

Ring slims down and specs up its iPhone-linked doorbell with 1080p video, 5GHz Wi-Fi, more zones

Dom reviewed Ring’s iPhone-linked Video Doorbell last year, and was impressed. I was too, with two minor complaints: video is 720p rather than full HD, and it only connects to 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks.

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Filed under: Tech Industry Tagged: 1080p, 720p, CCTV, Home automation, ring video doorbell, Ring Video Doorbell Pro, smart home

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Ben Lovejoy

March 16th

Apple

Mac

720p vs. 1080p vs. 4K resolution: Does it really make a difference?

720p vs 1080p vs 4K Resolution

I know that many of you out there are shouting at your computer screens after reading that headline. "Of course it makes a difference!" And you're right — there is a perceptible difference between the most common resolutions for TVs, smartphones and computer monitors. But your mileage will noticeably vary based on a few important factors.

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Jacob Siegal

September 18th

Uncategorized

Twitter now supports the iPhone’s gorgeous slow-motion videos

One of the stand-out features of the iPhone 5s was the 120fps slow-motion video, and the iPhone 6/Plus took this even further, allowing silky-smooth 240fps video at 720p. Sharing that video, however, isn’t always easy: many online services don’t recognize that the video is slo-mo, and play it instead at full speed.

There are clunky workarounds, but these are no longer needed for Twitter: upload slo-mo video from your iPhone 5s, 6 or 6 Plus and it now plays at the correct speed … 

You don’t need to do anything special – just add the video to your tweet in the usual way, and Twitter identifies it as slow-motion footage so that the most mundane moment will look as beautiful to your twitter followers as it does on your iPhone.

Twitter also rolled-out embedded tweets to iPhone users earlier this week, allowing you to add up to 116 characters of comment when retweeting, no matter how long the original tweet


Filed under: Apps, iOS Devices Tagged: 720p, iPhone, iPhone 5s slow-motion video, iPhone 6 slow-motion video, Slow-mo, Slow-Motion, Twitter, video

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Ben Lovejoy

April 9th

Apple

Mac

Opinion: Could the 1080p Apple TV 4 hint at a 4K Apple TV set?

Apple TV simple

The Apple TV set-top box hardware is expected to be updated this summer after 3 years since the last real refresh and a recent price drop from $99 to $69. While the last Apple TV upgrade boosted video output from 720p to 1080p, the rumored Apple TV 4 is not believed to support ultra high definition 4K video output featured on newer TV sets. Here’s why that’s no surprise and what I think it could mean for an actual Apple TV set:

Apple doesn’t do specs for the sake of specs. The iPhone has maintained an 8MP camera between several generations. The 8MP iSight camera debuted in 2011 with the iPhone 4S and remains on the newest iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Our photos today are noticeably better than our shots from four years ago, however, as Apple has improved in other areas like low light image capture and faster focusing. It’s no surprise that Apple will maintain 1080p video output from its set-top box for at least another cycle.

Speaking of iPhones, the best iPhone camera (found on the iPhone 6 Plus) only supports 1080p video recording. Apple added 1080p video recording to the iPhone 4S in October 2011 before the Apple TV 3 added 1080p video output in March 2012. Nothing mandates that the iPhone must first support a video capture resolution before the Apple TV supports it, but it’s clear Apple sees 1080p video as good enough for most consumers for now. Samsung’s Galaxy S5, as a comparison, shipped UHD video capture last year. When the iPhone adds 4K video recording, I would then expect the Apple TV to add 4K playback. 4K UHDTVs haven’t taken over the living room yet, though, so I’m not holding my breath for either.

iphone-ban

More important than at what resolution the iPhone can capture video is what resolution iTunes delivers movies and TV shows. Apple timed the release of the Apple TV 3 with 1080p video output with the upgrade to iTunes from distributing only 720p media to selling 1080p content. At the time it was widely considered as one of those finally updates as 1080p HDTVs were very common and relatively affordable. The next Apple TV launching with 4K video output would be nice in terms of future proofing the hardware and best presenting the UHD content that is available, but Apple hasn’t jumped on the 4K train just yet.

Aside from iTunes, there’s also the rumored $30-$40 Web TV subscription service to consider. Even if Apple did begin offering a limited number of 4K movies and TV shows on iTunes, the rumored Web TV service would contrast as less premium. It might sit okay with consumers that content you buy is better quality resolution than content you access through a subscription, but the messaging would be muddled if the Web TV service is not 4K but is marketed next to a 4K set-top box.

Apple TV products

If the next Apple TV did support 4K video output, what content could you actually watch? Netflix offers a limited collection of 4K media and it’s not hard to find excellent 4K footage on YouTube. Even if 4K content was more widely available and everyone had a UHDTV in the living room, the Apple TV’s support for 4K would be surprising without iTunes being a player.

Apple gave away upgrades from 720p to 1080p when iTunes started selling Full HD movies and TV shows. Will Apple do the same when 4K becomes available through iTunes? Even if so, Apple will want to position 4K content on iTunes as a premium media option. Giving 4K content away for free first through YouTube, a Google-owned service, would not make that pitch.

Finally, there’s the obvious reason cited in the report that the Apple TV 4 won’t be the Apple TV 4K: not enough people have UHDTVs for hardware that supports 4K video output to be warranted. Apple was late to the 1080p party, it won’t be early to the 4K affair.

apple-imac-5k-retina

Retina 5K iMac

Running with this idea, it’s not hard to imagine that Apple could be saving 4K adoption for its own UHDTV, not the set-top box (which is not a completely new idea). Ignoring whether or not Apple should enter the actual TV set business, Apple could use the transition from 1080p to 4K as a compelling upgrade reason. The upgrade from 720p to 1080p for most people was not dramatic and 3D was a flop.

4K could be a reason to actually update your TV set to an actual Apple TV, not just add a new Apple TV set-top box. Saving 4K support for the TV set (maybe even with some Retina marketing similar to iPhones, iPads, Macs, and the Apple Watch) would be fitting.

Looking at the Apple TV’s past update path and the current ecosystem of iOS devices and services, it’s no surprise that the next Apple TV won’t support 4K. Still, 4K adoption will remain an opportunity for future versions of the Apple TV and Apple’s iTunes Store. Could 4K be justification for Apple selling the whole TV set rather than just the box you connect in the future?


Filed under: iOS Devices, Opinion Tagged: 1080p, 4k, 720p, Apple TV, iTunes, TV

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Zac Hall

April 6th

Apple

Mac

Review: Cellulon’s PicoPro is an iPhone 6 Plus-sized, battery-powered HD projector

picopro-1

I grew up with a front-projector TV the size of a coffee table, later owned a rear-projection TV that was somewhat larger than an adult bicycle, and have since tested projectors shaped like DVD players, Mac minis, and iPhone cases. Pico projectors — generally small enough to fit in pockets — typically struggle the most to prove their practicality. Projectors generally need big, powerful lightbulbs to be seen in anything but the dimmest of rooms, and the smaller they are, the worse they tend to be, particularly as they move further from the surfaces they’re protecting on.

Korean developer Celluon — the company behind breakthrough laser keyboards that can create typing surfaces anywhere — is now trying its hand at pico projectors, and I have to admit that I’m far more impressed than I thought I’d be. PicoPro ($349-$399) packs a high-definition video projector, a battery pack, and wireless capabilities into a 0.55″ thick enclosure with the same footprint as an iPhone 6 Plus. Overall, it’s the best small projector I’ve tested: much easier to use, quiet, and capable of delivering a better complete viewing experience. But like competing pico projectors, it also has some noteworthy limitations that you’ll want to be aware of before jumping in.

Key Details:

  • Measures 5.9″ by 2.9″ by 0.55″ thick minus HDMI cable.
  • Supports Miracast and DLNA for wireless streaming but not AirPlay, so cables are required.
  • iOS users will need to supply an Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter at their own expense.
  • Impressively bright given its small size.

 

picopro-2

The core of PicoPro is a MicroVision three-laser video engine with separate red, green, and blue light sources, projected together through a small box-shaped opening on the unit’s “front” edge. It should be pointed out that Celluon’s descriptions of PicoPro’s specs are somewhat confusing: first, it describes the unit as offering 30 lumens output, but “with a perceived brightness that is noticeably brighter than that of LED based projectors of similar lumens.” Second, it claims to offer a “1920x720p HD picture with a 16:9 aspect ratio,” which is an unusual resolution. The company says that it’s the product of partially upscaling 720p source material. Third, it promises a “minimum 2.5-hour battery life” when used in wireless mode, and “3.5-hour battery life for HDMI connection,” though our testing actually came in at just under 3 hours via HDMI; it will obviously be lower in wireless mode.

In addition to a carrying bag and a USB cable, an HDMI to MHL cable was included with our review unit, as was a small wall adapter that can be kept connected, or unplugged as needed. Celluon’s pricing for PicoPro will vary based on the included pack-ins; the basic package should be enough to let you hook up most HDMI devices, including many Mac computers and the Apple TV, but you’ll have to self-supply an Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter for $44.

picopro-3

Without focusing too much on the specs, PicoPro’s performance as a projector is seriously impressive given its size. Over the last five years, I’ve tested projectors that put out obviously blurrier, lower-contrast video despite requiring 10 times the physical space. PicoPro projects a true widescreen image with an actual detail level that’s several times greater than both smaller and larger but similarly-priced projectors I’ve used. Even high-definition iTunes-protected videos played through connected iPads and iPhones without complaint.

picopro-x

You can actually see 720p-level resolution in the pixel-level output, which doesn’t look big and chunky when the picture gets larger. And I can understand why there’s some ambiguity over the lumens measurements, as this unit’s laser-based lights do look brighter and more vivid where they exist, but blacker where there isn’t illumination. Celluon’s claimed 80,000:1 contrast ratio (versus 2,000:1 in LED models) doesn’t seem hard to believe. The photo above shows PicoPro projecting at a 4-foot distance on a white surface; the photo below shows it at a nearly 2-foot distance on a black surface.

picopro-6

An even more intriguing component of PicoPro’s performance is its utter lack of configuration. There is no focus dial nor the need for a focus dial: the laser-projected image starts and remains impressively sharp, unlike typical projectors. For better or worse, there also aren’t contrast, color balance, or keystone configurations to figure out. There are volume up and down buttons on the top, a battery life indicator button on the back, a power button, and a mode button. That’s it.

picopro-5

That said, PicoPro’s caveats are worth noting, and there are a few of them. One is the color balance of the output, which can lean greenish blue rather than neutral white; it would be great to be able to adjust this, and have at least some access to image controls. Another is the sound output: you can adjust the integrated speaker’s volume from 0 to 10, going from silence to an output level roughly half as loud as the iPhone 6 Plus at its peak. A headphone port lets you attach better speakers or headphones to boost the volume, but PicoPro ideally would have stronger audio output. It also goes without saying that AirPlay video streaming support or a direct HDMI to Lightning cable would make things a lot easier for Apple users, though the chances of seeing either of those features (without a major price change) are slim to none.

picopro-4

PicoPro isn’t a perfect little video projector, but given its size and the realities of pico projection, it does a lot better than I would have expected. Nearly three hours of run time with the battery, cool and quiet operation, and 720p HD video support are all welcome steps forward over prior units I’ve tested, offset primarily by the quiet built-in speaker and the lack of granular video controls. Given the small footprint, it’s going to be at least a minor hit when it becomes widely available in the United States; until then, larger, lower-resolution projectors such as the Aaxa P4 will continue to be your best available options.

Manufacturer:
Celluon
MSRP:
$349-$399
Compatibility:
HDMI-Equipped Macs, iOS Devices With Digital AV Adapter

Filed under: General, Reviews Tagged: 720p, AirPlay, Celluon, HDMI, HDMI projector, Lightning to HDMI, pico projector, PicoPro, video

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Jeremy Horwitz

January 30th

Apple

Mac

Image of unannounced Sony Ericsson ‘Nozomi’ Android phone leaks along with early details

An image of an unannounced Android smartphone from Sony Ericsson code-named “Nozomi” has been published on a Chinese forum along with limited preliminary details. The smartphone reportedly features a 720p HD display and a dual-core processor, but additional specs remain a mystery. From the image, it looks like the phone features a display sized above 4 inches, and we can also see a unique lighting feature near the bottom of the device. The Nozomi is currently being tested by a carrier in Hong Kong according the forum user who posted the image, though a release could still be several months away. Earlier reports suggested that the Nozomi features a 4.3-inch 720p HD display, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread.

[Via Engadget]

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Zach Epstein

December 8th

Uncategorized

Image of unannounced Sony Ericsson ‘Nozomi’ Android phone leaks along with early details

An image of an unannounced Android smartphone from Sony Ericsson code-named “Nozomi” has been published on a Chinese forum along with limited preliminary details. The smartphone reportedly features a 720p HD display and a dual-core processor, but additional specs remain a mystery. From the image, it looks like the phone features a display sized above 4 inches, and we can also see a unique lighting feature near the bottom of the device. The Nozomi is currently being tested by a carrier in Hong Kong according the forum user who posted the image, though a release could still be several months away. Earlier reports suggested that the Nozomi features a 4.3-inch 720p HD display, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread.

[Via Engadget]

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Zach Epstein

December 8th

Uncategorized

HTC Rezound Review: Stop, Look, and Listen [Video]

Verizon has been bringing out its big Android guns lately. First the Droid Bionic, then the Droid RAZR, soon the Galaxy Nexus, and now the HTC Rezound. And this one might just be the highest caliber yet. More »


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brent rose

November 18th

Uncategorized
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9to5 Staff

August 6th

Uncategorized
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