OPPO Releases “4K” Ultra-HD Blu-ray Disc Player – The new UDP-203, scheduled for release next month, will support UHD Blu-rays with four times the pixels of standard Blu-ray. The resolution of up to 3840 x 2160 will be accompanied by High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Wide Color Gamut. The enhanced resolution, refined contrast, greater brightness and expanded color will produce stunning video with unparalleled clarity and detail. All types of media are accommodated, including SACDs and DVDs and there are two HDMI outputs. The player will decode AIFF, WAV, ALAC, FLAC and APE. There are also 7.1 channel analog outputs, using the “Velvet Sound” 32-bit premium DAC from AKM of Japan. Since the UHD format is still relatively new, the deck is upgradable via an easy-to-performed firmware update process. We will be reviewing the product. Retail is $549 direct from Oppo.
TechHive Likes SVS Prime Elevation Speakers for Immersive Audio – The smartly-designed speakers are great as height channels on the wall for Dolby Atmos, DTS-X or Auro-3D configurations. They are sold strictly online and have a free in-home trial, free shipping, expert tech support and a no-hassle return policy. They are designed as direct-firing height-effect speakers the average consumer could install, rather than inferior speakers that sit atop the normal speakers and bounce the sound off a flat ceiling to simulate sound coming from above. They come in black or white and have a four-way flush mount. They are $400.
Crazy Ants Are Marching on Your Home Electronics – This is not a joke. The south of the U.S. is having a major problem with a new species of invasive ants which are for some reason attracted to electrical equipment. They swarm around AC sockets, and started in Texas back in 2002, where 23 now counties have them. Named Nylanderia fulva, they continue a march across the Gulf States, albeit quite slowly – about 650 feet each year.
New CEO at LG Electronics – is Seong-Jin Jo, who came from the Korean firm’s home appliance division, where he was known as “Mr. Washing Machine.” LG is faced with sluggish smartphone sales and shrinking profits across their TV manufacturing and his mandate is to apply lessons he learned while building the appliance business to LG’s other endeavors. LG only started selling large appliances in the U.S. in 2003, but has had rapid growth since then.
Sensor for Energy Use in Smart Home – Earth Networks now has the first do-it-yourself home energy monitoring sensor and a new division bringing next generation energy intelligence technologies to market. The first device delivers real-time power usage and diagnostic information for each appliance, with out complex professional installation. It brings non-connected devices online for applications related to energy consumption, fault detection, and overall home efficiency.