CEA Initiatives To Kick Off UHD TV Promotion – The Consumer Electronics Association will bolster the rollout of “4K” UHD products and content. A year-long partnership with the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG) will promote the latest Blu-ray releases and new home entertainment technologies. Digital Entertainment News (DEN) will have a year-long series of satellite media tours to highlight the most recent movie and TV releases for home viewing, and watching them thru Blu-ray disc and advanced smart TVs plus portable devices. A licensing agreement has been set up for manufacturers to use a special logo to designate 4K UHD TVs, monitors and projectors for the home. It will also be made available for use by anyone engaged in the 4K UHD ecosystem. The two logos address various attributes of picture quality and promote interoperability. They describe the emerging category of displays with more than eight million pixels—four times the resolution of Full HD TV. The CES projects unit shipments of 4K UHD displays will reach 800,000 in 2014.
Dr. Dre Adds Bluetooth to Headphones – The Solo2 wireless headphones are the first new model offered under Dr. Dre’s ownership by Apple. The headphone line is called Beats and represented 28% of all headphone sales in 2013. The phones are available in red, white, blue or black at $299 and also come in a wired model with five colors, at $199. The wireless range is 30 feet and they have 12 hours of play time.
Next-Generation Networked Soundbar – Libratone, who make Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-equipped speakers, has introduced its second-generation netwroked-music soundtrack, the $899 Diva. It features Wi-Fi, AirPlay, DLNA, Bluetooth, NFC, Spotify Connect and HTC Connect. It can be controlled from a TV or set-top-box remote via IR learning. The 225W bar has two one-inch ribbon tweeters, two three-inch midrange drivers and a dedicated front-firing five-inch subwoofer. It has optional replaceable wool covers in multiple colors and clamshell-like sound reflectors in the bar raise and widen the sound stage.
Obama Calls for Strict Regulation of Consumer Broadband Internet –The President’s net neutrality directive to the FCC is good news for retailers, CE manufacturers and smart TV enthusiasts. It takes significant leverage away from cable, telco and to a lesser degree, satellite program providers that might be tempted to control competition from over-the-top streaming service providers. The proposal would eliminate the imposition of special fees or deals between broadband providers and services who want unfettered access to broadband customers at the expense of other services. The President wants to assure that the least-advantaged consumers are not forgotten in regard to their rights to low-cost TV and Internet service.