Connect with us

Features

Sony, Heima team up to push 4K HDR TVs in home setting

Published

on

Covering television sets can be a chore, even for tech journalists, because let’s face it: Even in this day and age, being interested in a new TV usually still feels like forcing yourself to eat right — special features and screen sizes be damned. I imagine the same is true among shoppers navigating the aisles of appliance stores, hoping to find the right set to bring home and show the family.

As a former retail employee, I can tell you the decision almost always comes down to just two things: size and price. Which in turn, thwarts any and all efforts to upsell. I don’t care that you’re selling a 4K TV that I can interact and have a conversation with. I just want something that’s affordable and will fit my living room nicely.

This hasn’t escaped Sony’s attention. So this year, the Japanese electronics giant has taken a different approach to showing off its latest Bravia line of televisions to the Philippine media, some of whom have followed the industry long enough to witness TVs require special glasses and bend and grow in size while significantly reducing their back fat.

Sony Bravia 4K HDR TV (2)

Sony’s 4K HDR TV has a slim form factor with tangle-free cabling

The approach involved collaborating with furniture and lifestyle store Heima to create sets where Sony’s (relatively) new HDR televisions, which were first unveiled at CES back in January, could be displayed in a more familiar environment, in a place that feels like home.

Because we don’t sit on marble floors under bright white lights, surrounded by strangers and rows of flat screens of all sizes, when we binge-watch ten episodes of our favorite show, right?

We binge-watch in private — seated on a couch, remote in one hand and a giant bowl of popcorn in the other. And it is in that environment that I’d want to be sweet-talked into shelling out huge wads of disposable income for a TV that supports high dynamic range, among other attractions.

Sony Bravia 4K HDR TV (3)

Side-by-side comparison with a 4K TV by a rival brand

Now that we’ve approached the subject, can I just say that if I had deep pockets and 4K HDR was the streaming standard and I was actually on the market for a new TV, I’d be clawing at Sony’s door, pointing at a 4K HDR television while screaming, “Take my money!” Alas, I’m not any of those things.

I am, however, genuinely pumped about the latest generation of Sony HDR TVs that push picture quality forward to new levels of awesome.

I can devote a few paragraphs to discuss how HDR results in more realistic colors and a greater range of brightness and shadow detail, but the bottomline is the technology brings a more striking visual change than crowding more pixels into a given space.

Images look crisper in 4K resolution, obviously, but HDR affects viewing experience in more ways than one. It’s the next frontier for the industry, and it sells itself at face value, which is why Sony and other big-name manufacturers are wasting no time throwing their collective weight behind it.

Sony Bravia 4K HDR TV (1)

You can tell it’s expensive by looking at the gold trim

Earlier this week, Sony announced a new service that streams 4K HDR content to compatible TVs for as low as $US30 per movie.

And if it is indeed the next big thing to hit flat screens, you can bet that Sony won’t be needing to spruce up the show floor any more than is necessary.

Pricing for Sony’s 4K HDR TVs starts at Php100,000, or about $US2,200, for the 55-inch model.

CES 2018

Episode 001: Getting lost at the world’s largest tech show

Published

on

In this first epidose of GadgetMatch Podcast we talk about the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2018) which just wrapped up in Las Vegas. Michael Josh and Isa share behind the scenes challenges of covering the world’s largest tech show. And the team talks about the most attention grabbing tech from the show including an entire range of Artificial Intelligence and Google Assistant gadgets, Vivo’s new phone with an in-display fingerprint sensor, Sony’s new robot dog, and Razer’s Project Linda.

Continue Reading

Apps

How to hide from Instragram’s new Activity Status feature

It’s on by default!

Published

on

Instagram silently rolled out a new feature of its app. If you don’t like your friends to know that you’re online (and also protect your privacy), you might want to take action. Why? Because it’s automatically turned on.

If you have the latest app, you probably noticed something new inside the Direct Messages section. This new feature dubbed “Activity Status” lets your Instagram buddies know if you’re online. If you happen to be scrolling through your timeline moments ago, the status will show that you’ve been available earlier.

This is switched on by default but the data is only shared with users that you follow and those you message privately. There’s no need to panic if you think a stalker will know that you’re online — unless you follow them, too.

How to turn it off?

You can easily switch it off inside the app. Just go to your profile page and tap the top-right icon for Options.

Next, scroll down until you see “Show Activity Status” and switch the toggle button beside.

That’s it! Now that it’s off on your end, your status will not show up to your buddies. Although, you won’t be able to see the status of other accounts as well.

Since the new feature was smoothly included in the recent updates from the Play Store or App Store, it’s not clear when Instagram introduced the function. Some might not have it yet, which could mean it’s still an experimental approach with a limited number of users.

Continue Reading

Automotive

The Best Car Tech of CES 2018

Exciting times ahead!

Published

on

We recently wrapped up CES 2018 (see our top picks) and even though the trade show originally revolved around consumer electronics, a big chunk of what was introduced was directed towards connected cities with a focus on making driving a lot smarter.

The idea of self-driving cars surely isn’t new and has been around for quite some time now. It’s basically the concept of what the future is like in addition to flying cars. At this year’s CES, brands who participated made us realize that this “future” isn’t too far away.

Here are some of the most promising cars and car technology that we’re excited to see in the near future.

Assistance

Multiple brands showed off their new toys left and right. There’s the announcement of Amazon’s Alexa coming to cars for voice assistance and content consumption. Toyota will be the next to adapt voice assistance in addition to BMW, Ford, and Hyundai. Meanwhile, Waze has also been integrated into select infotainment systems.

Nissan, on the other hand, is taking the user-machine a step further by introducing the brain-to-vehicle (B2V) technology. It basically uses a system that could read your brain patterns and signals to better prepare for what you’re about to do next while driving.

Platforms

In terms of services, Ford is slightly stepping out of the shadow of car-making and plans to be the new platform for autonomous vehicles. It has partnered with Lyft, Domino’s Pizza, and Postmates to create an operating system which small to large businesses can use for their unique services.

Speaking of unique services, Toyota unveiled its e-Palette concept vehicle which has all the potential to go big in the future of mobility. It’s envisioned as a self-driving vehicle running on Toyota’s tech and platform that other brands can use for food deliveries, as a moving boutique, or even a mobile hotel that you can rent.

As far as ride-sharing goes, expect it to join the bandwagon as smart cities are developed. During the trade show, car tech company Aptiv was present and was hand-in-hand with Lyft as they demonstrated their self-driving cars to the participants of CES. The public could just hail a ride from the Las Vegas Convention Center using the app and enjoy the view of the Strip to their destination.

Additionally, NVIDIA has also added Uber and Volkswagen to their growing roster of brands that will run on the company’s self-driving computer platform.

Cars

Apart from the new platforms, there were cars — quite a lot, actually. From concept to actual models on display, we got a peek at these vehicles that probably want to take on Tesla.

Derived from Bytes on Wheels, BYTON wants to blur the line between digital and automotive with their electric intelligent SUV concept. The new-gen smart device communicates with users and pedestrians via lights and patterns on its grille and recognizes the driver and passengers by face.

Kia was also present with its very own Niro electric crossover. This concept is basically an electric version of the Niro Hybrid but gets a new grille design. Like BYTON, it is now an interactive panel with a built-in Active Pedestrian Warning System, but what makes this something to look forward to is its range. It can go as far 383km (238 miles) before needing to charge again — beating what the Tesla Model 3 can offer.

Car designer Henrik Fisker gave another shot at making vehicles; this time in the form of the EMotion luxury sedan. The vehicle is a level 4 autonomous car and is equipped with the world’s first Butterfly Doors. Fisker also wants to set standards for other EVs so they made the vehicle last up to 644km (400 miles) on the road.

Meanwhile, Hyundai is continuing its push to go green and introduced the NEXO fuel cell electric vehicle. It has a more efficient engine, is a lot quieter, and maintenance is kept to a minimum. Although the best thing about it is that it emits nothing but water vapor. Features-wise, it has autonomous driving, self-parking, self-retrieval — the whole shebang.

In-vehicle Networking

Software updates are an important aspect of vehicles relying on digital systems. Tesla has somehow established its system already but for other car brands, updating hundreds, even thousands of vehicles across a country, is still not an easy task.

Hyundai and Cisco addressed this and aims to overhaul the process of in-vehicle networking. With the use of Ethernet connectivity and the Automotive Linux platform, they promise to be able to roll out updates remotely and it’s as simple as pushing a button.

 

Continue Reading

Trending