You can pair an Android TV box with any TV to get Google smarts in your set, but there are also a few TVs with Android TV built-in. They're usually a bit more expensive than similar TVs, but that's not the case for RCA's new Android TV 4K sets. They come in 50, 55, and 65-inch varieties, and the smallest one starts at just $499. Read More
Unless, that is, you and your friends strap yourselves to lawn mowers and sling each other around on wet surfaces often. In that case, maybe you have seen people have this much fun in this manner. But for most of us, this LG V10 video is giving us a first. Read More
If you use Plex, you already know it's an amazing tool for managing your completely legitimate media library. It really is great - and today, it just got a little better, especially if you've been hankering to play back 4K videos on your Android or Android TV device.
Plex v4.8 for Android adds three things, but they're all pretty significant. First on the list is 4K HEVC (aka the H.265 codec) playback support. Now, the main reason that's really useful is, essentially, for playback on Android TV devices connected to a 4K display. While it'd be fine to downscale to 1080p on smartphones, if you've got a 4K television, you want 4K content. Read More
NVIDIA's SHIELD Android TV box has only been available for a few weeks, and it's already getting its over-the-air update. This one improves a handful of the SHIELD's app functions and its accessories. Notably, software build 1.2 enables 4K output in Google's Photos & Videos app, provided of course that you have a 4K TV to view them on. According to the changelog it also improves streaming performance for both Netflix and Google Play Movies. Read More
Are you ready to watch ALL THE PIXELS? You certainly are if you've got a fancy 4K TV - the new top-of-the-line industry standard is begging for content, and Netflix is at the front of the queue. The streaming service has been offering some of its home-grown shows like House of Cards and Daredevil in 4K resolution to subscribers of a premium $12-a-month plan. Now you can access that sweet "UltraHD" video on Android TV... if you've got compatible hardware.
At the moment, the only Android TV devices capable of outputting in 4K aren't Android TV devices at all, they're Sony's latest batch of high-end smart TVs, which use Google's latest set-top box as an embedded operating system. Read More
Video quality keeps getting better, which means file sizes keep getting larger, things keep getting more complicated, and software must continue to work harder. According to Googler François Beaufort, the developmental version of Chrome now has a new video renderer that should be able to handle 4K content without stuttering.
You can try things out for yourself by installing Chrome Dev from the Play Store, enabling chrome://flags/#enable-new-video-renderer, and restarting the browser. This should work on your PC and Android devices alike.
Hey look, it now says "Disable." I guess that means it's working.
If your device previously struggled to play 4K60, 4K, or 1080p60 videos on YouTube, try again now. Read More
It was inevitable. Inevitable, I tell you. With the smartphone market becoming a ridiculous battlefield of overpowered spec sheets, it was only a matter of time before someone decided to cram a 4K resolution into a phone. That someone is Japanese smartphone maker and frequent part supplier Sharp, who revealed a 5.5" screen module with a resolution of 3840 by 2160 pixels. That's a density of 806 pixels per square inch, for those of you keeping score at home. Read More
A fresh update for YouTube began rolling out today, bumping the version number to 10.10. This appears to be a fairly minor release, as it only includes some visual tweaks and adds the new 4K video search filter. Still, it might appeal to anybody with a screen and hardware that supports super high-def video. There's a download link below if you're anxious to give it a try.
Left: previous version. Center: new version. Right: 4k video.
4K search first appeared in a teardown of YouTube 10.8, just 3 weeks ago. Like any other video filter, it can be enabled after performing a keyword search, at which point there's an icon to the right of the search box that can be used to access the list of filters. Read More
The folks over at YouTube have had a busy week after launching YouTube For Kids, and then turning on video trimming a few days later. To keep the ball rolling, the YouTube team shipped a brand new update to its primary app last night that finally enables stats for nerds. After examining the apk in a teardown, it turns out that there's also a big improvement to the upcoming audio swapping feature, and it seems there may even be some new search filters on the way.
Stats For Nerds
The "big" new feature probably isn't going to get too many people excited, but Stats For Nerds is finally live. Read More
In recent years the Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) standard hasn't been nearly as ubiquitous as it once was - some manufacturers have switched to other hardware solutions like MicroHDMI ports, some have abandoned hardware video output altogether, and plenty of users have moved on to wireless streaming of one sort or another. But the MHL consortium is hoping to reinvigorate the standard with new hardware and new capabilities. Meet SuperMHL: it's over 8000.
8000 lines of resolution, that is. Anandtech reports that the new SuperMHL standard and cable can handle a maximum resolution of 8K (somewhere between 7680 × 4320 and 10080 × 4320, depending on your screen) at 120 frames per second in its 6-lane cable configuration. Read More