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      Walmart buying TV-brand Vizio for its ad-fueling customer data

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · 4 days ago - 20:44

    Close-up of Vizio logo on a TV

    Enlarge (credit: Vizio )

    Walmart announced an agreement to buy Vizio today. Irvine, California-based Vizio is best known for lower-priced TVs, but its real value to Walmart is its advertising business and access to user data.

    Walmart said it's buying Vizio for approximately $2.3 billion, pending regulatory clearance and additional closing conditions. Vizio can also terminate the transaction over the next 45 days if it accepts a better offer, per the announcement.

    Walmart will keep selling non-Vizio TVs should the merger close, Seth Dallaire, Walmart US' EVP and CRO who would manage Vizio post-acquisition, told The Wall Street Journal ( WSJ ).

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      LG OLED T is a transparent 77-inch TV that will arrive in 2024

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 8 January - 22:11

    LG OLED T

    Enlarge / LG's OLED T TV with its contrast film rolled down partially, enabling you to see what's behind the TV's upper area. (credit: LG전자 뉴스룸 LiVE LG/YouTube )

    LG today announced plans to sell a TV with transparent-display technology that has almost exclusively been relegated to commercial applications and demonstrations at tech shows.

    LG is showing off the Signature OLED T at CES 2024 (which officially starts tomorrow). LG says the see-through TV will be available this year but hasn't shared pricing. Still, it's remarkable to see transparent tech make its way into a consumer TV, even if it is expected to be extremely expensive. Other groundbreaking, Signauture-branded OLED designs from LG have cost six figures .

    During a press event today, LG executives discussed the OLED T as a way to satisfy customer demand for bigger TVs without those mammoth displays always dominating the living room.

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      Vizio settles for $3M after saying 60 Hz TVs had 120 Hz “effective refresh rate”

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 2 January - 22:03

    A marketing image for Vizio's P-series Q9 TV.

    Enlarge / A marketing image for Vizio's P-series Q9 TV. (credit: Vizio )

    Vizio has agreed to pay $3 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that alleged the company misled customers about the refresh rates of its TVs.

    In 2018, a lawsuit [ PDF ], which was later certified as a class action, was filed against Vizio for advertising its 60 Hz and 120 Hz LCD TVs as having an "effective" refresh rate of 120 Hz and 240 Hz, respectively. Vizio was referring to the backlight scanning (or black frame insertion) ability, which it claimed made the TVs look like they were operating at a refresh rate that was twice as fast as they are capable of. Vizio's claims failed to address the drawbacks that can come from backlight scanning, which include less brightness and the potential for noticeable flickering. The lawsuit complained about Vizio's language in marketing materials and user manuals.

    The lawsuit read:

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      Wireless TVs use built-in cameras, NFC readers to sell you stuff you see on TV

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 20 December - 21:41 · 1 minute

    webcam protruding out of the Displace TV

    Enlarge / A closeup of the webcam on the Displace TV announced in January. (credit: Dislace)

    It's no secret that TV makers are seriously invested in pushing ads. Using TVs for advertising goes back to 1941 , when the first TV commercial aired. But as we trudge our way through the 21st century, TV vendors are becoming more involved in ensuring that their hardware is used to sell stuff and add to their own recurring revenue.

    This has taken various forms, but in some cases we're seeing increasingly invasive strategies for turning TVs into a primary place for shopping. The latest approach catching attention comes from startup Displace. Its upcoming TVs will use integrated webcams and NFC payment readers to make it easy for people to buy stuff they see on TV.

    Displace hasn't officially released a product yet, so skepticism about the TVs it says it will demo at CES 2024 in Las Vegas next month, as spotted by sites like Wifi Hifi , is warranted. (Displace said it would have images of the newly announced TVs to share next year). The startup is specializing in wireless TVs with hot-swappable batteries that can vacuum suction-mount to a wall and zip-line slowly off said wall when sensing an unstable connection or low battery. The original "Displace TV" that Displace announced in January is supposed to ship in mid-2024. Displace has been taking preorders for those.

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      After luring customers with low prices, Amazon stuffs Fire TVs with ads

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 8 November - 17:46

    Close-up image of Smart Television screensaver of roaring , dancing flames from beach barbecue burning wood against night sky, domestic life concept

    Enlarge / A non-Amazon TV displaying a fire. (credit: Getty )

    People who buy a Fire TV from Amazon are probably looking for a cheap and simple way to get an affordable 4K smart TV. When Amazon announced its first self-branded TVs in September 2021, it touted them as being a "great value." But owners of the devices will soon be paying for some of those savings in the form of more prominently displayed advertisements.

    Charlotte Maines, Amazon's director of Fire TV advertising, monetization, and engagement, detailed the new types of ads that Amazon is selling on Fire TVs. In a StreamTV Insider report from November 1, Amazon said the new ads will allow advertisers to reach an average of 155 million unique monthly viewers.

    Some of the changes targeting advertisers, like connecting display placement ads with specific in-stream video ads, seem harmless enough. Others could jeopardize the TV-watching experience for owners.

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      Not burn-in: Scary OLED TV image retention may stem from “buggy” feature

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 11 October - 18:26

    Sony A95K OLED TV

    Enlarge / Sony announced the A95K QD-OLED TV in early 2022. (credit: Sony )

    Image retention is scary to see on your OLED TV but often easy to eliminate. Many modern OLED TVs subtly work their own magic when you're not watching in order to remove the problem, as RTINGS demonstrated in a video released Friday. However, TV vendors aren't all doing perfect jobs at implementing OLED screens' compensation cycles.

    Temporary image retention differs from permanent image retention, aka burn-in, in that it points to a change in the panel's thin-film transistor (TFT) layer, rather than degradation of the OLED layer. Untreated permanent image retention doesn't lead to burn-in, a Sony spokesperson confirmed to me, but anyone looking at a screen suffering from image persistence will want to eradicate the sticky images, fast.

    These temporary artifacts can be the result of heat affecting the amount of light emitted by the OLED pixels and can happen within minutes of usage. But letting the TV cool down by turning it off usually fixes this.

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      Vacuum suction-mounted wireless TV zip lines off faulty walls to safety

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 5 October - 20:09 · 1 minute

    Wall-mounting a big-screen TV can be stressful. You typically need to bore holes in your wall, making precise measurements and location selection critical. And when it comes to stability, you either have to bet on your own skills or have a handier person enter your home (and, possibly, pay them). The upcoming Displace TV seeks to address these concerns with a nail-less, hole-less mounting system that allows the 55-inch screen to zip line down to foam-padded safety if mount security is jeopardized.

    Displace, a startup founded in 2022, announced the Displace TV at the CES 2023 trade show in January. The TV is 4K OLED and wireless, meaning it has no power cord or ports. Similar to LG's OLED M TVs , it gets its content from what Displace calls a "base control unit" computer placed near the television.

    This week, Displace demoed new "safety features" for the TV made in response to concerns about the device's proprietary "active-loop vacuum technology." The vacuum tech is supposed to securely adhere the TV to painted, ceramic, or glass walls without holes, nails, or other tools. But it relies on TV battery power.

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      Dolby Atmos’ upcoming FlexConnect may simplify wireless home theater audio

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 28 August - 18:23

    friends watching a scary movie in a living room during scary moment, with popcorn flying

    Enlarge / Robust home theater audio can intensify a scary movie moment. (credit: Getty )

    Dolby Laboratories today announced Dolby Atmos FlexConnect, a feature with the potential to add flexibility and simplicity to home theater audio setups. The company says FlexConnect allows supporting TVs to optimize Dolby Atmos audio output among the TV's speakers and paired wireless speakers. Currently, Dolby is only announcing the feature with upcoming TCL TVs, but it could expand elsewhere.

    FlexConnect, which will work with Atmos, 5.1, and stereo sound, is about adapting to people's audio setups, with considerations for things like speaker count and placement. The upcoming feature aims to bolster Atmos audio in situations where speaker placement is limited due to obstacles like room size, furniture, or outlet locations.

    According to Dolby, FlexConnect will mean users can hear the same experience regardless of where they're sitting in the room, and that audio is tweaked based on each speaker's location and capabilities.

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      LG’s wireless-ish OLED TVs start at $7,000

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 8 August, 2023 - 21:33

    Messy cables have haunted TVs for ages. Gaming consoles, sound systems, cable boxes, disc players, and even antennas can all contribute to a cluttered room. But what if all those cables weren't connected to the TV but instead to a separate box far away from the screen?

    That's the idea behind the series of TVs that LG listed today. Available in 97-, 83-, and 77-inch panel sizes, the new OLED M-series TVs don't have any ports on the actual TV. They each come with a so-called Zero Connect Box for wirelessly sending information between the ports and the TV from up to 30 feet away.

    The TV and the Zero Connect Box both need to be plugged in, though, so this isn't really a "wireless" solution, even though LG is marketing the line as the " first wireless OLED TV ."

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