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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, 2023 - 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, 2023 - 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, 2023 - 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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      Samsung and LG have finally settled on an OLED TV deal, report says

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 16 May, 2023 - 17:36


    Enlarge (credit: Samsung )

    After years of resisting the move from LCD to OLED and reportedly going back and forth with LG Display about a potential OLED panel deal, Samsung Electronics has finally decided to buy OLED TV panels from its rival , Reuters reported today, citing three anonymous sources.

    LG Display and Samsung have reportedly been doing this dance for years. In 2021, the South Korean firms were reportedly nearing a deal that would see Samsung revive its OLED TV business. But by 2021, a Samsung official was purportedly saying that Samsung's quantum-dot based LED ( QLED ) TVs "have better picture quality than OLED TVs, " and, come 2022, reports claimed that said deal was no longer in the works due to price concerns.

    Reuters' report today said LG Display and Samsung have finally agreed on a "high-end TV panels" deal. It cited people it said didn't want to be named as the deal isn't public and said LG Display and Samsung wouldn't comment.

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      Double-screen ‘free’ TV will show you ads, even when not in use

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 15 May, 2023 - 19:38 · 1 minute

    Telly TV with ads on second screen

    Enlarge / The free Telly 4K TV has a second screen for showing ads. (credit: Telly )

    What would you be willing to do for a free TV? If the answer is hand over information about what you watch, search for, and listen to on that TV and for how long, how much money your household makes, what food and brands you like, and your race and be subject to on-screen ads at any time, then Telly's got the deal for you.

    The Telly TV announced today (and rumored to be en route since earlier this month) is a 55-inch 4K HDR TV with a five-driver soundbar connecting a second screen called the Smart Screen. The smaller Smart Screen is dedicated to showing ads and can also show relevant content, like news feeds from selected publications, weather, or scores from favorite sports teams. The TV has three HDMI and two USB ports (versions not specified) and a TV tuner and comes with a 4K Android TV streaming stick (you can use your own streaming device or service, but Telly doesn't come with support for third-party streaming apps, such as Hulu, The Verge reports).

    Specs-wise, that's nearly all we know about Telly so far because the main thing the company, founded by free TV-streaming service Pluto co-founder Ilya Pozin in May 2021, wants you to focus on is shoppers' favorite four-letter word: free.

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      With Amazon Alexa’s future in peril, Fire TVs offer a glimmer of hope

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 29 March, 2023 - 11:00

    Amazon Fire TV mounted in a living room

    Enlarge / Fire TVs give Alexa hope, but the future still feels grim. (credit: Amazon )

    Alexa, how can you continue to be relevant and stop sucking money from Amazon?

    That's not an easy question to answer, and the future of Amazon Alexa has never felt so uncertain. In November, Business Insider reported that Alexa “and other devices” were expected to lose Amazon $10 billion in 2022. Such large losses spotlight an enduring question: How are voice assistants supposed to make money? It’s a dilemma other voice assistants are struggling with, too.

    In the case of Alexa, which has been integrated into various Amazon-branded products, from speakers and smart displays to a home robot and microwave, its best shot at survival has been under our noses—or in our living rooms—all along.

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      Amazon hamstrings free app that makes Fire TV remotes reprogrammable

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 20 February, 2023 - 19:32 · 1 minute

    Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max

    Enlarge / The Fire TV Stick 4K Max. You're pretty much stuck with those streaming-service buttons on the bottom of the remote. (credit: Amazon)

    Amazon doesn't want you messing with the Fire TV remote's buttons. After all, those buttons connecting users to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu are a source of ad revenue for Amazon. The company recently issued a software update to the Fire TV Stick 4K Max that blocks the functionality of Remapper, a free app that lets users reprogram the remote's third-party app-launcher buttons.

    Buttons dedicated to a specific TV-streaming service, like Disney+ or Peacock, have been a way for streaming services to attempt to drive subscriptions and viewership since 2011 when Netflix started doing it . Companies like Amazon and Roku receive money for placing a button for a streaming service on their remotes. Amazon hasn't disclosed how much money it makes from this function, but in 2019, Bloomberg reported that Roku charges streaming companies $1 for every remote sold with one of the service's buttons.

    With that in mind, Amazon's apparent resistance to Remapper isn't surprising. But for users who don't have a Netflix subscription, for example, they may want to reprogram a Fire TV remote's dedicated Netflix button to launch a service they have a subscription to.

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