This Week in Gear: Netflix Brings Dolby Vision Support to iPhones, NVIDIA Lowers Shield TV Price, and More

Posted Sat Sep 23, 2017 at 08:55 PM PDT by
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We've compiled the latest gear news, including the launch of Netflix Dolby Vision support for iOS mobile devices and a price reduction for the NVIDIA Shield TV.

From product announcements and streaming app updates to general industry news and recent gear trends, keeping up with the latest tech news can be a daunting task. With that in mind, we're here to offer you a roundup of some of the latest gear and consumer electronics news that you may have missed.

For this edition, we're covering the arrival of Dolby Vision support for Netflix on select iOS mobile devices, a cheaper base price for the NVIDIA Shield TV media player, and Hulu updates for Roku products.

So, without further ado, here's a rundown of some of the latest gear and tech news:

Netflix Launches Dolby Vision Streaming on New iPhone Models


Netflix has announced the addition of mobile Dolby Vision HDR (high dynamic range) streaming playback for the Apple iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, and iPad Pro (2nd generation). The new devices join the LG G6 as the only mobile products to currently support Dolby Vision through Netflix. Beyond Dolby Vision, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, LG V30, Sony Xperia XZ1, and Sony Xperia XZ Premium all support HDR10 Netflix playback. 

In order to watch Dolby Vision streaming content on the newly supported mobile devices, users will need the latest Netflix app and the newest version of iOS. Likewise, subscribers will need the premium $12 per month Netflix plan. Dolby Vision is an advanced display and image mastering technology that offers expanded brightness to improve contrast between dark and light aspects of an image, bringing out deeper black levels and more realistic details in specular highlights -- like the sun reflecting off of an ocean -- in specially graded Dolby Vision material. 

The iPhone 8 features a 4.7-inch widescreen LCD IPS Multi-Touch Retina display with a resolution of 1334x750, 326 ppi, wide color, and 1400:1 a contrast ratio. Meanwhile, the iPhone 8 plus features a 5.5-inch widescreen LCD IPS Multi-Touch Retina HD display with a resolution of 1920x1080, 401 ppi, and a 1300:1 contrast ratio. Finally, the iPhone X features a Super Retina HD 5.8-inch all-screen OLED Multi-Touch display with a resolution of 2436x1125-pixel, 458 ppi, wide color, a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, and 625 cd/m2 max brightness.

Under the hood, all three models are powered by an A11 Bionic chip with 64-bit architecture, Neural Engine, and an Embedded M11 motion coprocessor. Dolby Vision, and HDR10 playback are all supported as well, along with 4K video recording and optimization for augmented reality.

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are available now in the US with prices starting at $699. The iPhone X will launch on November 3 with prices starting at $999.

Sources: Netflix via Engadget

NVIDIA Reduces Shield TV Media Player Starting Price


NVIDIA has announced a new cheaper option for its NVIDIA Shield TV media player. Previously, the device was available at a starting price of $200 with a gaming controller and remote, but now the company is set to offer a $179 option that only includes the remote.

The Shield TV features support for up to 4K HDR playback at 60 FPS, along with Dolby Atmos and DTS-X surround sound pass through over HDMI and high-resolution audio playback up to 24-bit/192 kHz over HDMI and USB. Under the hood, the device is powered by an NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor with a 256-core GPU and 3 GB RAM running Android 7.0. Supported services include Amazon, Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies, VUDU, Plex, and more. In addition, the system offers robust gaming capabilities, voice search, and several AI functions.

The new 16GB NVIDIA Shield TV Remote Only Edition is now available for pre-order for $179 with an expected ship date of October 18. Meanwhile, the 16GB Shield TV with remote and gaming controller is available for $200, and the 500GB Shield TV Pro model is available for $300.

Sources: NVIDIA via Engadget

Hulu Brings Live TV Streaming and Updated Interface to Roku Devices 


Hulu has announced the launch of its new Live TV Beta and updated User Interface on the Roku platform. 

The new UI features support for creating personal profiles along with improved navigation features, including Home, My Stuff, Browse, and Search categories. Meanwhile, the Hulu with Live TV beta costs $40 per month and combines a live/on-demand TV service with Hulu's standard streaming collection.

The Live service includes access to content from ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, with local live broadcast affiliate programming immediately available in many markets; live sporting events from top pro and college leagues on channels like CBS Sports, ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC Sports and TNT; regional sports networks in many markets; news channels like CNN, CNBC, Fox News, Fox Business and MSNBC; lifestyle programming from Bravo, E!, Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel; additional networks like A&E, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Disney Channel, Freeform, FX, HISTORY, Lifetime, National Geographic, TBS, USA Network, Viceland, and more.

Likewise, Live TV subscribers also get to enjoy Hulu's existing $8 premium streaming plan with limited commercials and more than 3500 TV and film titles. In addition, users can subscribe to add-on packages for HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime.

Roku devices with support for the new Hulu interface and Live TV beta include:

- Roku Streaming Stick (3600)
- Roku Express
- Roku Express+
- Roku Premiere+
- Roku Premiere
- Roku Ultra
- Roku 3
- Roku 4
- All Roku TV models

The Hulu Live TV Beta is also currently available on the Xbox 360, Apple TV, Xbox One, iOS and Android mobile devices, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, and Fire TV Stick.

A current standard Hulu subscription starts at $8 per month with commercials. In addition, ad-free playback is available for $12 per month. 

Source: Hulu

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Tags: Apple, Netflix, Dolby Vision, iPhone, iOS, Nvidia, SHIELD TV, Hulu, Roku (all tags)