Posted Thu Jun 1, 2017 at 10:20 PM PDT by Steven Cohen
We've compiled the latest gear news, including a new quantum dot monitor and Plex support for live 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 a new ASUS premium monitor, live OTA streaming support for Plex, the arrival of DirecTV NOW on Roku devices, and the addition of Tidal to the KEF LS50W app.
So, without further ado, here's a rundown of some of the latest gear and tech news:
Asus has revealed its newest premium gaming monitor. The ROG Swift PG35VQ includes support for several advanced picture quality features, including high dynamic range and a wide color gamut.
The monitor uses a 35-inch curved panel with an ultra-wide 21:9 aspect ratio, a UQWHD resolution of 3440x1440, and local dimming with 512 individual LED zones. In addition, the display includes HDR10 capabilities with a maximum brightness of 1,000 nits. Likewise, the screen uses quantum dot technology to support the wide DCI-P3 color space. Finally, a whopping 200Hz refresh rate is supported as well, along with NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology.
Pricing and a release date for the ROG Swift PG35VQ have not been announced yet. The monitor now joins the previously announced ROG Swift PG27UQ gaming monitor which features a 27-inch flat-screen panel with a 4K resolution, quantum dots, wide color gamut support, HDR10, and a 144Hz refresh rate.
Building upon the addition of DVR support back in September, Plex has announced the launch of live OTA TV streaming capabilities. The feature is built directly into the Media Server, allowing users to watch live TV content anywhere in the world.
With Plex Live TV and DVR, users can now watch and record high definition, over-the-air TV broadcasts from a supported digital tuner and antenna through Plex's intuitive and customizable program guide. The feature supports channels in more than 70 countries, including shows from all major US networks like ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and CW, as well as local programming, news, and sports (encrypted channels currently not supported). Live TV streaming through Plex is now available through the company's Android TV and iOS apps, with support for more platforms to be added soon. Supported TV tuners include HDHomeRun tuners, and models from Hauppauge, AVerMedia, DVBLogic and more (complete list here). And several of these USB tuners can even work directly with the NVIDIA SHIELD, offering an all-in-one Media Server solution.
In addition to live TV streaming, Plex has also announced several updates for its DVR feature, including new In-app DVR Management allowing users to browse the program guide, manage recordings, and more directly from the Android TV and iOS apps (with more to follow). Likewise, the core DVR engine has also been upgraded, making the scheduler even smarter with support for handling overlapping recordings on the same channel as well as the ability to watch live and record at the same time.
Plex Live TV and DVR features are now available for Plex Pass users. The Plex Pass service starts at $5 per month or $40 per year, and customers can also sign up for a lifetime membership for $120.
Roku has announced the arrival of the DirecTV NOW app on select Roku products. The streaming service is now available through Roku TV 4K models, the Roku Ultra, Roku Premiere+, Roku Premiere, Roku Express, Roku Express+, Roku Streaming Stick (model 3600R), Roku 4, Roku 3 and Roku 2 (model 4210).
DirecTV Now is a stand-alone streaming platform that provides access to a variety of live channels and on-demand content, including more than 20,000 on-demand shows and movies on over 120 live channels like ABC, AMC, BBC America, Bravo, Comedy Central, Discovery, Fox, Fox News Channel, FX, Hallmark Channel, HGTV, MSNBC, NBC, TBS, TNT and many others through several programming packages starting at $35 per month.
Here's a rundown of current plans and pricing:
- Live a Little – $35 / month (60+ channels)
- Just Right – $50 / month (80+ channels)
- Go Big – $60 / month (100+ channels)
- Gotta Have it – $70 / month (120+ channels)
Roku users who are not already subscribers can now use code ROKU1MONTH for a one-month free trial of DirecTV NOW (offer ends 8/31/17). In addition to Roku devices, DirecTV NOW is also available through Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick; Android mobile devices and tablets; iPhone, iPad and Apple TV; Chromecast (Android at launch; iOS in 2017); Google Cast-enabled LeEco ecotvs and VIZIO SmartCast Displays; and Internet Explorer, Chrome and Safari web browsers.
KEF has announced a new partnership with Tidal. As part of the deal, KEF will now integrate the music streaming service into its KEF LS50W Powered Music System app.
The TIDAL music streaming platform offers access to detailed, uncompressed, lossless streaming music files and HD music videos for $20 per month. In addition, a $10 per month plan with standard sound quality is also available. Meanwhile, the KEF LS50W is a complete and fully active wireless music system based on the company's LS50 speakers. The system features a 192kHz/24-bit high-resolution digital signal path and is driven by factory-optimized 230-watt x2 amplification in a bi-amp dual mono configuration. Advanced time-correcting DSP crossover with KEF’s exclusive Uni-Q technology is integrated as well. Connectivity options include dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, an asynchronous USB port, digital (toslink) input, and an RCA analog input.
After updating the app, users will be able to find the Tidal service directly through the navigation drawer of the KEF LS50W app.
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