This Week in Gear: McIntosh Details New Amplifier, YouTube Announces Live TV App for Media Players, and More

Posted Sun Nov 5, 2017 at 06:00 AM PST by
McIntosh MA252 Integrated Amplifier

We've compiled the latest gear news, including McIntosh's newest audio component, YouTube's live TV app for smart devices, Netflix 4K support on Xfinity, and more.

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 release of McIntosh's MA252 Integrated Amplifier, the launch of the new YouTube TV app for connected devices, the arrival of Netflix 4K support on the Xfinity X1, and the addition of Amazon Prime streaming to Xbox One systems.

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

McIntosh Details MA252 Integrated Amplifier

McIntosh has revealed the latest addition to its audio lineup. The new MA252 is the first hybrid integrated amplifier from the company, combining elements of vacuum tube and solid-state circuit design.

The device's direct coupled solid-state 2-channel amplifier stage is rated for 100 Watts per channel into 8 Ohm speakers or 160 Watts per channel into 4 Ohm speakers. In addition, the unit incorporates a preamplifier stage with two 12AX7a and two 12AT7 vacuum tubes. Likewise, the device features an all analog design with two unbalanced, one balanced, and one Moving Magnet phono input, along with a full range subwoofer output. McIntosh Monogrammed Heatsinks connected to advanced high current output transistors, a powerful control microprocessor, audio-grade circuit components, and Power Guard technology are all implemented as well. Finally, the device uses a polished stainless steel chassis and includes an OLED screen for displaying settings and input selections.

McIntosh's MA252 is set to start shipping this month for a suggested retail price of $3,500.

Source: McIntosh

YouTube Announces Live TV App for Smart Devices

YouTube has announced a new live TV app specifically designed for media players and smart TVs, bringing the company's streaming TV service to the big screen. In the coming days and weeks, the app will roll out to Android TV devices like the NVIDIA SHIELD and Sony smart TVs; Xbox One, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X consoles; Apple TV; and additional smart TV models from LG and Samsung.

YouTube TV costs $35 per month and offers access to more than 40 live streaming networks, regional sports channels, and cable stations, including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, The CW, ESPN, Fox News, MSNBC, USA, Syfy, FX, Disney Channel, Sprout, E!, Bravo, and more. Likewise, the platform also includes an unlimited Cloud DVR feature, allowing users to record as many shows as they want at the same time with no storage limitations. Each recording will be available across supported playback devices and will be stored for nine months. In addition, the internet TV service provides access to YouTube Red original series and movies as well, along with the option to add Showtime or Fox Soccer Plus to the channel lineup for an extra fee.

Here's a full rundown of the new TV app's design perks and main features per YouTube:

- Control your live TV experience with your TV's remote control or game controller.
- For a more cinematic look, we made the background dark on your TVs.
- A new Live guide made for your big screen so you can get a sneak-peek at what's airing soon.
- Never miss the action with our background playback experience built for your big screen.
- Easily pick up where you left off on another device when you get home.

In addition to the new app for smart TVs and media players, YouTube TV is also currently accessible through Android and iOS mobile devices, computers, Google Chromecast, and Chromecast built-in TVs. The service is now available in all top 50 metro areas and new users can receive a free one-month trial.

Source: YouTube

Comcast Adds 4K Netflix Support to Xfinity X1 Platform

Comcast has announced the addition of Netflix 4K streaming support for its 4K-capable Xfinity X1 platform. With Netflix 4K integration, Xfinity users who have an XG1v4 set-top box and a Netflix Premium subscription can now access Ultra HD Netflix content directly through their set-top boxes alongside the live, on demand, DVR, and web programming already included with their Xfinity TV plans.

"We remain focused on providing our customers high-quality entertainment experiences across platforms, which includes easy access to the best 4K programming," said Brynn Lev, Vice President, Editorial and Programming, Content Strategy and Operations, Comcast Cable. "We are thrilled to make the popular Netflix catalog of 4K programming available to X1 customers and will continue to rapidly expand the UHD programming choices available on the platform."

Netflix currently offers a growing 4K Ultra HD library of over 1200 hours of original films, documentaries, specials, and series, including popular shows like Stranger Things. In order to properly stream 4K Ultra HD content, the company recommends an internet connection speed of at least 25 megabits. The 4K Netflix Premium plan costs $14 per month.

Source: Comcast

Amazon Prime Video Arrives on Xbox One Consoles

Microsoft has announced the launch of the Amazon Prime Video app for Xbox One systems. Users with an Xbox One console can now download the app from the Microsoft Store. In addition, the app will also be available through the new Xbox One X when it launches on November 7

Amazon Prime Video offers a growing collection of movies and TV shows, including several Amazon original series like Transparent, The Man in the High Castle, The Tick, Mozart in the Jungle, and The Grand Tour. Likewise, the service now offers many of its titles in 4K Ultra HD.

A current Amazon Prime subscription costs $99 per year or $11 per month. In addition to video streaming, the service also includes free two-day shipping, unlimited music streaming, unlimited reading on any device, free unlimited photo storage, and frees same-day delivery in eligible areas. Meanwhile, Prime Video is also available as a standalone option for $9 per month.

Source: Xbox Wire

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Tags: McIntosh, Amazon Prime Video, Comcast, Netflix, XFINITY, YouTube TV, Amplifiers, Apps, Xbox One (all tags)