HD Gear News Roundup: Week of April 9th, 2017 – Onkyo Receiver, BenQ Monitor, and More

Posted Thu Apr 13, 2017 at 03:00 PM PDT by
onkyo TX-8270 receiver

This week's roundup includes a new stereo receiver, a QHD monitor, 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 weekly roundup of some of the latest gear and consumer electronics news that you may have missed.

This week, we're covering a new Network Stereo Receiver from Onkyo, a BenQ 27-inch QHD monitor, the terminated LeEco/VIZIO merger deal, Showtime mobile downloads, and Sling TV Cloud DVR support.    

So, without further ado, here's a rundown of the latest gear and tech news for the week of April 9, 2017:

Onkyo TX-8270 Network Stereo Receiver

Onkyo has announced its latest home audio product, the TX-8270 Network Stereo Receiver. The 2-Channel stereo receiver is set for release later this month for a suggested retail price of $599.

The TX-8270 is rated for 2 x 100 W (8 Ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.08%, 2 channels driven, FTC), and features Dynamic Audio Amplification, non-phase-shift circuitry, and an AKM 384 kHz/32-bit DAC enhanced with VLSC (Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry) filtering technology.  In addition, processing is optimized for Hi-Res Audio playback, including DSD 5.6 MHz/2.8 MHz and PCM formats up to 192 kHz/24-bit in popular file formats.

Likewise, the device also includes Dolby Vision signal pass-through; four 4K High Dynamic Range HDMI inputs and one output with Audio Return Channel (ARC); a rear USB input (5V/500mA) with support for HDMI dongles that require power; a front-panel USB input for music playback from USB flash-memory devices; a moving magnet (MM) phono input; three line inputs; three digital audio inputs (two optical and one coaxial); speaker A/B outputs; and line outputs for Zone 2 (with separate DAC for distributed Net/USB/analog audio).

The TX-8270 also incorporates robust wireless connectivity, including 5 GHz/2.4 GHz Wi-Fi supporting AirPlay and Spotify, along with Chromecast built-in and DTS Play-Fi capabilities through a firmware upgrade. FireConnect multiroom tech powered by Blackfire and Bluetooth wireless connectivity with Music Optimizer enhancement for compressed audio are integrated as well. Finally, the receiver features access to streaming services like TIDAL, Pandora, Deezer, and TuneIn directly through the device and Onkyo Controller app.

Source: Onkyo

BenQ PD2710QC QHD Designer Monitor

BenQ has announced the release of its new PD2710QC monitor. The 27-inch display is geared toward creative professionals and is the world's first design monitor to include a USB-C(TM) Docking Station for MacBook and PC users.

"The PD2710QC is engineered to meet the highest standards for color performance, ensuring the very best creation process for designers -- from start to finish," said J.Y. Hu, vice president, business line management at BenQ America Corp. "But we didn't stop there: The USB-C Docking Station is a one-of-a-kind innovation that makes the monitor a powerhouse of productivity to ease the creative process."

The PD2710QC features a 27-inch QHD (2560x1440) IPS LED display with 100% sRGB and Rec.709 color accuracy, a wide viewing angle, and Technicolor Color-Certification. In addition, the monitor uses an anti-glare screen and includes BenQ's Eye-Care technology with Zeroflicker and Low Blue Light. Darkroom, CAD/CAM and Animation display modes are offered as well. The panel is rated for 350 brightness and a 1000:1 native contrast ratio. DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort, and HDMI inputs are included as well. Finally, the monitor incorporates a USB-C Docking Station allowing users to charge devices (up to 61 watts of power to a laptop or mobile device), transfer data, transmit audio and video, and connect to the internet, all through a single cable. 

The BenQ PD2710QC is available for a suggested retail price of $599.

Source: BenQ via TWICE

LeEco and VIZIO Abandon Merger Agreement

As previously reported, LeEco was set to acquire VIZIO in a $2 billion deal, but the merger agreement has now been called off due to "regulatory headwinds."

Despite the setback, the companies have formed a new partnership. As part of the new agreement, LeEco and VIZIO will explore opportunities to incorporate the Le app and content within the VIZIO connected CE platform, and engage in a collaboration to use LeEco's EUI (Ecosystem User Interface) platform, along with the brand's exclusive content and distribution channels, to bring VIZIO products to the Chinese market.

Outside of their partnership with VIZIO, LeEco recently announced a special Tax Refund Sales Event for its Ultra HD TV lineup. Meanwhile, VIZIO recently revealed its new 2017 D-Series HD and Ultra HD display collection.

Sources: LeEco, VIZIO

Showtime Adds Download Feature for Mobile Streaming App

Showtime has announced the addition of a download feature for its Showtime standalone and Showtime Anytime mobile apps. With the new option, mobile users can now download content for offline viewing on smartphones and tablets at no extra cost to their subscriptions.

"Making our wide variety of SHOWTIME content available to consumers at any time and any place has been a top priority for us," said Tom Christie, Chief Operating Officer, Showtime Networks Inc. "With our new download feature, subscribers now have the freedom to watch their favorite Showtime programming anywhere they are, regardless of the available Internet or wireless connection. We have truly become a network you can watch on the go."

To start downloading Showtime content, mobile users simply need to update their Showtime or Showtime Anytime apps. Once updated, subscribers can download a program by tapping the "Download" button on the title's detail page. Smartphone users can select either standard definition (540p) or high definition (720p) quality, while tablet users also have the option for Full HD downloads (1080p). The Showtime downloads feature is now available on iOS devices (iPhone and iPad), Android phones and tablets, and Amazon Fire Tablets

The Showtime standalone streaming service is currently available through Apple, Roku, Amazon, Google and Samsung. Likewise, customers can also subscribe to Showtime through Hulu, YouTube TV, Sling TV, Sony PlayStation Vue, and Amazon Channels. Meanwhile, access to the Showtime Anytime app is available as part of a traditional authenticated Showtime cable or satellite subscription.

Source: Showtime

Sling TV Expands Cloud DVR Feature to Roku and Android Devices

Sling TV has announced an expansion of its Cloud DVR First Look Program to Roku streaming players, Roku TVs, Android TVs, and Android mobile devices. Previously, the program was only available through Amazon devices.

With the Sling TV Cloud DVR First Look Program, subscribers with a supported device can purchase 50 hours of storage for $5 per month with any Sling TV package. And in addition to Roku and Android, Cloud DVR support is set to arrive on Apple TV in the coming weeks.

Here's a rundown of Sling TV Cloud DVR features:

- Watch anytime, anywhere: Record your favorites and watch whenever you want across all Amazon Fire TVs and Fire tablets, Android mobile devices, Android TVs, Roku streaming players and Roku TVs. AirTV is not currently compatible with Cloud DVR.

- Conflict-free recording: Record multiple programs simultaneously, and forget about recording conflicts.

- Keep recordings as long as you want: With Sling TV, your recordings won’t expire as long as you remain a Sling subscriber with Cloud DVR.

- Auto-managed recordings: Sling TV will make room for new recordings by deleting your old recordings as you reach capacity, starting with your oldest ‘watched’ recording, so you can binge on your new favorite show.

Source: Sling TV

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Tags: Onkyo, Home Audio, Receivers, Dolby Vision, Price, BenQ, Monitors, QHD, Showtime, Apps, Streaming, Mobile, Sling TV, DVRs, LeEco, Vizio (all tags)