This Week in Gear: New Optoma Projector with Alexa Support, McIntosh's Latest Audio Gear, and More

Posted Sat May 19, 2018 at 09:50 AM PDT by
optoma 4k alexa projector

We've compiled the latest gear news, including the release of Optoma's new 4K projector with Alexa voice control, details on McIntosh's latest home audio products, 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 the Optoma UHD51A 4K projector with Alexa support, details on McIntosh's new MCD600 SACD/CD Player and MS500 Music Streamer, and the latest mobile updates for Hulu's live TV streaming platform.

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

Optoma Releases 4K Projector with Alexa Support


Optoma has announced the launch of its latest 4K home theater projector. The UHD51A is now the world's first voice-enabled home theater projector thanks to its integration with Amazon Alexa.

"Optoma's leadership in the consumer home theater space has largely been attributable to our ability to design and deliver projectors that leverage the latest innovations and technologies to deliver a great entertainment experience at an affordable price point," said Brian Soto, head of product management at Optoma Technology. "With smart home adoption on the rise, and voice increasingly becoming a preferred way for consumers to interface with their electronics, we prioritized delivering this feature to our audience."

The Optoma UHD51A uses TI DLP tech with support for 4K UHD projection, along with Amazon Alexa Smart Home integration via the new SmartProjection for Smart Home skill. In addition, the device offers 2,400 lumens, a 500,000:1 contrast ratio, and an RGBRGB color wheel with HDR10 and Rec.2020/DCPI-3 wide color gamut signal capabilities. 

Here's a full rundown of specs per Optoma:

-Resolution: 3480 x 2160 4K UHD
-Brightness: 2,400 ANSI lumens
-Contrast Ratio: 500,000:1 with Dynamic Black
-Color Gamut Support; REC.709, DCI-P3, HDR10 (REC.2020) compatible
-Color Wheel: RGBRGB 6-segment color wheel
-Lens Shift: 15% vertical
-Throw Ratio: 1.21 – 1.59
-Optical Zoom: 1.3x
-Audio: Two 5W integrated speakers
-Smart Features: Amazon Alexa Smart Home Skill, 4K UHD HDR USB Media Player compatibility, PC-Free Office and PDF Viewer
-Connectivity: Two HDMI 2.0 ports with HDCP 2.2 and MHL 2.1 support, USB 2.0 (service port), USB (for Alexa Wi-Fi adapter), USB (media playback), USB (for wireless screen mirroring)

The UHD51A is now available for an MSRP of $1,699. For a good idea of what you can expect from the device, be sure to check out our review of the similar UHD50 model here, which essentially offers the same specs minus Alexa support.

Source: Optoma

McIntosh Details Latest Home Audio Devices


McIntosh has announced to new additions to its home audio lineup. The collection includes the MCD600 SACD/CD Player and MS500 Music Streamer.

The MCD600 SACD/CD Player features a newly designed digital circuit with a premium 8-channel, 32-bit PCM/DSD digital-to-analog converter (DAC). Playback support is provided for SACDs, CDs, user generated CD or DVD Data Discs, and USB flash drives. Compatible file formats include AAC, AIFF, ALAC, DSD (up to DSD128), FLAC, MP3, WAV (up to 24-bit/192kHz) and WMA. Meanwhile, the device up-samples all PCM signals to 32-bit/384kHz. Finally, the unit boasts McIntosh's classic styling with a polished stainless steel chassis, black glass front panel, illuminated logo, knobs and aluminum end caps. 

The MS500 Music Streamer offers support for internet based streaming music and locally stored digital music, including uncompressed, lossless files with up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution. The device stores local music on a 500GB solid state drive (SSD) and features integrated access to services like Deezer, Murfie, Pandora, Rhapsody® SiriusXM, Slacker, Spotify, TIDAL and TuneIn (services subject to change). Likewise, Internet radio stations can be added as presets too. In addition, the unit includes three USB ports for external mass storage or flash drives. A black glass front panel, illuminated logo, and aluminum end cap are featured as well.

The MCD600 SACD/CD Player and MS500 Music Streamer are both set to start shipping this month, with a target retail price of $7,000 for the MCD600 and a target retail price of $6,000 for the MS500.

Source: McIntosh Labs

Hulu Offers New Features for Mobile Devices


Hulu has announced several new features for mobile devices, making it easier to watch live TV, control recommendations, and access content on the go. 

First up, the Hulu TV platform is adding a lightning bolt icon to the app navigation bar which will take users directly to live playback on their most recently watched channel. In addition, mobile devices are also set to receive a dynamic live TV guide, enabling viewers to switch channels, see what's playing now, and what's coming up in the next 24 hours. A new portrait mode is also in the works, allowing users to continue to watch content on the top of the screen while the guide fills up the rest. 

Meanwhile, Hulu is expanding control over the service's recommendations with two new features, “Stop Suggesting” programming and “Remove” from Watch History. The former gives users the option to stop titles from ever being recommended to them again. The latter allows viewers to remove items from the Keep Watching collection on Home and the Watch History hub, erasing the view from Hulu's recommendation engine.

For customers who want the big screen experience, Hulu is adding HDMI playback support from iOS devices like iPhones and iPads as well. This allows users to plug their mobile devices into the HDMI port of a TV to watch content. Finally, the company is also updating its desktop interface with the new Hulu experience for Web.

These new features are all set to start rolling out to compatible Android and iOS devices next week. 

Source: Hulu via Engadget

Tags: Optoma, Projectors, 4K, Alexa, McIntosh, Hulu, iOS, Android (all tags)