Robert Corrales

VUDU Android App Review

VUDU has finally gone and released an app on the Android Play Store. It’s been available on the iPad for over a year now, so it’s nice to finally see them show the millions of Android tablet users some love. For now, the app will only show up on the Play Store for a few compatible tablets, but the list of devices should be growing soon. For this review, I side loaded the the apk I found online onto to Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1. Here’s the run down…

VUDU is owned by Wal-Mart and allows you to rent and buy movies for viewing in up to 1080p. It’s also a place where you can view any movies you have on your Ultra-Violet account. For some reason, the big wigs over at the movie studios decided to allow only standard definition viewing through Ultra-Violet. But if you own a internet connected TV, Blu-Ray player, or another device with VUDU built in, you can enjoy your movies in full HD. Now with the Android app, you can take your movies with you where ever you go. The best feature, is the ability to download your movie directly to your device so no internet connection is needed. This is not a option for the iPad app(In your face iPad). Besides movies, the app is very well designed, easy to navigate, super smooth, and you can purchase a movie and begin watching in a few seconds.

Here is what I don’t like… Although you can download for offline viewing, you are limited to standard definition. Considering that almost all of the newest phones have HD screens, this doesnt make much sense. I don’t know if VUDU is responsible for this, but I’m assuming it’s more the guys born in the 50’s running the movie studios. So no HD downloads or streaming. HD viewing is still only available on non portable devices. Also, more devices need to be supported, but that should be an easy fix if they decide to.Prices are another thing to consider. I’ve found that Amazon tends to beat VUDU on pricing more often than not on the movie alone, but VUDU usually tends to give you extra featurettes and behind the scenes extras with your movie purchase. Overall, I think VUDU is a viable option for Android tablet owners.

3net To Develop First Native Ultra High Definition TV Show

The first native 4K show will be coming from 3net Studios, a joint venture between Sony, Imax, and Discovery. Their initial productions include Space, a three part series covering everything from the big bang to space in the future. This show will be shown in  all formats; 4K, 2K, 3D, and 2D, or what 3net calls “TotalD.” This show will be giving you “deeply stereoscopic 3D and Ultra HD shots to immerse the viewer within space itself…” 3net is also planning on releasing Marksman, a 3D stop-motion graphic novel series, as well as a few other shows. So if you plan on getting a second mortgage to pick up a 4K TV, you can expect to see some native 4K content sometime in 2013. Read more about it here.

VUDU Now Streaming in High Definition To Your Computer

VUDU is now offering you the option to stream your movies in high definition to your desktop or laptop. Before, you were limited to streaming only in standard definition. VUDU has been a good option for movie purchases if you have an internet connected TV or other device with a VUDU app. However, if you had your heart set on enjoying your movie in HD on the road, you would not be such a happy customer. Also, your computer needs to have an HDCP compliant output if you want to watch on an external monitor, which apparently, leaves  out a lot of Apple products (you can still watch on the built in screen). Also, there is still no mention of them bringing you an HD option for your iPad. You are also going to be stuck with stereo sound only. Just for the sake of trying, I tried to stream The Avengers to my Android phone on the Chrome browser, but it didn’t work. Not all movies are available in HD, but if you own any, go check it out now.

First Ultra HD 4K TV from LG

LG 84LM9600

LG is going to be the first to release the newest HD stadard available for consumers. So if you’re one of the people who have a spare $20,000 in the bank account or just value the latest in entertainment over paying for your kids college tuition, then this may be your next purchase. What does this $20,000 exactly buy you? To start, the now officially named Ultra High Definition gives you four times the resolution of your current 1080p TV. At 3,840 x 2,160, you are getting over eight million pixels in this 84″ set compared to the two million 1080p offers. 84″ is huge, so you need a big living room so you can put enough distance between yourself and the TV to get the most out of the picture. This is a 3D TV with 240Hz “Tru Motion”, so there is a lot of potential for some eye popping images without the blur. They’re including six pairs of glasses too. LG also offers some of it’s best features in this smart TV, such as voice control to help guide you through their interface. One cool feature is the built in 2.2 sound. Two 10-watt speakers and two built in subwoofers, but if you are buying this, you must shaking your house down with Neo:X.

Other features include:

  • LED Plus Technology for deeper blacks and richer colors
  • 3D depth control
  • Two player gaming without split screen (sounds like a cool feature, but requires glasses that sold seperately)
  • 2D to 3D conversion
  • Voice and hand motion controls

The big question here is going to be what type of content will be available in this new UHD. As of yet, nothing. But it will upscale your  Blu-Rays for you… Most movies today are filmed in 4K resolution, that’s what you probably see at your local theater. If Hollywood wants to open up it’s vaults for you, then you could see what this tv can really do.

Maybe UHD isn’t ready for the prime time yet, but once they are able to cram all of those pixels into a smaller set that will fit the average home, and once there is enough content available, it might just catch on. For now, it may just be a bit overkill, not to say it’s not impressive. Let’s see where this new technology takes us in the future. Available as of October 30th, and so far only Video and Audio Center in Southern California has it available for purchase.

CEA Announces Ultra HD

The next generation of high definition is upon us, and it will be officially called “Ultra HD.” The Consumer Electronics Association has decided to come up with the new term to help consumers differentiate between the old and the new. The current standard for HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 will be bumped up to 3840 x 2160, which means your next set will be packed with over eight million pixels.  That should make your viewing experience better if you hope to someday outfit your home with an even larger screen. Sony and LG are among some of the manufacturers who have announced 4K sets with this new resolution. So let us look forward to enjoying this new standard which will really allow us to see all the imperfections on our favorite movie stars’ faces.

Google TV Finally Delivers Movies Directly to TV

Google has finally caught on to the obvious and brought movies and tv shows to the Play Store for Google TV. Yes, movies have been available on the Play Store for a while now, but not on Google TV. Better late than never. You now have the option to purchase a movie and play it on your TVand Android tablet or phone in HD (provided you have HD screen resolution). This is great news if your an Android user as previously, most other download options were limited to SD for portable devices from services such as Vudu, UltraViolet, and digital copies included with Blu-Rays. This may become one of the best options for your movie purchases if you’re one of the few who own a Google TV box. Google began rolling out the  availibilty October  8th, and will be available to all in the next few weeks.

 

DTS Neo:X 11.1 Surround Sound Coming to Blu-Ray with The Expendables 2

The Expendables 2

Are you shaking the house off its foundations with your brand spanking new 7.1 home theatre system? Well don’t look now, but you need to upgrade that receiver and plunk down some cash for a few more speakers. In comes DTS Neo:X with an 11.1 surround sound experience. Bring 3D sound to your 3D movies by immersing yourself with speakers low and high. Hear that plane flying over your head, listen as the cars fly by, and be blown away with explosions… That’s what you’ll get with The Expendables 2, the first Blu-Ray to bring you DTS Neo:X. It arrives November 20th, and brings some other nice bonus materials as listed below:

  • Audio commentary with director Simon West
  • “Gods of War: Assembling Earth’s Mightiest Anti-Heroes” featurette
  • “Big Guns, Bigger Heroes: The 1980’s and the Rise of the Action Film” featurette
  • “On the Assault: The Real-Life Weaponry of The Expendables” featurette
  • “Guns for Hire: The Real Expendables” featurette
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gag Reel

Check out more from DTS here.