LG Unveils 8K, HDMI 2.1 Capable TVs Powered by Alpha 9 Gen 2 Processor

LG 8K TV HDMI 2.1

Last year Samsung unveiled their first 8K TV right before CES 2018 with a 85″ QLED model that can now be yours for a cool $15,000, and capable of upscaling SD / HD content to 8K using artificial intelligence since 8K content was not – and still is not – broadly available. One year has passed, and now LG has announced two new 8K TVs with HDMI 2.1 inputs just before CES 2019. Both 88″ Z9 OLED TV and 75″ SM99 8K LCD TV are powered by the company’s α9 (Alpha 9) Gen 2 processor running  deep learning algorithms to deliver enhanced picture and sound. The press release gives an overview of how AI works on both video and audio as follows: In addition to content source detection, the new processor finely adjusts the tone mapping curve in accordance with ambient conditions to offer optimized screen brightness, leveraging its ability to understand how the human eye perceives images in different …

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Socionext HV5 Series HDMI 2.1 Video Processing ICs Enable 8K TVs and STBs

SocioNext HV5 Series HDMI 2.1 Processor

HDMI 2.1 specification was released late last year with the main benefit being the support of 8K videos at up to 120 Hz, and a small downside with the requirement for new 48G cables.  Samsung Q900R is one of the first 8K TV on the market, but according to the product page HDMI 2.1 is not supported just yet: Will provide complimentary upgrade for HDMI 2.1 support when available. Please contact customer support for more details So it looks like the Quantum Processor 8K processor found in the TV will be firmware upgradable to support HDMI 2.1. Anyway for 8K video equipment to be useful we’ll need video equipment to support HDMI 2.1 Tx & Rx, and SocioNext has launched what it claims are the first HDMI 2.1 compliant video processor ICs with their HV5 series. The processor family comes with HDMI Tx and Rx with two main series: Interface Bridge Chip SC1H05AC Series This family includes two processor that …

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Samsung 8K QLED TV Uses Artificial Intelligence to Upscale SD Content to 8K Resolution

You’ve probably read how artificial intelligence can be applying to modify photos, either repair them, or change the weather in photos from sunny to rainy, and vice versa. Samsung unveiled an 85″ 8K QLED TV right before CES 2018, which should be news by itself, but that I found really intriguing is the TV’s artificial intelligence capabilities that will upscale standard and other resolution content to 8K resolution. The TV will take SD, Full HD or 4K sources runs it through machine learning algorithm to re-create details, reduce noise, and restore edges to bring them back to 8K picture quality. Not your usual “dumb” upscaling 🙂 The TV is said to be equipped with a database that studies and analyzes millions of images in advance to transform low-resolution content into high-resolution, and capable of selecting the optimal filter to convert the source to higher quality. Samsung then explains the images is processed 64 times (how?) to offer natural images in …

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RedRat-X IR, Bluetooth & RF4CE Box Can Control Multiple TVs and Set-top Boxes

IR blasters can be used to control multiple IR devices through infrared, or other interfaces, for example DVR can use such device to change the channel of a set-top box just before recording. RedRat-X is one of those devices for automating control of TVs, STBs and other infrared equipment, but it’s quite more versatile, as beside its built-in IR blaster, it adds 3 IR outputs were you can connect your own IR transmitters, as well as USB and Ethernet for remote controls. Furthermore, it can also take add-on modules to emulate  Bluetooth and RF4CE remote controls. RedRat-X specifications: IR blaster via the front of the unit. 0 mA to 250 mA in 100 steps. 3x plug-in IR jack sockets which can be used in two modes: Current mode (default): For use with plug-in IR flashers – 0mA to 100mA in 100 steps. Voltage mode: To interface to IR distributions systems, such as Xantech, Buffalo etc. Optional add-on modules – Bluetooth …

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Unofficial List of TV boxes Running Android TV OS

Most TV boxes run a modified version of Android operating system for smartphone, and devices based on Google’s Android TV are harder to find, and often country specific since they are tied to local streaming services. Yesterday, I was searching for boxes based on Marvell Armada 1500 Ultra SoC, and first found a couple in Spain and the US, but eventually found a bunch more when I discovered somebody was keeping track of all/most Android TV devices in a page hosted by Google but with no actual affiliation with Google. The devices are sorted in three categories: Pay TV Providers, usually only sold in a specific country with programs in the local language, and a fairly long list Streaming / Gaming – Those are the most famous Android TV TV boxes like Xiaomi Mi Box or Nvidia Shield Android TV with only 6 models in that list TVs with Android TV OS The first list is probably the most interesting …

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Tizen Studio 1.0 Replaces Tizen SDK for Smartphones, Wearables and TVs

Tizen has converged all Tizen SDK for mobile, wearables, and TV to Tizen Studio since the beginning of the month, and released Tizen Studio 1.0 for developers interested in developing app for Tizen smartphones, TVs and/or smartwatches such as the latest Samsung Gear S3. So instead, you’ll now be able to select the targets platform and profiles within Tizen Studio. Some of the key changes made to the development environment in Tizen Studio 1.0 include: Launching tools: Installer, Uninstaller, and Package Manager Developing tools: IDE perspective theme, Project Wizard, Certificate Manager, and Menu and tool icons UI tools: UI Builder, Component Designer, and EDC Editor Testing tools: Emulator Testing tools: Dynamic Analyzer for memory and CPU profiling Other improvements in Tizen application development environment Tizen Studio is available for the 32-bit and 64-bit version of Windows,  and Ubuntu, as well as for Mac OS with one version with the graphics IDE, and a smaller command line interface only version. You …

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Inside LG 4K TV, and My (Unsuccessful) Attempt at Repairing It

Long time readers of this blog may remember that I organized a crowdfunding event aiming at raising funds to buy equipment to test 4K TV boxes and mini PCs in early 2015, and one of the items I ended up purchasing was LG 42UB820T 4K television. It worked well for over a year, but I started to notice a single vertical appear on the TV in June, or about 18 months after purchase. A few more lines appeared in the following week, and it appears to have stabilized as shown in the picture below. While I understand that in Europe a 2-year warranty period is legally required, I’m based in Asia, and all I got was a one year warranty for the TV. So I had three choices: Ignore the problem Pay for the repairs Try to repair it myself So far, I’ve selected solution 1. because that’s the easiest one, and the lines don’t matter than much since I …

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96Boards Gets a TV Platform Edition Targeting $50 Mid-range Boards, $99 High-end Boards

96Boards was born as a hardware and software standard with Consumer (CE) & Enterprise Editions (EE), with different form factors with the latter focusing on server boards, but with similar software requirements requiring recent and mostly open source software. The consumer edition was also split into “Standard” and “Extended” editions, which the latter allowing for larger boards with more features, while the Enterprise Edition has its own larger format, as well as an option for micro-ATX form factor. I’ve just learned that a “fifth” 96Boards standard has been worked on with 96Board TV Platform for Home Gateways, OTT Streaming boxes, and TV boards with prices target of $50 or lower for mid-range boards, and $99 or lower for high-end boards. 96Boards TV Platform hardware requirements: Dimensions – 160 x 120 mm (EE Standard form factor) RAM – 1GB minimum; 2GB recommended Flash – 8GB eMMC minimum WiFi – 802.11 g/n minimum; 802.11ac recommended Bluetooth LE – Optional; at least Bluetooth …

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