It seems LG is all too aware that when you buy a shiny new 4K TV, you’re going to want to have some content to watch on it. Besides using the likes of Netflix and Amazon for streaming, or Ultra HD Blu-ray, there’s only one decent way to watch live 4K broadcasts and that’s with Sky Q, at least, if you love sports.
- What is Sky Q, how much does it cost and how can I get it?
- Sky Q review: The future of multi-room television?
LG has now announced a partnership with Sky that will let you receive 6-12 months of complimentary to Sky Q with the Original bundle when you buy select 4K LG TVs.
All of LG’s 2016 OLED models: Signature OLED G6, E6, C6 and B6 will come with 12 months Sky Q access and a Sky Q multiscreen subscription. If you’re already a Sky customer then you’ll just receive a 12 month Sky multiscreen subscription.
Alternatively, you can buy one of LG’s Super UHD TVs from the UH950V, UH850V or UH770 series and receive a 6 month Sky Q Original bundle and 6 month multiscreen subscription. Like with the OLED TVs, if you already have Sky, then you’ll just receive a 6 month multiscreen subscription.
You’ll receive the Sky Q Silver 2TB box, which supports Ultra HD when you redeem the offer, and it’s valid on all TVs until 31 March 2017 except for the UH770 series, which only runs until 28 December 2016. Once your 6 or 12 month subscription has expired, you’ll need to continue paying Sky for the services, but note that you need the £12/month multiscreen subscription to be able to watch Ultra HD programmes.
- What is 4K UHD? Ultra-High Definition explained, and why it matters for your next TV
- What can I watch in 4K Ultra HD on Sky Q?
Only sports content is available to broadcast live in Ultra HD, and you’ll need to pay extra for the Sky Sports package. Likewise with movies, which are available on demand in UHD, you’ll need to pay for the Sky Cinema subscription.
Sony is undoubtedly king of this generation of consoles, with sales of the PlayStation 4 reaching unprecedented heights. But rather than rest on its laurels it has rejigged and improved its original offering, first with a slimmer model and a new DualShock 4 controller and now with a more meaty mid-generation upgrade in the form of the PS4 Pro.
The latter is clearly the best console in the line-up – possibly even the best console available full stop – but why? And will that actually matter to you?
That’s why we’ve looked at the specifications and features of all three versions of the PS4 in order to help you make that decision.
- Sony PS4 Pro preview: Stunning 4K HDR gaming monster you can own very soon
- Sony PS4 Slim review: The slim-fit ‘Station
- PlayStation 4 review: The go-to for gamers
PS4 Pro vs PS4 Slim vs PS4: 4K HDR gaming
It’s easy to cite the differences between all of the consoles when it comes to 4K gaming as it’s one of the PS4 Pro’s raison d’être. It can run games at up to 4K (3840 x 2160) resolutions while the other two cannot. In reality, the resolutions will differ. It is not as capable, say, as the latest Nvidia or AMD PC graphics cards, so it’s likely you will be offered different graphical options in games when running on the Pro.
For example, forthcoming game Nioh will run well at 4K (2160p) in 30 frames per second. It will also offer a 60fps mode, but that loses the extra definition, dropping to Full HD 1080p.
We suspect this will be the scenario more often than not – at least until developers learn to wring all of the processing power from the 4.20 teraflops offered by the new AMD Radeon GPU.
That’s considerably more powerful though than the graphics chipset in the PS4 and PS4 Slim. That is similarly made by AMD but only offers 1.84 teraflops of processing power.
When it comes to HDR it’s a different story. All PlayStation 4 consoles now have the ability of HDR presentation – adding a wider colour gamut, brighter images and better contrast to supported games when connected to a compatible TV.
- What is HDR, what TVs support HDR, and what HDR content can I watch?
PS4 Pro vs PS4 Slim vs PS4: 4K HDR video
A similar story plays out when it comes to 4K video output through the PS4 Pro – it is capable of Ultra HD video while the original PlayStation 4 and PS4 Slim are locked to a maximum of 1080p. This time though, the PS4 Pro is currently the only one capable of HDR video or, at least, is the only format that has HDR content to play at this time.
Both YouTube and Netflix are working on apps for all PlayStation models that will offer HDR videos that will work at lower than 4K resolutions but they are yet to hit. In terms of the latter streaming service, it presently doesn’t have many videos with HDR anyway – just homegrown series Marco Polo and a couple of others.
Strangely, although it is technically possible for the PS4 Pro’s HDMI output to work with 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Sony has not put a compatible drive in the machine so it is not a UHD player in that respect. The Xbox One S is currently the only console available with that capability.
- PS4 Pro ditches 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player for cost and one other reason…
PS4 Pro vs PS4 Slim vs PS4: Performance in games
While it is clear that the PS4 Pro is better than the other two models when it comes to graphical power, it is also enhanced in terms of overall oomph.
The PS4 and PS4 Slim have identical tech specs, equating to an AMD processor with eight Jaguar cores that are clocked at 1.6GHz. They also have 8GB of GDDR5 RAM running at 176GB/s.
The PS4 Pro on the other has a similar processor but it runs faster, at 2.1GHz. It also has faster RAM – still 8GB of GDDR5, but capable of up to 218GB/s.
This all means that its processing abilities run 1.3 times faster, while the RAM has 24 per cent more bandwidth. When combined with the 4.20 teraflops of graphical power, developers have much more to play with.
In terms of standard games, it will all be used to improve graphical performance and effects, possibly even frame rates. PSVR developers can also use the enhancements to add further draw distances or more detail to their virtual reality titles.
All games will run on all three consoles, but they will be better looking and/or smoother on PS4 Pro.
- What PS4 Pro games are 4K HDR ready? The complete list of optimised games
PS4 Pro vs PS4 Slim vs PS4: Storage
Even though PS4 Pro games are expected to require more space on your hard drive, Sony decided on a standard 1TB HDD for the latest model. We would have liked there to be 2TB considering. However, like all PlayStation 4 consoles, you can increase it yourself for around £90 and all three are easy to upgrade. The PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro even make the swapping out of hard drives easier than before, with a flap at the side and easy to remove caddy.
- How to upgrade your PS4 hard drive
The original PS4 came with a 500GB HDD, as does the standard PS4 Slim. Both have 1TB models also available.
All three can make use of Sony’s cloud storage too, with save games and other files able to be stored when you have a PlayStation Plus subscription.
PS4 Pro vs PS4 Slim vs PS4: Design
The biggest difference between the original PS4 and PS4 Slim is aesthetic (hence the “Slim” nickname of the latter). As well as being angular, the original was considerably larger. Heavier too.
It was 275 x 53 x 305mm and weighed 2.8kg while the PS4 Slim measures 265 x 39 x 288mm and weighs 2.1kg. That effectively means the newer machine is neater when tucked away in an AV cabinet. It also looks better when stood on one end, using an optional vertical stand.
The PS4 Pro is a beast in comparison, thanks to an extra wedge in the sandwich design style. It measures 295 x 55 x 327mm, which is even bigger than the original model, and weighs a whopping 3.3kg.
The Pro and Slim also share a newer, rounder design theme and the gloss black section of the first PS4 has disappeared in favour of an all-over matt finish. We lament the removal of the top light strip too.
PS4 Pro vs PS4 Slim vs PS4: Price
When choosing between the three consoles price could well be your most important driving factor. And considering the well-established original console is readily available second-hand, you might want to opt for that.
A pre-owned original PS4 can be bought for as little as £180 these days, from retailers such as Game. The 1TB version for £210.
Alternatively, the newer PS4 Slim retails for £259 for the 500GB model, although some retailers have it for less than £230. The 1TB edition will set you back around £280.
The PS4 Pro is more expensive, naturally, with a retail price of £350.
PS4 Pro vs PS4 Slim vs PS4: Conclusion
Price will definitely determine which PlayStation 4 you opt for, but there are other factors that could sway your decision.
One of the most important will be the TV you own or plan to purchase. If it’s not 4K and/or HDR you will get few benefits from owning a PS4 Pro. There are some, including better PSVR performance, but the main selling point will be moot to you.
That leaves you with the option of the Slim or original models and, to be honest, apart from aesthetics there is very little difference. We found the newer version to run a tad quieter but that is unlikely to be enough. You might find it simply boils down to availability and whatever game bundle deals you can find.
BlackBerry has officially stopped building and designing its own phones. When that news broke, it was almost as dramatic as when it announced its first Android phone, the QWERTY-equipped PRIV.
For a company known for building its own phones, its own operating system and hardware keyboards, going all-out on a standard all-touch Android phone would have been a bit too much all at once. But now, the company’s latest flagship is exactly that.
BlackBerry DTEK60 preview: You’ve seen it before
If there’s something familiar to you about the way the DTEK60 looks, there’s good reason for that. BlackBerry has outsourced its product design and manufacturing to third parties. In this case, TCL Communication, the same company that builds phones bearing Alcatel’s brand name – more locally – Vodafone’s.
- Vodafone Smart Platinum 7 Review: Power and elegance without the price tag
- BlackBerry DTEK60 vs BlackBerry DTEK50: What’s the difference?
- BlackBerry DTEK60: Release date, price and everything you need to know
For all intents and purposes, this is an Alcatel Idol 4S or Vodafone Smart Platinum 7, at least from a design perspective. It has different, better internals though.
It’s an all glass and metal affair, with the soft-finish metal frame sandwiched between two layers of glass. Unlike the DTEK50, BlackBerry opted not to replace the glass with a grippy plastic, and we think that was a good choice, mostly.
Glass does have its downsides, so while it may be very pretty, it’s also very slippery and attracts fingerprints without any effort.
The dark grey finish under the glass on the back is subtle and attractive, it’s just a shame the round camera protrudes so far. It’s not only an eye sore, it stops the phone from lying flat on its back.
Another curious design choice – which is something we expect from this device – is the power/sleep button positioning. It’s on the left edge, right near the top corner of the device. It’s only easy to reach if the phone is in your left hand. Thankfully, you can just double-tap the screen to wake the phone up.
The front of the phone is mostly just a big, black slab of glass. Like its doppelgängers, it has a two front-firing speakers build in to the frame which extends slightly beyond the top and bottom edges of the glass panel.
All in all, it’s attractive, but it’s definitely not a one-handed device. As 5.5-inch phones go, this feels like one of the biggest around.
BlackBerry DTEK60 preview: Power on display
Like the best phones out there, the DTEK60’s 5.5-inch screen boasts a resolution of 1440 x 2560, commonly referred to as Quad HD. What’s more, it’s an AMOLED panel, so blacks are really black and colours are very vibrant on first impressions. It looks particularly striking when the monochromatic notifications show up on the ambient display with the phone on standby.
One of our complaints with the similar-looking Platinum 7 was its performance. In that phone, a Snapdragon 6-series chip runs the show, but does so with some noticeably stuttering and lag here and there. Similarly, the DTEK50 was a bit laggy and slow.
On first impressions, the DTEK60 is much faster and smoother than both. And you’d expect as much when you read the spec sheet. Matching the most powerful phones out there, BlackBerry opted for a Snapdragon 820 processor and paired it with a generous 4GB of RAM and 32GB storage. That should ensure stable, fast performance. You can expand the storage up to 256GB using a microSD card.
The 3,000mAh battery inside should be more than enough to get through a day’s use, and with Quick Charge 3.0 support, it can be topped up quickly again if depleted. A Type-C port ensures the phone is at least keeping up with market trends.
BlackBerry DTEK60 preview: Android’s missing piece?
You could easily criticise BlackBerry for releasing a phone which looks so similar to other devices available, and not add anything to the mix except more powerful components. But for some, BlackBerry’s software is what makes the company’s offering so worthwhile.
The DTEK60 app which comes pre-installed not only gives you an easy to understand snapshot at the state of the phone’s security, it also helps you dig deep in to which apps have accessed which features, and how many times. You can also manually switch off permissions like access to camera, mics, contact details etc. for every app installed on the phone.
Then there’s the BlackBerry Hub which conveniently pulls in notifications from most popular apps in to one big inbox. From here you can keep an eye on messages, updates and replies from the likes of Instagram, WhatsApp, Gmail, Facebook Messenger, Skype and Slack.
The productivity tab lives on from the previous Android phones and gives quick access to recently called contacts, upcoming calendar events, tasks and unread messages in the Hub. Similar to the Edge Panel on Samsung phones, it slides in from the edge of the screen as a dark, almost completely opaque layer.
As well as all that, you can quickly access pop-up widgets for any app with widget support by swiping up on their icon from the home screen. That means you can get a quick glance at your email inbox, or calendar events, without having to have widgets permanently stamped on the screen.
All this runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow which, although not the most recent software, is left in a stock-like form on the BlackBerry. That means no custom themes, or heavy skinning to slow down the performance. With BlackBerry’s focus on security, the monthly security patches delivered by Google arrive on DTEK60 virtually as soon as they’re pushed to Nexus and Pixel users too.
It all ties in together to create a version of Android which, for some, will be so much more convenient than normal Android.
BlackBerry DTEK60 preview: Mega-pixels
While the camera in our unit hasn’t been thoroughly tested yet, we’re curious to see the results from the 21-megapixel sensor on the back. It has phase detection autofocus, a dual tone flash and f/2.0 aperture. As you’d expect, it also records video in resolutions up to 4K.
Early signs suggest it’s a fairly decent camera, although it hasn’t blown us away like the Pixel and Galaxy S7 did. For selfie-lovers, there’s an 8-megapixel camera on the front equipped with 1080p video recording an an f/2.2 aperture.
With the OnePlus 3 on the market disrupting everything, it’s easy to look at a device like the BlackBerry DTEK60 and think it’s far too expensive. But, at the same time, similarly specced products from the likes of Samsung, Google, Apple and LG all cost more than the BlackBerry.
The spec list reads as well as pretty much any flagship smartphone out there. It has the Quad HD screen, Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB RAM. But it’s still hard to escape the fact that this is a more powerful version of the Vodafone Smart Platinum 7 we reviewed a few months back, and that only costs £300.
The question – which remains unanswered for now – is whether the extra performance and higher-end components, plus BlackBerry’s software and services, make the phone worth £175 more. We’ll be bringing you the answer to that when we publish our full review.
There’s a glut of virtual reality headsets on the market now, but not nearly enough VR content. Intel, which just launched the “Project Alloy” mixed reality headset, is addressing that. It acquired a small firm called Voke that produces 360-degree content for live events like fashion shows and basketball games, the Wall Street Journal reports. “Voke is going to allow us to accelerate our route to market with leagues and broadcasters,” Intel VP Wendell Brooks tells the WSJ.
Intel is building a VR studio in LA, and is already into sports broadcast technology. It recently purchased Replay Technologies, whose freeD tech is used by the NBA and MLB to do “bullet time” 360-degree replays. Though it’s getting into the VR broadcast business, the company no doubt hopes that extra content will drive demand for its chips. Oculus and Vive headset buyers, for example, must purchase decently spec’d PCs, most of which use Intel CPUs.
There’s still no proof that virtual reality is going to be huge, but all the major tech companies (apart from Apple) are betting on it. Microsoft revealed that its Holographic VR platform would come to Windows 10 in 2017. Intel’s Project Alloy will run on the platform, as will new $300 headsets from Lenovo, HP and Dell. Meanwhile, Google has developed its own Daydream headset and platform, Samsung has the smartphone-based Gear VR, and Sony is now selling it’s PlayStation VR gaming headset.
If sales take off as expected, Intel’s bet on VR content should pay off. However, it’s still too early to tell if virtual reality is going to be a genuine hit or not. HTC has reportedly sold around 140,000 Vive headsets at $700 a pop, which isn’t bad, and Oculus said over a million people used the Gear VR in May. Perhaps the biggest test will come at the end of the year, when Sony will reveal results from its first full quarter of Playstation VR headset sales.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
No, you haven’t gone back in time. We’re almost at the end of 2016, and Sainsbury’s is just now confirming it’ll soon begin accepting contactless payments in stores — finally coming good on an old promise (sort of). Most Sainsbury’s Local spots will have the facility before Christmas, with more locations catching up early next year. It’s been a long time coming, but Sainsbury’s isn’t the only slowcoach. Contactless support in Asda and Tesco stores is far from ubiquitous.
Tesco is making a (likely futile) attempt to push its own, in-house mobile payments app PayQwiq, meaning the apathy is somewhat understandable. Sainsbury’s isn’t being very forthcoming about why it’s been dragging its heels, but we imagine the secret lies with Zapp. Two years ago, Zapp was pitched as a kind of friendly mobile payment system. One that wouldn’t be tied to one device manufacturer, or mobile OS. Asda and Sainsbury’s pledged their support for Zapp way back when, but it never materialised. In fact, the last we heard, MasterCard acquired VocaLink — the company behind Zapp — this past July.
It was only a matter of time before Sainsbury’s had to pull a Barclays and admit that contactless support is now an important convenience for customers. And with the active authentication of Apple Pay and Android Pay allowing contactless transactions to breach the £30 cap for cards, you can now pay for your weekly shop without a wallet or purse in sight.
Via: The Inquirer
Butt Sniffin Pugs, a fun simulator featuring cute pugs exploring New Yorkie City (get it?), rescuing citizens in danger and sniffing food and butts, has conquered crowdfunding pledgers’ hearts. It has successfully reached its goal on Kickstarter, and it’s now scheduled to be released for PS4, Windows and Mac in the first quarter of 2018. Inspired by cute, open-ended games like Kirby and Animal Crossing, it was designed to cater to everyone, from people who barely play to big AC fans.
In an interview with Inverse, its developers (called SpaceBeagles) said they even worked with The AbleGamers Foundation to make sure people with visual and hearing impairments can play the game. While it presents you different quests and tasks for mornings, noons and nights, SpaceBeagles designed it so that even those who only play occasionally can feel like they accomplish something when they do visit.
Unfortunately, you can’t pledge money to be part of the beta phase anymore. Since the lowest tier in campaign was worth $15, though, expect to pay a bit more than that to get the game when it comes out.
Source: Kickstarter, Butt Sniffin Pugs
As we spend more time online, the need for secure browsing and communications has become more and more important. Messaging apps now incorporate encryption as standard and many of your favorite websites (including this one) are moving to HTTPS to protect their visitors. For the longest time, Google has helped champion that movement by rolling out secure apps and services, but its latest move is all about highlighting the good work of others. The web is a lot more secure than it was just a year and a half ago, and thanks to its new Transparency Report metric, Google has the stats to prove it.
In its Transparency Report on HTTPS Usage, Google’s charts show a healthy rise in pages being loaded over HTTPS between April 2015 and October 2016. In Spring of last year, secure sites visited by Chrome users on Windows, Mac and Linux machines hovered around the 40 percent mark. Fast forward to today and users on the same platforms now spend around two-thirds of their time on secure HTTPs pages.
As you can see from the graph below, sites aren’t spending as much time securing their pages for mobile visitors (or maybe mobile visitors are going to different sites) but that isn’t to say that things haven’t improved over the last 18 months.
Google has collected browsing data from Chrome users who have opted in to share usage statistics. According to StatCounter and NetMarketShare, Chrome is the world’s most popular browser by a clear margin, allowing Google to provide more accurate and detailed breakdowns of how secure the web really is.
Via: Google Security Blog
Source: Google HTTPS Transparency Report
Apple appears to have removed optical audio output support from the headphone jack on its new 13-inch MacBook Pro with function keys, suggesting it is unlikely to have made the transition in the Touch Bar equipped models either.
Optical audio output is used to link Macs to home theater setups and A/V systems capable of multi-channel surround sound, by way of a mini TOSlink adapter connected to the 3.5mm jack.
The removal of optical audio was first noted by AppleInsider, after it was discovered that Apple’s technical specifications for the headphone jack no longer mentions support for “audio line out (digital/analog)”.
Removal of the standard was confirmed by comparing the System Profiler report on a new 13-inch MacBook Pro, which makes no mention of S/PDIF Optical Digital Audio Output, against reports on 2015 models, which do.
Support for optical audio out, as it appears on a 2015 13-inch MacBook Pro
When queried about the removal, Apple said the feature was dropped due to a lack of customers using the functionality, noting that “plenty of USB-C zero-latency professional peripherals are available now, or coming very soon” with optical audio out connectivity.
The phasing out of the standard from the new MacBook Pro models follows a trend that began with the Apple TV. Apple ditched the optical audio port on the fourth generation Apple TV in favor of a USB-C port, preventing users from connecting headphones directly to the device.
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Apple accounted for over 100 percent of smartphone industry profits in the third quarter of this year, according to estimates published by BMO Capital Markets on Thursday.
Analyst Tim Long, quoted in the Investor’s Business Daily, said Apple’s staggering 103.6 percent profit share in Q3 2016 came largely as a result of significant losses posted by rival vendors including LG and HTC, and despite Apple continuing to shift fewer handsets year on year.
Based on units alone, Samsung accounted for 21.7 percent of all smartphones sold, with Apple coming in second with a 13.2 percent share. In terms of profits however, Samsung came a distant second to Apple, capturing only a 0.9 percent share.
Samsung ceded market share in smartphone shipments to Apple and Chinese vendors in the third quarter because of its Galaxy Note 7 troubles, Long said. He expects further share loss by Samsung in the current quarter. Apple captured over 100% of smartphone industry profits for the first time, thanks in part to Samsung’s weaker results, Long said.
If accurate, the estimates represent the first time Apple has achieved smartphone industry profits of over 100 percent – an impressive number for a company owning only around 12 percent of the market.
According to the same report, Apple managed 90 percent profit share in the same quarter a year ago. However, this year Apple’s iPhone 7 numbers were undoubtedly helped by Samsung’s hugely damaging Galaxy Note 7 recall and discontinuation, which effectively took the South Korean company out of this year’s flagship smartphone race, indicating Apple’s profit share is unlikely to be sustained in the long term.
Despite the impressive numbers, Apple’s recent third quarter financial results reported its first full-year revenue decline for Apple since 2001, although Apple expects to return to revenue growth in the holiday season on the back of sales of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
Related Roundup: iPhone 7
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It’s been three months since Apple finally gained approval to build its massive data center just outside of Athenry in Galway County, Ireland, and now “a small handful of locals” have been reported as working to derail Apple’s data center project since the company got approval in August. The residents have filed complaints with Galway County Council, local planning body An Bord Pleanála, and most recently have taken it to High Court (via Business Insider).
Apple is now trying to get the High Court to fast track the case brought upon by the three individuals in Athenry, mainly by putting the dispute on a “commercial list,” a dedicated section of the court which deals with cases that have more than €1 million at stake. For the data center in Ireland alone (one of similar scale is going up in Denmark), Apple plans to spend €850 million.
Not all of the locals are against Apple’s attempts to build in the area, however, and are planning a march in support this weekend “to show Apple, and the whole world, that the vast majority of Athenry people support wholeheartedly Apple’s desire to open a data centre near our town.” In the Apple for Athenry March Facebook event, the supportive residents of the town mention a fear that if negative opinions continue to mount against Apple’s appearance in the area, the opportunity for community growth could “slip through our fingers.”
“We want to show Apple, and the whole world, that the vast majority of Athenry people support wholeheartedly Apple’s desire to open a data centre near our town
PLEASE ATTEND THIS EVENT, AND MAKE EVERYONE YOU KNOW AWARE OF IT.
This is a marvellous opportunity for Athenry, and the West Of Ireland. Please do not let this opportunity slip through our fingers.
PLEASE DO NOT UPSET THE APPLECART”
The next step for Apple will be on November 7 — the day after the organized support march this Sunday — where the High Court will consider Apple’s motion and either agree to the fast track plan and see the issue settled within the next few months, or prolongate the company’s attempted construction even more. Original objections to the site referenced wildlife issues, local golf course flooding, and the center’s proximity to nearby nuclear power plants.
Once it would start building the data center, Apple has laid out a 10-15 year construction plan for continued expansion and growth of the location, which is intended to power services like the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud.
Tag: data center
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