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Samsung UHD TV to Get Amazon Streaming & Video Pack

Samsung has just struck a deal with Amazon and several other partners to expand its ultra high-definition (UHD) content offerings. The partnerships will give Samsung TVs access to new services including live 4K broadcasting, video-on-demand (VoD) and a long-awaited UHD video pack (at least in the UK and Europe).

4K TV, also known as Ultra-High Definition television, provides a whopping 3,840×2160 pixel resolution – four times regular Full HD. But as good as it looks, the vast majority of 4K TVs are more expensive than 1080p HDTVs, and there’s a real scarcity of native content that makes it hard to justify shelling out for one.

That conundrum means it’s in the interests of TV manufacturers to do everything they can to ensure their customers get more Ultra HD content to watch, and that’s exactly why Samsung is embracing Amazon. From October, Samsung’s UHD TVs will be able to stream content (both movies and TV shows) directly from Amazon’s on-demand video streaming service. Samsung says the service will be available “globally”, although we wouldn’t be surprised to see some countries excluded from the deal.

Amazon’s 4K Ultra HD VoD service, called Prime Instant Video, is scheduled to launch this October, and will compete with the likes of Netflix, which already offers 4K streaming, and DirecTV, which plans to stream 4K content on-demand later this year. For now it appears as though Amazon’s service will be exclusive to Samsung – although Amazon probably won’t be able to resist the temptation of selling its service to other brands once it’s up and running.

Besides Amazon, Samsung is also teaming up with content providers including Chili, Maxdome and Wuaki.tv., to provide even more 4K content. The company gave scant details of these partnerships so we can’t say for sure what countries these services will be offered too.

Finally, the Korean firm says it will show off its long-awaited “UHD video pack” at next month’s IFA show in Berlin. The video pack, which has been produced in association with Fox Home Entertainment and consists of no less than forty 4K movies including Life Of Pi and Star Trek: Into Darkness preloaded on a 500GB media player, was first teased at last January’s CES show in Las Vegas and subsequently released in the USA, but was delayed in the United Kingdom and Europe due to licensing issues. We assume that those problems have now been resolved, and that Samsung UHDTV owners on these shores can look forward to more native 4K content.

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HD gadget for the mother’s day

Mother’s day is coming. Thinking about the gift to your mother darling? Why not bring your beloved parent up to speed through the carefully-planeed insertion of choice tech gear into their daily arsenal? We are not talking James Bond tech here, just some HD gadget will make your mom the coolest one on the block and give her the ability to dazzle her friends with the brilliance of her son or daughter’s choice in gifts…

This is your chance to plant a gadet into your mothers hand that is sure the level the playing field and restore dignity to the family name.

Don’t worry! The price is getting down and you will be the wise consumer for this. Visit us at amazon.com or simply go to UKHDMI.

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Samsung’s 46-inch 3D LCD TV out now

If you have been waiting for a moderately priced 3D TV with a decent screen size to start shipping from a known maker of TVs, there is some good news today. Samsung is now shipping one of its new 46-inch 3D TVs.

The set is the LN46C750 and it can be ordered on Amazon today for $1452.55 with free super saver shipping. The set is in stock and Amazon shows six of them are available.

The resolution for the TV is 1080p and it has dual 10W speakers, wide color enhancer feature, and supports Skype on Samsung TV. This is certainly a cheap way to get into a 3D TV if you are in the market.

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Amazon considering UK retail stores?

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In our review of the Barnes & Noble nook earlier, we pointed to the US retailer’s network of physical stores as a key advantage over the Kindle; it looks like Amazon aren’t content for that to be the case.  According to a Times report this weekend, Amazon are eyeing up various “high-profile sites” around the UK, believed to be intended as local pick-up points for the larger items the retailer sells.
“When Amazon was just selling books and CDs that fitted easily through the letterbox it was fine to be a web-only business, but now it has branched out into everything from children’s bikes to electricals it believes it could boost sales by having stores that offer a collection point for shoppers. It will probably be an Argos-style operation.” Unnamed Times source “familiar” with the proposals

The Argos comparison refers to a long-running catalog based highstreet retailer, which allows customers to purchase items online but then collect them in-store rather than have them delivered.  Argos has claimed that 18-percent of its internet sales are collected in this manner, presumably by customers unwilling or unable to wait at home or in the office for a delivery to take place.

So, not so much a cosy coffee shop with bookshelves and places to recharge your Kindle, but a convenient depot for Amazon’s larger goods.  Both highstreet and out-of-town locations are believed to be on the consideration list, although Amazon UK have declined to comment on the speculation.

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Samsung and Amazon – Video On Demand for select Samsung TVs

samsungamazonStreaming video rentals are growing significantly and many think that the future of movie rentals and purchases may be streaming digital formats. Samsung and Amazon announced today that they two have teamed up to provide users of certain Samsung HDTVs streaming access to the Amazon VoD library.

Users of Samsung LCD and Plasma Series 650 and higher and Samsung LED series 7000 HDTVs can now download the Amazon Video on Demand Widget at no charge via the Internet@TV content feature on their sets. The widget allows the user to access the Amazon library of 50,000 films and TV shows.

The programs are available to rent or purchase on demand. Amazon says that 2,000 of the titles are available in HD resolution, some of the content is new release films, and TV shows are often available the day after they broadcast on TV. Naturally, you need an Internet connection to use the service.

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AmazonBasics threatens to undercut with own-brand cables & media

After pretty much changing the face of online shopping, Amazon have given themselves a new challenge in the shape of AmazonBasics.  A range of “essential accessories”, including A/V and computer cabling and blank media, AmazonBasics all come in the company’s “frustration-free packaging”.

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For instance, AmazonBasics offers a 1.8m USB 2.0 A to mini-USB B cable for $2.69, or a 9.8 feet High Speed HDMI cable for $8.35.  Meanwhile an Ultra High Speed HDMI comes in at $34.98 (for 6.5 feet).  50 CD-R discs are $15.10, while 50 DVD+R DL 8.5GB discs are $35.05.

AmazonBasics are available on the company’s US site now, and they’re apparently planning a roll-out to other international sites in the coming months.  Meanwhile they’ll also be adding to the original range of products.

Press Release:

Amazon.com Introduces AmazonBasics

New private-label line gives customers quality consumer electronics at lower prices – and in easy-to-open, Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sep. 19, 2009– Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced the launch of AmazonBasics (www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics), a new private-label collection of consumer electronic “basics” created for customers who want exceptional value. The AmazonBasics line currently includes audio video cables and blank DVD media, with additional accessories and other items to be added in the coming months.

“We saw an opportunity to create a line of consumer electronics basics that combine quality and low prices for an overall focus on value,” said Paul Ryder, vice president of Consumer Electronics for Amazon.com. “We drew on our history of developing other private-label brands and combined that with our mission to give customers the ultimate in selection and value. AmazonBasics is the result. We will continue to gather input from customers and evaluate opportunities for new products under the AmazonBasics brand. We aim to offer our customers as wide a selection as possible, and we think AmazonBasics makes a great addition to the brands we already carry.”

The AmazonBasics line currently features a growing assortment of blank DVD media, cables and accessories, which are available now in the U.S. on www.amazon.com, with plans to introduce the line on Amazon’s international sites over the coming months.

All AmazonBasics products ship in Amazon.com’s Frustration-Free Packaging (www.amazon.com/frustration-free), which is easy-to-open and made from recyclable cardboard, alleviating plastic clamshells, wire ties and excessive packaging. AmazonBasics products are eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping or FREE Two-Day Shipping with Amazon Prime (www.amazon.com/prime). Like all products sold on Amazon.com, customers can compare prices, do research, read customer reviews and see what other customers have purchased after viewing these products. AmazonBasics products include a one-year warranty.

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Aiptek T20 Pocket Cinema pico-projector preorders taken in UK

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Aiptek’s T20 Pocket Cinema pico-projector has shown up for pre-order in the UK, with a £199.99 ($330) sticker price and a release date of September 1st. Like the BeamBox Essential G2, the Aiptek T20 lacks an onboard battery and media-player, and is instead intended to be hooked up to a notebook or netbook via USB.

According to Aiptek, the T20 is capable of producing a VGA resolution image up to 42-inches in size. It relies on USB for both power and signal, coming with a dual-headed cable in case the juice from one port is insufficient.

The whole thing is a laptop-bag-friendly 459g and comes with an adjustable mini-tripod; all of the USB display drivers are stored on the T20 itself. No word on when it might cross over to the US, however.

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