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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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HDMI Audio Switch + Digital Audio Outputs

The HDSA51-UK enables you to switch up to five HDMI equipped Sources to a single HDMI Input on your AV Amp, Display or Projector.

The onboard audio processing allows you to decode HDMI audio signals up to DD/DTS 5.1 to the Optical or Coaxial Digital audio Output for simple connectivity to the Optical or Coaxial Input on your AV Amp.

With fully Automatic, Push Button and IR (Remote) source selection these very affordable HDMI switches will provide seamless integration for Standard and High Definition source devices.

Small, lightweight and supplied to our UK and Ireland customers with a 240v CE marked power supply these units are proving very popular with our many customers who own Displays, TV’s and Projector’s with a single HDMI Input socket.

Designed with so many well thought out features these units are a breeze to install and configure in your Home Theatre or AV set-up – you’ll soon forget you even own one.

The inbuilt HDMI 1.3 compliant ‘Clear Eye’ technology ensures your Source signals arrive at your Display in pristine condition.

The ‘Clear Eye’ technology allows you to use Output cables up to 10m without worrying about signal drop off over your Output cable run.

The inbuilt ‘Smart Scan’ technology will Automatically select the newest Active source and Output it to your Display.

Alternatively use the supplied ‘Credit Card’ remote or Front Toggle to select any one of your ‘active’ HDMI equipped Sources.

With Discrete IR codes for each Input its very simple to ‘Learn’ and Integrate the Octava switch with your Programmable remote or Control system

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Lexicon BD-30 Blu-ray player promises future-proofing through USB

Lexicon have announced their BD-30 Blu-ray player, which they describe as being truly “future proof”.  As well as playing Blu-ray, BD-Live, BonusView, DVD, upscaled DVD, DVD-Audio, SACD, and CD content, the BD-30 has a USB port which Lexicon suggest will “enable access to future formats”. Now to us, that sounds more like loading media onto a memory key and using the BD-30 as a very shiny mediaplayer, something a whole lot of other decks will do, but we’ll let them have their fun.

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There’s 1080p High-Definition, naturally, together with HDMI connectivity, an RS-232 serial port for system integration and 7.1 surround sound.  Lexicon also throw in a LAN port for BD-Live content, plus some IR control ports.

Upscaling is handled courtesy of Anchor Bay’s Video Reference Series (VRS) video processing chips, taking analog and digital sources up to 1080p HD. We’re waiting to hear back from Lexicon as to exactly how much the BD-30 might set you back.

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The BD-30 Blu-ray disc player supports every major AV format in the market today, including Blu-ray, BD-Live, BonusView, DVD,upconverted DVD, DVD-Audio, SACD, CD and USB;

The BD-30 incorporates Anchor Bay’s award-winning Video Reference Series technology, taking Blu-ray’s already amazingly clear 1080p picture to yet another level of clarity and brilliance.

ELKHART, Indiana — Of major concern to all custom home systems integrators and their customers is the fact that technologies and formats change rapidly. Future-proofing a home theater or media room installation is of paramount importance, and that is precisely what the new Lexicon BD-30 Blu-ray Disc™ Player offers integrators and their clients. Living up to the amazing predecessor, the Lexicon RT-20 Universal Disc Player, the BD-30 supports every major AV format in the market today, including Blu-ray, DVD, upconverted DVD, DVD-Audio, SACD and Compact Disc, as well as popular niche formats such as AVCHD and Kodak® Picture CD™, and recordable formats including CD-R/RW, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R and BD-R/RE. In addition, the Lexicon BD-30 is a next-generation Profile 2.0 Blu-ray disc player, which supports both BonusView™, Blu-ray’s picture-in-picture feature, and BD-Live™, the advanced Blu-ray feature that enables users to access content via an Internet-connected Blu-ray player and download a variety of up-to-date content such as refreshed previews and exclusive special features. It is also backwards-compatible with Blu-ray v.1.0 and v.1.1. Furthermore, the BD-30 goes one step beyond physical media formats by incorporating a USB port, which will allow users to access audio and video from any media source compatible with the USB transfer protocol. The Lexicon BD-30 is truly a future-proof piece of technology, allowing custom home systems integrators the ability to reassure their clients that they’ll be able to watch their movies in virtually any format years into the future.

With its exceptional picture and sound quality along with fast disc loading and command response times, the BD-30 delivers an incredible, immersive home theater and multichannel audio experience. The Lexicon BD-30 has even more features that make it the single-solution choice for integrators. For video, the VD-30 incorporates Anchor Bay’s award-winning Video Reference Series™ (VRS™) video processing chips, which convert standard-definition and high-definition analog and digital video sources up to full 1080p, as well as HDMI compatibility. For audiophiles, the Lexicon BD-30 is just as versatile, able to play back CD, SACD, and DVD-Audio discs, offers a Source Direct mode for audio and compatibility with Dolby® TrueHD™, HDCD, DTS-HD®, and can play back up to 7.1 surround audio. Audio output connections include a dedicated stereo output, digital optical outputs and coaxial outputs. Systems integrators will appreciate the fact that the BD-30 also includes an RS-232 port for external control systems.

“The Lexicon BD-30 is at the cutting edge of what a disc media player can be,” said Phil McPhee, Marketing Manager, Harman Performance AV Group. “The inclusion of so many popular media formats as well as a USB connection that will enable access to future formats means that custom home systems integrators can recommend and integrate the BD-30 into their home theater and surround audio installations knowing that it will be working for years to come.”

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