4K television sets have been available for sale for a couple of years now, but there hasn't been a lot of content available in the native 2160p resolution for owners of the pixel-dense displays. That's about to change, as 4K UHD discs are set to debut in late February. To view the discs, you'll need an updated disc player, and Panasonic has announced the UB900 Ultra HD Blu-ray player which will be available soon in both Europe and the US. It'll support 1,000-10,000 nits output, BT.2020 color gamut, 60fps high frame-rate support, and will even sport twin HDMI output, allowing you to separate where you send the video signal from where you send the audio. Studios like Sony, Warner Bros., and Fox are readying the releases of their UHD Blu-ray discs, many of which also support HDR. 2016 is setting up to be a big year for 4K technology.
The sun will set on 2015 in just a few hours, and we are just in time with our annual top 10 list of the most-watched Gear Live video episodes. Over the past year, as expected, there was a bunch of Apple gear that made the list, with the release of the 4th generation Apple TV and Apple Watch. The launch of the Seagate Game Drive for Xbox was big with our viewers as well, appearing in our top 10 twice! Other items, like the New Nintendo 3DS XL, Alienware Steam Machine, and Toyota Entune platform also proved popular as well.
Also, you can check out the top ten videos from 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007 - and when you're done, be sure to check out the top 10 most popular Gear Live stories of 2013 as well!
Microsoft has a bunch of solid deals on Xbox One bundles this year, and we think the Gears of War bundle provides the most value for the dollar making it our pick in our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide. Buying an Xbox One also nets you access to the large back catalogue of Xbox 360 backwards compatible games as well, making it an even better upgrade for Xbox 360 owners.
The bundle includes an Xbox One with 500GB storage, full-game digital download of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, newly updated Xbox One black wireless controller with a 3.5mm headset jack so you can plug in any compatible headset, 14-day trial of Xbox Live Gold, AC Power Cable, and an HDMI Cable. You also get access to the Xbox 360 Gears of War collection if you play the game before the end of the year!
Oh, and if you wanna splurge on this one, skip the Gears of War bundle and go for the Xbox One Elite bundle instead.
Games are a popular holiday gift, and that's why they're a staple in our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide. Up next is the New Nintendo 3DS XL system - yes, that is "New" capitalized. It's part of the name. The console combines next-generation portable gaming with super-stable 3D technology and added control features. Take 3D photos, connect with friends, and enhance your gaming experiences with added amiibo support. The New Nintendo 3DS XL system plays all Nintendo DS games (although, those won’t appear in 3D.) Also, if you buy one, keep in mind that the AC Adapter is sold separately. It uses the same AC adapter as the Nintendo DSi, Nintendo 3DS, and Nintendo 2DS, so you might already have one.
You can pick up the New Nintendo 3DS XL now.
Yes, Sonos is back in our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide, and for good reason. That reason is the absolutely incredible redesigned Sonos PLAY:5. The Sonos PLAY:5 houses six high-quality digital amps individually paired with six speakers to deliver fantastic sound in any room, and it does it with clarity and no distortion. This means that every voice and instrument shines through in detail, even when turned up to the max. You really can’t go wrong with any Sonos products, but the Sonos PLAY:5 is the new kid on the block getting all the attention, which it deserves. As soon as I opened it up and started playing music through it, the quality and attention to detail was apparent. This is a real home run from Sonos, and would be the perfect gift for any music lover.
You can pick up the Sonos PLAY:5 now. It also goes nicely with the other Sonos components:
You can use a pair of Play:1, Play:3, or Play:5 units to create a wide stereo pair as well!
TiVo has been around for a long time, and in an attempt to appeal to a wider audience, it’s released the TiVo Bolt - going from just DVR to Unified Entertainment System--and it's good enough to be included in our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide. The standout feature is SkipMode, which allows you to skip commercials when watching your favorite shows with the press of a single button. QuickMode is also cool, playing shows at 1.3x speed with pitch correction, so you can get through those binge-watching sessions even quicker. It’s 4K-compatible, and supports a bunch of streaming video services (although Amazon Prime Instant Video seems to be absent for some odd reason.) TiVo still sports the best DVR interface in the business, and the Bolt includes one year of TiVo service with purchase.
Read More | TiVo Bolt
iOS devices like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch will be big holiday gifts this year, make no mistake about it. The Apple TV is actually a fantastic complement to Apple's handhelds, worthy of being featured in our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide. Having recently been completely revamped for the release of the fourth generation model, the new Apple TV is a nice little device in its own right. At the center of it all is the App Store, which now lets you download TV-optimized apps and games, all playable using the new Siri Remote, as well as favorites like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, sports networks, and plenty of other entertainment options. The best part, though, is AirPlay. You can beam audio and video content right to the Apple TV with ease from your iOS device, or your Mac. You can also mirror the display of these devices as well, all wireless over your home network.
Honorable Mention: Amazon Fire TV
Read More | Apple TV
We're music fans here at Gear Live, so we wanna make sure to include great music gadgets in our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide. This year, we're kicking it off with the Sonos PLAY:1 Bundle - not only do you get a rare disocunt on Sonos gear, but you get a pair of Play:1 units for the price. They sell for $199 each, but the bundle gives you two for $349. If you're unfamiliar with Sonos, it's basically the best way to get music from just about any location (your computer, your iPhone, the web, the cloud, etc.) to play in any room in your house. It's super intuitive, and even years after using Sonos, the technology still blows us away. The Sonos PLAY:1 is a wireless all-in-one music system that lets you jump right into the Sonos experience. If you have an iOS or Android device, you can download the Sonos remote control app, and you can also control the system with a computer using the Sonos Desktop Controller. Here are some other Sonos products that go nicely with the Sonos PLAY:1, which itself you can get for $199 from Sonos:
You can use a pair of Play:1, Play:3, or Play:5 units to create wide stereo sound as well!
During today's Hey Siri, Give Us a Hint event, Apple announced the long-awaited, completely redesigned Apple TV. In an effort to bring TV into the modern age, Apple is focusing on an app-based solution for reinventing television. On the inside, Apple has added 802.11ac Wi-Fi networking, giving the Apple TV faster networking access. The App Store is now front and center on the new Apple TV, allowing users to download television-optimized apps from developers. The user interface has been modernized, and on the inside, Apple has included the A8 processor from the iPhone 6. This is a big improvement over the A5 processor found in the previous model. Apple has updated the software to a version of iOS 9 that it's calling tvOS.
Apple has sent invitations to press for it’s “Hey Siri, give us a hint.” event, happening on September 9th at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. As has become annual tradition, this will be the event where Apple unveils its next set of iPhones, including the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus. There are also rumors of a potential iPhone 6c, as well as a long-awaited new Apple TV. It won’t be long now, iPhone fans—Apple takes the stage in just 13 days. In the meantime, feel free to keep bugging Siri and see if she gives you an early scoop.
What's your best guess at what the company will be announcing?