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.
If you happened to catch the 13-part adventure that was Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, then you are already aware that it's a visual masterpiece worthy of being in your collection, and we're giving away a copy of the Blu-ray set. Aside from the 13 episodes in crisp 1080p, the $40 set includes over two hours of bonus content:
- The Cosmic Calendar: An Interactive Look at the History of the Universe (Blu-ray Exclusive)
- COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey – The Voyage Continues
- Celebrating Carl Sagan: A Selection From The Library of Congress Dedication
- COSMOS at Comic-Con 2013
- Audio Commentary on Episode One: “Standing Up in the Milky Way”
Cool, right? Ready to enter? Simply use the widget below to keep track of your entries! If you're a Gear Live Patreon backer at any level, you get an extra 25 entries in this giveaway! We've got a lot of ways for you to enter even if you aren't, but don't check off any that you don't actually perform. If you do, you'll be eliminated:
Windows super-fan Paul Thurrott, who has a good track record for internal Microsoft rumors, is sharing information that he has heard as it pertains to the launch window and pricing of the new Xbox (which we are assuming will be called Xbox Reveal or Infinity, but is codenamed Durango.) First, the next Xbox will launch in early November 2013, and will cost $499 out of the gate. Alternatively, you'll be able to pay $299 for the console if you also pay a $10 monthly subscription fee.
If this is true, then we imagine that this is where all of the hoopla over an "always-on" console is coming from. If you choose to go the subscription route, then your Xbox will likely need to be connected to the Internet in order to make sure the subscription is active. Piggybacking on that thought, maybe if you stop paying (or if you can't get the Xbox online,) then the Xbox will simply not let you play games until you are paid up or reconnect it to Xbox Live.
Other information shared include that the new console will ship with a Blu-ray drive, and will run on a modified version of Windows 8. We will have all the news as it happens when Microsoft unveils the next Xbox on May 21.
Read More | Windows IT Pro
It appears that Netflix has some new competition in the form of a Redbox and Verizon partnership. Today they're slowly rolling out their content streaming alternative to the masses. For $8 per month, Redbox Instant will have unlimited streaming and four DVD rentals; $9 if users opt for the Blu-ray option. As part of the launch, Redbox Instant has released their universal app for iOS that works on iDevices. To date, it is a mystery what contracts the Redbox and Verizon partnership has with studios with regards to content.
For those brave early adopters out there, y'all have the chance to get in on the Redbox Instant action by signing up on their private beta via their website.
Read More | Redbox Instant
We trust Google with a lot of things: we trust that it will be there for us when our memory fails and that it will find the best information for us. Can we trust it to predict the future for us too? Well, the future of consumer electronics at least.
Based on Google Trends searches, Microsoft's next generation system is poised to take down Sony's next Playstation console. Google Trends previously held the data that showed the winner of the high-def DVD race, as Blu-ray yielded more search results than HD DVD films. This time, news site Ludos Mundi used Google Trends to discover whose winning the next-gen popularity contest, and found users search "Xbox 720" about 60 percent of the time, compared to searches for "PS4" that occur 40 percent of the time.
You can use Google Trends yourself to see the data. Simply compare "Xbox 720" and "PS4" using the Forecast feature.
It's been a long time coming for patiently waiting Marvel fans, but the 10-disc Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One - Avengers Assembled Blu-ray collection set is finally slated for release on April 2nd. The collection had previously been delayed by lawsuit, leaving Amazon to pacify pre-orderers with free copies of The Avengers.
Originally, the collection was to come with a S.H.I.E.L.D. briefcase, but that has since been scrapped due to the aforementioned licensing issue. It will, however, come with a suitcase featuring a glowing Tesseract on the inside. Also, thanks to the delay, the collection will have a few new extras, such as an early Iron Man 3 preview and the second phase of films. But with extra content comes extra financial responsibility, as the price is now $219 at retail--but you can preorder it for $197.10 on Amazon, saving yourself 10%.
Read More | Marvel
We've been busy posting some of the tech-heavy Black Friday 2012 sales that we're finding, and now we've arrived at Target. Doors at Target will open at 9:00pm on Thanksgiving, but you can get a ton of deals online, which is always our preferred method of beating the crowds. We've got the full list of the more noteworthy items the break, and it's definitely worth taking a look. Can't wait a day or two? Target is also running a Beat the Rush sale right now!
Details of Best Buy's Black Friday 2012 sales have just been released, and we've got a links to all the highlights you can expect to see throughout Thanksgiving weekend. Doors will open right at midnight on November 23rd, and tickets for the doorbusters will be handed out as early as 10:00 pm on Thanksgiving Day. If you'd rather do all your shopping online (which is what we're doing,) here's your guide to all the Best Buy deals, after the break.
We love to focus on great tech deals in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide as well, and that's why we are recommending The Lord of the Rings Extended Edition Blu-ray--it's currently available as an Amazon Gold Box special, and that makes it $43.49. That is a 64% discount off of Amazon's regular price, and makes a great gift for the movie lover in your life. The set includes the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King Extended Editions,) and has a bunch of footage that was left out of the theatrical releases of the films. Pick this set up today from Amazon before the price goes back up!
Read More | Lord of the Rings Extended Edition Blu-ray
Avatar has been available in 3D on Blu-ray for years. The problem is that it's been a Panasonic exclusive, available to buyers of Panasonic 3D HDTV sets, and later to buyers of Panasonic 3D glasses as part of a bundle. Those who were left out had to forage eBay and pay a lot of money to get access to what many call the best 3D movie of all time. Now, finally, Avatar 3D Limited Edition is set to hit retail stores in October. It'll be released globall on October 15, and appear in stores in North America the following day, October 16th.
Me? I'm more excited about E.T.: The Extraterestrial coming to Blu-ray.