Just $99 for the New Apple TV

But it turns out it's going to cost me a lot more.

2 min read
Just $99 for the New Apple TV

“I was right,” I just emailed my husband, while watching the live blogging of today’s Apple press event. “The new Apple TV does Netflix.” We’d had a debate about this a few days ago; he said Steve Jobs would want to do his own movie streaming, I thought any TV peripheral these days was going to have to have Netflix support.

Apple TV also does $4.99 movie rentals for newer releases not available on Netflix streaming and 99-cent TV show rentals. We’re not huge movie consumers in our family, but we do sometimes call for family movie nights with rather short notice, and find we have nothing decent to watch. So these prices—and the fact that the Apple TV peripheral will retail for only $99—almost had me pre-ordering the gizmo.

Then I realized that it’s HDMI out. Only HDMI. This means a great digital signal for newer TVs. Trouble is, we’ve been hanging on to our much-loved older TV, which was manufactured before HDMI was a twinkle in anybody’s eye.

Surely, I thought, I could buy an inexpensive converter and solve this problem. Uh, no. Converter: $299. A bit much to spend for a kludge. Instead, this $99 gizmo could finally force me to buy a new TV. So that’s more like $599, plus the $99 for Apple TV, which brings us up to well over $700, including the sales tax. Re-upping the Netflix subscription is going to cost at least $108 a year. And then there are those movie rentals, say, four a month, that’s $240 a year. And all those episodes of Glee that are on past my son’s bedtime; another $20 or so a season....Apple TV is suddenly looking very expensive, at least for my family. Darn it, Steve, enough with these great new products already!

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Digging Into the New QD-OLED TVs

Formerly rival technologies have come together in Samsung displays

5 min read
Television screen displaying closeup of crystals

Sony's A95K televisions incorporate Samsung's new QD-OLED display technology.

Televisions and computer monitors with QD-OLED displays are now on store shelves. The image quality is—as expected—impressive, with amazing black levels, wide viewing angles, a broad color gamut, and high brightness. The products include:

All these products use display panels manufactured by Samsung but have their own unique display assembly, operating system, and electronics.

I took apart a 55-inch Samsung S95B to learn just how these new displays are put together (destroying it in the process). I found an extremely thin OLED backplane that generates blue light with an equally thin QD color-converting structure that completes the optical stack. I used a UV light source, a microscope, and a spectrometer to learn a lot about how these displays work.

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