Digital Entertainment News And Reviews

Netflix and YouTube, game consoles, mobile and PC gaming and streaming -- there are a multitude of platforms these days to entertain you, whether you just consume or immerse yourself as a part of the narrative. Here we'll cover the trending and biggest names in high-tech entertainment mediums.

Earlier this week, Samsung announced their new 2019 lineup of 4K and 8K televisions using a display technology they call QLED. The term QLED looks suspiciously like OLED, but do the two technologies actually have much in common? After fielding a few questions about this on our website and social media, we want to clear up any confusion between them and expound on what to expect in terms of picture quality from each. We will start at the beginning with a basic LED LCD display. Virtually everyone has encountered one of these displays at some point in their life as they make up the majority of the market. These use a white LED backlight to shine through tiny red, green, and blue filters to create... Read more...
Some new years begin with champagne and fireworks, others begin with termination of employment. Activision Blizzard announced that they plan to fire their Chief Financial Officer Spencer Neumann for undisclosed reasons. The announcement comes on the heels of a rather rocky financial year for Blizzard. Neumann has been placed on paid leave and will receive the opportunity to argue against his termination. Starting today, Chief Corporate Officer (CCO) Dennis Durkin will assume Neumann’s responsibilities and will fully take over the position once Neumann is fired. Blizzard claims that Neumann’s termination is “unrelated to the company's financial reporting or disclosure controls... Read more...
Music lovers rejoice! Plex Music and TIDAL have teamed up to bring users a wide variety of high quality content. Users will be able more easily discover new content, listen to personalized playlists, and enjoy better sound quality with the TIDAL on Plex subscription. TIDAL is a music streaming-service that is partly owned by Jay-Z and other musical artists. The service provides lossless audio quality, high-definition music videos, and exclusive content. Although TIDAL provides great content, many people balk at its high price tag and lack of accessibility. In the United States, the standard premium service costs $9.99 USD a month while the “HiFi” subscription rings in at $19.99. TIDAL... Read more...
All that is old is new again. Big Mouth Billy Bass, an animatronic largemouth bass, is now compatible with Amazon’s Alexa. The late 1990’s classic singing animatronic can mow be paired with any Alexa-enabled device. According to Steve Harris, vice president of product development at Gemmy Industries, “This is not your father’s Big Mouth Billy Bass.” Big Mouth Billy Bass is now programmed to respond to Alexa voice commands and lip sync with Alexa’s responses. He will answer questions about the weather, the news, and other inquiries, react to notifications and alarms, and dance to music. Big Mouth Billy Bass will also sing his original song “Fishin’... Read more...
Bethesda's latest installment in the Fallout series is here, but if you are a die hard fan of the previous versions of the game, this may be the Fallout you'll want to pass on. Although everyone will have their own in my personal opinion, Fallout 76 could be considered the worst in series or a sellout of the worst kind. Heads-up, you guessed it, this is an op-ed view of Bethesda's new game. Before we dive into some of the problems that currently plague Fallout 76, in the interest of fairness I should point out that part of my dislike for this game comes from watching another one of my long term favorite series turn into an MMORPG. I've never been a person that enjoys gaming online. I predominantly... Read more...
Are you a big Jimmy Fallon fan? Well, now his jokes can follow you throughout your home. In a new collaboration with Amazon, Jimmy Fallon will provide a stream of corny jokes for Amazon Alexa-enabled Echo and other devices. If you ask Alexa to “tell me a joke”, she will introduce you to her “friend Jimmy”. Fallon announced on his show, “For the first time ever, [Amazon is] using a voice other than Alexa’s to tell you a joke—and that voice is me.” Fallon worked alongside Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon writers to develop exclusive content for the collaboration. Many of the jokes are holiday-themed. For example, “What does a turkey say after... Read more...
The Lenovo Smart display is the first in an assault of Google Assistant-enabled devices set to hit the market this year. They will take on Amazon's Echo Show in a battle for smart home assistant technology, with not only a set of ears, but also a set of eyes and a display face to complete the experience. Priced at $249.99 for a 10-inch version and $199.99 for an 8-inch variant, with identical hardware specs except for the display, these are a new breed of smart home devices that have the potential to give Google and its OEM partners a leg-up on Amazon. Since they're part of the "Android Things" ecosystem, Android users will have direct access to their data and media on Google's many... Read more...
Predicting the level of success enjoyed by PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, aka PUBG, would have been very tough ahead of its launch. Who could really predict that an indie title would have three million concurrent players mere months after its launch? Since that time, the game has added two new maps, alternating modes, and more aesthetic enhancements than you can shake a frying pan at. Unfortunately for developer PUBG Corporation, the game has been on the decline ever since the start of the year, despite the team rolling out of the new maps and mechanics. The website Steam Charts shows that in January, the game hit its absolute peak concurrent players, at 3.2 million, a massive gain of 100%... Read more...
Amazon and Google are massive tech giants, for vastly different reasons. Google is the leading search engine provider, a smartphone platform juggernaut, and huge advertising machine, while Amazon is the largest e-tailer in the world and a cloud services powerhouse, though Google is coming up strong. Though they are different animals, these two companies find themselves locked in heated battle with their respective Google Home and Amazon Echo devices; a battle for AI dominance that could determine who will ultimately control a good chunk of the Smart Home market. The Smart Home market has massive growth potential over the next decade and it's an area that Google wants to own. We all remember how... Read more...
Whether it's in the form of a crazy kill-streak, a last-second multiplayer victory, a hard-earned achievement, a comical death, or a whole slew of others, NVIDIA Highlights can make sure all your most incredible in-game feats are never lost. And since NVIDIA Highlights does all the work behind the scenes, you won’t need to take time away from the action to manually setup the recordings. Just focus on the game, and let the technology do the heavy lifting for you. With supported games, NVIDIA Highlights automatically captures and saves all the most critical moments through videos, screenshots, and the newly announced GIF format—made available through the newest version... Read more...
Gone are the days when laptops needed to make sacrifices in visual quality to run the best, most graphics-intensive games. With a laptop powered by a GeForce GTX 10 series graphics engine, in conjunction with other quality components, you can enjoy just about any title out there while on the road. Plus, with the latest technologies from NVIDIA GeForce, you’ll have added benefits, such as Max-Q design for superior portability and maximum efficiency, the NVIDIA Pascal architecture for top-notch GPU speed and power, NVIDIA VR Works technologies for all your virtual reality needs, NVIDIA G-SYNC for removing screen tearing and minimizing display stuttering and input lag, BatteryBoost... Read more...
StarCraft fans now have a free to play version of the popular Blizzard game StarCraft II. Blizzard announced that StarCraft II would go free-to-play back during BlizzCon and as of yesterday that game has debuted at no cost. If you want to get in on the free gaming action, this is how you do it. You need a compatible computer running either Windows or Mac OS. You will need a Battle.net account. If you have one you are golden, otherwise you need to create one here. You can sign up using your Facebook account. Hit up the Battle.net Shop and look for the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty landing page. On that landing page, click Play for Free, and after the redirect look for StarCraft II and choose... Read more...
If you're a frequent reader of HotHardware, then you're well aware that we've been quite impressed with the NVIDIA SHIELD TV. Not only is the pint-sized device a competent Android gaming console, but it also serves as an Android TV hub, a media streamer (for services like Netflix and Hulu), and can even function as a Plex Media Server. Finally, it can serve all this gaming and video content with the help of Google Assistant to search and provide key information all via voice command. Today, NVIDIA SHIELD TV is also gaining the ability to be the focal point for your smart home efforts now, thanks to new compatibility with the Samsung SmartThings ecosystem. The support isn't integrated directly... Read more...
Buying a shiny new car is an easy way to get the latest in-car technologies, but it’s not the most economical. I've had my fair share of new car purchases in the last decade – a 2008 Chevy HHR SS, 2011 Volkswagen Routan SE, 2014 Mazda 5 Sport and a 2015 Nissan Leaf – and driven hundreds of press cars featuring the latest technologies and infotainment systems. Despite new cars being technically superior on paper, the average age of vehicles on the road in 2016 was 11.6 years old, according to IHS Markit. We’ve seen substantial upgrades to the car stereo and infotainment systems in the last decade, including the elimination of the cassette and CD players, integrated navigation systems, improved... Read more...
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