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Samsung’s 8K Premiere Projector Turns Your Wall Into a Cinema Screen

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Samsung at CES announced an ultra-short throw projector with 8K resolution called The Premiere. It’s an updated version of 2020’s 4K Premiere, a single box designed to sit on a low table directly below and just a few inches away from your wall or screen. Using special lenses and video processing, it can create an image up to 150 inches diagonally.

There are built-in speakers and Dolby Atmos to fill a room with sound as well as light. As you’d expect, it also has Samsung’s smart TV features, with Netflix, Disney Plus and so on.

While the idea of an 8K projector able to produce a huge image on any wall sounds intriguing, UST projectors aren’t the magic they first appear. Here’s what we know so far.

8K?

A room with lots of natural light and a simulated image from a UST projector.
Ultra-short throw projectors, like this 4K The Premiere from 2020, claim to be able to create an image on any wall, but all projectors can do that.

 


Samsung

Yep, 8K. That’s four times the resolution of a 4K projector. There’s currently no widely available 8K content, an issue that also plagues 8K TVs. Without 8K content you can’t fully take advantage of the extra pixels, though the projector will upconvert everything you send it to 8K, so it might seem slightly sharper than a 4K projector projecting a similarly sized image. Keep in mind there are more important aspects of picture quality than resolution.

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The Premiere isn’t the first 8K projector, but there are only a handful on the market. JVC has several models, starting at $11,000 and going up from there. These use a 4K imaging chip and a pixel shifter to create 8K resolution on screen. This is similar to how most 4K projectors create 4K, by using a 1080p or lower resolution chip, and doubling or quintupling the imager’s pixels for roughly 4K resolution. While Samsung hasn’t revealed the projector’s specs, this is almost certainly how it’s creating 8K as well.

On the professional side, Digital Projection has several 8K models, but those are for actual movie theaters and other large venues.

What’s an ultra-short throw projector?

A living room with several people watching a simulated image of an astronaut on the wall created by a UST projector.A living room with several people watching a simulated image of an astronaut on the wall created by a UST projector.
It’s important to remember that any ambient light is going to affect the image from a projector, including UST projectors.

 


Samsung

Traditional projectors need around 10 feet of distance to project a 100-inch image. Higher-end models can sit farther away, while short-throw models can sit closer. UST projectors sit just a few inches from a wall and are still able to produce huge images thanks to clever lenses and video processing.

The two major downsides with all UST projectors are price and image quality. Due to their intricate designs, UST projectors tend to cost a lot more than traditional projectors.

The other downside, also a result of how they work, is a reduction in contrast ratio. UST projectors typically have worse contrast ratios than traditional projectors, making their images flatter-looking with less “punch.” Usually, manufacturers try to offset this by greatly increasing the brightness, but this doesn’t improve the image quality, it just makes the image brighter.

Assumed features

A very brightly lit room with a simulated image from a UST projector.A very brightly lit room with a simulated image from a UST projector.
No matter how bright, a UST projector won’t be able to compete with ambient light without a special screen. And even then, it will look far better with the curtains drawn.

 


Samsung

Samsung hasn’t announced many specifics about the new The Premiere, but we can guess at a few things. The previous model was lit by lasers, and the new model likely will be as well. This is because lasers offer better performance in terms of light output (brightness) and color. They also typically last the life of the projector, as opposed to the replaceable lamps on most lower-end projectors.

The 4K The Premiere had built-in speakers, letting it work as its own soundbar. This is another likely feature since most UST projectors aim to be a one-stop-shop when it comes to a room’s entertainment. The new model will have Dolby Atmos, which the old one did not.

It’s also safe to assume it will be bright. The 4K The Premiere had two versions, a “120-inch” version, and a “130-inch” version. Neither actually came with a screen, and could actually create a range of image sizes from 90 to 120 inches with the former, and 100 to 130 inches with the latter. The difference was light output, with a claimed 2,200 and 2,800 respectively. These are pretty good numbers, though other UST projectors in a similar price range are much brighter. The $4,000 Epson LS500 for instance, put out a claimed 4,000 lumens. Samsung is claiming the new model will be capable of “150-inch” images, so we’re expecting a bump in lumens.

Price and availability

Samsung hasn’t announced pricing or availability yet. Generally products that are announced at CES come out in the spring or summer. Price-wise, this will almost certainly not be cheap. The previous The Premiere was $3,500 for the “120-inch” version, and $6,500 for the “130-inch” version. Since the only other consumer 8K PJs start at $11,000, and those are for traditional (aka not UST) designs, it seems safe to assume the 8K The Premiere will cost at least what the previous model did, and probably a lot more.

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New HomePod Reviews Offer Hands-On Look at Sound Quality, Siri, and More

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Apple’s second-generation HomePod will start arriving to customers and launch in stores this Friday. Ahead of time, the first reviews of the smart speaker have been shared by select media publications and YouTube channels.


Priced at $299, the new HomePod features a virtually identical design as the full-size HomePod that Apple discontinued in March 2021, but with two fewer tweeters and microphones. The Siri-powered speaker is also equipped with a four-inch high-excursion woofer, an S7 chip for computational audio, and a U1 chip for handing off music from an iPhone. The speaker supports Matter for smart home accessories and Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos.

A new sensor in the HomePod can measure temperature and humidity in indoor environments, and this feature was also enabled on the existing HomePod mini with a recent software update. Sound Recognition will also be coming to the new HomePod with a software update this spring, allowing the speaker to listen for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and send a notification to the user’s iPhone if a sound is identified.

The new HomePod can be pre-ordered on Apple’s online store, with white and midnight color options available. In-store availability and deliveries to customers will begin Friday, February 3 in the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the UK, and 11 other countries and regions.

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Written Reviews

The Verge‘s Chris Welch said sound quality is very similar to the original HomePod:

After several days of listening to the new HomePod (both solo and in a stereo pair), I still think its sound signature remains true to the original HomePod. If you were a fan of that speaker, you’ll be satisfied with the second-gen version. Sure, you can hear subtle differences in how music is rendered when comparing both generations side by side with the same track. The newer HomePod might bring out a guitar solo with slightly more emphasis than the original. But the central traits are the same.

The Wall Street Journal‘s Nicole Nguyen also said the new HomePod sounds the same as the original:

The updated HomePod looks a lot like its discontinued predecessor—and sounds similar, too. I tested the new HomePod, as a single unit and grouped as a stereo pair, in a room that’s roughly 370 square feet. For most tracks, keeping the volume at 30% was enough to fill the space.

If you look at spec sheets comparing the old and new HomePods, you might scratch your head. The new one has a fast processor but fewer built-in microphones and speakers, and supports an older Wi-Fi standard. But in person, the new HomePod sounds and performs the same as the original.

Pocket-lint‘s Britta O’Boyle was impressed with the new HomePod’s sound quality too:

In terms of hardware, there are five tweeters, a “high-excursion woofer” capable of moving an impressive 20mm, and a four-microphone array. It’s a slightly different setup to the original HomePod – that had seven tweeters for starters – but the performance is equally excellent. Make no mistake, the HomePod (2nd generation) sounds fantastic.

In the midrange, you get vocals that are detailed, crisp and crystal clear, while at the lower end, the HomePod packs in plenty of bass. It’s lovely and deep for its size, while still offering expression and punch. It’s not as bassy as the Sonos Five – which is a bigger and more expensive speaker – and HomePod is arguably a little more muddled in the mid-range when playing tracks like Skrillex’s Rumble compared to the Five, but it is still very impressive overall – and that is a pretty tricky track to keep up with anyway. You can reduce the bass in the Home app, though we didn’t find this necessary.

Engadget‘s Billy Steele said that while Siri had several shortcomings when the original HomePod was released in 2018, the voice assistant has improved over the years. He also said the new HomePod’s two fewer microphones compared to the original did not impact Siri’s ability to detect his voice — even in a noisy room:

When we reviewed the original HomePod in 2018, one of our biggest gripes was with Siri’s limited abilities. Sure the speaker sounded good, but the lack of polish with the voice assistant made it seem like a work in progress. Apple has done a lot to improve Siri over the last five years, so a lot of those issues with the original have been fixed.

First, the HomePod, like Siri on your iPhone, is capable of recognizing multiple users. Personal Requests can allow it to peek at your Calendar, Notes, Reminders, Messages, Find My and more when you ask. Plus, HomePod can give each member of your family (up to six people) their unique responses from certain iPhone apps. What’s more, Siri can create recurring home automations without you having to pick up your phone and swipe over to the appropriate app.

Even with fewer microphones to pick up your voice, the new HomePod doesn’t suffer any performance setbacks. It’s just as capable as ever at picking out your voice even in a noisy room.

MobileSyrup‘s Dean Daley was impressed with Spatial Audio on the new HomePod:

A fantastic song to test out spatial audio is also one of my favourite tracks for karaoke, “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. It sounds decent at first, but after the “I see a little silhouette of a man” section of the song, the 2nd-Gen HomePod takes it to a whole other level, perfectly utilizing Dolby Atmos’ surround sound and spatial audio with harmonies and melodies to create an epic concert in the entertainment space. This was definitely my favourite song I tested out, and one I showed to several friends.

TheStreet‘s Jacob Krol touched on the new HomePod’s larger backlit touch surface:

The most significant design change lives up top and involves the screen. While there isn’t really new information being shown and the dream of a HomePod with a true display contains to be just that a dream, the top surface is larger. It gives one more control with tapping to play or pause among other controls and it can glow brighter, and larger in different colors.

Rather than having the volume controls appear after a touch like on the original HomePod, the “+” and “-” are now etched into this backlit touch surface which makes it easier to adjust the volume at a moment’s notice. When playing back music, the HomePod’s top will glow in colors that resemble the album artwork of what you’re listening to and when communicating with Siri it will glow with all of the colors you’d expect.

TechCrunch‘s Brian Heater tested audio handoff on the new HomePod:

Start a song with Apple Music on your iPhone, hold it near the HomePod and it will start playing there, accompanied by a satisfying haptic fist bump. Move the phone near the speaker again and you can transfer it back. I really like this feature. It’s a good example of how nicely hardware can play together if you make your own devices, software and chips. It’s also surprisingly receptive. In fact, I found myself having to disable it while the HomePods are on my desk, otherwise it will accidentally trigger when I’m using the iPhone two feet from the speakers.

Video Reviews and Unboxings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Carbon Hunters Episode 4: How GHGSat tracks methane from space – Corporate Knights Magazine

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Early last year, a microwave-oven-sized satellite hurtling along at more than seven kilometres per second detected a massive methane leak from a coal mine in southwest Siberia. The owner of that satellite was GHGSat, a Montreal-based company that works at the intersection of space and climate change. While carbon dioxide gets most of the attention when it comes to greenhouse gases, GHGSat focuses on methane – an extremely potent gas that has been responsible for an estimated 30% of the world’s warming to date. 

This week, Diana Fox Carney speaks to Stephane Germain, the CEO of GHGSat, about his childhood dreams of space and the challenges of scaling up as a Canadian cleantech company. “It was a wonderful place to start our business. Where it becomes a challenge is for growth capital [and] for really scaling to a global basis, Canada frankly is a bit of a backwater,” he says. Fox Carney also talked with Clea Kolster, the head of science and a partner at Lowercarbon Capital, about how GHGSat fits into the larger cleantech picture 

Listen and subscribe at Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Find earlier episodes here, here and here

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New Bold Unplugged features repositioned internal shock and remotely adjustable spring curve – BikeRadar

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Unplugged enduro bikes see changes to internal shock and new Syncros components

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The new Bold Cycles Unplugged features 160mm of rear travel controlled by a redesign of the Swiss brand’s signature internal suspension technology, moving the shock to a horizontal position.

The new enduro bike will be available in two build options featuring a 170mm front fork, with the frameset available separately.

The Unplugged Ultimate sits at the top of the tree and is priced at €10,999, with the Unplugged Pro positioned below it at €8,999, while the frameset will cost €5,999.

Both bikes feature an array of Syncros components, including the one-piece Hixon iC carbon handlebars, adding to the bike’s integrated styling.

The Hixon iC features an integrated stem and internal cable routing.
Bold Cycles

Bold says now the internal rear shock sits horizontally in the front triangle as opposed to vertically, it makes the centre of gravity even lower than the previous model.

The bike is compatible with both mullet and 29er configurations.

Hidden shocks

The internal shock now lies horizontally, whereas it had previously sat upright near the seat tube.
Bold Cycles

In keeping with Bold’s existing bikes, the new Unplugged frame features an internally mounted shock.

The brand says this stiffens the frame and lowers the centre of gravity, all while protecting the shock from the elements.

The lower centre of gravity gives the bike superior handling, according to Bold.

Bold says protecting the shock, which is a Fox Float X Nude, from water and dirt keeps its seals safe, improving performance while also extending its service intervals.

Positioning the shock so low is said to make the Unplugged compatible with dropper posts with up to 200mm of drop in sizes M to XL.

The down tube protector removes easily to access the shock and the storage compartment.
Bold Cycles

The shock is accessed through the removable down tube protector, which also houses a multi-tool. It also accommodates what Bold calls a ‘Save The Day Kit’, which features a mini pump, tyre levers and a spare tube.

Bold also includes its TracLoc technology. This enables you to change the compression damping and the spring curve from a remote switch on the handlebar.

The TracLoc system is operated by three levers on the handlebar, enabling you to alter the damping and spring curve.
Bold Cycles

A Traction mode reduces the suspension travel and stiffens the shock, and a full lockout should mean the Unplugged is efficient on the way back up the hill.

The technology is similar to that on Scott’s Genius trail bikes, also featuring an external indicator for setting sag levels and for seeing how much travel is being used.

The shock attaches directly to the linkage, making it compact. Bold says using a virtual pivot linkage improves the suspension feel and braking response.

Like many other enduro bikes on the market, the new Unplugged features a flip chip. This enables you to change the bottom bracket height by +/-5mm.

Rotating the headset cups gives you 1 degree of variability to the head tube angle.
Bold Cycles

Bold says in the bike’s slackest setting, the head angle is 64.5 degrees, although this can be made 1 degree steeper by rotating the headset cups 180 degrees.

Bold Unplugged spec and price

Bold Unplugged Ultimate

The Bold Unplugged can run as either a 29er or a Mullet.
  • Fork: Ohlins M.2 Air 170mm
  • Shock: Fox Float X Nude
  • Drivetrain: SRAM X01 Eagle AXS
  • Brakes: ​​Shimano XTR M9120
  • Wheels: Syncros Revelstoke 1.5
  • Tyres: Maxxis Minion DHF EXO (f), Maxxis Minion DHF (r)
  • Price: €10,999

Bold Unplugged Pro

Lower bottle mounts aid in getting the centre of gravity as low as possible.
Bold Cycles
  • Fork: Fox 38 Float Performance 170mm
  • Shock: Fox Float X Nude
  • Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle AXS
  • Brakes: ​​Shimano SLX M7120
  • Wheels: Syncros Revelstoke 2
  • Tyres: Maxxis Minion DHF EXO (f), Maxxis Minion DHF (r)
  • Price: €8,999

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