Blu-ray Disc is a digital optical disc data storage format designed to supersede the DVD format, in that it is capable of storing high-definition video resolution (1080p). The plastic disc is 120 mm in diameter and 1.2 mm thick, the same size as DVDs and CDs. Conventional Blu-ray Discs contain 25 GB per layer, with dual layer discs (50 GB) being the industry standard for feature-length video discs. The name Blu-ray Disc refers to the blue laser used to read the disc, which allows information to be stored at a greater density than is possible with the longer-wavelength red laser used for DVDs. The main application of Blu-ray Discs is as a medium for video material such as feature films and physical distribution of video games for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
High-definition video may be stored on Blu-ray Discs with up to 1080p resolution (1920×1080 pixels), at up to 60 (59.94) fields per second. Older DVD discs had a maximum resolution of 480p, (NTSC, 720×480 pixels) or 576p, (PAL, 720×576 pixels).
4K Blu-Ray Disc format will support 4K UHD (3840×2160 resolution) video at frame rates up to 60 frames per second. The standard will encode videos under the High Efficiency Video Coding standard. 4K Blu-Ray Discs will support both a higher dynamic range by increasing the color depth to 10-bit per color, and a greater color gamut by using the Rec. 2020 color space. The standard will continue to use 4:2:0 chroma subsampling. The 4K-Blu-Ray specification allows for 3 disc sizes, each with their own data rate: 50GB with 82 Mbit/s, 66GB with 108 Mbit/s, and 100GB with 128Mbit/s.
Digital media players are consumer electronic devices that can connect to a home network and stream media files such as music, pictures, or video. A personal computer or other networked media server can be used to play back those files on a television or video projector for home cinema.
Some digital media players also have Smart TV features, like allowing you to stream media from the internet or popular streaming services and media sites like YouTube, Vimeo, Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, and Amazon.com. Digital media players are also commonly referred to as a digital media extender, digital media streamer, digital media hub, digital media adapter, or digital media receiver. Today the main difference between most modern “digital media players” and many modern set-top boxes is that the set-top boxes generally contain at least one TV-tuner and are as such capable of receiving broadcasting signal.
There are stand-alone digital media player on the market today from Asus, Apple (e.g., Apple TV), NetGear (e.g., NTV and NeoTV models), Dune, iOmega, Logitech, Pivos Group, Micca, Sybas Popcorn Hour, Amkette EvoTV, D-Link, Western Digital, EZfetch, Google TV, Pinnacle, Xtreamer, and Roku, just to name a few. The model however change so very frequently that so it is advisable to visit their web sites for current model names.
Digital media players fills a specific market niche, and with the popularity of both mobile digital media players, digital cameras, fast internet download speeds, and cheap mass storage, many people now have large collections of digital media files that cannot be played on a conventional analog HiFi without connecting your computer to your television, so the means to playback these files on a network connected digital media player that is permanently connected to your television and control it with a remote from your couch is seen as a convenience.
A smart TV, sometimes referred to as connected TV or hybrid TV is a television set or set-top box with integrated Internet and Web 2.0 features, and is an example of technological convergence between computers and television sets and set-top boxes. Besides the traditional functions of television sets and set-top boxes provided through traditional broadcasting media, these devices can also provide online interactive media, Internet TV, over-the-top content, as well as on-demand streaming media, and home networking access.
The software that runs smart TVs can be preloaded into the device, or updated or installed on demand via an app store or app marketplace, in a similar manner to how the Internet, Web widgets, and software applications (in this context commonly just referred to as “apps”) are integrated in modern smartphones.
The technology that enables smart TVs is also incorporated in devices such as set-top boxes, digital media players, Blu-ray players, game consoles, digital signage hotel television systems, and other network connected interactive devices that utilize television type display outputs. These devices allow viewers to search, find and play videos, movies, photos and other content from the Web, on a cable TV channel, on a satellite TV channel, or on a local storage drive.
According to a report from the researcher NPD In-Stat, only about 12 million U.S. households have their Web-capable TVs connected to the Internet, although In-Stat estimates about 25 million U.S. TV households own a set with the built-in network capability. Also, In-Stat predicts that 100 million homes in North America and western Europe will own television sets that blend traditional programs with internet content by 2016.
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