Philips debuts the Screeneo U5, an affordable short-throw 4K projector for under $1800

Kept at a distance of just 16 inches from any surface, the Philips Screeneo U5 turns your wall into a whopping 150-inch 4K theater that’s also 3D-capable! Setting up a cinema in your compact home was never this easy, and at a price of $1790, never this economical either…

The Philips Screeneo U5 comes on the heels of its previous generation, the Screeneo U4, which debuted earlier this year and garnered over $6.5 million in funding on Indiegogo. Making projectors (a 4K one, no less) for the mass market is expensive, prompting Philips to go down the route of crowdfunding. The strategy has worked well for the company, allowing them to gauge demand and build out great devices for enthusiastic early adopters. While the U4 was pretty impressive on its own, the Screeneo U5 pushes its specs to the absolute limit, with a larger projection, 2x higher resolution, nearly 6x more brightness, and highly-awaited support for Android TV and built-in ExpressVPN.

Designer: Philips

Click Here to Buy Now: $1,790 $3,476 ($1,686 off) Hurry, less than 5 days left!

Philips Screeneo U5 Ultra Short Throw 4K Projector

Ultra Short Throw projectors are absolutely perfect for smaller houses, given the fact that they don’t need to be placed at a distance. Just have the projector a foot away from the wall and you’ve pretty much got yourself a large display that’s perfectly rectangular (keystone correction) and doesn’t get overshadowed every time someone walks across the room. The one drawback to Ultra Short Throw projectors, up until now, has been their price – something that Philips has been steadily working on reducing with the Screeneo line that debuted first in 2013.

Philips Screeneo U5 Ultra Short Throw 4K Projector

Simply put, the Screeneo U5 can cast a 120-inch projection on a wall when kept a mere 11 inches away… although push that distance up to 16 inches (if you’ve got the space) and you now have a whopping 150-inch 4K UHD projection covering your entire peripheral vision. The U5 bumps up the projector’s brightness to an impressive 2,200 ANSI lumens too, allowing you to watch movies or the game in both day and at night without struggling to see the picture. Worried about having to set the brightness each time? The U5 also has an auto-dimming feature that’ll adjust the brightness based on the ambient light around, protecting your eyesight.

Philips Screeneo U5 Ultra Short Throw 4K Projector

Place the projector against a wall and the Screeneo U5 pretty much handles the rest. Its keystone correcting abilities mean that it’ll ensure your screen is perfectly rectangular no matter what, and a unique 8-point calibration system allows you to further tweak and adjust the picture to account for any imperfections on your wall or projector screen.

Philips Screeneo U5 Ultra Short Throw 4K Projector

The Screeneo U5 is a major upgrade from its predecessor, now with a 4K resolution, higher brightness, and better colors. Dolby Vision and HDR 10 ensure better clarity, higher contrasts, and richer colors, while FlowMotion 4 helps upscale frame rates to make even older videos (or videos shot on lower frame rates) buttery smooth. The projector runs a 60Hz refresh rate, making it incredible for gaming too, and even though 3D TVs have been rather dead for a while now, the Screeneo U5 surprises with 3D projection capabilities, literally bringing the movie theater to your home. (Overpriced popcorn not included)

Philips Screeneo U5 Ultra Short Throw 4K Projector

The one feature that really sets the U5 apart is the fact that it also packs an absolute punch in the audio department. Equipped with 2.2 Channels, 20 watts, and a dedicated DSP, the U5 brings powerful Dolby Atmos audio to the viewing experience, combining larger-than-life audio with booming sound that you wouldn’t really expect from a projector, but will come to appreciate while watching movies, matches, or music videos.

Philips Screeneo U5 Ultra Short Throw 4K Projector

Unlike the U4, which didn’t have any smart TV interface built-in, the U5 comes with AndroidTV and Chromecast, but pushes the bar even further with ExpressVPN pre-installed on the OS for access to geo-restricted content – a feature that’s absolutely game-changing for most media devices today. However, the presence of multiple ports including 2 HDMI, 2 USB-A, and one VGA port ensures you can plug anything from your old laptop to your thumb drive into the U5 to access local files. There’s a LAN port to connect your projector to a wired network, and a 3.5mm jack just in case you have better speakers lying around. Just in case, the U5 comes with Bluetooth 5.1 too, letting you connect wireless speakers as well. Like its predecessor, the Screeneo U5 also comes with a multimedia remote that makes navigating the interface much easier.

Philips Screeneo U5 Ultra Short Throw 4K Projector

The Philips Screeneo U5 is currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo and has raised nearly $3 million as of writing this article. Its previous campaigns, the Screeneo U4 ultra short throw projector, and the Philips PicoPix Max pico-projector were runaway successes too, receiving support from more than 25 thousand backers. While there’s always an inherent risk with crowdfunding, one could argue that Philips has much more brand value than most campaign creators, so rest assured your money is in reliable hands. To sweeten the deal, however, Philips is offering a Cyber Week 48% discount to its backers by letting them procure the Screeneo U5 for a reduced price tag of $1,790 USD (€1,699 EUR). The Screeneo U5 comes with a 2-year warranty and begins shipping in March 2023.

Philips Screeneo U5 Ultra Short Throw 4K Projector

Philips Screeneo U5 Ultra Short Throw 4K Projector

Click Here to Buy Now: $1,790 $3,476 ($1,686 off) Hurry, less than 5 days left!

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Disney is bringing the first two episodes of ‘Andor’ to Hulu and a few TV stations this month

Disney is making one of its best shows of the year more accessible. On Monday, the company announced it would begin airing Andor on ABC, FX, Freeform and Hulu. Starting November 23rd, the expansion will allow those without access to Disney+ to watch the first two episodes of the Tony Gilroy project. That’s just enough to get a sense of Andor’s smart writing, immaculate production and obsession with institutions, but without seeing the conclusion of its initial arc.

The announcement comes after the show arguably had its best episode yet. Anchored by a stellar performance by Stellan Skarsgard, “One Way Out” featured a thrilling prison break and was a neat encapsulation of Andor’s many strengths. It also comes amid questions about just how many people are watching the show.

In October, Parrot Analytics data analyst Brandon Katz shared a graphic that suggested it was lagging behind other live-action Star Wars shows. Katz later retracted his findings, noting he had incorrectly inputted the relevant data. “It’s performing much better than the initial tweet showed,” he said. “It has hit exceptional demand in several instances.”

Even with the retraction, the discourse around Andor has centered around the show’s viewership numbers. Disney’s decision to air the show on more platforms would seem to lend weight to suggestions the show has been less popular than The Mandalorian and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Disney is bringing the first two episodes of ‘Andor’ to Hulu and a few TV stations this month

Disney is making one of its best shows of the year more accessible. On Monday, the company announced it would begin airing Andor on ABC, FX, Freeform and Hulu. Starting November 23rd, the expansion will allow those without access to Disney+ to watch the first two episodes of the Tony Gilroy project. That’s just enough to get a sense of Andor’s smart writing, immaculate production and obsession with institutions, but without seeing the conclusion of its initial arc.

The announcement comes after the show arguably had its best episode yet. Anchored by a stellar performance by Stellan Skarsgard, “One Way Out” featured a thrilling prison break and was a neat encapsulation of Andor’s many strengths. It also comes amid questions about just how many people are watching the show.

In October, Parrot Analytics data analyst Brandon Katz shared a graphic that suggested it was lagging behind other live-action Star Wars shows. Katz later retracted his findings, noting he had incorrectly inputted the relevant data. “It’s performing much better than the initial tweet showed,” he said. “It has hit exceptional demand in several instances.”

Even with the retraction, the discourse around Andor has centered around the show’s viewership numbers. Disney’s decision to air the show on more platforms would seem to lend weight to suggestions the show has been less popular than The Mandalorian and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

LG stretchable display could lay the foundations for a very weird future

Ever heard of those fashion shows where designers try to make a statement by including some sort of display or screen on accessories or the dresses themselves? While those eccentric designs are limited to runways, for now, they could also be a preview of our near future. Some companies would paint a future that revolves around the metaverse, but it’s more likely that we will live in a world filled with screens everywhere. Not just on billboards or walls, mind, but on almost everything that can hold a display panel. And if stretchable displays like LG’s ever become commonplace, you can bet it will only be a matter of time before you’ll see patches of screens on clothes as well.

Designer: LG

Display makers like LG have been playing around with screens that don’t necessarily have to lay flat all the time. Even though it has exited the mobile market, LG has been investing heavily in flexible screens for use in electronics like rollable TVs and foldable devices. But while those can bend and roll, they actually don’t change their overall shape or dimensions. Those are pretty much fixed, which makes them unsuitable for certain applications that require screens to be deformable as well.

That’s exactly the kind of screen that LG’s display-making arm just showed off. Without getting into the messy technical details, what it revealed was a 12-inch screen that can be pulled and stretched to cover the same area as a 14-inch screen. The screen has a pixel density of 100dpi, which is far below what you might be used to on smartphones today. The fact that it can even have that level of quality when you twist and stretch the screen is already quite the feat.

It might sound like yet another crazy invention that’s looking for a problem to solve, but it admittedly has more flexible applications, pardon the pun, beyond foldable laptops and rollable TVs. Because of the way these displays can stretch even for just a little bit, they’re perfect for use in industries such as textile, automotive, fashion, mobility, furniture, and the like. You can imagine clothes that can display not just logos but animation, which sounds both cool and dystopian at the same time, well in line with the start of a cyberpunk era.

At the same time, however, that also means that there will be an even greater amount of information overload and distractions in our foreseeable future. It will be a sweet opportunity for advertisers, with all the concerns that it would entail. That said, this LG stretchable display is still at an early stage, so it’s too early to tell whether it will become a standard artifact of our near-future.

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TinyTV Miniature Video Displays

TinyTV 2 and TinyTV Mini are miniature video displays in the form of old CRT televisions. Currently, an already heavily funded Kickstarter project, prices start at $49 and go up from there depending on the style and color of the television case and the inclusion of an equally tiny remote control. Obviously, I might just be receiving that World’s Best Uncle award sooner than I thought if I get one of these for my niece’s dollhouse.

The TinyTV 2 (the larger of the two tiny models) features a 216×135 pixel display, functional rotary knobs on the front for adjusting volume and changing the channel (next video file), a forward-facing speaker, 8GB storage (~10 hours of video) and a Li-polymer battery with about 2 hours of power. The TinyTV Mini features a 64×64 pixel OLED display, volume and channel buttons on top, an internal speaker, 8GB storage (~40 hours of video at this resolution), and a Li-polymer battery with about 1 hour of power. Both can easily have video footage uploaded, and their batteries recharged via USB-C cable, as well as be operated using an IR remote.

Most people want as large a TV as they can fit in front of the sofa, so it’s refreshing to see ultra-miniature televisions for a change. Plus, they’re much more budget-friendly. Sure I’ll likely miss a lot of the finer details watching House of the Dragon, but those dragons would probably scare me on the big screen anyways.

LG’s Display Showcase OLED TV concept comes with a bold skeletal frame and no bezels

Designed as a proof of concept by Seoul-based Jei Design Works, the LG Display Showcase TV visually abstracts and caricatures the idea of a television having a large frame and bezels. Quite like the Samsung Serif TV‘s own personal take on the television ‘frame’, the LG Display Showcase does a wonderful job of reinterpreting the television archetype. The TV itself is an incredibly slim OLED panel with practically no bezels, and it sits in a stunning metallic skeletal frame that feels like looking at an old TV through an X-ray machine. The frame is large yet visually weightless, adding drama without adding volume. In a world where companies are trying to build televisions thin enough to disappear into the wall, the LG Display Showcase unapologetically occupies space in a way that still doesn’t feel heavy.

Designer: Jei Design Works

The beauty of the LG Display Showcase is truly that rose gold frame that surrounds the TV. It’s rare for a television’s bezel/frame to look more alluring than the panel itself (and an OLED panel no less), but the LG Display Showcase does it wonderfully, almost like the precious metal surrounding a gemstone. The purpose of Display Showcase, according to the designers at Jei Design Works, was to have a television that could look like a work of art, beautiful enough not for just homes, but also offices, galleries, and retail spaces. The frame’s design, to that very end, can be placed on console tables thanks to its feet, but it can also be mounted on walls or from ceilings using hooks that let you ‘hang’ the frame.

The visual lightness of the LG Display Showcase is enhanced by the fact that the display in its center literally has no discernible bezels. It sits well aligned within the rose gold outer skeleton, which also conveniently helps with cable management.

The TV, as thin as it is, houses a set of speakers on the top that help fill the room with audio. Given that the television is never placed completely against the wall means there’s always a chance that the audio will bounce around and get amplified a slight bit, although that’s purely based on my own gut feeling.

Ultimately, the LG Display Showcase is a stunningly minimalist OLED TV that really sits front and center in any kind of space. It takes terms like sleek and modern and reinterprets them differently, going for something more artistic than simply a paper-thin TV that sits flat against your living room wall. The LG Display Showcase’s unique frame design becomes its own mount, allowing it to sit on tabletops as well as hang on walls and from ceilings. The OLED TV has character but blends well into all sorts of decors, making it perfect for homes, offices, galleries, retail spaces, and experience centers.

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This literally Tiny TV comes with a cute but miniature screen that plays real videos

When I watch my TV shows, movies, and all sorts of videos, I prefer to watch it on the biggest screen that I have in my home. If I could buy a bigger screen smart TV, I most probably would. But maybe that’s just me or at least those with poor eyesight like me because it seems like people want to watch on their mobile phones and for a certain market, they want to watch on something even smaller.

Designer: TinyCircuits

This means that there is a market for something like the TinyTV, a miniature screen that can play different kinds of videos. In fact, they are releasing the second version of this which has upgraded features but is still tiny as heck. There is even a tinier version with the TinyTV Mini as small as a grape so I don’t know what you can actually watch there.

Unlike the first version of TinyTV, this new one is not so DIY anymore. It has a better resolution and brighter display and comes with two rotary knobs that can control the different “channels” as well as the volume of this device, since it does come with a speaker at the front part of the TV if you don’t want to use headphones. There is even a remote control that you can connect through the infrared system and comes with a rechargeable battery.

It comes pre-loaded with videos with each one serving as the aforementioned “channel”. But you can also upload your own videos since it has a built-in 8GB microSD where you can save up to 10 hours of videos. You might have to convert some of this to be able to play on the TV. You can also plug in the cable included into your computer to convert and transfer the videos. You can also use it as a second screen as it can mirror what’s in your computer screen if you use the software.

I most likely will not be able to properly watch anything on the TinyTV but as a cute accessory, I wouldn’t say no to one. The one enclosed in the crystal-like transparent case is definitely eye-catching. I’d have to draw the line at the grape-sized tinier version though.

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HBO cancels sci-fi drama ‘Westworld’ after four seasons

It's time to bid farewell to the androids of Westworld. HBO has cancelled the sci-fi title after four seasons, even though showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy were hoping for a fifth to reach the ending they had in mind. Nolan and Joy were trying to negotiate for a last season as recently as October, but their discussions clearly did not pan out. In a statement, HBO said:

"Over the past four seasons, Lisa and [Jonathan] have taken viewers on a mind-bending odyssey, raising the bar at every step. We are tremendously grateful to them, along with their immensely talented cast, producers and crew, and all of our partners at Kilter Films, Bad Robot and Warner Bros. Television. It’s been a thrill to join them on this journey."

Westworld used to be one of HBO's tentpole projects, with 54 Emmy nominations and even a win for Thandiwe Newton as Outstanding Supporting Actress. Its ratings and viewership have plummeted over the years, however, and it never quite recovered. For fans, the fact that the show hadn't been renewed immediately after the latest season ended was already a bad sign.

As The Hollywood Reporter notes, approximately 12 million viewers tuned in to watch the show's critically acclaimed first season across platforms. And, while we thought that Westworldreturned to form in its third season, its numbers kept on tumbling until only 4 million viewers stuck around to watch the latest episodes. That's most likely not enough for HBO to justify a renewal. Apparently, the fourth season cost the network $160 million for eight episodes, which is more than what it spent on House of Dragons. The Game of Thrones prequel had ten episodes and averaged 29 million viewers for each one. 

HBO cancels sci-fi drama ‘Westworld’ after four seasons

It's time to bid farewell to the androids of Westworld. HBO has cancelled the sci-fi title after four seasons, even though showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy were hoping for a fifth to reach the ending they had in mind. Nolan and Joy were trying to negotiate for a last season as recently as October, but their discussions clearly did not pan out. In a statement, HBO said:

"Over the past four seasons, Lisa and [Jonathan] have taken viewers on a mind-bending odyssey, raising the bar at every step. We are tremendously grateful to them, along with their immensely talented cast, producers and crew, and all of our partners at Kilter Films, Bad Robot and Warner Bros. Television. It’s been a thrill to join them on this journey."

Westworld used to be one of HBO's tentpole projects, with 54 Emmy nominations and even a win for Thandiwe Newton as Outstanding Supporting Actress. Its ratings and viewership have plummeted over the years, however, and it never quite recovered. For fans, the fact that the show hadn't been renewed immediately after the latest season ended was already a bad sign.

As The Hollywood Reporter notes, approximately 12 million viewers tuned in to watch the show's critically acclaimed first season across platforms. And, while we thought that Westworldreturned to form in its third season, its numbers kept on tumbling until only 4 million viewers stuck around to watch the latest episodes. That's most likely not enough for HBO to justify a renewal. Apparently, the fourth season cost the network $160 million for eight episodes, which is more than what it spent on House of Dragons. The Game of Thrones prequel had ten episodes and averaged 29 million viewers for each one. 

‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ finds riches in its own margins

It’s been a long road, getting from Lower Decks’ slightly rough-around-the-edges first episode to here. But it hasn’t taken that much time, since Star Trek’s first animated sitcom very quickly found its feet to become my favorite Trek of the streaming era. The second season showed a growing confidence in its own execution, and as the third season concludes, we find it proud to show the world what it’s now capable of.

The clue, really, was in the swift resolution to the Pakled cliffhanger which ended the second year. On one hand, a sitcom like Lower Decks doesn’t need to turn into The Wire to keep you hooked. But it’s also aware that it can sow the seeds of a running plot thread – the story of Rutherford’s implant – into the fabric of so many episodes. And that the payoff was far more interested in the impact on the character than the cliffhanger.

And these strands certainly paid off in “Reflections,” which revealed that a person, or persons unknown, were behind Rutherford’s implant. But even that paid off in a way that you weren’t necessarily expecting it to come back here in the two-ish part finale. And who was the big bad of the season, really? Nothing more than the bete noire of so many Golden Era Trek episodes, the Evil Admiral™. I loved the show’s attempted justification for why Starfleet churns out so many of them – the lack of career development pushes people to extremes – too.

If there was a sore spot, it was that the penultimate episode, “Trusted Sources” wheeled out the hacky Journalist Makes Everyone Look Awful plot. It’s about as hackneyed as the one where a sitcom character has their boss over for dinner yet accidentally forgets to tell their partner. It’s only really a crowbar to get Mariner pushed out of Starfleet in preparation for the finale, and it never looked like it was going to stick given her obvious love of the Cerritos.

Naturally, the season ends with a punch-the-air victory for not just the Cerritos, but the whole California Class. I’ve always loved Lower Decks’ celebration of the painstaking, cautious and fundamentally boring, yet fundamental, work that serving in Starfleet often requires. Its regular rejection of the, uh, more Kurtzmanesque tendencies of the series makes me love it all the more. Because, like science, the best work is often slow, incremental and dull until it marks a fundamental shift in how we understand the universe. And you can’t really do that if you’re spending your whole episode running from an explosion or proving how tough you are.

Another sign of the show’s confidence is in its second crew-lite episode (I’m always a fan of a show that’ll take you elsewhere for an episode or two). This time, it was centered on the fate of the evil Exocomp Peanut Hamper, last seen making a run for it in the first season finale. “A Mathematically Perfect Resolution” allowed the show to both flesh out a previously one-note character, and explore a new corner of the Star Trek world.

Even better, the sparse opening act offered a lengthy showcase for Chris Westlake’s gorgeous score. Star Trek has always been about its music as much as its narrative, and the show is lucky to have both Westlake and Nami Melumad producing virtuoso work on a weekly basis. I can’t wait for a season three soundtrack album, especially since we once again hear the James Horner-parodying Lower Decks Action Theme several times this year.

If I have a concern, it’s that Lower Decks often feels like it’s designed with lasers to milk my nostalgia glands. I’ll often spend a chunk of each episode clapping like a mad seal at the latest Trek deep cut Mike McMahon and Co. throw at viewers each week. The only thing that prevents it from becoming gratuitous fanservice is that these feel mostly earned. And it has been an orgy of references, including an extended visit to Deep Space Nine.

My heart can do nothing but swell when Nana Visitor (Kira), Armin Shimmerman (Quark), JG Hertzler (Martok), Susan Gibney (Leah Brahmas) and George Takei (Captain Sulu!). And the show has the appropriate respect for Trek MVP Jeffrey Combs to bring him back for a quick visit to Agimus, still trapped in Starfleet’s filing cabinet for self-aware, megalomaniacal computers. I didn’t even mention the extended First Contact riff, complete with an appearance by James Cromwell, or the riff on classic TNG episode “Symbiosis” with quite possibly the darkest joke ever seen in a Trek series.

I’m running out of room to heap the usual praise on the cast, all of whom do sterling work on a regular basis. And that’s before we discuss the glorious, last-minute reveal that T’Lyn, the so-called “emotional” Vulcan from last year’s “wej Duj” has transferred to the Cerritos. (Do I want her to join Beta Shift? I have no idea, but I’m looking forward to seeing how she interacts with the gang now she’s here.)

I’m naturally very excited for Lower Decks’ Season 4 but, by my calculations, the next time we’ll see Mariner and Boimler appear in Strange New Worlds. Given that we already know that Tawny Newsome and Jack Quaid look like their characters, I can’t wait to see them appear on the Enterprise bridge and stare lovingly at Pike’s Peak. My favorite nü-Trek series merging with my second-favorite? Be still my beating heart.