Comcast is rolling out its HDR-ready Xi5 set-top box before it rolls out 4K

Comcast
Comcast
With more and more TVs being sold that feature support for HDR (High Dynamic Range), which offers increased contrast and better color, there is a clear need for more content in that format. Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon offer a handful of titles supporting the new technology, and now Comcast is preparing to release a set-top box that will allow customers to watch the 2016 Summer Olympics — or at least part of them — in HDR.

Comcast plans to ship its first HDR-ready box, the Xi5, on July 4, company executive vice president and chief technology officer Tom Werner told Multichannel News at the Internet & Television Expo (INTX). This means the box will be released just in time for the Rio Olympics, for which NBCUniversal will produce some HDR coverage.

Comcast will also showcase some additional HDR content during the games to give customers and idea of what to expect from the box. While customers may own HDR TVs, they may not know just how much they’re capable of. Werner says he personally is more excited about HDR than 4K, saying that upconverted 1080p content looks fine on its own, but HDR makes it “noticeably better.”

The Xi5 is the latest box Comcast is rolling out to customers of its X1 platform, and the first model to support HDR. Another model, the Xi6, is also in the works, offering 4K in addition to HDR support, but it’s telling that Comcast is shipping HDR earlier than 4K.

Comcast isn’t the only company talking about its HDR plans at INTX. Ray Milius, Starz executive vice president of programming and operations, said that the company is pursuing HDR, but will likely debut the technology on its over-the-top (OTT) services. The company doesn’t have an exact timeline for when HDR will arrive, and it isn’t yet clear if HDR will appear before or after mass-market 4K from the company, but it certainly seems to be gaining momentum.

Movies & TV

Doctor Sleep trailer takes us back to the Overlook Hotel for The Shining sequel

The first trailer for Doctor Sleep offers a preview of the sequel to Stephen King's The Shining, one of the scariest books — and movies — ever made. The film follows Danny Torrance 40 years after the events at the Overlook Hotel.
Home Theater

These awesome A/V receivers will swarm you with surround sound at any budget

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to shopping for a receiver, so we assembled our favorites for 2019, at multiple price points and all loaded with features, from Dolby Atmos to 4K HDR and much more.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.
Deals

Walmart drops a great deal on this Samsung 55-Inch 4K HDR TV

If you are looking for a 4K-quality TV on a budget, you can’t go wrong with the Samsung 55-Inch 4K HDR TV (NU6900). This smart TV model is currently offered by Walmart for $398, a decent drop from its original price of $528.
Mobile

Longing for an old-school phone? You'll flip out for the best flip phones

Welcome back to the 1990s and early 2000s. There seems to be a mini flip phone craze going on. Smartphones are great, but who doesn't love a good, old-fashioned, pocket-size flip phone? Here are the five of the best you can buy today.
Movies & TV

Stranger Things season 3 gets some new photos and an official synopsis

With a sophomore season as strong as its first, Stranger Things is now moving on to season 3. Here's everything we've learned so far about the Netflix series' upcoming third season, premiering in July 2019.
Movies & TV

Those Marvel Phase Four leaks are probably fake, and here’s why

A new collection of rumors from a purported "Marvel insider" claim to reveal what the future holds for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including the MCU's Phase Four film slate, but have some major red flags.
Movies & TV

Will Smith’s best movies ranked, from Bad Boys to Ali to Hitch

A ranking of Hollywood actor Will Smith's best movies to date. From his early roles during the Fresh Prince days to his Oscar-baiting dramas, Smith has played all kinds of characters in a wide array of beloved films.
Small Business

Disney Plus could have 130 million subscribers by 2024, says analyst

Disney is bringing the full weight of its massive content library to its own streaming service in 2019. How will Disney Plus compare to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime? Here's what we know so far.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (June 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

Who needs sunshine? Stay inside and watch the best movies on Netflix instead

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

Get your pulse racing with some of the best action movies currently on Netflix

In need of a movie that will really get your adrenaline pumping? Netflix offers a ton of films that fit the bill, along with a few you might want to avoid. Here, we rounded up the best action movies currently streaming on Netflix.
Movies & TV

Snuggle up with the best romance films currently streaming on Netflix

Looking for a story about love and lust? We've rounded up the most romantic films currently on Netflix, whether you're looking for a story about young love or a man who falls in love with artificial intelligence.
Movies & TV

Best new podcasts: Two Princes, Adulting, Man in the Window, and more

Feel like you’re drowning in podcasts? In this weekly series, we’ll help you pick out the best of the new and returning shows. This week’s picks include a modern fairytale, growing up, the Golden State Killer, and Stonewall at 50.