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JBL Link Bar Soundbar With Google Assistant, Android TV Integration Announced

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Just ahead of I/O 2018, Google has announced the arrival of the JBL Link Bar – a smart soundbar with Google Assistant built-in and support for Android TV. The soundbar does its job of audio output by plugging into a television set, but it takes it up a notch by doubling up as a smart Assistant connected speaker as well.

The JBL Link Bar comes with an Ethernet port, optical line-in port, service port, three HDMI inputs, ARC HDMI outputs, and a subwoofer pairing button. It doesn’t come with a remote, so the whole operation of the soundbar is through voice. With Google Assistant integration, you can tell the soundbar to switch on the Android TV, play YouTube videos, start music on Pendora, and start a TV channel without requiring physical interaction. The soundbar also connects with smart home devices in your home and will perform commands like ‘dimming the lights’ and ‘switching on the air-conditioner’.

The JBL Link Bar is a neat addition to your home, effectively replacing the need to have Google Home. It is expected to ship sometime in the fall as well, with the pricing to be announced sometime later.

 

TCL announced its own smart soundbar, called the TCL Alto Smart Soundbar, featuring the Roku voice assistant at CES this year. This will allow you to control your smart TV through the soundbar via voice commands, with the activation command, “Hey Roku”. The soundbar will allow people to turn on a Roku TV, launch video content, or stream audio even when the TV is off. the TCL Alto Smart Soundbar is expected to ship in late 2018, and the price has not been announced yet.


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Huawei Mate 20 X 5G Goes Official With 5G Support, Smaller Battery, and 40W Fast Charging

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Huawei Mate 20 X 5G – the 5G ready variant of the Huawei Mate 20 X – has finally gone official. After an alleged render and retail packaging of the phone surfaced online last month, Huawei has officially launched the phone and has also detailed its availability and pricing for the UK market. The Huawei Mate 20 X 5G is identical to the Huawei Mate 20 X, except the fact that the former is 5G compatible and packs a smaller battery with support for faster 40W charging.
Huawei Mate 20 X 5G price, availability
The Huawei Mate 20 X 5G has been priced at GBP 999 (roughly Rs. 89,500) in the UK. The phone will reportedly hit the shelves in June and will be available from leading operators like Vodafone, Three, EE, and O2. Three and O2 have individually confirmed that they will offer the 5G-ready Huawei phone in summer. Additionally, the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G will be up for grabs from retail partners likes SKY, MPD, and A1 in the UK. There is no word from Huawei regarding the phone’s availability in other markets, including India. Huawei is also bringing the Huawei Mate X foldable phone to the UK market, but there is no official information regarding its pricing and availability as of now.
Huawei Mate 20 X 5G specifications
As mentioned above the main difference between the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G and the standard Huawei Mate 20 X is 5G support, which comes courtesy of the Balong 5000 modem inside the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G. But it has a smaller 4,200mAh battery with support for 40W charging, compared to the 5,000mAh battery inside the Huawei Mate 20 X that only supports 22.5W fast charging standard, just as a recent leak had indicated.
The rest of the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G specifications include a 7.2-inch OLED full-HD+ (1080×2240 pixels) display and the in-house Kirin 980 SoC paired with 6GB of RAM. The phone features a 40-megapixel sensor with a wide-angle lens on the back, accompanied by a 20-megapixel ultra-wide-angle-lens, and an 8-megapixel telephoto camera. The Huawei Mate X packs a 24-megapixel front camera and comes with IP53 water and dust resistance rating.

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Sony HT-X8500 2.1 Channel Dolby Atmos Soundbar Launched in India

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Sony is steadily expanding its Dolby Atmos soundbar range in India, as its just added a new budget option called the HT-X8500. This soundbar supports Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and connects to a Bravia TV wirelessly, over Bluetooth. The HT-X8500 is on sale in India now for a price of Rs. 29,990 and is available online and through all of Sony’s stores and authorised retail partners.
Up until now, Sony had just one Dolby Atmos soundbar in the market called the HT-ST5000, which came at a steep premium of Rs. 1,39,990. The new HT-X8500 is a lot more accessible in that respect, which is part of Sony’s strategy to bring Dolby Atmos to a lot more living rooms. One of the reasons for this price gulf between the two models is that the HT-X8500 doesn’t come with a stand-alone sub-woofer and has fewer drivers in the soundbar.
Instead, there are two sub-woofers placed at the centre of the soundbar, which is supposed to deliver good bass. At either end of the soundbar are two full-range drivers, which together with the sub-woofers, simulate a 7.1.2 channel audio experience. Sony claims its Vertical Surround Sound technology is what makes getting a Dolby Atmos sound experience possible, without dedicated speakers for each channel. It also says that it can take stereo audio and simulate a surround effect too, with a dedicated mode on the remote.
The HT-X8500 soundbar measures 890x64x96mm and weighs around 3.1kg. It supports Bluetooth 5, HDMI ARC input, HDMI eARC output, is HDCP 2.2 compliant, and is compatible with HDR and DolbyVision. The soundbar can be placed on your TV stand or it can also be wall mounted.
“[The] Sony HT-X8500 soundbar is designed to enhance the audio to complement the TV viewing experience, said Hidenori Hino, Business Head, Audio, Sony India. “With Dolby Atmos and built-in subwoofer, cinema and music lovers will see, hear and feel their favourite shows, movies, and music like never-before,” he added.

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I like challenges thrown at me: Shreyas Talpade

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Shreyas Talpade says there have been times when he was written of as an actor but he always managed to prove his talent.
In his 19-year-old career, Shreyas has had a mix bag of hits and flops but every film has been a learning for him, says the actor.
“Coming from a non-film background, all you need is an opportunity to show your work, show your versatility. And I am grateful for all the work that I have done and reached this far and still doing work I think it is great. Every film has taught me something. The journey is not over yet,” he told PTI in an interview.
Best known for his critically-acclaimed turns in Dor and Iqbal, the actor says he has learnt to balance praise and brickbats that are a part of being a performer.
“If everything is going in your favour or is good, then you will become complacent. I like challenges thrown at me, I don’t mind when I am not called a star, or when people say I am finished or think I am a non-actor. I know what I am capable of. I believe in myself.”
Shreyas says it is tough to sustain in this industry and he is aware that everyone goes through highs and lows.
“Even the biggest of stars including Amitabh Bachchan sir had to go through a weak phase, he had to struggle. It is part of your professional journey. One who has the hunger and passion for cinema will do whatever it takes to do good work.
“One thing that the industry has taught me is that it is never too late to start or restart at any point. Like how Bachchan sir reinvented himself,” he says.

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