How to use PS Remote Play to play PS5 games on a computer, mobile device, or another console

A smartphone displaying the PS5 logo. Behind it, the PS5 logo is written larger in white on a black screen.
PS Remote Play puts your PS5 games on nearly any phone or computer.

  • PS5 Remote Play lets you play your PS5 games and apps on a computer, phone, tablet, or another console.
  • Your PS5 will need a fast internet connection – preferably over Ethernet – to use Remote Play.
  • Remote Play is free for all users, since all you need is a PlayStation Network account, not a subscription.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

There’s no denying that the PlayStation 5 is a very big console. It’s not the kind of device you can take everywhere you go – but that doesn’t mean you need to leave your games behind.

PS Remote Play is a free feature that lets you stream your PS5’s screen to a Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, or Android device. You can also stream to another PS5 or even a PS4. It’s a great way to play your favorite games on the go.

Here’s how to set up Remote Play on your PS5, and then use it to play on a computer, phone, tablet, or another console.

How to use PS5 Remote Play

First, we need to set up Remote Play on the PS5 itself.

1. Turn on your PS5 and open its Settings app by selecting the gear icon in the top-right corner of the home screen.

A PS5 home screen, with the Settings icon in the corner highlighted.
Open your PS5’s settings.

2. Select System, and then Remote Play.

3. Toggle on the switch next to Enable Remote Play.

The Remote Play menu on a PS5, with the "Enable Remote Play" option highlighted.
Turn on Remote Play through this menu.

4. In the left sidebar, scroll down and select Power Saving, and then Features Available in Rest Mode.

The Power Saving menu on a PS5, with "Features Available in Rest Mode" highlighted.
Head down to the “Power Saving” section.

5. Toggle on the switches next to both Stay Connected to the Internet and Enable Turning On PS5 from Network.

A PS5 menu with three options. Two of the options - Stay Connected to the Internet and Enable Turning On PS5 from Network - are highlighted.
These settings make sure that you can connect to your PS5 even when it’s idle.

Next, download the PS Remote Play app on your computer or phone. You can find the Windows app on this page, the Mac app on this page (both under Install the app), the iPhone/iPad app in the App Store, and the Android app in the Play Store.

1. Once downloaded, open the PS Remote Play app on whichever device you downloaded it to.

2. On the screen that appears, click or tap Sign In to PSN and log into your PlayStation Network account (you just need an account, not a subscription). You might also need to enter a two-step verification code.

A white screen that says "Welcome to PS Remote Play!" A blue icon reading "Sign In to PSN" is highlighted.
You just need a free PSN account, not a PSN subscription.

3. After you log in, you’ll be given an explanation of how to connect the PS5 controller to your device. You can do that now or later.

Instructions on how to pair a PS5 controller with a non-PlayStation device.
PlayStation controllers have Bluetooth, meaning they can be used with a wide range of devices.

4. You’ll be asked which console you want to connect to. Select PS5.

5. Your device will take a few moments to detect, wake, and connect to the PS5. Once it does, your PS5’s screen will appear on your device, along with some on-screen controls. You can control it like this, or connect the DualSense controller.

An iPhone running a PS5's screen. All the buttons on a PS5 controller are displayed.
Mobile users will see a shrunken version of the PS5 controller layout.

When you want to quit, just close the Remote Play app. Or if you’re in the mobile app, tap the gear icon and then Disconnect.

Remember that streaming your PS5 to another device takes a lot of internet bandwidth. It won’t work over mobile internet, and even on fast Wi-Fi connections, you should expect some lag and quality drops.

For the best setup, connect both your PS5 and device (if possible) to an Ethernet cable. This will give you the fastest connection and smoothest streaming experience.

How to use Remote Play to stream to another PS5 or PS4

If you have multiple PlayStation consoles but all your games are on one of them, you can use Remote Play to stream content between them.

1. Set up Remote Play on the main PS5 you want to stream from using the steps above.

2. On the PS5 or PS4 you want to stream to, open the Remote Play app. If it’s not on the home screen, it might be in the Game Library.

The Game Library on a PS5, with the Remote Play app highlighted.
Select the Remote Play app.

3. Select Start, and then PS5 or Find Your PS5.

4. Sign into your PlayStation Network account and let it search for your main PS5.

5. Once found, select the PS5 that you want to stream from. Your current console will connect to that PS5, and its screen will appear on your display.

PS5 storage: How to manage your console’s storage or expand it with an external hard driveHow to update your PS5 controller to keep it working properlyHow to upgrade your PS4 games to play on a PS5 with better graphics and frame ratesThe PS5 can play games at 120 FPS – here’s how to play your games in the highest frame rate possible

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PS5 storage: How to manage your console’s storage or expand it with an external hard drive

PlayStation 5
You can expand your PS5’s storage space easily.

  • The PS5 has 825GB of storage space, but you can only use 667.2GB of it – unless you use an external hard drive.
  • Your external hard drive can store both PS5 and PS4 games, and you can play PS4 games straight from the drive.
  • To work with a PS5, your external hard drive needs to have at least 250GB of storage space.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

The PlayStation 5 comes with 825GB of storage space. However, you can only use 667.2GB of that space – the rest is taken up by mandatory system files. This means that if you play a lot of games, it won’t take you long to run out of storage.

Luckily, you aren’t stuck with the default 825GB. If you need more space on your PS5, you can connect an external hard drive and move all your games onto it. You can even play PS4 games straight from the drive, meaning that they never have to take up space on your PlayStation again.

Here’s how to set up an external drive on your PS5 and expand your storage space.

How to set up your PS5’s external storage

Before you start, note that using your hard drive for PS5 storage will erase everything already on the drive. If there’s anything you want to keep, move it somewhere else before connecting your hard drive to the PS5.

1. Turn on your PS5 and plug the hard drive into one of the USB ports on the back. The USB port on the front doesn’t support hard drives.

A PlayStation 5 with a USB external drive plugged in.
Plug your external hard drive into one of the rear USB ports.

2. Open your PS5’s Settings menu by clicking the gear icon in the top-right corner of the home page, and then select Storage.

A PS5 home screen, with the Settings icon in the corner highlighted.
Open your PS5’s settings.

3. Select USB Extended Storage, and then Format as USB Extended Storage.

A PS5's USB storage page, with the option to add an external hard drive highlighted.
Format your external hard drive to link it with the PS5.

Your PlayStation will format the drive and turn it into an extended storage space. Don’t unplug the drive or your PS5 until it’s done.

Once it’s formatted, your hard drive will be linked to the PS5. You can’t use it to store data from other devices until you unpair it from the PS5 (check out the How to delete games from your PS5’s external storage section below for more info).

How to move games to or from your PS5’s external storage

None of your games will move to the drive automatically, although any PS4 game you download from this point on will download onto the drive by default.

While the drive is connected, you can play any PS4 game on it without moving it back. If you want to play a PS5 game that’s stored on it, however, you’ll have to move the game back onto the console first.

To move your existing games, you’ve got two options.

Through the Game Library

1. Open your PS5’s Game Library. You can find it as the right-most option in the list of apps on your home page.

2. Scroll over any game you want to move and press the Options button on your controller.

3. In the menu that appears, select Move to USB Extended Storage.

A PS5's Game Library app, with the option to move a game onto the hard drive highlighted.
You can move any game onto the hard drive, as long as it has enough space.

4. A new menu will appear with a list of all your games, separated into two tabs: Move PS4 Content and Move PS5 Games. Go through these tabs and select all the games you want to move, and then select Move in the bottom-right corner.

A PS5 menu that lets you move games between the console and hard drive.
Select and move the games you want.

Through the Settings menu

1. Open the Settings menu and select Storage.

2. If you want to move games onto the hard drive, select Console. If you want to take games off the hard drive, select USB Extended Storage.

3. In either menu, click Games & Apps.

A PS5's storage page, with the "Games & Apps" option highlighted.
Select the “Games & Apps” option.

4. The same menu with all your games will appear. Go through them and select all the games you want to move, and then select Move in the bottom-right corner.

How to delete games from your PS5’s external storage

Once again, you’ve got two options.

If you want to delete a specific game

1. Open the Settings app, select Storage, and then USB Extended Storage.

2. Click Games & Apps to open a list of everything on your external hard drive.

3. At the top of the screen, select the Delete Content tab.

4. Select all of the games you want to delete, and then click Delete in the bottom-right corner.

If you want to delete everything on the external hard drive at once

1. Once again, open the Settings app, select Storage, and then USB Extended Storage.

2. Click the three dots (…) next to the Safely Remove from PS5 option.

3. Select Format as exFAT.

A PS5's USB storage page, with the option to format the hard drive highlighted.
Select the “Format” option to erase the hard drive.

This will erase everything on the drive, and return it to factory default settings. This means that if you want to use it with your PS5 again, you’ll have to set it up from scratch.

This is also the method you’ll use if you want to totally unpair the external hard drive from your PS5 and use it with another device.

Portable 2TB External Hard Drive (small)How to update your PS5 controller to keep it working properlyHow to format a hard drive for use on a PC or Mac computerHow to upgrade your PS4 games to play on a PS5 with better graphics and frame ratesHow to destroy a hard drive after removing it from your computer, so that its contents can never be recovered

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The best 4K TVs in 2021 for sharp, colorful images and reliable streaming

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • 4K TVs are available at many price points and performance levels.
  • The best 4K TVs balance picture and smart features for stunning images and reliable streaming.
  • With its sharp OLED panel and next-gen gaming support, LG’s CX is our pick for best 4K TV overall.

4K Ultra HD (UHD) TVs have become the norm for any buyer looking to purchase a new display in 2021. However, while all 4K TVs offer a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, picture quality and smart connectivity can vary wildly between different models.

Some 4K TVs include advanced high dynamic range (HDR) for enhanced contrast and colors. Certain LCD models are able to achieve higher brightness than others, which makes them a better fit for rooms with a lot of ambient light. Other displays use OLED panels for perfect black levels that make their images pop when watching movies in a dark home theater.

Of course, picture quality is far from the only factor you should consider when buying a new display. Smart TV functionality, app selection, voice assistant support, and overall design can all make or break a 4K TV purchase. After all, what’s the point of a pretty picture if you can’t easily navigate through the TV’s menus to actually watch something?

With those factors in mind, we’ve selected the best 4K TVs on the market based on hands-on testing with a variety of models. Our picks represent a range of price points, but each of the displays we’ve selected is good enough to offer capable HDR playback and streaming app support. Since 65 inches is the standard flagship size for manufacturers, all of our selections fall into that category. That said, many of the models listed below are also available in smaller and larger sizes.

Here are the best 4K TVs you can buy:

The best 4K TV overall

LG 2020 OLED CX 4K TV

The LG CX OLED presents the best balance between picture performance, smart connectivity, design, and value of any 4K TV you can buy. 

Pros: OLED panel with infinite contrast, HDMI 2.1 ports, voice remote, several sizes to choose from

Cons: Can’t get as bright as an LCD TV, HBO Max app is missing, a little pricey

When it comes to balancing stunning picture performance and reliable smart features, the CX is the best 4K TV you can buy. Though LG released a 2021 successor to the CX, called the C1, the CX remains a better value since it costs less and offers very similar specs. 

Unlike LCD TVs, including those branded as LED and QLED, the CX provides pixel-level contrast thanks to its OLED panel. This enables perfect black levels and precise highlights, which makes this an ideal TV for people who love to watch movies in a dark room. 4K HDR Blu-ray discs and streaming titles are especially stunning on this set, fully showing off what high dynamic range is all about.

Peak brightness is also solid for an OLED panel, with a max of around 700 to 800 nits. That should be more than enough for most living rooms, but buyers who watch TV with a ton of sunlight creeping into the room may need to opt for a brighter LCD model. 

The CX is also a great fit for video games, including next-gen consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X. The panel offers low input lag and supports Variable Refresh Rate, Nvidia G-Sync, and 120Hz high frame rate. Gaming performance is so strong we actually think the 48-inch model is a perfect alternative to a traditional monitor.

When it comes to smart TV features, the TV uses LG’s webOS and ThinQ platforms for robust streaming app support and voice control. The magic remote also features a unique pointer function which allows you to navigate through menus with a virtual cursor you aim at the screen.

The best budget 4K TV

Vizio P Series Quantum 2021

With performance that rivals more expensive sets from the competition, the affordable Vizio P-Series Quantum is the best 4K TV in its price range.

Pros: Full-array local dimming with 200 zones, quantum dot color technology, 120Hz panel, HDMI 2.1 ports, competitive pricing

Cons: On-screen app selection is limited, no voice remote, viewing angles are mediocre, some software glitches 

The Vizio P-Series Quantum manages to pack in a lot of the same features you’d find on pricier TVs, but for less. There are some trade-offs, but if you want solid 4K HDR and streaming performance without breaking the bank, the P-Series Quantum is one of the best options out there.

While you won’t get OLED-quality contrast, the P-Series Quantum’s LCD panel does feature full-array local dimming. This tech enables the TV to dim and brighten in specific zones across the screen. As a result, the display can produce better black levels and more precise highlights than LCDs without dimming. Max brightness can hit 1,100 nits, which is fantastic for a display in this price range. HDR support is extensive as well, and the TV’s quantum dot technology enables a full spectrum of colors. 

HDMI 2.1 ports and a 120Hz panel make the P-Series Quantum a good choice for gamers. That said, I did encounter some HDMI glitches early on, but these signal problems have been mostly corrected through firmware updates. The display is compatible with separate Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant devices as well, but the TV’s included remote does not feature a microphone for integrated voice control.  

On the downside, like a lot of LCD TVs, viewing angles aren’t great. This means colors and contrast get washed out when you sit off to the side. And, while improvements have been made, Vizio’s SmartCast OS is still a bit lacking compared to other platforms. You can cast plenty of apps to the display from a mobile device, but the on-screen selection is currently limited. 

The best QLED 4K TV

Samsung Q90T 4K TV

Samsung’s Q90T offers some of the best overall picture of any 4K TV model. 

Pros: Bright screen with HDR10+ support, full-array local dimming, quantum dot color, wider viewing angles than typical LCDs, voice remote, HDMI 2.1

Cons: Lacks Dolby Vision support, contrast can’t quite match an OLED   

Though brands like Vizio, TCL, and Hisense have done a great job bringing quantum dot color technology to their value-priced TV models, Samsung’s Q90T QLED TV remains a good buy for enthusiasts thanks to some key performance and style perks.     

The TV features full-array local dimming for deep blacks and impressive HDR contrast thanks to its bright panel. The display can hit a peak of around 1,400 nits when in Filmmaker Mode (the most accurate). This allows the brightest highlights to really shine in ways they can’t on TVs with lower specs.  

Samsung’s display also makes use of a special filter combined with unique light output techniques to enable wider viewing angles than most competing QLED sets. As a result, the Q90T has some of the best viewing angles I’ve seen on a TV of this type. Buyers who can’t sit right in front of the display shouldn’t worry too much about distorted colors. 

Voice control is enabled via the included remote and you can choose between Samsung’s Bixby, Amazon Alexa, or Google Assistant. Samsung’s Smart Hub platform, powered by the Tizen OS, provides responsive navigation with on-screen support for a big selection of apps.

One HDMI 2.1 port is included as well, enabling next-gen gaming features when hooked up to a PS5, Xbox Series X, or compatible PC. 

It should be noted, however, that Samsung recently released the 2021 successor to the Q90T, dubbed the QN90A Neo QLED 4K TV. The new model uses mini LED technology which could improve contrast and black level performance. That said, it costs quite a bit more than the Q90T. We’ll be testing the 2021 model soon for consideration in our guide.

The best high-end 4K TV

Sony A80J OLED 4K TV on a TV stand.

Sony’s A80J is the premium TV champ when it comes to image accuracy, but it’s a bit pricey.

Pros: OLED panel with infinite contrast, advanced processing for superior image accuracy, acoustic surface audio technology, HDMI 2.1

Cons: Can’t get as bright as LCD TVs, no VRR support yet (coming in future firmware)

Sony’s brand-new A80J OLED (2021) serves as the successor to its highly rated A8H (2020). Though most people will be satisfied with the older model, both TVs are currently available for the same price and the A80J features a few key upgrades that help it clinch this spot.

Most notably, the new 2021 model adds HDMI 2.1 ports, enabling next-gen gaming features like 4K/120Hz. It also uses Sony’s new image tech which relies on cognitive processing to cross-analyze picture elements at the same time rather than individually. It’s hard to say how big of an improvement this upgrade makes without a side-by-side comparison with the A8H, but the A80J certainly looks stunning in person.

During annual TV competitions, Sony’s OLEDs consistently come the closest to matching the look of professional broadcast monitors and we expect the A80J to be no different. This means, when calibrated, the A80J has the potential to present movies closer to how directors intend for them to look than most competing displays.

Unlike traditional TVs, the A80J also features a unique audio system with acoustic surface technology. Instead of typical speakers, this process uses actuators behind the panel to create sound from the screen itself. This allows dialogue to sound as if it’s truly coming from the mouths of people on screen. 

The A80J is also one of the first TVs to launch with the new Google TV platform rather than the older Android TV system. The new interface has a stylish look and emphasizes content rather than apps. It works well, but I’ve run into a few glitches here and there that forced me to reboot the display. Google TV has a lot of potential but some kinks still need to be worked out via firmware updates. 

The best deals on 4K TVs from this guide

Every week we see discounts on dozens of TVs, however, it can be difficult to know what you’re buying. There are hundreds of options floating around and some retailers offer different models, which makes it hard to compare. As you might expect, the best time to buy a TV is during events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Amazon Prime Day. If you can hold out for one of these sales, you might be able to snag one of our TV picks for over $100 less. 

Below, we’ve gathered the best deals we found on the sets we actually recommend, so you’ll be absolutely sure that you’ll get a great value.

Read more about how the Insider Reviews team evaluates deals and why you should trust us.

What to look for in a 4K TV

The best OLED TVs LG CX

There are some key specifications that you should look for when choosing which TV is the best fit for your needs.

HDR support

If you’re buying a new display with image performance as a top priority, you’ll want to make note of a TV’s high-dynamic-range (HDR) capabilities. Even more so than resolution, HDR has become the defining factor for picture quality in modern TVs. This feature allows a TV to offer enhanced contrast and colors when playing specially graded HDR shows and movies on many streaming apps and 4K Blu-ray discs.

There are a few competing HDR formats, including HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision. HDR10 is the default and it’s supported on all HDR TVs. Dolby Vision and HDR10+ offer more advanced capabilities, but Dolby Vision content is more common than HDR10+. 

OLED vs. LCD

Brightness capabilities (measured in nits), black levels, contrast ratio, color gamut, and viewing angles are all major factors that help contribute to a TV’s overall picture performance. Panel type then plays a large role in determining how well a display can handle all of these elements. 

There are currently two main types of 4K TV panels: OLED and LCD (the latter is often branded as QLED or LED). Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. OLEDs excel at black levels, contrast, and viewing angles. LCDs excel at brightness, which can make them better for rooms that let in a lot of light. LCD models also tend to be less expensive than OLED models and they present no risk for burn-in

HDMI 2.1 ports

HDMI 2.1 support is another feature that buyers should keep in mind. The latest HDMI spec enables next-gen gaming features like 4K/120Hz and VRR, which could be important for people who plan to buy a PS5 or Xbox Series X.  

Smart TV features

Smart TV connectivity is essential as well, and each manufacturer either uses their own specific operating system or a third-party system like Roku TV, Google TV, or Fire TV. All of these platforms have their own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to app selection and performance, but most will get the job done just fine for basic streaming needs. 

If you’re unhappy with your TV’s built-in system, we recommend buying a separate streaming stick or box. These devices typically offer the best streaming app support, and entry-level models with 4K playback are frequently on sale from Roku for as little as $30.

Check out our other TV buying guides

VIZIO M Series Quantum

The best cheap TVs

Though flagship TVs can get pricey, there are plenty of budget-friendly displays out there with solid performance. There are even models with genuine HDR support for surprisingly affordable prices. 


The best OLED TVs

OLED TVs offer some key performance benefits compared to traditional LCD displays, including better black levels and uniformity. While all OLED TVs tend to be very similar when it comes to picture quality, certain models feature premium design upgrades that make them a bit more expensive.

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Sony’s WF-1000XM4 are the best wireless noise-cancelling earbuds you can buy, but they’re pricey at $280

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

The Sony WF-1000XM4 outside of their case on a glass table
The WF-1000XM4 are Sony’s latest true wireless earbuds.

  • Sony’s WF-1000XM4 wireless earbuds come highly recommended.
  • Their sound quality and noise cancellation are second to none, and they have long battery life.
  • At $280, they’re premium earbuds designed for listeners willing to pay extra for the best performance.

Table of Contents: Masthead StickyWF-1000XM4 (small)

If their $280 price tag didn’t already suggest as much, Sony’s WF-1000XM4 are a high-end pair of wireless earbuds. Indeed, they’re even more expensive than Apple’s $250 AirPods Pro. At this price, the WF-1000XM4 are geared toward buyers who are willing to pay a premium for excellent sound quality and functionality.

In exchange for your wallet’s depletion, you get class-leading noise cancellation, water resistance, a wireless charging case, 24 hours of total battery life, good phone call quality in noisy places, comfortable ear tips, and phenomenal audio quality.

They aren’t perfect, though. In particular, they’re missing the Bluetooth Multipoint feature that lets you connect the buds to two devices at the same time, like a laptop and a phone. But, if you can afford them, the WF-1000XM4 are easily the best wireless earbuds in their price range.

Sony WF-1000XM4 specifications

Sony WF-1000XM4 Specs
Drivers 6mm
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.2
Codecs SBC, AAC, LDAC
Battery life Eight hours continuous music playback with ANC on; 12 hours with ANC off; 16 hours battery charge in wireless charging case
Charging USB-C, wireless
Water resistance IPX4
App Sony Headphones app for iOS and Android

Design and comfort

The WF-1000XM4 have a sleek and modern design available in black and Sony’s take on the color silver, which looks more like a beige. They’re not the most compact wireless earbuds we’ve tried, but they’re discreet enough that they don’t stick out of your ears.

The wireless charging case is fairly standard in size and function. It features a USB-C port on the back, and the wireless charging surface is located on the bottom.

You get three earbud tips in different sizes, including small, medium, and large. The WF-1000XM4’s eartips are made of a polyurethane foam rather than the usual soft silicone tips we typically see in earbuds. Sony says the foam helps isolate noise and “improves adhesion to the ear canal” by maximizing the surface contact area between the tip and your ear canal. I’m inclined to agree; due to their ear-plug style and foam tips, the WF-1000XM4 stay in my ears more securely than most earbuds I’ve tried.

The Sony WF-1000XM4 ear buds in the palm of someones hand
The earbuds feature a sleek design with foam tips.

Still, while the foam tips might be great for a secure fit, I wonder how long they’ll last after some wear and tear, as foam doesn’t seem as durable as silicone tips. That said, we haven’t faced any issues yet.

It’s also worth considering whether you prefer lighter fitting tips like those found on the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds or AirPods Pro. Those don’t fit as securely as the XM4’s ear-plug style, but they are more comfortable.

Something else to note – the Sony Headphones app measures whether the tip size you’re using makes a good seal in your ears, but I found that feature to be inaccurate. The app said the medium size tips created a good seal, but noise-cancelling performance was better with the larger size.

Sound quality

The Sony WF-1000XM4 are at the top of their class here, and their sound quality is unbeatable for wireless earbuds. Sound is clear, rich, and extraordinarily well balanced for all sorts of music out of the box. That’s to say they don’t have a flat studio sound – instead, they offer a pleasing balance of bass, mids, and highs that delivers for both softer and exciting music.

To be sure, the way sound actually sounds is subjective – some like more bass while others look for less, among other preferences. With that in mind, you may not actually like the way the WF-1000XM4 sound out of the box. If that’s the case, you can use the EQ settings in the Sony Headphones app to further shape the sound profile to your liking. This makes the WF-1000XM4 versatile for listeners with different tastes.

To test the WF-1000XM4, I listened to several tracks in a wide variety of genres, including classical, jazz, flamenco, reggae, rock/metal, and electronic.

Noise cancellation

I tested noise cancellation under a bridge where a major highway ran above me. The average decibel level with the highway’s traffic was around 75, and when cars drove by, the decibel level would jump to 88.

Noise cancellation is excellent on the WF-1000XM4, and they’re certainly among the top performing noise-cancelling earbuds we’ve tried. They easily handle lower frequency rumbles and do away with a surprising amount of higher frequency noise, too.

It’s a tough call between the WF-1000XM4 and the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, as both are comparable. Without a doubt, the WF-1000XM4 will make any commute or location quieter and significantly more comfortable. Plus, noise-cancelling technology in general lets you hear music better at lower volumes, which reduces the risk of hearing loss over time.

Battery life

A single Sony WF-1000XM4 earbud on a glass table
The WF-1000XM4 can get up to 24 hours of battery life with noise cancellation when combined with the included charging case.

Battery life is rated by Sony at eight hours on the buds themselves with ANC, which is class-leading. Combined with the 16 hours of charge in the case, you get 24 hours total. With noise cancellation off, Sony says you can get up to 12 hours with just the buds. And for phone calls, the company says you can get five and a half hours of talk time. A five-minute charge delivers an hour’s worth of listening time, the company claims.

We’re still figuring out the best way to test these claims, but so far, I have no reason to believe that Sony’s numbers are off.

Phone calls

Sony improved the tech for phone calls in the WF-1000XM4 with bone conduction and beamforming technology to better pick up your voice.

I tested phone calls under the same highway bridge where I tested noise cancellation. I called someone to see whether they could hear me comfortably among all the traffic noise. The person I called could easily hear me without noticing any ambient noise, but cars whooshing by were still audible to the callee. She was able to hear and understand me, but said that it could be problematic in a busy city, where cars are constantly driving past pedestrians.

The WF-1000XM4 also work great for video calls, which is worth noting since Apple’s AirPods Pro are notoriously bad for video calls.

App and other features

The Sony Headphones app is comprehensive, but it could do with a cleanup to make it easier to use. Odd language like “Suppresses headphone battery consumption” when you turn off noise-cancelling could be reworded to “Saves battery life” to make the feature easier to understand.

Otherwise, the WF-1000XM4 have ample features. I was dubious about “Speak to Chat” in my Sony WH-1000XM4 review, but I’ve grown to like the feature. It automatically turns on Ambient Sound mode to amplify ambient noise when the earbuds detect that you’re talking. It’s a great feature if you’re in the zone listening to music with noise-cancelling enabled, and someone is trying to get your attention. Just saying “what’s up” (or anything else) lets you hear what the person is saying. Once you’re done speaking, the earbuds return to whatever setting you had.

You’ll also find the equalizer in the app, which, while a little involved, is truly excellent. The WF-1000XM4 have a malleable sound and are eager to please. You also get options for giving priority to sound quality or a stable wireless connection, but I’ve never felt the need to enable the latter. You can also enable or disable Sony’s DSEE Extreme feature that upscales compressed music (most music you stream, unless it’s from high fidelity services like Tidal). More often than not, it’s hard to tell if it makes a difference. I usually leave these kinds of upscaling features off to prevent additional processing.

Sony boasted improved wind noise reduction with the WF-1000XM4, but this feature is in dire need of tweaking. It does seem to work, but it also seems to reduce or disable regular noise cancellation, which lets in ambient noise. You’re basically replacing one evil with another. Plus, you need to enable the wind reduction mode in the app, and there’s no way to enable it by tapping the touch sensors on the buds.

And finally, there’s Sony’s 360 Reality Audio. It supposedly delivers surround sound, but it only works with an utterly limited number of apps, including Deezer, Artist Connection, nugs.net, and Tidal. This feature shouldn’t be a consideration when you’re thinking about buying the WF-1000XM4.

Outside of the app, the WF-1000XM4 have an IPX4 water-resistance rating, making them a suitable option if you want wireless earbuds for working out, or anticipate using them outdoors when there’s a chance of rain.

Drawbacks

Unfortunately, the WF-1000XM4 don’t offer Bluetooth Multipoint. This feature lets you connect to two devices simultaneously, and there were times during my testing when I wished it was included.

I found myself watching a video on my laptop with the WF-1000XM4 and getting a call on my phone, but I couldn’t use the earbuds for the call because they were only connected to my laptop. You can switch the connection to another device fairly easily, but not quickly enough for unexpected events like a phone call.

To be fair, most wireless earbuds don’t have this functionality, save for Apple’s AirPods that easily switch between other Apple devices, and Jabra’s Elite 75T and 85T wireless earbuds. If that kind of functionality is important to you in noise-cancelling headphones, your best bet will be one of those aforementioned earbuds, or full-size headphones, like Sony’s excellent WH-1000XM4 or the Bose 700.

Should you buy the Sony WF-1000XM4?

The Sony WF-1000XM4 in their case in the palm of a hand
Sony’s WF-1000XM4 are an excellent choice for buyers who want high-end wireless earbuds.

If sound quality and noise cancellation are important to you, and $280 is within your budget, you should absolutely buy the Sony WF-1000XM4.

What are your alternatives?

If you know you don’t like ear-plug style earbuds, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are nearly identical in performance, and they have a lighter fit. Just note, they’re not water resistant.

Otherwise, for about $100 less than the Sony WF-1000XM4, the Jabra Elite 85T come highly recommended, and they include Bluetooth Multipoint tech for connecting to multiple devices, too.

The bottom line

Almost all wireless earbuds offer a more lightweight and compact experience compared to on-ear or over-ear headphones, but very, very few wireless earbuds are as good as the WF-1000XM4.

Pros: Excellent sound quality, impressive noise cancellation, long battery life, wireless charging case, comfortable fit, water resistance, versatile and malleable sound for personal preference

Cons: Can’t connect to more than one device at a time (Bluetooth Multipoint), pricey

WF-1000XM4 (button)

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11 PlayStation exclusive games that make the PS5 worth buying

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Ratchet Clank Rift Apart
“Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart” is one of the few games that requires a PS5 to play.

  • Sony is publishing dozens of exclusive games to maintain the popularity of the PlayStation 5.
  • While future games will be designed to make the most of the PS5, many will work on PS4 too.
  • We’ve compiled a list of new and upcoming PS5 games, excluding ones you can also play on PC or Xbox.

Sony’s PlayStation 5 is the fastest-selling video game console on the market, enticing millions of gamers to upgrade their machines for the next-generation of blockbuster releases. PlayStation’s large library of exclusive games play a major role in the brand’s lasting popularity, with hits like “The Last of Us,” “God of War,” and “Marvel’s Spider-Man” breaking sales records and earning game of the year honors.

Sony says it’s working on at least 25 upcoming PS5 exclusives, many of which will also work on PS4. That’s good news, since the high demand for the PS5 is expected to outmatch supply for most of 2021. Players who grab games like “Horizon Forbidden West” on PS4 will be able to play an even better version for free whenever they upgrade to PS5.

Just a handful of PS5 games, like “Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart” and “Demon’s Souls,” are unavailable on the PS4 due to their technical demands.

Below we’ve compiled a list of upcoming games you need a PlayStation console to play, excluding games that are also available on PC or Xbox consoles.

‘Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart’ – available now

Ratchet Clank Rift Apart
“Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart” is the latest entry in the popular franchise.

“Ratchet and Clank” has been a PlayStation exclusive series since 2002, and “Rift Apart” is the first new entry since 2016, when the series was rebooted and adapted into a movie.

Ratchet and his robotic sidekick Clank have invented a wide range of weapons and gadgets to battle the evil Dr. Nefarious and his cronies. In “Rift Apart” Ratchet travels through space and time to stop Nefarious from tearing the universe apart, using a mix of platforming and run-and-gun skills to progress through each new world. 

As a true PlayStation 5 exclusive, “Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart” makes use of the PS5’s speedy loading times to let Ratchet quickly slide between worlds, and will incorporate ray tracing for enhanced reflections and lighting. The game also adds a new playable character to the series named Rivet, who hails from another dimension.

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‘Final Fantasy VII Remake: Intergrade’ – available now

Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade
“Final Fantasy VII” has been remade for the PS4 and PS5 with upgraded graphics and gameplay.

The original “Final Fantasy VII” was one of the first major exclusives released on the PS1, and more than 20 years later “Final Fantasy VII Remake” has returned to PS4 and PS5 as an exclusive reimagining of the classic game.

“Final Fantasy VII Remake” has been design from the ground up with a new combat system and some of the most impressive graphics we’ve seen to date. However, “Remake” only contains about one third of the original “Final Fantasy VII” story, so sequels are on the way.

Released on June 10, “Final Fantasy VII Remake: Intergrade” is the first story add-on for the game and it’s exclusive to PlayStation 5.  That same day, “Final Fantasy VII Remake” also received an update to improve performance on PS5 and add a camera mode to all versions of the game.

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‘Horizon Forbidden West’ – late 2021

Horizon Forbidden West
The sequel to “Horizon Zero Dawn” is in the works for PS5.

Horizon Zero Dawn” marked the debut of a new PlayStation franchise on PS4, pushing the boundaries of the console with its impressive visuals. Its sequel, “Horizon Forbidden West,” continues the open world adventure series on a new continent, with players once again assuming control over the huntress Aloy in a post-apocalyptic version of the western United States, including regions of San Francisco, Utah, and the Yosemite Valley.

The creators of “Horizon Forbidden West,” Guerilla Games, say the haptic feedback of the PS5 controller will let players feel the resistance of Aloy’s bow while aiming, and it will have special interactions when fighting against machines and humans.

Sony has confirmed that “Horizon Forbidden West” will be available on PlayStation 4, as well as PS5.

‘God of War’ (title unconfirmed) – 2022 or later

God of War Ragnarok
A new “God of War” title is being developed for the PlayStation 5 but few details are known.

The 2018 reboot of “God of War” was one of the PlayStation 4’s most critically acclaimed titles, earning multiple “Game of the Year” awards with its polished gameplay and story presentation. Sony teased the game’s sequel during a PlayStation 5 event in September 2020 with a logo and the word “Ragnarok.”

Sony’s Santa Monica Studios said it’s aiming for a 2022 release for the “God of War” sequel, but hopefully we see a trailer before the end of the year.

‘Gran Turismo 7’ – TBA

Gran Turismo 7
“Gran Turismo 7” will take advantage of the PS5’s powerful hardware.

“Gran Turismo” is Sony’s seminal racing franchise, with each new entry in the series pushing the limits of the PlayStation hardware. Sony has confirmed that “Gran Turismo 7” will incorporate ray-tracing visual effects, 3D audio, and haptic feedback using the PS5’s Dual Sense controller.

A release window for “Gran Turismo 7” hasn’t been announced yet.

‘Returnal’ – available now

Returnal PlayStation 5 PS5
“Returnal” is only available to play on the PS5.

Returnal” is one of the few PlayStation games that actually requires a PlayStation 5 to play, thanks to its fast moving gameplay and mutating environments. Players control an astronaut stranded on an alien planet who realizes that each time she dies, she is reborn at the start of her journey.

The goal of “Returnal” is to fight your way across this alien world and free yourself from the planet’s cycle of life and death, but each death will reset your progress. That makes “Returnal” quite difficult to complete, but it’s an absolute treat if you enjoy challenging games.

Returnal” also offers one of the most impressive demonstrations of the PS5 hardware so far, making expert use of the DualSense controller’s adaptive triggers and haptic feedback alongside the console’s next-gen processing power.

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‘Destruction AllStars’ – available now

Destruction Allstars
“Destruction AllStars” carries on the PlayStation brand’s long history with vehicle combat games.

Destruction AllStars” is a vehicle combat game that pits players against each other in a vicious demolition derby. While the emphasis is on your car, drivers can hop out of their vehicle to avoid elimination and regain the upper hand by hopping in another car on the course.

Longtime PlayStation fans will remember “Twisted Metal,” a PlayStation-exclusive vehicle combat game that launched two months after the original PlayStation in 1995. “Destruction AllStars” may not have the same kind of dark humor, but PlayStation has a long history with the vehicle combat genre.

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‘Demon’s Souls’ – available now

Demons Souls PS5
You can only play FromSoftware’s remake of “Demon’s Souls” on the PlayStation 5.

FromSoftware’s “Dark Souls” games have earned a legendary reputation among hardcore gamers for their difficulty, but the series’ origin actually dates back to a small PlayStation 3 exclusive called “Demon’s Souls” released in 2009.

Despite its heavy influence on recent action games, “Demon’s Souls” was never been released outside of the PS3, while “Dark Souls I” and “Dark Souls II” enjoyed remasters on newer consoles.

The dungeon crawling gameplay and haunting visuals of “Demon’s Souls” were remastered for the PlayStation 5, with developer Bluepoint Games rebuilding all of FromSoftware’s original game from the ground up with new character designs and stunning environments in 4K resolution.

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‘Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales’ – available now

Spider-Man Miles Morales PS5
The Ultimate edition of “Miles Morales” also comes with the PS5 remaster of “Marvel’s Spider-Man.”

“Marvel’s Spider-Man” was one of Sony’s biggest PlayStation 4 exclusives, making the game’s sequel an excellent way to demonstrate the difference in power between the PS4 and the PlayStation 5.

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales” once again takes place in New York City, one year after the events of the first game. Marvel fans will recognize Miles from the 2018 film “Into the Spider-Verse” and years’ worth of comic book appearances. His unique spider powers — an invisibility cloak and electric venom blasts — look even more impressive with the PS5’s ray tracing features.

While “Miles Morales” is playable on PS4, the vast improvements in visuals and loading times make it one of most impressive games designed for PS5. If you haven’t played the original “Marvel’s Spider-Man,” you can also get the remastered version for PS5 when you buy the $70 Ultimate Edition of “Miles Morales.”

Spider-Man: Miles Morales Ultimate Edition (PS5) (button)
‘Sackboy: A Big Adventure’ – available now

Sackboy A Big Adventure
The mascot from Sony’s “LittleBigPlanet” series stars in his own game called “Sackboy: A Big Adventure.”

Sackboy, the mascot of Sony’s “LittleBigPlanet” series, got his very own game when the PS5 launched. Unlike “LittleBigPlanet,” which primarily focused on creating your own 2D platforming stages, “Sackboy: A Big Adventure” offers a full 3D range of motion and a set of premade levels for up to four players.

Sackboy: A Big Adventure” is available for PlayStation 4 too, though the PS5 enjoys faster load times and enhanced graphics. The difference between PS4 and PS5 isn’t quite as noticeable as it is for games like “Spider-Man: Miles Morales” though.

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‘Astro’s Playroom’ – pre-installed on PS5

Astros Playroom PS5
Every PlayStation 5 console comes preloaded with “Astro’s Playroom.”

“Astro’s Playroom” is a sequel to “Astro Bot Rescue Mission,” a virtual reality platforming game released for the PlayStation 4 in 2018. However, “Playroom” doesn’t require a PlayStation VR headset, and comes pre-installed on the PS5 for free.

“Astro’s Playroom” is designed to show players how to use the special features of the PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller as they guide Astro across four different worlds. Players can discover hidden artifacts from past PlayStation consoles and build a gallery of Sony’s gaming history.

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Netflix apparently wants to break into the video game business. Experts say that’s a bad idea.

reed hastings ted sarandos
Netflix co-CEOs Reed Hastings, left, and Ted Sarandos, right.

  • Netflix is reportedly fishing around for a major video game business executive to hire.
  • The company intends to expand its gaming efforts – to break into the lucrative video game industry.
  • That initiative is likely to fail, given the history of tech and entertainment companies in gaming.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

With over 200 million paid subscribers worldwide, Netflix is an absolute behemoth.

The streaming entertainment giant has successfully transitioned from a scrappy startup paying to license its content to a major player in Hollywood, splashing out tens of millions of dollars on its own productions.

So, what’s next for Netflix? The answer to that question, at least in part, appears to be video games.

Netflix is fishing around for a gaming executive to help it expand out its gaming initiative, according to a recent report in The Information. While the company has acknowledged an interest in interactive entertainment, it has yet to decide what this will mean in practice. Licensing content from existing game makers? Making its own games? And how will you actually play those games?

While we still don’t know much about Netflix’s plans, one thing is clear right now: Netflix getting involved in gaming is almost certain to fail.

“I do think they will try, and do think they will fail,” Wedbush managing director Michael Pachter told Insider. “It’s hard to make games.”

bandersnatch choice
“Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” is an “interactive movie” on Netflix that is more choose-your-own-adventure than video game.

Indeed, the video game industry is a very risky business, and even entrenched studios with top-tier talent and years of experience regularly go under. “We have the failures of THQ, Midway, Acclaim, 3DO, BAM, Eidos, Atari, Infogrames, Interplay, and probably a few others to illustrate how hard it is,” Pachter said. “I don’t see how Netflix could possibly think it can develop and sell games.”

Joost van Dreunen, author of “One Up: Creativity, Competition, and the Global Business of Video Games,” echoed Pachter’s skepticism.

“Big tech sucks at games,” he told Insider.

He pointed to Google’s Stadia, Amazon’s Luna, and Facebook’s scattershot gaming efforts across the last decade as prime examples of how major tech companies routinely fail at gaming initiatives.

Google and Amazon and Facebook have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into gaming across the last decade, yet none are major players in the video game market. “They look at it in a way that distribution goes before the content,” Van Dreunen said, “and that’s the wrong way around.”

Instead of creating video games and building beloved brands, they’ve largely focused on the mechanics of how you buy and access those games: Google’s Stadia platform, a Netflix-like video game streaming service, is a prime example.

Less than two years after Google announced a major game development initiative led by “Assassin’s Creed” creator Jade Raymond, and less than one year after outright buying a video game studio, the company folded those efforts this past February.

What’s Google focusing on for its big gaming service rather than making games for it?

An “increased focus on using our technology platform for industry partners,” Google Stadia Vice President Phil Harrison said in a blog post – a pretty huge step back from the splashy announcement of Stadia back in 2019, which promised a new digital service that would compete against the likes of Nintendo, Sony’s PlayStation, and Microsoft’s Xbox.

FILE PHOTO: Google vice president and general manager Phil Harrison speaks during a Google keynote address announcing a new video gaming streaming service named Stadia that attempts to capitalize on the company's cloud technology and global network of data centers, at the Gaming Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
Google VP Phil Harrison speaks during a Google keynote address announcing Google Stadia at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, March 2019.

For Netflix, which has the benefit of owning a beloved intellectual property like “Stranger Things” that could lend itself to games, another problem exists.

“Building games from owned IP is also super hard,” Pachter said. “Disney has failed at least three times trying to do so, and its IP is much stronger than Netflix.”

In recent years, Disney’s biggest properties – from Marvel characters to the “Star Wars” franchise – have found success in gaming by Disney largely handing over creative control to major video game companies.

Examples include 2018’s “Marvel’s Spider-Man” and 2019’s “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.” The former, a PlayStation 4 exclusive game made by Insomniac Games, sold over 20 million copies. The latter, a multiplatform “Star Wars” game with original characters and story, sold over 10 million copies.

At approximately $60 apiece, each game has grossed well over $1 billion in sales.

Spider-man (PS4)
2018’s “Marvel’s Spider-Man” for the PlayStation 4.

Netflix could follow a similar model and potentially find success.

The company could build a wildly successful game streaming service that seamlessly leverages its existing streaming service. It could spend years, and hundreds of millions of dollars, building its IP into major game franchises.

Or it could buy its way in, splashing out billions of dollars on a major game publisher like EA or Ubisoft – akin to Amazon’s recent purchase of MGM Studios, but for gaming. That would require a major, long-term institutional buy-in from Netflix, in addition to major financial investments.

“You need to have the stomach,” Van Dreunen said. “Like when you look at Google and Amazon – they just don’t have internally the numbers or the understanding of the space to say, ‘Yeah, you know what we should do? Spend $10 billion to really break in.'”

For its part, Netflix hasn’t detailed its gaming plans just yet – but the company is acknowledging the reported interest in a larger gaming investment in the future.

“Our members value the variety and quality of our content,” the company said in a statement. “Members also enjoy engaging more directly with stories they love – through interactive shows like ‘Bandersnatch’ and ‘You v. Wild,’ or games based on ‘Stranger Things,’ ‘La Casa de Papel’ and ‘To All the Boys.’ So we’re excited to do more with interactive entertainment.”

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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The best OLED TVs in 2021 for vibrant, high-end picture quality

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • OLED TVs offer key benefits over LCDs, making them ideal for buyers who want high-end image quality.
  • The LG CX presents the best balance between picture and price of any OLED we’ve tested.
  • For more TV recommendations, check out our roundup of the best TV deals.

OLED TVs have become popular among home theater enthusiasts, and it’s easy to see why. Thanks to some key perks, OLED displays offer several benefits over traditional LCD TVs (including those branded as LED and QLED). Though they tend to be pricier, there’s no substitute for an OLED if you want the best home theater experience for movies, streaming, and gaming.

OLED stands for “organic light-emitting diode.” Instead of using a traditional LED backlight like those found on an LCD TV, OLED screens are self-illuminating. This means that each pixel on an OLED can emit its own light or turn off completely, enabling an infinite contrast ratio.

As a result, OLED TVs are capable of true black levels – something even the best LCDs have a hard time producing. Viewing angles are also much better than typical LCD displays, making OLEDs a great fit for rooms where people need to sit off to the side of their TV. On the downside, OLEDs can’t get as bright as flagship LCD TVs, which makes OLED displays less ideal for living rooms that let in a lot of sunlight.

LG, Sony, and Vizio all sell OLED TVs in the US. While image quality does vary a bit between the displays, the TVs’ physical design, connectivity, and software are actually the most telling differences. With that in mind, we’ve tested and researched several OLED displays in order to select the best models for a variety of needs and budgets.

Here are the best OLED TVs you can buy:

  • Best OLED TV overall: LG CX
  • Best OLED TV for picture quality: Sony A8H
  • Best premium design OLED TV: LG GX
  • Best budget OLED TV: Vizio H1
The best OLED TV overall

LG 2020 OLED CX 4K TV

The LG CX OLED presents the best balance between picture performance, smart connectivity, design, and value of any OLED TV you can buy. 

Pros: Solid brightness for an OLED, HDMI 2.1 with next-gen gaming features, voice remote, lots of screen sizes

Cons: Processing and image accuracy aren’t as good as Sony OLEDs, HBO Max app missing

When it comes to balancing image quality and smart features, the CX remains the best OLED TV you can buy. Though LG recently released a 2021 successor to the CX, called the C1, we think the CX presents a better value since it costs less and offers very similar performance. 

Like all OLED TVs, the CX provides pixel-level contrast with deep black levels and precise highlights. Peak brightness is also high for an OLED panel, edging out similarly priced models from Sony and Vizio with a max of around 700 to 800 nits. 

Thanks to the α9 Gen 3 Intelligent Processor, the CX is capable of advanced upscaling. This feature can make lower-quality video content, like Full HD (1080p), look cleaner and sharper. That said, Sony’s OLED offerings are still known for slightly better processing.

The panel offers very low input lag and includes compatibility with Variable Refresh Rate, Nvidia G-Sync, and 120Hz high frame rate. These features help make the CX one of the best gaming displays you can buy, and we think the 48-inch model is a great alternative to a traditional monitor.

The CX is powered by LG’s webOS and ThinQ platforms, enabling extensive streaming app support and voice control. The magic remote also features a unique pointer function which allows you to navigate through menus with a virtual cursor.

The best OLED TV for picture quality

Sony A8H series

Sony’s A8H is a premium TV champ when it comes to image accuracy, but it lacks HDMI 2.1 for future-proof connectivity.

Pros: Advanced processing powered by Sony’s X1 Ultimate processor, superior image accuracy, Android TV with Google Assistant, acoustic surface audio technology

Cons: Can’t get as bright as LG’s CX, no HDMI 2.1 ports

The A8H has an edge on other OLED models thanks to Sony’s advanced X1 Ultimate Processor. Don’t get me wrong, LG’s processors are no slouch, but Sony’s solution offers a slightly better image. The A8H delivers the same inky black level performance that LG’s OLED TVs provide, and it takes things one step further with improved color accuracy. That said, the A8H can’t get quite as bright as the CX.

Based on side-by-side demos of Sony and LG OLEDs I’ve attended over the last few years, Sony’s models consistently come the closest to matching the look of professional broadcast monitors. This means that, when calibrated, the A8H allows movies to appear closer to how directors intend for them to look.

Unlike traditional TVs, the A8H also features a unique audio system with acoustic surface technology. Instead of typical speakers, this process creates sound from the screen itself. 

The A8H runs the Android TV platform for simple and responsive access to apps. AirPlay 2, HomeKit, and integrated Google Assistant voice control are all featured as well. Unlike LG’s OLED models, Amazon Alexa isn’t built-in, but you can still pair the TV with a separate Alexa device if you’d like to use Amazon’s assistant. 

On the downside, the A8H lacks HDMI 2.1 so it doesn’t offer next-gen gaming capabilities. Sony’s new 2021 A80J OLED does offer HDMI 2.1, however, so it’s a better choice for buyers willing to a pay a couple hundred bucks more for that feature. 

The best premium design OLED TV

LG GX Gallery Series 4K OLED TV

With a display so thin it can hang flush on your wall like a piece of art, the LG GX is one of the prettiest OLED TVs to look at — whether it’s turned on or off.

Pros: Same great image performance as the LG CX, thin design lets you mount it flush to a wall

Cons: Expensive compared to OLED models with standard designs

Beyond impressive picture performance, the GX boasts an exceptionally thin profile, enabling the display to be mounted like a piece of art hanging flush on your wall. At just 0.79 inches deep, the 65-inch GX Gallery TV isn’t quite as razor-thin as LG’s more expensive WX OLED, but it still offers an incredibly narrow design.

And unlike the WX model, LG has been able to keep all of the TV’s components within the panel. This means that GX TVs don’t need to use an external box or soundbar unit as a connection hub. Instead, you can simply hook up all your devices directly to the display. 

When it comes to actual image quality, the GX OLED TV offers very similar performance to the rest of the displays on our list. Since those TVs are among the best you can buy, that’s not a bad thing at all.

At the end of the day, you’re paying extra purely for style perks with this model, but if you plan to mount your TV on a wall, the GX can double as a genuine design piece for your living room.

That said, LG has a new 2021 version of the GX available, called the G1. The updated model has a new “OLED evo” panel which promises improved brightness. It’s more expensive than the 2020 model, however, so we still recommend the GX for most buyers. 

The best budget OLED TV

Vizio OLED lifestyle

Vizio’s 65-inch 4K OLED TV offers all the OLED picture quality benefits that home theater fans love for less than the competition.

Pros: Unbeatable image performance for the price, only OLED model in the US with HDR10+, HDMI 2.1 ports

Cons: Glitches, HDMI signal problems, on-screen app selection is limited, no voice remote

In the US, OLED TV models have primarily been limited to high-end offerings from LG and Sony. Though these TVs have been undeniably gorgeous, they’ve also been expensive. Thanks to Vizio’s OLED, however, that high cost barrier is starting to disappear.

Just like Sony and LG’s OLEDs, Vizio’s model offers pixel-level contrast with true black levels. The display can’t get quite as bright as LG’s OLEDs, but it can get close with a max of around 700 nits. 

Vizio’s OLED has comprehensive HDR support and it’s the only model on our list with HDR10+ playback. It also supports HDMI 2.1, which is something Sony’s 2020 models lack. On the downside, the TV is missing a voice remote. You can still pair it with a separate Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa device, however.

Though image quality is nearly identical to more expensive OLEDs, the Vizio does lose some points when it comes to general stability. I encountered glitches and compatibility issues when reviewing the TV. Thankfully, most of these problems have been fixed through firmware updates, but it’s a shame the display’s software isn’t more reliable. 

Still, there’s no denying the incredible value this OLED offers. When it’s on sale it delivers unbeatable picture quality for the price. In fact, if it wasn’t for those glitches, Vizio’s OLED might even edge out the CX for the top spot on this list. As it stands, it’s not quite there, but it’s a fantastic option for budget-conscious buyers.

Should you worry about burn-in on an OLED TV?

Vizio OLED design

Like plasma TVs of yesteryear, OLED panels are susceptible to a problem known as burn-in. This means that if a static image is left on the screen for hours on end — the CNN or ESPN logo in the corner, for example — a faint, ghostly image can be left permanently stuck on the TV.

Though OLED owners should be aware of this risk, OLED TVs feature special measures to help prevent burn-in, including pixel-refreshers and pixel-shift modes. Websites like Rtings have conducted long-term tests with OLEDs, and while their results do prove that burn-in is possible, their tests show that buyers with regular viewing habits really shouldn’t worry about it. 

You’re more likely to notice temporary image retention, which is when a ghost image faintly lingers on the screen and then fades away over time. Though true burn-in is really only a risk in extreme situations, it is worth pointing out that LCD TV owners don’t have to worry about burn-in at all.

If you really only plan on watching content with the same static logos all day long, you’re better off with an LCD (also branded as LED or QLED). Buyers with regular viewing habits, however, shouldn’t be put off from buying an OLED TV because of burn-in.

What we look forward to testing

LG G1 4K OLED evo on stand

Since our last round of testing, several new OLED TVs have been released. LG and Sony, in particular, have new flagship models that promise improved brightness over previous OLED displays.

Here’s a rundown of 2021 OLED models we look forward to testing over the coming months for consideration on this guide.

LG G1 OLED 4K TV: The G1 is the successor to last year’s GX OLED. It features a similar ultra-thin design and improves upon the GX with a brand-new “OLED evo” panel. The updated screen promises improved brightness which could justify its higher price. We got a first look at the G1 back in January and were impressed with what we saw. 

Sony A80J OLED 4K TV: This display is designed to replace the A8H OLED and it carries over a lot of what we loved about that 2020 model while adding a few key improvements. Most notably, the A80J includes HDMI 2.1 ports for next-gen gaming features, along with upgraded processing and the new Google TV OS for streaming apps.

Sony A90J OLED 4K TV: Like the LG G1, Sony’s new flagship A90J promises higher brightness than any OLED the company has released before. It also boasts HDMI 2.1, Google TV, and new cognitive image processing. Though it’s the most expensive OLED released in 2021, the A90J’s impressive specifications could make it the new high-end TV to beat. 

 

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Apple and Epic Games are revealing a ton of industry secrets in court filings – from untold billions in ‘Fortnite’ profits to private email exchanges, these are the 5 juiciest bits

Tim Cook Tim Sweeney 2x1
Apple CEO Tim Cook, left, and Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, right.

  • “Fortnite” maker Epic Games is suing Apple, and the bench trial started this week in California.
  • Epic says Apple’s App Store is a monopoly. Apple says Epic broke its developer contract.
  • Through court filings, major secrets from Apple, Epic, Microsoft, and more have been revealed.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Apple and the maker of “Fortnite” are currently at war in a California courtroom – the culmination of a yearlong spat between the two American business giants.

Epic Games filed suit against Apple last summer after its hit game, “Fortnite,” was pulled from Apple’s App Store.

Apple says it pulled the game because Epic violated the terms of its developer agreement when Epic implemented a payment system in the game that enabled players to circumvent Apple’s App Store. Epic says the App Store is a monopoly, and argues that iPhones and iPads are no different from computers.

The in-person trial began Monday at the US District Court for the Northern District of California in Oakland, California. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers is scheduled to oversee approximately three weeks of hearings before a verdict is rendered, according to court filings.

After just one week, we’ve already learned a lot: Between major financial disclosures, company secrets, and private emails between executives made public, evidence in the trial is a treasure trove of information.

1. Xbox console sales aren’t profitable, according to Microsoft, and they never have been.

Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S
The Xbox Series X, left, and the Xbox Series S, right.

After nearly two decades of sales, Xbox consoles have never been a profitable product for Microsoft.

The Washington-based tech giant sells every Xbox at a loss, according to sworn testimony from Microsoft’s VP of Xbox business development Lori Wright.

“Has Microsoft ever earned a profit on the sale of an Xbox console?” she was asked on Wednesday, May 5. “No,” she said.

Wright appeared as a witness in the ongoing trial, where she answered a variety of questions about Microsoft, Xbox, and digital storefronts. Microsoft has openly supported Epic’s suit against Apple.

The subject of Xbox profitability came up in questioning because of how Microsoft’s console business works: Instead of making money on the console itself, the company makes money from games sales through its digital storefront, from subscription services like Xbox Game Pass, and from sales of accessories like gamepads.

Microsoft, like other console makers, takes a cut of every sale on its digital storefront. That cut is usually about 30%, which has become a standard in the video game distribution market. Apple takes a similar cut from games sold on its iOS App Store, which is part of what Epic is contesting in its court case against Apple.

2. Apple’s reportedly making huge margins on the App Store.

Tim Cook WWDC 2020
Apple CEO Tim Cook.

One of Epic’s expert witnesses, Berkeley Research Group managing director Ned Barnes, said that Apple is enjoying enormous margins on the App Store: In the high 70s for the last two years at least, according to Barnes.

“In my expert report dated February 16, 2021,” Barnes writes, “using Apple testimony and financial information available to me at that time, I calculated the App Store’s operating margin percentage to be 79.6% for each of FY2019 and FY2018.”

He also said that Apple “produced additional documents” for the trial that demonstrate slightly lower percentages for the two years, but that the numbers are “consistent with and confirm the reasonableness of the calculations presented in my expert report.”

Apple, however, disputes Barnes’ report. “Epic’s experts calculations of the operating margins for the App Store are simply wrong,” an Apple representative told The Verge.

Core to Epic’s argument in the trial is that Apple operates a monopoly with the App Store by refusing to allow competing app stores on the iOS platform, in addition to not allowing third-party payment systems. High profit margins from the App Store, Epic argued, is part of the reason for Apple won’t allow either.

3. “Fortnite” is making Epic billions of dollars every year, especially on the PlayStation 4.

Fortnite (loot chest)

In one of the less surprising secrets unearthed from evidence presented during the trial, “Fortnite” is making a huge amount of money – to the tune of several billion dollars every year for the last several years.

In 2020 alone, Epic made over $5 billion in revenue according to sworn testimony from Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney. Between 2018 and 2019, “Fortnite” brought in over $9 billion.

Epic makes more than “Fortnite” – the gaming giant produces the Unreal Engine, operates the Epic Games Store, and owns and publishes several other big games (“Rocket League” and “Fall Guys”). Data from Epic presented during the trial shows that those projects, while moneymakers in the hundreds of millions, don’t generate anywhere near as much revenue as “Fortnite.”

4. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney sent Apple CEO Tim Cook a 2 a.m. email declaring war.

tim sweeney epic games fortnite
Epic Games cofounder and CEO Tim Sweeney.

At 2 a.m. PT on August 13, 2020, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney sent an email to Apple CEO Tim Cook and several other Apple executives that laid out Epic’s plan to cut Apple out of payments in “Fortnite” on iPhone and iPad.

It was intended as a declaration of war.

“I’m writing to tell you that Epic will no longer adhere to Apple’s payment processing restrictions,” Sweeney wrote. “Today, Epic is launching Epic direct payments in ‘Fortnite’ on iOS, offering customers the choice of paying in-app through Epic direct payments or through Apple payments, and passing on the savings of Epic direct payments to customers in the form of lower prices.”

In response, Apple pulled “Fortnite” from its iPhone and iPad store, and the game has been unplayable on both ever since. Epic sued Apple on the same day, and this email was one of many private messages between the companies that was uncovered as evidence.

5. “Fortnite” was such a big deal on the PlayStation 4 that Epic was able to force Sony to overturn a longstanding precedent in gaming.

Fortnite

In September 2018, after months spent fighting a losing battle in the court of public opinion, Sony gave in: “Fortnite,” the company announced, would be playable on the PlayStation 4 with friends on other platforms.

“Fortnite” was the first-ever game to allow players on all platforms to play together. “This represents a major policy change for Sony Interactive Entertainment,” Sony said in its announcement. It was clear at the time that, with the game playable across all other platforms, Sony was almost certain to give in: Tens of millions of people were playing “Fortnite,” and they were earning the most from players on Sony’s PlayStation 4, according to documents from Epic presented as evidence in the trial.

Between January 2019 and July 2020, just before “Fortnite” was removed from the App Store, Epic was earning just shy of $150 million each month on average from PlayStation players, according to Epic. By comparison, the company was earning about $23 million per month on average from iOS players, Epic said.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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Sony says PlayStation 5 stock shortages won’t be ending soon – here are the latest details on where to buy the next-gen console

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PlayStation 5 PS5 Product Line

Table of Contents: Masthead StickyPlayStation 5 (small, Preferred: Best Buy)Playstation 5 (All-Digital) (small, Preferred: Best Buy)

Sony’s PlayStation 5 launched worldwide in November 2020, but it’s still one of the hardest items to buy in stores or online, whether you’re looking for the $500 standard edition or the $400 all-digital edition. The PS5 is the fastest-selling console in US history according to data from the NPD Group, and Sony has sold more than 7.8 million PlayStation 5s worldwide as of March 31.

However, a global chip shortage has led to limited production capacity for the PS5 and other high-end electronics, and Sony has told fans to expect supply to remain low during the coming months. The high demand for PS5 also makes it a target for resellers, many of whom use automated tools to purchase the consoles online as soon as they’re available.

We’ve seen weekly restocks of the PS5 at retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, GameStop, and Sony’s own PlayStation Direct store. Nearly all PlayStation 5 sales are handled online due to the COVID-19 pandemic and overall demand, but some GameStop locations have made consoles available for in-store purchase.

Walmart usually announces PS5 restocks a few hours before consoles are available online. GameStop sends emails to subscribers ahead of PS5 restocks but typically only makes the PS5 available in bundles. Amazon and Newegg have also made PS5 consoles available, though on a less consistent basis. Newegg uses a raffle system to give shoppers a chance to buy rare items like the PS5.

We’ll keep this post updated as we get more information about PS5 restocks, but ultimately you’ll need to keep checking multiple stores and get a bit lucky with timing to secure the console.

Where to buy a PS5: stores and price

PlayStation 5 price
The digital edition of the PlayStation 5 doesn’t have a disc drive.

Several stores, including Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, Target, and Newegg, have regularly restocked PlayStation 5 consoles since launch, but they typically sell out as soon as they’re available online. Some GameStops have had consoles for sale in-store, but availability depends on when they’re shipped.

The PlayStation 5 comes in two different models — one that has a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray drive and a “digital edition” with no disc drive at all. The standard model is priced at $500, and the digital edition is priced at $400.

At popular sites for resellers, like eBay and StockX, you can expect to pay between $700 or $800 for the PlayStation 5.

You can check the links below to see if the PS5 is currently available at each retailer; we’ll update this post if a specific store announces a restock.

PlayStation 5 (Standard Edition) 

PlayStation 5 (Digital Edition)

Tips for buying the PS5

Setting up PS5 console
A gamer sets up the new Sony Playstation PS5 at his home in Seoul after Sony launched the new console.

Buying the PlayStation 5 has been a struggle since release, but retailers have been making a steady stream of consoles available. If you have a preferred store, you should look into setting stock alerts with their online tools.

Third-party stock-tracking websites like HotStock.io can tell you when a store last had the PlayStation 5 in stock and let you set alerts for multiple retailers. A reseller who made more than $40,000 reselling PS5 consoles last year shared more specific tips on how to find the console online.

If you encounter issues while trying to check out with an online retailer, keep trying to refresh the product page to add the console and make sure the PS5 is available and in your cart. If possible, create an account with your preferred retailer and enter your payment and shipping information in advance to help the checkout process move quickly.

PlayStation 5 specifications

PlayStation 5 Digital Edition PS5 DE Render

The PlayStation 5 boasts much more powerful hardware than the PlayStation 4 and PS4 Pro. Upgrades include a solid state hard drive and a graphics card capable of ray-tracing technology.

For detailed impressions, check out our full PlayStation 5 review here.

PlayStation 5 accessories

PlayStation 5

The new PlayStation 5 family of peripherals haven’t been nearly as hard to find as the console itself, though they’re not of much use without the main course. That said, they do complement the features of the PlayStation 5, so we’ve taken to the time to explain what they all do.

Sony’s $70 DualSense controller is a worthy successor to the PS4’s popular DualShock, implementing a built-in microphone, haptic feedback for adjustable trigger tension, and advanced rumble features while also improving the battery life and adopting a USB-C charging cable.

Wireless Controller for PS5 (small)

The $100 Pulse 3D headset is a direct successor to the gold and platinum wireless headsets Sony released for the PlayStation 4. The headset has an adjustable band, built-in microphone, and hardware buttons for mute, voice monitoring, and volume. While the Pulse 3D headset is worth the investment, PS5’s 3D audio features will also work with any third-party headset that’s been licensed for use on PS4.

Pulse 3D Wireless Headset (small)

The $30 PlayStation media remote might look appealing, but for $30 you can find a better or cheaper universal remote to control the console. Several smart TV brands also let you control the PS5 with your standard TV remote too, so it’s worth giving that a try before making this investment.

PlayStation 5 Media Remote (small)

The $30 DualSense charging stand can charge two controllers and makes for a nice stand alongside the PS5, but it doesn’t actually charge your controllers any faster than using a regular cable.

PlayStation 5 DualSense Charging Station (small)

The $60 HD camera can be used for streaming in full 1080p and even has a background removal tool, but it cannot be used as a microphone like the PlayStation 4 camera. Luckily, you can just use the DualSense’s built-in mic to communicate while playing.

PlayStation 5 HD Camera (small)
PlayStation 5 exclusive games

Godfall

Sony is committed to creating a full lineup of exclusive games for the PlayStation 5, repeating the same strategy that helped make the PS4 a massive success. Because there are still so many gamers waiting to upgrade to PS5, many of the games released on the new console will also work on PlayStation 4, like “Spider-Man: Miles Morales” and “Sackboy: A Big Adventure.”

Keep in mind that new games like “Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War” have been designed to run better on PS5, even if they’re available on the PS4. Below, we’ve listed all the games that require a PlayStation 5 to play, including unreleased titles that haven’t been announced. 

Exclusive PS5 games available now

Upcoming PS5 exclusive games

We also have a full list of upcoming PlayStation games if you want to see games that are also available for both PS5 and PS4.

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Sony is teaming up with Discord to bring the chat service to Playstation next year

PlayStation 5 console logo
  • Sony is launching a partnership between PlayStation and the videogame chat service Discord nest year.
  • As part of the partnership, Sony is investing an undisclosed amount of money into Discord.
  • Discord had turned down a $12 billion acquisition from Sony rival Microsoft in April.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Sony is launching a partnership with Discord to bring the video-game chat service to PlayStation next year, the company announced on Monday.

“Our goal is to bring the Discord and PlayStation experiences closer together on console and mobile starting early next year, allowing friends, groups, and communities to hang out, have fun, and communicate more easily while playing games together,” Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO and President Jim Ryan said in a press release.

As part of the partnership, Sony is also investing an undisclosed amount of money into Discord.

“From our very first conversation with co-founders Jason Citron and Stan Vishnevskiy, I was inspired by their lifelong love for gaming and our teams’ shared passion to help bring friends and communities together in new ways,” Ryan said. “Empowering players to create communities and enjoy shared gaming experiences is at the heart of what we do, so we are beyond excited to start this journey with one of the world’s most popular communication services.”

Details on what the partnership exactly entails remain unclear, as it’s unknown if a Discord app will be coming to PlayStation consoles or if the partnership will work in another way.

Microsoft had previously been in talks to acquire Discord, but the discussions broke down last month after Discord rejected the company’s $12 billion bid, Bloomberg reported.

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