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Multimedia - Home Servers

Xbox One Follows PS4 With Ugraded Version

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Xbox One Follows PS4 With Ugraded Version

Microsoft reveals the future of the Xbox One at E3 2016-- the console will be splitting into two versions, the smaller Xbox One S and a more powerful 4K-capable upgrade dubbed "Project Scorpio."

The Xbox One S is a more compact (by 40%, Microsoft says) sibling to the Xbox One with a few interesting internal changes. First off, the cumbersome power brick is gone, since the company managed to integrate the power supply. Secondly the machine is able to output 4K/UHD video and add HDR to game visuals, making it a potentially relevant purchase for 4K TV owners.

Other tweaks seen in the pearl white console include a 2TB internal HDD, built-in IR blaster (making it compatible any number of remotes) and a redesigned wireless controller featuring a sleeker design, textured grip and Bluetooth connectivity for compatibility with other Windows 10 devices.

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Sony Working on PlayStation 4.5?

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Sony Working on PlayStation 4.5?

Multiple sources report Sony is working on an upgrade on the PlayStation 4-- a "PlayStation 4.5" or "PlayStation 4K", if you will, able to handle higher resolution graphics required for immersive virtual reality experiences.

The news was first broken by Kotaku and Eurogamer, before further corroboration by the Wall Street Journal. All stories bear the same gist. The new PlayStation is not a wholly new console (thus the "4.5/4K" numbering), but a a GPU upgrade allows 4K resolution games and enhanced PlayStation VR headset support.

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Studios Kill SlySoft DVD Ripper

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Studios Kill SlySoft DVD Ripper

Bad news for customers using DVD movie servers-- the movie studios's DRM police have managed to shut down SlySoft, developer of the popular AnyDVD DVD and Blu-ray disc ripping software.

A visit to the SlySoft website brings up a simple message stating "Due to recent regulatory requirements we have had to cease all activities relating to SlySoft Inc. We wish to thank our loyal customers/clients for their patronage over the years."

Being based in Antigua, SlySoft managed to escape the hounding of US copyright-protection bodies such as the DVD CCA (the entity responsible for shutting down RealDVD and almost killing Kaleidescape) and the AACS LA for a long while before it was forced to close. A number of movie server vendors use AnyDVD, including Control4, Duhe HD, Fusion Research, Vidabox and Mozaex.

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Netflix Goes (Almost) Global

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Netflix Goes (Almost) Global

Netflix announces a global expansion of unprecedented proportions at CES 2016, as now 130 countries (bringing the total to 190) are able to access the video streaming service.

In fact, it is easier to list the nations lacking Netflix access-- China, N. Korea, Syria and Crimea.

“With this launch, consumers around the world-- from Singapore to St. Petersburg, from San Francisco to Sao Paulo-- will be able to enjoy TV shows and movies simultaneously-- no more waiting," CEO Reed Hastings. "With the help of the Internet, we are putting power in consumers’ hands to watch whenever, wherever and on whatever device.”

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A Glyph Headset to Replace the TV?

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A Glyph Headset to Replace the TV?

A startup named Avegant presents a wearable alternative to large TVs, if not home theatre setups-- the Glyph, a headset designed primarily for the consumption of media.

First seen in a January 2014 Kickstarter campaign, the Glpyh looks like the lovechild of a Geordi La Forge (from Star Trek) costume and a pair of oversized headphones. The band part of the headset rests on the nose via interchangeable nosepads, and projects images directly into viewers' eyeballs via low-power LED and 2 million micromirrors (microscopic aluminium mirrors transforming light into pixels).

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The Optoma HDCast Pro Streamer

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The Optoma HDCast Pro Streamer

Optoma takes on multimedia streaming dongles with the HDCast Pro-- a device users plug into projector or TV HDMI ports for wireless media streaming from smartphones, tablets or PCs.

It also streams movies, videos, photos, music documents and websites from home networks. A companion mobile device app allows smart devices provides zoom, play, pause, rewind and volume controls, as well as drawing and annotation of files on the big screen from a mobile device. The dongle is compatible with AirPlay, Miracast, MHL and DLNA, and streams 1080p content at 24 or 30Hz up to 10m away from the source device.

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Kaleidescape Intros Encore Product Lineup

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Kaleidescape Intros Encore Product Lineup

Kaleidescape launches the Encore portfolio at CEDIA Expo 2015-- a home theatre product line including the first 4K/UHD player from the company, the Strato Movie Player.

The Strato plays 4K resolution media at up to 60fps, with high dynamic range and lossless multichannel audio support. It carries an optional internal 6TB HDD able to store either 100 4K movies, 150 Blu-ray quality movies or 900 DVD quality movies, and can be paired with other Encore components, such as the Terra Movie Server.

The Terra simultaneously streams 4K movies to up to 7 Strato players (or Blu-ray quality video to up to 15 players), enables system configurations with up to 50 players and provides players with performance-enhancing computing and caching services. Storage comes through 24TB HDD.

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Apple TV Gets Long Awaited Update

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Apple TV Gets Long Awaited Update

The September Apple event confirms another rumour with the announcement of the next generation Apple TV, one featuring the same form factor as the first Apple STB but running on a more powerful 64-bit A8 chip and featuring an App Store, new OS and a remote complete with touch surface.

"Our vision for TV is simple and perhaps a little provocative," Apple CEO Tim Cook says. "We believe the future of TV is apps."

As such, the new Apple TV runs on an iOS variant dubbed tvOS, while apps include the predictable likes of Netflix, HBO and Hulu, as well as a variety of games. Control comes through the aforementioned remote. It connects to the Apple TV via Bluteooth 4.0, offers a touch surface, gyroscope and accelerometer, and promises up to 3 months of use on a single charge.

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An Industry Team Up in Video Codecs

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An Industry Team Up in Video Codecs

A number of big industry names, including Amazon, Cisco, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Mozilla and Netflix, team up in the name of next generation video technology and form the Alliance for Open Media.

Formed with the aim to "create a new, open royalty-free video codec specification," the alliance should build on previous work in the field by its members, namely Mozilla's Daala, Cisco's Thor and Google's VP9/10. The eventual codec will interoperable, web-optimised and scalable to any device or bandwidth, with support for real-time video delivery.

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