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Multimedia - Home Servers

Sony Takes on Micro Consoles, Apple TV

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Sony Takes on Micro Consoles, Apple TV

The big vendors too can play in the realm of palm-sized micro consoles-- Sony reveals the PlayStation Vita TV, a low-cost TV device packing the innards of the PS Vita handheld console in a small (6.4 x 10.5cm) device.

The console uses up to two regular Dual Shock 3 controllers (not included) to play around 1300 software titles from the Playstation Network digital games catalog, including PSOne, PSP and PS Vita titles.

In addition the Vita TV connects to the Vita handheld and, eventually, the Playstation Continue reading...

Amazon, Game Console Maker?

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Amazon, Game Console Maker?

Game Informer and TechCrunch report yet another company plans to join an already crowded Android-powered games console market-- both say Amazon will launch such a device "by the end of this year."

Apparently the machine features a dedicated controller and provides access to games via Amazon.com app store. The TechCrunch "reliable source" goes further and says the hardware features a Qualcomm MPQ processor, of the kind found in smart TVs and STBs.

Does this mean the the device is actually the STB in development at the Amazon Lab126 hardware division Bloomberg reported on back in April 2013? TechCrunch says no ("those plans are still on track") but it would make sense for the company to combine media and games in a single machine, seeing how the major games consoles alreadly tout entertainment capabilities.

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EA Joins G-Cluster Cloud Gaming

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EA Joins G-Cluster Cloud Gaming

Japanese white box cloud gaming company G-Cluster finds a major ally in the effort to bring cloud-based gaming to the masses-- EA strikes a deal with to bring high-end videogames to the G-cluster service.

EA does not confirm actual titles set to appear on the cloud, but its franchise stable includes the likes of Battlefield, Need for Speed and The Sims. It joins 35 other "major" game publishers together with Ubisoft, Disney, Warner Bros. and Konami.

G-cluster hopes the service will reach over 10 million households by 2013.

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Kaleidescape Redesigns Cinema One

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Kaleidescape Redesigns Cinema One

Kaleidescape hopes for a wider customer base as it redesigns the Cinema One player with a sleeker form factor the company says is as easy to install as any off-the-shelf Blu-ray player.

Like the original Cinema One, the redesigned player stores up to 600 DVDs inside an internal HDD. It can also store up to 100 Blu-ray discs, if with connection with a separate DV700 Disc Vault.

The player doubles as a Blu-ray player, and offers the same on-screen movie guide seen in other Kaleidescape systems. An online Kaleidescape Store allows download of 1080p/24 quality movies.

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Futuresource: DMA Market Set for Further Growth

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Futuresource: DMA Market Set for Further Growth

Global digital media adapter (DMA) shipments are set to grow by around 40% in 2013 before the market doubles in size by 2017 Futuresource Consulting reports.

2012 DMA shipments total 13 million units.

"Fueled by the continued success of Apple TV, the rise of Roku and underlying demand for devices that carry key content services like Netflix and Hulu Plus, we're going to see healthy market growth continue for some years to come," the analyst remarks.

With 15% 2012 shipment share W. Europe is the 3rd largest DMA market in the world, following the US (50%) and China (17%). Futuresource forecasts W. European shipments will grow at 7% CAGR through to 2017.

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Microsoft Takes on Games, STBs with Xbox One

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Microsoft Takes on Games, STBs with Xbox One

Microsoft unveils the successor to the Xbox 360 (released 2005), the Xbox One-- and positions the device less as a games console and more an all-in-one living room entertainment hub.

That leaves the hardcore gamers feeling a little nervous but leaves the industry wondering: Can this Xbox One be "The One," the one device that pulls it altogether in the home?

A sharp angled two-tone (half gloss, half matte) black box with industrial design reminiscent of a 1980's VCR, according to Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business president Don Mattrick the Xbox One is, "where all of your entertainment comes alive in one place." And just as well, seeing how the launch presentation focused mainly on connectivity with TV STBs and media deals with the likes of the NFL (no details on a similar, more Euro-centric deal are yet available) and Steven Spielberg (who is working a TV show based on the Halo franchise).

The box itself carries 8GB RAM, 8-core 64-bit CPU, 500GB built-in HDD, Blu-ray drive, 802.11n wifi x2 USB 3.0 ports, x2 HDMI, toslink audio (for legacy surround systems) and IR blaster. Spec-wise it all sounds fairly similar to the Playstation 4 (up to and including a PC-style processor made by no other than AMD), even if the XBox One offers a unique addition-- HDMI passthrough allowing the direct connection of cable/satellite/DVR STBs to the console.

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InFocus: New Version of Mondopad 55”

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InFocus: New Version of Mondopad 55”

The newest Mondopad by InFocus maintains all of the original features for business and education markets, but adds important upgrades.

The improved Mondopad features a smaller bezel, allowing for a wider touch area and improved sensitivity across its 55-inch display. The touch capabilities have been improved as well, with the newest version boasting a five-point touchscreen and enhanced application compatibility for current and future software releases.

InFocus has doubled the amount of optical touch sensors in the new Mondopad from two to four for better recognition of touches, gestures and handwriting for one or multiple users. The device comes standard with a solid-state hard drive that operates faster and more reliably than magnetic drives.

The Mondopad also features a digital interactive whiteboard, document annotation, business-class video conferencing and more. It allows users to share, view and control applications for tablets and smartphones, and comes with a full version of Microsoft Office 2010 Suite. Continue reading...

Intel Intros Media Server Design

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Intel Intros Media Server Design

Intel highlight its living room ambitions at TV Connect 2013-- revealing the Intel Media Server Reference Design (MSRD), a hardware and software design kit for Intel-based media servers and STBs.

Aimed at OEMs and system builders, the MSRD uses the dual-core Atom CE5300 system-on-chip (with integrated power management, 3D/2D graphics engine and H.264 B-picture hardware encoder) and pre-integrated components including media engine, broadcast stacks, virtualisation and motion control technology. Continue reading...

BitTorrent Takes on Streaming

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BitTorrent Takes on Streaming

BitTorrent launches the open beta version of BitTorrent Live-- a peer-to-peer video streaming service harnessing the power of torrenting while reducing the infrastructure requirements of video streaming.

A 3-year development, BitTorrent Live works the same way torrents do. It removes the middleman in favour of a direct connection between broadcaster and viewer, turning each user into a "miniature broadcaster." As a result the technology is not only easier to use (since it does not demand centralised Continue reading...

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