Microsoft takes on Apple TV and Chromecast with $60 HDMI streaming stick

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter (image 004)

Although dated last week, it’s relevant so I thought I should share it with you guys. Windows maker Microsoft has introduced an interesting dongle which connects to an external display, projector, monitor or other HDMI-driven display device so you can stream content wirelessly from your phone, tablet or PC.

Much like Apple’s AirPlay technology and the $99 Apple TV media-streaming box, Microsoft’s $60 HDMI dongle makes it easy to enjoy games and media on your big screen HD TV, no cables needed.

The $59.99 accessory goes on sale next month at Best Buy locations in the U. S.... Read the rest of this post here

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Apple details 4K hardware support in OS X 10.9.3


Perhaps the key headline feature of the newly-released OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 is proper support for external 4K monitors. Previously, Mavericks would render text, icons and other user interface elements as-is, so everything appeared tiny due to the densely packed pixels on 4K monitors.

OS X 10.9.3 uses pixel-doubling to enable a true Retina experience where the size of the user interface does not change, it’s just a lot sharper because OS X has a lot more pixels per square inch to work with.

Apple has now refreshed its support document with detailed information regarding compatible 4K monitors, display modes, video interfaces and Macs…... Read the rest of this post here

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MHL 3.0 does 4K video output, 10W charging and data transfer over a single cable (video)

You may have already followed the announcement of Sony's Xperia Z2 and Xperia Z2 Tablet last week, but did you know that they are also the first mobile devices to feature MHL 3.0? For those who haven't caught up, this standard allows 4K video output -- over a bandwidth of 6 Gbps -- from a micro-USB port, while giving back up to 10W of power to keep your phone or tablet juiced up. Better yet, you also get a dedicated 75 Mbps channel for data transfer, as opposed to just 1 Mbps in earlier versions, which is only enough for HID input (like keyboard, touchscreen, mouse and even gesture control). It's still snail pace compared to the likes of USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt, but at least you can now transfer files to and from your mobile device over the same cable. Besides, it's possible to achieve a higher transfer rate of up to 600 Mbps using special connectors, such as USB 3.0's 10-pin configuration.

At MWC last week, Silicon Image demoed MHL 3.0 -- powered by its SiI8620 transmitter chip -- working between an Xperia Z2 and a Sony 4K TV, with the bonus capability of navigating through the phone using the TV's remote. The company also showed off file transfer between a USB drive and a Snapdragon 800 development board over MHL 3.0, though products (likely monitors, set-top boxes and docks) that support this feature won't be out until later this year. For now, you can check out our demo video after the break. %Gallery-slideshow182765%

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Samsung’s HomeSync media hub will play nice with non-Samsung Android devices

If ever a product needed to work harder to justify its price tag, it'd be Samsung's new $299 HomeSync box. Fortunately, the manufacturer seems to be self-aware enough to make some changes: the Android-powered storage, streaming and mirroring hub will soon offer full support for Jelly Bean phones and tablets even if they're outside of the Galaxy stable. This should allow an average household with numerous, diversely-branded devices to store and share their photos, music and videos using the HomeSync's 1TB "personal cloud," while also using their handsets as remote controls and as sources for mirroring via the box's HDMI input. As things stand, however, only a handful of non-Samsung phones, like the Sony Xperia Z and HTC One, are listed as compatible over at the Google Play store, and it could be a while before the HomeSync becomes truly brand-agnostic. In the meantime, there are plenty of other mobile-friendly NAS solutions around that are worth a look.

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Source: Samsung

How to record direct feed footage from iOS to a Mac or PC

Game Capture HD HDMI USB Lightning Digital AV

Lots of people have asked me how I go about recording footage directly from the iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. The process is one that is simple and straightforward with the help of a couple of hardware and software tools.

From time to time I will record footage directly from an iOS device, while at other times, I like to record the screen using an external camera so that you can see my hands as I work with the device. Depending on the circumstances, I’ve been known to switch up my methods for doing so.

The bottom line is that there are times in which you should definitely go the direct feed route as opposed to recording the screen externally. As the saying goes, there are many ways to skin a cat, but the method that I’ve been using has been working quite well for me. Have a look inside as I spill the details on what makes a successful iOS device recording setup.(...)
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Chromecast stand-in CheapCast now beams browser tabs to your display

CheapCast is a great way to get some of Chromecast's functionality for free, sure, but it's been lacking a few of the Google dongle's features since the app launched. If you've been hankering to beam browser tabs to your TV (via an HDMI-or-WiFi-connected mobile device, of course), CheapCast's latest update enables just that. Android Police notes that this seemingly only works with tabs and not fullscreen casting, while DRM'd services like Netflix and Google Play Movies "actually might never work." However, this should make it easier to play Vimeo or other Flash-based video content on your flatscreen -- right where it belongs.

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Android Police

Source: Google Play

Netflix promises fix for HDMI AV adapter issue


Netflix last week refreshed its iOS app with much-needed AirPlay support allowing subscribers to beam TV shows and movies to their living room television set through the Apple TV set-top box.

Unfortunately, the updated application has also introduced a nasty bug preventing the app to connect to the big screen via Apple’s HDMI AV adapter.

Disgruntled users took to Twitter and some even accused Apple and Netflix of joining forces to intentionally cripple the feature, presumably in order to push folks into buying an Apple TV to take advantage of AirPlay. This is unfounded talk as Netflix on Monday promised a fix for the issue it claims is affecting a “small percentage” of customers…(...)
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HDMI 2.0 launches in time for next-gen Retina TVs


The upcoming Mac Pro is the first Mac to make possible ultra high-definition images and video, also known as Ultra HD or simply 4K. We’re talking native video at a minimum of 3,840-by-2,160 pixel resolution. That’s four times the pixels of your regular full HD 1,920-by-1,080 movies on Blu-ray discs and iTunes – and consequentially four times the clarity.

Just in time for the new generation of Ultra HDTVs – and possibly that rumored full-on Apple television set – the HDMI Licensing group has now taken the wraps off the updated HDMI standard, version 2.0…(...)
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U2 Android Mini PC available super-cheap

hdmi-out1OK! Ready for this. Strap yourself in for another random Android gadget. This one comes thanks to my cousin, who spotted it on HotUKDeals. This one works out at about £12.54 and is sent from Hong Kong.

It’s basically a media player running Android 4.0.4 and has, we think, HDMI output. It’s billed as a way to convert your TV into a “Smart TV” and will apparently do Skype calls with the mic port too. Sure, it’s cheap, but there’s no way of interacting with it – you’ll need a wireless keyboard / mouse or remote control.

There’s a review here and heck, I’m going to take a punt for a few quid :)

Links – DealExtremeHotUKDeals

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Silicon Image reveals UltraGig 6400 wireless HDMI output for next-gen phones and tablets

Silicon Image reveals Ultragig 6400 wireless HDMI output for nextgen phones and tablets

Up 'til now, the WirelessHD standard has been best suited to large, thirsty devices like laptops, AV adapters and projectors. If we wanted video output from a battery-powered weakling of a mobile device, then we'd either be looking at a WiFi-based option like AirPlay, DLNA or Miracast, which can sacrifice bandwidth and latency, or at a wired connection like MHL, which effectively means tethering ourselves to the TV. However, Silicon Image claims it's come up with a new WirelessHD transmitter, the UltraGig 6400, which allows for gaming and full 1080p60 video and yet is easily light-footed enough to fit into a smartphone or tablet.

The company's optimistic photoshop above shows off the compactness of the module relative to the type of flagship phone it'd one day like to be part of: the silicon itself is 10mm x 7mm in area, or a fifth the size of the older WirelessHD Gen3. Just as importantly, the 60GHz transmitter consumes less power than a smartphone's own local display (around 500mW, with a 30-foot line-of-sight range), has a mere 5ms latency to allow for interactivity, and shouldn't add more than $10 to the cost of manufacture. Of course, we'd have to add a little more to that sum in order to purchase the mains-connected HDMI receiver box -- but in return we'd get to enjoy all our mobile vices at something much closer to life-size.

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