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Gary Busey Meets Amazon Fire TV [amazon YouTube channel, April 2, 2014]
Amazon unveils the FireTV [CNETTV YouTube channel, April 2, 2014]
Analyst commentary: Amazon Unveils Video-Streaming Device ‘Fire TV’ [WSJDigitalNetwork YouTube channel, April 2, 2014]
Introducing Amazon Fire TV: The Easiest Way to Watch Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, and More on Your Big-Screen TV [Amazon press release, April 2, 2014]
Powerful performance with 3x the processing power, 4x the memory, dedicated GPU, and dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi
Say it, watch it—use voice search to instantly find movies, TV shows, and more
New ASAP feature predicts which movies and TV episodes you’ll want to watch and prepares them for playback before you even hit play
Huge, open ecosystem of entertainment—choose from over 200,000 movies and TV episodes
Plus, Fire TV comes with access to games from EA, Disney, Gameloft, Mojang, 2K, Amazon Game Studios, and more
My insert here: Amazon announces Fire TV, its own set top box: 90 Seconds on The Verge [The Verge YouTube channel, April 2, 2014]
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Apr. 2, 2014– (NASDAQ:AMZN)—Kindle revolutionized reading by making it possible to think of a book and be reading it in less than 60 seconds. Kindle Fire put the world’s largest selection of movies, TV shows, songs, apps, games, books, audiobooks, and magazines in the palm of your hand. In each case, Amazonintegrates the hardware, software, and the content into an easy-to-use, seamless, end-to-end service for customers. Today, Amazon is excited to unveil its newest innovation—Fire TV, a tiny box that plugs into your HDTV for easy and instant access to Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, SHOWTIME, low-cost video rentals, and much more. Fire TV also brings photos, music, and games to the living room. Meet Amazon Fire TV at www.amazon.com/FireTV.
“Tiny box, huge specs, tons of content, incredible price—people are going to love Fire TV,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. “Voice search that actually works means no more typing on an alphabet grid. Our exclusive new ASAP feature predicts the shows you’ll want to watch and gets them ready to stream instantly. And our open approach gives you not just Amazon Instant Video and Prime Instant Video, but also Netflix, Hulu Plus, and more. On Fire TV you can watch Alpha House and House of Cards.”
Prime (+Netflix comparison): Amazon may hike Prime cost as earnings disappoint and further challenges lay ahead of the company for which it needs to adjust its business model and expand its operations [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Jan 31, 2014]
1. Cable and satellite video market (U.S. only)
2. Pay-TV market (cable and satellite, IPTV, terrestrial)
3. The overall TV market (home video, on demand video, linear TV)
4. IPTV—AT&T U-verse TV and Verizon FiOS video in particular
5. OTT (Over-the-top content)
within the Microsoft’s integrated solution for streaming video and Live TV providers on all devices, plus the upcoming live-action and “shared experience” TV of its own on Xbox [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Feb 3, 2014] which also contains:
6. Microsoft’s live TV solution on Xbox
7. Preliminary information on the upcoming products from Xbox Entertainment Studios
8. Xbox Music and Xbox Video services for other devices
Amazon’s move into overall leadership: Kindle Fire HDX with Snapdragon 800, “revolutionary on-device tech support” (Mayday), enterprise and productivity capable Fire OS 3.0 forked from Android 4.2.2 etc. PLUS a significantly enhanced, new Kindle Fire HD for a much lower, $139 price [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 27, 2013]
My insert here: Hands On with Amazon Fire TV [TechCrunch YouTube channel, April 2, 2014]
Amazon Fire TV features:
- Voice search that actually works—simply speak the name of a movie, TV show, actor, director, or genre into the remote, and you’re done. No more hunting and pecking in an alphabet grid.
- All the content—instant access to Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, YouTube, and more, plus the largest selection of videos for rent and purchase—over 200,000 movies and TV episodes from Amazon Instant Video. Plus, listen to music with Amazon MP3, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more.
- Powerful performance in a tiny form factor—quad-core processor with over 3x the processing power of Apple TV, Chromecast, or Roku 3, a dedicated GPU, plus 4x the memory of Apple TV, Chromecast, or Roku 3 for exceptional speed and fluidity. Delivers stunning 1080p HD video and immersive Dolby Digital Plus surround sound. All of this comes in an incredibly small package—Fire TV is 0.7” thin and comes with a simple and sleek remote control with a built-in microphone.
- Simple and easy to use—arrives pre-registered so you can start watching immediately out of the box.
- An exclusive new feature called ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction) predicts which movies and TV episodes you’ll want to watch and buffers them for playback before you even hit play—instant start.
- High-quality, low-cost gaming—games like Minecraft, Monsters University, The Game of Life, The Walking Dead, NBA2K14, Asphalt 8, Riptide GP2, Despicable Me: Minion Rush, and more. The average price of paid games on Fire TV is $1.85. Play using your Fire TV remote, the Fire TV app for smartphones and tablets, or the optional Fire game controller.
- Amazon FreeTime revolutionizes parental controls—parents can choose what their kids see and set time limits for types of content and times of day—no more negotiating for one more show before bedtime. Customers who subscribe to FreeTime Unlimited—Amazon’s all-you-can-eat content subscription designed for kids ages 3 to 8—will get unlimited access to thousands of movies and TV shows.
- X-Ray for movies, TV shows, and music—see information about cast and crew, trivia, goofs, and synchronized lyrics.
- See all of your photos and personal videos come alive on your big-screen TV—seamless integration with Amazon’s Cloud Drive.
Simple and Easy to Use, with Powerful Performance
Powerful Quad-Core Processor and Graphics Engine
Fire TV features a world-class quad-core processor with 3x the processing power of Apple TV, Chromecast, or Roku 3, and a dedicated Adreno 320 graphics engine that processes 57 billion floating point instructions per second, for lightning-fast graphics and excellent fluidity. Fire TV comes with 2GB of memory, 4x the memory of Apple TV, Chromecast, or Roku 3, so content loads faster and games run smoother.
New Amazon Fire TV powered by Snapdragon 600 processor [Qualcomm Snapdragon Blog, April 2, 2014]
Amongst popcorn aromas and home-theatre decor, today, Amazon announced Fire TV: a streaming set top box that aims to deliver just about every video streaming service in a compact, powerful package.
Addressing the media at today’s announcement in New York, Amazon.com’s Peter Larsen, Vice President of Kindle, identified three problems with today’s internet-enabled set-top boxes—search, performance, and a closed ecosystem—and detailed how Fire TV solves them.
Granted, search and content ecosystems are well within the purview of Amazon. But performance? That’s where Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processors come in.
Sporting a Snapdragon 600 processor with quad-core CPU, the Fire TV has all the base capabilities you expect from a device that lives in your living room: Full HD 1080p streaming video, 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus surround sound, and a lighting-fast, ultra-stable dual-antenna Wi-Fi connection.
With three times the processing power of other set-top boxes, the Fire TV features silky-smooth menu navigation and content browsing. And utilizing the additional performance on tap, Amazon have introduced ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction), which automatically predicts, buffers, and stores the shows you want to watch—all you need to do is hit play, and they instantly start.
But this is Amazon, the everything store. And the Fire TV is the everything box.
Foremost of which is the new voice search. Just press a button on your remote, and the Fire TV can find John Malkovich’s entire body of work at the utterance of his name, or get Team Umizoomi up and streaming almost as fast as you children can yell “Umizoomi.”
In addition to the massive library of movies and TV shows available through just about every video streaming service on the planet; the dedicated Qualcomm Adreno GPU opens up the Fire TV to the gaming world. Available today are staples such Minecraft, The Walking Dead, NBA2K14 and more than 100 other games. In addition, the GPU will power Amazon’s first foray into video games: Sev Zero.
Additionally there’s Second Screen—allowing users to mirror music, movies, and photos from their Kindle Fire HDX (also powered by Snapdragon processors) to their TV. And unlike the set-top boxes that came before, Fire TV will feature X-Ray: A second screen experience, powered by IMDb, that provides viewers with relevant information—such as cast and crew bios, soundtrack credits, trivia, character backstories, and more—as their movie or show plays. Currently, X-Ray is available for Kindle Fire HDX users, with support for iPhone and iPad later this year.
Amazon’s Fire TV is available now for $99.
Streams in High Definition 1080p with Dolby Digital Plus Surround Sound
With dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi, Fire TV streams in up to full-HD 1080p and supports HDMI and optical audio-out, enabling up to 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus surround sound.
Simple and Easy to Use
Fire TV comes automatically pre-registered so you can immediately get started. No complicated set-up, no hassle—just plug it in and start watching. All of your previously purchased movies and TV shows from Amazon, as well as personalized recommendations and your Watchlist, will be there waiting for you when you turn on Fire TV.
Designed to Disappear
Fire TV is designed to disappear. It is 0.7” thin, so it is easy to hide, and is silent even when running the most demanding applications.
Fire TV Remote
Fire TV’s remote is small, simple, and intuitive, with familiar controls. Search, browse, play, pause, and add titles to your Watchlist with ease. The Fire TV remote uses Bluetooth so there is no “line of sight” required, which means no reaching or struggling to aim your signal at a tiny target—store your Fire TV in a cabinet or behind the TV.
Voice Search that Actually Works
Gone are the days of searching for a movie or TV show by left-left-down-right-ing through an on-screen alphabet grid using your remote. Simply speak the name of a movie, TV show, actor, director, genre, app, or game into the remote, and the results will appear instantly. Voice search leverages the search data and expertise of Amazon.com and IMDb, and is optimized to understand Amazon’s video, app, and game catalog.
The Best Video Experience
Movies and TV Shows from Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, and More
Fire TV comes with instant access to all of the most popular subscription video services, including Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, VEVO, SHOWTIME, Crackle, YouTube, and more, with additional services like WWE Network, MLB.TV, WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH ABC, and Twitch coming soon.
Prime Instant Video, with Exclusives and Original Shows
Fire TV is seamlessly integrated with Prime Instant Video, Amazon’s subscription streaming service. With tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes, Prime Instant Video is the exclusive premium subscription streaming home for thousands of hours of video, including shows like Downton Abbey, The Americans, Workaholics, Justified, 24, Hannibal, Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob, and more. Prime Instant Video also includes shows from Amazon Studios, the original TV production arm of Amazon, such as Alpha House from Pulitzer-Prize winner Garry Trudeau and starring John Goodman, which debuted last year and quickly became the most watched show on Amazon since its release. Alpha House is now in production for its second season, and Amazon recently greenlighted six new shows, including The After, Bosch, Mozart in the Jungle, and Transparent, which will be available starting later this year.
The Largest Selection of Videos for Rent or Purchase
Rent or purchase over 200,000 movies and TV episodes from Amazon Instant Video, which has the world’s largest selection of videos to rent or buy, including new releases and blockbusters. Amazon is the only nationwide video service that offers rental and purchase, as well as a subscription streaming service, so you can find everything you want in one place—catch up on past seasons of popular TV shows with Prime Instant Video before purchasing the most recent episode of the show as it’s released.
Find the Lowest Price—Even if it’s Not from Amazon
Just like on Amazon.com, Fire TV integrates viewing options on a single page so you can always choose the lowest price. This is available starting with Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, and Prime Instant Video, and will expand to other content providers so you’ll see all of your options in one place.
You shouldn’t have to wait 10 seconds for a video to buffer after you press “Play”—it should start immediately. Based on your Watchlist and recommendations, the new ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction) feature predicts which movies and TV episodes you’ll want to watch and prepares them for playback before you even hit play. This feature is smart—it is personalized based on your viewing habits and adapts as those habits change. The caching predictions get better over time, so ASAP will continuously improve as you use Fire TV.
Fling TV Shows and Movies with Second Screen
Fling Amazon TV shows and movies from your phone or tablet to your Fire TV using Second Screen. This turns your TV into the primary screen and frees up your phone or tablet to provide playback controls, a customized display for X-Ray, or simply a place to email, browse the web, and more, while you watch a movie. Second Screen is available on Kindle Fire HDX and will be available later this year from your iPhone or iPad. You can also wirelessly mirror your tablet display to your Fire TV with Kindle Fire, as well as other Miracast-enabled phones or tablets starting later this year. Fire TV supports standards like DIAL, so app developers can enable multi-screen experiences based on open technologies.
X-Ray for Movies and TV Shows, Powered by IMDb
Using Second Screen on your Fire HDX and later this year on your iPhone or iPad, you can see X-Ray information as your movie or TV show plays on Fire TV. With X-Ray you can see information about cast and crew, the names of songs as they play, as well as a list of all music in the movie or TV show, trivia items in context with the action on the screen, and character backstories so you can easily remind yourself of the character’s history. X-Ray is exclusive to Amazon and is powered by IMDb.
Amazon FreeTime—Revolutionary Parental Controls
Now you don’t have to worry about what your kids are watching on the TV—with FreeTime, a parent creates profiles for each child and selects the content they can see. Parents can create time limits based on type of content or time of day. When in FreeTime, the background color and fonts change to a kid-friendly design. Kids only see titles that have been selected by their parents for them, and those who can’t yet read can navigate visually to content based on favorite characters or topics—for example “Dora the Explorer,” “Princesses,” or “Thomas and Friends.” Parents who have already set up profiles and approved content on Kindle Fire tablets will find the settings are automatically synchronized on Fire TV, making it simple and seamless to get started.
Customers who subscribe to FreeTime Unlimited—Amazon’s all-you-can-eat content subscription designed just for kids ages 3 to 8—will get unlimited access to thousands of movies and TV shows. FreeTime Unlimited is available for Prime members to enjoy for a monthly price of $2.99 per child or $6.99 per family. Customers who are not yet Prime members can subscribe to FreeTime Unlimited for a monthly price of $4.99 per child or$9.99 per family. Amazon FreeTime and FreeTime Unlimited will be available on Fire TV starting next month.
Your Photos on the Big Screen
Fire TV makes it easy to view your photos and personal videos on your TV. You can set up and play slide shows, find specific photos, and choose your favorite album for the screen-saver on Fire TV. Photos or videos you take on your phone or tablet can be automatically uploaded to Amazon Cloud Drive, so they appear on your Fire TV within seconds.
Music in Your Living Room
Music from Pandora, Amazon MP3, iHeartRadio, and More
With Fire TV, you can listen to music from popular streaming services like Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn, and watch music videos from VEVO. Starting next month, you can also listen to your full collection of music through Amazon Cloud Player. Simply upload your music or purchase from Amazon and it will be stored automatically in your Cloud Player and available on Fire TV as well as on your phone or tablet.
X-Ray for Music
Lyrics display and scroll line-by-line automatically as the song plays, so you can follow along with songs. X-Ray for Music will be available starting next month.
Bonus—Great Games at Low Prices
Games from Top Developers
Amazon worked with game developers like EA, Disney, Gameloft, Ubisoft, Telltale, Mojang, 2K, and Sega to bring their games to Fire TV. Games available starting today include customer favorites like Minecraft, Monsters University, The Game of Life, The Walking Dead, NBA2K14, Asphalt 8, Riptide GP2, Despicable Me: Minion Rush, and more. Over 100 games are available starting today and optimized for Fire TV, with thousands of additional games coming next month with the Fire TV app, which brings controls for touch-enabled games. These are great games for such a small box and at such surprisingly low prices—the average price of paid games is $1.85.
Fire TV also comes with access to Sev Zero, a new game built exclusively for Fire TV by Amazon Game Studios. Sev Zero is $6.99 and is available for free when you purchase the Fire game controller. Learn more: www.amazon.com/pr/SevZero.
Fire TV runs the latest version of Fire OS “Mojito,” which is based on Android, so it’s simple for developers to port their services and games over to Fire TV.
Choose How to Play—Remote, Game Controller, or App
In addition to using the Fire TV remote and the Fire TV app available starting next month, you can also choose the Amazon Fire game controller, which enables more high-intensity and complex gaming with dual analog sticks and a complete assortment of controls. Simple and comfortable to use for hours, the Fire game controller pairs with Fire TV via Bluetooth. The Fire game controller also intelligently manages power by automatically going to sleep when not in use, and waking at a touch of a button, so you get up to 55 hours of gaming on a pair of AA batteries. You can pair multiple game controllers with a Fire TV so the whole family can play together in the same room. The integrated GameCircle button gives you instant access to leaderboards, achievements and friends with a simple touch of a button from any GameCircle enabled game. The Fire game controller can also be used as a remote, with fast forward, rewind, play and pause, so you can control all your movies and music on Fire TV. The Fire game controller is available today for $39.99, and comes with a free copy of Sev Zero and 1,000 Amazon Coins (a $10 value) for purchasing games.
The Features You Expect from Amazon
Fire TV is not a gadget—it’s a seamlessly integrated service that brings together the features customers expect from Amazon, including:
- Whispersync—Amazon’s Whispersync technology saves and synchronizes your video and music library across all of your devices. Start watching a movie on your Kindle Fire or iPhone, and when you get home, pick up where you left off on your Fire TV. For games that support Whispersync, your place in the game will also sync across devices so you can always pick up where you left off.
- Watch on over 300 devices—When you buy a movie or TV show on Amazon, you can watch it on over 300 devices.
- Worry-Free Archive—Automatically backs up your Amazon digital content in the cloud so you never need to worry about losing your collection.
- Top-Rated, World-Class Customer Service—When a customer shops on Amazon, buys a Fire TV, or buys digital content from Amazon, they know that they are also getting Amazon’s world class customer service. Customers with a Kindle Fire HDX can also use the Mayday button to receive free, live, on-device tech support.
- Free Month of Amazon Prime—Amazon continues to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to bring Prime members new movies, TV shows, and books to enjoy at no additional cost. Prime members enjoy unlimited, commercial-free, instant streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes with Prime Instant Video. Eligible customers get a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime when they purchase Fire TV.
Pricing & Availability
Fire TV is available starting today for just $99—order at www.amazon.com/FireTV.
Eligible customers get a free 30-day trial of Netflix and Amazon Prime when they purchase Fire TV.
Images of Fire TV are available at www.amazon.com/pr/devicesandcontent.
Snapdragon 600 processor specs [Qualcomm product page, March 25, 2014]
28nm LP quad core Krait 300 CPU at up to 1.9GHz per core
LP-DDR3 memory for high performance and low latency
Speed enhanced Adreno 320 GPU delivers over 300% increase in graphics processing performance1
Support for advanced graphic and compute APIs, including OpenGL ES 3.0, DirectX, OpenCL, Renderscript Compute and FlexRender™2
Energy efficient LP process and dynamic GPU clock and voltage scaling
Asynchronous Multi-Processing (aSMP) dynamic CPU power control for power-optimized performance
Qualcomm Quick Charge 1.0 integrated for up to 40% faster battery charging
Hexagon DSP enables ultra-low power operation for a variety of applications like music playback, enhanced audio effects, computer vision processing and still and video image enhancements
BT4.0 + Integrated digital core
Enjoy your photos, videos and games on large, high-resolution display devices (up to 2048×1536) and even on 1080p external displays
802.11ac3 Wi-Fi for peak Wi-Fi performance + Integrated digital core3
Publicly demonstrated to 280 Mbps UDP
IZAT™ location technology features GNSS for accurate auto and pedestrian navigation and Indoor Location capabilities for advanced location-based services
Capture and playback video at 1080p HD
HD multichannel sound with DTS-HD and Dolby Digital Plus
Up to 21 Megapixel, stereoscopic 3D
Take high-resolution, 3D photos with 21 Megapixel stereoscopic camera support
1 Compared to its predecessor, Adreno 305
2 FlexRender is designed to help the Adreno GPU boost speed and save power by dynamically switching between drawing pixels in direct or deferred rendering mode
3 Available only in select processors
Snapdragon 600 processors include the following part numbers: 8064T, 8064M
An Official Video of the MI3 & MITV Launch Event (with English & Chinese subtitles). HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR REAL UNDERSTANDING OF XIAOMI!)
Read before: Assesment of the Xiaomi phenomenon before the global storm is starting on Sept 5 [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Aug 30, 2013]
Watch before: Smartphone Maker Xiaomi Takes on Apple in China [Bloomberg TV, Sept 6, 2013] Xiaomi CEO and Founder Lei Jun discusses the company’s growth and competition with Apple on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg West.”
Read after: Exclusive: Hugo Barra Talks About His Future at Xiaomi and Why He Really Left Google [AllTingsD, Sept 12, 2013] … “There is no question the phone business is very low margin today, but they want to get to a place where they can sell the device at cost and then sell high-margin services to make that phone experience even better,” said Barra. … “The aspiration for the founders is that Xiaomi will become a global company that happens to be in China,” he said. “If I do my job right, in a few years, the world will be talking about Xiaomi in the same way that they talk about Google and Apple today.”
ON AIR [Xiaomi 2013 New Product Announcement Event]
#MiPhone 3: The Fastest Smartphone#
- Dual Platform – Nvidia Tegra 4 quad-core processors (1.8GHz A15 + A15) with 72 GeForce GPU cores + Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (8974AB quad-core 2.3GHz + 28nm HPM)). MiPhone 3’s overall performance increased 40% (compare to MiPhone 2S).
- Screen – Sharp and LG 5-inch 1080P IPS display with ultra-sensitive touch. It works even when your figures are wet. You can set to recognize your figures even wearing gloves;
- Memory – 2GB LPDDR3 RAM+16GB eMMC4.5 flash
- Battery – 3050mAh battery;
- Camera – SONY 13 MP Exmor RS CMOS back camera, 2MP BSI front camera
- Supports NFC & 2.4/5G WiFi
ON AIR [Xiaomi 2013 New Product Announcement Event]
#MiPhone 3: The Fastest Smartphone
- Size: 114mm×72mm×8.1mm, weight: only 145g;
- Six official colors;
- Camera comes with Intelligent beauty corrector. It can also identify age and gender.
- The GPS can preserve the satellite trajectory for 7 days.
- Immersion vibration function with situational vibrate mode.
- Price – USD$327 for 16GB; USD$408 for 64GB.
- Tegra 4 Processors [NVIDIA, Feb 19, 2013]
- Cortex-A15 Processor [ARM, Oct 31, 2012]
- NVIDIA Introduces Groundbreaking Camera Technology With Chimera — World’s First Mobile Computational Photography Architecture [press release, Feb 19, 2013]
- Nvidia Tegra4 Quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 with HDR [High Dynamic Range imaging] video and photo engine [Charbax YouTube channel, March 2, 2013]
Nvidia is releasing their quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 processor, here demonstrating their Chimera camcorder and photography engine that enables fast and easy HDR [High Dynamic Range imaging, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-dynamic-range_imaging%5D photography and video recording. They have a special sensor and technology that allows one optical system to record enough range to create HDR video at full 1080p 30fps framerate enabling also HDR photography on all upcoming Tegra4 devices without needing to take more than one picture. Tegra4 can playback 4K video, it has a 72-core GPU enabling advanced graphics and GPU Compute and a lot of other features.
- NVIDIA Tegra 4 Family CPU Architecture – 4-PLUS-1 Quad core [NVIDIA whitepaper, Feb 24, 2013]
- NVIDIA Tegra 4 Family GPU Architecture [NVIDIA whitepaper, March 6, 2013] … “the GPU also helps support 4K [4K Ultra HD] video output to high-end 4K video display” …
- Chimera™: The NVIDIA Computational Photography Architecture [NVIDIA whitepaper, Feb 21, 2013]
- Tegra 4 posts [NVIDIA blog, Jan 8 … Aug 23 … , 2013]
- Nvidia sees growing Tegra 4 orders [Digitimes, Sept 9, 2013]
Nvidia has recently started receiving orders for its Tegra 4 processor, and in addition to the recently launched Mi3 smartphone from China-based vendor Xiaomi, Nvidia has also landed orders for Microsoft’s second-generation Surface RT as well as Asustek, Toshiba and Hewlett-Packard (HP) tablets, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.
The Mi3 is the first smartphone to adopt the Tegra 4 processor.
Nvidia is also supplying its Tegra 4 to Asustek for its 10-inch New Transformer Pad tablet, HP for its 10-inch Slatebook 10 x2 and Toshiba for its 10-inch Excite Pro. Nvidia is reportedly also considering releasing an own-brand tablet.
Nvidia has also been aggressively promoting its Shield gaming device, trying to compete against the 3DS and PS Vita with a price of US$299.
- Snapdragon 800 Processors [Qualcomm, May 1, 2013]
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 Product Brief [Qualcomm, Aug 5, 2013]
- Qualcomm Snapdragon UltraHD [QUALCOMMVlog YouTube channel, June 27, 2013]
Snapdragon 800 is the first mobile processor that can record and playback UltraHD. Watch as Aytac Biber, Senior Product Manager, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., explains how this feature is key to creating the best multimedia experience for consumers.
- Qualcomm Snapdragon HD Audio [QUALCOMMVlog YouTube channel, June 27, 2013]
Fifty percent of the multimedia experience revolves around audio. Watch as Ravi Satyanarayanan, Director, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., explains how the Snapdragon 800 facilitates exciting features such as multimode capture and playback, 7.1 surround sound, and other advancements in audio quality.
- Snapdragon 800 Posts [Qualcomm Snapdragon Processors blog, Jan 7 … Sept 4 … , 2013]
- Snapdragon 800 Posts [OnQ blog, Jan 7 … Jul 24 … , 2013]
- What Can You Build around Snapdragon 800? [OnQ Blog, June 18, 2013]
- Inside the Snapdragon™ 800 Series Processors – The New Adreno™ 330 GPU [OnQ Blog, Jan 11, 2013]
Immersion Enters Multi-Year License Agreement With Xiaomi [press release, Sept 5, 2013]
Recently announced Xiaomi Mi3 smartphone is the first to launch with advanced tactile effects
SHANGHAI & SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Immersion Corporation (Nasdaq:IMMR), the leading developer and licensor of touch feedback technology, today announced that it has entered into a broad multi-year licensing arrangement with Xiaomi, one of the fastest growing smartphone makers in China, and that the recently released Xiaomi Mi3 smartphone uses Immersion’s TouchSense® technology to add new dimension of engagement in Xiaomi’s popular MIUI interface. Users can experience Immersion technology in two new downloadable tactile themes available in the MIUI storefront, as well as the crisp, intuitive tactile effects integrated throughout the Mi3 user interface and Tool applications. The Mi3 is Xiaomi’s first smartphone to come to market under the new license agreement between Xiaomi and Immersion, which covers Immersion’s Basic Haptics IP and select TouchSense and Integrator software solutions.
“We are pleased to work closely with Xiaomi to design tactile effects that create a rich user experience and deliver a distinctive and branded feel to MIUI, Xiaomi’s custom Android interface,” explains Dennis Sheehan, Immersion’s Sr. Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “Xiaomi is our first direct mobile OEM licensee in China, and this relationship further validates the value of our IP portfolio and software solutions. With Xiaomi’s focus on design and innovation, we’re looking forward to collaborating in the future to bring advanced tactile experiences to mobile users in China.”
The Xiaomi Mi3 smartphone is available in China online at www.xiaomi.com.
Mi3 users who want to experience tactile effects have many options:
Users can select which strength of tactile effects they experience throughout the handset by customizing the vibration settings menu, found in the Settings/Sound menu
Mi3 Tool apps, including Compass, Calculator, Clock, Torch & Recorder include customized haptic effects to create a more intuitive user interface
The Iron Man and Gun MIUI themes are enhanced with realistic tactile effects, and are available for download from the MIUI Themes app.
“The Xiaomi Mi3 was designed to be easy to use, personalized and cutting-edge. The addition of haptics seamlessly extends these values to the consumer through the sense of touch,” explains Lei Jun, Chairman and CEO of Xiaomi. “Immersion’s technology and expertise allows us to create a one-of-a-kind user experience that engages the sense of touch and complements our visual and audio design.”
For more information on Immersion’s TouchSense technology and Integrator platform, visit http://www.immersion.com/markets/mobile/index.html.
About Immersion (www.immersion.com)
Founded in 1993, Immersion (NASDAQ: IMMR) is the leading innovator in haptics, or tactile effects; the company’s touch feedback solutions deliver a more compelling sense of the digital world. Using Immersion’s high-fidelity haptic systems, partners can transform user experiences with unique and customizable touch feedback effects; excite the senses in games, videos and music; restore “mechanical” feel by providing intuitive and unmistakable confirmation; improve safety by overcoming distractions while driving or performing a medical procedure; and expand usability when audio and visual feedback are ineffective. Immersion’s TouchSense technology provides haptics in mobile phone, automotive, gaming, medical and consumer electronics products from world-class companies. With over 1,300 issued or pending patents in the U.S. and other countries, Immersion helps bring the digital universe to life. Hear what we have to say at blog.immersion.com.
About Xiaomi (www.xiaomi.com)
Xiaomi is a mobile internet company dedicated to creating the ultimate user experience through its overall portfolio of products including Xiaomi phones, a series of high-performance smartphones; MIUI, a customized UI based on Android; and internet service, such as MiTalk, app store, and game center. Founded in 2010, Xiaomi is headquartered in Beijing, China and has over 3,000 employees.
ON AIR [Xiaomi 2013 New Product Announcement Event]
#MIUI V5 and MiCloud Service#
Hi to all MIFans!
-What do you like the most about MIUI? What is your wish list?
Today, we have over 20 million MIUI users around the world! MIUI team works hard to deliver updates each week. Until today, we have delivered 27 updates for MIUI V5.
More than 10.5 million registered users uploading 11 million photos daily to our MiCloud. With MiCloud service, you can sync contacts, messages, settings, photos and videos etc. to our cloud. Feel free to delete and leave enough space for your phone to do more!
-Share Photo Album and Edit Together
MIUI V5 added an amazing feature. It allows you to share photo albums and invite people to edit those albums with you. You can simply invite people through texts or generate QR codes for them to scan.
-Share Public WiFi Access
Tired of asking for password to access public WiFi? MIUI V5 allows people to share access! Just one setting or simply generate and scan a QR code, you can soon be connected.
-Send Large File
Have you experienced problems sending huge files like movies using your phone? With our MIUI V5 new system app, you can send huge files without concerns.
ON AIR [Xiaomi 2013 New Product Announcement Event] Surprise! Xiaomi 47 inch 3D Smart TV Only USD$490
-47 inch Polarization 3D HD LCD from LG/Samsung;
-1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor MPQ8064 for TV , 2GB RAM /8GB flash memory ;
-TV remote with only 11 buttons, easy to use;
-Supports dual-band WiFi & Bluetooth 4.0;
-Run MIUI TV customized version, it is really smart!
5G WiFi with Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ ac Miracast™ from Broadcom for streaming content to UHD (4K) TVs as well
If one has $17K to spend on LG’s 84LM960V UHD (4K) TV already equipped with Broadcom’s BCM43526 chip for 5G WiFi/IEEE 802.11ac transceiver functions, as well as some more for a ’2013 vintage’, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ ac and Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast™ capable, Android 4.2 smartphone having, for example, Broadcom’s BCM4335 chip for 5G WiFi™ 802.11ac among others (like the new HTC One to be available in March, or LG’s own ‘next generation’ device), then one can already have LG Ultra HD Streaming [TheVerge YouTube channel, Feb 25, 2013]:
A general UHD (4K) capability will come with smartphones having the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC, as an example, when you will be able to play UHD (4K) video content on the smartphone and watch it in UHD (4K) on the UHD TV.
[Recognition] Credible Praise for LG Ultra HD TV by the Experts [WHY LG TV BLOG, Feb 28, 2013]
Best of Innovations 2013 – Video Display Category at CES 2013
“The 84LM9600 is the world’s largest Ultra Definition (UD) 3D TV delivering immersive entertainment in stunning ultra-definition with a combination of CINEMA 3D technology and Smart TV features.”
8/10 Rating by Digital Trends
“Bottom line: Higher pixel density makes images on the screen look more like reality than TV. Scenes of the bright blue Mediterranean looked so convincing; it was hard not to want to jump right in. The stars in night skies looked much more like stars – tiny pinpoints of light – than a smattering of blurry white spots.”
A Stellar Review from HDTV Solutions
“The picture quality of the LG Ultra HD TV is definitely a major step up from the output of a high-end 1080p HDTV. The difference can be startling when playing 4K content. But even when comparing playback of Blu-rays, the LG’s upscaling to 4K is noticeably better.”
Rated Excellent by AVForums
“Once you throw in LG’s reference Smart TV platform, two remotes, Game Play, built-in WiFi, well designed menus and exceptional calibration controls, you start to see a TV that can almost justify its hefty price tag. The huge nature of the screen isn’t reflected in the other dimensions, with the surrounding bezel measuring 3cm at the top, 2.5cm at the sides and 4cm along the bottom. The entire chassis is only 4cm deep, which is remarkable when you consider the screen size and how much technology is crammed inside.”
LG TO DEMONSTRATE WORLD’S FIRST WIRELESS ULTRA HD TRANSMISSION TECHNOLOGY AT MWC 2013 [LG Electronics press release, Feb 25, 2013]
LG Electronics (LG) will showcase its industry-leading Wireless Ultra High Definition (Ultra HD) Transmission technology for the first time at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2013 in Barcelona. This exciting next generation mobile feature enables users to view games and other smartphone content on Ultra HD TVs in real time, via wireless data transfer.
“Thanks to our innovative Wireless Ultra HD Transmission technology, users can now enjoy their favorite mobile content on today’s most advanced Ultra HD TVs,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, President and CEO of the LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “With the development of this cutting-edge technology, LG again confirms its industry leadership in the area of display and mobile convergence for a truly enjoyable viewing experience.”
Wireless Ultra HD Transmission technology makes the delivery of smartphone multimedia content to TVs faster and smoother than previous mobile video compression and transfer systems. With minimal lag and data loss, LG’s next generation mobile feature performs this feat using ubiquitous WiFi connections. During transmission, multimedia content is automatically adjusted to match the receiving TV’s screen resolution, resulting in flawless visuals.
What’s more, LG’s Wireless Ultra HD Transmission system consumes less than half the power of other similar transmission technologies. It achieves this by reducing the burden on the smartphone’s CPU and other hardware resources.
Broadcom Powers First LG 5G WiFi Digital Televisions [Broadcom press release, Jan 7, 2013]
Heads to CES with Growing 5G WiFi Ecosystem; Enables LG Consumers to Stream HD Video Wirelessly from Mobile Devices to the TV
-LG Electronics to offer the industry’s first digital televisions powered by Broadcom’s 5G WiFi
-New 5G WiFi digital televisions with Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast™ enable consumers to escape the small screen and reliably stream HD-quality video onto larger displays
-5G WiFi delivers dramatic capacity, range and power benefits
2013 CES International —Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ: BRCM), a global innovation leader in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications, today announced LG Electronics has chosen Broadcom’s 5G WiFi technology, based on the IEEE 802.11ac standard, for use in select 2013 LG digital TV models. By adopting Broadcom’s BCM43526, LG Electronics is the first to enable consumers to seamlessly stream and share high-resolution content between mobile devices and smart TVs. Learn how Broadcom® innovation is enabling the Connected Life at home, at work, and on-the-go at Broadcom@CES.
“LG is leading the market with next-generation digital TV innovations that dramatically enhance the consumer’s viewing experience,” said Sangyeob Lee, LG Electronics Senior Director, TV Product Planning. “By adding 5G WiFi to our flagship Smart TV platforms, our customers will experience the fastest, most reliable wireless connectivity yet. Partnering with Broadcom allows us to raise the bar and be the first company to introduce the next generation of WiFi in our Smart TV platforms.”
“Last year at CES 2012, Broadcom introduced the industry’s first 5G WiFi chips and committed to enabling the adoption of the technology across all wireless product segments,” said Dino Bekis, Broadcom Senior Director, Product Marketing, Wireless Connectivity Combo. “Today marks yet another important milestone — the industry’s first 5G WiFi Smart TV. We’re thrilled to partner with LG to further expand the ecosystem of 5G WiFi products available to consumers and continue to drive rapid adoption of the technology.”
The increased reliance on wireless networks, the explosion of video consumption and the growing number of wireless devices are all putting stress on legacy 802.11a/b/g/n networks. As a result, consumers are prone to experience deteriorated performance such as choppy videos and slower load times, especially when streaming content from the cloud, smartphone or tablet to a digital TV. 5G WiFi dramatically improves home wireless range, providing higher-capacity video streaming, the ability to connect multiple devices to the network at the same time and broader coverage with fewer dead spots. It also reduces power consumption by up to 83 percent in mobile devices, so consumers can go longer without having to plug in.
The average U.S. household has nearly 4.8 devices connected to the network. Yet, sharing content between these devices can be complicated — and sometimes impossible. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast addresses this issue by allowing users to easily stream content wirelessly between devices. By incorporating the BCM43526 and Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast into its newest digital TV products, LG Electronics is ensuring consumers enjoy fast, reliable connectivity between multiple devices in multiple places throughout the home.
LG Electronics’ new line of 5G WiFi digital televisions will be available in 2013 in various markets.
LG 4K 84-inch Ultra HD 3D LED HDTV: Abt Electronics [AbtElectronics YouTube channel, Jan 28, 2013]
Broadcom 5G WiFi Powers New HTC One Smartphone [Broadcom press release, Feb 25, 2013]
Expands Ecosystem of 5G WiFi Products Available
- HTC chooses Broadcom 5G WiFi technology in its newly launched HTC One smartphone
- 5G WiFi delivers faster, more reliable wireless connectivity with significantly less battery drain
Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ: BRCM), a global innovation leader in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications, today announced HTC has chosen Broadcom® 5G WiFi technology in its new flagship HTC One device. By adopting the BCM4335, HTC is delivering the speed, reliability and power benefits of 5G WiFi in its newest smartphone. Visit Broadcom @ Mobile World Congress for more news.
“With the launch of the HTC One, we’re reinventing the mobile experience and setting a new standard for smartphones,” said Kouji Kodera, Chief Product Officer, HTC. “Our customers today are consuming more and more video on their mobile devices and expect a seamless streaming experience. Broadcom’s 5G WiFi delivers higher bandwidth and broader range so our customers experience the fastest, most reliable wireless connectivity yet — while also preserving battery power.”
The explosion of video consumption and the growing number of wireless devices being used are putting stress on legacy 802.11a/b/g/n networks. As a result, consumers are prone to experience deteriorated performance such as choppy videos and slower load times, especially when streaming content to a smartphone. 5G WiFi, which is based on the IEEE 802.11ac standard, improves the range of a wireless connection, providing higher-capacity video streaming, the ability to connect multiple devices to the network at the same time and broader coverage with fewer dead spots. Broadcom’s 5G WiFi also reduces power consumption by up to 83 percent in mobile devices, so consumers can go longer without having to plug in.
“Broadcom continues to lead the transition to the next generation of Wi-Fi across all product segments,” said Michael Hurlston, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Wireless Connectivity Combos. “We’ve hit a major inflection point with 5G WiFi in mobile phones. Now consumers will be able to unlock the real benefits of the technology, especially when used with the many other 802.11ac products on the market today.”
The new HTC One powered by Broadcom 5G WiFi will be available globally through more than 185 mobile operators and major retailers in more than 80 regions and countries beginning in March. For more information on the HTC One, please visit the HTC Newsroom or Product Page.
 5GHz 802.11ac running at 80MHz bandwidth as compared to 2.4GHz 802.11n running at 20MHz
From HTC One Specs [HTC microsite, Feb 19, 2013]
- 3.5 mm stereo audio jack
- NFC capable3
- Compliant with Bluetooth 4.0
- Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX™ enabled
- Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n
- DLNA® for wirelessly streaming media from the phone to a compatible TV or computer
- Support consumer infrared remote control
- micro-USB 2.0 (5-pin) port with mobile high-definition video link (MHL) for USB or HDMI connection (Special cable required for HDMI connection.)
Broadcom CEO Discusses Q4 2012 Results – Earnings Call Transcript [Seeking Alpha, Jan 29, 2013]
Scott A. McGregor – Chief Executive Officer, President and Director
… We have been shipping our 5G WiFi combo to lead customers and expect the [first 5G WiFi] smartphones to launch in the coming weeks. …
… I think the 5G WiFi will continue to grow significantly. That’s a new technology that has penetrated access points in 2012, and will roll out in the mobile handsets over the course of this year. That is likely to be the largest magnitude of the set. …
Miracast™ Makes a Splash with Partners at Mobile World Congress [Broadcom Connected blog, Feb 25, 2013]
The geek love for Wi-Fi Certified Miracast™, an innovative Wi-Fi standard that relies on a technology dubbed “wireless display mirroring,” seemed to be inevitable when we first started talking about it. The technology, which allows consumers to easily and seamlessly share media from one device to another over Wi-Fi, was designed for today’s multimedia lifestyles.
The Miracast technology standard is built on the premise that users have a ton of content on their smartphones and laptops – photos, videos and games, to name a few – that they’d like to engage with over a large screen. But for users to seamlessly transfer that content, the technology standard must reside in both the device and the display.
That’s where Broadcom comes into the game. Broadcom and its partners are looking to spur on Miracast adoption with software and hardware that aims to speed up the integration of Miracast into electronics, getting the technology to consumers faster.
At Mobile World Congress today, Broadcom is highlighting recent Miracast partnerships with top tech players and retailers — including Google (in Android 4.2), Intel, Roku, NVIDIA, Best Buy Stores and more.
Adoption is expected to pick up steam this year as Miracast shows up in PCs, smart TVs and gaming platforms worldwide, including products like the Nexus 4, some of LG Electronics’ TVs and Optimus G smartphones, Samsung’s Galaxy S III smartphone and others. Some 1.5 billion Miracast devices are expected to ship in 2016, according to ABI Research.Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast™ is appearing in a range of televisions, tablets, handsets and more. Miracast makes it easy to display applications or video content from one Wi-Fi device on another, even when the devices are different brands. http://www.wi-fi.org/miracast
[Note the second demo at [1:07-2:08] which is by using an LG Optimus smartphone for wireless streaming.]
Broadcom’s contribution to the Miracast ecosystem is in the form of a robust, complete software stack that allows smartphone, display, smart TV and set-top box makers to roll out the technology in their newest products.
Broadcom is also offering an off-the-shelf wireless dongle design that allows display makers to add Miracast to any device with an HDMI port — similar to the early products that helped bring Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to personal computers before the now-standard technologies were embedded. Best Buy is already selling Miracast-enabled video receivers in its online under its Rocketfish brand, featuring Broadcom’s technology.
Best Buy’s Rocketfish Miracast Video Receiver, Broadcom tech inside.
The standard has been promoted by the Wi-Fi Alliance and Broadcom since last year. In September, the Wi-Fi Alliance handpicked Broadcom’s technology for its Miracast test bed. And Miracast-enabled devices were all over the show floor at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month, with somebig-name CE players throwing their weight behind the standard to continue to drive adoption momentum.
Come by and see Miracast in action at:
Hall 3 (Hybrid Hall) Booth #3C14 Fira de Barcelona Gran Via
Broadcom Drives Wireless Media Sharing Across Consumer Electronics Ecosystem [Broadcom press release, Feb 25, 2013]
Best Buy, NVIDIA and others adopt Broadcom Miracast™ solution
Broadcom is among first vendors to deliver end-to-end Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast solutions
Broadcom Miracast solution gains traction in PC, smart TV and gaming platforms
Growth opportunity with more than 1.5 billion Miracast devices expected to ship in 20161
Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ: BRCM), a global innovation leader in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications, today announced broad adoption of its Miracast solutions by industry leaders across a range of consumer electronics products. Visit Broadcom @ Mobile World Congress for more news.
Broadcom offers the most complete Miracast software solution, enabling ultra low-latency gaming, 3D and 4K display formats and advanced content protection for reduced time-to-market across a broad and diverse set of platforms. Miracast, a Wi-Fi Alliance standard, transmits video over a robust wireless connection to allow consumers to stream movies, play games and access thousands of applications on a larger screen without delay or interruption.
As a testament to its proven solutions, Broadcom Miracast-compatible devices are among the first to interoperate with wireless display on Nexus 4 as part of Android 4.2, Jelly Bean. Industry leaders, including LG Electronics and Nintendo, have selected Broadcom for its connectivity expertise and now have the ability to add Miracast capabilities to improve the experience of their users. Through strategic partnerships and product innovation, Broadcom is playing a pivotal role in delivering Miracast solutions to support a broad spectrum of consumer electronics products for immediate deployment.
In addition to its Miracast software solution, Broadcom offers a portfolio of wireless HDMI dongle designs that includes its dual-band MIMO Wi-Fi device and high-performance media processor. This high-performance, USB-powered solution leverages 5GHz MIMO technology in a compact design that adds Miracast capabilities to existing consumer devices, simplifies upgrades and lowers total cost for OEMs.
“Intel is excited to collaborate with Broadcom on their Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast HDMI dongle solutions. This collaboration enables consumers who have a PC, phone or a tablet featuring Intel® Wireless Display to enjoy their personal and online content on an even broader set of consumer devices,” saidKerry Forell, Intel WiDi Product Manager.
Broadcom is extending its leadership as the first vendor to offer a wireless HDMI dongle design based on the IEEE 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, further reducing latency and enabling simultaneous high-definition video streaming across multiple devices.
A range of Broadcom Miracast solutions are currently in production with major technology manufacturers and retailers.
Best Buy’s Rocketfish Miracast dongle is currently available at retail locations
Miracast support for NVIDIA Tegra 4-powered devices will be available in Q2 2013
For ongoing news, visit Broadcom’s Newsroom, read the B-Connected Blog, or visit Facebook or Twitter. And to stay connected, subscribe to Broadcom’s RSS Feed.
Patrick McGinnis, Vice President, Best Buy Exclusive Brands
“Best Buy is dedicated to delivering technology products that provide more choice, value and improved experiences for our customers. As a leader in Wi-Fi innovation, Broadcom is an ideal partner for Best Buy as we introduce our Rocketfish dongle with Miracast technology for a new viewing and entertainment solution.”
Matt Wuebbling, Director, Tegra Product Marketing, NVIDIA
“Pairing NVIDIA Tegra processors with Broadcom’s leading wireless solutions will allow consumers to share photos, stream HD movies and play amazing games on the big screen seamlessly. We’ve worked closely with Broadcom to bring this groundbreaking wireless display technology to market.”
Edgar Figueroa, CEO, Wi-Fi Alliance
“We congratulate Broadcom on its Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast reference design as well as inclusion of its software in our test bed. Broadcom’s participation in the development of this program has been instrumental in the achievement of an industry-wide certification for this program.”
Dino Bekis, Broadcom Senior Director, Wireless Connectivity Combo Group
“As a leader across all segments of the Wi-Fi market, Broadcom is uniquely positioned to drive mass adoption of Miracast technology. The integration ofBroadcom’s solution into a broad-based foundation of devices from major consumer electronics vendors and retailers will allow consumers to simply and effortlessly share content across the continuously expanding environment of connected devices.”
1 IHS iSuppli Research, Wi-Fi Alliance Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast™ Press Release, September 12, 2012
LG DWD-300 Miracast™ Certified Wireless HDMI® Adapter [trainofthoughtmkt YouTube channel, Feb 1, 2013]
LG DWD-300 Wireless HDMI Adapter – LG Optimus G™ accessories from AT&T [AT&T, Jan 18, 2013]
LG DWD-300 Wireless HDMI Adapter – LG Optimus G™
Retail price $99.00
The LG DWD-300 is a lightweight Miracast™ Certified wireless HDMI adapter that uses Wi-Fi technology. Use the DWD-300 as a wireless AV accessory for devices that support the Wi-Fi protocol.
You can view your phone’s content on a larger screen via a convenient Wi-Fi connection. Simply attach, connect, and enjoy! Scroll through an album, share a presentation, or play a video for the whole family. Use Dual Screen Dual Play (if supported by your phone) to check your email, send a text, or use other apps on your phone while playing a video on the larger screen.
LG CES 2013 Press Event First Look – OLED TV, Google TV, 4K TV, and More! [TechSmartt YouTube channel, Jan 7, 2013]
Broadcom Unveils World’s First UltraHD TV Home Gateway Chip [Broadcom press release, Jan 8, 2013]
Opens 2013 Consumer Electronics Show With Game Changer for Big Screen and Internet Video Delivery in the Home
– Enables UltraHD (4Kx2K resolution) TV into the home for dramatically improved picture quality on big screens
– Supports HEVC video coding standard; reduces video bandwidth usage by 50 percent
– Simultaneously delivers four transcoded HD video streams over IP for content on any screen
– Delivers unprecedented 21000 DMIPs of application performance while protecting high-value content with web domain security features
Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ: BRCM), a global innovation leader in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications, today announced the world’s first Ultra High Definition Television (UltraHD TV) video decoder solution on the market. Learn how Broadcom® innovation is enabling the Connected Life at home, at work, and on-the-go at Broadcom@CES.
The BCM7445 is the first step to delivering UltraHD TV into the home with the performance and picture quality needed for the evolution in multi-screen connected home entertainment. Broadcom’s 28 nanometer (nm) ARM-based BCM7445 UltraHD video decoder solution, serving as the primary gateway to the home, delivers more transcoding, CPU processing performance and home networking throughput to support a greater range of applications such as video-on-demand (VoD), gaming, social media and web store applications.
UltraHD TV technology, formerly known as 4K, marks a major innovation in HD resolution. UltraHD TV screens display four times the resolution of today’s 1080p60 displays. The delivery of UltraHD TV requires a more efficient compression codec made possible by the use of the new High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard. HEVC speeds Internet video downloads giving operators and users the ability to download content such as movies in half the time and with higher quality video at 50 percent of the bit rate previously required.
“The clarity and brilliance of UltraHD television is a significant step forward in viewing enjoyment and is the next true evolution in TV innovation,” said Dan Marotta, Broadcom’s Executive Vice President and General Manager, Broadband Communications Group.”By integrating HEVC, Quad 1080p transcoding, quad-core CPU, gigabit networking speeds and web domain security, Broadcom is enabling a dramatic improvement in the TV viewing experience while making UltraHD video delivery economics work for service providers.”
“HEVC, which will be known as MPEG-H or H.265, will be required to broadcast UltraHD content, notably major sporting events and Hollywood content,” said Michael Inouye, Senior Analyst of TV and Video, ABI Research. “Next generation user experience, including 80 inch and larger displays, will be improved by the adoption of UltraHD and HEVC. The efficiency of HEVC will also enable additional services including faster IP downloads and the provisioning of VoD services over wireless networks.”
Based on 28 nm process technology, the BCM7445 features the new Brahma15 21,000 DMIP CPU, four 1080p30 real-time transcoders and HEVC compression that delivers resolution up to 4096x2160p60.
The BCM7445 also features web domain security, an industry leading hardware security oversight to separate Internet services from premium broadcast content. This protects critical core network functions from malware threats, paving the way for operators to securely converge and deliver pay-TV programming and open Internet applications to subscribers for a web-based TV experience.
Brahma15 Application Processing
The Brahma15 is a 21,000 DMIP Quad-core ARMv7-A instruction set compatible multiprocessor. 32KB instruction and 32KB data caches per processor are backed by a shared 2MB L2 cache and feed the multi-issue, out-of-order superscalar 15-stage plus write back pipeline of the Brahma15. A 32KB read-ahead cache between the L2 cache and the memory controllers provides 8KB of read latency reduction per processor. The Brahama15 supports the ARM Trust Zone® security architecture, software virtualization and hardware virtualization by core for complete security isolation. Each core individually supports single cycle ARM NEON 128- bit vectors for software based media processing applications. The entire architecture supports Broadcom’s Nexus and Trellis software interfaces ensuring a seamless continuation of the home gateway and client experience.
Getting 4K with Broadcom’s HEVC Encoding – CES 2013 [TEKHD YouTube channel, Jan 11, 2013]
Miracast™ Technology Brings Wireless Streaming to the Living Room [Broadcom Connected blog, Jan 3, 2013]
Moving high-definition content from a small-screen device such as a smartphone or a tablet to a bigger screen, such as a TV or desktop computer, can be a challenge. But thanks to a technology standard that’s on the verge of going mainstream, those headaches are about to become a thing of the past.
Meet Miracast™, a technology that CNET Australia has called “a near-perfect wireless streaming solution.” At next week’s International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, expect to hear about a growing number of devices that are outfitted with Miracast, which is actually a Wi-Fi standard that relies on technology dubbed “wireless display mirroring.”
The idea is for consumers to stream content between Wi-Fi connected devices seamlessly, without an intermediate box such as a router or gateway. Think of Miracast as a seal of approval for electronics devices so that problems with compatibility and interoperability become a thing of the past.
And some big name CE players have already signaled their support for Miracast, including handset and TV makers Samsung and LG. Embedded companies also have hopped on board, including Intel, Ralink, Marvell, Texas Instruments, Realtek and MediaTek.
CES 2013 is likely to be Miracast’s true coming-out party with the industry, with hundreds of Miracast-enabled products on the show floor. Miracast is one of the top trends forecast by Broadcom at our December “Geek Peek.”
At the show today, Broadcom is announcing partnerships with top tech players and retailers —including Google (debuted in Android 4.2), Roku, NVidia, Best Buy and more—to promote Miracast’s adoption.
Broadcom’s contribution to the Miracast ecosystem is in the form of a robust, complete software stack that allows smartphone, display, smart TV and set-top box makers to roll out technology in their newest products. To further accelerate the adoption, Broadcom is also offering an off-the-shelf wireless dongle design that allows display makers to add Miracast to any device with an HDMI port—similar to the early products that helped bring Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to personal computers before the technologies were embedded
Miracast is in its earliest stages of adoption. But, already, it’s prepared to meet the needs of next-generation home entertainment, including support for leading-edge 3D and Ultra HD display formats that allow seamless movie streaming, game play and access to thousands of apps—all over Wi-Fi.
Just in Time for CES: Broadcom and Intel Team Up to Drive Wireless Display Adoption [Broadcom Connected blog, Jan 3, 2013]
The volume of video being consumed over the Internet is growing at an exponential rate, representing about half of all global Internet traffic today and expected to reach 93 percent by 2015. At the same time, the number of devices consumers are using to watch video is also on the rise. Researchers estimate that approximately 4.8 devices are in an average U.S. household with a home network — nearly double from just four years ago.
Broadcom today became the first Wi-Fi silicon vendor with a license for Intel WiDi technology in PCs. As part of this agreement, Broadcom will integrate Intel WiDi software onto its WLAN chips to help drive adoption of the technology in Ultrabook™ systems. The multistream 2×2 Wi-Fi data rates in Broadcom’s chip coupled with Intel WiDi software will deliver a seamless, high-quality experience to users.
Wi-Fi Display, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast™ and Intel WiDi are based on the same underlying technologies that allow you to do one very useful thing: easily stream content between two devices wirelessly. Those streams will become more commonplace this year as new standards for Wi-Fi-enabled devices eliminate interoperability and compatibility issues. Intel WiDi and industry standard Miracast are compatible technologies that improve the consumer experience for sharing video content between devices.
Intel and its ecosystem partners have shipped more than 30 million Intel WiDi-capable notebooks. This agreement will help drive the proliferation of the technology across a much broader offering of notebook PCs. Learn more about Intel WiDi, or visit the Intel booth (Central Hall, Booth No. 7252) at the International Consumer Electronics Show, which is this week at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
5G W iFi Smartphone Technology [Broadcom whitepaper, July 2012]
Mobile-to-Digital TV use cases are gaining traction as consumers begin using interactive gaming, streaming video, and remote control devices in a home. A key benefit is the ability to shift video from a small mobile screen to a larger one using peer-to-peer technologies like Wi-Fi Display and to support the increased throughput required for future video formats such as 2K4K (2048 × 4096 pixels) and 4K4K (4096 × 4096 pixels). With multiple high-resolution video devices connected to a digital TV, this presents a challenge for sustained WLAN throughput and range.
5G WiFi provides a number of performance advantages compared to previous generations of Wi-Fi:
- More than six times higher throughput than 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi devices
- Significantly lower power consumption for a given data range
- Improved range and elimination of fading by using antenna beamforming
- Higher throughput at the same distance from an access point
- Reduced interference from other wireless devices (uses 5 GHz frequency band)
5G WiFi is not just a technology breakthrough — it enables new use cases and improves existing ones. In the previous generation of smartphones, high bandwidth applications such as HD video streaming are extremely limited due to low data rates. 5G WiFi breaks that barrier and allows media streaming from a handset to a digital television at data rates comparable to that supported by wired Ethernet connections. At the same time, 5G WiFi enables high-speed data and media synchronization, turning an hour-long backup process into a matter of minutes.
5G WiFi also solves some of the longest-standing problems with Wi-Fi in smartphones. By reducing signal fading and lost connections, it significantly improves the Wi-Fi user experience. By reducing overall power consumption for large data transfers, it also extends battery life.
In summary, 5G WiFi redefines the concept of a smartphone. Whereas today’s smartphone Wi-Fi users are limited to basic applications such as web browsing and e-mail, tomorrow’s 5G WiFi users will have a fullfeatured media center in their hands.
Broadcom and 5G WiFi [Broadcom technology site, July 25, 2012]
Broadcom Delivers 5G WiFi
Broadcom’s mission as a global innovator is simple – Connect everything. As a leader in semiconductor solutions, Broadcom boasts that 99.98 percent of all Internet traffic crosses a Broadcom chip, across vast lineup of products. Broadcom is investing in the advancement of 5G WiFi, a platform for IEEE 802.11ac, the standard behind the next generation of Wi-Fi. Broadcom recognizes that each previous generation has come in at the right time to address an inflection point in consumer needs. 5G WiFi is no different. It is here as a panacea for the video challenge and represents the continued commitment by Broadcom and the industry to meet wireless needs in both homes and workplaces.
Bringing 5G WiFi to Market
Broadcom introduced its family of 5G WiFi chips for access points and PCs at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2012. Soon after, the world’s first 5G WiFi routers were unveiled by companies such as Netgear, Belkin and Buffalo Technologies, with others, such as ASUS and D-Link, soon following. At the Computex show in June 2012, ASUS announced the world’s first 5G WiFi laptop & motherboard, bringing the power of the next generation of Wi-Fi to the world of computing.
In July 2012, Broadcom introduced the BCM4335, the industry’s first 5G WiFi combo chip for smartphones, tablets, ultrabooks and other mobile devices. The new device extends Broadcom’s wireless connectivity leadership and establishes it as the first chip vendor to sample solutions based on the 802.11ac standard for every major Wi-Fi product segment. Smartphones and tablets powered by the new BCM4335, which are expected to hit shelves in Q1 2013, will allow consumers to reap the full benefits of 5G WiFi on both ends of the wireless connection.
Broadcom Corporation_Unleashing the Power of the 5G WiFi Ecosystem [SUMMITFORUM2012 YouTube channel, June 18, 2012]
Tenda leads China’s Gigabit Wireless Age [Tenda press release, Nov 20, 2012]
Tenda ® (Shenzhen Tenda Technology Co., Ltd), a global networking company that delivers innovative products to consumers and businesses, today announced the world’s fastest next-generation gigabit WiFi 802.11ac product series at the press conference jointly held with Broadcom®, the world’s leading chipmaker. Tenda, the first in China to launch the high-speed 802.11ac products, demonstrated its courageous commitment to leading innovation at the conference in the presence of over 130 guests from major news, media, government authorities and channels, etc.
President and CEO of Tenda, Mr Dengping Quan, highlighted Tenda’s dedicated commitment to innovation and pioneers of the spirit of innovation. He said at the conference, the demand for high-performance routers operating in the less crowded 5 GHz band is growing significantly in China. By working with Broadcom, Tenda has consistently delivered an innovation pipeline of leading edge technologies designed to address the needs of today’s consumers in China. To improve and facilitate innovation processes, we spent huge sums of money to import IPD (Integrated Product Development), the most advanced product development process, from IBM and Agile IT systems from Oracle.
Consistently investing in innovation and highly valuing the core technology, Tenda contributed a lot— the first to launch wireless terminal products, the first to introduce wireless 11n products in China, the first to launch portable wireless router and easy-to-install router, the first to…
Marketing and Product Director Mr. Hongwei Wang from Tenda introduced the 11ac technology advantage: a remarkably higher transmission rate– up to 433Mbps for a single antenna, and up to 1300Mbps for 3 combined antennas; in the near future, multiple antennas operating in 160MHz will deliver speeds up to 3.47Gbps or even higher. Plus, the advantages of Tenda’s new products based on 11ac standards consist of faster throughput, higher capacity, stronger anti-jamming capability, fashion design and easy usage. Operating on 5G band, these Tenda new 5G WiFi products are designed to better meet the need of smart home entertainment center as well small and medium-sized enterprises, ideal for interference-free video streaming, including transmission from a router to TV device and between different devices.
In 2007, Tenda pioneered to promote 11n products as replacement of the legacy 11g products. Now, Tenda has developed new 5G WiFi products that deliver the speed and reliability required for today’s evolving consumer needs. He gave details of Tenda new products at the conference and announced plans to upgrade the existing series routers to smart and easy to install routers (intelligently detect Internet connection type, intelligently diagnose network faults, intelligently connect to secondary uplink router), as well as to create the world’s most easy-to-install router. It also announced that Tenda will be the first to provide a free telephone service in the industry.
Mr. Micheal Hurlson, Broadcom SVP and GM, Wireless Connectivity Combo described the cooperation with Tenda a win-win relationship and would deepen the strategic partnership. He said, Broadcom will keep its industry leadership and clearly focus on developing 5G WiFi chips. Chinese market is very important to Broadcom and Tenda is found unbelievable in terms of bringing new technology to market. Mr Dengping Quan expressed that, Broadcom is an innovation leader in wireless field. Tenda will keep on close cooperation with Broadcom to bring the latest technologies into Chinese market.
Broadcom’s 5G WiFi dramatically improves the wireless range in the home, allowing consumers to watch HD-quality video from more devices, in more places, simultaneously. The increased speed enables consumers to download web content from a mobile device faster and quickly synch large files, such as videos. Since 5G WiFi transfers the same volume of data at a much faster rate, devices enter low-power mode faster, which can result in significant power consumption advantages. Michael Hurlston, Broadcom SVP and GM, Wireless Connectivity Combo said, “China is rapidly emerging as a top consumer of IPTV services. As Chinese consumers turn to mobile devices to watch video over Wi-Fi, the need for an interference-free, clean wireless experience has become increasingly apparent. Tenda’s new 5G WiFi routers deliver the speed and reliability required for today’s evolving consumer needs.” He also predicted that by the year of 2014, 5G Wi-Fi technology will not only become standard on mobile terminals such as mobile phones tablet but also be widely incorporated into home appliances and medical equipment. Currently Broadcom’s 5G Wi-Fi chips has been applied in the field of routers, PC, tablet, phone, and more terminal devices equipped with 5G Wi-Fi technology are expected to be brought into ordinary people’s life by the end of the first quarter of next year.
He also said that the broadcom technical advantages allow 5G Wi-Fi seamless roaming, remote control, situational awareness platform for applications such as home digital entertainment center. In order to allow better play 5G Wi-Fi charm, Broadcom also integrates other technologies such as NFC, Bluetooth, allowing better content sharing and multi-screen interaction.
Mr Dengping Quan, President and CEO of Tenda, Mr Michael Hurlston, Broadcom SVP and GM, Wireless Connectivity Combo, Roundtable forum, Ms. Jackie Baon, Senior PL Manager of Mobile and Wireless, Dr. Jinqiao Chen, Secretary-General, Committee of Economic Experts of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, deputy chief engineer of Telecommunication Research Institute, Mr. Xiaoyong Liu, deputy chief engineer of the State Radio Monitoring Center Testing Center, Mr. Li Chen, director of category management, Amazon (China), Mr. Ning Lu, Purchasing Director, Gome, and Mr Zixiang Zhang, President of Henan JHD Network Technology Co., Ltd. Etc joined a splendid discussion at the roundtable forum.
Below presents an overview of Tenda’s new 5G WiFi retail products including the W1800R, W80E and W900U.
With Intel Media: 10-20 year leap in television this year [Feb 16, 2013] and Microsoft entertainment as an affordable premium offering to be built on the basis of the Xbox console and Xbox LIVE services [Feb 13, 2013] this is a highly probable assumption.
There is other evidence as well. In fact plenty of them. Especially from Microsoft side:
The Entertainment and Devices Division (EDD) of Microsof is currently the place where all of Microsoft consumer-only activities are concentrated. EDD revenue, however, was 11% down for the latest quarter vs. that of a year ago. Moreover, it was just 17.6% of the overall Microsoft revenue vs. 20.3% in the quarter a year ago.
– in Microsoft Reports Record Revenue of $21.5 Billion in Second Quarter [Microsoft press release, Jan 24, 2013] great progress was reported in the non-consumer segments of Microsoft:
“Our big, bold ambition to reimagine Windows as well as launch Surface and Windows Phone 8 has sparked growing enthusiasm with our customers and unprecedented opportunity and creativity with our partners and developers,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft. “With new Windows devices, including Surface Pro, and the new Office on the horizon, we’ll continue to drive excitement for the Windows ecosystem and deliver our software through devices and services people love and businesses need.”
The Windows Division posted revenue of $5.88 billion, a 24% increase from the prior year period. Adjusting for the net deferral of revenue for the Windows Upgrade Offer and the recognition of the previously deferred revenue from Windows 8 Pre-sales, Windows Division non-GAAP revenue increased 11% for the second quarter. Microsoft has sold over 60 million Windows 8 licenses to date.
“We saw strong growth in our enterprise business driven by multi-year commitments to the Microsoft platform, which positions us well for long-term growth,” said Peter Klein, chief financial officer at Microsoft. “Multi-year licensing revenue grew double-digits across Windows, Server & Tools, and the Microsoft Business Division.”
The Server & Tools business reported $5.19 billion of revenue, a 9% increase from the prior year period, driven by double-digit percentage revenue growth in SQL Server and System Center.
“We see strong momentum in our enterprise business. With the launch of SQL Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012, we continue to see healthy growth in our data platform and infrastructure businesses and win share from our competitors,” said Kevin Turner, chief operating officer at Microsoft. “With the coming launch of the new Office, we will provide a cloud-enabled suite of products that will deliver unparalleled productivity and flexibility.”
The Microsoft Business Division posted $5.69 billion of revenue, a 10% decrease from the prior year period. Adjusting for the impact of the Office Upgrade Offer and Pre-sales, Microsoft Business Division non-GAAP revenue increased 3% for the second quarter. Revenue from Microsoft’s productivity server offerings – collectively including Lync, SharePoint, and Exchange – continued double-digit percentage growth.
– while Entertainment and Devices Division Performance and KPIs for Earnings Release FY13 Q2 [Microsoft Investor Relations, Jan 24, 2013] were reported as:
Continued leadership position in console market
- 5.9M consoles sold, down 28%
- Halo 4 best-selling title of gaming franchise
- Xbox LIVE members >40 million
- Windows Phone sales were over 4 times greater than last year
- 138 billion minutes of calls on Skype in quarter, up 59%
EDD revenue decreased, primarily due to lower Xbox 360 platform revenue, offset in part by higher Windows Phone revenue. Xbox 360 platform revenue decreased $1.1 billion or 29%, due mainly to lower volumes of consoles sold and lower video game revenue, offset in part by higher Xbox LIVE revenue. We shipped 5.9 million Xbox 360 consoles during the second quarter of fiscal year 2013, compared with 8.2 million Xbox 360 consoles during the second quarter of fiscal year 2012. Video game revenue decreased, primarily due to $380 million of revenue deferred associated with the Video Game Deferral. Windows Phone revenue increased $546 million, including patent licensing revenue and increased sales of Windows Phone licenses.
EDD operating income increased, due mainly to lower cost of revenue and sales and marketing expenses, offset in part by decreased revenue and increased research and development expenses. Cost of revenue decreased $544 million or 19%, mainly due to decreased sales of Xbox 360 consoles, offset in part by payments made to Nokia related to joint strategic initiatives and increased royalties on Xbox LIVE content and video games. Sales and marketing expenses decreased $92 million or 21%, primarily reflecting decreased Xbox 360 platform marketing. Research and development expenses increased $98 million or 25%, primarily reflecting higher headcount-related expenses.
– and here we should consider the following Segment Information for the Entertainment & Devices Division excerpted on Feb 17, 2013:
Entertainment and Devices Division (“EDD”) develops and markets products and services designed to entertain and connect people. EDD offerings include the Xbox 360 entertainment platform (which includes the Xbox 360 gaming and entertainment console, Kinect for Xbox 360, Xbox 360 video games, Xbox LIVE, and Xbox 360 accessories), Mediaroom (our Internet protocol television software), Skype, and Windows Phone, including related patent licensing revenue. We acquired Skype on October 13, 2011, and its results of operations from that date are reflected in our results.
Note here the inclusion of Mediaroom (MS IPTV platform) into the portfolio which was not in the FY12 portfolio as per Microsoft 2012 Annual Report [Microsoft Investor Relations, Oct 9, 2012]. Mediaroom is described by the Microsoft Mediaroom Newsroom [excerpt as of Feb 17, 2013] as:
Microsoft Mediaroom powers multi-screen entertainment services for consumers in partnership with operators. Visit: Mediaroom Website
Microsoft Mediaroom is the world’s most deployed IPTV platform. Mediaroom-powered TV services are being offered by more than 40 of the world’s leading operators, delivering services to more than eleven million consumer households equaling more than 22 million set top boxes deployed throughout the Americas, EMEA and APAC. Operator partners including AT&T, Deutsche Telekom and TELUS are already giving their subscribers the freedom to watch TV how they want, while gaining the most innovative ways to reach them wherever they are.
Windows Media Center will be available as an economical “media pack” add-on to Windows 8 Pro. If you are an enthusiast or you want to use your PC in a business environment, you will want Windows 8 Pro.
With further details provided in Making Windows Media Center available in Windows 8 [Building Windows 8 blog, May 4, 2012]
On the PC, … online sources [such as YouTube, Hulu, Netflix] are growing much faster than DVD & broadcast TV consumption, which are in sharp decline (no matter how you measure—unique users, minutes, percentage of sources, etc.). Globally, DVD sales have declined significantly year over year and Blu-ray on PCs is losing momentum as well. Watching broadcast TV on PCs, while incredibly important for some of you, has also declined steadily. These traditional media playback scenarios, optical media and broadcast TV, require a specialized set of decoders (and hardware) that cost a significant amount in royalties. With these decoders built into most Windows 7 editions, the industry has faced those costs broadly, regardless of whether or not a given device includes an optical drive or TV tuner.
Our partners have shared clear concerns over the costs associated with codec licensing for traditional media playback, especially as Windows 8 enables an unprecedented variety of form factors. Windows has addressed these concerns in the past by limiting availability of these experiences to specialized “media” or “premium” editions. At the same time, we also heard clear feedback from customers and partners that led to our much simplified Windows 8 editions lineup.
Given the changing landscape, the cost of decoder licensing, and the importance of a straight forward edition plan, we’ve decided to make Windows Media Center available to Windows 8 customers via the Add Features to Windows 8 control panel (formerly known as Windows Anytime Upgrade). This ensures that customers who are interested in Media Center have a convenient way to get it. Windows Media Player will continue to be available in all editions, but without DVD playback support. For optical discs playback on new Windows 8 devices, we are going to rely on the many quality solutions on the market, which provide great experiences for both DVD and Blu-ray.
Windows 8 Pro is designed to help tech enthusiasts obtain a broader set of Windows 8 technologies. Acquiring either the Windows 8 Media Center Pack or the Windows 8 Pro Pack gives you Media Center, including DVD playback (in Media Center, not in Media Player), broadcast TV recording and playback (DBV-T/S, ISDB-S/T, DMBH, and ATSC), and VOB file playback.
According to Should I Upgrade to Windows 8 Media Center? [About.com Guide, Nov 23, 2012]
The short answer? No. As of this writing, Media Center 8 is an exact duplicate of Media Center 7. No new features, no improvements, nothing.
So with Windows 8 Microsoft was clearly placing the bet on the on-line video!
Then we should consider also that Microsoft was just Announcing Release of Windows Azure Media Services [Scott Guthrie’s blog, Jan 22, 2013] supporting Xbox and IPTV (?i.e. when instead of Mediaroom –I would assume [to be verified!]– the content comes to the IPTV set-top boxes from Windows Azure Media Services?) as well:
What was announced is the V1 of the cloud-based variety of the overall Microsoft Media Platform (built on foundations of Windows Azure, Internet Information Services, Smooth Streaming and PlayReady) as defined in Microsoft Media Platform: Encoding and Serving Choices and Migration Considerations [Microsoft whitepaper, Jan 2, 2013] (corrections, emphases and additions are mine):
Two Microsoft Media Platform Technologies are on-premises (that is, they run on servers placed directly in an enterprise), while the latest, Windows Azure Media Services, is cloud-based as part of Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud computing platform ( http://www.windowsazure.com/).
On-premises media technologies:
- Windows Media Services (with versions for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2)
- IIS Media Services 4.1 (which runs on Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Server 2012)
Cloud-based media technologies:
The initial components of Windows Azure Media Services, including Ingest [Upload media], Encoding [encode assets using a range of standard codecs, including popular adaptive bitrate formats], Content Protection [store and deliver your content securely using Microsoft PlayReady DRM or Apple AES Encryption], and On-Demand [Streaming] [deliver a fast, smooth, and adaptive experience to users while leveraging format conversion on the fly], are available
or shipping soonwith this release. Advertising (Ad Insertion) is currently available through Client SDKs. Additional components, including Live Streaming and Analytics, will be rolled out as they become available. When all of the components are in place, Windows Azure Media Services will offer a complete end-to-end media services solution, including video ingest, encoding and conversion, content protection, on-demand streaming, live streaming, and analytics.
The current environment for video streaming is experiencing new challenges. The video portion of Internet traffic today is significant and growing rapidly, as is the number of internet connected TVs and mobile devices. In this environment, video providers and broadcasters are switching to IP as the medium of choice to reach this wide diversity of endpoints.
To address these challenges, Windows Azure Media Services is designed to become a one-stop platform for securely encoding, packaging, and delivering video content from Windows Azure or CDNs, thus offering the scalability and reach of the cloud.
Some of advantages of migrating to Windows Azure Media Services are:
- Windows Azure Media Services has the scalability and reliability of a cloud platform and can handle large bursts in demand for video applications.
- It is widely available for a global audience and can use third-party CDNs like Akamai, Level3, or Limelight.
- Windows Azure Media Services has cloud-based versions of familiar Microsoft Media Platform and media partner technologies.
- As a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Windows Azure Media Services is faster, cheaper, and lowers risk:
- PaaS is faster because there is less work for developers. End-to-end solutions benefit from a single platform that solves integration issues. As a result, applications can go from idea to availability more quickly.
- PaaS is cheaper because it offers less administration and management overhead, and greater economies of scale: you pay only for what you use, and large capital outlays for media servers and network infrastructure can be replaced by the more efficient operating expenses of cloud computing.
- PaaS lowers risk. Because the platform does more for you, there are fewer opportunities for error.
- Security Standards and Certifications: Windows Azure Media Services Security is working towards SOC2 (Service Organization Control 2) compliance and plans to complete a CDSA (Content Delivery and Security Association) certification process and an MPAA audit in 2013.
Windows Azure Media Services have the flexibility and power to enable you to create whatever media services solution that you envision. Some key usage scenarios are:
- Creating an end-to-end workflow in the cloud. For example, a content management service can use Windows Azure Media Services to process on-demand Smooth Streaming video and distribute it to a variety of mobile and desktop clients.
- Developing hybrid workflows that incorporate pre-existing on-premises resources. For example, a video production house might upload its finished videos to Windows Azure Media Services for encoding into multiple formats, and then use the Windows Azure Media Services Origin Service and a third-party CDN to deliver video on demand.
- Choosing to utilize built-in Media Services components, or mixing and matching your own custom components or components from third parties. Individual Windows Azure Media Services components can be called via standard REST APIs for easy integration with external applications and services.
[see more detailed information in the whitepaper itself and in the announcement blog referred earlier]
I should only highlight one particular additional feature with the V1 release from Announcing Release of Windows Azure Media Services [Scott Guthrie’s blog, Jan 22, 2013]
… our on-demand streaming support also now gives you a cool new feature we call dynamic packaging.
Traditionally, once content has been encoded, it needs to be packaged and stored for multiple targeted clients (iOS, XBox, PC, etc.). This traditional packaging process converts multi-bitrate MP4 files into multi-bitrate HLS file-sets or multi-bitrate Smooth Streaming files. This triples the storage requirements and adds significant processing cost and delay.
With dynamic packaging, we now allow users to store a single file format and stream to many adaptive protocol formats automatically. The packaging and conversion happens in real-time on the origin server which results in significant storage cost and time savings:
Today the source formats can be multi-bitrate MP4 or Smooth based, and these can be converted dynamically to either HLS or Smooth. The pluggable nature of this architecture will allow us, over the next few months, to also add DASH Live Profile streaming of fragmented MP-4 segments using time-based indexing as well. The support of HLS and the addition of DASH enables an ecosystem-friendly model based on common and standards-based streaming protocols, and ensures that you can target any type of device.
ADDITIONAL MPEG DASH / MICROSOFT RELATED INFORMATION:
– Microsoft Announces Support for MPEG-DASH in Microsoft Media Platform [Microsoft Media Platform team blog, April 16, 2012]
– Alex Zambelli of Microsoft at Streaming Media West – held on Oct 30-31, 2012 [streamingmediavideo YouTube channel, published on Jan 2, 2013]
as well as the quite universal aspect of multitargeting even in this V1:
Windows Azure Media Services provides a large set of client player SDKs for all major devices and platforms, and they let you not only reach any device with a format that’s best suited for that device – but also build a custom player experience that uniquely integrates into your product or service.
Your users can consume media assets by building rich media applications rapidly on many platforms, such as Windows, iOS, XBox, etc. At this time, we ship SDKs and player frameworks for:
- Windows 8
- Flash Player (built using Adobe OSMF)
- Windows Phone
- Embedded devices (Connected TV, IPTV)
To complement all that here is a brief introduction into the whole Microsoft Media Platform (the on-premises varieties as well) followed in details with how HTML5 is fitting into that, from streamingmediavideo YouTube channel [May 9, 2012]:
In Streaming Servers 2012: New Features, New Opportunities [StreamingMedia.com, Oct 24, 2012] the latest features of the streaming server/platform solutions from Adobe, Anevia, CodeShop, Microsoft, and RealNetworks are overviewed, together with some upcoming features. This shows quite well how much the Microsoft Media Platform is advanced and hence could be the best platform for such an effort as that of Intel Media.
There is a wortwhile comment as well from the same Microsoft specialist as already shown in the videos above:
Just a few corrections: The latest version of IIS Media Services, known as IIS Media Services 5.0 Premium, targeting OTT linear TV scenarios is available exclusively to Mediaroom customers as part of Mediaroom Component Technologies.
See also: How to Use Continuous Network DVR Feature in PlayReady Premium and IIS Media Services Premium? [PlayReady blog, Dec 29, 2012] “PlayReady 2.x Premium and IIS Media Services 5.0 Premium have enabled the following four key features which are needed for scalable live TV service:”
This is showing that Mediaroom is using the latest technologies available in the Microsoft Media Platform along with Windows Azure Media Services.
Finally Intel Media is heavily betting on the new H.265/HEVC standard. This is how the same Alex Zambelli (since January working for a premium video workflow services and products partner of Microsoft) is viewing this issue in his H.265/HEVC Ratification and 4K Video Streaming [Alex Zambelli’s Streaming Media Blog, Jan 28, 2013] post:
The media world today is abuzz with news of H.265/HEVC approval by the ITU. In case you’ve been hiding from NAB/IBC/SM events for the past two years – or if you’re a WebM hermit – I will have you know that H.265 is the successor standard to H.264, aka MPEG-4 AVC. As was the case with its predecessor it is the product of years of collaboration between the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG). The new video coding standard is important because it promises bandwidth savings of about 40-45% for the same quality as H.264. In a world where video is increasingly being delivered over-the-top and bandwidth is not free – that kind of savings is a big deal.
What most media reports seem to have focused on is the potential effect that H.265 will have on bringing us closer to 4K video resolution in OTT delivery. Most reports speculate that H.265 will allow 4K video to be delivered over the Internet at bit rates between 20 and 30 Mbps. In comparison, my friend Bob Cowherd recently theorized on his blog that 4K delivery using the current H.264 video standard would require about 45 Mbps to deliver 4K video OTT.
While I think the relative difference between those two estimates is in the ballpark of the 40% bandwidth savings that H.265 promises, I actually think that both estimates are somewhat pessimistic. Given the current state of video streaming technology, I think we’ll actually be able to deliver 4K video at lower bit rates when the time comes for 4K streaming.
A common mistake that most people dealing with lossy video compression seem to make is to assume that the ratio between bit rate (bps) and picture size (pixels/sec) remains proportional and fixed as the values of both axis change. I don’t think that’s the case. I believe that the relationship between bit rate and picture size is not linear, but closer to a power function that looks like this:
In other words, I believe that as the pixel count gets higher a DCT-based video codec requires fewer bits to maintain the same level of visual quality. Here’s why:
The size of a 16×16 macroblock, which is the smallest unit of DCT-based compression used in contemporary codecs such as H.264 and VC-1, grows smaller relative to the total size of the video image as the image resolution grows higher. For example, in a 320×180 video the 16×16 macroblock represents 0.444% of the total image size, whereas in a 1920×1080 video the 16×16 macroblock represents only 0.0123% of the total image. A badly compressed macroblock in a 320×180 frame would therefore be more objectionable than a badly compressed macroblock in a 1920×1080 frame.
As many studies have shown, the law of diminishing returns applies to video/image resolution too. If you sit at a fixed distance from your video display device eventually you will no longer be able to distinguish the difference between 720p, 1080p and 4K resolutions due to your eye’s inability to resolve tiny pixels from a certain distance. Ipso facto, as the video resolution goes up your eyes become less likely to distinguish compression artifacts too – which means the video compression can afford to get sloppier.
Historically the bit rates used for OTT video delivery and streaming have been much lower than those used in broadcasting, consumer electronics and physical media. For example, digital broadcast HDTV typically averages ~19 Mbps for video (in CBR mode), while most Blu-ray 1080p videos average ~15-20 Mbps (in 2-pass VBR mode). Those kinds of bit rates are possible because those delivery channels have the luxury of either dedicated bandwidth or high-capacity physical media. However, in the OTT and streaming world video bit rate has always been shortchanged in comparison. Most 720p30 video streaming today, whether live or on-demand, is encoded at average 2.5-3.5 Mbps (depending on complexity and frame rate). 1080p30 video, when available, is usually streamed at 5-6 Mbps. Whereas Blu-ray tries to give us movies at a quality level approaching visual transparency, streaming/OTT is completely driven by the economics of bandwidth and consequently only gives us video at the minimum bit rate required to make the video look generally acceptable (and worthy of its HD moniker). To put it bluntly, streaming video is not yet a videophile’s medium.
So taking those factors into consideration, what kind of bandwidth should we expect for 4K video OTT delivery? If 1080p video is currently being widely streamed online using H.264 compression at 6 Mbps, then 4K (4096×2304) video could probably be delivered at bit rates around 18-20 Mbps using the same codec at similar quality levels. Again, remember, we’re not comparing Blu-ray quality levels here – we’re comparing 2013 OTT quality levels which are “good enough” but not ideal. If we switch from H.264 to H.265 compression we could probably expect OTT delivery of 4K video at bit rates closer to 12-15 Mbps(assuming H.265′s 40% efficiency improvements do indeed come true). I should note that those estimates are only applicable to 24-30 fps video. If the dream of 4K OTT video also carries an implication of high frame rates – e.g. 48 to 120 fps – then the bandwidth requirements would certainly go up accordingly too. But if the goal is simply to stream a 4K version of “Lawrence of Arabia” into your home at 24 fps, that dream might be closer to reality than you think.
One last thing: In his report about H.265 Ryan Lawler writes that “nearly every video publisher has standardized [H.264] after the release of the iPad and several other connected devices. It seems crazy now, but once upon a time, Apple’s adoption of H.264 and insistence on HTML5-based video players was controversial – especially since most video before the iPad was encoded in VP6 to play through Adobe’s proprietary Flash player.” Not so fast, Ryan. While Apple does deserve credit for backing H.264 against alternatives, they were hardly the pioneers of H.264 web streaming. H.264 was already a mandatory part of the HD-DVD and Blu-ray specifications when those formats launched in 2006 as symbols of the new HD video movement. Adobe added H.264 support to Flash 9 (“Moviestar”) in December 2007. Microsoft added H.264 support to Silverlight 3 and Windows 7 in July 2009. The Apple iPad did not launch until April 2010, which was also the same month Steve Jobs posted his infamous “Thoughts on Flash” blog post. So while Apple certainly did contribute to H.264′s success, they were hardly the controversial H.264 advocate Ryan makes them out to be. H.264 was already widely accepted at that point and its success was simply a matter of time.
– What Is HEVC (H.265)? [StreamingMedia.com, Feb 14, 2013]
– Episode 99 – Windows Azure Media Services General Availibility [Microsoft Channel 9 video, Jan 25, 2013]
In this episode Nick Harris and Nate Totten are joined by Mingfei Yan Program Manager II on Windows Azure Media Services. With Windows Azure Media Services reaching General Availability Mingfei joined us to demonstrate how you can use it to build great, extremely scalable, end-to-end media solutions for streaming on-demand video to consumers on any device and in this particular demo shows off the portal, encoding and both a Windows Store app and iOS device consuming encoded content.
For more information visit the Windows Azure Media Services page to learn more about the capabilities, and visit the Windows Azure Media Service Dev Center for tutorials, how-to articles, blogs, and more information and get started building applications with it today!
– How to build customized Media Workflows using the Media Services .NET SDK – Part I [Microsoft Channel 9 video, Feb 5, 2013]
In this two part video, Mingfei Yan will teach you how to use the Windows Azure Media Services .NET SDK to create your own media workflow including how to upload, encode, package and deliver your video assets. In this part you will learn how to create media asset and upload a video file from local drive.
After completing this part you can watch part II here. You can get started with Windows Azure Media Services today for free!
– How to build customized Media Workflows using the Media Services .NET SDK – Part II [Microsoft Channel 9 video, Feb 5, 2013]
This blog gives an overview of what kind of client support Microsoft offers as part of Windows Azure media Services. On one side, you could create, manage, package and deliver media asset through Windows Azure media services. Many popular streaming formats are supported, such as Smooth Streaming, Http Llive Streaming and MPEG-dash. On the other hand, we provide various SDKs and frameworks for you to consume media asset by building rich media applications rapidly on many platforms, such as PC, XBox, mobile and etc.
– Introducing Microsoft Media Platform [Media & Entertainment Insights blog, April 12, 2011]
– Microsoft Media Platform – David Sayed interview [Quantel blog April 20, 2011]
– H2 2012 Media Platform Product Update Roundup [Alex Zambelli’s Streaming Media Blog, Nov 16, 2012]: “It’s been a busy summer with most of the team focused on Windows Azure Media Services, but I’d like to take a moment to highlight a few other Media Platform releases of the past few months:”
– Mediaroom 2.0 Unites Software and Cloud Services to Power New TV Experiences Across Three Screens [Media & Entertainment Insights blog, April 6, 2010]