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Kaleidescape Shuts Down

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Kaleidescape Shuts Down

It looks like Hollywood has had the last laugh-- after years of fighting the movie industry and its draconian rights regime Kaleidescape throws the towel and shutters down, laying off all employees in the process.

The news comes from the Kscapeowners.com forum, although it has also been confirmed by the company to CEPro.

"I spoke with the CEO, he did confirm that the company has effectively halted most operations, and instituted layoffs of most employees," a forum post by a Kaleidescape dealer reads. "The reasons are not really important at this point, but obviously are finance related as is the case in almost all such closings."

For those unfamiliar with Kaleidescape, the company is best known for pricey media players complete with a beautiful UI and DVD copying functionality-- the main reason it was seen as the enemy by the movie industry. This lead to a long-running legal battle against the DVD Copy Control Association (DVD CCA), one that eventually ended with 2014 on the condition Kaleidescape could sell its flagship DVD-copying machines no more.

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Farewell, VHS: Funai Electric Ceases VCR Production

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Farewell, VHS: Funai Electric Ceases VCR Production

It's something of an end of an era-- Funai Electric, reportedly the last maker of videocassette recorders (VCRs), brings the production of VHS players to an end, 40 years after the launch of the format.

According to Japan's Nikkei the reason is a combination of declining market and difficulty in obtaining necessary parts. Funai made players in Chinese factories before sale under the Sanyo brand.

The company started making VCRs in 1983, 3 years after the launch of its own unsuccessful CVC format. At the peak the company used to sell 15 million VCRs per year, but Nikkei says 2015 sales of Funai VHS units total just 750000. Which is actually a bit of a surprise, since VHS has long been superseded by not only the disc-based DVD and Blu-ray formats, but also HDD-based personal video recorders.

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B&O Controls Home Theatre Via Cloud

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B&O Controls Home Theatre Via Cloud

Bang & Olufsen launches BeoLink SmartHome at ISE 2016-- a cloud-based means to integrate B&O products with other home devices, including custom installation offerings from the likes of Crestron, Control4 and Savant.

To bring together audio and video products with home automation systems BeoLink SmartHome uses an IFTTT-enabled channel on the cloud. IFTTT (If This Than That) allows users to create simple conditional commands combining and programming products and services lacking a common home automation standard.

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Murideo Shows Prisma for Image Fidelity at ISE 2016

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Murideo Shows Prisma for Image Fidelity at ISE 2016

Murideo’s Prisma is a highly advanced single-in single-out video processor. Other processors might have similar features individually, says the maker… “but none of them can do it all like the Prisma.”

The Prisma combines two very powerful image processing technologies - a 3D Cube Lookup Table and the PrismaVue.

The Prisma’s 17x17x17 3D LUT and PrismaVue technology give the user control over image Continue reading...

Building the IR Blaster: YZC Electronics

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Building the IR Blaster: YZC Electronics

YZC Electronics & Technologies Limited, a Singapore invested joint venture company, is a worldwide leader in IR (Infrared) products, founded with the vision that IR & wireless would revolutionise the way people interact with their electronics equipment. Our sister publication, European Custom Installer, caught up with Mr. Kobayashi, president, to ask more about the category of IR and IR Continue reading...

Netflix Goes (Almost) Global

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Netflix Goes (Almost) Global

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

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

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

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Apple Gives Up on Streaming TV Plans?

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Apple Gives Up on Streaming TV Plans?

Apple drops plans for a subscription-based TV service, Bloomberg reports-- instead, the company will stick with the App Store as a platform for the direct sale of content to customers.

According to a "person with knowledge of the matter" Apple was planning to sell a package of around 14 streaming channels. However media companies insisted on more money for programming, bringing such ambitions to an end.

Mind, the dream of an Apple subscription-based TV service might not be dead yet-- at the Business Insider Ignition conference CBS CEO Les Moonves states Apple simply put such plans "on hold," and the service will eventually come to reality.

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The Optoma HDCast Pro Streamer

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The Optoma HDCast Pro Streamer

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

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

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Kaleidescape Intros Encore Product Lineup

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Kaleidescape Intros Encore Product Lineup

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

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

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

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Apple TV Gets Long Awaited Update

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Apple TV Gets Long Awaited Update

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

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

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

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A Virtual Cinema Experience Through Oculus Rift

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A Virtual Cinema Experience Through Oculus Rift

Customers wishing to replicate the social cinema experience without leaving the comfort of their homes might soon get a virtual reality equivalent through a VR headset and an online-capable version of the Oculus Cinema app.

Essentially Oculus Cinema is a media player app, if one claiming to be "the next best thing to owning your own personal multiplex." Currently available on the Samsung Gear smartphone-powered headset, it allows users to watch movies within a virtual cinema complete with rows of seats and simulated ambient screen lighting. However the virtual cinema is technically incomplete, since the seats surrounding the viewer are empty.

However the situation should change soon enough, as Oculus founder Palmer Luckey tells Road to VR the company plans to add online social features to the Oculus Cinema app, such as multiplayer modes.

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