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You No Longer Need a DC Adaptor to Power Your IR Extender

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You No Longer Need a DC Adaptor to Power Your IR Extender

YZC Electronics, maker smart home remote control IR extender systems, launches their new, versatile dual frequency-coded IR extender, the Flat IR Blaster.

The maker describes the Flat IR Blaster as “a breakthrough in the AV industry” in the IR Extender sector because you can now power up by a simple DC 3v CR2032 button battery.

Installers and their consumers now no longer need a DC adaptor to power up their IR Extenders. The designed-in low power consumption lets Flat IR Blaster’s replaceable battery last for up to 18 months.

If that isn’t enough to make installers happy, consider that the Flat IR Blaster is the only one of its kind in the market with flat cable features.

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Slinging Cable TV with Slingbox M2 STB

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Slinging Cable TV with Slingbox M2 STB

EchoStar subsidiary Sling Media launches a sequel on to the Slingbox M1 video streaming STB-- the Slingbox M2, a means to push video signals from any number of video sources to PCs, tablets and smartphones.

The STB connects to most sources with a video output, including cable or satellite receivers, DVRs and Blu-ray or DVD players. It requires no monthly fees, and once setup is complete it sends video to mobile devices anywhere in the world through a free app.

Video input is component only (meaning HDMI output requires a separate converter) while internet connectivity comes through ethernet and wifi.

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Netflix Strides Further into Europe

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Netflix Strides Further into Europe

Three more European countries will get access to Netflix come October 2015-- Italy, Spain and Portugal make the first Southern European nations with access to the streaming service's library of TV and movie content.

So far 50 nations receive Netflix, 13 of which are in Europe. These include the UK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg and France. The company has ambitious global plans, as it sets to expand operations to 200 countries by end 2016, all in the hopes to start making global profits in 2017.

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UHD Blu-ray Finds Specification, Logo

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UHD Blu-ray Finds Specification, Logo

The Blu-ray Disk Association (BDA) completes the UHD Blu-ray specification, the culmination of work by global CE, IT and content creation industry leaders, together with a new logo delineating UHD Blu-ray products.

“For years, Blu-ray disc has set the standard for high definition picture and audio quality in the home. Ultra HD Blu-ray will do the same for UHD home entertainment," the association says. “The technical capabilities of Blu-ray disc, in particular its significant storage capacity and high data transfer rates, will enable the delivery of an unparalleled, consistent and repeatable UHD experience."

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Roku Upgrades Streaming Players

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Roku Upgrades Streaming Players

Roku launches upgrades of its Roku 2 and 3 streaming STBs, together with software updates providing customers with enhanced means to get entertainment and a "Movies Coming Soon" feature.

On the hardware front, the Roku 2 now has the same internals as its bigger sibling, while the Roku 3 gets voice search capability via remote control with built-in microphone.

Voice search is activated with a press of a dedicate button. The remote also includes a headphone jack and motion control for the playing of casual games.

Users of older Roku STBs can get voice search via updated mobile (Android and iOS) app.

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VidaBox Intros LiivStreamer Media Players

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VidaBox Intros LiivStreamer Media Players

VidaBox launches its latest media player generation-- the LiivStreamer, designed to pull content from LiivNAS on the same network before handling IP-based distribution of content over a single CAT5 network connection.

Available in 2 form factors (the ultra-compact "Mini" and the 2U rackmount-ready "Plus"), the LiivStreamer runs open-source XBMC/Kodi software with Linux as OS, and distributes Blu-ray, DVD, music, photos, videos and select free online content. Customers can easily create multi-zone or whole house setups through the addition of multiple LiivStreamer units.

The units support 1080p video, 7.1 lossless HD audio bit-streaming and pass-through for DTS-HD, DTS-MA, Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Atmos audio format.

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Kaleidescape Intros Alto Player

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Kaleidescape Intros Alto Player

Kaleidescape launches the Alto-- a movie player designed for the owners of large TVs and multichannel audio able to download all of locally-stored content via Kaleidescape online movie store.

It features the familiar Kaleidescape user interface, and can store either up to 100 Blu-ray quality movies or 600 movies in DVD quality. Customers can even redeem digital copies of own DVDs and Blu-ray discs from the Kaleidescape Store, which the company says offers 8500 movies and 1600 TV seasons from "major" studios.

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Providers Form Streaming Video Alliance

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Providers Form Streaming Video Alliance

A group of 17 streaming video providers, content companies and vendors form the Streaming Video Alliance, an organisation set to create architecture, standards and best practices for high-scale online video services.

Members includes Alcatel-Lucent, Charter Communications, Cisco Systems, Comcast, Epix, Fox Networks Group, Korea Telecom, Level 3 Communications, Liberty Global, Limelight Networks, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, Qwilt, Telecom Italia, Telstra, Ustream, Wowza Media Systems and Yahoo-- but the two biggest names in online video, Netflix and YouTube, are notably absent. This should not come as a surprise, as such giants would probably not want to change their technology to something created by an external consortium.

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Amazon Fire TV Goes Stick

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Amazon Fire TV Goes Stick

Amazon reveals a Chromecast-style version of the Fire TV STB-- the Fire TV Stick, an HDMI dongle allowing users to access a variety of online streaming content sources such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.

It carries a dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, dual-band wifi and, interestingly enough, includes a dedicated remote remote. Control also comes via mobile device app, and Miracast connectivity allows users to mirror mobile device displays on their HDTVs.

Amazon says the device also handles games, and it is compatible with the Fire Game Controller gamepad accessory.

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Microsoft Elaborates on IllumiRoom

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Microsoft Elaborates on IllumiRoom

Remember Microsoft's IllumiRoom "peripheral projected illusion" system from CES 2014? Microsoft Research builds further on the concept to present RoomAlive, a means to transform any room into "an immersive, augmented entertainment experience."

Currently in proof-of-concept prototype stage, RoomAlive uses a commodity wide field of view projector, a Kinect sensor and a PC to build a projector depth-camera unit (aka procam). The Kinect and PC capture and analyse a 3D model of the room required for the projection of images users can interact with, and keep track of all users-- in other words interactive projection mapping.

Microsoft Research says RoomAlive projection mapping is independent of the room in question, as it takes place in real-time and dynamically adapts to room geometry and colour. Impressively projected images are also in 3D, as the system tracks viewers' head positions to render "view-dependent projection."

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The Most Mega TiVo Yet

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The Most Mega TiVo Yet

TiVo reveals its biggest DVR-- the whole home capable TiVo Mega, an appropriately named STB featuring 24 terabytes of storage, the equivalent of 26000 hours (or 1083 days, or 3 years) of TV.

"TiVo Mega offers more than twelve times the storage of any cable or satellite DVR," the company claims. "TiVo Mega is the solution for the power user who wants to record everything."

Designed for the most hardcore of customers, the TiVo Mega weighs around 20kg and is rack-mountable. It carries 10 hot-swappable RAID 5 HDDs inside a server-style "anodised precision-machined" enclosure, as well as 6 tuners allowing it to record up to 6 channels simultaneously.

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