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Alliance for Open Media to create single format for video streaming 

Posted by wicked September - 2 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

When the big guns are in, you know that whatever it is they’re banding together for is something really important. The Alliance for Open Media has been formed by some of the biggest names in video streaming, namely Amazon, Cisco, Google, Intel Corporation, Microsoft, Mozilla and Netflix. Their goal is to now create a single open format that all member companies will be able to adapt for their respective services as the industry continues to grow.

The purpose for the creation of this alliance is to band together in trying to find the next-generation video format that the industry needs in order to meet the demand for “top-quality video, audio, imagery, and streaming across devices of all kinds and for users worldwide.” Whether it’s creating media codecs, coming up with a new format, and sharing technology, all of these need to come together to find that new format that will make streaming video even stronger than it already is now.

Their first step is to create a list of requirements for the next-generation format. It has to be:

• Interoperable and open;
• Optimized for the web;
• Scalable to any modern device at any bandwidth;
• Designed with a low computational footprint and optimized for hardware;
• Capable of consistent, highest-quality, real-time video delivery; and
• Flexible for both commercial and non-commercial content, including user-generated content.

Now as to how long it will take them to come up with this new format and how well these competitors will play well together, that is still up in the air. But having that single format would be great not just for them but for the customers as well. However, some are already skeptical about the true nature of this alliance, saying that “open media” is just a fancy term for DRM.

VIA: SlashGear

Zoe app now to be hosted locally, will remain for HTC devices only

Posted by wicked September - 1 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

When HTC opened up their Zoe video creation app to Android users who were not rocking HTC devices, some Android users were pretty excited because of the collaborative nature of the app. It allowed your friends to add media to your video and to even remix other videos. But they weren’t probably prepared for the number of people who would be using their app, leading to crashes, performance issues, and user dissatisfaction. Now they’re updating the app, but it brings a good news, bad news situation.

The good news is that your Zoe videos will no longer be hosted on the cloud. This means when you’re creating your video and your network connection suddenly becomes wonky, then you won’t lose what you’re editing, like what usually happened before this update. So it means, the videos you make will be created and hosted locally on your device using its GPU and and onboard CPU so it’s much more stable. If you want to share it with others, then you’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way by uploading to your media sharing social networks.

But the bad news is that, since the creation and hosting will be done locally, then non-HTC devices will not be able to use the app anymore so they can focus on developing hardware for what they know best, as stated in their press release. So by September 30, not only will their cloud services shut down entirely, but you’ll only be able to make and share a Zoe through a supported HTC device.

The other good news for HTC users is that the update has also brought a few goodies like the maximum length now for videos is 3 minutes instead of just 30 seconds. You will be able to include as many clips as you want as long as it’s within that time frame. If you have a supported HTC device, you should update your Zoe app now.

SOURCE: Zoe

Samsung shares inboxing, unboxing videos of Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+

Posted by wicked August - 25 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

Those drop tests and disassembly videos will really break any geek’s hearts but if done by Samsung professionals, then maybe it won’t be as painful to watch. Samsung Mobile has recently published two unboxing videos of the latest Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+. They’re not heart-stopping because before the unboxing, there’s even a demonstration of the devices being built, assembled, and then boxed.

Watch the inboxing—where we see the parts from the fingerprint scanner to the display, front camera, rear camera, AP RAM memory, wireless charging tool, and metal frame—and then being covered by the curved glass black cove. The new S Pen is then inserted into the slot before being placed inside a white box.

And then there’s the unboxing part where the recipient marvels at the beauty that is the Galaxy Note 5.

As for the Galaxy S6 edge+, it’s basically the same inboxing and unboxing video. Someone is doing the phone assembly and then placing it inside the box and then a new owner doing the unboxing.

Cool videos? I didn’t get any new information but the music used were cool. Reminds me very much of the 80’s and umm, Taylor Swift?

SOURCE: Samsung Mobile

Hardcore Oukitel K4000 smartphone lives for a week and can survive being run over

Posted by Tom August - 12 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

The Oukitel K4000 has some pretty hardcore claims to fame. Its battery life is said to last a week (or three days of heavy use) and a video has been released of it surviving being hit with a hammer and run over by a car.

The handset can also, according to Oukitel, smash 600 walnuts – so it’ll come in handy if you’re out camping and need to forage for food.

Now the phone’s headline-grabbing specs have been announced, we’re looking forward to seeing what’s underneath its (super-solid) shell.

Via gizchina

GNARBOX – a complete photo & video editing machine that fits in your pocket

Posted by wicked August - 10 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

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Photo and video editors will know getting work done on-the-go is no simple task. Bulky laptops and other hardware can be cumbersome; not to mention, they can get damaged in the process. We love digging through Kickstarter and came across something that may change your work flow. Enter the GNARBOX, the first high quality editing hardware that can fit right in your pocket.

The GNARBOX is a small box that essentially looks like an external hard drive. And really, it is. Or at least that is part of its purpose, but it does much more than just store your content. This thing is pretty much a computer without a screen!

The GNARBOX comes with a 2.2 GHz quad-core processor, an 8-core GPU, 4 GB of ram, 128 GB of internal storage, 2 USB 3.0 ports, a microSD card slot and even SD support. Battery life is said to average at 6-8 hours, and the device has IP67 certification, making it dust resistant and waterproof (up to one meter). You can get work done anywhere!

These specs make this little box a very powerful editing machine that can even process 4K video and RAW photos. But how does it do this without a screen? Well, your phone pretty much acts as the controller for this little machine (Android app development will begin as soon as the Kickstarter project succeeds). Through the official GNARBOX app, users can view, backup, organize and edit any content stored in the drive.

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While editing, your phone is actually doing nothing but acting as a remote display. All the hard work is actually being done by the powerful hardware the GNARBOX touts.

It’s really quite an awesome little gadget, and though it’s not cheap, it also won’t break the bank if you are a dedicated photo/video editor. You can get one for as low as $149 if you back the project. There were cheaper options, but these are early bird specials and spots run out. It’s worth noting that the full retail price is set at $249, so this is a pretty good discount.

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The finalized units are said to ship in March of 2016, and the Kickstarter project has more than quadrupled its $100,000 goal, so there’s no longer any doubts surrounding its launch. You should act fast if you want a GNARBOX, though, as the Kickstarter funding period ends in 4 days.

Are any of you getting one of these? I wonder how good the editing software really is. I would like to see if its complex enough to get real work done on it. Hit the comments and let us know what you think of this little editing box!

Check out the GNARBOX Kickstarter Page!

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JustWatch app now available on Android

Posted by wicked July - 23 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

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In a world full of streaming and online video services, figuring out which service any particular title may be available on and for how much is becoming increasingly complicated. This is where JustWatch has jumped in by providing a custom search engine just focusing on a variety of online video streaming services for movies and TV shows. After launching earlier this year via a browser interface for the desktop, JustWatch has now released a dedicated Android app for users on the move.

JustWatch is able to access a variety of services including Netflix, HBO NOW, Amazon, Instant Video, Hulu, Crackle, Vudu, and others. The search engine that JustWatch built is capable of checking all of these services at once to display results for users. JustWatch also includes a timeline option so users can see what new titles have been recently added to any of the services.

JustWatch also incorporates a Price Drops feature to help users spot deals that may have surfaced each day. Users can also use a Watchlist feature to create a queue of movies and shows.

You can get JustWatch in the Google Play Store now using one of the download links below.

JustWatch-Popular
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JustWatch-WatchList
JustWatch-PriceDrops

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Google Play Download Link

source: JustWatch

Come comment on this article: JustWatch app now available on Android

Microsoft’s Hyperlapse now out of beta for Android devices

Posted by wicked July - 20 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

Hyperlapse is now out on Android devices! But before you get all excited, we need to tell you that we’re not talking about Instagram’s Hyperlapse, but the rather confusing app of the same name from Microsoft. But despite that, they do have the same function. And now that Microsoft’s version is now out of beta, you will be able to enjoy the features without signing up with any group or downloading anything other than the app itself.

This app was previously available as a closed beta since May this year, but was full version for the Windows Phone of course. Just like its name suggests, this allows you to shorten those long videos that no one will probably watch, like a 30-minute sunrise or a POV of your trek through the mountains, which in real time would be a 2 hour feature film. With the app, you can just time lapse these videos into condensed versions that would still show the gist of what you experienced.

There aren’t any complicated maneuvering here. You just take the video and then see it in hyperlapse. But you can also use existing videos on your smartphone and turn it into hyperlapse videos as well. You can also use the video multiple times, or change the speed, anywhere from 1x to 32x. And just in case you’d want your friends to see your face in time lapse, there’s also a selfie mode for the app.

Of course all the videos you take or make can be easily shared on various social networks. You can download Microsoft’s Hyperlapse Mobile from the Google Play Store for free.

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Twitch’s pop-out feature lets you multi-task while watching 

Posted by wicked July - 13 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

Gamers everywhere have been relying on livestream sites like Twitch to enhance their gaming experience, particularly when it comes to playing on their mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, etc. But what if you wanted to both play and watch a broadcast from the app? While Android device have some multi-tasking features available, it’s still hard to do this. But now Twitch is adding a pop-out feature that would let you do both at the same time.

Even when you’re outside the Twitch app, as long as you enable the pop-out feature, you’ll be able to continue watching the broadcast that has caught your attention, even as you’re doing other tasks on your device. It doesn’t even have to be the game itself that you’re playing. You can text your friends, post on Facebook, scroll through your Instagram timeline and like pictures, all while the Twitch broadcast you’re watching is playing. We are after all living in the age of multi-tasking.

All you have to do to activate this is to click on the pop-out icon on the bottom right corner of the video you’re watching. Take note that if you’re doing this on your smartphone, you’ll only be able to see the icon if you’re on landscape mode. Once the video has already popped out, you can adjust its size by pinching and zooming with your fingers. If you’ve had enough of multi-tasking, you can just tap the icon on the left of the player, and it will bring you back to the app but still continue playing the video where you left off.

The update has already rolled out for Android devices, so just make sure your app is up to date. If you don’t have it yet, you can download it for free from the Google Play Store.

SOURCE: Twitch

Specular Theory creates Terminator Genisys 360-degree video

Posted by wicked July - 2 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

If you’ve lost count of how many Terminator movies there have been in the advent of the release of Terminator Genisys, that doesn’t really matter. What has gotten our interest is a short film created by the folks over at Specular Theory that is not just any promotional video, but rather a 360-degree virtual reality experience that you can enjoy on your desktop or on mobile devices, but especially with Google Cardboard to get the full-on effect. There is even a cameo by a certain well-known ex-Terminator and ex-California governor.

The almost 3-minute video was filmed with 360-degree spherical camera hardware. If you just watch the video randomly without knowing what it was about or that there is a special element to it, you’d wonder what the heck it is that you’re watching. But if you’re watching on your desktop using your Google Chrome browser, try pressing the W, A, S, and D keys and you’ll see a quick demo of the magic of virtual reality, which is what Specular Theory is really advocating.

If you watch in your mobile device, of course it probably won’t be as great as when it is on your desktop, unless you have a Google Cardboard lying around. Using Google’s VR device will give you the full virtual reality experience. Using “their own equipment and cameras to produce the film”, it is indeed a trippy introduction to the world of virtual reality, if you’re not yet familiar with it of course.

The video is available for viewing at the 360 YouTube Chronicles, and it’s just in time if you plan to watch the film. And we mentioned that Mr. Terminator himself Arnold Schwarzenegger himself makes an appearance towards the end.

VIA: SlashGear

Fruit Ninja animated series coming to a YouTube near you

Posted by wicked June - 29 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

You’ve enjoyed slicing the fruits away on various platforms with Fruit Ninja. But have you ever wondered at why they’re slicing fruits, how they got to be so good at slicing, and what led them to this path? No? Well, YouTube and Halfbrick think you will be interested in original Fruit Ninja-themed video content and so they’re bringing you an animated series on their YouTube channel that should appeal to kids. Given the cartoony “violence” against fruits though, it might be a good idea for parents to watch as well.

Not that Fruit Ninja is an overtly violent game. In fact, Ben Grubbs, YouTube Asia Pacific’s Head of Kids and Learning said that the game gives a “positive sense of humor” and that they will be building on this as they bring Halfbrick’s content to kids and everyone else who wants to enjoy not just playing but watching Fruit Ninja characters. The 13 x 11 minuted animated videos will be highlighted on both the YouTube channel and the YouTube Kids app. The videos can also be seen within the Fruit Ninja games themselves.

Target audience would be 6-10 year old kids (and those who act like kids maybe) and it is encouraged that parents co-view it with them. There will also be a Fruit Ninja Nation YouTube playlist featuring not just the animated shorts, but other user-generated content like live-action shorts (yes, this is apparently a thing!), documentaries, developer diaries, gameplay videos, and other audio visual content.

The trailer for the Official Fruit Ninja Channel is already out, and you’ll get a sense of what the videos will be about, but the story isn’t clear yet. Well, if you’re a huge fan of this game, you’ll probably subscribe to the channel and wait with bated breath for the first of the original content.

SOURCE: HalfBrick