Samsung to Unveil Wireless Streaming Speaker and More at CES

At CES, Samsung plans to demo a new wireless streaming speaker controlled by the Shape mobile app and audio system. The company also announced it will showcase two Shape-compatible soundbars, the HW-H750 (320W of sound for large TVs) and the HW-H600 (designed for 32-55 inch TVs). In addition, Samsung will unveil a new home entertainment system that features six speakers, subwoofer and amplifier, and a Blu-ray player capable of upscaling to 4K resolution. Continue reading Samsung to Unveil Wireless Streaming Speaker and More at CES

Samsung Galaxy Note 3: 4K Feature Too Much for a Phone?

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 was recently released in the U.S., and one of its most notable features is 4K video. But this option has some wondering why such capabilities are necessary for a smartphone. Recording in H264 MP4s at about 48mbits per second is not very high for four times the resolution of HD, suggests Philip Bloom, who questions the compression, codec and stabilization. Overall, Bloom says the Ultra HD is a decent feature — but it will likely go under-utilized by users. Continue reading Samsung Galaxy Note 3: 4K Feature Too Much for a Phone?

Will ORBX Codec Turn the Web into Platform for All Apps?

Mozilla and rendering firm OTOY have developed a new codec that is designed to stream cloud-stored apps, video content and more directly to browsers. The JavaScript-based system opens up possibilities of running native PC apps on any connected device, purchasing and protecting content without DRM, and embracing HTML5 rather than relying on proprietary or legacy plug-ins. The creators also see it as a means of combating piracy.

Continue reading Will ORBX Codec Turn the Web into Platform for All Apps?

Is Google Video Codec Being Unfairly Targeted?

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Justice Department is investigating whether MPEG LA is unfairly trying to “smother” a free alternative format for delivering online video backed by Google.

Google’s open source VP8 video codec has been a concern for the MPEG LA organization, which has amassed patents covering popular video formats and collects royalties for its members, including Apple and Microsoft.

Video-streaming services such as Netflix and YouTube — as well as makers of Blu-ray Disc players and other hardware — currently pay patent royalties to MPEG LA. The antitrust probe is investigating whether MPEG LA or any of it members are attempting to knock out Google’s VP8 format by creating legal uncertainty regarding potential patent violations. WSJ suggests the probe “pits Google and open-source software advocates against some technology giants like Apple” — and raises interesting issues about the broadcast of online video in HTML5 and the future of content delivery.