Audio and video trends for 2017

Here are some audio and video trends picks for the year 2017:

It seems that 3D craze is over. So long, 3DTV – we won’t miss youBBC News reports that at this year’s CES trade show, there was barely a whimper of 3D TV, compared to just two years ago when it was being heralded as the next big thing. In the cinema, 3D was milked for all it was worth, and even James Cameron, who directed Avatar, is fed up with 3D. There are currently no major manufacturers making 3DTVs as Samsung, LG and Sony have now stopped making 3D-enabled televisions. According to CNet’s report, TV makers are instead focusing on newer technologies such as HDR.

360 degree virtual reality video is hot how. Movie studios are pouring resources into virtual reality story-telling. 360-Degree Video Playback Coming to VLC, VR Headset Support Planned for 2017 article tells that VLC media player previews 360° video and photo support for its desktop apps, says the feature will come to mobile soon; dedicated VLC apps for VR headsets due in 2017.

4K and 8K video resolutions are hot. Test broadcasting of 8K started in August 2016 in Japan and full service is scheduled for 2018. According to Socionext Introduces 8K HEVC Real-Time Encoder Solution press release the virtual reality technology, which is seeing rapid growth in the global market, requires an 8K resolution as the current 4K resolution cannot support a full 360-degree wraparound view with adequate resolution.

Fake News Is About to Get Even Scarier than You Ever Dreamed article tells that advancements in audio and video technology are becoming so sophisticated that they will be able to replicate real news—real TV broadcasts, for instance, or radio interviews—in unprecedented, and truly indecipherable, ways. Adobe showed off a new product that has been nicknamed “Photoshop for audio” that allows type words that are expressed in that exact voice of someone you have recording on. Technologists can also record video of someone talking and then change their facial expressions in real time. Digital avatars can be almost indecipherable from real people – on the latest Star Wars movie it is hard to tell which actors are real and which are computer-generated.

Antique audio formats seem to be making come-back. By now, it isn’t news that vinyl albums continue to sell. It is interesting that UK vinyl sales reach 25-year high to point that Vinyl Records Outsold Digital Downloads In the UK at least for one week.

I would not have quessed that Cassettes Are Back, and Booming. But a new report says that sales of music on cassette are up 140 percent. The antiquated format is being embraced by everyone from indie musicians to Eminem and Justin Bieber. For some strange reason it turns out there’s a place for archaic physical media of questionable audio fidelity—even in the Spotify era.

Enhance! RAISR Sharp Images with Machine Learning. Google RAISR Intelligently Makes Low-Res Images High Quality article tells that with Google’s RAISR machine learning-driven image enhancement technique, images can be up to 75% smaller without losing their detail.

Improving Multiscreen Services article tells that operators have discovered challenges as they try to meet subscribers’ requirements for any content on any device. Operators must choose from a variety of options for preparing and delivering video on multiple screens. And unlike the purpose-built video networks of the past, in multiscreen OTT distribution there are no well-defined quality standards such as IPTV’s SCTE-168.

2017: Digital Advertising to overtake TV Advertising in US this year article tells that according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, “Ad Spend” on digital advertising will surpass TV ads for the first time in 2017.For all these years, television gave a really tough fight to internet with respect to Ad spend, but online advertising to decisively take over the market in 2017. For details check How TV ad spending stacks up against digital ad spending in 4 charts.

Embedded vision, hyperspectral imaging, and multispectral imaging among trends identified at VISION 2016.



  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Netflix is raising its prices, again

    Get ready to pay just a bit more for your Netflix subscription.

    The streaming video service will be raising prices on its middle and top tier plans in the U.S. starting in November. Subscribers who currently pay for the standard $9.99 service will be charged $10.99. The price of the premium tier will rise from $11.99 to $13.99.

    Good news for people on the basic $7.99 plan—that price is staying put, for now.

    The U.S.-only price hikes will begin to go into effect in November, varying depending on individuals’ billing cycles. Starting on Oct. 19, subscribers will be notified and given at least 30 days notice about the increase.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Natalie Jarvey / Hollywood Reporter:
    YouTube content head Susanne Daniels and CEO Susan Wojcicki on company’s strategy for original programming to take on streaming video giants

    YouTube Grows Up: Inside the Plan to Take on Netflix and Hulu

    With a veteran television exec, talent like Demi Lovato and Google’s $86 billion in cash, the platform known for skateboarding videos and tween vloggers wants to join the battle to become a prestige TV player. “I want our shows to resonate in a big way with audiences,” says content head Susanne Daniels. “And once that happens, we’ll be on that list — like it or not.”

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Is AVIXA Right for You?: Test Your Knowledge of InfoComm International’s Rebranding

    InfoComm International made the bold move to rebrand itself under a shroud of secrecy that went back 2 years. How much do you know about it?

    It’s not often anyone can keep a secret in the AV integration world, but InfoComm International managed to do just that for almost two years before finally revealing its new brand, the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association or AVIXA, in mid-September.

    The decision to rebrand InfoComm was met with excitement as well as in some cases confusion. It’s possible there may have been a joke or two made about the industry’s latest acronym.

    Association leaders believe the new brand could carry members for the next 50 years, so there are no plans to change it anytime soon

    You don’t want to be the one at the next industry event who asks what AVIXA is.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    New York Times:
    How Disney accelerated plans to invest in BAMTech to power two planned streaming services

    Disney’s Big Bet on Streaming Relies on Little-Known Tech Company

    For two days in late June, Disney’s board of directors gathered at Walt Disney World in Florida to wrestle with one topic: how technology was disrupting the company’s traditional movie, television and theme park businesses, and what to do about it?

    The most startling presentation came from Disney’s biggest division — a $24 billion television operation anchored by ESPN and Disney Channel. Cord cutting was accelerating much faster than expected. Live viewing for some children’s programming was in free fall. At the same time, streaming services like Netflix were experiencing explosive growth.

    In August, Disney announced that it would introduce two subscription streaming services, both built by BamTech. One, focused on sports programming and made available through the ESPN app, would arrive in the spring. The other, centered on movies and television shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm, would debut in late 2019.

    Disney had experimented with building a streaming platform on its own, to mixed results. It also toyed with the idea of buying Twitter.

    But Mr. Iger was impressed with BamTech. Based in Manhattan’s Chelsea Market,
    no serious glitches, even when delivering tens of millions of live streams at a time.

    BamTech also has impressive advertising technology (inserting ads in video based on viewer location) and a strong reputation for attracting and keeping viewers, not to mention billing them.

    “BamTech really is as good as it gets,”

    BamTech grew out of Major League Baseball Advanced Media, or Bam for short, which was founded in 2000 as a way to help teams create websites. By 2002, Bam was experimenting with streaming video as a way for out-of-town fans to watch games.

    Soon, Bam developed technology that attracted outside clients, including the WWE, Fox Sports, PlayStation Vue and Hulu. HBO went to Bam in 2014 after failing to create a reliable stand-alone streaming service on its own.

    Bam built HBO Now for roughly $50 million

    In 2015, Bam decided to spin off its streaming division, calling it BamTech.

    Disney started talking about the inevitable shift toward streaming in 2006, according to Kevin Mayer, Disney’s chief strategy officer. But the world’s largest entertainment company had to be careful: It could not embrace a new business model at the expense of its still highly profitable existing one — at least not until it saw a tipping point.

    About three years ago, Disney started to look at streaming more aggressively.

    Michael Nathanson, a media analyst, estimates that Netflix, for instance, pays Disney $325 million annually to license those films. Also moving to one of the services will be reruns of Disney Channel shows, which generate roughly $500 million annually in third-party licensing fees, according to Doug Mitchelson, an analyst at UBS.

    Disney contends that a big part of BamTech’s value has been overlooked. Down the road, as other media companies move toward streaming, BamTech intends to sign them up as clients.

    “That’s going to be a massive business, and BamTech is going to be a massive winner in it,” Mr. Mayer, Disney’s chief strategist, said in an interview.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Audio analyzer module adds new Bluetooth codecs

    Bluetooth audio has replaced stereo jacks in cars, cell phones, computers, and just about everywhere else. To test audio quality, Audio Precision has added the Bluetooth Duo module as an accessory to its APx series of audio analyzers. Containing source and sink antennas, the Duo module has a separate transmitter and receiver for communicating with a Bluetooth audio device under test.

    Compliant with Bluetooth 4.2, the APx Bluetooth Duo module increases support for Advanced Audio-Distribution Profile (A2DP) codecs available to Bluetooth-equipped to include Apple’s Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), Qualcomm’s aptX, aptX-HD, and aptX-LL, and Bluetooth’s default Subband Coding (SBC).

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The 30-second ad has had its 15 minutes of fame

    Format that defined US TV economics for decades no longer the norm

    Thirty-second spots, long the industry standard, now make up fewer than half of all US TV commercials.

    networks air more 15-second ads (36 per cent this year

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nathan Ingraham / Engadget:
    Sonos One review: the Alexa-enabled speaker has better sound than Google Home or original Echo, works with most music services, but setup process is complicated — When Sonos released the Play:5 speaker in late 2015, the Amazon Echo was still an unproven tech curiosity.

    Sonos One review: The best-sounding smart speaker you can buy
    If you want clearer music than you can get from an Echo or Google Home, look no further.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Adobe’s Project SonicScape lets VR film editors see sound

    The idea here is simple: How can VR/AR editors best edit their sound in this 3D environment? The solution is as simple as it is ingenious: you simply visualize the sound right in the 3D space. “Project SonicScape takes the guesswork out of the immersive content editing experience by visualizing where the audio is, its frequency and intensity, and therefore making it that much easier to bring immersive content to life,” an Adobe spokesperson told us.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Dan Seifert / The Verge:
    Review of Harman Kardon Invoke on sale Oct. 22: great sound, sharp design, supports only Microsoft calendars, twice as costly as Echo, no multi-account support

    Harman Kardon Invoke review: Cortana gets a speaker of its own
    A smart speaker for Microsoft’s world

    For a company that makes a voice-controlled assistant, it has become table stakes to have a smart speaker for the home that uses it: Amazon’s Alexa debuted on the Echo smart speaker three years ago, Google now has a complete lineup of Home speakers that use the Google Assistant, and Apple’s forthcoming HomePod is powered by, you guessed it, Siri.

    Not one to be left out of the party, there’s now a smart wireless speaker that uses Microsoft’s Cortana assistant. The $199 Harman Kardon Invoke is not hugely different than the Amazon Echo or Google Home. It has seven far-field microphones to hear your voice commands from across the room. It has a circular light on top that illuminates when it hears its wake word or is responding to a request. And it can be used to deliver facts, perform unit conversions, set timers or alarms, look up directions, control smart home gadgets, or add things to a to-do or shopping list.

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Emily Tan / Campaign:
    Google debuts machine learning-powered TV Content Explorer to catalog shows and beta forecasting and pacing models that predict ad inventory across devices — Google launches TV content explorer and a series of other updates for programmatic TV — Google has launched a machine-learning powered tool …

    Google launches TV content explorer and a series of other updates for programmatic TV

    Google has launched a machine-learning powered tool that can catalogue shows and clips to better help publishers and broadcasters sell inventory.


  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    50% of TV Viewing in 2020 Expected to be Mobile

    According to Ericsson’s (NASDAQ:ERIC) eighth annual “ConsumerLab TV and Media report,” 50% of all TV viewing will be on mobile devices by 2020, an increase of 85% since 2010, with smartphones making up half of that total.

    Ericsson predicts that on-demand viewing will make up almost half of total viewing in 2020, nearly equaling linear viewing. Additionally, a third of consumers are expected to use virtual reality (VR) by 2020.

    Anders Erlandsson, senior advisor, Ericsson ConsumerLab, said: “We can see that consumers are not only watching more video, but also changing how and when they do so. This is also shown through the continued growth of mobile viewing, which has been a booming trend since 2010. This year also marks the first time that we have explored the level of consumer interest in VR in conjunction with media consumption, and the findings have been fascinating. VR has the potential to bring together people from all over the world and create deeper, more personalized, and more complementary media experiences. As consumer expectations for on-demand, mobile and immersive viewing continues to increase, the TV and media industry must focus on delivering highly personalized services in the very best possible quality available.”

    Time spent watching TV and video content has reached an all-time high of 30 hours a week, Ericsson says, including active viewing of scheduled linear TV, live and on-demand Internet services, downloaded and recorded content, as well as DVD and Blu-ray. However, close to 60% of viewers now prefer on-demand viewing over scheduled linear TV viewing, an increase of around 50% since 2010.

    Other findings indicate:

    Approximately 70% of consumers now watch videos on a smartphone – double the amount from 2012 – making up a fifth of total TV and video viewing.
    16-19-year-olds watch the most content each week (33 hours), an increase of almost 10 hours a week since 2010. However, more than half of that demographic spend their time watching content on-demand, with more than 60% of their TV and video viewing hours spent on a mobile device screen.
    While consumers have more access to TV and video services than ever before, the average time spent on searching for content has increased to almost an hour per day, an increase of 13% since last year. About one in eight consumers believe that they will get lost in the vast amount of available content in the future.
    Six in 10 consumers now rank content discovery as “very important” when subscribing to a new service, while 70% want “universal search for all TV and video.”

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Using graphics processors for image compression

    The CUDA parallel computing platform and application programming interface (API) allows fast JPEG image compression on GPUs.

    Originally developed by the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG;, a working group of both the International Standardization Organization (ISO, Geneva, Switzerland; and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC, Geneva, Switzerland;, the baseline JPEG standard is a lossy form of compression based on the discrete cosine transform (DCT).

    Although a lossless-version of the standard does exist, it has not been widely adopted. However, since the baseline JPEG standard can achieve 15:1 compression with little perceptible loss in image quality, such image compression is acceptable in many image storage and transmission systems.

    In the past, JPEG image compression was performed on either host PCs or digital signal processors (DSPs). Today, with the advent of graphics processors such as the TITAN and GEFORCE series of graphics processors from NVIDIA

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    PureLink intros 18G fiber cable for 4K/UHD applications

    PureLink, a global provider of advanced UHD video signal management solutions, announced today the availability of its new EZH2 Integrated Active Fiber Optic Cables, as part of its HDTools line of switchers, converters, amplifiers and extenders. These new fiber cables support HDMI 2.0 technology and are HDR (High Dynamic Range), HDCP 2.2 and CEC compliant.

    The cables are available in a variety of lengths, from 10 to 100 meters, and support resolutions of 4K/60 4:4:4 at 18 Gbps.

    “The industry has been clamoring for an HDMI 2.0, UHD, 4K 60 4:4:4 transport medium for some time,,” said Kevin Kang, PureLink’s Technical Sales Director. “The EZH2 offers real time EDID and HDCP handshake with no signal attenuation,” he stated. “It protects the signal against EMI and RFI to ensure uninterrupted performance and, with its commercial grade plenum jacket, it is ideal for an in-wall installation environment,” added Mr. Kang. “It delivers ultimate reliability and convenience for an easy-in, easy-out fiber transport solution,” he concluded.

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google Clips camera uses machine learning to capture spontaneous moments in everyday life

    Google has announced the release of Google Clips, a small, hands-free camera that uses a machine learning algorithm to look for good moments to capture in everyday life.

    An image sensor size or model is not named—though The Verge is reporting that a 12 MPixel sensor is being used—but the camera features a 1.55 µm pixel size, auto focus adjustment, a 130° field of view, a frame rate of 15 fps, auto low lux and night mode, 16 GB storage, as well as motion photos (JPEGS with embedded MP4s), MP4, GIF, and JPEG, with no audio. Additionally, the camera has Gorilla Glass 3 for durability, as well as USB-C, Wi-Fi Direct, and Bluetooth LE for connectivity.

    Google Clips is a tiny camera that uses AI to automatically photograph family moments

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nilay Patel / The Verge:
    Amazon Fire TV (2017) review: polished interface, solid Alexa integration, and inexpensive, but small 4K HDR catalog, and no volume buttons on remote

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A Graphene Speaker With No Moving Parts Uses Heat to Produce Sound

    The traditional speaker design involves the use of a vibrating membrane that pushes air to create sound waves that travel to your ears. The technology has been in use for well over a century, but scientists at the University of Exeter might have found a way to improve how speakers work—eliminating movement altogether—using the wonder material graphene.
    Setup Timeout Error: Setup took longer than 30 seconds to complete.

    It takes quite a bit of energy to move a speaker’s membrane, and the air surrounding it. That’s why tiny speakers that are only powered by the audio signal from a headphone cable sound so awful. But drive a speaker too hard, and that thin moving membrane can be easily torn. It’s a finicky technology, which is why a team of scientists want to replace it with a tiny chip, with no moving parts, covered in a thin layer of graphene: a strong but incredibly light material made from a single atomic layer of pure carbon assembled in a honeycomb pattern.

    To produce sound, the graphene layer is rapidly heated and cooled, which in turn causes the surrounding air to expand and contract, creating sound waves. By strategically controlling the alternating electrical current flowing through the graphene, the scientists also found they can mix frequencies together, and even amplify or equalize specific sounds. Which means the amp, EQ, and towering speakers that make up most home stereos might one day be replaced by a single, solid-state device.

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Goodbye, Digital Camera; It Was Fun, But We’re Done

    Change comes quickly and can make a hit new product obsolete faster than we anticipated, as the digital camera clearly demonstrates.

    What really struck me was the speed at which smartphones have changed things and the speed at which the smartphones themselves have changed. It seems that in the 10 years since the iPhone’s introduction, so much of what we do, and what the phone does, has morphed with new features (some useful, some of dubious benefit), new ideas, new apps, and potential for new approaches.

    One graph in the article really made clear the iPhone impact. It showed the sharp growth and then rapid decline in sales of standalone digital cameras, largely due to the use of smartphones as still-image and video-capture devices in place of those cameras

    The early consensus was that the image quality of the smartphone camera, with its tiny lens and mediocre CMOS image sensor, would not rival better digital cameras for the foreseeable future. But as we have seen so often with modern technology, that so-called “foreseeable future” doesn’t last as long as we think it will.

    It wasn’t that many years ago when pundits and market researchers were forecasting exponential growth of the digital cameras, which, as you know, killed the film-based photo business and helped drive venerable Kodak into bankruptcy. All these seers criticized Kodak, saying that if only the company had been quicker to react and adopt the digital camera concept, they wouldn’t have lost out. Sorry: Even if Kodak had followed these sages, the company would have only bought a few years of grace and would still be in trouble because the window for the digital camera as business savior didn’t last very long.

    It’s a similar story for the standalone GPS navigation units, as their sales rocketed, plateaued, and now have dropped sharply.

    This integration story itself is not unique to the smartphone; it’s just that the impact has reached a much wider span of people.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Taylor Hatmaker / TechCrunch:
    DxO to acquire and continue developing the Nik Collection after Google stopped updating it earlier this year

    DxO buys the Nik Collection to save it from an untimely demise

    Photographers can breathe easy knowing that a beloved tool will avoid dying a premature death. Google announced earlier this year that it would discontinue development for the Nik Collection software suite, but today DxO issued a statement that it would be sweeping in to save the day. DxO is likely best known for its mobile camera benchmarks, but the company puts out its own photo editing software, as well.

    “The Nik Collection gives photographers tools to create photos they absolutely love,”

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Why are we disappointed with the best streaming media box on the market?
    The Roku Ultra is great. But its limitations are showing

    If you are going to buying a streaming media box – and you really should if you want to watch TV shows or movies on a big screen – then you should buy a Roku. It really is as simple as that.

    Apple fanbois will, of course, point to the latest Apple TV with its little touchpad. Googlers will swear by Chromecast. And Jeff Bezos would no doubt choose his FireTV. But for everyone else, just get a Roku.

    It’s been more than two years since we did a proper review of the Roku and so with the release of the company’s latest and greatest – the Roku Ultra – it made sense to check in to see what has changed.

    And the disappointing answer is: not very much really.

    Don’t get us wrong, the Ultra – which costs $99.99 – is the best media box out there. It does 4K picture quality. It lets you access all the major sources of content: everything from Hulu and Netflix to an entire wealth of more niche content sources

    It’s only real competitor is Apple TV which costs twice as much and has less content (thanks to Apple’s ongoing control freakery).

    And yet. And yet. The Ultra is basically the same as the Roku 4 and the Roku 3 and the Roku 2, just a bit faster. It’s a similar feeling to when you add new RAM to your old laptop (or, at least, when you used to be able to): It feels great to go faster but to be honest it’s not that exciting. It’s still the same old machine.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sony marks transition from CCD to CMOS with new camera release

    Sony Europe’s Image Sensing Solutions has announced a new series of SXGA camera modules which are positioned to enable users to move from CCD to global shutter CMOS image sensor.

    The first camera available in the series is the XCG-CG160, which is available in color and monochrome, and is based on the 1/3″ IMX273 global shutter CMOS image sensor—a sensor Sony notes as an ideal replacement for cameras using the popular ICX445 CCD sensor.

    “The company strategy has lent itself to Sony being able to get back involved in the digital area, and Pregius technology has allowed us to come to a place where we can surpass CCD technology,” he said. “Camera wise, the focus here is providing a migration path from Sony CCD users into the new CMOS age. Our new model is very much in the mold of giving customers an option to move from the old ICX445 machine vision camera.”

    The IMX273 is a 1.6 MPixel sensor that can achieve a frame rate of 75 fps via the camera’s GigE interface. The C-Mount camera’s features include defect-pixel correction, shading correction with both peak and average detection and area gain to automatically adjust for the target object. The module also supports 2×2 multi-region of interest, flip, and binning. Additionally, Sony’s Firmware v1.1 is certified by Cognex VisionPro and is GigE Version 2.0 compliant; allowing both hard and software triggering, with the module able to act as a both an IEEE1588 (PTP) master and slave. The firmware uniquely allows for up to 16 action cue commands, plus acquisition sequence scheduling and GPO control, according to the company.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Brian Barrett / Wired:
    How streaming boxes running open source Kodi media player software have made video piracy easy with third-party add-ons — THE KODI BOX pitch is hard to resist. A little black plastic square, in look not much different from a Roku or Apple TV, and similar in function as well.

    The Little Black Box That Took Over Piracy

    The Kodi box pitch is hard to resist. A little black plastic square, in look not much different from a Roku or Apple TV, and similar in function as well. This streamer, though, offers something those others never will: Free access to practically any show or movie you can dream of. No rental fees. No subscriptions. Just type in the name of a blockbuster, and start watching a high-definition stream in seconds.

    For years, piracy persisted mainly in the realm of torrents, with sites like The Pirate Bay and Demonoid connecting internet denizens to premium content gratis. But a confluence of factors have sent torrent usage plummeting from 23 percent of all North American daily internet traffic in 2011 to under 5 percent last year. Legal crackdowns shuttered prominent torrent sites. Paid alternatives like Netflix and Hulu made it easier just to pay up. And then there were the “fully loaded” Kodi boxes—otherwise vanilla streaming devices that come with, or make easily accessible, so-called addons that seek out unlicensed content—that deliver pirated movies and TV shows with push-button ease.

    “Kodi and the plugin system and the people who made these plugins have just dumbed down the process,”

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Home Entertainment
    Is the optical cable dying?

    The optical connection is disappearing from more and more products. What happened?

    It was once the most high-tech and futuristic feature you could find: Transmit sound — with light! Lasers! A cable not of copper, but glass!

    Except, it was almost never glass, and was usually expensive. And while the optical cable was the digital audio transfer method of choice for decades, it has started to disappear. More and more products are dropping the optical connection.

    This once cool cable is dying a very slow death. Here’s how it happened.

    The official term for optical audio cable is “Toslink,” short for Toshiba Link. Developed in the early ’80s to connect their CD players to their receivers, it was a red laser optical version of the Sony/Phillips “Digital Interconnect Format” aka S/PDIF standard.

    Optical had certain benefits over copper cables, but they were also more fragile, and for a long time, more expensive. Though glass cables were available, for even more money, most optical cables were made from cheap plastic. This limited their range to in-room use, primarily.

    Through the ’90s and 2000′s, the optical cable was near-ubiquitous: The easiest way to get Dolby Digital and DTS from your cable/satellite box, TiVo, or DVD player to your receiver. Even in the early days of HDMI, right next to it would be the lowly optical cable, ready in case someone’s receiver didn’t accept HDMI. But now more and more gear are dropping optical. It’s gone completely on the latest Roku and Apple TV 4K, for example. It’s also disappeared from many smaller TVs

    Most soundbars still persist with an optical connection, and they are one of the only thing that keeps the format holding on.

    So where’d it go? Doesn’t optical have the potential for significantly more bandwidth than HDMI? Well… no. “Potential” is the key word there. In theory, optical cables can transmit tremendous amounts of data. But the optical audio connection is far more limited. So limited, it can’t even transmit the high-resolution audio formats that came out with Blu-ray more than a decade ago, such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio. Unlike HDMI, which has expanded its capabilities significantly over the short time it’s been available, Toslink has remained largely the same.

    So yes, in theory optical can do a lot of things, but because everyone jumped onto HDMI, optical was left to languish.

    Perhaps ironically, many custom installers use optical to transmit HDMI data. HDMI-over-fiber is usually more expensive than wireless, but significantly less prone to interference and issues.

    While it may someday disappear from inside of your home, it lives on, even thrives, outside. Google Fiber, Verizon FIOS, AT&T Fiber, and others are fiber-optic broadband lines

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    David Pierce / Wired:
    Doppler Labs, the smart earbuds startup which raised a total of $50M+, is shutting down — ON OCTOBER 23, Doppler Labs founder Noah Kraft got a Facebook notification. One of those “On This Day” pop-ups, resurfacing a post from exactly two years ago, when Kraft had appeared on CNBC to make the case for his company.

    Inside the Downfall of Doppler Labs

    On October 23, Doppler Labs founder Noah Kraft got a Facebook notification. One of those “On This Day” pop-ups, resurfacing a post from exactly two years ago, when Kraft had appeared on CNBC to make the case for his company. “We want to put a computer, speaker, and mic in everyone’s ear,” Kraft said during the interview. “We have very lofty visions of the future, everything from real-time translation to personal assistants.”

    The memory stung. Because on October 23, Kraft was nine days away from shutting down Doppler Labs for good.

    Kraft, co-founder Fritz Lanman, and newly installed CEO Brian Hall were still doing all they could: trying to convince big companies to buy Doppler, trying to raise another round of funding, trying to sell more Here One earbuds, the company’s wireless headphones that gave users a way to change the volume of the real world.

    By October 23, with November payroll looming and no options in sight, they’d lost nearly all hope.

    That Doppler Labs is closing its doors now seems surprising for many reasons.

    Meanwhile, Doppler’s core idea—that in-ear computers are the next frontier—has permeated the industry. Apple’s promoting AirPods, Google’s touting Pixel Buds, and every headphone maker from Bose to Jaybird is experimenting with wireless earbuds you can wear all the time. Voice assistants like Siri and Alexa continue to improve rapidly, and users are beginning to look for ways to stay connected to tech without having to bury their face in a smartphone all day. These are the things Doppler’s been waiting for. It just ran out of time.

    Doppler made plenty of mistakes over the last year or so. It also had the bad luck of being a hardware company at a time when the biggest players in tech—Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook—are all pouring billions into developing their own gadgets. “Hardware is hard” is one of the great Silicon Valley clichés, but plenty of startups are feeling the truth of that statement.

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Lucas Matney / TechCrunch:
    Google unveils Resonance Audio, an open-source, cross-platform spatial audio SDK for VR, AR, games, and 360 video

    Google launches Resonance Audio, its new spatial audio SDK

    As augmented reality slowly proliferates with the promise of bringing computer interaction into three-dimensional space, platform giants like Google are tasked with bringing every sense into 3D space, as well.

    Today, Google is taking some of the tech from its VR Audio SDK and building it into a more comprehensive spatial audio product called Resonance Audio that works across mobile and desktop platforms.

    At its core, Google wants to use the SDK to replicate “how real sound waves interact with human ears and with the environment.” How it does this is through accounting for how physical objects and environments distort the sound we hear in real life and replicating those in virtual scenarios.

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sandvine: 6.5% Access Pirated TV

    According to Sandvine’s Global Internet Phenomena Spotlight report focusing on paid subscription TV piracy services, 6.5% of households in North America are accessing pirated live TV services each month, an adoption rate that may cost communication service providers (CSPs) more than $4 billion in revenue this year.

    Pirate TV services could generate more than $800 million annually for the operators.
    Many pirate TV configurations stream 24/7, whether users are watching or not, resulting in many users consuming more than 1 TB of “phantom bandwidth” across their network each month.
    Premium TV, live sports, news and international content are the main drivers of pirate TV usage

    “Continued adoption of pirate video and television streaming services could lead to increased cord-cutting and create ‘cord nevers,’ people who never sign up for a standard TV subscription. “

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Netflix CEO Reed Hastings: Sleep Is Our Competition
    For Netflix, the battle for domination goes far beyond which TV remote to pick up.

    Netflix has become synonymous with binge-watching—the act of roaring through a full season of Stranger Things with Seamless as your copilot. The advent of this routine has undoubtedly changed our consumption habits, with 70% of Americans (and 90% of millennials) indulging in an average of five episodes per sitting, according to a Deloitte survey.

    “Binge-watching is great because it puts you in control,” said Neftlix CEO and cofounder Reed Hastings at Summit LA on Friday. “You have complete flexibility.”

    In fact, Netflix now goes beyond”binge-watching” and induced something called “binge-racing,” in which fans complete a new series on the very same day it’s released. The number of viewers pulling off that ambitious feat actually increased more than 20 times in the last three years–to 8.4 million Netflix members. The company even referred to it as a “sport” in a recent press release.

    And it’s not just the United States. Hastings shared that binge-watching has been widely adopted overseas, which now accounts for 50% of customers.

    “The incredible thing is just how broad the love of binge-viewing really is,”

    As binge-viewing gains greater momentum abroad, most notably in Europe,

    “It’s 8:00 in the evening, you’re next to your TV–which remote control do you pick up: PlayStation remote? TV remote? Or do you turn Netflix on?” asked Hastings.

    “Sometimes employees at Netflix think, ‘Oh my god, we’re competing with FX, HBO, or Amazon,” said Hastings, “but think about if you didn’t watch Netflix last night: What did you do? There’s such a broad range of things that you did to relax and unwind, hang out, and connect–and we compete with all of that.”

    More specifically, explains Hastings, there are only a certain amount of hours which humans can tend to activities, and Netflix’s goal is to occupy those moments–and deliver the utmost joy to the consumer during that opportunity.

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    This could be our favorite gadget of 2017: A portable projector
    The XGIMI CC Aurora is, frankly, outstanding. But a little buggy

    Every now and again in the world of gadgets there is a confluence of technologies that make something new possible. A better take on a familiar task.

    Think Walkmans, or camcorders. Or portable storage devices. Tablets. Drones. Games consoles. GPS navigation. XGIMI’s CC Aurora portable projector feels a lot like that.

    This is hardly the first portable projector: teachers and salespeople have been carrying them around for decades. It’s not even the first consumer effort: the market is awash with small boxes you plug into your smartphone or laptop, and which send up moving images onto any nearby wall.

    But the Aurora is the first that made us sit up and think: actually that could be really useful. It’s not a gimmick.

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Jon Russell / TechCrunch:
    Amazon launches $50 Fire TV Stick Basic Edition without Alexa for international users of its Prime video service in 100 markets — We’re approaching one year since Amazon expanded its Prime video service to over 200 countries internationally, and today the company is doubling …

    Amazon launches Alexa-less Fire TV Stick for international users of its Prime video service

    We’re approaching one year since Amazon expanded its Prime video service to over 200 countries internationally, and today the company is doubling down on that global audience with the introduction of a ‘Basic Edition’ of its popular Fire TV Stick that ships to over 100 countries.

    The company unveiled a much-improved third-generation version of the product in September, adding HD support, but, like its predecessor, availability is limited to the U.S.

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Better filters won’t cure this: YouTube’s kids nightmare
    What has been seen?

    For the “smartest guys in the room”, Google often seems to be the last to know what’s going on in its own front room. And something very strange indeed is going on over at YouTube.

    The artist James Bridle – who created the witty “self-driving car trap” (spoiler: it’s a chalk circle) – has been investigating the outer reaches of kids’ content. He describes how channels attracting millions of subscribers are producing very strange things indeed.

    These range from the “decidedly off” to the nasty. The BBC has reported on the latter. The most disturbing may not be the obvious but predictable 4chan-derived pirate nasties, but Bridle describes them as “things which aren’t overtly disturbing to adults, just incredibly dark and weird”.

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Megan Wollerton / CNET:
    Amazon Cloud Cam review: Affordable, free cloud storage, and crisp 1080p HD video, but continuous video recording is unavailable, no local microSD card support

    Amazon Cloud Cam review:
    The right balance for DIY security

  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Chinese Media Giant to Buy Karaoke App for $800 Million

    Beijing ByteDance Technology Co., the company behind giant Chinese media startup Jinri Toutiao, has acquired buzzy teen social video app for about $800 million, according to people familiar with the deal.

    The acquisition represents the biggest venture abroad thus far for a Chinese startup valued at $20 billion that’s already spawned one of the world’s largest news services. Bytedance beat out rival bidders including Kuaishou, the viral video streaming service, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing a private matter.

  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    In-Vehicle Audio Demands Drive Signal-Processing Innovations

    The combination of advanced, low-cost, high-performance silicon and constantly evolving software techniques has brought high-end audio to economy-level vehicles. However, the increasing integration of infotainment systems with high-end audio demands is putting audio signal processing designers under pressure to meet these demands while containing costs and keeping power consumption to a minimum.

    For audiophiles, the Holy Grail is still to have as clean and unobstructed path as possible between the music playback source and the speakers to reproduce the musical soundstage as accurately as possible. This implies high-end audio components, encompassing the playback system’s audio pick-up, pre-amp, analog-to-digital converters, signal processors, digital-to-analog converters (DACs), power supplies, and audio amplifiers—and of course, the speakers themselves.

    However, it takes a lot more to achieve an audiophile-level sound-reproduction experience in a vehicle than it does in a controlled environment at home. The in-cabin acoustics vary with occupancy, while road noise and other ambient noise sources overwhelm classic audiophile techniques. These factors put the spotlight on signal-processing techniques to get as close as possible to achieving high-end audio at reasonable cost.

    The techniques used to accomplish this have already been widely adopted for home audio equipment. To get good-enough audio, speakers and equipment costing thousands of dollars used to be placed strategically about a specially prepared, acoustically neutral environment. Now, an amplifier’s built-in microphones and signal-processing algorithms can analyze room acoustics and compensate for a speaker system’s acoustic discoloration.

    However, in-vehicle audio playback needs more attention and processing horsepower. For example, acoustic noise cancellation (ANC) techniques are critical if road and engine noise are not to interfere with the audio experience. A typical ANC system is theoretically simple: detect the offending audio wave and send back a wave that’s 180 deg. out of phase through the vehicle’s speakers. Then cancel it out using destructive interference. This requires input mics, signal conditioning, continuously upgradable signal-processing algorithms, and a solid hardware implementation that can adapt to needs over time.

    The implementation sounds straightforward in theory and can be accomplished using, for example, least-mean-square (LMS) filters on an ARM Cortex-A15 running at 600 MHz. Yet it’s actually a complex endeavor that requires constant updating and re-assessment of algorithms.

  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    With $70M from Alphabet, United Masters replaces record labels

    With $70M from Alphabet, United Masters replaces record labels
    Posted 1 hour ago by Josh Constine (@joshconstine)

    Record labels are obsolete. They haven’t kept up as music evolved from selling CDs to streaming songs to promoting concert tickets and merchandise. Labels were meant to help artists generate albums, fame, and money. But now anyone can record themselves and no one “buys” music. So today that requires being a technology company, combining analytics with hyper-targeted advertising. And the old labels don’t have the engineering talent for it.

  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Thermal cameras capture 30 Seconds to Mars in live MTV Video Music Awards broadcast

    Led by Academy Award-winning actor Jared Leto, rock band 30 Seconds to Mars had their performance at the 34th annual MTV Video Music Awards (VMA) filmed as part of a live thermal video broadcast.

    Thirty Seconds to Mars Uses FLIR Thermal Cameras in MTV Video Music Awards

    American rock band, Thirty Seconds to Mars, made history Sunday night at the 34th annual MTV Video Music Awards with a live performance of their new single “Walk on Water,” filmed with FLIR’s high-definition (HD) thermal imaging cameras.

    Using FLIR’s HD Science Cameras and powered by software from FLIR distributor, MoviTHERM, the Los Angeles based band gave MTV and their fans something they’d never seen before – a display that visualized the heat and energy of the performers using the infrared spectrum.

    Thirty Seconds to Mars integrated the FLIR SC8300 and A8303 science cameras, typically used for research and development, into MTV’s broadcast to capture the performance in thermal.

  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Business Forum: Diving into emerging AR/VR markets — opportunities for optics

    While virtual reality promised and failed to hit 2016 expectations, market projections still show that augmented reality and virtual reality will reach $108 billion by 2021. Consumer electronics are a high-volume opportunity for U.S. optical manufacturers, but they often remain elusive because of cost constraints. Does augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) offer some optics and photonics companies a stronghold? Let’s break it down.

  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
    YouTube takes down Toy Freaks, a kid-focused channel that had over 8.5M subscribers, as it tightens enforcement of child endangerment policies — Following consumer outrage over YouTube’s handling of disturbing videos aimed at children on its network, the company has now banned …

    YouTube terminates exploitive ‘kids’ channel ToyFreaks, says it’s tightening its child endangerment policies

    Following consumer outrage over YouTube’s handling of disturbing videos aimed at children on its network, the company has now banned one of the more controversial kid channels it hosted, Toy Freaks. The channel, the 68th largest on YouTube with over 8.5 million subscribers, was often criticized for its vile and seemingly exploitive videos featuring a dad and his daughters, which many said bordered on abuse.

    YouTube tells TechCrunch the ban is part of a new tightening around the enforcement of its child endangerment policies. It says it will now remove videos to protect “viewers, uploaders and children” when the company receives signals that cause concern.

    The removal is part of a broader review of similar content on YouTube, the company also said.

    If you’re not familiar with ToyFreaks, consider yourself lucky.

    The videos are presumably scripted, and focus on gross-out humor, but they’ve still disturbed a number of viewers as it’s not clear to what extent a child can knowingly consent to participate in videos like this.

  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    David Shepardson / Reuters:
    FCC approves ATSC 3.0 TV broadcast standard, dubbed “Next Gen TV”, with interactive features, UHD support, and geotargeted emergency alerts and advertisements — WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. regulators on Thursday approved the use of new technology that will improve picture quality …

    FCC approves TV technology that gives better pictures but less privacy

    U.S. regulators on Thursday approved the use of new technology that will improve picture quality on mobile phones, tablets and television, but also raises significant privacy concerns by giving advertisers dramatically more data about viewing habits.

    the new technology, dubbed ATSC 3.0, which would allow for more precise geolocating of television signals, ultra-high definition picture quality and more interactive programming

    The system uses precision broadcasting and targets emergency or weather alerts on a street-by-street basis.

    Current televisions cannot carry the new signal and the FCC on Thursday said it was only requiring broadcasting both signals for five years after deploying the next-generation technology.

    Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc last month called the new standard “the Holy Grail” for the advertiser because it tells them who is watching and where.

    Many companies have raised concerns about costs, including AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc. Cable, satellite and other pay TV providers

  38. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Camera design: Sony marks transition from CCD to CMOS with new camera release

    Sony Europe’s Image Sensing Solutions has announced a new series of SXGA camera modules which are positioned to enable users to move from CCD to global shutter CMOS image sensor.

    The first camera available in the series is the XCG-CG160, which is available in color and monochrome, and is based on the 1/3″ IMX273 global shutter CMOS image sensor-a sensor Sony notes as an ideal replacement for cameras using the popular ICX445 CCD sensor.

    “Sony knows how to make cameras, and not just sensors. Many competitors are specifically in machine vision, Sony has the benefit of fulling understanding how to maximize the benefit of the sensor. This release is also an extension of our desire to take our customers to the next step. Sony does business with customers for a very long time, and we are getting to the natural life cycle of CCD technology.”

    The IMX273 is a 1.6 MPixel sensor that can achieve a frame rate of 75 fps via the camera’s GigE interface. The C-Mount camera’s features include defect-pixel correction, shading correction with both peak and average detection and area gain to automatically adjust for the target object.

  39. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Machine vision software: Deep learning technology usage on the rise in machine vision software

    One of the most talked-about buzzwords of late is “deep learning,” which is an area of machine learning that enables computers to be trained and learn. Deep learning-which can be accomplished through architectures such as artificial neural networks-imitates the way the human brain works by processing data and creating patterns for use in decision making.

  40. Tomi Engdahl says:

    405,000 Pay TV Sub Losses in Q3

    According to the Leichtman Research Group, the largest pay TV providers in the United States – representing about 95% of the market – lost about 405,000 net video subscribers in 3Q 2017, compared to a loss of about 250,000 subscribers in 3Q 2016.

    The top pay TV providers account for 92.2 million subscribers, with the top six cable companies having 48.1 million video subscribers, satellite TV services about 32.3 million, the top telephone companies 9.3 million, and the top Internet-delivered pay TV services having about 2.5 million subscribers.

  41. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Getting SaaS-y: The Case for Cloud-Based Pay TV Delivery

    Every day, competitive forces and consumer expectations create new dangerous threats for pay TV operators. Pressure points include the pace and scope of technology change; continual entrance of new providers; proliferation of apps; need to support a growing number of video-ready devices; and ever-increasing consumer expectations for exceptional experiences. Facing an epic battle, one that can feel as daunting as fighting the mythical hydra, operators too often head into battle with tools that are woefully inadequate for the task. Many operators are stranded on a traditional, server-based video platform – one that simply lacks the scalability, speed and innovation needed to stay competitive, deliver new capabilities predictably, and ensure their economic viability.

    One way to slay the beast is to deploy an upgraded cloud video platform. This article explores the benefits of cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) video platforms with a multi-tenant design and microservices architecture.

    Multi-Tenant Software vs. Traditional Hardware Platforms

    Traditionally, pay TV operators have installed dedicated, on-premises server-based video platforms in their data centers. However, the tremendous changes in the market have the effect of a gigantic boat anchor slowing momentum and limiting agility. A server-based video control plane makes it impossible to keep up with today’s pace of innovation and competition. Multi-tenant video platforms offer a solution.

    Multi-tenant video platforms feature a flexible, software-based architecture with a consistent user experience across all devices and networks. In fact, the best multi-tenant video platforms are designed to accommodate any network – whether IPTV, cable, OTT or a combination – to harmonize tools across operations, marketing and engineering. Leveraging a single cloud, operators have partitioned access with specific privileges to the software. This means their dedicated reporting, software management and analytics are separate and private. Beyond this, a mature multi-tenant platform will come with a range of standard ecosystem partners for encoding, security and delivery.

    Microservice architecture are being followed by leading web-scale companies such as Amazon, Netflix and eBay. Besides the obvious advantage of ease of scalability, microservices also help to:

    Improve fault isolation
    Eliminate the challenges of monolithic software technology stack
    Improve developer productivity by focusing on narrower functionality

    Key Benefits of Cloud Multi-Tenant Video Platforms

    One of the greatest advantages of cloud-based, multi-tenant video platforms is increased scalability.
    As soon as one operator that’s part of the shared community rolls out that feature, it’s available to everyone via the cloud.
    As part of a community, operators benefit from the investments made by of a much broader set of companies.

    Speed to market, in terms of launching a new service or service feature, is another important benefit of a shared environment. This means the system can generally be configured and reduce the costly integrations often required with server-based approaches, translating to lower costs and quicker time to market.

    Another benefit of cloud video platforms leveraging micro-services and a multi-tenant architecture is continuous innovation. Operators can quickly roll out new features, apps and support for next-gen devices. Even better, operators can move at their own pace, choosing which features they want to adopt now and add in the future.

    Moreover, operators that are part of a multi-tenant community can share best practices. Relying on the same tools to manage, deliver and monetize services allows operators to benefit from the experience of the dozens of other system users.

    Finally, cloud video platforms with a multi-tenant architecture provide predictable OPEX. The operator pays a monthly per user subscription fee that can be passed through to its customers. As the operator gains more subscribers, the amount goes up and in some cases, the operator can scale its commitment down if the number of subscribers decreases.

  42. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Video Forecast: Fair to Partly Cloud-y

    To keep up with the fast-paced speed of Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and other over-the-top (OTT) video providers, who move in the world of the cloud, cable operators are working on transforming to help speed up innovation and change. At a panel discussion during last month’s Cable-Tec Expo, the consensus seemed to be that to move forward there will be a necessary mix of private vs. public cloud, a combo of being cloud-agnostic in one sense and in another exclusive, and there is compelling reason to investigate “edge cloud.”

    “When competitors are using this resource the way it was intended to be used and are getting great benefit, (operators) have to join and keep the playing field level in terms of the technology they are using,” said Matt Haines, fellow, IBB Consulting.

    The comfort with using the public cloud is rising among the operator set, in part due to cultural acceptance. While initially they were reticent after hosting their own datacenters for many years, they are growing more at ease with the security and reliability of the public cloud.

    “Public cloud providers have innovated at an incredibly fast rate,” Haines said. “The fact is that today the technology and services that are available at scale … are exceeding the capabilities that private cloud platforms can provide.”

    For example, the type of artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics a company like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) or Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) may provide are easy to use, but complicated to build, Haines said. “The cloud companies have invested to build in a safe and scalable way to allow companies to come in and use (the services).”

    Operators also are growing more comfortable with the idea that while they want to be cloud-agnostic as a company (meaning they can use more than one provider), sometimes at the application level it is more useful to stick with one specific cloud provider.

  43. Tomi Engdahl says:

    MEMS Design Shrinks Speakers to Chip Scale

    Microelectromechanical-system-based audio speakers for earbuds, smartphones, wearables and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices have proved a tough row to hoe. But USound GmbH (Graz, Austria) now says it will be first to market with a family of MEMS audio speakers, with production volumes planned for the first quarter.

    USound calls its MEMS speaker Ganymede and says it will offer a reference design, called Magaclite, by the end of this year. The devices have been fitted to high-end sunglasses and are being developed for earbuds; smartphones; and multidriver, high-fidelity above-ear speakers.

    “It was a challenge to make the tiny MEMS drivers sound good,”

    For wearables, the proportions of the driver’s size must be some small fraction of the wavelength of the sounds emitted plus some mechanical or electronic frequency equalization to make them sound truly high fidelity. High-end headphones, and even some expensive earbuds, use multiple drivers to achieve the highest fidelity. Most reasonably priced earbuds sacrifice fidelity for frugality by using a single driver plus a lot of electronic equalization.

    The same can be said for USound’s MEMS speakers. The company’s low-end model uses a single driver plus electronic equalization in a chip-scale package bonded directly to the MEMS die. “Our MEMS frame uses a rectangular actuator that pushes air using piezoelectric suspension beams, with a surrounding diaphragm that seals the chamber,” Laich said. “As a result, we have very fast actuation, with microsecond response time, which will assist with noise cancellation in future models that will be built with a MEMS codec partner.” Laich declined to identify the partner.

    But how do they sound?
    The best way to describe the speakers’ sound is “digital,” like the difference in sound between a CD and vinyl record. Of course, even with electronic equalization to boost the low frequencies, the sound from a single-driver reference design lacks the high fidelity of multidriver designs.

    The company has already designed multidriver reference designs for an unidentified brand of designer sunglasses. By combining a conventional low-frequency driver with USound’s mid- and high-frequency MEMS speakers, the design achieves high-fidelity sound, according to Laich.

  44. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Why the Government is Right to Block the AT&T-Time Warner Merger

    Despite what Randall Stephenson thinks, the Department of Justice’s suit blocking AT&T from acquiring Time Warner’s assets in an $85 billion merger is a great moment for antitrust in America. It’s late, but it’s welcome.

  45. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Home> Tools & Learning> Products> Product Brief
    FET driver targets GaN Class-D audio

    With a switching speed of up to 40 MHz, Peregrine’s PE29102 FET driver enables engineers to extract the full performance and switching speed advantages of GaN transistors in Class D audio amplifiers. The UltraCMOS driver integrates internal resistor-settable dead-time control and provides propagation delays of just 9.1 ns to improve system bandwidth. When used in conjunction with GaN FETs, low dead time minimizes crossover distortion in Class D applications.

    Two evaluation kits are available that showcase the GaN-enabling capabilities of the PE29102 FET driver. GaN Systems’ GS61004B evaluation board lets users evaluate the PE29102 driver in a full-bridge configuration.

  46. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Lily Cusack / Reuters:
    EU agrees to abolish geoblocking restrictions on some goods on e-commerce sites by end of 2018; proposal excludes copyrighted content like streaming services — BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union has agreed a plan obliging online retailers operating in the bloc to make electrical goods …

    EU agrees to end country-specific limits for online retailers

    The European Union has agreed a plan obliging online retailers operating in the bloc to make electrical goods, concert tickets or car rental available to all EU consumers regardless of where they live.

    Putting an end to “geoblocking”, whereby consumers in one EU country cannot buy a good or service sold online in another, has been a priority for the EU as it tries to create a digital single market with 24 legislative proposals.

  47. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Red, blue and green sensitive color sensors stacked on top of each other could allow the imaging sensor unprecedented precision and sensitivity. The researchers at Empathia and ETH Zurich, the Swiss Institute of Materials Technology, have developed a prototype of the imaging sensor, which absorbs light with an almost optimally layered color sensor. It is also cheap to make.

    With a conventional image sensor, each pixel pixel region can absorb only a small part of the light spectrum. In addition, they are arranged in a parallel mosaic form, from which the software algorithms then form a color image.

    Sensors consisting of overlapping sensors have been developed and manufactured, for example, from silicon. In these tuning, the absorption spectra of the different layers were not sufficiently separate, so they did not last long. In addition, the solution required a complicated and expensive manufacturing process.

    Now, the sensor developed by the researchers of Empa consists of three different types of perovskite. Depending on their composition, they may absorb part of the light spectrum, but still remain transparent to other frequencies.


  48. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The first MEMS earphones will soon be on the market

    Earbuds are a tedious device for producing high quality and dynamically wide sound. However, the USound says that in the coming year, the company will be launching headphones based on MEMS elements.

    The principle of the MEMS speaker is quite simple. The piezoelectric element shrinks or expands when its electrodes are energized. The springs allow the element to be moved by the air, which is converted to sound by a membrane.

    The problem with the MEMS speaker in the earpad is the size. However, the piezoelectric element has only shrunk to a thickness, so the speaker element can only be 3×3 millimeters in size. For example, amplifiers can be installed in the same package.

    MEMS technology has many advantages in its predecessor. It consumes very little power. It does not produce heat. The response time is very short – about a microsecond – so the sound is accurate and clear. And silicon-based headphones withstand hard impact.


  49. Tomi Engdahl says:

    MEMS Design Shrinks Speakers to Chip Scale

    Microelectromechanical-system-based audio speakers for earbuds, smartphones, wearables and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices have proved a tough row to hoe. But USound GmbH (Graz, Austria) now says it will be first to market with a family of MEMS audio speakers, with production volumes planned for the first quarter.

    USound calls its MEMS speaker Ganymede and says it will offer a reference design, called Magaclite, by the end of this year. The devices have been fitted to high-end sunglasses and are being developed for earbuds; smartphones; and multidriver, high-fidelity above-ear speakers.


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