Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What's the Fuss About DRM

 If you are an enthusiast of things that you can download and access through your iPad, you might suddenly be stopped on your tracks because you have been informed that a file you are trying to transfer thanks to your USB 3.0 docking station maybe a “DRM” file. What exactly does that mean? Will you be forever doomed to never enjoy that file because it is DRM?

So, first things first: What Is 'DRM'? Why is DRM so divisive with music, movie artists and other members of the entertainment industry? Simply put, DRM stands for "Digital Rights Management". Thus is primarily a technology to ward off piracy of files that can be easily shared. DRM is utilized by owners of digital copyright owners to manage who can have to access and copy their work. In particular, DRM provides programmers, musicians and movie artists some capacity to exercise control, no matter how remote, on how people can set up, listen to, watch, and copy digital files. In current DRM news, Amazon remotely looked into thousands of readers' Kindle machines, and unilaterally took out books without the permission of the gadget owner.

Although DRM is a wide term describing a lot of various technical formats, it constantly involve some form of digital dead bolt on the file. These padlocks are identified as "licensed encryption keys" (intricate mathematical codes) that foils just anyone from utilizing or duplicating the file. People who dole out cash for these licensed encryption keys are presented the unlock codes they can use so that they can have the file for themselves, but are usually prohibited from then distributing that file with other users.

So, why is DRM such a contentious matter? This is because with a DRM present, the programmer or artist is choosing how and when you can have access to their files, so it is debatable that you may not really be the owner of the file even after you purchase it. As consumers who have paid learn more about DRM technology and what their “rights” are, a lot of them have become irate that they no longer "own" their music, movies, or software.

But at the same time, how do programmers and artists logically get paid for each copy of their creation? The answer, like any digital copyright concern, is undecided at best. For example, the Kindle reader DRM storm has irritated users around the world.  Imagine their shock when they turned on their Kindle readers, only to find out that Amazon had somehow erased ebooks without their permission.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Get Your iPad to Do More

Most iPad owners have earned a bad rep merely for owning an Apple gadget. Just because they have an iPad, they have been branded as people who have just joined in the bandwagon and blindly followed the Apple fandom. If you are one of those people who are thought of as owning an iPad just as a status symbol, then it’s time to everyone that you know how to make your gadget a useful and productive gadget. With the help of things such as a lightning USB cable, you can make your iPad a hub of activity, and you actually can have more fun and enjoyment when using it. 

So, here are suggestions on attaching accessories to your iPad and making it more useful:

For bloggers: Attach a USB keyboard to your iPad
There is a plethora of bluetooth keyboards available for your iPad that even come with attachable cases to make your iPad feel like a laptop. But then, most of these keyboards are tiny and don’t presentthe same feel as a full-sized keyboard like in a desktop computer. If you want to attach a keyboard you are most comfortable with to your iPad, you should use a USB lightning cable or a iPad camera connection kit. Take note that not all keyboards will work as the iPad will not be able to provide power to the accessory. So avoid those keyboard models with trackpads and all the bells and whistles. The more basic the keyboard is, the better.

For movie nuts: Watch videos and movies
The issue with an iPad is that the SD expansion capabilities of the iPad are only allowed for photos and movies that are taken from a camera. With the help of an SD card, full length movies can be transferred to your iPad. This will require the help of an Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit or a Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader. Then, you may use the iPad Photos app to view your movies. The movies you have copies arte in the /DCIM/100VIDEO folder.

For graphics connoisseurs: Extend your desktop’s screen

For those very particular about graphics, the iPad’s screen may not be enough at all. It is a good thing that there are a lot of ways to have what you see on the iPad screen on a much larger display. One, you may use Airplay with an Apple TV. You can also use a video cable to connect your iPad to a larger monitor or a TV. You may also use Kanex Live’s ATV Pro, which allows a projector to use Apple Airplay to mirror from an iPad to Apple TV.  

Friday, June 20, 2014

Enhance Your T V Viewing Pleasure

The reality of digital television has finally dawned on us.  However, the improvements brought about by the digital advancements cannot be seen the way it really is meant to be if we still use old television sets.  In today’s digital video expansion, we are now ready to experience digital broadcasts, HDTV, and DVD-Video formats, among others. You can now use accessories like HDMI cables to watch programs from your laptop or other gadgets. 

 For these new technologies to be experienced to its fullest, we need Plasma television.  It could only be through a Plasma TV's features that these dramatic enhancements in digital video can be really appreciated.  Here are only some benefits that using Plasma television can give you:

A Plasma TV's resolution is very commendable.
If you compare Plasma TV's resolution to an ordinary TV, than you can certainly see a huge difference and advantage with a Plasma television.  Plasmas have the capacity to display signals for DTV and HDTV.  Plasma TVs can also display signals such as XGA, VGA and SVGA from a computer.  Let’s say you have a Plasma television with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, it can show images that have resolutions from 480i and 480p HD to 1080p and 1080i/720p HDTV.     

A Plasma TV does not show scan lines.
In order to make images, different types of TV sets use varied methods.  For example, CRT (cathode ray tube) technology used in conventional NTSC television sets utilizes an electron beam.  This electron beam scans the picture tube of the TV from up to the bottom at regular periods.  This scanning action lights phosphors and eventually make a whole image.  This also causes scan lines to appear in the NTSC TV screen.

A Plasma television set does not use CRT technology to make images.  
Instead, Plasmas use a line doubling method that is built into the set.  This kind of technology does not only make image quality better, it also makes scan lines impossible in Plasmas.  Line doubling also allows Plasma television sets to keep a high quality of image even when transmitting analog videos like TV broadcasts.           

A Plasma TV's design is modern, chic, and space-saving.
Since a Plasma TV's design is so sleek, it actually only measures a few inches in thickness.  This sleek design allows for them to be installed in a lot of ways – ways not possible with the usual bulky TVs that we might still be using up to now.   

There’s only one way to set up a conventional television set – that would be to put it on top of a table or a wide, stable surface which can accommodate its dimensions. You can also make a Plasma TV on a table, but you can also mount it on a wall or the ceiling.  Hanging a “normal” TV into a wall is practically impossible unless you hang some sort of stand where the TV will be placed.

With a Plasma TV, you will not need to worry about having a bulking appliance in your room.  You will save floor space by mounting the Plasma on the wall, and you’ll find that the TV’s appearance will let it easily blend with the rest of the look of the room.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What’s With an HD Camcorder?

A camcorder is a portable electronic device with both built in camera and recorder that is used to record both video and audio. The technology has evolved from its early days of analog recording into the HD technology that is currently being in use today. HD camcorders record in HD, which simply means High Definition. Generally speaking, HD camcorders offer higher resolution and support a broader color spectrum than the standard video recorders that are more widely used in the market today.

Compared to the SD or standard definition format’s resolution of 640 x 480, these camcorders produce resolutions of either 1280 x 720 or 1920 x 1080. This means that even with the advent of tablets and other mobile devices, HD camcorders still provide unparalleled quality, which you can then view on your tablet or mobile gadget with a lightning USB cable connection.  The former is more commonly referred to as the 720p HD format, while the latter is called the 1080i HD format. These are the two competing resolution formats that were developed for HD recording devices.

The p and i mean progressive and interlaced, respectively. On top of resolution, video also has the additional issue of motion, which is what these two distinctions address. In the interlaced format, the horizontal rows are split into sets wherein the image is alternately refreshed thirty times per second. This is fast enough that the entire image remains intact when it is played. But when an interlaced video is paused, the image has a certain rough or ragged quality. In a progressive format on the other hand, the entire image is refreshed all at once, also at thirty times per second. This result in smoother freeze frames thus is widely preferred when shooting action sequences. In choosing between these two formats, the buyer will have to decide if the priority is a higher resolution or a smoother one.

HD camcorders can record onto different types of media be it tape, DVD, HDD (hard disk drive) or flash drives. Tapes are reliable, sturdy and easily available. However, it has the analog inconveniences of one having to rewind or fast-forward. Transferring footage also takes long as the process happens in real time. This means that for every minute of video recorded, it also takes that long to transfer it to one’s computer. In other words, one hour of video time is also equal to one hour of transfer time.

One can also record directly to a DVD and play the video right away on a DVD player, but along with the convenience comes some disadvantages. Recording time decreases as one increases video quality. This makes recording time unpredictable because of the variable bit rate. The discs are also expensive and not that reliable during live recording. But then, if you have all the necessary cables and paraphernalia like a USB 3.0 docking station, transferring the videos to your PC or editing them in a Mac should be easy. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

We Review the Best Media Streaming Services For You

Even just a decade ago, if someone had told you streaming your favorite TV programs from the internet legally can be done, we would have laughed at them and ignored it, never mind how the broadband internet speed has altered the way we live our daily lives. But then, over the last couple of years, media streaming services such as Hulu Plus and Netflix have become household names, making even technology such as TiVo a bit obsolete. Suddenly, those days when we planted ourselves in the couch in front of the television surfing through 57 channels with nothing on are but a distant memory. Now there’s a wide array of entertainment with just a tap of the screen and we literally have to never leave our seats as these apps have pervaded our smartphones, tablets and electronic devices. We don’t even have to do a lot if we want to watch our favorites on a larger screen. You can connect your iPad to your MacBook with a lighting USB cable or to your flat screen TV with an HDMI cable.

So, with the proliferation of media streaming services is the right one for you? Here are the factors to consider:

Library size
When it comes to the number of videos available in the most popular streaming services, there is no one that can equal YouTube. YouTube has the most extensive library of multimedia available, mainly because its content is generated from users, which means there are millions of possible contributors to its library. Moreover, there are also a good number of big time producers and content owners who also make their content available through YouTube. iTunes comes second with more than 190,000 TV episodes and more than 45,000 films.  Hulu Plus and Netflix are head to head about the number of content, with Hulu having more TV and Netflix having more movies. Amazon Instant Video and HBO Go would still need to beef up their content, but then HBO Go would be limited to content available on its station only.

Of course, YouTube wins again in this respect as there are no fees for subscriptions, with only some content being on-demand and thus requiring a fee. iTunes the software can be downloaded for free, but all content has a price before they can be enjoyed. Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Instant Video charges $7.99 monthly for subscriptions, and HBO Go is available only to HBO subscribers.

International Accessibility
For those who want to make sure they have access to their shows outside the US, sticking to iTunes and YouTube is rewcommended. Of course, countries like China may have restrictions on YouTube use. Hulu Plus, HBO Go, and Amazon Instant  Video are restricted to customers in the US with a couple of other countries (Hulu Plus is accessible in Japan and Amazon instant Video is accessible in UK and Germany as well). Netflix can be accessed in more than 40 countries.

Other considerations
  • iTunes access is limited to Mac and iDevices.
  • YouTube and Hulu Plus users have to bear with ads.
  • The maximum video quality in Hulu Plus is only 720p versus 1080p in otgher platforms.
  • There is no available premium content in Hulu Plus, HBO Go, and Netflix.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Get the Benefits of a Plasma TV

The age of digital television has finally arrived.  But don’t expect our trusty old television sets to let us fully live the promise of digital TV.  We are currently in the middle of a revolution in video technology, thus the emergence of such products as direct TV, HDMI cables, high definition TV, and digital satellite broadcasting, to name a few. 

For us to fully understand these advancements, we need Plasma TV.  By using Plasma TVs only can we really appreciate the difference in the video technology we are used to and the digital improvements that have been accessible on as of late.  Listed below are only a few benefits in using a Plasma TV set:

Plasma TVs display higher resolution.   
A Plasma TV has a higher resolution display than a normal TV set.  A Plasma TV's capabilities include showing full TV signals including High Definition and direct TV.  Furthermore, computer signals like VGA, XGA and SVGA can also be displayed in great quality through Plasma TVs.  With a Plasma TV that has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, it can present signals from 1080p, 1080i/720p to 480i and 480p. 

A Plasma TV's display is free of scan lines.
In making images to be displayed on the screen, different types of TV sets use different methods.  In the case of CRT (Cathode ray tubes), which are the most common type, an electron beam is used to scan the picture tube vertically every so often, which causes phosphors to light, thus creating an image.  CRTs are used in standard NTSC television sets, and the scanning procedure caused lines to be seen on the TV screen,
In the case of Plasma TVs, a different method is used.  Instead of CRT, line doubling is included, built-in in the set.  Line doubling technology used in Plasma televisions improves the quality of images reflected on screen as opposed to CRT technology.  The same high quality of images in Plasmas is present even when viewing analog videos like VCR footages and most TV shows in it.

Plasma TVs have a design that incorporates sleekness and space saving.
The measurements of Plasma TV monitors are so thin they only reach a few inches.  The thinness of the TV set provides the user with installation methods that cannot be done with conventional TV sets.

With the usual TV set, you are only restricted to putting the set on a table and let it stand there.  This option is possible in Plasmas, of course, but their thin appearance makes it possible for them to be mounted on a wall or ceiling as well.  Thus, you eliminate the need to have a bulky table in your room.  Moreover, you can enjoy a home-theater feel with your TV hung on the wall.  You will also enjoy more free space on your floor.

The elegant appearance of plasma sets makes them blend well with any d├ęcor aesthetic of a room, as they will just appear as an inconspicuous picture frame that does not look out of place.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Should an HD Camcorder be Great for Home Users?

For those who are quite trigger happy when it comes to snapping pictures when traveling, on special events, ordering photogenic food, or even just taking selfies, camcorders are a must. With a lightning USB cable, you can enjoy and share pictures and video in a flash. HD camcorders are ideal for home users are small and portable such as the pocket camcorders. There is not much difference on the recording media to be used as long as they are easily accessible and affordable to this type of buyer and compatibility with the home computer is no problem.
Image source: Creative Cow

The minimum video resolution is already sufficient for this type of use. Automatic exposure and focus controls are ideal. Home users may be thinking they don’t really feel the need to have the bells and whistles for their equipment since they just use it for basic purposes, but then they will be glad they did, especially with the super clear video they can have with an HD camcorder. Other features for the home user are playback and upload software, video editing software, remote control, and built-in lens with image stabilizer.
For more professional users, one can buy HD camcorders that record on tapes or models that can support tape but also has a built in external card slot for flash drives. Bigger sensors are advisable for higher resolution. Aside from having both automatic and manual exposure and focus controls, spot metering, back light mode, low-light mode, spot focus, and built-in video light are essential. The color viewfinder and LCD should be at least three inches or higher.
HD camcorders also have the additional capability of shooting still photographs. Due to its high resolution, any part of one’s video can be captured and printed as stills. With stills, you can use a USB 3.0 docking station to transfer those stills to a PC or laptop and edit them for full effect.  
Other features to look for in buying HD camcorders are built-in zoom microphone, audio dubbing, microphone jack, shoe for external microphone, XLR ports or adapter for attaching audio equipment, headphone jack, built-in windscreen, and audio-level controls. In addition to these, there are external accessories to be included in one’s shopping list to optimize the capabilities of the HD camcorder like a FireWire cable, a card reader, editing software, and DVD recordable drive or VCR with S-video input depending if one wants the output in DVDs or VHS tapes. Other essential equipment one can add are a shotgun microphone, lapel microphone, omnidirectional microphone, headphones and good HD lenses.