DVD Catalyst Newsletter 136 – 12-27-13 - The Last Newsletter Of 2013

Discussion in 'Dvd-Catalyst' started by dvdcatalyst, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. dvdcatalyst

    dvdcatalyst Guest

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    Hi,

    Thank you for reading the 136th DVD Catalyst Newsletter.

    I hope everyone had a great holiday this week. I know I have. With my own family overseas, these weeks are always hard on me, but my wife always does her best to make Christmas the best time of the year.


    This week is always the busiest of the entire year for me, but it wasn't like it was last year. We did Christmas a day early because the daughter needed to work on Christmas day, and this actually made things a lot easier. On Christmas day a lot of people open their gifts and then try and find out how to get the most of them, and with tablets yet again being one of the most popular gifts this year, I get a lot of questions from people wondering how and what with putting movies on their new iPad, Galaxy Tab or Memopad.

    Of course I can answer the emails the next day, but it is a lot easier for me, and nicer for the person asking the questions to get an answer sent out quickly.

    More about my Christmas down below, but now let me get started with this week's Tech News:


    [​IMG]
    Tech News:

    Returns:


    While this of course happens throughout the year, this month is always the biggest with returns. Stores are offering "gift-receipts" to make it easier for people to return a gift they don't want so they can exchange it for something else, but with online stores its a bit different.


    With these stores, items need to be shipped back, and more often than not, the store itself pays for return shipping, which ads a tremendous amount of cost to the process. With technology becoming increasingly advanced, online stores are now putting even more focus on this segment of their business:


    Online sellers use tech to reduce returns - SlashGear


    If you are mostly using the same store for your online purchase activity, your account through them contains a wealth of information they can use. Amazon uses this to suggest products you might like, based on a profile it generates internally based on your purchase history, but this information can also be used for making sure you are purchasing the correct version or size of an item. If you purchased an iPad, and in the process of ordering a dock/charge system for a tablet, it could go as far as notifying you that the product you are looking at is not designed for the device you purchased a few months earlier. Or with clothes if you selected a different size.


    Handy of course, but where will this end. With a store knowing what you own, it could suggest shoes that match an outfit you bought a few months ago, effectively trying to tell you what you should wear. If you ordered a TV a few years ago, it could suggest its time to upgrade to a new one, and offer you a "special deal".


    I make use of Amazon's suggested items, mainly because it provides me with a brain-dead system of purchasing something that I like, but, its the brain-dead shopping experience that is worrying me.



    LG working on a Windows 8 tablet:


    LG 11T ? Neues Windows 8.1-Tablet mit Intel Atom Z3740/Z3770 ?Bay Trail? Quadcore? | Mobilegeeks.de | Tablets
    (German Language)


    LG is supposedly working on a Windows 8 tablet. With the LG Pad 8, they have recently started expanding their technology market beyond Smartphones and SmartTVs (not counting their broad appliance range), and it appears with this upcoming LG 11T it is attempting to take a little share of the Windows-tablet market. Running a quad-core Atom processor, it will be capable of running full-blown Windows and work reasonable quick with applications such as Office.



    Asus releasing Android+Windows ultrabook:


    ASUS TD300LA 2-in-1 Ultrabook mit Android & Windows, Haswell-Y geleakt | Mobilegeeks.de | Net-/Ultrabooks, Tablets
    (German Language)


    While a few companies before have announced a dual-boot device running Windows and Android, not much of these has materialized yet or added much functionality.


    Now, Asus (again) seems to be planning a release of a dual-device capable of running both Windows and Android apps.


    My thoughts on this are mixed. Its a nice merger, and 6 years ago I spent weeks on trying to get Android to work on an eeePC netbook, but functionality of Android on an Ultrabook seems limited to me.


    I tried BlueStacks (BlueStacks - App Player), an emulator which enables you to run Android apps on a computer/laptop/ultrabook, and while cool and functional with some things, if you are planning to use Android for something like Office, I think its easier to use desktop-versions of MS Office or OpenOffice instead.


    And, with something like BlueStacks, there is no need to reboot your laptop and choose between which OS you want/need to use.



    ChromeBooks quite popular this year:


    Tying into the above, moving Android to an ultrabook/notebook form-factor seems to be directly opposite of Google's reasoning behind Chrome OS.


    Around for a couple of years, this year, with Samsung and Acer both releasing ultrabooks with the OS, it finally started to catch ground.


    While the data is based on a limited amount of retailers, the numbers are still stellar for Chromebooks taking up 20% of the notebook sales.


    https://www.npd.com/wps/portal/npd/us/news/press-releases/u-s-commercial-channel-computing-device-sales-set-to-end-2013-with-double-digit-growth-according-to-npd/



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    Shorts:

    Two Santa Trackers:


    Santa tracking wars: Google vs Microsoft - SlashGear


    Both Microsoft and Google were tracking Santa this year, but there were some inconsistencies in the data . Did you follow Santa this year, and if you did, which one did you use?



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    DVD Catalyst:

    With tablet-sales being 22% of this years technology purchases in November alone, Apple iPads (based on the amount of eBay postings this week (link) the iPad Mini Retina appears to be more popular than the bigger iPad Air), Google Nexus 7 and Nexus 10, Asus MemoPad, and of course child-friendly tablets like the InnoTab and Nabi have become the most popular Christmas gifts this year.


    If you received a tablet for Christmas, DVD Catalyst offers the fastest and easiest way of putting your own movies on them so you can watch them where ever you and your new tablet are at.



    Below a collection of links to guides on the website which describes how it works:


    Barnes & Noble NOOK HD
    (and the NOOK HD+): https://www.tools4movies.com/dvd-catalyst-barnes-noble-nook-hd-guide-2/


    Amazon Kindle Fire HDX
    (also for Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD): https://www.tools4movies.com/dvd-catalyst-amazon-kindle-fire-hdx-guide/


    Apple iPad Air
    (and iPad Mini Retina): https://www.tools4movies.com/dvd-catalyst-apple-ipad-air-guide/


    Fuhu Nabi 2
    : https://www.tools4movies.com/dvd-catalyst-fuhu-nabi-2-guide-2/


    Asus Nexus 7
    (works for Nexus 5 and Nexus 10 also): https://www.tools4movies.com/dvd-catalyst-asus-nexus-7-guide-2/


    Samsung Galaxy S4
    (works for Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab as well) : https://www.tools4movies.com/dvd-catalyst-samsung-galaxy-s4-guide-2/



    For additional guides, have a look here:


    https://www.tools4movies.com/devices/



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    Tips:

    If Santa brought you your first tablet for Christmas, things can be a bit daunting.


    One of the first things you will run into is that things don't work the same as it does on a computer. While tablets like the iPad and the Surface do resemble their bigger desktop/laptop counterparts, settings and options are accessed a bit different, and unfortunately in most cases apps you use on your computer can not be used on your tablet.


    This is one of the biggest things with tablets. With every new release I see posts on the internet from people who expect, considering tablets tend to cost about the same, to be able to do everything they do on a computer on their shiny new tablet. They try and run a PC game or install a PC app on them, and their frustration grows. Even a simple task such as watching a video becomes a battle because the common PC solution, installing codecs or a different video player, isn't as straightforward or even possible on a tablet.


    The video playback problem is something DVD Catalyst can take care of, but for getting more out of your tablet than just movies, web browsing and Facebook, things can get confusing.


    When I got my first tablet, a Motorola Xoom, a couple of years ago, I signed up on a community forum, a website where people ask and answer questions. With almost everything, if you run into something, chances are that someone else ran into it as well and got past it, so by becoming a member on a community forum, you can communicate with people whom are using the same device. They share tips on how to do certain things, and they might even give you some ideas on things you can do with it you never realized were possible.



    Below a collection of some of the best sites and community forums for certain devices:



    Apple iPad devices:


    All things iPod, iPhone, iPad and Beyond | iLounge


    iLounge Forums


    iPad Forum



    Amazon Kindle Fire Tablets:


    Kindle Fire Forum - Amazon Kindle Fire Forum


    Kindle Fire Forum - Amazon Kindle Fire Forum



    Barnes & Noble NOOK tablets:


    http://clubnook.com


    ClubNOOK


    Barnes & Noble Book Clubs - Barnes & Noble Book Clubs



    Google Nexus Tablets:


    Google Nexus Forum


    Google Nexus Forum - Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, Nexus 10



    Toshiba Tablets:


    Toshiba Thrive Forums


    Toshiba Thrive Forum



    [​IMG]
    Thoughts:

    Gadget of the Year 2013.

    While quite a few new products were released this year, it was a bit different than previous years. Companies like Amazon, Apple, Google and even Microsoft just continued with the devices released last year with some minor improvements. In previous years, I ended up getting new devices when considerably different from ones before, but the iPad Air, not really that much different from the iPad 3, the Kindle Fire HDX, aside from the faster processor and a higher resolution screen also mostly the same, and since it takes an actual device release for a developer to start developing for it, these devices are still holding their own today.

    This year did see the introduction of 2 new device categories though. Controllers for tablets started to become more mainstream, and as a result, dedicated gaming devices like the Ouya were released.


    But, if there is one device I would pick as the most stand-out device for 2013, its the nVidia Shield. Not for the average user, but it was the first mobile gaming platform that got it right for me.


    Most mobile games are designed to be played in bite-size play-sessions. A few minutes for a level of Plants vs Zombies, Angry Birds or Candy Crush, enough to keep you entertained for a couple of minutes at a time while still offering a progression system that would take you a few weeks/months to complete. They lack the depth that a big, tripple A-class PC/Console game brings. There are some exceptions of course, with the bigger ones being "ports" of triple-A games like GTA San Andreas, but those are far and few.


    Somewhere with the move to handheld devices, the actual reasoning got lost. The original Nintendo Gameboy released with games that were full ports (where technology allowed) of ones released on Nintendo's bigger SNES, but the Nintendo 3DS seems to be more focused on its own content rather than providing a mobile experience of the living room games. Sony's Playstation Vita is in a similar boat. While more powerful than the (still) popular PS2, its game-line up is based around the gimmicky controls, rather than simply having it run PS2 games.


    While the Vita is now, thanks to the PS4's mandatory Remote Play feature, heading towards being something more, the Shield was revolutionary in the way it is capable of playing the games located on a PC.


    The Shield by itself doesn't stand out for me, but that feature alone makes it my gadget of the year.



    My Christmas.


    What do you get for someone who likes technology as much as I do, that is the question my wife is always running into around Christmas time. Because of my work, when there is technology I want/need, I usually end up getting it when it is released to make sure that my software works fine with it.


    But at the end of the year, when it is time for Christmas, I already have all the tech stuff I want/need, leaving my wife with a struggle on finding something for me, but she usually pulls it off regardless.


    This year she did extremely well. Rather than putting a focus on electronics (I stopped her for even thinking about a new XBOX or PS4) she didn't get me any technology at all. Nothing Android/Apple or even something ordered through Amazon. She got in contact with a painter and had 2 paintings made for me. One with the 2 Yorkies and another with my black cat (DVD CATalyst), and they look amazing.


    Normally I'm the one who comes up with the nicest gifts (the snow globe I got her made a nice second), but she beat me by far this year.



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    Closings:

    And another year heading to an end. 2013, finally.

    Normally I don't look forward to the end of a year, but for some reason, 2013 has been a year harder than any other. Many people around me, my wife, relatives and some of my closest friends experiencing major health issues and other hardships, I for one will be glad when this year is over.

    I hope that for everyone the new year will bring what they need and want in life,


    Best Wishes for 2014,


    Sincerely,

    Mitch


    [​IMG]

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