HDMI Licensing, a limited liability company which is responsible for licensing of the HDMI technology officially unveiled the new version of the HDMI standard for the transmission of uncompressed video and audio data. New HDMI 2.0 standard comes with support for technology and market of 4K HDTV which is still in the early stages of development. It delivers bandwidth of 18 Gbps, which is enough for 4K video materials or materials 3840 x 2160 (2180p) resolution and 50/60 frames per second. It is possible to submit two different video streams on the same screen. They also added a support for wide screen 21:9 format.
As technology moves forward we find that the means of connectivity are often changing very rapidly. There are times when you will find that you cannot connect one device to another simply because the ports do not match up. We recently ran into something like this when we needed to attack our Asus EEE Slate EP121 to a projector. Although we had brought our mini-HDMI cable and an HDMI to DVI adapter, the projector did not support either. Fortunately for situations like this we are seeing more companies push out adapters that will allow you to work with older monitors especially as we seeing many newer devices that remove the VGA port and DVI port as well! So let’s take a Accell’s UltraVideo VGA to HDMI adapter and see if it can help bring your use your new hardware even with older displays. .
Ok, now this is something that looks like it is going to be very cool. Today we got word about something called Cotton Candy. We know you are probably wondering what Cotton Candy is (outside of the real cotton candy). Well, it is a new twist on an old technology. When computer networks first started the screen that was in front of you did not do much processing. In fact, most of the time it did not do any processing. All of that was taken care of by a single powerful mainframe computer and what you saw was the displayed results. Now, as we move more and more into Cloud Based computing we are returning to that style of work. Someone else does all the heavy lifting and you get the results.
One of the things that we always keep an eye on is new technologies (or old ones that get a refresh) that make connectivity in the home easier. We first saw wireless streaming of video (not Internet Streaming) back in the late 90s with the technology so immature that 640x480 was a big deal. Don’t get me wrong at that time 640x480 was pretty good resolution, it was DVD resolution after all (420i) and you were not pushing game video, but usually power point or other informational video. Still the technology was expensive and problematic.
When we next encountered streaming technology video technology, it was in mid-2007. Now we were stepping up. We had 1024x780 resolution and much better range, but we still had some issues. For one the interface was still 15-Pin VGA D-Sub. But there was good news, by the end of the year we saw DVI and then in 2008/2009 we got HDMI. The resolution was still terrible with the first HD capable being only 720p (at a time when 1080p was the standard). There were also some issue with what you were able to stream. Again it was no good for gaming as the frame rate was simple too much for the technology.
Now in 2011 we find the device that we may have been looking for all along. Produced by Power Color it is capable of streaming 1080p video at ranges of up to 25 Meters (about 75 feet) as long as you can maintain line of site. While not specifically covered we have a feeling that you can stream to non-line of site if you are within 10 meters (30 feet). The product has the improbable name of SlingIt and in addition to being able to stream 1080p video but also 1080p 3D content. The SlingIt has HDMI and USB ports and but still requires wall power to operate (so no disconnected streaming). This is a great product for anyone thinking about building an HD-HTPC system and should be available soon we hope.
When it does finally launch Power Color will start off with a kit which will contain both the transmitter and receiver. But Power Color says that they will release single receivers so that you can stream to more than one screen if you want. There is also still no word on pricing yet, but you can be these won’t come cheap.
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The Z68 has been touted as “cougar point done right” and many other things. I have been asked if the Z68 is going to replace the X58 and many other things beside that ever since it came onto the scene. We have taken a theoretical and design look at one Z68 and now we are going to take a look at another. This one is from Gigabyte; the Z68X-UD3H-B3 (we are getting back to the long names again). This board has a more than its share of selling points. It features the new TouchBIOS (also called Hybrid EFI), the usual compliment USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports and of course SLI and crossfire. But there is more to the Z68X-UD3H than just this. We also see that it comes complete with the new VirtuGPU technology from Lucid Driver MOSFETs, and much more. So let’s see what we can find digging into the design and features before we get to the performance numbers in part II.