Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Virgin Media increases max download speed to 200Mbps, for free (ish)

Article at Ars:

Good news for current customers especially. Nice idea having multiple options above what BT OpenReach's network restricted providers can offer on FTTC (80down/20up Mbps).

Monday, 28 September 2015

UK mobile operators to hike prices?

This doesn't sound good for consumers:

Basically Ofcom are increasing the cost of spectrum to the mobile operators. EE in particular seems to be badly hit as they have the most spectrum at present.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Amazon debuts 4k FireTV

Playing second fiddle to Netflix must always be a bit annoying when your as big as Amazon but they seem to be making all the right sounds at the moment. I don't think a week has gone by recently without some new news regarding the Prime instant video service.  The latest bit is the release of a new portfolio of hardware products to push the service. 

The main interest for me is the Amazon Fire TV. Voice control and 4k output. This is starting to sound like something i'd want under my TV! 

To top it off they actually made a games controller for the device which gives developers a lot more direction and consumers less confusion which we like. I am a bit confused as to why they wouldn't bundle one games controller with the device. Amazon are all about pushing the sales of products through their devices and it would have seemed like a natural fit to encourage games buying. 

Worth noting also is it only comes with 8GB of storage but on the plus side, you can buy MicroSD cards to expand this which constantly get cheapest instead of paying a price premium for the storage like you would with the Apple TV. 

After a poor showing from Apple, Amazon has really upped their game to make the OTT sector more exciting from a hardware standpoint. 

With the recent purchase of Elemental, the Top Gear deal and a firm investment in new programming, the future is certainly looking bright for the service. 

Samsung’s 950 Pro M.2 SSD pairs NVMe with V-NAND

Article over at Ars, makes my 1000MB/s+ reads speeds on my crucial SDD's in RAID0 look slow by comparison!

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Opinion: The new Apple TV.

Given the rumours have been going on a long while around Apple reinventing the TV space, it would seem that their recent efforts seem lacklustre. 

The new Apple TV has the following hardware specifications:
  • 64-bit A8 processor
  • 32GB or 64GB of storage
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 10/100Mbps Ethernet
  • WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • 1080p resolution
  • HDMI (1.4)
  • New Siri Remote / Apple TV Remote

So the HDMI spec will be 1.4 (not 2.0) which means no vastly improved audio which could have aloud for features such as Dolby Atmos. 1.4 can support 4k video but that brings me to my next point. The marketing so far states 1080p and and they used their A8 processor instead of the A9 so it's technically a generation behind from the offset. 

One thing that people have also noticed is the lack of optical out this time around. Some customers who were using this (particularly with Amp setups) will not be pleased there. 

My last point is on gaming, I haven't seen a reference design for a controller or set layout for buttons which would add consistency for game devs. I think they are going to struggle to make real gains here without that. 

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Samsung unveils world’s first 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc player

Ars reports on Samsungs first 4k Blu-ray player... but will the consumers be fussed if OTT quality is OK enough for their tastes? Check out the link and decide.