Samsung & Amazon Introduce HDR10+ Standard with Dynamic Metadata & Tone Mapping

April 20th, 2017 7 comments

Most recent 4K Ultra HD televisions support high dynamic range (HDR) through standards such as HDR10, Dolby Vision, or Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG). Samsung and Amazon have jointly introduced an update to HDR10 with HDR10+ that adds dynamic tone mapping & metadata. The companies describe the issues for HDR10′ static metadata as follows: The current HDR10 standard utilizes static metadata that does not change during playback despite scene specific brightness levels. As a result, image quality may not be optimal in some scenes. For example, when a movie’s overall color scheme is very bright but has a few scenes filmed in relatively dim lighting, those scenes will appear significantly darker than what was originally envisioned by the director. HDR10+ will be able to adjust metadata for each scene, and even for each frame, hence solving the issue of darker scenes. If you already own a Samsung TV with HDR10,  it’s not already outdated, as all 2017 UHD TVs already support HDR10+,…

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Categories: Hardware Tags: amazon, hdr, HDR10, samsung, standard

Karl’s Home Automation Project – Part 4: MQTT Bridge Updated to Use YS-IRTM IR Receiver & Transmitter with NodeMCU

April 20th, 2017 1 comment

In a previous article, I wrote about an MQTT bridge by 1technophile. I added a DHT temperature and humidity sensor as well as a light sensor. Previously it included a software decoder to decode the IR signal. I never did test the IR transmitter on the gateway, as I didn’t have the parts. But thanks to IC Station, who sent me over a small YS-IRTM hardware based decoder and NodeMCU that I am writing about today. I have replaced the software based version with the YS-IRTM module in the latest update. I found this project challenging. I admit I am a little weak in my programming skills. It was difficult to find documentation but I found a forum talking about this device and basics of how it works. When an IR code is recognized it sends 3 hex codes via serial connection on the transmit pin. To transmit, it expects 5 hex codes: A1,F1,xx,xx,xx. A1,F1 tells it to send the…

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Xiaomi Mi 6 Smartphone is Powered by Snapdragon 835 Processor, Comes with 6GB RAM, Up to 128GB Storage

April 19th, 2017 8 comments

Xiaomi has unveiled its latest phone with Mi 6 smartphone equipped with a 5.15″ display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor, 6GB RAM, 64 or 128GB storage, and more. Xiaomi Mi 6 specifications: SoC – Qualcomm Snpadragon 835 octa-core Kryo 280 processor with 4x cores @ 2.45 GHz, 4x cores @ 1.9 GHz, Adreno 540 GPU with support for OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 2.0 full, Vulkan, DX12, Hexagon 682 DSP System Memory – 6GB LPDDR4X dual channel memory Storage – 64 or 128 GB UFS 2.0 flash; NO micro SD card Display – 5.15″ capacitive touch display with 1920×1080 resolution, 428ppi Audio – Speakers; microphone; NO 3.5mm audio jack Cellular Connectivity 2G: GSM 2/3/5/8; CDMA: BC0 3G: WCDMA B1/2/5/8; TD-SCDMA: B34/39 4G: FDD-LTE: B1/3/5/7/8, TDD-LTE:38/39/40/41 Dual Nano SIM card dual standby Other Wireless Connectivity – Dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, BEIDOU Camera –  12.0MP+12.0MP dual back camera;  8.0MP front-facing camera USB – USB type C…

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Arduino MKRFOX1200 Board Combines Microchip SAM D21 MCU with Sigfox Module in MKRZero Form Factor

April 19th, 2017 3 comments

Arduino MKRFOX1200 is the first official Arduino board to feature LPWAN technology thanks to a Microchip ATA8520 Sigfox module combined with a Microchip SAMD21 ARM Cortex M0+ micro-controller, all that in the same form factor as MKRZero or MKR1000 boards. Arduino MKRFOX1200 specifications: MCU – Microchip SAMD21 ARM Cortex-M0+  MCU @ 48 MHz with 256KB flash, 32KB SRAM Connectivity – Microchip AT8520 Sigfox module operating @ 868 MHz with 2dB “GSM” antenna connected to u.FL connector 2x 14-pin headers for I/Os: 8x digital I/O 8x external interrupts (0, 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, A1 -or 16-, A2 – or 17) 7x analog inputs (8/10/12-bit ADC) 1x analog out (10-bit DAC) 12x PWM pins ((0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, A3 – or 18 -, A4 -or 19) 1x UART, 1x SPI, 1x I2C 3.3V operating voltage DC Current per I/O Pin 7 mA USB – 1x full speed micro USB device and embedded host Misc…

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The Cheapest MP3 Players Are now Selling for Under $1 including Shipping…

April 19th, 2017 10 comments

Most of us now listen to music on the go using our phones, but once upon a not-so-distant time, portable MP3 players were a popular way to listen music. They have not completely disappeared, and Brad Linder of Liliputing needed some for one of his projects, so he bought four inexpensive MP3 players on GearBest with prices ranging from $1.51 to $3.75 to check them out. It turns out the one with the best audio quality and sturdiness was Simplicity Fashion Pocket MP3 Player going for $1.51 shipped. So let’s see what we get for that price: Audio – 3.5mm audio jack Storage – micro SD slot up to 16GB (no internal storage) USB – mini USB port for charging, and connect to PC which detects the MP3 player as an SD card reader (but it’s rather slow) Misc – Power, volume, next, previous, and play/pause buttons; metal clip; power LED Battery – 90mAh battery good for around 2 to…

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Categories: Hardware, Video Tags: mp3

Rockchip Introduces Three Tablet SoCs: RK3126C, RK3326, RK3366, and RK3368H Processor for 2-in-1 Laptops

April 19th, 2017 4 comments

Rockchip has launched four more processors at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2017, with three SoCs specifically targeting tablets namely RK3126C, RK3326 and RK3366, and one SoC, RK3368H modified from RK3368, designed to provide a lower cost alternative to RK3288 and RK3399 for 2-in-1 hybrid laptops and tablets. The company only provided limited information with regards to the tablet SoCs specifications: RK3126C quad core processor supporting 1080p video decoding and HD (720p?) displays for entry-level tablets RK3326 quad core ARM Cortex A35 processor with a quad core Mali GPU, DDR3/LPDDR memory interface, 1080p60 H.264, MPEG-4/-2 video decoding, and 1080p30 H.264 video encoding RK3366 quad core ARM Cortex A53 processor with a quad core Mali GPU, DDR3/LPDDR memory interface, USB 3.0 interface, and 4K H.265 video decoding All three processors will be running Android 7.1. I could not find any tablets based on the processor yet, so we may have to wait a few more month. We have more details about…

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GIGABYTE GA-J3455N-D3H Apollo Lake Mini-ITX Motherboard Comes with 2x Gigabit Ethernet Interfaces, 4x SATA Ports

April 18th, 2017 20 comments

GIGABYTE has introduced an update to Bay Trail based GA-J1900-D3V and Braswell based GA-N3150N-D3V motherboards with the launch of GIGABYTE GA-J3455N-D3H mini-ITX motherboard powered by an Intel Celeron J3455 Apollo Lake processor, and equipped with two Gigabit Ethernet ports, four SATA interfaces, and support for up to 16GB RAM. GA-J3455N-D3H specifications: SoC – Intel Celeron J3455 quad core processor @ 1.50 / 2.3 GHz with 12EU Intel HD Graphics 500, 2 MB Cache; 10W TDP System Memory – 2x DDR3L SO-DIMM sockets supporting up to 16 GB RAM; Dual channel; DDR3L 1866/1600/1333 MHz non-ECC memory modules supported Storage 2x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 0 & 1) via SoC, 2x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 2 & 3) via ASMedia ASM1061 chip 1x 64 Mbit flash for licensed AMI UEFI BIOS with PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0 Video Output 1x D-Sub port (VGA) supporting a maximum resolution of 1920×[email protected] Hz 1x HDMI port supporting a maximum…

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Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE Selects Two Winners for Commercial Medical Tricorders

April 18th, 2017 No comments

Healthcare takes around 10% of worldwide GDP, and while in some cases an increase in the healthcare to GDP ratio means better care for people, in other cases it may  lead to a decrease in the population’s living standards. There are political, business, and legal issues involved in the costs, but overtime I’m confident that technology can both improve care and lower the costs, in some instances dramatically, especially if open source designs become more common, and there’s some work in that respect with open source projects for prosthetics, opthalmoscope, and even surgical robots. Some commercial projects also aim(ed) to lower the costs of diagnosis tools such as Sia Lab’s medical lab dongle or Scanadu medical tricorder. The latter project sadly did not manage to pass FDA approval, and the company will stop supporting it on May 15, 2017, but that does not mean others have given up on developing a Star Trek like tricorder project, and Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE…

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