Thecus NAS Enhances Multimedia Features with KODI

XMBC entertainment center was originally built for the hacker-friendly Xbox and last year they broke away from that naming. It has long been the go-to media player for HTPC builders and to show the change in direction the app was taking the developers decided it needed a new name. Now it is called KODI but it is essentially just the next version of XMBC.

It is still a great update and Thecus NAS is now onboard with that app as well. It wasn’t like the Thecus NAS servers were lacking multimedia functionality in any way, even sporting VLC as we saw in our Thecus N5810 Pro review a little while ago.

The Thecus NAS servers with HDMI output now support KODI and you can install it directly from the app central. Connect the NAS to your TV or monitor with an HDMI cable and enjoy all those stored moment directly. I’ve recently made the switch to an NAS with direct output and it is amazing. I love it every day and have since repurposed my HTPC into another job.

Kodi is supported by the following Thecus NAS models:

  • N16000PRO, N12000PRO, N8900
  • N6850, N8850, N10850
  • N7710, N7710-G, N8810, N8810-G
  • N5810PRO

To install KODI, you’ll need Firmware 2.05.08. You can also read up on KODI and Thecus on their own if you’d like to know more.

YouTube Live Streaming Now Available With HTML5 and 60FPS Support

It looks like the old Flash Player is going to be scrapped sooner than expected. After enabling support for HTML5 video playback, YouTube is now extending that support to live streaming sessions. This means that users can now watch live streaming videos on HTML5-enabled browsers and at 60FPS!

The slow process looks to have started late last year, when every video uploaded on the streaming service could keep its 60FPS ratio. Up until October last year, all videos were automatically converted to 30FPS once uploaded. In addition to the latter, YouTube quietly made HTML5 its default player early this year, so it would make sense for the company to continue towards fully integrating the HTML5 player.

The technology is now widely supported in all major browsers like Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Safari and even Internet Explorer. However, YouTube stated that the HTML5 playback for live streaming is still undergoing development, so don’t expect it to do miracles just yet. Still, the technology now is able to deliver 720p or 1080p at 60FPS and users can even skip backwards in a live stream or even play around with its play speed.

Let’s not forget about the hardware here. I mean as good as HTML5 player sounds, it still needs some hardware specs to have it run at 60FPS. This is why YouTube comes with an option to change playback to 30FPS, should 60FPS be too much for your device. Nevertheless, we are moving towards a 4K video playback era, so it’s likely everyone will upgrade their hardware sooner or later.

Thank you VentureBeat for providing us with this information

3D Robotics Launch DroneKit Open Source API for App Development

It looks like 3D Robotics have launched the DroneKit API for drone app development as a free open source software. The API can be used to develop apps for drones or onboard drone software, having it be completely flexible and multi-platform oriented.

“Unlike other APIs for drones, there are no levels of access to DroneKit; it’s completely flexible and open,” said Brandon Basso, VP of software engineering for 3DR. “The platform works on laptops as well as mobile devices. Best of all, once an app is created, the app automatically works on any computing platform – the interface is always the same.”

The company is said to have released the API to the community so that people interested in drones are able to customise how they use them in the field. The DroneKit API is said to allow you to set waypoint flight paths, follow GPS targets, while also allowing the developer to view playbacks and log analysis of flights.

The above mentioned features are just an example of what the API brings to developers, having it come with a variety of feature which were previously unavailable to drone enthusiasts.

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Can Play 4K Video Files

TUAW reports that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are both capable of playing 4K video files, although not at full 4K resolution.

The devices are able to run and play the high resolution video smoothly without interruption, the only limitation being the fact that the displays have resolutions of 1334 x 750 and 1920 x 1080 pixels, bellow the 3840 x 2160 resolution of 4K. TUAW says that the discovery was made by the developers of WALTR, an app that uploads and converts pretty much any video of any format for native playback on iOS devices.

Source: TUAW

MediaTek Announces Its Quad-Core Cortex-A7 MT8127 Soc Featuring the Mali-450 MP4 GPU

MediaTek has just announced its newest addition to its SoC empire, the MT8127, which is said to offer full hardware support for the new HEVC or H.265 video playback standard, allowing videos to play with an average of up to 50% less video bandwidth consumption compared to the previous H.264 standard.

The MediaTek MT8127 is said to feature connectivity solutions such as Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, FM reciever and GPS, having the SoC target the super-mid market given its advanced multimedia features, great performance, low power consumption and affordable price. The company also states that the MT8127 allows manufacturers to shorten the time and costs of delivering the product on the market.

In terms of performance, the MT8127 is said to feature a Cortex-A6 Quad-Core processor having it clocked at 1.5 GHz as well as the Quad-Core ARM Mali-450 MP4 GPU. Other features offered by the MT8127 SoC includes low-power consumption, Full HD 1080p video playback and recording and 13 MP camera support. In addition to the latter, the MT8127 also comes with MediaTek’s MiraVision for excellent image quality and Miracast as well as NFC, providing easy content sharing between devices.

Mediatek announced that the MT8127 will be featured in Alcatel’s Onetouch Pixi 8 tablet which will be launched later this year.

Thank you MediaTek for providing us with this information