IT Support and Hardware for Clinics
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IT Support and Hardware for Clinics
News, Information and Updates on Hardware and IT Tools to help improve your Medical practice
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Microsoft to support 8K video resolutions with Windows 10

Microsoft to support 8K video resolutions with Windows 10 | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics |

Microsoft is looking beyond 4K with Windows 10 and bringing 8K support to the OS, years before TVs, monitors and content for that display resolution become widely available.

The 8K support for Windows 10 will be for displays larger than 27 inches, according to a slide presented at Microsoft’s WinHEC trade show in Shenzhen, China, last week.

Large-screen TVs based on the 8K resolution have wowed many at trade shows like CES, but it’s still many years away from adoption. Users are still moving to from conventional HD to the new 4K standard, and it could be many years until PC displays start supporting 8K.

All major TV makers have shown prototype 8K displays. Japan’s NHK is testing 8K broadcasts in time for the 2020 Olympics, which will be held in Tokyo.

8K displays will show images at a 7680 x 4320 resolution. Support for 8K will be built in to Windows 10 for PCs, and 8K monitors will need to be attached to display ports. PC makers may also come out with 8K all-in-ones in the future.

TV makers have already proposed a new SuperMHL connector for 8K video, and the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has proposed the Embedded DisplayPort (eDP) 1.4a standard to support 8K in laptops, mobile devices and PCs.

Windows has always been a strong gaming and multimedia platform, and when 8K does come out, enthusiasts like gamers won’t have to wait for a new OS to support that resolution. But PCs would need beefy hardware, and native Windows 10 support could encourage the development of advanced hardware. Graphics card makers Nvidia and AMD support 4K at acceptable frame-per-second rates and are also working to support 8K.

It may take many years for 8K to become practical, so meanwhile Microsoft has prepared Windows 10 for 4K. The OS will support 4K resolutions on PCs with screen sizes of 8 inches or higher, and on small-screen tablets and smartphones with screen sizes of 6 inches and higher, according to a slide from the presentation.

The OS supports the 4K video codec HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding), also called with H.265, which is being promoted by the International Telecommunications Union. Microsoft in its slides made no mention of a different 4K video codec called VP9, a royalty-free video standard from Google already being adopted by major TV and chip makers.

Microsoft also shared details about PlayReady 3.0, a Windows 10 digital rights management platform to secure video and streaming content. PlayReady 3.0 will use a hardware-based technology to protect content streams to tablets, smartphones and PCs.

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See how different touchscreens were back in 1982

See how different touchscreens were back in 1982 | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics |

Early touchscreens were far from the multitouch displays found on the newest iPhone or iPad, and a 1982 episode of BBC's "Tomorrow's World" shows exactly why.

While modern touchscreen displays use either a resistive or capacitive display to sense what your finger is touching, touchscreens in 1982 actually used a grid of intersecting infared light beams. When your finger touched the glass of the display, it would interrupt the horizontal and vertical infared light beams, sending a coordinate of where your finger was to the TV.

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Samsung Unveils Its New Curved SUHD TV

Samsung Unveils Its New Curved SUHD TV | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics |

Samsung has yet again revolutionized the experience of home entertainment as it has launched its new SUHD television at the 2015 edition of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The curved television utilizes quantum dot nanocrystals to deliver the company’s highest end LED LCD for the best image quality currently available.

The very first SUHD TV from Samsung is incredibly impressive, but there is a bit of mystery still looming about it. That mystery is predominately revolving around the pricing of the device. Given that a mere half decade ago, the war of the TV’s was fought in regards to inches, the battle parameters have been altered. No longer are companies clamoring to provide consumers with the largest and cheapest price. We have officially been catapulted, by Samsung, into an era where quality is king.

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Intel's $150 HDMI Stick Turns Any TV Into a Windows Desktop

Intel's $150 HDMI Stick Turns Any TV Into a Windows Desktop | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics |

Got an HDMI port handy? Sure, you could plug in a Chromecast, Fire TV Stick or Roku Streaming Stick to get your Netflix fix. Or you could pay $150 to get a full Windows 8.1 PC in the same form factor.

Over the past few years, manufacturers have been packing more and more features into their… Read more

This is the Intel Compute Stick, a humble HDMI dongle that houses a full desktop computer experience. It's not a particularly powerful one—you get a quad-core 1.33GHz Intel Atom processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of solid state storage—but it does have Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and both a full-size USB port and a microSD card slot for expandability. As long as you're not gaming and find yourself a decent couch controller, you could probably do quite a bit from this tiny PC! Here's the spec sheet.

More likely, it'll find a home in small businesses, schools, and the like who want to roll out super cheap computers to their employees, since all you need is this stick, an HDMI monitor and a couple peripherals to get things cranking. Remember when the tiniest PC was a nettop that hooked onto the back of your monitor? Now they come in dongle-form.

If you're feeling brave, you can actually already buy one of these tiny dongle-PCs from Chinese resellers, but it probably won't come with Windows on board. I'd wait for the official Intel version to arrive. The Wall Street Journal says it'll hit by the end of Q1, with a Linux version also available for $90.!

Watch Out, Comcast: Apple May Soon Launch a Live TV Service

Watch Out, Comcast: Apple May Soon Launch a Live TV Service | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics |

Apple may soon join the ranks of CBS, HBO, and DISH Network with the launch of its own web TV service, which would allow viewers to stream live television from select channels, without a cable package.

According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, the new service may launch as early as September, and will give subscribers access to around 25 channels including ABC, CBS, and FOX. The service, which will reportedly cost $30 or $40 a month, will be available exclusively on Apple devices, including Apple TV.

With this new service, Apple would become part of a growing cohort of companies that are working to offer cord cutters a slimmed-down version of the traditional cable package at just a fraction of the cost. In January, DISH Network announced the launch of SlingTV, a new service that gives viewers access to channels like ESPN and the Food Network. Meanwhile, last fall CBS announced the launch of CBS All Access, its standalone streaming service. And of course, there was last week’s announcement that HBO was launching its new web TV service, HBO Now, exclusively on Apple TV.

But while all of these companies are pursuing a common goal, Apple stands apart from the competition largely because it is a device manufacturer. As such, Apple has far more flexibility to strike contracts with rival broadcasters than, say, CBS could. And though DISH Network took a major step with the launch of SlingTV, the company’s incentive will always be to prop up its existing cable package by ensuring that SlingTV is not a completely comprehensive—and therefore, more attractive—alternative to cable.

Apple, however, doesn’t have the same ties to the cable bundle. Its only incentive is to make its web TV service as robust as possible, in order to do what Apple does best: sell more hardware. By releasing its streaming service exclusively on Apple devices, the tech giant stands to get a leg up on competing technologies, like Google’s Chromecast, Roku, and the Amazon Fire TV. Plus, unlike services like SlingTV, Apple will have full control over the platform on which it disseminates this new service.

Of course, all of this depends on Apple building a truly comprehensive package. According to the Journal‘s sources, however, that might not be so easy. NBCUniversal channels, including NBC, Bravo, and USA, are notably missing from the list of expected channels. That’s because, the Journal reports, Apple and NBCUniversal’s parent company Comcast had a “falling out” when the two companies failed to reach an agreement on launching a web TV service of their own. Plus, Apple could run into issues with companies like Netflix, which have longstanding licenses with media companies.

Still, sources say that Apple is in talks with other major media companies, including Walt Disney Co., 20th Century Fox, and CBS Corp., which could help flesh out some of its offerings. An announcement is expected from Apple in June.

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Samsung's Troubles Prove Smart TVs Are Dumb

Samsung's Troubles Prove Smart TVs Are Dumb | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics |
The big problem with smart TVs isn’t that they interrupt your viewing with ads or listen to your private conversations like a horrible corporate-branded take on Nineteen Eighty-Four’s telescreens. It’s that they’re unnecessary. They’re the product of companies jostling to remain relevant and desperate to shovel more apps your way.

Samsung is currently struggling with dual controversies about its smart TVs – a glitch in Australia forcing Pepsi ads on unsuspecting viewers and a poorly-written privacy policy that suggested its screens were unwelcome eavesdroppers in millions of living rooms. The simple solution? It should stop making them.

Of course it makes sense to TV manufacturers to build smart TVs. They get to hawk us a hulking great screen that will become rapidly obsolete, meaning we’ll have to cough up for a new one in a couple of years. And while we struggle with the ridiculously button-stuffed remotes and incomprehensible menus, they’ve got another place to push apps we don’t need and commercials we don’t want to see.

We don’t need all of that crammed into our TVs. A truly brilliant set combines a great picture with decent sound and enough connectivity to hook up the devices you want to use. That it doesn’t look so grotesque that you feel like slinging a sheet over it whenever it’s not in use is a bonus. Beyond those basic features, your TV should get out of the way.

No one in their right mind wants their tweets to pop up on their TV. That Samsung and Yahoo have been working together on a scheme to bring pop-up ads to our television screens just shows how wrongheaded executives at both companies are. We’ve spent years squashing pop-ups on the Web, so it’s obviously now time to force them into our TV viewing.

Meanwhile, voice control for your TV is still basically a feature you use when you’re showing off to friends about all the cool things your newly purchased panel can do. When you’re trying to find something to watch and competing with the various sounds of domestic bliss created by kids, pets and partners, you’ll soon revert back to the trusty remote.

I’m not a luddite craving a return to the soothing hum of the cathode ray tube. I like having access to Netflix, streaming from my iPad and on-demand viewing but all of those things can be supplied by better, cheaper devices like Apple TV or Chromecast. A smart TV is just another dumb beachhead in the battle with awful ads and even more awful apps.
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If we pray hard enough at this Philips shrine, maybe TV remotes will suck less

It was surely not Philips' intent, but this wall of remote controls is the perfect encapsulation of everything that's wrong with the experience of watching TV. Most of these remotes are ergonomically questionable, all of them have more buttons than necessary, and each is just different enough from the other to make switching between TVs feel unintuitive and irritating. Observe as the Mute button dashes from the top to the middle and then even to the bottom of some sets, depending on the cable or TV supplier's specifications. Or how about the awesome way in which the US standard for the RGBY buttons is completely at odds with the Brazilian one?

The wild thing is that all of these cumbersome input devices are made by a single company: this is Philips Home Control's wall of pride, not shame. The company is actively selling to businesses looking to I don't expect the TV remote control to evolve at the same pace as the smartphone, but some evolution over the past two decades would have been nice. And no, putting a dedicated Netflix button on the thing doesn't count.

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Samsung smart TVs will soon be able to play PlayStation games without a PlayStation

Samsung smart TVs will soon be able to play PlayStation games without a PlayStation | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics |

Sony is getting serious about bringing PlayStation-powered gaming to HDTVs regardless of whether or not you actually have a PlayStation—and not just Sony-made HDTVs, either. Sony and Samsung recently announced that the PlayStation Now game streaming service will land on select Samsung smart TVs in early 2015 in the U.S. and Canada.

There's no word on whether you'll need a 2015 Samsung TV or if earlier models will work with the new service. Samsung should provide more details in January when the company demonstrates PlayStation Now running on its TVs during the Consumer Electronics Show.

Why this matters: Similar to smartphones, smart TV makers are always trying to expand the capabilities of their hardware and improve their app catalogs. Until now, most TV makers have had to rely on mobile games like Angry Birds, but PlayStation Now is an ideal platform for any TV set since PlayStation games were originally designed for the large screen. Samsung may be just the first TV maker to offer PlayStation Now streaming as Sony looks to expand the service beyond its own devices.

Almost no additional purchases required

Like other apps available on Samsung TVs, PS Now will be a download from the Smart Hub. The only other requirement is that TV owners will have to purchase a Dual Shock 4 controller to play the games.

PS Now currently offers more than 200 games from the PlayStation 3 catalog, including Final Fantasy XII, God of War: Ascension, and Killzone 3. The complete list of PS Now games is on Sony's site.

Samsung's smart TV lineup will be the first non-Sony devices to offer the PS Now service. Currently, PS Now is available on the PS4, PS3, PS Vita, Sony HDTVs, and the PlayStation TV.

PlayStation Now is currently in an open beta period that began in late July. Sony did not say if the service would exit beta before it lands on Samsung TVs

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