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[GUIDE] HEVC:The Future Of Video Coding

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The Netflix series \

If you've ever watched a DVD or Blu-ray, caught up with a show using an on-demand service, streamed a film with Netflix or laughed at the latest viral video, you have benefited from a video codec. Thistechnologycompresses a video file into a smaller package, making it easier to store or transmit. The next generation of codecs — including a technology called HEVC — will make several things possible or easier to do. The most notable of these is streaming 4K, aka Ultra HD video.

What is HEVC?

HEVC stands for high-efficiencyvideocoding. Also known as H.265, this new video codec will compress video files to half the size possible using the most-efficient current encoding format, MPEG-4, aka H.264 (used on Blu-ray discs and some satellite TV broadcasts). That will be one-quarter the size of files compressed using the MPEG 2 codec that most cable-TV companies still employ. More importantly, HEVC is used to compress video with 4K resolution — and possibly even 8K resolution in the future — so it can be efficiently delivered.

What is a codec?

Sony's Ultra HD Media Player stores 4K HEVC downloads on a 2TB hard drive.Sony's Ultra HD Media Player stores 4K HEVC downloads on a 2TB hard drive.A codec (an abbreviation of the term "coder-decoder") is software that uses an algorithm to systematically compress raw videodatainto a compact form fit for broadcasting, transmitting over an Internet stream or storing on a Blu-ray disc, for example. At the receiving end, the same codec in your TV, computer or disc player uncompresses the data to display the video on your screen. Codecs also remove some detail from video to reduce its size, and a high level of compression can drop too much data, resulting in choppy and blocky video. Most pay-TV services use aggressive compression to get all those channels into your cable or satellite receiver, which is one reason the video from your cable box does not look as good as that from a Blu-ray. A good codec will compress video while causing few defects due to overcompression.
High-definition video can take a lot of data. A full-HD image has about 2 million pixels and up to several million colors per individual frame, with hundreds of thousands of frames making up a movie.

Why use HEVC for 4K video?

The current MPEG-4/H.264 codec makes it possible to compress the huge amount of information in a film so that it can stream over Netflix, rather than storing all of that data on a physical source like a Blu-ray. Those high-definition images from Netflix are in either 720p resolution (1280 x 720, or 0.92 million pixels per frame) or 1080p resolution (1920 x 1080 resolution, 2 million pixels). The images from a 4K video that Netflix is now streaming to 4K televisions have 8 million pixels (3840 x 2160 resolution). Such a huge jump in detail requires a better way to compress the data in order to transmit or store it. HEVC is twice as efficient as MPEG-4/H.264, and experiences only a minimal loss in quality. As a result, current content will need only half the data to stream over Netflix, and it will become viable to stream 4K content. (Netflix recommends a 15 Mbps or better broadbandconnectionfor streaming 4K.)
The same video rate encoded at 420kbps in H.264 (left) and HEVC (right). Credit: VcodexThe same video rate encoded at 420kbps in H.264 (left) and HEVC (right). Credit: Vcodex

What content will use HEVC?

Potentially everything. Each service will have to decide if it will send data using HEVC/H.265 instead of MPEG-4/H.264 or MPEG-2. Netflix has already begun using HEVC to stream 4K content to the few 4K TVs equipped to decode HEVC. New televisions coming this year from LG, Samsung, Sony and Vizio will support HEVC and will be able to stream 4K video from Netflix. Though they haven't mentioned Netflix deals, both Panasonic and Toshiba have announced that their new 4K TVs willalso support HEVC.
Amazon has been filming all of its original content, such as political comedy "Alpha House," in 4K. The company also has partnered with several studios for 4K streaming using HEVC, including Warner Bros., Lionsgate, 20th Century Fox and Discovery. Amazon hasn't announced when it will offer streams or downloads of these videos as 4K via Amazon Prime Instant Video, though Samsung is the first partner that will have 4K-capable Amazon Prime Instant Video on its televisions.
Streaming service M-Go has announced it will be offering 4K video via HEVC soon, including via an app for Samsung televisions. Individual cable companies will have to decide when to change both the data they are sending and the receiver to decode it to HEVC. But that likely won't happen for several years, if and when they broadcast in 4K. Though they aren't broadcasting in 4K yet, DirecTV and Comcast's Xfinity will have 4K apps to stream video over the Internet to Samsung televisions.
The Sony Xperia Z2The Sony Xperia Z2Most current cellphones and tablets don't have hardware compatible with HEVC, but some new devices are starting to support it. The new Sony Xperia Z2 smartphone, for example, supports HEVC to shoot 4K video.
But that doesn't mean all mobile devices will eventually support HEVC. For instance, Google has announced its own 4K codec, called VP9, that will be used with YouTube. Other companies may support that, or possibly both 4K codecs.

Can I watch HEVC content now?

Yes, if you have the right hardware. Newer televisions support 4K video via HEVC, though these TVs have limited 4K content.
Windows users can use the latest version of VLC media player to play  HEVC coded videos.
Linux users can also install the latest version of VLC along with vlc HEVC plugin using the following command:-


                 sudo apt-add-repository ppa:strukturag/libde265

                 sudo apt-get update

                 sudo apt-get install vlc-plugin-libde265



Android users can install the latest version of MX player to  play HEVC coded videos.

How did HEVC come about?

Two tech-standards organizations, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Moving Pictures Expert Group (MPEG), developed HEVC. These same groups are also behind the MPEG-2 standard used in DVD, cable and other content formats for standard- and some high-definition video. ITU and MPEG also created the MPEG-4/H.264 standard used in Blu-ray, some cable satellite broadcasts and high-definition online video.
Source:Tom's Guide

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Rooted Nokia X shows why Android is not the platform for Microsoft to differentiate on

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Well, that did not take long.  Even before the first Nokia X has shipped the handset has already been rooted by XDA-Developers, and Google suite of applications , including Google Play Store, various Google Apps, and the Google Experience Launcher has been installed on the handset.
Given the infinite malleability of Android, I suspect it is pure delusion for Microsoft and Nokia to think they can funnel users to Microsoft’s ecosystem when it is so easy to get the real Android deal from Google.
Nokia and Microsoft’s ambition is to sell cheap handsets and gain Microsoft customers, but the hack demonstrates that the cheap handsets will still end up mostly being used by Google customers, which was the reason Nokia went Windows Phone in the first instance – to differentiate you need your own platform, not cribbing from some-one else’s.
Read more about the pretty simple hack at XDA-Developers here.


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APPLE IOS 7 GUIDE: HOW TO DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL ON YOUR IPHONE, IPAD OR IPOD TOUCH

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 iOS 7, The next version of Apple’s mobile operating system, is now available.  In Apple’s words this is “the most significant iOS update since the original iPhone.” Not only does the next iteration of the OS bring a completely overhauled user interface design, it also adds many missing features that were being offered by rival mobile platforms.
You’ll be able to get it free of charge if your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch supports it and get an almost new device, in terms of software.
Here are steps to upgrade your device to latest iOS 7 and few things that you should keep in mind before updating.
iOS 7 supported Devices
iOS 7 is supported by iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPhone 5; iPad 2, third and fourth-generation iPads, iPad mini; and the fifth-generation iPod touch. Also, certain features of iOS may not be available on all devices. For instance, the iPhone 4S doesn’t support features like AirDrop and live filters in the camera app. The iPad 3 also doesn’t support AirDrop.
Back up your device
You should take a backup your iphone and ipad data like your favourite apps and settings to transition to iOS 7 . You can take a backup your device in two ways, backing up to iCloud (Apple’s servers) or by backing up data to your Mac or PC via iTunes.
If you’ve enabled the option to backup data to iCloud, your device usually takes a backup automatically when it’s charging, locked and connected to a Wi-Fi network. To check when the last backup was performed
  • go to the Settings app and tap on iCloud.
  • scroll down to the bottom of the menu where you’ll see a Storage & Backup option
  • under  Storage & Backup it’ll be mentioned whether iCloud Backup is off or on.
  • If it’s on, you’ll also see the date and time when the Last Backup was done.
Note that your device must be connected to Wi-Fi.
If the iCloud Backup option was off then you’ll need to turn it on and take a backup. iCloud offers only 5GB of free space so if you  have a lot of data in your phone and don’t want to shell out extra for cloud storage space, then you’d be better off backing up via iTunes.

To backup to iCloud:
  • Connect your iOS device to Wi-Fi.
  • Now go to the Settings app and tap on iCloud.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the menu where you’ll see the Storage & Backup option
  • under Storage & Backup it’ll be mentioned that iCloud Backup is off.
  • Tap on the Storage & Backup, look for the iCloud Backup toggle and turn it on.
  • Now tap on Backup Now.
The phone will start taking a backup, but it might take some time so you can leave your device on its own for a bit. We’d recommend deleting apps that you don’t use and pictures, and especially videos, that are not needed before backing up.
The second way to backup is by storing all your data on your PC or Mac via iTunes.
  • To take a backup, connect the iOS device to a computer (PC/ Mac) through the USB cable.
Make sure you computer is authorised with your iTunes account. If it isn’t then-
  • click on the Store menu and select ‘Authorize This Computer‘ and enter your Apple ID. You may need to unlock the device if you’ve set a passcode before iTunes can sync or take a backup.
  • The device will show up under Devices in iTunes in the Sidebar on the left if you’re using an older version of iTunes. If you’re using iTunes 11, the device name would show up in the upper right hand corner. 
  • Either click on the device name and click on Back Up Now from the device Summary page or simply right click/ control click on the device name and select Back Up.


 If you want to ensure that the backup was successful or just want to check when the last backup was performed, you can go to Preferences (through iTunes menu on the Mac or Edit menu on Windows) and click on the Devices tab where your device backups and their time would be listed.

After ensuring that your device has been backed up, you can move on to installing iOS 7.
You can either install iOS 7 directly to your iOS device through an over-the-air Software Update via Wi-Fi or connect it to your computer and install the update through iTunes. To upgrade over the air-
  • Go to the Settings app, tap on General and then on Software Update.
  • Wait for the update message to appear and tap on Download and Install.
If you want to install the update through your PC or Mac instead -
  • Connect your device to the computer and wait for iTunes to open or fire it up manually.
  • You’d typically get a software update prompt
  • If you are not prompted then just go to the device Summary page by clicking on the name of your iOS device, and click on the ‘Check for Update‘ button, and click on Download and Update.
  • Your iPhone would restart and display an Apple logo with the progress bar while it updates and iTunes will also display the status of the installation.

After updating your iPhone to iOS 7, you’ll see a welcome screen, post that you’ll be prompted to enable Location Services, following which you will get a page where you can select whether you want to set up your iPhone as a new phonerestore from an iCloud Backup or restore from an iTunes Backup.
You’ll need to enter your iCloud credentials and if you select the iCloud backup option, stay connected to a Wi-Fi network or if you select the iTunes option, you need to connect your phone to your computer.
After a few more prompts asking for your iCloud and iTunes credentials and pages displaying terms of use, you’ll finally see your Home screen with a brand new OS.

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How to get Galaxy S4 Air gesture control functionality on any Android

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Most of you must have heard about Samsung Galaxy S4′s Air gesture control which has imparted a revolutionized feature on it’s flagship device that allows you to accept calls, change music, or browse the web and your photos by just waving your hands over your Galaxy S4.
A Senior member of XDA developers came up with an app that will allow you to imitates the behavior of Air Gesture from Galaxy S4. Moreover, this app will also allow you to imitate Quick Glance, Air Call accept, control your music/video players, start your desired app on a move, switch to previous apps, jump to launchscreen and much more. Let’s head over to How to get Galaxy S4 like Air gesture control on any Android:

Requirements:

  • An Android device running version 2.2 and up (Some features require a Rooted Android device to work).
  • Hovering control app installed on your device (Play Store link).
Hovering control app is a paid app on Google Play Store. If you want to support the developer, you can buy it from there. But, in case you need a free version, you can get a free XDA version of the app from here.

App Features (No Root Features):

  • Set apps to open with all the available gestures.
  • Silence incoming call.
  • Silence alarm with just a wave.
  • Switch between recent apps (like back and forward behavior).
  • Fast go to home screen.
  • Shake your phone to switch speakerphone on/off.
  • QuickGlance- When the screen is off, move your hand above the sensor to view notifications, missed calls, new messages, time and date, and more.
  • Control your music player (next/previous/pause/resume) even with screen off.

More Features for Root Devices :

  • All features will work that are working for Non-rooted device. In addition following features are added.
  • AutoShoot pictures/videos, no need to push the button again.
  • Unlock screen with two hand slides.
  • Slide between your photos in your image gallery.
  • Scroll up and down in your browser.
  • Answer incoming call, just put your phone near to your ear.
Note: Two modes are available, both offering a different take on opening apps:
Target mode: open a pre-determined app with a set gesture.
Carousel mode: open up apps from a set list of apps.
Share your views about Galaxy S4 like Air gesture control on any Android. If you face any problem leave your problem in comments.

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How to Enable or Disable the Lock Screen Slideshow on Windows 8.1

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Whether you love or hate the new lock screen slideshow feature in Windows 8.1 we have you covered with a simple way to enable or disable it.

How to Enable or Disable the Lock Screen Slideshow on Windows 8.1

Press the Win + C keyboard combination to bring up the Charms Bar, then click on the Settings Charm.

Then click on the Change PC settings link to open the Modern UI Control Panel.


In order to change the lock screen settings we first need to head into PC & devices.


Then click on the Lock screen option on the left hand side.


This should have bought up all the settings for the lock screen on the right hand side. If you look mid way down you will see the setting that controls whether to play a slide show of your pictures on the lock screen, to turn it off simply toggle the setting to the off position. We actually enjoy this feature and left it on, we also opted to only show the lock screen after 15 minutes of inactivity.


That’s really all there is to know about managing the lock screen slide show feature.

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10 Things to Do After Installing Ubuntu 13.04!!!

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After installing or upgrading to the latest version of Ubuntu you find yourself wondering what to do next. No worries, here’s our list of 10 things to do after installing Ubuntu 13.04.
These range from the obvious (but often forgotten) to the obscure (but super handy). Each entry aims to help all users, newcomer and seasoned-pro alike, get the most from Ubuntu.

1. See What’s Changed

Whether Ubuntu 13.04 is your first taste or you’re coming back for more, it helps to know what has changed on the desktop.
And while Ubuntu 13.04 isn’t as heavy on new features as previous releases have made us accustomed to, it does adds some much needed finesse and polish to the desktop experience.
To get you up to speed we’ve compiled a selection of the key features of ubuntu 13.04  into a bouncy little video…

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2. Enable Additional Drivers



 Ubuntu works well with most modern hardware out of the box, but you may want to enable third-party drivers to get the best performance.
This is a must if you’re looking to play games from Steamwatch high-definition video; or just generally want a more peppy-feeling and responsive desktop.
Some WiFi Cards also require ‘proprietary’ driversto function properly.
But you don’t need to take to the web to hunt down drivers. Just open the Software Sources app via the Dash (or through System Settings) and click the ‘Additional Drivers‘ tab to see what’s available for your device.

3. Enable Music & Video Playback


For legal reasons Ubuntu isn’t able to play certain music and film formats by default.
The good news is that installing what’s needed to enable this is a just a click or so away.
If you’re reading this before installing Ubuntu then check the ’Enable Restricted Formats’ box during initial set-up.
If you’re reading after install, no worries – just hit the button below to install the most commonly used audio and video codecs.

Install Third-Party Codecs


4. Add & Manage Your Online Accounts


Ubuntu comes with a centralised hub for your online accounts. Rather than having to manually enter log-in details for every app, you just add it once to ‘Online Accounts’ so other applications can use the data securely.
A new feature in Ubuntu 13.04 lets you choose which applications can use which online account. Don’t want Empathy to login to Facebook Chat? Switch it off. Fed up of your Google Docs in the Dash? Disable it.
Services supported include Twitter, Google, Yahoo!, Facebook (including Facebook Chat), Flickr, and many more.
Apps that ‘hook in’ to Online Accounts include Ubuntu’s instant messaging app Empathy; the new Social lens; and photo manager Shotwell.

5. Install Your Favourite Apps



Ubuntu comes pre-installed with a wide selection of software – including a fully-featured office suite, music and video apps, web-browser, etc.
But one-size doesn’t fit all; there may be another app you prefer using or need. Just open the Ubuntu Software Center to browse and install thousands of free applications, including popular choices like:
  • Chromium - Open-source version of Google Chrome web-browser
  • GIMP – Free Photoshop alternative
  • Skype – Instant Messaging & Video Chat App
  • Hotot – Desktop twitter app
  • VLC – Popular media player

6. Adjust Your Privacy Settings


To speed up your workflow the Unity Dash offers you an overview of your recent application and file activity. Handy, for sure, but there might be files, folders or activities that you don’t want tracked.
Along with an “Off” switch, the Privacy options available in the System Settings lets you choose what content is logged and what isn’t. Further more it offers up buttons to ‘clear’ data from given periods.

7. Blur The Lines Between Web & Desktop


A lot of people forget that Ubuntu comes with an innovative web-app integration feature. Over 30 popular websites – including Gmail, YouTube & BBC News – are supported.
For example, add GMail and you get fancy Gmail options in the Launcher and Messaging Menu; enable BBC News and you’ll get notification alerts on new headlines, and so on. 

8. Axe Amazon Suggestions

Ubuntu’s new ‘Smart Scopes’ service wasn’t ready in time for Ubuntu 13.04, so the Dash isn’t as clever as it should be. Meaning that, yes, Amazon product suggestions will appear in the Dash for whatever you search.
The good news is that feature can be switched off with a click, so there’s no need to avoid using Ubuntu altogether.
Open the Privacy pane of System Settings and set the ‘Include Online Search Results’ toggle to ‘Off’.

                  
Be aware that switching this ‘off’ will also affect other lenses that require an internet connection – including the Music lens and Social lens.
Our tip? If you want to keep everything else working, but don’t want Amazon result, just open the Ubuntu Software Center, search for ‘shopping lens’ to find it, then hit the ‘remove’ button to uninstall it permanently.

9. Set up Ubuntu One

If you’ve not heard of Ubuntu One by now then you’re missing out! It’s a free cloud-storage service available for everyone. You get 5GB of space for free in-which to store files, photos, music and more.
There are apps for iOS, Android, Windows, and OS X, so no-matter what computer you’re on you can have your life in sync and in reach wherever you are or whatever you’re doing.

To get started hit the ‘Ubuntu One’ icon on the Launcher and follow the prompts that appear.
If you already have an Ubuntu One account then hit the ‘Sign In’ button to start syncing your files to your new desktop.

10. Spread The Word about Ubuntu 13.04

This item on our to-do list is a little cheesy, but it’s an important one: If you like what you see, and find Ubuntu 13.04 useful then put sharing word of it on your to-do list.
Whether you just post about it on Twitter, Facebook or Google+, or actively burn a LiveDVD for a family member to try out, you’ll be not only helping others explore their options, but you’ll also be helping Ubuntu.
Don’t forget to enjoy using it, too. Go Check your Facebook or Google+ profile; chat to your mates on Empathy; type up a letter in LibreOffice or find some awesome cat videos in the Unity Video Lens.


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Upgrade to Windows 8.1 preview!!!

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Windows 8.1 brings some greatly desired new features--a start button,powerful new included apps,a better browser,better start screen personalisation,and lots more.You can know more about--The top new features in windows 8.1 preview.Microsoft has released a preview of its new and improved windows 8.1 for its users.The final version will be released at the end of this year and will be available as a free update for windows 8 users.Till then you can upgrade to the windows 8.1 preview.

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