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24/01/2023 02:00:43  

The new standalone Dolphin emulator will let you play almost any GameCube or Wii game on your Xbox console. Windows Central reports: Dolphin Emulator for UWP first rolled out in beta on December 6, 2022. It has since received a couple of updates, bringing it to version 1.02. The standalone Dolphin emulator is capable of upscaling games to up to 1440p. You can also play titles at their original resolution if you prefer. With mods, you can use HD texture packs to make games look more modern and have higher resolution. The emulator also supports a broadband adapter, but the usefulness of that varies greatly depending on the game you want to play online. For example, Mario Kart Double Dash would require tunnelling software to access online play. Of course, you can't just download the Dolphin emulator through the Microsoft Store. The easiest way to install the emulator is by enabling Developer Mode on your Xbox console. It's also possible to set up by using retail mode. A computer is needed to configure your Xbox controller and other parts of your system. You should also have a USB drive handy. Modern Vintage Gamer walks through the entire process in their video. It's possible to run Dolphin Emulator for UWP on older Xbox consoles, such as the Xbox One X, but performance will see a significant drop compared to playing on the Series X or Series S. Modern Vintage Gamer walks through the setup, testing, and "other neat things" on YouTube.

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09/01/2023 19:59:26  

Raspberry Pi is launching a new camera module for use with its diminutive DIY computers -- the Camera Module 3. Its upgraded Sony IMX708 sensor is higher resolution, but perhaps more important is that the new module supports high dynamic range photography and autofocus. Alongside it, Raspberry Pi is also releasing a new camera board for use with M12-mount lenses. From a report: Combined, the new features mean the Camera Module 3 should be able to take more detailed photographs (especially in low light), and can focus on objects as little as 5cm away. The autofocus uses a Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF) system, with Contrast Detection Autofocus used as a backup. In contrast, previous versions of the camera module had fixed-focus lenses, which Raspberry Pi CEO Eben Upton writes were "optimized to focus at infinity" and could only take a "reasonably sharp image" of objects around a meter away. The new module's sensor has a resolution of 11.9 megapixels (compared to 8.1 megapixels for the last version), and has a higher horizontal resolution that should allow it to film HD video. HDR support means the Camera Module 3 can take several exposures of the same scene, and combine them so that both darker and lighter parts of an image are properly exposed (at the expense of some resolution) -- a trick commonly performed by just about every smartphone. Prices start at $25 for the Camera Module 3 with a standard field-of-view, while the ultra-wide angle version with a 102-degree field of view is $35.

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04/01/2023 14:58:42  

Roku is stepping up from streaming sticks and audio bars to making its own TVs. At CES 2023 the streaming device manufacturer introduced two new lines: the Roku Select and Roku Plus. From a report: The new lines will consist of 11 models in total, ranging in size from 24 to 75 inches, and will include up to 4K resolutions. The HD-based Roku Select series will come equipped with Roku Voice Remotes, while the step-up Roku Plus units will ship with the $30 Voice Remote Pro. Roku's first foray into TV manufacturing comes on the heels of successful partnerships with more established TV suppliers such as TCL, Hisense and Sharp. "These Roku-branded TVs will not only complement the current lineup of partner-branded Roku TV models, but also allow us to enable future smart TV innovations," Mustafa Ozgen, the president of Devices at Roku, said in a press release. Although it's talking about the future, there's no indication that Roku is looking to push the technological envelope with its own TVs just yet. The company will initially be competing with its own partners, in fact, for a segment of the budget market. Roku has released only limited information so little is known about the differences between Roku-made TVs and Roku-branded ones. Roku has so far relied on partners to innovate in terms of picture quality. The TCL 6-Series Roku TV, for example, uses the latest in mini-LED technology and comes with full-array local dimming and a reasonable price. But the company also announced a reference design for a Roku OLED TV in the hopes that one of its manufacturing partners will take up the task. The Roku TV lineup will range between $119 and $999.

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09/12/2022 23:27:00  

Today, Disney+ launched its ad-supported tier, "Disney+ Basic," at $7.99/month. The plan is currently only available in the U.S. and will become available in other countries sometime next year. TechCrunch reports: Netflix has its work cut out for it if it wants to compete successfully with Disney+'s new ad-supported tier. For instance, Disney+ Basic not only lets viewers stream high-quality video, including Full HD, HDR10, 4K Ultra HD, Dolby Vision and Expanded Aspect Ratio with IMAX Enhanced, but it also lets subscribers stream on up to four supported devices simultaneously. Plus, the ad plan includes Disney+'s full content catalog. Netflix's ad-supported plan, on the other hand, only supports 720p HD video quality, subscribers can only stream on one device at the same time and around 5% to 10% of Netflix's content library is missing due to licensing restrictions. Neither Disney+ Basic nor Netflix's "Basic with ads" plan allows offline viewing or downloads. Other features not included in the Disney+ Basic plan at launch are GroupWatch, SharePlay and Dolby Atmos. A Disney spokesperson told TechCrunch that the company hopes to support this in the future, but the exact timing is unknown. Ads will range from 15 to 30 or 45 seconds long, the spokesperson added. As we previously reported, Disney+ is limiting the total ad load to an average of four minutes of commercials an hour. Preschool content has zero ads. "Today's launch marks a milestone moment for Disney+ and puts consumer choice at the forefront. With these new ad-supported offerings, we're able to deliver greater flexibility for consumers to enjoy the full breadth and depth of incredible storytelling from The Walt Disney Company," Michael Paull, president of Direct to Consumer, said in a statement.

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05/12/2022 08:39:29  

Around 2009 Slashdot was abuzz about how over-the-air broadcasting in North America was switching to a new standard called DTV. (Fun fact: North America and South America have two entirely different broadcast TV standards — both of which are different from the DVB-T standard used in Europe/Africa/Australia.) But 2022 ends with us already talking about DTV's successor in North America: the new broadcast standard NextGen TV. This time the new standard isn't mandatory for TV stations, CNET points out — and it won't affect cable, satellite or streaming TV. But now even if you're not paying for a streaming TV service, another article points out, in most major American cities "an inexpensive antenna is all you'll need to get get ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and PBS stations" — and often with a better picture quality: NextGen TV, formerly known as ATSC 3.0, is continuing to roll out across the U.S. It's already widely available, with stations throughout the country broadcasting in the new standard. There are many new TVs with compatible tuners plus several stand-alone tuners to add NextGen to just about any TV. As the name suggests, NextGen TV is the next generation of over-the-air broadcasts, replacing or supplementing the free HD broadcasts we've had for over two decades. NextGen not only improves on HDTV, but adds the potential for new features like free over-the-air 4K and HDR, though those aren't yet widely available. Even so, the image quality with NextGen is likely better than what you're used to from streaming or even cable/satellite. If you already have an antenna and watch HD broadcasts, the reception you get with NextGen might be better, too.... Because of how it works, you'll likely get better reception if you're far from the TV tower. The short version is: NextGen is free over-the-air television with potentially more channels and better image quality than older over-the-air broadcasts. U.S. broadcast companies have also created a site at WatchNextGenTV.com showing options for purchasing a compatible new TV. That site also features a video touting NextGen TV's "brilliant colors and a sharper picture with a wider range of contrast" and its Dolby audio system (with "immersive, movie theatre-quality sound" with enhancements for voice and dialogue "so you get all of the story.") And in the video there's also examples of upcoming interactive features like on-screen quizzes, voting, and shopping, as well as the ability to select multiple camera angles or different audio tracks. "One potential downside? ATSC 3.0 will also let broadcasters track your viewing habits," CNet reported earlier this year, calling the data "information that can be used for targeted advertising, just like companies such as Facebook and Google use today... "Ads specific to your viewing habits, income level and even ethnicity (presumed by your neighborhood, for example) could get slotted in by your local station.... but here's the thing: If your TV is connected to the internet, it's already tracking you. Pretty much every app, streaming service, smart TV and cable or satellite box all track your usage to a greater or lesser extent." But on the plus side... NextGen TV is IP-based, so in practice it can be moved around your home just like any internet content can right now. For example, you connect an antenna to a tuner box inside your home, but that box is not connected to your TV at all. Instead, it's connected to your router. This means anything with access to your network can have access to over-the-air TV, be it your TV, your phone, your tablet or even a streaming device like Apple TV.... This also means it's possible we'll see mobile devices with built-in tuners, so you can watch live TV while you're out and about, like you can with Netflix and YouTube now. How willing phone companies will be to put tuners in their phones remains to be seen, however. You don't see a lot of phones that can get radio broadcasts now, even though such a thing is easy to implement. But whatever you think — it's already here. By August NextGen TV was already reaching half of America's population, according to a press release from a U.S. broadcaster's coalition. That press release also bragged that 40% of consumers had actually heard of NextGen TV — "up 25% from last year among those in markets where it is available."

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