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News and thoughts

MHL Consortium had the latest superMHL™ innovations on display at CES 2016.

To support 8K and advanced audio/video features, MHL developed the 32-pin superMHL connector that can carry concurrent audio, video, data and power all through a slim, reversible, consumer-friendly design. SuperMHL accessories enable consumers to seamlessly connect their mobile devices, set-top boxes (STBs), Blu-ray Disc™ players, AVRs, streaming media sticks and other source devices to TVs and displays.

SuperMHL supports the following features:

  • 8K video
  • Deep color
  • Wider color gamut to view content the way filmmakers intended
  • High-Dynamic Range (HDR) to strike the perfect balance of bright spectral highlights along with shadow details
  • Immersive surround sound with support for Dolby Digital Plus, DTS, and an audio only mode
  • Power charging up to 40W
  • Reversible superMHL connector

Smart inverters are going to play an important role in the future of rooftop solar. They already are in Germany, and in the United States, a handful of utilities are already starting to deploy them. Enhanced capabilities include reactive power compensation, voltage and frequency ride-through, and real-time data connectivity.

Now the question is whether state-by-state regulations and industry standards can evolve quickly enough to let more utilities and inverter makers join in.

Yes, a new TV broadcast standard (ATSC 3.0) is slowly coming to the US. The goals of ATSC 3.0 are to improve the television viewing experience with higher audio and video quality, better reception on both fixed and mobile devices, and more accessibility and interactivity.

The ATSC 3.0 Physical Layer (ATSC document number A/322) will allow broadcasters to choose from a variety of parameters, enabling each station to tailor its signal to best serve its local market — providing the combination of services and coverage area best suited the market and terrain.

Work continues on the rest of the ATSC 3.0 standards — audio and video compression, closed captioning, emergency alerts, security, applications, interactivity, watermarking, Internet Protocol delivery, etc.

ATSC 3.0 Standards

ATSC 3.0 Standards

About 20 standards are expected to be part of ATSC 3.0. All ATSC standards and recommended practices can be downloaded at no charge from the ATSC website.

Consumers expect to pay a premium for running heating or cooling systems during peak energy-usage times on cold or hot days. Orison Energy is preparing to help break this cycle with a pair of home batteries — the Orison Tower and Orison Panel. Designed to be compact, lightweight, and plug-and-play, they charge when utility rates are low and provide power when the rates are high.

Orison Energy

Be interesting to see how they isolate from the grid and maintain backup power when the grid goes down. Also interested to know how many cycles (at what depth-of-discharge) the batteries are good for.

Dolby announced the availability of Dolby Vision™ enabled system-on-a-chip (SoC) technologies for digital TVs from Realtek. Realtek has also committed to delivering Dolby Vision enabled SoCs for set-top-box solutions in the near future.

The Dolby Vision VS10 universal high-dynamic-range (HDR) playback solution supports both dual-layer and single-layer Dolby Vision streams and other HDR profiles based on the SMPTE ST 2084 standard. This enables displays to take full advantage of a combination of peak brightness, local contrast, and wider color gamut; the end result is a dramatically enhanced viewing experience in the living room.

Amazon, Cisco, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Mozilla and Netflix are teaming up to revamp the way video works over the Internet. The companies have joined together as the Alliance for Open Media to create a new open source video format. The new format will be royalty free, meaning any company can build software for creating or converting video in the format without paying a fee.

Dolby and HiSilicon announced a collaboration to offer Dolby Vision™ 4K UHD system-on-a-chip (SoC) technologies for Ultra HD set-top boxes (STBs) for the DVB, IPTV, and OTT markets. This will be the first global Ultra HD STB chipset solution to support Dolby Vision high-dynamic-range (HDR) technology.

Dolby Vision is a transformative technology for imaging that delivers a dramatic visual experience — astonishing brightness, incomparable contrast, and captivating color — that brings entertainment to life via OTT online streaming, broadcast, and gaming applications. Dolby Vision VS10 offers unique value by combining the ability to play back Dolby Vision content as well as other HDR formats based on the SMPTE ST 2084 standard through one integrated playback solution. This enables a high-quality HDR experience on products ranging from entry level to high end by leveraging the capabilities of the respective hardware as much as possible.