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DVD Catalyst Newsletter 117 – 08-16-13



Thank you for reading the 117th DVD Catalyst Newsletter.

My apologies for being a bit late with the newsletter this week. My wife and I are on the road again, and this morning we moved on to a different camping spot, and while we did prepare everything last night, of course early morning everything outside needed to be packed up, disconnected and hooked up.

More about the trip in the thoughts section, but let me start with this week's Tech News:


Tech News:

Amazon New Kindle:

With Amazon's yearly keynote around the corner, rumors for its new line-up of devices has been flowing onto the web at a steady pace.

Earlier this week, rumors for the new entry-level model of the Kindle Fire have popped up, which highlight, unsurprisingly, something that anyone could predict. It will likely feature specs quite similar to that of the current Kindle Fire HD.

Kindle Fire entry-level next-gen model reportedly sticking with OMAP CPU - SlashGear

In addition to the new Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD models, it is also rumored that Amazon is working on an Android console for in the livingroom:

Amazon Android gaming console tipped for arrival this year - SlashGear

With Amazon, combined with its free-app-off-the-day, and the rest of its services behind it, such as console will actually stand more of a chance than the Ouya in my opinion, but I still don't get the whole Android console idea.

While there are some high-caliber games that would work well in such a setup, the majority of the games for Android (and iOS) are more fun to play with a touch screen, and I find myself more often than not playing a game on my tablet or phone while on the couch watching TV. Making these types of games the center-experience of the living room, which is what these "console" systems do, I'm not sure, but in my opinion, it defeats the purpose.

I don't see myself playing Candy Crush on the TV.

Windows RT Dead?

A few weeks ago, Microsoft posted massive losses due to the lackluster sales of the Surface RT and the Surface, and while it didn't run a fire-sale such as HP did with the Touchpad, it did reduce the price of the Surface RT considerably.

Many manufacturers opted out on releasing Windows RT devices, and this week, Asus announced it has given up on Windows RT as well:

ASUS pulls out of Windows RT due to financial losses and 'industry sentiment'

Windows RT isn't the success it could have been, but the people who have an RT device are actually quite pleased with it (well, at least the ones that knew what they were getting into). Sure, it runs a limited and restricted operating system made to look like something bigger, but the actual usage experience is unmatched.

Instantly change from tablet to ultrabook with the keyboard, full Office compatibility due to (on Surface RT at least) an actual Office version included with the device, a long battery life while still plenty of power due to the Tegra 3 processor, and much more.

But, the advertising of the devices were confusing, and didn't express any of the abilities and capabilities of the device, which is likely the reason for its lackluster sales.

Windows RT isn't dead though. nVidia, which has been losing ground to Qualcomm the last few years, is trying to hold on to the Surface RT, and recently announced that there is a second generation in development:

NVIDIA CEO: 'We're going to bring it with the second generation Surface'

Surface RT 2 confirmed as NVIDIA takes the helm once again - SlashGear

nVidia Tab.

Talking about nVidia, and its once popular Tegra chips getting the snub-treatment from companies, it seems that it is working on its own tablet now.

Pictures of Nvidia ?Tegra Tab? point to more conventional Tegra 4 tablet | Ars Technica

Leaked Photos Hit the Web of NVIDIA?s Tegra Tab ? Droid Life

NVIDIA Tegra Tab leaked: 7-inch stylus-toting SHIELD companion - SlashGear

The Tegra3 equipped Nexus 7 from last year was a massive success, but this year, Google/Asus opted for a Qualcomm processor instead, leaving nVidia with only a handful of devices for its Tegra 4.

With its own Nexus 7 competitor, especially if it would be able to keep a similar price-point, it should be able to gain some of its market back while breaking into a new one at the same time.


Tools4Movies News

Last week of course a major update for DVD Catalyst 4 ( v4.4.3.0, https://www.tools4movies.com/dvd-catalyst-4-v4-4-3-0-release-notes/), and based on the feedback I have received so far, has made quite a few people happy in terms of the newly added device profiles and the tweaks applied to some of the conversion formats (HQXT mainly).

And of course, also last week, I released a free MKV conversion tool, MKVShrink (https://www.tools4movies.com/mkvshrink-0-0-1-alpha/), which makes it extremely easy to reduce the file-size of MKV files created with programs such as MakeMKV, without quality loss.

MovieGallery is next on the list though. In particular Ill be working on support for the nVidia Shield (the controller buttons) and hopefully when I get back, my ChromeCast will be waiting, so I can start working with that.

No ideas on a release date yet, but I'll do what I can to make it as soon as possible.




As mentioned above, my wife and I are currently on the road. With my wife's health issues, we never know what is going to happen, and since she is doing a lot better than last month, we loaded up the camper earlier this week, and left home.

I always wanted to see Mount Rushmore, so after a couple of long days on the road, we made it to Rapid City, South Dakota, and spent a few days there playing tourist.

So far, we visited the Black Hills, the Badlands, Custer State Park, Mnt Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial and a few other things, and it is absolutely amazing. Today we moved on, heading towards Denver CO, but set up camp at the border of Wyoming. We did stop at Sturgis and took some pictures of the Full Throttle Saloon (my wife loves the show), and Deadwood (I love that show).

The Sturgis Bike Rally was last week, so we didn't endure all the crazyness, but there were still quite a few bikers left though.

Camping Tech.

* Surface RT:

On my first camping trip, I did most of my work using the Surface Pro. I was expecting to have at last some time to do development of some sorts, so I had it setup to handle everything my desktop at home does, but in the end, I just used it for answering support emails.

With that in mind, I decided to switch from the Surface Pro to the Surface RT for work stuff (Still brought the Pro along just in case) and ended up using the for the majority of the time, and it is working very very well. Batterylife is excellent. I remember when using the Pro, I had to hook it at the charger every day, but with the RT, it hasn't been plugged in yet (its getting there though).

* nVidia Shield:

It could be any device, but I ended up taking the Shield with me because of the build-in speakers. A second choice would be the Kindle Fire HD, which also has speakers that are pretty good (and loud).

The Shield is loaded up with 3 seasons of Hogan's Heroes and MovieGallery, and I just use it to watch a few episodes before we go to sleep. Batterylife of the Shield is also quite remarkable, but again, so is that of the Kindle Fire HD.

* Galaxy Nexus:

I was lucky enough to be able to hold on to my unlimited data plan through Verizon when I added "hotspot" to it for our first trip. Unfortunately, reception was pretty weak during the previous trip, so I ended up getting a signal booster for it.

Amazon.com: Wilson Electronics - Sleek 4G-V - Verizon 4G Cell Phone Signal Booster for Single User: Cell Phones & Accessories with the home/office kit

and everything is different now. I have it setup in a window in the camper, and it shows a constant 4G, and I haven't seen it drop below 3 bars yet. The sad thing is, a speedtest.net run with it gives me better numbers than my DSL connection at home.



That is it for this weeks newsletter. My wife and I will be on the road for a few more days, trying to enjoy the scenery to the fullest (so far with great success).

Thank you for reading DVD Catalyst Newsletter 117, and have a great weekend.



About DVD Catalyst:

DVD Catalyst 4 is the fastest, easiest and most affordable software available for converting and optimizing your movies and TV shows from DVD and for converting popular (AVI, MKV, ISO etc) video files into the right file format for PCs, smartphones and tablets. Don't let the price fool you. Aside from its affordability, DVD Catalyst beats most similar applications in terms of conversion speed AND visual quality of the created videos and with smaller file-sizes.

Here is how it works:

Step 1: Download and install DVD Catalyst 4 on your computer.

If you have not done so already, download the free trial version (link) or purchase the retail version for a limited time for only $9.95 (link).

Note: DVD Catalyst works on Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.
Apple MAC/OSX or Linux are NOT supported at this time.


Step 2: Start DVD Catalyst 4 and select your device profile.

DVD Catalyst 4 includes profiles for all the latest tablets and smart phones, including the Apple iPad Mini and iPhone 5, Amazon Kindle Fire HD, Barnes & Noble NOOK HD, Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 2 and much more.


Step 3: Insert your DVD or drag your video files over onto DVD Catalyst 4, and tap Go to start the conversion process.


After the conversion is complete, connect your device to your computer and copy the created movie file over.


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