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DVD Catalyst Newsletter 147 – 03-14-14




Thank you for reading DVD Catalyst Newsletter 147.

Aside from the release of Titanfall, the most anticipated video game for the XBOX One, this week was pretty quiet in regards of technology news. It actually surprised me, because this week also had CeBIT, one of Europe's tech conferences.

Tech News:


It is impossible to escape. All over the web, websites that have (even if remotely) something to do with technology, have posted up comments/reviews on the latest XBOX One game, Titanfall.

Heralded as the next evolution in first-person-shooter games, and pitted against the popular Call of Duty and Battlefield series.

With the XBOX One lagging behind Sony's PS4 in terms of sales, many see Titanfall as a "system-seller", similar as what the Halo games did for the original XBOX and XBOX 360. I really hope it will, but I have my doubts.

There is too much bad news spread in regards of the XBOX One, and with Titanfall, it doesn't seem to stop. The problem is resolution. While I am not one who is really bothered by this, looking at my old iPod Video collection of Friends episodes currently loaded on my Galaxy Note 3 (320x240 video resolution on a 1920x1080 screen), it is a consistent thing on the XBOX One. With every big game being released for it, compromises have been made in order for it to play better. It supposedly will improve over time, when developers are more comfortable with the limits of the system, but I'm not so sure about that. The hardware is something that developers have been using for decades. Both the XBOX One and the PS4 use the same technology found in PC's. Sure, the processor and video chip used are somewhat custom, however, its 99% identical to that of what is available for the PC. And PC's are what is being used to develop these games on.

It goes a little deeper with the operating system that the XBOX and the PS4 use internally, but the performance of these systems shouldn't differ as much as it does.

Titanfall launch brings Titans and high-flying pilots to the streets - SlashGear
Titanfall launch review • Reviews • Xbox One • Eurogamer.net
Titanfall Review - IGN

Amazon Prime Price Increase:


Rumored for a little while, this week, Amazon announced a $20 price-increase for its "Prime" service.

Amazon Prime price increase confirmed - SlashGear

Despite going from $79 to $99, I still believe that Amazon Prime is great value for money, especially if you have one of their Kindle Fire tablets or make regular use of their online store.

I do hope that with the increase in price, the-day shipping will be improved. On a regular basis, stuff I ordered is being sent out too late, or for some stupid reason, UPS was told to hand-over the box to the postoffice, resulting in another delay.

Universal USB connector for Apple iPhone:


While Apple is experiencing some favoritism in the US, Europe doesn't seem to be phased, and is, in order to reduce electronic waste, working towards getting all smartphones, including the Apple iPhone models to use a single connection.

Google Translate (translated Dutch web page).

The process has been going on for a couple of years, and with an effective date somewhere in 3 years, it will be a while, but multiple countries are in favor of forcing Apple to use a standard connection rather than their proprietary Lightning connection.

Common charger for all mobile phones on the way

Looking at the 2 surge protectors on my desk that are filled with different adapters and the amount of different charging cables sticking out of them enough to make a sweater from, I can't wait for this to be implemented globally.


Blackberry Playbook:


After a long battle, I was finally able to revive my Blackberry Playbook. For over 2 weeks, I've been fighting with it, trying different methods and tricks, but on Sunday, it finally started to come back to live and worked itself up to a full charge (info).

A few weeks ago, I wanted to spend some time with the Playbook to see how it held up after 3 years. The Playbook has always been one of my favorites, but because Blackberry themselves never really showed much interest in it, it never reached its full potential.

I spent a few evenings with it, but the experience felt "empty". Maybe the battle was more interesting for me than the actual result, but using the Playbook now really brings out its shortcomings. It used to be blazing fast, but with the updates released since it came out of the box, it has gotten slower and slower. The web also moved on, and sites that used to work are no longer working properly.

Its not that I use my gadgets that much. From what they are capable of, I barely scratch the surface on any of them, but the Playbook is just too limited.

After a few evenings, I switched to playing with a different tablet, the Microsoft

Surface RT:

which was also a struggle. With the Surface RT, the basics are covered, and because it is still current and supported, has more uses than just a web browser and video playback.

But ever since the 8.1 update, network-based things have been acting up badly. Internet access for apps like the news app is constantly dropping, and whats worse (for me) streaming services like Netflix have been acting up. Netflix in particular, stopping playback while only a few minutes into the video. Trying different videos work, but the one you are watching is just locked. At first I thought it was an issue with that movie, maybe a corrupted file on their server, but accessing the same movie through a different device (Galaxy note 3) enabled me in finishing the movie without issues.

This didn't just happen once, but with 3 different items I tried to watch, at different days.

Fake memory cards:

I know this is a repeat, but I feel like I have to keep bringing it up. I get emails from people with memory card issues on a regular basis, but for some reason, this week things got wild again with it.

I wish it was easier to deal with. Of course many people don't believe or don't want to believe that they bought a bad/fake memorycard, so it takes multiple emails back and forth with different suggestions in order for the person to realize that the problems they are experiencing is caused by the brand-new memorycard they just purchased.

Because high-capacity (16GB-32GB) memory cards are quite pricey, some people/companies out there that take the smaller cheap ones (2GB) and put a different sticker on them to make them look like a larger one. Then, to make sure the trick lasts a bit longer, they reformat the card so when you insert it in a card-reader, your computer also thinks its a large one.

Because the memory card only has the space that it originally had (2GB for example) that amount is the amount of space you can use for your files.

Unless you use the card for video files (which are a bit large) or a lot of music, it will take quite some time before you have it filled up with apps and books, so in most cases, you don’t realize you have a fake memory card until you are way past the return/dispute policy to get your money back.

Up to the actual size of the memory card, you can add files and everything will work fine, but when you go over, the files you place on it will end up being corrupted. Non-playable video files, non-playable music files, corrupted books etc. At first you will likely think its an issue with the files you put on there yourself, or something else must have gone wrong, maybe with the video conversion process, music ripping etc, but when you access your files on your computer, they work fine.

With almost everything in life, if it sounds to good to be true, it usually is. If you find a large memory card for sale for a price that is a lot less than what you would pay somewhere else, I would start to worry. While it is possible you found a bargain, the chances are the card is fake. If it is a company, check their rating, or just punch in the company name into a search engine like Google. If it is on a site like eBay/Craigslist, have a look at their ratings and see what other products they have for sale. My own personal preference is to just use a physical store close by if I need a memory card. If it is a fake, which is quite rare, it makes the return process a lot easier.


Well, that is it for DVD Catalyst Newsletter 147.

Again, not so much of a newsletter. Unfortunately, there wasn't much to work with. Hopefully things will pick up soon. Anyway, thanks for reading and have a great weekend.




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