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System Integration for the Connected Home

Networking

Matrox Presents Maevex 6100 Quad Encoder Card

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Matrox announces the next generation of its H.264 AV-over-IP portfolio-- the Maevex 6100 quad encoder card, able to deliver quad 4K input capture together with multiple encodes, variable bitrates and wide range of protocols.

Matrox Maevex 6100The Maevex 6100 delivers 4K/UHD (4:4:4 @ 30Hz) and Full HD multi-channel capture, encoding, streaming, and recording. Built using H.264 codec, the plug-and-play solution fits seamlessly into existing infrastructures and interoperates with any device on the network to ensure high-density content distribution and system scalability.

It is a 3/4 length PCIe 3.0 x8 card with 4 mini HDMI (type C) inputs for the capture of up to x4 4096x2160@30Hz sources. Offering RTSP, RTP and MPEG2.TS streaming support with an onboard RJ45 network connector (RTMP support to follow), the Maevex 6100 encodes a multitude of H.264 streams at the same or varying bitrates. It also simultaneously streams and/or records to shared network drives or network attached storage, and features programmable start times, recording duration, maximum file length and file frequency.

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The Asus ROG Gaming Router

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Asus ROG presents what it describes as a router "designed specifically for gaming"-- the Rapture GT-AC5300, a piece of networking hardware complete with tri-band wifi, 8 LAN ports and a "PC-grade" CPU.

Asus ROG RouterSince it is aimed at gamer customers the Rapture looks like an angular black spider, with 8 chunky legs lifted like antennas to heaven. Basically imagine the aesthetic opposite of the consumer-friendly routers like the Google OnHub router. However Asus insists the ugliness hides a number of innovative features, such as "Gaming Centre" software providing an instant overview of network status and stability, the number of connected devices and any games running on said devices.

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WyreStorm Launches H2X Series Switchers

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WyreStorm prepares to launch a pair of HDBaseT 4K UHD matrix switchers with dedicated audio matrix switching at ISE 2017-- the 16x16 MX-1616-HDBT-H2X and the 10x10 MX-1010-HDBT-H2X.

Wyrestorm switcherThe H2X matrix switcher series is designed for large, high-end residential and commercial applications demanding multi-source video distribution of 4K HDR content, as well as multi-source audio matrix switching to multiple zone. A SmartEDID feature dynamically detects and reacts to display and source capabilities to output the highest possible resolution for each source, while the addition of the RX-70-4K-SCL HDBaseT scaling receiver adds 4K-2K scaling and frameless switching.

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Linksys Takes on Mesh Wifi With Velop

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Linksys is the next company to take on the mesh wifi concept as it announces Velop at CES 2017-- a multi-router system promising to envelope (thus the name) the house with wireless bandwidth.

Linksys VelopThe Velop system uses a tri-band 802.11ac MU-MIMO mesh network, with one band dedicated to communication between routers to prevent some of the bottlenecks two-band systems suffer from. The routers also include two ethernet ports in case customers prefer cable connectivity. The mesh system is self-healing, and can handle up to 5 Velop units to ensure wifi coverage in even the largest of houses.

Inside the routers is a quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU, 4GB flash storage and 512MB DDR3 RAM, together with wifi and Bluetooth radios. Interestingly support for Amazon Alexa is also included for users wanting to take advantage of voice-based control.

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A Universal Language for the IoT

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The ZigBee Alliance takes to CES to unveil Dotdot-- a "universal language" for the devices making the Internet of Things (IoT), first seen at the show running over a Thread IP-based network.

ZigBee DotdotAs announcement release puts it, the majority of IoT devices do not "speak" the same language, even if they use the same wireless technology. This leads to arguably needless complexity for developers, while limiting customers to single-vendor systems. Enter Dotdot, an application layer at the heart of ZigBee technology developers can apply across other IoT networks.

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VESA Launches Test Spec for USB-C

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The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) completes the compliance test specification (CTS) for products using the USB-C connector and the DisplayPort Alternate Mode (Alt Mode) standards.

USB VESAThe CTS documents allow VESA members to test products at VESA Authorised Test Centres (ATCs) worldwide, or complete self-testing and post certified product information on the VESA database. The CTS is currently undergoing final review and should be released on January 2017.

The DisplayPort Alt Mode enables a USB-C connector and single cable to deliver full DisplayPort audio/video performance, together with SuperSpeed USB data and up to 100W power. It can also drive HDMI, VGA and DVI displays, as well as multiple displays through the Multi-Stream protocol via dock or daisy-chained displays, and VR headsets.

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Bluetooth 5 Officially Adopted

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The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) gives the final stamp of approval to Bluetooth 5 as the latest version of the wireless networking standard-- one with longer range, faster speed and larger broadcast message capability.

Bluetooth 5Specifically, Bluetooth 5 promises up to x4 the range, x2 the speed and x8 the broadcast message capability compared to the previous version. As a result it should be able to power whole home and building coverage, enable more responsive, high-performance device and allow for more context relevant solutions. Also included are updates helping reduce potential interference with other wireless technologies, allowing it to coexist with other networking standards within the Internet of Things (IoT).

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