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VESA Focuses on VR, AR

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The Video Electronics Standards Group (VESA) forms a special interest group (SIG) to address the standards covering the virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) markets.

virtual realityAs the creator of multiple display standards, such as DisplayPort, Embedded DisplayPort (eDP), EDID and DisplayID, VESA should be well positioned to investigate AR/VR compatability issues. Currently the industry lacks a standard covering head-mounted displays and eyeglasses, leading to increasing confusion and complexity for both developers and customers, impeding broader acceptance of such products.

The VESA AR/VR SIG is open to both VESA members and non-members, and will discuss the needs of all ecosystem players, namely headset makers, glass makers, and other types of providers. The SIG will work with other VESA task groups and other standards organisations to build a "robust ecosystem," starting from physical connections, data transfer protocols, software drivers and application layers.

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ECJ Rules STBs With Piracy Add-Ons Illegal!

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The European Court of Justice (ECJ) takes a further step against film and TV piracy as it declares STBs configured for easy streaming are against the law.

KodiThe ruling comes via decision taken in the Dutch district case against one Mr. Wullems, who used to sell multimedia players through the website Filmspeler.nl. The court decreed Wullems' actions as a "communication to the public" (a peculiar doctrine specific to European law) in breech of copyright law, and following the decision the sale of all such players is, essentially, illegal.

Filmspeler.nl sold Android-based STBs running a version of Kodi pre-loaded with plugins allowing for easy access to pirated streams. European law allows to the temporary reproduction of copyrighted work (which is what a stream technically does) but the court insists piracy-friendly boxes adversely affect the actual copyright holder, and thus go against the exemption.

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Crestron Adds More Courses for 2017

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The Crestron Training Programme gets three more courses starting this summer-- Crestron Technical Institute – Technician, Crestron Studio for Residential Lifestyle and CTI – Avia System Design.

Crestron training“For Crestron, investing in training and education is a key foundation to helping our integrators take advantage of the opportunities in both the commercial and residential markets,” the company says. “Our high quality training programme is extensive, designed to deliver real benefits to our integrators and incorporates both classroom courses as well as convenient online training sessions.”

Crestron Technical Institute - Technician consists of a series of online primer videos followed by a one-day classroom course. It teaches one about the setup and configuration functions required to install and maintain a Crestron system.

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What are the CE Trends of IFA 2017?

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The pre-IFA 2017 press conference details the what visitors are to expect at the trade show-- with offerings including ultra-slim TVs, high-quality audio components, 360-degree cameras and 3D printers.

Christian Goke“We believe it’s time to define consumer electronics in a new way," Messe Berlin CEO Dr. Christian Göke says. "The boundaries between consumer electronics and home appliances, the digital and the physical worlds, are blurring. Whether it is in the kitchen, the living room or the office, the “consumerisation” of devices is exponential room to healthcare and wellness, automotive, mobile devices Internet of Things and the smart home, to new fields like drones, virtual, augmented and mixed reality."

The press conference also provided details on the CE market-- according to GfK director Jürgen Boyny sales are likely to take a slight dip in 2017 (from $949 billion in 2016 to $945bn in 2017) before recovery in 2018 ($954bn). Driving the market are 5 key trends, namely the rise of mobile commerce and mobile payments, the mainstreaming of VR/AR, the growth of smart home, connected cars and autonomous driving, and wearables.

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D-Tools System Integrator 2017 Now Available

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D-Tools announces the availability of the latest version of the System Integrator (SI) software platform-- SI 2017, now complete with robust cloud infrastructure.

D-Tools SIThe new release adds significant capabilities and performance enhancements, in addition to system design and productivity improvements. It reports information across multiple projects, with a powerful Business Intelligence engine able to deliver visual reports and dashboard views of key performance indicators.

It has both pre-configured BI reports and means to create custom visual reports for the understanding of installation business, with deep analysis of business activities and trends such as profit analysis, product usage, vendor engagement, personnel performance and even sales pipeline, activity and results.

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LeEco-Vizio Merger No More!

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Internet and CE company LeEco announces its acquisition of TV maker Vizio is no more due to "regulatory headwinds," with rumours suggesting issues with Chinese regulatory authorities.

LeEcoHowever, the two companies say they have achieved a new agreement-- one described by LeEco as a "win for both companies," since it involves LeEco bringing Vizio products to China via its content and distribution channels, while Vizio connected appliances get the Le app.

Announced back in August 2016, the $2 billion acquisition of Vizio would have created a combined entity worth $4 billion. Such ambitions were not to be though, since 2016 saw LeEco facing a series of financial woes. Recent examples include failure to pay US employees and lawsuits from multiple vendors accusing the Chinese company of not paying for goods and/or services. This despite an investment worth $2.2 billion from multiple Chinese backers.

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CEDIA Awards Go to Hogwarts in 2017

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CEDIA has a magical location for its 2017 Awards-- the magic academy of Hogwarts, or at least the version found at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter.

Harry Potter tourHeld on 29 September, the Awards will include exclusive access around the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London through a private after-hours tour of the sets of famous movies. Following the tour is a drinks reception at the Hogwarts Great Hall, before the main ceremony on Platform 9 3/4 complete with 3 course meal.

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