Thank you for reading DVD Catalyst Newsletter 111.
A bit of a shorter newsletter this week. My in-laws have a big anniversary this weekend, so over the last couple of months, my wife (mostly) and I have been working on a surprise party for them, and of course, with this being the last week before the big day, things kicked up a bit in order to get everything ready.
Aside from the party-preparations, I did release a quick update to DVD Catalyst 4 to address an InnoTab 2 issue.
Let's get on with this week's tech news:
A recurring item in the newsletter these days. Microsoft is having a hard time sticking to its guns. It is pretty clear that Sony had the upper-hand at E3 with its PS4 announcements, and ever since, Microsoft has been trying to crawl out of the hole it dug itself.
It started with the used-games policy that it stepped away from, then an announcement about its memory-choice for the retail version being considerably faster, and now, the headset debacle is being addressed as well:
Xbox One Headset now reportedly bundled as Microsoft U-turns again - SlashGear
While it is nice to see Microsoft looking at the reactions and comments in the gaming community, it is quite sad in my opinion that it is basically being coerced into dropping everything it had hoped to accomplish with the new XBOX.
I guess it is looking at yesteryear's gaming giants.
Sega, now a "mere" software publisher, was "mega" successful with its Sega Genesis/Mega Drive console. But, when the Atari Jaguar and the 3DO consoles came out, it hastily released its 32X "upgrade" device in order to keep up. After that, the Sega Saturn, released ahead of its time due to its build-in online functionality, which back then resulted in an expensive system, and had to compete with the cheaper Playstation 1.
Its last system, the Dream Cast was also ahead of its time, touting little game boy-like devices in the controllers that enabled you to play some form of the game without the console, but it failed to gain market against the PS2.
Nintendo, Sega's biggest competitor during its peak, still remains competitive in the console market, but it is no longer the big dog. Aside from remaining more family oriented, its consoles are often "secondary" systems. Great for when friends and family come over, but for solo play (or online), not so much.
This is also the reason why I believe that the Wii-U is having a hard time to gain ground. While the console itself is great, aside of the tablet-like controller, it doesn't offer much over the original Wii, and, with it being more of a secondary system, upgraded graphics just don't matter that much.
Microsoft now finds itself in Sega's shoes. Trying to innovate in an area where the main innovation people expect is better specs and graphics.
Microsoft is looking at a future of gaming. With the original XBOX One, it has a vision of how people would be using the system 5-6 years from now. The XBOX 360 is almost 8 years old now, and it hopes with the new XBOX to be able to stay relevant for the entire life-cycle.
Sony is looking more at now. Implementing features that people would use now, and later on, when people start using something else, they will either try and implement it, or just release a PS4.1 that has added functionality over the new one.
Considering that Microsoft is scrambling, it seems that Sony is using the better strategy at this time, but who knows what will happen a year after release.
While it has been around for a while, there is a lot of buzz on the web about Bit Coin. If you, like me, ever ran into articles about Bit Coin, and never had much of an idea on what it is, this article on Ars Technica gives some insight on what it is and how it works.
How a total n00b mined $700 in bitcoins | Ars Technica
Wrong Support Contact:
A long time ago in a galaxy far away, well almost 8 years ago, DVD Catalyst wasn't called DVD Catalyst. Back then, when PocketPC's were the norm, and Android and iPhone were (probably) not even thought off, DVD Catalyst was named, fitting to the market back then, "PocketDVD". It had its fair share of competitors, and while quite different in looks and functionality, they all shared big similarities in their naming, Pocket DVD Something.
With all these names being quite similar, of course there was some confusion for customers in regards of who to contact. Search engines like Google would just bring up the more popular pages when searching for a support section for a particular product, so it wasn't uncommon for me (daily actually) to receive questions from people who were using a competing product.
While it did cost me some time, I always ended up directing these people to the correct spot for contacting the company that they purchased their product for, but there are other things that people do when something like this happens as well.
Zynga Mistake Puts Random Stranger In Customer Support Role
DVD Catalyst 4 v22.214.171.124 Update
Earlier this week, I released another update for DVD Catalyst 4, Build 126.96.36.199.
Unless you are using DVD Catalyst 4 for converting movies for the InnoTab 2 and InnoTab 2s, there is no difference with the 188.8.131.52 update, but for the InnoTab 2 and 2s, the update is quite significant though.
A little while ago, VTECH released an update for their InnoTab 2 and InnoTab 2s series of child-friendly tablets. Unfortunately, this update included some major changes to the supported video playback.
At first it appeared the changes were just format related, removal of the XVID format and the addition of support for H264, so in a previous update, I addressed those changes in DVD Catalyst, but earlier this week, it came to light that additional changes were made by VTECH that I didn't encounter during testing.
So this week, I spent quite some time with my own InnoTab 2 to replicate the issues people were experiencing and, of course, to account for them.
Because there are a lot of people who use DVD Catalyst 4 for the InnoTab series of tablets, I made sure that the update was out as quickly as possible.
Kindle Paperwhite Impressions:
With not many good movies (not for me at least) being released on DVD/Bluray lately, I've been reading a bit more. I have an extensive collection of tablets, but for reading, I find that an actual eReader (e-ink) works better for me. Watching videos on tablet-screens works great, but during the day, I stare at text on a computer screen, and to do the same at nights doesn't work so well.
A few years ago, I got a Kindle Touch and have had good experiences with reading on it, but lately, since I've been using it more, I've been running into its main limitation, it doesn't read well in darker rooms.
Our living room is fairly limited in terms of light. With the TV and a tablet light on, it is well-enough, but if you want to do some reading, the position of the lamps in relation to the limited space we have results in over-lighting and/or reflection.
Also, mainly because I stare at a computer screen all day, I prefer to keep things a little darker to give my eyes some rest.
So, last month, I ended up getting a Kindle Paperwhite, and it makes a huge difference.
Unlike the Kindle Touch, the Paperwhite has a lighted screen. Not bright as you get on an actual tablet, but just something like a glow in the dark piece of paper with text on it.
I haven't done anything other than adjusting the brightness on it, so I have no experience with all its settings, options and features, mostly because it has been working perfectly for me since I got it out of the box.
I can now read properly in a darker room, and thanks to the brightness adjustment, it doesn't burn my eyes when reading for a longer period of time.
If you are using an eReader for reading, and have been wondering if "upgrading" to a lighted one is worth it, I believe it is. I just wish I gotten this last year when it first came out
Wedding Anniversary Stuff:
As mentioned above, the majority of my week was spent on wedding anniversary stuff.
For months, my wife and I have been looking for long lost relatives, and preparing for the big party. We wanted a bit more than just a simple gathering of people so a location with some facilities was needed, and after weeks of going through yellow pages, Google searches, we ended up with a hotel with a conference room and an in-house catering service.
The hunt for people was the hardest though. Going through various levels of people that haven't been taking part in family gatherings for years worked well, but the best tool my wife ended up using was Facebook.
While doing searches for the names themselves often results in finding the person you are looking for, not everyone is on Facebook. But, there is always some relative or old friend you might remember that has stayed in touch that is, so with a little bit of creative thinking, going through old photo's and asking the in-laws about who is who makes things quite a bit easier when finding people.
Unfortunately, things never go as planned. Because it is a big anniversary, age is a major factor. Especially on my mother-in-law's side, not much is left, and the ones that are left are not able to come due to their health. We even had a few people die in the months we spent preparing. Talking to them a couple of months ago, and then weeks or a month or 2 later, a funeral.
But, I have to get back to preparations. Tonight we are going to set everything up on location, so I'll be spending most of my day finding all the things we have gotten for the party and get them loaded up.
My apologies for a somewhat shorter newsletter. This week has been crazy with everything that has been going on, and I actually consider myself lucky that I had the time to work on the InnoTab update for DVD Catalyst 4.
Anyways, thanks again for reading the DVD Catalyst Newsletter, and see you next week.
About DVD Catalyst:
DVD Catalyst 4 is the 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.
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.
Step 3: Insert your DVD or drag your video files (AVI, MKV, ISO, VOB, MPG, M2TS etc) 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.
Quick, easy, and the best quality,
for a limited time, only $9.95
Regular price $19.95, for a limited time only $9.95
Purchase Now and save over 50%