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CyberLink Launches PowerDVD 22, Putting User Experience at the Core of Blu-Ray, DVD, 4K HDR, and YouTube Playback

CyberLink Corp., announced today the release of PowerDVD 22, the latest version of its award-winning movie and media playback software which lets users enjoy an immersive experience for movies, music, and YouTube. The software plays movies in 8K, 4K HDR Blu-ray, and a wide range of media formats across any PC, laptop, TV, tablet or phone. PowerDVD 22 builds on CyberLink's pioneering media technology by offering exciting new features that offer users more control and customization options. Users can tailor their experience to match their preferences, for example, deeper colors, better lighting, and enhanced audio, such as high-fidelity 7.1 surround sound.

PowerDVD 22 includes a new keep pitch algorithm that maintains audio quality at the highest level during slow-speed playback, ideal for honing in on a video's most intricate details without a distorted soundtrack. PowerDVD 22 optimizes playback between devices. New tools allow users to trim and extract any section of their media's video or audio and convert them into smartphone-friendly formats. This includes MP4 for video and AAC or MP3 for audio. PowerDVD 22 also boasts faster transcode and uploading times, faster playback, and thumbnail generation on any part of the play bar for easy media skimming.

First VESA DisplayPort 2.0 Video Source and Sink Devices Complete DisplayPort UHBR Certification

The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA ) today announced that the first video source and display devices supporting DisplayPort UHBR (Ultra-high Bit Rate) - the higher data link rates supported by the DisplayPort standard version 2.0 - have completed certification through the DisplayPort UHBR Certification Program. To achieve this important milestone, UHBR chipset reference source and display designs provided by AMD, MediaTek and Realtek successfully met the PHY, link and interoperability testing requirements outlined in the DisplayPort 2.0 Compliance Test Specification (CTS). The higher bandwidths enabled by UHBR support a variety of use cases such as uncompressed 8K 60 Hz HDR, 4K 240 Hz HDR, two 4K 120 Hz HDR or four 4K 60 Hz HDR displays through a single cable.

VESA also announced today that qualified VESA DisplayPort Authorized Test Centers (ATCs) are ready to begin testing and certification of UHBR end-products using approved test equipment and reference sink and source devices for interoperability testing. An engineering demonstration of a reference source and sink device setup from AMD and MediaTek operating at UHBR link rates will be showcased at the Display Week Symposium and Exhibition in San Jose, Calif., on May 10-12, 2022 at VESA booth #214 at the San Jose Convention Center.

Gigabyte Launches 55-inch Android Powered Gaming Monitor

Gigabyte's latest gaming product seems to be aimed towards console gamers rather than PC gamers, as the S55U gaming monitor is quite an odd duck when it comes to the spec. For starters, it sports a 54.6-inch Quantum Dot VA panel with a 4K resolution, which is said to offer a typical brightness of 500 cd/m² and a peak brightness of 1500 cd/m², as well as a contrast ratio of 5000:1. This is thanks to array based LED backlight, although Gigabyte only has only gone for 132 zones, which is the lowest zone count we've seen to date. It has a refresh rate of 120 Hz and it has a response time of 5 ms on average, although Gigabyte also quotes a minimum response time of 2 ms. The panel is said to deliver 140 percent of the sRGB colour space and 96 percent of DCI-P3. It also supports FreeSync Premium, VRR and ALLM, which means gaming should be pretty much tear free. Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+ and the HLG HDR standards are also part of the package.

However, as the S55U is a not-TV it has two HDMI 2.1 ports (one with eARC), both of which are capable of 48 Gbps signals, as well as two HDMI 2.0 ports, but it lacks a DisplayPort, making it just as PC friendly as your average TV. Other connectivity consists of a USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps) port, a single USB 2.0 port, a headphone jack, a Toslink connector and an unspecified Ethernet jack. There's also built-in support for WiFi and Bluetooth, as well as a pair of 10 W speakers. Despite not being a TV, the S55U runs an unspecified version of what appears to be Android TV and it's said to have support for Chromecast, the Google Assistant and maybe more importantly, Google Play.

VESA Launches AdaptiveSync and MediaSync VRR Standards and Compliance Program

The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA ) today announced the first publicly open standard for front-of-screen performance of variable refresh rate displays. The VESA Adaptive-Sync Display Compliance Test Specification (Adaptive-Sync Display CTS) provides for a comprehensive and rigorous set of more than 50 test criteria, an automated testing methodology and performance mandates for PC monitors and laptops supporting VESA's Adaptive-Sync protocols.

The Adaptive-Sync Display CTS also establishes a product compliance logo program comprising two performance tiers: AdaptiveSync Display, which is focused on gaming with significantly higher refresh rates and low latency; and MediaSync Display, which is designed for jitter-free media playback supporting all international broadcast video formats. By establishing the VESA Certified AdaptiveSync Display and MediaSync Display logo programs.VESA will enable consumers to easily identify and compare the variable refresh rate performance of displays supporting Adaptive-Sync prior to purchase. Only displays that pass all Adaptive-Sync Display CTS and VESA DisplayPort compliance tests can qualify for the VESA Certified AdaptiveSync Display or MediaSync Display logos.

Adobe Premiere Pro 22.2 Update Brings HEVC 10-Bit Encoding with Major Performance Increase for NVIDIA and Intel Graphics Cards

Adobe's Premiere Pro, one of the most common video editing tools in the industry, has received a February update today with version 22.2. The new version brings a wide array of features like Adobe Remix, an advanced audio retiming tool. Alongside that, the latest update accelerates offline text-to-speech capabilities by as much as three times. However, this is not the most significant feature, as we are about to see. Adobe also enabled 10-bit 420 HDR HEVC H/W encoding on Window with Intel and NVIDIA graphics. This feature allows the software to use advanced hardware built-in the NVIDIA Quadro RTX and Intel Iris Xe graphics cards.

The company managed to run some preliminary tests, and you can see the charts below. They significantly improve export times with the latest 22.2 software version that enables HEVC 10-Bit hardware encoding. For Intel GPUs, no special drivers need to be installed. However, for NVIDIA GPUs, Adobe is advising official Studio drivers in combination with Quadro RTX GPUs.

EIZO Introduces New Generation of ColorEdge Monitors

EIZO today introduced the first of a new generation of ColorEdge monitors - the 27-inch CG2700X (3840 x 2160) and CG2700S (2560 x 1440). These flagship models support the HDR workflow and are the first ColorEdge monitors to feature a brand-new cabinet design and built-in network connection via USB Type-C connection.

The ColorEdge CG2700X and CG2700S display at 4K UHD and 2K WQHD resolution respectively. The remarkable detail ensures that high resolution content is displayed crisply, while the 27-inch screen provides ample space for displaying editing windows, toolbars, palettes, or other applications. This makes the monitor versatile for video editing, 3DCG creation, game development, photography, and other creative fields.

Acer Brings Windows 11 for Education to its TravelMate B3 and TravelMate Spin B3 Laptops

Acer today announced that it will begin carrying PCs which run on Windows 11 SE, starting with the Acer TravelMate B3 and Acer TravelMate Spin B3 laptops. The portable 11.6-inch laptops were built to survive the school-day, boasting military-grade durability certifications and a 10-hour battery life, and now come pre-installed with Windows 11 SE or Windows 11 Pro Education. Additionally, the devices' chassis have been constructed with over 14% post-consumer recycled plastic.

Acer has been working closely with Microsoft in order to provide devices for pilot programs that bring Windows 11 SE to schools around the world. It is one of the first brands to carry devices featuring the new operating system.

AOC Launches 43-inch 4K 144 Hz HDR 1000 Gaming Display

The large screen gaming market has grown by yet another model in the shape of the AOC G4309VX/D, which is built around a 43-inch VA panel with a resolution of 3840 x 2160. The display is rated at HDR 1000, although the peak SDR brightness lands at 720 cd/m², which is still very bright considering the size of the display.

The refresh rate tops out at 144 Hz and the response time is said to be 1 ms, via the DP 1.4 port using DSC or the two HDMI 2.1 ports. There's support for adaptive sync and motion blur reduction, which should make this a good choice for both PC and console gaming. The G4309VX/D also features four USB 3.0 ports, or USB 3.2 gen 1 if you prefer. It should be noted that there appears to be two different versions of this display, with the G4309VX currently selling for around US$1,300 in Taiwan, but it lacks HDMI 2.1, although the rest of the spec appears to be near identical. No word on pricing for the G4309VX/D as yet, but we'd expect it to end up in a similar price bracket.

MSI Releases Windows 11 Auto HDR Compatible Monitors List

Recently, Microsoft released the all-new Windows 11, which is available for Windows 10 users to upgrade. One of the biggest improvements of Windows 11 in gaming is the Auto HDR feature. The Auto HDR feature can intelligently take SDR-only games to HDR level for better color/brightness range. MSI announce all HDR supported monitor list and release a how to guide of What is Auto HDR and how to enable on Windows 11?

Windows 11 Auto HDR can automatically calculate the SDR content and tune it to near HDR content quality. However, there are few things you should know. Microsoft's new feature brings big benefits to gamers. It allows gamers to play games that didn't support HDR to be played at HDR quality. Before we start gaming with Auto HDR, there are few things we should beware of.

AU Optronics Announces 85-inch 4K 240 Hz Display Panel

AU Optronics has recently announced a new 4K 85-inch TV panel with a refresh rate of 240 Hz and support for Variable Refresh Rate technology according to a recent report from DigiTimes. The panel is reported to support HDR however no exact specification was specified and will cover 96% of the DCI-P3 color space. The display also features proprietary technology including an anti-reflective coating and unique surface structure design to reduce glare. We are unsure what type of Variable Refresh Rate technology the panel will support or how much and when it may be available. The panel is not currently listed on the AU Optronics website but has reportedly won the 2021 Ministry of Science and Technology Central Science Park Fine Manufacturer Innovation Product Award.

Apple's New iPhones Get Faster A15 Bionic SoC

Say what you want about Apple's ARM based SoC's, but the company has been pushing the envelope almost every time they've released a new chip. However, this year it would seem that even Apple isn't particularly excited about its new SoC, as the A15 Bionic is only described as 50 percent faster than the nearest competitor, which doesn't really say much about the actual performance.

Likewise, the improved GPU in the A15 Bionic is being touted as offering 30 percent faster graphics than leading competition, which says nothing about how much of an improvement it is over the previous generation from Apple. This time around, Apple is also binning its chips based on working GPU cores, as the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini only get four GPU cores, whereas the iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max and the iPad mini gets five GPU cores.It's possible that the cost of manufacturing 5 nm chips has something to do with this.

VESA Announces DisplayHDR True Black 600 Performance Tier

The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) announced today that it has added a new 600 performance level to its DisplayHDR True Black high dynamic range (HDR) specification and standard. Based on VESA's widely adopted High-Performance Monitor and Display Compliance Test Specification (DisplayHDR), the DisplayHDR True Black standard is optimized for emissive display technologies, such as organic light emitting diode (OLED) and future microLED displays.

The new DisplayHDR True Black 600 tier offers higher luminance than the existing DisplayHDR and DisplayHDR True Black 400 and 500 tiers. DisplayHDR and DisplayHDR True Black are the display industry's first fully open standards specifying HDR quality for LCD and emissive displays, respectively. VESA also announced today that three products have already been certified to the new DisplayHDR True Black 600 performance level - the ASUS Vivobook Pro 14, Vivobook Pro 14X and Vivobook 15 laptops. ASUS is formally unveiling these products at a separate company event today.

Windows 11 Releases October 5th, Free Upgrade from Windows 10

Previously thought to be delayed to 2022, the free upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 10 will now begin from October 5, 2021. Microsoft announced that from this day, Windows 10 PCs should receive the free upgrade to Windows 11. Desktops and notebooks with pre-installed Windows 11 will also be available from this day. Microsoft however put out this disclaimer: "The Windows 11 upgrade will start to be delivered to qualifying devices beginning on October 5, 2021 into 2022. Timing varies by device." Windows 11 introduces an overhaul to the user interface, with more of Modern UI replacing Win32. To gamers and PC enthusiasts, Windows 11 offers DirectX 12 Ultimate, DirectStorage, and Audio HDR, as well as optimization for the next breed of hybrid-core processors, such as the 12th Gen Intel "Alder Lake."

ASUS Announces TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A Monitor

ASUS today announced the availability of TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A, a gaming monitor designed for PC and next-generation consoles. This 28 inch display has a Fast IPS panel and supports up to 4K 144 Hz gaming with a 1 ms gray to gray (GTG) response time as well as Display Stream Compression (DSC) technology, and it offers native 4K 120 Hz gaming without chroma subsampling on the latest consoles via HDMI 2.1. Compatible with NVIDIA G-SYNC, it also supports AMD FreeSync Premium and ASUS Extreme Low Motion Blur Sync (ELMB Sync) to eliminate smearing and motion blur for fluid and responsive gameplay. In addition, ASUS Variable Overdrive technology ensures consistently smooth visuals at variable frame rates.

TUF VG28UQL1A has an HDMI 2.1 port that enables native 4K 120 Hz visuals (4:4:4) when playing on the latest gaming consoles. An Auto-Low-Latency mode helps reduce input lag to ensure extremely fluid gameplay, and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) technology prevents tearing and stuttering for a completely immersive next-gen console gaming experience. In addition, a DisplayPort 1.4 connection offers stable 144 Hz visuals, with DSC technology handling ultra high-definition video streams at high speeds so there's no perceptible loss in image quality when gaming on PC.

ViewSonic Releases Blur Busters Approved XG2431 240Hz Gaming Monitor

ViewSonic Corp., a leading global provider of display solutions, announces that the latest gaming monitor, the XG2431, has started shipping. The ultra-sleek 24" display is equipped with an IPS panel that deliver vibrant visuals with an ultra-fast 1 ms response. Approved by industry-renowned Blur Busters* for its motion blur reduction, it gives players the power to compete alongside the pros in the highest levels of First-Person Shooter (FPS), Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA), and Real-Time Strategy (RTS) genres.

With native Full HD 1080p resolution and 240 Hz refresh rate, professional gamers can gain an edge. The sleek borderless design and wide viewing angles ensure that the XG2431 is ideal for multi-display gaming setups with minimal frame distraction, making it perfect for gaming arenas and tournament play. The ViewSonic XG2431 features AMD FreeSync Premium technology, which synchronizes the output of the GPU graphics card and monitor to eliminate screen tearing and provide smoother frame rates. This 24-inch monitor features the perfect combination of speed, control and color. The super smooth 240 Hz refresh rate allows games to run at an ultra-fast framerate for superior performance, while the 1 ms response time ensures faster and more precise gameplay.

Intel First Graphics Vendor to Release non-Beta GPU Driver for Windows 11

Intel today released version 30.0.100.9684 of the Intel Graphics Drivers suite, which is the first non-beta driver to support Windows 11. With this, Intel beats NVIDIA and AMD to Windows 11 drivers, who don't even list out Windows 11-compatible drivers on their websites. To achieve Windows 11 support, these drivers comply with WDDM 3.0, supporting DirectX 12 Shader Model 6.6 compiler.

WDDM 3.0 lays the foundation of Microsoft's future attempts to standardize dynamic refresh rate and supersampling in games (making DLSS and FSR obsolete). The drivers also enable the Microsoft Auto HDR feature of Windows 11 on 10th Gen Core processors with Iris Plus Graphics (or later). This would mean you'll need at least a Core "Ice Lake," Core "Tiger Lake," or Core "Rocket Lake" processor. "Comet Lake" chips with Gen 9.5 UHD 630 Graphics (or older), don't support Auto HDR. Grab the latest Intel Graphics Drivers from the link below.

DOWNLOAD: Intel Graphics Drivers 30.0.100.9684

Philips Momentum, The World's First Monitor Designed for Xbox

[Editor's note: This press release comes from the US division of Philips, so the news is more relevant to the USA.]

Envision Peripherals, Inc. (EPI), an affiliate of TPV Technology Limited (TPV) Philips' monitor license partner, announces the release of the world's first Designed for Xbox console gaming monitor. Philips Momentum Designed for Xbox console gaming monitors are built from the ground up to provide the ultimate experience for Xbox fans. These Designed for Xbox console gaming monitors set the standard for Xbox gaming. The inclusion of the new HDMI 2.1 spec now enables next-gen console gaming with 4K resolution and faster 120Hz refresh rates for ultra-clear and ultra-smooth gaming performance. Taking it the next level, TPV partnered with Xbox to tune these "Designed for Xbox" displays to deliver the optimal validated Xbox Series X performance from the moment you plug it in.

Unlike televisions, Philips Momentum gaming monitors are built for console gaming, with low latency and low lag as priorities to provide a much smoother, more realistic gaming experience. The series' low input lag is a great advantage when playing twitch-sensitive video games, allowing the input to register on the screen faster. The flagship 55" Philips Momentum (559M1RYV) will include a specially designed speaker enclosure from the engineers at Bowers & Wilkins, the British loudspeaker company globally renowned for their innovative designs and sound engineering, that completes the experience.

Acer Expands Its Predator Gaming Portfolio with Three New HDR Monitors

Acer has expanded its line of Predator gaming monitors with three new VESA DisplayHDR -Certified models: the Predator CG437K S, Predator X38 S and Predator X28. The new monitors target different niches by offering something that will excite a wide variety of gamers, whether weekend warrior or seasoned professional.

The Predator CG437K S is a massive 42.5-inch NVIDIA G-SYNC Compatible gaming monitor with a UHD (3840x2160) display that strives to provide players with the most flexible experience possible, containing a pair of HDMI 2.1 ports that support the latest game consoles[1] and allow for 4K 144 Hz with VRR using only a single cable. A USB hub offers a USB-B port, a pair of both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports to support an array of peripherals, plus a USB Type-C (PD30W) port for good measure. Additionally, a built-in KVM switch simplifies the lives of those who juggle multiple PCs. Once users are all set up, the monitor's 144 Hz refresh rate and 1 ms VRB response time provide satisfying gameplay.

Huawei Readies Unorthodox 3:2 Aspect-Ratio 32-inch Monitor with 4.5K Resolution

Huawei is reportedly preparing an unconventional high-resolution monitor under its MateView brand. Featuring an aspect-ratio of 3:2, the monitor is wider than 4:3 or 5:4, but "taller" than 16:9 or ultrawide ratios. The monitor features an "IPS-like" panel with 4500 x 3000 pixels native resolution, support for 10-bpc color (1.07 billion colors), and a refresh-rate of 90 Hz. You also get DisplayHDR 400 and HDR10 support. Pulling something like this off will presumably take inputs such as HDMI 2.1 or DisplayPort 1.4 to muster the bandwidth needed for 4500 x 3000 @ 90 Hz with 10-bpc. A nifty feature with this monitor is its stand, which doubles up as a Qi-compatible wireless charging pad. Huawei is reportedly preparing to launch this monitor on May 16.

VESA Confirms That DisplayHDR 2000 Is Not A Real Certification

The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has recently issued a press release that addresses the use of illegitimate DisplayHDR 2000 certification. VESA is the body responsible for certifying displays under its DisplayHDR scheme which features various tiers corresponding to peak luminance. The recently announced Samsung Odyssey G9 and ASUS EI491CRG9 monitors are advertised as having DisplayHDR 2000 certification on Chinese retailer Taobao which is not possible given that currently available certifications only go up to DisplayHDR 1400. VESA has not ruled out a possible future DisplayHDR 2000 standard but given this press release, it would appear unlikely to be released anytime soon.

NVIDIA Announces New DGX SuperPOD, the First Cloud-Native, Multi-Tenant Supercomputer, Opening World of AI to Enterprise

NVIDIA today unveiled the world's first cloud-native, multi-tenant AI supercomputer—the next-generation NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD featuring NVIDIA BlueField -2 DPUs. Fortifying the DGX SuperPOD with BlueField-2 DPUs—data processing units that offload, accelerate and isolate users' data—provides customers with secure connections to their AI infrastructure.

The company also announced NVIDIA Base Command, which enables multiple users and IT teams to securely access, share and operate their DGX SuperPOD infrastructure. Base Command coordinates AI training and operations on DGX SuperPOD infrastructure to enable the work of teams of data scientists and developers located around the globe.

Samsung Updating Odyssey G9 Premium Gaming Monitor - MiniLED Technology, First DisplayHDR 2000 Certification?

A listing has surfaced on Chinese website Taobao featuring what is being described as the 2021 update for the ultra-premium Samsung Odyssey G9 gaming monitor. It keeps the DNA of the Odyssey G9 - that means the 49" VA panel, 5120×1440 resolution and 1000R curvature remain. The devil, as always, is in the details; the new monitor is expected to feature a MiniLED backlight solution featuring 2048 dimming zones, which should enable a contrast ratio of 4,000:1 and an eventual, first-of-its-kind DisplayHDR 2000 certification by VESA. The current maximum under the standard stands at DisplayHDR 1400, so it's quite the jump for maximum HDR quality.

Qualcomm Extends the Leadership of its 7-Series with the Snapdragon 780G 5G Mobile Platform

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. announced the latest addition to its 7-series portfolio, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 780G 5G Mobile Platform. Snapdragon 780G is designed to deliver powerful AI performance and brilliant camera capture backed by the Qualcomm Spectra 570 triple ISP and 6th generation Qualcomm AI Engine, allowing users to capture, enhance, and share their favorite moments seamlessly. This platform enables a selection of premium-tier features for the first time in the 7-series, making next generation experiences more broadly accessible.

"Since introducing the Snapdragon 7-series three years ago, more than 350 devices have launched based on 7-series mobile platforms. Today, we are continuing this momentum by introducing the Snapdragon 780G 5G Mobile Platform," said Kedar Kondap, vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "Snapdragon 780G was designed to bring in-demand, premium experiences to more users around the world."

Microsoft Introduces Auto HDR Support On PC For Select DirectX 11 & DirectX 12 Games

High dynamic range (HDR) offers the most impressive improvement to the visual experience in recent history. HDR unlocks an entirely new range of colors with more intensity than standard monitors, making games come to life like never before. In November 2020, the Xbox Series X/S consoles launched with the Auto HDR feature which automatically upgrades your backwards compatible games from SDR to HDR to take advantage of this amazing display innovation and provide a richer visual experience even on already-released games. Today we're excited to bring you a preview of Auto HDR for your PC gaming experience and we're looking for your help to test it out. When enabled on your HDR capable gaming PC, you will automatically get awesome HDR visuals on an additional 1000+ DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 games!

Samsung Announces Odyssey G9 2021 Monitor with Quantum MiniLED Technology

Samsung has recently announced their latest flagship gaming monitor the Samsung Odyssey G9 2021. The new Odyssey G9 is the successor to the original monitor by the same name which was released by Samsung in June 2020. The monitor is the first from the company to feature their Quantum MiniLED technology which will greatly improve peak brightness levels. The Odyssey G9 2021 will reportedly be able to reach a peak brightness of 2,000 nits when displaying HDR content. The monitor retains its 49" size, 1000R curvature, 240 Hz refresh rate, 1 ms response time, and 5,120 x 1,440 resolution. Pricing and availability for the new monitor are currently unknown however we would expect the price to remain near the 1699 USD RRP of the original.
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