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Xilinx Announces Real-Time Server Appliances for High-Quality, Low-Cost Live Video Streaming

Xilinx, Inc., the leader in adaptive and intelligent computing, today introduced two real-time computing video appliances for easy-to-scale, ultra-high-density video transcoding applications. Based on the new Xilinx Real-Time (RT) Server reference architecture, these new appliances will enable service providers delivering applications such as eSports and game streaming platforms, social and video conferencing, live distance learning, telemedicine and live broadcast video to optimize video quality and bitrate at the lowest cost per channel for significant TCO savings over both software-based and fixed-architecture approaches.

Designed for edge and on-premise compute-intensive workloads where video channel density, throughput and latency are critical requirements, the new Xilinx Real-Time Video Appliances feature optimized hardware architectures and software to deliver the industry's highest channel density and lowest latency performance. The appliances are available in two pre-configured options integrating Xilinx Alveo data center accelerator cards - the High Channel Density Video Appliance and the Ultra-Low Bitrate Video Appliance.
Xilinx Real-Time Video Server Appliance Xilinx Real-Time Video Server Appliance

Windows 10 2004 May Update Brings Back Bluetooth Speaker Streaming

Windows 10 2004 May update is set to bring a heap of new features to the OS, along with performance improvements in the form of a fixed search indexer. According to the latest report form Windows Latest, we have information that the update version 2004 will reintroduce Bluetooth A2DP sink, a feature from Windows 7 era. The Bluetooth A2DP sink allows users to stream audio from their phones to PC speakers, using Bluetooth technologies. This is a useful feature is you want to play music via your phone on louder speakers connected to your PC, and we are sure users are going to appreciate this. The Bluetooth A2DP sink feature was present in Windows 7 OS, however, Microsoft has later disabled that in Windows 8 OS and it hasn't been available since. The Windows 10 May update is expected to roll out between May 26th and May 28th.
Windows 10 OS

2K Games Removes Library From GeForce Now Game Streaming Service

Another one bites the dust: 2K Games has told NVIDIA that it is removing their games catalog from the GeForce Now game streaming service. Fresh out of beta little more than a month now - with a then-touted 1,000 plus games library - the green team's streaming service, which was received with good reviews and good customer feedback, is now looking ever more stale as publishers keep leaving the service in droves.

It is still unclear why publishers are quitting the streaming service, but this doesn't spell good to the future of streaming. The fact that users only need to import a copy of their already purchased game to GeForce Now can be a reason, with removed the need for gamers to re-purchase their games across multiple (mobile or non-mobile) gaming platforms. Another reason may be that publishers are fearful this streaming ability from NVIDIA could cut into sales from next-gen consoles, since users wouldn't have to upgrade their hardware to be able to play the latest and greatest, non-exclusive titles to be released for next-gen systems. Whatever the reason, this doesn't bode well for the future of NVIDIA's streaming efforts.

NVIDIA's GeForce Now Service is Launched - And You Can Stream Games for Free

NVIDIA today has finally launched its GeForce Now streaming gaming service, and users can enjoy partial amounts of free gaming under the business model. There are two tiers of users on offer: Free, and Founders. The free tier, which you may give a go to check the streaming infrastructure and if it's something you would enjoy paying for, is limited to 60-minute play sessions. This means that after the clock has stopped ticking (with potentially intrusive pop-up notifications reminding you of how much time you have left every 10 minutes), you'll be forced to quit the game, and submit yourself to a playing queue until your next 60-minute window is up. RTX isn't available in this tier, though - so if you also wanted to see for yourself what the raytracing talk is all about, you'll have to pay $5 (monthly subscription) to cross that particular river.

Founder-tier members, however, will be able to enjoy the latest RTX-enabled games. The only ones listed on the service, for now, are Wolfenstein: Youngblood, Call of Duty: modern Warfare, Metro Exodus, and Deliver Us the Moon, which NVIDIA has recently started bundling with select RTX graphics cards). There is still a catch though: play sessions will be limited to 6 hours, after which time you'll be brought back to a gaming queue (though you'll have precedence over Free tier accounts, should there be many Founders-tier players in the queue, you might have to wait a while). There's a limited-time 90-day introductory period of which you can take advantage while subscribing for the Founders tier right now, which means you will only be billed after that 90-day grace period is over. Remember - you have to own a digital copy of the game you want to play in any of the more popular storefronts, such as EPIC and Steam, before you can game - but it's still a nice way to experience RTX should you currently own a non-RTX-enabled graphics card.

Club 3D Announces Next Generation Multi Stream Transport (MST) Hubs

Club 3D is proud to announce its next generation Multi Stream Transport (MST) Hub models CSV-7300 (DisplayPort 1.4 Triple Monitor 4K60Hz) and CSV-1550 (USB Type C 3.2 Gen 1 DisplayPort 1.4 Triple Monitor 4K60Hz) which will be available in the market from beginning of December.

Since Multi-Monitor-Solutions are part of Club 3D's DNA for many years, we have taken the time to develop the best available solutions with those two new MST Hubs. They both can provide 2x 4K60Hz when the source device is not supporting DSC 1.2 (Display Stream Compression). In case the source device supports DSC 1.2 all three outputs can deliver 4K60Hz. Detailed Display/Resolution charts can be found in the respective specification sheet.

CHERRY Introduces the New STREAM Keyboard

Cherry introduces the new STREAM keyboard, the perfect workhorse for professional work environments. With the many satisfied users of the original STREAM in mind, Cherry has upgraded the keyboard with extended functionality, a modern look, and

CHERRY has equipped the STREAM KEYBOARD with its own proven SX scissor technology, giving the keyboard a comfortable typing feel and uncompromising precision. During development, special attention was paid to the typing sound; compared to the previous model - which was already very quiet - the noise level has been reduced even further. This makes the STREAM KEYBOARD the best choice for open-plan offices with numerous workstations, where employee productivity benefits from a low-noise environment.

Play and Create Without Compromises with the New HD60 S+ Capture Card from Elgato

Elgato, the leading provider of hardware and software for content creators, today announced the launch of HD60 S+, an external video capture card that lets content creators play high-fidelity console games in stunning 4K60 HDR10 while simultaneously streaming or recording gameplay in 1080p60 HDR10. It's easy to get set up and streaming with HD60 S+ thanks to a simple USB 3.0 connection and full compatibility with today's most prominent streaming applications including OBS Studio, Streamlabs OBS, and XSplit. Accompanied by powerful Elgato 4KCU recording software, HD60 S+ is ideal for content creators looking to grow audiences on Twitch, YouTube, and Mixer.

Building upon the original hugely popular HD60 S, HD60 S+ allows 4K60 HDR10 zero-lag passthrough, with onboard video downscaling to enable streaming to any platform in industry standard full HD 1080p60 quality and recording unlimited 1080p60 HDR10 footage to your hard drive. HD60 S+ also benefits from ultra-low latency Instant Gameview technology, keeping gameplay, mic, webcam, and other sources perfectly synched.

Blue Introduces Yeti X, Professional USB Microphone With Blue VO!CE Software for Creators and Streamers

Blue, a 20-year leading innovator in audio technology and design, today announced the new Yeti X USB microphone for gaming, streaming and podcasting. Yeti X features new Blue VO!CE technology, which enables content creators to dial up professional vocal effects and custom presets at the push of a button. A four capsule condenser microphone array delivers exceptional focus and clarity, high-res LED metering provides visual, real-time feedback for vocal levels, and a multi-function smart knob provides instant control over essential mic functions. Combining legendary Blue audio quality with innovative new features, Yeti X is the ultimate tool for creators who want to deliver professional content and build their audience.

SilentiumPC Presents SPC Gear SM900 Mic for Streamer and Twitcher

The gaming division of SilentiumPC, branded as SPC Gear, proudly presents the SM900 streaming microphone kit as the newest addition to the gaming portfolio. SPC Gear has tailored a prefect kit for Games, who are seeking an affordable full-fledged recording setup. The SM900 package consists of the high-end cardioid USB microphone, an adjustable arm, shock mount as well as a pop filter. Be it for streaming of your favorite games on Twitch or YouTube or recording of podcasts and voiceover, the SM900 USB streaming microphone kit is the perfect starter-kit.

Flawless Recordings Quality
The recording quality is one of the major functions of a great microphone. The SM900 uses a cardioid collection pattern, which is praised by almost everybody who works with their own voice, be it a streamer, vlogger or a musician. The advantage here is, that any unwanted feedback and background noises are effectively eliminated, while maintaining the fullest depth of voice possible. In addition to that, the SM900 is able to offer a wide frequency range from 18 to 21.000 Hz while the sound pressure level is rated with 135 dB.

Google Stadia Pro Coming November 2019 for $130 Up Front, $10 Monthly with 31 Games at Launch

Google's Stadia platform will be the first serious effort to bring cloud gaming to the masses - a first, real step in a game that Microsoft and Sony are pursuing as well which will change the outlook for entertainment hardware development as we know it. The company has just announced that its Stadia Pro service will be launching come November of this year, with a $130 upfront cost for a Founder's Edition, which includes a limited edition Night Blue Stadia Controller, Chromecast Ultra, a free copy of Destiny 2, and 3 months of Stadia Pro for users and a special friend of theirs.

Besides this Founder's Edition pack, Stadia will be available in two packages. The Pro, which goes for $9.99 a month and allows you to play games up to 4K at 60 FPS with HDR and 5.1 surround, and the base version, which will be free of charge but limited to 1080p 60 FPS. You will always require a Chromecast Ultra and a Stadia controller, which will run you $70 each, though - so if this is up your alley, the Founder's Edition seems like a good setup, including three moths of games and the free-to-play-going Destiny 2. So they're not actually offering a game here - they're offering access to it through their cloud. Remember that unlike other subscription services, excluding free to play games, you'll always have to purchase each game you're going to play on the platform - it will be a digital storefront like any other.

Elgato Expands the Stream Deck Range with Stream Deck XL and Stream Deck Mobile

Elgato, the leading provider of hardware and software for content creators, today announced the launch of two new additions to its award-winning portfolio of broadcast controllers: Stream Deck XL and Stream Deck Mobile. From the 32-key Stream Deck XL taking your productivity to new heights, to the convenience of Stream Deck Mobile delivering the full Stream Deck experience to iOS devices, the two new products offer an unprecedented range of options for both professional creators and beginners alike.

The new Stream Deck XL expands the celebrated Stream Deck to 32 brightly-lit LCD keys. Each key is fully programmable and customizable, offering one-touch tactile control with instant visual feedback. Stream Deck's robust software enables you to assign limitless actions to keys: start and stop streaming, adjust audio and lighting levels, switch cameras, trigger onscreen actions, or anything else to simplify and enhance the content creation experience. With a detachable USB-C cable and non-slip magnetic stand included, Stream Deck XL becomes the centerpiece of a modern content creator's setup.

Valve Announces Steam Link App for Mobile Game Streaming Anywhere

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Valve had promised continued support to the Steam Link after discontinuing it last year, and most took it to mean basic updates to the hardware device itself at the time. That was 2018, and it is remarkable how the topic of in-house game streaming has come up since. Be it Google's Project Stream which seemingly is leading up to a major announcement by the company at GDC coming up very shortly, or Microsoft introducing their new Wireless Display app for PC game streaming on the XBOX One, as well as bringing its XBOX Live service to mobile platforms on iOS or Android alike, 2019 seems to herald a re-focus into the concept of game streaming whether the infrastructure is ready or not.

Valve for their own part has had their Steam Link be enjoyed by a fairly niche audience, one that shares a more local form of game streaming from a host device to another on the same network. NVIDIA's Shield offered a similar concept, and that too has not really made the news as much as NVIDIA would surely have wanted. This latest news from Valve allows streaming of one's Steam library (games, in particular) to phones, tablets, and TVs with no download or service fees applicable. Interested users can participate in the open beta program by simply downloading the app (Google Play store only for now) or on the Raspberry Pi as has been the case for a few months already. The Steam Link app is compatible with a number of popular Bluetooth controllers, including the Steam Controller, and Valve recommends a 5 GHz network or wired Ethernet for best experience. Looks like the weekend just got busier than I originally planned!

Google Keynote at GDC 2019 Hints Towards Dedicated Gaming Entry

Google sent out a fairly cryptic invite to the game developers and associated press this week in the form of a GIF (converted into relevant images below). It teases a keynote on March 19, 2019 and more information was made available shortly confirming this would be in the form of a keynote to be held at 10 am PST during GDC this year. The media giant promises to "reveal all", and also has developer-focused sessions throughout the course of the event. An early report from The Information suggests the keynote will have Google talk about their new game-streaming service, code-named Yeti. This is in line with our own expectations, after having participated in the fairly successful Project Stream beta test that concluded recently.

Kotaku went further to suggest that Yeti is a streaming service in conjunction with a hardware platform- a simple streaming box, if you will, to take on the dedicated game consoles of 2019 and beyond. Indeed, Google has been wanting to get into this highly lucrative market, with intentions to take over Twitch before Amazon pulled one over them. There remain many challenges in general to a game-streaming world, not least of which were detailed in our own editorial linked above. But, with the next generation consoles getting ready for development and Microsoft willing to explore a game-streaming future themselves, perhaps Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and others should pay very close attention to said Google keynote in less than a month's time.

Google's Project Stream Offers Free Copy of Assassin's Creed Odyssey For Testing the Service

We covered Project Stream in a more detailed news post recently, so this is a short update. The test period is active as of the time of testing, and will remain so through January 15, 2019. Selected entrants now get a bonus incentive of retaining a copy of Assassin's Creed Odyssey, with all progress from the test retained, even after the stream test is done. Indeed, users (who are limited to the USA as of the test period) with a minimum of an hour of game play will see the game added to their Uplay account on file and this should prompt more of the testers (which you can still apply to be, from everything we have seen) to try out Google's take on game streaming over the internet. Yours truly happens to be one who applied, was selected, and played all of five minutes thus far, but be on the lookout for another post early next year with impressions galore on how it goes.

EA Representative: Game Streaming Is the Future and Simply a Matter of "When"

EA's Executive VP of Strategic Growth Matt Bilbey said in an interview to gamesindustry.biz that he expects game streaming to be an unavoidable fact of our lives, replacing traditional consoles and gaming-specific devices with smartphone-based solutions or Smart TV apps. Matt Bilbey spoke on how scaling bandwidth and latency is paramount to this streaming future, and likely one of the reasons streaming services up to now have struggled for acceptance - and even survival.

"(...) today, that [bandwidth and latency issues] is still a challenge. But I think over the next year to two years, that barrier will drop. Not for everyone, but for a lot of people. Bandwidth capabilities will go up so the business model around streaming a game becomes more viable. If you buy into a streaming solution and the experience is laggy half the time, you're going to stop and not do it again, which is the challenge some of the companies previously had. I think there's now a solution where we can deliver on the promise, and we're working with a lot of the companies who create the server infrastructure, and there are a lot of innovative solutions from a lot of big companies we're working with that will actually allow us to bring this to life."

Elgato Announces Stream Deck Mini Studio Controller

Elgato, a leading provider of hardware and software for content creators, today announced Stream Deck Mini, a brand-new addition to its line-up of streaming and video production tools. A miniaturized version of the ground-breaking Elgato Stream Deck live content tool, Stream Deck Mini offers six fully-customizable LCD keys, allowing creators to easily switch scenes, launch media, control chat, configure an unlimited number of actions, and more. The ideal addition for streamers and video producers who want to get serious about their content and community, Stream Deck Mini makes it simple to create quality content at the push of a button.

"When Stream Deck launched just over a year ago, it gave content creators access to a level of tactile control that was traditionally exclusive to mainstream entertainment broadcasters" said Julian Fest, VP & General Manager of Elgato. "Stream Deck Mini is every inch a Stream Deck. It keeps all the same functionality, in a smaller form factor, and at a more attainable price."

Joint Photographic Experts Group Announces JPEG XS Format for Streaming Scenarios

The Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG), an international committee headed by an EPFL professor, has just unveiled JPEG XS. A new time of higher amounts of content consumption - and the ways we consume it - requires a new way to send its data. With this new format, the image-compression process uses less energy, and higher-quality images can be sent with low latency over broadband networks like 5G. JPEG XS will have applications in areas such as virtual reality, augmented reality, space imagery, self-driving cars and professional movie editing.

Headed by Touradj Ebrahimi, a professor in EPFL's School of Engineering (STI), the JPEG XS format was essentially designed to stream live video and VR - it's not a replacement to JPEG, and file-sizes will actually end up being slightly bigger. The big push with this format is lower compression and decompression latency, as well as energy efficiency of the decompression process itself. The fact that it's open source and has a universal HDR coding format also means that its uptake should be relatively high.

Creative Unleashes the Sound Blaster K3+ Portable Mixing Board for Online Streamers

Creative Technology Ltd announced the Sound Blaster K3+ today. The compact and portable mixer is targeted at today's generation of online influencers and content creators, such as musicians, podcasters, live streamers, vloggers, and more. The K3+ captures the goodness of its predecessor, the Sound Blaster K3, while being enhanced further with additional features. Like its predecessor, Sound Blaster K3+ was developed in part by a number of broadcasters, singers, musicians, and audio engineers. Their feedback has allowed Creative to understand various recording needs, and has resulted in a practical, professional recording interface that boasts incredible connectivity options.

"We're proud to be part of that amazing journey in helping people to express themselves through the content they create," said Low Long Chye, General Manager of Creative. "The Sound Blaster K3+ is a full-fledged portable mixer with a wealth of features that allow any budding musician, comedian, live-streaming gamer or vlogger to customize their content and broadcast in amazing quality. And because it's so compact and easily powered via USB, they can broadcast live from almost anywhere with just a mobile phone, the book-sized K3+, and a USB powerbank."

Magewell to Debut the Ultra Stream HDMI Standalone Streaming Encoder

Expanding beyond its highly-acclaimed strengths in video capture and playout, Magewell will take the wraps off the company's first standalone, hardware-based streaming encoder in booth SU6324 at the 2018 NAB Show. Making live streaming production remarkably simple even for non-professional users, the new Ultra Stream HDMI enables customers to record or stream high-quality video from a variety of sources with one click using on-device buttons or an intuitive, accompanying smartphone app.

Magewell's capture products are renowned for outstanding ease of use, and the Ultra Stream HDMI continues this tradition. Designed for users who want to stream but may have very little technical knowledge, the encoder is ideal for everyone from church volunteers, teachers and gamers to corporate marketers and live event organizers.

EK Launches Giganormous 420mm and 560mm CoolStream Slim Radiators

Following the recent release of EK-CoolStream SE 140 and EK-CoolStream SE 280 slim radiators, EK Water Blocks the market leader in high-end liquid cooling for PC products is releasing two new slim radiators. EK-CoolStream SE 420 and EK-CoolStream SE 560 will complete the slim radiator lineup in the 140mm fan format where high-performance and high-compatibility thin radiators are needed. With case manufacturers putting more and more emphasis on the 140mm fan form factor, these new CoolStream SE radiators will surely set an example in their category.

While most radiators on the market overhang on the side, and are actually bigger than the fans they use, these two new radiators are champions of compatibility in their class. Measuring exactly 140mm in width (the same as the classic 140mm fan) and being only 28mm thick, they will surely fit where some other radiators can't.

Liquid Cooled AMD Radeon Vega Frontier Edition Now on Sale for $1,489.99

The liquid cooled version of AMD's latest graphics card meant for the "pioneering crowd" of prosumers has been made available over at SabrePC. It sports the exact same GPU you'd find on the air-cooled version, featuring all the same 4096 Stream Processors and 16 GB of HBM2 memory. The only differences are, and you guessed it, the higher cooling capacity afforded by the AIO solution, and the therefore increased TDP from the 300 W of the air-cooled version to a eyebrow-raising 375 W. That increase in TDP must come partially from the employed cooling solution, but also from an (for now, anecdotal) ability for the card to more easily sustain higher clocks, closer to its AMD-rated 1,630 MHz peak core clock.

You can nab one right now in that rather striking gold and blue color scheme, and have it shipped to you in 24H. Hit the source link for the SabrePC page.

Here Be AMD RX Vega Model's Codenames: Vega XTX, Vega XT, Vega XL

Videocardz is running a story where some of their sources have seemingly confirmed the Radeon RX Vega model's codenames according to the particular GPU that's being run, with some juicy extra tidbits for your consumption pleasure. Naturally, as Videocardz themselves put it, codenames be codenames, and are always subject to change.

However, what is arguably more interesting is the supposed segregation between models. Apparently, the RX Vega XTX is the same GPU that ticks inside AMD's Vega Frontier Edition, only with a reference water cooling solution attached to it. They report that the board should pull in 375 W of power, with the GPU pulling in 300 W of those. The Vega XT will reportedly be a more mundane air-cooled version of the graphics card, as are the until-now launched Frontier Edition versions of it (with a reduced 285 W board power, with the ASIC now pulling 220 of those watts.) The most interesting point, though, is the Vega XL. Videocardz is reporting that this will be a cut-down version of the Vega XTX and Vega XT's 4096 Stream Processors, down to 3584 Stream Processors, and that it will be sold exclusively in custom variants designed by AMD's AIB partners. Board power and ASIC power are the same as the Vega XT version, though, which seems strange, considering the not insignificant cut down in graphics processing resources. It is unclear as of yet the amount of HBM 2 memory the AIB-exclusive Vega XL will carry, but the Vega XTX and Vega XT should both deliver 8 GB of it.

Valve Announces Link, Source 2, SteamVR, and More at GDC

Valve announces a number of product and technologies at this week's Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco. "We continue to see very strong growth in PC Gaming, with Steam growing 50% in the last 12 months," said Gabe Newell, Valve's president. "With these announcements we hope that we are helping build on that momentum."

Steam Machines, Windows PCs, Macs, and Linux PCs will be able to take advantage of a new product announced at GDC called Steam Link. Designed to extend your Steam experience to any room in the house, Steam Link allows you to stream all your Steam content from any PC or Steam Machine on the same home network. Supporting 1080p at 60Hz with low latency, Steam Link will be available this November for $49.99, and available with a Steam Controller for an additional $49.99 in the US (worldwide pricing to be released closer to launch).

VESA Releases DisplayPort 1.3 Standard, 4K at 120 Hz

The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) announced the release of the DisplayPort 1.3 audio / video (A/V) standard. An update to the widely used DisplayPort 1.2a standard, this latest version increases the maximum link bandwidth to 32.4 Gbps, with each of four lanes running at a link rate of 8.1 Gbps/lane-a 50% increase from the previous version of the DisplayPort standard. Allowing for transport overhead, DisplayPort's 32.4 Gbps combined link rate delivers 25.92 Gbps of uncompressed video data.

The increased bandwidth enables higher resolution monitors, including recently announced 5K monitors (with pixel resolutions of 5120 x 2880) using a single DisplayPort cable without the use of compression. It will also enable higher resolutions when driving multiple monitors through a single connection using DisplayPort's Multi-Stream feature, such as the use of two 4K UHD monitors, each with a pixel resolution of 3840 x 2160, when using VESA Coordinated Video Timing.

MSI New GAMING Product Lineup To Feature XSplit Gamecaster

MSI, global leader and manufacturer of gaming hardware and solutions, announces a full lineup of gaming products featuring XSplit Gamecaster by SplitmediaLabs.

SplitmediaLabs Limited is an innovative software company specializing in the development of multimedia applications and technology. "We have worked with MSI to optimize XSplit Gamecaster for use with a wide range of next generation MSI gaming hardware, making it easier than ever for gamers to live stream their gameplay to Twitch or record and upload it directly to YouTube," says CEO of SplitmediaLabs, Henrik Levring.
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