Six years after the release of the $35 Raspberry Pi computer, demand remains as strong as ever, with sales on track to pass 18 million boards anytime now.While the Pi's initial success stemmed from it being a budget board packed with enough computing power and features to perform tasks ranging from controlling robots to running a media center, its enduring popularity results from its strong software support and extensive community, who help newcomers and have created a wealth of tutorials and guides.Also: 'We thought we'd sell 1,000': The inside story of the Raspberry Pi Photos of the Raspberry Pi through the ages: From the prototype to Pi 3 A walkthrough of every model of the Raspberry Pi to be released dating back to an early prototype in 2006. Read More But the Pi is not alone, a broad spectrum of single-board computers exist: some similar to the Pi, some budget bare bones offerings and others more expensive but packed with improvements.The quality of these boards varies … [Read more...] about What are the best Raspberry Pi alternatives? Everything you need to know about Pi rivals
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If you've shopped for any wireless Bluetooth audio products lately, be it a pair of headphones or wireless speakers, or even a mobile phone, you might have seen mention of aptX. AptX promises "CD-like quality" sound over Bluetooth. This comparison is always suspect, and it's as overused as it is vague. But audio over Bluetooth is definitely compressed -- some of the data is discarded. It simply doesn't sound as good as audio transmitted over other wireless methods or a wired connection. So can aptX help improve the sound of Bluetooth? And if so, how much? Bluetooth audio: A quick primer Before we talk about aptX, we need to start with digital audio and Bluetooth in general. I'll do my best to be brief. Digital audio is a collection of samples of what a sound wave looks like at a specific moment in time. Instead of a steady wave of sound, it's a series of snapshots. With enough of these snapshots, or "samples," a playback device (an iPhone, say) … [Read more...] about Can aptX give you better sound over Bluetooth?
Hybrid log gamma, or HLG, is another kind of high dynamic range (HDR), similar to HDR10 and Dolby Vision. All three promise better picture quality for compatible TVs than standard dynamic range material -- aka the TV shows and movies you're probably watching now. HDR images on good HDR TVs have brighter highlights, more impact and improved color.So how is it different? While HDR10 and Dolby Vision are restricted to streaming (Netflix, Amazon Video, etc.), disc (4K Blu-ray) or video games, HLG is designed for broadcast cable, satellite and live TV.What is HDR for TVs?At this point you're probably muttering, "Great, another HDR format. Something else to worry about when I buy a new TV." Relax. Unlike the other HDR formats, no HLG TV shows or movies are available yet, and given the slow pace of broadcast innovations, I'm not holding my breath. Still, many new HDR TVs either have HLG built in already, or the ability to add it via a firmware update. It's even backward compatible with … [Read more...] about All about HLG: What Hybrid log gamma means for your TV
At CES in January, Sony announced several LCD TVs with "Triluminos," a new backlighting method that they promise offered "rich, authentic color, and excellent red and green reproduction." Digging deeper, it turns out Triluminos includes an optical component produced by QD Vision, Inc. called "Color IQ" which uses quantum dots to help create light. OK, so what are quantum dots? Quantum dots are a "semiconductor nanocrystal technology." If you remember your high school (college?) physics, avail yourself of the Wiki page. Now Playing: Watch this: What is quantum dot? 2:46 If you don't know your valence bands from your conduction bands, you can think of a quantum dot as this: tiny pieces of matter with unique properties, including the ability to emit light at very specific wavelengths. Sort of like microscopic pieces of glitter that glow green, red, or blue depending on their size.Specific wavelengths of light are good. We need specific wavelengths of light, the more specific … [Read more...] about What are Quantum Dots, and how could they help your next TV?