News

Exclusive look at Panasonic Firefox OS implementation #VieraVIPClub

Exclusive look at Panasonic Firefox OS implementation #VieraVIPClub

Panasonic have taken some time out to film a couple of little videos for readers here at Tracyandmatt.co.uk. The first features Michael Price, an expert from Panasonic on the Viera range. Michael gives us a quick look at how simple the new Firefox OS is to use on the new Viera range, alongside the latest 4K […]

By March 3, 2015 Read More →
Microsoft delivers some new devices

Microsoft delivers some new devices

Today in Barcelona, at Mobile World Congress, Microsoft unveiled new devices, services and partner offerings to help every person and organisation on the planet achieve more. -          The Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL, affordable smartphones running Windows 8.1 with signature Microsoft experiences built-in. The 5” Lumia 640 and 5.7” Lumia 640 XL deliver powerful hardware and […]

By March 3, 2015 Read More →
The Samsung Galaxy S6 and Edge

The Samsung Galaxy S6 and Edge

Samsung have been working hard to make something that will make up for the lack of enthusiasm around the Samsung Galaxy S5 but not without fault. In what could seem like an insane gamble Samsung have discarded a few specification that they have frequently aped Apple over, the ability to remove the battery and expandable […]

By March 2, 2015 Read More →
The HTC One 2015 (M9)

The HTC One 2015 (M9)

The Internet has been awash with rumours and speculation regarding the HTC One M9 and things have gotten quite savage. Seasoned leakers had their credibility questioned, HTC themselves rumoured to be leaving red herrings all over the show and mock ups of dreamy devices arrived on the biggest sites as most likely candidates. No one […]

By March 1, 2015 Read More →

Reviews

iMend smartphone repair review

iMend smartphone repair review

No matter how careful you are, at some point many of us end up dropping their mobile phone. Sometimes you get lucky and end up with just a little scratch but other times the damage can be a little more catastrophic. Generally your choices are to get a new phone or to get the phone […]

By December 8, 2014 Read More →
ExpressVPN keeping you safe and secret

ExpressVPN keeping you safe and secret

There is no shortage of Virtual Private Network solutions out there, they really seem to be all the rage this side of the NSA reaching into the search engines and online storages to harvest our very personal data and to build a profile on each and every one of us. It seems in the future […]

By November 25, 2014 Read More →
Unboxing Inateck 2 in 1 Micro USB Cable + Apple Lightning Adapter Cable

Unboxing Inateck 2 in 1 Micro USB Cable + Apple Lightning Adapter Cable

Inateck have provided us with a 2 in 1 Micro USB Cable + Apple Lightning Adapter Cable 1.2m (4ft.) This is ideal for charging your iPhone 6/ 5/ 5s/ 5c /iPad 4/ iPad air/ iPad mini mini2/ iPad 4th gen, whilst also providing a cable for a MicroUSB based device. The cap on the top can […]

By October 27, 2014 Read More →
Unboxing Inateck  4 Port USB3.0 Hub  With 1 Port Charging

Unboxing Inateck 4 Port USB3.0 Hub With 1 Port Charging

Gareth unboxes Inateck’s 4 Port USB3.0 Hub With 1 Port Charging, the cheapest USB 3.0 hub on around. This hub is equipped with both a 5V 4A power supply and built-in surge protection, 4 Port USB 3.0 + 1 fast charging port (5V 2A) for SamSung tablets and smart phones etc.  SuperSpeed USB 3.0 supports transfer […]

By October 23, 2014 Read More →

Other Recent Posts

HTC Grip sees gripe

B_BYtXoWwAAKDMTHTC are entering the wearables market this year with a dip stick. Much like the HTC Flyer years back HTC are not taking any chances with an emerging market without testing the water first. Their first wearable, like many other companies, is a fitness band. Simple, rubber, black and safe. Working closely with Under Armour the Grip is know as a sport band connecting with Bluetooth to and Android device. GPS is inbuilt and a 100 mAh battery that will see only 5 hours of life, unless you turn GPS off. There is a soft touch material inside to keep sweat at bay.

The lack of battery life will no doubt put people off, Samsung’s option lasts a good deal longer however that exists entirely within the Samsung eco-system. Huawei and Acer have similar devices on their roadmap and if they drop a better battery in then there is little reason to recommend the HTC Grip.

Honestly this feels like an afterthought and with HTC announcing two big devices in Barcelona, this is likely to be ignored however it will hopefully not put HTC off working on wearables.

 

| March 1, 2015 | Read More →

Panasonic 4K Pro: Finally get to see what the director REALLY intended

ef80mssooflvwhf3mklvPanasonic today announced the introduction of ‘4K Pro’: an enhanced 4K experience that combines the professional-level processing power of Panasonic’s new 4K Studio Master Processor with super-bright Wide Colour Phosphor panels that cover a maximum of 98% of the Digital Cinema Initiative (DCI) colour range.

Because of the limitations of traditional TV technology, viewers have long had to accept that it is difficult to experience at home what film directors truly intended when they put together their masterpieces.

However, Panasonic’s guiding principle with regards to TV picture quality has always been to strive to faithfully reproduce the director’s vision. 4K Pro represents a considerable step towards casting aside past screen limitations and is made possible by a cross-fertilisation of Panasonic’s professional AV business technology with the ‘reference’ picture quality knowhow built up while developing its renowned plasma TVs.

What is 4K Pro?

For Panasonic, 4K resolution is just one part of an immersive and accurate picture experience. So while the new 4K Pro picture engine certainly maximises the impact of 4K’s 3840×2160 pixel count, it also deploys a whole raft of technologies – including both panel design and processing systems – to address all the other key aspects of TV picture quality too.

The 4K Studio Master Processor

Panasonic’s proprietary 4K Studio Master Processor has been designed from the ground up to produce pictures that are totally faithful to a director’s vision. It draws on the huge resource of picture knowledge accumulated by Panasonic’s internationally respected professional AV business, the Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory, and its plasma TV division to deliver unprecedentedly accurate colour, uniquely satisfying contrast, and phenomenal brightness and dynamism.

Accurate Colour Drive: Through its Accurate Colour Drive, Panasonic has introduced to consumer TVs advanced colour management technologies, such as 3D Lookup Tables, which have previously only found in professional monitors.

3D Lookup Tables provide a volumetric approach to colour space control whereby a change in any one input colour causes cross-colour changes in all of the table’s output colours. The result is a much more accurate rendition of colour tones at different brightness levels than you get with normal TVs, which conventionally employ either very crude or no lookup table technology.

Even screens that do offer 3D Lookup Table usually only offer red, green and blue control, whereas on the Panasonic CR850 and CX800 TVs the table also references the cyan, magenta and yellow colours across a total of 8000 registry points (versus a typical 100). This enables the Panasonic TVs to provide the sort of professional-grade colour accuracy used by directors when they’re editing their films.

Black Gradation Drive: Normally LCD TVs control their backlights and gain settings separately, using 8-bit processing to deliver 256 steps of gradation. With its 4K Studio Master Processor though, Panasonic has brought the backlight control and gain adjustment picture controls together under the same processing umbrella for the first time, so that they can work in tandem to deliver more accurate local light levels. What’s more, it uses 10-bit driving to produce 1024 steps of gradation. What this means in picture terms is that you see vastly more shadow detail and subtler, more accurate colour toning in dark parts of the picture, avoiding that hollow, flat, washed-out look commonly seen with dark scenes on normal LCD TVs.

Native HDR Content playback: the 4K Studio Master Processor is enabled to support the playback of native High Dynamic Range (HDR) content when the appropriate standards have been finalized. HDR uses a combination of specially created content and super-bright, colour-rich screens to deliver images containing a much wider luminance range than any traditional TV. This means you can enjoy pictures with more contrast, richer colours, and greatly enhanced shadow and colour detail.

Wide Colour Phosphor Panels

The second key 4K Pro element in the Panasonic CR850 and CX800 TVs is their use of LED panels which include new Wide Colour Phosphor technology and have been custom built to complement the work of the Panasonic 4K Studio Master Processor. Thanks to the Wide Colour Phosphor technology, these panels can reproduce a remarkable 98% of the Digital Cinema Initiative (DCI) colour space.

Coupling these spectacular new panels with the 4K Studio Master Processor translates into you being able to see a range of colours on your TV much closer in tone and subtlety – especially in areas of red and green – to those you would see if you went to see a film at your local cinema. In other words, once again Panasonic TVs are uniquely well qualified to let you enjoy pictures at home that look almost exactly the way directors wanted them to look when they shot them.

 

Bright and Eco-conscious: As well as helping colours achieve a more cinematic range, Wide Colour Phosphor technology has considerable brightness and eco benefits. For instance, it uses approximately only half the energy of a conventional Quantum Dot panel to produce the same level of brightness, making it extremely cost effective to run. This makes Wide Colour Phosphor technology ideally suited to the playback of High Dynamic Range content.

| February 27, 2015 | Read More →

Panasonic unveils Home Screen 2.0 powered by Firefox OS

dhzk8ggjhzlg32nag96kPanasonic has collaborated with Mozilla to introduce a new, intuitive user interface for its 2015 TV line-up, powered by Firefox OS. Panasonic’s 2015 4K UHD (Ultra HD) LED VIERA TV line-up is equipped with a range of new functions and features, including my Home Screen 2.0 and Info Frame, designed to ensure you can enjoy your favourite channels, apps and devices faster and more efficiently than ever.

New, intuitive, customisable user interface

To provide a graphically rich, intuitive interface that makes it quick and easy for you to track down your favourite content with ease, Panasonic has introduced Firefox OS in the 2015 4K UHD VIERA TV line-up.

The platform, incorporating the new my Home Screen 2.0, is specifically designed to allow you to access preferred content quickly and easily. The home screen can be completely personalised to suit your preferences and is divided into easy to navigate ‘decks’. Three decks come as default with the platform:

The Live TV Deck

You can watch live broadcasts and build up a personalised ‘home screen’ of your most-watched channels.

The Apps Deck

Use Firefox OS’s graphically rich interface to access all the TV apps available on VIERA. These apps will include everything from the most popular video on demand partners to games.

The Devices Deck

Any devices connected to your TV, either by cables or WiFi, will appear in this deck, providing rapid access to external sources such as: tablets, smartphones, computers, Blu-ray players, SD cards, and USB storage drives.

A new search tool is also available via my Home Screen 2.0 that allows you to find and access content from all available source options, including internet video services, websites and any external devices you may have connected to your TV.

When you’ve found the content you’re looking for, the new user interface also lets you bookmark your favourite channels, apps, web pages and connected devices by using the Pin function for quick access at a later date.

The new user interface also incorporates Info Frame, which combines everything from local weather reports to recommended TV shows, TV listings and your favourite website, all on a single screen.

Connectivity across all your devices

Firefox OS is built on open standards, allowing you to send photos, videos or other content to your Firefox OS-powered TV from any smartphone, tablet, or computer with a Firefox browser or other compatible application.

This means that you do not need to be constrained into one ecosystem or brand.Sending content to the Firefox OS TV requires no additional hardware – you simply need to make sure that your Panasonic Firefox OS-powered TV is on the same WiFi network.

Greater flexibility for app developers

Firefox OS provides superior flexibility to developers to create brand new applications and services through WebAPIs that unlock the power of the Web and enable connected experiences across platforms. In addition, for the first time, Firefox OS will allow TV on-screen notifications from applications, and, in the future, from compatible connected appliances.

Firefox OS and my Home Screen 2.0 are available on the CR850, CR730, CX800, CX750, CX700 and CX680 series in the 2015 line-up.

| February 26, 2015 | Read More →

What would an iPhone 6C look like?

phpd80nfd3DFuture has produced a convincing render of a plastic-coated version of the iPhone 6, following in the footsteps of 2013′s iPhone 5C. Based on Apple’s previous release habits, an iPhone 6C would feature the same internals as the iPhone 6, with a more powerful iPhone 6S launching alongside it.

However, whilst it has yet to be confirmed whether Apple will travel the a budget version route again to keep the manufacture price to profit ratio at a maximum we enjoy the rumour game it and this is not beyond the realms of possibility. Perhaps a similar offering will await the larger alternative, the iPhone 6 Plus … C.

Previous reports suggest that the iPhone 5C was the best-selling smartphone in the UK last August, with demand unaffected by the launch of the iPhone 6. All will be reveals when Apple refreshes its iPhone line in September this year.

 

| February 25, 2015 | Read More →

Three IT services which could boost business

Businesses of all kinds today rely heavily on IT. Whether technology is driving your front line or is propping up your infrastructure behind the scenes, it’s something which business leaders need to be paying close attention to. Business is often about staying ahead of the competition and this is as true in the world of technology as it is anywhere else. Here, we take a look at a number of technological services which could help boost your business, both in terms of security and productivity.

 

1.       Gigabit internet connection

Not long ago, a 100 megabit connection might have seemed like the cutting edge speed. But if there’s anything we’ve learned during this digital age, it’s that things move very quickly. Gigabit internet connections are particularly effective in an office environment due to the large number of people using the same web connection. While home connections typically see only a handful of people sharing bandwidth, office demands can be significantly higher, creating the need for a better connection.

 

2.       Cloud services

Efficient handling of data is a crucial part of business. Key company information needs to be readily available at all times, but it also needs to be held safely and securely. When done properly (see this Forbes piece) using cloud services is undoubtedly the smartest way for businesses to allow distributed staff members to access central information resulting in enhanced productivity.

Storing data remotely also removes a number of the dangers which come with local storage, such as the possibility of fire damage and the corruption of files.

 

3.       SSL VPN

When businesses set up an infrastructure for the remote storage of data, security is a number one issue – as this BBC article points out. The use of SSL VPN can streamline the process, removing the need for any costly software, instead allowing the secure connection to a corporate network to take place within a simple web browser.

Thus, the SSL VPN service is not only a boost to the system’s security, but it can also offer a boost to a company’s productivity, allowing swift and secure access to central networks from anywhere in the world.

When in business it is vital to choose the right IT service for your business to ensure maximum productivity and sales.

| February 24, 2015 | Read More →

Are we finally going to see 4K Blu Ray?

blu_1The official standard for 4K Blu-Ray has been finally been decided upon. The finalised standard will be different from your average Blu-Ray disk, with a 66GB Dual-layer and a triple layer 100GB being the storage medium for Ultra HD Blu-Ray. Having spoken to Ron Martin, vice president of Panasonic’s Hollywood lab, last year in Berlin Blu-ray development was looking for a different way to store data. This new method, moving from the H.264/AVC (Advanced Video Coding) compression technology to the newer H.265/HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) successor, was a logical and widely supported solution.

4K Blu-Ray disks and the new players, pioneered by Panasonic, required to run them are expected to release at some time this year. The 4K video will be encoded with the relatively new and ultra efficient HEVC and will be gaining HDR (High Dynamic Range) which will provide much more detailed Bright and Dark tones. Colour will also be receive a notable boost with the Ultra HD Blu-Ray spec supporting 10-bit sampling and 4:4:4 colour, instead 4:2:0 colour which standard HD Blu-Ray uses.

3D is not included in the change, an omission that will leave many unphased, but a loyal handful a little bitter. That’s not to say 4K 3D Blu-Rays will not be a thing, just not at launch

| February 23, 2015 | Read More →

Inateck USB 3.0 HDD Docking Station Unboxing

vlcsnap-2015-02-18-20h58m32s26Gareth takes a look at Inateck’s USB 3.0 HDD Docking Station for 3.5″ and 2.5″ HDD and SSD storage. Easy to set up, cheap to buy, decent build quality and promising big speeds Inateck provides another cheap as chips solution.

  •  Designed for 2.5”/3.5”SATA HDD/SSD and equipped with USB 3.0 super speed interface
  • Super Speed USB 3.0 offer Speed up to 5Gbps, Ten times that of USB 2.0
  • Compatible Operating Systems: Windows 2000/ XP /Vista/ 7/ 8, Mac OS 9.1/10.8.4 above
  • Hot Swap , Plug and Play , No Reboot and Additional Driver is needed; LED activity indicator, clear and informative display; Perfect solutions for your external storage
  • Tool – Free design allow to mount Hard Drive in three second without Tools and Mounting Screws , Allow to accessing multi Hard Drives Externally and Easily

 

Pick one up from Inateck here.

| February 20, 2015 | Read More →

Will Driverless Cars Ruin the ‘Thrill’ Of Driving?

audi_autonomous_ttrs-2For many people, being behind the wheel of a powerful car provides them with a feeling of absolute freedom. There’s nothing quite like being in control of a roaring engine, burning rubber along a stretch of empty road. For people with a god complex, it’s a way to vent out their feelings as they let it all out on the open road. Would it be the same, however, if there would come a time when driverless cars would become the norm, taking the driver out from behind the wheel, and making him just another passenger in the car?

Autopilot engaged

Many believe that it would be convenient to have an autopilot system in the car. It would definitely cut down on the car accidents caused by human error. Travelling wouldn’t be that tiring for those who drive over long distances. Driverless cars would also transform the way the public transport system works.

With driverless systems, the safety of roads would be increased dramatically. There probably wouldn’t be any traffic at all. In addition, with the computerisation of the roads, there would be no reckless drivers to speak of because everybody would be driving the same way and everybody would be synchronized to the system.

Heart of the driver disengaged

However, with the disappearance of the driver, the human element of driving disappears. There has always been something sensual about driving. The marriage of man and machine has almost always been personified by the relationship of the driver and his car. Gone will be the romanticized days of being distinguished as a highly-skilled driver.

The thrill of learning how to drive in itself will be lost, as learning how to drive will become obsolete. The human race will have lost an invaluable skill that had been developed over decades. Even with the undeniable advantages of having driverless cars, there is something with a lot of sentimental value to be lost when a driver is taken from his car.

The disappearance of the car’s appeal

With the disappearance of the driver, the appeal of owning a car and driving would be lost. The romance of aimlessly driving with someone would be gone. The new generation will never know how much fun it would be to get lost because they would always have to input a destination before setting out in a car.

The days of romanticizing car rides would be over. No more songs will be written about riding in cars, because of its impersonality. Driving will have the same appeal as zero-fat milk. For all the bad things that drivers and their cars have brought upon society (e.g. car crashes, traffic jams, air pollution), cars have also brought immense pleasure and entertainment for generations since their invention.

Disappearance of an important skill

Autopilot-driven cars may ruin the experience of driving, but don’t worry, it’s not bound to be made unto law anytime soon. We all still have plenty of time to enjoy driving and just ride for the thrill of it. Online resource hubs such as TopTests.co.uk help individuals learn about driving and test their knowledge of driving laws. Driving is a useful and fun skill to learn, and it will surely be handy when the autopilot fails.

 

| February 19, 2015 | Read More →

Want to watch your favourite TV shows abroad? IPTV vs. Internet TV

The number of people migrating, buying holiday homes or spending their 3-month sabbaticals in a foreign country is continually on the rise.

For those TV lovers, an IPTV set top box is the answer to their prayers; in a nutshell, it allows users to continue to watch their favorite TV programmes whilst abroad.

Imagine a subscription service (similar to SKY) but dedicated for users who are abroad.

IPTV vs. Internet TV

Internet TV and IPTV both refer to television programming and video transmitted over the Internet. In that sense, both formats are IPTV. However, the two forms are different:

  • Internet TV typically refers to television broadcast over the Internet that you view on your computer in a Web browser. Examples include news programming available for viewing on the Internet, Web sites that broadcast standard television programming, and even YouTube video. This kind of IPTV is characterized by low-definition video and uneven transmission speeds.
  • The second type of IPTV—the focus of this article—is a subscription service delivered to your home by a service provider through a set top box, much the way cable TV works today. This kind of IPTV not only provides high-definition (HD) television programming but also interactive features that allow you to play programs and movies on demand, pause and replay video, watch Pay-per-View shows, and other features. Some providers also include text messaging, digital telephone, and Internet access in the service.

 

How Do You Get IPTV?

IPTV is not available everywhere. Currently, it is more widely available in Europe. The service provider My TV Abroad currently provide their IPTV setbox Freeview receiver from the UK, Scandinavia or Greece, allowing you to view live TV from these countries anywhere in the world via your internet connection.

You will never miss an episode of your favourite TV show or the big sporting events again with this system. Simply plug the Ex-Pat TV box into your broadband router and your television and you will have live, uninterrupted access to all Free to Air channels currently are currently broadcasted in the those countries.

 

Making the Choice

IPTV may be new, but it’s growing rapidly. Today, there are about 29 million IPTV subscribers in the world.

According to a leading media analyst, the number of IPTV subscribers is expected to more than double in the next 2–3 years. This means that IPTV service is going to become more widely available in the near future—something to keep in mind if you’re planning to purchase a new television or signing up for a long-term service agreement with your current provider.

For those looking to watch British television programmes whilst abroad, My Tv Abroad have a wide array of channels for their subscribers to choose from.
Unlike others on the market, the My Tv Abroad system does not require a computer to make it work, nor does it require you to hide your location. It is very simple to use and easy to set up. All this from only £19 per-month.

If you are moving abroad or perhaps have a holiday home, now’s the time to take advantage of this great offer provided by My Tv Abroad. Click here for more details

 

| February 18, 2015 | Read More →
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