Welcome to the htpcBeginner HTPC News Roundup 2017 Wk 28. This week witnessed Emby Server updates, The Pirate Bay regaining traffic, and a battle for the Internet. Read on for the latest in HTPC news and updates!
Table of Contents
In case you missed them, here is a recap of all our interesting articles published last week:
- The Pirate Bay Top 100 sites ranking - The Pirate Bay regains popularity
- How to install XBian on Raspberry Pi 3 - Lightweight Kodi OS
- How to install OpenPHT on Odroid C2 - Say goodbye to transcoding
- 5 tips for users moving from Kodi to Plex - Things to consider
HTPC News Around the Web
Plex is one of the most popular home theatre PC (HTPC) software options available. The similar but different Emby Server is a server alternative which caters to power users. This week saw tons of updates. Emby Server 3.2.24 debuted with new stats for nerds in the web app. This features information on player type, play method, resolution, and even framerate. Plus, there's enhanced performance and library scanning. [Read: Set up Emby Server with Odroid C2 - Alternative to Plex and Kodi]
Additionally, the Emby for PS4 app and iOS Emby app benefitted from updates. The iOS and PS4 apps both get extra stats. Plus, there are more subtitle options like setting appearance and subtitle burn. [Read: Set up Emby Server with Raspberry Pi 3 - Media streaming server]
Net neutrality is a major issue. While pirates do care about keeping the Internet neutral, the battle for the net includes a smattering of big-name tech giants. The likes of Netflix, Google, and Amazon desire an open Internet. The FCC plans to repeal net neutrality rules which were set up under the Obama administration.
Without net neutrality, Internet service providers could block access to or throttle traffic. There's a terrifying potential for fast lanes and paid priority traffic.
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In a major update, Google Play now provides HDR content. This means your blacks will look even blacker and your whites even whiter. Currently, HDR titles are pretty limited. Plus, you'll need hardware and a television set capable of handling HDR. Furthermore, cost is rather substantial. HDR movies from Google Play clock in at $30 each, and doesn't include a physical copy. Still, it's a big move and proves that streaming services are adapting to the times. Earlier, Google Play added 4K compatibility for streaming on devices like the Nvidia Shield TV.
Cord cutting continues to present a massive trend in the HTPC space. Sony's PlayStation Vue jacked up its price by $10 in select markets. Whereas its $30 Slim plan lacked live streams from NBC, Fox, CBS, and ABC, the slim plan now costs $40. Once a better deal than the likes of Sling TV and DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue lost a major advantage in its price hike. Nevertheless, it's still among the more reliable streaming services for cord cutters and includes a solid lineup including sports content.
Let's get this out of the way first: Kodi is still alive and kicking. Nothing has dethroned what's arguably the king of HTPC software choices. However, Mobdro offers a Kodi alternative. This streaming app is simple to install on Android devices. Although it's several years old, Modbro is gaing traction. [Read: Kodi beginner's guide p1: What is Kodi?]
Did you find any interesting news stories or projects from around the HTPC space? Share them with us in the comments section below!