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HTPC News Roundup 2017 Wk 36: Smart Home Beginner launch, HDR Netflix on Samsung Note 8, Plex for Kodi goes free

written by Moe Long September 8, 2017

Welcome to the htpcBeginner HTPC News Roundup 2017 Wk 36! This week saw the launch of our sister site, Smart Home Beginner, as well as Plex for Kodi going free, and Netflix HDR on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Read on for the latest in HTPC news and updates!

htpcBeginner Recap

In case you missed them, here is a recap of all our interesting articles published last week:

SmartHomeBeginner Recap

HTPC News Around the Web

Plex for Kodi is now free for everyone

Whereas Plex was available on Kodi with several different addons, the official addon is now available freely to all. Previously, the Plex for Kodi addon was limited to Plex Pass premium subscribers. Nevertheless, Kodi uses could access their Plex libraries through the PleXBMC app as well as over the network. This is a major development for Kodi and Plex users. [Read: Troubleshooting Plex buffering - Solutions for when Plex keeps pausing]

RIAA finally shuts down popular YouTube-MP3 converter

Goodnight, sweet prince. Earlier, the YouTube-MP3 converter was a means through which users could save YouTube videos as MP3 files. Unfortunately, it's been shut down by the RIAA. This comes as a crackdown on pirating in all of its various forms. While saving music via this manner may have presented a copyright violation, tons of superb music is on YouTube that can't be found elsewhere. Moreover, some of this is in the public domain (Note: we don't condone piracy here at htpcBeginner, so please refrain from downloading content illegally).

Pirates are uploading movies to Google Drive, because torrents are dying

There's an increasing threat from torrenting with snooping ISPs. Regardless of activity legality, a VPN or DNS is well worth the investment. Although torrent clients and torrent sites are thriving, many seek alternative means of piracy which are slightly more secure. One such method is Usenet. But there's also...Google Drive? As FossBytes reports, there have been 5,000 DMCA takedown requests for illicit media on Google Drive sent from copyright holders. It's a clever workaround, but Google persists in maintaining a tough policy on DMCA violations.

Best Android TV Boxes:
  1. NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro Home Media Server - $199.99 editors pick
  2. Amazon Fire TV Streaming Media Player - $89.99
  3. WeTek Play 2 Hybrid Media Center - $134.00
  4. Kukele Octacore Android TV Box - $179.99
  5. U2C Android TV Box - $95.99

Netflix quietly rolls out HDR video streaming support for Galaxy Note 8

Legal Android Movie App Netflix4K is a major trend in video consumption with the latest and best media players like the Vero 4K, Nvidia Shield TV, and WeTek Play 2 featuring 4K support. But HDR is what really sets 4K apart, and arguably if you upgrade to a 4K panel it should feature HDR. Netflix remains at the forefront of innovation with its features such as downloadable content for offline viewing, and 4K streaming. Now, the Galaxy Note 8 gets HDR video streaming. It's pleasant to see such rapid roll out of amenities to bolster the streaming experience. This follows an earlier HDR debut for smart TVs.

SanDisk sets new record with 400 GB microSD card

Flash memory keeps getting smaller in size and larger in capacity. SanDisk released a whopping 400 GB microSD card which is a massive upgrade for your phone, tablet, Raspberry Pi, or other device. Coupled with Plex's capability to read from local storage, this could be a solid addition to a mobile Plex client device.

Did you find any interesting news stories or projects from around the HTPC space? Share them with us in the comments section below!

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