During this period of social distancing, everyone is streaming. As such, Netflix has had to lower the resolution quality of streaming down to SD in Europe in order to handle the load. That's a significant degradation if you have a 4K TV. Will it happen here? Scott wouldn't be surprised if it does. As more people shelter in place, they'll be watching more, and streaming more. Coupled with working at home, kids having virtual classes online, internet traffic is going way up. Leo says one way around this is to cache content.
Today marks the beginning of the 17th year of the Tech Guy Show, and Leo says it's just plain odd. It's 2020, the distant future is here. But it looks nothing like Blade Runner. In fact, it's not that much different from 2000 or even 1995, except slightly better technology. Science Fiction promised flying cars, living on other planets, and the virtual metaverse (ala Ready Player One). But we're barely starting to crack self-driving cars, and VR is a disappointment so far.
This week, at Oculus annual VR conference, Oculus announced a new virtual social network called Facebook Horizon, where you can join friends in a virtual room and hang out. It's like the infancy of Ready Player One. Leo says it makes sense now the way Facebook would spend $3.2 Billion for Oculus, now. They see the future. Here's what it will look like:
Scott went to NAB this year, and there was a massive shift in the industry. No drones: VR was practically invisible: and Chinese manufacturers weren't there either. Also, Panasonic's broadcast stuff was shoved in a corner in favor of 8K cameras. Artificial intelligence was also huge.
Ted has an article about virtual reality, where Cedar Sinai hospital is using VR to treat chronic pain. Is that legit? The software costs about $2,000, so he's not sure he wants to buy into it. Leo says that there is an article from the National Institutes of Health about the work being done studying how to use VR to treat pain. . Here's another from journals.plos.org.
Magic Leap has jumped into the VR headset game with a strange looking goggle like headset that makes you look like an alien when wearing them. It's called Magic Leap One, and it's a developer edition, so most people won't get it in this form. As the field continues to mature and more companies offer headsets, though, the price will go down.
Dale says that DirecTV has an insurance protection program that will protect your TV in case it dies. They will either fix or replace it. It costs $7.99 a month. Leo says that insurance is a very good business.
Magic Leap has been a company that's been all hype and no action for years, despite all of the great demos they have on their website. Now the company says it's making a prototype that looks like welder's glasses for augmented reality. This means it would put virtual things on top of the real world, so you're not completely isolated like you would be with virtual reality. Magic Leap says it will release its system to developers sometime this year. It features glasses, a small Discman sized computer that can attach to your belt, and a controller.
Scott says that the Olympics is being broadcast in 4K and HDR. There are three different options to view it:
1) On Demand from Comcast with the XFinity X1 Box
3) Dish Network.
Scott says that there's a dreaded disease in home theater, and technology in general, called upgrade-itus. Sure, TV manufacturers come out with new models that address customer comments and wants, as well as new features, but for the basics, there's really nothing anything new this year over last. Just more whistles and bells.