Welcome to the htpcBeginner HTPC News Roundup 2017 Wk 25. This week saw Emby Server updates, a crackdown on pirated content, tutorials for Kodi snap app and LibreELEC installations, and cord cutting advancements. Read on for the latest in HTPC news and updates!
In case you missed them, here is a recap of all our interesting articles published last week:
- Enable subtitles in Plex – How to download and configure subtitles for Plex
- How to install Kodi snap app on Ubuntu – Snap package Kodi installation
- How to install LibreELEC on HTPC – A lightweight Kodi operating system
- Intro to cord cutting: Sling TV review – TV channels, DVR, and more
HTPC News Around the Web
Plex Media Server announced its live TV and DVR functionalities recently. Now Emby Server 3.2.20 includes an updated live TV OSD. As such, its time display gets an overhaul which emulated Windows Media Center. Like Plex’s updates, Emby Server continues to shine with its live TV tweaks. Emby Server 3.2.20 improves live TV start time and live TV images. There’s also better database performance and a slew of bug fixes. Emby Server is an excellent server alternative which is capable of running off of an Odroid C2 or Raspberry Pi 3. [Read: Plex vs. Emby: A comprehensive comparison]
A Kodi piracy crackdown and unsteadiness of torrenting sites like ExtraTorrent.cc proves the changing pirated content landscape. As PC Mag reports, European copyright law is applicable to communication between entities and the public. This is relevant to the Pirate Bay. Accordingly, the European Court of Justice ruled that TPB is liable for copyright infringement. [Read: Best torrent websites 2017 – Torrenting sites 2017]
This ruling relates to a 2010 case. It’s important since the Pirate Bay is not a repository of content, but rather directory. So while TPB doesn’t host illegally shared content, EU copyright law still holds sites like the Pirate Bay accountable for its communications with the public. For those that plan to torrent, a VPN is essential. Although torrenting remains the most popular form of downloading, Usenet is a viable alternative. For Linux torrent fiends, check out these best BitTorrent Linux clients. (Note: We at htpcBeginner do not condone Internet piracy, but we are proponents of anonymity while browsing). [Read: Install Sick beard with Pirate Bay torrent support on Ubuntu]
The file sharing space evolved. While file sharers once were targeted, it’s now sites rather than individuals which are slapped with lawsuits. But as Torrent Freak states, three UK men were sentenced in a file sharing case. Mostly this arrives on account of the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit and its derivatives like the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT).
Reportedly, the three individuals operated on a large scale hosting over £100,000 of pirated content. Additionally, the leader of the group, Eric Brooks, earned greater than £500,000 through his efforts largely via PayPal. Thus, low-level pirates need not worry. But this case illustrates the continued efforts to squash out piracy.
Netflix persists in offering huge innovation. First, the video rental company debuted its DVD by mail feature. Then came its streaming service. Netflix Original series propelled Netflix into the category of content creator, not mere aggregate. Meeting consumer demand, Netflix further catered to its users with an offline downloading feature. This latter functionality is excellent for those on the go. For frequent travelers, StayCast is a neat new means of watching Netflix in hotels.
Powered by Google Chromecast, StayCast is a service for hotels which allows users to cast their own Netflix from compatible devices to the big screen. Simply down the Hotel Cast app for either Android or iOS and stare streaming Hulu, Netflix, and cast-capable apps. This is a revolutionary feature which seeks to eschew the need for dongles and wires. Rather than relegating video streaming to a tablet, phone, or laptop, just cast from a compatible device to the hotel TV. As Engadget reports, Hyatt has been quick to adopt this technology.
Cord cutting and streaming services are all the rage. Yet a seemingly antiquated technology permeates the home theatre space. Lately, over the air (OTA) antennas have witnessed a massive resurgance. The likes of media server software options Emby and Plex support live TV via OTA devices. Android TV debuted DVR integration as well. [Read: WeTek Play 2 Android streaming box review: Streaming plus live TV]
With streaming services from CBS, PBS, and more cord cutters have plenty of means to stream sans cable. However, these cost monthly fees. Even many premium streaming services like Sling TV, Hulu live TV, and YouTube TV lack certain local channels. So despite the prevalence of streaming, OTA DVRs provide niche functionality which ultiamtely may boast monetary savings.
Did you find any interesting news stories or projects from around the HTPC space? Share them with us in the comments section below!