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HDMI 2.0 announced, brings 18 Gbps bandwidth for 60fps 4K video

The HDMI Forum has announced the release of HDMI 2.0 at IFA 2013, which ups the specification's bandwidth to 18 Gbps (from 10.2 Gbps in HDMI 1.4) and adds a range of new features designed for upcoming Ultra HDTVs.

HDMI 2.0 brings support for 3,840 x 2,160 (4K or Ultra HD) video at 60 frames per second, two video streams for multiple users on the same display, dynamic audio/video synchronization, and support for 21:9 displays. On the audio front, up to 32 audio channels are allowed with HDMI 2.0, as well as a 1,536 kHz audio sampling rate, and support for the delivery of four simultaneous audio streams.

The HDMI connector hasn't been changed with the upgrade to HDMI 2.0, so the specification is completely backwards compatible with older versions. All current Category 2 'High-Speed' cables will also work with HDMI 2.0, as they can apparently handle the bandwidth increases. It's not clear exactly when we'll see devices that support HDMI 2.0 hit the market, but expect it to appear in the latest HDTVs very soon.

Going into 2014, HDMI 2.0 will have to compete against some of the other major cable specifications that have been updated this year, especially Thunderbolt. Intel's Thunderbolt 2 spec features 20 Gbps of bandwidth as well as DisplayPort 1.2 support, which will allow the simulatenous transfer and viewing of a 4K video via just the one cable. However it remains to be seen if Thunderbolt will become more widespread, with HDMI continuing to be the standard for most TVs and media players.

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Facebook Plans to Use Drones, Satellites and Lasers to Deliver Internet

Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg, in a Facebook post, has announced that his team is working to develop new technologies to beam the Internet to every part of the world.

To work on this project, Zuckerberg announced the launch of the Connectivity Lab.

Facebook's Connectivity Lab is exploring various options which can be used to provide the Internet to everyone in the world. Some of the options under discussion include using solar-powered drones to transmit the Internet to suburban areas, use of satellite systems, and even deploying laser beams to provide fast speed Internet.

Last year Zuckerberg launched, which is an initiative to improve Internet access across the globe. The Connectivity Lab will be working closely with to achieve the aforementioned goals.

In his post, the social media networking site CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, "Connecting the whole world will require inventing new technology." He further added, "Our goal with is to make affordable access to basic Internet services available to every person in the world."

To work on this project, Facebook hired scientists from organizations like NASA, the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, and Ascenta, a British company that developed the a solar-powered drone.

It is also worth mentioning here that Facebook has already bought Ascenta for $20million.

Google, the worlds most recognized search engine, is also working on a similar project to provide Internet access to rural parts of the world. Google's initiative, dubbed 'Project Loon', proposes to use a network of hot air balloons to connect the Internet to various parts of the world.

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