What is HDR?

I’m sure you’ve all heard of HDR before, at least you’ve seen it on your devices like your mobile phone and/or TV monitor.  And yet, not sure what HDR is and what does it actually mean? HDR is the abbreviation for High-Dynamic Range and its existent counterpart is SDR which stands for Standard-Dynamic Range.  SDR is also the commonly-used standard in the current film and television content production market. High-Dynamic Range mainly refers to better luminance, color and contrast of the image closer to what the human eye sees in real life.  What monitors can show us is still very limited and not to mention the impact caused by the surroundings.  Under this circumstance, manufactures have to decide what element they should keep or discard during the production of imaging. The most notable difference you can see from HDR is the luminance. The human eye can see from 0.0001 to 20,000 nits (a unit of brightness), compare to the traditional CRT TV that is only 100 nits (SDR standard), which was something we still had room to improve for.  When the television developed to a certain level, it is when developers started to look for improvements which lead to the birth of HDR.  A significant improvement of 1000 nits, 10 times more than the traditional standard. Although this is still far from 20,000 nits (the brightest human can see), but yet it is a revolutionary move in the TV industry. Apart from luminance, we can resemble SDR and HDR color like two boxes of color pencils.  SDR color pencils only have 16.67 million different colors whereas HDR color pencils have as high as 1.7 billion colors.  So, the difference between HDR and SDR is not just noticeable, but significantly distinct.  When we look at the two different types of imaging, we can immediately tell the difference.  HDR shows more colors, more details and more luminance. The dark part won’t be pitch black and the white part won’t be plain white, but instead, detail colors and profile becomes closer to the human eye. Sometimes when we talk about color depth, we hear things like 8 bits or 10 bits rather than 16.67 million or 1.7 billion like what was mentioned above?  Now, let us explain the concept more thoroughly to you, we all know that the primary three colors for light is Red, Blue and Green, which we often recognized and abbreviated as RGB.  All colors and be generated with the mix of Red, Blue, and Green.  The 8 bits of the SDR correspond to the red, blue and green colors, each having 0 to 255 (for the traditional RGB), a total of 256 numbers (28) (the value, that is, all the colors that can be mixed are 256 x 256 x 256 equal to about 16.67 million kinds!  As for the HDR 10 bits corresponding to the 1.07 billion is 210x 210x 210!  Don't worry if you can't understand this, just remember that the color that HDR can display is much richer than SDR! Now that we have talked a lot about HDR, hope you are now more excited about this feature and you can’t wait to give it a try!  Please do note that, to enable HDR feature, you need to ensure that all your devices and accessories are HDR compatible. That said, if whichever device or adapter isn’t HDR compatible, you will not be able to enjoy HDR on your monitor, it will only be SDR.  Our Pengo USB-C to HDMI HDR is made just for you, made for this purpose.  What if you don’t have a HDR monitor yet?  Well, since HDR is only going to be more common in the market, it is better to have the accessory ready for HDR.  Get one of our USB-C to HDMI HDR adapter, so you can enjoy high-definition imaging at home!  You are saving your money for future technology!   *2018/11/13

Confused about volts, amps, and watts?

I believe that everyone is familiar with the words Volt (V), Ampere (A), and Watt (W), from the general socket (110V), but a converter may be used abroad (ie: 220V to 110V), to cables that we carry around (ie: 1A), and mobile phone battery markings (ie: iphone5 3.8V 5.45Whr). These three words actually exist in our daily lives. It might seem very familiar to us, but we might not know exactly what it means? Let us explain it to you! Volt (V) Volt is actually the unit of voltage.  And if the electricity is imagined as water, the voltage corresponds to the water pressure, in simple terms, it is the power of electricity.  Here, we will not only introduce to you where you’ll find volts in your daily life, but also list the precautions for volts.  Because if the voltage of power supply terminal and the voltage of the appliance do not match, it may cause the appliance to burn or be damaged! Precaution 1: When traveling US sockets are generally 110V, therefore electrical appliances plugs for the US are also designed to match the voltage of 110.  However, the socket voltages in China, Europe and other places are all 220V!  If you don't pay attention and plug it in directly, it is very likely to burn and damage the appliance for good!  Hereby we remind the readers to confirm the socket voltage of the destination before traveling.  If you are traveling to a destination different from the US, please remember to carry a converter! Precaution 2:  Choosing a power bank So far, the standard voltage of USB is 5V±0.25V.  However, the output voltage of some power banks on the market will be higher than 5.25V or lower than 4.75V, so it is easy to cause the phone to burn out or cause internal circuit damage.  Pengo is here to remind the readers to pay more attention when selecting power banks!  Also don't be greedy and cheap, you get what you paid for.   Ampere (A) Ampere is the unit of current. If the electricity is imagined as water, the current corresponds to the size of the water flow. The main influence of current is the speed of charging - in fact, this is not entirely correct.  What really affects the charging speed is actually Watts, and Watt = Volt x Amps.  Therefore, the larger amperage is to increase the input wattage under the same voltage to increase the charging speed. Most of today's mobile phones have current management chips.  If the current is large, it will automatically adjust to the current that the mobile phone can charge, but the charging speed is relatively limited by the mobile phone itself, and it will not increase indefinitely. Be aware that when the current required by the electrical device (ie: 3A) and the current that the converter can provide (ie, 3A) are greater than the current that can be applied by the charging cable (ie, 1A), the charging line is likely to be damaged.  This is why Pengo is able to charge 3A, 5A devices with our charging cable!  If a charging cable can load up to 3A or 5A, it has a wider range of devices that this cable can charge.  In 2012, USB-IF (USB Developer Forum) proposed USB-PD, which is to meet the power supply requirements of various devices through a single charging cable.  Whether the charging cable can load the corresponding current is also an important aspect!  (For more information on USB-PD, URL) Watt (W) Watt is the unit of power, as we previously mention watt = volt x ampere.  Devices or electrical appliances that consume electricity are usually related to watts.  Let’s talk a little bit about Watt-hour (Wh) and milliampere-hour (mAh) Milliampere-hours (mAh) unit is not a scientifically formal usage, but a unit that is easy for consumers to understand! mAh = mA × hour. For example: If a cellphone has a battery capacity of 1500 mAh, and it is charged with 1,000 mA (1A), it will be fully charged in about 1.5 hours; if the capacity of a battery is 10,000 mAh, with a continuous current of 1A, it can last up to 10 hours. As for Watt-hour (Wh), most people are unfamiliar with it, but if you look at the carry-on baggage restrictions for batteries, you cannot bring more than 100Wh of battery!  Most of the battery or power banks will only list the amount of volts (V) and the amount of milliamperes-hours (mAh) but does not tell you the watt-hour (Wh).  Let us provide you the formula to calculate Wh: Watt-hour (Wh) = (milliampere-hour (mAh) / 1000) x volt (V) Based on the below image of power bank, (13000mAh/1000) x 5V = 65Wh. It’s below 100Wh, therefore you can bring it on your carry-on bag. Hopefully after reading this article, you have a preliminary concept of these terms.  Now when you want to buy power banks or charging cables, you can pay attention to the specification markings and know what they mean!  Finally, if you want to know more technical information, LIKE our Pengo FB page.  We will have occasional giveaways or promotions for you and your friends!  Follow us! *2018/12/24  

6 Things to do before you start streaming!

Streaming games is everywhere right now, it doesn’t matter if you’re watching your friends clutch their way through Fortnite or join the record numbers of over 45 Million people concurrently watching League of Legends, watching games has become just as big as playing it yourself. With the most popular streamers becoming not only celebrities but also wealthy, there are more and more parallels with professional athletes. On the e-sports side, players sign contracts with professional organizations to earn a yearly salary most people can only dream of at that age, while the amateur streamers are mostly entertainers, skilled entertainers that is. With the number of subscribers that popular streamers like Ninja, PewdiePie, and Tyler1 have they are already earning $50.000 - $100.000 every month purely on Twitch Subscription revenue. At that level, there is not much difference between being a professional athlete, or a professional streamer. And much like traditional sports, where you can play for fun with friends or play in an amateur team, nothing beats watching professionals on TV or in real life to get inspired and get the best exposure of your sport possible.   *Picture by Anonymous Gamer YouTube But streaming your games isn’t always as straightforward as you’d want it to be. Your PC might not be able to handle things well, you can’t show your webcam or adjust your layout while streaming on a PS4 or Xbox One, but luckily there’s a small box, with a big solution for all this. Let’s explore the things we need to start streaming and what is required for it. First, you need software to stream. The most popular options are OBS (Open Broadcasting Software) and XSplit. OBS is completely free, while XSPlit requires a license fee to use its most popular options. You’ll find that you’ll get a 1-year license with various different motherboards and graphics cards, so it might be worthwhile to check this if you’re planning to upgrade to the latest AMD, Intel or NVIDIA products right about now.   *OBS Software, source: OBSProject.com Secondly, get a good webcam to show yourself while gaming. Though it might be really awkward at first, if you really want your shot at fame, its best to show you’re really having fun at the game. One of the most hilarious videos is this father having an amazing jump scare when his daughter walks in while he’s playing the horror game Outlast 2. And of course, as with everything, there’s a complete Reddit sub about live streaming fails. Third, having a decent microphone will do wonders for your interaction. While it might be hard to hear yourself over all your teammates yelling during a game, making yourself understandable to your viewers is vital. While most people are satisfied with the sound quality of their gaming headset or earbuds from their phone, any streamer worth his salt will have a “studio quality” condenser microphone for their recordings. Mind you, “studio quality” doesn’t mean you’re spending insane amounts of money, one of the most popular microphones for streamers and podcasters, the Neewer NW-700 costs less than $15 on Amazon! Fourth, having an extra screen would be great for your interaction. Most streamers will use an old or cheap monitor as a secondary display, so they can read their chat messages while streaming. If you don’t have a monitor, a tablet or your smartphone will do just as well, but streamers prefer a secondary screen so they can quickly look for information on the web, while still having their chat messages up on screen. Our fifth and penultimate suggestion, have a decent internet connection. Twitch recommends a 3.6 Mbps (Megabit) upload for 720p 30 fps content. So you already know that having a 4 Mbps upload and sharing that with family or friends will result in a lot of frustration. As through some universal kind of faith, your best streams will be spoiled by family uploading pet pictures to Facebook, or another PC connected to your network, deciding to upload a Microsoft patch while you’re actively trying to find out why your stream is lagging. Logically, we also suggest making sure you always use a wired connection, we’ve seen the weirdest problems occur including someone that found out that his neighbors using their microwave was crippling his wireless network!   *Twitch network issues, source: Github And finally, our sixth suggestion is where we would tell you to have a beefy PC. Normally, people talking about streaming would suggest you have a fast PC with good GPU and a fast Intel or AMD processor, but the beauty of the Pengo 4K HDMI Grabber is that it captures all your video on the way to the monitor and then sends it back through USB. This means no stress for your graphics card, and minimal processing power required from your CPU. With this in mind, you can even use an old laptop you have laying around to stream your games to YouTube, Facebook, or Twitch while you’re playing on your own PC or Console! You can grab the Pengo 4K HDMI grabber right now on Amazon for just $149.99. You can capture content up to 4K@60 Hz and stream it in FullHD to the platform of your choice. *2018/11/12  

The Hero of Computers – No need to download a driver with UVC

The UVC, short for USB Video Class, is a USB device class that allows a direct video data transfer from a video streaming device (such as camcorders, webcams, analog video converters) to a computer or game console.  It was introduced by the USB implementer’s forum also known as USB –IF.  UVC makes moving audio and video sources from devices (such as Pengo 4k Grabber, Webcams, Digital Cameras etc.) to a computer operating system much easier in the sense that there is no need to install any driver.  Any Video Camera device could use the standard UVC driver (already built in the OS) in those platforms to transfer videos directly.   Having said that, readers may feel that there is nothing remarkable.  But in fact, not needing to install a driver is really a big benefit!  In the past, when the transmission speed was not so fast, the video and audio information had to be compressed before being transmitted, and could only be read after being decompressed by the driver on the computer.  To put it in another way, the driver can be seen as a dictionary, and the various audio and video data can be seen as a variety of languages.  If you want to connect ten different audio and video sources, you have to have ten different kinds of dictionaries and ten different drivers.  In addition to being a troublesome and time-consuming installation, some drivers may be blocked by the computer operating system or firewall, resulting in the inability to transfer a video source from a camera or other equipment.  Not to mention if the compute’s operating system and performance is not enough, the data could be lost during the editing and decompressing process. With the increase of USB transmission speed, the audio and video data can be transmitted directly at no time.  In 2003, UVC 1.0 was introduced by USB-IF; the latest UVC 1.5 was then introduced in 2012.  Through the standardization of UVC, installing redundant drivers are not necessary anymore thus increasing the capacity of hardware.  Additionally, you will not have to worry about editing, decompressing, computer failure and the risk of not saving your data. We hope you have a better understanding of UVC!  If you want to know some additional technical information, you are welcome to visit our Pengo Facebook and like us!  We will have occasional events and promotion so make sure to check us out! Note: UVC is built into operating systems such as Windows, Mac OX, Linux, FreeBSD, and the PS3. *2019/03/18

What is DAC? Do I need DAC?

DAC, which stands for Digital to Analog Converter, is a chip that converts digital audio information into analog audio signal.  In simple words, DAC is a decoder that provides a much better analog audio signal by increasing the sound quality. Wait a minute, what is digital and what is analog? What does that have anything to do with us?  If you are a total beginner to this, please allow me to explain to you in simple words.  There are a lot of detailed articles out there, but we want to make it simple here.  First of all, let’s look at analog and digital signals.  To put this in a simple way, we can think of analog as a continuous transmission of audio and image that can be greatly affected by distance or surroundings; whereas digital is non-continuous and usually can be seen as the binary code in computer or cell phone system. (as the image above) Have you noticed that? Although computers and smartphones systems have a non-sequence digital signals still broadcast realistic sounds?  That is because DAC is more than just a conversion between digital and analog.  During the conversion, it enhances the signal and logic operation must the performed to restore the signal to its original state as undistorted as possible to optimize the music in your ear.  So with the help of DAC, the music sounds better, clearer and as undistorted as possible. We can go into details and more technical words on how the technology works, but we are trying to make this as simple as possible. Since we have got this far, one thing I would like to bring up is that all the major smartphone brands including HTC, Mi, Huawei, Google have removed the 3.5mm headphone jack and use one single type-C connector.  This revolutionary move has changed the whole market trend of DAC chips, the need of DAC has then increased dramatically.  Therefore from that moment on, all the adapters with a DAC chip becomes a necessity if you own one of those type-C mobile phones and demand for a High-Res sound quality. Below, we can simply show you how DAC will work for us.   You may also be wondering, if those companies removed 3.5mm jack, does that also mean we can no longer charge and listen to music at the same time?  That is why Pengo not only created the USB-C to 3.5mm Audio Cable but also the USB-C to 3.5mm Audio + Charge Adapter because Pengo has heard all your complaints!  Now you can charge while listening to music.   Hopefully now you have a better understanding about DAC as well as the basic principles that causes music to sound more realistic.  Finally, if you would like to learn more about some simplified technical knowledge, like and follow us on Facebook.  We also have occasional promotion campaigns for you, so don’t miss out on the good deals! *2018/10/23

How to Beat the Challenges of Streaming Your Xbox, PS4, and Nintendo Switch Gameplay

With every new generation of hardware comes new hardware and software features.  In the last generation of consoles, the Sony PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch both got dedicated “Share” buttons which are a great start for sharing your gameplay on these consoles, but they don’t come near to what’s possible on PC.  Additionally, a lot of accidents happen when people accidentally don’t record properly on miss-click the button in the heat of battle. There are many tutorials on YouTube right now how to capture gameplay on various platforms, which all involve a lot of extra hardware, work-around, and limitations.  Besides with companies like Microsoft and Sony continuously changing the firmware to add and remove features, even workarounds that previously worked have been cut, leaving gamers with fewer options. Nintendo Switch The Nintendo Switch as a handheld gaming system isn’t exactly what you’re thinking about when you talk about recording your gameplay. Record the last 30 seconds of gameplay.  Even then, you need to buy an additional SD card and you need a computer which can actually read that SD card.  Of course, this means that you can forget live streaming and the recorded resolution is actually only 720p, so your cool actions will actually look worse when you try to review them. The Nintendo Switch has a built-in screenshot/record function which allows you to take a screenshot or even if you can get over the technical hassle, do you really remember to push a button every time after you get a great kill, or perform an insane move?  You’re probably too focused on staying alive and playing the game. Another downside is that your screenshots and clips can only be shared on Twitter or on Facebook, which means that if you want to do anything else, you’ll find yourself using a PC anyway. Microsoft Xbox The Xbox One doesn’t have the built-in “share” button like the other console offerings, and with it being a Microsoft product, it is really trying to push other Microsoft products’ like its Mixer video streaming service.  That’s why you’ll find a generally younger audience playing Overwatch and Fortnite, which might be a concern if you like to stream using games or language that is considered 18+. Another issue with both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 is that streaming does require resources, many users have encountered lag and with this being a console, there is not much to do in the way of troubleshooting. One weird thing that you will certainly notice when you try to set-up twitch on Xbox, is that you need to create an account on a PC first.  Besides not having a lot of options to set for streaming quality for a long time streaming with an Xbox still required you to use an old (and obsolete) Kinect camera. Sony PlayStation 4 Finally, the PlayStation 4 was the first console made for streaming, but after many years there are still some downsides.  Streaming directly from the PS4 has quite a huge impact on your video quality, no matter if you pick 720p or 1080p, with the latter only being available on the Pro model.  Another downside is that on YouTube it is limited to 360p, 480, 720 or 1080p, as other popular resolutions like 540p are not available. Trying to use a webcam on your PlayStation 4 while streaming, you’ll also find you’re limited to using a PlayStation Eye camera only. What about phones? Most USB Type-C enabled devices also have an HDMI output integrated into the Type-C port.  That means you can use most laptops and smartphones to connect to a TV or another HDMI device with the right cable. While the YouTube gaming App allows you to stream in 720p or 480p, it doesn’t allow you to stream in 1080p resolution. The Twitch route is even harder as it involves other apps that require annual subscriptions to even allow anything but the lowest-quality streaming from your phone to your PC. On iPhone’s Apple’s ReplayKit the hurdles are even bigger, to live stream on YouTube, you need at least 100 subscribers and then only a few games actually support ReplayKit.  For streaming to Twitch, you need actual application support which isn’t really automatic. The easiest solution for streaming of any platform The better solution that is free from all these limitations is an external streaming solution, like the Pengo 4K HDMI Grabber. The biggest advantages of the Pengo 4K HDMI Grabber are: · Allows streaming of every gaming platform with HDMI output · Complete freedom of streaming output and platform · No hardware limitations · Freedom of audio · Recording and streaming when you want · Play in 4K stream in any resolution from 360p to 1080p To put it simply, getting an external HDMI grabber such as the Pengo 4K HDMI Grabber (available now for less than $150 at Amazon) opens up the possibilities of streaming from gaming consoles and even phones without any of the limitations that the software platforms have. It connects to the HDMI port of your console or phone and through USB to any PC or Mac, it connects to any free streaming app like OBS, Gameshow, 1AV Streamer, and XSplit (paid) which allows you to stream to the streaming platform of your choice while you have control of your upload quality without being confined by the choices of big companies like Sony or Microsoft. *2018/12/06