What capture card supports 120hz or VRR?

As a gamer or a streamer, you want your gaming experience to be as smooth and responsive as possible. One technology that can greatly enhance your gaming experience is the variable refresh rate (VRR). In simple terms, VRR is a feature that allows your display to adjust its refresh rate to match the frame rate of the game you're playing. This results in a smoother and more responsive experience while gaming. There are three main types of VRR: FreeSync, G-Sync, and Adaptive-Sync, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks explained [here] As a streamer, choosing the right capture card for your setup can also have an impact on the VRR experience. It's important to ensure that your capture card is compatible with the VRR technology being used on your gaming monitor. This ensures that the VRR technology works seamlessly when capturing and streaming gameplay footage. For example, if you have a FreeSync monitor and an AMD graphics card, you'll want to choose a capture card that's also compatible with FreeSync, like our VideoSync Capture Card or 4K Grabber Pro. Similarly, if you have a G-Sync monitor and an Nvidia graphics card, you'll want to make sure that your capture card is compatible with G-Sync. When choosing a capture card, look for one with a low latency rating and support for high refresh rates. This ensures the best possible VRR experience for both gaming and streaming.   However, it's worth keeping in mind that while gaming, you may experience the benefits of VRR, but your viewers may not be able to experience the same effects during your stream.  The platform has to support VRR, the viewer monitor has to support VRR. Which is why, it's important to make sure that the capture card you choose supports at least a pass-through of VRR to ensure an uninterrupted gaming experience.  Capture of VRR is not really necessary as the platforms might not support it or the viewers might not have a VRR monitor.   In conclusion, VRR is an essential technology for gamers who want a smooth and responsive gaming experience. As a streamer, choosing the right capture card that's compatible with your VRR technology can further enhance your gaming experience and ensure a smooth gameplay for both gaming and streaming. Whether you choose FreeSync, G-Sync, or Adaptive-Sync, be sure to do your research and choose the right technology for your setup. *20230329

What is VRR and how does it benefit your gaming? (Variable Refresh Rate)

So what is VRR? In brief, variable refresh rate (VRR) is a feature that can greatly enhance your gaming experience. It's a technology that allows a display to refresh its image at varying rates, depending on the amount of movement in the picture. This means that the display can adjust its refresh rate to match the frame rate of the game you're playing, resulting in a smoother and more responsive experience. There are three main types of VRR: FreeSync, G-Sync, and Adaptive-Sync. Each type has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, so it's important to understand the differences between them but we’ll briefly explain the different types. FreeSync is a VRR technology developed by AMD. It's an open standard, which means that any monitor manufacturer can use it without paying a licensing fee. FreeSync monitors are typically less expensive than G-Sync monitors, making them a more budget-friendly option. However, FreeSync only works with AMD graphics cards, so if you have an Nvidia graphics card, you'll need to look elsewhere. G-Sync is Nvidia's proprietary VRR technology. It's only available on Nvidia graphics cards and requires a G-Sync-compatible monitor to fully function. G-Sync monitors tend to be more expensive than FreeSync monitors, but they offer some additional benefits, such as a wider range of refresh rates and better image quality. Adaptive-Sync is a VRR technology that is part of the DisplayPort 1.2a and HDMI 2.1 standards. This means that any monitor or graphics card that supports these standards can use Adaptive-Sync without the need for any additional hardware or licensing. Adaptive-Sync is a more affordable option than G-Sync and works with both Nvidia and AMD graphics cards. So, what’s your benefit of using a VRR monitor? VRR can greatly reduce screen tearing and stuttering, which can be distracting and frustrating when playing games. It also allows for a smoother and more responsive game play, with less input lag and a more immersive feel. Overall, VRR is a must-have technology for gamers who want the best possible gaming experience. Whether you choose FreeSync, G-Sync, or Adaptive-Sync, you'll enjoy smoother gameplay and a more immersive experience. Just remember to make sure your monitor and graphics card are compatible with the VRR technology you choose! And if you are a streamer choosing the right capture card is also essential.  We’ll explain more in this article. *20230329

How to pick a capture card? What kind of capture card do I need? [2023]

There are various kinds of capture cards around the market. The best pick really depends on your needs and the resolution you want to stream at. Of course, your budget will determine what kind of capture card you can buy. But there are several options for neophytes and experts alike. In this guide, we will talk about what to invest in a so -called “capture card”. Internal vs. External You first have to determine between internal or external capture cards. Each has its own pros and cons.  Internal capture cards require some pre knowledge of the computer system, which may be more suitable for PC builders. Most PCIe (PCI express) capture cards may require a driver for installation, that’s why we suggest it’s better for those with better understanding on PC. On the other hand, most of the external capture cards are plugged into a computer through a USB cable, which is easier to use and much more portable compared to an internal capture card. With Driver vs Plug-n-Play Regardless if you are looking for an internal capture card or an external capture card, certain manufactures will ask you to install a driver while others allow you to plug-n-play (without driver).   When a capture card requires a driver, most of the time it requires proprietary software to process the image or process the hardware.   The downside about a driver is that you will require it each time when you switch to different computers.  You will also need to update the proprietary software each time the OS updates.  This used to be the case for operating systems previous to Windows 7.  Nowadays, most capture cards are plug-n-play and use a standard driver that’s embedded in your operating system  Lucky for us, as long as you have a recent computer, this might not be something that you need to worry about.   Capture Card with pass-through? You might see many capture cards with a feature called Passthrough or HDMI-Passthrough. What is this and do you need it? Well, it depends on what you are capturing and why you are capturing.   As stated above, when capturing, a capture card processes the HDMI signal for the computer to recognize. A capture card with passthrough, in this case, has another route that does not process the HDMI signal at all. Thus, you can see your gameplay on your display with the original data, which means the highest-resolution gameplay without any latency. For instance, if your console game is at 4K, then you can pass through your gameplay onto your screen in 4K as well.  However, this does not equal the capture resolution. Some capture cards allow 4K pass-through yet can only capture 1080p. When reading the specification, keep an eye on the capture resolution and pass-through resolution.  If you want gameplay and live stream at the same time, a capture card with pass-through will be essential. However, if you just want to capture a DSLR, or camcorder directly, then you don’t need the HDMI passthrough option in the capture card. Capture cards with an external power adapter vs. no power adapter You might have seen some capture cards requiring an external power adapter and some don’t. That’s talk about their pros and cons.   Any electronic device that processes data, regardless of video or text, requires power (electricity) and bandwidth. Thus, a capture card without a power adapter will have to borrow both power and bandwidth from your computer via USB. In this case, if you want to process high-quality images or videos without a power adapter, it’s recommended to make sure that your computer USB ports work independently from adjacent USB ports.   On the other hand, having the external power adapter does not take the computer electricity since the adapter will cover the duty. However, a power adapter usually takes up space and is inconvenient to move around. For users who need to frequently change their setting or want to stream outside, this may not be the ideal choice.    Choosing the right capture resolution for you  Resolution decides how well your video can be presented in front of your audience.  If the streaming platforms only support 720p, then just purchase a capture card that captures at 720p.  However, in recent years, more and more streaming services have upscale its support resolution to  4K, which means you’ll need to find a capture card that can capture at 4K. Maintaining high quality content is one of the keys for upscaling the viewer number for streamers. Think about the content creator you want to be and strive to produce that level of content. Professional streamers don’t broadcast in dimly lit rooms.  Learn more about resolution over here! In terms of resolution, make sure that all your devices, (1) the device you want to capture, (2) the capture card, (3) the capture computer, all three components support the same resolution and specifications.   Capture input type The information above was assuming that the capture source is a HDMI signal, but there are various types of interfaces that you can capture, such as VGA,  DVI, composite, or many more etc. Make sure your capture card supports the source device input signal and interface. source: https://blog.tripplite.com/how-to-connect-a-tablet-to-a-dvi-monitor-flat-screen-tv-or-hdmi-projector/ Conclusion We talked a lot in this article. Here’s the small summary to help you compare different types of capture cards.    Internal External Require PC building knowledge Usually require driver Usually comes with plug-n-play Portability   Need Driver Without Driver Usually with Windows 7 and below Usually come with proprietary software which need extra installation Need frequent update Usually with Windows 8 and above Plug-n-Play feature Compatible with any editing software   Without Passthrough With Passthrough More suitable for DSLR, Camcorder User Allow user monitor their gameplay, great feature for user with console   Need Power Adapter No Need Power Adapter Does not take computer electricity Low portability Require extra charger (adapter) Independent USB port required Better portability With more and more streaming options available online, the considerations will only get loaded.  Luckily, Pengo tries to make things simple for the streamer! We’ve made our capture cards driverless, no need for extra software , regardless if it’s USB or PCIe interface, external or internal,  and without power adapter.   Things might change in the future as technology progresses but for the moment, we feel that these are the best solutions for capture cards.  Check out our capture cards and if you run into questions, do not hesitate to contact us.  Happy streaming! 20221123

Do you need a capture card for streaming? [2023]

If you're considering live streaming video games on Twitch or YouTube, you might be interested in learning whether you'll need a capture card and why. You will learn how a capture card functions in this article, along with tips on how to choose the best capture card for your purposes. What is a "capture card" and how does it work? A capture card is a device that "captures" the video signal from one end and encodes it so that the output device can process it. For instance, say you want to record your gameplay from your PS5 to your PC. You will need a capture card that connects your PS5 and your PC, since neither your PS5 nor your computer can capture and record your screenplay on its own. Capture cards come in two different types: external and internal. An external capture card is plugged into the PC via USB, meanwhile an internal capture card is directly installed into the PC's motherboard PCIe slot. We will explain more in the section below.   Many capture cards also have an additional audio input for an external microphone, allowing users to record both gameplay and commentary in one simple setting.  Do you need a Capture Card? Many people may have this question: If I’m not aiming for a professional, do I still need a capture card to record gameplay? If I just want to record games via my PC, do I still need a capture card? First of all, if you want to record from another outsource device — camera, Xbox, Playstation — you will need to get a capture card to output the data onto your PC for live stream or record for later editing. This is because the PC can not process the video signal from the console. The capture card is necessary to convert the HDMI signal into USB signal for a computer to process.   How about you want to record a PC game from your desktop? Do you still need a capture card? The answer to this is yes and no. Since the source stream is coming from the PC itself, the capture card is not necessary.   Yet, if doing so, you may encounter some major issue with the PC recording softwares. For instance, how can you play and see your recording quality at the same time? If you want to record or stream with high definition, which is crucial for producing professional-quality content, a capture card is still preferred. A capture card can also reduce the computer load, smoothing your gaming experience. Besides, many capture cards allow you to record or stream from multiple devices at once, making it ideal for multi-camera setups.  What to look for your Capture Card? There are many options for capture cards, the price range from 20 USD to above 400 USD.   It’s always good to know what you want to output and choose the best device for yourself.  There are few things to consider: Resolution:  Resolution is a measurement of how many pixels that can be contained on screen.  It describes the sharpness, or clarity, of an image or video frame.  A higher resolution means the screen contains more pixels, which means it can output more visual information. As a result, a high-resolution video will be clearer than a low-resolution one. Most of the popular streaming platforms such as Youtube and Twitch allow users to stream games in a lot of resolutions, and channels are choosing to stream in resolutions across the spectrum.  Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:YouTube-resolution-comparison.jpg Keep in mind that many capture cards on the market only support 1080p. If you want to record your game in 4K, remember to double check the capture resolution on the product specifications. Input resolution is very different from the capture resolution. Frame rate:  Frame rate is the frequency at which images are displayed or captured in a video. It’s usually expressed as “frames per second,” or FPS. If a video is captured and played back at 30fps, that means the video shows 30 distinct still images in every 1 second. To put it short,  a higher frame rate allows the motion to be smooth and crisp details. Different FPS generates different results. Sometimes high frame rate will result in unnatural footage due to too much detail involved on screen. On the other hand, if the frame rate is too low, the video may appear to be choppy. The chosen FPS is dependent on the style of your content.  A low FPS will be mandated if you are producing a film or TV show. On the other hand, if there is a lot of motion in your content, a high FPS will be required to capture and display the activities smoothly. A high FPS will also give you more detail of the captured motions. Source: https://library.berklee.edu/knowledge-base/frames-second We’ve listed  some common use cases for different fps.   24FPS Travel videos Vlogs and TV Shows Television Standard Movie High-definition videos 30FPS Fast Pace Video with details Vlogs and TV shows Broadcasting News Sports Action 60FPS Slow-motions capture Video include many visual information  High-quality footage Internal vs external: As mentioned, there are two different types of capture cards: internal and external.  There is little to no difference in the functionality of the two types. It is recommended, however, that you opt for an internal capture card if you’re not planning on using it on multiple computers because a PCI-E connection is more reliable. Yet, an internal capture card, of course, required that you have a desktop PC and not a laptop!  Internal capture card uses a PCI-e base in your motherboard On the other hand, an external capture card is a way to go if you work with a laptop or need to move around your recording set frequently.  External capture cards with USB 3.0 are able to output 4K signals, which is pretty sufficient for most of the streamers.  Read the extended article –  What’s the difference between USB 3.0 and 2.0.  Console and support system: Make sure that you have matched the specifications of your device with the capture card manufacturer's requirements. Your capture card must be able to support the recording device input type as well. Most of the popular gaming consoles, such as Playstation and Xbox, accept HDMI transfers.Yet, if you are recording Nintendo Switch gameplay then you will need the Nintendo Dock base to connect the HDMI cable.  If you are using Mac as your primary PC remember to check the support system and make sure that your capture software such as QuickTime Player, VLC or OBS supports your MacOS version. For streamers who want to record their voice within gameplay, ensure your capture card has microphone input! Conclusion: All in all, after this basic introduction, you may have more knowledge about capture cards now. However, there is always more to learn. Video capture technology is always evolving just as a streaming industry standard. [Check out our other articles] for more tech news. Keep up your knowledge like a pro!  If you still hesitate to make your decision, you can also contact us for suggestions!  You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for more tech info! 2022/11/14

Will the radiation from mobile phones/wireless charger harm your health?

Radiation is inevitable with all the electrical devices we use nowadays.  For example, the microwave, mobile phones, and wireless chargers.  People embrace cutting-edge technology whilst they actually concern about the safety of using it.  Is the radiation of mobile phone/wireless charger the same with the radiation of nuclear power and X-rays? Let us explain it. First, let’s start by knowing the different types of radiation.  Ionizing radiation refers to those with short wavelengths, more energy, and leads to DNA damage or carcinogenicity.  Such as X-rays and nuclear radiation.  In contrast, non-ionizing radiation is the one with longer wavelengths and less energy.  Fortunately, the radiation produced by electrical appliances in our lives is in the range of non-ionizing radiation.  Non-ionizing radiation will only cause warmth as long as we don’t expose ourselves in the environment with too much heat caused by non-ionizing radiation.  Basically, there’s no harm to our health! Besides the number of people getting confused with non-ionizing radiation and ionizing radiation.  There are even more rumors and discussions about whether radiation from mobile phones/wireless chargers (non-ionizing radiation) is carcinogenic or not.  In 2010, according to the researches done by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the radiation from mobile phones/wireless chargers is in the frequency band as category 2B, which represents for insufficient epidemiological evidence and limited animal experimental evidence of possible human carcinogens - the same level as kimchi and coffee. Additionally, researchers suggest that the radiation increases whilst the mobile phone signal is weak.  The farther distance you are from those electrical devices, less radiation you get (when the distance doubles, the intensity of the electromagnetic wave will decrease by 1/4). Therefore, keep a distance from the devices and avoid using the phone when the service is not stable can both be the solution to keep you healthy. p.s. The electromagnetic wave of the mobile phone will not increase due to the amount of applications you use.  Therefore, the radiation does not increase when using SKYPE to make a phone call! Finally, if you want to know more about technology insights, visit Pengo’s Facebook fan page and press LIKE.  We will have occasional giveaways or promotions for you and your friends!  Follow us! Reference: National Communications Commission Posted Date: 24/8/2020

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  

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 capture card 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

What is USB Power Delivery?

USB-PD is the first new power supply specification proposed by USB-IF (USB Developer Forum) in 2012. The core idea is to meet the power requirements of various devices through a single USB cable, while increasing the charging speed and achieving two-way charging. To put it in simple words, in the future, consumers will no longer have to buy different charging cables for mobile phones, or for computers, or for TVs, etc., one cable will be enough! How does USB-PD do it? Aside from the additional chip placed on both end of the devices that allows them to communicate with each other and provide additional power. One, it can adapt to different voltage and current from different devices, and secondly, it can decide the direction of the charge! That is to say, if your monitor, laptop, and tablet supports USB-PD, then the device can be charged by other devices or be able to charge other devices. So when your laptop, tablet are low in power or you are unable to charger it, you can use the power of the monitor to provide power; and when the monitor needs power, it can also be powered by the host, laptop or tablet. Isn’t it great! Five Profiles for USB-PD Volt, Ampere Power supply Applicable device Profile 1 5V@2A 10 W   Portable devices such as mobile phones and digital cameras Profile 2 5V@2A、12V@1.5A 10~18 W   Tablet PC, external storage device Profile 3 5V@2A、12V@3A 10~36 W   Ultrabook, detachable tablet, etc. Profile 4 5V@2A、12/20V@3A 10~60 W   High-performance notebook, AIO computers Profile 5 5V@2A、12/20V@5A 10~100 W   Standard A/B and Type-C connectors for LCD monitors, flat screen TVs (If you forgot what is Volts (V), Ampere (A), Watt (W), please read this article) (You can also find more information about PD from our previous articles: article.) USB-PD relationship with cables So far, PD does not have a unique symbol for identification on the cables or connectors. Then, how do you know if this cable really supports PD? After reading the five profiles of USB-PD, you will know that if the cable can support PD, it can load up to 5A. If your phone, computer, or monitor supports PD, but your cable only supports 1A of charge- we regret to tell you but your cable may soon be damaged. (Pengo’s cables supports PD, takes all your worries away. Product link: URL) After this article, we hope you have more understanding of USB-PD. When you want to buy a charging cable, don't forget to be watch out for the specification markings on the packaging! Finally, if you want to know more technical information, like our Facebook Pengo page, we will have occasional activities and promotions for you and your friends! *2018/12/24    


We’ve started the digital world with VGA and moved to DVI sockets, now to the current HDMI world.  Why and how is HDMI winning?  What kind of secrets we don’t know about?  Let us first explain from the beginning.  VGA The VGA connector introduced by IBM in 1987 and everyone should be familiar with it (most schools still use projectors that only support VGA connectors).  You can also see VGA connectors on most of our desktops.  The VGA connector is often referred to as the D-sub connector, in fact the D-Sub refers to all the trapezoidal internal pins with pins, not just a VGA! The biggest difference between VGA and DVI / HDMI is the analog signal transmission.  (If you forgot and you are not sure what analog or digital means, please refer to this article.)   Perhaps many people will think that VGA does not support high resolution but in fact VGA transmission cables can support up to 2560×1600P!  However, VGA easily gets transmission interference by other signals, so in order to avoid video interference, keeping and viewing at 1920×1080P or below resolutions is more stable. Although in 2010 many manufacturers jointly decided to completely eliminate the VGA interface in 2015, thus the VGA connector has been removed as the newer laptops are getting thinner and thinner.   There are still too many existing and professional devices using the VGA interface to output images, therefore the VGA era should not be completely over just yet.   DVI In 1999, after VGA was introduced for 12 years and has been widely used;  Intel, HP and COMPAQ jointly released DVI in order to replace VGA. DVI is most commonly divided into three types: DVI-A (analog), DVI-D (digital), DVI-I (mixed).  DVI-D and DVI-I are divided into single channel and dual channel.  In single channel, DVI can support 1920×1200@60 Hz, which is slightly higher than our usual 1920×1080@60 Hz.  Therefore, the most common DVI screen is the DVI-D Single Link connector.  In dual channel, DVI can support up to 2560×1600@60 Hz resolution, which is slightly higher than 2K (2560×1440 @ 60 Hz). Everything seems great, but why didn’t DVI take over the market?  First, because the size of the DVI connector is too big, it is difficult to accommodate the smaller size notebooks;  second, it was affected by the tariffs of various countries.  From 2004, the European Union began to recognize DVI monitors as TVs, it increased from a 0% import tax on computer monitors to a 14% import tax on TVs;  In 2006, Taiwan decided to have DVI monitor classified for TV tariffs.  A 13% of goods tax plus 10% of the import tax, making a total of 23% tax.  Therefore the manufacturing cost for DVI monitors became more expensive than a VGA monitor.  Many manufactures went back to producing VGA LCD monitors while DVI interface can only be found in middle and high-end products.  The DVI ear is bound to be limited,thus the VGA will not disappear anytime soon. HDMI In 2003, TOSHIBA, SONY, Panasonic and other home appliance manufacturers promoted HDMI, which was originally designed for TV, DVD and Blu-ray players.  It is not only  smaller in size and has the ability to transmit sound and video simultaneously, HDMI is also supported by leading film production companies such as 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., Disney, Samsung Electronics, and other cable TV systems. There are many HDMI versions, and the most common ones are 1.4 and 2.0 and the 2.1 version was introduced back in 2017.  The 1.4 version can support 1080P@120Hz; the 2.0 version can support 4K @50/60Hz and support 21:9 aspect ratio;  2.1 version can support 4K@120Hz and 8K@60Hz, its transmission bandwidth also increased significantly.  It is worth mentioning that HDMI has added an Ethernet channel after version 1.4, but nowadays the average family will not apply this function and it will also depend on how HDMI is going to develop in the future!   HDMI is better than DVI and HDCP is one of the reasons (Forget what HDCP is? Come see this article: URL) HDMI started supporting HDCP in 2003, but DVI joined later in 2007.  This is why many movie companies support HDMI at an early stage.  We hope you have a basic idea of these three types of connectors.   In short, the advantages of HDMI are: the ability to transmit sound at the same time, small size, high quality, easy to plug, supports HDCP and so on.  HDMI should have a stable and long-lasting position in the market, unless there is a new development of a new connector.  We hope you like our simple version of HDMI introduction.  Finally, if you want to learn more about technology, please join and like our Facebook Pengo page.  We will have occasional activities! *2019/02/13

What is PPS ?

As the performance of mobile phones becomes stronger and the screens become larger and larger, the power consumption of mobile phones has also increased dramatically, and fast charging has become an indispensable part.  However, each brand develops their own fast charging technology and many of them are incompatible with each other which brings the consumer an abundance of inconvenience and it is a waste of resources. In 2017, the USB-IF Association added Programmable Power Supply (PPS) to the USB PD 3.0 standard, expecting a unified specification for today's fast charging solutions.  In that same year, Qualcomm’s QC4.0 complied with PPS standards, reaching a unified charging scheme.  So what is Programmable Power Supply (PPS)? The PPS standard refers to the power supply can exchange data with the power supply every ten seconds, so that the power supply can dynamically adjust the output voltage and current according to the condition of the receiving product specifications.  The voltage range is between 3~ 21V, with increment of 0.02V.  Due to PPS, USB-IF Association has also added "PPS Voltage Step Test" and "PPS Current Limit Test" to ensure that the current and voltage dynamic adjustment of the device during the charging process are in compliance with the Association's specifications. Note:  There are two types of fast charging modes, one is high voltage and low current, and the other is low voltage and high current.  The disadvantage of the first mode is because while the withstand voltage of the mobile phone battery is 4.2V, but the input charging voltage is 9V, it is necessary to reduce voltage to 4.2V in the mobile phone.  The reduction of voltage will increase the current and cause the mobile phone to easily overheat.  This is the reason why you feel the increase in temperature on your mobile phone. *2019/01/18

Change to USB Type-C! It’s Better!

In the spring of 2015, Apple was the only company to release a laptop with one USB Type-C connector.  The USB Type-C gradually became popular leading to extensive discussions among the tech savvy network.  With an increasing demand in the market, USB Type-C can now be found in various kinds of computers and mobile phones.  What are the advantages of USB Type-C? What is the relationship with USB PD? (Forget what USB PD is?  Please read this article) The advantages of USB Type-C are in fact very consistent with today’s technology trend.  The compact design and fast transmission speed are compatible with practically all modern devices; Not only is it light and slim, but it is also able to transfer larger data volume.  Unlike other USBs, the USB Type –C has a reversible design that allows the connector to be plugged in from either side.  The way that this goal is achieved is actually quite simple but smart—that is, all the signals are aligned symmetrically.  This way, the user can easily plug it in once allowing an immediate recognition from the other end.   The USB Type-C USB 3.1 can support three different USB PD specifications 5V/12V/20V to reach a wider charging range, thus devices can charge all at once with one single cable. Unlike the majority of USB types in the market, the USB Type-C can deliver high-definition video and audio.  The original USB-A can also deliver a high-definition video and audio but only with the upgraded USB 3.1 Gen2 version which is very rare to find in the market.  In general, the USB 2.0 does not have the ability to transmit files because it does not have enough bandwidth.  USB Type-C Alternate Mode (or Alt Mode – Full-Function) on the other hand, can deliver movies with more than 4K quality, which is currently the highest resolution in the market.  When connecting a HDMI adapter, DisplayPort adapter, or VGA adapter, verify that your devices supports USB-C Alternate Mode.  Here comes the good news!  The MFI-certified Lightning to USB Type-C cable is expected to be available in early 2019 (To know more about MFI, please read this article).  At the moment, many Lightning to USB Type-C cables on the market are not certified by Apple hence the quality is difficult to be determined.  Nonetheless, Pengo will soon be releasing its very own MFI certified cable soon providing one of the highest quality products in the market.   Hopefully we gave you a little bit more understanding regarding USB Type-C (USB-C).  If you would like to know more about some technical information, please like our Pengo Facebook page and follow us. We will have occasional activities and promotions for you! *2019/02/18 *2020/05/20 revised

Ever wonder why your phone charges slower on your computer?

Isn’t it weird that a simple power-plug adapter can charge your phone faster than your new MacBook, or gaming PC? Why, on even the most expensive laptop or motherboard, is there only one “always on” or “sleep mode” port where you can charge a USB device, even when your computer is sleeping, or off? This is mainly because of computer manufacturers. Lenovo ThinkPad L380 (light grey), and, ThinkPad X380 Yoga (dark grey), how many different icons for power? Source: MobileTechReview In the picture above, we see different icons for various features of these laptops that can be somewhat confusing.  First off, on the light grey L380, we can see a USB Type-C port with a power plug icon and a small LED indicator.  This is obviously the port where you can charge your laptop through the USB Type-C port.  Adjacent to that is a regular Type-C port, and a regular USB Type-A labelled with two icons, one italic SS with USB logo and a battery with a + symbol inside it. Moving on to the dark grey X380, we have an old-fashion charging port, a Type-C with a lightning bolt icon, and a Type-A port with the same SS USB and Battery icon as seen on the L380. If you had to guess which port would charge your smartphone the fastest, and the only information that was given to you were these icons, your safest bet would be choosing the port with the battery+ icon, right?  Well in this case, that port is not exactly doing more than being available even when you shut the system down.  For all intent and purposes it’s just a regular USB 3.0/.1 Gen1 port without any other special charging features. And in a lot of cases, you still need to manually enable this feature. The Type-C ports on both models are capable of USB Power Delivery, but the specs don’t mention what revision it uses, nor does it specify how much power it actually supplies. And this is just the start of the problems for most of us, the charger that comes with the laptop might be 45W or 65W, but it’s hard to know exactly until you have the actual product in-hand. Motherboards and USB power A few years ago, motherboard manufacturers discovered the challenges of the, then new, USB 3.0 (2010-2011) standard and having multiple USB devices connected to your computer. At that time, many motherboard manufacturers began to question the power of their USB implementation. The reason behind this was because once the USB chip guidelines on how to install one USB 3.0 chip on a motherboard with sufficient 5 Volt were implemented, manufacturers started integrating more USB chips on their motherboard, leading people to start connecting more and more devices simultaneously.  The voltage and the amount of Watts that were delivered for USB charging eventually dropped.  The most common scenario was having a USB hard-drive, a phone charging on a motherboard, and then connecting an Audio amplifier which would eventually lead to one of the devices not working because there was not enough power. Around 2013, we saw them change the way they would implement delivering voltage to the USB chips.  By now, the engineers understood that following the specs didn’t work, so the solution was to make sure that all USB ports on a motherboard deliver a stable 5V, no matter how many devices are connected. However, since the introduction of USB Power Delivery, they have not been able to deliver the same USB experience on Motherboards, as there is they have been doing on modern laptops. Even though they are made by the same company, and engineers. After analyzing the current range of the latest and popular Z390 motherboards among different brands, we’ve come to this conclusion: Asus: They don’t make any mention of anything over bare spec USB for charging, we couldn’t even find any port with Power Delivery on their high-end ROG Maximus XI Formula. ASRock:  They also don’t mention any special USB technology for their motherboards. Although, for those that are interested, they do still use USB ReDrivers to boost USB signal integrity over long-ranges, for instance USB ports at the front of your case. MSI: They were once proud to show they had the same USB charging technology on their motherboards and laptops, however they now only mention the bare minimum for USB information. The marketing comments do not mention anything regarding USB power either. That now leaves us with Gigabyte.  While we can’t say everyone should immediately go out and buy their motherboards for their next build, motherboards like the Gigabyte Z390 Extreme feature a USB 3.1 Gen2 port with “USB TurboCharger”  that connects to the front of your PC case.  The port supports both QuickCharge 3.0 and Apple Fast-Charge. So no, you will not be able to charge your MacBook Air, or Lenovo Yoga laptop, but at least you know that you’ll be getting plenty of juice to charge your smartphone straight from your PC’s front panel. That concludes our little investigation into charging USB devices on your Personal Computer.  While it’s okay on the laptop side, with various brands offering PD solutions on their laptops, the options for gamers and desktop users are very limited, with most vendors focusing purely on delivering a LOT of USB ports, without thinking about how we, the customers, actually use them. *2019/02/18

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 4K? What is Ultra HD?

It’s simple, 4K means a clearer picture. It's more pixels (8,294,400 pixels) on the screen at once that creates images that are crisper and capable of showing more details than standard HD. Ultra High Definition is actually a derivation of the 4K digital cinema standard. However while your local multiplex shows images in native 4096 x 2160 4K resolution, the new Ultra HD consumer format has a slightly lower resolution of 3840 X 2160 which is what you get on the 16:9 ratio TVs you actually take home. This is one reason why some brands prefer not to use the 4K label at all, sticking with Ultra HD or UHD instead. What is the resolution of 4K? 4K resolution is 3840 x 2160 or 2160p.  A full HD 1080p image is only a 1920x1080 resolution.  4K screens have about 8 million pixels, which is around four times what your current 1080p set can display. A full HD 1080p image is 1080 rows high and 1920 columns wide.  A 4K image approximately doubles the numbers in both directions, making it approximately four times as many pixels total.   4K, also called 4K resolution, refers to a horizontal screen display resolution in the order of 4,000 pixels.  There are several different 4K resolutions in the fields of digital television and digital cinematography.  In television and consumer media, 4K UHD or UHD-1 is the dominant 4K standard. In the movie projection industry, Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI 4K) is the dominant 4K standard. There are three main 4K resolution standards: UHD-1, or ultra-high-definition television (UHDTV), is the 4K standard for television and computer monitors. Resolution of 3840 × 2160 (16:9, or approximately a 1.78:1 aspect ratio);  UHD-1 is used in consumer television and other media, e.g. video games. UW4K is the ultra-wide 4K standard, with a resolution of 3840 × 1600, and an aspect ratio of 12:5 (2.4:1, or 21.6:9) This resolution is most commonly used on Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, and PC gaming monitors. DCI 4K which has a resolution of 4096 × 2160 pixels (256:135, approximately a 1.9:1 aspect ratio). This standard is only used in the film and video production industry.  The DCI 4K standard has twice the horizontal and twice the vertical resolution of DCI 2K. *Source from Wikipedia. Why is it called 4K? Because the images are around 4,000 pixels wide.  Yes, the industry named 1080 resolution after image height, but named 4K after image width.  To make it more confusing, you also might hear this resolution referred to as 2160p.  Like it’s not confusing enough?  They just make it more confusing.  Why do we need so many pixels? More pixels means more information. More information means sharper pictures. Sharper pictures are more engaging. More engaging content is more interesting.  We just get more picky with what we see nowadays. I'll see a huge difference? Maybe not as much of a thrill as you did when you upgraded your old CRT to a flatscreen, but 4K screens are noticeably sharper than 1080p screens.  Going from a 480 to a 1080p set, you’ll feel the difference;  display size is more powerful than any resolution jump could ever hope to be. Most people got big jumps in both screen size and resolution.  But this time screen sizes are staying about the same, with the most popular models falling in the 40 inch to 70 inch range. Most importantly, you'll only be able to see the resolution difference on a 4K set if you're watching 4K content and you're sitting close enough. What is this 8K? It's the next resolution standard up from 4K. Basically it doubles the pixel height and width again to yield approximately 32 million pixels.  An 8K display would also be UHD. 8K UHD, or 8K resolution, is the current highest ultra high definition television (UHDTV) resolution in digital television and digital cinematography.  8K refers to the horizontal resolution of 7,680 pixels, forming the total image dimensions of (7680×4320), otherwise known as 4320p. *source www.techradar.com updated 2018/04/01

How many different types of USB are there?

As technology keeps advancing, and the demand of small devices increases, manufactures are forced to come up with smaller and smaller but faster USB standards to fit the devices.  It can be confusing, but let us show you the different types of USB that we can find in the market today. Below are the different types of USB:    updated 2018/04/01

What is the difference between all the USB 2.0, 3.0, and 3.1 out there?

Let us explain to you in very simple words as technology keeps defining new heights. USB  2.0 operates at a max. of 480Mbps transfer data called “high speed” and it only has 4 pins.  Generally defined in black color connector. USB 3.0 operates at max. speed of 5Gbps transfer data rate called “super speed” and uses a blue connector to differentiate from USB 2.0 and has more pins.     USB 3.1 Gen 1 is the same as USB 3.0.  USB 3.0 got a new name when the new speed USB 3.1 Gen 2 was released.  USB 3.1 Gen 2 data transfers up to 10Gbps, at 100W of charging power also known as “charger and cable clutter” is defined with a red connector.   USB is always backward compatible until the new USB-C where you may have to buy a new converter.    *source www.usb.org   updated 2018/04/01

What is USB PD (Power Delivery)?

USB Power Delivery is a charging protocol that enables USB-C cables and connectors to deliver higher levels of power to your devices.  Provides faster charging, more power for larger devices, shorter charging time, and charge simultaneously between devices.  It enables the maximum functionality of USB by providing more flexible power delivery along with data over a single cable.  USB Power Delivery offers the following features: Increased power levels from existing USB standards up to 100W. Power direction is no longer fixed. This enables the product with the power (Host or Peripheral) to provide the power. Optimize power management across multiple peripherals by allowing each device to take only the power it requires, and to get more power when required for a given application. Intelligent and flexible system level management of power via optional hub communication with the PC. Allows low power cases such as headsets to negotiate for only the power they require. *source www.usb.org updated 2018/02/01

What is QC?

Quick Charge (a.k.a. QC) is a technology found in Qualcomm Snapdragon systems-on-chip, used in devices such as smartphones and computers, for managing power delivered over USB. It offers more power and thus charges batteries in devices faster than standard USB rates allow. Using certain Snapdragon-powered devices with a QC certified power adapter and any USB connector, including Type-C, you can refill the battery faster than with a conventional charging.  At allows for high levels of current to flow to the batter, in an attempt to maximize it’s charging efficiency.  It tends to charge their batteries at higher voltages, allowing for a higher rate of power transfer through commonly found cables.  Both the phone and the charger must be compatible with the same charging voltages and currents.  QC 2.0 supported 4 modes at varying power levels 5V/2A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.67A, and a 20V option. QC 3.0 communicates with the device to request any voltage between 3.2V ad 20V at 200mV increments, allowing for a wider selection of voltages. Below you’ll see a chart with the different types of QC for your reference.   *source www.qualcomm.com *source wikipedia updated 2018/04/03

What is RGB Color Space? What is Chroma Subsampling? 4:4:4 vs 4:2:2 vs 4:2:0

The RGB color space is the color space used by computers, graphics cards and monitors or LCDs.  It consists of three components, red, green and blue, the so-called base (or Primary) colors. 4:4:4 is another name for RGB color space and it’s a digital image or video in which all color components have the same sampling rate, thus not using chroma subsampling.  This scheme is sometimes used in high-end film scanners and cinematic post production.  Chroma subsampling is a type of compression that reduces the color information in a signal in favor of luminance data. This reduces bandwidth without significantly affecting picture quality. A video signal is split into two different aspects: luminance information and color information. Luminance, or luma for short, defines most of the picture since contrast is what forms the shapes that you see on the screen. For example, a black and white image will not look less detailed than a color picture. Color information, chrominance or simply chroma is important as well but has less visual impact. What chroma subsampling does is reduce the amount of color information in the signal to allow more luminance data instead. This allows you to maintain picture clarity while effectively reducing the file size up to 50%.  In the YUV format, luma is only 1/3rd of the signal, so reducing the amount of chroma data helps a lot. Because of bandwidth limitations from internet speeds and HDMI, this makes for much more efficient use of current systems. 4:4:4 vs 4:2:2 vs 4:2:0 The first number (in this case 4), refers to the size of the sample. The two following numbers both refer to chroma. They are both relative to the first number and define the horizontal and vertical sampling respectively. A signal with chroma 4:4:4 has no compression (so it is not subsampled) and transports both luminance and color data entirely.  In a four by two array of pixels, 4:2:2 has half the chroma of 4:4:4, and 4:2:0 has a quarter of the color information available. The 4:2:2 signal will have half the sampling rate horizontally, but will maintain full sampling vertically. 4:2:0, on the other hand, will only sample colors out of half the pixels on the first row and ignores the second row of the sample completely. Color subsampling is a method of compression that greatly reduces file size and bandwidth requirements with practically no quality loss. Unless you are going to use your TV as a primary PC monitor where lots of text is going to be read, there shouldn't be a need to worry about it.  In simple, the higher the number, the better it is.   You’ll see it most visible impact in the following devices.   *source www.rtings.com updated 2018/04/02

The MFi Certification Apple Users Need To Know

If you own one of the Apple devices, you may notice icons like the above picture. Have you ever wondered what they mean?  In this article, Pengo is going to explain the importance of MFi certification. What is MFi? MFi stands for Made For iPhone/iPad/iPod.  Products that are certified by MFi means they are qualified for numerous rigorous tests designed by Apple.  But, how hard is that?  Honestly, it’s quite difficult. On average, there are only 2% of the suppliers who are eligible for the certification. What has MFi secured for your Apple devices? Long story short, MFi is here to assure products’ performance, safety, specifications, and to avoid problems and failures that may occur during the use of your Apple products.  MFi eliminates issues such as unable to transfer data, slow charging and data transfer speed, cable malfunctions after an upgrade, low durability, communication interferences, swollen battery or the worst of all, battery explosion. The interior case are reinforced with a metal protective shell and equipped with Apple-certified chips and power management chips so that the charging rate, charging voltage at different stages can comply with MFi standards.  Avoid excessive voltage or electric current to cause damage to the device.  When a problem occurs in the output of the power supply (e.g. the voltage gets too high), the certified chips installed inside the cable will automatically cut off the power. If you find our price higher than other brands, it is because it includes MFi licensing fee, chips and quality maintenance in our costs, and all those essences are the factors that make our products better  and more reliable than uncertified cables.  Apple also routinely audits MFi manufacturing facilities to maintain products’ quality. Does MFi mean better? Apple listed the four issues you may encounter while using uncertified or counterfeit accessories: It will damage your iOS device stability Uncertified accessories have a higher rate of damages. The connector end could come off, get overheated or does not fit properly into your devices You might not be able to sync or charge your devices Since 2018 January, there have been three explosion incidents due to the use of uncertified accessories.  Apple always recommends using only the accessories that Apple has certified, by which Apple has also stated, if an explosion is caused by using uncertified accessories, Apple will not provide any repair service nor any compensation. We all know the saying “you get what you pay for” and not everyone might be concerned about the transfer speed;  however, the harm caused to your iOS device by using uncertified accessories is unpredictable and yet cannot be neglected.  If an uncertified cable only lasts one or two months and costs about $10-14 dollars cheaper than a quality cable, why not choose one for its quality to protect your expensive device? What’s more, with MFi certified accessories, they are more durable and safer for you!   How do I know if my accessories are MFi certified?   If a notification like this appears when you plug in your cable, it means that this accessory is uncertified. Another case is when you use a certified cable but with an uncertified adapter, a message like this might also show up. What other methods can we take if a message like this doesn’t show? Go to Search for Accessories and input Pengo, a list will appear of all the products under Pengo brand that are MFi certified.  Same method applies to other brands as well if you want to find out if your accessories are MFi certified. How do you look for a brand name?  1. Select “brand’ from the drop down menu,  2. Input the “pengo” or “Pengo” in the text bar,  3. Press “Search” This search system was designed for suppliers to check if they pass the MFi tests, and if their brand names will appear in the search result.  Although this was meant to help with the suppliers, consumers can also take advantage of it and check if their accessories on hand are safe and quality-assured by Apple. Hopefully now you have a better understanding of MFi certification, and this is the reason why Pengo insists on providing only the MFi certified products.  We care about your safety rather than just selling products. Finally, if you would like to learn more about USB-C or some 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! *updated 2018/10/5

What is HDCP?

High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) is a security feature that’s created to protect the copyright of high-definition videos and to prevent contents from playing on unlicensed devices.  To put this in a simple way, this protection avoids video quality over 480p becomes pirated while transferring data through HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort or USB connections.  Your transmitting or receiving devices will not function if either end of the two devices isn’t HDCP certified.  If we use non-HDCP devices, the resolution might decrease below 480p or the worst of all, not able to transfer data at all.  (The initial intention was to prevent people from re-recording movies or videos and create pirated copies.) None of the HDCP compliant devices supports data copy due to digital content protection.  (Now you know the reason why Pengo 4K HDMI Grabber does not support HDCP feature!) If you are still unsure about how to successfully operate Pengo 4K HDMI Grabber, here we’ve got some examples for you (see diagrams below).  Next time if your device is still not showing the content or it fails to transfer high-definition videos, you can first check whether your source is HDCP certified, and then check the HDMI cable and the receiving device. Diagram of our Pengo 4K HDMI Grabber and HDCP: Here are some examples of HDCP compliant platforms: High-definition MOD, Netflix, Chromecase, PS3, PS4 (HDCP feature is adjustable), Blu-Ray DVD Finally, if you would like to learn more about USB-C or some technical knowledge, like and follow us on Facebook.  We also have occasional promotion campaigns for you, so don't forget to follow us! *Reference: Wikipedia *2018/10/15