Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category

A Future Affordable Custom-Built DIY Blu-Ray Disc Digital Video Player For Emerging Countries?

May 2, 2014

Over the past (more than) ten years when Sony developed Blu-Ray disc digital video player unit in 2000 capable to play 720p to 1080p high definition (HD) content in MPEG-4 AVC or H.264 format or 4K ultra high definition (UHD) content in MPEG-H HEVC format, the device was slowly sold to some high-income consumers in U.S., Japan, and Europe at about hundreds of thousands of units worldwide. Developing countries like Central and South America (Mexico and Brazil), Africa, and Asia (India, Philippines, Indonesia, China, and Vietnam)—where there were independent of using a conventional DVD video player despite of limitations of the unit such as playing SD video content like 480p or 576p—were not able to buy Blu-Ray player due to big, bulky, expensive electronic components and console software resulting to high price at about U.S $ 800 comparable to desktop or laptop PCs. As affordable China-made 720p to 1080p LCD or LED TV display with sizes at 17-inch, 19-inch, and 23-inch costing at U.S $ 180 to U.S $ 220 available in hypermarkets in 2010 until present, and even home satellite DTV (DVB-S2) and digital cable TV (DVB-C) in separate or combined SD and HD format became locally available in the emerging countries, some medium-income households often wished to avail an affordable Blu-Ray video player, with the same quality and performance from the expensive ones.

In my own idea, there were an unusual concept—unminded to discover by most PC experts—to develop a custom built do-it-yourself (DIY) Blu-Ray digital video player unit similar from a current custom-built DIY PC design unit. The concept requires a single BD-ROM/R/RW disc driver; a motherboard with a combined quad-core CPU (central processing unit), high performance GPU (graphics processing unit) with built-in MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, and HEVC video codec, sound driver with Dolby, MP3, PCM, and AAC audio codec, and audio and video outputs; a LED panel indicator; video control buttons on unit; and a Linux OS based digital audio-video player open source software relative to VLC Media Player. (See illustration below.) Instead of steel frame to install these as mentioned, the custom-designed case should be made of heat-resistant, open vent frame, hard plastics.

blu ray disc unit

A sample illustration of do-it-yourself (DIY) blu-ray digital video player unit.

Building an affordable custom-built Blu-Ray player design would be near-half the cost of custom-built DIY PC, projected at about U.S. $ 360. But if this concept to offer for medium-income households to buy would be promising or not, the only remaining problem to solve further is to give (1) a consent for the developer of consumer electronic companies like Sony that built genuine Blu-Ray video player unit for fair and balanced competition and (2) a further enhancement of developing open-source digital audio and video system based from the recent existing patents of audio and video codecs.

 

Why Present Unleaded (Green) Gasoline Of 2013 Had Degraded From 93 To 91 Octane Rating?

October 30, 2013
shell petron gas pump

An artist rendition showing a gas pump of Shell and Petron. In the Philippines both Shell and Petron introduced an unleaded gasoline downgraded to 91 octane rating formulation of 2013 from the original 93 octane rating from the past few years.

We already knew about a classic unleaded (green) gasoline with an octane rating of 93 being rolled out in 1993 until present at all gasoline stations. The cost was only 2% to 3% lower than the now defunct premium leaded gasoline with octane rating of 93 and the present trademark of high performance unleaded gasoline with a variant of 95 to 97 octane rating. Of course, some drivers had been confident to use that gasoline at an affordable price in spite of limited engine performance.

But now an unleaded (green) gasoline has now degraded from octane rating of 93 down to octane rating of 91 on some gasoline stations in the Philippines such as Petron “Super Extra Gasoline” in 2nd quarter of 2013 and recently Shell “Fuel Save” Unleaded in October 2013. Why? Not only such aforementioned gasoline stations have had addressed to develop an affordable gasoline formulation in order to lower the cost from original 93 octane rating of classic unleaded gasoline by 0.5%, but also claimed to lower emission levels and increase fuel efficiency in spite of limited engine acceleration than that of 93 octane rating counterpart.

So what is the main difference between the classic 93 octane rating and the 2013 formulation 91 octane rating of unleaded (green) gasoline? We often thought that being an octane rating of 91, although work well on ordinary gasoline engine, would easily damage some earlier high performance engine that requires a standard gasoline formulation with a minimum octane rating of 93. In order to reduce such problem the 2013 formulation version unleaded (green) gasoline with 91 octane rating consisting of a special formulation that often “coat” the entire cylinder piston to become a special protective film before ignition stage may prevent engine knockdown. Therefore it would become the same engine protection measure as that of classic 93 octane rating unleaded (green) gasoline.

It’s so technical to inform the comparison between the classic 93 octane rating and the 91 octane rating 2013 formulation version unleaded (green) gasoline, even though the development remains confidential. Before the new 91 octane rating unleaded gasoline formula was introduced in 2013, a few years ago competing gasoline companies like Shell based in Europe and Petron based in Philippines have had distantly developed a fuel efficiency formulation and apply to their own 93 octane rating unleaded (green) gasoline.