Jan 11 2007

News - Experience 1080p HD content now

Now let me first say, all this article is basically, is a bunch of pretty, high quality images. BUT, if you're curious as to what 1080p content looks like, and are too lazy to download a trailer on your own, it's at least a fun read. (And the Bikini HD DVD screen caps are very.....special? :-P)

 

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Read...errr....see the rest here

Jan 11 2007

News - Why I Won’t Buy Apple’s iTV

Dave Zatz puts his $0.02 into how he feels about Apple's new product, iTV, and doesn't pull any punches. I'm curious to see how it fares, but I think how poorly the original FrontRow software did in the market is a sign that maybe this just isn't the market for Apple.

First off, early reports pegged this device at a max output of 720p (which would have been OK with me) but Apple’s tech specs clearly indicate this will handle video at up to 1080i. What I’m bothered with as a consumer is that a Mac or PC is needed as an intermediary for iTunes video purchases. With a 40GB hard drive, it’s probably safe to say at some point they’ll take the computer out of the equation… right?  

Read the rest here

 

And not to be outdone, Chris Lanier also gives his take of the iTV as well, and why he doesn't like it. Check it out here

Jan 11 2007

News - CNET - PVR product videos from the Consumer Electronics Show

PVR Wire has a nice quick summary of some cool C|Net product videos from CES. My favorite is the Interlink Sideshow Vista Remote, which actually shows the guide on the little thing. The more I see it, the more I like them.

  • Motorola Follow Me TV (video): The product for use with Motorola PVRs that lets you transfer recorded video around your house, onto your cell phone and control your PVR remotely using your cell phone.
  • SlingCatcher (video) – The SlingCatcher is a media extender that allows you to watch video from your PC and the internet on your TV set, much like the Apple iTV. I've said before that the Slingbox will likely merge with media extender functionality and this is the first stage.
  • SideLink Remote (video) – A Bluetooth MCE remote that includes 2.5-inch, 320x240 color QVGA display and a full selection of buttons for controlling and watching your media.
  • Hava Gold HD (video) – This will compete directly with the Slingbox HD and allow you to transfer video to any internet connected PC and using an Ethernet connection and also features some PVR functionality.
  • TiVo and Comcast (video) – A look at the TiVo interface for Comcast PVRs in action.
  • Digeo Moxi (video) – The new standalone HD PVRs from Digeo which will compete with the TiVo Series 3 PVR.

Read the rest here

Jan 11 2007

News - The Media Center Show #90 CES Part 1

Ian's an absolute machine. Guy flies to Vegas for CES, stays a few days, shoots right back to England, and puts out a Media Center Show, right on schedule, without any delay. Bravo! This time up is some CES news, so check it out!

 Show Times:
00:40 Coming up this week
01:36 Pictures from CES
02:00 What I saw and did at CES (see the updates on my blog)
03:00 Cablecard
04:00 Sideshow
05:00 Phototouch
06:43 Windows Home Server
07:48 Lots of video content, so Media Center Extra Shows cominng out soon
09:00 I met Bill Gates
11:10 Bill Gates CES keynote
12:45 Interview - Sports Lounge
15:10 Interview - Fox Sport Portal
21:28 Interview - Vongo
23:05 A Message from Onevoice
24:13 Interview - Tim Cutting from Niveus on Cablecard
29:53 Pro Exenters
32:47 Next week more interviews including Windows Home Server
33:28 Checkout the new RSS feed for the Media Center Show Extra
34:02 Mike’s Digital Home Blog
34:36 Update on the Media Center Show Awards
35:03 Music by Ian Dixon

Check out the podcast here

Jan 11 2007

News - Microsoft And Broadcom Team Up

LAS VEGAS — Jan. 8, 2007 — Today at the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Microsoft Corp. and Broadcom Corp. announced a joint effort to support a hardware and software reference design for more cost-efficient HD DVD playback. The new platform uses Microsoft® Windows® CE 6.0 and Broadcom’s BCM7440 system-on-chip solution, allowing consumer electronics manufacturers, original design manufacturers and systems integrators to more easily and affordably deliver HD DVD playback. Several of the more innovative, high volume electronics companies that plan to use this new hardware and software platform to speed the production of HD DVD players include Lite-On IT Corp. and Zhenjiang Jiangkui Group Co. Ltd./ED Digital.

In less than a year, HD DVD is already transforming the way people watch movies. With several hundred thousand HD DVD players in homes and more than 240 movie titles to choose from, studios are taking full advantage of the pristine video and audio quality and the ability to add interactive features to blockbuster films. HD DVD movies have received reviewers’ top ratings among high-definition media, and consistently outsell and outrank similar titles of competing optical disc formats.* To keep up with demand, major studios have announced more than 300 HD DVD movies for 2007.

Jan 11 2007

News - Sony to Include Portable Movie Files on Blu-Ray DVDs

This almost seems to good to be true. If in fact, Sony has come to see the light, I hope they decide to include other formats besides the PSP! It remains to be seen of this will be a good thing or not, but with the track record Sony has had lately, you never know.

From the article:

Sony Pictures Entertainment will include portable files on Blu-Ray DVDs that can be transferred without a download, David Bishop, head of Sony's home entertainment unit, said in an interview this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Sony may add the feature this year, Bishop said. "It's not currently part of anything on our current release schedule, but we'll probably roll it out sometime this year," Bishop said on Jan. 8.

 

Jan 11 2007

News - Hands-on with a bunch of SideShow remotes

What can you say about this article, except there are a lot of sexy remotes coming out for Vista. engadget has several remotes "posing" for them in their latest gallery.

Remote Gallery:

 

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Jan 10 2007

News - Top 10 List of Drool Worthy Products Unveiled at CES/Macworld 2007

I wouldn't mind seeing more of these types of lists. If any members were at CES, let us know what you saw that you like. Mine's gotta probably be the Sideshow remotes, if only because they're most likely the only items to be affordable enough for me to own at some point. Man I wish I could have gone!

  1. HP MediaSmart Server featuring Windows Home Server
  2. HP TouchSmart PC
  3. Apple iPhone
  4. LG Dual Format Blu-ray/HD DVD player & PC Drive
  5. Lifeware 2.0 with Vista Intergration
  6. Philips Wireless HDMI Adapter
  7. Sling Media SlingCatcher
  8. Network AQUOS HDTV
  9. NETGEAR EVA8000 Digital Entertainer HD OR D-Link DSM-750 MediaLounge
  10. Niveus Ranier with Dual CableCARD Receiver Box
Read the rest here.

Jan 10 2007

News - Make Way for Logitech's Harmony 890

Logitech's remotes--heck, all their devices--are so sexy! They make you WANT to spend $150 on a friggin remote control! The 890 not only can control all your A/V Equipment, but also your home automation software!

With Activities in place for such device combinations as your TV-and-audio receiver and maybe your cable box if you want to turn it on and off, your DVD player-and-audio receiver, your receiver's radio and your VCR-and-audio receiver, all you have to do is click the button next to the appropriate icon on the Harmony's display to start the Activity. IR signals are sent to all devices in the group and you're off and running. To turn off the devices for the Activity all you have to do is press the Off button at f the very top of the 890.

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Read the rest here

Jan 10 2007

News - CES: January 10th Part 2

engadget: New TI DLP Light Engine for slim HDTVs

The most popular form factor is the flat panel TV so it stands to reason that everyone else would love to loose the thickness and Texas Instruments has a new solution for DLPs that will bring them a few inches closer to flat panel TVs. The new SLIM light engine has slimmed this 65" to approximatly 10 inches, which makes it slim enough to hang on the wall, it uses solid-state LED illumination and has a contrast ratio of 100,000:1. No details on pricing or availability, more pictures after the jump.All the connections are on the side where they are easy to access.

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MediaReady: MediaREADY Announces MC-PRO

'We believe the MediaREADY MC-PRO offers the best solution in the space by providing ample hard drive storage and local memory, high definition and analog television tuning, digital recording, media management with superior connectivity options, home automation controls, advanced audio/video setting controls, built-in 802.11G wireless networking, and superior audio decoding from the high-quality internal D2Audio(R) Intelligent Digital Amplifier(TM). Additionally we are very excited about the AMD dual-core processor in this line as it greatly enhances the performance, especially as it relates to multiple features being used simultaneously like watching television and initiating a live voice or video conversation over the Internet.

 

Yahoo!: Gyration Air-Mouse Remote with Motion-Sensing Technology Now Available for Microsoft(R) Windows Vista(TM) Media Center

"A traditional mouse is fine for simple desktop computer functions like writing a letter, but when using a media center in the living room, the average person doesn't want to have to be tied down by wires and the need to find a flat surface for the mouse," said Greg Smith, vice president of marketing at Gyration. "We understand people have a natural spatial awareness, so we designed the Media Center Remote to detect simple pointing motion, acting as a handheld pointing and clicking device so people can use natural hand movements to control their entertainment."

 

 

Jan 10 2007

News - CES: January 10th

c|net: Media new and old merge at CBS

One of those people is Sling Media CEO Blake Krikorian, creator of the Slingbox place-shifting technology, who joined the CBS president onstage to unveil Sling's latest technology, called "Clip + Sling." It allows users to clip content from live or recorded TV and share it with anyone, including non-Slingbox owners. The clip can be sent in an e-mail that plays the video from a hosted portal.

To demonstrate clipping and slinging, Krikorian selected a clip of CBS's Two and a Half Men and sent it in an e-mail to Moonves. The CBS chief checked his e-mail onstage and forwarded the clip onto Jon Cryer, star of the sitcom, who, in a prerecorded bit, checked his mail via a mobile handset and grumbled sarcastically about receiving "another funny" e-mail from Moonves.

 

CEPro: Sony's Vaio XL3 Media Center, Blu-ray Prototypes

The XL3, the follow-up to the XL2, uses Windows Vista Home Premium for Media Center Edition functionality and comes equipped with a 500 GB hard drive and HDMI output.

Sony is also showing two new Blu-ray prototypes, dubbed the Sapphire 1 and Sapphire 2. Both units incorporate x.v.Color (deep color), according to Sony's Greg Belloni.
xl3

CEPro: Blu-ray Touts Content Advantage, PS3 Impact

As of Christmas week, according to numbers announced at the press conference, weekly sales of Blu-ray discs are outpacing HD DVD movies. Content is key to that equation, the group says. "This is what really defines a format," said Parsons. "This is the face of Blu-ray."

Parsons displayed a list of the top 20 DVD sold in 2006, 19 of which are in the Blu-ray camp. Only 4 are in HD DVD's, and only one -- King Kong -- is exclusive.

 

engadgetHD: HP's hd100 external HD DVD drive now on sale

HP's hd100 HD DVD external USB drive is finally shipping and listed on sale at several retailers. Announced last fall, it was scheduled to ship in 2006 but didn't quite make it. We checked with HP when taking a look at a few other proucts (like it's evil twin, the bd135 Blu-ray burner also pictured above) and found out it is now shipping, a quick search on Froogle shows it can be bought for $449. What does $240 more than the price of an Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on that also works on the PC buy you? A drive capable of 2.4x HD DVD / 5x DVD / 14x CD read speeds, USB 2.0 cable, power cord, assorted manuals and support software and a copy of Cyberlink's PowerDVD HD DVD edition.

 

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Jan 09 2007

News - iTV becomes Apple TV

That's right everyone! Apple TV is here! I am time limited, so head on over to engadget and read the story for the scoop. You may also take a look at the new iPhone!

From the article: 

Well now we know that iTV has officially become Apple TV. It's real folks: we got 802.11 b/g AND 802.11n, USB 2.0, Ethernet, WiFi, HDMI, bunch of standard outs, plus a 40GB hard drive -- all powered by an Intel CPU. So resolution is only 720p -- looks like a few folks are gonna be out of luck, but TV manufacturers are sure gonna be happy to sell all those new sets. Not just one, two or three but five computers can connect to the Apple TV box, making a true hub for all your PCs. You can watch content stored on your rig -- movies, TV shows, photos, etc. -- and you can also pull streaming vid directly off sites like...Apple.com! Plus, the box will even grab content from PCs outside of your house -- finally, we can watch all the great swag that our rich can afford. Interested? You'll be able to grab one immediately for $299.

I am waiting for next year's model. 

Jan 09 2007

News - Zalman HD135 HTPC Enclosure

In a day sure to be dominated by CES product release news, Bit-Tech goes against the norm & releases their review of the new Zalman HD135 HTPC case. So how do they like it compared to how SilentPCReview did (or should I say, didn't?)

The HD135 is an incredible little case, with very little to fault about it. Zalman has once again lead the way in both design and functionality, leaving very little to be desired. The HD160, its older and bigger cousin, seems to have been the learning platform, as many improvements have been made to create the HD135. Saying this, it is worth considering that the HD135 is much pickier of the hardware you can put inside it, even if it is compatible with full size ATX. An unusually tall graphics card for example, with it's own quiet cooling solution is likely to foul the lid. So match it carefully with hardware, preferably the tested and proven Zalman items recommended for it, and you can go little wrong.

Read the rest here

Jan 09 2007

News - CES: January 9th

gizmodo: Nextgen Home: Push Those Buttons, Never Get Up Again 

Connecting all your media, lighting, security systems and even your washing machine was the theme of this year's Nexgen Home, where the new addition is Windows Vista and Lifeware 2.0 software.

The extra convenience is Vista's native support of WSD (Web Services for Devices), which amounts to USB on Ethernet for plug-and play ease of connecting devices to the system. The standard is growing, where there are now 31 manufacturers and 171 devices supporting it so far.

 

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Too lazy to read all our news postings? This one's for you :-) 

ThinkComputers:  CES Unveiled 2007

Well it is the beginning of another year and that means CES. This year marks the 40th anniversary of CES. Last year was our first year at CES and now it is our second so we know what to expect. It is 2 days before the actual show and we are at CES: Unveiled, which is the official press preview of what to expect at the show. Last year we were able to take a look at some really cool products before everyone else did, let's take a look at what we saw this year.

 

Being strictly the news-only source that we are,Innocent I feel obligated to post Thomas Hawk's photo-blog:  The Babes of CES 2007

 

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gizmodo: Netgear, BitTorrent Box Streams 1080P To Your TV & NAS

Netgear also showed off the Storage Central Turbo (pictured above), a network storage setup which supports "terabytes of SATA storage" and fail-safe disk mirroring (though you have to supply your own hard drives.) They claimed it's 6x-7x faster than any other network storage device with gigabit speeds, with the ability to transfer an HD movie in about 10 minutes.

 

c|net: Sony eyeing OLED TVs for 2008

Still, a lot of work remains, and both executives emphasized that Sony is not announcing products or a definitive commitment to OLED TVs. The company, for instance, has to figure out how to mass-manufacture them at a price consumers are willing to pay. SED, a TV format promoted by Toshiba, has been delayed several times, and critics say that when it comes out, Toshiba will have challenges making SED competitive in price with plasma or LCD.

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SONOS: SONOS Adds Support For Microsoft Windows Media Player 11 and Windows Vista 
Sonos, Inc., the leading developer of wireless multi-room music systems for the digital home, today released Sonos System Software 2.1, a software update to its award-winning digital music system. The one-button software upgrade allows Sonos customers to play Windows Media Digital Rights Management-protected songs— anywhere in the home—using Windows Media Player 11 on Windows XP or Windows Vista. As a direct result of close technical collaboration with the Microsoft Windows team, Sonos 2.1 enables music lovers worldwide to enjoy music from a broad range of music download services, including AOL® Music Now, MTV Networks’ URGE, Napster™, Wal-Mart®, Yahoo! Music™ Unlimited, and the Zune Marketplace.
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Continue on to see more CES Day 2 News Postings! 

 

 

Jan 08 2007

News - Hauppauge Launches New WinTV Products for Windows Vista

LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hauppauge Digital, Inc., the worlds leading developer and manufacturer of analog and digital video, TV, and data broadcast receiver products for personal computers, has launched a line of four new TV tuner products specifically designed to support Microsofts Vista Media Center and to take full advantage of Vistas exciting TV features.

After five years in development, the Windows Vista launch is finally at hand and eager PC users will want to make the switch as quickly as possible. When they do, Hauppauge is ready to support Vista Media Center with its new line of TV tuners for PCs and laptops, to ensure a seamless transition to the most advanced home entertainment system. The comprehensive new selection of four tuners will allow Vista users to watch, record, and play back analog NTSC, European DVB-T digital TV and North American high definition digital ATSC TV, combining WinTVs well-known quality and convenience with the cutting-edge Vista Media Center application.

The new WinTV products for Vista Media Center are:

  • WinTV-NOVA-TD-500For the European and Asian markets, WinTV-NOVA-TD-500 is a dual tuner digital DVB-T TV tuner board that can be used in either a dual tuner or diversity configuration. Diversity uses two tuners to give better digital TV reception on a single DVB-T digital channel, while the dual tuner mode enables you to watch one digital TV channel while recording another digital channel.
  • WinTV-HVR-1800For the North American market where the ATSC digital TV transition continues, WinTV-HVR-1800 is a PCI Express TV tuner for receiving analog cable and high definition ATSC digital TV. In a half-height PCIe board, WinTV-HVR-1800 has separate tuners for analog NTSC and ATSC digital TV. With Vistas Media Center application, you can watch a cable TV channel while recording high definition digital TV from another channel.
  • WinTV-HVR-1600This is an analog cable TV and high definition digital ATSC PCI TV tuner for Vista PCs. On a single full-height PCI board, WinTV-HVR-1600 has separate tuners for analog NTSC and ATSC digital TV. With Vistas Media Center, you can watch an analog TV channel while recording high definition digital TV from another channel.
  • WinTV-HVR-1500A dual format hybrid analog and high definition digital 54 mm ExpressCard TV tuner, WinTV-HVR-1400 brings NTSC analog and high definition ATSC digital TV to laptop computers running Vistas Media Center in North America. Watch and record either analog or high definition digital TV on your Vista Media Center PC.
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