Jan 18 2007

News - Lord of the Rings HD DVD/Blu-ray details trickling out

During their TotalHD press conference at CES, Warner announced that New Line was working on the Lord of the Rings trilogy for both HD DVD and Blu-ray. While they did confirm that the titles were in the works, no details were given.

A source close to the matter gave us a few details of the upcoming release, these include:

  • Main feature will be a single DL disc on both HD DVD and Blu-ray.   (no word if it will be a TotalHD disc)
  • The movies will be the Theatrical Versions of each film. Yes you heard it right.
  • Both discs will be encoded using VC1
  • These will be the first titles to use Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Audio  *crosses fingers for 24bit*
  • Due to bandwidth constraints, as of now there will be no IME like features

Read the rest here:

Jan 18 2007

News - CES Wrap-Up: Impact Products for the Connected Home

Microsoft is increasingly serious about the residential hardware and software market. Bill Gates announced in his keynote that the company will be introducing a home server software package later this year that will run HP’s MediaSmart Server. Windows Home Server will automatically backup multiple home PCs and allow remote access to files and applications via a DDNS (dynamic DNS service) that HP will provide. This means that you will easily and securely be able to access your home’s files through an Internet-connected device anywhere in the world. In addition, the Windows Media Connect feature will allow the home server to stream TV shows, movies, photos, and music to PCs and XBOX 360s on the home network (not remotely, however, at this time).

Read the rest here:

Jan 17 2007

News - Bitstarved HD issues go mainstream

Well you know HD quality issues from cable and satellite providers has hit an all time high of public awareness when Crankshaft, a comic strip that focuses on a cranky senior citizen and his middle-aged children, gets their jabs in on overly compressed HDTV channels.

I opened up the paper today at work to see this comic:
This is clearly depicting "tiling" which plagues overcompressed sources especially during fast action.

Despite this knowledge becoming mainstream we still have people like Rômulo Pontual claiming he "doesn't know" what 'HD Lite' means and dodging questions about bitrate...

Jan 17 2007

News - Vbox Ships Dual Hybrid Digital/Analog TV Tuner

I must have missed this coverage during CES, I think it is worth mentioning. First up, they are shipping their latest tuner which is a hybrid ATSC/NTSC card. Secondly, they also announced a partnership with NDS which will allow them to develop and shiup a PC card for DirectTV. This product is likely to be a year or more away.

From the article:

Vbox also announced a relationship with NDS, one of the leading developers of content protection and delivery products. NDS technology is used to secure satellite feeds from sources such as DirecTV or the UK's Sky Network. Vbox has prototype hardware that already works on PCs, incorporating an NDS smart card and capable of receiving DirecTV premium content.



The product's ship date is uncertain, as details of the business model have yet to be ironed out. The Vbox product could be a PCIe card or USB-connected external box. What's yet to be determined is whether a provider such as DirecTV will offer it directly to customers, or whether OEMs might offer "DirecTV Certified" PCs. Vbox Vice President of Marketing Yosi Brosh noted that it's unlikely that a PC-based DirecTV tuner will be available until 2008, as these details get sorted out.

Jan 17 2007

News - DL.TV Episode 124

John sent me this link, however, I can't open it up at work. Enjoy this video of surfing the web on your Wii, home theater sound options, and simple steps to calibrate your TV. Leave your comments if you enjoyed it or have additional tips on the above topics.


Jan 17 2007

News - Leviton & Microsoft Develop Wireless Home Automation

I give MS a hard time, but announcements like this tend to make me think they are heading in the right direction. The goal of the alliance is to offer remote control lighting and other HA features via Z-Wave. The product should be available in Q2 sometime and be able to transmit signals to a Z-Wave home automation network.

From the article:

The Vizia RF Foyer Ethernet Gateway expands the functionality of Leviton’s Vizia RF line of devices, which includes digital dimmers and switches, along with a full-function scene controller, zone-controller, appliance and lamp modules and remote controls. These devices can be installed as a single, stand-alone lighting control network or as part of Z-Wave’s larger “intelligent” network of HVAC, access, intruder, fire detection, and appliance controls, as well as other home systems.


Jan 17 2007

News - Details On Digeo's Upcoming Moxi DVRs

At CES, I sat down with Digeo CEO Mike Fidler for a briefing on their new retail strategy. In the second half of 2007, they plan to release two Moxi dual tuning HD DVR models. The units on display (shown above) were enclosure prototypes, with no actual working hardware.

The first Moxi box will tune digital cable programming via a multistream CableCARD (”M-Card”). Unlike the two CableCARDs (1.0) used by the TiVo Series3, the Moxi box will require just one M-Card for dual tuning. (I’m told the S3 is physically capable of M-Card support with a software upgrade.)

The second Moxi box forgoes the M-Card, in favor of clear QAM and over-the-air (OTA) dual tuning. This higher-end unit will incorporate a 5.1 audio receiver and is built on the “AMD LIVE! Home Cinema reference design.”

Both units will contain CD/DVD drives, support external storage (eSATA, “Storage Meter” spans both internal and external drives), and allow sharing of home media (such as PC-based photographs). Digeo is exploring the possibility of providing Internet content like YouTube and fantasy sports.

Read the rest here:

Jan 17 2007

News - Westinghouse Quad HDTV With 2160p

I am not to sure what to say about this.. Is there really a need for 2160p resolution at this point? It isn't really useful for a HTPC desktop. It will be years before anything content is made in this resolution. I would guess this display would sell well in certain industries needing higher resoltuion monitors. At any rate, you can expect to pay $50,000 for the privledge of owning this TV.

Read the rest here.

Jan 17 2007

News - Sony's VAIO VGX-TP1DT media PC stack

I am not too sure what to say about Sony's latest living room PC. Usually their hardware is well designed and thought out but I am not too sure about the vylinder stack method they have going here. Combined the two make up an HTPC/Media Center/Media Storage'esque device. Head on over to EngadgetHD for the specs.

From the article:

If Sony's latest living room PC lineup is just a bit too big and boxy for your tastes then check their VAIO "Television Side PC" and digital tuner stack. Collectively known as the VGX-TP1DT, it consists of the already announced VGX-TP1 PC and a new VGX-DT1 (bottom cylinder) digital tuner. The TP1 PC loads Vista Home Premium and packs a 1.66GHz Core 2 Duo, 1GB (up to 2GB max) memory, 160GB (up to 500GB) disk, super multi-drive DVD, and terrestrial tuner at its core with HDMI, analog RGB and optical digital outputs.


Jan 17 2007

News - Apple, Microsoft have designs on your living room

Almost as interesting as the format wars is the raging battle between Microsoft and Apple. It is more of a propaganda war at this point. Both sides are touting Howitzers and in all reality both are coming to battle with pea shooters. This article from c|net is their take on Microsoft's Home Media Server and Apple's TV products. Neither are revolutionary but are steps in the right direction.

From the article:

Beyond the new home server product, Microsoft has been pitching its Media Center entertainment PC notion. It has also been expanding the role of the Xbox console beyond games into movies and, last week, into Internet Protocol-based television.

Apple, meanwhile, has dominated the mobile device market with the iPod, and it has sold millions of downloads of TV shows primarily for viewing on the media player. With the Apple TV box, it gains a much-needed gateway to the television.

Jan 16 2007

News - NETFLIX to offer online streaming content - no extra charge

In a bold move, Netflix will offer free streaming of movies to its subscribers. Entry level ($5.99) plan subscribers will recieve 6 hours of free streaming per month. Unlimited 3-at-Once ($17.99) subscribers will recieve 18 hours of free streaming per month. Initial offerings will consist of about 1000 titles and Netflix is claiming DVD-quality images if you have a 3 Mbit/s connection.


Read the press release here.


LOS GATOS, Calif., January 16, 2007 -- Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), the world's largest online movie rental service, today introduced a new feature that allows people to immediately watch movies and television series on their personal computers and said it will make the new feature available to its subscribers in a phased roll-out over the next six months.

Jan 16 2007

News - MythTV for PS3 - Turn your PS3 into a PVR/TiVo

It was only a matter of time before someone figured out how to hook a PVR card into a PS3. I am surprised it took so long, in fact I am surprised no one has tried this with SageTV. This article uses the Plextor DivX and MythTV to get the job done. If anyone has tried this with SageTV let me know :)

The article is very vague, if you have seen a more detailed story. Send it in to news@missingremote.com.

From the article:

The PX-TV402U is the world’s first DivX Certified PVR. Recording video in the DivX format gives users the ability to record 3 times as much video as normal without sacrificing quality. It also gives you the ability to record video into resolutions perfectly suited for playback on portable and handheld devices. The PX-TV402U contains an integrated high quality TV tuner to assure the highest quality video. The PX-TV402U is an external USB 2.0 device which connects to a PC running Windows 2000 or Windows XP.

Jan 16 2007

News - The Homemade Star Trek Theater

This story is for all of the Trek fans out there. No doubt this guy is far more dedicated to Star Trek then I am, has built theater meand to replicate the command bridge of a Star Trek shift. What is equally amazing is that he did this with only a $15,000 budget.

From the article:

First, he built a scale model of the room, which served as his blueprint. The fine details he would figure out as he went along. The walls went up, the floor went down. And although the basement only offered 71⁄2 feet of height, he added a riser for a back row of seats, bringing the ceiling height there down to 7 feet. There would be no digging an extra couple of feet down like in some expensive projects. A water heater was moved, but a water meter right in line with a side wall was simply boxed over to appear as part of the ship’s architecture. An all-important fire extinguisher was placed behind a metal door in the back, which also blends in with the decor.




Jan 16 2007

News - Samsung Announces 2nd Gen Blu-ray Player

Continuing on with our hig def DVD coverage, Trusted Reviews is reporting that Samsung is set to release their second generation player. I am sure Samsung wants to quietly move on from their some what questionable first gen player and release a player that doesn't reek of a hurried release. Upgrades include HDMI 1.3 connection and a nice $200 drop.

From the article:

and this is it, the BD-P1200. The big news is it adds HDMI 1.3 for ‘Deep Colour’ support/ higher frame rates/automatic audio and video synching and lossless audio. A ‘Hollywood Quality Video’ processor is also onboard with Sammy keen to stress it is comparable with the ones professional film production companies use and both Ethernet and HDMI connectivity make an appearance. Furthermore, the new player has been given a face lift to match the company’s high end 65 series of HD LCD TVs.





Jan 16 2007

News - HomeSeer Unveils “MyHomeSeer-Connect” Remote Access Service

Bedford, NH – HomeSeer Technologies announces the release of its new remote access service, “MyHomeSeer-Connect”. The new service simplifies the process of setting up remote internet connections to monitor and control lighting, security, HVAC, irrigation and audio/video systems in HomeSeer-enabled homes. The new service is specifically designed for homeowners with standard DSL, cable and dial-up internet connections and should be compatible with all internet service providers.

HomeSeer was the first home automation software company to tap into the power of the internet in 1998, enabling users to monitor and control their homes from anywhere in the world. “Back then, very few people had broadband internet access and those who did often had backgrounds in technology. For them, high-tech setup issues weren’t a big problem”, states Mark Colegrove, director of sales for HomeSeer. “However, today’s internet users are mainstream folks who don’t have the time, energy or patience for complicated computer issues. MyHomeSeer-Connect was designed with them in mind!”

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