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You know how TiVo released the new Series3 DMR on it’s site a few days ago, apparently allowing people to get their hands on one earlier than they would be able to get one at retail? Oh, and the whole “if you buy direct from TiVo, then you can transfer an older lifetime subscription for $199”? It turns out TiVo has seemingly duped us all on both fronts and more.
So-called TiVo “VIPs” placed their orders for their Series3 units with the knowledge that they would be getting the units earlier, and that it was the only way to transfer a lifetime subscription. Nice service to offer to your most loyal of customers. However, the fiasco that followed has nothing nice about it. Get the full scoop after the jump.
Toshiba has announced the release of their HD-A2 and HD-XA2 HD DVD players. Both output HD DVD content through the HDMI interface in 720p or 1080i. The HD-A2 incorporates a 297MHz / 12 bit Video DAC with high-quality, 4x oversampling, while the HD-XA2 also features 1.3. HDMI for 36-bit (RGB or YCbCr) color depth.
Both models come with picture setting functions that allow you to optimize picture quality with settings for color, contrast, brightness, edge enhancement, and noise blocker. Set to be released in October, the HD-A2 carries a MSRP of $499.99. For last minute Santas, the release of the high end HD-XA2 will follow in December at a MSRP of $999.99.
Read More | Toshiba News Release
After its recent debut at the IFA, Philips has released its Ambilight TV with models 32PF9731D and 42PF9731D, featuring 1366 x 768 resolution panels, and its 37PF9731D with a 1920 x 1080 1080p set. All three feature Philips’ Pixel Plus technology integrated with digital tuners and boast 2x HDMI ports along with two RGB scart sockets, component video input, S/PDIF in/out and an Ethernet port on the rear. Philips also utilizes Dolby Digital for full surround sound, and a USB connector for easy play.
Philips claims that Ambilight “makes an impressive contribution to the overall viewing experience with ambient light to complement the colours and light intensity of the image on screen. It creates ambiance, stimulates more relaxed viewing and improves perceived picture detail, contrast and colour.”
To experience Ambilight for yourself visit Philips. At price points of £1,799 (~$3396), £2,499 (~$4717) and £3,000 (~$5663), we may have to wait to catch Ambilight at the neighbors’ next Superbowl party.
Read More | Trusted Reviews
Apple has revealed that it is working on a new set-top box codenamed iTV. At half the size of a Mac Mini, it will look minuscule next to your other HD devices, especially if you opt for a PS3. The iTV will be able to stream HD audio and video from your iPod or PC with connectivity through USB 2.0 and both wired and wireless ethernet.
The iTV is packed with all the expected HD interfaces including HDMI, component RCA video and optical digital audio outputs. Additionally, the iTV is rumored to include the capability to function as a cable box and there is also talk of the possibility of HDTV downloads to the device. Details of these capabilities have not yet been released, but expect to hear more soon since the device is planned to be released in about six months.
Read More | Daily Tech
Tivo Inc. has announced the release of its TiVo Series 3 Digital Media Recorder. The new Tivo is HD compatible and multiple tuners enable the recording of two different shows simultaneously. Its built-in Ethernet jack and USB ports provide advanced connectivity and easy networking, giving it a simpler accessibility. The TiVo Series 3 is also a THX-certified device. “As more and more digital video recorders get connected to HDTVs, the demand for higher playback quality rises,” said Michael Rudd, chief of AV architecture at THX Ltd. “With THX certification, the integrity of HD content won’t be compromised.”
Other Product Features:
- Schedule from your workplace, on the road, or anywhere else you can access the Internet.
- WishList finds programs by actor, director, keyword or topic.
- Automatically record every episode, even if the network schedule changes.
- Season Pass Recording allows you to skip repeat episodes.
Later this year, TiVo will allow parents to create a pre-approved customized area with KidZone. Future software releases will enable advanced MPEG-4 based download features. The Series 3 will be available at retail stores within the next 60 days, and is already available online.
The bad part? Everyone wants to TiVo, but at an MSRP of $799.99 we’ll keep our old TiVos and VCRs around for another year. Especially when you consider that standard TiVo features like TiVoToGo and Multi-Room Viewing isn’t even available on the new Series 3 just yet. Still, we are sure that won’t stop the early-adopters out there.
Here at Gear Live, we are totally into JVC’s Everio camcorder line of handhelds. At a recent press event at IFA in Berlin, they provided a sneak peek into the future, showing off a consumer model Everio that records in “Full HD” at 1920x1080 resolution. The camera will record to an internal hard drive like other Everio cameras, and will sport a 3-CCD chip along with the option to record at 50 or 60 Hz for worldwide HD video compatibility. The camera is still unnamed for now, and pricing details have yet to be announced. Expect to see this one drop in Spring 2007.
The argument for the past few years regarding the performance of plasma displays versus LCD panels has always come down to the contrast ratio. LCD’s are physically lighter, can produce the same resolution and don’t have the “leaking” issues associated with plasmas but just haven’t ever been able to hit the brightness levels of plasma displays which have contrast ratios of up to 10,000:1. Some of Samsung’s displays released within the past year have pushed closer, hitting the mark of 4,000:1, and some of the newest Full HD displays being released will touch higher reaching 6,000:1, but that still only hits 60% of plasma. Well, that’s all about to change.
Samsung has released its first LCD screen using LED backlighting. The LE40M91 uses LED light sources instead of CCFL panels allowing this LCD panel to produce a dynamic contrast ratio of a plasma best 10,000:1. This means richer colors, darker blacks and even brighter whites. As an added bonus, the LED sources double the life of the CCFL panels with an average life span of about 30,000hrs. That’s almost 3.5yrs of constant viewing. This first display is only capable of producing images in 1080i, but it is a great first article to show the potential of LED backlit LCD panels.
Hitachi’s new DZ-GX3100E Camcorder was previewed at the IFA in Berlin. Utilizing what they refer to as “Movie Master Technology”, this DVD Cam with a 1.3 Megapixel CCD records straight onto DVD disk and SD Memory Card. Using a USB 2.0, you can connect it to your PC to download your videos.
- Utilizes 8cm DVD-RAM/-R/-RW/+RW Disc Media
- 1 Second Quick Start Function
- True 16:9 Wide Screen Recording
- High Quality MPEG2 Video Recording
- SD Multimedia Card Slot
- Digital Stereo Sound
- Recording Time: - 36 mins (Extra Fine Quality Mode) - 60 mins (Fine Quality Mode) - 120 mins (Standard Quality Mode)
- 2.7” Colour TFT LCD Monitor Screen
- Digital Still Photo Mode: Stores 1998 Digital Still Images
- Recording Mode: Moving (MPEG2) / Still (JPEG) / Audio (Digital Stereo)
- Disc can be used to playback on most DVD Players & DVD-ROM Drives
- Photo Capture Function
The DX has a MSRP of £349.99 (~$659). Check with Hitachi for U.S. availability date. I’m ready for my close-up now, Mr. DeMille.
Read More | Hitachi Product Page
On September 1, ATI announced that they would be releasing the newest addition to their line of HDTV processors, the Xilleon 260. The new 260 is the successor to the current 240 chip which has received much praise and success. The 260 is the first system-on-a-chip that supports full HD for worldwide DTV (digital television) standards including Europe, Japan, Korea and North America. Advanced features include HD deinterlacing, 3D comb filter, dynamic contrast, noise reduction, sharpness, and color control to deliver top quality end-to-end performance. Xilleon 260 also offers a full audio subsystem for home theater applications.
The Xilleon 260 is currently being distributed in samples to its customers, and will likely be in use in set-top boxes within the next year. With the big push from TV manufacturers starting to release almost every model of display in full HD capacity, it’s only a matter of time before people will be looking for set-top boxes with the Xilleon 260 logo.
Read More | ATI
We have more news from Berlin’s IFA. Nakamichi introduces the IN-DV7, a DVD/TV/Tuner that they claim will “revolutionize your in-car entertainment experience”. The IN-DV7 has a 7”, 16:9 Wide-screen as well as a built in 4-channel MOSFET amp.
Other features include:
- Active Matrix LCD Panel
- Full Automatic Motorized TFT LCD Flip-out/up
- Touch Screen Control
- DVD-R/RW, CD-R/RW compatible
- VCD, SVCD, DVD media Formats
- MP3 Direct track Access
- 60 Sec ESP
At an MSRP of $1699, the IN-DV7 could be the perfect solution to those long LA freeway commutes, but couldn’t they just have named it Fred?