HD DVD firmware is scheduled to be moving to version 2.0 sometime today. If you have your HD DVD player connected to the Internet, be prepared for the automatic download that will bring you support f or 24-bit/96kHz discrete audio with TrueHD 5.1 sound, something that Blu-Ray players still lack. We must say, we are impressed with the speed at which features are being added to the HD DVD players, as the 2.0 firmware upgrade is the fourth one to be pushed out in just as many months. Of course, there is also something to be said for launching a product that is feature-complete to begin with, but we won’t go there.
Read More | HD Beat
V, Inc yesterday unveiled two new 42” HDTVs. The more interesting of the two is the Vizio Gallevia GV42LHDTV, available in the United States at Costco for $1,599.99.
The Vizio Gallevia GV42LHDTV offers a wide array of features, including 1366 x 768 native resolution, 178° x 178° viewing angles, 1600:1 dynamic contrast ratio, 8ms response rates, an integrated NTSC/ATSC/QAM tuner, two HDMI inputs, detachable speakers and stand an an enhanced backlit IR remote control.
Read More | V Press Release
With so many people we know buying HDTVs due to both falling prices and the adoption of the Xbox 360, we are seeing a lot of uncalibrated sets that suffer from some basic HDTV image distortion problems. Now, if you own an HDTV and don’t want to front the cash for a professional calibration, there are a few things to do to eliminate some of the basics which will result in a better picture. In the image above, you see six boxes that highlight a few problems:
- Clouds of digital “mosquitoes” that surround fast-moving objects.
- Unnatural flesh tones and colors.
- People and objects have weird white outlines around them.
- “Crawling moss” is seen in dark areas of a movie or TV show.
- HD programs break up into pixels and then go back to normal.
- HDTV looks fantastic, but Standard-definition programs don’t.
Popular Mechanics has a great article, taking a look at these issues and explaining steps anyone can take to clear them up. If you own an high definition display, it is certainly worth a look. If anything, you will end up with a crisper, more enjoyable image - and seriously, isn’t that what you spent all that money on?
Read More | Popular Mechanics
Canon is out today with what they are calling the world’s smallest and lightest HD video camcorder. The new HV10 HDV is priced at $1,299 and should be on store shelves in September.
The Canon HV10 HDV is capable of recording 1080 HD and sports a 1 /2.7” sensor incorporates an RGB primary color filter with Bayer placement. This sensor supplies 1080 HD video to an HDV video tape, while 3.1 megapixel still images can be recorded to a Mini-SD card. This camcorder also has among its features a built-in automatic lens cover, a 10X optical / 200X digital HD Canon zoom lens, optical image stabilization, an instant AF focusing system, Canon’s DIGIC DV II image processor, a weight of 0.97 pounds, dimensions of 2” wide by 4” tall and a 2.7” widescreen LCD.
Read More | Canon HV10 HDV Production Information
Panasonic today said they were introducing eight new designs to their line of custom-built frames compatible with select 42-inch and 50-inch Panasonic plasma televisions. These new frames range in price from $399.95 to $499.95.
The new Panasonic Plasma Frames are available in pewter, mahogany, walnut, black, antique white and various gold finishes. They are designed to help a plasma television fit into a home’s décor as well as enhancing the viewing experience. Besides the plasma frames, Panasonic is also making available a collection of high definition art and photography Panasonic GalleryPlayer for use on their plasma televisions.
Read More | Panasonic Plasma Frames Product Info
When we all started downloading Windows Vista Beta 2 when it was made available to the public, it was immediately noticeable to those of us running Media Center to an Xbox 360 that the interface took a dive from what it was like using Media Center 2005. Fear not - a recent build of Windows Vista running over an Xbox 360 shows vast improvement in the UI in terms of fluidity, and usability. Check out the video above to see for yourself.
Sony earlier this week unveiled two new Handycam camcorders which can record in full 1080i HD resolution and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. The new HDR-UX1 will be available in September for around $1,400, while the HDR-SR1 will appear a month later for around $1,500.
These two new camcorders will be capable of directly playing back on a HD television via HDMI outputs, in addition to being able to record at 1080i HD resolution. The HDR-SR1, which will have a 30GB hard drive, will be capable of recording over 10 hours of HD video in long play mode. The HDR-SR1, meanwhile, will make use of three-inch DVD discs for recording. Both models support the new AVCHD camcorder recording format based on the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 codec for video compression and Dolby digital audio as well as offering other features like four-megapixel digital still image capture and a 3.5” LCD swivel screen display which doubles as touch-sensitive control panels, giving easy access to many of the camcorders’ settings.
Read More | Sony Press Release
Pansonic has announced that the world’s largest plasma TV will go on sale in September, just in time for Christmas. At 103-inches of real estate, the TH-103PZ600 will be one inch larger than Samsung’s previously developed, but not commercially sold, 102-inch model. The TH-103PZ600U promises 1080p capability, a contrast ratio of 4,000:1, and a pricetag of a whopping $69,999.95 US (which explains it will be built to order).
Read More | Yahoo! Finance
Pioneer brought its biggest plasma TV gun into the stables today as it announced it had begun shipping the world’s first 50” 1080p plasma display. The new Pioneer Elite PureVision PRO-FHD1 is now hanging out at specialty retailers for a whopping $10,000.
The PRO-FHD1 doubles the pixel density of previous plasma displays with a 1920 X 1080 native resolution, said Pioneer. The company said they used their years of plasma technology development experience to manufacture the world’s smallest pixels measuring .576 millimeters, which reportedly will let you “see tiny beads of sweat on an athlete’s face as well as the stitches on the football as it flies through the air”. This 50” plasma also has an on-board video scaler used to up-convert 480i, 720p, 720i and 1080i signals to 1080p, among many other features.
Read More | Pioneer Elite PureVision PRO-FHD1 Product Page
JVC last week unveiled two new high definition flat panel LCD televisions with a 120Hz refresh rate. The new 37-inch LT-37X987 (around $2,700) and 32-inch LT-32X987 (around $2,000) will be available in August and October respectively.
JVC’s first 120Hz televisions, said the consumer electronics manufacturer, were first introduced last fall in Japan. Now coming to the United States, these televisions produce images at 120 frames per second, which is reportedly double the typical rate. This, coupled with the insertion of an interpolated image, reportedly produces a significant reduction in blurring or ghost images.
Other features of these JVC televisions include “ATSC/QAM/NTSC tuning, digital 3D Y/C comb filter with DTV cross color elimination, digital noise reduction, MPEG noise reduction, and a full complement of inputs and outputs – two HDMI inputs, two component inputs, two S-Video inputs, 15 pin D-Sub PC input, optical digital audio out and audio output”.
Read More | JVC Press Release