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Panasonic has just announced the debut of their first ever Blu-ray home entertainment system components. These include a Blu-ray Disc player, matching receiver and speaker system.

The chief component of these is the $1,299.95 Blu-ray Disc Player (DMP-BD10). This bad boy, when released in September alongside the other components, will offer full Blu-ray Disc support as well as features like 192 kHz/24-bit audio DAC and 1080p up-conversion for all discs.

Joining the DMP-BD10 are the Blu-ray Disc Receiver (SA-XR700 - $999.95) and Home Theater Speaker System (SB-TP1000 - $2,999.95). The receiver offers features like support for up to 7.1 channels of digital audio, 100 watts/channel and three HDMI connections. The SB-TP1000, meanwhile, delivers 32 streams of audio for higher quality surround sound as well as large speaker terminals.

Read More | Panasonic

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The HDMI standard looks to be getting a major facelift today as the seven companies which founded it - Hitachi, Ltd., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (Panasonic), Royal Philips Electronics, Silicon Image, Inc., Sony Corp., Thomson, Inc. and Toshiba Corp. – announced HDMI 1.3. The most important notables from this upgrade include a doubling of HDMI’s bandwidth from 165Mhz (4.95 gigabits per second) to 340Mhz (10.2 Gbps) to support the demands of new HD display devices and the addition of the Deep Color technology, which supports 30-bit, 36-bit and 48-bit (RGB or YCbCr) color depths.

Other enhancements in HDMI 1.3 include broader color space for support of 1.8 times as many colors as currently exist; a new mini color for smaller portable devices such as HD camcorders; an automatic A/V synching capability so increasingly complex devices can more easily connect with one another; and support for new lossless audio formats such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.

Products using the new HDMI 1.3 standard will also be backwards compatible with earlier HDMI products.

Read More | HDMI.org

DirecTV Titanium

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love television and there’s $7,500 USD burning a hole in your pocket?  If that’s the case, then do we have a deal for you.  Actually, DirecTV has a deal for you with their new Titanium package.  With the Titanium package there’s no worrying about not having enough channels to watch.  No, your new problem is not having enough TVs to watch all of your programming on.

The latest offering from DirecTV is so new, it’s not even released yet, but you can sign up to be contacted when it does go live on June 28th.  As a proud subscriber, your $7,500 annual tithe to the dieties at DirecTV will get you up to ten HD DVR receivers, every channel, every Pay-Per-View, every sporting event, every adult program, every HDTV channel, and every movie that DirecTV offers.  Tossed in for good measure is a 24/7 concierge service which gives you . . . well, we don’t know yet.  However, it’s doubtful they’re going to send someone over with a few cases of beer when you run out in the middle of the Super Bowl, but hey, anything is possible for the right price.

Read More | DirecTV via Engadget


Dish ViP 622There are a few sources to feed your high definition needs; - over-the-air (OTA), cable and satellite.  Of the latter, you have a choice between DirecTV and Dish Network here in the US, with Dish having by far a higher percentage of HD programming.  Digital Trends has Dish’s latest HD DVR receiver, the ViP 622, up for review.

From the review: “The DISH Network HDTV DVR satellite receiver model ViP 622 is a high definition satellite receiver that is capable of recording approximately 25 hours of high definition or 180 hours of programming on a 250GB hard-drive.  This is the replacement model for last year’s model 942 HD PVR.  While having similar features from last year’s model, the 622 is now capable of receiving MPEG-4 video signals as well.  What that means to you—the consumer/end-user—is that it allows you to receive more HD channels, including all of the VOOM HD channels (now totaling 15), than before.  While older systems used MPEG2 encoding that takes up a lot of bandwidth, MPEG4 encoding takes substantially less thereby allowing more signals (resulting in more channels for users).  What makes model 622 exceptional is the fact that it gives you multi-room capability via one satellite receiver without any additional wiring in your house.”

As a ViP 622 user, I can easily say that this is Dish’s best receiver to date.


Read More | Dish Network via Digital Trends


Gear Live Bleeding EdgeIn this special episode, we sit down with Microsoft’s Peter Moore and hit him with questions about the Xbox 360. We sat with Chris from The Chris Pirillo Show, and of course, Andru, Jake, and Jesse of the Gear Live crew. We cover such topics as:

  • Lumines Live
  • Xbox Live Vision Camera
  • Xbox 360’s lack of motion control
  • Xbox Live Anywhere
  • Games for Windows
  • HD DVD Player
  • PS3 built to drive Blu-Ray format

We want to thank Peter Moore for taking the time to sit with us for this interview session.

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Gear Live Podcast SurveyIMPORTANT: We are surveying the viewers of our show to see what it is that people like, and more importantly, what they don’t like. It is anonymous, and just takes a couple of minutes. If you have the time, we would appreciate it! As always, feel free to let us know what you think in the comments.

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Gear Live Bleeding EdgeIn this episode we destroy a Zip Drive, teach you how to make a cheap tripod, and much more:

THE WIRE
Google Calendar
Domain Roundtable Conference
HD DVD Launches

HACK ATTACK
DIY Bottlecap Tripod

BREAKIN’ STUFF
Destruction of a Zip Drive

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Gear Live Podcast SurveyIMPORTANT: We are surveying the viewers of our show to see what it is that people like, and more importantly, what they don’t like. It is anonymous, and just takes a couple of minutes. If you have the time, we would appreciate it! As always, feel free to let us know what you think in the comments.

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Rumor Has It HybridIn what continues to be a one-sided battle, with HD-DVD having a minor lead as a result of being first to market, comes the first hybrid HD/DVD disc featuring the movie “Rumor Has It”.  Available on May 9th, the disc features the widescreen DVD version on one side, with the HD-DVD version on the other. 

Due to manufacturing differences, it’s easier and less expensive to create a hybrid HD/DVD disc than the equivalent BD/DVD version.  Providing consumers with discs that offer an upgrade path for HD content, instead of a standard definition dead end, could be a major factor in the format war.  Not everyone is willing to jump into the deep end of the early adopter pool, and many would rather wriggle their toes in the shallow end until a winner is “declared”.  Hybrid discs will allow them to do just that, while also working as an obstacle to potential Blu-ray purchases.  After all, if you already have movies on DVD that also include the High-Def version on the flip-side, why would you want to buy the movie again in Blu-ray format?  With an MSRP of $39.99 USD, the hybrid HD/DVD version does carry a higher price than the standard DVD, but it does keep one’s options open without forcing an immediate hardware purchase.

Purely speculation on our part, but if the price of hybrid discs were lowered to be very close to their plain DVD cousins, the HD-DVD camp would “clean house” as there would be little impetus for consumers to buy just the DVD version.  For the short term this might lower profits or possibly even incur a minor fiscal loss, but in the end isn’t it all about who wins the war?


Read More | Yahoo! News


Red One

You have to admit, Mysterium sounds like a late-night infomercial product that comes with a free paring knife if you order right now.  Not in this instance though as Mysterium is the oddly named 12-megapixel CMOS sensor used in the Red One video camera.  With 11.4M usable pixels, the camera offers HD resolutions in the form of 720p and 1080i, and beyond conventional HD in 2K, 4K, and 2540p formats.  Created to be future-proof, the camera is modular by design and “easily accepts upgrades in hardware, software, storage, handling and monitoring accessories.”  The picture shown above includes the optional Red-Cage accessory that is primarily used for mounting accessories (and obliterating one’s toes if accidentally dropped).  The Red One camera by itself weighs less the 7 pounds and is made from a lightweight magnesium alloy.

Currently under development, with no release date in sight, the Red One carries a tentative MSRP of $17,500 USD.  Refundable reservations are currently being accepted for a mere $1,000 USD.


Read More | Red Digital Cinema via Fosfor Gadgets


Gear Live Bleeding EdgeThis week, Jake Ludington joins the cast as we cover some PS3 rumors, improve upon the Walit, teach you how to segment your network, and more:

THE WIRE
Sony PS3 Rumors
Dolphin Stadium HDTV
Jake Crashes Party At CTIA

HACK ATTACK
Nate Improves The Walit

GIZMATIC
Etymotic 6isolator Earbud Review
Fujitsu LifeBook P15D Review

HIGH SCORE
How To: Segment Your Network For Optimal Xbox 360 Media Streaming

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Gear Live Podcast SurveyIMPORTANT: We are surveying the viewers of our show to see what it is that people like, and more importantly, what they don’t like. It is anonymous, and just takes a couple of minutes. If you have the time, we would appreciate it! As always, feel free to let us know what you think in the comments.

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Largest Plasma TV

Panasonic recently released its plans to sell a 103-inch Plasma TV.  The new TV’s display measures 7.5 x 4.2 feet with the standard 16:9 aspect ratio and a 1920x1080 resolution.  As is expected by today’s HDTV enthusiasts, the new TV will be a 1080p device.  While most people don’t need the biggest plasma TV in the world, it would be nice to watch Firefly in 103-inch Plasma goodness, no?  Nothing has been said about pricing, but we are sure this is one of those things where, if you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it.  Panasonic has hinted around at a December 2006 release date, but no date has been officially set.


Read More | Daily Tech


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