TiVo knows that its customers skip commercials, and we’ve seen them try to get us involved in watching them by offering the “Thumbs Up” option on some commercials, allowing us learn more about a certain product, show, or movie simply by pressing the little green button. I can’t say I haven’t tried it once or twice merely to see what would happen when I pressed the button, but I can tell you for sure I most definitely won’t be trying TiVo’s latest form of interactive advertising. Soon, viewers will have the option of hitting a button during a commercial which will send their information to an advertising firm which will in turn add the viewer to a mailing list. No thanks TiVo…my mailbox is full of enough junk mail already.
Read More | Tech Dirt
With rumors flying around about a video iPod and an Apple videos store (iMovies?) Gear Live would like to take the following opportunity to speculate wildly that Apple would secure dominance in the emerging digital multimedia market place if they do the following things:
- Launch an Apple videos store - not just music videos like iTunes has now, but full feature length movies from all the major movie houses available in (sadly a necessity) DRM’ed H.264. Apple already has the store infrastructure in place through iTunes, and the bandwidth, media savvy, and codec to pull this off.
- Apple then must produce a multimedia focused set top box - A slightly modified Mac Mini would be perfect for this. The device will need to be able to browse the movies store on a TV screen, and include a remote. They might want to include PVR software and a TV tuner, but that is neither here nor there.
- The final spire of Apple’s digital media trinity would be the video iPod to allow consumers to take (compressed) versions of their content with them wherever they go.
With all three of these key points presented to the marketplace at the same time with Apple’s legendary user interface ease of use and industrial design skills they could not only make a big splash, but gain iTunes dominance in yet another new marketplace. If they are going to do it they had better do it quick though as Microsoft is trying to make hollywood connections to do the same thing with their Windows Media Center and Portable Media Center platform, Sony has the PSP and store infrastructure and Tivo is rumored to be in the works with a video download service as well.
This coming digital media revolution will be far reaching - within 5-10 years physical media like DVD’s, HD-DVD’s, Blu-Ray, and CD’s will disappear entirely. CD sales are already starting to sag under the legal downloaded music juggernaught. Whoever gets there first with this “digital media trinity” will certainly end up with the lions share of a market that is set to replace every visual entertainment sales and rental business that we know of.
Did you hear it here first? Did Gear Live call it? Well we will have to wait and see - the industry analysts are saying to expect a big announcement come September.
This “dream” system could be yours for just under $400 USD. This home theater system comes equipped with some pretty nice features, including an FM and AM Tuner which is not found on most units. The design is very sleek, and silver is always a nice addition to any decor. All the satellite speakers, aside from the heavy subwoofer, weigh less than 3 pounds. The best part: they are all wireless.
Here are some basic specs given by Sony Style’s web site
- 750 watts total system power
- 5-disc slot loading DVD/SACD/CD changer
- S-Master™ full digital amplifier
- CD-R/RW1, Super Audio CD (Multi), MP3 and JPEG Playback
- Silver finish
What we don’t like? Home Theater systems that integrate the DVD player into the receiver.
Read More | Sony Style
The 2005 Emmy Award Nominations were announced early Thursday morning by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences from the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in Hollywood, California. A total of 434 separate nominations covering 88 categories and areas were announced, with HBO taking an astounding 93 nominations, followed by CBS (59), NBC (54), and ABC (51). Desperate Housewives and Will & Grace topped the list with 15 nominations each, including Outstanding Comedy Series. Take a look at the nominees in the top categories, and a couple other categories that might be of interest.
I can’t say I am saddened by the news, but everything is now a go for broadcasters to begin using purely digital broadcast methods. This means that analog TV will be a thing of the past in another four years. This will then allow the government to sell off the analog spectrum for an estimated 30-70 billion, and would likely be re-used for high speed wireless and data services. In 2007, all new televisions should have a built-in digital tuner.
Read More | USA Today
Microsoft’s Hardware division unveiled some fun new products today. First up is the Remote Keyboard for Windows XP Media Center Edition, designed for those of you that want a wireless keyboard with Media Center-specific functions to help replace that remote control. It’s got a 30-foot wireless range, and a key lock to prevent accidental activation. The media keys are backlit, to aid controlling the media center in a darkened room. It’s even got a pointer nub and mouse buttons (on opposite sides of the keyboard) so that you can mouse-around without putting down the keyboard. No word on whether or not it is popcorn or soda proof, but I doubt it. MSRP is $104.95, but expect it to hit stores around $99.95.
The other new keyboard is an update to Microsoft’s Wireless Desktop package. The Wireless Desktop 5000 has keys dedicated to photo editing, and the mouse features Microsoft’s new “High Definition” optical technology (which we assume is simply a higher scan rate for the mouse, aiding in precision). The keyboard has the same “comfort curve” as the Wireless Desktop Comfort Edition that was released last year. Finally, Microsoft’s Digital Image Standard 2006 software is bundled in, so you can get started putting mustaches on your grandmother right away. It should retail for the same price as the Remote Keyboard.
Read More | Microsoft Entertainment Hardware
One of Gear Live’s favorite audio manufacturers, Denon, has released their new S301 and S101 high end audio receivers. Both of them have the much requested feature of including a true iPod dock. You can plug your iPod into the system and control it fully though the remote control. Now like most Denon equipment, this blend of great audio and stunning functionality won’t come cheap - $999 for the ‘low end’ S-101 and the S-301 commands a $1599 price tag. The perfect solution for the bleeding edge early adopter.
Read More | Playlist Magazine
The MediaREADY 5000, an advanced digital media center, is ready to ship according to a recent announcement by Video Without Boundaries, Inc. The TiVo-like recorder also features the ability to burn CD’s and DVD’s, and is capable of playing Real Media, DVD/CD, WAV, MP3, MPEG’s 1, 2 and 4, not to mention storage and retrieval of audio, video and picture files from its onboard hard drive(120 GB to be specific), MP3 players, digital cameras, and personal computers on the same network. Oh, and let us not forget its’ ability allow users to surf the ‘net, check email, stream video and audio, games, karaoke, and even a media jukebox. Wow! The unit retails for $699.
The MediaREADY 5000 is the digital home entertainment product millions of consumers have been waiting for,” said Jeffrey Harrell, CEO and President of VWB. “With this unit, consumers will finally be able to connect all of their digital entertainment products and accessories into one unit for easy living room functionality and use.” The company also commented that media and industry reviews of this product are extremely favorable, validating its sales and marketing efforts.
Monday was the day that Google officially launched their new in-browser video playback site, Google Video. The site features content from CNN, The Weather Channel, Fox News, Food Network, The Discovery Channel and many more, many of which charge a fee to view. If you’re more interested in free content, you can search for videos from Greenpeace, Gamespot, PS3, breakdancing and a few other topics and see what comes up. The site offers a general search function (ex. New York) or advanced search functions that allow you to look for a specific show (ex. Title:Nightline).
Our mission is to organize the world’s information, and that includes the thousands of programs that play on our TVs every day. Google Video enables you to search a growing archive of televised content - everything from sports to dinosaur documentaries to news shows.
Read More | Google Video
Blake Krikorian, CEO of Sling Media, has announced that the Slingbox Personal Broadcaster will be available at from at least two national retailers come June 30th. CompUSA and another unannounced name have already agreed to carry Slingbox for around $250. The official announcement from Sling Media will be made on June 30th as well. Just in case its function slips your mind, or your unfamiliar with the product, the Slingbox will allow you to stream TV content from your satellite, cable, or DVR to a computer with a high-speed Internet connection.
Read More | engadget
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