USA Today has a brief interview with the main man at Microsoft. It’s really amazing how much we depend on our PC for all our gear. Anyway, no new information regarding the XBox2, but he does offer some interesting scenarios on the future of video playback, along with why he supports the subscription-based model for digital music. Oh, and there’s no portable XBox in the works, but I guess that’s what our Pocket PC’s are for.
Read More | USA Today
How would you like to be able to buy a flat panel TV that costs less than a Plasma or LCD, and has a better picture? Various companies are trying to perfect the technology that will rely on diamonds or carbon nanotubes to produce images. This type of display would also consume less energy than today’s TV’s. As quoted from the article:
“The concept of a nanotube TV will give you image quality similar to CRTs (cathode ray tubes), and the best image quality is still found on CRT TVs,” said Tom Pitstick, vice president of marketing at Houston’s Carbon Nanotechnologies. “All the major display manufacturers are looking at nanotube TVs.”
The article goes into depth on how the technology works. A recommended read for all you TV buffs.
Read More | ZDNet
Samsung announced Tuesday that it had developed the largest single-panel active matrix-based organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display for TVs. Recently, Phillips had that claim with it’s 20 inch screen. Samsung’s 21 inch OLED display offers brightness of 400 nits, a contrast ratio of 5000:1, and color gamut of 75, making the product ideal for viewing HD-resolution video images.
Read More | EE Times
Canon announced Tuesday that it will start producing rear projection televisions this year. Canon, a Japanese camera and office equipment maker, wants a part of the rapidly growing big screen TV market. Along with rear projection TVs, they will also be working with Toshiba, Hitachi, and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd in producing a new type of LCD panel. They plan on offering rear projection TVs on a commercial basis by the end of this year. Rear projection TVs are the second flat-panel TVs that will be offered by Canon, the first being SED TVs which will also be available this year. This comes as good news for the end-user. Bigger variety of TVs to choose from, more competition leads to cheaper prices, and better quality as a result of quality research on the part of TV makers. Be sure to be on the look out next holiday season for these TVs, they are sure to be among many people’s wish list.
Read More | Reuters
Pretty soon, we’re going to be flooded with lots of news on all the new gear products coming out later this year and beyond. It’s because the annual Consumer Electronics Show opens up this week in Las Vegas. The show runs January 6-9, and features a messload of exhibits showcasing the latest in everything from BlueTooth technology to home theatre to WiFi. Some of the major products that debuted in past CES shows include plasma TV’s, HDTV, CD’s and DVD’s. It’s just huge, with some 129,000 attendees. Special events to look out for this year include a pre-show keynote speech by Bill Gates, and a show-floor gaming competition. Speaking of games, PSXExtreme reports that details on the Sony PSP’s US launch, pricing, and titles will all be revealed at the show.
SBC announced today their plans to provide digital set-top boxes for consumers that would provide DVR-like capabilities. In conjunction with Dish Network, Cingular, Yahoo, SBC broadband DSL, and other SBC owned companies, the devices would allow customers to record TV, listen to internet radio, view pictures from their computers, and program their DVR remotely from the internet. Also planned is the ability to program the DVR from your Cingular wireless phone.
Perhaps the most appealing part of their plan is the waiving of a monthly fee for usage; consumers will pay a one time fee for the device, and only continue to pay the standard subscription fees to Dish Network and SBC Yahoo DSL, all of which can currently be rolled into a single bill from SBC. This convenience is a contrast to the monthly fees charged by TiVo.
Read More | Forbes
This should excite all of you Tivo users, because now you can take your recorded video on the road with you. In case you have been living under a rock for the past few years, Tivo is a pioneer in the Digital Video Recorder industry. DVR technology allows you to record live video from your TV directly to a hard drive, effectively eliminating the need for a VCR. TivoToGo allows recorded shows to be transferred to Windows XP or 2000 based PCs or laptops via a home computer network. Users would have to download free desktop software from the TiVo Web site onto their computers. TiVoToGo will be part of a free TiVo update, which you may have already received. Unfortunately, if you use a DirecTiVo, you don’t get to play with the rest of us. One other nice feature is that users will be able to burn DVD’s of their favorite shows; however, this feature will not be available till shortly after launch.
Edit: If you have a Humax, Pioneer, or Toshiba TiVo/DVD
Recorder, it looks like you will have to wait until later this year to receive the TiVoToGo update. Damn.
Read More | Silicon Valley
Most of you are probably aware of the Blu-Ray (BD-ROM) / HD-DVD technology war that is brewing, but might not know the exact details of each format. I think this article paints a nice picture of what will be coming in the future of DVD. BD-ROM offers 25GB per layer where HD-DVD only offers 20GB per layer. Most backers of HD-DVD are touting that there will be an easier transition using HD-DVD because that technology uses existing pressing technology and does not need entirely new production lines. What does that mean? Lower cost for the consumer.
Read More | EE Times
If there is one thing I have learned, it’s that universal remotes are never truly universal. You can go through hours and hours of setup, and there will be that one little detail that makes it remain undone. Then I heard about the Logitech Harmony 688 remote. Thre is barely any configuration here, as the remote connects via USB through your PC to an online remote code database. After just 48 hours, I have seen the light. Simply put, the Harmony 688 is the absolute best remote control I have had the pleasure to use. Ever. Find out why after the jump.
We could go two ways with this one. Hopefully manufacturers will make things easier on the consumer by including both DVD and HDTV content on one of these dual-layered discs. But they might also ignore the technology and still make you purchase both formats, in a scheme that we can also foresee. The Register article appears to focus on the former of the two scenarios, describing how the discs can help smoothen the transition to the new HDTV standard, by assuring customers that they have both versions of a movie (Blu Ray and DVD) on one disc, for when they decide to upgrade their TV’s.
Read More | The Register
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