I’m sure Bill Gates’ home is “tricked out” as far as the most advanced technology is concerned. I’ve heard of rooms that change the artwork and temperature as it detects you entering. A very lucky British family of four will be trying out what looks to be a run-of-the-mill 5 bedroom home which rivals anything I’ve seen on MTV Cribs. The home that will be closely monitored, and will include such extravagant features like:
- not turning on the sprinklers when its raining
- viewing live camera feeds from your cell phone when not home
- censoring television and Internet content for individual tastes (and the kids)
- garden awning retracts/expands according to the weather
- self cleaning windows
- automatic shirt ironer
- phone/intercom systems in all rooms
- blinds automatically open and kitchen brews coffee every morning
- can detect flooding and shut off water valves to prevent excessive damage (even text messages you to call the plumber)
- control lights via SMS to make potential burglars hesitate
- control your heating system before you enter in from the cold
Read More | CNN
In this week’s edition of “The Final Cut”, Devin takes a look at some of the upcoming season finales over the next week. A week ago she gave us a preview of the summer movie season. Get ready for a summer full of reruns:
With May Sweeps quickly approaching, many of our favorite shows are coming to their seasons’ end. Many questions and mysteries that we’ve come across during the season are sure to be answered during each shows season finale, and I’m sure it is no surprise to know that most finales will leave us with a cliffhanger, and have us counting down the days to next seasons’ premieres. Today we take a look at finale listings from tvtome.com’s episode guide for some of the years highest rated shows, and see just what we can expect from some of out favorite TV shows, not to mention what questions we hope get answered.
The TiVo Desktop software has been upgraded, and version 2.1 is now available for download. The biggest change, aside from the visual aspect, is that TiVo Desktop 2.1 includes support for playing TiVoToGo shows on Microsoft Portable Media Center units. The update is available for the Windows XP and 2000 operating systems. On the flip side, if you are on a Mac, it looks like TiVo Desktop 1.9.1 is broken in Tiger. Personally, I am still waiting for them to release TiVoToGo for DVD players with integrated TiVo software. What gives?
Read More | TiVo Desktop 2.1
Today LG introduced the first plasma HDTV televisions which include a built in DVR system. Here is an overview of the specs for the LG 60PY2DR and the LG 50PY2DR televisions:
- 50 or 60 inch display
- 160 GB hard drive (13 hours of HDTV programming, 63 hours of standard programming)
- Built-in ATSC tuner
- 9-in-2 multi memory card readers
- HDMI with HDCP, IEEE 1394 with DTV Link
- Flexible Picture-in-Picture (PIP), Picture-outside-Picture (POP) and split-screen options
The cost? 60 inches will set you back $14,999, or you can opt for the less expensive 50 inch model for $7,999. Or you can buy a car. Full press release after the jump.
Seems as though everything having to do with technology is getting smaller and better. Now the same holds true for speakers. While you can’t expect to get extreme home theater quality sound from these speakers, they are extremely thin and can be placed anywhere. I can only imagine what crazy setups can come from people using these type of speakers in their homes when they become available. The speakers do not have a sub woofer, no tweeter, and no crossover. Instead, it utilizes a tiny magnet, a voice coil and a paper thin panel.
I’ve been wanting a TiVo for sometime, and while searching the interweb I found a great article about how to build a complete DIY media PC. It may look daunting, but the satisfaction you will earn from building a highly scalable DVR solution, which can also stream music/video and run emulated game software is unmatched by anything TiVo, ReplayTV, or your local cable company can give you.
Read More | MAKE
Sony and Toshiba are said to be as close to an agreement on the next gen DVD standard which could be announced as soon as the end of the month. This is great news for us technology hounds. Usually it’s the lack of an industry standard that keeps us waiting. The compromise will allow Sony to use it’s Blu-Ray structure on Toshiba’s HD-DVDs. Sony’s Blu-Ray discs hold 50GB vs Toshiba’s HD-DVD at 30GB. However, by using Toshiba’s HD-DVDs, DVD facilities won’t have to do as much retooling as Sony’s format would require. Don’t get your hopes up too high just yet, nothing is a done deal until it’s signed, sealed, and delivered. Here is a bit more on the issue.
Read More | ARS Technica
It looks like TDK has obtained a licensing agreement with Sony to start the manufacturing and distribution of Blu-Ray media. The rewritable discs will be called TDK Professional Discs and will store a whopping 23.3 GB of data. The transfer rate of these bad boys is 72 Mbps, and they will be compatible with Sony’s Professional Disc System, XDCAM. The discs should be available this June. The future is coming, friends.
Read More | CDFreaks
Microsoft and Warner brothers have announced that they will be teaming up to streamline the retail release of high definition movies and TV shows. Warner Brothers will be producing HD-DVDs using Microsoft’s VC-1 Standard - Windows Media Player 9. VC-1 is the mandatory codec for HD DVD and Blu-Ray discs. Blair Westlake, the corporate vice president for Microsoft Media, says, “Warner Brothers plan to use VC-1 for the release of HD DVDs presents consumers with exciting new options for watching high-definition content.”
Read More | News.com Article
Current TV is the $70 million dollar cable channel that is seeking to appease 18-35 year old viewers who have short attention spans. Former United States Veep, Al Gore, unveiled Current TV this week in San Francisco saying that they have no intention of creating a Democratic channel, a liberal channel, or any other sort of political outlet. Gore said Current TV is empowering this generation of young people in their 20s to tell their stories through the dominant medium of our time.
Current TV will feature programming like Current Playlist for music, Current Gigs for jobs, Current Soul for religion and so on. Starting to see the point? The content segments are called “pods” and will range in length from 15 seconds to 5 minutes.
Gore also wants to tie the Internet and television together. One way of doing this is by paying a minimum of $250 for a 1-5 minute segment uploaded by Current TV viewers. This is a pretty cool idea, would we expect anything less from the inventor of the Internet? In a nutshell, Current TV wants to create the kind of TV you want to watch. You can upload segments through Current Studio where they will be screened by staff and possibly voted on over the Internet. They don’t want “fictional narratives” or “experimental films better suited to film fests than TV” either. I mean, how are they gonna sell advertising with that stuff showing?