We thought it most amusing when we learned that Elvis shot his TV when he would see Robert Goulet, but we guess this man took that kind of anger a bit too far. A man in Joplin, Mo. got so irritated at the DTV transition that when he lost his cable and couldn’t get the converter to work, he shot his television. Apparently, he had been drinking at the time, still that was an extreme reaction. He was charged with unlawful use of a firearm.
Read More | Home Theater
New York’s Governor David Paterson is trying to come up with creative ways to pad the state’s $15.4 billion deficit. One of these is an “iPod tax” that would charge for downloaded music and other “digitally delivered entertainment services.” In addition, cable and satellite TV services, movie tickets, taxis, soda, beer, wine, cigars and massages will also be taxed. The proposal must still get legislative approval and we expect that if it passes, there may be an influx of New Yorkers flooding to places like New Jersey to get their tunes.
Read More | NY Daily News
Gefen’s HDMI Switcher sends HD video from 4 1.3 video sources, such as DVDs players and satellite systems at 340MHz up to1080p on your TV. Control is done by the included remote and it remembers the current selection. If you add another source and that one loses power, it goes back to the previous device. It also features lip-sync pass through, XV color support, Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master support, and CEC pass through. The switcher, which is HDCP compliant, comes with a MSRP of $199.00.
Read More | Gefen
If you’re in Reno and you use AT&T as your broadband Internet provider, you’re now unfortunately the latest victim of this whole capped bandwidth nonsense that seems to be taking hold across the US. It started when Comcast implemented a 250GB per month cap on October 1. Now word has hit that metered billing of between 20-150GB per month is going to be tested in Reno on AT&T’s DSL network. If you are a new customer who’ll be apart of the trial, depending on the speed tier you choose, you’ll get a cap somewhere between 20 and 150 gigabytes per month. If you’re an existing customer, you’ll be chosen to be a part of the trial if your monthly bandwidth happens to exceed 150GB in a month.
The trend is something we are vehemently against, so I figured I’d ask one of the Verizon PR reps that I know on Twitter, Kevin Laverty, if we should expect a similar announcement from Verizon, after another Verizon rep said no. His answer:
That’s an affirmative - Verizon has no plans to cap bandwidth on either its FiOS or High Speed Internet/DSL services.
It doesn’t get much clearer than that. It’ll be a nice bullet-point for Verizon if they can say that FiOS is not only faster, but also is completely uncapped as far as usage goes.
In a survey done recently by ABI Research, the results showed that when the dreaded digital change occurs in February, 70% will attach a digital converter. As for the rest of the participants, 10% say they will switch to cable or satellite service, and 20% will just let their TVs “go dark.” Analyst Steve Wilson says the the data suggests that there will be some overall terrestrial viewers who will use other venues for entertainment such as broadband video, DVD rentals, or other online alternatives.
Read More | ABI Research
Ten days ago, Verizon FiOS TV officially launched here in Washington state. I was actually invited to speak at the launch event that took place that day, alongside Verizon representatives, and local government officials. I was specifically chosen as a case study of just how good FiOS is, since I literally moved specifically because Comcast was way too slow for the things we expected out of our Internet connection here at Gear Live HQ. It was an event meant to talk up the advantages of FiOS over cable (specifically, Comcast, in this area). Obviously, with FiOS looming over their territory, Comcast went into damage control mode to combat Verizon’s claims that they were the best option for Internet and television services. We were sent both the FiOS press release and the Comcast press release, and we figured we would respond to the claims of each, point-by-point.
For some background, we’ve been Comcast customers for over six years, for both Internet and television services. When we moved for FiOS 15 months ago, Comcast was still our cable television provider. As of today, I am a FiOS customer for both Internet and television, and as of 10 days ago, am no longer a Comcast customer. Now, on with the comparisons.
While there are plenty of flexible cords and cables for computers, Panasonic claims they have the planet’s first “free-angle” HDMI cable. The device has a version 1.3a high data transfer speed and is meant for flat panel displays. The cable can move 180º, which means you can reduce the 9cm of space usually needed behind a flatscreen to only 3 cm. Look for the flexible 1.5 and 3 meter cords to become available in August.
Read More | Pocket-lint
We remember a time (about 15 years ago) when we were allotted only so many hours on the Net. If you were really addicted, that meant you either had to go online with a stopwatch, reconnect occasionally, or be charged for a business account. Nowadays you can go 24/7 and most providers will offer you a good deal for doing so. For example, knowing that about 1 in seven no longer have landlines, Verizon will be offering discounts to those who don’t but order Internet or TV service. Their Flex Double Play begins this week allowing customer discounts of $8.00 to $12.00 a month if you combine their wireless plan with FiOS TV or broadband.
On the swing side, AT&T is thinking of charging more for those who download too much data. Spokesperson Michael Coe claims that about 5% of their DSL customers use 46% of their bandwidth, while overall usage doubles every year and a half. Time Warner is already charging its customers in Beaumont, Texas, who go over their bandwidth limit $1.00 per gigabyte. If you are one of those who downloads movies and TV shows, especially in hi-def, don’t move to the Lonestar state.
What do you guys think? Should we be charged extra for services that companies are pushing on us to the max? Or should we all go out and purchase a Roku and spend the $8.99 a month before our Internet overcharges become excessive?
Someone finally came up with the ultimate Mouse mouse, so of course it is available at Brando. At a size of 90 x 50 x 30 mm and a weight of 48 g, it features an 800dpi and a USB interface for either left or right-handed users. Its adjustable cable length can be changed from a minimal 7 cm up to a maximum of 73 cm. Compatible with Windows 98/98SE/2000/ME/XP, the utile rodent has a blue LED upon power up, and carries an MSRP of $14.00.
Read More | usb.Brando
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