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Analog TV Will Cease to Exist in 2009

TVThe Bad News

Analog broadcasting, as we now know it, will end by February 2009. When the time comes, your TV has to be capable of receiving digital signals or you will end up with a very large paperweight. If you have satellite service or cable they will provide you with anything you need, but if you use an antenna you will need an ATCS tuner.

The Good News

If you need the tuner (which costs between $50.00 and $70.00,) the government will help subsidize your purchase if you apply for up to two $40.00 coupons between January 1 and March 31, 2008.


The Best News

If you have a VCR, or DVR with a digital tuner that will do the trick, so save your old VCR even if you never got around to fixing that broken belt. Contact the FCC’s site for more infomation.

Read More | USA Today

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Digital Cam Sweeps the Scenery

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Cameras, Design, Misc. Tech,

Panoramic Digital Cam

We love the effect of 360º panoramic photos, but unless you are a professional that can afford the large and sometimes overpriced equipment, you just have to be content seeing the work of others’ efforts. Designer Hye-Jeong Yang has come up with the Sony Panoramic Digital Concept Camera that you set on a flat surface at the angle you want and, as it rotates, it takes in the whole view in a single image or video. You can then save it on a memory card. Still at the prototype stage, we suspect it will not be long before it comes to a retailer near you.

 

Read More | Yanko

MGM Films Roar onto iTunes

MGM Logo

More and more entertainment companies are jumping on the bandwagon—making life more and more fun for the rest of us. Most recently, Sony joined the fray, with some of their classic TV shows available for download. Now MGM has climbed aboard, adding such popular films as “Mad Max” and “Rocky” to the iTunes catalog, which already carries nearly 500 flicks from Walt Disney, Paramount Pictures and others. The MGM films will be available in the coming weeks; most of the movies in the iTunes Store can be downloaded for $9.99 USD.

Read More | NY Times

ATI Xilleon 260 HDTV Processor

Posted by Brian Viele Categories: HDTV,

On September 1, ATI announced that they would be releasing the newest addition to their line of HDTV processors, the Xilleon 260.  The new 260 is the successor to the current 240 chip which has received much praise and success.  The 260 is the first system-on-a-chip that supports full HD for worldwide DTV (digital television) standards including Europe, Japan, Korea and North America. Advanced features include HD deinterlacing, 3D comb filter, dynamic contrast, noise reduction, sharpness, and color control to deliver top quality end-to-end performance. Xilleon 260 also offers a full audio subsystem for home theater applications.

The Xilleon 260 is currently being distributed in samples to its customers, and will likely be in use in set-top boxes within the next year.  With the big push from TV manufacturers starting to release almost every model of display in full HD capacity, it’s only a matter of time before people will be looking for set-top boxes with the Xilleon 260 logo.

Read More | ATI

FCC Approves Toshiba 1089, a.k.a Microsoft’s Zune Player

Posted by Yuan Zhao Categories: Microsoft, Music, Portable Audio / Video,

Microsoft's ZuneRumors have been floating around the internet for months now about Microsoft’s mysterious “iPod Killer,” the Zune portable media player, but until now, little has been confirmed. Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the Toshiba 1089 player, which apparently will be marketed by Microsoft as the Zune player. Getting Toshiba to manufacture the player is hardly surprising on Microsoft’s part, especially given their long history together, including their support for the HD DVD platform. Utilizing Toshiba’s manufacturing resources also eliminates the need for Microsoft to construct their own factories.

Fortunately, the Zune does not appear to be just a re-skinned Toshiba Gigabeat. In terms of specifications, the Zune player appears to be hard-drive based, using a 1.8” 30GB hard drive. It also comes with a reasonable 3-inch TFT display as well as an integrated FM tuner and USB 2.0 connectivity. The most fascinating aspect of the Zune, however, comes from its built-in wireless capabilities. It seems the rumors about Microsoft’s Zune network for downloading and sharing music and other media may be true after all.

Read More | FCC

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