Alright, we’ve hyped it for over a month - the 31 Days of the Dragon contest was our second biggest giveaway in the history of Gear Live. The rules were simple - interact with Gear Live and our community, and don’t spam. You earn points for different actions you take on the site, and the person with the most points at the end of the contest would be declared the winner, as long as they didn’t resort to spamming to get there.
We saw a lot of new activity across the board. Comments, forum posts, gallery comments, new members, and the list goes on…but there could only be one winner. Do note, if you didn’t win, we have another contest starting next week where we will be giving away our customized Gear Live iPhone as the grand prize, with a couple of runner up prizes as well.
Okay, we’ve waiting long enough. The winner of the HP HDX Dragon computer package is…
ASUS’s new offering for home entertainment is the Mini PC Nova Lite PX24. The supposedly world’s smallest mini-PC has a built-in independent graphics card, hi-fi speakers with Dolby digital Life/DTS Connect, and is energy efficient. At a size of 242 x 184 x 51mm and a weight of 1.5kg, it supports HD1080i/1080p and is packed with Windows Vista Home Premium as well as Intel CPU. For more fun, utilize its Media Center for photographs, video, and broadcasting music. Contact ASUS for pricing.
Read More | ASUS
Sony has released its new BRAVIA V4000 Series LCD TVs with a contrast ratio of 33000:1. The screens come in 40, 46, and 52-inches, with other sizes expected down the road. Each one features 1080p HD, its ENGINE 2 for detail, a DVB-C/DVB-T tuner, and a 24p True Cinema mode for making those Blu-ray discs look as spiffy as possible by eliminating the conversion of theatrical format to conventional TV. Each BRAVIA comes with a remote with sync and 3 HDMI sockets for connection to other electronics. No price has been released as yet.
Read More | Sony
Take a look at Westinghouse Digital’s 40-inch 1080p Combo. The VK-40F580D HDTV has an optimal resolution of 1920 x 1080 with 16.7 million colors, an integrated front slot load DVD player, preset and custom video modes, and 2 HDMI inputs. It also features their Pixel Direct tech and SpineDesign side connectors. We actually caught a couple of Westinghouse’s displays recently and were pleasantly surprised that the company has its handle on something other than refrigerators.
Read More | Westinghouse Digital
Shinoda Plasma recently unveiled their new prototype display that functions as a curved or wrap-around screen. The 125-inch device is 1mm thick with a 3 x 1 meter plasma tube array (PTA) and a resolution of 960 x 360. The screen weighs only about 8 lbs., about 10 times less than most plasma displays. The company will be showing off their stuff at the InfoCom 2008 next month in Vegas and plans on working on a 150-inch (3 x 2 meter) version this fall, terrific news for those who live or work in tepees or light houses.
Read More | Pink Tentacle
If you were one of those who jumped early on the DOC Digital to Analog TV coupon giveaway, then you probably know that you only have 90 days to use it and are probably close to the end of the line. We did some shopping over the weekend and found most Wal-marts were out of the converters. We did manage to find two at Targé. Although there was one from GE for about $60.00, we opted for the cheapy Venturer for $47.99. By the way, they add tax to the original cost before taking the price of the $40.00 coupon off, but two boxes for $21.74 is still a decent deal. And if you buy a digital TV before next February, we suspect there will be plenty of others who would love to have your converters.
Read More | Venturer
Western Digital has unveiled its My DVR Expander USB Edition external hard drive. Compatible with DISH Network’s VIP Series HD DVRs, the 500GB drive increases storage up to 300 hours of SD or 60 hours of HD. It has a passive cooling system without fan, thereby making it a quieter device, and WD claims that it is uses a third less power than most external drives. You can have your own Expander for $149.99.
Of course, the My DVR Expander is also available with an eSATA interface. We did a video on this one a couple of months ago, which you can check out after the break.
Read More | Western Digital
OPPO Digital has released their latest up-converting player for Standard DVDs. The DV-980H has a 1080p output, 7.1 channel audio with Dolby Digital Surround EX decoding, and optimized high-fidelity audio circuitry for Super Audio CD, DVD-Audio, HDCD and regular CDs. Add to that Kodak Picture CD for high resolution picture slide shows, a USB 2.0 interface, and the ability to play all versions of DivX video (including DivX 6) with standard playback of DivX media files. While it doesn’t support Blu-ray or the failed HD DVD, it certainly is a lot less expensive for $169.00.
Read More | OPPO
With the HD DVD/Blu-ray format war being over, the new “war” if you will is the one between digital delivery of movies, versus good ol’ optical media. We want to know how you feel about this. Do you prefer buying movies using Apple TV, thus avoiding a trip to the local Target? Or are the type of person who prefers all the bells and whistles that something like a Blu-ray disc has to offer (7.1 lossless audio, pure 1080p video)? I think it is safe to say that we are moving towards a digital download lifestyle, but with current broadband speeds in the USA, we think that it might be a while before it can compete with optical. Your thoughts?
Apple has quietly made a subtle change to the Apple TV movie experience. Previously, you were able to rent standard definition and high definition movies through Apple TV, and obviously, those rentals would expire if left unwatched for 30 days, or within 24 hours of you starting the movie. However, people have been asking for movie downloads since Apple TV Take 2 launched. Well, all that has changed, as Apple has come to an agreement with movie studios that will see new movies available for purchase and download on the same day that they are released on DVD.
The downside to all this? Well, for starters, you can’t buy the HD versions of these movies, despite the fact that you can rent them in HD. If you have an HDTV, we are guessing that you prefer your movies in HD. Also, for a similar price, you could just buy the movie on disc, and get all the extra special feature videos that are lacking on the iTunes download. Oh well, I guess we should just be happy that we are seeing progress.