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Why the Flip camera failed

Flip Camera failed

The Flip was never my favorite pocket camcorder. That's partly because it was the darling of everyone else and also because I found more powerful options elsewhere, like the Kodak Zi6 (and then Zi8). Both offer HD video capture, a microphone-in jack and removable media. Flip didn't offer any of that; the Flip team always told me that those features would likely confuse consumers who just wanted to capture video.

Now I realize they were right. In fact more right than any of us had imagined.

A day after Cisco unceremoniously dumped its $590 million purchase in favor of a pure business strategy, Flip owners and even the Flip CEO are busy licking their wounds and wondering exactly what happened. I'll tell you what happened: A device came along that made video capture and sharing even easier than the Flip—end of story.

Flip's demise has to be one of the most spectacular flameouts in recent tech history. When I met with Flip last year (just prior to the launch of the ill-fated Flip SlideHD), Flip had marketshare numbers that looked not only unbeatable, but unstoppable. According to Cisco executives:

  • Flip sales grew by 300 percent between 2008 and 2009.
  • Flip led the category throughout the 2009 holiday buying season.
  • Flip sold more units than Sony, Canon, Kodak, and JVC combined.
  • Flip cameras were number nine out of Amazon's top 10 selling products.
  • The "Shoot and Share market" grew over 35 percent in 2009 and and Flip's share of that? A whopping 93 percent.
  • On CNN's popular iReport user-generated news section, 70 percent of the user-gen video was shot with a Flip.

This was the success story to beat all success stories. And while I complained even then that Cisco wasn't innovating enough with the Flip brand—I wanted a microphone jack and was begging for them to be the first to offer optical zoom—I could not argue with its success.

Click to continue reading Why the Flip camera failed


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Samsung drops prices of 3D glasses to $50, packing in two pairs with TV purchase

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Accessories, HDTV,

Samsung 3D glasses ssg-3700gr

Samsung announced an upcoming price drop for its current 3D glasses, which will complement its recently redesigned and streamlined active shutter glasses. The SSG-3100GB 3D glasses are now $129, but starting May 1 they will retail for $50 per pair. They don't need recharging and can run for up to 70 hours before the battery has to be replaced.

The $50 glasses aren't only a new low point in the cost of active shutter 3D glasses, but they're also the key to letting users enjoy their 3D HDTVs with no additional investment. Samsung will include two pairs of SSG-3100GB glasses with all of its 3D HDTVs for free.

This does not include the D7000 and higher LED TVs and D6500 and higher plasma TVs, which will continue to include the SSG-3100M 3D starter kit with which they were already bundled, which also includes the two pairs of glasses and a 3D Dreamworks movie.

Click to continue reading Samsung drops prices of 3D glasses to $50, packing in two pairs with TV purchase


Samsung starts mass producing transparent LCD panels

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Corporate News, Displays, HDTV,

Samsung transparent LCD

Samsung announced today that it has become the first company to begin mass production of transparent LCD panels.

The panels, which measure 22 inches across the diagonal, support resolutions up to 1,680-by-1,050, have 500:1 contrast ratios, and are available in both color and black-and-white models.

Samsung claims that the panels offer the world's highest transparency rate: over 20 percent for the black-and-white variety, and over 15 percent for color. (The company says that conventional LCD panels with a backlight unit have only 5 percent transparency.)

According to Samsung, because panels with higher transparency rates are better able to utilize ambient light, the company's new panels consume up to 90 percent less electricity compared to traditional LCD monitors.

Click to continue reading Samsung starts mass producing transparent LCD panels


Complete Star Wars Blu-ray set goes on sale September 16, pre-order now

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: HDTV, Home Entertainment, Movies,

Star Wars Blu-ray

We know a ton of Star Wars fans have been waiting for confirmation of when the series would be available for purchase on Blu-ray, and we finally have a date that's set in stone. You'll be able to pick up Star Wars: The Complete Saga, Star Wars: Original Trilogy, and Star Wars: Prequel Trilogy on September 16, 2011. In an interesting move, this is a Friday. Movie releases tend to fall on Tuesdays, but we're guessing that there are people hardcore enough to camp out for this thing and take time off work to tear through it, so having the weekend to do so is an added bonus.

You can pre-order the Star Wars Blu-ray set from Amazon at a significant discount:

May the Force be with you.


Will the Nintendo 3DS pave the way for a 3D iPhone?

iphone 3d

The new Nintendo 3DS promises to be a success not only because it actually works well and does indeed provide a 3D image without any glasses or aid whatsoever, but because it takes amusing 3D photos and is just fun to play with.

When all is said and done, the Nintendo 3DS may actually accomplish what Fuji has been promoting and what many 3D hobbyists have tried: popularizing 3D photography for everyday use.

And, yes, we know that it's a gimmick. But it's a cool gimmick.

After taking a few 3D pictures of just about anything, you'll find that they are so compelling that it is hard to express the odd joy you get from them. This is the key to the eventual success of home 3D. It has always failed in the past, because it was somebody else's 3D. It was never personal.

Photography itself never flourished as a hobby when the cameras were the big bulky clunkers utilized by Matthew Brady and others. Think about this. Photography was nothing new during the Civil War in the 1860's, but all the photos were done by a limited number of pros. You have to wonder what the Civil War would have been like if everyone had a cell phone camera like we do today.

Then Kodak produced the Brownie and gave photography to everyman. Next thing you knew, photography became the number one hobby in the world. 3D is following that same pattern. It's just odd that a game company, Nintendo, is the Kodak and the 3DS is the Brownie.

Click to continue reading Will the Nintendo 3DS pave the way for a 3D iPhone?


Comcast’s 24-hour Xfinity 3D channel now live

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: HDTV, Home Entertainment,

Xfinity 3dComcast has launched its long-awaited (by some) 24-hour 3D channel, Xfinity 3D. This adds to Comcast's other 3D offerings like ESPN 3D, the 3D events channel, and the 3D on demand movies. The channel launched with broadcasts of a Kings of Leon concert and the NHL Heritage Classic 2011 hockey game.

You can expect 3D nature documentaries, animated features, concerts, sporting events, and performances, although the schedule doesn't look to include too many hit movies or concerts at the moment. That said, this could be similar to years ago when a few HD channels were first lit up with nature shows and soccer games, giving HDTV owners something to watch. What do you think? Will dedicated 3D channels spur sales of 3D television sets?


Tech Deals of the Day: 40-inch Toshiba HDTV, Dell Inspiron duo

inspiron duo

Here's today’s  list, where we bring the the top discounts on gadgets and consumer electronics for the day. The highlight for today is a massive discount on the Dell Inspiron duo netbook tablet, and a great deal on this 40-inch Toshiba LCD HDTV:

Don’t forget, if you’re looking for other deals, be sure to check out our Newegg Promo Code thread.


Tech Deals of the Day: Dell 15% off, free iPhone apps

dell clearance

Here's today’s  list, where we bring the the top discounts on gadgets and consumer electronics for the day. The highlight for today is a huge 15% off Dell sale, and a 42" HDTV for $340 with free shipping:

Don’t forget, if you’re looking for other deals, be sure to check out our Newegg Promo Code thread.


Deal of the Day: 23% off Vizio E421VA 1080p LCD HDTV

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: HDTV, Home Entertainment, Hot Deals,

vizio e470va 1080p lcd promo code

We've got another Vizio deal to feature in our  - this time you get 23% off the cost of the Vizio E421VA 42-inch 1080p LCD HDTV set. When all is said and done, you get a discount of $160, and walk away with a 42-inch set for $549.99, with free shipping:

Save 23% on Vizio E421VA 1080p HDTV

Don’t forget, if you’re looking for other deals, be sure to check out our Newegg Promo Code thread.


Deal of the Day: 29% off Vizio M470VT Razor LED LCD HDTV

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: HDTV, Home Entertainment, Hot Deals,

vizio e470va 1080p lcd promo code

We've got another Vizio deal to feature in our  - this time you get 29% off the cost of the Vizio M470VT 47-inch 1080p LED HDTV set. When all is said and done, you get a discount of $370, and walk away with a 47-inch set for $899.99, with free shipping:

Save 29% on Vizio M470VT 1080p HDTV

Don’t forget, if you’re looking for other deals, be sure to check out our Newegg Promo Code thread.


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