Bloomberg reported that Apple already licenses the AirPlay technology to Pioneer Corp. and D&M Holdings.
Bloomberg quoted executives from Philips as well as Pioneer; the Philips executive was quoted as being interested in the technology, while the Pioneer executive called AirPlay a "blessing for an industry trying to move the needle forward on sales".
In November 2010, Apple issued iOS 4.2, which added AirPlay connectivity to Apple TV and the iPad. Specifically, the update added enables AirPlay—wireless streaming of video, photos, and music from your iOS device to Apple TV—and AirPrint, the wireless printing solution for the iPad. Currently, CE manufacturers are prohibited from taking advantage of the video capabilities inherent in AirPlay, Bloomberg reported.
As part of their CES presentation, Pioneer, a company used to making audio and electronic equipment for cars, announced their plans to integrate Twitter, Facebook and Pandora deeper into their devices. This will lead to your dashboard being connected directly to your social feeds. Pioneer says that it believes smartphones don't do the job because of their small screens, plus the fact that they require a driver's full attention. The new devices from Pioneer will read tweets and status updates directly to the user. The company will bring 9 different models in 2011 starting at $150.
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Pioneer has put out a DVD burner that is so compact, it could easily be mistaken for a CD case. The company claims the DVR-XD09 is the most compact design yet, and includes all the usual features including reading, writing, dual-layer, as well as DVD plus and minus. It is powered by a USB 2.0, and has top writing speeds for 8x single-layer and 6x on double-layer media. You should be able to purchase it this month for $79.99 in August.
Pioneer has 3 new in-dash GPS systems. At the low end is the 4.3-inch AVIC-U310BT, a voice controlled 2-DIN model with wireless capability and iPod/iPhone control at a price of $700.00. The mid-priced 5.8-inch AVIC-X710BT goes for $1,000.00 while the AVIC-X910BT comes at a cost of $1,200.00. Both have RCA outputs and built-in Bluetooth. The top of the line AVIC-Z110BT $1,800.00 unit has all the features that the other three have, gives map and route info simultaneously with voice control, plus HD and satellite radio capability, and a 7-inch motorized LCD screen.
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Pioneer has teamed with XM to create the portable XMp3. The Music Manager will hold up to 100 hours of XM programming from their satellite radio service. Manage it with software, record up to 5 channels simultaneously, check out highlights, and preset channels. Add a microSD card and store MP3 or WMA files. You can also bookmark and purchase tunes from online music services. Users will also like the feature that automatically buffers the most recent half hour for easy replay. The XMp3 weighs only 3.1 oz. and is available for $249.99 after instant $30.00 rebate.
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Pioneer has released their Home Theater System with lots of fun components. The HTS-LX70 has 4 multi-directional satellite speakers, a 7.06-inch dual-drive subwoofer, decoder for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, and 3 HDMI 1.3 inputs. XM/Sirius ready, it also features 2 audio inputs. There is an illuminated LCD touch panel remote, but sadly no player to go with the $1,800.00 package, although the system is pictured with one.
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For the ultimate in convergence check out Pioneer‘s latest in-dash GPS stereo unit. Like some other units the GPS the high-resolution 5.8” screen can pop out to provide GPS and tunes on the go, but unlike the competition this new head unit keeps drivers safe with voice activated navigation and music controls. When the GPS unit is popped out you can take it on the go for directions either while walking, or when driving another car.
Outfitted with Voicebox technology the driver can give commands verbally like “Play Honeycut - Aluminum City” or “Navigate to the Space Needle in Seattle” so as to not have to take their hands or eyes off the road. The Bluetooth capabilities also allow for hands free calling to further enhance the drivers safety. Music in WMA or MP3 format can be played from SD cards, or streamed from Bluetooth phones. The AVIC f500bt also provides strong iPod integration allowing for playback and control of iPod stored music.
Available soon for a yet unknown price. For the inconvenience and high technology packed into this car entertainment don’t expect it to be cheap though.
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Billed as being “thinner than last month’s Wired magazine” and similarly thinner than an iPhone, Pioneer unveiled their Kuro HDTV concept model at their press conference today. The 50-inch plasma weighs in at a relatively paltry 41 lbs and just 9 mm thick. They also claim they’ve “made contrast ratios irrelevant” by eliminating ALL idling luminance, producing completely true blacks. We’ll see how it looks later this week, as they’ll have their concept on the show floor but the early photos they have are impressive to say the least.
Since these are merely concepts, they won’t be available for another year or so but it clearly shows the direction Pioneer is going with their form factors and by “obsoleting” contrast ratios.
Look forward to some video coverage on the floor unit once the show opens up.
The great thing about surround-sound headphones is that you can enjoy those loud, booming movies while not disturbing anyone else around. One of the best pairs of headhones in this category is are the Pioneer SE-DIR800C models. These deliver nice, clear sound, even in action movies, with no audible distortion to be heard. They also stay comfortable on your ears while you sit through multiple full-length movies - that’s a rarity. They may be pricey, but they are perfect for what they are meant to do. They use Dolby Headphone processing to mimic a surround environment, and they do it well. They include a rechargeable battery, which has to be removed in order to be recharged. These run for $399 USD, but can be found cheaper by shopping around. Compare prices on Pioneer SE-DIR800C.
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Pioneer has released their SE-CLX9 Canal-Phones with options. They come with 8 different sets of earbuds and pads so that you can vary the sound to different types of music. The nozzles include heavy bass, mild bass, standard, high tune and light tune. The buds feature an impedance of 32 ohms, playback frequency of 20 to 20000 Hz, and a pressure response of 105dB. With mini-plug and a cord length of 0.8 m, they weigh a mere 8 grams. Find them with an MSRP $199.00.
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