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ApriPoko Learns and Responds

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

ApriPokoToshiba is working on a new robot that doubles as a voice-operated remote for all your appliances. At a size of 8 x 11-inches and a weight of only 5 lb., ApriPoko learns by watching and questioning your actions, such as “What did you just do?”

Talk back to the bot (“I turned on the stereo”) and he will memorize your actions. When you want that stereo turned on the next time, he will happily oblige with an IR signal. Think of the implications in years to come for the prototype.

“I got a beer from the fridge.”
“I flushed the toilet.”
“I called my boss and told him I was very sick.”
“I have to go see my mother-in-law.”

Read More | Asahi (Japanese) via Pink Tentacle


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Microsoft ends 360 HD DVD production, slashes HD DVD add-on to $49

Xbox 360 HD DVD player

Well, with the news that HD DVD had been killed by Toshiba, you knew that it was only a matter of time before the player was eliminated as well, right? Well, the time has come, as Microsoft sent us the following update:

As a result of recent decisions made by , Hollywood studios, and retailers, Microsoft plans to withdraw from HD DVD.  Xbox will no longer manufacture new HD DVD players for the Xbox 360, but we will continue to provide standard product and warranty support for all Xbox 360 HD DVD Players in the market.  As we stated earlier, we do not believe this decision will have any material impact on the Xbox 360 platform or our position in the marketplace.  HD DVD is one of the several ways we offer a high definition experience to consumers and we will continue to give consumers the choice to enjoy digital distribution of high definition movies and TV shows directly to their living room, along with playback of the DVD movies they already own.

Okay, well, shouldn’t that be “HD DVD was one of the several ways…”? So, now that we know that the Xbox 360 HD DVD player add-on will no longer be manufactured, if you really really want one, they can now be had for $49.99. That is 75% off of it’s original price, for those of you keeping track. So if you want a piece of recently outdated technology, now is your chance.

Read More |

Bloomberg


Buh Bye HD DVD

Sinking Ship

It’s official. announced today that the end is here. In a public statement, Atsutoshi Nishida, President and CEO said, “While we are disappointed for the company and more importantly, for the consumer, the real mass market opportunity for high definition content remains untapped and Toshiba is both able and determined to use our talent, technology and intellectual property to make digital convergence a reality.”

The company will cease selling their products to retail dealers by the end of March, but promises to continue its product support to those who have already purchased HD products. They will continue to market standard DVD players and DVRs. Toshiba will now concentrate on other tech that supports hi-def, including NAND processing, next gen CPUs, small form factor hard disk drives, and those that utilize wireless and incryption technology.

 

Read More | Toshiba Press Release

Toshiba Stops HD DVD Production

Toshiba, HD DVD

It’s official.  is DOA.

Toshiba finally announced Tuesday what had been rumored for days—it is pulling out of the high-definition market.  Although the HD DVD system preceded Sony’s product, sales have steadily outpaced its competitor.

In the past few months, major studios have aligned themselves with the Sony brand.  Even though Paramount and Universal continued to offer their titles on HD DVD, it was clear the Toshiba format was being crippled.

Recent decisions made by Wal-Mart and Netflix helped drive a nail into the HD DVD coffin.  The companies announced they would no longer be making the high-def option available to its customers.

Shipments of the Toshiba systems will wrap up by March.

Read More |

Hollywood Reporter


Toshiba Concedes to Blu-ray

Toshiba Display

Toshiba has announced that it will stop using its HD DVD format. Since this company tried harder than most of the others, this undoubtedly marks the end of the disc war. The official announcement will probably be made in the next several days.

“We have entered the final stage of planning to make our exit from the next generation DVD business,” said a spokesperson from Toshiba who wished to remain anonymous. The company estimates they will lose hundreds of millions of dollars because of the concession.

 

Read More | Reuters

Toshiba Slashes Prices, Again

Toshiba HD DVD

Toshiba, never admitting defeat, has once again cut its prices up to 50% to promote its HD DVD players. Their entry level players now carry an MSRP of ~$150.00. Expect an onslaught of various media-type commercials within the next few weeks. While we continue to hear rumors concerning the HD/Blu-ray War, we think we will just bide our time and revel in the news that now almost anyone can afford a player. Toshiba is still offering 5 free DVDs with purchase.

 

Read More | USA Today

CES 2008 Video: A Look at Toshiba’s CES SNB HDTV Regza line

Toshiba launched a bunch of new Regza LCD HDTV‘s, including the Regza Super Narrow Bezel (SNB) line. We give you a peek at their booth, as well as some of their HD DVD offerings as well.


CES 2008 Video: Toshiba’s X205, Qosmio G35 AV690 Gaming Notebooks

was kind enough to show us their full range of -capable laptops. In the video, we go over the Qosmio $3,000 system which features a full screen (and looks simply gorgeous) and HDMI output. You can output in straight 1080p to an HD TV over the HDMI out, to glorious, CEC-compatible result. It’s also the world’s first notebook to include a rewritable HD DVD, which may or may not be terribly relevant given the recent mullings over HD DVD.

When I asked about their impression on that though they said they have absolutely no intent of giving up the fight and very much intend to continue to support the format.

Also check out the video to see the Satellite A205—a $899 laptop with an integrated HD DVD player, though no .


Warner Titles Go Blu-ray

Warner Home Video - the last major studio to spread the love between both and - has finally chosen to consolidate.  Unfortunately, its a decision owners of the Toshiba system aren’t going to like.  As of May 2008, high definition titles released by the company will be Blu-ray exclusive.

This a major blow for the HD DVD camp which is now fighting a lopsided battle.  Although (with Dreamworks) announced back in August that it was joining the underdog’s team, it is now only one of two major studios ( being the other) on that side of the fence.  Meanwhile, owners of the Sony product have selections from , , and to choose from.

Although Toshiba claimed to be ‘surprised’ by the announcement, Warner says its decision was simply based on consumer demand.  cited this same reason when it Blu-ray only back in June.

Read More |

Hollywood Reporter


CES 2008: Warner Drops HD-DVD, Lone Tear Streams Down Toshiba’s Face

Posted by Chris Cardinal Categories: CES, CES 2008, Home Entertainment,

Warner Bros. announced they were becoming an exclusively studio this weekend, apparently completely pulling the rug on the HD-DVD camp. Said a Toshiba press release:

TOKYO, Jan. 4 /PRNewswire/—Toshiba is quite surprised by Warner Bros.’ decision to abandon in favor of Blu-ray, despite the fact that there are various contracts in place between our companies concerning the support of HD DVD. As central members of the DVD Forum, we have long maintained a close partnership with Warner Bros. We worked closely together to help standardize the first-generation DVD format as well as to define and shape HD DVD as its next-generation successor.

We were particularly disappointed that this decision was made in spite of the significant momentum HD DVD has gained in the US market as well as other regions in 2007. HD DVD players and PCs have outsold Blu-ray in the US market in 2007.

‘s one of the HD-DVD founders and following this announcement, they pulled their CES conference entirely. A bit of a death knell ringing for the HD-DVD side, with rumors swirling that Microsoft may be pulling their HD-DVD support as well.

It makes the free HD-DVD press backpack/roller bags a bit of a sad affair.


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