At the Broadband World Forum Europe today, Microsoft announced that it has partnered with Cisco, Motorola, Philips, and Tatung to provide new set-top boxes for Internet Protocol TV (IPTV), to support high-definition TV, digital video recording, and other advanced features.
Culver City (CA) - Sony Pictures has announced that it will be releasing Click, Black Hawk Down, and Talladega Nights in a high-capacity format. Using a dual-layer 50 GB Blu-ray disc instead of the currently shipping 25 GB format, the media will carry not only high-definition video, but also a handful of special features on a single disc.
Creative Labs says it can spice spice up dull MP3s with its new Xmod module. The external candy-bar sized unit up-converts audio files from 16-bit to 24-bit and promises to enhance low and high frequencies giving "beyond the original CD quality" sound. Xmod doesn't require any drivers and connects between the computer or MP3 player and speakers.
Logitech has received FCC approval for a new set of wireless "Free Pulse" headphones. The unannounced device is squarely aimed at Ipod owners, as Logitech provides custom wireless adapter fit plates for 4G and 5G Ipods as well as the Ipod nano and Ipod mini. However, according to the manual, the headset should work with any other MP3 player as well.
The headphones transmit audio via Bluetooth 2.0 EDR.
There was no information on availability and pricing of the "Free Pulse"set.
Osaka (Japan) - Panasonic today unveiled what the company is calling the world's first Blu-ray Disc recorders that can play back BD-video discs. The devices can store high-definition video onto the built-in hard drive and burn content onto recordable BD-R and BD-RE media.
Blu-ray Disc players for 2006 ...
Yokohama (Japan) - At an upcoming electronics expo, JVC will demo sphere-shaped speakers that are supposedly acoustically perfect. Resembling the floating assassin droids in Star Wars, the 12-sided speakers will emit sound from every side, except for the bottom. JVC claims the speaker will "disappear acoustically" to most listeners.
Hitachi today announced that its latest line of TVs, the 2006 Director's Line, has begun shipping to retailers across the country. Included in the series are plasma and LCD high-definition TVs with sizes of up to 55 inches.
Sling Media has received approval from the FCC for a new version of its media streaming console Slingbox. Currently titled the "Slingbox A/V," it comes with audio/video cable inputs on the side to allow streaming of recorded content from external sources like a DVR or DVD player.
Infrant Technologies today announced a "virtually silent" media server targeted at the audio/visual enthusiast home theater market.
TiVo today announced details and availability of latest set top box. The Series3 HD Digital Media Recorder is the first TiVo recorder to capture and present video in high definition from your cable connection, and according to the company, the world's only digital media recorder with THX certification.
Adobe today announced new versions of their Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements software Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0 and Adobe Premiere Elements 3.0 will be available later this year.
Accell claims to be the first cable manufacturer that is offering a HDMI mini compatible cable. HDMI mini, which was announced on 22 June of this year, offers the same feature set as HDMI 1.3 through a more compact connector that is expected to be integrated into consumer electronics such as digital still and video cameras.
Accell said that the mini HDMI cable will eb available in 7-ft length. Pricing and availability were not announced.
JVC said it has developed a new display technology for high-definition home projectors that can deliver a native contrast ratio of 10,000:1. The technology will also offer a brightness of 800 lumens and 1080p resolution (1920x1080 progressive).
JVC said that it will offer the first 10,000:1 1080p projector early next year. If you are planning to upgrade your home theater with such a device, be prepared to spend about $7000.
mazon.com has officially launched its digital video download service, Amazon Unbox, which reportedly will allow customers to watch movies on their PC in DVD quality. According to the company, more than 30 movie studios and TV networks have already confirmed plans to provide content to Unbox.
Chicago (IL) - Micro Star International (MSI) has received FCC approval for a Bluetooth audio transmitter that will enable users of Ipods and other MP3 players as well as other devices with audio jacks to wirelessly stream music to Bluetooth-enabled headsets. The "FS320" package comes with an Ipod Nano-sized transmitter, an audio cable with 3.5 mm input, an USB-based charger as well as drivers and other software on a CD.
UPDATE 31 August 2006 2:25 pm ET
Los Angeles (CA) - There has never been any doubt that 20th Century-Fox has been firmly entrenched in the Blu-ray camp, as one of that technology's more outspoken supporters. But unlike Sony - seen as Blu-ray's caretaker, and the parent of Columbia, Tri-Star, and MGM - 20th has held out on announcing actual titles and release dates for the format. That changed this morning, with 20th's announcement of eight titles for US release on 14 November, and a ninth the following week.
Vivendi's Universal Music Group (UMG) is trying to turn startup SpiralFrog into a music prince by offering its entire backlog of songs for free download. The songs will be downloadable after users agree to watching some advertisements. Both UMG and SpiralFrog hope the partnership will break Apple iTunes' grip on the downloadable music market.
The author of a report cited in yesterday's USA Today as evidence of a weak high-definition DVD market, told TG Daily today that report was two months old.
A report by NPD analyst unit DisplaySearch published yesterday states worldwide shipments of LCD TVs rose during the usually less vigorous spring quarter of the year by an astonishing 28% over the first quarter, and 135% over Q2 2005. Perhaps more astonishing, high North American sales were to credit for the boost, up 48% over the prior year.
Seoul (Korea) - Screens for home theaters can't be large enough and if your 50" or 65" has become too mainstream then Samsung will soon be offering an upgrade opportunity: 70" TVs with full HD resolution will become available next year.