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.
HD DVD players posted a more successful launch than its Blu-ray rival, at least in terms of the number of players sold.
Fremont (CA) - Logitech today announced a new addition to its Wireless Music System line.
The Wireless DJ Music System uses Logitech's Music Anywhere wireless technology that includes a USB transmitter that connects to a PC and Receiver/Dock with stereo RCA and 3.5 mm headphone jack outputs. Formats supported include MP3, iTunes (AAC), WMA, Internet radio, and podcast ormats.
Google has reached a deal with MTV Networks - whose name has been cropping up quite a bit in the digital realm recently - that could end up enabling clips from MTV programming to be integrated into AdSense content that appears alongside user search pages.
Lake Success (NY) - Following Sony's HDR-UX1 and HDR-SR1 mini-camcorders, Canon announced its first compact high-definition camcorder. The HV10 will be available beginning in September and carry a suggested retail price of $1300.
If you have been delaying the purchase of a camcorder in the hope of high-definition home video capability becoming more affordable and available in compact form factor devices, then it's time to watch out for new products hitting retail shelves in the next few weeks and months.