Hybrid HD DVD / Blu-ray players appear unlikely after LG backs off

New York (NY) - Last week, a spokesperson for LG Electronics told This Week in Consumer Electronics magazine that the combination Blu-ray / HD DVD player it had announced in March, was not in the cards for the company's slate of fall releases. TWICE and others took this news as a clear signal that the hybrid player would not be produced at all.

Watch TV by the pool - company markets weather-resistant televisions

Lux Entertainment is marketing a pair of weather-resistant entertainment centers. The ARRIS-AR26SSMCE and the ARRIS-AR26SSA contain 26" flat-panel LCD screens in a stainless steel shell. Lux Entertainment claims the shell is "virtually indestructible" and can shield the electronics from rain and water splashes.

Apple must disclose iTunes DRM to competitors, but can charge for it

Is it really a victory for Apple's iTunes, or do clouds remain behind the silver lining? In a ruling last week, the French Constitutional Council overturned a provision of a law which would have compelled Apple and others to turn over their DRM schemes for free exploitation by licensees. On the other hand, the Council left certain provisions in place, which means Apple may not be able to do business in France after all.

Panasonic Taiwan to halt CRT TV production in 2-3 years

Panasonic Taiwan recently stated that it will phase out CRT TV production in two to three years, according to a Chinese-language Commercial Times reported on 29 July.

Paris Hilton, plastic surgeons and Playboy Playmates on Itunes

E! Entertainment has signed a deal with Apple to bring several television shows with pretty women and plastic surgery to Itunes.

LG releases "Time Machine" television sets with built-in hard drives

Seoul (South Korea) - If you want Tivo-like functionality built into a television, LG has a couple sets just for you. The company has announced two new 37" and 42" HD LCD sets, with what it calls "Time Machine" capability. Each model has a 250 GB hard drive that starts recording when the set is turned on. Both television sets display 1920 by 1080 pixels, which LG says is twice the resolution of normal HD television sets. The TVs also have a 6000 to 1 color contrast ratio and a six millisecond response time.

Canon releases two HD camcorders

Canon has released two new high-definition camcorders capable of recording videos in 1440 by 1080 (interlaced) resolution. The Canon XH A1 and XH G1 models both have triple CCDs and can record at several frame rates including 60i, 30P and 24P. There is also a 20x HD zoom lens and dual XLR audio jacks taht come with both camcorders.

Slim Devices wants in on high-end networked audio

Slim Devices today introduced a networked audio system aimed squarely at the audiophile market.

Samsung announces two monitors with embedded Windows XP OS

Samsung has released two new monitors that can display pictures, movies and documents without an additional computer. The 46" Syncmaster 460pn and 40" Syncmaster 400pn LCD monitors integrate an embedded version of the Windows XP operating system that can show JPGs, Adobe PDFs and play video files.

Chrysler to install hard drive-based infotainment systems

Chrysler announced that it will offer hard drive infotainment systems into cars of its Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge brand by the end of this year. Initially, the "MyGig" system will be offered in the restyled Chrysler Sebring, the upcoming Dodge Nitro and the Jeep Wrangler, but other vehicles such as the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Commander as well as the Chrysler Town&Country minivan, the Chrysler Pacifica cross-over and the Chrysler Aspen, a rebadged Dodge Durango, will get the system as well.

Panasonic to offer $70,000 plasma TV for Christmas

Christmas is less than half a year away and some of us may already setting up their wish list for their parents and spouses. If you are looking for something different this year, ditch that Porsche and consider the world's largest plasma HDTV.

Sony BMG releases customized song without copy-protection

For the first time in legal music download history, there is a song from a major artists that actually sells without digital rights management (DRM).

Sony's new camcorders record high-def to mini-DVDs and hard drive

Sony has introduced two camcorders capable of recording 1080i resolution video to miniature DVDs. Both the HDR-UX1 and HDR-SR1 models will record 1920 by 1080 pixels and Dolby 5.1 surround sound using the new AVCHD codec (Advanced Video Codec High Definition). The UX1 model will record to 3" DVD discs, while the SR1 version will record to a built-in 30GB hard-drive.

Movielink to offer DVD burning - if Hollywood plays along

Novato (CA) - It's hard to justify more than $25 for a movie that you download and then is stuck on your hard drive. A new deal between Movielink and Sonic that allows users to burn a movie onto a DVD however may drive download services finally into the mainstream. But while the technology is already available, it is ultimately up to the movie studios to unlock the feature.

AUO and CMO to roll out new 42" LCD TV panels

Both AU Optronics (AUO) and Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO) will introduce more 42" LCD TV panels in the second half of 2006, with AUO to use 7.5-generation (7.5G) substrate-made panels and CMO to use 5G substrates, according to sources.

Toshiba delays HD DVD-based DV-R in Japan

Tokyo (Japan) - Reuters is reporting that Toshiba has delayed the introduction of its HD DVD-based high-definition video recorder, the RD-A1 - originally scheduled for tomorrow - to the Japanese market, by about two weeks. The reason, the company says, is to allow inventory to build up, since procurement has run at a slower rate than expected.

Warner Home Video announces four Blu-ray titles for 1 August

Today, Warner Home Video announced its initial roster of four movie releases for the Blu-ray format, for general availability on 1 August. By our count, Warner has announced or released 37 titles for the HD DVD format, which was the first the studio originally supported.

Will Sony PlayStation 3 dry up supply of blue laser diodes for Blu-ray?

The Chinese-language Commercial Times has reported, and DigiTimes has backed up, that Lite-On IT, which produces Blu-ray disc burners under the BenQ brand as well as its own, expressed concerns as to whether Sony, the principal supplier of blue-laser diodes for Blu-ray components, will be able to produce enough diodes to meet demand from it and other suppliers.

World's largest plasma TV goes on sale

If you have been dreaming about watching that Big Game, Matsushita can make that game even bigger.

JVC ships 120 Hz LCD TVs to the US

JVC has announced two high definition LCD televisions that produce images at 120 frames each second. This framerate is double what normal televisions can produce and JVC promises the higher frequency will reduce blurring and ghost images common to normal televisions. The 37" LT-37X987 and the 32" LT-32X987 will both sport 1366 by 768 pixels (progressive)resolution and come with a multitude of inputs.