March 31, 2009

Belkin Conserve Surge Protectors

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Admit it. You leave your computer on when not necessary, you keep your DVR on for the clock, and you often forget to unplug appliances because you use their LEDs as nightlights. Belkin has released Conserve Energy-Saving Surge Protectors to cut back on that standby power. The remote switch turns devices on or off with one switch click, while routers and other devices can be plugged into Always-On outlets. Choose between an
8 Switchable and 2 Always-On model
or a 10/2 Protector for home theaters.

Via Belkin

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March 31, 2009

Zeebo, Reinvented Gaming

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Zeebo claims that it has reinvented the game console. Plug it into your TV and it is good to go with self-explanatory user interface and some games already loaded. Even better, it automatically connects to the ZeeboNet Wireless Network for buying and downloading new games in minutes. Based on a on Qualcomm BREW platform and MSM chipset to make it more affordable, it also is energy efficient by consuming only 1W power. The system has a 640 x 480 screen resolution, a full-featured controller, expansion ports and multiplayer capability.

The starting MSRP of the Zeebo is $199.99 although there may be a $50.00 price reduction later this year. By making it inexpensive and only needing downloadable games, we can certainly see the system going global.

Via Zeebo

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March 30, 2009

Zemote Turns iPhone Into Remote Control

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Turn your iPhone or iPod touch 2.0 or higher into a wireless keyboard, touch pad and remote for your HTPC or desktop with Zemote from Zigzix. Utilizing your WiFi network, you simply have to install the receiver application, then it will automatically find your computer. Control your mouse with its motion sensor. Download Zemote at the App store for $3.99 if you have a PC with Windows XP/Vista.

Via Zemote

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March 30, 2009

Blockbuster OnDemand Coming to TiVo

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Watch out, Netflix. Blockbuster OnDemand is also coming to TiVo. Members can rent for $2 - $4.00 or purchase thousands of their titles for instant viewing for $15 - $20.00. The service will be available to TiVo Series 2, 3, HD, and HD XL DVRs and Blockbuster will sell TiVo units in their retail stores as part of the deal.

Via TiVo

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March 27, 2009

Freakin' Friday - Dummies Books on the Cheap

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We try to keep our eyes out for Amazon's quiet yet useful specials and that includes March being Dummies Month with over 1,300 topics available. You can get a $5.00 mail-in rebate and save up to 38% on some of the titles that include
Networking
,
Wireless Networking
,
Hacking Wireless Networks
and Home Theater for Dummies. Not only is this a perfect excuse to create your own network at home or home theater, we promise we won't tell. Because, after all, if you are saving that much money, you don't really qualify as a dummy.

Via Dummies Books

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Orange Releases Liveradio for UK

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If you live in the UK, Switzerland, France or Spain, Orange has some good news. The France-based Liveradio will give you access to more than 5,000 Internet stations and over 11,000 news, sports, music, and comedy podcasts. You can personalize your content, mark your favorites and hook the device up via Ethernet or WiFi. An additional plus is the ability to play music stored in your PC and access to audio books. Liveradio is available for €99 while charges depend on your subscription. You can also download it on your iPhone.


Via Web Wire

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March 26, 2009

Ultimotion, Inexensive Wii Alternative

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Can't afford a $250.00 Wii? How about the Jakks Pacific Ultimotion as an alternative? The system comes with bowling, golf, tennis, baseball and football controllers. Play is similar to the Wii, and for less than $50.00, you may not get as extensive a selection of games, but this could be a viable solution for couch potato kids.

Via Ultimotion

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Onkyo Unveils New HTiBs

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Onkyo has two new HTiBs with HDMI receivers with Pass-Thru, Deep Color and x.v. color. They also have 5 - 7 surround sound speakers, 4 DSP gaming modes and come in black or silver. The 7.1 channel HT-S5200 offers 130W per channel amps, a 10" subwoofer, iPod dock and charging station and is Sirius XM ready at a price of $599.00. The 5.1 channel HT-S3200 has 110W per channel, 5 speakers and three HDMI inputs. It features an 8" subwoofer, DTS and Dolby Digital surround sound and a price of $379.00.

Via AV Guide

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March 25, 2009

Fox To Omit Extras From Rental Discs

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20th Century Fox Home Entertainment apparently seeks to punish movie renters. Beginning the end of this month, the movies
"Marley & Me"
and
"Slumdog Millionaire"
will come in two different classes, a premium version with bonus material and a film only version for rental stores. The Slumdog rental Blu-ray has bonus features but no digital copy.

While retail rental stores can purchase a premium version for customers, we are somewhat mystified by the plan. Anyone who streams or subscribes to Netflix sometimes miss those extras unless they ask for the second disc, but often they are largely composed of previews and deleted scenes. We figure if the director didn't think enough of them to include them in the movie, we don't really care either.

Via Video Business

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Companies Team to Create Set Top Box

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Samsung has teamed with STMicroelectronics and Metalink to come up with a new set-top box. The SMT-H6155 is wireless and equipped with an STi7109 chipset for HD video decoding and a Metalink's 802.11n WLANPlus chipset for delivery of multiple HD streaming throught an entire house. No date or price has been mentioned.

ABI Analyst Mike Arden had this to say, "STMicroelectronics holds the leading market share for STB decoders, and Samsung is the leading STB vendor in Asia-Pacific and second worldwide. Together, these companies will be in a strong position to capture market share in the IPTV STB market, which will grow from 4.7 million units shipped in 2006 to 41.2 million units shipped in 2011."

We believe it. We here at NAV know that technology is moving forward at an incredibly rapid pace and to combine companies for better products is always a good move.

Via ST Online

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March 24, 2009

Optoma Pico Transforms iPhone Into Projector

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The Optoma Pico can turn your iPod or iPhone into a projector. The 4.1" PK-101 can work as close as 8" or up to 8' away and still display sharp images. Shine it on a wall, a piece of furniture, a car seat or your cat (if he/she is dozing) and the image will still be true. The Pico only weighs 4 oz. and has a rechargeable battery life of 1.5 hours. Included in the $399.00 price are two batteries. Time liked it so well they made it one of their top ten gadgets of 2008.


Optoma Pico

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Motorola and Sony Wireless Round Speakers

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Motorola has released their T325 Bluetooth speaker that can also be used as a hands-free car system. There are not many details known although it is assumed that it is compatible with any Bluetooth Moto phone with A2DP. It certainly looks similar to Sony Ericsson's Outdoor Wireless Speaker MS500 with 2W output. Sony's device works to within 10m of your cell phone and 2 AA batteries provide 5 hours of tunes. Round must be in.

Via Unwired

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March 23, 2009

Purchase Tickets Through DISH Fandango

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DISH Network has added Fandango, a movie ticketing service, on channel 100. This is an OpenTV app that not only serves the hardware, you can also order tickets over a connected phone line. The default shows movies and times near the user's zip code but can be customized and expanded. DISH plans on a Fandango widget in the future that will include trailers.

Via DISH

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More Stations to Switch to Digital Before June

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If you wake up one Sunday morning and cannot get your fix of Bill Moyers on PBS, it may be because another 158 TV stations, about a third of them public broadcasting, will switch from analog to digital before the deadline June 12. The reasoning is undoubtedly because PBS is hurting for support these days. That leaves about 51%, or 927 channels that will make the crossover later. The FCC has released PDF lists of those that will make the transition early and those that have decided to wait.

Via FCC

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March 20, 2009

Freakin' Friday! Free Blu-ray Player with Denon A/V Receiver Purchase

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Denon must be feeling the results of the recession as they are offering a super deal. Purchase one of their qualifying Home Theater Receivers and you get their
DVD-2500BTCI Blu-ray Player
for free. Yes, we said this player will cost you nada. Of course the A/V receiver will set you back a bit of cash, but think of it as an excuse to set up that home theater you always wanted. The deal is available until April 30 or until supplies last. These are the included model numbers of the receivers:

AVR-2809CI


AVR-989


AVR-3808CI


AVR-4308CI


AVR-5308CI

Choose both items and the price of the player will be deducted at checkout.

Via Denon

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Panasonic Debuts New Blu-ray Home Theaters

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We suspect the reason that the Panasonic Home Theater we found last week was such a deal may have been because they were readying their two new 7.1 channel Blu-ray systems. Both the SC-BT200 and SC-BT300 come with an integrated iPod dock, multi-channel sound card and 7 wireless ready speakers. Connect to the Internet for bonus content and play games on BD-Live. Included is a Smart Set-Up Guide with a graphical user interface. The SC-BT200 has a price of $599.95 and the SC-BT300 has a $699.95 tag. Both should be out next month.

Via PR Newswire

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March 19, 2009

Philips TSU9600 Ergonomic Remote

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Philips' Pronto Home Control Panel Universal Remote does about everything but vacuum. Manage your music, entertainment equipment and even your lighting on the TSU9600. ProntoEdit Professional can store and manage codes, a built-in Channel Wizard has simplified usage and WAV file compatibility for linking spoken instructions. Optional software can even integrate your Windows MCE from your PC. With a "soft feel" ergonomic grip, connecting your home network doesn't get much easier. Suggested retail is $1,499.00, but we found one for about half that price.

Via Philips Remote Control

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PowerDrive, Better Than a Cardboard Box

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After a while, those discs really pile up until you get to the point that you have to put them in boxes. The PowerDrive is a viable alternative. It is both an automatic disc library storage/retrieval system and and an external DVD/CD writer. You can hold up to 100 DVDs and CD Library software 5.0 is included that will automatically keep track of them. Searching is simple and more than one units can be stacked for even more storage. The PowerDrive is available for $299.99.

Via ThinkGeek

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March 18, 2009

FiOs TV Adds Sony and Turner to Lineup

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We have previously mentioned FiOS TV, the free service for Verizon subscribers of Home Media DVR. The company has announced even more VOD in their library. Both Sony and Turner Networks have signed on. That mean you can watch shows from CNN, Cartoon Network, TBS, and other networks along with lots of free movies including:
"The DaVinci Code"

"Final Destination 3"

"Anaconda"

"Anaconda III"

Okay, so watching Jon Voight or David Hasselhoff wrestling an enormous rubber snake is not your idea of incredible viewing, but don't knock the free ride.

Via Verizon

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Habey Releases Fanless Mini HTPC with Decoder

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Habey has a new performance Atom N270 system with a 1080p HD platform. The BIS-6550 has a built-in HD AVC/VC-1/MPEG-2 hardware decoder for playback of HD as well as Blu-ray. The fanless system includes media interfaces VGA, HDMI, Composite and S-Video out, built-in CF socket, SD reader, two SATA II ports, four USB 2.0 ports and one Gigabit Ethernet. An HD TV tuner and wireless card are optional.

Via Habey U.S.A.

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 17, 2009

Samsung BD-P1600 Blu-ray Player

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Samsung is always at the top of the list when it comes to Blu-ray and they seem to have done it again. Their new
BD-P1600
with BD-Live 2.0 is controlled with a simple remote. Stream from Netflix or Pandora and get full HD 1080p resolution. At a size of 17 x 2.13 x 7.83" and a weight of a mere 4.85 lbs., It has a built-in Ethernet connection for downloading firmware upgrades and 1.3 1.3 HDMI output. Get yours for less than $300.00.

Via Samsung BD-P1600 Blu-ray Player

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Participate in Mobui Audience Chat

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Tired of spending weekends alone? Mobui has launched Audience Chat, probably the ultimate networking service for those who frequent chatrooms on holidays. This mobile application allows audience participation during TV shows. It's like voting for your American Idol fave, only now you can communicate with the show's on-air talent and others in chatrooms. VH1's "Top Chef" and "I Love Money 2" are the first to adopt the technology. Compatible with the service are more than 100 different phones, including iPhone, BlackBerry and those equipped with Windows Mobile.


Via Mobui

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March 16, 2009

Linksys 3-in-1 Router

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The Linksys Wireless-G Broadband Router is a handy little 3-in-one. Its Wireless Access Point allows you to stream both Wireless-G and -B. It has a built-in 4 port full-duplex 10/100 switch to connect wired-Ethernet devices and the router combines it all so that your network can share high-speed cable or DSL. Once connected with push button setup, all your computers can share music, images and documents. At a size of only 12 x 14 x 9" and a weight of 4 lbs., you can pick one up at a decently reduced price.

Via Linksys Wireless-G Broadband Router


Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Miro 2.0 - Now Customizable

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Miro is a free HD video player that can handle almost any video file and has access to over 6,000 Internet TV shows and podcasts. The open source device has integrated search and will also stream from sites like YouTube and Hulu. The new 2.0 version is customizable and has keyboard shortcuts, while the built-in guide connects you for downloading to your computer. With such extensive free viewing available online, it is no wonder that some of the networks are increasing their output there as well.

Via Miro

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March 13, 2009

Freakin' Friday ! Boston Acoustics Horizon Speaker System

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Boston Acoustics always puts out a fine system and they have recently lowered their price for this
Horizon Series MCS100MDNT
more than 50%. Included is a one box 5.1-channel system, four 3" satellite speakers with .75" soft dome tweeters, 3" center channel speaker with .75" soft dome tweeter and an 8" 100W powered subwoofer. All of their speakers have MagnaGuard magnetic shielding and Reduced Baffle Diffraction design.

Via
BA Horizon Speaker System


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Philips Cinema 21:9 LCD, Ulta-Wide Viewing

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Philips certainly gets our attention with their new Cinema 21:9, the perfect addition to any home theater. Because the 56" diagonal TV comes close to the 2:31:1 aspect ration of film, it gets rid of those irritating top and bottom bars. The HDTV includes auto-formatting to resize to 16:9 that can be disabled and their Ambilight technology. Available in select European countries in limited distribution, it has a MSRP for €4000 (~$5,000.00.) There are no plans to make it available in North America as yet, but one can hope.

Via Home Theater

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March 12, 2009

Apple TV Junkie - TV Listings and More

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Apple TV Junkie is a handy site for those who have
one of the devices
and iTunes. It lists AD and SD rental titles daily as they become available. They also list HD TV shows as well as Canadian and UK releases. And if you want a new way to hack using Boxee or aTV Flash or want to add tools like video encoding and backup software, then this is the place to be.

Via Apple Tv Junkie

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Gefen HDMI Extender Gets Once Over

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Gefen's Wireless Extender was recently reviewed by PC Magazine. Highlights of the gadget include a transmitter with built-in auto-switching HDMI, 1080p/24p video, simple set up and support for two-channel PCM up to 48kHz and Dolby Digital/DTS 5.1 channel audio. The new extender began shipping last week at a price of $999.00. We guess this wasn't a completely glowing review and if you would like to read the rest, hit the link.

Via PC Magazine

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March 11, 2009

Sony's (New and Old) Surround Bar Systems

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Sony has unveiled their new Surround Bar System. The HT-CT500 has 400W power, 3 HDMI ports, a Walkman interface, FM tuner, Dolby Digital and DTS support. The 50mm deep component can be mounted or placed on a stand. Expect the system to come out in June in Japan for ¥60,000 (~$620.00.) If you cannot wait and are seeking something similar, Sony also has a HT-CT100 Sound Bar with Sub-Woofer for less than half that price.

Via I4U

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Zillion TV - DVD Quality Viewing

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Mitch Berman watched a demonstration of Internet-based TV on demand with a PC as the set-top box. About a year later, Zillion TV was born. He says that it brings DVD quality programming to your TV. Berman is hoping that he can nab users of cable and satellite by offering films and TV on demand. Customers get a thin box that connects to DSL or cable modem services and remote for free, then they can buy a program, rent it for a set time period or watch free with commercials.

Via Zillion TV

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March 10, 2009

Alaska and Southwest Airlines Test WiFi

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Alaska Airlines has joined the ranks of American, Delta and Air Canada to offer its customers Satellite technology from Row 44. The Inflight WiFi can be used with a laptop, smartphone, PMP or any other wireless device to browse and gain access to corporate networks via VPN. The service is beginning in one flight that runs between Seattle and San Jose on their Boeing 700/737 planes and if successful, will be available on other flights. The company has said that it will allow consumers to determine what is a fair price after the trial period, but knowing how airlines are now charging for meals and other extras, don't be surprised at the results.

Trying to keep up, Southwest Airlines has also announced it is beta testing a service on three of their planes. After the trial, expect to pay about $10.00 per day.

Via Alaska World

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ELPA Includes Speaker in Remote

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This is an odd concept. ELPA has a TV remote equipped with a 30mm diameter speaker with volume control and an output of 1.0W. The infrared wireless speaker comes with its own receiver and you can close it into a compact cube when not in use. The RC-25SP is compatible with both analog and digital TVs and comes at a price of ¥4,000 (~$41.00.)

Via ELPA

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 9, 2009

Sonos System Wins iF Gold

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Sonos has just been awarded an iF (Internal Forum Design) Gold Award 2009 in Germany. There were only 50 companies that received the award, so it is no wonder that they are so excited. Other products that won included Royal Philips' Sound Bar Home cinema system, the
Macbook Air
and the Sony Cybershot DSC-T77. A full list of winners can be found on the link. Our congrats to Sonos.

(Thanks, Thomas)

Via iF (translated)

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Vue - Simplified Home Networking

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Avaak Vue Personal Video Network is surely one of the most state of the art systems going. Mount their 3" high cams anywhere in your house and they will deliver battery powered, wireless images to the base station without a PC. You get access to them on a password-protected site even if you are not home. Not only can you move the cameras around, you can take video or stills and upload them to social networking sites.

The Vue is run by FrameMesh, a low-power 2.4GHz system that enables the cameras to only operate when you are watching. Developed by the military, one FrameMesh network can support up to 50 cameras. Look for the Vue in May at a price of $299.99 for a base station, two cams and mounting gear. Service is free for the initial year and $20.00 after that, and extra cams are $99.00 apiece.

Via Vue Zone

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March 6, 2009

Freakin' Friday! Prestige Drive Works With Pace Boxes

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Iomega has announced that their
Prestige Desktop External Hard Drive
, previously used for storage for eSATA-enabled DVRs, is now compatible with Pace set-top boxes. That means an expanded capacity for up to 300 hours of standard def TV or 60 hours of HD. The drive can even enable boxes to function as a DVR without an internal hard drive. Get in touch with Iomega for more information.

Via Iomega Prestige External Hard Drive

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Tandberg Releases First HD USB Cam

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When you think videoconferencing, consider Tandberg's PrecisionHD USB Camera. Designed for Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Release 2, it's a first that offers HD video at 720p with 30 f/s. Hook the OCS 2007 R2 to your laptop that also supports unlimited video bitrate. Contact Tandberg for more info. We suspect it won't be long before HD becomes the standard for home webcams as well.

Via Tandberg

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March 5, 2009

HDMI Digital Viewer Displays Media on Your HDTV

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Make everyone suffer through the equivalent of home movies with the Hi-Den Vision HDMI 1080p Digital Photo Viewer. The HD-0301 lets you show off photos, video clips and MP3 music files on your HDTV. The device supports most flash memory cards with its CompactFlash Type I/II slots. Use the front USB port for larger files on a portable hard drive. There is also an extra connector for another HDMI gadget, such as your DVR. The view comes with a $59.99 price.

Via Hi-Den Vision

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Blu-ray Patent Holders Agree to One-Stop-Shopping License

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In a touch of fairness for all, a group consisting of Panasonic, Philips, Sony and other Blu-ray Disc, CD, and DVD patent holders have made up a one-stop-shopping license. Former IP of IBM Gerald Rosenthal will be in charge of the company that will open mid-2009 in the U.S. with branches in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Fees look to be $9.50 for a Blu-ray player, $14.00 for a recorder, $.11 for a read only disc, $.12 for a recordable one and $.15 for a rewritable disc. The agreement is expected to be 40% lower than current royalty rates. Let's hope they pass those savings on down the Blu-ray road.

Via Yahoo Business

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March 4, 2009

Yamaha AV HD Amplifier Works With Multi-Remotes

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Yamaha Japan's latest AX-V465 5.1ch AV Amplifier supports both 1080p HD input and output. Control from your Panasonic, Toshiba, Hitachi, Sharp, Mitsubishi, or Sony remote with its HDMI Link. Look for it to come out in March with a price of ¥50000 (~$512.00.)

Via Akihabara News

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Panasonic Deluxe 5 Home Theater System

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We do so dig hunting around for bargains. The
Panasonic SC-PT760 Deluxe 5 DVD Home Theater System
is a case in point. The DVD/CD home theater system comes with their Whisper-Mode Surround for super sound at low volumes. It handles up to 5 discs and comes with 1 center speaker, a Kelton subwoofer, 2 tallboys, and 2 surround speakers. Of course it features Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic and DTS decoders and has 1080p up-conversion to your HDTV. The SC-PT760 also has an integrated iPod dock/charger and Viera link display for control at a price of $314.70 with free shipping.

Via Panasonic Deluxe 5 Home Theater

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 3, 2009

Russian Intelvision Home Media Center

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Intelvision Engineering, located in Saint Petersburg, Russia, has unveiled a home media center that is compatible with both Beckhoff I/O modules and controllers as well as KNX/LON/RS232/485/TCP/IP devices. Here is what is included in the package:

  • Beckhoff CX controller server side (INTELVISION PLC runtime)
  • Configuration Program (for PC) - to configure I/O, Logic, timers, groups, ext.devices (MediaCenter, IRTrans, Moxa, Kramer etc.), ext.interfaces (RS485, lon, knx, enocean, etc.)
  • Visualization library - dll for MS Blend with a large amount of additional elements (dimmers, relays, command senders, buttons, IR, bells, video (Axis,) etc.)
  • Native iPod Touch/iPhone software

That's a lot of media attention. Look for it to come stateside further down the road.

Via Automated Home

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

CasaTools Multi-Room Music Server

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CasaTools has unveiled their XL Music Servers that can receive up to 9 music sources by touchscreen, depending on the model. Pre-loaded with their CasaTunes software, the device has a 250GB hard drive that can hold over 1,600 albums or 20,000 songs. Additional music can be added via CDs, iPod, or Internet downloads. Add to that external streaming from AM/FM, satellite and SHOUTcast. Their XLi has four internal music sources and can be used in up to 6 rooms. The XLe comes with 5 sources and can control up to 12 rooms. Add 4 external boxes and you have 48 rooms of tunes. The XL Server can also be controlled from your computer and will be available sometime this quarter at a price starting at $1,499.99.

Via CasaTools

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 2, 2009

More Online Access for Cable?

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Look for some of the more prominent cable stations to go online either for free or a small fee in the near future. Media conglomerates such as those behind HBO, MTV, TLC, Discovery and Animal Planet are in negotiation. The reason for for the discussions are that there are already so many networks that offer their programming online for free, yet cable networks must pay them for content. Included in the companies are Time Warner, Cox, Viacom and Comcast, who has dubbed the initiative "On Demand Online." No doubt this is the shape of things to come and we will do our best to keep an eye on its progress.

Via CBS

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

VUDU First to Sell On-Demand Movies in HD

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VUDU has become the first on-demand service to offer HD movies for download to own. While users have only been able to rent about 1,400 of them, the company unveiled a collection of 50 independent movies available in both HD and HDX. Included are films from Independent Studios FirstLook, Kino and Magnolia's
"Man on Wire,"
the recent Academy Award Winner. Those that are purchased can be stored in the VUDU itself or in VUDU's Vault free online storage, which is certainly a plus considering that the company offers over 13,000 total movies and TV episodes. Each film is priced between $13.99 and $23.99. By the way, the company recently lowered the price of its player, no doubt to compete with
Apple TV
and the Roku.

via PR Newswire

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

March 1, 2009

Monthly Round Up: February 2009

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Last month was certainly full of new and reduced priced goodies and info on NAV and we promise even more in the coming months. We also want to thank those of you who now follow us on Twitter, the latest being chewTV, Jeremy DeCoursey, Phillip Yang, gazelle, ottomate, Justin Tsuchida of Executive 411 and SmartHome. Sign up if you haven't yet and we will try to acknowledge everyone. (We all want recognition, eh?)

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