August 31, 2009

Panasonic Goes 3D For Home Use


3D is about to be more accessible to the masses. Panasonic plans on new plasma HDTVs (the smallest being 50") and Blu-ray players to come out next year. Look for "full HD" (1920 x 1080) with left and right image frames alternating at 120 Hz, and yes, some of those nerdy glasses. They have also teamed with 20th Century Fox and Lightstorm Entertainment to co-promote the upcoming 3D release of "Avatar" to home video.

Via HD Guru

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August 31, 2009

$5 TV Season Specials at Amazon


Amazon is offering a great deal on downloadable HD TV seasons. The selected
$5.00 Season Specials include "30 Rock", "Heroes","Battlestar Gallactica", "Kings"and many others. Grab yours before they change their mind.

Via Amazon $5 Season Specials

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August 28, 2009

Freakin' Friday! Samsung Bluetooth Headsets


Samsung has released three new Bluetooth headsets. The WEP870 can be worn in either ear, mutes music when there is an incoming call, and has dual microphones with noise and echo cancellation technology. You get 6 hours talk time and 150 hours stand by time.


The glossy black WEP-850 can be connected to up to 2 cell phones and has up to 8 hrs. talk time and 250 standby. For the budget minded, the WEP470 features a power on/of switch, and provides 6 hours of talk time and
150 standby.

Via Samsung Bluetooth Headsets

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August 28, 2009

Sales of Plasma Screens Increase


According to researchers Quixel Research, plasma HDTV sales rose 31% in units and 35% dollarwise during Q1 this year, while flat panels fell 7% over the same period. Here's the entire listing of Q1 and 2 with Vizio in the lead.

Rank Brand 1Q 2Q

1 Vizio 21.4% 21.7%
2 Samsung 17.8% 21.3%
3 Sony 14.8% 11.9%
4 Toshiba 8.0% 8.3%
5 LG 8.9% 7.9%
6 Panasonic 3.7% 6.0%
7 Sharp 8.6% 5.3%
Others 16.8% 17.6%

Via Quixel Research

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August 27, 2009

iHome Audio iP1 Speaker System


iHome Audio's latest iPod/iPhone speaker system is the iP1. With an output of 100W through 4" woofers and 1" silk dome tweeters, it features Bongiovi Acoustics' DPS technology for better sound. The system comes with remote, component video outputs and iHome has given it a dedicated website so you can enjoy its superior sound (unless your computer has inferior speakers.) Get yours for $299.99.

Via iHome Audio

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Adesso Wireless SlimTouch Keyboard


Keyboards go wireless up to 30 feet with Adesso's SlimPad. The mini peripheral has a track pad with mouse buttons, connectivity via 2.4GHz technology, sleep mode, low battery indicator and 12 function keys. All keys are scissor-switch and have a life cycle of 6 million uses, although we doubt they actually counted.

Via Adesso Keyboards

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August 26, 2009

Toshiba Joins the Blu-ray Crowd


Rumor has it that now that HD is dead, Toshiba will finally give in and come up with their first DVD/Blu-ray player later this year and has joined the BDA (Blu-ray Disc Association.) There are also hints that they may come out with a recorder for the Japanese market. They way we figure it, the more competition, the better.

Via cnet

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Logitech Debuts New iPod Speakers


Logitech has two new iPod speakers coming soon. The S315i is rechargeable and plays and charges simultaneously. Less than 2" thick, it works with any iPhone or dockable iPod. A 3.5mm jack allows plug in for other musical sources.


The S125i Speaker also charges iPods with the Apple Universal dock connector and other music players with a bass boost. Plug it in to your AC or use 4 AA batteries for about 10 hours of play time. Both can be pre-ordered now.

Via Logitech

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August 25, 2009

Sony + Best Buy = Altus Line


Sony and Best Buy have joined forces in a new Altus product line. Included will be a Blu-ray Home Theater System with wireless surround speakers. It also houses an iPod cradle, can connect with other PMPs and will carry a price starting at $799.00. Other products include wireless PC audio systems, iPod docking systems and a plug and play speaker system. You can pre-order now or find them soon at Best Buy, Sony Style stores and other retailers.

Via Sony Style

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MS LifeCam Supports 720 Video


Microsoft has produced the first consumer webcam that supports 720 video at 30fps. The LifeCam Cinema is made of aluminum and stands on both PCs and laptops. Other features include a 4x digital zoom, noise-canceling microphone, a glass lens and auto focus. The cam connects via USB 2.0 and is compatible with Windows Live Messenger, Movie Maker and Photo Gallery, but check the PC specs before you pre-order.

Via Microsoft LifeCams

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August 24, 2009

MountainLogic Saves Energy


MountainLogic is a company that seems to have a handle on saving energy. Their MountainWise system is individually suited for each home with no programming required. Algorithms adjust the desired temperature in each room at the time of occupation. When rooms are vacant, the energy is reduced. The system is composed of a wireless Master unit, one wall sensor and register per room. Contact MountainLogic if you live in the US or Canada and want to become part of the green solution.

Via MountainLogic

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Sony to Add Digital Reading to PSP


Sony has announced that a digital reader for the PSP will become available this December. Since most owners of the portable game system tend to be younger, the main focus at first will be Digital Comics from Marvel, content from other comic publishers and graphic novels. Users will need to connect their PSP via WiFi to the PlayStation Store to download the reader.

Via PR Newswire

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August 21, 2009

Freakin' Friday! Zune HD to Arrive Soon


After it was inadvertently leaked on Amazon, Microsoft confirmed that the Zune HD will be released September 15. The media player features a has a 3.3" OLED touchscreen, HD radio, browser WiFi and is powered by a NVIDIA Tegra chip ultralow-power HD processor. Preorder the 16GB model or the 32GB Zune if you just can't wait for the grand debut.

Via Zune Players

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Don't Just Tweet - Twitcam


You might want to invest in Livestream stock as they have released Twitcam. Log in to Twitter, turn on your webcam and hit broadcast and you are instantly a star. When someone answers one of your tweets it links up to your show and continues to do so with others. Each page has its own URL so that others can come back and watch once the live stream is over. Eventually users will be able to brand their own sites. Think of it as running your own community TV station.

Via Twitcam

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August 20, 2009

SATA Dual HDD Docking Station


Plug in a 2.5 or 3.5" SATA hard disk to your PC via the SATA Dual HDD Docking Station's port and you can easily transfer, backup or clone. It will support up to two hard drives with a speed of up to 3.0Gbps. The dock also is plug and play and features LED indicators for power on and HDD activity, and gets its power from your PC. At a price of $63.00, it comes with all cables, insulator plate design and a clamp designed to thwart vibration.

Via Brando

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D-Link Improves Speed With 150 Router and Adapter


D-Link's 4 port 150 Router and USB Adapter claims to have 4x the speed of standard 802.11g. It also features better reception and expanded coverage. The DIR-600 will set up your WiFi simply and easily and the DWA-125 adapter can connect others in your network via USB with included software. Update your router while knowing that all the PCs are protected and secure.

Via D-Link

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August 19, 2009

MiniCooper USB, Class in a Flash


We admit it. We covet the MiniCooper. But since that seems to be out of our reach we can at least carry one around. Available in 4 designs, this Zerobasic USB flash drive comes with a retractable plug, illuminating headlights and wheels that can turn. Choose a memory size from 1 to 8GB at prices starting at $45.00, including the Union Jack version licensed by licensed by BMH, BMW and LMI. Zerobasic is giving away 10 of them before the end of September. You can sign up for one here.

Via Cooper USB

(Thanks, Jasie)

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Gogo To Be Offered on US Airways


Aircell's Gogo in-flight Internet connectivity is already available to Virgin America and American Airlines. Now they have added US Airways and will be set to go early next year. Passengers can surf, IM, check email and access VPN networks for a charge of $5.95 - $12.95, depending on the flight length and type of device. The service is set for domestic A321 flights and will expand with time. Look for a WiFi icon when you book your flight.

Via Aircell Gogo

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August 18, 2009

Logitech Unifying Reciever Frees Your Laptop


Logitech would like you to simplify your computing life with their Unifying Receiver. The tiny device can be plugged into your laptop's USB port and connect up to 6 compatible wireless mice and keyboards, all of them Logitech of course. It will come bundled with the K340 and K350 wireless keyboards, Marathon Mouse M705 and Wireless Mouse M505.

Via Logitech

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Sharp to Release 13, Count 'em, 13 Blu-ray HDTVs


Sharp is certainly attempting to be #1 in the HDTV market as it has announced 13 new LCD TVs with built-in Blu-ray. The AQUOS DX2 series comes in 26, 32, 40, 46 and 52" sizes and will make their debut September 10.

Via Sharp Blu-ray HDTVsand Sharp (translated)

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August 17, 2009

Jellyfish - Designer Router


We are all for art, especially when it combines form with function. Future Routers have been busy at the drawing table coming up with several designs that they feel will do just that. The Jellyfish was inspired by the fluorescent properties in its real life counterpart and built with cables to connect users to the router and each other. While most companies are thinking smaller all the time, we commend Goldsmiths at the University of London for their efforts in making something we need into something we like. Check the site for other far out designs.

Via Future Routers

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IRA, Internet Radio Adapter


IRA, aka the Internet Radio Adapter, automatically connects to any Wireless Network without a computer in only 3 minutes. You can receive over 11,000 stations worldwide. Filter by genre or location, enjoy On Demand podcasts and store up to 40 of your fave stations with a one-touch STAR button. Best of all, IRA will remember your favorites even when it is unplugged.


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August 14, 2009

Freakin' Friday! Turntables Are "In" Again


Since we heard the news about the rise of vinyl sales, we decided to drag our old ones out of the cellar and seek something to play them on. For this Freakin' Friday, you do the same and pick the turntable of your choice.

Sony's PS-LX300USB USB Stereo Turntable System has USB audio output, is fully automatic, has a built-in phono preamp and a static balance tonearm.

On a budget? The Audio Technica AT-PL50 Belt Drive Turntable plays records at 33-1/3 and 45 RPM. It has a switchable preamp, an Integral Dual Magnet
stereo cartridge with replaceable stylus and is easily accessible with controls on the front.


Even less expensive is the Jensen 3-Speed Stereo Turntable. This reeks of nostalgia and has an AM/FM Stereo Radio, built-in speakers, exterior speaker outputs, headphone jack and comes with a dust cover.

If you want the whole package, TEAC's GF450K7 has a 3-speed turntable, cassette player, an analog AM/FM stereo tuner with large horizontal scale and CD player/recorder and is supports CD-R/RW recording (phono to CD, tape to CD, AUX to CD.)

Via Turntables

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AT&T U-Verse Point Anywhere Remote


AT&T U-Verse customers can now forget about the need to keep their home theater directly in the line of sight with the TV Point Anywhere RF Remote Control. With a simple plug-n-play USB adapter, the preprogrammed codes make it compatible with most major brands. The remote is backlit for low light, has one-button access to U-verse TV and a temporary lower price of $49.00.

Via AT&T

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August 13, 2009

Amazon VOD Available for Panasonic Viera Products


Panasonic is outing Amazon VOD for its 2009 Viera Cast Blu-ray Players, about 3 months later than expected. Available for the full line, it offers more than 45,000 titles, 1,000 HD selections and instant playback. There is also access to YouTube, news and weather feeds. Other online sites and playback is also possible via PC or other compatible device. The download is free via software update after you register your player. The service was previously released in April for those who have Viera CAST-enabled Plasma HDTVs.

Via Panasonic

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Belkin Powerline Connects With Existing Wiring


Network your entire house with Belkin's Powerline 3-Port Adapter Kit. With a speed of up to 200Mbps, it will connect three devices in one outlet with your home's existing wiring. Connect your PC via router to a cable or satellite box, computer or game system with 128-bit DES link encryption for security. You can pre-order the kit that comes with 2 adapters and a lifetime warranty and more adapters can be added for more electronics.

Via Belkin Powerline

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August 12, 2009

Lexicon High-End THX-Certified Blu-ray Player


Lexicon tosses its hat into the Blu-ray ring bigtime with a THX-certified Blu-ray player that loads in less than five seconds. The BD-30 can also handle SACD, DVD-Audio, DVD, CD and audio and video via USB. It features Anchor Bay video processing, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD, BD-Live and RS232 with external control systems. Expect a price of $3,499.00 when it debuts. Ouch.

Via CE Pro

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Use Landline for Skype with USB Adapter


Skype and other IM-ers can now use a landline and save the price of an extra phone. Eforcity's USB Adapter with VoIP interface will route all incoming calls to your regular phone and ring to the same. When dialing, SkypeOut is automatically detected and used for any long distance call. The adapter is compatible with PC running Windows 2000/XP, a 400 MHz processor or higher and 128 MB RAM.

Via Eforcity Store

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August 11, 2009

QwicKey, For Those Who Forget Passwords


The QwicKey USB Card Swiper conveniently stores information for online shopping. Its software will save and protect such info as credit card forms, login IDs and passwords. Retailing for $49.95 with a 1-year subscription, subsequent years will set you back only $29.95 annually, with charges for adding others to the swiper account.

Via QwicKey

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XACT XQ2500 Headpiece for Landlines


The XACT XQ2500 Headpiece has a 2.4 GHz wireless digital spread spectrum for those who have landlines. With 40 channel autoscan and Compander circuitry filtered sound, it includes digital security codes, paging, auto-answer and a headset volume control. It will even work with hearing aids and has out of range and low battery indicators.

Via XACT XQ2500 Landline Headpiece

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August 10, 2009

TomTom GPS iPhone App


The long awaited TomTom iPhone app is about to be born. Featuring turn-by-turn voice GPS, the hands-free kit also has a handy dock, a dedicated speaker and loaded maps and route changes. It will update your phone while the it charges and further updates can be made without a PC. Look for the application's release later this summer.

Via TomTom

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Vinyl Makes a Comeback Bigtime


What goes around comes around, literally. While CD sales keep shrinking, there seems to be a resurgence of vinyl as 89% more LPs were sold last year as compared to the previous one. Nielsen says that the #1 seller was Radiohead's "In Rainbows" (which came out in January and therefore had a running start.) Second was the Beatles' "Abbey Road" and Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" ranked 7th. We can honestly say that we are glad that a new generation is discovering the joys of a scratchy record. While digital audio may be crystal clear, it is still not the same as listening to some of the earliest Fab Four experiments in stereo.

Via LA Weekly

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August 7, 2009

Freakin' Friday! Apple AirPort Express


Mac users who want send their media to other rooms or the Internet can do it quite easily with the wireless AirPort Express and for less than $100.00. Send movies, photos music and other files with the Base Station that features 802.11n technology and is compatible with most Macs and some newer PCs. At a size of only 3 x 1.1 x 3.7", the Express has encryption technology as well as a built-in firewall for protection.

Via Apple

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Upload Photos to Facebook Via DSi


Nintendo has announced that DSi owners can now use either of the two cameras to upload photos to Facebook directly. The process applies to photos that were previously adjusted with the built-in interactive lens and have been stored in the Camera album. Check into your system's update to receive the free download.

Via Nintendo

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August 6, 2009

Audio-Technica Wireless Speaker


Audio-Technica's Wireless Speaker can be attached to your television to extend the range of your audio. The AT-SP700TV can reach as far as 25m with its 2x1W of power without anyone tripping over a cord, not to mention the fact that you can still hear the game while making those nachos during halftime.

Via Akihabara News

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August 5, 2009

Vizio To Release Streaming HDTVs


Vizio will soon be producing HDTVs this September that will stream Netflix, Showtime, Yahoo widgets and other Internet content. The XVT series has a basic 32-inch model at a price starting at $749.00. Options such as LED backlighting and 240Hz can be added for those with higher budgets. The top of the line will have the options and 5 HDMI ports at a price of $2,199.00. We will see if this line can make them more competitive with others in the HDTV world.

Via PR Newswire

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DC Movie Cowboy - Super System


Digital Cowboy has a multimedia player that they have dubbed Movie Cowboy, of course. It can stream almost anything through its USB port, 2 USB hosts, HDMI output and composite output. Check out this compatiblilty list: MPEG2 HD(ts,tp,trp), MPEG-1/2, Xvid, DAT, ISO, VOB, IFO, MKV(x.264), H.264, WMV9, ASF, MOV, RMVB, FLV, MP4, MotionJPEG video files, and MP3, AAC, OGG, AC3, DTS, MPEG1/2 Layer 1/2/3(MP3), MPEG2-2BC, MPEG-2/4 ACC-LG, WMA9(Pro) and FLAC audio files. The price should be ¥19,900 (~$208.00.)

Via Akihabara News

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August 4, 2009

Photo Otayori Automatic Updating Digital Frame


Are you one of those that gripes that you never get enough pictures from loved ones? NTT DoCoMo has launched the Photo Otayori (correspondence) Service that will help keep you up to date. The Denki electronic picture frame automatically displays images sent by PC or mobile source in a slideshow and is compatible with other phone companies and computers. The 8" frame can include text messages and has both calendar and clock. Auto sensors detect room light and turn off the frame when dark. Keeping up with the family will set you back ¥19,800 (~$209.00) with a monthly fee starting at ¥210 (~$2.10.)

Via C Scout

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Razer Maelstrom Headphones - 7.1 Surround Sound


Razer has come up with headphones that they claim have 7.1 surround sound designed for gaming with their Maelstrom audio engine. The Megaladon, (named after an extinct shark,) also features noise filtering, a remote for volume adjustment and amplified mic and is attachable by USB.

Via Megaladon Headphones

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August 3, 2009

Olive Opus No. 4 - Sweet Music


Olive's new Opus No. 4 produces high quality sound and can hold as much as 2TB of tunes, or about 6,000 CDs. Hook it up to your music system without use of a PC and playback via its intuitive color-coded touchscreen. Other features include simple digitizing through its DAC, preset and added Internet radio stations and genre specific details. Playback to up to 10 rooms in your home with an added Melody Hi-Fi Multi-Room Player. The Opus No. 4 will be available this month in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB models for $1,499.00, $1,599.00 and $1,799.00 respectively.

Via PR Web

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Panasonic DIGA Series Blu-ray Recorders


Panasonic has a new line of Blu-ray DIGA series recorders that they released in Japan so perhaps we can expect a possible holiday arrival in the States. All of them support Dolby, HDMI output, VIERA Link and SDHC slot. The DMR-BW970 is almost top of the line and can hold 2TB HDD, enough room to record for up to 1,440 hours.

Via iTech

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August 1, 2009

Hands On Review: MG-M²TV


MediaGate was kind enough to send us their latest gadget, the M2TV, aka the MG-M²TV. The next generation of the MG-800HD can receive images, video and audio via an external hard drive, video card or USB source and playback in the highest quality HDTV display or home theater with almost any A/V file supported. I hooked it up and found it to be easy to connect, mostly simple to work and fun to play with.

On my USB flash memory drive I had downloaded some images from artist Mike Wrathell, a video from Robot Snob and some music from Jamendo (thanks to amelie's tune "Do it Over") so that I could run the full gamut.

Video 7 0 00 00-29.jpg

Connection is super simple and you are given HDMI and RCA cords so it's not necessary to buy anything further. Even the remote battery is included. The M2TV is very small and sleek and will fit in the smallest of areas.


I always figure if you need extensive usage of the guide that comes with something, it's much too complicated. Thankfully, this is not the case here. After connection, the M2TV loads up very quickly. The main menu gives you a choice between movies, music, photo, settings and file copy.


Selecting movies shows what's in there and can be run in preview or full screen. Both video and sound were extremely impressive. The remote includes the ability to play in slo-mo, zoom, repeat, ff/rew, instant replay and more. Subtitles can be added in several languages.

achilles.jpgVideo 14 0 00 19-11 (2).jpgVideo 14 0 00 19-03.jpgVideo 14 0 00 29-12.jpg

When viewing images, you can select one at a time or build a slideshow with a timing of 2 seconds to 2 minutes, music background and transition effects in the Setup portion. Another fun trick is the ability to turn your images 360º and you can adjust the contrast, brightness, aspect ratio, etc. When playing music, you again can adjust by remote as you do with video.

The M2TV also allows for updating. Visit the site to download the latest version.


If you are the type that makes slideshows or likes to watch downloaded content without using up your hard drive, this is the device for you. We have reviewed electronic gadgets that need extra parts, will not compensate if you do not have HD or have other issues, but frankly about the only aspects we didn't like were very small lettering and the noise it made. We know, picky picky, but here's hoping the next model, which may feature WiFi, is quieter and doesn't need a magnifying glass to read the photo details.

(Thanks, Tony)

Via MediaGate

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