Toshiba has a new DisplayLink-powered Mobile LCD Monitor that attaches via USB. With a 14" 1366 x 768p display and brightness control buttons, it has a 16 millisecond response, a 400:1 contrast ratio, support for Windows 7/XP/Vista and optional AC adapter usage. Weighing a mere 2.8 lbs., it comes with a carrying case and stand at a price of $199.99.
The WiFi Alliance has developed a new hotspot program they have dubbed CERTIFIED. The plan promises selection of WiFi based on user preference, with streamlined (and automatic with a SIM card) network access and immediate account processing. The organization promises encryption that includes WPA2 security. Look for changes to occur in the first half of 2012.
Vizio's line of 3DTVs (three of them with Internet access) will soon be available for the masses. The 32, 42 and 47" screens come with a built-in IR remote and two pairs of passive 3D glasses and prices that are more affordable than most. A 32" 1080p model is the least expensive of all and included in the series which should debut next month.
HTC announced the coming out of the Evo View 4G tablet with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, a 7" display, two microphones, Adobe Flash, a CMOS camera and microSD memory card. HTC Watch is packed in the tablet for streaming video and cloud gaming via OnLive. Another nifty feature is Timemark, a way of tapping on a word in your audio notes that will take you to that exact location. No word on price or exact date of release.
Indie fans, Fandor is for you. The new streaming service carries independent, international film, shorts and documentaries that you just can't find on other sources. Right now the service has about 2,5000 titles that you can access for $10.00 monthly via Boxee, but we see them hooking up with other set tops as well as the service grows.
Look, it's the Millennium Falcon! Not quite, it is a Star Wars themed 10,000 square ft. home theater in a Honolulu mansion built by Custom Home Systems. The room has hidden electronics and speakers, so all that is visible is a 107" screen. The company used Crestron 6" Touch Panels to coordinate everything, including cueing up a film, adjusting the temperature, controlling surveillance cams, dimming the lights and playing tunes from a docked iPod.
MyndPlay is a new video player by NeuroSky and Triete Labs that monitors your mental activity so that you control the outcome of the film. Focus and relaxation are measured by the system via a Neurosky's Mindwave headset. While the idea is still in the early stage of development, it would certainly make watching a video more like playing an interactive video game that can have several different outcomes.
Samsung is hoping to expand your AV equipment by offering new peripherals that are compatible with their HDTVs and Blu-ray players with Internet capability. Their CY-SWR1100 router works by plugging into a USB wireless adaptor, a CY-STC1100 Smart TV camera hooks you up with Skype and the RMC-QTD1 contains both a full QWERTY keyboard and standard control for inputting text.
Netflix has apparently outbid cable channels to gain exclusive rights to the new 'House of Cards,' a David Fincher drama starring Kevin Spacey. They now get the first two seasons at a cost of over $100 million, perhaps a sign that they have their sites on vying with HBO, Showtime, etc.
All we know is that when all is said and done at the end of a day, when we want to watch a movie, we just want to stream something that isn't yet available and would rather Netflix spend the money on conversion rather than competing with the big guys.
If you haven't checked out Logitech's Harmony One Remote lately, it has certainly improved, from the color touchscreen to compatibility with over 225,000 devices. Setup is simple and is now one-touch; it is rechargeable with included dock and has a new ergonomic design. Compatible with PC and Mac, Harmony learns IR codes from all other remotes.
Worio has a service that allows its users to search for things that are related. After changing their name to Zite, they created an iPad-based digital magazine that "gets smarter as you use it." It will collect information tailored to each person when he/she signs up, recommends articles based on likes and dislikes and steers them towards the blogs they prefer. Best of all, the download is free.
This clever Audio Light Bulb fits in any standard lamp socket to add some tunes in small areas or odd corners. The 10W wireless speaker features LEDs to produce the same 60W of an incandescent bulb. Look for the device to be out in April with a $299.95 price.
Android fans, Saab has just the car for you. Iqon is an in-dash infotainment system that features a WiFi enabled touchscreen, access to the Internet and thousands of apps. You can check your email, contact your local dealer, stream music and navigate. The new platform was recently shown in a Phoenix concept car at the 2011 Geneva motor show.
Pioneer has come up with an AirPlay compatible AV receiver. The ASX-1021 works with the 7.1 channel VSX-1021 home theater and adding a LAN adapter allows streaming by iPod/iPhone/iPad. Pioneer has also released free software for remote control and editing playlists via AirJam.
When Nintendo launches its 3DS March 25, they are adding an extra benefit. Users will be able to get free WiFi at AT&T's 10,000 hotspots. This means that not only can you play to the max, you can buzz up on Starbucks Trenta. Look for a $250 price for the portable game system.
Sony has 4 new 7.1 AV receivers with 100 watts per channel, the STR-DN1020, STR-DH820, STR-DH720, and STR-DH520. All of them feature iPhone/iPod compatibility, Ethernet connectivity for their audio platform HomeShare and DLNA and 3D support. All will be released this spring at prices starting at $230.00 with the STR-DH520 due out this month.
The wireless Veebeam is simple to set up. Plug one end into your TV, the other into your PC's USB port and you get the same image on your HDTV (provided that your television has it.) Choose between the default Screencasting mode to share with friends and family or Video Play-To mode for streaming while you multi-task by checking your email or surfing online. There is a less expensive model for those without HDTV.
Plex comes to Android with a new $4.99 app. Their media center allows those with the smartphone to stream movies, TV shows, music, photos and videos from the Interweb. With its open framework, developers are encouraged to create new Plex channels, 200 of which are already available, including iTunes, Netflix and YouTube.
The iPad 2, unveiled last week by Steve Jobs, seems to have inspired a horde of criticism. Available for pre-order this Friday, it is slightly thinner, a bit faster, has two cameras and comes in both black and white. Priced at $499.00, Apple has already lowered the price of the first gen iPad $100 and offered to give recent customers a refund so they can buy the new one. It remains to be seen if the temptation works, but until then we give props to Conan for his take on the device.
Freakin' Friday! Happy Anniversary, Zelda and Link
Let's wish a collective congrats to Nintendo as the Link franchise is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Talk about feeling ancient. The original Zelda got me hooked on video games when it first came out. It seems fairly basic compared to games now, but it was certainly an improvement over Pong and I was never much for Pacman. And once in a while I get the urge to play it again as most of those relics are free to play online. For those of you who have a Wii, don't miss out on the latest version of Skyward Sword due out later this year.
Sony is working on a new technology for video gaming that allows players to see a different image depending on where they are in the room. With 3D 'Killzone 3,' the gamers will not be able to view what each competitor is doing. The tech is a form of split screen and will not be available to the public for quite a while, but may be eventually incorporated in their TVs in the future.
Roku keeps taking steps forward, this time in conjunction with Amazon. Their Amazon Prime is now available on the set top box for a mere $79.00 a year. We say mere because for that approximately $6.00 a month you get streaming of over 5,000 movies and TV shows.
It's March and time once again to catch up on last month's posts. Sit back and peruse and wish for an end to the nasty weather that is affecting most of us and keeping us inside the warm. Thanks to Juanita Baburek, Kavon Edwards, Eilene Cassar, Brauner Solutions, Samuel Winston, Chester Halm, Teresa Remillard and Michael Graziano for joining us on Twitter.
Want to learn how to operate a Patriot Missile? There's an app for that. C2 is working on a training application that shows how to ready the system to launch and fire. It works in the field and accesses current information at the same time. There will eventually be a total of 7 apps along with Interactive Multimedia Instruction (IMI) training lessons for classrooms. This would not be a good thing to lose during warfare.