NVIDIA has been pushing its 3D Vision stereoscopic support for what feels like a long while now and AMD got in on the game via its HD3D Technology open eco-system with the launch of its Radeon Catalyst 10.3 driver back in March. Who are we missing, though? Oh, Intel!
During our visit to the ASRock headquarters today, we got an early look at one of their Intel H67 Express based motherboards and noticed something interesting on the packaging. Something along the lines of "Intel" and "3D" in the same line got our attention pretty quickly.
It turns out that as long a H67 motherboard comes with a HDMI 1.4a connector, Intel will be able to provide 3D support to desktop systems early in 2011 when the Sandy Bridge platform officially goes on sale around CES time.
The technology used is "InTru 3D" and it was originally thought the technology would only be reserved for laptops. The Sandy Bridge HD Graphics IGP (onboard graphics) will be able to process full dual H.264, VC1 and MPEG-2 high definition decodes, which is what is required to provide 3D viewing.
One of ASRock's upcoming motherboards will include a free set of red and blue polarized lense glasses, pictured above. When asked what type of software would be required for 3D Blu-ray playback, the comment was that any software could be used. CONTINUED...
Western Digital have today announced some new products as well as some polishing to their existing range. Big notes about it include Facebook integration - as social networking gets bigger and bigger, WD have adapted to it quite quickly with their WD TV units.
The WD TV Live Plus also gives consumers the ability to instantly rent or buy the newest release movies the same day they become available on Blu-ray or DVD because of the agreement with Blockbuster on Demand.
Apple have now officially made Apple TV 4.1 live.
For those of you with an Apple TV unit - the update is all systems go, and is now able to play video to your Apple TV from your iTunes equipped PC or iOS based device. The new software also includes VoiceOver support for spoken menus and meta data.
If you live in an area of the US, where you get cable from Cox Communications the company has announced a new service that will get your attention quickly. The new service wraps a new Trio program guide into a package with a DVR system that works for your entire home. That means you can record a program on any DVR in your home and then play it back on any TV in the house.
The part I like the best is that the new service has a bookmarking option. That means you can start watching a program in the living room and then bookmark it to pick up right where you left off in the bedroom. The DVRs used in the system have 500GB of storage.
Internet connected TVs are becoming a pretty big deal with all of the services like Netflix and Google TV hitting living rooms worldwide. Paypal is looking to capitalize on this by working with Canoe Ventures, Catalina Marketing, Delivery Agent, FouthWall Media and icueTV to develop a Television commerce (T-commerce) solution for internet connected TVs.
The premise outlined by Osama Bedler, Paypal's VP of platform for mobile and new ventures, is fairly simple: see it on TV, perform a couple clicks with your remote, and the purchase is done via your Paypal account. This will basically turn Paypal into a digital wallet you can access anywhere you can get internet connectivity. It's a great idea, but I can see a lot of people getting into some financial trouble during late night infomercial watching. Sales of Slap Chops and Mighty Putty will go through the roof!
Over the last year or so Netflix has gone from something I would have never considered joining after experienced years ago with never getting the DVDs I wanted to see to something that I am very interested in trying. The change for me is completely due to the streaming offerings that Netflix has today. Netflix has done so well with its streaming offerings that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has stated previously that the company is a streaming firm that also ships DVDs.
Hastings was on hand at the Web 2.0 Summit and offered some insights into the values of mobile apps for Netflix and what affect those mobile apps have had on the bottom line at the company. Hastings said in a nutshell, that mobile apps for the iPhone and iPad have had a minimal effect on the bottom line for Netflix. Hastings went so far as to say people aren't interested in streaming long-form video to mobile devices.
When it comes to the flat panel TV market in the US one of the leading companies is Vizio. The company has been selling HDTVs for a much shorter time than other makers have, but it is one of the most popular brands in the country. This is due to the low prices and nice features the TVs offer consumers. One of the most popular lines of TV that Vizio offers is the XVT brand. Vizio has announced that it has added three new 3D TV models to the XVT series.
The three new models will offer 42", 47", and 55" screen sizes. The will also support Vizio Internet Apps and 1080p resolution. The sets all have multiple HDMI inputs, SRS TruSurround HD audio, and a 480Hz SPS refresh rate. The sets all also feature 802.11n WiFi for web connectivity and have LED backlighting.
I would be willing to be that a DVR or two is not enough for many of you. My kids use the upstairs DVR to record all sorts of cartoons and the wife and I record all sorts of other shows on the DVR in the living room. Several nights each week we miss shows we really want to watch in favor of shows that we like a little better. The good news is that Hulu lets us catch up on some of those shows, but the offerings could be better. Hulu Plus promised to make that line up better and at higher resolution.
The catch was that when Hulu Plus was first announced at $9.99 monthly, many people thought that was just too much to pay for the service. While the service has been in beta that $9.99 price has been reconsidered by Hulu for the official launch. With Hulu Plus now all official for anyone who wants to join the new price is a bit more palatable than the original with a $2 discount making the new price $7.99.
Sony is really reeling in the streaming services for the Playstation 3. With Netflix and Hulu Plus already on board, VUDU is looking to join the PS3 streaming party on November 23rd.
This video service, recently acquired by Walmart, gives you on-demand HD streaming up to 1080p with Dolby 5.1 Digital sound available. The interface will be familiar to VUDU users; at least until December when VUDU is planning on rolling out a complete UI refresh that will be more streamlined and even Playstation Move friendly. If you're looking for another streaming service, keep an eye on for VUDU next week.
Deal of the Day: Coupon Code for Sony BDP-S470 3D Wi-Fi Blu-ray Disc Player for $120.70 plus Shipping
Our Deal of the Day today is the Electronics-Expo.com - Coupon Code for Sony BDP-S470 3D Wi-Fi Blu-ray Disc Player for $120.70 plus Shipping!.
Offer: Best price around for Sony's blazing fast BDP-S470 3D Wi-Fi blu-ray disc player at just $120.70 after 15% off coupon, plus $7.99 shipping for a grand total of $128.69 shipped. Use coupon code: LS1015 for the discount, expiring 11/30/10.
Google TV is cool and when it was first announced I was really looking forward to getting it on my set with the Logitech Revue box so I could watching Hulu and online shows from networks. After the device launched, all of the major networks and Hulu blocked users of Google TV from being able to access any of their online content making the Google TV service much less appealing. At launch, the only TVs to support Google TV were from Sony.
Sometime next year that will change. Samsung will be making an announcement in January that it will support Google TV. The specifics of their plans are unknown, but with January being CES time, we will most likely hear then what will happen with Samsung and Google TV. I would be surprised if there aren't some Samsung TVs supporting the service on hand at CES.
The Boxee Box official launch event has come and gone and the cats behind it have answered a few of the nagging questions many have had. The network blocking of their sites on the device were not specifically addressed, but two big dogs in the streaming industry are reportedly ready to jump on board: Netflix and Hulu Plus.
Netflix is officially on board; all signs are pointing towards the Boxee Box being Netflix capable by the end of the year. Boxee even pictured a remote with a Netflix button at their event. The timetable on Hulu Plus is not as clear; talks are only in their beginning stages but Boxee is confident they will be bringing Hulu on board sometime soon; even if Hulu will be initially blocked from being streamed on launch day. Adding these two big boys to their already impressive codec list should help in the competition against Google TV; now if we could only get the networks on board.
It looks like the line in the sand has officially been drawn between the big network TV companies and Google TV. FOX.com has joined ABC, NBC, CBS, and sites like Hulu.com in blocking their content from being shown on Google TV enabled devices.
These blocks are also expected to happen on the Boxee Box, which is having its official unveiling this evening. Rumors have swirled about Google being in negotiations with the networks about solving this issue but nothing firm has been verified from either camp. It just seems a bit silly to have a setup that is dedicated to streaming TV that, well, can't play TV. Score once more for HTPC users, I suppose; at least until the hacking community finds a workaround.
One of the great things about the Xbox 360 and other gaming consoles is that they are expanding beyond the realm of simple gaming consoles. For a long time once you got tired of gaming or didn't want to watch a DVD you were done with the console. Today we can watch TV shows we like on the consoles and watch streaming movies as well thanks to new entertainment choices. Many of the streaming options that we have in the US are not available in other countries.
If you are an Aussie Xbox 360 owner that likes to watch FOXTEL, you are in for some really good news. FOXTEL has announced that as of today the FOXTEL service is starting to rollout to Xbox 360 users. The new Xbox 360 service was announced in October, but just starting to go live today. Xbox 360 owners will be able to choose from different packages on the console starting at $19.50 monthly.
Home theater fans often need a bunch of different adapters and accessories to get their system working exactly how they want it to work. If you want a home theater with the same image on multiple screens for a video wall, you need some sort of splitter. Gefen has announced a new splitter called the 1:4 Splitter for HDMI with FST and 3D.
The splitter comes in white or black colors and can be wall mounted. It has a single HDMI input and four HDMI outputs. It works with HDCP for protected Blu-ray content and splits the source to four different screens with no loss in resolution or video quality. The splitter supports pass-through of 3D video and lossless audio formats.
The thing that bothers me the most about surround sound is the wires that have to go to the rear speakers. They clutter the room and in some rooms running wires is very hard to do. In this instance, the user can opt to skip the rear channel speakers or they can just run the wires across the room and deal with the looks. Another option is a wireless rear speaker system and Aperion Audio has a new offering that needs no wires.
The system is called the Zona Wireless Surround Speaker System and it has a pair of rear speakers, the transmitter, and the wires needed for connecting it to your receiver. The speakers each have a 4.5-inch woven fiberglass woofer and a 1-inch tweeter. The enclosure is made from MDF and has a ported enclosure. The enclosure measures in at 9.8" H x 6" W x 6.3" D and weighs 15 pounds. The frequency response is 55Hz to 20kHz.
Bang & Olufsen makes some undeniably high-end gear for audiophiles and video fans. I have tested a few of their offerings over the years for the iPhone and iPods and the stuff looks very cool and sounds really good too. I have also had some of their headphones and speakers for computers in my hands and all around the gear has been top notch. B&O has a line of crazy expensive LED TVs for people with the loot to afford high-end hardware for the living room and the company has announced a new, smaller screen set to its line.
B&O have unveiled, the new 32-inch BeoVision 10 LED TV. The TV uses edge lit LED backlighting and the set measures in at 32" x 29.2" x 2.52" and weighs 59.4 pounds. It can be had in black or white cabinets and the frame of the TV is silver. Several fabric colors can be use do the front for accenting including black, blue, gray, silver, orange, and white. The screen can show 16.7 million colors.
Home theater in a box systems have been around for a long time and they tend to put all of the stuff you need in one package so you don't have to guess at what to buy for a nice home theater system. Not all home theater in a box systems are created equal though, some include cables, the Blu-ray player and speakers while others only have speakers.
Harman Kardon has announced a new home theater in a box system called the HKTS 60 that offers speakers only. The company is well known for its line of speakers and has been selling gear for a long time for computer users and audiophiles, plus it has sound systems in some cars and trucks as well. The HKTS 60 system features a powered 8-inch sub with 200W of power, four identical 2.5-inch dual-driver satellites, and matching center channel speaker.
Our Deal of the Day today is the Computer Geeks - Monster Cable MCC AVL300 Home Theater & Lighting Remote Control for $59.99.
Offer: I swear, I think I've seen this remote control on one of the episodes of Robo-tech back in my youth. Control not only your home theater, but your lights, audio, video and anything else your creative mind can figure out. Click through to get the nitty gritty details and to pick it up. It was $69.99 but for an extremely limited time, you get $10 knocked off the price by using coupon code: MONSTER (10/31/10 or while supplies last or when they feel like pulling the coupon)
Western Digital is a big player in the storage market with a huge range of traditional storage drives for notebooks, desktops, enterprise, and media center needs. The company has announced that it has added a new streaming media player to its WD TV media player line. The new player is called the WD TV Live Hub and it has some very nice specifications.
The machine has support for full HD 1080p resolution and has 1TB HDD integrated that can store content from computers on the same network. The device will be offered exclusively at Best Buy online and will be inside all Best Buy locations around the country as well. The WD TV Live Hub supports streaming of flicks through Blockbuster on Demand the same day that the titles are released on disc. The device also supports YouTube, Netflix, Pandora, and a lot more.
I have never tried Netflix's streaming content service. I have been on the company's mail order DVD program before and ended up cancelling when the movies I wanted never showed up. I am more interested in streaming content now when I miss a show than going and trying to rent it or waiting for a rerun and when Hulu announced its Plus subscription service I was interested. The price was a bit steep though at $9.99 monthly for access to shows from most of the major networks and older shows that are no longer on TV.
Hulu has been running a beta of the subscription offering for a while now ironing out all of the kinks before the official launch and getting ready to take the service to the general public. AllThingsD reports that sources have told it that Hulu is considering a much more palatable price for the subscription service. The $9.99 price is apparently hard for the beta users to stomach so Hulu is said to be eying a new price tag of $4.95 per month.