Avatar was the biggest film of the year and is still in theaters around the country despite the fact that it recently came out on home video. I mentioned yesterday that the Avatar Blu-ray disc was the best selling Blu-ray film ever in the US.
Today the studio behind Avatar, 20th Century Fox, has announced that Avatar is also the best selling Blu-ray movie in the UK. The launch of Avatar on Blu-ray saw the biggest first day sales ever in the UK.
Avatar sold 222,824 copies on the first day it was available in the UK. The previous record for Blu-ray sales was held by The Dark Knight, which took a week to sell near the day one sales number of Avatar.
Sceptre is known for making a line of HDTVs that can also act as a PC screens typically offered in a variety of colors. The latest offering from the company is plain glossy black, but it is the first 27-inch screen Sceptre has offered.
The 27-inch screen ahs a 16:9 aspect ratio and a full 1920 x 1080 resolution when connected to a PC. The TV can do 1080p for TV and movies as well. The contrast ratio is 100000:1 and the brightness is 400 cd/m2.
The set is packed with connectivity including three HDMI 1.3 ports, USB input, DVI, and VGA. The tuner used is an ATSC/NTSC/QAM unit. The TV will be offered for $449 at Target, Sears, Costco, and Newegg.
I ended up seeing Avatar two times when it was in theaters. That is very rare for me; I typically watch a film once and don't watch it again for years. My wife and I watched the movie and then I went back to see it with my son and I would like to watch it again at home.
20th Century Fox has announced that Avatar on Blu-ray is the best selling Blu-ray film ever. The movie sold 2.7 million copies in four days to break the previous record of 2.5 million sold.
Avatar has sold 6.7 million copies on Blu-ray and DVD. If you are going to buy the movie on Blu-ray and you use a Samsung player, many reports are claiming the film won't play on Samsung Blu-ray players.
ATI partner Club 3D have announced a new edition into their HD 5000 series lineup in the form of the HD 5550 Noiseless Edition, which as the name implies it carries a fanless all passive cooling solution that should make it particularly attractive for HTPC users.
The HD 5550 GPU is based on the 40nm Redwood GPU; it is of course DX11 compliant and carries 320 stream processors, 512MB of GDDR3 memory on a 128-bit wide memory interface and runs clock rates of 550MHz on the GPU and 1600MHz DDR on the memory.
So as you can see, not much chance of high-res gaming with this but for a HTPC user you can have your cake and eat it.
The card is of full height design and the beefy heat-pipe equipped heatsink takes up a couple expansion slots.
The card is expected to hit shelves soon at around $70 U.S.
Sony makes all sorts of gear that geeks want from computers to game consoles to home theater stuff. Sony has 3D TVs coming soon and the PS3 is set to get an update for 3D content this summer if all goes well.
To go along with that 3D TV and 3D movie player you will also want a nice home theater speaker system. Sony has unveiled new 3D capable sound bars and a new 5.1 surround sound system. The new sound bars include the 3.1 HT-CT350 and the HT-CT150 and the new 5.1 system is the HT-SF470.
The 350 has 3D pass-through with HDMI repeater and 400W of total power. The HC-CT150 has 340W of power while the 5.1 system has 1000W of power. The HT-CT350 sells for about $400 in May when it ships with the HT-CT150 going for about $300, and the 5.1 system will sell for $550.
Our Deal of the Day today is the Wal-Mart - Pioneer BDP-120FD BD-Live Blu-ray Disc Player for $98.
Offer: Get this fast loading BD-Live compliant Blu-ray disc player for just $98, with FREE shipping to your local Walmart store.
The concept of virtual house windows has been talked about and demonstrated in various forms for years now, but always left much to be desired and getting the right kind of effect to give a realistic and convincing impression was the most challenging and difficult hurdle.
However, what you're about to see in the video demonstration below is by far the most impressive setup known yet and goes the extra mile in making the illusion much more convincing than anything we've seen before with the use of an IR necklace (complete with baby for this particular demo) interacting with a Wiimote and the brains of the setup being a Mac Pro in this case.
As you can see in the video above, as widdle bubs physically moves around the room, the images from the pair of 1080p plasma screens shift in the opposite direction to give that true feeling of looking out of a real pane of glass to the detailed scenary beyond.
Wanna know what else is super cool? The chance to have it set up in your own home is much better than you think. This 'Winscape' virtual window setup is going to be sold as a package with basic kits said to be available by July for under 3k U.S.! - The timelapsed video below gives a better look at the build process.
Super, super cool!
ASUS has just let loose full details on its new Bravo220 low-profile graphics card, aimed squarely towards HTPC users with its low-profile footprint and total passive cooling system.
The card is based around NVIDIA's GeForce GT 220 which has all the necessary features for quality HD video playback and then some. ASUS has implemented Splendid Plus technology on this card which together with a bundled light sensor is able to sus out the ambient lighting conditions and optimize video content to suit. It's also able to help reduce noise and artifacts which makes for a sharper, clearer more vivid picture.
As you can see from the picture of the card above, you get D-Sub, DVI and HDMI outputs on this card.
More details at the product page here. We're not yet sure of when it'll reach U.S. shelves or at what price exactly, but at a guess it should sit somewhere around the -$100 mark.
Seagate has struck a deal with Paramount in efforts to sweeten up sales of it's 500GB FreeAgent Go series 2.5-inch portable hard drive in the U.S. market.
The new deal includes a bunch of pre-loaded Paramount movies on the hard drive; no less than 21 in fact. The full list of movie titles includes :-
- Star Trek (2009)
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- GI Joe
- The Hunt for Red October
- The Italian Job (2003)
- Patriot Games
- Enemy at the Gates
- The Spiderwick Chronicles
- The Love Guru
- Coach Carter
- The Manchurian Candidate (2004)
- Nacho Libre
- Jackass 2.5
- A Plumm Summer
- Dance Flick
- Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius
- Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
But it's not as rosey as it first sounds. These are DRM-loaded and apart from Star Trek 2009 which is free, the other 20 movies require a separate purchase of a license key through http://seagate.paramountshop.com before the films can be unlocked for viewing. The license key will set you back between $9.99 and $14.99 per movie. If you unlock all of the titles it'll eat up around 50GB, so there's plenty left over for other storage needs.
Our Download of the Day today is TightVNC 2.0 Beta 2.
TightVNC is a free remote control software package derived from the popular VNC software. With TightVNC, you can see the desktop of a remote machine and control it with your local mouse and keyboard, just like you would do it sitting in the front of that computer.
TightVNC can be used to perform remote control and administration tasks in Windows, Unix and mixed network environments. It can be very helpful in distance learning and remote customer support.
TightVNC provides these features which are otherwise absent in standard VNC:
File transfers in versions for Windows.
Support for video mirror driver (Windows 2000 and above).
Scaling of the remote desktop (viewer for Windows and Java viewer).
Efficient "Tight" encoding with optional JPEG compression.
Enhanced Web browser access.
Support for two passwords, full-control and read-only.
The latest version includes the following changes:
Changes in Version 2.0 Beta 2
The full changelog can be read here.
After three years of being embarrassed by the guys over at Red Digital Cinema, one of the big players in the high-resolution camera market has finally caught up. The company ARRI has finally released the specifications on a 4K camera that might be able to keep up with the RED One. The camera will be called the ALEXA this should come out with a price tag under about $60k.
Now that may sound like a lot of money, but for a professional camera it is not. Of course they have to take into consideration the 28k camera that RED has in the works, but at least it is a start. The ALEXA will allow you to record in a few native formats besides the RAW 4k footage. You get compressed 1080p in Apple's ProRes 444 and 422 (HQ) QuickTime formats. The cool thing there is that you can edit this directly in Final Cut without the need to transcode the footage. Of course, everything will change with the RAW 4k footage from RED when April 12th and Adobe CS5 hit the streets...But that is for another article.
World reknowned video compression specialists behind the DivX codec have just announced a collaboration with TV maker, Sharp to make 1080p videos in DivX format easily accessible on their range of HDTVs.
This means Sharp's AQUOS LE820 "DivX Certified" TV line-up (available in Europe, yet to be released in North America) will be able to play DivX-coded videos of up to 1080p resolutions from a PC or other internet source using the provided USB slot on all LE820 model TVs.
DivX has stated that its possible to fit two full sized films in 1080p format onto an 8GB flash drive.
The Blu-ray Disc Association is the major body behind Blu-ray that sets the standards and specifications for the format. The BDA has announced new enhancements are coming to the format in the next few months.
One of the enhancements is a new BDXL format that is targeted at commercial segments where archiving of large volumes of data is required. The BDXL discs will support 100GB and 128GB capacity discs with rewritable 100GB discs.
The other enhancement is a new IH-BD also known as intra-hybrid disc. The new disc has a BD-ROM layer that can only be read. It also has a BD-R layer that users can write their own data to as well.
Elgato who is reknowned for its EyeTV live TV streaming software has just announced its latest version (1.0.2) for Apple's iPhone which gives users the ability to stream live TV signals not only via WiFi, but with the option of using 3G as well.
Users who run EyeTV 3.3.3 and have a compatible TV tuner can enjoy live TV, watch EyeTV recordings, browse the comprehensive Program Guide and to start recordings on their Macs or schedule them for later. Setting up EyeTV for iPhone is easy: On a local Wi-Fi network no configuration is needed. For 3G or Wi-Fi connections to a remote Mac, Elgato offers "My Eye TV", a free locator utility.
EyeTV for iPhone requires a Mac computer running EyeTV 3.3.3. Streaming TV requires an Intel Core 2 Duo processor. For sending the live signal over a 3G connection, Elgato recommends the Turbo.264 HD which enables "adaptive streaming" for the best picture possible under varying network speeds.
EyeTV for the iPhone can be downloaded at the App Store for $4.99 U.S. and as a free update for existing EyeTV for iPhone customers.
For further information, you can read the full press release here.
Logitech has a line of universal remote controls that are among the best you can buy. The devices are easy to program and work very well for controlling numerous devices in your home theater. Logitech has announced a new Harmony 300 remote that comes in at under $50 allowing the user on a tight budget to enjoy Harmony performance.
The Harmony 300 sells for $49.99 and can replace up to four remote controls. The remote supports over 5000 brands of home theater gear and lacks an LCD screen like other Harmony devices. You do get the buttons for making short work of tasks like watching TV by turning on your TV and cable box at once.
The remote has programmable buttons for your favorite channels and full DVR controls. The one thing this remote seems to lack is the fantastic activities feature of the other Harmony devices. That means you will be left to change inputs on your own rather than having an automated button that can do it for you.
Our Deal of the Day today is the Newegg - Yamaha RX-V365 5.1-Channel Digital Home Theater Receiver for $119.99 plus Shipping!.
Offer: This 5.1 channel A/V receiver with 2 HDMI inputs, 1 HDMI output (1080p compatible) and 100w per channel is just $149.99 - $30 coupon code (use code: EMCYPZN35 for the discount, expiring 3/18/10), plus just $9.99 shipping.
NVIDIA has been offering its 3D Vision platform for 3D gaming for a long time now. I played with the system at CES one year and it was fantastic. NVIDIA has now anncuend a new 3DTV Play system to let users connect to 3DTVs with notebooks and computers.
The new system lets users hook their desktop or notebook to a 3D TV for big screen 3D gaming. The system will be demoed during a tour running on Panasonic Viera 3D TVs. The NVIDIA system requires the computer to be using a GeForce GPU-powered machine.
The machines have to be using HDMI or DVI outputs. The software used in the system automatically converts over 400 current games to stereoscopic 3D. The NVIDIA 3DTV Play software is set to launch later this spring and will sell for $39.99. Users who already own 3D Vision systems can get the software free when it launches.
Our Deal of the Day today is the Kmart - Magnavox NB500MG9 Refurbished Blu-Ray Disk Player for $49.99 plus Shipping!.
Offer: Great deal for those of you with a fast enough trigger finger. This refurbished Magnavox NB500MG9 1080p Blu-ray disk profile 1.1 player is just $49.99!
There are lots of options when it comes time to search for a new HDTV or PC display. If you want something different than the average black computer display or TV, you have a few options.
Sceptre has unveiled its latest HDTV/PC display combo called the X240CC-FHD. The TV has ATSC and NTSC tuners and the outside of the case is clad in shiny chrome. The 24-inch screen supports 1080p HD video and has a PC resolution of 1920 x 1080.
Other features include 3D surround sound from a pair of 3W speakers. The set also features two HDMI inputs, VGA, composite, and component inputs. Blu-ray content is supported with HDCP and the screen can show 16.7 million colors. The TV is available online and at Target and other retail locations for $399.
Sony has let fly release dates and pricing for its upcoming 3DTV lineup in Japan which includes the edge-lit LED LX900 that offers the entire 3D package.
It has an IR emitter built in and includes two pairs of RealD active shutter glasses, only requiring capable source material to get the full 3DTV experience.
Model sizes start at 40-inch, moving on to 46, 51 and 60-inch with pricing beginning at „290,000 ($3,222) and going right up to „580,000 ($6,444) for the top dog.
More specific details including specs and pricing on these displays can be found over at Sony Japan's website. They are scheduled to become available throughout June and July.
I am a huge fan of the Logitech line of Harmony universal remote controls. I have owned several of them over the years and currently use a Harmony One in the living room to keep from having to kill the wife when she can't work the TV with the five normal remotes it would take.
The new Harmony remotes include the 600 and the 650, both for under $100. The higher-end Harmony remotes like the One cost more than twice that amount. The Harmony 600 will cost you $79 and the 650 goes for $99.
Both of the remotes will ship this month and program with the Logitech Harmony software. The main difference is that the 600 has a monochrome screen and the 650 gets color. Both will replace five other remotes.