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Apple is rumored to be launching a cloud-based movie service before the end of the year, if not, early 2012. The Los Angeles Times has reported that Apple Representatives have been meeting with various movie studios to finalize a deal that would allow consumers to purchase movies through iTunes and stream them to any iOS-based device. The news comes just after talks of the first movies from a multi-studio venture known as Ultraviolet being launched this week.
Ultraviolet will allow consumers to purchase a DVD or Blu-ray and gain access to digital cloud-based copies they can then watch instantly on their Internet-connected TVs, smartphones and tablets. Ultraviolet web-only purchases, without discs, are expected to arrive in 2012. The Los Angeles Times didn't cite iCloud specifically, but when it says that Apple plans to "put movies in the cloud", there's no guessing required. What is unclear though, is whether the movies and TV shows would be simply downloaded to iOS devices, or streamed in order to save storage space.
Die Hard 5 has been officially announced and will be titled "A Good Day to Die Hard". The movie shoots in January 2012 and is set to have a release of February 14, 2013. A Good Day to Die Hard will see John McClane (still played by the awesome Bruce Willis) heading to Moscow to sweet talk some cops into letting his apparently-warward son out of jail for something he did, but when he gets there, things surround his son's arrest are not as they appear and world-threatening terrorist hijinks ensue.
There's no word on whether A Good Day to Die Hard will be PG-13 or R, personally I'm hoping for the latter. I want to see some Yippee Kiyay Moth... well, you get the picture. John Moore was reportedly chosen by Willis to direct. Moore previously directing Max Payne, The Omen and Behind Enemy Lines. Skip Woods wrote the screenplay, he was behind the screenplays of Swordfish, Hitman, X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The A-Team.
Syabas have launched the next-generation Popcorn Hour A-300 today. The previous versions all used Sigma chipsets, where the A-300 is no different. It sports the SMP-8647 SoC with a 800MHz MIPS CPU at the core. It also includes true GbE (part of the core SoC package) in the media streamer. The A-300 is housed in an aluminium body and is fanless, so its perfectly silent for your lounge room.
Sigma also now supports Real Media decode in the 8647, which means the A-300 gets the same codec compatibility as most of the other Realtek-based media streamers. Like most media streamers today, there's also an included app market for premium video services. Unfortunately, the A-300 does not include HDMI 1.4 or 3D Blu-ray ISO support as the SMP 8647 does not support it. The A-300 is expected to drop on October 18, 2011.
One of two announcements has just come out from Microsoft detailing their freshly signed agreement with Verizon to provide a new FiOS TV-powered experience for the Xbox 360; this among several other niceties in the way of an overall better, and complete Kinect-enabled TV experience.
A special software app developed by Verizon for Xbox LIVE Gold members will provide streamlined access to live TV channels through the Xbox without any additional hardware requirements. A vast selection of Verizon's live TV channels will be on offer, also including multichannel streaming HD TV.
As mentioned, the app is designed to make good use of the Kinect accessory as well, doing away with the need to use a controller or remote.
Tom Gibbons whom is the corporate vice president of the TV & Service Business for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft said, "By bringing the technologically advanced Verizon FiOS TV service to Xbox 360 and Kinect, we are advancing our vision to provide the best in entertainment in extraordinary new ways."
AC Ryan, International IT and CE manufacturer and leading digital lifestyle producer, have launched what they say is the future of digital home entertainment today - VEOLO. AC Ryan VEOLO combines the most demanded functions to provide a complete digital home entertainment unlike ever before - apps, internet, and a media streamer, all on your TV. VEOLO is powered by Android 2.2 Froyo platform, bringing an enhanced experience for apps on a TV, including casual games and social media.
The built-in web browser includes Java support which allows you to view your favourite Flash-based websites and stream videos from the comfort of your sofa, lounge or bean bag. Streaming your library of music, movies and photos in Full HD is great with the built-in Gigabit Ethernet connection. VEOLO also sports built-in wireless 802.11 b/g/n LAN, powered by an ARM Cortex A9 1GHz processor and includes on-board 512MB DDR3.
AC Ryan include a 3-in-1 remote control as standard with the VEOLO which ensures the VEOLO is a premium product with maximum features an unrivalled user experience. All the functionality of a keyboard and mouse, wireless motion controller and standard remote control, packed into a single, stylish, uncluttered remote control. VEOLO will be available on store shelves in November 2011 at a Suggested Retail Price of US $279.
Adobe are launching Flash 11 and AIR 3 later on tonight with both sporting new features such as hardware acceleration for 2D and 3D graphics on desktops, Stage 3D support will be added to the mobile variants of Android, iOS and BlackBerry at a later date. AIR 3 will also include additions for connected entertainment devices such as Samsung's SmartTVs, with the ability to deliver Flash-based games and content to your home theater system.
Adobe has also included support for both Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound, meaning that both 5.1 and 7.1 sound can be baked into an AIR app, whether it be a game or streaming video and pumped out at up to 512Kbps through your Blu-ray player or other connected theater component.
Ah, James Cameron. I really hope you can make this happen. The infamous director of such movies as Terminator, Aliens and Avatar, is pushing the film industry toward using higher frame rates than the current industry standard of 24 frames per second. Cameron wants to see digital cinema projectors enabled for higher frame rates. He started pushing for higher frame rates at CinemaCon earlier this year where he argued for the use of 48 and 60 fps.
Cameron talked to THR about his need for higher frame rates, saying he would favor 60 fps:
The reason I went down that path is because I believe it makes for better 3D...There were lots of arguments for why 48 and why 60. My feeling is if it is a software upgrade (for digital cinema projectors), do both. It doesn't change anything at the projector; you don't have to change the lamp house or the lenses. If you are uploading software you can upload it for 48 and 60 and let the filmmakers decide.
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Logitech is thinking outside the box with its latest entry into the Harmony line of universal remotes with the new Harmony Link platform allowing people to use their existing iPhones, iPads, iPods and / or Android smartphones as their remote of choice.
The Harmony link unit itself simply connects to the tablet/phone via WiFi, which when paired up with the Harmony Link app will let you control up to eight devices about the place. With Logitech's Harmony range being so well embedded into the world of universal remotes, it's of no surprise that the Harmony Link can support over 5000 different devices straight out of the box, so setup should be fairly simple.
Enjoy your 1080p screen? Well, maybe it's time for an upgrade. Sony have released their VPL-VW1000ES projector that has a 4k resolution - that's 4096x2160 pixels folks! More than four times the resolution of a 1080p picture. What would you do with it? Well, Sony Pictures has more than 60 theatrical releases shot in native 4K resolution, but there is no way of getting that onto a disc and into customers hands right now with current technology.
Sony reps do claim however, that they're in talks with the Blu-ray Disc Association to iron out a standard compression method to squeeze 4K movies onto discs and they have already promised that the upcoming Spider-Man movie will be the first one. But, Spider-Man has a release of July 2012 which should tell you that Sony don't want to talk specific dates and their calendar definitely doesn't have any definitive strikes on it.