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If you have ever watched TV you know that some commercials are about a thousand times louder than the show you are trying to watch. It always seems like the loudest and most obnoxious commercials came on when I would get up to go get a snack late at night when everyone else was sleeping. There are all sorts of gadgets on the market for home theater fans that seek to level that volume out.
Congress and the House of Representatives have both now approved a new bill that is headed to Obama's desk. Obama is expected to sign the bill into law and it will be called the CALM Act. The bill will force commercial makers to make the volume of the ads the same as the volume of the show you are watching .That means no more blaring commercials for the Clapper or other crap no one really wants.
Home theater is built on HDMI for the most part today. The move from multiple cables to a single cable for audio and video was huge for fans looking for an easy way to wire their home theaters and superior sound and video at the same time. Analog Devices has unveiled a couple new physically small and power sipping HDMI receivers for home theater hardware that have some nice features inside.
The new receivers are the ADV7611 and the ADV7612. Both of the receiver chips support HDMI 1.4a 3D connectivity and have full 1080p resolution at 60fps support. The smaller 7611 is very compact with chip dimensions of 10mm x 10mm x 1.6mm and the 7612 measures 14mm x 14mm x 1.6mm. The footprint of the receiver chips is 50% smaller than other similar chips and use 25% less power than other chips.
I live just outside of one of the largest cities in my part of Texas. Even with me so close to a metropolitan area, my house is on a rural power co-op and that means that the power goes out if a dog up the street farts twice in a row. The thing that really pisses me off about the power going to so much is that it always happens right in the middle of something I want to watch. More than power outages though the power will brown out for a bit and make the TV turn off. I really hate that.
Toshiba has unveiled a new TV line that is cool called the PowerTV. This is the first set on the market that has an internal battery. When the power goes out the battery in the TV kicks on immediately to keep your set running and you watching TV. It sounds like a TV with an integrated UPS like the one I use on my computer. That should mean that the battery would keep the set going if a brownout happens as well.
Home theater fans that have multiple 3D sources like cable boxes, Blu-ray players and game consoles might have the need for a converter box that can handle those multiple inputs and shoot them out to a projector. If you are one of these folks a new offering from Optoma called the 3D-XL will ship in December.
The product is called the 3D-XL and the thing is compatible with HDMI 1.4a inputs and supports multiple 3D devices. It can switch between 2D and 3D inputs and only works with DLP projectors. Those projectors don't have to be the Optoma brand, any DLP projector will work.
The Boxee Box is relatively brand new and yet they're smashing out firmware updates for it already - which is a good sign.
It doesn't address all of the issues, but it does fix a few of the issues people have complained about such as 1080i playback problems, WiFi connectivity and issues handling certain audio and video files.
One of my favorite movie news websites is Slashfilm and I just saw a pretty great deal on there that I thought I'd quickly share. The deal goes until midnight for you US residents - so hop to it!
There's even a Sony BDV-E370 5.1 Blu-ray System (3d Compatible) for $239, 40% off list price.
I am really looking forward to WiFi Direct being integrated into all sorts of products. WiFi Direct is a new spec that was officially launched not too long ago. It allows devices to directly connect to each other using WiFi giving lots of bandwidth and circumventing the need for a router and other tech usually needed for setting up a wireless network.
The specification opens up some really cool possibilities. Things like connecting directly from your iPhone to an Android device to transfer a file or video. Streaming a video from your iPhone directly to a TV in the living room and sharing of web connections. It appears that the first product to use WiFi direct is the LG BD690 Blu-ray player.
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.