Thursday, May 24, 2007

NO MORE EASYHDTV!

That's it guys. It's been a fun ride. I started this blog because I had so much information in my head, and a lot of friends came to me for information on HDTV's. I wanted to get it all out of my head and into a hard format, and this has been accomplished, although given more time, there are still some areas I would polish up.

I gave the full time thing a go, and it was fun. A lot of work, research and writing. Unfortunately, despite a reasonable amount of subscribers and traffic, it isn't quite enough to take on full time. At the end of the day, the numbers don't add up and I need to get back on the gravy train.

Thanks to everyone for their support, especially the visitors from San Diego who have been a part of the Blog since day one. If there is enough demand, I wouldn't be against revisiting things, but for now, people just come, get what they need and bounce with no participation, comments or acknowledment. This doesn't translate well for a sites long term success, and doesn't much warrant the 6-14hrs a day needed to maintain the site. I will leave the blog up for reference as there is a lot of useful information for newcomers to the technology, and search engines have a lot of my pages indexed already. So for now, thank you all very much and farewell.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Samsung LNT4665F, 46" 1080P LCD, HUGE PRICE DROP!

This TV was originally $3699 when it came out two months ago. Now there is a huge price drop on it at Amazon. After a few days Amazon prices tend to raise back up, so if you're in the market for one, now would be a good time. Definitely one of the top LCD's on the market.

Samsung LNT4665F 46" 1080p LCD HDTV

Monday, May 21, 2007

80GB PS3 On Its Way.....

....to Korea. On June 15th the 80GB PS3 will be available as well as 15 new games. These include RIDGE RACER 7," “Virtua Fighter 5,” and “Armored Core 4.” The cost will be 518,000 Korean Won. It has not been confirmed whether 1) this will replace the 60GB version or 2) If there are plans to bring this version to any other part of the Globe. Speculating for a minute, in light of the Xbox Elite, it would seem practical from a business stand point to replace the 60GB with an 80GB, piss off a lot of current owners, and then release a 200GB version to manage future HD content. The 20GB version has already been discontinued and this may just be a continued sign of the times. Good thing Sony include directions on how to upgrade the hard drive yourself. It seems like the best solution for current owners is to go the DIY route. Watch this space for additional updates.

Source: Sony Japan Press Release

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The latest Transformers Trailer in HD

I grew up with this stuff, so I'm interested to see how the movie turns out. These days the editors cutting some of the trailers do an amazing job, and then the actual film ends up being very average. Trailers today also tend to reveal a lot of the plot. With Spiderman 3, I felt all the best bits were revealed on TV spots and as a result there was a lot less punch when actually watching the movie. From the looks of this trailer, the special effects look amazing and there are some great touches from the original series. Enjoy at your own risk: LINK

Friday, May 18, 2007

Playstation 3 Update, Exactly 6 Months After Release.

It is exactly 6 months after the US release of the PlayStation 3, and Sony have just released their end of 1st Quarter, 2007 financial report. According to their figures, as of the end of March, PS3 shipments reached 5.5 million units worldwide, while PS3 title production shipments were 13.2 million units. Of those 5 Millions shipped, an average of reported sales figures show around 4.5 million sold. So given the date, I thought it would be an apt opportunity to revisit how the platform is doing.


There has been an online trend recently of commingling figures to support ones opinion. For example we've seen announcements of, "Our_Console is now the fastest selling console in UK History," with a cut off point that makes these figures possible. Really, you can misconstrue sales figures and dates to say anything you want. After analysing the sales info, you simply do a comparison with the competitor, pick an angle and then do a press release. As consumers, what we end up seeing as a result of all the corporate marketing, are press releases such as, "Our_Console sold the most units in history for a Saturday, ever." You get the point. In it's simplest form, it's corporate playground fighting. What's worse is the irresponsible journalism from multiple sites that have been using these releases as fuel to generate traffic and buzz which results in inaccurate conclusions. As soon as a popular site posts something like this, pandemonium hits the forums which are then loaded with quotes, links and arguments about the post.

Here, I simply deliver the news and try my very best to remain objective. In a similar way someone always manages to twist my words to make my posts appear bias. The reality of it is, I own all platforms and really don't care who wins the console or HD format war. I just want to see a return on my investment. I paid $600 for a PS3 and around $700 for my Xbox with all the necessary accessories. I want to see results and content.



In all honesty, 6 months after the release of the PS3, there are only three things I really use It for.

  • Blu Ray Player for an excellent High Definition movie experience.
  • Resistance: Fall of Man (great game, no slow down,
  • Motorstorm

Yellow Dog Linux: ( UPDATE: While I was asleep, Terrasoft have actually released an update to include Wifi Support). YDL functions well, and once there is sincere support for it, I would seriously consider using it as an addition to my home network. Another big downside to this version of Linux and the PS3 OS itself, is that it doesn't support the NTFS file format so all my external hard drives are useless with it. If your hard drive has the FAT32 file system, the PS3 and YDL will recognise the drive, however you will be limited to a 2TB partition size and a 4GB file size. This puts a potential limit on high definition content.

Multimedia Content: Transferring movie clips, pictures and music, couldn't be easier. The barrage of photo viewers is also a nice added touch. The XMB aesthetically looks great and the presentation of your content is well done. The Xbox 360 and PS3 are definitely fighting to be the hub of your multimedia content. While the PS3's XMB has a mature looks, Xbox dashboard still seems designed to fall in the 12-21 age group.

Online Content: Despite its look, Xbox Live Shines, and is completely loaded with things to do. However during the 360's first year, there really was a lack of content. PlayStation Network definitely falls into this category. The look of PlayStation Network is also very primitive but hopefully this design is a "placeholder" for what's to come. As far as actual online game play, the PS3 doesn't even flutter an eyelid when there are 40 people online at the same time. Where it does have problems is with it's spotty Blue tooth headset support. This still hasn't been addressed since day one.

Games: One of the primary reasons for buying the system is the games, and there aren't many worth buying at the moment. Given a choice between platforms, I've always bought the 360 version due to the fact that I know the voice support will work. There is not enough difference between the PS3 and 360 version of a multi platform game to warrant one over the other. The voice support however is a given on the 360. If you visit the PlayStation Website, "Spiderman 3" and "Rainbow Six" are the highlighted games. Not very inspiring, but today's "SCEA's gamers day" gave proof that without a doubt, there is a lot in the works. Let's not forget, the shelf life of the PS3 is between 8-10 years. The main concern Sony should have, would be to make sure they deliver promptly.

Firmware Update: The system has seen a lof of improvements since release, but there are still some annoying issues that need to be addressed. But giving credit where it's due, SCEA has done a great job so far, and hopefully all the oustanding issues will see resolutions in future updates.

The future: Now the exciting part. All the above are just observations of what's happening NOW. The PS3 is owed at least another 6 months before we should really expect to see some definitive changes and developments. By the end of the year there will be PS Home and we will also be on the eve of several top titles games, some which have managed to remain exclusive and others which have become multi-platform. Development costs for video games have soared into the millions, which marks a severe change in the industry. Expect to see less and less "exclusives" as time goes on. To get a return on their investments, development companies really have little choice other than to appeal to as many consumers as possible. Remaining exclusive makes it a lot more difficult to recover the millions spent on production. Konami for example must have either 1) A great relationship with Sony or 2)Huge faith in the PlayStation 3 platform or 3) A bit of both. But it's not just the initial sales that count, over time, the PlayStation 3 has room to grow exponentially and this expected growth in user base can "encourage" development companies to remain loyal.

The bottom line is that historically, Sony are slow to deliver content. On its own two feet, the PlayStation 3 is doing great. There is little content, and it can be frustrating for the hardcore gamer who logs in every day checking for new things to do. But the future is very bright for this box of wonders, and the addition of a near perfect Blu Ray player simply gives adopters to high definition gaming more content and functionality for a marginal increase in price. Despite the Blu Ray format being released almost a year after HD DVD, it is a fact that it has steadily surpassed its competitor in movie sales and still has solid, exclusive, industry support.

More on the Figures: I've seen comparisons on sales figures based on the PS2, original Xbox and many more. The comparisons are interesting to note, but not extremely relevant. When the PlayStation 2 came out, it didn't have all the direct competition that the PS3 has now. But more importantly, the world was a very different place 7 years ago. The Internet has flourished and consumers are a lot more educated and know how to use multiple resources to educate themselves. A lot of sources are questionable, but that's another issue. Perhaps one of the pitfalls of this change is how attached consumers are to brands and products. The "wars" created today such as, "Xbox 360 vs PlayStation 3" or "DLP vs SXRD" has taken such a huge turn for the worse that forums are loaded with misconstrued information and opinions to the point that it's hard to find a place where you can just get the facts. My point? There are too many variables to compare how the PS2 did on its' 2000 launch vs how the PS3 is doing now in 2007. In addition, measuring up the PS3 against the Xbox 360 creates much room for speculation as they were released a year apart and the 360 didn't have to contend with the influx of not only gamers, but also the non gamers who were flocking to pick up a Wii for party entertainment. So you see, you can speculate and mix and match figures to prove a point, but their relevance is limited.

In retrospect however, here are some actual relevant facts to consider. If you put Google to use, you will see how much negative press the PS2 received upon release. It was branded as a failure, there was little content for a whole year, it was deemed as too expensive, analysts swore that it would follow the route of the Sega Saturn, and it's inclusion of a DVD drive was seen as an unnecessary expenses to consumers. Sound familiar?

(Please leave your comments, I would love to hear what you think. This article has already had several hundred hits and not one comment as I forgot to enable comments!!)

Amazon 1080p HDTV Sale going on NOW!!

Sony Announces Upcoming Releases at Gamers Day 2007

Playstation 3

Ratchet & Clank(R)Future: Tools of Destruction(TM), SCEA
Uncharted: Drakes Fortune(TM), SCEA
Heavenly Sword(TM), SCEA
SingStar(TM), SCEA
SOCOM: Confrontation, SCEA
LAIR, SCEA
Folklore(TM), SCEA
NBA '08, SCEA
MLB 07 The Show(TM), SCEA
THE EYE OF JUDGMENT(TM), SCEA
Home, SCEA
LittleBigPlanet(TM), SCEA
Elder Scrolls(R)4: Oblivion, Bethesda Softworks
The BIGS, 2K Sports
Hellboy, Konami
Devil May Cry(R)IV, Capcom
Stranglehold(TM), Midway
Spider-Man 3, Activision, Inc.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma(R), Tecmo
TimeShift(TM), Sierra Entertainment
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas, Ubisoft Entertainment
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter(TM) 2, Ubisoft Entertainment
Surf's Up(TM), Ubisoft Entertainment
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Electronic Arts
Pirates of the Caribbean At World's End, Disney Interactive
SEGA Rally(R) Revo, SEGA
Dynasty Warriors(R):GUNDAM(R), NAMCO BANDAI Games
Conan(R), THQ
Ratatouille, THQ
The Darkness, 2KGames
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, 2KGames


PLAYSTATION Network

PAIN, SCEA
Calling All Cars(TM), SCEA
Warkhawk(TM), SCEA
High Velocity Bowling, SCEA
High Stakes on the Vegas Strip: Poker Edition, SOE


PSP

SOCOM US Navy SEALs: Tactical Strike, SCEA
Syphon Filter(R): Logan's Shadow, SCEA
God of War(R): Chains of Olympus, SCEA
Jeanne D'Arc, SCEA
NBA '08, SCEA
Pursuit Force(TM): Extreme Justice, SCEA
Parappa the Rapper(TM), SCEA
MLB 07 The Show(TM), SCEA
Crazy Taxi(TM): Fare Wars, SEGA
Crush(TM), SEGA
Castlevania(R)The Dracula X Chronicles(TM), Konami
Silent Hill Origins, Konami
Monster Hunter Freedom 2, Capcom
SWAT(R)Target Liberty(TM), Sierra Vivendi
Hot Brain(TM), Midway Home Entertainment
Final Fantasy, Square Enix
Dungeons and Dragons(R) Tactics, Atari
Star Wars Battlefront(R): Renegade Squadron(TM), LucasArts
NARUTO(TM): Ultimate Ninja Heroes(TM), NAMCO BANDAI Games
Dead Head Fred, D3 Publisher of America
PQ2: Practical Intelligence Quotient(TM), D3 Publisher of America
PlayStation 2
Buzz! Mega Quiz, SCEA
Buzz Jr. Jungle Party, SCEA
Hot Shots Tennis(R), SCEA
Manhunt 2, RockStar Games

Current Playstation deals

Thursday, May 17, 2007

New Class of Pioneer Elite A/V Receivers are Cornerstone of Distinguished Home Theater Design

Compatibility with HDMI 1.3a Ensures Effortless Connectivity to 1080p Audio and Video Components:

Fulfilling the complete high resolution home entertainment experience, Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. today introduces four new A/V receivers that deliver high definition audio and video like never before. The Pioneer® Elite® VSX-90TXV, VSX-91TXH, VSX-92TXH and VSX-94TXH A/V receivers are essential hubs of home theater with superior HDMI connectivity for a host of digital devices. The top three models offer HDMI 1.3a support to handle increased picture and sound demands of new high definition televisions and optical disc players. High resolution powerhouses, the top three models seamlessly pass 1080p 24Hz picture with sophisticated decoding of advanced audio formats Dolby® TrueHD, Dolby® Digital Plus and DTS-HD™ Master Audio. The VSX-92TXH and VSX-94TXH are two of the industry’s first receivers to feature Neural-THX® Surround™ decoding for faithful reproduction of multi-channel surround sound for movies, music and gaming in the home theater environment.
“Pioneer continually answers the call from audio video enthusiasts seeking the ultimate in rich home theater design. Our new line of Elite A/V receivers with HDMI 1.3a connectivity allows consumers to enjoy the benefits of the new technologies being used on music and movie discs,” said Dave Bales, marketing manager of audio products for the home entertainment division of Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. “We’re bringing the true essence of high definition emotion to the audience.”

To ensure dynamic sound of all connected devices, Pioneer employs industry-leading digital sound processing capabilities including its Advanced MCACC (Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration System) room tuning technology. All four receivers provide personalized music entertainment options via new compatibility with Sirius® Satellite Radio as well as direct inputs to an iPod® and XM Connect & Play™ antenna.

High Definition Like Never Before:
Setting the benchmark for high definition connectivity, the new Pioneer Elite A/V receivers unify current and future home theater components with enhanced audio video scaling and processing to ensure optimum performance. The VSX-92TXH and VSX-94TXH provide definitive home theater functionality with HDMI Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) technology for complete management of multiple CEC-enabled components with the Pioneer PDP’s remote control.

Video Processing:
The new generation of HDMI, version 1.3a, has more than double the bandwidth capacity of its predecessors for extremely high speed transfer of uncompressed high definition video and audio resolutions. Designed for emerging 1080p flat panel television and the Blu-ray® Disc optical format, Pioneer Elite A/V receivers with HDMI 1.3a deliver the true excitement of high definition entertainment.

The Elite VSX-92TXH and VSX-94TXH A/V receivers are specifically engineered for the 1080p world with a Faroudja® video scaler chip that ensures full 1080p 24Hz performance among high resolution products. The VSX-91TXH features an interlace-to-progressive (I/P) signal converter up to 480p.

Audio Processing:
Leveraging its audio expertise, Pioneer incorporates superb internal decoding of advanced audio codecs that bring high definition full circle. The top three receiver models deliver lossless DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus multi-channel audio. The new formats deliver stellar sound quality using premium Dolby TrueHD lossless audio and DTS-HD Master Audio. These receiver models also include Dolby Digital Plus, a highly flexible audio technology that delivers outstanding high-definition sound and up to 7.1 channels of surround sound for a richer, more involving entertainment experience.

The VSX-92 and VSX-94 offer the newest generation of THX technology, Neural-THX Surround, allows home audiences to experience rich surround sound the way an audio engineer envisioned an original cinematic, music or gaming soundtrack would perform. The technology allows for broadcast content to be transmitted in 2-channel stereo format, and when played back through a connected device the new receivers are capable of decoding that content back in to 7.1 multi-channel audio, immersing listeners in brilliant high resolution sound in their living room. All four receivers are THX Select2 Certified, incorporating THX product design and performance specifications that ensure a superior level of audio quality and product usability.

Superb Audio Delivery:
All four receivers utilize Pioneer Advanced MCACC room-tuning feature to upgrade sound quality in any room configuration. The MCACC microphone requires quick one-touch activation to optimize the acoustics in a room by making subtle adjustments to a room’s speakers, neutralizing the sound field of the listening area and meticulous fine-tuning for exceptional sonic performance. Utilizing Phase Control technology, the new receivers can eliminate signal distortion sometimes caused by low frequency sound sources audio arrives at the listening position in sync ensuring accurate audio reproduction.

A Variety in EntertainmentPioneer continues to provide the most robust entertainment connectivity:

  • Satellite Radio: All four A/V receivers deliver both SIRIUS and XM Satellite Radio crystal clear, digital programming with dual connectivity to both a SiriusConnect™ SC-H1 tune and XM Connect & Play™ antenna (both sold separately; monthly subscription needed).
  • Simple control and management of both satellite radio devices is done with the receivers’ remote control and full on-screen display capability. HD fans can enjoy select XM music channels in 5.1 surround sound via XM HD Surround broadcasts powered by Neural Audio®.
  • iPod Audio & Photo: For a truly personal experience, the receivers allow direct access and control to personalized music and video files from an iPod® via the optional Pioneer IDK-80 universal iPod docking station. Owners can navigate playlists with the remote control and on-screen display.
  • Home Media Gallery Audio: The Elite VSX-94TXH provides audio streaming capability of downloaded music from a computer hard drive or Internet radio as well as portable USB devices for home networking. Artist and song information can be viewed with on-screen display capability and controlled with the system’s remote.

Full Custom Installation ReadyAll four of the Pioneer Elite A/V receivers are custom-installation as a result of the following features:
  • Multi-room, multi-source capabilities allowing a single receiver to serve as the entertainment centerpiece of multiple rooms
  • XM and Sirius Satellite Radio programming for secondary zone RS232 port for PC and control connectivity (VSX-91TXH, VSX-92TXH, VSX-94TXH) LCD preset/learning remote with preset multi-operation control
  • Synchronized high end home theater design with glossy black cosmetics
The VSX-90TXV and VSX-91TXH will be available June 2007 for the suggested prices of $650 and $1000, respectively. The VSX-92TXH and VSX-94TXH will begin shipping August 2007 for the suggested prices of $1300 and $1600, respectively.

Pioneer Elite Blu-ray Disc Player Fulfills Promise of the HD Disc Format with Unbeatable Picture Quality

Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. offers the pinnacle of home theater to entertainment junkies with the introduction of its next generation Blu-ray Disc® player, the Elite® BDP-94HD. The well-rounded player offers playback of the newest high resolution audio formats, home networking capabilities and is easily integrated into even the most complicated home theaters. However, it shines most in its ability to deliver stunning image quality of Blu-ray Disc titles.


“The decision to purchase a Blu-ray Disc player is generally made because a consumer recognizes the benefits of the HD quality. This new player is a prime example of our dedication to exceptional quality, creating sights and sounds that leave an emotional impression for movie enthusiasts,” said Chris Walker, senior manager of marketing and product planning at Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. “A significant aspect to a quality home theater is convenience and this unit is designed to deliver high performance with minimal user effort for a premier entertainment experience.”

The BDP-94HD arrives at specialty retailers this month, and will be bundled with two Blu-ray Disc film titles giving consumers the opportunity to enjoy these feature films in premium Dolby® TrueHD lossless advanced audio. The BDP-94HD has a suggested price of $1000. Home Theater Integration Pioneer designed the BDP-94HD for seamless home theater integration via HDMI® Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) technology. The new feature allows users to synchronize the Blu-ray Disc player with multiple CEC-enabled home theater products to manage an entire system with a single remote control. The newly designed graphical user interface enables simple navigation with easy to read icons.

Home Media GalleryThe BDP-94HD offers an enhanced version of Pioneer’s exclusive Home Media Gallery home networking feature. With faster navigation, consumers can stream video and music content as well as view photo slideshows directly from their computer in high definition. With IP networking and a new user interface, Pioneer makes it extremely easy for users to access and load protected content and even download new digital media files straight from their computer for immediate viewing through the player on a large flat screen television. It is compliant with Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA), Windows PC’s using Windows Media Connect, and Microsoft’s playsforsure™ DRM technology.

Movie Theater Playback PerformancePioneer ensures smooth universal product compatibility with state-of-the-art HDMI connectivity to rapidly transfer pure digital video and audio data between source and display resulting in uncompromised imagery of Blu-ray Disc and standard definition DVD. It offers superb audio performance with internal decoding of premium Dolby TrueHD lossless audio technology for high-definition content and Dolby® Digital Plus, a highly flexible audio technology that delivers outstanding high-definition sound and up to 7.1 channels of surround sound for a richer, more involving entertainment experience.


Source: Pioneer Press Release
Note that the Pioneer BDP-LX70 is the Japanese version of this model.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Pirates Of The Caribbean Blu Ray Disc Details released.

Buena Vista have released the special features information for the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean Blu Ray discs. For the first time, we can see that the discs come LOADED with special features and takes advantage of the extra storage capacity afforded by the Blu Ray format.


* PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL

DISC 1 (50GB)
Feature Film Presentation
Feature Audio Commentary with Johnny Depp and Director Gore Verbinski
Feature Audio Commentary with Producer Jerry Bruckhemier and Actors Keira Knightley and Jack Davenport
Feature Audio Commentary with Screenwriters Stuart Beattie, Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio and Jay Wolpert
Scoundrels of the Sea: Piecing Together the Treasured Past of Pirates
Hosted Guide by Jolly Roger character (Disc 1 only)

DISC 2 (25GB)
An Epic at Sea: The Making of Pirates The Actors, Locations, Production Design, Ships of the Caribbean, Make-up & Wardrobe, The Art of Sword Fighting, Special Effects and The Premiere
Diary of a Ship
Diary of a Pirate
Jerry Bruckhemier: A Producer' s Diary
Fly ON the Set Feature Town Attack, Tortuga, Blacksmith Shop, The Cave and Jack's Hanging
Blooper Reel
Below Deck: An Interactive History of Pirates
Moonlight Serenade: Scene Progression
Deleted and Alternate Scenes
Walt Disney' s Wonderful World of Color
Image Gallery
Easter EggsShip-to-Ship Animatic, Japanese Television Commercial, Keith Richards' comments ON Johnny Depp and Pirates and Pirates Cave Construction Timelapse
Lost Disc FeaturesBecoming Captain Jack, Becoming Barbossa and Thar She Blows! The Monkey's Name Is Jack, Pirates Around The World, Spirit Of The Ride, Dead Men Tell No Tales, The History Of The Attraction and Sneak Attack Animatic




* PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN' S CHEST

DISC 1 (50GB)
Feature Film Presentation
Feature Audio Commentary with Screenwriters Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio
Liar' s Dice Game
Hosted Guide by Jolly Roger character (Disc 1 only)

DISC 2 (25GB)
Charting the Return (Pre-production documentary)
According To Plan: The Harrowing and True Story of Dead Man' s Chest
Captain Jack: From Head to Toe
Mastering the Blade: Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley and Jack Davenport
Meet Davy Jones: Anatomy of a Legend
Creating the Kraken
Dead Men Tell No Tales: Re-Imagineering the Attraction
Fly ON the Set: The Bone Cage
Jerry Bruckheimer: A Producer' s Photo Diary
Pirates ON Main Street: The Dead Man' s Chest Premiere
Easter Eggs
Pirates ON Location
Inside Dead Man' s Chest
Pirates From Around the World (Theatrical Trailers)
Stills from the Set

Link to Dead Man's Chest on Sale here
Link to Curse of the Black Pearl on Sale here

Xbox 360 HD DVD Firmware Upgrade

Due to problems with the drive not playing certain titles, including "Children of Men" and the calibration tool from "Digital Video Essentials" Microsoft have released a firmware update to address the issue. Also, due to the drives inability to support the Dolby TrueHD audio format, the update will also convert (according to the Japanese source) the TrueHD stream to 1.5 Mbps DTS.

Source: AVWatch

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

SED UPDATE: Nano-Proprietary, Inc. Announces Verdict in Canon Litigation

Nano-Proprietary, Inc. (OTC BB: NNPP), today announced that the jury has reached a verdict in its litigation against Canon, Inc. In its verdict, the jury decided that Nano-Proprietary was due no additional damages beyond those already received, which includes the right to keep the $5.5 million that it originally received and termination of the original license agreement.


“While we are disappointed by the jury’s verdict, we need to keep in mind that we already had the most important victory in the case when the Court validated our termination of Canon’s license as a result of their material breach of the contract, said Tom Bijou, Chief Executive officer of Nano-Proprietary, Inc. “We were also pleased that during the trial, Canon confirmed its plans to move forward with its SED TV and continue to believe that the advent of field emission display televisions will be a signal event for Nano-Proprietary. We made a significant gesture to Canon during the course of the trial that we hope will provide a framework of cooperation and negotiation for the future. Nothing about today’s verdict changes the fact that we have significant intellectual property that we believe will have to be licensed by anybody, including Canon, that wishes to sell televisions based on electron emissions in the broad geographical areas of the world where our IP is in effect. The vast majority of our revenue forecast for 2007 has little to do with televisions. Our growth in the materials and sensor business continues to be one of the drivers of our future.”

Souce: Nano-Proprietary Press Release

This doesn't spell the end of SED, but what it does mean is that use of the technology owned by Nano-Proprietary will have to enter renegotiations before the product sees the light of day. From the statement above, it seems that despite the suit, Canon are eager to push forward.

PANASONIC INTRODUCES NEXT GENERATION $599 BLU-RAY DISC PLAYER

Adding dts-HD High Resolution and Dolby True HD and Bundling of Hit Movies Highlight DMP-BD10A's Features

SECAUCUS, NJ (May 15, 2007) Panasonic, one of the industry leaders behind the development of Blu-ray Disc technology and the market leader in Plasma televison, today announced the availability of the DMP-BD10A, Panasonics next generation Blu-ray Disc player, at a SRP of $599.95. The DMP-BD10A features an audio upgrade package that brings high end surround audio to the viewing experience via the inclusion of 7.1 channel surround, Dolby® True HD and dts-HD High Resolution Audio decoding technology. The DMP-BD10A also incorporates Panasonic's proprietary EZ-SyncTM system for integrated one-touch operation of Panasonic home-theater components. Panasonic's DMP-BD10A further distinguishes itself with the bundling of five mega hit Blu-ray discs. Included with each DMP-BD10A are -from Disney Pirates of the Caribbean, Curse of the Black Pearl and Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man's Chest, Transporter and Fantastic 4 from Fox and Crash from Lionsgate.

Panasonic is deeply committed to the success of Blu-ray, commented Gene Kelsey, Vice President, Entertainment Group, Panasonic. High definition entertainment is a truly unique experience and nothing powers the HD experience like Blu-ray. With that in mind, we feel strongly about providing the ultimate high definition entertainment to the consumer and are thrilled to offer five Blu-ray mega hits with the purchase of the BD10A.

From our format development activities and advanced Blu-ray authoring at Panasonic Hollywood Lab to our Blu-ray player, Panasonic has been instrumental in the development of Blu-ray from the start and I feel we are in the forefront of one of the most significant technological advances in home entertainment since the arrival of the DVD a decade ago. For the ultimate 1080p high definition experience, the consumer can pair the DMP-BD10A with one of Panasonic's 2007 line of award-winning plasmas.

In addition to playing pre-recorded Blu-ray movie discs, the DMP-BD10A plays conventional standard-definition DVDs (with automatic 1080p up-conversion via HDMI) and conventional CDs. Other key features of the DMP-BD10A include proprietary P4HD technology for performing IP conversion at the pixel level for ultra-fine details, a 297MHz 14bit Video D/A Converter with 4X oversampling, video noise shaping that improves signal-to-noise ratios by shifting noise to an unused band, and theoretical support for nearly 4400 billion colors. The DMP-BD10A also incorporates Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital and dts decoding, and BD-J (Java application) interactive capability. The compatibility between the DMP-BD10A and the High Definition camcorder (HDC-DX1), via the AVCHD (H.264) codec, is a prime example of Panasonic's dedication to the high definition digital lifestyle.

With the continuing flow of hit movie titles on Blu-ray, combined with aggressive pricing and the increasing awareness of consumers about the unique entertainment experience provided by high definition, the future looks very bright for Blu-ray, added Kelsey.

Source: Panasonic Press Release

Pioneer Launches New Flat Panel Televisions with Game-Changing Technology for Serious Entertainment Junkies

With ten years experience delivering flat panel televisions to the U.S. market, Pioneer continually develops display technology that creates an emotional impact for those who experience its unrivaled picture quality. That’s why the company’s new flat panel televisions, launched this week, allow viewers to see, hear and feel an emotional experience like never before. The game-changing technology creates significantly deeper black levels, which ultimately lead to richer colors, sharper details and unrivaled performance. The eight new models, ranging in size from 42-inches to 60-inches diagonal, will be available beginning next month.

Pioneer’s engineering team originally selected plasma technology because its self-emissive nature creates the deepest blacks. Since black is the starting point for all colors, the deeper and more accurate the blacks, the more vivid and lifelike the colors become The newest Pioneer technology is led with black level reproduction that is 80 percent darker than the previous generation. This is achieved through a series of proprietary technologies harmonized to work together.

Oscar winning cinematographer Dion Beebe (“Memoirs of a Geisha”, nominated for “Chicago”) spoke recently about the importance of black and light and color in the work that he does. “Where light becomes interesting to me is not just in blacks and whites but the shades between light and dark and the subtle tones and textures within shadows,” Beebe said. “In terms of what I do as a cinematographer, it’s the ultimate tool in terms of creating a situation and imposing a look on a situation. The interplay of light, darkness and color captures everything, without a word being said.”

Pioneer’s goal in creating its newest flat panel displays was to capture the images created by artists like Beebe and ensure they are reproduced in a form as close to the original as possible. As a result of these efforts, Pioneer flat panel displays evoke emotion from viewers unlike any other television.

- Colors Like Never Before. As the foundation for all color, the ability to create deep black results in the richest, most three-dimensional colors. The deep blacks and vivid colors are the result of Pioneer’s newly developed cell structure, crystal emissive layer and newly designed filter.

- Performance Like Never Before. Pioneer’s engineering goal was to create errorless and noiseless video signal processing for a heightened emotional experience. This was achieved through the company’s new video processing and an “Optimum” mode that automatically processes images based on the signal and room conditions. Optimum mode can detect the difference between a news program, cartoon, sporting event, music video or other content based on the signal. It also detects the room lighting condition. Using internal intelligence, it adjusts the parameters that are used to process the image, optimizing it for the viewer.

- Sound Like Never Before. As a leader in audio technology for nearly 70 years, Pioneer placed significant emphasis on speaker technology to enhance the high definition experience. Without clear vocals, cymbals crashing and guitar picking, a music video would not make the viewer feel as if he/she were at the concert. Likewise, the lack of crystal clear sound effects minimizes the emotional impact of action films and video games. Pioneer is the first company to put an emphasis on the audio quality of its video products.

These new flat panel televisions developed as part of Pioneer’s Project KURO bring game-changing performance to consumers who demand only the best. With this introduction, Pioneer breaks away from the commoditization model, placing focus on its premium position in the market. The company will maintain its focus on quality, performance and design.

“In the art world, a plain white canvas represents a blank slate waiting for an artist to create. In the world of television, a black screen is a similarly blank canvas ready for content to be displayed. Pioneer engineers reached a monumental achievement by creating black levels that are 80 percent deeper than previously possible – defining the ultimate “blank canvas” ready for high definition movies, television and sporting events,” said Russ Johnston, senior vice president of marketing and product planning for the Home Entertainment and Business Solutions Group at Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc.

Pioneer’s newest, most advanced line of flat panel televisions includes the following:

Pioneer PDP-4280HD, 42 inch XGA, June, $2,700

Pioneer PDP-5080HD , 50 inch XGA , June , $3,500

Pioneer PDP-5010FD, 50 inch, 1080p, September, $5,000

Pioneer PDP-6010FD, 60 inch, 1080p, September, $6,500

Elite PRO-950HD, 42 inch XGA, July, $3,200

Elite PRO-1150HD, 50 inch XGA, July, $4,500

Elite PRO-110FD, 50 inch 1080p, September, $6,000

Elite PRO-150FD, 60 inch, 1080p, September, $7,500


Source: Pioneer Press Release

Monday, May 14, 2007

Star Wars Saga Coming to Blu Ray?

We already know that FOX is exclusive to Blu Ray, and that George Lucas is bound to FOX to distribute his movies. However, it's not that simple. He does have some say in the matter. There hasn't been an official announcement but this might be a indication of what's to come:

Episode 1-3 Blu Ray
Episode 4-5 Blu Ray

I've sent a letter to Amazon for confirmation on this to ensure it's not a mistake. I'll follow up here with their reply shortly.

LG Electronics Unveils World's First High-Definition TV Refrigerator

Digital Refrigerator of Tomorrow Delivers Design, Advanced Functionality,Entertainment and Practicality

LAS VEGAS, May 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Building on its award-winning Weather & Info TV Refrigerator, LG Electronics makes kitchens more innovative and entertaining with the introduction of the first-of-its-kind digital high-definition television (HDTV) Refrigerator. The new premium model is highlighted along with LG's full refrigerator line at the 2007 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas, May 8-10 (Booth C3713).

The stylish new LG HDTV Refrigerator is a unique side-by-side model that incorporates LG's powerful fifth-generation ATSC-QAM-NTSC digital television tuner that delivers crisp digital broadcast and unscrambled cable images to the refrigerator's 15-inch high-definition LCD television screen. "As an appliance industry leader in digital convergence, LG Electronics is constantly seeking out ways in which we can create innovative, stylish and functional products," said John Herrington, president of LG Electronics USA, Digital Appliances. "LG is taking this innovation one step further with the introduction of our HDTV Refrigerator by incorporating additional features that further enhance the user experience, from LG's
industry-leading digital TV tuner to the Weather & Info Center for weather forecasts, uploadable photo album and recipe bank."

In addition to a remote-controlled, cable-ready, high-definition LCD screen and FM radio on the right door, the unit features a DVD connection on top of the unit for hours of kitchen entertainment. The left door of the sleek side-by-side unit also includes a four-inch Weather & Info Center LCD display located above the ice and water dispenser complete with an advanced digital control display and special features. Families can prepare and enjoy dinner without missing their favorite news and entertainment shows, as well as take advantage of advanced features. Unique options offered to consumers seeking premium, technologically-advanced appliances for their homes include:

-- Weather forecasts: The LG unit delivers personalized weather forecasts based on a consumer's geographic area, along with the forecast for four surrounding cities, via a wireless pager network;
-- Recipe bank: From chilled gazpacho soup to tiramisu, the refrigerator's built-in recipe bank can help turn anyone into a chef with 100 pre-loaded recipes from the Culinary Institute of America; food categories include appetizers, soups, salads, meat/poultry, seafood, vegetarian, side dishes and dessert;
-- Digital photo album: Users can upload their personal photo album via a USB port in the dispenser area and select a slide show mode to display favorite pictures; and
-- Organization tools: Easily keep up with important items with these helpful functions including date/time clock, calendar with anniversary alarm and more

A child lock function, room temperature display, digital user manual,
product controls and information are also part of the complete package. The LG HDTV Refrigerator also incorporates LG's new SpacePlus(TM) Ice System, which makes ice directly on the door, as opposed to on the top of the freezer section. This helps to free up valuable storage capacity within the freezer, while still delivering the convenience of an in-door ice dispenser. For added convenience, the icemaker also features a custom cube option and a removable bin to make serving a breeze. The next generation refrigerator also boasts other convenient features
including:

-- IcePlus(TM) system: Makes ice faster, delivering added convenience;
-- Digital temperature sensor controls;
-- OptiFresh(TM) crisper: Keeps produce fresher, longer;
-- SmoothTouch(TM) external controls with backlighting;
-- BioShield(TM) anti-bacterial gasket: Prevents mold and mildew from forming on the door seal;
-- CustomCube(TM) Ice Maker: Automatic ice maker provides a choice of three cube sizes;
-- Grab n' Go(TM) door basket, wine rack, tilting door bins, glass and sliding shelves; and
-- Built-in look with hidden hinges and contoured door design.

The LG HDTV Refrigerator, model LSC27990TT, will be available in the second quarter of 2007 at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $3,999. Photos from LG Website


Source: PRNewswire

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Samsung Blu-ray Disc Player Becomes First High-Definition DVD Player to Pass Simplay HD(TM) Testing

Samsung Products Earn Simplay HD Logo for Easily Recognizable Sign of Interoperability.

SUNNYVALE, Calif., May 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Simplay Labs, LLC, the leading provider of testing technologies, programs and interoperability design standards for the high-definition (HD) consumer electronics industry, today announced that Samsung's BD-P1200 Blu-ray Disc(TM) Player is the first high-definition DVD player to pass the Simplay HD(TM) Testing Program.


The Simplay HD Testing Program helps consumers identify HD components, such as HDTVs and next-generation DVD players, that will work together to provide a consistent "plug and play" user experience and maximize users' access to premium HD content. Samsung's BD-P1200 DVD player, a second-generation Blu-ray player with High-Definition Multimedia Interface(TM) (HDMI(TM)) version 1.3 functionality, underwent Simplay Labs' stringent testing for performance, robustness, and interoperability.

Without proper testing, HD products may not interoperate because there are many variables in implementing HD interface functions. Since compatibility is crucial for a rewarding consumer experience, Simplay Labs requires interface testing as well as real-world compatibility testing. Based on real-life usage situations that consumers encounter with HD equipment, Simplay Labs' interoperability testing involves plugging devices into a suite of other HD devices available on the market. This suite of tests offers a thorough verification not found with other testing services.

"We are committed to giving consumers an unsurpassed user experience," said Byungjun Chun, senior manager of Sales & Marketing at Samsung Electronics America, Inc. "To help us achieve that, we use Simplay HD testing to provide assurance of compatibility." As with other products that have passed Simplay verification, the BD-P1200 will bear the Simplay HD logo. Two other Samsung products that have already passed testing and received the Simplay HD logo are the Samsung R155 DVD recorder and the Samsung LN-T3253H, a sleek 32" LCD HDTV. "We are thrilled to see Samsung join the growing number of quality-conscious manufacturers that value our testing program and are taking steps to ensure that their products meet Simplay HD approval," said Joseph Lias, president of Simplay Labs, LLC. "The Simplay HD logo will give consumers the peace of mind that their CE products will work together, and should mean fewer returns for Samsung and retailers of Samsung products." Samsung, which also has several other high-definition consumer electronic products undergoing Simplay verification, is now one of more than two dozen manufacturers participating in the Simplay HD Testing Program.

Some other member companies include Bose Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., JVC Corp., LG Electronics, Microsoft Corp., Pioneer Corp. and Yamaha Corporation.

BD-P1200


Source: PRNewswire

Sunday, May 6, 2007

JVC Develops a 110-inch Rear Projection TV.

Victor Company of Japan, Ltd. (JVC) has developed a 110-inch rear projection TV. This size accomplishment, makes it the largest of its kind. The screen measures 243.5 x 137 cm and uses JVC's proprietary reflective liquid crystal panel "D-ILA" with a full 1080p resolution. By comparison, Sony's SXRD rear projection technology goes upto 70" with its' KDS-R70XBR2. There is no official announcement of a consumer model, but with the demand for big screens and the success of the larger HDTV's, it could be on its way.

Source: Techon Japan

Friday, May 4, 2007

New Pioneer Blu-Ray Disc Computer Drive Delivers High Definition Film Playback to PC Fans.

Demonstrating its continued commitment to high definition optical disc technology, Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. today announces the BDC-2202, a robust Blu-ray Disc computer drive, which will be available to consumers beginning next month for a suggested price of $299. When installed in a properly configured PC, the Pioneer Blu-ray Disc combination drive allows users to playback new high definition Blu-ray Disc film titles as well as read and write digital content to DVD and CD, fulfilling their storage and entertainment needs.

The drive can read BD-ROM/BD-R/BD-RE at up to 5X and can read BD-ROM (DL) and BD-R/-RE (DL) at up to 2X speed. It comes bundled with media software that ensures compatibility with commercially released Blu-ray Disc movies. It also allows users to create personal DVD movies and digital photo slideshows, securely backup personal data and media files to DVD or CD, and create and burn favorite music to CD. The software also offers a Direct-to-Disc feature allowing aspiring filmmakers to capture movies directly from the camcorder to DVD without the inconvenience of using vital hard drive space.

“With the BDC-2202, computer savvy consumers are now privy to what was previously only available to professional users. In addition to maintaining the same benefits of current optical disc drives, the included software means users can now enjoy their favorite Blu-ray Disc movies as well as their own personal disc creations,” said Andy Parsons, senior vice president at Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc.

With copious amounts of storage capacity, Blu-ray Disc can hold high definition video and audio content along with advanced interactive features and extensive bonus materials on a single disc. With the BDC-2202, Blu-ray Disc fans and audio video enthusiasts have the capability to view recently released movies directly on a computer for times when they are not in a home theater environment. According to Home Media Magazine, Blu-ray Disc film titles have accounted for more than half of the 2.4 million HD discs sold.

Pioneer has been an innovator of optical disc technology since it brought LaserDisc, the precursor to DVD, to market in 1980. Pioneer went on to introduce the first DVD writer for computer use in 1997, the first DVD recorder as a VCR replacement in 1999, the first DVD/CD writer for home computer users in 2001 and the first Blu-ray Disc writer in 2006. Pioneer Corporation is one of the Blu-ray Disc Founders.

Pioneer’s Home Entertainment and Business Solutions Group develops high definition home theater equipment for discerning entertainment junkies. Its flat panel televisions, Blu-ray Disc players, A/V receivers and speakers bring a new level of emotion to the HD experience. The company brands include Pioneer® and Elite®. When purchased from an authorized retailer, consumers receive a limited warranty for one year with Pioneer products and two years with Elite products. More details can be located at www.pioneerelectronics.com.

Source: Pioneer Electronics Press Release.

Sony Computer Entertainment Creates New Licensing Department

Sony Computer Entertainment America Expands Its Business Development Team, Announces New Licensing Department Videogame and Legal Veteran to Direct Licensing for PlayStation(R) Brand.

Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) Inc. today announced it is expanding its business development organization by forming an intellectual property (IP) licensing team designed to increase awareness of the company's brands and characters and to expand collaborations with new and existing business partners. As part of this expansion, the company has appointed Shelly Gayner to director of Licensing within Business Development, effective immediately. In this newly created position, Gayner will report to Phil Rosenberg, senior vice president of Sales and Business Development As part of her role, Gayner will manage SCEA's licensing team, which isresponsible for licensing the PlayStation(R) brand, including first-party game characters, for merchandise and entertainment products. She will also oversee the licensing of peripherals and accessories for PlayStation platforms including PSP(R) (PlayStation(R)Portable) and PLAYSTATION(R)3 (PS3(TM)) computer entertainment system.


"Shelly has the perfect blend of legal expertise and videogame industry knowledge which will help us grow the PlayStation business by introducing our valued brands to a wider audience," said Phil Rosenberg, senior vice president of Business -- Development and Sales, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "We now have a dedicated team to help us capture licensing and revenue opportunities, which is important to our business and long-term growth." Gayner brings more than fourteen years of industry experience to this role, with the most recent years being at SCEA. Previously, she was director of Legal and Business Affairs, where she negotiated a wide-range of intellectual property related agreements, including content, merchandise, software and end-user licenses. She also worked on the company's property licenses, which include MLB, NHL, the Gran Turismo(TM) series, Downhill Domination(R) and Tourist Trophy The Real Riding Simulator(TM). Prior to joining SCEA, Gayner held the position of corporate trademark counsel at Sun Microsystems Inc. and was corporate counsel for Sega of America.

Source: PRNewswire

Comcast Tops Satellite in HD Picture Quality Survey

Satellite's Own Customers Say Comcast Has a Better HD Picture in Side-by-Side Tests


The results of a new survey show that when it comes to high-definition (HD) picture quality, Comcast is the clear winner - even among customers of the two leading national satellite TV services. In side-by-side comparisons, two-thirds of satellite customers expressing a preference between Comcast and DirecTV and between Comcast and Dish Network said Comcast delivered a better HD image. More than 65% of customers ranked Comcast higher than DirecTV, and almost 70% chose Comcast over Dish Network.


Among customers of both satellite and cable, Comcast was selected as providing a better HD picture than DirecTV by 60% of respondents with a preference. Comcast was selected as providing a better HD picture than Dish Network by 66% of respondents indicating a preference. "This survey shows that consumers agree with what we've known for years: Comcast has the best HD picture," said Dave Watson, Executive Vice President, Operations, for Comcast Cable. "Whether it's feeling like you're in the front row at your favorite sporting event or concert, or watching a movie the way a director intended it to be seen, the quality of the picture is as crucial as offering the most choices, and we're the source for the best HD and home entertainment experience." Comcast is the leader in bringing customers HD entertainment, with about 200 HD viewing options at any time, including an industry-leading 100 hours of HD movies and shows as part of its signature ON DEMAND service, making HD programs available anytime a customer wants to watch them. This year, Comcast will be doubling the amount of HD ON DEMAND programming available. To date, Comcast customers have watched more than seven million HD ON DEMAND programs.

The company was one of the first video providers to offer HD service, beginning in 2001. Its high-definition lineup now includes affiliates of all major broadcast networks; comprehensive sports coverage with ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD, as well as regional sports networks across the country; premium HD networks including Starz, HBO, Cinemax and Showtime; and the most popular HD cable networks, including Discovery, Universal HD, Mojo, MHD and TNT. Methodology and Results Frank N. Magid Associates, a leading research consulting organization, conducted the survey; Accenture, a management and technology consulting company, oversaw the technical aspects of the test; and Loeb & Loeb, a national law firm, provided legal guidance on the survey process. Participants were asked if they felt there was a difference in quality between the HD television pictures displayed on three identical, unlabeled television sets (one set displaying a picture from Comcast, one from DirecTV and one from Dish Network).

Among satellite customers in the survey, 65.60% of those who expressed a preference between Comcast and DirectTV chose Comcast, and 69.92% who expressed a preference between Comcast and Dish Network chose Comcast. Among all participants in the survey, 60.3% of those who expressed a preference between Comcast and DirectTV chose Comcast, and 65.6% of those who expressed a preference between Comcast and Dish Network chose Comcast. The survey has a 5%-7% margin of error.

Source: PRNewswire

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Free Spiderman 3 Blu Ray Preview Disc at Best Buy

They should have done this weeks ago. Playstation Network should have gotten the trailers months ago. Instead, for some reason, Sony issue the Spiderman 3 content on the very eve of the movie's May 4th release. But i'm getting off topic. Sony are distributing free Spiderman 3 Blu Ray preview discs as of NOW. It contains trailers and clips and just requires you to walk in and pick one up. The movie should get a pre-xmas 2007 release, and will no doubt join Casino Royal and the Pirates of The Caribbean saga in marketing the format.

Universal Offers Replacement Discs for Faulty HD DVD Titles

Children of Men was one of the HD DVD titles that had the widespread problem of no playback. For some un-announced reason, the discs would not play in various HD DVD players including the Xbox 360 HD DVD drive. Thankfully, Universal have stepped up and offered replacement discs to anyone that has this problem on any of their movies. If you experienced this issue, send an email directly to USHE.ConsumerRelations@worldmarkinc.com.

Starz Unveils Plans to Launch Three New HD Movie Channels

Hi-Def Versions of Starz Comedy, Starz Edge, Starz Kids & Family Will Complement Existing Starz HD Channel and On Demand HD Services President/COO Myers Says Plans Reaffirm Starz Position as Leader in Premium Television

ENGLEWOOD, Colo., May 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Starz Entertainment President and Chief Operating Officer Bill Myers today announced plans to launch three additional high definition (HD) channels, bringing to four the total number of HD channels offered by the premium television company.

The three new channels offered in HD will be East Coast feeds of Starz Comedy, Starz Edge, and Starz Kids & Family. They will complement the existing Starz HD channel, which is available in East and West Coast feeds,(as well as the Starz On Demand HD and Encore On Demand HD services). The new channels are expected to launch by the end of this Summer.

"Starz has always been a leader in terms of offering our customers more ways to enjoy our great movies," Myers said. "We pioneered in digital transmission, multiplex, on demand and online. We will now be able to offer the largest package of HD movie channels of any widely distributed programming service, and the only one featuring first-run hit movies."

Myers noted that while the number of HD television sets sold every year has been growing, only half of HDTV owners use their sets to watch cable and satellite programming. Instead, he pointed out, they use their sets for other purposes, such as watching DVDs and broadcast channels. However, HD set owners that do subscribe to cable and satellite programming are among multichannel video's most valued customers in terms of ARPU (average revenue per unit). Research shows that there is significant demand for HD content from the premium networks -- even more so than for sports programming. Our new channels meet the needs of the marketplace with
movies, the top genre consumers are interested in for HD.*

"Working with our affiliates," Myers said, "we will make a major effort to convince HD set owners that their televisions are good for more than just watching DVDs. With our great lineup of HD movies, On Demand HD services, and now with four HD channels, Starz is well positioned to spearhead those efforts."

Myers said that additional HD channels will roll out in the coming years as more programming becomes available from the studios in the HD format. "The three new HD channels together with Starz HD will present a robust lineup of HD content to satisfy our HD customers. They will be able to see such great films as Cars, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby in full HD."

Starz Entertainment is the exclusive subscription television and broadband provider of first-run films from leading Hollywood studios including Walt Disney Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Overture Films, Revolution Studios, Miramax Films, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, Pixar, TriStar, Screen Gems, Sony Classics and Warren Miller Films. Select first-run theatrical films from The Weinstein Company, IFC and Yari Film Group are also available for subscription television and
broadband exclusively on Starz Entertainment services. A vast collection of classic and favorite titles are provided by a wide array of other Hollywood studios.

As one of the largest content aggregators in Hollywood, Starz Entertainment has access to thousands of theatrical films that it makes available on the Starz services and Vongo including Cars, Silent Hill, Sin City, The Wild, Hitch, The Shaggy Dog, and Click. Movies coming later in 2007 to Vongo subscribers includes, The Da Vinci Code, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, and The Illusionist.

Source: PRNewswire

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

PANASONIC AG-HPX500 2/3” SHOULDER MOUNT P2 HD CAMCORDER BEGINS DELIVERIES IN MAY

* Affordable 2/3” HD Quality with Flexible Interchangeable Lens System *

Panasonic introduced today the AG-HPX500, a new shoulder-mounted P2 HD camcorder that teams the full production-quality of 2/3” 3-CCDs, DVCPRO HD, 4:2:2 sampling and independent frame encoding with the versatility of interchangeable lenses and the creativity of variable frame rates.

Offering the highly popular features of the incredibly successful AG-HVX200 P2 HD hand-held camcorder but with many new enhancements, the 8.2-pound AG-HPX500 features progressive 2/3” 3-CCDs that provide a larger light receiving area resulting in increased resolution and sensitivity, superb low-light performance and wide dynamic range. The camcorder features a high-performance digital signal processor (DSP) with 14-bit A/D conversion and 19-bit inner processing that handles HD/SD format conversion simultaneously – ensuring spectacular images in all video formats for applications ranging from news acquisition, independent filmmaking, corporate video, sports and much more.

“The full 2/3” production quality AG-HPX500 sets a new value benchmark and will quickly distinguish itself as the workhorse camera for the vast range of professional applications,” said Robert Harris, Vice President, Marketing, Panasonic Broadcast. “The camcorder’s P2 HD solid-state reliability, IT system flexibility and workflow speed, combined with the DVCPRO HD quality, is unparalleled in the pro video industry.”

The AG-HPX500 records in 32 high definition and standard definition formats, including 1080i and 720p in production-proven, 100 Mbps DVCPRO HD. The AG-HPX500 records on removable P2 solid-state memory cards in 1080/60i, 50i, 30p, 25p and 24p; in 720/60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, and 24p; and in DVCPRO50, DVCPRO and DV.





The Ultra Reliability and Fast IT Workflow of P2 HD

Offering solid-state reliability with no moving parts like tape or disc-based systems and a faster IT workflow, the AG-HPX500 has four P2 card slots and can record up to 64 minutes in DVCPRO HD,128 minutes in DVCPRO 50 and 256 minutes in DVCPRO on four 16GB P2 cards. The camera also supports Native Mode recording in 720p that can significantly increase record times. Other key operational benefits provided by P2 HD technology includes instant recording startup, clip thumbnail view for immediate access to video content on all cards, and a host of recording modes including continuous, card selector, hot swapping, loop, pre-record (three seconds in HD and seven seconds in SD), one-shot and interval.

The camera also features an SD memory card slot for saving or loading scene files and user settings.

For basic P2 HD recording, clip previewing and simple editing, the AG-HPX500 can be connected easily to a laptop via the USB 2.0 or IEEE 1394 interface. For higher performance in the field, the AG-HPX500 can be combined with the AJ-HPM100 P2 Mobile for flexible, jog-dial control previews, playlist editing and writing, as well as for streaming HD/SDI/Analog/IEEE 1394 output. The camera’s HD-SDI output also allows for line recording or copying using a variety of HD/SD digital VTRs. Because the AG-HPX500 uses the same high-quality, full-frame DVCPRO codec, it integrates seamlessly with DVCPRO VTR systems and cameras like the VariCam for integrated P2 HD and tape production.



The Creative Flexibility of Variable Frame Rates

Drawing on capabilities originally developed for the VariCam, the AG-HPX500 features variable frame rates for undercranking and overcranking to create fast- or slow-motion effects. In 720p, users can set frame rates in 24p, 30p or 25p in any of 11 steps between 12fps and 60fps (or 50fps). In addition, with the camera’s advanced 1080/480 24pA mode, users have the option of using 2:3:3:2 pull down, which allows most nonlinear editing systems to extract 24 frames on ingest.

The camcorder is equipped with eight gamma modes to address a wide range of shooting situations, including Cine-like Gamma to create film-like recordings. Key interfaces include IEEE 1394, USB 2.0, HD/SD-SDI, analog component and four audio XLR inputs. Its four 48-kHz/16-bit digital audio channels are independently controllable. The camera is also equipped with a variety of shooting assist functions and presets.

The AG-HPX500 provides a Chromatic Aberration Compensation (CAC) function that allows the camera to automatically compensate the registration error that is caused mainly by lens chromatic aberration, and minimize the circumjacent blur. Lenses that work with the HPX500’s CAC function include Canon KJ10ex4.5B IRSD PS12, KJ16ex7.7B IRSD PS12, KJ16ex7.7B KRSD PS12 and KJ21ex7.6B IRSD PS12; and Fujinon XA17x7.6BERM-M58B and XA17x7.6BRM-M58B.

The AG-HPX500 will be available in May 2007 at a suggested list price of $14,000 including a 5-year limited warranty program. A variety of camera packages will be offered.



About P2 HD

P2 HD products offer solid-state high definition recording without the mechanical wear and environmental limitations of tape, hard disk, and optical disc based systems. P2 HD ensures the highest reliability, especially in challenging conditions of extreme temperature range, shock, and vibration. P2 HD products provide a significant reduction in maintenance costs, longer useful product life, and immediate access to recorded video (no need to digitize, ingest or create proxy video files) and metadata. P2 HD provides the reliability of solid-state production; the immediate connectivity to existing IT infrastructures; the speed, ease of use and portability of P2 cards; and interoperability with leading NLE systems.

Source: Panasonic Press Release

Monday, April 30, 2007

HD Movie Releases For This and Next Couple Week

In Stores this Week
May 01, 2007

Alpha Dog (HD DVD and Standard DVD Combo)
Dreamgirls (Two-Disc Showstopper Edition) [Blu-ray]
Dreamgirls (Two-Disc Showstopper Edition) [HD DVD]
Happily N'Ever After [Blu-Ray]
The Hitcher (Combo HD DVD and Standard DVD) (2007)


Upcoming High-Def Disc Releases
May 08, 2007

Battle of the Bulge [Blu-ray]
Battle of the Bulge [HD DVD]
Catch and Release [Blu-ray]
Dirty Dancing - 20th Anniversary [Blu-Ray]
Donnie Brasco (Extended Cut) [Blu-ray]
Revenge (Unrated) [Blu-ray]

May 15, 2007
The Fountain [Blu-ray]
The Fountain (Combo HD DVD and Standard DVD) [HD DVD]
The Road Warrior [Blu-ray]
The Road Warrior [HD DVD]
Stomp the Yard [Blu-ray]

Saturday, April 28, 2007

SONY 4096 X 2160, SXRD, Digital Cinema Projectors Released

It's been a long day. But I had to take the time to post this. Sony has just released their new 4096 x 2160 pixel Ultra HD cinema projectors. That's a total of 8,850,000 pixels. Compare that to 2,070,000 pixels of 1080p. Yes, that's almost 4 times as much resolution!

If you want to learn more about Ultra HD, you can read this. The projector comprises a 2000:1 contrast and 14 foot Lambert brightness (47,964 cd/m2). The SRX-R220 model covers a 20 meter screen (65.6 feet) with its 4.2W xenon lamp while the R110 has two healthy options of either 17 meters with a 3.0W lamp or 14 meters with a 2.0W lamp.

But before you plug your PS3 into it (via DVI), you'll need to set up the LMT-100 media processor to power everything. The LMT 100 includes the processing power, a screen management system, RAID storage and an uninterruptible power supply, to keep things running smooth. The Projector goes on sale around May 2007, so expect to see the high end cinemas flaunting these in the near future. But before you rule it out, you can actually purchase it for the home too....you'll just need around $120,000....give or take a few thou!

Panasonic Praises Onkyo's Decision to Use EZ Sync(TM) System Control in High-End Audio/Video Receivers as a Win for Consumers

Panasonic congratulated Onkyo Corporation and its Onkyo USA subsidiary for their decision to use the Panasonic-developed EZ Sync(TM) feature in their Onkyo brand audio/video receivers. EZ Sync(TM) simplifies the connection of audio and video devices in a home entertainment system and enables control with a single remote control.

"We are pleased to see EZ Sync being adopted by a well-respected home entertainment brand like Onkyo," said Hideaki Harada, President of Panasonic Display Company. "This is an excellent added benefit for consumers who have purchased EZ Sync-compatible Onkyo audio and video receivers. They can now link them with EZ Sync-compatible Panasonic Plasma TVs, Blu-ray Disc Players or DVD recorders to enable even greater home theater ease of use and convenience. We expect that the EZ Sync feature will continue to grow in popularity this year both in Japan and overseas." Introduced in 2006, the EZ Sync(TM) feature is a two-way communication protocol based on the HDMI standard.

Source: Press Release

Friday, April 27, 2007

Sony Unveils The World's Smallest AVCHD High-Definition Camcorder

Sony's new Handycam HDR-CX7 high-definition camcorder is the world's smallest and lightest AVCHD high-definition camcorder. Three New Camcorders Record Full HD 1080 Video on Memory Stick Media, Hard Disk Drives.

SAN DIEGO, April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony is bolstering its lead in the high-definition camcorder arena with the introduction of AVCHD(TM) technology- based models. The new Handycam HDR-CX7 model is the world's smallest and lightest AVCHD high-definition camcorder. It can record nearly three hours of full HD 1080 video on an 8-GB Memory Stick PRO Duo(TM) media card (LP mode). Weighing just 15 ounces with the supplied battery, it provides ultra-portability as well as a virtually crash-proof recording system, instant archiving to Memory Stick PRO Duo(TM) media (sold separately), and effortless connection to a PC via USB for editing and back-up.



The new HDR-SR7 AVCHD high-definition camcorder can record more than 22 hours of full HD 1080 video on its built-in 60GB hard disk drive, while the HDR-SR5 model's 40GB hard drive can hold more than 15 hours of footage (LP modes). In addition to long recording times, these two models offer compactness and Sony's HDD Smart Protection(TM) system to safeguard against data loss as well as easy connection to PCs via USB. "Camcorder users are quickly embracing non-linear camcorder formats, such as hard disk drive and flash media, because they make it easy for anyone to view and access footage quickly," said Linda Vuolo, director of camcorder marketing at Sony Electronics. "Our models offer the added advantages of superior high-definition picture quality. With the widest range of consumer high-def models, we can satisfy the needs of virtually everyone."

Advanced Browse and Search Functions The new camcorders debut enhanced functions for easy browsing and searching on their high-resolution, 2.7-inch Clear Photo LCD Plus(TM) screens. You can swiftly find scenes via the new film roll button to view footage as a film roll index, which displays multiple scenes as thumbnails within a single movie file. Sony also integrated new face index technology so you can also access specific scenes by familiar faces. For more advanced searching on a compatible PC, you can use the camcorders' bundled Picture Motion Browser(TM) software to access the highlight index. It incorporates a search engine for voices and colors as well as faces so you can quickly get to the scenes you want to watch. Picture Quality Like No Other The new models incorporate Sony's ClearVid(TM) CMOS sensor technology for stunning detail and clarity. Combined with the Enhanced Imaging Processor(TM) technology, these models deliver the advantages of high resolution, high sensitivity with low noise, and virtually smear-free pictures.

The HDR-CX7 and HDR-SR7 models utilize Sony's 3-megapixel sensor for full HD 1080 video and 6-megapixel digital still photos. They are also equipped with Super SteadyShot(R) optical image stabilization to produce smooth video results, as well as virtually blur-free photos. The HDR-SR5 model integrates a 2-megapixel sensor for full HD 1080 video and produces a 4-megapixel photo. Additionally, all models benefit from Carl Zeiss(R) Vario-Sonnar(R) T* optics for increased contrast and true-to-life color saturation. With Sony's x.v.Color(TM) technology, based on the new international xvYCC color standard, the new camcorders reproduce a much wider data range of colors than the conventional sRGB standard. When connected to a compatible HDTV via the camcorders' HDMI(TM) outputs, home videos sparkle with vivid, natural- looking results.

The new models support the AVCHD camcorder recording format based on the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 codec for video compression and Dolby(R) digital audio. In addition to high-quality video, they provide an exceptional audio experience with built-in Dolby Digital 5.1-channel surround sound recording.

These new high-definition camcorders allow for quick data transfer from the camcorder to a compatible PC for editing, back-up and playback. Although bundled with software for simple editing, these camcorders are also compatible with the new Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum Edition 7.0e software update, as well as Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum Edition software for more advanced editors that will be available in July. The models' supplied Handycam Stations include a One Touch Disc Burn button for easy DVD creation using a PC and the bundled software.

These stations now feature HD component output for instant connection to a compatible HDTV set when the camcorders are cradled. High-definition content recorded on standard DVDs can be played back on compatible Blu-ray Disc(TM) devices, PLAYSTATION(R)3 (PS3(TM)) computer entertainment system and standard DVD drives on compatible PCs with the models' bundled software. The next-generation Sony DVDirect(R) recorder will also be compatible with these camcorders for HD video transfer to standard, 5- 1/4-inch DVDs. The HDR-CX7 unit's Memory Stick PRO Duo or Memory Stick PRO HG(TM) media cards, featuring high data transfer rates, can also be played back directly on compatible PCs and PS3 by system software update scheduled in summer 2007.

The HDR-SR5, HDR-CX7 and HDR-SR7 camcorders will ship in June for about $1,100, $1,200 and $1,400, respectively, with an array of optional accessories.

(Mouse Over for pics and Current Sale Price)

Sony HDR-SR5 AVCHD 4MP 40GB ON SALE!

Sony HDR-CX7 AVCHD 6.1MP ON SALE!

Sony HDR-SR7 AVCHD 6MP 60GB On SALE!


Source: PRNewswire

PLAYSTATION 3 Users Significantly Contribute to the Folding@home Program

PLAYSTATION(R)3 Users Significantly Contribute to the Folding@home(TM) Program, Making It One of the Most Powerful Distributed Computing Networks in the World

TOKYO and FOSTER CITY, Calif., April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) today announced that great progress has been made in the one month since PLAYSTATION(R)3 (PS3(TM)) computer entertainment systems became part of Stanford University's Folding@home(TM) program, a distributed computing project aimed at understanding protein folding, misfolding and related diseases. Since the program launched in March, participation by the PS3 user community has been phenomenal, providing Folding@home with immense computing power that is helping to fast forward its research. Furthermore, thanks to PS3's powerful Cell Broadband Engine(TM) (Cell/B.E.), the Folding@home program has become one of the most powerful distributed computing networks in the world and is quickly approaching a level of computing power that is of historical proportions.



Exhibiting its continued commitment to the program, SCE also announced that it is providing a Folding@home application update that will further enhance the user experience. The updated software features an improvement in folding calculation speeds, increased visibility of user location (*1)on the globe and the ability for users to create longer donor or team names.

"The PS3 turnout has been amazing, greatly exceeding our expectations and allowing us to push our work dramatically forward," said Vijay Pande, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University and Folding@home program lead. "Thanks to PS3, we have performed simulations in the first few weeks that would normally take us more than a year to calculate. We are now gearing up for new simulations that will continue our current studies of Alzheimer's and other diseases."

Some of the key accomplishments made since the Folding@home program launched on PS3 include:

  • More than 250,000 unique PS3 users have registered to the program in just one month

  • PS3 users are delivering nearly 400 teraflops, achieving a total computing power of over 700 teraflops at a single moment. This is more than double the computing capacity of the network before PS3 joined the program (*2)

  • The "halo-effect" of PS3 has been evident as the number of active PCs has increased by 20 percent in the last month.

"We continue to be thrilled with the ongoing contributions of the PS3 user community in helping the Folding@home program study the causes of many different diseases that afflict our society," said Masayuki Chatani, Corporate Executive and CTO Computer, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. "As we move forward, we are issuing a call to action for all PS3 owners around the world to download the Folding@home application and help this cause. These PS3 fans can also be part of history as the Folding@home distributed computing program inches closer to achieving a petaflop -- a measure of computing power that has never before been reached."

PS3 users can download the updated version of the application (v1.1) by restarting the Folding@home application. New Folding@home users can join the program by simply clicking on the Folding@home icon within the Network menu of the XMB(TM)(XrossMediaBar) or can optionally set the application to run automatically whenever the PS3 is idle (*3).

Starting with Folding@home, SCE will continue to support distributed computing projects in a wide variety of academic fields such as medical and social sciences and environmental studies through the use of PS3 and hopes to contribute to the advancement of science.

(*1) User location by IP address.
(*2) Based on Stanford University's Folding@home internal data, collected at the end of April.
(*3) To run the application automatically in idle state, PS3 must be connected to the network with both the main power switch and power button turned on. Option setting must also be changed as this automatic feature is off at default.


Source: PRNewswire

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Onkyo Delivers High-Quality Home Theater Packages for Simple and Affordable Upgrade to Any TV

UPPER SADDLE RIVER, NJ (4/24/07) -- Onkyo has begun shipping two high-value 5.1-channel home theater systems that deliver premium surround sound performance in value-priced packages that are remarkably simple to set up and operate. These high-quality receiver/speaker systems combine the commanding sonic performance characteristic of Onkyo separate components with the simplicity of an all-in-one system. Both the HT-SR600 and the HT-SR700 include a powerful subwoofer, a complete set of tonally matched two-way satellite speakers, and a high power multichannel A/V receiver with component video switching and complete surround processing.

For connectivity, the HT-SR600 and HT-SR700 A/V receivers each feature three component video inputs and one output that are fully capable of switching 1080i/720p high definition video sources without picture degradation. Additionally, there are also three A/V inputs and two outputs with both component and S-Video connections, as well as three optical and one coaxial digital audio input to accommodate a wide variety of source components. Color-coded 5.1 multi-channel analog inputs are also included, making the receivers compatible with the latest Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD formats found on HD-DVD and Blu-Ray sources.

Onkyo's HT-SR700 and HT-SR600 each feature five newly designed satellite speakers and a powerful subwoofer for deep bass reproduction. The front L/R and horizontal center channel speakers each feature a pair of 3-1/4 inch cone woofers and a high quality 3/4-inch ceramic tweeter. For a coherent and timbre-matched surround field, the included surround speakers each use the same drivers as the front speakers, but employ only a single woofer.

Each system includes downfiring subwoofer with a 10-inch cone driver. In the HT-SR600 the subwoofer is driven by a sixth amplifier channel in the receiver, while the HT-SR700' subwoofer is an active model with its own internal 230-watt amplifier module. All crossover points in each system can be set to any of eight possible settings for ideal integration with the environment and listener preferences.

The Onkyo HT-SR600 and HT-SR700 home theater systems each include a full-function RI (Remote Interactive) remote control and 30-preset AM/FM tuner. Each system is completely compatible with the company's RI iPod docks, making it as simple as possible to play music and video from a portable iPod through the home theater system.

The Onkyo HT-SR600 and HT-SR700 are each currently shipping in both black and silver finishes at suggested retail prices of $349 and $499 each, respectively.

Front Silver, Large Image

Front Black, Large Image

Onkyo HT-SR700 Home theater audio system with 5 speakers and powered subwoofer Silver On Sale

Source: GSPR