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'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)




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

Onkyo Home Theater Package Delivers Up-to-Date Features and Outstanding Performance in Simple Package

Includes HDMI Pass-Through, 7.1-channel processing, 110 watts per channel, XM and Sirius satellite radio ready, and Audyssey 2EQ/HTiB calibration

UPPER SADDLE RIVER, NJ (4/24/07) -- Onkyo has introduced the HT-SR800, a 7.1-channel home entertainment receiver and speaker package that supports the latest in high definition entertainment. Giving consumers a simple and high quality audio complement to the latest HD displays and source technology, the HT-SR800 features a complete satellite/subwoofer speaker package and a powerful AV receiver that includes HDMI pass-through switching, processing and amplification for multichannel audio formats, and compatibility with both XM and Sirius satellite radio subscription services.

"As high definition sources and displays finally make their way into the mass market, the need for simple, yet high quality audio systems is greater today than ever before," comments Onkyo Marketing Manager Paul Wasek. "HD-DVD and Blu-Ray not only deliver the highest video quality ever available at home, they also carry the promise of matching audio reproduction as well. The HT-SR800 home theater package makes that promise a reality, giving consumers a simple, high-quality solution for high definition audio with as powerful switching and control features to make a complete theater systems easy to set up, operate, and enjoy."

The centerpiece of the Onkyo HT-SR800 is a powerful A/V receiver, which combines seven channels of amplification, 7.1-channel processing for analog and digital multichannel audio, and a comprehensive array of inputs and outputs including high-bandwidth HDMI pass-through switching that is capable of transmitting 1080p video and Deep-Color™ data through two inputs and one output. Each of the receiver's amplification channels is capable of delivering 110 watts of power into eight ohms, and features Onkyo's exclusive WRAT (Wide Range Amplifier Technology) for linear output with even the most demanding HD-DVD and Blu-Ray audio tracks.

The receiver features processing for Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, and even Dolby ProLogic IIx for generating 7.1-channel surround sound from two or 5.1-channel sources. A 7.1-channel analog audio input is included for support of the latest high definition lossless multichannel audio formats featured on many HD-DVD and Blu-Ray discs. In addition to the two HDMI inputs, there are three HD-capable component video inputs, three composite and three S-video inputs for older sources, and two each optical and coaxial digital audio inputs.

The HT-SR800 receiver is also compatible with both XM and SIRIUS satellite radio tuners, allowing subscribers of either network to enjoy programming in their theater room and external zones. For XM subscribers with an optional XM mini-tuner and home dock, it also includes Neural Surround decoding, for reproduction of Neural-encoded XM broadcasts in discrete 5.1-channel surround sound. Sirius satellite radio is equally accessible through the use of an optional SIRIUSConnect home tuner kit. The receiver also features a high quality terrestrial AM/FM radio tuner and features 40 presets for AM, FM, XM, or SIRIUS stations.

The HT-SR800 speaker system includes seven tonally matched full-range loudspeakers and a powerful 230-Watt active subwoofer. The front left and right speakers each have a pair of 5-inch OMF (Onkyo Microfiber) cone woofers flanking a 1-inch balanced dome tweeter, while the center channel features the same arrangement in a horizontal configuration for mounting above or below a display. The four surround speakers each employ a single 3-1/4-inch cone woofer, and the same tweeters as the front channels for ideal timbre matching. All of the speakers are magnetically shielded to prevent interference with video displays. The 230-watt powered subwoofer features a 10-inch cone in a ported enclosure, and is capable of linear bass reproduction to 25 Hz for an immersing sound experience.

Setup of the HT-SR800 is remarkably simple, thanks to the included Audyssey 2EQ/HTiB automatic speaker calibration. Developed by Audyssey in collaboration with Onkyo, the HT-SR800 is the first product to include this new technology, specifically designed for home theater package systems. The system works by combining speaker calibration with room correction to deliver optimally tuned sound from an affordable home theater package. First, the system is pre-calibrated to optimize integration of the speakers and receiver. Then, the receiver performs a sophisticated process of in-room calibration to eliminate distortion and ideally match the system performance to the listening environment, ensuring that music and movies sound as they were intended in any room.

The Onkyo HT-SR800 home entertainment receiver/speaker package is lso designed to take full advantage of the company's RI (Remote Interactive) iPod dock/charger models. It is currently available in both black and silver finishes at a suggested retail price of $599.

Front Silver, Large Image

Front Black, Large Image

Onkyo HT-SR800 7.1 Component Home Theater System On Sale

Source: GSPR

Onkyo Announces New Features to be Available on 2007 High-End THX Certified A/V Receivers

New features include HDMI 1.3a, Reon-HQV™ HD video scaling, HD radio, Ethernet and USB connections, Neural-THX Surround™

UPPER SADDLE RIVER, NJ (4/24/07) -- Onkyo has announced four new THX Certified receiver models to be introduced beginning this spring, incorporating a range of high-end features and core performance improvements designed to deliver the highest levels of performance available. These new THX Certified Onkyo A/V receivers will feature HDMI 1.3a compatibility, including internal decoding for DTS-HD, Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus. Each will also feature a sophisticated set of internal video processing capabilities, with two of the models boasting the first inclusion of Reon-VX HQV processing in an A/V receiver. Three of the new models, the TX-SR805, the TX-SR875, and the TX-NR905, each feature THX Ultra2 certification, while the TX-SR705 is THX Select2 Certified.
From early design concepts to product rollout, THX and Onkyo worked together to ensure every detail of the receivers were mapped to the THX performance standards. And THX engineers spent countless hours testing and analyzing the receivers for sound quality, usability and interoperability. Each certified receiver includes a number of proprietary THX technologies, designed to compensate for the acoustical errors that occur when movies, music and games are translated from the professional studio to the home environment.

All four receivers are both XM and Sirius satellite radio ready, and will feature a comprehensive range of audio and video connections, including HDMI 1.3a switching for three (TX-SR705 and TX-SR805) or four (TX-SR875 and TX-NR905) HDMI sources. The TX-NR905 will also feature a second HDMI output for even greater flexibility. Each receiver is capable of accommodating single-cable pure-digital audio and video transfer from HDMI sources, including 1080p and Deep-Color™ capability. Additionally, each model will include the company's RIHD (Remote Interactive over HDMI) communication protocol. This feature allows future integration of many system control functions between compatible components via the HDMI connection, and will also feature compatibility with Toshiba's CE-Link™ enabled 2007 Regza LCD TV line and Panasonic's EZ-Sync™ TV line, as well as similar protocols from other manufacturers to be announced later in the year.

Two of the new models, the Onkyo TX-SR875 and TX-NR905, will be the first A/V receiver models to include Silicon Optix's acclaimed Reon-VX HQV™ video processing. This sophisticated IC chip-based technology provides the receivers with current state-of-the-art video scaling and deinterlacing capabilities, including upscaling of all video sources to 1080p for output over the HDMI connection. Additionally, all video sources will also be upconverted to HD output via the units' component video outputs to accommodate video displays lacking an HDMI input.

The TX-SR805, TX-SR875 and TX-NR905 receivers will all feature a new dual push-pull amplifier configuration, coupled with a three-stage inverted Darlington circuit and top-of-the-line Burr-Brown DACs for outstanding efficiency and high current with very low distortion. Two of the receivers' seven channels can also be reconfigured for bi-amplification with compatible speaker systems. On the TX-SR875 and TX-NR905, these two channels can also be reconfigured for bridged operation with the front L/R channels for high power output.

Onkyo's new receivers will be the first models available to feature Neural-THX Surround™ decoding for broadcasts and gaming. This new surround sound technology allows for broadcast content to be transmitted in a two-channel format, and later decoded for up to 7.1 discrete audio channels, as well as enabling 7.1-channel audio support for many modern video gaming consoles.
For simplified setup, all of these models incorporate Audyssey Multi-EQ room acoustics correction, the most powerful built-in solution available for countering room distortion in dedicated home theaters. This technology uses an included microphone to detect and configure speakers in the room, and then adjusts each channel's level, delay, and crossover settings to best suit the room's acoustics. By incorporating measurements at up to eight points in the listening room, Audyssey Multi-EQ provides both frequency response and time domain corrections throughout the entire listening area, rather than just at a single position.

Additional features on the TX-NR905 include a high-current power supply with a massive toroidal transformer, built-in HD radio reception and a powerful set of networking capabilities for integrated home media systems. The receiver will include an Ethernet port for support of Internet radio and streaming multimedia, as well as additional control and multimedia functions to be announced later in theyear. There is also an included USB port to allow for the addition of USB-based portable audio players, and for the use of USB-based memory devices.

The Onkyo TX-SR805 will be shipping in May at a suggested retail price of $1099. The TX-SR875 will be available in June at a suggested retail price of $1699. The THX Select2 Certified TX-SR705 will be available in July at a suggested retail price of $899. The TX-NR905 will be available in August at a suggested retail price of $2099.

Source: GSPR

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Xbox HD DVD Drive for $72

A couple websites are claiming that Sam's club are selling the Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive on the cheap for $72. This deal has been proven, but it's not yet widespread nationwide. The drive is being discontinued at Sam's Club so a few stores do have this clearance pricing. I called 5 local to me and all still had them for $181. Their website is also showing $181. As the clearance date edges closer, the deal may become more standardized, but if you're in the market to get one, it's worth calling around or perhaps holding off for a little while. Whether the format fails or not, $72 is hard to pass up!

Picture Source: Gizmodo

TX-SR605 From Onkyo, The First AV Receiver with HDMI v1.3a Processing, and HD Lossless Audio Decoding

Onkyo Loads its Most Popular Home Theater Receiver, the Onkyo TX-SR605 with Advanced Features for HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, and HDMI Video Upconversion.

UPPER SADDLE RIVER, NJ (4/24/07) -- Onkyo has introduced the TX-SR605 A/V receiver, adding processing for the latest lossless multichannel audio formats, comprehensive video upconversion to HDMI, and compatibility with both XM and Sirius satellite radio programming to the impressive features of the TX-SR604 it replaces. The new model also features Onkyo's new HDMI-based system control capability, 7 x 90 watts of power, enhanced compatibility with the company's optional iPod control docks, and a flexible suite of multi-source/multi-zone capabilities.

The TX-SR605’s two HDMI v1.3a inputs provide the most advanced interface for transporting both uncompressed high definition (HD) video and uncompressed multi-channel audio in all HD formats including 720p, 1080i and 1080p. It is among the first receivers available to include decoding for Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD Master multichannel audio formats from Blu-Ray and HD-DVD players.

The TX-SR605 is Onkyo's first A/V receiver to include the company's RIHD (Remote Interactive over HDMI) communication protocol. This feature allows for automatic integration of many system control functions between compatible components via the HDMI connection. Common functions include one-button system on/standby control, volume control punch-through from display remote control to the A/V receiver, and a 'direct change' function to automatically select the correct receiver input and begin playback for RIHD source components.

In addition to its two HDMI inputs, the Onkyo TX-SR605 includes three component video, five S-Video, and five composite video inputs to accommodate other sources. There is upconversion of all composite and S-video inputs to both HDMI and HD-quality component video to eliminate the need for multiple redundant video connections to modern video displays. For displays that are not compatible with 480i video, the receiver also provides Faroudja DCDi de-interlacing circuitry to convert 480i signals to progressive scan. There are a total of five digital audio inputs, as well as five A/V and two audio-only analog inputs. Front panel A/V inputs, including optical digital jack, allow easy connection of A/V or audio devices such as a camcorder or portable mp3 player.

The TX-SR605 includes the Audyssey 2EQ automatic speaker calibration feature that provides remarkable improvements in performance by calibrating the home theater system to its acoustical environment. With this system, the included calibration microphone is used to analyze the system's acoustical output at two unique positions in the listening area. By taking readings in two different positions in the theater room, with the included microphone in the listening position, the receiver sends test signals to each speaker in turn, then uses the input from the microphone to adjust channel level and time delay settings for each speaker.

The Onkyo TX-SR605 makes it easier than ever to bring Satellite radio into the living room, featuring compatibility with both XM and Sirius satellite radio programming. The addition of an optional tuner system for either network enables consumers to subscribe to and receive hundreds of channels of commercial-free music, news, talk, and entertainment programming. The receiver even includes onboard Neural Surround processing for reception of multichannel XM HD surround programming. Finally, there is also a high quality terrestrial radio tuner, and the TX-SR605 features 40 presets for AM, FM, XM, or Sirius stations.

Onkyo has also designed the receiver to take complete advantage of the company's optional Remote Interactive iPod dock/charger units. With the iPod placed in the dock, it becomes a source component for not only audio playback, but also for photography stored in iPod photo units. Basic iPod controls such as play, pause, stop, skip, and random / repeat functions can all be operated via the TX-SR605's preprogrammed learning remote control.

The TX-SR605 amplification modules benefit from Onkyo's exclusive WRAT (Wide Range Amplifier Technology) and Optimum Gain Volume Circuitry, delivering 90 watts per channels into 8 ohm loads. There are sturdy five-way binding posts for all seven full-range channels, and the rear surround channels can also be employed to provide a second set of Front L/R channels for speaker bi-amplification.

The TX-SR605 also features Onkyo's Powered Zone 2 capability, which can be used to power stereo speakers in a second room while listening to 5.1-channel sound in the main zone thanks to a dedicated set of zone 2 L/R speaker terminals. The receiver is capable of processing separate multichannel and stereo sources simultaneously for the main and second zone, or processing a single source for both. There is also a zone 2 pre-out that can be used in conjunction with a dedicated zone amplifier or receiver.

The Onkyo TX-SR605 will ship in May in both black and silver finishes, at a suggested retail price of $599.

Front Large Image

Back large image

Onkyo TX-SR605 7.1 Channel Home Theater Receiver On Sale

Source: GSPR

Onkyo TX-SR575 is Company's First A/V Receiver Ready for Both XM and Sirius Satellite Radio

UPPER SADDLE RIVER, NJ (4/24/07) -- Onkyo is now shipping the TX-SR575, a full-featured, versatile, and high value audio/video receiver that is the company's first to include compatibility with both XM and SIRIUS satellite radio broadcasts. The 7.1-channel receiver boasts 75 watts per channel, HDMI pass-through and HD component video switching, and sophisticated Audyssey 2EQ automatic calibration technology.

The TX-SR575 is compatible with both XM and SIRIUS satellite radio tuners, allowing subscribers of either network to enjoy programming in their theater room and external zones. For XM subscribers with an optional XM mini-tuner and home dock, the TX-SR575 also includes Neural Surround decoding for reproduction of Neural-encoded XM broadcasts in discrete 5.1-channel surround sound. Sirius satellite radio is equally accessible through the use of an optional SIRIUSConnect home tuner kit. The receiver also features a high quality terrestrial AM/FM radio tuner and features 40 presets for AM, FM, XM, or SIRIUS stations.

The TX-SR575 receiver has a broad array of audio and video connections, including HDMI pass-through switching with the ability to transmit 1080p video and Deep-Color™ data through 2 inputs and 1 output, as well as three component video inputs for 1080i and 720p sources. It also features component video upconversion for composite and S-Video sources, dramatically reducing the need for multiple redundant connections to modern video displays. Additional connectivity includes four assignable digital audio inputs, three A/V inputs and two outputs, and a full set of color-coded 7.1-channel multichannel analog audio inputs, making it ready for the new generation of Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD sources, such as HD-DVD and Blu-Ray video players.

The TX-SR575's Audyssey 2EQ automatic speaker calibration feature uses an included calibration microphone to analyze the system's acoustical output at two unique positions in the listening area. The receiver sends test signals to each speaker in turn, then uses the inputs from the microphone to adjust channel level and time delay settings for each speaker. By taking readings in two different positions in the theater room, the receiver can be calibrated to the speakers and environment, delivering optimal response throughout the room rather than just at the 'sweet spot' directly in front of the screen.

For sharp and accurate audio reproduction, the TX-SR575 employs 32-bit DSP processing and 192 kHz/24-bit digital-to-analog converters on all channels. It includes 7.1-channel surround processing for Dolby Digital EX, Dolby ProLogic IIX, DTS-ES, DTS-96/24, and DTS Neo:6. The receiver also includes a user-selectable eight-setting subwoofer crossover adjustment for ideal integration of any subwoofer/satellite speaker system.

Onkyo has also designed the TX-SR575 to take complete advantage of the company's RI (Remote Interactive) iPod dock/charger models. The receiver includes a preprogrammed RI-compatible remote control, and is currently available in either black or silver finishes at a suggested retail price of $479.

Front Silver, Large Image

Front Black, Large Image

Back Black, Large Image

Onkyo TX-SR575 7.1 Channel Home Theater Receiver on Sale

Source: GSPR

Entry Level Onkyo Receiver Gets 1080p HDMI Switching

UPPER SADDLE RIVER, NJ (04/24/07) -- Onkyo has begun shipping the TX-SR505 audio/video receiver, improving upon the company's popular TX-SR504 by adding 1080p-compatible HDMI pass-through switching capability and Audyssey 2EQ automatic calibration and room correction. The receiver boasts a substantial array of high-end features for home theater, including 7x75 watts of power, extensive 7.1-channel processing modes, A/V lip-sync adjustment, subwoofer crossover adjustment, and connections for a full complement of A/V and stereo source components.

Onkyo's TX-SR505 is well suited for use with high-definition displays and source components, including new 1080p Blu-Ray and HD-DVD players, Xbox and Playstation 3 gaming consoles, and HD set-top boxes for cable and satellite television. The receiver includes HDMI pass-through switching, which has the ability to transmit 1080p video and Deep-Color™ data through 2 inputs and 1 output, as well as three component video inputs for 1080i and 720p sources. There are also four composite and three S-video inputs to accommodate additional A/V sources, and a front panel A/V input for convenient connection of video cameras and other portable devices.

The TX-SR505 includes color-coded 7.1-channel multi-channel inputs, making it ready for the new generation of Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD source devices, such as HD-DVD and Blu-Ray video players. It has four assignable digital audio inputs with two coaxial and two optical connectors, RCA line-level connections for a CD player and audio recorder, and a subwoofer preamplifier output.

The TX-SR505 features a full array of processing for home theater, including Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES, and even DTS 96/24. With DTS Neo:6 and Dolby ProLogic IIx, the receiver is capable of automatically deriving full 7.1-channel audio from absolutely any stereo or multichannel source. The receiver features high quality linear PCM 192 kHz/24-bit D/A converters and a sophisticated 32-bit DSP engine for ideal reproduction of soundtracks and multichannel audio.

The Onkyo TX-SR505 includes seven internal power amplifier channels with high-current, low-impedance discrete output devices, to deliver a continuous power output of 75 Watts per channel into 8-Ohm loads. Onkyo's exclusive WRAT (Wide Range Amplifier Technology) gives the power stage a linear frequency response from 10 Hz to 100 kHz to ensure it’s up to the challenge of the most demanding audio sources. There are dual banana-plug-compatible multi-way speaker binding posts for all main channels with color-coding for simplified wiring, as well as front channel "B" terminals to enable the receiver to drive a stereo pair in a second zone.

The dot-matrix fluorescent front panel display and Audyssey 2EQ room correction make setup and operation of the receiver easy and fast, including variable speaker configuration and distance settings for simple optimization of any speaker arrangement. With the new adjustable crossover on the subwoofer pre-out channel, the LFE channel signal can be cutoff at 40, 50, 60, 80, 100, 120, 150 or 200 Hz, for seamless integration of any satellite and subwoofer combination.

Onkyo has also designed the TX-SR505 to take complete advantage of the company's RI (Remote Interactive) iPod dock/charger models. It includes a full-function pre-programmed RI-compatible remote control, and is available in either black or silver finishes. It is now shipping at a suggested retail price of $379.

Large Front Image

Large Back Image

Onkyo TX-SR505 7.1 Channel Home Theater Receiver On Sale

Source: GSPR

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Blu Ray The First HD Format To Pass 1 Million in Sales.

Support remains firm from the exclusive Studio support and despite being released almost a year after the HD DVD format, it has become the first of the two HD formats to reach 1 Million in sales. According to Home Media Research, Blu-ray Disc sales also accounted for 70 percent of the high-definition movies sold during the first quarter of 2007.

In addition, Blu-ray Disc titles accounted for eight of the top ten selling high definition titles in the first quarter of this year while in 2006, 18 of the top 20 selling DVD’s were released by studios that are publishing their movies on Blu-ray Disc.

The release of the PS3 has no doubt fueled sales. I remember when the PS3 was first released in the US, there was much fabricated speculation that PS3 owners were not interested in HD movies. These figures puts that to rest. Amazon are already taking pre-orders for Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean series, so expect these figures to take another leap when it's released on May 22nd.

Source: Rheuters

IOGEAR Simplifies Home Entertainment Connections With World's First True Automatic HDMI Switch

The newer HDTV's have 3 HDMI connections, but if you're stuck with a slightly older one that only has one, here is a solution for you. I've seen switches selling online for $300+ which is a complete rip off, so this one is reasonably priced, and at least give you a solution if you don't have enough HDMI ports built into your tv. The bonus of this device is that it automatically senses which device is sending a signal and switches to that source without you having to select it. Read on.....

IRVINE, Calif., /PRNewswire/ -- Digital home enthusiasts no longer have to use a remote to alternate between multiple High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) devices with the world's first true automatic HDMI switch. IOGEAR's new HDMI 2x1 Automatic Switch (HDAS) is the only product on the market that senses which HDMI product is currently in use, with IOGEAR's patented HDAS technology, and instantly locks and transfers the appropriate audio and video content to the connected HD display. It also eliminates the hassle of having to plug and unplug HDMI cables between home entertainment equipment in order to connect to an HDTV that does not have enough input ports.

According to In-Stat, HDMI-enabled device shipments will grow 78 percent per year through 2010(1). As the technology becomes increasingly incorporated into common consumer electronics products such as set top boxes, DVD players, gaming consoles like PLAYSTATION(R)3, and even computers, end users may run into the issue of having too many HDMI-enabled
pieces of hardware and not enough inputs on their televisions. Because of this, they may not be able to experience the high-definition video and audio that their digital devices can provide. IOGEAR's new HDMI 2x1 Automatic Switch provides two input ports that transfer fully-uncompressed digital video and audio to an HDMI display through a single output. "The majority of new home entertainment products support HDMI, however, most televisions do not have enough input ports to connect to all of them at once," said Miranda Su, vice president of sales and marketing at IOGEAR, Inc. "Our new HDMI 2x1 Automatic Switch eliminates frustrations associated with having to continuously plug and unplug devices. Additionally, it is the only true automatic switch available that intuitively detects which source is active and delivers the audio and video content completely in sync with almost no latency."

The product is High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP)(TM) compliant and supports 1080p resolution. LEDs on the front panel display the HDMI device that is currently in use. It is priced at $169.95 (MSRP) and is available immediately from all major catalog resellers, online
resellers and selected retail outlets, and comes with IOGEAR's standard three-year warranty.

IOGear GHDMIAS2 HDMI Automatic Switch on sale at Amazon

Verizon FiOS TV Adds Three National High-Definition Channels

HGTV, Food Network and LMN Join the Fios HD Channel Lineup

NEW YORK, April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Verizon, which already offers an abundance of high-definition programming, is adding more, as HGTV HD, Food Network HD and LMN HD (Lifetime Movie Network) join the FiOS TV national channel lineup. Verizon provides FiOS TV over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network, straight to customers' homes.
"By adding HGTV HD, Food Network HD and LMN HD to our FiOS TV lineup, we're enriching the customer experience for our HD customers, who now can enjoy their favorite shows on these channels in brilliant HD and digital surround sound," said Terry Denson, Verizon vice president - FiOS TV content and programming. "With these high-definition networks, Verizon continues to deliver the breadth of content that consumers want in a way that best fits their lifestyles."

The three channels will be available in all FiOS TV markets by the end of this week, bringing the total number of HD channels to at least 27 in most markets, depending on the number of local channels that broadcast in HD. FiOS TV subscribers with an HD-capable TV and an HD set-top box will receive the three new channels at no additional cost. HGTV and Food Network are America's leading networks in home, food and lifestyle programming. HGTV HD and Food Network HD air some of the same popular shows that appear on the standard definition networks including "Cash in the Attic," "Decorating Cents," "Barefoot Contessa" and "Everyday Italian." LMN, the second highest-rated women's network on basic cable behind sibling Lifetime Television, offers nearly 200 different movie titles each month, including exclusive film and cable premieres. John Baird, executive vice president of affiliate sales and marketing for Scripps Networks, parent company of HGTV and Food Network, said, "FiOS TV is growing in popularity just as our high definition networks are, making this agreement a winning partnership for viewers." Louise Henry Bryson, president, distribution and affiliate business development, Lifetime Networks, said, "We're delighted to partner with FiOS TV for this HD offering, which will provide our customers with LMN's high-quality entertainment in Verizon's high-quality picture."

Verizon FiOS TV offers a broad collection of all-digital programming, more than 400 total channels, 8,600 video-on-demand titles and more. It is currently available in parts of California, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.

Monday, April 23, 2007

CBS and KCAL 9 News Now Broadcasting in HD!

CBS News is now being broadcasted in HD. Also If you live in the Southern California area, the affiliate station KCAL 9 is also now getting the HD treatment. There's no going back now, that 4:3 format you're used to seeing on CBS and KCAL will now switch to a 1080i 16:9 format for their respective news broadcasts.

Laser TV, No Plasma or LCD Killer.

At CES 2007, there was an introduction into the much talked about "Laser TV" technology. The marketing theme that has been implanted into the media claimed that it would be a "Plasma Killer." There has been a lot of confusion over the technology which prompted me to write this post. So here is an update on the scoop to clear everything up.

Australian company Arasor International is partnering with California based Novalux Inc to develop the technology. Arasor produces the optoelectronic chip, while Novalux develop the laser projection device. The technology itself is planned for use in future iterations of both front and rear projection hdtv's. This means that the technology can be used in DLP, front projectors and other versions of rear projection tv's. Instead of using a lamp and color wheel like DLP, it uses lasers to produce the picture. Companies that have shown interest in Laser TV include Mitsubishi and Sony who both already have prototype models up and running.

Some of the claims are, that it will have 3 times as many colors as plasma and that it will cost less to produce than both LCD and plasma. Well the first thing I have to address is that they didn't account for HDMI 1.3. and increased color depth in upcoming 2007 model hdtv's. Secondly, the developers of Laser TV have to make up for all the research and development costs of this new technology, so don't buy into that too much. The budget prices may eventually become possible if the technology first sees a few successful years in the retail stores.

When have you ever seen a plasma look as shown above right? This demo attempts to show how Laser TV has 3 times more colors than a plasma. The plasma has clearly been setup to display a poor representation of its capabilites, while the Laser TV has been optimised and calibrated to its maximum potential. All marketing and demo material i've seen from Arasor has taken a similar approach. It's not promising when the competition has to be toned down to appear not as good.

Based on the Sony Laser TV I saw at CES 2007, I see Laser TV as a "possible" alternative to current rear projection technologies such as DLP or Sony's own SXRD. But Plasma beater? With all the changes and improving standards coming out in 2007/2008 LCD and Plasmas, I don't think so. Rear projection technologies as a whole are a great way to get a reasonably priced hdtv. But when measured up against LCD or Plasma, you gain low cost and large size, but lose quality. Still, it will be interesting to watch Laser TV develop and see how the manufacturers will channel their future marketing claims. As it stands right now, the Australian developer are making too big of a claim for their boots and are already stooping fairly low with their marketing presentations.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Frame Rates Expained

Frame Rate:

The movies you watch are shot on cameras that record to either tape or film reel. These tapes or reels don't record any motion at all. In fact, what you are seeing is a series of still images put together and played back at various speeds to give the effect of the motion that was recorded.

Remember when you were younger, you'd get a Post-it pad and draw an little animated cartoon on it by changing the drawing on each page a little. When you flicked through the whole sequence of Post-its, you would have a simple animation. That's exactly how those cameras record things. Now lets say that you had exactly 60 Post-its, and you flicked through them in exactly one second. You would have 60 frames per second. The measurement use is simply "Frames per second" or "hertz." There are several things we need to consider in order to comprehend the importance of a "frame rate" on your TV.

  • The Frame rate the movie was filmed at, and the ability of the camera used during filming to process the frame rate well and accurately.
  • The ability of your DVD, Blu Ray or HD DVD player to "match" the frame rate of each specific movie source you watch.
  • The ability of your TV to display those various frame rates.

The images on a Film Reel are transfered to Video so that it can be broadcasted on TV, watched on a computer, authored to an HD DVD or Blu Ray disc etc. This process is called Telecine. Because film and video are so different, it's useful to know the various different frame rates, what they're used for, and how these differences affect the picture.

[Below left is actual film reel used from the movie "The Sixth Sense." Notice how there are very few differences between each frame. That's because 24 of those frames make up one second of playback and in that scene, he's actually being fairly still.]

24p frame rate is a progressive format. Most movies today are shot at this frame rate. It gives that classic "cinema" or "movie theatre" feel. 35mm movie cameras are now predominantly used in filming, and by nature they use 24fps for their standard exposure (the opening and closing of the lens, which results in recording movement).

25p is a video format which runs twenty-five progressive frames per second. This frame rate is derived from the PAL European television standard of 50i (interlaced). While 25p captures only half the motion that normal 50i PAL registers, it typically yields a higher image quality during fast motion scenes. Films broadcasted in Europe need to be converted from the NTSC 24fps to 25fps.

30p, or 30-frames progressive, produces video at 30 frames per second. Its progressive (non interlaced) nature attempts to recreate the film camera's cinematic like feel and eliminates artifacts that may be apparent in interlaced video with fast motion.

60i is what has been used for decades for over-the-air (OTA) TV broadcasts, home camcorders, and DVD's. 60i is really 30 Frames per second using the interlaced method, as at any one moment there is only ever 30 frames on screen. So really it is at 30fps or 29.97 to be exact.(They use 50i in Europe and Australia which equates to 25 frames per second, then the other 25 are filled in a split second later)

With regards to broadcasting, the World has been been using the following analog standards. These are all set to change due to the digital revolution.

  • NTSC (National Television System Committee), developed and used in the United States: 525-lines of resolution at 29.97fps
  • PAL (Phase Alternating Line): Used in most of Europe 625 lines at 25 fps
  • SECAM (SÉquentiel Couleur Á Mémoire, French for "sequential colour with memory"): Used in France, China, Russia, Belgium and other communist states that rejected the US standard during the Cold War. 625 lines at 25 fps

In the United States, that change is coming quickly due to the mandatory FCC regulation. The NTSC standard which has been running for over 60 years, will be replaced by the ATSC standard which is either "1080i at 30 fps" or "720p at 60fps." You'll find that broadcasters have a choice. ABC and FOX for example are using 720p while CBS and NBC use 1080i.

But there are some problems that are still inherent from these new standards. Let's say that you're watching a movie that was shot on Film at 24fps and transfer to the Blu Ray video format at 24fps. You're using a PS3 as a Blu Ray player. We encounter a problem. The PS3 outputs at 60fps, and does not currently support 24fps, although their is a rumored update that will soon allow this. So your TV and PS3 will use a variety of techniques to fill in the gaps. The Blu Ray disc outputs at 24fps, the PS3 accepts that signal and converts it to 60fps, and outputs the converted frame rate to your HDTV.

The problem with this is that 60, is not a multiple of 24. If the PS3 outputted at 48 or 72 fps, it wouldn't be a problem as they are multiples of 24 and thus makes it easier to fill in the additional frames. 24fps converted to 48fps for example would have 24 frames added to retain the feel of the original film. This is achieved through a process called "3:2 pulldown" where the hardware is "adding information" to make up for the discrepancies. But because we originally had an uneven number of frames, the result is possible "noise" and "irregularities" during playback. How well your hardware manages this is a measure of the products video processing attributes. Using our example, the PS3 does an outstanding job at this.

Going back to the broadcasted ATSC HD signals, we have the same problem. The TV stations will telecine the movie to their preferred resolution and frame rate and then they and the and Cable/Satellite companies will broadcast it to everyone. There is already the issue of compression. This is a technique used to shrink the HD signal, into more manageable data for transmission, while trying to retain picture and audio quality. There is also the issue that if the broadcast is 1080i and you have a 1080p signal, your TV will send that signal through a process called "Deinterlacing," or "Line Doubling" which again mean adding information which isn't really there. Depending on your equipment at home and those issued by the satellite/cable companies, the frame rate and interlaced/progressive differences will produce varied results.

A lof of the issues discussed here can be fixed by manufacturers allowing for the support of 24fps in their hardware. Often they can issue firmware upgrades on CD or via download which will add this type of functionality. The difference in frame rates between your source (BD or HD-DVD) and hardware can produce less than perfect results, while in other instances, the difference are not noticeable. The good news is that manufacturers are paying more attention to features of this kind, but all in all, it's another thing to look out for when making your purchase.

HDTV Ghosting

Pictures speak a thousand words. Especially when it comes to explaining technology issues. The purpose of this article is to elaborate on the problems that HDTV's have, and why the various display types are imperfect. By understanding the imperfections, you'll be able to decide where you'd prefer to compromise on you purchase, and also understand the newer technologies that attempt to improve these imperfections. Marketing jargon really confuses things a lot, but really, these are things that you've probably already experienced, but not not paid too much attention to:

This is an issue we are used to with our non HDTV's. The analog video signal is produced by RF (radio frequency) and the audio would be produced by FM (frequency modulation, yes the same as the radio). Two separate sources. This is why sometimes, the audio would be perfect, while the picture would be as shown below. Ghosting would occur 1) If you had a bad connection , 2) Interference from other devices near your TV, 3) Nearby objects such as buildings, blocking or reflecting the broadcast signal, so that only part of the signal gets to the TV.

With HDTV's we don't have this specific problem. If any of the above symptoms occur, we will simply see a blank screen. With HD digital signals, its a matter of "yes" you get the signal, or "no" you don't get anything. There's no in between. However, what we do sometimes get is the "impression" of a previous frame in the background that hasn't gone away. The picture has changed, but the faint image of what was previously onscreen a split second ago is still there. The important difference, is that this is more down to the video processing in the TV and the display technology itself rather than the signal. Ghosting of this nature on an HDTV, disappears after a few seconds and is more of an annoyance than anything. Ghosting is NOT however, the trails left by an image, that is called motion blur. I see a lot of inaccurate references to this all over the Internet.

HDTV Clouding or Mura

Clouding (aka "mura") on an LCD HDTV:

The issue of clouding is easy to understand, but more difficult to explain why it occurs and what causes it. By looking at the picture below left, you can see the back light that is present in LCD's. The picture on the right shows the TV in the forefront that has an even back light, while the one in the background has "cloud" patches caused by an uneven back light. The reason why this issue is specific to LCD's is because it is the only display that uses a back light to produce the picture. It's important not to confuse this with the back lights that some Plasmas have. The Plasma back light is an aesthetic feature which shines a light towards the wall behind the display to luminate the outside area of the plasma. What causes the clouding or Mura (a Japanese word for uneven uniformity), is down to the back light, various issues with the LCD matrix, and human error on the assembly line.

HDTV Pixelization


There are two types of pixelization. The creative type that is purposely used to obscure license plates and peoples faces on TV shows to hide ones identity, and the type that is a signal problem. From above, we know that digital signals either come through or they don't. Well when you see pixelization as shown below, the signal is at the point where it has come through entirely but there is a delay in processing the information. In other words, the signal and video processing of your equipment can't keep up with one another. If the problem persists, eventually you'll see a black screen, until everything catches up again. Satellite TV and cable subscribers experience this in adverse weather conditions when the wind or rain is interfering with the signal and it can't get through entirely. First it will pixelize, then black out all together. Pixelization of this type also occurs in video games, and also in home movie formats for the same reason. Maybe the scene that you were watching at the time had a lot going on, which requires more information than normal to be processed. When the hardware can't keep up, you will get these symptoms. But its' important to note that it's not always the hardware's fault. If the movie studio, broadcast company or video game company didn't use the correct methods of development, then that too can contribute as to WHY the pixelisation is occurring.

HDTV Flickering


The best way to explain flickering is to see an example of it. Before we go further, I must say that if you are someone that has photosensitive epilepsy, do not click this link, and if you're not sure, get consult your doctor and make sure someone is with you before you do. Links:

What this represents is the "refresh rate" of the TV. I've covered this in another section, but as it's important, I'll go over it again. The refresh rate of a TV is the number of times the picture is "refreshed" per second. It is measured in "Hertz (hz)." If you see a 60hz refresh rate, then that means the picture is shown 60 times per second to produce the moving images on screen. Here's the problem. The human eye requires on average, at least 70hz to avoid any stress. Anything below this can make the eye tired as what you're watching on screen, isn't fast enough, and the eye becomes fatigued as it is being strained.

Newer HDTV's are coming out with 120hz refresh rates. Some people claim that this is redundant as the human eye won't notice the difference over 70hz. I personally don't believe this is true as going back to my very first few articles, everyone has different perception and eyesight acuteness. For example, 100hz TVs have been the norm for quite some time in Europe while we have been stuck with 60hz here in the US. I fully notice the difference between 60, 70, and 100hz. I believe 120hz is a warm welcome and eradicates many other issues which I'll be going over in an upcoming article.

Firmware 1.70 for PS3 now available

1.70 firmware is now available for download. Here are the added features:

  • You can now download Playstation format software from the Playstation store, and play it on the PS3 system.
  • You can use saved data for Playstation format software on the PSP.
  • The vibration function of accessories that are for use with Playstation and Playstation 2 format software.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

3D Ultra(TM) Minigolf Adventures Swings onto Xbox LIVE(R) Arcade and PC Online

Sierra Online, a division of Vivendi Games, sinks a hole-in-one with 3D Ultra(TM) Minigolf Adventures, now available for download on Xbox LIVE(R) Arcade for the Xbox 360(TM)
video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC portals. Developed by the creators of the award-winning Assault Heroes(R), 3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures allows players to putt their way through 36 fun-filled holes of crazy minigolf action.

The game features three imaginative courses for competitors of all ages including a Classic Carnival full of sweet treats and wild rides; the Old West featuring crafty creatures and immense desert canyons; and an out-of-this-world Outer Space experience. 3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures is filled with a bounty of fantastic obstacles to navigate, secret shortcuts to uncover and game-changing power-ups to obtain. Minigolfers can also get creative with a customizable course creator that allows players to build and share their own courses by mixing and matching combinations of tees, straights, corners, cups, junctions and ramps. Four distinctive animated characters add to the fun and can be used in multiplayer mode to play against friends and family in the living room or online via Xbox LIVE Arcade for Xbox 360.

"3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures provides players with a fresh and entertaining take on a family-favorite activity with truly new-gen production values," said Ed Zobrist, president of Sierra Online. "Not only can gamers take on three original environments full of surprises with every putt, but they can customize and create new courses to play on their own or to challenge their friends." 3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures will be available for download on Xbox LIVE Arcade for Xbox 360 for 800 Microsoft points. Gamers can earn up to 12 Achievements and 200 Gamerscore points. A downloadable Windows PC version of the game is available at favorite online games destinations with a suggested price of $19.99. The title is rated "E" for Everyone by the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

Source: Press Release PRNewswire