Monthly Archives: July 2008

Cowon unveils P5 player with new haptic UI

Electronista: Cowon added a new entry to its touchscreen players with the P5.

Targeted more at video users, the device has a 5-inch, 800×480 touchscreen with a new customizable “shelf” interface with widgets; haptic feedback that simulates physical button presses through vibrations.

A new, faster 700MHz processor gives the device both a quick interface as well as the power to decode full DVD-resolution video that includes both offline formats (AVI, DivX, MPEG-1/4, WMV, XviD) as well as digital over-the-air TV through a built-in DMB tuner.

Extra wireless comes through Bluetooth 2.0 for some earphones and peripherals.

Unlike some Cowon players, Internet access is strictly optional but can be added in through a USB-based Wi-Fi adapter.

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Navigon’s new panoramic 3D SatNav

Techradar.com: Navigon’s first SatNav device with Panorama View 3D – the Navigon 8110 – is now available in the UK.

Navigon claims that the 3D view offered by the Navigon 8110 offers a safer driving experience, giving drivers a better view of difficult-to-maneuver junctions and the like.

The new SatNav also features include a 4.8-inch display, full maps of Europe, TMC Pro for re-routing, Bluetooth connectivity for hooking up to your phone, USB connectivity, free map updates, an MP3 player and an FM transmitter.

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LCD TVs recommended over plasma TVs in retail

ZDNet: At a rate of more than three to one, retail electronics salespersons are recommending liquid crystal display (LCD) flat screen TVs instead of sets using plasma technology to shoppers who are seeking to purchase big screen televisions (sets with screens measuring 40 inches or larger), according to the J.D.Power and Associates.

High proportion of recommendations of LCD sets is primarily due to retail salespersons’ lack of knowledge regarding recent improvements in plasma technology.

For example, more than one-third (38%) of salespersons told their customers that LCD sets last longer. Also, 37% of salespersons warned their customers that images may be permanently burned onto the screens of plasma TVs.

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Vers 2X – the eco-friendly iPod sound system

Tech Digest: Not just a looker, the Vers 2X is an eco-friendly iPod audio system.

How? Well, it’s made of sustainable materials, with energy efficient electronics and recycled packaging – including a cherry exterior that’s hand-finished to ‘furniture grade’.

Other than that, there’s a removable grill, class D amplifier, 20W of output, 14-function remote control and connectivity for non-Apple players.

It retails for $149.

 

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Loewe selects NXP to power full-HD LCD TVs

MarketWatch: European TV manufacturer Loewe has chosen the flagship video postprocessor from NXP Semiconductors, PNX5100 to deliver full-HD picture quality on its latest 37-inch and 40-inch LCD TV line-up — the Spheros R37 Full HD+ 100, the Individual 40 Selection Full HD+ 100 and the Individual 40 Compose Full HD+ 100.

The 100Hz flat panels from Loewe will draw on NXP’s Motion Accurate Picture Processing (MAPP) technology and full motion compensated up-conversion to reduce contour blurring and halos for brilliant 1920×1080 high-definition (HD) images.

Roland Bohl, director for R&D at Loewe, said: “As the HD LCD TV market matures and consumers demand progressive improvements in their viewing experience, the ability to up-convert and deliver life-like picture quality will be a key differentiator for Loewe. Having evaluated a number of video processors on the market, we found NXP to offer the right platform for up-conversion to realize our philosophy of image enhancement.”

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Is 3D TV ready for the big time?

TechRadar: Pay a visit to Steven Spielberg’s favourite cinema this summer and it won’t be the latest blockbuster that catches your eye. Walk through the foyer at the Bridge Theater in Los Angeles and you’ll be awe-struck at the sight of wall-mounted displays throwing out images in glorious 3D – and you won’t need to wear googly glasses to see them.

The professional displays are the work of Philips 3D Solutions, which is currently rolling them out worldwide, appearing in airports, shopping malls, casinos and, of course, cinemas. The best thing is that the technology Philips uses is fairly straightforward, promising great things for the TVs we’re used to having at home.

The Philips WOWvx uses a series of tiny lenticular lenses mounted in front of a regular high definition display. If lenticular sounds familiar then that’s because it is – Philips WOWVx uses a similar technique to the animated 3D postcards you can find at tourist traps the world over.

Of course, having a lenticular lens in itself isn’t enough – you also have to create a stereoscopic image to give the illusion of depth. Philips has two different formats for content creation – a standard version called 2D-plus-Depth, plus and an extended version it dubs Declipse.

2D-plus-Depth does exactly what it says on the tin. It takes a 2D image and then adds depth to give you a 3D representation. If a normal display has pixel information as ‘x’ and ‘y’ co-ordinates, then 2D-plus-Depth adds ‘z’ to describe how deep the image portrayed by that pixel should be.

The exciting thing for all of us, and for Hollywood, production studios and broadcasters, is that 2D-plus-Depth is backwards-compatible. Any movie, TV programme or music video you’ve ever watched can now be presented in 3D, adding a new whole dimension – literally – to your viewing experience.

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Blu-ray shipments finally increase in Japan

The Inquirer: Shipments of Blu-ray players and recorders in Japan have increased to a six-figure level with 122,000 in June alone. This is a dramatic increase compared to May when it was only 82,000 units.

It is expected that these figures will continue to rise in coming months, as Japanese workers receive a bonus in July and the Olympics in Beijing are held in August. Both of these factors will boost the consumer electronics sector, soothsayers sayeth.

The sector was also boosted by the release of ‘Dubbing 10’ which allows consumers to make numerous copies of TV shows they have recorded.

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WHDI: World-changing wireless HDTV to become standard

DVICE: Imagine watching any HD video wirelessly from any Blu-ray player, PC, TiVo, set-top box, video camera, Xbox — any video source, anywhere in your house, up to 100 feet away.

Now add the ability to instantly control that video from wherever you’re watching it. That’s what WHDI (wireless high definition interface) can do.

This week a group of the largest consumer electronics companies in the world were agreeing to standardize this new way of moving wireless high-resolution uncompressed video, so that all their products with the WHDI logo will be interoperable. They say we’ll start seeing a variety of products with WHDI technology by 2009.

The revolution has already started. The idea is the brainchild of Amimon, an Israeli company that’s figured out how to move the highest-resolution video around with no added noise, no annoying waiting after you push the Play button, and, eventually, low cost. We’ve already seen products demonstrated using WHDI, including a TV from Sharp now shipping in Japan, a set-top pair from Belkin set for late 2008 release, and a wireless HDTV demo from Sony at CES 2008 in January.

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Nokia N96 spotted

The Inquirer: Hot on the release of the iPhone 3G comes a sequel to Nokia’s reigning king.

The successor to the N95, the N96, will be released in September, on UK mobile network 3, according to T3.

In comparison to its predecessor, the N96 will come with double the maximum storage – 16GB, comparable to the top-spec’d 3G Iphone.

Although the device isn’t touch-screen based, it does sport a 5-megapixel Carl Zeiss camera, with dual LED flash, and comes with instant upload tools for Flickr, Vox, Yahoo! and Google.

It also comes with an expendable memory slot, using MicroSD.

It’ll come coupled with HSDPA (3.5G data rates) and contain an on-board radio.

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Samsung delivers 2nd generation LED-backlit LCD HDTV with new Series 9 LED LCD HDTV

BusinessWire: Samsung unveils the successor to the 81 Series LED LCD HDTV, with the launch of the new Series 9 LED LCD HDTV.

The 2008 flagship Series 9, Samsung’s 2nd generation LCD HDTV to use LED SmartLighting technology, offers consumers the combination of LED and 120Hz technologies, resulting in a 1,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio for a crisp, full HD 1080p picture.

The Series 9 is also distinguished by Samsung’s new addition to the art-inspired ’Touch of Color’ design – an elegantly patterned bezel with charcoal gray accent.

Connecting to external components such as Blu-ray players and HD Camcorders is easier as the Series 9 comes equipped with four (1 side, 3 rear) HDMI-CEC inputs to control the latest home theater products using a single remote.

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Linux could become leading mobile phone OS

PC Advisor: Linux is heading towards becoming the leading OS in mobiles, according to the executive director of the Linux Foundation.

Speaking at the Open Mobile Exchange section of the O’Reilly Open Source Conference (OSCON) in the US, Jim Zemlin, highlighted the trends and technologies that are pushing Linux into a leadership position in mobile systems.

Zemlin said Linux has emerged as a primary platform, even on the desktop, and it has also spread to devices such as gas pumps and medical equipment. Additionally, it is being deployed in Wall Street trading, in consumer electronics, and on Mars in space-based equipment.

“It’s clear that Linux is going to be a leader in the mobile space,” he said.

Linux, according to Zemlin, offers a unified product platform, flexibility, and a software stack. It also has experienced an increase in the volume of software content, with the lines of Linux handset code doubling every year.

“Really, what’s happening in mobile is instead of having a hardware-up approach, you’re starting to see a software-down approach,” with the software experience driving the mobile marketplace, he said.

Symbian’s move to open source has had a negative impact on Windows, leaving it the only royalty-based mobile platform, said Zemlin.

Linux application development is starting to coalesce around initiatives such as Google’s Android and Linux Mobile Foundation (LiMo) , he said. Other Linux efforts are afoot such as Openmmoko, to create a smartphone platform, and Ubuntu Mobile, said Zemlin.

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GPS games coming for the Sony PSP

SlipperyBrick: The Japanese have been using GPS applications on their PSP for awhile, but now it looks like Sony is about to bring it abroad.

They are working on a new game that will take advantage of GPS to give the player a totally unique playing experience no matter where you go or where you are.

The new peripheral will change the dynamics of games on the PSP, or so they hope, opening up new ways to play.

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