Monthly Archives: December 2008

Linn launches the Majik DS digital music player

T3: The Linn Majik DS promises to boost your digital audio to rival or even surpass that of any CD player.

Take your pick from a black or silver finish, both able to hop onto your home network for accessing digital libraries, reproducing WAV, AIFF, MP3, ALAC and ‘studio quality’ FLAC files in audiophile quality.

And if you’re planning a party, all the better – up to 1,000 tracks can be queued up at any one time.

The unit is good for hooking up to an existing audio system or a more simple set-up, thanks to a built-in pre-amp and it’s also Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) compatible.

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UK embraces HD and Digital revolution

HD News: Research published by the TV industry regulator OFCOM details how the UK has embraced the High Definition (HD) and digital revolution.

The UK leads the world with an impressive 86% of UK households now hosting digital TV’s as their main viewing set. The US and France followed with a 70% and 66% take up respectively.

Although High Definition subscribers in the US and Canada accounted for a massive world wide take up of 87% (7.9 million of the total) the UK accounts for over half of the remaining 1.2 million HD subsriptions making it a clear leader in Europe.

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Dolby Volume: next-gen will be MP3 player friendly

Electricpig: Sound sorcerer Dolby has been touting its audio leveling system, Dolby Volume, for some time now, but we’ve found out that the company is planning a smaller chip ideal for MP3 players.

At a demonstration of Dolby’s first gen Volume system – which works with TVs to automatically adjust volume levels – the director of sales for Europe and the Middle East, Andy Dowell, told us that the company is planning “an optimised second generation version” with “smaller chips”.

Currently, only a select few set-top machines from the likes of Toshiba are capable of running the technology, but Dowell said that “portable music devices [and] portable media players will benefit a lot from the next gen version.”

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Samsung YP-T9: another stellar music player

Audio News: The YP–T9 is a multifunctional MP3 player from Samsung which adapts a completely tactical approach. It has a lot of strong features that are incorporated into this small unit.

This MP3 player features 4GB of memory storage, 30 hours of playback time and 1.8inch LCD screen with QCIF resolution and 256K colour. It supports MP3, WMA audio files, MPEG video playback, text files, JPEG files and flash games.

It’s an addition to the MP3 players to add text as well as the flash games as one of the features. It also incorporates an FM tuner.

The YP–T9 has a plastic body with a silver frame on the bottom and the side edges and the black and the front surfaces are hard and reflective.

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Japanese company sells € 133,150 glass speaker set

CrunchGear: Tokyo-based glassware manufacturer Hario (which means “the king of glass”) unveiled a newly developed set of glass speakers that costs 16 million yen (€ 133,150).

The so-called Harion speakers are made of heat-resistant material and took three years and eight months to design and produce.

It took 23 subcontractors to create the hand-made set. The company claims it’s the first resistant-glass model of its kind.

The set consists of two middle range speakers, one woofer, one center speaker and two tweeters.

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Nokia slips out 2608 fashion phone

Electronista: Nokia in a low-key launch yesterday rolled out the 2608.

The clamshell targets the budget world but also claims a certain amount of fashion consciousness.

It has a striped outer shell, deliberately angular edges and colors that include fuchsia as well as black and a two-tone black-on-white.

The 2608 relies on an FM radio for music and touts features such as a built-in flashlight as well as basic support for web browsing and sending business information over SMS.

The phone runs on CDMA networks.

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Another Aquos TV is born

Register Hardware: Sharp has expanded its Aquos TV range with a 46in model. The LC-46D65E boasts full 1080p support and although its 20,000:1 contrast ratio isn’t the highest we’ve seen before, the set should ensure a vivid on-screen display thanks to its 450cd/m² brightness.

You can also play music and view still images through the set’s built-in USB port. Around the back of the TV, three HDMI ports are to be found. Two Scart ports also feature.

A pair of hidden 10W Dolby Digital speakers provide “sound that is as clear as the on screen image”, Sharp said.

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Full HD TV video coming to mobile phones

Techradar: If it isn’t already obvious from the megapixel measuring contest phone makers indulge themselves in that phone imaging is the next big battleground, then this announcement from Renesas will make that doubly clear.

The Japanese chip specialist has one-upped all the competition by going not for more pixels per picture, but for a processor package that will allow cameraphones to shoot proper high-definition video.

Its new application processor will be made public at a trade show in San Francisco in February, but it has revealed most of the details to whet the appetite.

The CPU will run at up to 500MHz, which is enough to process 1920x1080p video at 30fps. That video can be encoded in any of AVC/H.264, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 video formats.

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EU laws to cut roaming costs by july 2009

ITProPortal: The European Union will cap the price of interrnational roaming charges for mobile phones to 0.14 Euros across all 27 member-states of the Union starting from 1st July 2009 although that is subject to intra-state negotiations.

The changes, which are set to become law, were brought forth not only to protect European customers but also to speed up the adoption of data roaming services across Europe.

EU Telecom ministers backed, although not unanimously, the proposal by EU Telecommunications Commissioner Viviane Reding which also wants to set caps on data transfers which are currently unregulated.

Inter-operators roaming fees will be fixed at one Euro per MB with a data usage limit for users of 50MB, possibly with alerts over the possible exorbitant fees that they could incur should they ignore the limit. Text roaming prices are also set to go down substantially, from the current 0.29 Euros to 0.11 Euros plus VAT.

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Energy Sistem rolls out 4040 Touch PMP

Engadget: As far as PMPs off the beaten path go, Energy Sistem’s always seem to be a slight cut above the rest, and it’s new 4040 Touch looks to be no exception, with it packing some reasonably high-end features into a bargain-priced but not too cheap-looking package.

That includes a 2.8-inch QVGA touchscreen, 16GB of storage, a microSD card slot for further expansion, a built-in microphone, an FM tuner, support for most of the usual audio and video formats, and even support for Microsoft’s PlayFX, all for a fairly reasonable €120.

If that’s more than you need, the company apparently also recently rolled out its 5020 and 5021 models, which drop the touchscreen and cut the storage down to 4GB, and the price down to €85.

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First Dolby HDR TV scheduled for early 2009

Electricpig: You may know Dolby best for its surround sound technology, but the company’s on the cutting edge of high-def video rendering too.

Its latest system, Dolby HDR, uses LED backlighting to push contrast ratios to the max, and we’ve just heard that the first gogglebox it’ll be garnishing will be out Q1 next year.

Dolby has been working with Italian projector company Sim2 on a prototype TV that uses individual LEDs behind the screen, rather than a uniform CCFL panel to give massive contrast ratios on screen at the same time (50,000:1), but Dolby’s director of sales for Europe and the Middle East, Andy Dowell, told us a consumer version will be out by “Q1 2009″.

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Christian Dior mobile phone breaks cover

T3: Releasing a mobile phone with a $28,360 (22,340 Euros) price tag might not seem like the best idea in these troubled times, but when we tell you this is the Christian Dior mobile phone, you’ll probably realise it isn’t aimed at the likes of us.

Movie moguls, Russian billionaires and footballers will no doubt be all over it, loving the choice of crocodile skin or Swarovski crystal finish, whilst no doubt being slightly disappointed by the paltry 2MP camera and 2.6-inch screen if they have an ounce of intelligence.

But don’t be too downhearted, apparently ModeLabs has spend several million Euros on research and development, so there might be a few whizzy features on-board when you finally get to rip open the box.

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