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The luxury electronics maker Marantz has released a new version of its flagship DLP projector, the VP11. The VP11S1BL is similar in many regards to its predecessor, but has been upgraded to support HDMI 1.3, which more than doubles bandwidth, and enables DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD sound (used by HD movie players) with external AV receivers.
Marantz has specifically chosen to add Deep Color, which enables color gamuts beyond the standard 24-bit sRGB and YCbCR modes on most TVs. Other features of the projector include a 0.95 dot pitch, 6,500:1 contrast, and what Marantz will only call an "improved 6x color wheel." The standard projector costs $20,000; a version with longer throw costs $22,000.
The next major manufacturer to use LED backlights will be Hewlett-Packard, according to the Taiwanese site DigiTimes. Reports indicate that AU Optronics and Chi Mei Optoelectronics are building 12.1-inch panels, which will be delivered to HP in June, in time for a new laptop release in the third quarter. Dell is said to be likely following suit, although this is unconfirmed. LED backlighting is more power-efficent than the standard cathode lamp, and also produces more vivid colors; it is however rare, with companies like Apple only just beginning to lay down plans.
Audio specialist Denon is showing an upcoming, high-end AV receiver, the AVR-4308, at current tradeshow in Munich. Though its specifications are generally secret, it appears to be related to the AVR-4306, and is known to support abilities such Wi-Fi, DAB radio and some form of 7.1 surround sound. The company is also giving the receiver a "softer" look, and it will probably carry on the policy of merely upscaling DVD video rather than following Blu-Ray or HD DVD.
Perhaps the most interesting feature is an original, "photo-real" graphical interface, which should further separate the 4308 from earlier products and many competitors. The receiver will launch in Europe in September for £2,000 ($3,955). [via Pocket-lint]
HP on Thursday began shipping its 2007 HDTV line of LCDs and plasmas, including its first 1080p direct-view LCD sets. The 42-inch LC4276N and 47-inch LC4776N each achieve the full HD resolution and claim a 1,200:1 static contrast ratio as well as three HDMI ports, a VGA connector for PCs, and an RS232 serial port for automated home theaters. The TVs ship for $1,899 and $2,499 at their respective sizes.
Two smaller, 720p sets have also been released, HP says. The LC3272 and LC3772 put out the mid-range HD resolution at 32 and 37 inches each with the same expansion options. The company sells them at $899 for the smaller 32-inch set and $1,199 for its larger sibling.
One of Sony-Ericsson's flagship Walkman phones has leaked online today through an auction. Selling from a Polish firm named Artkom, the K123i is reportedly a prototype of a future W-series slider nicknamed the Shinobu. Unique to the phone and its eventual production version is one of the first 16.7-million full color LCD in a Sony-Ericsson phone, say reports; it should also have HSDPA for 3G wireless and a front camera to match for video calls on supporting networks. A 2-megapixel camera will face the rear in the 0.49-inch thick device.
JVC today launched a surprise refresh of its 1080p Series LCD TV sets with three new models that pack a brand new display engine. The High Speed 2 display range has a new engine, dubbed Clear Motion Drive II, that better handles fast movement. While an earlier set already produced twice the refresh rate at 120Hz, the technology for the new models is said to dramatically improve processing by interpolating on-screen movement in any direction using 8,000 surrounding pixels and adapting the technology to a full HD, 1080p panel. The upgrade is so quick, JVC says, that one of its 120Hz panels with an 8ms pixel response could beat a 60Hz set with no pixel lag whatsoever.
Trekstor has started selling the MovieStation maxi t.u., a new media server with an extremely high capacity. Whereas the Apple TV can only hold 40GB by default, the t.u. starts at 250GB, and can be bought in even bigger versions reaching up to 500GB. The server is also graced with better video codec support, allowing AVI, DivX and XviD, as well as MPEG-1/2/4. Audio codecs include MP3, OGG, WAV and WMA, but not AAC.
Ricavision has just entered the eBook business through its Home E-Reader. Rather than depend solely on customized PC software to load the device with books or other documents, the reader uses Windows Vista's SideShow technology to synchronize; it can store files for offline viewing but also make a wireless connection to its host to get files directly through the network. Also a departure from the norm is a stylus for making notes that can be synchronized on the E-Reader's next contact with the PC, Ricavision says. As with many readers, the device uses eInk to dramatically reduce power consumption and last thousands of pages before a recharge is necessary.
Despite its imminent release in June, the iPhone has only just received the seal of approval, according to a document published by the FCC. The Apple device was tested as of March for the safety of its wireless elements, such as its GSM and Wi-Fi transmitters. Most notable may not be what is in the report, but rather what has been left out, the details show. Apple in its submission sent the FCC a special confidentiality letter requesting that no photos of the product or manual be made public for 45 days after approval, breaking with practices often seen with other manufacturers.
LG today revealed a Westernized version of the FM37, a major change in its approach to media players. Nicknamed the Touch Me, the device still features a 2.4-inch touchscreen for controlling playback and support for MP3/OGG/WMA tracks as well as H.264, MPEG-4, and WMV movies. In contrast to its Korean edition, however, the FM37 drops the country-specific DMB digital TV tuner in favor of a more universal FM receiver with recording packed in. Its battery is capable of 20 straight hours of music or three hours of video.
Toshiba on Thursday catered to its more serious audience with the Satellite T30, a special Japan-oriented system for business. The line is split into two models for both essentialist users as well as those who need an extra level of speed: the base system ships with a 1.6GHz Celeron M, 512MB of RAM, and an 80GB drive; a next step up adds a much faster 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo as well as a more advanced mainboard for better performance. Either system can be custom-configured with more as the situation demands, according to Toshiba.
The partnership of LG.Philips LCD claims it has made a significant breakthrough in the realm of AMOLED (active matrix OLED) displays. It is said to have produced the first full-color, flexible AMOLED display using amorphous silicon (a-Si), which is important not so much for the material's capabilities, but its manufacturing benefits -- unlike many OLED screens, the new one can be made in existing TFT-LCD plants. This should reduce the current high production costs. LG.Philips' test screen measures four inches, and displays images at QVGA (320x240) resolution with over 16.7 million colors. There are no (known) plans for any commercial use.
Sony will have an online shop for its PSP handheld, the company has confirmed at its Gamers Day event in San Diego. While owners of its much larger PS3 console have had access to an online PlayStation Store since the November launch, the PSP has been excluded from using its Wi-Fi for such a service despite launching in 2004. SCEA head Jack Tretton admitted frustration with the PSP's artificially limited connection options when speaking with journalists.
"I think the advent of a long awaited and quite frankly long overdue ability to deliver a downloadable service for the PSP will help us out a great deal," he said.
Clevo today revealed a notebook faster still than a model previewed just several weeks before. The D901C is officially only a slight variant on the 17-inch D900C shown in March, complete with the choice of desktop Core 2 processors and up to three hard drives. New, however, is the option of a new NVIDIA graphics chip, according to sources familiar with the design. To be released in three weeks, the 8700M GT will be faster still than the 8600M GT introduced last week and is said be clocked high enough to double the last-generation GeForce Go 7600 GT's benchmark performance. An even faster 8800M is also due later, say others.
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) today unveiled its HomeDock Music Remote, a remote control enabling users to connect an iPod to a home stereo and roam freely about the housewhile viewing and controlling music. The new remote includes a slim, compact OLED display to show which song is playing. Users simply dock an iPod and download song as well as playlist information to the remote, allowing users to view and navigate selected iPod playlists and artists from anywhere within 150 feet. Users can also create on-the-fly playlists containing up to 10 tracks via a special "Jukebox" feature, according to the company. DLO's HomeDock remote uses RF signals to work through walls and ceilings. The HomeDock Music Remote is priced at $130, and is available from Apple retail stores and DLO.com.
Apple may have developed a solution to the increasingly confined spaces of thin and light notebooks, according to one of its new patents. Though titled only a "Computer Enclosure," the technique -- filed as a continuation patent in December and granted today -- hopes to overcome the structural limits of most of today's notebooks. Most are usually either thin and light but susceptible to bending, Apple said, or else are thick and depend heavily on screws or other fasteners to keep the body intact, cutting down on available space for hardware inside.
NitroAV has started shipping a new device in its SATAStar line, the 2-Port eSATA II Professional ExpressCard Interface Adapter. As its name implies, it enables laptops with ExpressCard slots to connect up to two external SATA devices, such as hard drives. Its 34mm format means it can be used with Apple's MacBook Pro, and because it makes use of SATA II, it can transfer at speeds of up to 3Gbs. Aside from Macs, the adapter should also be compatible with any Windows or Linux system with the appropriate port. It is being priced at $70.
Nokia's upcoming 8600 handset has been all but confirmed, courtesy of a new forum leak. Nicknamed the Luna, the will be a simpler version of the 8800 Sirocco that places the controls on top of the unique slider rather than hiding them underneath, keeping basic controls intact even when the shell is closed. Nokia is also said to envision the 8600 as bringing the 8800's features to the mid-range; accordingly, the leaked device is now known to have both a 2-megapixel camera, EDGE Internet access, and Bluetooth.
Following the release of the TZ, Sony today also improved two of its larger systems, pointing to future North American updates. The VAIO RM desktop now has as its base Intel's updated version of the 1.86GHz desktop Core 2 Duo with a full 4MB of level 2 cache; it also has the choice of a GeForce 8600 GTS versus the earlier 7600 GS, stepping up performance for optional Blu-Ray movie support as well as 3D. The system starts at $1,574 but climbs to $2,402 in its peak model.
Samsung on Thursday revealed that it had developed a record-setting microSD card. Topping out at 8GB, the storage will let music phones hold roughly four times the data of most cards in shops today -- up to 5 DVD-level movies, the company says. The increase in memory density also gives the card a speed increase well beyond most microSD cards. Where most of the miniature cards can only write at 2MB per second, the 8GB model achieves a 6MB speed that matches the Class 6 performance of some of the best full-size SD and SDHC cards. Reading data is faster still at 16MB per second.
Sony today chose its home country to introduce the TZ, its replacement for the ultraportable TX. As revealed in earlier product shots, the TZ is slimmer even than its predecessor (under 0.9 inches at its thinnest point) thanks to a newer shell. The keyboard is also MacBook-inspired and rises through the top shell to prevent spills.
New in the official release, however, is a unique storage option. Custom orders can not only install a 32GB solid-state disk but also swap the standard DVD-RW drive for a standard 160GB hard disk, offering both the speed of flash and the extra space of magnetic storage.
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