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Sony this week at InfoComm unveiled its new lineup of business-class LCD projectors, some of which feature the company's BrightEra imaging technology. BrightEra provides a higher aperture ratio to deliver brighter images than the previous High Temperature Poly-Silicon-based LCD systems, with a high resolution and low fan noise. Most of the models are currently shipping, with two set to be available in November this year.
Rogers Wireless and its sub-brand Fido will nearly match AT&T's pricing when they begin selling the iPhone 3G next month, according to a leaked data sheet said to have been sent out to employees of the two carriers. The sheet points to a standard personal account requiring a $30 data plan like that of AT&T that would provide unlimited access to at least the web, normal e-mail, and Visual Voicemail when linked to a phone plan that includes voice messages. Corporate users would likewise pay $45 per month for similar offerings plus access to work e-mail.
China's Intellectual Property Office is investigating Microsoft after years of the software giant abusing its dominance of the software market, allegedly without its own knowledge. AFP writes that the Windows developer, among several other firms, is being targeted, due to its monopolistic behaviour; Microsoft Office, for example, sells for up to 7000 yuan (over $1000 US), more expensive than a PC. The Chinese authority is currently investigating the matter.
An entry on Sony's PlayStation Blog by Eric Lempel, Director of PlayStation Netowrk Operations, today revealed the electronics giant will soon launch a couple of software updates for its PlayStation 3 gaming console. The first update, version 2.36, will reportedly fix some bugs users experienced when playing certain PlayStation titles. The one to wait for, however, is 2.40, which will bring the long-anticipated XMB in-game main menu interface, as well as a Trophies feature previously undescribed by the console maker.
Sanyo unveiled the CE52SR1 52-inch LCD monitor at Infocomm 2008 today. The monitor's headline-grabbing feature is its usability in outdoor environments, thanks to marine-grade construction and an LCD that is legible in direct sunlight thanks to 1500 cd/m2 brightness. The second-generation monitor is meant for commercial applications and will support 1080p HD (1920x1080) resolution and features a 6.5ms pixel response time suitable for fast movements in video.
Sanyo today announced it will release its new ultra-short throw projector, the PLC-XL51. Capable of projecting an image up to 80 inches in size from about 3 inches away at 1024x768 (XGA) resolution, the new projector features some upgrades over the PLC-XL50. These include a higher brightness (2,700 lumens vs 2,000), an SD memory card slot for PC-free presentations and network capabilities.
Sprint's long-delayed full rollout of its Xohm WiMAX Internet service should start in September, company chief technical officer Barry West said Wednesday at the WiMAX Forum's Global Congress event. The executive now claims that the 4G-class wireless network will start its normal, paid business in September with a first run in Baltimore; Chicago and Washington DC, which have also participated in early trials, will see their networks opened to the public sometime in the fall. Other cities should come soon after, West says.
YouTube has begun letting companies offer videos longer than the official 10 minutes on its site, according to a memo allegedly being sent to these firms. The message gives those with official presences on the video website permission to post videos that fit within a 1GB file size cap as well as to attach advertising to those clips. The reported official move follows known experiments that have included both the release of an independent movie last year and the more recent promotional release of an episode of The Tudors.
Microsoft should divert some of its attention away from Google and concentrate on Apple, argues the Wall Street Journal. Although Microsoft faces stiff competition from Google, particularly after the latter's deals with DoubleClick and Yahoo, Apple is said to be rapidly encroaching on territory once held sacred, such as the smartphone market. Apple has the attention of the American public whereas Microsoft does not, the Journal writes. Windows Mobile is used on a number of third-party smartphones, but these are already losing some ground to the iPhone.
Dell is charging some customers as much as $50 to switch from Windows Vista to XP on their systems, according to the company. Buyers picking a system from the company's Vostro business line can choose to install XP Professional instead of Vista Business but must pay an additional $50 beyond the price it takes to upgrade to Vista Business itself. Users face a reduced fee for the downgrade if moving from Vista Ultimate but still pay more than for the upgrade to a higher Vista edition than what comes preloaded on the system.
Kaleidescape, a builder of server-based home theater systems, has released two expansion units for its platform. The 1080p Player is designed to slot into a 1U rack, and upscales to maximum possible resolution, whether sourcing movies from digital copies or DVDs loaded into its optical drive. Internal processing handles functions such as automatic widescreen enlargement, and users can import movies and music directly from the Player, without having to walk over to another unit.
At today's ongoing InfoComm expo, Texas Instruments is demonstrating a new projector technology (not pictured) which it claims will significantly improve home theater setups. Combining a PhlatLight LED with a BrilliantColor chipset, the TI arrangement completely omits a lamp, instead relying on mirrors and the LED itself to provide enough light. The major advantage is said to be a lack of lamp replacements and filter changes, which can potentially be expensive for home viewers.
Despite the relative success of the iPod in Japan, the iPhone 3G isn't likely to get an immediate footing in the country, according to a new iSHARE study. Of the Japanese adults polled, 91 percent say they have no plans to buy the device when it becomes available on July 11th. Of the remaining nine percent, nearly all (8.9 percent of the total) said they planned to purchase the device. Slightly under half of these are users already signed up for SoftBank, the carrier picked for the initial Japanese launch.
Toshiba today unveiled two new mobile DLP projectors, made up of the TDP-XP1U and TDP-XP2U. Both sport 1024x768 (XGA) resolution, a 4:3 aspect ratio, and a 2000:1 contrast ratio. The only difference between the two mobile projectors is their lamp, with the TDP-XP2U's endowing it with a higher 2,500 lumens brightness compared to the former's 2,200 rating.
Contributing its own share to a slew of announcements from the InfoComm show, ViewSonic today added its brightest-ever projector to its PJ series. The PJ1173 pushes brightness to 5,000 lumens and is clear enough (combined with 1,000:1 contrast) that the image should retain its original sharpness and colors even when in the normally-lit environments that wash out other projectors' images.
Sprint today made the surprise announcement that the Samsung Instinct will sell for $130 on its June 20th launch date. The two-year contract price comes just over a week following the introduction of the rival iPhone 3G and significantly undercuts both the Apple device as well as an internal memo at the carrier which had suggested the same $199 subsidized price as for the iPhone. Sprint's price notably comes after an unusually steep $100 mail-in rebate and points to a more expensive price for the touchscreen phone outside of the deal.
Verizon today it would upgrade all the speeds for its FIOS fiber-optic service nationwide, giving users in all 16 states the same speeds that were previously reserved only for the most competitive areas. All of FIOS' 16 states now have access to up to 50Mbps downloads with 20Mbps uploads at the highest-end, $140 monthly tier ($90 in New York state and Virginia) versus the 30/15 services that were used for most regions; the synchronous 15/15 service is also slightly faster at 20/20 across those areas without changing the $65 monthly rate.
Western Digital is today expanding its MyBook line with its first truly redundant backup drive. Instead of simply using additional drives for extra capacity, the MyBook Mirror Edition comes out of the box set up in a RAID 1 mirror that automatically backs up one drive's information on the second. The layout can be used either to rely solely on an external drive for certain data or to add a second layer to an existing backup. The casing is accessible and lets users swap out the drives either to replace a damaged drive or to swap both drives in the future.
NEC today contributed its share to the InfoComm expo with the EA261WM, a new 26-inch LCD it targets at the workplace but which is also usable at home. The design is relatively accurate with coverage for 92 percent of the NTSC color gamut and a 1,000:1 contrast ratio in spite of its relative size and a 5ms pixel response time. The professional black bezel also hides downward-firing stereo speakers for users who might not have space for separate speakers.
Panasonic on Wednesday broke word of two HD camcorders that use a brand new technology to improve their shooting in low lighting. The hybrid 60GB/SDHC HS100 camera and its SDHC-only SD100 equivalent use a new sensor technology known as 3MOS: effectively substituting CMOS sensors in place of a more typical 3CCD arrangement, the technique allows twice as much light in as a CCD while keeping the color reception that comes with more than one sensor. Either camera can shoot in as little as 2 lux of light, Panasonic says.
Sanyo today hopes to alter the landscape for projectors with a new addition to its semi-portable lineup. The PLC-XP200L is claimed to be the first 4LCD projector anywhere and adds a fourth, color management panel to the standard red, green and blue of a typical 3LCD unit. The extra component balances yellows and thus prevents colors from suffering as the projector gets brighter. That lets the XP200L push its brightness up to an extremely high 7,000 lumens of brightness without shedding precise color or losing the effects of a 2,200:1 contrast ratio, according to Sanyo.
Gefen has announced the availability of its new DVI-1500D DVI extender system, designed to offer a DVI cable extension of over 500 meters without signal loss or delay. Leveraging both sender and receiver units connected to the data source and display location, the solution connects via 4-Link LC-LC multimode fibre cable and can deliver hi-def video at full 1080p or 1920x1200, for up to 500 meters. According to the company, HDCP-compliant video also may be extended through the system using a CAT-5 cable -- up to a distance of 100 meters for DDC transmission.
After reported success in Europe, the Flybook V5 ultra-portable tablet PC is coming to the US, offering users similar technology to that found in the MacBook Air. According to Wired, the device features a 1.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo ULV U7600, a processor which places it in the same power class as Apple's ultraportable. Flybook includes Microsoft Windows Vista Business Edition, running on 4GB of memory, an 80GB hard drive, and an 8.9-inch screen touchscreen that is usable with fingers.
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