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The Consumer Electronics Association today announced the lineup of keynote address speakers for the 2009 CES tradeshow to be held in Las Vegas from January 8-11; Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, Sony's Sir Howard Stringer, and Ford's Alan Mulally.The change of Microsoft's representative speaker is symbolic of Gate's retirement, announced at his 11th and final keynote address at the 2008 CES. The torch has been officially handed to Ballmer as Gates continues his two year transition from full time participation.
Westinghouse on Thursday broke some new ground with its VK40F580D HDTV, the first from the company to feature a built-in DVD player. Unlike most such combos, the DVDs slide in via a front-mounted drive, and not on a side-mounted and reportedly harder-to-reach slot. The 40-inch LCD HDTV delivers 1080p resolution via its two HDMI inputs, and also sports a USB port for connecting portable or flash memory drives, digital cameras or digital audio players, among other compatible devices.
Plantronics today announced the GameCom 777 headset, the newest addition to its gaming line. A USB sound chipset inside the set processes Dolby Headphone for enhanced stereo listening and Dolby Pro Logic II for virtual 5.1 surround sound. For multi-player games with voice communication, a sound canceling boom microphone can be rotated out of the headband or tucked away for listening alone.
Anchor Bay Technologies on Friday announced it will soon release its DVDO EDGE 1080p upscaling video processor for home theaters. The audiovisual hub includes six HDMI 1.3 Deep Color inputs, two HDMI 1.3 outputs and a full complement of various other analog and digital A/V connections. It upscales video content thanks to Anchor Bay's Video Reference Series technologies, which include 10-bit de-interlacing and progressive reprocessing of files that would otherwise deinterlace poorly.
Epson has introduced a trio of new projectors at the IFA show in Berlin on Friday, including a new top-end model. The new LCD home theater projector, the EH-TW5000, features a record 75,000:1 contrast ratio and uses a new iteration of 3LCD technology that compares well against DLP technology in some of its rivals. The new Epson projector features 1,600 ANSI lumens brightness and will deliver 1080p video, while its 12-bit HQV video processor is said to lift picture quality.
NVIDIA's widely publicized video chip failures may also touch on the most recent GeForce 9 series as well as older models, if data leaked to The Inquirer are authentic. The documents allege that NVIDIA has ordered a change in conductor material to fix the problem not only for GeForce 8 cards made on a 65 nanometer process, such as the 8800 GT, but also many cards using the newer 55 nanometer technique for the same chips; this would expand the failures to include most GeForce 9 series parts
T-Mobile hopes to sell over half a million G1 Android phones before the end of the year, according to estimates reportedly supplied to AndroidGuys. The figures would have T-Mobile preparing to add about 200,000 new customers through selling the G1 as well as 40,000 incremental additions. As many as 278,000 of the buyers would be owners renewing their contracts to upgrade to the device, bringing the total to about 518,000 of the HTC-made devices.
BenQ is wrapping up its week with the addition of a new entry-level projector. The Taiwan-area company's MP513 DLP projector is being sold equally to home theater users as well as business users but centers primarily on its quietness. A mix of dampers and better airflow keep the device's noise output down to 26 decibels in its low-power mode and prevents its incidental sounds from overriding movies or presentations.
LG's Swedish website has revealed the company's new DVD player, the DVS450H. The player separates itself from ordinary readers using a top-mounted loader and eliminating all but a thin slice of the cabinet for controls. To give users options of showing off its new player, LG ensured the DVS450H can be mounted vertically or horizontally, as well as on walls.
Fujitsu is taking its first steps into the realm of netbooks like the Eee PC and Aspire One, reports indicate. The Amilo Mini Ui 3520 (photo below) is an 8.9-inch system, and relies on a 1.6GHz Atom processor, along with 1GB of RAM. Unlike some other netbooks however, there is said to be no Linux option for its operating system, only Windows XP Home.
Developers from Japanese firm Teraokaseiko today demonstrated one of the few examples of a touchscreen where both sides of the surface are controllable. The screen mounts two resistive (pressure-driven) touchscreens on either side of a transparent display, allowing users on either end to control events onscreen while seeing actions on the other side. Basic multi-touch would also be supported with pinching gestures supported alongside usual tapping and dragging.
Sony Ericsson today confirmed through talks with Engadget the existence of a delay for the XPERIA X1. A company spokesman at the IFA technology show indicates that the company's first primarily touch-driven phone has moved from its generic launch window in the second half of 2008 to December or potentially January 2009, delaying the launch to almost a year after it was first announced.
In terms of individual brands, the Mac is currently the most sought-after computer in the US, according to ChangeWave Research. The group conducted a survey of over 4,000 Americans earlier this month, and discovered that of those planning to buy a computer in the next three months, 32 percent wanted some form of Mac. Apple is in fact the only company to have grown demand in both the desktop and notebook realms since July, pushing the former from 27 percent to 30, and the latter from 30 percent to 32.
Altec Lansing, a subsidiary of Plantronics, took the opportunity offered by Berlin's IFA 2008 show to unveil its FX3022 speaker system earlier this week. The system is labeled as a 2.2-channel set-up, meaning it has two 1.5-inch drivers to reproduce the mid- and high-sound frequencies and a couple of 4-inch down-firing subwoofers to deliver the low-tone bass frequencies.
The IEEE standards group has approved 802.11r, a new variant on Wi-Fi designed to support roaming between access points. Also called Fast Basic Service Set Transition, the technology is designed to keep a secure Wi-Fi connection active by anticipating the needed security settings at the next access point. The format can determine the security settings and quality of service info for the next access point before actually hopping to the next point and thus reduces the delay in switching networks to where time-sensitive apps will remain active.
Harman Kardon revealed a pair of new products on Friday, at the opening day of the IFA show in Berlin. Predominantly meant for Mac and iPod users, the GLA-55 speaker system does include a 3.5mm audio jack. It is powered by a 100 watt digital amplifier and sports a DSP equalizer. The audio set-up's name undoubtedly comes from its original plastic casing, which shows off the speakers' magnets and wiring quite elegantly.
Samsung this morning expanded its MP3 player range with two devices previously hinted at in the past. Standing as the mid-range device, the YP-Q1 (shown) is the first player from Samsung with the company's in-house DNSe 3 audio engine, which like Creative's X-Fi is said to restore missing detail from compressed songs. It also claims a simple, illuminated D-pad interface and a 2.4-inch LCD comparatively large for flash-based players.
AT&T's long-delayed BlackBerry Bold launch may not take place until October, according to a tip allegedly given to BGR by higher-placed sources at AT&T. RIM's first GSM-based smartphone with 3G is now said not to be due for the carrier's retail locations until October 2nd, or almost five months after the device was first promised as the American carrier's exclusive in May.
Samsung's presence at IFA continued today with a pair of new LCD displays designed to eliminate ghosting almost entirely from computer screens. Both the 2233Hz and 2243Hz claim 22-inch panels with a 5ms gray-to-gray response time but also improve the poorer black-to-white response time that many LCD makers often omit from their specifications; a new imaging engine cuts the full pixel response time from 27ms to 9ms and should similarly trim down the amount of visual artifacts in extreme color changes during movement.
Using the start of the IFA show to its advantage, ASUS today started up its Bamboo Series of notebooks. Based loosely on the company's earlier EcoBook concept, the design is seen as the first truly green notebook in its use of actual bamboo for much of the outer shell; the unusually strong wood is not only more recyclable but also much more renewable than normal tree wood. It can also be treated to produce different colors or laser-engraved like metal notebooks.
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