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Official details have slipped tonight for Sprint's version of the HTC Touch Diamond. The carrier's edition of the Windows Mobile 6.1 smartphone varies slightly from the Telus edition already available outside of the US and comes with a red-tinted back as well as a customized Sprint version of the TouchFLO interface with access to some more carrier-specific features. Other features remain the same and include a 3.2-megapixel camera, 4GB of internal storage and custom clients for media playback as well as YouTube videos. Opera Mobile also remains preloaded to offer a more complete browsing experience than Internet Explorer's mobile edition.
Thiel Audio has announced its new multi-channel plug-and-play distributed audio system, Zöet. Location determination and communication between the self powered Zöet speakers and the dB1 distribution processor can use Thiel's wireless network, claimed to be lossless, a home Ethernet network, or a combination of both as needed. Thiel claims the system can be set up and running in less than an hour using just its simple remote control.
Amazon tonight launched the finished version of Amazon Video on Demand, the streaming version of its online video service. The official launch moves beyond the beta stage and lets any Mac or Windows PC purchase, rent and watch movies and TV shows directly from the browser, bypassing the Windows-only nature of the company's Unbox software. It also delivers a beta version of a promised link to Sony's BRAVIA TVs equipped with the Internet Video Link add-on and gives the TVs the same purchasing and renting privileges as a computer.
Sony has introduced a multitude of products for multi-room home theater integration. Two new receivers, the STR-DA6400ES and STR-DA5400ES allow HD audio/video transmission to a second room. Products in the new HomeShare HD line can be used to distribute entertainment into 16 zones, with four zones of HD video. For custom installed home entertainment and automation, Sony has unveiled new rack systems, the NHS-70c and NHS-A30C, combining whole home HD capabilities with integrated controls for movies, music, lighting, temperature, and security systems.
Panasonic has announced the US launch of its DMP-BD35/DMP-BD55 Blu-Ray players and PZ850 series HD plasma TVs. The two new Blu-Ray players will be the upgrades of the BD30 and BD50. Both feature the PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus, claimed by Panasonic to offer color compensation that presents vivid colors very close to the original. Full HD 1080p resolution at 24fps is supported, with upscaling for standard DVDs. Both audio and video are processed through UniPhier, a 45nm integrated chip.
Sony on Wednesday unveiled three new all-in-one VAIO PCs - the JS, LV, and RT - offering users a space-saving, albeit full-featured design, featuring options for an integrated Blu-ray reader. The entry-level JS does not come with Blu-ray by default, but can be added in as a configurable option. It offers a 20.1-inch LCD, an integrated mic and web cam with face tracking, and comes preloaded with Windows Vista. The VAIO JS is available in black, silver, or pink from $1,000.
LG on Wednesday announced more details regarding the launch of its BD300 Blu-Ray/Netflix player. The SRP will be $400, which falls in line with the original company claim of "under $500." Although an exact day was not given, the BD300 will be available from retailers in October. The price compares to the PS3 for a Blu-Ray multi-function player, offering streaming Netflix support instead of gaming capabilities.
Microsoft today confirmed heavily reported price cuts for the Xbox 360 in the US following recently official moves in Japan. The base Xbox 360 Arcade is now the least expensive current-generation console and keeps to its 512MB memory card and absence of other extras to reach $199; the upgraded Xbox 360 Pro with a 60GB hard drive drops by $50 to sell for $299, while the black Elite console with a 120GB hard drive has been reduced by a similar amount to $399.
Recordare has unveiled the newest version of its Sibelius plug-in, Dolet 4. The plug in now allows users to save notation in the open MusicXML 2.0 format for sharing with other programs including Finale and Cubase. Previously, users could import MusicXML to Sibelius but not save as that format. The XML music format allows levels of notation detail much closer to a written score compared to MIDI files, which do not support many of the intricacies.
Averatec today introduced its second all-in-one PC ever this afternoon with the A1. Rather than compete directly against the iMac and similar rivals as it does with its self-descriptive All In One PC, the A1 is an atypical cross between nettops and normal desktops with an 18.4-inch, 1680x945 16:9 ratio display and a DVD burner but a 1.6GHz Atom processor, 1GB of memory and a 160GB hard drive.
Panasonic this afternoon used the CEDIA home theater expo to update its AE series with a new high-end home theater projector. Replacing the AE2000U, the AE3000U nearly quadruples the contrast ratio from 16,000:1 to 60,000:1 courtesy of both new imaging hardware and new contrast plates that cut out unnecessary light from the image; a new polarizing filter also boosts the brightness slightly from 1,500 lumens to 1,600.
Seal Shield has unveiled its latest antimicrobial keyboard, the Silver Seal Flex. The keyboard is constructed from flexible silicone, allowing it to be rolled up for transportation and making it waterproof enough for submersion and even dishwasher cleaning. The connecting cable is also designed to be safer with a six-inch section attached to the device while an eight-foot section stays attached to the computer's USB or PS/2 port.
Sony and portable flash drive maker PNY on Wednesday announced they are collaborating on the release of a 2GB flash drive that come preloaded with the 1984 blockbuster Ghostbusters. The two companies claim to be the first to release a full-length movie in such a method. Sony and PNY promises users will be able to watch the movie on their PCs or laptops, though whether it can be copied onto the computer and stored for uses in other devices or multiple devices is unknown but unlikely given copyright concerns.
Mitsubishi Digital Electronics unveiled three high-end 1080p home theater projectors at the CEDIA Expo that opens on Thursday, including the HC8000, HC7000U and HC6500U. The HC8000 is the electronics giant's first ultra-bright 1080p HD projector, meant for use in brighter home environments thanks to its rated 5,000 ANSI lumens. It uses three 1.1-inch 3LCD inorganic panels to create 1920x1080 images. Its connections include a DVI connector with an HDMI-to-DVI adapter.
NEC on Wednesday introduced new entrly-level LCD projectors to add to its NP line, including the NP400, NP500, NP500W and NP600. The new products feature 1024x768 native resolution, with the NP500W upping it to 1280x800. All four are meant for use in classrooms, during meetings and training sessions thanks to their Ethernet network connections, closed captioning systems and a comparatively loud built-in 7-watt speaker.
Dell isn't planning to again produce its own smartphones or similar handheld devices "in the near term," company chief Michael Dell said today at the Citi Technology Conference. The founder of the Texas PC maker shot down rumors of an upcoming return to the field and describes any possible move in the future as the eventual reality of the computing industry rather than a deliberate effort on the part of Dell to compete in the smartphone business.
iTunes 8 will be the first version of Apple's desktop software to allow HD purchases, if a further leak from Digg head Kevin Rose proves accurate. A purported excerpt from the upgrade notes to the software mentions users having the option of downloading TV episodes in "HD quality," suggesting the software will be the first from Apple to offer any kind of purchasable HD content outside of the Apple TV and that HD will extend beyond the movie-only options available today.
Microsoft has backed off some of its restrictions on Windows XP to allow netbooks with larger hard drives to support the older operating system, according to claims from companies in the business. Although the Redmond, Washington-based software firm has so far insisted that systems with hard drives larger than 80GB carry Windows Vista in a bid to drive companies to the newer operating system, it has now allegedly doubled that limit to 160GB, expanding the types of PCs that qualify for the older software.
At its press conference in Japan recently, Sony showed off two new Blu-ray disc players and six Blu-ray players with built-in hard drives, which act as high-definition DVRs. The products make up four new lines in Sony's lineup, and all feature a new CREAS engine with new upscaling technology that promises to bring 14-bit HD processing and what Sony calls its Super Bit Mapping engine for video. The most expensive of the new products are found in the X-series, which is made up of the 500GB BDZ-X95 and 1TB BDZ-X100.
HP says it has found a way to reduce notebook packaging materials by 97 percent, and cut transportation costs by 31 percent. The computer giant has won Walmart's "green" Home Entertainment Design Challenge, by packaging a Pavillion dv6929 in a messenger bag capable of doubling as a shipping container. As a result, less styrofoam and cardboard are consumed, and a bulk shipment can occupy less space in ships and trucks, in theory resulting in less fuel expenses.
Size specifications for two new iPods have been revealed, an alleged leak suggests. The first set is for the widely-rumored fourth-generation Nano, and appears to back the belief that the Nano will return to a tall and narrow shape, eschewing the shorter and "fatter" dimensions of the third-generation player. It is believed however to measure 90.75x38.75x6.08mm, slightly taller and thicker than the second-gen Nano, if smaller in terms of width. The second-gen player measured 90x40x6.5mm.
(Updated with new AT&T information) iPhone owners on the east coast of the US are experiencing severe problems with AT&T's network, according to scattered accounts. In some areas customers are complaining of a complete lack of cellular data functions, including e-mail and web browsing, over either EDGE or HSDPA (3G). The problems appear to be widespread, affecting areas like New York, Missouri, Massachusetts and North Carolina, and typified by phones misreporting excellent coverage.
The current rate of growth for estimated iPhone sales may lead to its operating system being more popular than Symbian in as little as two years, according to projections based on both official and estimated data. Although Symbian reports 19.6 million cellphones from Nokia, Sony Ericsson and others having sold with its operating system installed during its last quarter, the figure represents a growth of just five percent versus the same time span a year ago and is much slower than estimated growth for Apple, which is thought to be manufacturing as many as 800,000 devices per week and may ship up to 10 million iPhone 3Gs between July and September, or more than half Symbian's tally despite being a young competitor.
NAVIGON in the wake of IFA switched its attention back to North America with the launch of a budget GPS that has features that were once saved only for higher-end units. The 2200T makes good on a recent promise by the company to offer free traffic warnings for the lifetime of its devices and is currently the least expensive device of the type. Even entry-level customers can now reroute around traffic jams and accidents without having to pay for a subscription, the company explains.
iRobot today rolled out two extra Roomba vacuum robots targeted at specific subsets of its normal audience. The Pet Series adjusts the components inside the robot to focus more on catching pet hair as well as the dander that often triggers allergies. Each now has an extra set of brushes and holds much more in the sweeping bin than usual to catch the material that might quickly fill up a normal robot; the counter-rotating brushes are claimed to be good for picking up material either from carpet or hard floors.
Verizon today quickly followed up on leaked data with a release on Monday of the Samsung Knack. The flip phone is there for users who want just a basic phone and makes its primary features those suited to inexperienced users or the elderly: the device has a built-in 911 button as well as an ICE (In Case of Emergency) button that provides a trio of essential contacts for just the user, such as a family member or a physician.
Satellite TV provider DirecTV and TiVo today extended their cooperation with each other and said they would work together to build a version of TiVo's digital video recorder that can properly capture HDTV from DirecTV's current network. The two provide few details but explain that the set-top box should support features specific to either company, such as TiVo's Swivel Search that can suggest shows based on the presence of certain actors or other metadata from a TV show.
Sanyo this morning upgraded its Xacti camcorders with the North American version of the E2. This second generation of the company's hardened camera improves the recording performance and will capture 640x480 H.264 video at up to 60 frames per second and snaps up to eight-megapixel still shots, including at up to five continuous frames per second. It also brings live face detection and a specialized underwater mode that adjusts the colors to avoid some of the tinting that occurs in pool or shallow dives.
Nokia today finally began shipping the N96, its significantly delayed flagship smartphone. The two-way slider has the same specifications as when it was announced in February and improves on the N95 by holding 16GB of internal storage along with a microSDHC slot for at least 8GB more. Most versions also include a DVB-H tuner to pick up mobile digital TV broadcasts in Europe and other regions that support the new portable video standard. A five-megapixel camera with flash, true GPS and Wi-Fi are also onboard.
Sony Ericsson this morning introduced an software development kit just for the XPERIA X1, giving developers an opportunity to write apps for the phone's custom panel interface. The SDK will allow programmers to write Windows Mobile 6.1 apps that integrate directly with the panels at the top level and display live information without having the user enter the app itself. Sony Ericsson suggests this could be useful for at-a-glance looks at instant messaging or social networking as well as media catalogs.
Following almost a month behind Olympus' and Panasonic's Micro Four Thirds camera system announcement, Samsung unveiled plans for a similar system with interchangeable lenses and its internally-manufactured 14MP APS-C sensor. Amateur Photographer reveals that Samsung's project is allegedly dissimilar from the Micro Four Thirds system, with the company claiming to have been working on this system for some time.
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