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Gefen has introduced the A/V Scaler Pro, a device that up-converts video signals to 1080p while offering integrated audio amplification. Users can connect a variety of sources, including HDTV televisions, set-top boxes, gaming consoles, DVD players, computers, and more. The input is converted to HDMI with embedded and coaxial/optical audio output. The devices combines a frame rate conversion engine, 3-D motion adaptive de-interlacers, color engine, and dual scaling engines.
The President of ReignCom, the company behind the iRiver brand known for personal media players, has recently announced that iRiver will bring its first handset to market by March of 2009. Due to be carried by Korean wireless provider KTF, the handset will include a large touchscreen display capable of recognizing handwriting, a Wi-Fi module for wireless network access and access to Bugs Music Service. As is typical of Korean handsets, a few dictionaries are also included in the handset.
Viewsonic has unveiled two eight-inch digital photo frames, the DPG801BK and DPG807BK. Both devices feature SwifTouch touch-screen technology that only illuminates the control buttons when touched. Users can keep JPEG or BMP images in the 512MB integrated storage, insert a memory card into the six-in-one reader, or directly connect devices to a USB port. The TFT LCD screen supports resolution up to 800 by 600 pixels, with a contrast ratio of 500:1.
AT&T on Monday announced the launch of a public beta version of its VideoCrawler web application that lets users search, organize and share online videos and other multimedia content. Supported by banner advertising, the service is free to users. It uses an indexing process to categorize millions of video clips from thousands of host sites, letting users enter search terms that narrow down the results accordingly. Users can save favourites as collections and share them with selected groups via VideoCrawler or on their pages on popular social networking sites via VideoCrawler's widgets.
AMD is expected to announce a new CPU as soon as this week that is meant for use in netbook PCs, as per a Monday report. With the new CPU, the chipmaker wants to address two key issues, namely battery life and video performance. AMD's VP of Advanced Marketing, Par Moorehead, promises between 8 and 9 hours of battery life out of a netbook utilizing the company's CPU, instead of the sub-two-hour lifespan he has personally experienced from an unnamed, top-rung netbook.
iRobot, a company specializing in developing and manufacturing house-cleaning devices, has recently teamed up with Disney to release a limited-edition version of its Roomba 530 robot with special WALL-E paint and graphics. Unlike the special editions of the cleaning devices introduced this summer, the WALL-E edition does not have features that distinguish it from the standard Roomba 530 model. The battery will last long enough to clean three rooms, and two wall transmitters help guide the robot in its cleaning mission.
Seagate on Monday announced it has teamed up with virus-protection software developer McAfee to develop its self-encrypting notebook PC hard drives from its Momentus Full Disk Encryption (FDE) line, in both 7200RPM and 5400RPM versions. Both are now available in 320GB capacities, or the highest of any FDE drive on the market, and Seagate promises to introduce even larger, 500GB versions soon.
Notebook and desktop PC maker Acer is considering releasing an efficient, entry-level compact desk-top PC early in 2009, according to a Monday report. Computer parts providers believe the PC will offer Intel's Atom CPU as an option due to higher-than-expected sales of the company's Aspire One netbooks, which use the Intel chip. The sales goal stands at between 12 and 13 million. Acer is reportedly looking to use CPUs from VIA Technologies or AMD, the latter (pictured) providing a 2.1GHz Phenom X3 CPU in the company's Aspire X3200 desktop.
2Wire has recently introduced its MediaPoint set-top box that is designed to deliver HD video content via a broadband connection. The MediaPoint will offer remote access options, allowing users to control its functions over the web, and connects to home networks via a wired or wireless connection. It will also stream media from connected USB flash drives and external hard drives thanks to built-in USB ports. There is of course an HDMI output, and the device is compatible with UPnP- and DLNA-enabled devices.
Epson today rolled out a late entry into HD projectors. The PowerLite Home Cinema 700 is claimed as the first 720p projector to crack the $800 mark and comes one dollar under while still carrying much of the expected feature set of otherwise very high-end units. The lamp in the 3LCD unit outputs at 2,000 lumens and comes with a 1.2X zoom lens that can throw an image as large as 270 inches and as far as 28.6 feet away.
Nokia's tentative step into touchscreen phones this year with the 5800 XpressMusic is going to be matched up by as many as three devices in coming months, a leaked roadmap supplied to BGR shows. Aside from mentioning devices that are already complete inside the company, including the budget E63 QWERTY phone, the schedule also shows a trio of touchscreen devices, including two which should be finished on a basic level before the end of the year.
TeleNav, normally a GPS software developer for cell phones, has recently introduced its first piece of hardware with the introduction of a GPS unit, the Shotgun. Sporting a 4.3-inch touchscreen, the device connects to the Internet over a GSM network to receive real-time traffic updates and other information. Users of the device can send specific addresses or their own locations to each other over the network to allow them to meet up. Quick access to restaurant reviews from other diners, weather updates, as well as daily commute alerts are part of the package as well.
Announced roughly one month ago, AT&T's Quickfire started shipping on Monday. The PCD-made phone features a sliding touchscreen that reveals a full QWERTY keyboard to make text messaging and typing quicker, along with a 1.3-megapixel camera. The handset supports HSPA-based 3G data networks and can take advantage of AT&T's Napster Mobile and eMusic Mobile download services. The handset includes an aGPS sensor and can deliver driving direction via AT&T's Navigator service.
Confirming earlier rumors, Blockbuster has announced plans to build a set-top box that will stream digital movies to TVs. The company's CEO, Jim Keyes, further notes that the the device will be associated with its Movielink rental and purchase service, but has not provided details on costs, capabilities or hardware specifications. A release is expected sometime during the holiday season; also in development is support for Blockbuster streaming through Intel chips inside IPTV hardware.
Apple's recent MacBook lineup and the iPhone may make it one of the better-positioned companies to survive a likely steep drop in spending during the holidays, according to new data from ChangeWave. The analyst firm says that a full third of all studied US notebook buyers, or 33 percent, plan to buy some form of Apple notebook during the season or within the next 90 days from the start of November. The number represents a slight boost from 29 percent in September and puts Apple's demand on par with Dell; HP continues to significantly trail behind at just 22 percent.
Both Apple and ASUS have dramtically cut their notebook production going into the fourth quarter of the year, says the Commercial Times. The Chinese-language paper reports that the companies have slashed outsourcing by 20 to 30 percent, affecting Quanta Computer -- a Taiwanese company thought the be the main builder of unibody MacBooks -- and Pegatron Technology, which handles production for ASUS. ASUS has suggested that its fourth-quarter shipments will be limited to 1.7 million notebooks, preventing it from reaching its 2008 goal of 6 million.
Silicon Mountain today leapt into the US and released the Allio series of hybrid HDTVs and PCs. The screens include the regular features of TVs such as a built-in HD tuner and HDMI input but also have full desktop-class PCs inside. The feature gives the option of Blu-ray or DVD playback built into the TV but also PVR features rare in US-shipped TVs. It also access to web-only video services like Hulu and picture-in-picture viewing of TV and software on the same large picture.
Novatel Wireless over the weekend announced the upcoming release of a new USB modem, the Ovation MC760 Micro Modem. Calling it the world's smallest EVDO Rev. A USB modem, Novatel goes on to reveal the MC760 provides both its wide-area Internet access as well as the added benefits of an on-board GPS receiver and a built-in microSD memory card slot. The MC760 weighs less than one ounce and is just slightly longer than two inches.
The iPhone 3G outsold even Motorola's ubiquitous RAZR V3 cellphone to take the lead in the US cellphone market during the summer, according to the NPD Group. The July 11th launch and continued strong sales have reportedly put an end to the RAZR's three-year stint at the top of sales rankings in the country and is said by the researchers to signal a "watershed shift" away from purely designer-focused phones towards smartphones and other advanced devices where messaging is important.
The iPhone is an extremely reliable smartphone, a study from a warranty extension company claims. SquareTrade says that within one year of ownership, the failure rate for the iPhone is just 5.6 percent; this is half the rate for Research in Motion's BlackBerry phones, and almost three times less than the 16.2 percent for Palm's Treo line. While no iPhone has been available for two years, the projected failure rate in that timeline is only 9.2 percent, compared to proven rates of 14.3 percent for BlackBerries and 21 percent for Treos.
Circuit City on Monday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a last-stage bid to remain in business. The move follows an already drastic step to shutter 155 stores and requires the retailer to reorganize the company and its finances to more readily pay back debts to its creditors, which include Samsung, Sony and other companies whose products are sold through the chain.
NAVIGON today launched its first 8-series GPS unit as both its highest-end device and as a claimed first for the industry. Through built-in 3D hardware acceleration -- still rare among navigators -- the device can render a bird's eye view with textured, dimensional terrain data from NASA that represents hills and also makes a distinction between forests and other regions.
NVIDIA on Monday established a new flagship video card for its workstation line. The Quadro FX 5800 is a major improvement over the earlier 5600 that brings 240 visual effects cores, or nearly double the old model's 128, but stands out as the first-ever video card with 4GB of onboard memory. The capacity allows for extremely large textures and geometry and also enables apps with CUDA general-purpose computing support to feed very large data sets: 4D modeling that factors in time is now more realistic.
Movie studio MGM and YouTube today are set to announce a deal bringing the former's movies and TV shows to the web video portal. The deal is currently an experiment and will see MGM launch a handful of full-length and primarily action-oriented movies, such as Bulletproof Monk, as well as a limited range of TV that will initially be limited just to episodes of the original American Gladiators.
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