Extra DivX features provide multi-language subtitles, audio, chapters
Rovi has revealed that Toshiba will be the first television manufacturer to launch a range of DivX Plus Streaming-certified HDTVs. The addition of DivX Plus Streaming to the televisions will allow users to watch streaming content with typical features found in DVD and Blu-ray Disc usage, such as support for multi-language subtitles and audio tracks.
Adaptive streaming format supports 1080p
Rovi has introduced an update to its video software, DivX Plus. The latest version is claimed to reduce video conversion times, while adding an MP4 output option geared for iPhones and iPads. Users can also stream content to DLNA-compatible devices, such as televisions and set-top boxes.
Rovi buys Sonic for 720 million in digital push
Rovi Corp today confirmed that it was buying Sonic for $720 million in a blend of both cash and stock. The acquisition was characterized as a push beyond TV set-top box guides into digital and centered around both Sonic's RoxioNow video store platform as well as its buyout of DivX from June. The move would help attract Hollywood studios and speed up the adoption of paid online content.
Samsung Galaxy Tab launches in weeks
Samsung this morning finally took the wraps from the Galaxy Tab, its first tablet and the first major competitor to the iPad. The device revolves around its seven-inch, 1024x600 LCD and is Samsung's first handheld to ship with Android 2.2 -- and Flash 10.1 -- out of the box. Although traces of Samsung's TouchWiz are evident, most customizations have been for apps tailored to the larger screen size: Media Hub serves as a video portal, Music Hub handles audio, and a Readers Hub follows in the footsteps of iBooks.
Sonic acquires DivX to improve Roxio
Sonic today acquired video codec maker DivX for $3.75 per share, or the equivalent of $323 million. The deal gives the owner of Roxio one of the more popular video formats and are intended to give Sonic a better means of providing video over the Internet, especially for home electronics. Many Blu-ray and DVD players, TVs, and set-top boxes already support DivX videos, and DivX is already using copy protection approved by movie studios, Sonic said.
Samsung Wave has new OS, touchscreen
As expected, Samsung at its pre-show Mobile World Congress event launched the Wave. It becomes the first phone to use the Bada mobile OS and has a new, cleaner interface with TouchWiz 3.0 to handle widgets. The new UI supports as many as 10 home screens, an "ultimate" inbox that merges messaging and social media like Facebook or Twitter, and a social hub that also unites contacts from similar sources.
Samsung i899 with Android coming to China in 2010
Samsung has unveiled a new handset for its China market and only its third Android phone, the i899. The device is being made especially for China Telecom, the country's third biggest carrier and will support CDMA/EVDO networks. Like the Galaxy, it centers on a 3.2-inch AMOLED display but uses an older, less costly resistive touchscreen instead of the capacitive found on the Galaxy and Behold II.
Sony frees CinemaNow from Windows Media
Sonic has launched a pair of initiatives to expand CinemaNow past its current platform. Starting Thursday, the company will make available DivX versions (link not yet active) of movie downloads. The gesture will let any computer that recognizes protected DivX play the service's videos, such as third-party hardware like LG and Samsung devices, game consoles (most likely the PS3 and Xbox 360) and phones.
Film Fresh DivX Movies
Young movie store Film Fresh today launched itself as the first US-based movie store to provide downloads from larger studios in DivX form. Lionsgate, Paramount, Sony and Warner have all agreed to include both recent and classic titles on the store and as a result have created one of the first few truly cross-platform movie services. Although the videos are still copy-protected, the choice of DivX lets them play on Macs as well as any other device with an official DivX certification, including Blu-ray and DVD players, consoles like the PS3, and even the TVs themselves.
LG Ships BD390
LG today said it had started shipping the BD390, its flagship Blu-ray movie player. The reader is the first to play DivX videos at a full 1080p when either burned to a DVD or from an external USB drive. It likewise brings Wi-Fi and 1GB of internal storage, and can handle Blu-ray Profile 2.0 features as well as Netflix and YouTube video streaming without stringing Ethernet cable to a router or a Wi-Fi bridge.
LG TVs get DivX HD video
LG Electronics and DivX on Wednesday announced more than 200 of LG's new line of digital TVs are the first to have the ability of playing back full DivX 1080p videos. The LH50-, LH70-, LH85-, PS70- and PS80-series HDTVs from LG, among others, are DivX Certified, and can play DivX HD videos from connected PCs or the Internet via a device connected to the TV's USB slot.
DivX 7 for Mac update
DivX has released an update to its media player, DivX 7 for Mac. Users can view DivX HD videos, Internet content and full-length movies, with support for MKV and H.264/MKV/AAC video formats. The player features translucent windows, an on-demand scrub bar and keyboard hot keys, along with a desktop dimmer and window fade to further enhance video presentation. Mouse gesture controls can be used to fast-forward or rewind playback.
LG Viewty 2 Details
LG today was revealed to have provided early details of its likely update to the Viewty in a largely unnoticed booth area at last week's CeBIT show. In addition to specifcations, Phone Arena has obtained photos that effectively confirm the GC900 will replace its camera-centric predecessor: the device will have an upgraded 8-megapixel sensor with a Schneider-Kreuznach lens and Xenon flash. It should also have a much sharper 800x480, 3-inch touchscreen useful for the phone's DivX video and Dolby Mobile sound support.
Samsung Omnia HD Beat DJ
Samsung today is headlining its introductions with three of the first non-Nokia phones to include a touchscreen Symbian interface. The Omnia HD is also known as the i8910 and is one of the first-ever phones to record as well as play back 720p HD video. The feat is accomplished with the help of an 8-megapixel camera that supports autofocusing as well as blink and smile detection. It also centers on an extremely sharp 3.7-inch, AMOLED touchscreen with a full 16 million colors and a 960x540 resolution.
Hoping to preempt its rivals, Toshiba on Tuesday launched itself into full touchscreens with its first model. The TG01 is envisioned as a performance device with a large, 4.1-inch touchscreen display and an 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon that's unusually fast for the category; Toshiba claims the TG01 will be the fastest phone available and that it will also be thinner than the iPhone at just 9.9mm (0.39in) deep. It will also include a G-sensor to recognize motion that is reportedly more advanced than an accelerometer.
PS3 2 6 Photo Gallery
Sony today revealed that the PlayStation 3's version 2.6 update will add a major new photo management feature. The simply-titled Photo Gallery will give the console much more advanced control that can sort images down to the specific time window and choice of camera hardware but also less tangible data such as the dominant colors in images or visible smiles. Slideshows are also more advanced and let users create specific playlists, including ones set to the user's choice of music.
Haier ibiza touch and mini
Haier tonight added two more players to the Rhapsody ibiza line that both share direct parallels to Apple players. The ibiza Touch (pictured above) appears a higher-end counterpart to the ibiza Theatre that adds a sharper, 2.8-inch 400x240 touchscreen and Wi-Fi, which lets it browse the web, download podcasts and Real Rhapsody subscriptions, and tune Internet radio. It shares the Theatre's Bluetooth for pairing wireless headphones. Battery life drops accordingly and sees the Touch run for just 15 hours of AAC, Audible, MP3, Rhapsody or WMA audio but a relatively long 6 hours of DivX, H.264, MPEG-4, VC-1 or WMA video.
Samsung adds DivX HDTVs
DivX and Samsung on Wednesday announced high-end Samsung HDTVs will support high-quality DivX video files under a multiyear agreement. The DivX Certified HDTVs should be available worldwide at the beginning of 2009, and will be able to playback DivX media files stored on USB devices or a DLNA-certified Ethernet connection. Samsung already offers DivX-certified products that range from cellphones to DVD players.
Toshiba XDE Player
Toshiba on Monday nursed its losses in HD format conflicts by launching its first player based on its promised Extended Detail Enhancement technology, or XDE. The XD-E500 upscales from as little as 480i up to 1080p, as with some DVD players, but sports customization features that Toshiba argues bring the player's output closer to real HD. Viewers can increase the sharpness of the picture to overcome the softness inherent to DVD's lower resolution and restore some of the perceived detail.
Exhibia 1.2 video server
Plyxim has upated its QuickTime-based scheduling software for closed-circuit broadcasting systems. Exibia 1.2 Server allows users from multiple platforms to use their web browsers to upload content to a central server. Version 1.2 includes a "major overhaul" to Exibia's web client interface. Exibia supports iCal and LDAP integration, and works with third-party plug-ins including Flip4Mac, Perian and Divx.
Pioneer AVIC F900 and F700
Pioneer has started the week today with introductions for three high-end AVIC navigators. The DVD-equipped F900BT and Premier F90BT, as well as the CD-only F700BT, all offer in-dash mapping on a 5.8-inch wide touchscreen and support comparatively advanced GPS features such as Traffic Message Channel and support, an advanced voice command system, and text-to-speech to read out street names. Each, however, is built just as much for media playback: any can read discs with DivX, and MPEG-4 video as well as AAC, MP3, and WMA audio, while 2GB of built-in memory as well as slots for both SD cards and USB that provide both audio and video support from flash storage. Both connect to most iPods and support not just playback but also direct control of the Apple players.
IOGEAR today launched the Portable Media Player, its unusual take on the concept of a media hub. Rather than design a networked but fixed device like the Apple TV or Monsoon Hava, the company's new system is meant to be picked up and carried on vacation or between meetings, measuring only slightly larger than its remote and supplying many of the navigation controls on the player itself.
PS3 Version 2.2 Update
As promised, Sony today issued its version 2.2 update for the PlayStation 3. The firmware upgrade primarily adds Blu-ray Profile 2.0 support and allows HD movies to be released in April and onward to use Internet-based features, such as downloadable extras and live games. Viewers watching Blu-ray and DVD movies can also return to movies from where they left off after the movie is ejected. The software also sets up the framework for large downloaded or shared movies, and includes the PS3's first support for DivX and Windows Media videos larger than 2GB.
DivX Shuts Down Stage6
DivX on Monday said it would shut down Stage6, its web video hosting service. The decision was made to focus on the company's self-titled video format and encourage its use on other platforms, such as the PS3, Xbox 360, and alternative websites. The shutdown blocks new uploads as of today and will see a complete shutdown of the site by February 28. Companies hosting their videos on Stage6 are being helped to migrate their videos to other pages, DivX says.
PS3 2.1 Update Live
As promised, Sony today posted the 2.1 update for its PlayStation 3 game system. The new version is the first to natively support most videos in the popular DivX format without relying on third-party transcoding software and is also the first major Blu-ray player to receive a software update to Final Standard Profile 1.1, allowing it to use advanced features in newer Blu-ray movies such as Internet use or picture-in-picture overlays. Previously, the feature has only been available preloaded with dedicated movie players such as the Panasonic DMP-BD30K.
PS3 2.1 Update Leak
Sony is about to update the PS3 with its promised DivX playback and other features, according to information posted on Sony's PlayStation Spain website. The version 2.1 upgrade will bring native support for the video format either stored locally or streamed across the network. It should also bring the anticipated Blu-ray Final Standard Profile support that allows the console to use picture-in-picture commentary and other special features previously reserved only for the newest stand-alone movie players.
Xbox 360 Fall 2007 Details
Following through on its pledge to provide more details, Microsoft today published the full list of details for its Fall 2007 Dashboard Update for the Xbox 360. In addition to the Find Old Friends feature and the ability to download some original Xbox titles already confirmed by the company, the upgrade will also include the DivX support leaked earlier this month as well as an Inside Xbox feature that provides updated news from the console's website, similar to Sony's recently introduced PS3 Information Board.