Ace Computers is the first company to offer a CableCard-compatible HTPC's for less than a grand. The LMS 250 comes with either a AMD Phenom X3 triple-core CPU or Intel Core 2 Duo E7300 CPU, 2GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive, DVD burner, and internal ATI Digital Cable Tuner. Both options run Windows Vista Home Premium and the newest Windows Media Center with CableCard support. Ace Computers is planning to show off the LMS 250 at CES next week. Source.
AVSForums has uncovered Samsung's 2009 lineup of televisions. Officially scheduled to be announced at CES Samsung will be updating its Series 3 through 7 HDTVs. Changes include support for 1080p movies encoded in the MKV, WMV, VOB, AVI, TS, 3GP, MGP and ASF file formats. An Internet@TV feature will replace InfoLive, and use Yahoo Widgets to integrate Internet content onto the screen while watching TV. Connecting devices to the TVs, including external drives, will be made possible through a pair of side-mounted USB 2.0 ports. More info available in the original AVSForum thread.
PonyCanyon, a subsidiary of Japan's Fuji TV, announced the first ever commercial Blu-ray/DVD disc. Originally developed by JVC more than two years ago, the disc has a blue laser top layer (25GB); underneath there are two more layers just like an ordinary DVD (8.5GB). The Hybrid BD/DVD disc is compatible with current DVD and Blu-ray players. Infiniti storage media (the company manufacturing the disc) claims that it achieves a compatibility of 99% according to tests made on 64 Blu-ray and DVD players. CDRinfo story with illustrations .
Philippe Starck is a french designer with products in both the Museum of Modern Art and Target. Here's how he describes his Zikmu Wireless Speakers, "Our design focused more on making the air vibrate. There is actually a three-dimensional feel to this vibration, meaning that the air is palpable, almost humanlike in presence, like a fragrance." In other words its a wireless speaker system with an ipod dock. Press release.
Introducing NVIDIA's Ion Platform. Combining Intel's Low Power Atom processor with the GeForce 9400M, the platform is capable of playing HD video (8 - 25Mbps H.264) on a motherboard just bigger than the palm of your hand (Pico ITX form factor) and with very low power consumption. Read AnandTech's preview to get a more detailed technical analysis of the future of Netbooks and small form media devices.
Mvix has a few multipurpose media boxes but the MvixPVR has almost everything. Official info is scarce but it supposedly functions as a PVR with component inputs for recording HD content to a 3.5 sata drive (not included). Additionally it includes HDMI output, 1080p playback, built-in iPod dock, torrent client, 5.1 Digital Surround Sound, USB, and 802.11g. Translated specs sheet .
If your looking for a book to get someone for Christmas, the first volume of The Best of Instructables might be perfect. Over 300 pages of full color how tos selected from Instructables.com including instructions on how to build Magnetic Refrigerator Lights , a DIY Vacuum Former , a computer-controlled milling machine and a bunch of great stuff with LEDS. Available at Amazon and all other major book chains.
The new 15-watt incandescent-shaped covered Energy Smart® CFL will appeal to people that want the energy savings and long-life performance of a GE Energy Smart® Spiral® CFL with the appearance, size and fit of a traditional incandescent bulb. The equivalent of a 60-watt incandescent bulb, the new 8,000-hour rated life CFL is guaranteed for 5 years based on 4 hours of daily use. The new covered GE Energy Smart® CFL bulb, available only from GE, debuts nationwide at Target on December 28, 2008 . Youtube video demonstration .
Lasonic's ghetto blasters are 80's icons. The new Lasonic i931 is similar in design and size but with tape deck replaced with a more practical iPod docking bay. They've kept the equalizer, am/fm tuner with telescoping antenna and the abundant number of buttons but added a SD card reader and USB input for loading music. On sale now directly from Lasonic or read Gizmodo's review to see if its worth the nostalgia.
Via's Artigo A2000 barebones home server box is 5" wide, 4.5" tall, 10" deep and can house two 3.5" SATA-II hard drives. Using a 1.5GHz VIA C7®-D low power processor on a pico-ITX motherboard, a VIA VX800 Unified Digital Media IGP chipset and one DDR2 SO-DIMM Socket the box is powerful enough to run Vista, XP or Linux so you can use this small quiet box for more than just a simple NAS. Comes with VIA Security Software Suite and is available for pre-order here ($299). VIA's page with full specs.
The above speaker is more like a speaker / cuckoo clock hybrid. Designed by French artist Stephane Vigny, the bottom speaker extends outward when the bass is loudest and retracts back into the cabinet when the sound softens. The two other speakers also extend and retract with the music all independent of each other. Translated description from Vigny .
If the idea of waking up to your rapidily sinking stocks seems like the perfect start to your day then the LED mirror by Suck UK is perfect. Housed behind the mirror is a large LED display that can be programmed to display messages at specific times. The LED shines through the mirror and can be fed information, through wireless, from your pc so you can scroll news, stocks or anything else available with RSS. Available now through various UK design stores like mylivingspace .
The company Open Air makes inflatable surfaces for movie projection ranging in size from 9' to a massive 40'. The screen is made of a light weight material so the smaller sizes can fit into a large bag for traveling or camping trips where the wildlife isn't as entertaining as Die Hard. A 9' x 5' Open Air Home Screen cost $449.00 and is available from their website.
Next month Denon Japan will release it's DVD-A1UD player. The ultra expensive ($5,860 us) unit is capable of playing Blu-ray, DVD, DVD-audio and SACD discs and features an SD / SDHC card slot, DivX support, HDMI 1.3, 1080p60 / 1080p24 output, internal decoding of DTS-HD Master Audio / Dolby TrueHD, 7.1-channel analog outputs, and Denon LINK tecnology. A European launch will follow in March 2009. Story Source and More Denon Announcements Here .
Four MSU mechanical engineering students have designed a robot that clings to a window by vacuum suction and moves back and forth like the Roomba. Called the "Winboni", the robot cleans the window as it moves using tiny felt pads. Watch the youtube video for a demonstration.
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The network is the foundation on which modern entertainment, security, control and automation systems are built. The new Epic series of routers from Luxul are designed to help integration professionals build that foundation and deliver a great customer experience. The router is a critical piece of every network-connecting a local network to the Internet, controlling traffic and providing security. With the release of its new Epic series, Luxul has redefined the router, adding capabilities that make it far more than just a traditional router. In addition to being high-performing commercial grade routers, the Epic series offers a platform for optimizing the user experience in smart homes, workplaces, retail establishments and more. This experience is delivered through Luxul and third-party applications running on the Epic platform.