Beginning in 2010, Blu-ray players must be configured to allow one full-resolution copy. Dubbed "managed copy," the requirement has long been planned for the Blu-ray format, but has only just been finalized by the Advanced Access Content System License Administrator, a consortium of studios, hardware manufacturers and technology companies that licenses the AACS copy protection used on Blu-ray Discs. Managed copies can be made to recordable Blu-ray or DVD discs, as a download to a Windows Media DRM-compatible portable player or hard drive. Unfortunately none of the current batch of Blu-ray players or recorders have the required electronics to allow this. Manufacturers aren't expected to have this feature added to players until mid-2010.
Yamaha have announced a new version of their home audio streaming system, the MusicCAST2 . MusicCAST2 currently consists of a touchscreen LCD controller, the MCX-RC100 Network Music Commander, and two types of Network Music Players, the MCX-A300, which has an integrated amplifier, or the MCX-P200, which is non-amplified for integration with an existing AV setup. The whole system uses WiFi b/g to communicate and stream, and can access both music stored locally - on a NAS, PC or MAC, USB stick, Bluetooth device or shared network folder - or streaming from Rhapsody and other internet radio services. As well as the 3.5-inch touchscreen LCD, the Commander remote control has a trackpad and offers independent or joined control over up to 32 different zones. In addition to controlling distributed audio, the MusicCAST2 system can be used as a universal remote control; the Commander has an IR port, and Yamaha offer IR blasters to fit to your existing AV rack. Suggested pricing is $500 for the Commander remote, and $400 for the zone players. Slashgear source article.
LG has finally announced that its first 3D LCD, the 47-inch 47LH50 , will be up for purchase next month in Korea. The 47" television has a wide direction of viewing so everyone watching throughout the living room can enjoy the 3D aspect through polarized glasses without having to sit directly in front. No official price yet, but the traditional model this 3D version is based on was around $2000.
Cideko's "Air Keyboard" is a two handed remote with a full QWERTY keypad and a 3d motion sensor for mouse control. The mouse buttons are situated on top of the device like the shoulder buttons on a game controller which should make moving around and typing at the same time fairly easy. The company promise a range of 50 meters and a battery life of 50 hours. No word yet on availability but Aving.net has some more picture of the device.
Akai's 'All-In-One' Entertainment Unit is a stand for your flat panel display but its also an iPod dock, an AM/FM radio, and DVD player. The stand itself houses a built-in amplifier and a speaker sub-woofer configuration capable of output at 80 Watts. $999.95 suggested price.
At Computex 2009 Asus showed off how it hopes desks of the future function. Asus' 'Seamless Experience' includes a Microsoft Surface like desk that can interact with objects placed upon it. In the video demonstration recorded at Computex 2009 they showed how a concept portable hard drive or phone could be simply placed on top of the surface and then all of its contents would accessible on the large multi touch surface. The table can also display information about everyday object placed on to it including the current temperature of your coffee mug. NewGadgets.de has posted a video of the surface in action.
The Sparkle Cuti n30 is a modular system that comes in several parts. One component houses just the core system with the processor and basic components. There's also a unit that adds I/O ports like audio jacks, a memory card reader, and a few USB ports, and another module that adds a hot-swap bay for 2.5 inch hard drives. The system can support up to 4GB of RAM, and 500GB of hard drive space. The Cuti n30 is based on the NVIDIA ION platform which bundles a dual core Intel Atom 330 CPU with an NVIDIA GeForce 9400M. It also includes 802.11b/g/n WiFi, a mini PCI-e slot, 7.1 channel audio and has both HDMI and DVI outputs. The website IONBased has more pictures of the unit from last weeks Computex show .
Savant's new "virtual control" incorporates photographic 360-degree views of a room with a touch panel interface. The touch panel skin is an actual photo of the home itself and users simply press directly on the light, shade, TV, etc. to turn on, off, dim, etc. The image of the room would interactively change to reflect the lighting state changes or anything else the user turns changes. CEPro has a movie of the interface demo.
Three major motion picture studios, Lionsgate, Paramount, and MGM have jointly announced the launch of Epix , an HD online streaming service and HD TV station that will allow users to watch the studio's films, for free, in HD. The network won't be a premium channel, but bundled into packages to compete with individual pay channels. Along with the television channel Epix will also be available for free online at Epixhd.com, with 720p streaming. The catch is that to get Epixhd.com your cable and internet will have to come from the same provider.
Vizio, the top seller of LCD TVs in North America, today announced its 2009 LCD HDTV lineup which includes a whopping 31 new models across three different series. Six Vizio XVT-series models with USB video inputs and Mega Dynamic Contrast Ratios of up to 2,000,000:1. The series is highlighted by the 55-inch VF551XVT model (shipping in September at a $2,200 suggested retail) with TruLED LED back-lighting and what the company calls "Smart Dimming technology" to control LED light output for enhanced color saturation, contrast and black-level performance. 17 'M' series of 1080p panels which feature distinctive designs such as the 'VL' models color treatment, and 'VT' models which resemble wood picture frames. Select models feature a 120Hz refresh rates and a USB multi-media feature that can display MPEG-2, H.264 and WMV9 video, JPEG photos, and MP3 music from a thumb drive or FAT32 hard drive. Finally eight 'E' series models which feature lower energy consumption technology which reduces power consumption by as much as 20% below Energy Star 3.0 standards.
The Carcoon Server Shield is a portable, blow up computer clean room which you wrap around valubale hardware to prevent dust and moisture from ruining your hard disks and other electronics. The air ventilation system keeps the machine at a proper temperature as well as clean and dry, and you've got little access holes to get at the computer when you need. Perfect for when you are doing renovation but dont want to move or disconnect your hardware.
ThinkFlood has introduced its new RedEye Universal Remote Control peripheral for the iPhone and iPod touch. The RedEye is a small IR transmitter box featuring Wi-Fi and a built-in dock for charging an iPhone, iPhone 3G, or iPod touch. Users download the RedEye software application -currently in public beta -to their device and connect to the RedEye transmitter box via Wi-Fi. The application then allows the user to control nearly any IR-sensing home entertainment equipment directly from the application. Each person in your house can use their own iPhone or iPod touch as a controller and you can add a transmitter to any room you that has a device you want to control. Currently available from their website for $119.
Nvidia's tiny 1080p capable ION platform made its big debut in dozens of products at this years Computex2009. Showing just what this small, low powered platform is capable of ECS, a Taiwainese computer manufacturer, crammed an Intel Atom 230 system using Nvidia's Ion for graphics, a 2.5-inch HDD of unspecified capacity, a Blu-ray drive, 1GB of RAM and HDMI out inside a small chinsese vase. The ports are all located on bottom and the drive pops out from the middle of the vase. No idea yet if this is just a concept or actual product.
Kef's Concept Blade speaker took over three years to develop and although the unit is a 'one off' demonstration speaker the research concepts and technologies that it embodies will surely trickle down to the rest of the KEF lineup. The speaker takes KEF's familiar Uni-Q array concept (where a tweeter is positioned coaxially within a midrange or mid-bass driver, with the drivers sharing the same "acoustic centers") to a much higher level. In essence, Concept Blade is designed to behave as if the entire loudspeaker has become a giant, full-range Uni-Q array. The Concept Blade is a 10th-generation forward-firing Uni-Q array. KEF then surrounds that array with four side-firing 10-inch bass drivers positioned symmetrically around the Uni-Q array. Together, the four bass drivers share the same combined acoustic center as the front-firing Uni-Q array, essentially become part of it. The cabinet itself features a curved-wall enclosure made of a carbon fiber/balsa wood composite. The compound curves of the Concept Blade enclosure are said to give the cabinet much greater rigidity and resistance to resonance than conventional flat-wall enclosures. A video demonstration of the tecnology can be found at Kef's website.
Hulu Labs has released Hulu Desktop , a "lean-back viewing experience for your personal computer," as the developers explain. The software features a sleek interface that has been optimized for use with Apple or Windows Media Center remote controls, "allowing you to navigate Hulu's entire library with just six buttons." Windows users must have at least an Intel Pentium Core Duo, with a 1.8GHz processor and 2GB of RAM running Windows XP. Mac users need an Intel Pentium Core Duo, with a 2.0GHz and 2GB of RAM running OS X 10.4 (Tiger). Hulu Desktop runs directly on your computer and does not require a web browser, making thing easier to navigate on a HTPC.
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As flat panels themselves become increasingly slimmer, customers are looking for even more ways to get these mounted TVs and monitors as flush with the wall as possible. The Video Mount Products IWB-1B is an in wall box that allows up to a 32-inch flat panel to fully collapse into a wall. It installs easily between two 16-inch on center wooden studs, has integrated cable and electrical knockouts, and a high load capacity. The IWB-1B works with the LCD-1B and LCD-2537B mounts. The IWB-1 is yet another option for discerning installers and customers who demand both aesthetic appeal as well as the famed VMP reliability. Whether in the office, commercial install, home, or any other application where a low-profile wall mounted flat panel option is desired, the VMP IWB-1B is the answer.