Sharp AQUOS A Series Announced

Sharp of Japan recently unveiled the AQUOS A series of eco-friendly LCD HDTV . Three models will soon be available; a 40" (LC-40AE6), 46" (LC-46AE6) and 52″ (LC-52AE6) model. All three feautre 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, a digital TV tuner, 120Hz de-judder technology, a 15,000:1 contrast ratio, 450 nits of brightness and 176-degree viewing angles. Sharp also claims a drastically reduced power footprint with an improved backlight and overall power consumption of 175kWh/Year for the 52", 145kWh/Year for the 46", and only 120kWh/Year for the 40" model.

And Now For Something Truly Useful

The Power Shelf is an outlet with a built-in self that provides your hand held electronics with a convenient organized place to be stored and charged. The various models, which range in price online from $15.95 for a small Power Shelf to $59.95 for a laptop Power Shelf , have a tapered design that allows for charging cords to be wrapped around the base for further reduced clutter. Useful and simple.

AnandTech's In-Depth Power Supply Review

If you're planning on building a HTPC or a high end desktop PC, info about the right power supply can be hard to find. It's easy to find hundreds of in-depth reviews on the latest CPU or Video Card but rarely do power supplies get the same in depth treatment. Anantech has articles for people looking for concrete info about how much power you might need , a detailed comparison of 20 available PSU's in the 300W-450W range and a comparison of 12 in the higher 500W to 550W range .

The Zvox Z-Base 550 Low Profile Sound-bar

The ZVOX Z-Base 550 is a new low profile sound-bar style surround sound system that doubles as a base for your TV. The Zvox Z-Base 550 is 26 inches wide by 3.6 inches high by 14.5 deep and can hold a TV weighing up to 90 pounds. Everything is inside this compact cabinet - speakers, amplifier, virtual surround circuitry and powered subwoofer. Under $500 dollars with positive reviews from CNET and Home Theatre In A Box.

ReBraun Music Jukebox

The ReBraun music jukebox, which was modeled after Braun Designer Dieter Rams' Audio 1 Kompaktanlage (circa 1962) is a great mix of a classic design aesthetic with new technology. Two TFT-Displays take the place of the original radio scales and the antenna does not receive any FM radio but is used to connect the system to the internet via Wireless LAN. A one of a kind object produced for the web site Bootleg Objects .

Light Tape

Light Tape is a new type of lighting that is completely different from the conventional light 'bulb' in that it is as thin as a credit card and completely flexible. It works using electroluminescence - a way to produce light by using electrical energy to excite light-emitting phophors. The light tape is made of plastic and contains no gasses, glass or mercury. Light tape gets its name from the fact that is a light and functions and looks like tape. It can be fastened to any surface and is available in many lengths, widths and colors.

Google Voice Announced

Google Voice is a new Google service that offers "one number for life," so that one incoming call to that number gets forwarded to all your other numbers - work, mobile, home or hotel room. Users get free calls across the United States and international rates cheaper said to be currently cheaper than Skype. Landlines, computers and cellphones can all access its services. Voicemails are automatically transcribed and sent as e-mails or text messages, and there are loads more features, including smart handling of SMS messages, free conference calls, switch phones during a call, the ability to listen to a incoming voice mail before taking a call and call recording. Available now to current Grandcentral users but check out the video features to find out what they have planned.

Panasonic's Blu-ray VHS Combo

Panasonic's DMP-BD70V is the worlds first (and maybe last) Blu-ray and VHS combo player. The device features multi-format playback allowing the user to play VHS, CD, DVD and 1080p high definition Blu-ray Discs. Not only that, all video formats will be given a 1080p up-conversion as well. The system also comes with a built-in SD memory card slot and USB 2.0 port, making it easy for you to view and share both digital still images and videos. Available starting in April for a retail price of $399.95 .

HP Home Server Reviews

The EX-487 is the second generation of HP's MediaSmart server line. It runs on Windows Home Server, a flavor of Windows dedicated to network attached storage. In addition to the regular features of the Windows Home Server software HP has additional software for easy setup for clients and router and web-based media sharing functionalities that are quite advanced. You can not only access your files and computers remotely, but the MediaSmart Server will act as a web server that can share media files or even stream them directly to another computer over the web. If you're in the market for a home server these two in depth reviews from We Got Served and MediaSmartServer.net should give you an idea what to expect.

Sata 3 Drives Available By Years End

Seagate has just showed off a new hard drive that boasts a SATA 3 interface that allows it to transfer files at burst speeds up to 6 gigabits per second, or a real-world 600 megabytes per second. This is double the theoretical maximum of 3Gbps of the current SATA 2 interface and quadruple that of SATA drives, which peak at 1.5Gbps. Apart from faster speeds, SATA 3 will also be more energy efficient, while the higher throughput will be largely achieved by improved native command queuing . The SATA 3 hard drives are still in prototype stage, though Seagate promised to bring one to market before year's end and AMD is planning to revise its current 750-series chipsets and future mainboards to support the new interface.

Sony CMT-Z100iR

Sony Insider has leaked images of the CMT-Z100iR, Sony's latest mini sound system. Features include an ipod dock, slot loading cd player, USB port, two 20W speakers, touch panel controls, a 3.5mm audio-in jack, bass/treble adjustments, an integrated AM/FM radio and remote control. There is no firm release date or price, though Sony Insider seems to think it will fall in the $150-$250 range.

The Beatles: Rock Band Announced

Although technically not something we usually cover at Hometoys, the announcement of a Beatles version of the popular music game Rock Band was to good to pass up; who doesn't want to be one of The Beatles? Scheduled for a September 9th release the game will be available for the Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3, Wii in a stand alone version or bundled with the instruments. No word yet on the songs list or specifics on what the instruments will be included but here's hoping they include a replica of Paul Mcartney's Hfner 500/1 "Violin Bass" . If you unfamiliar with what Rock Band is watch this video from the Conan O'Brien show.

Foot Controlled Mega Remote

This might be the world's largest media center remote. It's made with two flexible Dance Dance Revolution mats from the PlayStation 2, hacked to control Windows Media Center with your feet. Video and the instruction on how to build your own mega remote can be found here .

ATI and Nvidia Announce New Chips

Yesterday both Nvidia and AMD ATI announced new high-end mobile graphics solutions. ATI launched what is the world's first 40nm GPUs : the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4860 and ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4830. Both GPUs support DirectX 10.1 games and HD content as well as being energy efficient for increased battery life. The HD 4860 mobile GPU supports GDDR5 RAM with almost twice the performance of GDDR3 RAM. AMD says that by utilizing the 40nm technology it can build the GPU in a smaller ASIC die size, which in turn allows the discrete GPU to be used in smaller notebooks. NVIDIA also announced a set of new mobile GPUs : the GTX 280M, GTX 260M, GTS 160M and GTS 150M GPUs. NVIDIA claims that the GTX 280M is the world's fastest mobile GPU and offers 50% more performance than the previous generation of mobile enthusiast level GPUs. One important thing to mention; the mobile GTX series does not use the same chip as its desktop counterpart but instead uses the G92 chip used in the 9800 GTX+ desktop cards.

Dummy Security Camera

Sometimes security is designed to be barely noticeable, so as not to detract from the main event or draw any attention. Other times, it is deliberately obvious to tell would-be wrongdoers "don't even think about it". The Dummy Security Camera with Blinking LED lets any hooligans know that someone could be watching their every move or at least taking some video footage of their devious deeds. $12.99 from Thinkgeek.

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