An energy efficient storage system for infrequently accessed data
It's a bit early to write the obituary for optical discs. Though many desktop users have made the transition to the cloud, Facebook found a use for Blu-ray discs -- 10,000 of them, in fact -- as part of an energy efficient storage system capable of holding a petabyte of data. Facebook showed the prototype system at the Open Compute Project summit meeting in San Jose, California, noting that it's intended to store data that rarely needs to be accessed.
Walmart's disc-to-digital in-home service will "convert" your existing movie collection to UltraViolet digital copies starting at $2 a pop.
It's not just tablet makers and hardware manufacturers in general making a splash at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Retailers have joined the party, including Walmart, which used the annual convention to announce that it's expanding its in-store Disc-to-Digital service to allow for the same service from the comfort of your home. As an aside, Wally World also launched a new Facebook app that provides access to exclusive movie content and allows users to decide what movies are sold in-store and online.
Running low on blank optical discs? Stock up now before prices shoot up.
It's never a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket, and if that's how you feel about cloud backups, there's a good chance you're also still using optical discs to store your precious data. If so, now would be a good time to assess your optical disc inventory and, if necessary, stock up on more media. Otherwise, you might end up paying a 50 percent premium by the second half of 2013.
We’ve recommended VLC on more than one occasion, and for good reasons. It’s the swiss army knife of the video playback world. It supports more formats and codecs then we can count, installs quickly, and is updated frequently. With the upcoming release of Windows 8 however, it will start offering a new killer feature most people probably didn’t care about before - DVD playback. Microsoft’s decision to not support DVD playback in Windows 8 unless you shell out the extra cash for media center has created a ton of vitriol in comment feeds around the web, but also a pretty obvious question. If a free and open source app can offer the feature, why can’t Microsoft? ZDNet blogger Ed Bott set out to answer the question, and his findings may surprise you.
Warner Bros. decided to play hardball with Netflix, Blockbuster, and Redbox by demanding they each wait 56 days after a title is released before making it available for rent, which is twice is long as the 28-day waiting period film studios typically impose. While Netflix and Blockbuster begrudgingly accepted WB's terms, Redbox decided it can do better on its own and decided not to renew its contract, which expired on January 31, 2012.
We test three "do-everything" packages for media creation and management to find the one that strikes the perfect balance of features, performance, and ease-of-use
When friends or family members you haven’t seen in years suddenly show up at your front door, the proper thing to do is invite them in, find out whom they’re married to these days, and then reminisce about old times over a tall glass of Guinness. What you don’t do is drag out a two-ton box full of photo albums and Super-8 tapes and bore your company to tears, like you might have done before the digital era drop-kicked that kind of coma-inducing behavior into obsolescence. That might still work for your computer-illiterate parents, but this is a different time, and you’re much more likely to have your memories and adventures preserved as digital bits scattered all over your hard drive. In the back of your mind, you keep meaning to organize your digital photos, home movies, and even your epic music collection, and wouldn’t it be rad to mash them together? After all, a home-brewed DVD with a custom soundtrack and visual effects would dazzle your friends and relatives in ways a simple photo album and unorganized video can’t.
This is where fully fledged media suites come into play. They not only help you organize and spice up your digital collection, they’re also capable of converting music and videos into formats better suited for portable devices, like your handheld game player, smartphone, or tablet. Today’s media suites are all about managing and manipulating your content so you can view it whenever, wherever, and however you want, and not simply burning to disc like you did in the 1990s.
To help you choose the right one, we rounded up three of the biggest, most popular media suites around: CyberLink Media Suite 9 Ultra, Nero 11 Platinum, and Roxio Creator 2012 Pro. Each one brings a barrelful of tricks to the digital party, so we narrowed our focus to the tasks you’re most likely to use over and over again. Specifically, we’re testing for Blu-ray/DVD/3D playback, DVD/Blu-ray burning, basic video and photo editing chores, and transcoding. Is there a suite that stands head and shoulders above the others? Let’s find out!
Sceptre, which describes itself as "a leading innovator for LCD/HDTV for over 27 years," unveiled its 2012 lineup of HDTVs during CES 2012 in Las Vegas, including 3D televisions with integrated Blu-ray, a world's first, according to the company. Sharp would disagree, having unveiled a pair of 3DTVs with built-in Blu-ray players back in 2010, but unlike Sharp's devices, Sceptre's screen will ship in the U.S. sometime this year.
PCs make great Blu-ray players, but Acer’s Revo RL100-UR20P is the first Blu-ray-equipped PC we’ve seen that’s thinner and smaller than most purpose-built Blu-ray players. If it played high-definition audio discs such as SACD and DVD-Audio, it would be one of the most powerful Blu-ray players on the market, but this machine isn’t that ambitious.
Just once, we'd like to see George Lucas leave well enough alone. But like a painter obsessed with adding more strokes to what's already a masterpiece, Lucas runs the risk of ruining the Star Wars universe with each new media format. A tweak here, an added scene there, and before long, the Star Wars series will look and sound completely different the than the ones we grew up with. Unfortunately, the madness continues with the upcoming Blu-ray release.
While still very rare, external graphics card docks for notebooks are nothing new. But Sony’s implementation of this idea is way more interesting than anything we have seen before. The Japanese electronics behemoth has just announced a new 13-inch ultraportable. Measuring 16.65mm at its thickest point and weighing a mere 2.64 pounds, the Vaio Z has been designed to receive an on-demand shot in the arm from its Light Peak-enabled Power Media Dock. Hit the jump for more.