Trendnet went for style points with the release of its new 300Mbps Wireless-N Media Bridge, model TEW-640MB. The new device sports a sleek glossy black finish and is able to connect Ethernet-ready living room devices, such as gaming consoles, network TVs, receivers, media controllers, DVRs, Blu-ray players, and more.
"Following the tremendous success of our 300Mbps Wireless-N Gaming Adapter, model TEW-647GA, we decided to build the foundation of the 300Mbps Wireless-N Media Bridge and use the same high performance chipset," stated Sonny Su, Technology Director for Trendnet. "The TEW-640MB is truly the result of listening to our customers. Users were saying that they absolutely loved the performance and the look of the TEW-647GA, but wanted more ports to connect all of their new media center devices to a high performance wireless connection. I believe the TEW-640MB delivers on its promise and will be well received."
Quality of Service (QoS) data prioritization comes as part of the package, as does Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) antenna technology, one-touch wireless security setup, encryption up to WPA2-PSK, and up to 100 meters of outdoor coverage (up to 50 meters indoors).
It's official, folks -- the movie Avatar on Blu-ray 3D is 2010's Tickle Me Elmo for the holiday shopping season. That's because there are just a few ways you can get your mitts one of the season's hottest items. The first is by purchasing a Panasonic 3D TV. The second is by hitting up Ebay, Craigslist, or wherever else you tap into the used market, and if you're lucky, you may find one listed for just a couple hundred bucks.
Panasonic's exclusivity agreement to carry the Blu-ray 3D version of James Cameron's popular flick means you're pretty much boned if you don't own a 3D set from Panny. But don't despair if you promised little Johnny the 3D version of Avatar this holiday. Yet another option is to shell out for Panasonic's 3D Ultimate Pack, a $400 bundle that includes a Blu-ray 3D player, two pairs of active 3D shutter glasses, and of course Avatar in Blu-ray 3D.
Fact: Most computer LCD panels are great for viewing high definition content. Fact: Blu-ray won the high definition format war. Fact: Black bears run away from you, brown bears run at you. That last fact doesn't have anything to do with what we're talking about, we (and Dwight) just thought you should know.
A Blu-ray optical drive and PC display might seem like the perfect match, especially since prices have dropped from around $100 to $75, but consumers just aren't very interested. According to DigiTimes, the market penetration for BD drives in 2010 isn't going to see much growth over 2009 once all the numbers are tallied.
That's bad news for Lite-On and Quanta Storage, Taiwan's two largest optical drive makers. The two companies combined will only see BD drive shipments total 1.17 million in 2010, a mere 1.5 percent of their total optical disc drive business. On the bright side, that's up half from 2009, though by only half a percentage point.
Sony this week unveiled its next-gen half-height internal Blu-ray rewritable drive available in both retail and OEM configurations. The new drive includes Blu-ray 3D playback and offers up to 12X writes to single BD-R media and up to 8X speeds on dual-layer BD-R discs.
Sony says the 12X recording speed works on 6X compatible BD-R media, allowing you to record a full 25GB disc in about 10 minutes. Other specs include:
4.7GB DVD+/-R = 16X
8.5GB DVD+/-R Double Layer = 8X
DVD+RW = 8X
DVD-RW = 6X
CD-R = 48X
CD-RW = 24X
DVD-RAM = 12X
No word yet on price of availability, though Sony did say if you pony up for the retail model you'll also receive CyberLink's Media Suite 8 software.
Yamaha this week unveiled (PDF) its BD-A1000 Blu-ray player with content playback capabilities from Netflix, Blockbuster, and YouTube Internet streaming baked in.
"The BD-A1000 represents Yamaha's first universal Blu-ray player, and adds a new dimension to home entertainment with a multitude of Internet-related, interactive features such as BD-Live and BonusView, which provide secondary video/audio for enhanced commentary and information, as well as features for existing and future entertainment options via USB," Yamaha said.
Some key features include Full HD audio decoding, 1080p/24Hz-compatible HDMI, 7.1 multi-channel analog output with four 2-channel DACs, and disc and USB multimedia format compatibility for AVCHD, WMV, JPEG (HD), MP3, and WMA. Yamaha notes that the BD-A1000 has been specifically designed to integrate with the company's AVENTAGE line of AV receivers, so that by pressing the SCENE BD/DVD button on an AV receiver, for example, fires up the BD-A1000 and begins disc playback.
The new Blu-ray player carries an MSRP of $700, making it one of the pricier players we've seen in some time.
Panasonic, Royal Philips, Sony, and TDK will be on hand at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to accept the 62nd Annual Technology and Engineering Emmy Award being given to Blu-ray Disc technology, CNet reports.
"Sony began development of blue-laser optical technology in the late 1990s, realized the world's first high-definition recording on 20GB optical media by using blue-violet laser, and has contributed greatly to the continuous development of the Blu-ray Disc format," Jun Yonemitsu, deputy senior general manager of the company's home entertainment development division, said in a statement.
It's been somewhat of a bumpy road for Blu-ray, which launched back in 2006. At the outset, HD-DVD put up a valiant fight for control of the high-definition media market, and more recently consumer attention has turned to streaming services, such as Netflix. At present, there are 1.4 billion Blu-ray movies and TV shows, as well as 50 million Blu-ray players and recorders, 41 million PlayStation 3 consoles with integrated Blu-ray support, and over 25 million Blu-ray readers and writers.
You could be forgiven if you've never heard of Amazon's Disc+ program. Basically, when you buy select movies on DVD or Blu-ray, you can get a downloadable copy made immediately available to you. The problem was selection. The feature was only available on about 300 movies when it launched last year. Today Amazon has announced a massive expansion of Disc+ to over 10,000 titles.
The process is automatic when a selected movie is purchased. The digital copy appears in the user's Amazon Video On Demand folder. So it isn't a free and clear copy that you can watch anywhere, but there are over 200 Amazon VOD compatible devices out there. Would this sort of feature make you more likely to buy from Amazon?
Warner's DVD2Blu trade-up program just got a little sweeter today, at least temporarily. We just got word that, for the time being, the company will let you swap any DVD for a new Warner Bros. Blu-ray title. Previously, you were only allowed to swap Warner Bros. movies.
There are over 100 Blu-ray flicks to choose from, the majority of which run $5. Some of these include 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Aviator, Blood Diamond, Freddy vs. Jason, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, and Wyatt Earp, to name just a handful.
You can choose any title available no matter which one you're trading in, which is an especially good deal if you're holding onto some older DVDs that would have ended up in the garbage or in a yard sale anyway.
If the only thing holding you back from buying a Blu-ray Disc (BD) recorder is the size of the box, then hey, you'll love what Sharp has done. At the Ceatec convention in Japan, Sharp was seen showing off its new small size BD recorder that measures a scant 35mm at its thinnest part.
"BD recorders using an HDD have an HDD capacity of at least 320GB, which is equivalent to the capacity of three BDXL discs," Sharp said. "So, it is possible to use BDXL discs in place of an HDD."
In addition to using BDXL discs, Sharp also kept things slim by using an external AC adapter, as well as cut back on the number of recording functions.
"We consider that it is possible to commercialize the recorder in the near future. Because it has a smaller number of functions than existing BD recorders, its price will be low," Sharp said.
Don't go tossing your 720p 3D DLP projector into the garbage bin just because it can't play 1080p 3D Blu-ray disks, there's an app adapter for that. Optoma Technology's new 3D-XL converter box breathes new life (and functionality) into 720p 3D projectors.
"The 3D-XL is an important product for the market right now," said Jon Grodern, senior director of product and marketing for Optoma. "It gives a large installed base a way to embrace 3D life without having to make a new, expensive investment."
The way it works is the 3D-XL takes the HDMI 1.4A signal found in 1080p 3D players and down converts it to an HDMI 1.3 signal that 720p 3D DLP projectors operating at 120Hz can recognize. Active 3D glasses are required.
Optoma plans to release its 3D-XL sometime later this year for around $400.