Panasonic's Freeview HD boxes continue their world tour and will make an appearance in Britain later this year, UK site RegHardware reports.
The two-man act consists of the DMR-BW880 (500GB) and DMR-BW870 (250GB). Other than the capacity, both Freeview HD units share the same specs and features, including the ability to keep content on the hard drive or burn to single or dual-layer Blu-ray recordable (BD-R) or rewritable (BD-RE) media.
Both models also sport two TV tuners, SD card slots, camcorder-sourced content in AVCHD format, DLNA support, and provide access to YouTube, Picasa, and other such services through Panasonic's VieraCast UI. They're also BD-Live capable.
No word yet on price, only that they'll begin shipping this summer.
Hey, did you hear? Netflix plans to bring 1080p streaming and 5.1 surround sound to its streaming HD video service to later this year. Pretty rad, right?
It would be, except Netflix is taking a mulligan on the recent announcement, and now says that it incorrectly acknowledged 1080p streaming in the company's 2010 roadmap. Boo, hiss! Netflix didn't say why it pulled the about-face, though it probably has to do with bandwidth. While not official, Netflix says the requirement to stream 720p HD content on an HD-compatible box is "typically" 5Mbps. It's a safe bet that 1080p would require more, and maybe Netflix feels there aren't enough streaming subscribers with the fast enough broadband speeds.
That means for the foreseeable future, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 owners are stuck with "underwhelming" 720p. That's right, in somewhat related news, Steve Swasey, VP of Corporate Communications for Netflix, downplayed the streaming service when discussing what Wii owners are missing.
"PS3 and Xbox users have 1 in 17 titles available in HD, and it's streamed in 720... it's not in 1080, and it's not in 5.1 surround sound or anything," Swasey said during an interview with The Wire. "So the HD experience at Netflix Instant Watching isn't that overwhelming. It's a little bit underwhelming. So the Wii folks aren't going to miss that much."
No, the whole 3D thing didn’t go away after CES. It’s still happening, and Panasonic plans to get in on the ground floor. The Japanese electronics maker will be releasing four 3D Blu-Ray recorders/players to compliment the 3D Viera plasmas they intend to sell. The new units will be available first in Japan this spring.
The DMP-BDT900 is just a player, unlike the rest of Panasonic’s new line up. It comes with 4 HDMI ports, an SD card slot, LAN, USB ports, Viera link, and BD-LIVE. It will be available for $1,500. The 3D Blu-Ray recorders come with hard drives in 2TB, 1TB and 750GB sizes. These devices will have two digital and one analog TV tuner, 2 HDMI ports, LAN, USB port, SD card slot, and Viera Link. The three models will go for $3,350 for the 2TB model, $2,200 for the 1TB unit and $1,800 for the 750GB one.
So if you’re the early adopter type, and you’ll be in Japan this Spring, start saving up now.
Stripteases from your long distance lover are about to get a whole lot sweeter now that Skype has added support for 720p high definition video calls.
To take advantage of the new feature, you'll need to download and install Skype 4.2 Beta for Windows. You'll also need at least a 1.8GHz dual-core processor, and of course an HD webcam and broadband Internet connection.
"With HD-quality Skype video calls, we can bring our users even closer to the ones they love through an even richer, more meaningful video calling experience," said Josh Silverman, CEO of Skype. "Imagine being able to see the sparkle of your grandchild's eyes or the setting of your best friend's engagement ring. Through the innovation of Skype's engineers and our hardware partners, these scenarios are now possible without having to buy expensive equipment or software."
Skype says you can expect a spate of new HD webcams to hit the scene in early 2010, including ones from faceVsion (not a typo) and Store Solutions that have been "optimized to work with Skype."
The VoIP provider also says to expect Skype-enabled HDTVs to arrive by mid-2010.
We always take rumors with a large grain of salt, but as far as pre-release speculation goes, news and rumor site Fudzilla has a knack for being right on the money. And if their latest claim turns out to be true, DirecTV will announce the world's first satellite 3D-HD channel next month during CES.
What isn't known is when the channel will actually go online, though it's likely to coincide with the next DirecTV satellite the company plans to launch into space early next year. If all goes to plan, that satellite will be online and operational by March 2010.
That means new 3D hardware if the fad is to take off, which would be a tough pill to swallow for anyone who just plunked down a wad a cash for a flat-screen LCD TV. But if it's any consolation, Fudzilla says it's been hearing chatter that most of DirecTV's recent HD and HD DVR receivers will support the 3D-HD standard with a simple firmware update.
In the high-definition wars, Sony has been pegged as the ultimate Ebenezer Scrooge. Not only did the company's Blu-ray format destroy the cost-conscious HD-DVD format, but for a long while, Sony tried to keep the MSRP of Blu-ray players above $300. But is the perception of inflated Blu-ray player pricing really fair to begin with?
The Wall Street Journal has put together some interesting data that might have you rethinking Blu-ray's price model since its inception. When DVD players first launched over a decade ago, early adopters paid around $840. Compare that with the $800 initial price point of Blu-ray players in 2006. Here's how the rest of the price comparison breaks down through the years following each respective format's launch:
Year 1: DVD ($571), Blu-ray ($497)
Year 2: DVD ($467), Blu-ray ($388)
Year 3: DVD: ($345), Blu-ray ($322)
Black Friday: ($248), Blu-ray ($221)
Keep in mind that there's an 8-year difference between the two formats, and none of those numbers take into account inflation. In short, Blu-ray player pricing has fallen faster than DVDs, and certainly faster than most people expected.
"There's no season in the DVD saga that saw players come down like this," says Rick Doherty, an analyst at Envisioning Group, a market research firm.
It’s getting to be the time of the year when iPhone rumors start showing up. Sure enough, DigiTimes is reporting that the next generation of Apple’s successful smartphone will rock a 5 megapixel autofocus camera. The current 3GS model has a 3.2 megapixel sensor. DigiTimes was also responsible for breaking the news of the 3GS camera this time last year.
The hardware will reportedly be supplied by OmniVision, just like the current sensor is. The 5 MP sensor should be the same size as the 3.2 MP version in use, about 1/4 inch, but have better low-light performance. This particular camera hardware is also capable of taking full 1080p video at 30 fps. This is a massive jump over the VGA resolution video in the current iPhone. But remember, just because the hardware is capable, doesn’t mean Apple will enable it in the final product.
Without any fanfare, Korean company Lisse has updated is MyRacer line of portable media players (PMPs) with a more conventional looking unit, the MyRacer H10.
The latest model comes equipped with a 1280 x 720 LCD display, giving users the same 720p playback as some 13-inch notebooks provide. It also features an HDMI-out port, FM radio, voice recording capabilities, and speakers.
As for compatibility, the MyRacer H10 comes capable of playing back a wide variety of file formats, including RM, RMVB, AVI (Xvid, DivX), WMV, ASF, DAT, MPG, MP4, VOP, SMI, MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, OGG, FLAC, and APE. It also supports JPEG, BMP, GIF, and TXT file formats.
JVC's new Everio GZ-HD620 camcorder isn't just easy to lug around, it also happens to be the smallest HD HDD camcorder money can buy. The compact body measures just 53mm x 63mm x 115mm, and the whole thing weighs just 270g, making it the lightest HD HDD camcorder on the block as well.
Despite its small frame, the new Everio boasts a 1/4.1-inch, 3.32 megapixel CMOS sensor and a 30x optic zoom Konica Minolta HD lens with 200x digital zoom and Backside Illumination (BSI).
Other notable specs include a 2.7-inch LCD screen, a microsSD/SDHC slot, MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video format support, Dolby Digital 2-channel audio, both USB and HDMI ports, and component and AV outputs.
The new model will be available tomorrow in Japan in black, red, and silver. No word yet on when JVC will start shipping the GZ-HD620 the U.S. market or for how much, but we wouldn't be surprised to see this one show up at CES next month.
Well what do you know, someone's finally gone and done it, and that someone is LG. What exactly are we talkinga bout? Releasing the world's first Full-HD 3D monitor.
We're told the display is already on store shelves, but details remain sparse. Here's what we do know: It's a 23-inch display suitable for both gamers and those who dabble in 3D broadcasts. The underlying technology is based on the "Shutter Glasses" technology, though seamless switching between 2D and 3D means you won't need to don a pair of goofy glasses every time you use the monitor, only when viewing 3D content.
And that's pretty much it, at least until LG divulges more info. Should they wait too long, though, they run the risk of being overshadowed of competitive models that are likely on the horizon, especially with CES just around the corner.