The incongruity between disparate media formats has denied us a truly universal media experience till now. This is simply not acceptable in this epoch of technology convergence. A consortium called the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystems (DECE) is working on improving interoperability between different media and consumer electronic devices. The group includes HP, Intel, Microsoft, Paramount, Sony and Toshiba, besides other prominent CE heavyweights and film studios.
If most people find merit in the notion that digital downloads are going to replace the need for optical storage formats, they will also agree that digital content will have to offer a universal media experience like the hugely successful DVD. “We see this vision of 'buy once, play anywhere,” Mark Coblitz, senior VP of strategic planning at Comcast – a member of DECE, gave the gist of the plan.
DECE President Mitch Singer even welcomed Apple, which runs a popular digital distribution service iTunes, tied to its products, to join the consortium. Do you think that services like iTunes are doomed?
Earlier this summer, both Nvidia and ATI hosted press events to unveil their new hardware—and the excitement about GPU-based encoding was palpable. We were promised that our videocards would make Photoshop faster and better and our GPUs would encode video 10 times faster than our CPUs. In fact, someone lacking tech savvy would have left these presentations thinking, "Wow, these GPU things can make common computing tasks run insanely fast, and there are a couple of games that work with them too." Of course, as is typical, the truly big promises (like 10x faster video encodes) were off in the future, when the software was "ready."
Well, the software's nearly ready. Elemental's Badaboom uses Nvidia's CUDA interface to do lots of the grunt work of DVD ripping by using the GPU instead of your musty old CPU. I've been in the Lab for the last few days putting this app through the ringer. Our test bed for this challenge is an Intel Q6600 quad core, running at a stock 2.4GHz, with 4GB of memory and a GeForce GTX 280 reference board.
Point-n-shoot digital cameras have had the ability to shoot video for quite some time, but the same feature has been noticeably absent among digital SLR (DSLR) cameras. Adding insult to injury, even low end DSLRs typically cost more than high end digital cameras, yet if owners of the latter want to take videos, it meant spending even more money on a camcorder.
Nikon looks to change that trend with the release of its latest digital single-lens reflex camera, the D90, which is the company is billing as the first SLR with video capability. Nikon made it possible to record video by using a faster frame rate and a different way of processing the images.
"The big plus is that you can now shoot video with a great lens," says Steve Heiner, Nikon's senior technical manager.
The D90 will be capable of recording both high definition and standard video clips, but the new functionality won't come cheap. Expect to pay around $1,300 for the D90 with lens when it becomes available in stores next month.
It doesn't matter if you seek solace in Creationism or prescribe to the theory of evolution, everyone should be equally stoked about what Nvidia's calling "Big Bang II." No, the graphics chip maker isn't gearing up to end the debate on man's existence, but even better, the company will improve man's quality of life with a new driver package that looks poised to earn its codename by bringing gamers at least one big, long overdue improvement.
Bang Part I
The biggest news associated with Nvidia's ForceWare Release 180 (R180) is the introduction of SLI multi-monitor support. Ever since Nvidia introduced SLI, the inability to run a second monitor while gaming has been a major complaint, and even more so as LCD displays have fallen in price. That finally looks to no longer be the case with the new driver release, and gamers will be able to frag opponents while simultaneously keeping an eye on their email inbox, incoming IMs, and everything else that would previously be blacked out on a second monitor.
Find out what else is bangin' with the new driver after the jump.
3D graphics technology has grown by leaps and bounds since 3DFX first laid its Voodoo on the computing world, and today's videocards boast everything from multiple GPUs in a single package to the promise of physics processing. And not just for gaming, fanatical Folders can crunch through more proteins by utilizing their GPU, or decode a high definition movie on their new big screen TV.
Leading the charge into this new era of 3D computing are Nvidia and ATI, two companies who have recently started going at each others' throats with aggressive price cuts and a deluge of new videocards while simultaneously chasing the performance crown. But for all their battles, both old and new, it's Intel, CPU maker extraordinaire, who continues to lead the market.
Find out how much catching up Nvidia and ATI have to do after the jump.
Capturing high definition video in the palm of your hand is about to get easier if Sanyo's DMX-HD800 can live up to its billing. The 8MP compact camera will come in gold, pink, and black and be capable of recording video in 720p (1280x720) using the AVC/H.264 video codec. Features include:
Drag and drop capable
HD videos and still pictures
Snap photos while filming without pausing the video
Face recognition (up to 12 faces)
Digital image stabilizer
In-camera video editing
Capturing quality videos from a handheld gadget always elicits skepticism, but Sanyo promises its three-dimensional digital noise reduction (3DDNR) filter will offer both clear videos and crisp photos. It was enough to impress AkihabaraNews, who claims the camera represents a "HUGE step forward in video quality" and described the change as "AMAZING" compared to Sanyo's previous model, the HD700.
While Meridian's 4096x2160 pixel projector will empty your pockets to the tune of $185,000, it appears Dell is coming out with a projector that will fit inside your pocket. And at just over a pound, it won't weigh you down either.
Details regarding Dell's aptly named pocket projector (surely to undergo a name change) became available after a leaked Powerpoint slide appeared on the web. The slide shows the miniature projector next to a coffee mug and looks almost small enough to fit inside.
According to the slide, the pocket projector uses an LED light source instead of a lamp or bulb, supports SVGA (800x600) and XGA (1024x768) resolutions, and earns a green tag by containing no mercury.
Not leaked, however, was any word on a possible release date or pricing information.
Think a 30-inch monitor at 2560x1600 resolution is amazing? Then you haven’t seen Merdian’s 810 Reference Video System that gives you a 4096 x 2160 projected image for the low price of $185,000. But we have.
We got to touch and see the 810 up close and personal last week in a private demonstration held at Dolby Laboratories headquarters. Why Dolby? The company has a famous 90-seat theater in its main building in San Francisco that’s actually nicer than most small screens at the multiplex. And how does this monster of a projector perform? Read on to find out!
Click through to read our impressions of the 810 Reference Video System
Xbox Live is a major money-spinner for Microsoft's gaming division, one which both Sony and Nintendo envy. Sony is currently trying to replicate Live's success with its very own PSN service and the wide array of new additions to PSN might help Sony in its endeavor. One of the new additions happens to be the Playstation video downloading service, which is now live.
Users can rent or purchase SD or HD content from various leading TV and movie stables including Fox, MGM, Warner and Disney etc. TV videos begin at $1.99, while movie rentals and purchases begin at $2.99 and $9.99 respectively.
Several reports frequenting the internet seem to suggest that the service is not available in all regions/countries. But there is no word on this issue from Sony. Limited launch or not, Wedbush Morgan’s videogame analyst Michael Pachter believes that availability of videos on PSN can lure potential Apple TV owners towards the PS3.
Tivo’s long awaited YouTube player goes live today, it was first announced back in March. This lets Tivo users stream YouTube videos right to their boxes. It is part of the Tivo 9.4 update that is going out to all Tivo’s this month, but you have to have Series 3 or better to get the feature. Series 2 owners are left out in the cold.
Right now you can't log into your YouTube account but there is a minor update coming in 2 months will incorporate that feature. Tivo says in a press release, “Soon, users will also be able to log into their YouTube accounts directly through the TV to access their videos, channels and playlists, making the experience even richer.”
Now, if Tivo would just make it so I could Stream my TV to my laptop over the internet, like on Slingbox, I’d be in heaven!