CES HDTV Home Entertainment

Holy Big Ass Plasma!


Ok, normally I don’t get really excited about bigger, better, faster(Ok, that’s a lie, but generally I expect it.) CES is the place for the big electronics companies to show you who has the biggest screen, but I think that LG has the biggest plasma by far. Now, 50″ plasmas are nice and all, but let’s say you need a really, really, really big tv to bling out your media room, this 102″ monster is for you. No price on this sick tv, but if you have to ask…

One more picture after the jump.


Toshiba HD-DVD Players HD-XA1, HD-A1 due in March

Looks like we finally have some shipping dates for HD-DVD players. Coming in March, Toshiba will ship both the HD-XA1($799) and the HD-A1($499) with the XA1 coming with better stabilization and quad DSP decoders for better audio. Both have audio decoders for an alphabet soup of audio standards and only HDMI for video output. Looks like you early adopting, component video only early adopters will be shelling out cash for a new TV as well. Oy, at least these things are under a grand…


(Via I4u.)


Blu-Ray Cornucopia?

bd-rom.jpgOK, so a whole bunch of movies were announced today for the not yet shipping soon Blu-Ray HD players. Here are some of the worst of them.

  • Hitch
  • A Knight’s Tale
  • Resident Evil: Apocalypse
  • Species
  • SWAT
  • Fantastic Four
  • League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

This craptastic lineup makes me wanna run right out and spend 1000 clams on a new player. Seriously studios, can’t we do a little better than this? Even the “A-list” contains tired movies like Terminator 2.



CES Satellite Radio XM Radio

XM Radio Equipment Onslaught

helixxm.jpgXM Radio has announced a variety of new equipment today. First up, from Samsung, 2 new portable players, the Helix XM2go that will play live XM, up to 50 hours of recorded XM and MP3 files and second, the Nexus, which will play live XM while docked and record XM and MP3 files on the go.

Next up, the suspiciously similarly looking Pioneer Inno XM2go, has all the bells and whistles of the Nexus and the same price of $399. All of these units should ship this quarter.

Lastly, and perhaps most interesting, is XM Passport. XM passport is a tiny, half dollar sized XM tuner designed to go from device to device so that users will only need one subscription for many devices.

Samsung Helix and Nexus
Pioneer Inno XM2go
XM Passport

Apple Downloads iTunes Portable Entertainment

Battlestar Galactica Free on iTMS


Well, at least a summary of the first season and a half, but as far as I know, this is the first free video that Apple has posted. Seems like this might be a way to get folks hooked on BG and/or the concept of video downloads.

So, if you wanna catch up on Battlestar or just want some free content to show off your shiny new iPod, check it out.

Download page

Portable Entertainment PVRs

NBC on iTunes

Looks like you can download NBC/Universal programming from iTMS, including the Office, Surface, Law and Order and others. With ABC and NBC on board the iTunes train, how soon for CBS?

Check it out.

(Via eHomeUpgrade.)

PVRs Rumors Tivo

TiVo Beta Photos

Zatz Not Funny has some exclusive pics of some new HMEimages.jpeg features.

TiVo is beefing up their HME offerings by centrally hosting applications and partnering with Yahoo! Yahoo! weather, traffic, and photos are available by entering your account info on the TiVo box. Also being previewed are Internet radio (Live365), the podcaster application I saw at Digital Life, Fandango movie tickets, and some various games.

Looks pretty sweet, but criminey pete, just give me the CableCard model so I can dump my craptastic Comcast PVR.


Apple HTPCs Rumors

Rumor Mill – Mac Mini PVR?

indexweight20050111.gifIs it that time already? It looks like the speculation has already begun as to what will be announced at Macworld Expo in January. Apple announcement speculation has a special place in my heart. I like to kick back at the end of the year with my nerd kin and come up with what we want Santa Jobs to give us post-Christmas.

Think Secret is reporting that Macworld will deliver us an Intel based Mac Mini PVR. While in my nerdy heart of hearts I want this to be true, I think it’s too soon after the release of Front Row. For the record, I believe that Front Row will be bundled into whatever Apple has cooked up for iLife ’06.

(Via PVRblog.)

Digital Cameras Features

What to Buy?

I love researching new products for people. I love learning all the intricacies of new gadgets and why one thing might be better than another. I spend waaaaay too much time thinking about the trade offs between model ‘x’ and model ‘y’. Why do I do this? So when someone asks me “Which x should I buy?,” I have an answer for them.

Most people don’t do this. Often times, they get to their favorite (or least favorite) electronics store and know they want to buy a digital camera (in this case) but don’t know where to start. So naturally, they talk to the salesman whose best interest isn’t always theirs.

“What to Buy?” will tell you the best product to buy in a given product category. Today, we’ll focus on sub compact digital cameras. Sub compacts are the smallest digital cameras available.

Canon Powershot 450

Sub Compact Digital Cameracanonsd450.jpg

Why? Big LCD, bulletproof build, 5.0 megapixels, SD memory and good picture quality.

Who? Novice-Advanced person who wants a pocket camera with a big LCD and decent picture quality.

How Much? Street prices ~$300


CNET – 7.4/10
DPReview – Recommended – 5/5
Steve’s Digicams – Liked it.

HDTV Home Entertainment Sony

Sony KDS-R60XBR1 HDTV Review

sonysxrd.jpgSony felt like they were falling behind in creating acronyms so their latest, greatest television brings us the latest, greatest in alphabet soup product naming. Sony dubbed the technology behind their KDS-R60XBR1 as SXRD, which is basically a tweaked out version of LCOS.

Bottom line is that this television doesn’t seem to suffer any of the problems that other technologies seem to have (rainbows, screen-door, gigantism) and has a really great picture.

Don’t take my word for it – take a gander over at Home Theater Magazine for the full scoop.

(via HDBeat)


Apple HTPCs

New Macs reviewed

imac.jpgThe PowerMac G5 dual core (2.0Ghz and 2.3Ghz, but alas no Quad) got a write up in Macworld yesterday. Looks like Apple’s claims of dual core processors equaling the dual processors were true if you believe the Speedmark numbers. It will be much more interesting to see the numbers on the Quad 2.5 to see if they truly double their processing power.

Verdict – Fast, but the Quad will be faster.

Next up, our pals at Macintouch review the new iMac G5 (isight). The reviews focuses on Front Row and iSight integration which in general, they like. The new iMacs are also thinner and quieter than previous models.

Verdict – Not much faster, but cool new apps and thin profile make a cool package.

Home Entertainment PVRs

NBC and CBS jump on the download bandwagon

earl.jpgNot quite as convenient or portable as Lost or Desperate Housewives, it looks like DirecTV users will get NBC programming and Comcast users will get CBS content on demand for the low, low price of $.99. Programming will be available only to in-house PVR users of the respective companies and not for iPods or other portable media devices.

Now, I don’t know about you, but personally, if I wanted to watch any of those shows, I’d record them on the PVR, rather than pay for them later.

I’m curious as to how DirecTV is planning on offering VOD as they haven’t been able to do this in the past.



Google Maps go mobile

GmapsOk, admittedly, I’ve had Kmaps going on my Treo 650 for a few months now, but it looks like the rest of you get it now. You gotta have a Java enabled phone (J2ME, not BREW), but Sprint alone has 25 phones that are capable.

Looks like you get the full deal as well – sat images, driving directions, quick scrolling and the like. I’m a bit skeptical of the speed, so if anyone has tried this out, lemme know. Still, Google Maps on the go is pretty killer.


Digital Cameras

It’s Official – Nikon D200

d200.jpgAfter making the rounds on various rumor sites, Nikon has announced their successor to the very popular D100. This camera packs a 10.2 megapixel sensor, a 2.5″ LCD and combines many of the advanced features of the more expensive D2x with the size and weight of the D100.

The D200 is aimed squarely in the middle of Nikon’s SLR range of cameras and spec-wise very close to the D2x. At $1700 clams for the camera body, this baby ain’t for everyone, but prosumer photogs everywhere will be lining up for this one.

Nikon D200
DPReview Preview

Home Entertainment

Logitech wireless speaker review


Our friends over at ExtremeTech have just dropped a review on the Logitech Z-5450 Digital 5.1 Speaker System. I’ve always liked the idea of wireless speakers if for no other reason than to trim back the rat’s nest of wires that is crawling out of my computer. But I’ve always felt that they just don’t sound very good.

ExtremeTech feels differently and depending on the size of the room that you have and the depth of your pocketbook, this system may be for you.

Bottom Line – Expensive, but good.


Digital Cameras

Faulty digital camera chip widespread

The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that digital camera manufacturers are quietly offering to repair over 80 models of digital cameras from brands such as Sony, Canon, Nikon, and Olympus due to a malfunction in the CCD image sensor. The CCD used in these cameras has been found to fail in hot and humid conditions. Cameras affected by this problem will show “black images or distorted colors in the viewfinder or LCD display and in any print or digital output.” No recall has been issued, but customers with the problem can get their cameras repaired free of charge.

Imaging Resource had this story a few weeks back.

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