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Gefen adds new HDMI switchers to lineup

Posted in Gefen by Shane McGlaun on November 5th, 2008

GefenTV  SwitcherI have a problem with the amount of HDMI inputs offered on most of the HDTV sets available today. Typically, you only get three HDMI connections and some TVs offer even less. That means for users with multiple game consoles with HDMI, Satellite boxes, Blu-ray players or an Apple TV you end up manually changing cables frequently.

Gefen has added a pair of new HDMI switchers to its line at different ends of the price scale that will remedy this situation. The GefenTV Multi Format Switcher retails for $499 and offers the ability to send composite, component, and s-video devices to the TV with one HDMI port needed. The device supports full 1080p resolution.

First 1080p digital photo viewer announced

Posted in Digital Imaging by Shane McGlaun on October 2nd, 2008

HD-0310 Digital Photo ViewerLooking at family photos has come a long way since I was a kid. My mom had volumes of photo albums with pictures crammed in slots. Inevitably, over time they would stick to the pages and ruin the pictures. Today for family photos, we store thousands of them on one tiny memory card or our computers and view them on a digital photo frame. The next evolution of viewing family photos will be looking at them on the big screen TV in the living room.

You can do something similar on an Apple TV, but you have to send the photos over a network to the device. PIE Unites has a new digital photo viewer called the HD-0310 that connects to your HDTV via HDMI and can display images at full 1080p resolution.

HP MediaSmart Connect available for pre-order

Posted in HP by Shane McGlaun on June 17th, 2008

HP MediaSmart ConnectOne of the cool devices that HP was showing off back at CES in January was its MediaSmart Connect device. With the MediaSmart Connect HP is set to take on other streaming media devices like the Netflix Player and the Apple TV.

HP announced today that the MediaSmart Connect is now available for pre-order at a price of $349. The device will be available to pre-order starting today on Amazon.com, Best Buy, Circuit City, and at Newegg.com. Included with the device is an HDMI cable and learning remote that can operate four additional devices as well as a $20 CinemaNow certificate.


Lionsgate signs on for digital DVD iTunes copies

Posted in iTunes by Nino Marchetti on March 10th, 2008

lionsgate.jpgLionsgate said today it is working with Apple to make use of the latter’s Digital Copy for iTunes so select DVDs will also be available for digital viewing. The first Lionsgate film to get the iTunes treatment will be Rambo on May 27th.

Lionsgate said that by using Digital Copy for iTunes, those who purchase select DVDs or Blu-ray Discs will be able to insert the disc into a computer. The customer then enters a unique code into iTunes, and the movie is automatically copied to their iTunes library.

Vudu updates software and increases content

Posted in Digital Video by Darrin Olson on February 3rd, 2008

Vudu gets more HD content and upgraded software to compete with Apple TVVudu is making some moves to keep in strong competition with the yet-to-be-released second version of AppleTV, this time offering a software update and more high-def content. This software update to version 1.2 comes not much more than a week after Vudu gave their system a 25 percent price cut bringing it down to $295 and closer to AppleTV’s $229. AppleTV had recently announced the “take 2″ version will add on features that will allow users to download video content to the appliance without the need of a computer in between, which is a feature that Vudu possessed and AppleTV did not.

The recent software upgrade for the Vudu video system brings some new features to improve user experiences with choosing videos to download. A new indicator will evaluate the current broadband speed and indicate if the selected video will download and show well without any skips or extended delays. When searching for a video it can also recommend titles for instant start based on the connection speed.

MacBook Air floats down to earth

Posted in Notebooks by Nino Marchetti on January 30th, 2008

“And then the skies parted, the angels sang, the birds twittered and down from Apple Heaven floated the MacBook Air.”

Yes…if you hadn’t guessed it…Apple just announced the MacBook Air is now shipping. It also put out word that the expected Apple TV update to let you rent HD movies is “not quite finished.” It should be available in another week or so.

“And all were happy in the Apple World.”

MacWorld 2008

Digital Copy takes Fox DVDs to iTunes

Posted in Apple,Digital Video,iTunes,MacWorld 2008 by Darrin Olson on January 15th, 2008

Twentieth Century Fox and Apple bringing Digital Copy to copy DVDs to iTunesAmidst the new product announcements unveiled during the MacWorld 2008 keynote today Jobs slipped in a message about a new feature that will easily get your DVD content into your iTunes or Windows Media Player library called Digital Copy. Partnering with Twentieth Century Fox, Apple is offering the Digital Copy feature on DVDs from the Fox studio starting with “Family Guy Presents: Blue Harvest” which releases today.

Anytime someone purchases a DVD from Fox that has the Digital Copy feature they can insert the disc into their computer, enter a unique code and transfer the movie into iTunes or Windows Media Player. The movie will then be available for unlimited viewing on their computer, iPod with video, iPhone, Apple TV or other video media player. There is of course some restriction on your purchased DVD’s Digital Copy feature however. It will transfer the DVD to only one instance of iTunes, limited by the unique code required.

MacWorld 2008

iTunes Movie Rentals bring films direct to your bigscreen

Posted in Apple,Apple TV,Digital Video,iTunes,MacWorld 2008 by Darrin Olson on January 15th, 2008

Apple iTunes Movie Rental service brings movies to rent to your computer or TVApple announced the immediate launch of iTunes Movie Rentals today during the MacWorld 2008 keynote speech, allowing iTunes users to get limited-time download of movies from any of the major studios for as little as $2.99. The new service is part of iTunes version 7.6 which is available now and gives a rental download of movies for 30 days, but once you begin watching the movie the rental will run out in 24 hours. It can be watched as many times as you would like within that time. You can even start watching on your computer and then transfer the video to your iPod and finish watching the movie on the go.

Apple appears to have picked up all the major studios with this offer with the list of participants including 20th Century Fox, The Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros., Paramount, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Lionsgate and New Line Cinema. iTunes plans to have over 1,000 titles available by the end of February with rates of $2.99 for regular titles and $3.99 for new releases. For another dollar iTunes will deliver titles in high-def with Dolby 5.1 surround.

Iogear 4-Port Automatic HDMI Switch simplifies HDMI life

Posted in HDTV,Home Theater by Nino Marchetti on July 30th, 2007

Iogear 4-Port Automatic HDMI SwitchHDMI-enabled devices are one of the hot things in consumer electronics devices right now. You probably have more HDMI devices than HDMI ports on the back of your television though. Iogear thinks it may have the answer to your clutter of HDMI cables with its 4-Port Automatic HDMI Switch.

The Iogear 4-Port Automatic HDMI Switch supports connecting up to four HDMI devices to a single HDMI port on your television or other end device. You can connect devices like Apple TV, DVD players, video game consoles and media servers. This HDMI switch is is High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) compliant and supports 1080p resolution. LEDs on the front panel display the HDMI device that is currently in use.

Trekstor MovieStation maxi t.u

Posted in Digital Video,TrekStor by Chris Weber on May 17th, 2007

Trekstor MovieStation maxi t.uDownloading and storing movies, videos and television programs on your computer hard drive is a nice convenience. The question that quickly rises though is was how to get these to play on back on your television in the living room so you can watch them from the comfort of your Lazyboy with others and not by yourself at your desk.

There’s been a few nice solutions to bridge the computer-entertainment center gap such as the Apple TV, and now Trekstor has come out with an external hard drive called the MovieStation maxi t.u which …

XBox 360 Upgrades on the Way?

Posted in Microsoft,Xbox 360 by Chris Weber on January 17th, 2007

Xbox 360 Game Console UpgradesAn overlooked news item during the CES was Bill Gate’s announcement that Microsoft’s Xbox 360 would be getting a live IPTV service. Rumors are also circulating that the Xbox 360 might also get DVR capabilities and other upgrades to compete with Apple TV in a fight for the living rooms of America and the world.

The TV service will be provided by merging Microsoft’s existing Microsoft® TV IPTV Edition software platform with the Xbox. The service should be available by the holiday season of 2007.

Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft’s …


Samsung’s App Store Surpasses 100 Million Downloads

Posted in Samsung by Conner Flynn on March 24th, 2011

Samsung must be breaking out the champagne right about now, since its App Store has passed 100 million downloads of mobile and TV applications. That didn’t take long. Samsung’s App Store was opened in June 2010 and now has a total of 13,000+ apps for users to download onto their Samsung mobile phones and TV’s. And users have been doing just that.

Users in France downloaded the most, followed by Germany and Spain. Those three countries account for 40 percent of the total downloads recorded. Europeans obviously love what Samsung is offering. Sure those are not Apple numbers, but we are talking Samsung not Apple.

Did Walmart sell a Georgia man a fake iPad?

Posted in iPad by Conner Flynn on February 13th, 2011

This story smells a bit fishy, but a Georgia man claims that a local Walmart sold him a fake iPad, and now the store is refusing to give him a refund.

The iPad shown in the video below is obviously one of those fake display models Walmart uses to trick thieves, but how did Ken Lamal end up with this in his box instead of a new authentic iPad? That’s the question. This story just doesn’t sound right though. In the video, the reporter takes it to an Apple tech to confirm that it isn’t the real thing. I mean, come on. You should know better. The tech says that it’s probably a “brick in the box” return, meaning that a customer bought an iPad, then substituted the display model for the real thing and returned it for a refund.

iPad’s first iAd is for Tron Legacy

Posted in Apple by Conner Flynn on December 15th, 2010

Disney’s upcoming Tron Legacy is getting plenty of hype and Sci-Fi fans are waiting anxiously. Apple users also can share the excitement as iAd for iPad is for this very movie. This is the first and only iAd to hit the iPad for 2010 since iAds have been showcased for just iPhones until now.

However, 2011 could see a bunch of iAds hitting the device. Each ad features rich graphics, touch navigation and video native to apps. Disney’s Tron Legacy iAd is a full screener and will run in iPad apps like TV Guide. It’ll also have purchase options for various apps etc. based on the movie. The soundtrack can also be previewed or downloaded right from the ad via iTunes.

NOOSY HDMI adapter for iPad, iPhone 4 and iPod touch

Posted in iPad by Conner Flynn on October 18th, 2010

NOOSY China is an unauthorized third-party Apple accessory manufacturer who has come up with a HDMI adapter for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch (4G). It will allow you to output the display of your device to your larger HD display.

However it isn’t clear if the adapter will support audio over HDMI or not. We also aren’t sure if it supports DRM protected content over HDMI, but the site shows images of Star Trek on the iPad and on a connected TV so there ya go.

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