April 2, 2010
Halden-Caviglia turns sleek HDTVs into the antique version
Halden-Caviglia is attempting to turn the sleek HDTV into an artistic experience with its new Showcases. Basically fancy-looking cases that house a TV set, giving it typically antique look, the Showcases include dual speakers and an integrated amplifier, passive and fan ventilation to prevent heat damage, and an IR-repeater to ensure typical remote controls can access the TV inside.
Also included is a patent-pending wall-mounting system as well as a table-mounting system for those that prefer the tabletop TV-watching methodology. Showcases are able to fit most HDTV form factors between 42- and 65-inches (sized small, medium and large) and can be custom built to specifications. Cost? Between $7495 and $11495.
November 29, 2009
Swine flu from a Netflix disc? Probably not
Anyone seriously concerned about acquiring swine flu or any other number of exotic diseases these days probably wonder about the cleanliness inherent in handling money--or say, Netflix discs. To test out the cleanliness of Netflix discs, which are handled by millions of people, KLTV.com sent a sample of six Netflix discs
and sleeves to the pathology lab at the University of Texas Health Science Center of Tyler to put them under the microscope. Surprisingly, at least to myself, the four different types of bacteria found to be growing on the discs were nothing to be concerned about. Separate testing of the sleeves proved to be benign as well. To be fair, a sample of six discs is small, and doesn't mean every Netflix disc is clean. But I wonder if companies like Redbox or Blockbuster would fair as well?
October 12, 2009
Panasonic adds Active Shutter Glasses to 3D home theater roster
This is interesting: Panasonic is not only in the business of creating 3D TVs, it is also making the "Active Shutter Glasses" that accompany the display technology. As per usual, they are silly looking, don't look particularly comfortable, and won't catch on with mainstream consumers (I'll bet alot of money on this). But at least the 3D revolution has begun.
September 22, 2009
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings predicts the future of video
Reuters recently had the chance to talk with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings after he awarded the $1 million prize to a team for improving its movie recommendation engine. During the interview Hastings gave some insight as to the future plans of his DVD-by-mail giant. In the future, he hopes that Netflix streaming will be integrated into every internet TV, game console, and Blu-ray player. He also sees the possibility of working with Apple to integrate Netflix into the iPhone, though he concedes the company isn't focused on mobile yet. As for DVD? He figures that the DVD-by-mail service will peak for Netflix in 5 years or so, though he also said that people will still be buying DVDs in 15 to 20 years, giving them a much longer lifespan than most of us would have thought.
August 20, 2009
Is an Apple HDTV on the way?
Prolific Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster believes that Apple will launch a full blown HDTV with built-in digital media recording capabilities by 2011. And how will this vision play out? Munster says it'll go something like this:
- Apple will release a new Apple TV set-top box soon with a TV input a built-in DVR. This would tie in to a subscription-based service for its iTunes TV content.
- An iTunes TV Pass within the year that will leverage Apple's cable network relationships and content library. Consumers would have unlimited access to a sub-library of cable content for a flat fee of $30-$40 per month.
- An Apple TV set within two years that will be able to wirelessly sync with iPhones, iPods, and iPod Touch's.
Munster continues to go on to argue that Apple's partnership with LG to produce LCD displays and a variety of digital video recording-related patents further support an Apple TV.
Personally I'm on the fence about this one. With budget HDTV brands such as Vizio producing quality sets on the cheap, this might be a tough market for Apple to break into. Especially given its premium pricing strategy. Pioneer had the bestplasma TVs around--still do really--but pulled out of the business because the high prices it charged didn't enable it to grab enough market share.
Then again, if any company could pull off a premium pricing strategy in what is quickly becoming a commodity market, Apple would be it.
August 17, 2009
BenQ goes green with V Series Eco LED monitor family
BenQ last week announced the launch of two new LED-backlit desktop monitors: the 24-inch 1080p V2400 Eco and the 21.5-inch 1080p V2200 Eco, both widescreen displays.
BenQ claims that both Eco monitors, in addition to being environmentally friendly, leak no light enabling each to sport 5 million to 1 dynamic contrast. Also, both monitors augment the LED-backlighting and high contrast with Senseye 3 Human Vision Technology, proprietary to BenQ.
The monitors will ship first mid-month in China, before shipping globally. Check out the full release after the jump.
Continue reading: "BenQ goes green with V Series Eco LED monitor family"
July 22, 2009
The average American household has 2.86 TVs but only 2.5 people. Hmm?
How many televisions do you have in your home? I'll admit I have 2 and only 2 people live here (though my wife is pregnant and it will be 3 soon!). It's funny though because I think some of the best content available is actually found on the internet. A recent survey by research group Nielsen revealed that the average home in the United States has 2.86 homes and only 2.5 people. Doesn't make much sense, does it? In 1975 the average American had 1.57 TVs. That number grew to 2.43 in 2000 and despite the prevalence of web TV continues to grow.
July 13, 2009
LaCie LaCinema Rugged multimedia drive: Never watch a TV repeat again
There's plenty of good made-for-the-web video content available today. It's fair to say the web video industry has come a long ways in the past few years. If you're not part of the 20% of web video viewers who watch less traditional TV thanks to new media, at the very least it's great during the primetime offseason and its neverending repeats. But what's the best way to stream the content from the web to your HDTV?
LaCie's new LaCinema Rugged multimedia drive provides an easy solution without the need for any elaborate HTPC setup or monetary outflow. The $350 hardware hooks up to your PC or Mac via USB 2.0 and then accepts downloading video, audio and pictures. Most popular video codecs are accepted included H.264, MKV, WMV9 and MPEG4.
The 500 GB drive can hold up to 700 movies, according to LaCie, and it has a similar form factor to the company's Rugged Hard Disk--an anti-scratch aluminum outer shell, a shock-resistant bumper, and internal anti-shock absorbers.
At LaCie LaCinema Rugged
June 5, 2009
Never a miss a phone call again with the TV Silencer
We've all missed a phone call because the TV's been too loud at one time or another. Some of us more than others depending on the quality of our hearing or aptitude for constantly misplacing the remote. The TV Silencer is a handy little gadget that eliminates the chance of TV-responsible missed calls altogether. Basically a programmable remote, the TV Silencer hooks to your landline and automatically mutes your TV and/or pauses your DVD player when it detects an incoming call. It also doesn't require a separate plug-in, batteries or recharging, because it pulls power straight from the phone line. Nice. You can grab a TV Silencer now for $44.95.
April 1, 2009
Heimweh Loge multimedia lounger sports a 22-inch LCD TV
Introducing the Heimweh Loge multimedia lounger. Built for both residential and commercial applications, the Heimweh Loge lounger integrates a 22-inch LCD, DVD player and CD player into the roof of of its wraparound base unit. By the looks of it, removing the side panels would make this lounger ideal for those pesky dentist appointments. By we're guessing the price tag of the Loge lounger probably wouldn't justify pulling it to pieces.
December 3, 2008
Open Air Cinema's Got A 220-Inch Backyard Display
Open Air Cinema's 16-foot inflatable backyard movie screen isn't typical for TVSnob's coverage but I thought it was pretty neat when I saw it. Open Air usually caters to film festivals and big drive-ins so it's likely this is a high quality product, though don't quote me on that. It measures in at 16 by 9 feet or 220 inches diagonally and includes a blower fan so it takes virtually no time to set up.
The company says that the screen is made of wrinkle-proof ripstop nylon, colored matte white on the viewable surface but with a black backstop that blocks light and improves contrast ratio. Amazingly it'll stand up to 20 mile per hour winds as well. Once you're finished with it, you just reverse the blower fan and it shrivels down to a 20 pound mass of nylon that fits nicely in an included duffel bag.
It's a little pricey at $999, but well worth it if you're a big backyard dweller in the summer. Open Air also offers two other smaller screen sizes: a 12 by 7 foot screen costing $599 and a 9 footer costing $449.
June 12, 2008
Do You Spend More Time Watching TV Than Sleeping?
How much TV do you watch? The latest study conducted by Solutions Research Group found that the average American with web access watches 6.1 hours of video-based entertainment per day. About 4 of those 6 hours are taken up by traditional TV including DVR, video-on-demand, and live viewing. The other 2 include video games, web and PC vids, DVDs, and video played on mobile devices. But it doesn't end here.
By 2013, the average American consumer is expected to watch 8 hours of video-based entertainment per day, probably more time than the average American sleeps per day. Thanks to the rise of video playback in mobile devices and the growing popularity of web video, if you live in the US you'll spend nearly 2.9 hours per day viewing video on these platforms by 2013. And the time spent watching traditional TV will remain around 4 hours per day pretty well confirming the home theater won't die anytime soon. However a greater amount of traditional TV time will be spent watching time-shifted programs.
These numbers must be making TV hardware manufacturers and distributors incredibly happy. This just means more money in their pockets. The funny part is if the amount of time Americans watch TV in a day continues to grow at the same rate it's expected to between now and 2013, by 2023 it'll grow to about 14.5 hours per day, leaving time for sleep and maybe eating. Looks like no one will have time to work to pay for all the hardware required to actually watch TV!
Via Solutions Research Group
June 11, 2008
Sqish: The Invisible Satellite Dish
Satellite dishes can be a real pain in the ass. Apartment landlords make it impossible to put them up, birds love them as nesting spots, and they are really just plain ugly. The Sqish is the solution to all of the above problems. Basically the Sqish is a satellite receiver that's built to blend in with its surroundings and it's a flat square rather than the concave, circular shape typical of most receivers. All's you have to do is decide where it should be located on your property, take a picture of that location, and the Sqish will be supplied to you with a matching finish. So far its only available in the UK for £149 and you'll pay an extra £25 for the matt-finish camouflage sticker. This looks like the type of product that'll be a hit though, so here's to hoping we see it hit North American shores soon.
Via Daily Mail
June 9, 2008
How Hollywood Plans To Pull You Away From Your Home Theater
Assuming their are about 40, 000 cinema screens in the US and Canada and it costs between $60, 000 and $100, 000 to replace each screen and celluloid film projector with digital equipment, it'll cost between $2.4 trillion and $4 trillion to convert the entire American and Canadian cinema industry to digital. And Hollywood feels that this is a small price to pay to pull home theater fanatics away from their flatscreens and back into the theater to see everything digital cinema offers, from 3D animated film features to digital renditions of the latest NBA game.
Several Hollywood studios-Disney, 20th Century Fox, Paramount and Universal-have already to finance the digital conversion of 10, 000 cinema screens they're so convinced its crucial to the survival of the film industry. Several other industry groups have banded together to finance a majority of the remaining screens. And despite the fact that fewer employees are required to maintain a digital cinema and its equipment is quite reliable, you can bet you'll pay more for a 3D movie ticket.
This summer will be the initial test with the release of a couple of 3D titles: live-action film Journey to the Center of the Earth coming July 11 and the animated Fly Me to the Moon coming August 8. Will you leave the comfort of your home theater for a digital cinema experience? Hollywood is betting trillions on it.
Via Boston Herald