Back in 2008, Japan's Fujifilm announced the FinePix REAL 3D W1, dubbed the "world's first" digital camera that let users shoot both pictures and movies in 3D. Released last year, the Real 3D W1 is now available internationally.
This week, Fujifilm has announced some added functionality to the camera with the launch of the HDP-L1, an "HD memory card player" that plugs into a 3D TV via HDMI enabling viewing of 3D pictures and movies from the W1 directly on the TV screen. The media transfer is as simple as swapping an SD or SDHC card from the 3D W1 to the HDP-L1. According to the company, the device can also be connected to a Windows PC or Mac using a USB 2.0 connection.
On sale in Japan this coming April 27, the HDP-L1 will be priced at $45. There is no word on international availability quite yet.
The world's first commercially released pico projector-packing portable media player comes from an unlikely source, SunLink. Unveiled at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair this past week, the 3.5-inch TFT-LCD touchscreen Sunview PMPP has a built-in iView IPL630 LCOS pico projector module that uses LED illumination and DisplayTech's LCOS technology to project a 640x480 VGA image up to a diagonal 53-inches.
The tiny projector only weighs 40 grams and uses 2-3 Watts of power, and uses a 630P engine to produce 7 lumens of brightness. The innovative Sunview PMPP also features Microsoft Windows CE 5.0 core, Office Viewer, an SD card slot, speaker, remote control, and built-in rechargeable battery. It can display all kinds of media ranging from movies to business presentations, but unfortunately for those jumping at the chance to get their hands on this PMP, it's only available in Hong Kong at the moment. But hey, look around, maybe you can get a cheap flight.
Digital picture frames have been a hot seller this holiday season, but we haven't mentioned them because this is a TV blog. That is until now. Yes, this is still a TV blog, but Mustek, a digital imaging solution company, has come up with a digital picture frame that doubles as an iPod docking station.
The PF-i700 is a 7 inch color digital picture frame with a built-in iPod docking station that can actually play your iPod files. And that means video. There's the link to TV you're looking for. The PF-i700 has a 480x234 resolution screen roughly three times the size of the Apple iPod's with a widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio for playback of MPEG, Xvid, and motion-JPEG video formats. It even includes integrated stereo speakers, a headphone jack, a card reader for SD, xD, MMC, MemoryStick and MemoryStick Pro cards, and a USB 2.0 port for thumb drives or connecting to a PC.
The picture frame, which can be used in both portrait and landscape positions and features a removable stand in case you wish to wall-mount it, will be available in March 2008 for $129.99.
Why anyone would download a movie off iTunes for $15 is beyond me, but Gizmodo has reported that Apple has given in to movie studios resulting in the price increase and is apparently part of a strategy intended to attract studios to the iTunes music store. The average DVD costs around $18 and with that you get a tangible item, with a case and insert with movie details and artwork. I rather pay the extra $3 myself.
Gizmodo has stated that this is all rumor at this point in time, but the concessions made on the part of Apple are also a way to get studios to encode an iTunes-friendly version of their movie directly onto DVD so people can import them to their computers and then to their various Apple media-playing products. Good work on Apple's part in working with the studios in such a way that benefits them, but I think this is one Apple affair that won't take off.
The various Zune players from Microsoft were hot sellers this past Black Friday, but those that purchased the Zune 80 will be disappointed to learn the results of battery life tests conducted by CNET. Microsoft rates the Zune for 30 hours of audio playback with the Wi-Fi turned off, but CNET found in lab tests the players is only capable of about 22 hours. With the Wi-Fi feature turned on, battery life is further reduced to 18.5 hours. It would be interesting to see the results of battery life tests for solely video playback. What do you think, 5 hours?? While this is disappointing, it'll really tick off those that bought the Zune 80 to know that the iPod Classic 80 GB player plays back a remarkable 45 hours of audio on a single battery lifetime!
Sanyo will be releasing a waterproof, portable TV, model LVT-WD40, in Japan on November 21. The widescreen-format portable features 480x272 pixel resolution and EPG display via a built-in antennae, which from the Japanese-to-English translation I was able to discern is not waterproof. I'm not sure how that works. The display is waterproof, but the antennae pulling in the video content isn't. I'm hoping the translation is off on this one. The portable uses a lithium ion battery for power with a life at standard screen brightness of about 6 hours. While you're charging it, you can also use an AC adapter as your power source. We don't recommend using the adapter in the shower however. All in all, this portable which will retail in Japan for 50000 yen or $450 US seems a little flawed, not to mention dangerous.
Impress via Gizmodo
Check out the Nintendo DS Tuner in action with the new WanSeg TV Tuner DS, due out in Japan on November 23. Oh, by the way the video is in Japanese and I have no idea what is being said, but you get the idea from the visuals.
Amazon.com has a pre-order page up for the Archos 705 Wi-Fi portable media player. The 705 comes in 80GB and 160GB capacities priced at $399 and $499 respectively. The Archos content portal lets you download movies, video, and music that playback on the PVP's 800x480 7-inch touchscreen. The Wi-Fi connection also lets you surf the web or check your email and an Opera plug-in lets you use video sites right on the web. Finally, an optional DVR station lets you use the 705 as a bridge from your PC to your TV in order to view web-based video content. This is pretty much the best of the best when it comes to portable video players, so look for it when it's released November 27.
Apparently the king of HD DVD, Toshiba, has launched a new portable DVD player. The SD-P120DT features a 12" screen, digital TV tuner, HDMI at either 720p or 1080i resolution, and a just plain cool design. The player is also compatible with DivX, MP3, and WMA files. This would make a great Christmas gift for someone, but we're pretty sure with availability limited to Japan at the moment, you better save some money for shipping.
Aloha Partners purchased 700Mhz spectrum licenses at the US Federal Communications Commission (USFCC) auctions back in 2001 and 2003. Aloha has used the spectrum for the mobile TV network, Hiwire, and MediaFLO, the mobile TV network of Qualcomm. Unfortunately, with mobile TV subscribers well below forecasted numbers, Aloha Partners has sold their spectrum in the 700Mhz band to AT&T for $2.5 billion pending approval by regulatory bodies. The spectrum licenses cover approximately 196 million people.
Analysts believe that AT&T will most likely use the licenses for two-way cellular services and the sale should be a clear sign that investors are no longer convinced of the viability of mobile TV at this time. Opportunities for revenue from mobile TV services are miniscule compared to those from cellular services, and small mobile TV companies no longer have much of a chance at competing with huge cellular networks at USFCC auctions.
It is interesting to note that AT&T also purchased Hiwire, although the company did not commit to using it in future plans.
DirecTV's Sat-GO, the mobile satellite TV that would make a perfect companion for your next camping trip has just dropped in price. Originally $1499, the Sat-Go is now priced at a slightly more reasonable $999. The other downside besides the price is that purchases of the Sat-GO are limited to in-home subscribers of DirecTV. But hey, it's convenient. As long as you have a clear view of the southern sky, you're good to go no matter where you are.
Apple has released three new iPhone ads that you can view via their website. All of the ads are people-based rather than product-based as the previous ads have been. First we have Doug, who believes that one of the greatest advancements in the history of mankind is visual voicemail. Then there is Elliot, who helped his girlfriend avoid an awkward situation by finding her bosse's fiancees name on the internet, via the iPhone of course, just before they both showed up to meet the couple for dinner. Finally there is Stefano, who only needs his iPhone and wallet now thanks to the vast array of features on the phone.
Could this switch from product-based advertising to people-based advertising be a strategy to overcome the whole iBrick debacle?
The Slingbox is one of the coolest TV tech gadgets on the market today. Developed by Sling Media, the Slingbox allows you to watch cable, satellite, or programs recorded on a DVR from a remote location provided you have an internet connection. So for example, you could watch your home satellite channels on your wireless laptop while you're having your morning coffee at the local wi-fi hotspot coffee shop. Amazing, eh?
While this technology has been on the market for a couple of years now, Sling Media has been the topic of many a tech conversation the past couple of days as EchoStar Communications announced a couple of days back that they would be purchasing the company for a cool $380 million. While the Slingbox hasn't really taken off yet (the company has stated it has sold "hundreds of thousands" of the boxes and my opinion is a completely subjective one), EchoStar will provide an already established market of 13.6 million DISH satellite users and already developed DVR technology.
Given the purchase on the part of EchoStar Communications, allowing new market opportunities for the amazing technology developed by Sling Media, I think we'll be hearing more about the Slingbox and its related applications in the future.
But guess what. The future is already here as the new Slingbox Solo is going on sale today in the US, Canada, the UK, and the Netherlands. It will be sold for $179.99 in the US. Interestingly, this is the first time the Slingbox hasn't been first offered in the US before expanding internationally. It seems the Sling Media crew is already taking advantage of the reach of EchoStar.
The new Solo, which Sling Media hopes to market as their premier product, is similar to the previous models in design except it is apparently colored black. It is also HD-capable as opposed to previous models that only had standard definition capabilities.
Also watch around year end for the release of the Clip + Sling software that allows users to send live TV clips to anyone, not just Slingbox users.
Watch the Slingbox in action on the Sling Media website! Or if you're not convinced about the usefulness of the Slingbox, watch Sling Media CEO Blake Krikorian watch football while at a horrible play!
Back in May, Sony unveiled a revolutionary new type of screen for electronic devices. Called organic electroluminescent display (OLED), the screen is paper-thin and is actually flexible as it is made of a malleable glass substrate. The screen, which uses TFT technology to maintain picture clarity and screen thickness when bent, has now been utilized by designer Yeon-shin Seung to create a rather futuristic looking portable DVD player.
Because the screen is flexible, the player is very thin and shaped more like a chocolate bar than the usual thicker, boxy designs typical of portable DVD players up until now. The DVD player is split into two halves much like the typical models, but rather than flipping the screen up you twist the top layer so the two halves are perpendicular to each other and the screen unfolds. The DVD slips into an open tray in the back and there you go. Hard to visualize I know, but take a look at the pictures below for some guidance.
While this product is a prototype at the moment, look for portable DVD players to be the next step in the utilization of OLED technology. There have been prototypes of OLED TVs for three or four years now, but screen life has been a major drawback to putting these products on the market. However, technologies with smaller screens such as MP3 players have been using OLED for awhile. Pay attention to this technology. As engineers learn more about it, look for it in the television screens of the future.