Archive for March, 2011

JBL intros OnBeat iPad / iPhone / iPod speaker dock, prices it at $150

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Engadget: This planet we call home needs another iDock about as bad as we need another Charlie Sheen running around aimlessly, but no matter — we’re getting one, and it’s being…



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Onkyo releases its first DLNA-compatible stereo network receiver

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

What Hi-fi: It’s been a busy day for Onkyo. This morning came the news that Onkyo’s new 2011 AV receivers will be Spotify-compatible, starting with the £500 TX-NR609, and this afternoon…



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Vita Audio releases upgraded R4i music system

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

What Hi-fi: Vita Audio has announced an upgraded version of the R4 all-in-one music system, the R4i.
Boasting a range of internal improvements aimed at boosting audio performance, the R4i replaces…



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YouTube Gamble Pays Off

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Google isn’t saying much about the financial side of YouTube, but it has been widely reported that the parent corporation does report that YouTube’s revenues doubled in 2010 compared with 2009. It’s not clear whether or that is enough to be profitable — estimates put the 2009 losses at almost 0 million – but the trend should help the company get better in a big hurry.

One fact is clear; more and more video is being produced solely to be published on YouTube. Google also appears to be investing heavily in the company with lots of new hires planned for 2011. This should help speed development of new projects that they have on tap.

Much of the new development in online video has been moving toward subscription-based services: Hulu Plus, Netflix, Vudu, Amazon Video on Demand. In contrast, YouTube is still all free. And it has quietly rolled out new features such as episode-length programming, high-definition resolution, and more embedding options. So far, YouTube has done the best job of delivering lots of content for just about any interest you may have. (Some of my favorite topics are mandolin, wood-turning, and sailing, and I can’t think of any single site that can match the breadth and quality of selections on these subjects that are available on YouTube.)

YouTube is quietly becoming a major force in online video, and not just user-generated content. It could well be in a position to become dominant in episodic and movie progamming if it chooses to head in that direction.

HDTV Almanac

Crackle starts streaming all of its free movies to Roku, PS3, Sony TVs and Blu-ray players

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Sony’s Crackle has had a more successful life so far than its previous iteration as Grouper, streaming movies, TV shows and shorts to various devices since launching back in ’07 and announced today its full library will be streaming to the PS3, Roku boxes, Sony Blu-ray players and Bravia TVs. Expanding full access from just the Google TV (there’s also an Android app that currently streams some of the items) it’s taking credit as the only provider offering free full length flicks including Ghostbusters, Bad Boys, A Few Good Men and more for free on these platforms. The drawbacks are video that tops out at 480p standard definition and Hulu-style commercial interruptions but if you absolutely must watch Weekend at Bernies II without spending any money it is an option — at least, as long as the PS3 browser doesn’t crash with an out of memory error like it did for us. It did work better on more capable platforms, so check out the full details in the press release after the break.

Continue reading Crackle starts streaming all of its free movies to Roku, PS3, Sony TVs and Blu-ray players

Crackle starts streaming all of its free movies to Roku, PS3, Sony TVs and Blu-ray players originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 29 Mar 2011 22:34:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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XPAND 3D to Tame Chaos

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

XPAND 3D is leading the charge to bring some sense to the active-glasses stereoscopic 3DTV market. Yesterday, the company joined with Panasonic to announce the M-3DI standard for 3DTVs, computers, and home projectors, as well as digital cinemas that rely on active shutter glasses technology. This new standard provides a communication protocol for the signals between the display and the glasses. This means that one pair of glasses will work with all frame-sequential stereioscopic displays that conform to M-3DI.

This broad standard eliminates the need to get different glasses for every different manufacturer. As a result, third-party glasses makers should be able to focus on M-3DI compatible models, which could drive down costs by increasing manufacturing volumes.

The new standard has been endorsed by a long list of major players in addition to XPAND 3D and Panasonic: Changhong Electric Co., Ltd., FUNAI Electric Co., Ltd., H isense Electric Co., Ltd., Hitachi Consumer Electronics Co., Ltd., Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Seiko Epson Corporation, SIM2 Multimedia S.p.A., and ViewSonic Corporation. There are some big names missing from this list, but these should have enough clout to make this new standard stick. We may see the others sign on before long.

HDTV Almanac

Netflix Canada announces new bandwidth management settings for capped users

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

The second bit of news for Canadian Netflixers in less than 24 hours deals with the other pressing issue facing the service in the Great White North: bandwidth caps. While they exist in the U.S., many Canadian ISPs have set the max amount of data allowed at much lower levels and they may cut further if a recent CRTC decision on usage-based billing stands. In response, starting today Netflix.ca accounts all have a new Manage Video Quality setting that lets users select Good / Better / Best bitrates as defaults for their video streams. According to CPO Neil Hunt’s blog post, previously watching 30 hours of Netflix would typically consume up to 30GB of data, while now it can be as low as 9GB under the “Good” setting. Of course, dropping bitrate means lowering picture quality accordingly, despite promises that “the experience continues to be great.” Even with HD and 5.1 audio available, PQ probably isn’t your highest priority if you’ve turned to streaming, but it remains to be seen if customers find the compromise suitable, and whether a similar option comes to U.S. users facing similarly limited connections.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

Netflix Canada announces new bandwidth management settings for capped users originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 28 Mar 2011 23:09:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Stereolizer iPad App

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Cool Material: 90% of the time, we’re willing to sacrifice a little bit of warmth and clarity in favor of convenience. Drunken hazes not withstanding, we’re actually talking about music. Vinyl is…



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earTones earphones feature Microban antimicrobial protection

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

Gizmag: While the sound quality of over-the-ear headphones is generally much better than a set of earbuds, the convenience of using earbuds while on the go can’t be denied. Many earbuds are…



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Atomos Ninja and Samurai HD video recorder / monitors bring compression jutsu to pro filmmaking

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

We all drool over the hi-res video shot by cameras like the RED EPIC, but for indie-film types, processing the massive files produced takes a lot of time (and therefore money) and not everyone has an ARRI ALEXA to do native recording compression. Enter the Atomos Ninja and Samurai HD recorder / monitor / playback devices that take your 10-bit video and compress it in Apple’s 1080p ProRes QuickTime format to make your post-production life a little easier. The Ninja pulls video through HDMI and deposits it on your choice of 2.5-inch HDD or SDD storage, does playback via a 4.3-inch 480 x 270 touchscreen, and has continuous power thanks to dual hot-swappable batteries (available in 2600, 5200, and 7800 mAh varieties). Meanwhile, the Samurai matches the Ninja’s specs, but swaps out the HDMI connection for HD-SDI ports and adds SDI Loop-Through to connect an external monitor, a larger 5-inch 800 x 400 display, and 3D support (if you get two Samurais genlocked together). Both units have FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 and 3.0 connections for offloading your vids. Those with Spielbergian aspirations can pony up 5 for the Ninja right now, or pay ,495 for the Samurai upon its release this summer.

Atomos Ninja and Samurai HD video recorder / monitors bring compression jutsu to pro filmmaking originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 26 Mar 2011 11:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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HDTV Listings for March 26, 2011

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

What we’re watching tonight:

  • CBS (1080i) has NCAA tournament Elite Eight action with Arizona/UCONN at 7:05 p.m.
  • Syfy (1080i) presents Scream of the Banshee at 9 p.m.
  • ABC (720p) has No Ordinary Family at 10 p.m.
  • BBC America (1080i) has Being Human at 9 p.m.
  • ESPN (720p) has Women’s NCAA tournament action with Gonzaga/Louisville at 9 p.m.
  • ESPN2 (720p) has Women’s NCAA tournament action with UNC/Stanford at 11:32 p.m.

HDTV Listings for March 26, 2011 originally appeared on Engadget HD on Sat, 26 Mar 2011 18:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Engadget Show Live! with Jon Rubinstein

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

Humans, keep your eyes tuned to this post — because at 7:00PM ET, we’ll be starting The Engadget Show live with HP’s Jon Rubinstein, joining us for a evening of frank, eye-opening and all-around awesome conversation. There’ll be mind-blowing devices, crazy giveaways, and much, much more! We’ve even got music from Minusbaby. The stream is available after the break, just click the “read more” button to watch!

Continue reading The Engadget Show Live! with Jon Rubinstein

The Engadget Show Live! with Jon Rubinstein originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 25 Mar 2011 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Xtreamer Ultra HTPC grabs a €249 price, May 3rd ship date

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

We’ve heard, we’ve toyed, and we’ve waited. And now, we’re presenting you with two vital nuggets of information surrounding the Xtreamer Ultra HTPC. The Ion 2-based machine is one of the most compact (and most affordable) pre-built HTPCs available, complete with six USB sockets, 4GB of DDR3 memory, an HDMI socket, IR remote and — if you place a pre-order before the end of April — a mini wireless keyboard, 8GB USB key, an HDMI 1.4a cable and a fresh copy of Linux. €249 will get one headed your way on May 3rd, or 3 if you’re Livin’ In America. Hit the source link to get in line, ya heard?

[Thanks, Tim and Henrik]

Xtreamer Ultra HTPC grabs a €249 price, May 3rd ship date originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 26 Mar 2011 00:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Netflix, Miramax reportedly close to a deal for streaming – Update: Google, Amazon, Hulu too?

Friday, March 25th, 2011

We know a common criticism of Netflix streaming is that many of the movies are older (protip: of all the movies ever produced ever, the vast majority were released prior to the last six months) but we doubt anyone will complain about awesome older movies like some of those in the Miramax catalog. According to the Wall Street Journal, the two are hammering out a five-year deal worth more than 0 million for access to its catalog of more than 700 titles which could include Pulp Fiction, Good Will Hunting, Kill Bill, and more. That could be a good take for Miramax which just recently found a new owner, and a quick boost for Netflix, which most recently had to deal with announcements that it would lose access to some popular Showtime content and experience delays on new TV shows from Starz. Still, we’ll wait until after the deal is official to schedule a theme party at a throwback burger joint.

Update: According to the LA TimesCompany Town blog, other companies including Amazon, Google and Hulu are also negotiating for the rights. This just got very interesting.

Netflix, Miramax reportedly close to a deal for streaming – Update: Google, Amazon, Hulu too? originally appeared on Engadget HD on Fri, 25 Mar 2011 21:13:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How Many Speakers Does a Home Theater Really Need?

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Just how many speaker channels do you really need for home theater? We discuss the finer points of home surround sound with Dolby’s Craig Eggers.

Big Picture Big Sound – Home Theater, HDTV, Movie Reviews

Pot? Kettle? The Screen is Still Black

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Ever heard of LIN Media? It’s quite possible that you haven’t. It’s a company that owns local broadcast television stations across the country, from Albuquerque to Toledo. In many markets, it owns more than one station, such as the CBS and CW affiliates in Buffalo, or the NBC and ABC affiliates in Grand Rapids.

If you’re a DISH Network subscriber in any of these 17 markets, however, you probably know about LIN Media. Because at midnight last Friday, all these channels went dark on the the satellite subscriber service. The problem is that the local broadcasters feel that if DISH is collecting money from subscribers, then the broadcasters should get a piece of the action in return for the content that they provide. On the other hand, this is content that viewers can get for free, at least in theory, just by hanging out an antenna.

The fact is that the two sides could not reach an agreement, and the channels were not available anymore. Did LIN pull them, or did DISH block them? Who knows? You can read the War of the Words here and here if you want to go to the source. But the bottom line remains; subscribers are held hostage when the content providers and the television subscription services disagree on how to divide up the money. I don’t expect that consumers will put up with it much longer, and we’re likely to see the federal government stepping into the fray.

HDTV Almanac

DirecTV to add a few HD channels from HBO next week

Friday, March 25th, 2011

If you’ve been waiting for new HD channels from DirecTV, and not just 3D, congratulations, as forum posts on DBSTalk reveal Cinemax HD, HBO Signature HD and HBO Family HD are headed to the service on the 30th. Of course, if you’re not signed up for the HBO pack of channels it won’t do much for you, but at least the rumored delay of the next season of Mad Men gives the satellite company a little more time to get AMC HD up and running.

[Thanks, Joe]

DirecTV to add a few HD channels from HBO next week originally appeared on Engadget HD on Thu, 24 Mar 2011 23:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tron: Legacy/Tron 2-Movie Collection Blu-ray 3D Review

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

TRONs old and new collide in this generous five-disc, multi-format set.

Big Picture Big Sound – Home Theater, HDTV, Movie Reviews

Logitech Ultimate Ears 700 Noise-Isolating Earphones Review

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

In the crowded headphone market, Logitech stands out with their latest noise-isolating offering in the Ultimate Ears line.

Big Picture Big Sound – Home Theater, HDTV, Movie Reviews

15 Million 3DTVs by 2012

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Futuresource has announced a study that predicts an installed base of 15 million 3DTVs in the U.S. by the end of next year. They point to the increased content that is becoming available as the driving force behind this forecast. And other prognosticators are saying that this figure is way too high, especially when you consider how long it took HDTV to get traction.

I take a different view. According to various sources, there were 35 to 40 million HDTVs sold in the U.S. in 2010. This number is expected to grow in 2011 and 2012 as the economy continues to recover. I also see that the competition for sales is not going to get any easier. Manufacturers are worn out competing on price, so the only hope they have to stop the steady 20% drop in prices year after year is to deliver more value. Cell phone makers have been doing this for years. And we’re seeing it in HDTVs: LED backlights, Internet connectivity, and all sorts of other bells and whistles. Well, 3D support will be just one more bell and whistle to put in the box. If just one out of every seven or eight sets sold in the next two years have 3D support built in, it won’t be that much of a stretch to hit the 15 million installed base target.

Now I’ll freely admit that most of those sets will be bought without glasses, but many of the Internet-ready sets aren’t connected to home networks either. Consumers are happy to “future-proof” their purchases to make sure that they don’t get obsolete too quickly. So I expect that they’ll get the 3D set but not the glasses until the available content makes it a compelling proposition. That’s what I’d do; wouldn’t you?

HDTV Almanac

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Killed and Reborn As World’s Thinnest Tablet with 8.9-Inch Little Brother

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Gizmodo: Joining the original 7-inch Tab, Samsung’s today added an 8.9-inch Galaxy Tab and a slimmed-down 10.1-inch model that’s been radically altered since we first saw it last month at…



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Netflix suffers temporary website outage today (fixed!), permanent Dexter outage this summer

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

The bad news is that our bulging tips box reports Netflix’s website and Watch Instantly streaming service have been mostly inaccessible for the last couple of hours. Those lucky enough to have the page open from earlier may still have access, and devices based on older UIs are up and running while the newer HTML5 based frontends seem to be down for the count. The worse news is Crain’s New York Business reported today that a new licensing deal with Showtime will not renew streaming access to older seasons of currently airing shows like Dexter and Californication when they expire this summer. Instead, their arrangement will cover shows that are off the air like The Tudors and Sleeper Cell.

Showtime has decided to hold the fresher stuff back for its TV Everywhere portals accessible by pay-TV subscribers despite Netflix’s best efforts to pitch itself as a friend to the premium networks, which could also explain its plan to start offering original content of its own next year. Wide outages like this have been relatively rare and while we’ll just keep an eye on @NetflixHelps until it’s back up, there’s no telling what other blank spaces we might find in our instant streaming queues in the future.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

Update: Things appear to be back to normal as of 10:30 p.m. EST or so, there’s no official word via Twitter yet but between the commenters below and the episode of Firefly we’re watching, it’s all good. Wait — Not so fast, while PC streaming is a go, devices are still mostly locked out.

Per @NetflixHelps UPDATE: Streaming is back on the website. We’re still working on getting streaming back to all devices. Thanks for your patience!

Update 2: From @NetflixHelps – RESOLVED: The website and devices are back up and running. Thanks again for your patience while we worked to get this fixed!

Netflix suffers temporary website outage today (fixed!), permanent Dexter outage this summer originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 22 Mar 2011 22:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Now You Can “Like” a Movie

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Add one more player to the roster of online streaming video content services. Warner Brothers is partnering with the social media juggernaut Facebook. The studio is just dipping its toe in these uncharted waters by offering “The Dark Knight” at for a 48-hour rental. There’s no mention of resolution (or if you have a choice of resolution), but the company’s press release states that “additional titles will be made available for rental and purchase on a regular basis over the coming months.”

Warner Brothers has an enormous back catalog of films and television shows: more than 6,650 feature films, 40,000 television titles and 14,000 animated titles. Facebook is a force to be reckoned with at this point. If Facebook becomes a destination for video entertainment, it could attract other content providers, especially if it has a working rental model that generates more cash than the “all you can eat” plans offered by Netflix and Hulu Plus. As a result, many people in many industries will be paying close attention to this little experiment by WB and Fb.

HDTV Almanac

Verizon FiOS offers triple- or quad-play customers in Florida free 500GB DVRs

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Verizon’s adding some juice to its triple- and quad-play FiOS TV bundles in the state of Florida, offering Bucs fans its new 500GB QIP7232 multiroom DVR from Motorola for free (normally .99) as long as they’ll sign up for home phone and maybe mobile phone service as well. The discount applies as long as customers hang onto the bundled service which ranges from .99 to 9.99, plus any mobile service charges. Combine this with the still-being-previewed software upgrade to turn on a new UI, multiroom DVR browsing and external storage, and while it probably won’t cause anyone to toss a Media center setup or TiVo Premiere aside, it’s certainly worth a look if you were already considering bundling services anyway. Check the press release after the break.

Continue reading Verizon FiOS offers triple- or quad-play customers in Florida free 500GB DVRs

Verizon FiOS offers triple- or quad-play customers in Florida free 500GB DVRs originally appeared on Engadget HD on Tue, 22 Mar 2011 14:12:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Is That a Camel’s Nose I See?

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Dateline: Calgary, Alberta. (That’s Canada, folks.) In a press release, Shaw Communications announced Tuesday that the company was going to offer its subscribers a new service called the Shaw Plan Personalizer. The new offering comes with a three-year price guarantee if you sign up before the end of May, but that’s not the news. Here’s what it says in the press release:

With the new Shaw Plan Personalizer, customers can purchase a core home entertainment and communications package that includes Extreme Internet, Personal TV, hardware options and Personal Home Phone basic. They can then customize the plan exactly how they want it. Customers will pick the products and features they use and love to create a plan that’s made just for them.

Pick the products and features they use and love? Create a plan that’s made just for them? Hmmm; this bird is waddling and quacking. What do you suppose it could be? It sure looks to me as if this duck is an a la carte pricing plan, which is the very thing that consumers have been demanding and that the subscription TV services have been avoiding like the plague.

Does it make a difference? It looks as though you can get a basic HD package for a month, and then add a bundle of sports channels for just more. That’s a big savings over some of the other packages, and you don’t have to pay for a bunch of channels that you’ll never watch. And remember the price is fixed for three years.

I imagine that this approach also might appeal to a few television subscribers south of the 49th parallel. Maybe you should call your provider and tell them that you want the “Shaw Deal”.

HDTV Almanac

3D Multi-Viewpoint Fog Projection Display

Monday, March 21st, 2011

DigInfo.tv: At Interaction 2011, a research group from Osaka University exhibited a fog display that enables multi-viewpoint observation.
“Ordinary fog displays use a single projector with fog…



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Stand By Me Blu-ray Review

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Blu-ray turns back the clock on this 25-year-old masterpiece about childhood’s end.

Big Picture Big Sound – Home Theater, HDTV, Movie Reviews

Netflix Dominates Digital Downloads

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Market-tracking firm NPD has issued a press release on digital video based on its VideoWatch Digital service. One of the interesting results is that digital video — either downloaded or streamed — now accounts for one quarter of all video watched at home. That’s a pretty stunning share of the total.

Even more stunning are the numbers for Netflix. According to NPD, Netflix streaming is responsible for more than 60% of the total digital video watched in U.S. households. I expected that they would have a lead, but I never imagined that it was this great. A 60% market share is beyond dominant. This is the sort of share that Corning has for LCD panel glass, or Merck has for liquid crystal material used in LCDs. When you have this much market share, your nearest competitor is not likely to have even half the business that you have. And if the field is crowded, the gap between Number One and Trying Harder can be enormous.

According to NPD, the second place is held by Comcast, followed by a tie for third between DirecTV, TimeWarner Cable, and Apple. That doesn’t sound too bad until you find out that Comcast’s share is just 8%, and the next three have 4% apiece. Combined, these four of the top five only have one-third the total business that Netflix has.

What’s a word for “more than dominant?”

HDTV Almanac

Vinyl Records are the fastest growing music format in 2010

Monday, March 21st, 2011

The Audio Blog: You might think the scratch of needle to vinyl would be an unlikely survivor in the digital download age. But vinyl record sales are back in high rotation. In 2010 Vinyl Records sales…



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Tangled Blu-ray 3D Review

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Disney hereby tenders one of the most gorgeous Blu-rays ever–2D or 3D–along with every other way to watch this familiar tale, now with added bounce and shine.


Big Picture Big Sound – Home Theater, HDTV, Movie Reviews

Recipe for More 3DTV Content: Small Cameras

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

As I’ve written here repeatedly, the biggest factor to slow 3DTV sales is the lack of content. The extra cost of the sets and the annoyance of the glasses would be ignored if there were compelling content available in significant quantity. But it costs a small fortune to convert existing 2D content to 3D, and it costs far to shoot original footage in 3D than in 2D. If you’re working on a theatrical movie project, you need expensive rigs that mount two complete cameras so that you get the highest possible quality in the images with the greatest amount of control.

But as we’ve learned repeatedly with technology, “good enough” often wins out over better. And the production equipment companies are coming up with “good enough” solutions that can result in lower-cost 3D content creation. For example, Panasonic came out with a single camera that has two lenses, which makes it much easier to capture stereoscopic images. According to an article in TV Technology, one producer has found that he can get the shots he needs for about the same money. The smaller camera means a smaller crew, and thus a smaller budget. According to the article, Panasonic has already sold hundreds of their cameras in the U.S. alone since they were introduced last year. And now Sony is expected to come out with a stereoscopic video camera of its own with a list price under ,500. The lightweight, two-lens camera is expected to launch at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference next month.

I think we’re right on track to have plenty of 3DTV content within two or three years.

HDTV Almanac

Mitsubishi drops LCD HDTVs to focus on 73-inch and above sized displays

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

That we didn’t spot a successor to Mitsubishi’s well-received line of Unisen LCD HDTVs at CES 2011 should have been a signal, but now the company has made it official — it is downsizing TV operations, closing some offices and leaving the LCD TV business entirely. As the only company still selling rear projection sets to consumers, a letter from senior VP Cayce Blanchard (included after the break) indicates the plan is to focus on selling DLP and Laservue TVs in sizes above 73-inches where its flat panel competitors rarely reach. It will also keep selling projectors, display walls, printers and large public display screens — like the Cowboys Stadium set — to other companies. Of course, as sad as everyone is to see the LCDs go, that just means there’s even more time to focus on the 92-inch DLP that should hit shelves later this year. Time well spent, we’d say.

Continue reading Mitsubishi drops LCD HDTVs to focus on 73-inch and above sized displays

Mitsubishi drops LCD HDTVs to focus on 73-inch and above sized displays originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 19 Mar 2011 18:12:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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LG’s arty iPod dock

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Gizmag: While LG might be best known for its consumer electronics products, the South Korean conglomerate has plenty of strings to its bow with around 40 subsidiary companies in areas including…



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Ultimate G’s: Zac’s Flying Dream Blu-ray 3D Review

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

While not an aviation disaster, Zac’s Dream does encounter some turbulence in its Blu-ray 3D debut.

Big Picture Big Sound – Home Theater, HDTV, Movie Reviews

Giant LG OLED TV? Not So Fast…

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

If you comb the Internet looking for HDTV news, you may have seen headlines trumpeting a breakthrough announcement along the lines of “LG plans 55″ 3D OLED TV for 2012.” Wow — pretty exciting, huh? Ah, but if only it were true. Sadly, some people who publish on the Web either miss some of the details of a story or don’t understand the technology fully. This is an interesting story, to be sure, but it’s not the one that the headline would indicate.

What appears to be true is that LG is looking to build a 55″ LCD HDTV that uses an OLED backlight. This is quite a different matter than building a 55″ OLED HDTV. Many companies are working hard at bringing OLED lighting devices to market; they are incredibly thin and extremely efficient. As a result, they make an excellent candidate to replace the LED or fluorescent backlight for an LCD HDTV. Apparently, LG has this working in a pre-production mode, and expects to have the design in production by the end of this year.

So this won’t be an “OLED TV” any more than an LCD panel with an LED backlight is an “LED TV,” but the bottom line is that flat panel HDTVs could be about to get a whole lot thinner.

HDTV Almanac

Google TV Remote app now available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

After debuting it on the Android platform in December, the Google TV team has finally released a version of the official remote app for iOS. The interface and features appear to be the same with one key difference, currently the iOS version doesn’t support sharing web pages from mobile to the screen, but everything else like voice search is here and accounted for. It’s good for the team to finally get the long promised app out, but more interesting now is the question of which features will be included in the second generation of Google TV hardware once manufacturers like Vizio, Toshiba and Samsung join the mix, hopefully putting the two handed/keyboard kludginess of the past behind us. Check after the break for the YouTube demo, or just grab the free app via the QR code on the official blog or iTunes.

Continue reading Google TV Remote app now available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

Google TV Remote app now available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 18 Mar 2011 18:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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DirecTV’s H25 satellite receivers enter the wild

Friday, March 18th, 2011

It’s only been a year or so since DirecTV rolled out its H24 satellite receiver but that is already old news now that the company is starting to deliver the new wall-mountable H25 multiroom box. Our tipster indicates it’s functionally the same but much smaller, with no touch screen on the front and with the access card moved to the side, it’s much more suitable for mounting behind a TV or deep in a cabinet. According to DirecTV’s installer forums it should be available everywhere by mid-May, but our tipster also indicates its for new installs only. If you want more info on the box, DBSTalk also has a PDF available with more details.

[Thanks, DirecTV Tech]

DirecTV’s H25 satellite receivers enter the wild originally appeared on Engadget HD on Fri, 18 Mar 2011 19:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Paramount Pictures, BitTorrent team up to distribute feature film (video)

Friday, March 18th, 2011
In case you haven’t heard, there are websites out there that will let you download movies and software using a little something called the BitTorrent protocol. And while the majority of cinematic fare available is of a non-DMCA-approved nature, filmmakers and organizations are increasingly turning to torrent sites to get the word out. For instance, in 2009 a filmmaker named Hanna Sköld worked with the folks at The Pirate Bay to distribute her film Nasty Old People. And indeed, there seem to be as many zany ways to get your work out to audiences these days as there are filmmakers.

One scheme that recently piqued our interest was concocted by the folks at Distracted Media. The Australian company is crowdsourcing its latest production, The Tunnel (not to be confused with Chunnel: 32 Miles of Danger) by selling individual frames for a buck a pop. Of course, “owning” a frame gives you nothing more than the opportunity to say that you helped an indie filmmaker out, but it’s a worthwhile cause. And at 135,000 frames that’s a lot of dollars! When the film is done, it will be distributed via BitTorrent for free — alongside an actual DVD release by Paramount Pictures which, when you think about how reluctant Hollywood has been to embrace the internet, is pretty wild. Check out the (NSFW) trailer after the break, and then hit the links below for more info. Tunnel should make its premiere this May.

Continue reading Paramount Pictures, BitTorrent team up to distribute feature film (video)

Paramount Pictures, BitTorrent team up to distribute feature film (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 17 Mar 2011 20:26:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Evoluce announces 46-inch display with built-in 3D sensors

Friday, March 18th, 2011

We’ve already seen Evoluce toy around with Kinect hacks and multitouch displays, and it’s now inevitably managed to combine the two. The company has just announced its new I-Voluce display, which fuses a standard 46-inch LCD with some integrated “3D depth sensing technology” that’s apparently not simply a repurposed Kinect — exact details on it are light, but it will apparently work from a distance of up to 13 feet, and it relies on Windows 7 for an OS. That’s obviously not designed for home use, but Evoluce does see plenty of potential for the displays in public spaces like museums, as well as in office and education environments. For those that prefer a more hands-on approach, Evoluce also has an updated version of its Surface-style multitouch table, the Evoluce Two, which also packs 3D depth sensing technology and can accommodate up to six users simultaneously. Of course, neither exactly come cheap — look for prices to start at €3,995, or about ,600.

Continue reading Evoluce announces 46-inch display with built-in 3D sensors

Evoluce announces 46-inch display with built-in 3D sensors originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 18 Mar 2011 03:38:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Home Theater Deal: MartinLogan Motion 262 5-Channel Speakers with Yamaha 7.1 RX-V567 Receiver: $899.99 (Save $479.95)

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Purchase this speaker set and Amazon will throw in an important A/V piece absolutely free — but only for a limited time!

Big Picture Big Sound – Home Theater, HDTV, Movie Reviews

Limitless Movie Review

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Frenetic thriller about a drug that unleashes your brain’s full potential doesn’t quite achieve its own, but star Bradley Cooper and director Neil Burger make the most of it.

Big Picture Big Sound – Home Theater, HDTV, Movie Reviews

Yahoo Widgets app store delayed

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Yahoo announced it would bring out a full app store for its Connected TV platform in March but IDG reports that it won’t be available to consumers this month after all. According to a letter from a spokesperson, and updated version of the platform will be available to OEM partners by the end of this month, and after certification is completed it will be pushed out to existing TVs… at some point in the future. As far as the next step for the platform, it has scheduled a developer event for March 24th, and just dropped the latest edition of the developer’s kit yesterday with a few new features. Of course, as ZatzNotFunny points out, platform reliability has occasionally been an issue, while we haven’t many problems with our Vizio test unit, it is still waiting to get the new firmware update enabling Hulu Plus playback and USB access that was announced back at CES, so here’s to smart TV platforms (hopefully) picking up the pace for the rest of 2011.

Yahoo Widgets app store delayed originally appeared on Engadget HD on Wed, 16 Mar 2011 20:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Zediva mashes up Netflix and Redbox for $1.99, four hour-window DVD streaming rentals

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Netflix and Redbox have been the new hotness in rentals for the last few years but both have significant drawbacks. With Redbox, it’s the box and the morons who are constantly standing in front of it paging through every single movie in the thing and for Netflix’s Watch Instantly it’s a lack of new releases available for instant viewing. Now there’s a new startup, Zediva, that takes on both of those issues by sticking with DVDs, but instead of shipping them to customers or placing them in kiosks, just streams them on demand from one player, to one viewer (unlike Netflix, sometimes movies are “rented out” if there are no copies available at the moment — renting a flick gives you control of the DVD player, with fast forward and reverse, for four hours) for .99 a rental or 10 for .

Apparently it’s been in beta for a year but is now available to all and is currently offering new release DVDs the same day they go on sale by simply purchasing them at retail. There’s no HD content yet but it claims Blu-ray titles will be offered soon. The Associated Press talked to a copyright lawyer who points out the case of a hotel that implemented a similar system but was sued into oblivion before calling Zediva “cute, but illegal” so if you decide to check it out, we’d recommend getting through that 10-pack of rentals with haste.

Zediva mashes up Netflix and Redbox for .99, four hour-window DVD streaming rentals originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 16 Mar 2011 20:52:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blockbuster: Down but Not Yet Out?

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

It came as no surprise to many when Blockbuster declared bankruptcy last September, given the struggling chain’s continued losses. After a lackluster holiday season, it appeared all but certain that the company was headed for Chapter 7 and liquidation.

But not so fast! As reported by the Wall Street Journal last week, a judge has decided that a group of hedge funds should be allowed to purchase the company in a bankruptcy auction. One stumbling block was whether or not Hollywood studios would receive enough of the money that is already owed for DVDs purchased by Blockbuster; without it, the studios would not ship any new discs to the company. Until this issue was resolved, the deal was reportedly dead on arrival. Terms were reached, however, and the bid can proceed.

According to the WSJ article, as many as a half dozen other groups may want to bid for Blockbuster, and so the chain may live to see another day. Clearly, Hollywood wants to retain a major customer for its DVDs, since the studios have not yet worked out what to do when DVDs are replaced by online and other electronic delivery methods. No matter who buys Blockbuster, its future remains shaky at best.

HDTV Almanac

Japanese Disaster Has Worldwide Impact on CE

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Words fail. Disaster, devastation, catastrophe; nothing seems adequate to describe the situation in northern Japan. The triple whammy of earthquake, tsunami, and electrical power plant failures has resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of lives and untold billions in damages. No doubt, it will be weeks or months or even years before the magnitude of the losses can be tallied.

But already the consumer electronics industry is marking the impact of the events, which may have far-reaching impacts on all companies involved. For example, Sony reportedly has six manufacturing plants in the stricken area, all of which have been shut down. Factories in the region make everything from lasers used in Blu-ray players to Flash memory chips. Production will be disrupted, which in turn will have an effect on products farther down the supply chain. Component shortages could easily lead to higher prices for the finished products, even for companies that were not directly affected by the disaster. And if Japan’s electrical grid remains crippled for an extended period of time, the disruption of the supply chains could be lengthy and significant.

It’s too soon to tell where the greatest impact will be felt, but you may not want to wait until next fall if you’re thinking about buying electronics products. If you see a deal on a consumer electronics product that you want at a price that is right for you, know that we no longer can be certain that prices will continue to fall as they have in recent years.

HDTV Almanac

Philips upscales its sonic skills with the new Harmony 8000 Series Hi-fi system

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Newlaunches: Once a leader of the sonic world, Philips has tried hard to regain its crown time and again. And while their products have stand the test of time, they really haven’t been up there…



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Philips’ new camcorder comes with 23x zoom and WiFi, but no price or release date

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Philips makes plenty of audio / video equipment for use when consuming our content, but until now, the company didn’t offer many options on the creating end. Well, Philips fanboys (they exist, don’t they?), take a gander at your next must-buy purchase — the ESee HD camcorder touts a 23x zoom, 1080p recording to an SD card, touchscreen viewfinder (of unknown size), WiFi for uploading vids (so as not to keep fans waiting for your next cinematic masterpiece), and an audio zoom feature. Yeah, a zoom for your audio. Details about pricing and availability are nowhere to be found, but not knowing makes you want it all the more, right?

[Thanks, Jakob]

Philips’ new camcorder comes with 23x zoom and WiFi, but no price or release date originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 15 Mar 2011 03:49:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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TWCable TV app for iPad now available, but Dish has something to say about being ‘first with live streaming’

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Announced yesterday, Time Warner Cable’s iPad app arrived via iTunes as scheduled this morning to meet the rest of the pay-TV provider apps sporting its one key feature: live TV streaming of 32 cable channels. Speaking of the competition, Dish Network had something to say about that claim to fame as first with live streaming, since it’s already offered an app with Sling-powered streaming from its boxes. Of course, they’re not exactly the same approach since TWCable TV doesn’t potentially require any add-on hardware or tie up a tuner on your set-top box, while the Dish approach enjoys the ability of working beyond the reach of your home’s WiFi, and can tune in to any channel. Other than requiring both cable TV and high speed internet service those two last notes may be the key weaknesses to this strategy; while the TWCable TV app advertises itself as “another TV screen,” it’s one with significant limits and currently lags behind the competition by lacking features like remote control or DVR scheduling. Check after the break for Dish’s press release or just click through to iTunes to nab the app yourself.

Continue reading TWCable TV app for iPad now available, but Dish has something to say about being ‘first with live streaming’

TWCable TV app for iPad now available, but Dish has something to say about being ‘first with live streaming’ originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 15 Mar 2011 09:07:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Time Warner First, Um, Second to Offer Live TV on the iPad

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

The company will be the first cable provider to launch a live TV app on the popular portable, though satellite provider DISH Network beat them to it by a few months.

Big Picture Big Sound – Home Theater, HDTV, Movie Reviews

Blu-ray releases on March 15th 2011

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

The Fighter Blu-rayHome Media fans have been waiting a long time to finally see last year’s Academy Award winning titles and the first big one we’re looking forward to post-award show is finally here; The Fighter. On the other end of the spectrum, but still gives us good memories of a Summer wasted watching the same movie over and over again on HBO, is BMX Bandits. Another that might be worth a look is one we haven’t heard of until just now, but with Matt Daemon in front of the camera and Clint Eastwood behind it, Hereafter should be worthy of two hours of your free time.

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (DreamWorks)
Battle of the Warriors (Weinstein)
BMX Bandits (Severin)
The Fighter (Paramount)
Extraordinary Birds (PBS)
Predators (PBS)
Hereafter (Warner)
Heroic Age: The Complete Series (Funimation)
Sharktopus (Anchor Bay)
The Switch (Lions Gate)
The True Story of Wrestlemania (WWE)
The Losers (Warner)
Yi Yi (Criterion)

Blu-ray releases on March 15th 2011 originally appeared on Engadget HD on Mon, 14 Mar 2011 21:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Switch Blu-ray Review

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston make a cute pair, a cute kid, and an entertaining entry into the rom-com genre.

Big Picture Big Sound – Home Theater, HDTV, Movie Reviews

RED EPIC-M stars in gorgeous vid, RED ONE jealously shoots the footage (video)

Monday, March 14th, 2011

By now you’re probably familiar with the ,000 RED EPIC-M and what it can do, but it’s hard to properly admire its hand-machined beauty from a distance. We can’t ship you a unit, of course, but we’ve got the next best thing: close-up footage of the compact 5K beast shot with another RED camera — the original 4K RED ONE M-X. Lousiana post-production company Digital FX lovingly fondled EPIC-M #98 on camera, not to mention goodies like the Bomb EVF and 5-inch touchscreen LCD, and you can watch, drool and share your oh-so-envious thoughts with us right after the break.

Continue reading RED EPIC-M stars in gorgeous vid, RED ONE jealously shoots the footage (video)

RED EPIC-M stars in gorgeous vid, RED ONE jealously shoots the footage (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 14 Mar 2011 06:09:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Panasonic shows off solar-powered wireless charging table

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Engadget: Why settle for a simple solar-powered table when you can have a table that’s solar-powered and a wireless charger? While you can’t get one just yet, Panasonic will apparently…



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JBL’s On Air Wireless AirPlay speaker dock gets official, unavailable to purchase

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Engadget:  When we first peeked this AirPlay-enabled speaker dock, we were admittedly excited to see how things would turn out after it made rounds through the FCC. JBL just tossed up the splash…



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HDTV Listings for March 12, 2011

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

What we’re watching tonight:

  • Syfy (1080i) presents Battle of Los Angeles at 9 p.m.
  • Fox (720p) has Cops at 8 p.m.
  • BBC America (1080i ) has Being Human at 9 p.m.
  • ESPN (720p) has college basketball with UCONN/Louisville at 9 p.m.
  • ESPN2 (720p) has college basketball with UC Santa Barbara/Long Beach State at 8 p.m. and Boise State/Utah State at 10 p.m.
  • NBA TV (1080i) has Lakers/Mavericks at 9 p.m.
  • NBC (1080i) has Saturday Night Live with Zach Galifianakis & Jessie J at 11:29 p.m.

HDTV Listings for March 12, 2011 originally appeared on Engadget HD on Sat, 12 Mar 2011 19:48:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Orb Audio launches line of small but powerful speakers

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Electronista: Orb Audio has expanded and launched their latest line of tiny but audiophile-class, hand-made in the US speakers, called the Orb. The four-inch, 17-ounce round satellites —…



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How Do You Know Blu-ray Review

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

Two people waiting for that little adjustment to get things right end up in a love triangle.

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Hello, I must be going

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

It’s hard to believe that I’m currently writing the words I seem to be writing, though a casual stock-taking of my senses dictates that it must be true. Here I am, at my computer, typing letters one by one into a plain text document, rolling along through one of the strangest posts I’ve ever penned for this site. Okay, probably the strangest ever.

After nearly four years at Engadget, it’s time to make my exit. There are things I’m after and challenges I want to take on that just don’t fit with my day-to-day schedule here, so off I go.

I didn’t make this decision lightly. The time I’ve spent here has been — without question — the most amazing, rewarding, and just insanely fun period of my life. And I like to think I’ve had some pretty good times. The Engadget staff is easily the greatest collection of human beings I’ve ever encountered, and they’ve made waking up and freaking out over tech news for 12 to 18 hours a day into basically a party. I’ve never worked so hard or had so much fun doing it. I don’t use religious terms very often, but if there’s such a thing as being blessed, I would say the opportunity I had to work with these people certainly made me feel that way.

And it’s not just the core team at Engadget; all the groups at Weblogs (and its director Brad Hill), have been tremendous friends, partners, and peers.

Then there’s you guys — the readers. The hive mind. The Engadget fan-boys and -girls. It’s hard to sum up my experiences with the readership of Engadget in one paragraph. It would probably be hard in a hundred. But I can say that you’re simply the most informed, passionate, and excited group of people anywhere on the planet. Sure, you can get a little crazy sometimes — but what an astounding group of super-geniuses you are as well. Writing and working for the throngs of people who visit this site every day has been a huge challenge, a learning experience, and just kind of awe-inspiring.

But as I said, it’s time for me to step away. I’m not leaving the industry or the news game — in fact, I’ve got a few fantasy projects in mind that hopefully you’ll be hearing about soon.

Don’t worry though, Engadget is going to keep doing what it does best: being awesome. We have an amazing staff of senior editors and writers that will keep the machine chugging along (and growing!) for years to come. My friend and our editorial director Josh Fruhlinger will be taking on a bigger role in our day-to-day during the transition, and I won’t be completely disappearing from the site — I’ll stay on as editor-at-large, to advise and direct when necessary. I’ll also be sticking around to host more episodes of the Engadget Show, so you can continue to get your fix (if you’re into nerdy video shows about gadgets and technology, that is).

And with that, I’m shuffling over towards the door, just underneath that dim exit sign that keeps blinking on and off, its fluorescent bulbs cracking with some syncopated rhythm all their own. It’s just started to rain a little bit outside, but I’ve got my coat and umbrella. I’ll be fine, and so will you.

Till we meet again…

Hello, I must be going originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 12 Mar 2011 18:07:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Times of Harvey Milk Blu-ray Review

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

The Oscar-winning documentary makes its case to the Blu-ray crowd.

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Xbox 360 IPTV rumors ride again with ‘Project Orapa’

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Just because Microsoft’s Mediaroom IPTV service is finally supported on the Xbox 360 after years and years of expectations (as seen above) doesn’t mean the rumor mill stops, with rumors surfacing of a “Project Orapa” that reportedly combines Xbox Live, Kinect and IPTV service all in one. ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley has heard from tipsters that it’s related to the previously rumored Ventura multimedia project and will let subscribers to Mediaroom powered IPTV services like U-Verse use Kinect’s gesture and voice recognition like ESPN3 already does to control their TV experience while Xbox users would get “more content.” We should find out how much of this is reality and how it ties into previous rumors pretty quickly, since it’s apparently going to be in testing this month, and available by the upcoming holiday season.

Xbox 360 IPTV rumors ride again with ‘Project Orapa’ originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 11 Mar 2011 17:48:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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LG woos Sony while it battles with Samsung over which 3D is best

Friday, March 11th, 2011

The fight between the active shutter glasses 3D technology favored by TV manufacturers like Samsung, Panasonic and Sony against the Film Pattern Retarder (FPR) passive glasses 3D technology being pushed by LG got uglier this week. The Wall Street Journal points out LG’s print ads currently running in Korea (they could be running here already, but we’d have to read physical magazines or newspapers to know for sure) claim that unlike the competition, it will work even when viewers lay down on their sides, though the effect may be slightly weakened. Samsung responded by citing experts recommending keeping your head horizontal to watch 3D since the cameras used to film it are aligned horizontally, and an executive apparently called LG’s engineers “stupid” at a press conference, although reports of a “yo mama so fat” diss could not be confirmed.

Of course, since these are the world’s two biggest TV manufacturers, they sell to end users and other manufacturers like Sony, which Reuters reports LG is waiting to hear from about using its technology in the future. Sony and Samsung are already tight when it comes to LCD manufacturing but it’s obvious LG is looking for a few more friends to line up alongside Vizio, Toshiba and Philips (which just announced its latest displays using active and passive glasses.) But back to the end users for a moment, if anyone’s going to buy any of these 3DTVs, it may be wise to start selling consumers on why the feature is worthwhile at all and pointing out the growing amount of content — this week’s Big East basketball tournament, Killzone 3, the NBA Finals or Blu-ray 3D releases like Tron: Legacy — before folks decide just waiting for 4D would be the wisest choice.

LG woos Sony while it battles with Samsung over which 3D is best originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 11 Mar 2011 04:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Red Riding Hood Movie Review

Friday, March 11th, 2011

This truly Grimm adaptation of the fairy tale is at best stylish and at worst ridiculous. Either way, it’s a waste of time.

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Warner Bros. Starts Offering Movies Directly on Facebook

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Warner Bros. Digital Distribution (WBDD) announced it will begin testing an offering of selected movies for purchase or rental through Warner Bros. Entertainment’s Facebook movie Pages. Consumers will be able to use Facebook Credits to buy or rent a title, all while staying connected to Facebook.

Continue reading Warner Bros. Starts Offering Movies Directly on Facebook

Originally appeared on HDTV.biz-news.com :: Latest HDTV Business News on 08/03/2011


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Apple finds another AirPlay partner in Pioneer’s VSX-1021 AV receiver

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Engadget:  You may have laughed off the assertion made by BridgeCo’s VP of Sales and Marketing back at CES, but the man’s looking downright prophetic now. Apple has just nailed down yet…



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Logitech Rocks the Room with Z906 Surround Speakers

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

The THX-certified 5.1 system boasts discrete surround and enough inputs for up to six devices.

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Harman brings upgradeable nav system to new Mercedes cars

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Electronista: Electronics maker Harman this week announced it will work with Mercedes-Benz to bring a flexible navigation system to the German vehicles. It will feel like a built-in, factory issued…



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The Incredibles Coming to Blu-ray April 12

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Now available for pre-order, Pixar’s ultimate family film promises to be a Blu-ray superhero.

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Hook’em Up, Danno!

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

[Okay, I’m not that big a fan of the 2.0 version of 5-0, but I couldn’t resist the reference for this title.]

The news is that The Diffusion Group has released a new report about Internet connectivity and television, and I expect that some people will be surprised by the results. According to their study, about one out of three broadband subscribers connect a PC to their television at least once a year. The point is that with all the Internet-enabled HDTVs and Blu-ray players and network media players (such as Roku) available on the market, lots of people are using what I’d call a POPC — plain old personal computer – to put content on their big screen.

And here’s a number that surprised even me. More than one out of six broadband subscribers reportedly use a PC connected to a TV to watch content every day! Based on the number of “cocktail party” conversations I’ve had with friends and family, I haven’t noticed anything close to that high a usage. On the other hand, the report indicates that 18 to 34 year olds are most likely to use a PC to TV connection, and I admit that I don’t spend a lot of time with that demographic these days.

Another encouraging finding is that nearly half of the people using a PC to TV connection are paying something for at least some of the streaming content that they watch. Now, this isn’t all that surprising when you look at the rapidly-growing numbers for the Netflix streaming service, as well as the online rental services. But it also means that piracy is not dominating the marketplace, so there is some hope that this can grow into a economically-feasible marketplace.

HDTV Almanac

Blu-ray releases on March 8th 2011

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Jackass 3 - Blu-rayIt might be post-Oscar season, when most are anticipating Academy Award winning titles on Blu-ray, like Inside Job, but we can’t make the best documentary winner our pick of the week when Jackass 3 is on the list. Sure it is just plain silly and absolutely ridiculous, but what can we say, we enjoy a good laugh. We do want to watch Inside Job, but it isn’t even our documentary of the week, as we love football more than we like to learn about the greatest economic crisis of our time — besides, after you’ve seen Frontline’s Inside the Meltdown, how much more can there be to know?

Every Day (Image)
Excalibur (Warner)
Exit Through the Gift Shop (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
Four Lions (Magnolia)
Inside Job (Sony)
Jackass 3 (Paramount)
Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie (Lionsgate)
The Man from Nowhere (Well Go USA)
The Miracle Maker: The Story of Jesus (Lionsgate)
Morning Glory (Paramount)
The Next Three Days (Lionsgate)
NFL Super Bowl XLV Champions: Green Bay Packers (Warner)
The Reef (Weinstein)
The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season (Anchor Bay)

Blu-ray releases on March 8th 2011 originally appeared on Engadget HD on Tue, 08 Mar 2011 19:46:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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More Broadcast 3DTV News

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Most analysts who understand the HDTV market seem to agree that the reported “failure” of 3D HDTVs is not about people not wanting 3DTV at home; it’s more about the fact that there’s very little to watch. So you can expect to see announcements about more content becoming available. And you can expect to see some companies trumpeting the news about rather little things as if they were very big.

For example, DirecTV has announced that it will be making an opera available through its DIRECTV CINEMA service, which downloads a movie rental to your DVR-equipped set top box. “Lucretia Borgia” will be available in April, and if you are operatically-challenged, it will even include “a series of short films” during the interludes that give you the back story on the Borgias as well as some backstage content.

In the same press release, the company also announces that it be adding four more 3D movies to the available line-up (at .99 a pop): “Piranha 3D” (available now), “Jackass 3D” (available March 8) , “Tangled 3D” (March 29), and “Tron: Legacy 3D” (April 5). Huh? We’re making a big deal about releasing fewer than one new title a week? Even if I was excited to see all four of these (five, if you include the opera), this is hardly enough content to make me run out and spend a couple grand on a new HDTV (plus the DirecTV subscription).

In a similar vein, ESPN has announced 3D coverage of the Masters Tournament. They broadcast a grand total of 10 hours of coverage on ESPN 3D: two hours a day for each of the four rounds. (ESPN will provide nearly that much coverage in 2D over the first two rounds alone.) Now, this is still news because live sports coverage is still in its infancy, and ESPN deserves some props for trying to work out what must be an expensive and difficult project for a relatively small audience.

The bottom line is that there still is not a lot for you to watch on a new 3DTV, but they’re working on it. In a year or two, I expect the situation to be greatly improved.

HDTV Almanac

Sony Reveals New 3D-Compatible Line Of A/V Receivers

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

HotHardware: It seems that the high-end home theater trend has started to fizzle somewhat, but those that have already invested in a home cinema of their own are obviously interested in keeping it…



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HDTV Listings for March 7, 2011

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

What we’re watching tonight:

  • NBC (1080i) has the spring premiere of The Event at 8 p.m. and Harry’s Law at 10 p.m.
  • ABC (720p) has The Bachelor at 8 p.m.
  • Fox (720p) has House at 8 p.m. and The Chicago Code at 9 p.m.
  • CBS (1080i) has Mad Love at 8:30 p.m.
  • ABC Family (720p) has Pretty Little Liars at 8 p.m. and the series finale of Greek at 9 p.m.
  • Syfy (1080i) has Being Human at 9 p.m. and the spring premiere of Stargate Universe at 10 p.m.
  • TLC (1080i) has Cake Boss at 9 p.m., Outrageous Kid Parties at 9:30 p.m. and 19 Kids & Counting at 10 & 10:30 p.m.
  • BBC America (1080i) has Top Gear at 9 p.m.
  • USA (1080i) has WWE Raw at 9 p.m.
  • MTV (1080i) has Skins at 10 p.m.
  • A&E (720p) has Heavy at 10 p.m.
  • ESPN (720p) has college basketball with Virginia Commonwealth/Old Dominion at 7 p.m. and Gonzaga/St. Mary’s at 9 p.m.
  • ESPN2 (720p) has college basketball with Saint Peters/Iona at 7 p.m. and College of Charleston/Wofford at 9 p.m.

HDTV Listings for March 7, 2011 originally appeared on Engadget HD on Mon, 07 Mar 2011 16:55:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Warner Bros. starts renting movies via Facebook

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

If you were looking for something more worthwhile to spend Facebook credits on than virtual trinkets for some game, Warner has an idea: all those movies you said you “liked.” Starting today it is testing out a plan to rent movies right on their respective pages for 30 Facebook credits / each. The first one on deck is The Dark Knight (again?) which should be live later today, with more available to rent or purchase in the future. there’s no word on resolution or other features, but at the price we’re assuming SD only. Full details are in the press release after the break, but the rentals have the standard 48-hour VOD window and can be paused/resumed simply by logging back into Facebook. In its current state, we doubt Netflix, Amazon and the rest have anything to worry about as far as competition, but maybe Warner thinks it can snag a few bucks from simply making sure there’s a buy button of some kind awaiting our various identities in as many places as possible.

Continue reading Warner Bros. starts renting movies via Facebook

Warner Bros. starts renting movies via Facebook originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 08 Mar 2011 00:43:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Lord of the Rings Extended Edition Blu-ray discs are up for preorder on Amazon

Monday, March 7th, 2011

It’s taken a couple of years but the release of the Lord of the Rings Extended Edition Blu-ray discs is finally drawing near, and now the set is available for preorder on Amazon. Adding a couple of hours of footage to the epic trilogy of films, they sport an MSRP of 0 (currently selling for .99) and there’s a video trailer on Amazon too. According to TheHDRoom, it doesn’t reveal any of the extra footage on the EEs, but if you’ve been waiting all this time for the proper discs we figure a quick taste of what’s to come can’t hurt.

[Thanks, Mitchell]

Continue reading The Lord of the Rings Extended Edition Blu-ray discs are up for preorder on Amazon

The Lord of the Rings Extended Edition Blu-ray discs are up for preorder on Amazon originally appeared on Engadget HD on Mon, 07 Mar 2011 14:21:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Best iPhone 4 Accessories: My Top 5

Monday, March 7th, 2011

In honor of the gotta-have-it telecommunication device’s recent embrace of a second popular carrier, we tender a smattering of recommended trimmin’s.

Big Picture Big Sound – Home Theater, HDTV, Movie Reviews

New Sony Dxx20 7.1 receivers bundle iPhone docks, Slacker

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

 
iPodNN: Sony on Wednesday revamped its AV receivers for 2011 with four seven-channel models that lean heavily on the purely digital side of media. Aside from the entry DH520, the DH720, DH820 and…



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The Tourist Blu-ray Review

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

While the scenery is worth a visit, everything else will make you glad you stayed home instead of going to the theater to see this film. And yet it still may be worth watching on Blu-ray Disc.

Big Picture Big Sound – Home Theater, HDTV, Movie Reviews

Saab intros Android-based IQon infotainment system

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

 
Electronista: Saab has previewed its upcoming infotainment system, IQon, which is based on Google’s Android OS. Users will be able to access navigation utilities, multimedia content,…



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Take Me Home Tonight Movie Review

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Topher Grace carries this formulaic coming-of-age comedy that’s far more precious with its ’80s premise than the story itself.

Big Picture Big Sound – Home Theater, HDTV, Movie Reviews

CBS & Turner Sports are streaming all the March Madness games to PCs, iPhones & iPads for free

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Every year CBS has enhanced its March Madness On Demand experience, from HD VOD on cable boxes to HD streaming on PCs before adding PiP and paid mobile access last year. For 2011, a new deal has brought in Turner Sports to not only provide enough channels to air all the games in high definition (we figure you’ll find CBS, TNT and TBS on the channel guide with no problem, but with some of the games diverted to lesser known TruTV HD check the HDSportsGuide link below to see if it’s in your area yet) but also expand the streaming experience by promising higher quality video, personalized channel lineup and social tie ins. If you’re on the go, the mobile client for iOS devices (sorry, no Android or other mobile OSes) is free this year so you can keep that fiver in your pocket this time. There’s another pic of the iPad client, a video trailer and all sorts of details waiting after the break, so click through to find out more or just wait for the free apps to hit iTunes March 10th.

Continue reading CBS & Turner Sports are streaming all the March Madness games to PCs, iPhones & iPads for free

CBS & Turner Sports are streaming all the March Madness games to PCs, iPhones & iPads for free originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 04 Mar 2011 15:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rango Movie Review

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Admirably ambitious animated ode to Spaghetti Westerns featuring a Johnny Depp-voiced lizard as the unlikely hero.

Big Picture Big Sound – Home Theater, HDTV, Movie Reviews

HDTV Listings for March 4, 2011

Friday, March 4th, 2011

What we’re watching tonight:

  • CW (1080i) has Smallville at 8 p.m. and Supernatural at 9 p.m.
  • NBC (1080i) has Who Do You Think You Are? at 8 p.m.
  • Syfy (1080i) has WWE Smackdown at 8 p.m. and Merlin at 10 p.m.
  • CBS (1080i) has The Defenders at 8 p.m.
  • TLC (1080i) has Say Yes to the Dress at 9 & 9:30 p.m. and DC Cupcakes at 10 p.m.
  • Discovery (1080i) has Flying Wild Alaska at 9 p.m. and the season premiere of American Loggers at 10 p.m.
  • BBC America (1080i) has Law & Order: UK at 9 p.m.
  • IFC (1080i) has Onion News Network at 10 p.m.
  • HBO (1080i) has The Ricky Gervais Show at 9 p.m., Real Time with Bill Maher at 10 p.m. and Funny or Die Presents at 11:59 p.m.
  • ESPN (720p) has an NBA doubleheader with Bulls/Magic at 7 p.m. and Heat/Spurs at 9:30 p.m.
  • ESPN2 (720p) has Akron/Kent State college basketball at 7 p.m. and Friday Night Fights at 9 p.m.

HDTV Listings for March 4, 2011 originally appeared on Engadget HD on Fri, 04 Mar 2011 16:17:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Carmen in 3D hits 1,500 movie theater screens tomorrow

Friday, March 4th, 2011

After setting records by screeneing for 240,000 movie theater attendees of its HD broadcast, we suppose the only natural evolution for Carmen was to go 3D. Filmed live at the Royal Opera House, Carmen in 3D will be shown at over 1,500 RealD equipped movie theaters around the world tomorrow. It’s the first time an opera has been screened in 3D, which, like HD before it, is supposed to let audience members feel even more like they’re actually in the auditorium with the actors. Hit the read link to find out if it’s showing near you, though we’re not sure how those little opera glasses will work in combination with the usual 3D specs.

Continue reading Carmen in 3D hits 1,500 movie theater screens tomorrow

Carmen in 3D hits 1,500 movie theater screens tomorrow originally appeared on Engadget HD on Fri, 04 Mar 2011 16:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Morning Glory Blu-ray Review

Friday, March 4th, 2011

Morning Glory is just a bit more glorious in HD and 5.1.

Big Picture Big Sound – Home Theater, HDTV, Movie Reviews

Virgin Media TiVo experience is similar to the Premiere in all the wrong ways

Friday, March 4th, 2011

Even if it’s just “inspired” by the Premiere, ZatzNotFunny points out a few posts on the new Virgin Media TV Powered by TiVo section of Tivo Community suggesting the new DVR box is plagued by many of the same old issues. While we knew the 3rd tuner would be inactive at first, the company is running out of the “early 2011″ period it promised for a software update, and as seen in the video after the break, there’s still some glitches and sluggishness to be found in the new UI. On either side of the pond we’re seeing far too many reactions matching the one from this frustrated UK user’ adamvietnam:

For ten years I used to tell anyone who’d listen that Tivo was the best piece of consumer electronics they’d ever own but at the moment the new box just feels like another PVR…

Time and software updates will tell what TiVo can do about it.

Continue reading Virgin Media TiVo experience is similar to the Premiere in all the wrong ways

Virgin Media TiVo experience is similar to the Premiere in all the wrong ways originally appeared on Engadget HD on Thu, 03 Mar 2011 23:37:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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TV Replacement Cycles Get Shorter

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

At a recent conference hosted by DisplaySearch, a presentation by a Corning representative made an interesting point about how often consumers replace their old television sets. In the old days of analog broadcasts and CRTs, the replacement cycle was about nine years. We then had the digital broadcast transition and the advent of more affordable flat panel TV sets, and people replaced their CRTs in record numbers. But recent studies now show that U.S. consumers are replacing their LCD TVs about every 6 years on average, which is only two-thirds the time that we used to see for CRT to CRT replacement.

Yes, these are not the old analog CRTs that are getting the boot; we’re replacing the earlier LCD models. Now, I suspect that the steady drop in prices now encourages consumers to replace those early models with larger ones, or ones with more current features. I expect that the old set is probably getting moved to a different room and continues to see service. Still it’s interesting to see how quickly the new ones are being purchased.

Corning added some insight to these results. The company predicts that by 2014, nearly as many LCD TVs will be purchase to replace other LCDs as will be bought to replace CRTs. Add that to the growing demand for flat panel sets from developing countries such as China and India, and we can expect to see demand for LCD flat panels — and the glass that Corning makes for them — to continue to grow.

HDTV Almanac

BBC iPlayer will cost ‘fewer than $10′ a month for international subscribers

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

As you know, the BBC’s iPlayer online video catchup portal is about to strap its boots on and go international via the iPad some time this year, a subscription service which has now been priced at “fewer than ” per month. That’s the word direct from Mark Thompson, director general of the grand old corporation, who also assures us that the global launch is definitely coming in 2011. iPad and Android apps for the iPlayer were recently launched in the BBC’s homeland, so the technical requirements have already been fulfilled — now it’s probably just a matter of dotting some Is, crossing some Ts, and making sure Jeremy Clarkson doesn’t score you a lawsuit with his outspoken bravado.

[Thanks, Nathan]

BBC iPlayer will cost ‘fewer than ‘ a month for international subscribers originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 03 Mar 2011 08:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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HBO GO expands to 1400 titles, still doesn’t check if you subscribe

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Although it still isn’t very interesting to surround sound snobs, HBO GO is streaming more content then ever into your home. And by your home, we mean those who happen to subscribe to Comcast, Cox, FiOS or AT&T U-Verse — oddly, Time Warner cable isn’t listed, sure they aren’t the same company anymore, but still. Now according to the release, the number of offerings is up to 1400 movies, shows and documentaries and it requires that you actually subscribe to HBO. What is odd is that just like the first time we tried it, we are able to watch all the programming via any internet connection using our provider user ID even though we haven’t subscribed to HBO in years. We’re still wondering, with you, how long it’ll be until we can subscribe to this without actually paying for the rest of cable TV, but for now at least, it is the status quo.

Continue reading HBO GO expands to 1400 titles, still doesn’t check if you subscribe

HBO GO expands to 1400 titles, still doesn’t check if you subscribe originally appeared on Engadget HD on Wed, 02 Mar 2011 21:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Green Tips

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

No, the title is not about the new shoots appearing as spring arrives (there still are some piles of snow around here as I write this). I’m talking about environmentally-friendly ideas. I just came across a site (actually I rediscovered it) that has some great resources. It’s the Green tab at the Digital Tips site, which is published by the CEA (the same organization that puts on the Consumer Electronics Show every year). On this page, you’ll find links to places that you can donate used electronic gear so that it can be reused, or you can find out ways to get it recycled responsibly. You’ll also find suggestions on ways to be smart about the electronic products that you buy, and how to save energy when using the ones that you have.

Yes, this is an industry-sponsored site, so you may find some points that you might interpret differently, but overall, it’s a good resource and a great place to start.

HDTV Almanac

Last Tango in Paris Blu-ray Review

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Warm up the player, go get the butta’ and let’s dance: It’s time for the Last Tango. Again.

Big Picture Big Sound – Home Theater, HDTV, Movie Reviews

Blu-ray releases on March 1st 2011

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

127 Hours - Blu-rayWe’ve been looking forward to the first HD release of Disney’s classic Bambi and its Second Screen app for some time, but after watching the Academy Awards presentation we’ve pushed something else to the top of our list. 127 Hours didn’t actually win any awards on Sunday night, but it was nominated enough to make us take notice and add it to our queue — not at the top though. Also of interest this week is two more 3D titles, but we have to admit we only find these two interesting because there aren’t enough 3D titles for us to get picky.

127 Hours (Fox)
Bambi (Disney)
Burlesque (Sony)
The Cable Guy (Sony)
Daughters of Darkness (Blue Underground)
Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia 3D (Image)
Faster (Sony)
Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould (Lorber)
Love & Other Drugs (Fox)
A Marine Story (Wolfe)
Michael Jordan to the Max (Lionsgate)
Out of Sight (Universal)
S.W.A.T.: Firefight (Sony)
Scooby-Doo!: Curse of the Lake Monster (Warner)
The Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D (Image)

Blu-ray releases on March 1st 2011 originally appeared on Engadget HD on Tue, 01 Mar 2011 20:55:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Samsung & LG Still on Top

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

A report from industry tracker Displaybank indicates that the Koreans still dominate the flat panel TV market. For worldwide unit shipments in 2010, Samsung accounted for 19% of all flat panel TVs, and LG provided another 13%. That means that nearly one out of three flat panel TVs are made by one of these two companies.

Note that these numbers are for the completed sets, not just the flat panels that they contain. Sony was in third place with an 11% share of the total market, but the company outsources at least half of the panel production to other companies. And Sharp was in sixth place, according to Displaybank, with just a 7% unit share worldwide, but their panels appear in sets produced by other companies.

HDTV Almanac

The Reef Blu-ray Review

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Not even the combined star power of, Andy Dick, Rob Schneider and Freddie Prinze Jr. could save this endangered species.

Big Picture Big Sound – Home Theater, HDTV, Movie Reviews

Progress on Thin Color Display

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Last week, news of a display technology demonstration from Samsung Electronics was reported in Nature Photonics. This is a thin film technology based on “quantum dots“, and was built on a flexible substrate. This approach is quite different from OLED technology; the nanoparticles emit light when excited by an electrical charge, and the color of the light is limited to a narrow range of the spectrum. By using particles of specific sizes that emit specific colors, you can create a stable display with excellent color performance. One of the achievements covered in the report is a method of transferring stripes of the quantum dot material to an active matrix backplane.

According to some sources, these displays have the potential to be far more energy efficient than even OLEDs. On the other hand, this is still very much at the laboratory stage. The materials only have about a 10,000 hour life to half brightness (compared with 60,000 hours or more for plasma and LCD flat panels), and we’re still a long way off from even pilot production of quantum dot displays. But now we have another technology to track.

HDTV Almanac