Kodak touchscreen digicam

Announced all the way back at CES 2010, Kodak’s latest point-and-shoot digital camera has finally gone up for sale.  The Kodak Slice is a 14-megapixel compact, with an internal 5x optical zoom, image stabilization and a 3.5-inch 16:9 capacitive touchscreen on the back.  As well as taking photos it can record 720p HD video at 30fps.

As well as 2GB of onboard storage there’s a microSDHC card slot, though you’ll have to make do with USB 2.0 as there’s no HDMI or A/V connectivity.  There’s both face and scene detection, and an automatic “Smart Shoot” mode which will pair those features with ISO and dynamic range balance for better shots.  ISO settings from 64 to 3200 are possible.

Finally you get a “Share” button which allows you to preselect which photos you want to upload to various different social networks – including Facebook, Flickr and YouTube – and have them automatically sent when you next plug the Slice into your computer.


Glasses FREE 3D – The Real World 3D Company

Uncomfortable, expensive glasses and a lack of 3D content — that’d be the short list of stuff we dislike about current 3D TVs, but coincidentally it also happens to be the exact issues i3D is determined to wipe out with its glasses-free technology. We stopped by to meet with the young, Los Angeles-based company last week, and though it obviously isn’t the first to develop spec-less displays, its proprietary hardware and software combo was really impressive. The demo of a 7-inch prototype really tells the whole story — and we encourage you all to see it for yourself in the video after the break, though obviously you won’t be able to experience all three dimensions from your standard LCD. Our time screen-gazing was pretty breathtaking, even though the smaller display was far from immersive. As for the viewing angle issue that’s the Achilles’ heel of the others, i3D claims its technology allows for three-dimensional viewing at close to 90 degrees, though it was hard for us to really evaluate that on such a small screen.

The coolest thing by far is the software’s ability to convert 2D to 3D content on the fly. One second we were watching a two-dimensional clip of Cars and then with the tap of the 3D button the car was driving off the screen. While this isn’t the first company dabbling in 2D conversion, we haven’t seen any others doing this without the glasses, and i3D does claim it can convert any resolution programming. We’ll have to see it to believe it, but if it does work and the quality lives up to what’s being promised there’d go our lack of content issue! Apparently the price of the technology should add at most 20 percent to that of a current HDTV, but here’s where we tell you that we wouldn’t be surprised if it took years for all this technology to make into Best Buy’s Magnolia Home Theater section. Given the fact that we met with the company in a backyard, we’d say that both it and its technology are in the early stages. But hey, it makes you feel better that someone is working on that 3D frustration list, right?


Cablesson releases SAP3 Digital to Analogue Convertor

Reasons why you need Dac Magic!

Enjoy digital music like never before…
Adapted Time Filtering (ATF) asynchronous upsampling technology might sound complicated but the benefits are instantly audible. Essentially it converts 16-24 bit audio to 24 bit/192kHz so you hear so much more from compressed material. Meanwhile a 32 bit Digital Signal Processor (DSP) eradicates jitter which is especially effective with hard disk playback from PCs or Macintosh computers. Whether your digital music collection is stored on a PC or you use a network music client – Squeezebox™, SoundBridge™, Sonos™ etc – the difference in audible quality is incredible! The box is also known as Digital Audio to Analogue Convertor.

Games just explode into life
Gaming isn’t just about the moving image. By connecting your games console – PlayStations(PS2 and PS3™), Xbox™ and Xbox 360s™ to your hi-fi via DacMagic, dramatically improved soundtracks and special effects are immediately apparent.

Breathe new life into your DVD player
DVD players can sound great with movies, but normally lack polish when playing back CDs. Digital to Analogue Audio Convertor is the simplest way to significantly eradicate jitter and markedly improve your DVD player’s sonic performance.

Resurrect your CD player
Maybe your CD player is ageing gracefully and is in need of a boost. DacMagic adds a new lease of life into any CD player fitted with an S/PDIF or Toslink (optical) output.


New Gateway EC14D01h Ultra-Portable CULV Notebook Packs Optical Drive

In the case of many portable computing systems currently available on the market, the optical drive (whether we’re talking about a DVD drive or a Blu-ray one) has become somewhat of a question of choice, and, in some cases (especially netbooks), it has been removed completely, for reasons related to the available space within the computer’s case.

However, some CULV notebooks tend to keep this arguably useful component around, and that applies to the latest release from Gateway, the new Gateway EC14D01h, an ultra-portable solution just outed on the Canadian market.

The fresh computing system packs, besides the aforementioned DVD unit, an 11.6-inch widescreen display (HD Widescreen Ultrabright LED-backlit TFT LCD, 1,366 x 768 resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio), as well as an Intel Pentium ULV Processor SU4100 (1.3GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 800MHz FSB), accompanied by a Mobile IntelGS45 Express Chipset and an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD.

Additionally, the notebook features 4096MB DDR2 Dual-Channel 667MHz memory upgradeable to 8GB, a 320GB 5,400RPM SATA hard drive, an integrated webcam, multi-in-one digital media card reader, Intel Wi-Fi Link 1000 802.11b/g/Draft-N module, plus a host of other connectivity options. Other features worth mentioning include the multi-gesture touchpad and the six-cell Li-Ion battery.

“Customers understand how convenient it is to have a notebook PC that is portable enough to take nearly anywhere to stay connected and have fun – and the new EC14D01h brings a new element of entertainment to customers with the ability to watch DVD movies, play games on CD and DVD and more,” said Chris Chiang, product manager for Gateway Canada. “The integrated DVD drive in such a compact device will be a huge benefit for customers who want the flexibility to enjoy and share different movies, music, photos and more stored on a DVD or CD.”

The Gateway EC14D01h will be available later this month at various retailers starting at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $579.99 (CAD).


Samsung’s 3D Blu-ray player

Having been spotted up for sale once before, before being unceremoniously yanked from the virtual shelves a few hours later, Samsung’s 3D-capable Blu ray player, the BD-C6900, is now finally shipping.  Announced back in January at CES 2010, the BD-C6900 obviously supports Full HD 1080p content but also includes both wired and WiFi connectivity for streaming media and internet-connected widgets.

There’s also DVD upscaling to 1080p, BD-Live support and 1GB of onboard storage, together with a skinny 39mm-thick design.  DLNA support means the BD-C6900 can be used as a media-stream receiver, and there’s support for Dolby Digital TruHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.

Of course, many people will be looking at the deck for its 3D capabilities, and it’s compatible both with Samsung’s own 3D HDTVs and the general Blu ray 3D standard.


Samsung to Out First 3D AMOLED Phone on Korean Markets

According to rumors on Samsung Hub and a few TV commercials that have started rolling on Korean television channels, it appears that Samsung is preparing the launch of their first 3D mobile phone with some increased connectivity capabilities, including DMB TV tuners.

I have embedded here one of the videos with a commercial that shows the new Samsung phone distributed via Anycall, using Samsung Blue Earth. At Samsung Hub, they say that the phone is confirmed for this month and that it surely has 3D capabilities on its AMOLED WQVGA screen.

Whether the rumors are true or not, this does not affect the Americas and Europe, because even if it launches this month, it will take a while for Samsung to test the reactions on the Korean market, before starting to ship it in other parts of the world. There is also word about a new clamshell Samsung soon to be available in America.

You will be able to see in the second movie, which you can find here that Samsung has also prepared a second model for Koreans, which uses AMOLED Beam, a projecting technology allowing users to make A4-sized projections from a relatively short distance.

Even though we might witness the birth of the first 3D capable phone, I am not that enthused about this, mainly because I remain skeptic regarding these rumors. And let’s not forget that there is a lot of waiting time involved before it reaches us Westerners, so there is really no need for me to get all hyper. Others, I am sure, will be jumping for joy when they hear the news. Even so, they should at least watch the Korean commercials. First of them is available below.


IGI look at active optical cable market for the quarter of 2010

Research firm Information Gatekeepers Inc. (IGI) recently published its inaugural Active Optical Cables Quarterly Update, which covers the worldwide market and technology developments in active optical cables (AOCs). The ongoing publication will provide both marketing and technology information necessary to stay up on new developments and business opportunities for suppliers of AOCs. IGI has predicted sharp growth for AOCs in the near and mid term.

The Q1 2010 publication provides analysis on USB 3.0, an update on Intel’s Light Peak plans, and the iPad’s potential for making waves with optical data transmission. It also contains information on AOC revenue, VCSEL counts, and revenue outlook for the current year, which IGI says will continue to be dominated by InfiniBand-based products. (See long-term revenue predictions at the bottom of this story.)

IGI also forecasts that PC- and CE-related AOCs will continue through engineering-development phases toward volume production in either the last quarter of 2010 or early 2011. The researcher expects this surge in activity to produce significant increases in cable volumes and related revenue change rates, particularly over the next two to three years.


3D ready receivers – Pioneer

Pioneer has all sorts of home theater gear from AV receivers to HDTVs and stereo equipment. Most of the Pioneer gear is often higher-end equipment with larger price tags. Pioneer has unveiled a couple new AV receivers today and one supports the iPhone. The new receivers are surprisingly affordable and include the VSX-520K and the VSX-820-K.


Both of the receivers feature optional Bluetooth to allow wireless transfer of audio from smartphones and other devices with a $99 Bluetooth device. Both of the devices are also 3D ready with support for HDMI 1.4. The 820-K receiver is works with iPhone Certified as well.

Both of the devices support 5.1 surround sound, Dolby ProLogic IIz decoding, and have automatic room calibration. The 520-K will sell for $229 and has three HDMI 1.4 inputs and more. The 820-K will sell for $299, has four HDMI 1.4 inputs, and has an onscreen display. Both units have 110W of power on five channels and will ship this month.

Both of the devices support 5.1 surround sound, Dolby ProLogic IIz decoding, and have automatic room calibration. The 520-K will sell for $229 and has three HDMI 1.4 inputs and more. The 820-K will sell for $299, has four HDMI 1.4 inputs, and has an onscreen display. Both units have 110W of power on five channels and will ship this month.


Two New Wireless-N Adapters

Every major technology company is now in Hannover flaunting their latest inventions to the world of tech-geeks. So, here is what Netgear has to offer to them, two new wireless products designed to make home entertainment a richer experience, these being compatible with everything from gaming consoles to set-top boxes.

The names of these two new products are quite obvious, for instance, the High-Performance Wireless-N HD Home Theater Kit (WNHDB3004) and the other product that Netgear trumpets in Hannover is called the Universal Wi-Fi Internet Adapter for Home Theater Systems and Gaming Consoles (WNCE2001)

“Our High-Performance HD Home Theater Kit provides wired-equivalent connectivity and whole-home coverage using wireless,” said Som Pal Choudhury, NETGEAR director of product marketing for Core Networking Products. “The technology is way ahead of the competition. With its groundbreaking speed, range and reliability, it is like WiFi on steroids.”
  We do know that besides the fast speeds of the new adapters from Netgear, they are also plug and play, which is really good news because being able to connect to a multitude of devices, there will be a similar quantity of cables missing from the room where you have your entertainment center installed. So, connect your Xbox 360, your PlayStation 3, Wii, Blu-ray Disc players, Internet-capable TV set, Apple TV to this 4 x 4 multi-input, multiple-out (MIMO) adapter and get 5 Ghz wireless speeds on the devices you wish.

The WNCE2001 doesn’t connect to an existing router; instead, it is more compact, being a USB-powered adapter. It is universally compatible with any Ethernet-enabled CE devices. It will be available in May at an MSRP of $79 USD and the WNHDB3004 will be available later.


AMD Chipset with HD capable GPU

AMD Unveils Versatile AMD 890GX Chipset for High Definition Entertainment on Virtually Any PC Budget

New Chipset Serves as the Foundation for 2010 Client Platforms Featuring ATI Radeon™ HD 4290 Graphics, Advanced SATA 3.0, and USB 3.0 Connectivity for an Outstanding Out-of-Box 3D Graphics and HD Entertainment Experience

SUNNYVALE, Calif. —3/2/2010
AMD (NYSE: AMD) and its motherboard partners today unleashed ATI Radeon™ HD 4290 Graphics with the AMD 890GX Chipset, a versatile, affordable and exceptionally energy efficient solution for an incredible, high definition visual computing experience.

The AMD 890GX chipset redefines the way you play with versatile graphics configurations, including DirectX® 10.1 graphics on the motherboard and support for up to two high-performance ATI Radeon™ Premium Graphics cards with ATI CrossFireX™ technology. The same AMD 890GX motherboard which can be used to build an efficient and slim home theater PC using the integrated ATI Radeon HD 4290 Graphics, can be augmented with ATI Radeon™ HD 5450 Graphics for a dual-graphics performance preview, or upgraded to a gaming powerhouse with ATI Radeon™ HD 5870 Graphics and the visual realism of DirectX® 11.

With Integrated ATI Radeon HD 4290 Graphics, family and friends can enjoy accelerated and enhanced high definition and 1080p Blu-ray™ playback including dual-stream PiP (Picture in Picture) on Blu-ray™ 1.1. 1 Standard DVD movies can be viewed in near high-definition quality with DVD upscaling with post-processing to enhance standard and low resolution videos and movies on HD displays. ATI Radeon™ HD 4290 Graphics are designed to decode and play back Blu-ray™ and other HD content with support for MPEG2, VC-1, and H.264 formats.

The AMD 890GX Chipset supports the SATA 3.0 6Gbps hard drive interface to help speed application performance, decrease boot times, and provide faster access to information, HD video, photos and more.2 SATA 3.0 technology on the AMD 890GX Chipset can help speed application performance and Windows 7 data access speeds with high-bandwidth SATA 3.0 solid state drives and in multi-drive RAID configurations.

Many AMD 890GX-based motherboards feature SuperSpeed USB 3.0, quickly synchronizing and transferring digital media files on the new generation of USB 3.0 devices.2 With USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0 support, these platforms are designed to be ready for a new generation of high-speed hard drives and high resolution digital camcorders and media players. The AMD 890GX Chipset also includes support for Gigabit Ethernet, HyperTransport™ 3.0 technology, and PCI Express® Generation 2.0 to create a system designed to provide fast data flow resulting in speedier transfers of work, games, and entertainment files.

The first of the AMD 8-series chipsets, these technologies serve as the foundation for 2010 VISION technology for AMD desktop platforms that are scheduled to be announced in the second quarter of 2010 and are designed to be compatible with the upcoming AMD Phenom™ II X6 six-core processor.

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