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Sony Announces Profile 2.0 Blu-ray Disc Players

The next generation of Blu-ray Disc players crib from HD DVD feature set

With Blu-ray Disc on the winning side of the high-definition war, the format appears to finally be hitting its stride in stabilizing its advanced feature set. Earlier this week, Sony announced two new Blu-ray Disc player models that include new features such as BonusView and BD-Live.

BonusView is Sony’s term for picture-in-picture technology that was mandated for all Blu-ray Disc hardware last fall. Picture-in-picture features are typically used for video commentaries in movies, and is something commonly found amongst top-tier HD DVD releases. Several new Blu-ray Disc releases are beginning to incorporate the technology.

BD-Live incorporates an Ethernet port for Internet connectivity, both for firmware updates and for bonus web-enabled features. HD DVD players have used its Ethernet support for basic bonus functions such as extended special features, trailers, trivia and surveys. Blu-ray Disc movies with such extras should hit the market later this year.

Both the upcoming Sony models, the BDP-S350 and the BDP-550, support BonusView and BD-Live. Both also feature an external port for local storage, but only the BDP-S550 includes a 1GB storage device. The BDP-S550 also differentiates itself with dts-HD High Resolution Audio and dts-HD Master Audio decoding as well as 7.1 channel analog audio output.

“Building on the exceptional picture and sound quality of previous players, Sony’s next-generation Blu-ray Disc models bring exciting interactive features to life and offer consumers a ground-breaking experience,” said Chris Fawcett, vice president of marketing for Sony Electronics’ Home Product Division. “These new devices bring home movie experience beyond the cinema and into a whole new realm of entertainment.”

The new BDP-S350 ships this summer for about $400 and BDP-S550 will be available this fall for about $500.

Source : DailyTech

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Coby MP-835 touchscreen PMP almost puts those horrible boomboxes out of mind

In what can only be seen as further evidence of Coby employing to totally different design teams for its PMPs and its fiery boombox product lines, the MP-835 doesn’t look half bad. The 10mm thick touchscreen player has a 3-inch, 480 x 272 LCD, and while the 2GB or 4GB storage options are pretty weak, you can augment that with microSD. MP3, WMA, OGG, AVI and WMV are supported, but we’d like to see some AAC and some better video codecs — but hey, it’s Coby, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. No word on price, but the player does apparently have FCC certification, so we might be seeing it in the States before long.

[Via PMP Today]

Source : engadget

Sigmatek builds low-cost Blu-Ray player

Though generally unknown in North America, Sigmatek has announced its first-ever Blu-Ray player, the SBR-1000. It’s primary feature is actually cost, as in its intended European market it will retail for under €250 ($364) — more than €100 less than comparable players like Sony’s BDP-300. This is mainly a result of a new laser invented by Sony and Nichia, making Blu-Ray players cheaper to produce.

The player does sacrifice DTS-HD however, and use a coaxial audio output instead of optical. Regardless, it supports codecs such as standard DTS and Dolby TrueHD, and can play MP3s burned to disc. Video connections include an HDMI 1.3 output, and support native resolutions up to 1080p24/60. The 1000 should be available in April.

Source : Electronista

ePod – World’s first wind-up music and video player can store up to 500 songs!

Officially called the Eco Media Player, the brainchild of Trevor Baylis, the inventor of the clockwork radio, “greenPod”, is the world’s first wind-up music and video player. It is the latest must-have gadget for the environmentally aware – and will come in rather handy for the more forgetful among us as well. It is the latest must-have gadget for the environmentally aware – and will come in rather handy for the more forgetful among us as well. The Eco Media Player epod can play music for an astonishing 20 hours before needing to be charged and can store up to 500 songs. The Eco Media Player comes complete with an FM radio, torch, voice recorder and video player also. Turning it for only a minute produces enough power to play 40 minutes of songs – a boon for music lovers who don’t remember to charge their iPod before they leave the house. The player can also be charged by being plugged into a computer and has a 1.8in LCD screen to play video clips and show photographs.

The original wind-up radio, launched in 1992, used a large spring to release power over a few hours and was particularly popular with campers and holiday-makers. The latest wind-up gadgets use a dynamo to charge up small, but powerful, lithium batteries. It costs around $275 and even doubles as an emergency mobile phone charger.

Source : fareastgizmos

Archos to offer media players with 3G in 2008

Archos will be one of the first to provide a dedicated portable media player with cellular Internet access, the company has revealed during this week’s Mobile World Congress show. While short on information, the news indicates that at least one device in Archos’ next generation of players will include 3G or better services that allows it to connect to the Internet anywhere it can receive an appropriate signal from a cell tower. The feature should provide extended access to the web through the Opera web browser included with the company’s higher-end players.

These new players are expected before the end of the year and should include the 606 Wi-Fi and 706 Wi-Fi, two predicted sixth-generation updates that are likely to port over touchscreens, large hard drives, and other media functions from the existing 605 and 705 models. Archos has already negotiated a deal that will provide 3G service to the future players in its native France through local provider SFR, but has not said whether 3G variants will be available in North America or elsewhere for providers such as AT&T or Rogers Wireless.

Source : Electronista

Toshiba launches new upgrades to its Gigabeat range.

Some time ago Microsoft and Toshiba both had dreams of making the Gigabeat a rage. However we all know now that the Zune isn’t a Toshiba product. Regardless Toshiba has furthered its product line up with enhancements to their Gigabeat U-, V-, and T-series of audio and video players.

The V81 doubles the flash of its V41 to 8GB while tweaking the 1Seg recording capabilities priced at around ¥34,800 (about $327).

The U407 and U408 are just 4GB updates to their 1GB/2GB sibs while sporting an enhanced GUI priced for around ¥15,800 (about $149).

The T802 (pictured) then, is just a T401 with double the flash (8GB) priced at about ¥29,800 ($280)

The new deal to make the wildly popular (in Japan) GyaO video service available for download from NTT hotspots around Japan, the Japanese rough-equivalent of the domestic iPod, Starbucks, T-Mobile, and iTunes mash up.

Source : engadget

Alienware Launches 4TB Home Server

Alienware unveiled a high-definition media server this week, targeting homes with terabytes of digital content to store. Systems integrators, distributors and even home builders can now join the Alienware Digital Home Channel Program to become an authorised reseller of the media server.

The Alienware High Definition Media Server integrates with home entertainment systems to create a centralised source for the storage, retrieval and distribution of digital content.Boasting 4TB of capacity, the server holds a lifetime’s worth of digital movies, music, photos and more, all of which can be sent to multiple points throughout the home.

Complete Article : vnunet

Alienware’s Hangar18:HD media server now available

Alienware’s Hangar 18:HD 1080p media server — the rackmountable high end edition of the already impressive Hangar 18 — has officially launched. The silver beast promises up to 4TB of hard drive space, Blu-ray read/write, 1080p output, CableCard support and Dolby Digital 7.1 sounds. We suggest you don’t ask how much it costs, it just shows how woefully far we you are away from being able to afford it. Those ready to jump into the high priced media server market can contact their local authorized reseller and loose themselves of the Benjamins that can so uselessly clog ones bank account.

Read – Homes Fall Under Control of New Alienware High Definition Media Server
Read – Digital Home Channel Program Resellers

Source : Engadget

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