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Archives For Media
A periodic roundup of relevant news… from our friends at Last100:
10 feet away: YouTube lands on PS3 and Wii
Perhaps taking a leaf out of the BBC iPlayer’s book, Google-owned YouTube have launched a version of the video sharing site designed specifically for viewing on a television.
DivX 7 adds support for Blu-ray rips
DivX looks set to continue to be the video format of choice for ‘grey’ content, with the company announcing that version 7 adds support for H.264 video and, more significantly, the Matroska (MKV) container.
Playing catch up, Blockbuster partners with CinemaNow
In a bid to play catch up with the likes of Apple, Netflix, Sony and Microsoft, video rental chain Blockbuster has signed a strategic partnership with Sonic Solutions, owners of the video download store CinemaNow.
Who has the most to fear from Palm’s “New-ness”?
Palm’s new webOS and Pre smartphone has the potential to take the mobile experience to the next level. Who should fear Palm’s “New-ness” most: Apple, Google’s Android, Blackberry, Nokia or Windows Mobile?
Why you may never see Firefox or Opera on the iPhone
A report on Macrumors observes that the company appears to have relaxed its iPhone App Store policy in relation to third-party web browsers. This has led to many speculating that heavyweight competitors, such as Firefox, Opera or Google’s Chrome, could be next to land on the iPhone. Not so fast.
DivX 7 introduces support for full HD H.264 videos. The software comes in two forms, a freeware edition with video playback support and a $20 version providing additional creation and conversion tools for DivX videos. The package also includes the DivX H.264 decoder filter and the DivX MKV Demux filter (both DirectShow filters that extend playback support for MKV files.) MKV has quickly grown in popularity for HD downloads as an open standard enclosure that allows an unlimited number of video, audio, picture and/or subtitle tracks inside one single file. Another new feature is the integration of AAC audio – digital audio format with multichannel audio support.
Also of note for media gadget Fans: DivX has announced the launch of the DivX Plus Certification program enabling additional implementation of DivX technology on game consoles, televisions, mobile devices, and more. In fact, I noticed that Windows 7 will have native DivX capabilities.
Download DivX 7 here with a 15-day trial to sample all the encoding goodies.
Check out more of Brent’s reflections on tech, gadgets, software and media at Geek Tonic.
A periodic roundup of relevant news… from our friends at Last100:
Have we just witnessed the second coming of Palm?
The company unveiled its brand new Palm operating system (dubbed the webOS) running on a new smartphone called the “Palm Pre” that features a 3.1-inch multi-touch screen and slide out portrait keyboard. It’s of course early days until we see the first reviews of the Pre and I get to personally play with the new Palm OS and device but from what I’ve seen, I’m very, very excited.
ASUS Eee ‘media center’ Keyboard, Eye-Fi does video, and Negear Internet TV
Although the expo floor of the Consumer Electronics Show doesn’t open until tomorrow, there’s already been a flurry of press conferences and sneak previews fueling the tech press and blogosphere. Here are a few products that have caught my eye.
Internet TV partners: Intel and Adobe, Roku and Amazon, Netflix and LG
A number of industry players announced partnerships relating to getting Internet content onto the TV – a theme that will, once again, be prevalent at CES.
Hackintosh Netbook: Goodbye XP, hello OSX
Although it’s been possible to run OSX on the MSI Wind (or in this case the Advent 4211, a Wind clone) for many months now, it previously involved swapping out the WiFi card for a compatible one. That is until RealTek released an unofficial driver for OSX last month. So how does it run?
Over at the Qualcomm booth today was a strange little application called Mikz from a company called Conveneer. Just launched on select Qualcomm phones, Mikz gives your cell phone a URL so that other people can browse the media on your handset.
I know. First reaction: Huh? But here’s why it’s cool. You can set permissions for the people you want to have access and for types of media you want them to see or hear. For example, with Mikz I could have all of my CES pics on my phone instantly available online for anyone I want to see them. And while it’s not ready yet, the VP I spoke to said video support is on its way.
Mikz also has a Facebook widget (I foresee pic-publishing disasters at college parties everywhere) and can show your location on a map. The company says more phones with the app are on their way. I’ll update this post if we manage to get a listing of currently supported phones, carriers, and regions.
Folks who pre-ordered the DISH Network DTVPal DRV or Verismo VuNo may be receiving some pretty exclusive holiday cheer this week.
The DTVPal DVR ($250) is dual-tuning high definition DVR designed to record digital signals solely via antenna (OTA, ATSC), without requiring an ongoing TiVo-esque service fee. While interest in this product has been extremely high, early reports are a bit mixed. High quality visuals, though two reports of “pulsating” anomalies and timers (recordings, too?) seem to be scheduled via time slot, rather than content title. Guide data quality is dependent on the thoroughness and technology utilized by local broadcasters. However, this is a live platform and at least two initial customers have reported receiving firmware updates when connecting their unit over Ethernet.
The compact VuNow media streamer comes in two flavors, a standard definition “PoD” ($99) and an HD variant ($149). In addition to the requisite YouTube access, VuNow also aggregates a variety of other web video sites into a searchable interface. Through the addition of your own USB or network storage, local video, music, and graphics can also be enjoyed. Unlike that other diminutive $99 box, WiFi is not built-in – although wireless capabilities can be added via a fifteen dollar USB dongle.
I’m in touch with both DISH Netowrk and Verismo… and looking forward to getting my hands on a pair of review units. Speaking of devices I’m anxious to test drive, the Western Digital Media Player (~$120) seems to handle just about any sort of video thrown at it – with the caveats of no network connectivity and you must BYOD (Bring Your Own Drive). It’s on my wish list, too.
Data files on each of my web server, laptops, primary computer and iMac are regularly and automatically backed up to my networked Drobo. I also use the Drobo as a primary repository for 100’s of Gigabytes of centralized data – accessible from any device on my home office network, including my Apple TV, TiVo, PS3 and Xbox 360.
As of three days ago, I had two 500 Gigabyte drives and 1 Terabyte drive installed in the Drobo. Two days ago a flashing red light appeared beside one of the 500 Gig drives. This meant that the drive had failed. I purchased a 1 Terabyte Western Digital replacement drive for $114 at infonec.
True to data robotics claims, I was able to hot swap out the defective 500 Gigabyte drive and slide in the new Terabyte drive without incident. It took about 15 seconds to do. Subsequently, it took about six hours for Drobo to reconstitute data redundancy – ie: to format the new drive and redistribute my data across the newly constituted drive array such that data would once again not be lost if any drive failed.