Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Home Entertainment

SyncTV Streaming HDTV

January 7, 2008

SyncTV will demonstrate a proof-of-concept device that will play downloads, including 1080p HD video content on a television set at CES. The device will also work on Windows PCs, Macs and Linux PCs.  SyncTV claims to use an open-standards approach which facilitates third-party hardware manufacturers developing compatible devices. Other devices that SyncTV could be integrated into include television sets, in-car video systems and other portable players.

SyncTV is an unlimited TV download service that launched in private beta in November 2007.

Skype on Sony PSP

January 2, 2008

Rejoice! Skype on the Sony PSP may be unveiled this week at CES. Sony's CES page seemed to "leak" the details (click the PSP controller graphic on their site). The Sony PSP doesn't have cellular data connectivity so you'll need a WiFi hotspot to use this.

Streaming TV with Skype

January 2, 2008

How would you like to use your Slingbox with Skype or is it Skype with Slingbox? Anyway... For a few months now I've been playing with using Skype along with a Slingbox, a popular gadget that lets you stream your home TV content, enabling remote viewing of live and pre­-recorded television over the Internet. I've been a huge advocate of streaming live TV across the Internet for years, so figured I'd post my tips on streaming TV utilizing Skype, Slingbox, and TV tuner cards.

Slingbox includes a software player for remote playback of your TV/video content, so you're probably wondering why anyone would want to use Skype instead.

DirecTV Screws Fast Forward

December 31, 2007

DirecTV, my satellite TV provider, recently changed the firmware on my two DirecTV Plus DVR boxes and totally hosed the ability to fast forward easily. I noticed this on my upstairs receiver about 2 weeks ago. Basically, with the DirecTV Plus DVD receiver you can press the Fast Forward button up to 3 times to fast forward (2x, 3x, 4x). The problem is the damn Fast Forward Correction.

More 3D Avatars

December 20, 2007

3D animated avatars using either "cartoonish" or even realistic photos are nothing new. Gizmoz was one of the first to allow you to animate avatars that were based on real photos of yourself. The software would automatically detect and add facial movement, mouth movement, eyebrow movement, etc. when you spoke or moves certain facial features.

Creative InPerson Wi-Fi Videophone

December 20, 2007

Creative leaked the Creative InPerson Wi-Fi videophone via their FCC filing.


It features H.264 video with SIP support, high video quality (up to VGA resolution and 2 Mbps bit-rate) and claims to perform well under low light. It features a wide-angle lens, and dual microphones with acoustic echo cancellation and noise. It comes with a lithium-ion rechargeable battery that will power the 7-inch, 16.7 million color LCD for about 2 hours.


Venturer SHD7001 HD DVD player

December 14, 2007


Our friends across the pond (the Brits) get a sweet HD DVD player deal that just got sweeter. The eagerly awaited, low cost Venturer SHD7001 High Definition (HD) DVD player from Venturer will not only offer an add on package worth around £50.00 (two HD DVDs; Hulk and Troy, and a free HDMI cable) it will also now include a voucher that enables customers to redeem 5 more free HD DVDs courtesy of the European HD DVD Promotional Group. That's right, for £50.00 you get a total of 7 HD DVDs and a free HDMI cable. Personally, I think all HD DVD players should come with a HDMI cable anyway.

R2-D2 Home Theater System DLP projector

December 11, 2007


Who wouldn't love R2-D2 in their living room projecting not just Princess Leia, but any damn movie you please. Hammacher Schlemmer, who carries the Skype R2-D2 I oggled over, has done it again with The R2-D2® Home Theater System a home theater system modeled after the famous droid from the Star Wars films. (note: Nikko Home Electronics makes this)



R2-D2's head houses a DLP projection system with superb 1,500:1 contrast, that can project DVD movies, TV shows, images, and video games from his radar eye at 1024 x 768 resolution onto walls up to 16 1/2' away, equivalent to an 80" screen. Further, he can also rotate the viewing angle up to 65° to project images onto your ceiling.




Touch-4-VoIP Adds Microphone for iPod touch

December 6, 2007

VoIP on the Apple iPod touch just became a reality with the help of some iPod touch enthusiasts/hackers over at Touchmods. Touchmods writes, "As promised, we can make you some Mics built into the DockConnector with the preamp." The Touch-4-VoIP connects to the touch's dock connector thereby enabling audio-input via the microphone. This can then be used for voice annotated notes and of course VoIP! Boy, life is good!

If you recall, I hypothesized about VoIP support on the iPod touch back in September.

Logitech Quickcam Orbit AF Review

December 4, 2007

The Logitech QuickCam Orbit AF is Logitech's best webcam money can buy. The QuickCam Orbit AF is Logitech's flagship webcam featuring Carl Zeiss optics, integrated microphone, and a cool motorized tracking that automatically follows your every move. The QuickCam Orbit AF (AF = autofocus) also has premium autofocus, up to 30fps, a true 2-megapixel sensor, with up to 8-megapixel photos (enhanced), 960 by 720 pixels, 24-bit true color Video capture, and RightLight 2 Technology which adjusts intelligently to produce true-to-life clear images in dim or poor backlight settings.

The QuickCam Orbit AF also has a 'trick' up it's sleeve. Not only can it sit low in its base, but it also comes with a 9" long stem that lets you mount the camera up high.

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