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Cool New Microsoft 720p LifeCams with TrueColor Technology

March 16, 2010

Microsoft today announced TrueColor Technology which they claim enhances the color and brightness of webcam video in the worst of lighting conditions. True Color Technology is a new image processing technology that automatically adjusts the picture quality to provide more colorful video. It does this through a proprietary combination of software and firmware technology. TrueColor Technology actually leverages face tracking technology developed by Microsoft Research, which can detect a person's face and help ensure it's not overexposed or underexposed, so the video call picture looks great even in the most challenging lighting scenarios.

Cablevision Connects PC to TV Using Software

February 24, 2010

Who'd a thunk that your cable box could magically transmit your PC's video and audio directly to your TV with no wires? Cablevision just released a new piece of software that you simply load onto your PC and then your screen pixels and audio are transmitted across the coax to Cablevision's centralized network where it is then converted into your very own individualized channel that you can simply view by changing your cable box's channel. Since your cable box is already connected to your TV, there's no need to run any special video or audio cables from your PC. Think of this as Remote Desktop (RDP protocol) (or VNC) on steroids.

The new service is called "PC to TV Media Relay" and it's an interesting solution for less technical users to bridge their PCs and their advanced home entertainment systems.

Skype Brings 720p to HDTVs and PCs

January 5, 2010

Skype today introduced a high-definition (HD) video calling service that will work on computers and televisions. The newest version Skype 4.2 Beta for Windows, supports 720p video calling in a 1280x720 pixel resolution at 30 frames per second. The latest version of Skype will come pre-installed on some LG Electronics Inc. and Panasonic Corp. television sets by June, according to Skype. Panasonic will support the technology via its VIERA Cast televisions and LG will support it with its NetCast Entertainment Access and both will offer HD webcams as accessories.

The new HDTVs will deliver familiar Skype features including:
  • Free Skype-to-Skype voice and video calls
  • Calls to landline or mobile phones at Skype's low rates
  • The option to receive inbound calls via a user's online Skype number
  • Skype voicemail, if it is set up
  • Being invited to participate in voice conference calls with up to 24 other parties
  • Support for up to 720p HD video calls, depending on the availability of high-speed broadband and a HD webcam
I have a relatively new (late 2009) Panasonic 54" TV with VIERA Cast, so it'll be interesting to see if my TV will be on the list to support it. ConXit Connection Wizard Helps You Find Right Connector for Home Theater, PC, and more

November 19, 2009

Ever get frustrated trying to convert Component to HDMI or convert from one video connector to another because your TV is 10 years only and doesn't support HDMI? Even if you are a home theater guru, the number of converter options and cabling options can be immense and downright confusing.

Well,, a manufacturer of hard-to-find connectivity and technology parts, launched the ConXit Connection Wizard, an online tool that helps users find the right converter, extender, splitter, interface card, cable and more. The search tool will help you find the right connector for Bluetooth, BNC, CameraLink, Coax, Compact Flash, Component, Composite, Digital Coax Audio, DVI, eSATA, ExpressCard, HDMI, RJ-11, RJ-45, and more.

This online tool recommends the best products for connecting IT and/or audio-video peripherals after just two easy steps.

Step One - Select the type of connector for the peripheral or device you wish to connect from a drop down list of options.

Step Two - Select the connection type on the host computer or component.

Dell Inspiron Zino HD - Coolest HTPC Ever

November 13, 2009

Dell just launched the Inspiron Zino HD, a small 8" by 8" x 3.5" cubed-shaped trendy-looking HTPC that aims to sit in your living room and become your centralized home media center. Comparisons of the trendy-looking Zino HD vs. the Mac Mini will undoubtedly be made. Colors for the Zino HD include Piano Black, True Blue, Formula Red, Plum Purple, Spring Green, Promise Pink, Tangerine Orange, Green Scatter, Red Swirls, and Blue Lines.

Blabbelon Opens a New (VoIP) World for Gamers

November 3, 2009

Blabbelon, the cross-platform web-based VoIP app designed for video gaming, which I tested yesterday and posted a review today released an official statement about their new offering. I thought I'd share it since it has some good info to compliment my review posted this morning:

Stop Venting: Blabbelon Opens a New World for Gamers
Free, one-click, push-to-talk chat service eliminates Ventrilo frustrations;
No downloads, server rentals or limits on groups; Super wideband audio-quality voice chat using Skype's SILK audio codec

New York, NY- November 3, 2009 - You're about to jump on a MMOG and need to bring other players into a voice chat session. After time-consuming downloads, complicated invites and discovering that your best player can't join the chat because he's on a Mac and not a PC, you finally begin playing - just as your game is rudely interrupted by loud team members. Your voice chat system, which should be providing you with a better gaming experience, has become more trouble than it was worth.

Blabbelon Launches HD VoIP for Video Games

November 3, 2009

Video gamers love VoIP in video games but have often been disappointed with poor voice quality - including jitter, lag, and choppiness, inability to continue to talk via VoIP once you close the game and just an overall poor user experience. Well, Blabblelon aims to change all that with the launch of their browser-based VoIP application which uses a mix of Java and Flash to VoIP-enable any PC, Mac, or Linux computer. The beauty of Blabbelon is that it works at the browser-level, so you can VoIP your friends whether you are inside the video game or not. With Blabbelon, you can blab all you want - even start your own blab-a-thon if you want.

Blabbelon is not to be confused with Babylon where the story goes that God wasn't too pleased with the Tower of Babel the people built, so he took one common language and confounded it into many so they couldn't understand each other.

Next-gen iPod touch Features Mic, Video, and VoIP?

July 21, 2009

is reporting rumors about Apple preparing a new version of the iPod touch that includes a camera and microphone, which when combined with Skype for the iPod touch would negate the need for a home phone line. VoIP on an iPod touch? That's just heresy! Essentially, the iPod touch becomes an iPhone without the need for an AT&T contract.

The article then points out you can add a portable Verizon MiFi 3G wireless access point, which shares your 3G connection using WiFi to finally bring the iPhone experience to Verizon's 3G network.

Slacker Radio App will be pushed on to every Verizon BlackBerry Storm

July 16, 2009

The Slacker Radio streaming application, which lets users play personalized radio and buy songs from V CAST Music while they listen, will be "pushed" out to all Verizon BlackBerry Storm phones over-the-air. Whether you want it or not - though you can hide or move it to another folder.

According to Verizon, "Over the next several days, customers using the BlackBerry Storm smartphone will see the Slacker Radio application icon appear on their handsets' home screens as it is pushed over-the-air. The Slacker Radio icon gives customers one-click access to a free version of one of the most popular personalized radio services available today. "

This version of Slacker Radio also connects to V CAST Music, combining this exciting music application with Verizon Wireless' industry-leading mobile music service.

Walmart Father's Day Deals For Every Dad's "Man Cave"

June 11, 2009

Father's Day is just around the corner, so no doubt you'll be wanting to get your dad some cool gadgets for his "man cave". Well, Walmart has some sick deals going on this Father's Day, including a $128 Magnavox Blu-ray Disc player (NB500MGX)! Wow, no reason to not have a Blu-ray player now. Man that's cheap!
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