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Video Hardware & Software

LCD Still Moving, but Is a Slowdown Ahead?

August 12, 2008

LCD TV sales grew 25% quarter-to-quarter in Q2, according to Quixel Research in its LCD TV Market Review. The growth was attributed to the availability of more screen sizes with less emphasis on 1080p models.

While unit sales for the 32-inch and 40- to 42-inch screen size segments were up 22% and 26%, respectively, the new 19W and 22W models launched in the second quarter showed the most dramatic growth. Unit sales for the 19W segment increased 121% quarter-to-quarter, while the 22W segment was up 262% for the same time period.

More sales equals more revenue to the tune of $5.5 billion in Q2 compared to $4.9 billion in Q1, according to the review.

Sales of small- and mid-sized LCDs increased 30% for 720p models, while sales of 1080p models were up 33%.

But can these strong sales figures be maintained as the economy sucks the once extra dollars out of consumers' pockets into staples like food, shelter and transportation?

(Thanks to the ole Wikipedia for the image.)

Gaming Console Sales -- Who's on Top?

August 11, 2008

PlayStation Home Beta Up for Grabs

August 7, 2008

Teaching an Old Blockbuster a New Trick

August 5, 2008

Blockbuster to roll out DVD rental kiosks!  Yes, in another tactical shift, Blockbuster will begin testing 50 DVD rental kiosks to compete with Redbox, which rents DVDs for $1 per night.

According to The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, Blockbuster plans to roll out 10,000 kiosks over the next 18 months. The kiosks are designed for DVD rentals, but could include digital downloads and sales of movies in the future.

In related news, Netflix is reportedly testing charging a premium for Blu-ray movies. This service would allow users to order Hi-Def movies from its Blu-ray library for a premium.

Nintendo Goes Holographic! Wow Wii!

August 5, 2008

Nintendo, the maker of the market-leading Wii videogame console, has reportedly co-signed for a patent on holographic storage and may be gearing up for development of this ultra high-capacity storage concept.

Nintendo signed the patent with Inphase Technologies, but bringing holographic storage to market won't be easy. (Inphase has been at this a looong time.)

Nintendo, one of the world's top three videogame console and handheld device makers, apparently is preparing to invest some big money into developing holographic storage.

A patent for holographic storage was recently co-signed by the Japanese entertainment hardware and software company, which is a clear indication that the console manufacturer is investigating new methods of data storage for future projects. (And that a leap in storage capacity!)

Holographic storage is a sector of the solid-state disk market with interesting potential, but development appears to have come to a plateau; only a couple of companies have been working on trying to bring it to market.

Xbox Prices Going Lower?

August 4, 2008

New Controllers Coming for Guitar Hero + Music Studio!

August 1, 2008

Software publisher Activision and peripheral maker Logitech have announced a joint venture to make premium controllers shaped like instruments for Guitar Hero World Tour.

The game is expected to debut this fall, and will be available for the all the popular gaming consoles, including Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlaytStaion 3 and Nintendo Wii.

The new game will use new controllers, including a more responsive and freshly designed guitar along with a new microphone. The major difference from the current controllers uses will be an all-new electronic drum set, which will include three drum pads, two raised cymbals and a bass kick pedal.

Apart from the new controllers, the game will feature a Music Studio function, where players can compose, record and share their own music, as well an eight-player "Battle of the Bands" mode.

More Ways To Watch TV Coming ...

July 31, 2008

Looks Like 1080p is Coming

July 31, 2008

Now it looks like Dish Network will be giving us true 1080p HD!

In its press release, the company says that in addition to a host of 17 new national high-definition channels, it will also offer pay-per-view movies in 1080p. The first, available on Friday, is I Am Legend, the Will Smith sci-fi film.

While the satellite company may be the first to sell 1080p content, they're not the first to announce it. Those honors go to DirecTV; on Monday the company said it would launch an additional 30 national HD channels by the middle of August, bringing its high definition total up to 130.

Meanwhile, the Dish says it will have 100 HD national channels by Friday, and DirecTV announced it will also offer 1080p pay per view programming later this year.

Both companies imply that their 1080p offerings will look as good as Blu-ray discs. DirecTV says its titles are in "the same format used by Blu-Ray HD DVDs." Dish is even more direct, (so to speak), calling its offerings "Blu-ray disc quality."

Read more in the New York Times.

Dymo DiscPainter Review

July 30, 2008

Printing CD and DVD labels can be a chore. It often requires special labels and only certain printers can accept CD/DVD labels. Certainly burning CDs and DVDs has become more popular so users are looking for quick, easy, and fun ways to label and decorate their CD/DVD collections. I have an Epson printer at home that doesn't print the size labels I need, so I resort to using a black Sharpie pen and hand scribbling on the CD or DVD.
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