Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Video Hardware & Software

Wireless HDTV Is Coming to a Home Near You ...

June 20, 2008

Verizon Boosts FiOS Internet Speed

June 19, 2008

According to Verizon, beginning next week, Verizon will make available to more than 10 million homes and businesses the nation's fastest consumer broadband connections, with download speeds up to 50 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds up to 20 Mbps over their fiber to the home (FTTH) network.

Verizon had already offered the 50/20 Mbps and 20/20 Mbps services in its FiOS markets in Connecticut (my state), Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. The company is now expanding those offerings to new Verizon FiOS customers in parts of California, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington, replacing existing offerings of 30/15 Mbps and 15/15 Mbps services, respectively.

The mid-tier connection speed in those markets for new customers is being increased from 15/2 Mbps to 20/5 Mbps, and the basic service tier is being increased from 5/2 Mbps to 10/2 Mbps. Existing FiOS Internet customers who are interested in the new speed options can call Verizon for information about the new plans.

Check out these performance benchmarks:

At 50 Mbps, downloading a 5 GB (gigabyte) file, such as a 112-minute, high-definition movie purchased online, takes approximately 13.3 minutes, while a 50 MB (megabyte), or 60-minute, Web video takes 8 seconds, and a 5 MB MP3 music file takes less than eight-tenths of a second.

Using a 20 Mbps upstream broadband connection, a consumer could upload a 250 megabyte (MB) file of 200 photos in about 90 seconds, instead of the roughly 47 minutes it takes over a 768 kilobit-per-second (Kbps) upstream connection.  A 500 MB file, such as 400 digital photos or a medical imaging data file, can be uploaded in less than four minutes, compared with about 90 minutes over a 768 Kbps connection.  A 3 gigabyte (GB) file, such as a one-hour family video shot with a high-definition video camera, can be uploaded in around 20 minutes, compared with more than nine hours with 768 Kbps upstream.

UK court rules Modchips do not circumvent copyright protection

June 13, 2008

UK-based MrModchips was cleared of all 26 counts against him for his role in importing and selling gaming console modchips. You know, the kind that lets you play [cough] backup copies of your video games. The Court of Appeal Criminal Division ruled that modchips do not circumvent copyright protection.

The icing on the cake is that the defendant was "awarded full costs as a result of his successful appeal," Sweet! Can you imagine the look on high-priced lawyers faces representing the multi-billion dollar video gaming industry?

When One Less Gadget Is Better -- Set-Top Boxes Going Bye-Bye?

May 27, 2008

Sony has joined forces with six of the top cable companies in the U.S. to adopt tru2way technology in its TVs, thus eliminating the need for a set-top box when accessing television and other interactive services. and anyone else working on a set-top box should be nervous. Read more about it here.

Apple, Netflix, Sezmi

Philips Says 3-D TV (Without the Glasses) Is Next Big Thing

May 21, 2008

Downloaded Movies Were Meant To Be Free

May 20, 2008

Nice to see Roku back and how about hooking up with Netflix in the announcement of a $100 set top box that streams free movies (for Netflix subscribers) to the living room.

Instead of wading into a losing battle over cheap downloads and rentals (see Vudu, BlockBuster, AppleTV, Google, etc., which charge for each movie), we now see somebody getting the magic four-letter word right -- "free." That's what I'm talking about!

Of course, the service isn’t really free. Users have to buy the $100 box, and continue to keep a Netflix subscription active ($18/month). There are 10,000 movies available on on the box, which is significantly less than the 100,000 or so titles on Netflix’s DVD mailing service (and it’s old titles, not new releases).

Blu-ray Going Under $300 -- Will Market Take Off?

May 19, 2008

Is Flip the Future of Video?

May 5, 2008

Blu-ray in Your Plans?

May 5, 2008

DVD Book Type Setting - Troubleshooting DVD Burning Problems

April 29, 2008 is a popular website run by C0deKing and Kanalratte that offers crossflashing and overclocking of your DVD±RW drives using "hacked" firmware for your DVD burner. Often the hacked firmware enables missing features such as overclocking the speed of the DVD burn and more importantly, setting the 'book type' permanently to "DVD-ROM". (more on that later) also offer "autopatchers", which are are easy do-it-yourself tools with an easy-to-use GUI to patch DVD burner firmware.

I recently bought a Sony DRU-840A DVD burner and when I tried to burn a home movie I noticed Nero didn't list the booktype setting under the 'Options' button. (Here's a screenshot of the book type setting in Nero on my Vista PC with a different DVD burner:)

The Book Type setting, also knowns as "bitsetting" allows you to change DVD+R media's default book type of "DVD+R" & "DVD+RW" to "DVD-ROM" more more compatibility with home DVD players which are looking for this particular book type.

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