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

WD VelociRaptor Hard Drive

April 22, 2008

Western Digital (WD) released their latest VelociRaptor 300GB hard drive. The WD VelociRaptor hard disk drive (HDD) is one scary looking beast! This puppy spins at 10,000 RPM - fast enough to tear through your gigabytes of naked flesh in nanoseconds. Did I say gigabytes of 'naked flesh'? 

SightSpeed Light Flash Video on MySpace

April 22, 2008

SightSpeed just launched a new “SightSpeed Light” widget for MySpace, which adds two-way voice and video to the popular social networking site. If you recall, I wrote the following about SightSpeed Light:

The obvious question that came to my mind when I was thinking about embedded Flash VoIP applets is "what about Flash video conferencing applets that do both voice & video?" Imagine simply visiting a website, and initiating an ad-hoc videoconference with other visitors to that same site. I should mention that there already exists tons of Flash video applications used by popular sites such as YouTube and LiveLeak. The video codecs at least exist within the Flash player. Though, YouTube uses buffering that isn't real-time, so Flash-based videoconferencing would most likely use a different codec that performs better during real-time communication.

In any event, I knew it wouldn't be long before someone took Flash VoIP to the next level and offered Flash videoconferencing.

Akros Silicon Launches First 802.3at PoE chipset

March 17, 2008

Akros Silicon is a startup started back in 2005 that is one of the most important VoIP players you've probably never heard of. Akros Silicon develops Power over Ethernet (PoE) chipsets used in VoIP telephones, IP cameras, wireless access points (WAPs), routers, switches, thin clients, LCD displays, Tilt and Zoom (PTZ) capability, new multi-radio 802.11n Wireless Access Points, WiMax Customer Premise Equipment, SOHO Ethernet Switches, Thin Clients and more. Akros Silicon's chipsets are used in popular PoE IP telephones. You probably have or will soon have Akros Silicon's chipset in one of your network devices!

SureWest Communications Launches Combined VoIP, TV, and HD DVR

March 12, 2008

Interesting news from SureWest where they debuted VoIP service combined with a high-definition digital video recorder (DVR) product for watching recorded and live TV. I'm assuming this is a combined set-top box that does video (TV) and voice over IP. If they really want to get crazy with combining stuff, they should stick a camera in there which will add video over IP (videoconferencing) capabilities. I'll see if I can get a photo of the set-top box.

In the meantime, here's the news from the Sacramento Business Journal:
SureWest Communications has launched Digital Phone, the telecommunication company's new Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service and a high-definition digital video recorder product.

SureWest already offers VoIP for business customers, but Digital Phone extends the service to residential customers.

SureWest (Nasdaq: SURW) has been testing the high-definition DVR in region since December.

Ojo Phone Lives!

March 12, 2008

TeVeStream FrameSeeker Detects Video Frame Changes

February 25, 2008

Arcosoft Inc., those same rascals that built 8 simultaneous video streams only Star Trek's Data could love, today announced the release of TeVeStream FrameSeeker. According to Arcosoft, "Surveillance video, such as those captured for security, paranormal investigation, and wildlife study, often contains many frames that are essentially static. Without FrameSeeker, a reviewer must spend many tedious hours watching the video completely to find interesting events. FrameSeeker reduces the effort by scanning for changes frame by frame.

HD DVD RIP, Long Live Blue-ray!

February 21, 2008

The HD DVD vs. Blue-Ray high-definition DVD format war is over. In case you missed it, Toshiba made a statement saying, "it will no longer develop, manufacture and market HD DVD players and recorders." As a result, Amazon and other online retailers have been having a fire sale trying to offload the Toshiba HD DVD players. You can pick one up for $79 or less.

In a further humiliation, according to, instead of being listed as HD DVD players, they are now being displayed as upscaling DVD players.

Netflix Streaming via Vista Media Center MyNetflix plugin

February 11, 2008

Yesterday, I discussed some cool (free) video utilities for converting & downloading video on your Microsoft Media Center PC to your Microsoft Zune. Today, I just learned about another cool video application called MyNetflix for Vista Media Center. The plug-in's "Watch Now" streaming ability is perhaps the coolest feature. Simply using your Media Center remote control you can have the 10' experience of streaming Netflix movies on-demand from your sofa. I always have trouble returning my DVDs, so having the instant gratification of watching a Netflix movie on my 65" TV using my MCE remote control would be great.

DVRMSToolbox For Vista Released

February 9, 2008

DVRMSToolbox For Vista was just released. DVRMSToolbox is a very cool video converter utility for converting TV programs (in Microsoft DVR-MS format) on your Vista PC to .wmv for playback on the Zune video player. Even cooler it can auto-detect and strip out the commercials. With the proper profile setting it converts to a .wmv file with the proper settings such that the Zune software doesn't need to transcode the .wmv video file again (time-consuming). There's also a Windows XP version available that runs on Windows MCE 2005, the first version of Windows with Media Center Edition (MCE) built-in for capturing & playing bck TV programs, but that version is a little older.

FaceFon Video Phone on its way?

February 7, 2008

Mork over at Trademork informed me about LG Electronics filing a patent filing a patent for FaceFon.

On January 29, 2008, electronics behemoth LG Electronics filed to protect the trademark FaceFon in relation to “telephones; videophones; cellular telephones; wireless local loop telephones; telephone handsets; computer telephony software (enables telephone activities to be performed through a computer); computer terminals”.

I'm going to assume from the name which sounds like "face phone" that this is some sort of face-to-face video phone. Even the two letter F's face each other with one of them backwards. And lest we forget, I wrote about the LG-Nortel Microsoft OCS phones here.

Here's a photo of the LG-Nortel 8540, which already sports a nice color LCD display, so adding video wouldn't be a stretch:

So my friends, is this (FaceFon) going to be another LG-Nortel phone for the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 (OCS) platform? Or is this going to be a SIP-compliant video phone that works on any SIP-compliant PBX?

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