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

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.

Delkin Devices 16GB UDMA enabled CompactFlash PRO card

December 7, 2007

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.

Skype High Quality Video Review

November 30, 2007

Skype launched their latest version of Skype last week featuring what they call "High Quality Video" - not to be confused with HD Video used on HDTVs which features display resolutions of 1280x720 (720p) or 1920x1080 (1080i or 1080p). Skype High Quality Video isn't quite 1280x720 or even 1920x1080, but it is a very respectable 640x480 (VGA) resolution at 30fps. This is probably the perfect resolution size since any higher and you will need a ton of bandwidth. HD Video can get away with higher resolutions since there is plenty of bandwidth space in DVI cables and component cables that travel 6 feet or less from your various home entertainment components.

In any event, Rich and I have been playing around with Skype HQ Video over the past week or so and we've both been very impressed.

Digital Photo Christmas Ornament

November 26, 2007

Discovered a cool new gadget this weekend - a digital photo Christmas ornament, which was advertised in a Brookstone catalog. The digital photo Christmas ornament stores over 50 pictures via its 8MB memory and it'll even play them in a slide show mode.

The 3.5" tall ornament has a 1 ½" (diagonal), bright, color LCD screen. Features include photo rotate and crop and auto power off.

Qingbar GP300 Wireless Video Glasses

November 26, 2007

Video glasses haven't exactly taken off, partly because of all the wires involved. Today, I learned about the Qingbar GP300, billed as the "world's first wireless video glasses" featuring a QVGA video image (432x240) that simulates a 50" display from 2M away. It sports a built-in media player that'll play your favorite movies, videos, MP3 music, photos and even e-book text using its built-in SD slot. It's play several video formats including MP4/MPG/AVI/ASF(MPEG1/2/4) and most importantly Divx3.x/4.x/5.x & XviD.

HDMI over CAT5 Network Wire Receiver Works up to 50m!

November 19, 2007

HDMI was limited to roughly 6 meters or 20 feet, which limited your home entertainment hookups. Who keeps all their home entertainment equipment just 20 feet away? This is especially true if you have multiple rooms and you want to share HDMI components across multiple rooms or floors.

Well, a solution to this problem just launched today. Tributaries Cable, provider of high-performance cables, accessories, and installation solutions for audio, video, and custom-install systems has come out with the HXC5 HDMI over Cat5 system.

AT&T U-verse DVR Throughout the Home

November 5, 2007

AT&T U-verse customers have been complaining about lack of DVR (Digital Video Recorder) support that works throughput the home. Sure, you can get a single DVR box, but you can't view the recorded (or paused) content in the rest of the house. Part of AT&T's promise with U-verse was that you could watch digitally recorded content stored on a single DVR on any TV in the home. Sadly, this hasn't been the case, but from what I hear they're working on it.

SightSpeed offers High Quality Video Conferencing for the SMB

October 30, 2007

Ironic that I just blogged about Logitech and Skype offering high quality video conferencing and I was skeptical it would work - except in the SMB - and now I just got a release saying SightSpeed can save SMBs thousands of dollars in video conferencing hardware. Well, I'm glad SightSpeed and I are on the same page.

SightSpeed, just like Skype offers high-quality VGA (640x480) resolution @30fps. Although SightSpeed Business is a $19.99 monthly fee and Skype video is free.

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