Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
| VoIP & Gadgets blog - Latest news in VoIP & gadgets, wireless, mobile phones, reviews, & opinions

Video Hardware & Software

Pioneer Stores Coming to a Mall Near You

November 17, 2008

How Much Is That HDTV in the Window?

November 13, 2008

New consumer research has found that 34% of U.S. households have at least one HDTV set, double the percentage of households that had such TVs two years ago.

The growth of HDTV sets has largely been driven by on-going consumer purchasing of TV sets coupled with a dwindling supply of lower-end non-HDTV sets being sold, according to the Leichtman Research Group.

Overall, 22% of all households purchased a new TV set in the past 12 months, with 43% of this group spending more than $1,000 on a new TV.

These findings are based on a survey of 1,302 households throughout the United States.

Now if we could just get the other two-thirds to pick up a HDTV set we'd be all better off ... would that help the global economy or what?

More at Multichannel News.

Wal-Mart Getting Jump on Black Friday Deals

November 10, 2008

An upcoming Wal-Mart sale will offer Black Friday-like deals, including a notebook for $298 and 46-inch 1080p LCD HDTV for $798.

Just as it did last year with a sale that lured shoppers into its maze of fluorescent lighting for $350 laptops, Wal-Mart will once again begin its holiday sales early with a one-day shopping event to precede Black Friday.

The company's sale will include several high-profile deals, including a laptop for $298, a 46-inch Sanyo LCD HDTV for $798, and a PS3 that comes with a $100 gift card.

Specifications on the $298 laptop, a Compaq CQ50-139WM, have moved up significantly from the models offered as last year's doorbusters. Though it will still get a single-core Intel Celeron M processor clocked at 2GHz, the CQ50 also gets 2GB of DDR2 RAM a 160GB hard drive, and Intel's 4500MHD media accelerator. 

More at DigitalTrends.

Top HDTVs under $1000

November 7, 2008

Roku Streaming HD from Roku -- Before Year End

November 4, 2008

Roku representatives have responded to rumors on its online forum board regarding when it will launch streaming HD services and announced, earlier than they'd like, that it will team up with Netflix to bring HD content to its subscribers.

Compared to the recently announced Xbox and Netflix tie-up that will also see streaming HD content to the Xbox, Roku will use different Advanced Profile encoding to deliver the HD content at significantly lower bit-rates. 

In related news, CNet reports that Netflix has decided to stop selling used DVDs to its customer base, instead deciding to focus its attention on its rental by mail and Watch Instantly services.

"As you know, our core business is delivering great movie rentals to you on DVD by mail and instantly to the computer and TV, so we've decided it makes sense for us to focus exclusively on that," the company stated in a Netflix blog post.

More on the streaming from Electronista (and thanks for the photo).

WB Goes for Legal Movie Downloads -- In China Only

November 4, 2008

Watch Two TV Programs at Once on Same TV!

October 31, 2008

It sounds like an offer out of the back of a comic book, but Texas Instruments (TI), the maker of the DLP Cinema chip, is developing technology that might make it possible to watch two programs on one TV at the same time.

The company recently outlined some of its early developments that use 3-D technology for home entertainment at the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers Technical Conference and Exhibition in Hollywood, CA.

One development, which TI expects to begin to preview at year's end, is processing technology that if incorporated in a third-party home entertainment system could allow for 2-D, 3-D or "dual view mode" on the same TV. Dual view mode, similar to 3-D, combines two images, but they are two different images.  

Yes, and you can expect to wear special glasses, too ...

More at the Hollywood Reporter.

Multi-Channel Election Night Coverage

October 31, 2008

If one channel just enough during election season, Dish Network is offering a mosiac channel with six simultaneous feeds of news channels.

It started Tuesday, Oct. 28, and will run through Nov. 7.

For those 11 days, you can turn to Channel 100 and catch Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, CNN Headlines News, C-SPAN and C-SPAN 2.

(At least the remote control will get some rest ...)

Since May, Dish has offered Dish Decision 2008, an interactive application with news and information about the presidential candidates, plus state-by-state news, information and polling about congressional and gubernatorial races.

Dish rival DirecTV is also offering an Election Day mosaic channel, in this case an eight-channel offering called Election Mix.

Thanks to TV Technology.


Anybody Buying Blu-ray?

October 28, 2008

There are ads for them all over the place as everybody seems to be pushing Blu-ray as the better version of DVD -- much like DAT was the new audio cassette (but at least that's digital vs. analog, not better digital vs. digital) and we know what happened to DAT ...

And who can argue with 1080 lines of resolution (BR) vs. 480 (DVD), but we the consuming universe just don't want to shell out $30 for a BR title when we are quite happy to pay less (often much, much less) for a regular, good old DVD.

(And DVD are not really that old, are they?)

In a sign that there is than one of us out there with the same way of thinking, as of last month, only 4% of U.S.

Sears Wants Your Old Gadgets

October 27, 2008

Sears is offering VenJuvo's Trade4Credit program to shoppers that will allow you to earn Sears store credit in exchange for trading in pre-owned gadgets that have been determined to still hold value.

The program, which offers free recycling and shipping, will accept a variety of gadgets, including iPhones, digital cameras and camcorders, MP3 players, GPS systems and gaming systems.

To use the service, simply have to log onto, select your gadget and then enter the specifics about it so the system can calculate an estimated trade-in value. Once the value is established, the user can print out the prepaid mailing label and send the device to VenJuvo.

After the device is received, VenJuvo will validate the value and within three days you will be able to collect a Sears gift card for that value. 

A quick look at the site tells me the product categories are narrow and the prices low.  Now, wouldn't eBay be a better choice in some cases?

More at TWICE.

Featured Events