Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Reviews

Sharp's 108" LCD: Now That's Big!

January 9, 2007

From sharp minds come sharp products -- and how about big, really big products.

Making its debut at CES, Sharp's Aquos 108-inch High-Definition LCD TV is the world’s largest HD set -- larger than even its plasma rivals.

The 1080p LCD TV measures 93.9 inches wide by 52.9-inches high -- that's almost 8 feet by 4.5 feet; SuperBowl ba-bee! (A "baby" Sharp 65-inch set is pictured; this one is currently available.)

Another Top VoIP Bloggers List

December 29, 2006

Alec Saunders just compiled another list of the top VoIP bloggers, which he titled "The Ultimate VoIP Blogger Rankings" using Text-Link-Ads "Juice Calculator". I'm flattered to be ranked 6th out of 71 and ahead of such notable VoIP bloggers - Jeff Pulver, Rich Tehrani, Andy Abramson, and more. Though technically I think I should be 5th since I don't consider MobileCrunch (ranked 5th) a "VoIP blog". Of course you could make the same argument for Om Malik's Gigaom which covers much more than VoIP.

Zoom VoIP Freedom web-based SIP chooser utility

December 11, 2006

One of the pains of most current ATA devices is that you lock you into a specific vendor by password-protecting the firmware. So even though the ATA is SIP-based, you can only use it with the VoIP provider you initially chose. If you ever want to switch, you're left with an ATA brick. Even if the ATA isn't locked, unless you are a VoIP geek and now how to configure SIP settings, you might be a bit daunted to try and switch providers and leverage your existing ATA investment.

Fortunately, some ATA manufacturers have seen the light.

3J Communications' 3J-W1D Skype phone

November 30, 2006

3J Communications announced the availability of its new 3J-W1D Skype phone to the US market. The new 3J-W1D is a remote wireless Skype phone with a blue backlighted LCD display and features built-in echo and noise cancellation as well as a nifty speakerphone on its base.

Supporting both Windows and Mac OS platforms, the new 3J-W1D (who came up with that non-descript name anyway?) is actually compatible with Skype, MSN and Yahoo! Messenger, as well as with VoIP Buster. In addition, 3J-W1D works with SJphone, X-Lite and Eyebeam, other VoIP softphone applications.

For Skype, the user can view their Skype contact’s status and profile, and can add or search their Skype friends on the unit’s bright 1.5” color handset screen.  There are call lists for Skype Calls. 



OPPO Digital LT2007 20-inch LCD-TV DVD Combo Player Review

November 21, 2006

The OPPO Digital LT2007 20-inch LCD-TV DVD Combo Player is an interesting "combination" device, combining a 181-channel TV tuner, VGA input for PC/laptop video support, built-in DVD player, 5-in-1 USB Memory Card reader, component ports, built-in speakers, and a remote control -- all in a small, elegant, and stylish design that is perfectly suited for kitchens, dorms, dens, or other rooms with limited space. Oppo sent me a review unit to check out and put through the paces.



For my first test I inserted the DVD movie Cellular into the front-loading DVD slot. Similar to cars' in-dash DVD/CD players, the DVD player automatically "catches" the DVD disc as you insert it. Using the ultra-thin remote control, which actually uses a thin watch battery, I was able to easily navigate the DVD menus and start the movie.



Linksys CIT310 Phone for Yahoo Messenger

November 8, 2006

Linksys has partnered with Yahoo! to offer a new dual-mode cordless phone called the Linksys Dual-Mode Cordless Phone for Yahoo! Messenger with Voice (CIT310). Linksys sent me a review unit to check out and put through the paces. Similar to the Linksys CIT200 Skype phone I reviewed, the Linksys Yahoo Messenger CIT310 gives you low-cost PSTN Outbound calling using VoIP and FREE voice calling to your Yahoo Messenger buddies.

Unsigned Artists Get Their Own Upload Site

October 24, 2006

I used to have a lot of fun looking throught the cut-out bins at record stores for LPs by artists that looked or sounded interesting.

(Does anybody know what I'm talking about?)

And I used to find some good albums and artists that I might not have ever heard about.

Now, in a similar vein but with a modern twist, www.MP3Musicgrams.com, a free music promotion site that features MP3 music uploads, and Musicgrams, have entered into an online artist promotion and revenue sharing partnership with MusicGorilla.com

Packet8 Videophone update

October 12, 2006

I have some more info about the new Packet8 videophone I wrote about earlier today. I met with Packet8 and asked them about this new product. In my previous post, I stated I heard it will support H.263 -- in fact, it will actually support the better H.264 standard. It will indeed be much smaller than the current Packet8 videophone.

New Packet8 videophone coming

October 12, 2006

Sources at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo tell me that a new $150 Packet8 videophone will be launched at CES. I really liked the original Packet8 VideoPhone, which I reviewed here. The original Packet8 Videophone retailed for $299, so Packet8 is certainly bringing the pricepoint of videphones down with their pending $150 videophone. Though my guess is that the videophone is subsidized by requiring customers to sign up for a minimum 1-year contract or more.

VON = Voice on the Net or Video on the Net?

September 27, 2006

I didn't attend VON, so I cannot attest to the traffic numbers or how the "buzz" was at the show just a few short weeks ago. However, I found some interesting posts from bloggers and websites that discussed the VON show. One interesting comment was from Eric Chamberlain, from Voxilla that said,  "This was my first VON show. Turnout appeared light and my peers confirmed that turnout was around 20 percent lower than in past years.
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