Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Reviews

Epson Takes TV to the Edge

September 4, 2006

Epson's upcoming high-resolution displays, featuring something called "Photo Fine Vistarich technology" produce crisp, beautiful images even when viewed from a sharp angle — up to 180 degrees from the top, bottom, left, and right — with hardly any changes in contrast or color. (Yes, you read correctly.)

What does this make possible?

  • Clear pictures for viewers of in-car entertainment systems even when they are not sitting directly in front of the screen.
  • Digital camera users will be able to preview the images they are shooting in true to-life colors while holding the camera above their heads.
  • Users of multifunction mobile devices will be able to enjoy moving pictures, such as movies and sports broadcasts, from virtually any angle.

Behind Photo Fine Vistarich's broad viewing angle is advanced technology that gives contrast ratios of more than 100:1 from ±80 degrees (500:1 when viewed head on). Conventional LCDs have contrast ratios from ±80 degrees that are usually only 10:1.

GN 9350 DECT 6.0 headset does PC, VoIP, and regular phone handsets

September 1, 2006

GN Netcom's GN 9350 DECT 6.0 headset (now called the Jabra GN 9350) is one of the most versatile headsets I have ever reviewed. When GN Netcom told me they had a new headset that did both PC audio and Phone audio, while leveraging the range and interference-free characteristics of the DECT 6.0 standard, I just had to review this headset. (Note: DECT 6.0 operates at 1.9Ghz so it is less apt to have interference from WiFi 2.4Ghz signals) With the GN 9350 you can get your "Skype" on, your iTunes on, and your phone on, all using one wireless headset. Sweet!

Update: Jabra now has the Jabra GN 9350e, the successor to the popular Jabra GN 9350.

USRobotics USR9630 Cordless Phone for Skype

August 30, 2006


USRobotics just launched a new cordless phone for Skype called the USR9630 Cordless Phone for Skype and the USR9631 Accessory Handset.  The USR9630 base station connects to both a traditional phone line and an available USB port on a PC running Skype. It allows up to four cordless handsets to be connected to the same telephone line. This product is somewhat similar to the Linksys CIT200 Skype phone that I reviewed, which also supports multiple handsets and also uses DECT, however, this USR product supports both Skype and PSTN phone calls, thus making it a practical home phone replacement for the entire family.

According to Orb, Internet users are streaming media FIENDS!

August 22, 2006

Orb Networks today announced that consumers have enjoyed a record 66 million minutes -- the equivalent of a whopping 125 years -- of digital media (recorded videos, TV, music, etc.) streamed from their home computer to a mobile phone, PDA or laptop using the free Orb MyCasting service. Orb stated that all this streaming has occurred in just 19 months since Orb's inception.

I've used Orb's software in the past to stream my personal TV recordings as well as stream live TV. Quite useful when I'm travelling and the hotel doesn't offer FOX News or the YES Network.

The nice thing about Orb is that the software is free and integrates quite nicely with Windows Media Center Edition. My only complaint is that Orb buffers the video, so it makes it difficult to "channel surf". Also, if there is congestion, it takes awhile for Windows Media Player (or RealPlayer) to rebuffer.

That's why I like SightSpeed 5.0's channel surfing capabilities, which doesn't require buffering.





New TomTom One GPS

August 17, 2006

TomTom One is a new portable GPS navigation unit launched for the North American market, that fits in your shirt pocket, making it easily transportable from car-to-car and to take on business and vacation trips. I got my hands on a TomTon One unit to review, but haven't fully tested all the features yet. Here's my analysis so far... The TomTom ONE utilizes the Version 5 Navigator software, not TomTom Navigator 6, which apparently is exclusive to the Treo smartphones at the moment.  The one also features Bluetooth support for TomTom's PLUS Services.


I'm a huge fan of TomTom products and have always been impressed when I review their latest stuff.


Mac users finally get Skype video feature

July 25, 2006

Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007

June 26, 2006

On May 30th 2006, I speculated that Windows Live Meeting 2006 was coming - the next version after Windows Live Meeting 2005. I was close -- Microsoft actually "skipped a year" and released Microsoft Office Communicator 2007, a unified communications client that works in tandem with Office Communications Server 2007, which was also announced today. This solution delivers a presence-based, enterprise VoIP “softphone” for secure, enterprise-grade instant messaging that allows for intercompany federation and connectivity to public instant messaging networks such as MSN, AOL and Yahoo! It also enables one-to-one and multiparty videoconferencing, audioconferencing, and webconferencing.

Be a VoIP DJ using Yahoo Messenger with Voice

June 19, 2006

Yahoo! Messenger with Voice on Tuesday will introduce custom plug-in features and will now allow developers to custom made applications. Some of the hghlighted plug-ins include plugin applications for Amazon.com, Yahoo! 360, and eBay. My guess is we'll also see integration with Flickr and other popular community (Web 2.0) sites as well through developer-created plugins.

There is a small VoIP component to the announcement  The new soundboard feature allows people to add short sound effects into their voice conversations, including ‘audience booing’ and ‘birds chirping’ sound effects.  Additionally, with the Soundtrack feature, people can drag and drop MP3 music files stored on their PC and they will play as background music while they are talking to their friends.

Linksys WIP330 Wireless-G IP Phone Review

June 12, 2006

Ratings Score Installation Documentation Features Usability Value Performance Overall
The Linksys WIP330 Wireless-G IP Phone is one of the coolest gadgets I've tested in awhile. Linksys sent me a WIP330 for a product review two weeks ago and I played around with it quite a bit, but just never found the time to write the review. Well, here goes, an exclusive look at the Linksys WIP330 Wireless-G IP Phone...

The Linksys WIP330 Wireless-G IP Phone enables VoIP service through a Wireless-G network connected to the Internet to make low-cost VoIP calls through your Internet Telephony Service Provider (ITSP). The handset features peer-to-peer dialing, speed dial, 3-way conferencing, call waiting, call transfer, and call forward, mute, hold and selectable ringtones.


Trixbox founder responds

June 7, 2006

Both Chris Lyman, CEO of Fonality, and Andrew Gillis, the founder of Asterisk@Home - now Trixbox, responded to my previous post pondering the relationship between Trixbox and Fonality. Long story short, it looks like the open-source Trixbox project is safe from any commercial intentions. Just a case of one Linux-based commercial company helping out a Linux hobbyist. You just gotta love the Linux community!
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