Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Technology and Science

Technology and Science

300GB DVD to challenge Blue-Ray?

November 29, 2005

With the ongoing nasty war between the Blue-Ray and HD-DVD camps, it looks like their is a new entrant entering the ring and joining the fight.

In the Blue-Ray corner we have Blue-Ray founders, Sony Corporation and Royal Philips Electronics along with corner-men 20th Century Fox, Apple,
Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Dell, Electronic Arts, MGM Studios, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, The Walt Disney Company, Vivendi Universal Games, and Warner Bros. Sony aims to make Blue-ray the standard of choice by including a Blue-ray disc drive in their forthcoming Playstation 3.

And entering into the HD-DVD corner we have founders Toshiba and Hitachi with corner-men Buena Vista Home Entertainment, New Line Cinema, NEC, Microsoft, Paramount Pictures, Sanyo, The Walt Disney Company, Universal Studios, and Warner Bros (in both corners).

And now entering the ring making this a battle royale of Andre the Giant WWE proportions, we have InPhase Technologies, a Lucent spinoff with a 300GB DVD standard that is able to read and write data at 10 times the speed of a normal DVD. It utilizes so-called Tapestry holographic memory technology to store data by interference of light. InPhase's corner-men include Hitachi and Maxell which will manufacture the discs.

InPhase body slams Sony's Blue-Ray technology before it even gets out of the gate. Ut oh, Microsoft, a HD-DVD proponent attacks InPhase from behind knocking InPhase to the ground.

FCC wants ala carte TV channels

November 29, 2005

I heard on WABC talk radio this morning that the FCC wants cable companies to offer TV channels "a la carte" to give consumers more choice. Considering how harsh I was on the FCC's e911 requirements this morning, I have to commend the FCC on this one. I planned on blogging my thoughts on the FCC helping to bring more choice to the consumer, but Rich Tehrani beat me to it. Go check out Rich's blog post on TV channel ala carte.

Hologram technology with 1.6 TB storage space & 120 MBPs transfer speed

November 21, 2005

Wow, Maxell and InPhase Technologies have developed holographic optical media that features uncompressed storage capacities achieving 1.6 TeraBytes per disk and data rates as high as 120 MBPs. Optical media also is advantageous due to its long archival (50+ year) life.

The media is expected to have the lowest cost per gigabyte of any commercial quality removable storage. Of course, I've been hearing about large storage technology, including holograms for over 10 years it seems, so I hope this product isn't simply vaporware. When I can get my hands on it from CDW or Amazon I'll believe it.

"Holographic media makes it possible for millions of pages of information and high definition images to be held on one small, relatively inexpensive disc," said Steven Pofcher, senior marketing manager at Maxell. "Imagine having a person's entire medical history, complete with MRI images, or storing a broadcast network's entire HD Library on a single disc.

AOL Pictures launches

November 17, 2005

America Online announces the launch of AOL Pictures, a comprehensive digital photo solution for consumers who want an easy way to view, share, store, print and protect all of their favorite images. The free photo sharing website offers consumers unlimited online digital photo storage in original resolution, tools that make it easier to create photo albums, and much more. According to a new AOL survey, Americans expect to take more than 137,000 photos in their lifetime with three-quarters sending photos to friends and family over the holidays. So as a special holiday promotion, AOL Pictures is offering consumers 100, FREE 4x6 glossy or matte prints.

RealNetworks Helix streaming server

November 16, 2005

I don't hear too much from RealNetworks these days, so I was surprised to read that RealNetworks today unveiled its next generation enterprise solution, the Helix Server Unlimited, for wired and now wireless devices. This latest version of the Helix server provides Real's enterprise customers the ability to deliver 3GPP content to a wide variety of multi-media enabled mobile handsets. According to RealNetworks, "Mobile content on the handset have traditionally been focused on entertainment, but for the enterprise market such as corporations, higher education institutions and local governments it is also a valuable informational and educational tool."

I give it 6 months before Microsoft comes out with a similar solution. Perhaps Windows Media Services 10 Series?


November 16, 2005

The highly anticipate battle between the U.S. and the U.N. was over before the bell even rung. The U.N. threw in the towel and the U.S.

FCC amends Emergency Alert System rules

November 10, 2005

In addition to FCC requirements for e911 for supposedly "protecting the consumer", the FCC today also moved to amend the Emergency Alert System (EAS) rules to include Digital Media Technologies and seeks further comments on EAS System. You know the drill - "<tone><tone>This is test... This is only a test. If this were a real emergency you would..."

Essentially, with digital IPTV, satellite radio, satellite TV, etc.

Terayon inserts ads into MPEG-4 IPTV streams

November 9, 2005

Terayon Communication Systems, Inc. a provider of digital video networking applications and home access solutions, today announced what they claim is the industry's first 'telco-optimized' solution that allows telecommunication service providers to create new advertising revenue streams to support their ambitious rollout of IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) services.

At its booth at the TelcoTV Conference & Expo, Terayon demonstrated how its new DM 6400-IPTV Network CherryPicker enables telecommunication carriers to seamlessly insert local advertisements into MPEG-4/AVC encoded digital video, the format most carriers have selected for their digital video service offerings. U.S. cable operators alone earned more than $4.3 billion in local advertising revenues in 2004 according to Kagan Associates.

In addition to advertising, telco carriers can also use the DM 6400-IPTV for other important digital video applications. These include the aggregation of programming content from multiple sources, grooming customized channel line-ups by 'cherry picking' programs from multiple programming sources, supporting payload-aware program redundancy and emergency alert system (EAS) messaging.

Yes, but more importantly can I TiVo past these commercials?

The fracturing of the Internet Part II

November 7, 2005

Last month I griped about the fracturing of the Internet and how the U.N. - specifically countries like China, Cuba, and Iran - wanted to wrestle control from the U.S. from overseeing the Internet. Well, a U.S.

Cablevision High Speed Internet upgrade

November 7, 2005

Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) today announced that it is leveraging the capacity of its fiber network to introduce two new Optimum Online premium tiers that will increase the speed of its Internet products to up to 50 Mbps. Cablevision is also increasing the speed of its Optimum Online service to all customers, from its current speeds of 10 megabits-per-second (Mbps) downstream and 1 Mbps upstream to 15 Mbps downstream and 2 Mbps up at no additional cost.

According to Cablevision, "The introduction of these new speed tiers completes the continuum between Cablevision's cornerstone Optimum Online consumer service and the Metro Ethernet services offered to large businesses by the company's Optimum Lightpath division, allowing Cablevision to offer a full range of data and Internet services that meet any possible level of need in the home or at work."

Cablevision will begin to deploy the new speeds and service levels immediately, with the accelerated Optimum Online service and Optimum Online Boost available across the company's entire service area by the middle of 2006. Optimum Online Ultra is already available across the company's entire service area. Customers will be updated directly regarding availability in their specific areas.

Damn, and I used to have Cablevision service when I lived in Norwalk, but I moved and now I have Charter, which gives me a decent 3Mbps downstream but until recently only 128Kbps upstream (it's now 256Kbps). Heck, my Vonage line uses about 90kbps when in use leaving only 38kbps left for any VPN access, uploading files to work, P2P usage, etc.

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