The much-discussed convergence of computers and home entertainment took a big step toward fruition with an October 12 announcement by Microsoft Corporation. Touting new products, new software and a website, Windowsmarketplace.com, for those eager to learn about digital entertainment, Microsoft also launched its own online music store. The announcement included the debut of two new logos—"Designed for Windows" and "PlaysForSure"—that the company hopes will assuage any doubts about the reliability of the new products.
Motorola parts with Proview: Motorola' plan to return to the television market after more than 30 years has been derailed by a rift with Proview International Holdings Ltd's Moxell Technology, the Chinese manufacturing company hired by Motorola to make its flat-panel sets. Proview is the world's largest assembler of computer monitors, according to the electronics industry press.
CEATEC stands for Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies, and is the largest Asian exhibition for the communications, information, and imaging fields—roughly equivalent to a Japanese CES. I recently had the opportunity to visit CEATEC Japan 2004 courtesy of Panasonic, which flew journalists from all over the world to Japan not only to visit the show, but also to attend a kickoff meeting for the Blu-ray Disc Association (see the <A HREF="http://www.ultimateavmag.com/news/101804bda">accompanying story</A>), find out more about Panasonic's products and future plans, and tour some of their Japanese facilities.
The first meeting of the new Blu-ray Disc Association, or BDA, a larger, more formally organized version of the original Blu-ray Disc Founders group, was held in Tokyo, Japan on October 4, 2004. It was formed to promote the Blu-ray format and finalize its technical standards.
After six months of pushing, pulling, schlepping, measuring, and listening, Keith Yates wraps up his in-depth, three-part look at some of the most ambitious subwoofers on earth. We gave him a break last month, but now he's back to have a look at the final four candidates. For your room-shaking pleasure, he gives you the scoop on state-of-the-art contenders from CoDrive, Snell, Triad, and Velodyne.
Sony estimates that there are 10 million or so HDTV owners who are chomping at the bit to get access to digital cable high definition content. For those folks, and for people who'd simply like to record local, terrestrial HD broadcasts, Sony is introducing two new HD digital video recorders, the DHG-HDD250 and DHG-HDD500.
Further dashing the hopes of all those who long for a return to the days when a really big big-screen TV occupied more space in your living room than a pair of side-by-side refrigerators (and just about as stylish), Sharp recently unveiled a prototype 65-inch diagonal LCD HDTV - giving them, for the moment, possession of the official "World's Largest LCD Color TV" plaque. Prior to Sharp's announcement, the people who get paid to pontificate on such things ("panel pundits") had proclaimed a probable production-size limitation in the mid-forty inches for LCD TV diagonals. (Stunned by seeing proof that such a large screen size was possible, many of these panel pundits quickly switched to politics or weather forecasting, neither of which require much accuracy or accountability.)
So you've got HD satellite receivers from VOOM, DIRECTV, and Dish Network plus an HD cable box from your local cable provider, not to mention the biggest, baddest terrestrial antenna sprouting from your roof so you can pick up every local, terrestrial HD broadcast, but you still can't get enough HD content to watch. Now what?