Analog video capture as we know it is fading away, as almost everything under the sun already exists in digital format, at least on our PCs. But what if we could go straight from the composite or S-video output of a source (VHS, camcorder, maybe even DVD…?) and push a digital version of that video via USB onto, say, a portable player such as a video iPod or a PlayStation Portable? Mere days from now, Pinnacle Systems will begin selling the Pinnacle Video Transfer device which does precisely that, an all-in-one solution for one-touch analog-to-digital recording WITHOUT A PC. Clear red and blue lights indicate ready and recording status, and we can also toggle between good, better, and best Mode (quality/file size) settings. Encode takes place in real time and the digital videos can be watched immediately, and later renamed as desired. AC power is required, but the Pinnacle Video Transfer will also charge your iPod while it works.
High-end gaming PC overlords Alienware showed off an ENORMOUS curved LCD screen here in Las Vegas, tentatively named... Alienware Curved Display. It's even more impressive in person, wider than any consumer-available screen I've ever seen, with a curve that does a better job filling the user's field of vision for a more immersive experience.
By a bizarre coincidence, three attractive women each holding a Samsung portable device (an MP3 player, a PMP, and an an ultra-mobile PC) wandered into The Venetian Hotel, so the Korean manufacturer roped them into the demo of their new live-TV-anywhere-on-just-about-any-gizmo technology, which will launch here in the U.S. in 2008.
Pre-matched and easy to install, Netgear's latest home networking accessory brings five-gigahertz power to wirelessly stream even high-definiton video across a high-speed home network, taking advantage of the latest Wi-Fi N developments. This is a boon not just for high-def gamers but also for the growing number of network-enabled HDTVs, providing content with virtually no lag, no jitter, and no interference, as demonstrated at their press event. The Netgear HD/Gaming Wireless-N Kit will be available later this month.
Remember those ethernet-enabled TVs I mentioned in my Netgear post not too long ago? Sharp has announced a new AQUOS Net service that will push handy content to viewers right in their home theaters, including real-time traffic and weather, plus comic strips and infotainment from NBC. Product-specific details can also be supplied to answer common questions about Sharp displays, all upon consumer approval of course.
Industry legend Mark Levinson stopped by the LG Electronics press conference Sunday morning to bask in the glow of the PowerPoint presentation. Levisnon has partenered with LG to lend his audio expertise and improve the performance of upcoming TV and HTiB products. Partnerships with the ISF and THX were also announced, part of an aggressive new plan to step up the video quality of their displays.
As of the CES Unveiled official event this evening, Logitech is finally allowing us to write about their Harmony One Advanced Universal remote that they showed in New York late last year. I think about how much time I spend alone, just me and my remote, often in the dark, and I begin to appreciate just how much all of their nitpicking really benefits this traditional yet innovative design, from the shape and thickness of the buttons to the layout of the most frequently used keys and right down the sleek black design and matching recharging station.
The modern horror maestro loves DVD, hates "torture porn."
Spend some time with the extensive bonus materials on any Eli Roth DVD, and you get his number pretty quickly. An aspiring filmmaker since the age of eight, he's now thoroughly enjoying his professional success. Off a total investment of less than $16 million, he's produced and directed a trio of gruesome, surprisingly funny horror hits, namely Cabin Fever, Hostel, and, most recently, Hostel Part II. Perhaps more DVD-savvy than any filmmaker I've talked to, he's now going Blu-ray with a new Director's Cut of the original Hostel, plus the home video debut of his killer sequel.
Whatever happened to portable TVs, anyway? I know my dad had one. It was a fairly bulky affair with a relatively small black-and-white screen. But the novelty eventually wore off; even the slenderized Sony Watchman didn't exactly take the world by storm, did it? Their allure is still undeniable, and they're certainly still out there, resting upon the knees of tailgaters and beachgoers. But shifts in the ways we use technology have also inspired the tech-savvy to put TV tuners into the omnipresent PC, conceivably turning a laptop into a portable HDTV, with a few caveats.