Look, there’s no arguing that Apple charges a boatload for its first-party adapters, and this isn’t the first time that one of those overpriced dongles has caused an uproar (Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter, anyone?). But when the company trots out an iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter and promises to enable users to “see their videos and slideshows on the big screen,” it should probably make a few clarifications. Instead, more than a handful of consumers are revolting over on Apple’s own webstore, noting that any video laced in any type of DRM (iTunes flicks and Netflix streams included) won’t output at all. Contrary to popular belief, this adapter doesn’t actually mirror the iPad’s display, which is fairly absurd in our eyes — teachers are even stating that Apple’s own Pages and Keynote apps won’t output via the dongle, making this effectively worthless for blowing up presentations for all to see. We (sort of) get the DRM thing, but not including support in your own presentation app? Unacceptable. A tipster has noted that Apple informed him that “it’s up to the app makers to enable the video out function,” so we suppose all that’s needed to solve a lot of controversy is for some switch to be flipped in some direction. Any other hang-ups with this thing that the world should know about?
This is all great news for the fans of Avatar and especially for collectors, who will be able to get their very own copy of the movie, either on Blu-ray or DVD, in a feature-only format. The R&D facility Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory, or PHL, has authored the Avatar DVD and Blu-ray disc without any special features, promotional content or trailers, in order for the flick and corresponding menu to occupy all the space on the discs, thus increasing its video and audio quality.
“We are proud to offer filmmakers a complete end-to-end Blu-ray encoding and authoring solution of the highest quality in order to deliver a breathtaking cinematic experience in a home video format to consumers worldwide,” said Jeannine Patton, Vice President and General Manager at Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory.
Since Avatar has opened the new era of 3D in cinematography, it is only normal that the movie should also come into our homes and with the highest possible quality. The Blu-ray disc and DVD featuring Avatar are surely keepers. Later on, when the 3D TVs will be the only ones available, most of us will probably want to take a look in the past at the movie that started it all.
“AVATAR really pushed the boundaries in terms of cinematography detail and color space, so it was vital that the Blu-ray and DVD versions of the movie really brought the beauty of Pandora to life. In working with one of our long-term partners, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, we are delighted to have created AVATAR on Blu-ray and DVD in amazing high-quality, and we’re confident that AVATAR fans will enjoy re-living the Pandora experience from the comfort of their own homes,” concluded Patton.
As some of you will surely remember, only a couple of days ago, Garmin introduced on the US market the Garminfone, an Android smartphone providing extensive navigation capabilities. And now, the company is back with yet another offering (or, better said, the same offering in a slightly different packaging and branding), namely the Garmin-Asus A10 Android smartphone, a device that comes pre-loaded with Garmin navigation software and that will become available solely in Europe and Asia Pacific.
Targeting mostly pedestrians, the A10 has a bright, 3.2-inch HVGA touch screen, electronic compass and long-lasting 1500mAh battery. Moreover, the smartphone comes pre-loaded with detailed maps so that users do not have to pay and wait for third-party maps to download from a server, nor will they lose their turn-by-turn, voice-prompted navigation if they are out of cell phone coverage. In addition to pedestrian navigation, the A10 is ready for use in an automobile out of the box, and it comes with a powered audio mount that magnifies the volume of the device’s voice commands.
Additional features include a powerful WebKit browser with multi-touch, a 5-megapixel camera with auto-focus capability that automatically geotags images with an exact location reference. The built-in accelerometer will quickly change the display so that screens may be viewed in portrait or landscape mode.
Moreover, as any serious Android smartphone, the A10 integrates Google Mobile Services with one-click access to Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, calendar, contacts and Android Market, where users can find more than 30,000 applications to expand and personalize their phone to fit their lifestyle. Android applications that have location-centric content are also able to utilize the A10’s enhanced GPS capability.
Whenever you think about night vision, you probably imagine a bulky pair of goggles or even bulkier binoculars. Well, not anymore, as it seems a slim and very lightweight night vision technology is in the making, according to Slashgear.
At the University of Florida, scientists have managed to build a new night vision technology based on the existing flat screen tech. What this new technology will do is replace the heavy, power eating gear used in the present in order to see in the dark with a thin film. Because this film is very thin and light, it will be applicable on most models of glasses, windshields, you name it.
The flexible film has been developed by Franky So and when combined with LED technology that we can find on current screens, it can convert infrared light into visible images. Not only is this new film incredibly light and consumes very little power because of its thinness, but it is also cheap to build. The main material behind it is plastic and it will give the same greenish image you are used to seeing in all nigh vision equipment nowadays.
The article on the Discovery News website reveals more information about this new film developed at the University of Florida. It appears that seven separate layers of plastic are used in creating the film and only the first one will detect the infrared light.
This does not necessarily mean next time you go to the local Laser Tag arena, everybody will have night vision equipment, but it means that when the technology is ready for mass marketing, you will probably be able to spoil yourself with some night vision glasses. Or perhaps a new windshield for your car, so that you can pretend you are driving a tank.
It seems that this has been quite a busy day for Denon, since, besides the 3D-capable Blu-ray players we talked about earlier, they’ve also introduced six new headphone models. We’re talking about a high-end, luxury model (the AH-NC800), three over-the-ear versions (AH-D1100, AH-D510R and AH-D310R) and two sets of earphones, the AH-C560R and AH-C260R. Notably, in order to ensure maximum comfort for all wearers, the company’s fresh over-ear headphones all benefit from a unique R&D initiative based on precise scientific modeling and anatomical measurements of the human head. The result is a new type of headphone band engineered with a “human factor,” leaving virtually no gap between the band and the wearer’s head. In addition, all fresh Denon over-ear headphones feature newly developed 3D draping soft skin and foam cushion ear-pads for superb comfort and hours of enjoyment without “listening fatigue.” The solid aluminum housing construction of the AH-NC800, AH-D1100 and AH-D510R models adds yet another level of rock solid construction for added durability and style. It’s also interesting to mention that four of the six models (AH-D510R, AH-D31OR, AH-C560R and AH-C260R) feature a specially designed three-button remote control/microphone that provides easy access to both voice and music control, and is compatible with Apple Voice Control, for Apple iPhone 3GS, iPod touch 2G and the latest generation shuffle. These also control the iPad. Denon’s luxury-class AH-NC800s headphones feature newly developed dual noise-cancelling technology (feed-back and feed-forward) that reduces ambient noise by 99%. Moreover, they have Denon’s proprietary Compressed Audio Restorer, an audio-enhancing technology, which restores musical nuances and subtleties, while superior audio reproduction is further enhanced by high-quality 40mm drivers, as well as OFC cables with gold-plated straight plug connector. The headphone models feature an ergonomic design that isolates the ear more steadily and comfortably, and also decreases mechanical vibration. A newly developed Hybrid (metal or plastic combined with Elastomer) housing ensures clean sound, and a Radial Cascade Damper (in models AH-C260R and AH-C560R) reduces noise from touched cables. For total flexibility, all models come with multiple sizes of comfortable ear tips, extension cables and ear clips to ensure perfect fit for every listener. And now, for pricing and availability. So, in-ear models AH-C560R and AH-C260R are slated to arrive in June and sell for $99 and $49, respectively, while the $99 AH-D510R and $69 AH-D310R will hit the shelves in August. Finally, the AH-D1100 is slated for a September release and will sell for $199. Sadly, there’s no pricing info available on the top-range AH-NC800 model, but we do know that it will make an appearance at some point in August, so we’ll have to wait until then to see what’s what.
Still monkeying around with that Finepix Real 3D W1 camera, somewhat confused about what exactly you bought it for? Take heart, bandwagon jumper — the bridge you’ve been searching for has just been constructed. Fujifilm has recently introduced a new card reader / HD player for use with its year-old 3D point-and-shoot, and judging by the topic of conversation at this year’s CES, it sure seems like the timing is far better this go ’round. Put simply, the HDP-L1 (¥4,000; $43) accepts both 2D and 3D content stored on SD / SDHC cards from your W1, and the HDMI output pipes that content directly onto your shiny new 3D HDTV for at-home enjoyment. We’re told that it’ll also work with that antediluvian 2D content as well, but let’s be honest — you didn’t buy a 3D camera just to shoot in 2D, now did you?
Just about everyone wants to mount an HDTV on the wall but most don’t wants to run wires to it. No way around running at least power, but as for the rest there are a few solutions if you have the cash. One of those solutions is the Philips Wireless HDTV Link. In addition to the obvious wireless functionality, It is also a 2 way HDMI and 2 way component switch. The way it works is that you mount a small, lightweight receiver around your TV with a single HDMI cable running tethered to your HDTV. Then you put the larger transmitter with all the inputs within 75-feet of your HDTV with all your source equipment connected to it. Then with a help from the included remote you can watch any one of the four HD sources on your remote HDTV. For the most part it works exactly as advertised, but we found that when we put the transmitter in a closet in the next room things took a little longer than they should to sync up. The good news is that we had no troubles sending 1080p60 from across a room and there was no noticeable lag. The bad news is that unless all your devices work in HDMI CEC harmony, you’re still going to need some way to get the remote IR to the source equipment. Speaking of a remote, the included remote is simple enough and luckily easily replaced with your programmable one. At the retail price of $799 Philips is crazy, but considering this can be had for less than $400 from some online retailers it might be just the thing you’re looking for if you can’t run HDMI cables between our equipment.
I was really missing a completely eco product, and now I have just come across the Disko SU1 Self-powered Speaker. This is the winner of the Green Dot Award, and it can power itself completely, aside from delivering surround sound to outdoors for the delight of spring and summer parties. Developed and designed by Heimdall, this wireless sound reproducer packs a solar panel atop, to snatch green energy from the most renewable source, the Sun, enabling it to operate without external help.
As simple as this might look, it can actually be controlled by various devices, such as a smartphone or laptop, thanks to a small transmitter, and also sports three LED lights. This works as simple as it can, namely users only having to connect the tiny portable transmitter to their devices, and enjoy wireless music without hassle, transmitted via a protected RF signal.
The three LEDs are actually highly efficient LED optical units, with automatic switch-on, sporting a twilight sensor. As for the speakers inside, the manufacturer didn’t mention anything on the actual configuration, but rather resumed to calling this an omnidirectional audio diffuser. That leads me to think the SU1 self-powered speaker only packs two speakers (stereo, that is) that are mounted inside an optimized acoustic cabinet, which diffuses the sound in all directions, through the output baffle you can see below.
All of this is built in a case made of varnished or anodized aluminum, and considering the acoustic properties of the material – I really have to wonder about the soundstage of this speaker, because as you know – the less directional a speaker is, the better soundstage it will deliver. That’s all the information I could find about the SU1 self-powered speaker, for now. Availability and pricing are yet to be announced, but mind that you can contact the manufacturer and ask that yourselves.
The Henge Docks come in a wide variety of sizes in order to be compatible with all models of MacBooks, including the 13, 15 and 17 inch MacBook Pros, but their exterior design and practical way of being used doesn’t change. Sorry I have mentioned the word design, as I might have exaggerated a little. These docking stations for Apple laptops are simple and white (or black in some cases), not taking much space, but honorably serving the purpose they have been built for. To gather all your Apple toys in one system.
So that you better understand how practical the Henge Docks can be, you can watch the video embedded below, but I will also explain some of their features in a few words.
First, all Apple MacBook models will be compatible with these new docking stations, right from the factory. No software is needed in order for them to recognize your model, you simply have to choose the one that fits your MacBook’s size.
Now, we all know what we need from our laptop and this makes setting up a Henge Dock very simple. Just pick the connectors you’ll need from the complete array that these Henge Docks have to offer and that’s it. The Henge Docks come with USB, Ethernet, Audio cables, Firewire cables (only for some models), use an Apple MagSafe power source and a Mini-DisplayPort to DVI. The cables these dock stations use are fully compliant with Apple’s standards.
All you have to do after the selection of the needed connectors is dock/undock your laptop and get creative with all the free space you have on your desktop. Unfortunately, these docking stations for MacBooks are only available in the 13-inch size right now, while the others are available for pre-order. These models come with prices from $59.95, to $64.95. The producers offer a discount if you purchase two. Via engadget.
Yesterday, Engadget got some tips about a post on the Apple Insider website, showing details about a new iPhone coming to Canada, via the SaskTel carrier. The President and CEO of SaskTel talked to the Leader Post in order to reveal details about its soon-to-be-available, new and improved 3G network, which will start operating on July 1st and, at some point, he said the following: “The good news is that (Apple) is coming out with a new version of the iPhone in the June time-frame and they’re going to put us on that. So we’re quite excited about that.”
The Saskathewan-based telecommunications company will be indeed completing the first stages of its third-generation 3G wireless network and SaskTel users will be having access to it from July the 1st. The whole project will be finished by the end of the year and, so far, we can guarantee that this is true.
Now, about Apple releasing a new model of the iPhone in Canada, we can’t really tell you if it’s true or false. Perhaps the president and CEO of SaskTel, Robert Wilson, got a little carried away in the heat of the moment, as the company’s new network is a major improvement there, but I honestly do not believe what he said about a new iPhone. Surely, the SaskTel clients that currently have an iPhone will get better wireless connections via the new 3G network, but Apple is somewhat busy with the iPad right now.
And, if you look at the success that the iPad has had in America and all the previous iPhone launches, I am sure that Apple Inc. will be releasing a new type of iPhone on American soil at first. Think about it, Apple has just announced the iPhone OS 4.0, and, until a new phone is developed, there has to be a larger period of time prior to an actual public release. Plus, we thought that Apple had other plans, like the iPhone HD.