Nissho’s 52-inch, glasses-free 3D TV with Full HD resolution


Remember Dimenco? A four-man splinter group of former Philips employees, the company has been hard at work refining its glasses-free 3D display tech and today some of the earliest fruit of its labor is going on sale. Nissho Electronics in Japan is beginning sales of a 52-inch LCD panel that can pump out full 1080p of 3D vision without requiring any headgear from the viewer. Initially, this big lenticular display will target businesses, who’ll be among the few to be able to afford the ¥1.7 million ($20,820) asking price. Other specs include a 2,000:1 contrast ratio, 8ms response time, 700 nits of brightness, and a 60Hz refresh rate. The 3D on this TV is actually described as a unique “2D + depth” implementation, which can also be used to convert 2D images in real time. Great, now take a zero out of that price, ship it westwards, and watch the sales really take off.


Blu-ray BDXL finally out


The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) today announced the finalization and release of the specifications for BDXL™, the new multi-layer recordable Blu-ray Disc™ format with up to 128GB of capacity. With the completion and approval of the specification, manufacturers can now obtain licensing information and license applications needed to begin production of the high capacity write-once and rewritable discs and hardware.

Targeted primarily at commercial segments such as broadcasting, medical and document imaging enterprises with significant archiving needs, BDXL™ provides customers with triple layer 100GB RE (rewritable) and R (write-once) discs and quadruple layer 128GB R discs. Possible consumer applications include capture and playback of HD broadcast and satellite programming in markets where set-top recorders are prevalent.

“The BDA worked diligently to create an extension of the Blu-ray Disc™ format that leverages the physical structure of the design of the disc to create even more storage capacity,” said Victor Matsuda, Blu-ray Disc Association Global Promotions Committee chair. “By using the existing Blu-ray™ technologies, we have created a long-term and stable solution for archiving large amounts of sensitive data, video and graphic images. We expect further growth of the Blu-ray Disc™ market as the introduction of 100GB/128GB discs will expand the application of Blu-ray Disc™ technologies.”

The BDXL™ specification was developed with specific market segments in mind, and newly-designed hardware addressing such markets will play back or record BDXL™ media. However, because the new media specifications are extensions of current Blu-ray Disc technologies, future BDXL™ capable recorders can easily be designed to play back existing 25GB and 50GB Blu-ray Disc™ formats.


LG’s passive shutter 3DTV


Just like everybody else in the display business, LG is trying to figure out exactly how they’re going to position themselves to benefit from the upcoming 3D Explosion! Since almost-sorta-not really pulling out of a deal with Sky TV to supply British pubs with 3D televisions, the company has announced that it will be offering its first 3DTV sets that uses polarization technology (as opposed to that active shutter stuff like NVIDIA’s 3D Vision) to consumers. Presumably cheaper than its active shutter counterparts, the LD950 supports HDMI version 1.4, 1080p HD, external storage via USB 2.0 (with DivX HD, MP3, and JPEG support), and comes bundled with four pairs of polarized glasses. There’s no word on a price or release date, but if it makes you feel better we can reveal that two new active 3D displays, the LX9900 (47-inch and 55-inch) and LX6900 (42-inch), featuring 1080p, Freeview HD, Netcast widgets (YouTube, Skype, Accu Weather, Picasa), and wireless AV link, will be available in May for a price yet to be determined.


Netgear’s HD streamering AV adapters


Another month, another blockbuster trade show. CeBIT’s show floor doesn’t open up until tomorrow (and yeah, we’ll be storming it like no other), but Netgear’s wasting precisely no time in unveiling its latest wares. The two pieces that are nearest and dearest to our hearts are the WNHDB3004 and WNHDB3004, the former of which is an 802.11n HD Home Theater Kit and the latter of which is a universal WiFi adapter that adds wireless support to any AV product with an Ethernet jack. Users interested in streaming “multiple, simultaneous, jitter-free 1080p HD video streams wirelessly throughout the home” should certainly give the first a look, as it enables instant wireless streaming from your existing router to any component with an Ethernet port; think of this as the beautiful alternative to running a 50 foot patch cable through your living room and simultaneously eroding your relationship with Mr. / Mrs. Significant Other. The outfit also doled out a few SMB-centric ReadyNAS devices and a couple of HomePlug AV boxes with AC outlet passthroughs, all of which are detailed there in the source links.


ATI’s six-screen Eyefinity reviewed


Along with its introduction of the HD 5830, ATI announced the HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 card yesterday, which predictably comes with six DisplayPort outputs and enables that hallowed six-screen gaming overload that the Eyefinity branding has been about since the beginning. Some lucky scribes over at PC Pro have been treated to a live demonstration of what gaming at 5,760 x 2,160 feels like, and their understated response was to describe it as “far more immersive.” No kidding. They did raise the spectral figure of those monitor bezels, however, pointing out that bezel correction — where the image “behind the bezel” is rendered but hidden making the overall display look like a window unto the game world — habitually obscured text and game HUD elements. In their view, the sweet spot remains a triple-screen setup, and we’re inclined to agree (particularly if they look like this). For those interested in getting their multi-monitor gaming up and running, we’ve linked an invaluable guide from HardOCP below, which breaks down how much you can expect from ATI’s current HD 5000 series of cards, and also provides a video guide to setting your rig up.


CableLabs starts testing 3D

The cable industry’s research and development arm has proudly announced that 3D testing is on. This will allow TV manufactures and cable companies to begin having their equipment tested for 3D interoperability. Along the way CableLabs has also confirmed that many of the existing set-top boxes will work with “frame-compatible” 3D formats — like side by side pictured above. This is exactly what DirecTV announced it would use and is the very same standards that HDMI added to the spec. Basically it allows providers to dedicate the same amount of bandwidth to 3D as it was to 2D. Of course this means that the resolution is cut in half (horizontally in the case of side by side) but we’re told that sharpness isn’t as perceivable in 3D as it is in 2D and after seeing the DirecTV 3D demo at CES, we believe it. Unlike the adoption of HD, it doesn’t look like the cable industry is going to let the satellite companies run away with the new technology unchallenged like last time.


Digital Cube works WiFi, HD playback


It’s pretty obvious what it takes to play in the current generation of PMPs: enough juice to process HD videos, and an HDMI port to get it off the player and onto the big screen. Unfortunately, the new i-Station T9 from Digital Cube sort of stops there. It has great codec support, and even WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity (to be enjoyed by what OS is unclear), but unlike its big brother S3’s WVGA display, the mere 4.3-inch, 480 x 272 screen on the T9 will have us looking for an HDMI port a bit early. No word on price or availability.


HDBaseT tech carries HD video, audio and internet over Ethernet


Valens’ HDBaseTTM extends current digital connectivity technologies with first ever full HD multimedia content and Ethernet via a single 100m/328ft LAN cable

Valens Semiconductor, a fabless semiconductor company, announced today that it will demonstrate the first ever convergence and high quality transmission of uncompressed high-definition (HD) video, audio and Internet via a single LAN cable, creating a seamless end-to-end entertainment and networking experience in the home environment.

At the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), taking place January 8 – 11 in Las Vegas, Valens will introduce its HDBaseT™ technology in South Hall 2, Booth 27006. Valens is working towards creating HDBaseT as the new digital connectivity standard for HD multimedia distribution by overcoming the limitations of current wired and wireless technologies, while ensuring content rights for Hollywood studios and other content providers.

Valens’ VS100SK (receiver) and VS100SR (transmitter) ICs, the first to implement HDBaseT, will be commercially available during the second half of 2009. A source side implementation, VS100SR is designed for use inside Blu-ray DVD players, set-top boxes (STBs) and other HD source equipment. A sink side implementation, VS100SK is designed for use inside HDTVs, projectors and other display equipment.

With the growth of the HD market, consumers are looking for a way to connect TVs and other display equipment with entertainment devices, such as a Blu-ray DVD player, for in-home converged distribution of HD multimedia content. This demand to access and easily distribute HD content to any device at any time has caused consumer electronics manufacturers and content providers to push the limits of existing wired connectivity technologies, such as HDMI, MOCA and HomePlug, and emerging wireless technologies, including 802.11n, WHDI and WirelessHD.

While some existing technologies are limited in terms of bandwidth and cannot support uncompressed video, others are limited in terms of distance, reliability, flexibility, overall system cost and cost of installation – all pressure points for the end user. The demand for in-home converged distribution of HD multimedia content and the lack of adequate existing technologies are driving the industry towards a HD digital connectivity standard that increases distance of data transfer, expands distribution, extends the range, simplifies installations and lowers overall system cost.

Valens’ HDBaseT technology is optimized for video application and can connect all the entertainment devices at home by providing the 5PlayTM convergence of 8Gbps of uncompressed full HD digital video, audio, 100BaseT Ethernet, power over cable and various control signals. HDBaseT overcomes the limitations of HDMI and other current technologies as the first technology to enable long-reach wired connectivity of uncompressed HD multimedia content via up to 100m/328ft low-cost single standard Cat-5e/6 cable. This enables both point-to-point connectivity and full multimedia distribution with higher reliability, longer distance and lower cost cable, while supporting all existing and future content protection schemes.

“The market for HD content continues to grow and evolve as the end user increases content consumption. But today, connectivity and distribution of video, audio and Internet in the home entertainment environment are inconsistent,” said Dror Jerushalmi, CEO, Valens Semiconductor. “HDBaseT is revolutionizing the multimedia distribution of uncompressed HD multimedia content via a single LAN cable. There is no technology on the market today that is better positioned to be the future HD digital connectivity standard than HDBaseT.”

In addition, Valens’ HDBaseT technology offers a combination of media distribution and content protection that provides studios and CE manufacturers with a high level of content security and high quality transmission of uncompressed HD video, audio and data in a home environment.


Is this what wireless HD has been waiting for?


WHDI RELEASES 1.0 Specification

WHDI is the Only Full 1080p/60Hz HD Wireless Solution for All CE, PC and Mobile Devices across the Home

Quality, Robustness and No Latency

WHDI LLC today announced the completion and availability of the WHDI™ (Wireless Home Digital Interface™) specification.

The WHDI standard enables full 1080p/60Hz HD with Deep Color at a distance of 100 feet and through walls. No other wireless standard combines this level of quality and robustness with the ease of multi-room wireless. By doing so, WHDI enables consumers to build a wireless HD network in the home to take advantage of the latest content and interactive services.

WHDI is the leading standard for the wireless, multi-room distribution of HD video, enabling manufacturers to deliver higher value added devices that can connect the increasing number of HD sources (CE, PC and mobile devices) and to TVs around the home. The WHDI standard ensures that by purchasing products with the WHDI logo, consumers will be able to bring home devices from different manufacturers that will simply and directly connect to one another and deliver HD content and services without the need for complicated and expensive wiring.

“WHDI is the only solution that meets consumers’ expectation and demand for a high-quality, multi-room HD wireless solution” said Leslie Chard, president of WHDI LLC. Adding that: “WHDI further enables two of the strongest trends in the A/V universe: the proliferation of HD content sources (now including the PC and mobile devices) and the increasing number of inexpensive, high quality displays placed throughout the home.”

“WHDI fills an important need to provide connectivity in the home, offering flexibility, convenience and additional features. Robust wireless connectivity and switching means that more devices and more high quality content can reach the consumer’s HD displays in a user friendly manner.”" said Dr. Paul Moroney, a Motorola Fellow.

“Consumers want access to all of their HD content, whether coming on their laptop, mobile phone, STB or other device. WHDI enables manufacturers to create devices that easily deliver this value. No other wireless technology can provide this connectivity with the quality and robustness of WHDI” said Dr. Yoav Nissan-Cohen, Chairman and CEO of Amimon, Inc.

WHDI – Enabling the HD Wireless Connected Home

WHDI will enable manufacturers to bring HD connectivity, from PC’s and laptops, and mobile computing devices, to wireless TV’s. With WHDI consumers can easily bring HD content from the STB in the living room to other HDTVs in the home – consumers will be able to easily add a TV to their bedroom, kitchen, playroom, etc. without having to worry about wiring.

WHDI – Brief Technical Overview

WHDI (Wireless Home Digital Interface) sets a new standard for wireless high-definition video connectivity. It provides a high-quality, uncompressed wireless link that supports the delivery of equivalent video data rates of up to 3Gbps (including 1080p/60Hz) in a 40MHz channel in the 5GHz unlicensed band, conforming to worldwide 5GHz spectrum regulations. Range is beyond 100 feet, through walls, and latency is less than one millisecond. Additionally, WHDI relies on HDCP revision 2.0 to provide superior Hollywood-approved security and digital content protection.


Have u heard of Hi-Definition?


Surveys are really like a bad reality show or a train wreak, we just can’t help but read them and this latest one from Frank N. Magid Associates is really something. Beyond the usual suspects, like only 63 percent of HD owners believing they are watching HD, is the fact that 13 percent of the respondents said they’d never heard of Hi-Def. We’d just love to hear how this question was phrased, because even the most introvert technophobes that we know have heard of HD. In fact we just can’t think of a scenario where someone who lives on the grid wouldn’t know what HD is.

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