Summit Semiconductor and Hansong Technologies have teamed up to offer the first full 7.1 complaint HDMI wireless audio hub to home theater fans. The device is a small HDMI audio hub that has AV receiver connectivity and high definition audio decode capability. The device is aimed at use with digital TVs, Blu-ray players, game consoles, and more.
The device has optical and coax digital audio inputs and supports DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD audio format. It also has stereo analog inputs for devices like the Wii, iPhone, and MP3 players. The hub also has calibration features built in to optimize the sound for the room.
The hub is compatible with all Summit Wireless enabled speakers. Once set up and paired with the appropriate speakers the system can send audio wirelessly to speaker systems ranging from 2.0 to 7.1 so you don’t need to run wires all around your home.
With a name inspired right from superhero comic books, the DROID Incredible by HTC is a phone that will very soon reach the American soil thanks to the Verizon Wireless telecom carrier. The phone will start being available at the end of the month, more precisely on April 29, and it is a combination of Android and HTC Sense, all on a Nexus One-like, 3.7-inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen. This is a phone powered by a 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor that will run Android 2.1 Eclair and will be making everybody confused as to what the connection between them and Motorola’s DROID is. This one right here is a modern-day “regular smartphone,” like so many others out there now. Between this Incredible model and the Nexus One, for instance, the differences are related to the size of the sensor that their camera have, DROID Incredible by HTC being an 8 MP snapper, or the fact that the Nexus One was very well marketed. Other than that, users will get the same GPS, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g phone, with an optical joystick for easier webpage navigation through all the 480 x 800 pixels. Pre-orders from Verizon Wireless start on April 19 and, as I have already told you, it will start shipping on April 29. The price for one DROID Incredible by HTC will be of USD199 after a USD100 mail-in rebate. This is, of course, if users sign a two-year contract. The rebate will be received by future customers in the form of a debit card. Also, the DROID Incredible users will need to subscribe to a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk and an Email and Web for Smartphone plan. These cost $39.99 and $29.99 per month, respectively. After the phone is released, Verizon Wireless will be making available two new, exclusive apps that will get along just fine with the DROID Incredible by HTC. The NFL Mobile app and the Skype mobile app, which have very intuitive names.
You know, I always like it when manufacturers unveil products that aid people better come around their disabilities, and this time, it is Nokia, with its Wireless Loopset LPS-5. The thing you see to your left connects to users’ T-coil-equipped hearing aid to provide a better audio quality for any handsfree conversation.
The LPS-5 embeds an adjustable sidetone and optimized frequency response and volume range, for ensuring a better compatibility and audio quality. As for the design, this was definitely built for everyday use, given the compact and lightweight design, as well as the durable materials used in the fabrication process. User friendliness is served right on the plate, with a vibrating alert for not missing a call, while the comfy send/receive key allows customers to be in control.
Getting to the physical properties, the LPS-5 has a weight of only 60 grams, and sports a 62cm long cable. Operation keys include the multifunction key for call handling and the volume controls. With a maximum operating range of about 10 meters, the Loopset will provide an operating time of approximately six hours, a stand-by time of up to 110 hours, while the charging time takes just 1 hour for the built-in 3.7V 180mAh lithium-ion polymer battery. Mind only that this has a (probably) proprietary charging interface, 2mm in size.
Connectivity is ensured by Bluetooth 2.1, with HFP 1.5, HSP 1.1 and A2DP 1.0 compliance, while supporting a maximum of eight devices paired, one at a time. Compatible with virtually any device that supports the aforementioned specifications, the Nokia Wireless Loopset LPS-5 has quite a spicy price of $270.60, an amount, which I don’t see many willing to pay for such a device.
We’ve been talking a lot about streaming video content over wireless connections during the past couple of weeks simply because numerous products enabling this functionality have made their way onto the CES showroom floor. However, Elgato’s latest release is a little different, because, unlike most other solutions mentioned above, this one is related directly to over-the-air broadcasts.
So, what we’re talking about here is the EyeTV One, an easy-to-use TV tuner for DTV antennas that’s capable of delivering digital TV and HDTV channels straight to a Mac or PC, enabling users to watch and record the huge variety of TV shows that are broadcast over-the-air for free.
The EyeTV One comes with a built-in, flexible USB extender cable, so it can be used on a Mac or PC without blocking other ports. EyeTV One also sports a standard full-size coaxial plug and can be connected to an indoor or outdoor antenna without the need for an additional adapter.
However, what really makes the EyeTV One “work its magic” is the EyeTV 3 software for Mac developed by Elgato. The EyeTV 3 enables users to watch, pause, and rewind live TV on a Mac, as well as record shows, subscribe to a favorite TV series, and create Smart Playlists. Additionally, the EyeTV 3 has a built-in editor to remove unwanted content and can automatically send recordings to iTunes to sync with an iPhone, iPod, or Apple TV.
Recordings can be shared over a local network with other Macs and Elgato also offers optional apps to stream live TV and manage recording schedules on an iPhone while away from home. Practically, this software manages to transform one’s Mac into a DVR on steroids, granting it an even higher level of functionality than most machines on the market.
The EyeTV One is available right now for just $119.99 US dollars, which, given the level of functionality it’s able to provide, is quite an OK and rather fair price point.
ZyXEL Communications Inc., a leading provider of secure broadband networking, Internet connectivity and routing products, today announced the ZLR-2070S, the world’s first fixed LTE (Long Term Evolution) CPE/SOHO router. The ZLR-2070S is an all-in-one, multi-service gateway that leverages compact, system-on-a-chip (SoC) technology to deliver cost-effective, non-FPGA-based LTE connectivity. ZyXEL will demonstrate the device live at CES 2010 at their suite in the Renaissance Hotel.
LTE is the next major phase in wireless communications technology and delivers blazing-fast multimedia connectivity on an all-IP platform. Consumers will experience an impressive upgrade in services and performance — on all Internet-enabled fixed and mobile devices connected via LTE. LTE also opens the floodgates for a new era of connectivity in industries ranging from consumer electronics to appliances, health care, public utilities and telematics.
Ideal for residences and SOHOs, the ZLR-2070S is a feature-rich, future-proof hardware platform optimized for multi service. This includes broadband Internet connectivity, two VoIP ports, home networking via a four-port, 11n wireless switch, a USB port (to share devices, such as printers and storage). Service providers also can use the ZLR-2070S to enable Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) and other smart home automation services.
Moreover, the ZLR-2070S offers data rates with up to 50Mbps throughput, which is faster than 3G technologies like HSPA / EV-DO. Based on the router’s 4G wireless connectivity, the device is ideal for operators looking to provide service in rural or other traditionally under-served markets where new wireline deployments are cost-prohibitive. This level of portability also makes the device ideal for any scenario in which customers need high-speed, multi-user Internet access in a temporary location, such as construction sites or special events.
“ZyXEL is excited to lead the LTE revolution by bringing innovative solutions to service providers,” said Brian Feng, senior vice president, key accounts business unit for ZyXEL. “We are proud to offer service providers the ability to bring wireless high speed Internet access to millions including those in under-served markets.”
The market leader in wireless High Definition semiconductor solutions(AMIMON), today announced the availability of WHDI™ modules which can be embedded into notebook PCs and netbook PCs. The WHDI modules are available today with a mini-PCI form-factor of 50mm*30mm and will also be offered with a standard Display-Mini card form-factor of 44.4mm*26mm based on the interface defined by the PCI SIG® which uses Displayport™. Additionally, these cards are designed for the WHDI™ (Wireless Home Digital Interface™) standard and are capable of wirelessly delivering full uncompressed 1080p/60Hz HD content throughout the entire home.
The AMIMON WHDI modules’ compact form factor enables seamless integration into PCs. The WHDI modules are also designed for low power consumption suitable for battery-powered devices.
Notebook PCs embedded with the new WHDI modules are expected to be in the market in 2010 offering consumers the ability to connect their notebook wirelessly to any WHDI-enabled HDTV or, through an external WHDI-to-HDMI adaptor, also to any HDTV. The new modules will also enable external wireless PC-to-TV accessories (’dongles’) which connect to the PC and TV via HDMI.
With WHDI consumers can view the entire content of their notebook screen on their TV. Content such as Internet video, flash media, digital photos, PC games can all be viewed and experienced on the TV with a convenient wireless connection.
“PCs are increasingly becoming a source of multimedia entertainment like Hulu, YouTube, etc. Consumers will be able to wirelessly connect their PCs and watch all this cool new content on their big screen TV anywhere in the home,” said Noam Geri, vice president of marketing and business development for AMIMON. “WHDI is gaining momentum with TV OEMs and now also PC OEMs set to offer consumers multiple WHDI enabled products in 2010.”
The WHDI modules are based on the revolutionary video modem technology operating in the 5GHz unlicensed band, pioneered by AMIMON and the backbone of WHDI. WHDI co-exists in the same frequency spectrum with Wi-Fi and uses similar RF building blocks and antennas. The WHDI synergies with Wi-Fi enable a roadmap to integrated WHDI + Wi-Fi semiconductor components which will offer notebook OEMs the prospect of a very low cost WHDI wireless HD link to the TV.
The WHDI Modules are designed and manufactured by AMIMON’s ODM Partners. Key features include:
* Based on AMIMON’s AMN 2120/2220 WHDI chipset, designed for the WHDI standard
* Compact form factor
* Support for full high definition resolutions up to 1080p/60Hz
* Practically no latency – less than 1 millisecond
* Hollywood approved HDCP 2.0 copy protection
* Low power consumption modes for portable devices
* Low cost
* 5GHz unlicensed band with support for Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS)
Wireless docking stations have been around for years now, but the main issue has been bandwidth. Sure, it’s easy to send a wireless mouse signal through the air, but try shoving 720p video, four USB signals and a little bit of arrogance though those highly-spaced particles. Toshiba’s new dynadock wireless U USB docking station does a commendable job of doing the best it can with what it has, tapping into wireless USB technology in order to nix the need for your laptop to actually be seated into your docking station. The device can be setup to auto-connect when your machine is in range, and a one-touch undock button carefully shuts down all of your peripherals as you exit. There’s six USB 2.0 sockets (included two of the Sleep-and-Charge variety), integrated 7.1 audio and support for a VGA / DVI monitor with resolutions as high as 1,680 x 1,050. Nah, that’s not quite 1080p, but we’ll take it for now. The $299.99 asking price, however, is a bit harder to swallow.
Despite the fact that wireless HDMI (and the other wireless streaming standards) are yet to become mainstream, the truth of the matter is that this is the main direction towards which the idea of connectivity and HD broadcasting is heading. I mean, let’s face it, we’re heading fast towards an all-wireless world, and the sooner we get there, the better.
Anyway, in order to help us along the way, the AMIMON company has just announced the release of its second generation baseband chipset designed for the WHDI (Wireless Home Digital Interface) standard, which is also the first chipset capable of wirelessly delivering full uncompressed 1080p/60Hz HD content throughout the entire home.
The second generation chipset works on the 5GHz unlicensed band and features a latency of less than 1 millisecond. It features a multi-room range, which is beyond 100 feet (30 meters) through walls, and also supports Hollywood approved HDCP 2.0 copy protection.
The chipset is built on a programmable platform that can be tuned for conformance with the WHDI standard specifications and can be embedded into CE devices such as LCD and plasma HDTVs, multimedia projectors, A/V receivers, Blu-ray DVD players, set-top boxes (STBs), game consoles, computers, DVRs, PCs and HD video accessories/dongles, allowing wireless streaming of uncompressed HD video and audio.
“The first generation chipsets received considerable interest, as AMIMON sold over 100,000 chipsets in 2008 and we expect increased demand for the second generation chipsets,” said Noam Geri, vice president of marketing and business development for AMIMON. “AMIMON’s first generation chipset made wireless HDTV in the home a reality; the second generation WHDI chipset will make mass-market, interoperable standard-based wireless connectivity in every home a reality.”
Pricing for 100K units of the WHDI transmitter chipset AMN 2120/3110 is $20 and of the WHDI receiver chipset AMN 2220/3210 is $25. Unfortunately, the company has refrained from making any comments regarding its partners, so it remains to be seen which consumer electronics manufacturer will integrate this solution into its products first.
Up until now, wireless USB has not really managed to hit it mainstream, probably due to the fact that it’s still a rather young technology, which implies some pretty high costs (the price of wireless USB adapters is still quite high). However, things might change dramatically in the future, as Samsung has announced the development of a new System-On-Chip (SoC) designed specifically for the upcoming ultra-wideband (UWB) market.
The fresh Samsung W-USB SoC is a single chip solution featuring a built-in ARM core, a UWB physical layer, and a memory controller. It uses advanced CMOS process technology and 3.1-10.6 GHz-band UWB technology, and also provides an SD card, an MMC, a NAND flash memory, and a high-speed USB 2.0 OTG (On-The-Go) interface without additional logic circuitry.
One of the most important things worth mentioning about this highly innovative chip from Samsung is its level of versatility. Apparently, this chip will work on a very wide array of consumer electronic products, including here digital cameras and mobile phones, wireless printers, beam projectors, wireless hard disks, wireless displays, and wireless speakers. In other words, you’ll be able to stream photos from your mobile phone directly to a TV set, or listen to the music stored onto an MP3 player directly via your wireless speakers.
Besides versatility, the chip should also provide a fairly high speed, of around 120Mbps. According to Samsung, this translates into the possibility of downloading a 700MB movie in under one minute.
Other two important issues related to the W-USB SoC are that of security and power consumption. As far as security is concerned, Samsung’s chip features a 128-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) encryption algorithm and a static signal that makes hacking through wiretapping and signal tracing difficult. The power consumption level has also been maintained at a minimum, since we’re talking about somewhere around 300mW (milliwatt).