Thursday, January 05, 2006

Cool New Products

A small selection (taking the CES in Las Vegas into account).

Boxes etc.
MatrixStream's IPTV STB.
The RCA-Akimbo Player from Thomson and Akimbo Sytems. UPDATE: Akimbo has a deal with MovieLink (ie Hollywood) for movie distribution.
Thomson also the handheld Lyra X3000 DVR.
Sling Media presents a software version of its Slingbox. UPDATE: Sling also launches the PAL (ie European) version of the Slingbox and plans entering Canada.
Proxure launched MyTV ToGo 3.0 for uploads to mobile devices.
KPN offers the Archos AV400 portable DVD/music player/recorder at a discount (EUR 300).
UPDATE: launches its software product: consolidate video from all sources and deliver to any device. Also, DAVE.TV works with Capitol Infrastructure to provide new home owners in the southeast of the US with IPTV. Interesting stuff for service providers.
AT&T supplier 2Wire launches an outdoor home gateway, the HomePortal 4000 series iNID, to shrink the truck roll bill. Extension into the home through coax, ethernet or 802.11g.
NDS introduces the Home AV Center II (a server with 5 tuners, a 300 GB hard drive, HD and VoIP, so you can have DVR capabilities and all your movies, music and photos in up to 3 rooms) and Xspace software (to deliver internet content to the tv, apparently through a deal with Akimbo; with search capabilities, EPG and DRM).

Next-gen DVD
Hardware and software companies, vendors, studios: some have taken sides, others bet on both Blu-ray and HD-DVD to be the new high-storage standard. Here is an overview.
This week's developements center around two things: movie releases and players.
Movies: Paramount will release 10 on HD DVD and 10 on Blu-ray. Warner too will release on both. Lionsgate plans 10 on Blu-ray. Sony and 20th Century Fox each plan 20 on Blu-ray. MGM also will release on Blu-ray.
Interestingly, Sony will use MPEG-2 for compression. "The new codecs are interesting but unproven". UPDATE: "Satellite providers continue MPEG-4 transitions."
Players: Toshiba will launch the first HD DVD in the US in March of this year. Pricing starts at $500. Philips will launch a Blu-ray player in the second half.

Hop-on announces the Chitter Chatter: a kids handset with GPS. You locate your kids via SMS or the internet.

SMS to fixed
KPN introduces SMS to Fixed services, using SpeechFrame from Comsys for text-to-speech conversion (in case the phone doesn't have a display for text messages). The result is "fluent, naturally sounding spoken text".

KT Corp supplies Daewoo with BoS connectivity for a Nigerian plant, using Hughes Network Systems.

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