The HD digital distribution club just got a little bigger, as lossless audio distributor MusicGiants is launching its VideoGiants service with 250 movies from Paramount, and additional content from HDNet. Available in 1080p or 1080i WMV format, users can purchase the movies in 10-packs for $159 delivered via Seagate hard drives or, in a few months, one at a time via direct download to a home media server. After that, it can be viewed via the media PC or Media Extender (including Xbox 360). MusicGiants has been selling HD audio tracks to high end home theater owners via its network of dealers and installers for about two years, with plans to make this type of service available to the mass market soon. Still think the future of HD content is on shiny discs?
Those looking for some added desktop real estate may want to keep an eye on what EVGA has in store, as the company has just taken the wraps off two upcoming products that take considerably different approaches to expand your view of things. The first is a rather standard USB monitor adapter, dubbed the EVGA UV Plus+, which will apparently be available in both standard and widescreen-capable versions (as opposed to one that does both). The former of those will give you a max resolution 1280×1024, while the latter maxes out at a decent 1680×1050, with each boasting a single DVI port and support for full 32-bit color depth. Taking another tact is the company’s so-called InterView display (pictured after the break), which consists of two 17-inch monitors that can be folded together for toting around. Those’ll give you a combined 2880×900 resolution, along with a 500:1 contrast ratio and an 8ms response time. On a somewhat related front, EVGA also took the opportunity to show off its latest motherboard, which may be most notable simply for its name: the EVGA 780i SLI FTW (we kid you not.)
ook, we really want to live in a world where strolling around wearing MyVu’s latest video glasses is acceptable, but we just don’t — which is probably why Mahalo Daily’s Veronica Belmont could just barely bring herself to put ‘em on when she stopped by the booth at CES. Check out the vid after the break!
After getting a look at Belkin’s unique podcast solution, the Podcast Studio, we thought we’d take a look out on the CES show floor for it, and we’ve got the pictures to prove it. Due to the odd design and poor choice of lighting in the Belkin booth, these photos look a little more arty than they should. Hey, we’re not complaining. Check the gallery and be taken on a magical visual journey.
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin announced at CES last night that his agency will be looking into Comcast’s data-meddling ways. “Sure, we’re going to investigate and make sure that no consumer is going to be blocked,” he said. Per FCC rules Comcast is allowed to use “reasonable traffic management” solutions to keep its network running, but Martin said he thinks Comcast and other ISPs should be required to disclose filtering to customers even if it’s found to be reasonable. That’s pretty encouraging, but we’ll see how this all plays out in the industry — especially since NBC and AT&T execs were talking excitedly about ISP-based copyright filtering on another stage at CES earlier in the day.
Avis is showing off its new Where2 portable nav unit this week, a customized Garmin Nuvi 780 that will replace the StreetPilot-based units currently in Avis’ arsenal. The software has been mildly reworked to offer routing to Avis rental return locations and the like, but we think the best part of the customization is the bezel. Come on, tell us that red isn’t way better than Garmin’s own gray? Look for the new units to be available — by rental only, of course — in March.
Yeah, there it is, a shiny white Palm Centro in a booth for all to see, I’m sure Palm will be ever so delighted about this. Apparently an accessory vendor put it out to display some of its wares on the show floor and the gents at TreoCentral were there to catch it live. Adding insult to this slip up is that fact that the handset is a GSM model that you see there my friends, and interestingly it is different then the AT&T branded Centro we saw a while back. More on this as soon as we can get our grubby mitts on it.
One day we’ll all be taking home automation for granted when every new house on the market includes built-in support for controlling our fireplaces via our watch phones, but until that glorious future arrives the home automation noob has a dizzying array of choices to contend with. We checked out what Control4 has to offer in the way of centralized command over your media, home theater, lights, security system and temperature and found fairly clean, easy to use interfaces coupled with an array of choices for central control and storage depending on the scope of your needs, all compliant with the lovably-named ZigBee wireless standard. Hit the gallery for an overview of Control4 devices and configurations including their Home Controller HC-300 we heard about earlier this year.
It really shouldn’t be a surprise that execs from AT&T, Microsoft, and NBC and several content filtering companies spent part of a CES panel about piracy talking about filtering at the network level — it’s definitely a tempting solution for Big Content, and one we’ve already seen Comcast kinda-sorta implement to general hue and cry — but it’s still somewhat disheartening. According to AT&T SVP James Cicconi, current anti-piracy efforts “haven’t been working,” and “a network-based solution is the optimal way to approach this.” Of course, having your ISP monitor every bit that goes down the tubes is pretty damn creepy, but come on — you know that’s not stopping fools like NBC’s Rick Cotton from saying that the volume of P2P traffic itself is unacceptable because it’s “dominated by copyrighted materials.” That’s a little ridiculous, but AT&T’s Cicconi tried to spin it positively regardless: “Whatever we do has to pass muster with consumers and with policy standards. There is going to be a spotlight on it,” he said. Damn straight — it’s called “all of your customers switching to an unfiltered provider.”