19 December 2007

Singtel Mio TV upgrades firmware

Today when i turned on the set top box, a new firmware was downloaded to the box. The whole process took about 10 mins or so.

After spending some time testing the new firmware, other than some comestic changes to the interface. Now you can subscribe to the Rent A Pack channel directly from the interface. I noticed that the HDMI bug is still there. Volume levels using component video or RCA is also way softer than using HDMI.









17 December 2007

ASUS P5E-VM HDMI Intel G35 Mainboard

Came across a review of this ASUS P5E-VM HDMI Intel G35 Mainboard. I am truly shocked. I have been using a G965 for playback of video, but the video is terribly rendered.



The reviewer mentioned that HQV results are very much better using this integrated graphics. I am not sure how well it will look like as it seems that there is no DX10 driver ready yet for this board.

You can read about it here.

24 November 2007

Singtel mio tv to introduce 2 new channels - DW and GMA Pinoy TV

Singtel mio tv will add another two channels to it's line up. The first is the DW from Germany and another is a Filipino language channel GMA Pinoy TV.

22 November 2007

StarHub Offers Barclays Premier League In High-Definition Splendour

StarHub Offers Barclays Premier League In High-Definition Splendour

StarHub launches HD SHOWCASE, a new high-definition channel featuring ‘live’ Premier League matches


Two ‘live’ Premier League matches per match-week, and up to 92 matches this season in high-definition

Singapore, 22 November 2007 – StarHub takes the sports-viewing experience in Singapore to an unprecedented level, announcing today that it will offer selected 2007/2008 Premier League matches ‘live’ in full high-definition (HD) glory on a new HD channel - HD SHOWCASE (Channel 303).

Subscribers of HD SHOWCASE will enjoy at least two ‘live’ Premier League matches per match-week, and up to 92 matches for the current Premier League season. In addition to Premier League programming, viewers of HD SHOWCASE can look forward to more HD content from a variety of genres in future.

Mr Patrick Lim, StarHub’s Vice President of Cable TV Services said, “We remain committed to deliver the best TV-viewing experience possible to our customers. Based on the very positive feedback we received regarding our trial HD broadcast of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, we are confident that HD SHOWCASE will be popular among soccer buffs who want an even more immersive experience of the Barclays Premier League.”

HD SHOWCASE will be added at no additional charge to StarHub Digital Cable’s HD Plus package from 24 November 2007. HD Plus is priced at $15 ($16.05 with 7% GST) monthly, and currently comprises two HD channels – Discovery HD (Channel 302) and NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL HD (Channel 301).

High-definition television (HDTV) offers viewers a true cinematic experience at home, with four times picture clarity and more realistic sound quality. Also, as HD content is filmed on a widescreen 16:9 ratio format compared to the traditional 4:3 ratio format, viewers will have a panoramic widescreen view with up to 33 percent more screen-view compared to what they can enjoy on a standard TV screen.

Mr Lim added, “While we’re pleased with the consumer reception towards our existing HD channels, we are of the view that a diversity of HD content will drive greater acceptance of HD technology. The Premier League is one of our most popular sports properties, and we hope that the availability of HD Premier League content via HD SHOWCASE will be an added incentive for TV viewers to jump onto the HD bandwagon.”

Customers must own StarHub’s HD set-top box and a HD-ready TV set, and subscribe to a minimum of three Basic Groups and HD Plus, in order to enjoy StarHub’s HDTV service. The HD set-top box is available for purchase at $285 ($304.95 with 7% GST), or at a promotional price of $95 ($101.65 with 7% GST) for those who sign on a 12-month StarHub Digital Cable contract.

In addition to an enhanced audio and visual experience, customers using the HD set-top box enjoy all innovative features that users of StarHub’s digital set-top box currently have access to. These include the On-screen TV Guide, Programme Alert, Auto-Tune, Video Mosaic, Info Bar, Quick Surf, Chat, access to Demand TV, and complimentary games.

Viewers can refer to the On-screen TV Guide or StarHub’s Online Programme Guide at www.starhub.com/cabletvfor the schedules of HD SHOWCASE. Existing StarHub Digital Cable customers can call 1633 to subscribe to StarHub’s HDTV services, while new customers who wish to subscribe to StarHub Digital Cable can call 1630.

18 November 2007

AMD Phenom Quad Core GP-9600 benchmarks appeared on the net running on Gigabyte GA-MA790FX-DQ6

AMD Phenom X4 GP-9600 benchmarks has appeared on the net. In the test, the CPU is compared to a QX6700 underclocked to 230x10 to do a clock to clock comparison.



The performance of the AMD Phenom GP-9600 is quite good when a pair of 2600XT were attached to the Gigabyte GA-MA790FX-DQ6 motherboard. In fact, according to their results, the game performance far surpasses my rig of a Q6600+8600GTS.

You can read the concise review leaving you to decide how well the phenom performs in multimedia applications and games.

You can read it here.

16 November 2007

Starhub maxonline gets free boost to 8Mbps

MaxOnline Express Subscribers To Get A Higher Download Speed at No Additional Cost Subscribers will soon be able to enjoy always-on, unlimited broadband access to the Internet at up to 8Mbps Singapore, 16 November 2007 –StarHub today announced that from 1 January 2008, customers on the MaxOnline Express subscription plan will be able to connect to the Internet at a higher download speed of up to 8Mbps. Currently, this plan provides a broadband speed of up to 6Mbps for downloading.

The speed boost will come at no additional charge to MaxOnline Express customers. MaxOnline Express is priced at S$56 (S$59.92 with GST) monthly.

To benefit from this upcoming enhancement, MaxOnline Express customers need to simply reset the cable modem by turning the electrical power source off and on from the effective date to enjoy the improved online experience instantly.

StarHub's MaxOnline range of post-paid broadband plans are packaged to meet the different bandwidth requirements of residential users who surf the Internet regularly. For occasional or light Internet users, StarHub also offers two MaxOnline pre-paid services. As at 30 September 2007, there are 338,000 households on the MaxOnline service.

More exciting MaxOnline offers for new sign-ups and recontracts can be expected at Sitex 2007. Visit StarHub's booth at 6D01 (Hall 6) from 29 November to 2 December 2007 to find out more!

11 November 2007

Mediacorp HD5 launches officially

HD5 now broadcast 24 hours daily.

Apart from several programmes that are in True HD, the rest of the broadcasting hours are up converted simulcast of Channel 5.

With the launch of mio TV, a subscription based IPTV service from SingTel, subscribers can receive HD5 for free (though mio TV's HD Set-Top box charges apply) and along with other MediaCorp TV channels.

HD Programmes schedule
7.30pm - 9.30pm WeeklyThursday Night Movie Stay Home Saturday Movie Sunday Prime Movie
9.00pm - 9.30pm Tuesday Makansutra Raw
10.00pm - 11.00pm Monday HeroesTuesday CSI Miami


Upcoming programmes that will be shown in True HD
Dramas/Variety
Heroes [starting 12 Nov 2007, every Monday]
Supernatural
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Movies
Alien vs. Predator
Batman Begins
Charlie's Angel
Cellular
Christmas with the Kranks
Terminator 3 : Rise of the Machines
The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy
The Village

10 November 2007

AMD Phenom 9600 (2.3GHz) Benchmarks Revealed


The net is always full of surprises. Today, while browsing the web, I came across some early numbers of a probably retail edition of the Phenom processor. According to the post with picture of the CPU, it looks like a retail product. I am not sure if it is an engineering sample or whatsoever.



Anyway, the results shows that the AMD Phenom 9600 is no match for the QX6700 in multimedia but it somewhat got better results when compared against the AMD X2 6400+ and the Intel X6800.



01 November 2007

Two new Rent-A-Pack channels added to mio tv - PictureBox and EROS Bollywood

Two new Rent-A-Pack channels added to mio tv, they are PictureBox and EROS Bollywood. The first shows Classic movies while the later shows Indian movies from Bollywood.

Looks like Mio TV is in for a good fight to capture more English and Indian audience.

Singtel should seriously consider having the Rent-A-Pack in HD, perhaps a Korean movie channel?

Singtel Mio TV adds 3 new Indian Channels

Good news for the Indian viewers, Singtel mio tv is bringing 3 new channels, 2 starting from 1 Nov and the 3rd on 5 Nov.

The two new additions can be found on Ch 48 (NDTV) a news channel and Ch 49 (NDTV Profit) a channel on Finance. The 3rd is a supposedly a movie channel on Ch 55 (TBO) a movie channel showing movies from Bollywood.

31 October 2007

WoWTV to counter Singtel mio TV?

Looks like couch potatoes have another option to watch your movies on a video on demand service by local operator MobTV. It is known as WoWTV and delivers video over the broadband network, be it wireless or wired solution.

The good news is that WoWTV offers a free tier which you can watch the shows on your PC without the need to subscribe to any service.

There are other options though, including a subscription service of S$40 a year which gives you more channels to watch on demand.

I have tested some titles and found them to be pretty good on the free tier. If you intend to watch, be ready to get at least a 1Mbps broadband. A 512Kbps will work but it keeps lagging as most of the videos seemed to be delivered at a higher data rate of 700Kbps.

Tell us what you think by responding to this post

13 October 2007

Enjoy Equator HD, Sling HD and VoomHD 3 HD channels for $19.26 for 6 mths

Singtel mio tv is sweetening the deal. Looks like they will soon bundle channels. The first was BBC 3. Now it is the VOOM HD channels.

Now, instead of paying S$12.96 for a single HD channel, you can choose to subscribe to the three channels in a pack for $19.26. Usual price for the 3 channels would cost you S$38.53 per mth.
The catch is that you would need to subscribe it for 6 mths.

Just in case you are not aware, the 3 channels have some overlaps. Some SlingHD programming and Equator HD programs do appear on VoomHD and vice versa.

HD5 lift off, Singtel Mio TV Crashed

Today, Mediacorp HD5 is lifting off. The weird thing happened, an service outrage on Singtel MIO TV. The box keeps rebooting by itself with error message

An error has occured, please restart your set top box.
"Failed to create engine. Engine creation failed because NTP failed to initalize"

A call to Singtel Hotline reveals that there are many subscribers are complaining the same problem.

Are you having the same problems?

01 October 2007

Singtel mio tv adds new VOD channels

Singtel mio tv adds new VOD channels FILM FACTORY and Fox movies at Home. It has 20 titles per mth per channel. No subscription information is available. I suspect it should be S$12.84 per pack.

Free (1 episode) of Korean Drama on Mio TV

Looks like Singtel has finally decided to entice more users with free movies and drama serials on it Mio TV. This is a good move. If users like the show, they will watch "buy" the following 20 - 25 episodes at a S$1.07 per episode.

Today (1st Oct), Mio tv also updated the video on demand titles. I wonder when will they include HD movies in the video on demand selection list. Just hate to watch 4:3 versions using a high definition screen.

25 September 2007

Bollywood movies and Hong Kong Classic Dramas Screening At StarHub Digital Cable - StarHub launches Singapore’s first Hindi movie channel

Bollywood movies and Hong Kong Classic Dramas Screening At StarHub Digital Cable - StarHub launches Singapore’s first Hindi movie channel -

- TVB Classic Channel added to Chinese Plus II at no extra charge -
Singapore, 25 September 2007 – Following the successful launch of Singapore’s first Malay pay-TV channel – Sensasi last month, StarHub announced today that it has good news for local Hindi and Chinese viewers too. On 4 October 2007, two new channels – STAR Gold and TVB Classic Channel will make their debuts on StarHub Digital Cable!

STAR Gold, on Channel 42, is a 24-hour Hindi Movie channel featuring a quality mix of Bollywood blockbusters. With one of the largest film libraries in the world, the channel offers a wide variety of movies for the entire family, showcasing Bollywood’s hottest stars, filmmakers and foot-tapping music scores. Singapore viewers will be the first outside of India, Pakistan and the Middle-East to enjoy STAR Gold, which will be available to StarHub Digital cable customers for a monthly subscription fee of $8 ($8.56 with GST).

Fans of dramas produced by Hong Kong’s TVB in the yesteryears will be delighted with TVB Classic Channel (Channel 113). Viewers can relive classic TVB dramas – vehicles that helped megastars such as Chow Yun Fat, Andy Lau, Chan Yuk Lin, Adam Cheng and Liza Wang shoot to stardom. TVB Classic Channel will be added to the existing Chinese Plus II group at no extra cost. With the addition of TVB Classic Channel to the group from 4 October, Chinese Plus II customers will be able to access nine Chinese channels at a low $8 ($8.56 with GST) per month.
StarHub’s announcement today follows a statement issued yesterday that it will launch Neo Sports (a cricket channel) and Golf Channel on 26 September and 16 October 2007 respectively.
"Our choice of new channels ensures that we have delightful surprises for different segments of cable TV viewers – sports, Hindi movies and Hong Kong TVB classic dramas," said Mr Patrick Lim, StarHub’s Vice President of Cable TV Services. "Just last month, we introduced new channels for history buffs, armchair detectives and the local Malay population. We will continue to build up on our stable of channels and further cement our leadership in offering the best and most comprehensive TV content choices in Singapore."

23 September 2007

Gigabyte X38-DQ6 Final Retail Version Review


I just came across this amazing board reviewed at OCWorkbench. This board is based on the newest Intel X38 chipset which is not officially out yet. Looks like the final retail product is ready to ship. When can I buy one in Singapore?

Gigabyte introduces the first Intel Core 2 mainboard based on the latest Intel X38 chipset. This new mainboard is centred on the Intel X38 north bridge and supports the Intel® 45nm Core 2™ multi-core processors. It is able to support CPU with 1333 FSB and extending it to future 45nm 1600MHz processors. The GA-X38-DQ6 supports the DDR2 1066 memory, featuring faster speeds and higher data bandwidth thus is enables you to maintain your current investment of DRAM modules. For those who needs GPU power, this board supports Dual PCIe x16 for true CrossFire at 16X + 16X instead of Dual 4x on P35 based boards. The PCIe are also PCIe 2.0 compliant, ready to take advantage of future graphics cards.

http://www.ocworkbench.com/2007/gigabyte/GA-X38-DQ6/g1.htm






22 September 2007

Equator HD sample screen shots from MIO TV

Just happened to bumped into a forum which has some screen shots of high definition broadcast from the channel Equator HD (Singtel Miotv). You can view them at this link.

21 September 2007

NBC to offer free show downloads

NBC to offer free show downloads

THEY DID IT: Heroes and other NBC shows will be available online from November. -- PHOTO: NBC

NEW YORK - NBC Universal said on Wednesday that it would soon permit consumers to download many of its most popular programmes free to personal computers and other devices for one week immediately after their broadcasts.
The service, which is set to start in November after a test period next month, comes less than three weeks after NBC Universal said it was pulling its programmes out of the highly successful iTunes service of Apple Inc.

That partnership fell apart because of a dispute over Apple's iTunes pricing policies and what NBC executives said were concerns about lack of piracy protection.

The network's move comes as companies throughout the television business search for new economic models in the face of enormous changes in the business.

Networks continue to lose audience share, and viewers - especially many of the highly prized ones under 30 years old - are increasingly demanding control of their programme choices, insisting on being able to watch shows when, where and how they want.

At the same time, viewers are finding more ways, like using TiVo machines, to avoid watching the commercials that have long provided the bulk of television revenue.

NBC makes many of its popular shows available online in streaming media, which means that fans can watch episodes on their computers.

Under its new service, called NBC Direct, consumers will be able to download, for no fee, programmes such as Heroes, The Office and The Tonight Show With Jay Leno on the night that they are broadcast and keep them for seven days. They would also be able to subscribe to shows, guaranteeing delivery each week.

The files would contain commercials that viewers would not be able to skip through. And they would not be transferable to a disk or to another computer.

The files would degrade after the seven- day period and be unwatchable. 'Kind of like Mission: Impossible, only I don't think there would be any explosion and smoke,' said Mr Jeff Gaspin, president of the NBC Universal Television Group.

The programmes will initially be downloadable only to PCs with the Windows operating system, but NBC said it planned to make the service available to Mac computers and iPods later.

In a second phase of the NBC rollout, customers would pay a fee for downloads of episodes that they would then own and which would be transferable to other devices.

NBC hopes to offer this service by the middle of next year, depending on how quickly the company can put in place the secure software necessary to allow payment by credit card.

The latter system is already available through iTunes.

16 September 2007

Starhub introduces Pay as You Roam (20%) Global Roaming service

For the frequent travellers or those heavy users of mobile services even while overseas, you may want to subscribe to International Roaming service for greater savings on your roaming usages. If you are currently on our PowerTalk Ultimate plan, you can enjoy FREE subscription of International Roaming on that mobile line.

If you are an occasional traveller or a light mobile service user when you travel, Pay As You Roam service may just be the right service to suit your needs. With FREE activation of this roaming Value-added Service and no monthly subscription, Pay As You Roam ensures that you can continue to stay contactable even while you travel. A Pay As You Roam customer will however, pay an additional 20% on top of the prevailing charges that an International Roaming subscriber will pay on the various services while roaming

13 September 2007

Straits Times video news now just a phone call away

YOU may want to put this number in the phonebook of your cellphone: 6403-9838.
This is because, from today - if you have a 3G-enabled mobile phone and Sim card - you will be able to watch video news clips from The Straits Times for free or at minimal cost.

The new service, called The Straits Times Vodcast Mobile, will give users access to news content if they simply make a video call to the number.

The service, provided by Maven Lab and Nano Equipment, uses 3G video technology to send out data.

It is a cheaper way of accessing the news than by mobile Internet, because charges on video calls are based on call duration, not data usage.

Depending on your phone subscription plan, video calls can be free, or cost you up to 16.05 cents a minute.

http://www.straitstimes.com/Free/Story/STIStory_157161.html

12 September 2007

China Adopts New HD Disc Standard, HD DVD Reaches 51GB

CH-DVD (China High Definition DVD), the new high-def DVD has been developed by the Optical Memory National Engineering Research Center (OMNERC), a laboratory inside the Tsinghua University, in collaboration with other research institutes and manufacturing enterprises at home and abroad.

The relationship between Toshiba’s HD DVD and the CH-DVD is very close, since the latter is designed based on the HD DVD specifications, but also includes Chinese intellectual property. CHDA will play a leadership role in the promotion of CH-DVD, and will make a big push to launch CH-DVD player into the Chinese market in 2008.

The CH-DVD boasts with advanced copy-protection features (piracy being one of China’s greatest plagues), which should effectively prevent the spreading of pirated discs.

HD DVD and CH DVD are compatible, which means HD DVD players (with additional software) can read CH DVD, and vice versa.

The news of a third next-gen DVD format comes in a time of intense fighting between the two main rivals, Toshiba and Sony. Toshiba allegedly paid $150 to Paramount and DreamWorks for the two studios’ exclusive support for HD DVD, while Sony claimed at the end of August an early lead in front of its home ground rival, with 1 million Blu Ray discs sold in the US, and 250,000 sold in Europe. According to Sony's estimates, Blu-ray discs now account for 69% of the total high-definition market in Europe, with Sony titles making up more than 47% of the total European Blu-ray market.

However, with the launch of this third format, China becomes the preferred territory for the high-def battle. At the beginning of September, China Film Group, one of China’s largest film distribution groups, had also adopted the Bly Ray in detriment of HD DVD, while Toshiba responded with the launch of a super-cheap, $199 HD DVD player from Venturer Electronics, a Canadian-based distributor of Chinese made consumer electronics.

The player, which will be on North American store shelves in Q4 2007, is called SHD7000 and features 1080i video output, an HDMI connection (to upconvert standard DVD to near HD quality) and Ethernet connectivity, which allows for network access to studios and third parties via the Internet. Toshiba currently sells its HD-A2 HD DVD player for $299 after a $100 manufacturer’s rebate.

And to spice things up even more, on September 7, the DVD Forum officially approved on August 31 the 51 GB single-sided triple-layer HD DVD disc (an extension to the HD DVD standard, which was submitted by Toshiba in April) for production. With this approval, the HD DVD camp not only demolishes the Blu Ray camp’s argument that the BD is better because it can store more information, but also surpasses Blu Ray, which can only hold 50GB of data.

Gigabyte GA-X38T-DQ6 Intel X38 motherboard Pictured

Gigabyte GA-X38T-DQ6 Intel X38 motherboard Pictured

11 September 2007

ATI HD 2600X2 will be out inQ4 2007

According to some reports online, more ATI partners are working on Radeon HD 2600X2, the dual RV630 versions and the first samples will slip in Q4. The samples will work as a single card Crossfire and quad driver comes later.

05 September 2007

miotv problem continues...

Till today, no one has called me from Motorola (Singtel said they will ask them to call) to rectify the HDMI issue.

After reading some forums out there like xtremeplace and ocworkbench, I noticed that i am not alone with the HDMI issue.

Rather than meddling with HDMI, I tested it using Component Video. Alas, so far so good. At least the box won't auto reboot or give me a half pink screen after waking the set top box up from standby mode.

One thing I still don't like about MioTV box is that it takes around 2 minute to BOOT UP! That is way too ridiculous. Starhub box only took at the most 10 secs. If i were to watch an important news, I would be watching the 9.02pm news instead of 9pm news since I will be spending my time, waiting for the box to boot up after powering up.

If they don't resolve all these issues, I think it is time to say goodbye to mio. It is too problematic and not ready.

28 August 2007

Olevia™ Debuts New 65” LCoS™ Full-HD 1080p HDTV

Olevia™ Debuts New 65” LCoS™ Full-HD 1080p HDTV
New LCoS™ HDTV Displayed Alongside 65” LCD HDTV at CEDIA Expo 2007 – Olevia™ Booth #822

CEDIA EXPO 2007
TEMPE, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Syntax-Brillian (Nasdaq:BRLC), a manufacturer and marketer of LCD and LCoS™ HDTVs and digital entertainment products, today announced the debut of a new 65” LCoS™ HDTV, model number 665H in its popular Olevia™ brand of HDTVs. The Olevia™ 665H includes premium features and technology for the mainstream consumer and commercial markets.

The Olevia™ 665H features full-HD 1080p resolution. It will be on display along with the 65” Olevia™ 665i LCD HDTV and award-winning Olevia™ 747i 47” LCD HDTV in Booth #822 at the CEDIA EXPO 2007 trade show at the Denver Convention Center in Denver, Colorado, from September 6-9, 2007.

The Olevia™ 665H LCoS™ HDTV features include:

Utilizes the award-winning, 6-megapixel Brillian UltraContrast™ LCoS™ light engine technology with true 1920x1080p resolution and Pixelworks DNX video processing
High-definition native resolution 1920x1080 panels and a super fast 4ms response time ideal for fast-action viewing
Dynamic contrast ratio of 2000:1, a cinematic 16:9 aspect ratio, and 90% fill factor to eliminate pixelation
Versatile connectivity options including: 1 ATSC/NTSC combo tuners, 2 HDMI with HDCP, 2 component, VGA, 2 S-video, 2 composite, PC Input supporting HDMI, VGA-1920x1080 @ 60 Hz and RF Inputs for standard definition TV, 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i and 1080p
RS-232 control, FutureProof™ user upgradeable firmware via USB, overscan minimization with Big Picture Technology™ and OleviaCare™ customer support
MSRP: $1,999; available through regional retailers and custom installation specialist beginning Q4 2007
"The new full-HD Olevia™ 665H continues Syntax-Brillian’s tradition of LCoS™ technology innovation and is an attractive choice for anyone interested in premium performance whether in the mainstream consumer or commercial markets," said Sam Miller, Chief Product Officer for Syntax-Brillian. "In both LCD and LCoS™ technologies, Olevia™ HDTVs continue to provide consumers with an increasing array of compelling display choices that combine advanced digital-image processing technologies with engineering excellence to create products that stand out with stunning picture quality, powerful performance and elegant design."

About Syntax-Brillian Corporation

Syntax-Brillian Corporation (www.syntaxbrillian.com) is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of LCD and LCoS™ HDTVs, digital cameras, and microdisplay entertainment products.

The company’s lead products include its Olevia™ brand (www.Olevia.com) high definition widescreen LCD and LCoS televisions — one of the fastest growing global TV brands — and Vivitar brand (www.vivitar.com) digital still and video cameras. Syntax-Brillian has built an Asian supply chain coupled with an international manufacturing and distribution network to support worldwide retail sales channels and position the company as a market leader in consumer digital entertainment products.

Mio TV problems ...

Today, Singtel's Mr. troubleshooter came. After 1/2 hr of checking the line condition which has always been good, he called up the "backend" to check as if I am sure that i don't have Singnet on my line (I already told him at least 3 times I use other network operator for internet). The line is dedicated for Mio TV.

After he is convinced, I demonstrated the problem. The problem arises from the setting to 720p or 1080i. The resolution state is never save. Every time I restart the box, it will be set back to 4:3. This is really annoying.

Another problem is that if I set the TV to 1080i mode (HDMI), watched it for a while and switch off and on the LCD TV, the screen will be halved, with a large patch of purplish colour and flickering image on top.

You know what the 'backend' suggested? USE RCA!! Gosh, if I buy a HDTV set to use RCA to watch Equator HD, i must be NUTS!!! I recommended to change the set top box.

He agreed and changed a set top box for me. The wait is so long, seeing the wheels coming on screen and the status bar never seem to move.

Well, at last the wait is over and I can now save the resolution state to 1080i. The problem with the purplish screen is not solved. They will escalate and inform Motorola for a Fix , probably a new firmware.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Sony Blu-ray HDTV Player: $447

Amazon.com is now selling Sony's BDP-S300 Blu-ray player for $447 -- more than $50 off the suggested list price. The player will display Blu-ray High-Definition discs as well as upconvert standard definition DVDs to near HD quality.

The player also comes with five free Blu-ray movies redeemable via a mail-in rebate.

23 August 2007

HD DVD vs Blu-Ray format war

BBC reports that some film makers will switch camps, supporting HD DVD instead of the Blu-Ray format. Paramount and DreamWorks said they were dropping Blu-ray in favour of the rival HD-DVD format on Monday, repored on BBC news.

The announcement means that blockbusters like Shrek the Third, and Bay's Transformers film, will not be released on Blu-ray. Movies directed by Steven Spielberg, however, will continue to be released in both formats. Electronics giant Sony, which owns Blu-ray, is locked in a battle for supremacy with Toshiba, which created HD-DVD.

The latest Spider-Man film will only be released on Blu-ray
Blu-ray discs have more storage space, which can mean a better image, while HD-DVD offers more interactive features.

The Blu-ray camp has notched up some victories against its rival recently, including a vote of support from video rental company Blockbuster.

Prices of players on both sides have dropped recently - with dedicated HD-DVD players outselling Blu-ray in the US.

However, the fact that Sony's PlayStation 3 games console can play Blu-ray discs means more homes have Blu-ray players.

It is believed that Hollywood studios could ultimately decide the fate of the two formats, but the fact that Sony is itself a movie studio has complicated the matter.

Warner Brothers is now the only company to release films in both formats, meaning that Spider-Man 3 will be a Blu-ray exclusive, while The Bourne Ultimatum will only be available on HD-DVD.

22 August 2007

HDDVD and Bluray rental service is available in Singapore

Most of us, who probably already own a HDDVD drive (XBOX) or a PS3 (BluRay) are wondering where could we rent video titles to try out the image quality of these two standards (via HDMI interface).

Well, it looks like Play! has quietly launched their HDDVD and BluRay rental service through their kiosks as early as 16 of August this year.

There are a couple of titles available in HDDVD or Bluray format at various kiosks scattered throughout Singapore. You have to make a booking before collection at the selected kiosk.

According to the site, each rental is around S$8.00 per title for a day.
Titles available are

Gone in 60 secs (Blu-Ray)
Casino Royale (Blu-Ray)
Scorpion King (HD DVD)
Italian Job (Blu-Ray)
X-men 3 (Blu-Ray)
Bourne Supremacy (HD DVD)
Batman begins (HD DVD)
Fearless (HD DVD)
mission impossible III (Blu-Ray)
Serenity (HD DVD)
Miami Vice (HD DVD)
Letters from Iwo Jima (Blu-Ray)
Curse of the golden flower (HD DVD)

If you are renting, share with us your experience.

16 August 2007

MIO TV Channels Down

While I was watching the news on ETTV Asia, the screen suddenly turned blank with a message "No Signal". This happened at around 7pm on 16/08/07. A check on other channels shows that Channels 10,11,12 (VOOM HD, Equator HD, SLing HD)all went offline. Even channel 26 ETTV Yoyo is offline with message with green background "No Signal". I wonder how long does it take for Singtel to know that these channels went offline and replace it with a "Sorry for the inconveniences caused" message.

15 August 2007

GeCube AGP 8x HD 2400Pro graphics card


GeCube has a AGP 8x HD 2400Pro graphics card. It would be the best fit for a HTPC based on older chipset that spots the AGP interface.

VPU Radeon HD2400PRO (RV610) (65nm)
Memory 256MB DDR2
Bus support AGP 8X
HDTV Support

Product Features
Certified for Windows VISTA Premium.
Design based on ATI Radeon HD2400PRO series.
On-board with 256MB DDR2 high speed memory.
Unified Superscalar Shader Architecture built-in 120 stream processing units.
Hardware processing UVD (unviversal Video Decoder)
DVI display port supports resolutions up to 1920x1200 (single-link DVI) or 2560x1600 (dual-link DVI, HDCP).
Windows Vista with comprehensive DirectX 10 support.
Shader Model 4.0

11 August 2007

My experience of Singtel MIO TV

Today, Singtel's contractor came to install the mio tv. It was scheduled for 4-6pm and they called me at 4.30pm saying that they will arrive in 45 mins time. They finally reached my place at 5.30pm when I was watching Starhub's Thai horror movie.

They were quite delighted when they found out that i got most of the required items ready. That includes the necessary power lines, ADSL2+ modem, cleared out desk for them to work on.

Installation was fairly easy. The guy first tested my line and insisted that if it falls below the threshold value, he will not install it. I agreed and he found out that the S/N ratio is very good despite it is my extension line from my room to the main hall. On top of that, I saw from his program, it was showing a steady 21Mbps. He said if it falls below 19Mbps, he would suggest that I don't get it installed.

After upgrading the firmware of the set top box, he tested the set top box with his 2Wire modem. Everything works well. Next, he updates the firmware of my Thomson ADSL2+ modem. After a while, he said to me, the firmware upgrade failed and he immediately replaced it with another set from the van.

This second Thomson modem works took a while to SYNC the ADSL line. What shocked me is that the Singtel mio set top box based on WINCE actually took 2 mins to initialise and boot up!!!

To my horror, the video delivery was pixelated and stopped and squeaked, just like what i usually experience on the TV mobile on buses. I told them, that is not acceptable. Judging from the experience with 2Wire, he claimed that it could be a modem issue. Ok, a third modem is swapped in. I left the TV on with HDMI connected to the Set top box. Everything seems perfect, I signed the papers and they happily left.

This time round, everything seems fine. I left it on and was showing off to my parents, that is High Definition TV. I then switch everything off. The horror begun right after dinner. I turned on the ADSL2+ modem and after a while the Set top box. The Set top box power led lights keeps blinking for 2 mins and settle down. Ok, i ca n see CH 5 and i wanted to try out the VOD by Jean Claue Vandam. Gosh, squrish blocks appear just 30 secs. I even got a message "VOD not available, please try again later".

I tried changing channels, everything doesn't seem to work anymore. Suddenly I can see CH 8, and then the programme just got stucked there.

To be continued .......

10 August 2007

Nokia 6120 Classic to launch tomorrow at SGD518 without contract

Nokia 6120 Classic will be commercially available tomorrow in Singapore, with a RRP of S$518 (without operator plan).

The Nokia 6120 Classic combines faster download speeds (utilizing HSDPA) with functionality suited to those with busy lives, to save time on tasks such as music downloads and internet browsing.

Key features include:

· The Data Transfer application allows consumers to transfer contacts, calendars, photos, videos and files from their previous Nokia to their new Nokia 6120 Classic, even when the SIM card is removed

· Users can synchronize their calendar from their office computer to the Nokia 6120 classic phone

· Email with attachment viewer

· Two cameras - a 2-megapixel camera with 4-times digital zoom, flash and panorama mode for taking high-quality photographs and a second camera in the front for video call

· The Nokia 6210 classic is based on S60 software that lets users run several applications at the same time.

Onkyo chooses HD DVD over Bluray

Onkyo announced that it will be shipping its first HD DVD player this fall, which will be known as the DV-HD805. This new model will take advantage of the HDMI 1.3a standard.

The DV-HD805 will use the Reon VX video processing chipset to deliver the video in a variety of HD formats. The player will also feature support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio formats, as well as Dolby Digital Plus and DTS HD High Resolution Audio.

This high-end player will have a suggested retail price of US$899. While this new player is obviously targeted at high-end home theater enthusiasts, it is still a victory for the HD DVD camp, which seems to continue to have some problems getting more companies to get onboard the HD DVD format train.

Toshiba continues to be the largest producer of HD DVD players, with several other players marketing models based on Toshiba’s technology. Toshiba did make some waves recently by announcing that they will have a new US$299 HD DVD player on sale this holiday season.

Singtel HSDPA service is the cheapest of all among the 3 telcos

OCWorkbench reports that Singtel has reduced its plans and the new pricing is on par with M1's broadband plans. On top of that, Singtel is throwing in a 10GB limit instead of 5GB.

The new pricing structure from http://home.singtel.com/bbmobile/HS_price.htm

Broadband on Mobile Plans Price/Bundle
Pay Per Use $0.0037/kb (chargeable in blocks of 2kb)
BB on Mobile Lite (VAS only) $3.21 with $7 bundled (up to 3.6mbps)
BB on Mobile Value $10.70 with $35.00 bundled (up to 3.6 mbps) and Unlimited WIFI (1Mbps) Capped at $88
BB on Mobile Unlimited 512 $22.42 (was 32.10) with 10GB bundled and Unlimited WIFI (1Mbps)
BB on Mobile Unlimited 1800 $38.72 (was 48.15) with 10GB bundled and Unlimited WIFI (1Mbps)
BB on Mobile Unlimited 3600 $69.30 (was $80.25) with 10 GB bundled and Unlimited WIFI (1Mbps)
Excess Usage after bundle $0.0019 /kb(chargeable in blocks of 2KB)

The deal gets better as Singtel throws in 2 mths Free Subscription, plus up to $100 off for any 3G/3.5G handset or you get a FREE USB modem worth $408.

*Valid with 12-month sign-up of selected BroadBand on Mobile plan. Up to $100 OFF any 3G/3.5G handset with (Value/512/1800/3600) plans; Free USB modem with (1800/3600) plans.

* Promotion period is from 28 July to 30 September 2007.
* 2-month FREE subscription is with minimum of one month contractual period.
* Thereafter, prevailing monthly subscription fee applies (7% GST inclusive).

Starhub's HSPA service is not priced competitively against M1 or Singtel. The price plan is also too steep.

Although Singtel's excess charges are cheaper and provide 10GB of data usage, you ought to take note that all the services should be VAS. That is to say, only Singtel Postpaid customers are able to enjoy these offers. M1 on the other hand allows non M1 customers to be their broadband customers. Starhub's requires you to buy the equipment or sign a 2 yrs contract to get the USB modem (Huawei E270) for Free, otherwise you have to pay for it.

07 August 2007

Hack the iphone to use any SIM

The hack was accomplished by modifying the iPhone's default SIM card to be recognized as an AT&T SIM, while actually containing data that allows it to be accepted by Telstra.

The hack is made possible through the use of iActivator, a Mac OS X program that provides an interface for activating/deactivating your iPhone without invoking an AT&T contract or prepaid plan. The program doesn't unlock the iPhone's SIM, but simply unlocks the functionality of the iPhone so that an AT&T-based activation is not necessary. The tool also has the option to perform a "Jailbreak" on the iPhone, which allows files to be written to the device's filesystem.

Here you have the details:
1. Get the required hardware and softwares: (these are the ones I have used): An Infinity USB unlimited SIM reader/writer, a silvercard, SIM-EMU 6.01, and WoronScan 1.09

2. Get the IMSI, Ki of your carrier using WoronScan (I will call them IMSI-b, Ki-b)

3. Use SIM-EMU and create 2 files (1 Flash and 1 EEPROM) using the ICCID of the AT&T sim (ICCID-a), IMSI-b and Ki-b

4. Then use these 2 files to create a sim using the infinity usb unlimited reader/writer

5. Put this sim into a normal unlocked phone and make some calls/receive calls/data services

6. Then use SIM-EMU to change the IMSI of the original Flash file to IMSI of AT&T sim (IMSI-a)

7. Again write the silvercard with the new flash and eeprom files
8. Put this sim into the iphone

9. Activate using the Cingular method as descirbe in www.Hacktheiphone.com...

10. ENJOY!

commongate.com

06 August 2007

HITACHI UNVEILS THE WORLD'S FIRST *1 BLU-RAY DISC CAMCORDER


HITACHI UNVEILS THE WORLD'S FIRST *1
BLU-RAY DISC CAMCORDER

Two New Camcorders Capable of Recording One Hour 1920x1080 Full High-Definition Video on a Blu-ray Disc

TOKYO August 2, 2007 - Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE:HIT / TSE:6501) announced the world's first Blu-ray Disc (BD) Camcorder, -which records one hour of 1920x1080 Full High-Definition video onto a BD (single side, single layer.) The new camcorders will start selling in Japan on August 30, 2007, and overseas market sequentially starting from October.


The new DZ-BD7H is a Hybrid Cam with a BD drive and a 30 gigabyte (GB) built-in hard disc drive (HDD) which can record approximately four hours of 1920x1080 full high-definition video, or up to eight hours of 1440x1080 high-definition video. It can also copy the contents from HDD to 8cm BD within the camcorder so that users do not need to use any external devices.

The new DZ-BD70 is a BD single drive camcorder which can record approximately one hour of 1920x1080 full high-definition video (two hours of 1440x1080 high definition video) on a 8cm BD.

The new BD camcorders have a system which captures, records and stores 1920x1080 full high-definition video throughout the whole process with its newly developed full high-definition lens, 5.3 mega pixel progressive CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) image sensor *2 with effective 2.07 mega pixels for video and 4.32 mega pixels for still photo, the newly developed full high definition signal processor "Picture Master Full HD," and the world's first 8cm BD drive, which can record 1920x1080 full high definition video on a 8cm BD which has 5 times more capacity than a 8cm DVD.

Model Name and Introduction (Japan)
Product Model Name HDD Image
Sensor Selling Starts Suggested
Retail Price
Initial
Production/Month

BD Camcorder DZ-BD7H 30GB Approx.
5.3Mega Pixels Aug.30, 2007 Open 20,000 units
DZ-BD70 - Aug.30, 2007

LCD TV and PDP TV declines substantially while standard format LCD Monitor stabilizes

Acording to WitsView Jul’07 Monthly Major Region Street Price report Jul’07 Global Street Prices of LCD TV, PDP TV and LCD Monitor continued to decrease except 4:3 LCD Monitor. Mainstream Size of LCD TV covering 32, 37, 40 and 42” dropped between 0.8% and 2.2%, compared to last month. PDP TV fared a little worse, where the most popular 42” and 50” PDP saw a 2.6%~3.6% drop. As for LCD Monitor, Wide screen formats, including 19, 20.1w and 22w experienced a 0.9%~3.6% price drop, while traditional 4:3 aspect ratio products remained stable. 19” slipped 0.4%, while the 17” price was up surprisingly by 2.2%.

After slipping back to the USD500 level in Jun’07, 20” LCD TV price stayed at the USD482 level for this month. 26” LCD TV decreased 23 dollars to USD669. In the regional market, the 26” LCD TV in the Chinese and Korean markets witnessed larger decreases, as the amount of high end models reduced in the market.

32” LCD TV is averagely priced at USD836, 2% lower than the previous month. As the first LCD TV size to be purchased by most families, its price trend is always a key focus. In the US market, the lowest priced 32” is only $400, and the tier-2 32” average price is merely USD544. As far as the high-end models are concerned, the average price is still priced at 1,200~1,400 in most markets except in China, where you can buy tier1’s high end products at about USD880.

The average price of the 37” LCD TV is USD1,136, a more than one hundred dollar gap difference from the USD1,000 level. However, in terms of bargain models, the US, UK and China’s 37” low-end average prices range from USD630 to USD930. Even in the Japan market, low-end 37” also require only USD1,057.

The price difference between the 40” and 42” LCD TV is closing. The higher priced 40” saw a larger price drop, resulting in a USD13 gap between the 2 sizes. Although the average price of the 40” is higher than the 42”, the 40” budget products are more affordable. For example, 40” lower-end average price is USD878, but 42” still need USD884 in US market. In Japan market, 40” and 42” low-end is averagely priced at USD1,115 and USD1,378 respectively.

Regarding the larger 46”~65” segment, the 46” enjoys the largest price drop (4.6%). At the moment, 46/47” average price are still higher than USD2,000, USD700 more compared to the 40/42” group. However, according to WitsView’s global street price survey, consumers in US and Chinese Market can find 46/47 bargain models reaching as low as USD1,000~1,100.

The prices of 52” or larger are diversified in different regions. For example, 52” in UK is tagged at USD3,932 by average. In the US, they are priced as low as USD2,732.

Regarding PDP TV, 42” average price is USD1,592 in Jul’07. Its decline is more serious than the same sized LCD TVs, resulting in the price difference to increase to USD127. WitsView points out, although 42” PDP TV average price is lower, its high-end model still costs USD3,000 in average, much higher than LCD TV in the same size.

50” PDP TV declined 3.6%, reaching USD2,802. Currently, 50” PDP TV is less USD1,000 expensive than 52” LCD TV. However, if we compare high end product between 50” PDP TV and 52” LCD TV, the latter is more affordable.

Among the mainstream LCD Monitor sizes, wide screen models declined more significantly. While 19w decline less than 1.0%, 20.1w and 22w’s price fell 3.5% and 3.6%. On the other hand, traditional 4:3 model appears more stable. 19” decreased 1 dollar to USD228 and 17” even enjoyed a 2.2% raise.

03 August 2007

Hauppauge offers HDTV for £99 - Nova HD-S2 card

HDTV for £99? Well, that's what Hauppauge is promising with the WinTV-NOVA-HD-S2 card, although there's obviously the odd catch.

The Hauppauge WinTV-NOVA-HD-S2 card simply plugs into a PCI slot inside a desktop PC, but needs to connect to a satellite dish for live HD TV on the PC. You'll obviously need a screen that's HD-ready too. Once that's sorted, you can watch free-to-air broadcasts, including the BBC's HD screenings of Planet Earth, Torchwood, Coast and Robin Hood and its range of live events, including sport and music.

The card needs a high spec PC, with 3.2 GHz processor or faster, or Intel Core Duo processor, with 512 MB of RAM minimum (1GB recommended). But if you have all that and a dish, you can be viewing HD for under £100.

Pionner soon to offer 1080p super black HDTV sets

Long Beach (CA) - Dedicated plasma TV backer Pioneer will launch its first pair of "full HD" TV sets with 1920 x 1080 resolution this October, according to a recent Reuters report.

At this year's Consumer Electronics Show, Panasonic and Hitachi both had big displays of 1080p sets. Both companies support plasma and LCD. Pioneer, on the other hand, is 100% committed to plasma. Pioneer's focus was on its new technology to offer deeper contrast.

1080p has become more popular among the mainstream crowd, though, as general consumers become more educated about high definition technology. Though it's a moot point for over-the-air programming, which is limited to 1080i resolution right now, 1080p is fully supported by HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc movies, as well as a sprinkling of next-gen video games, mainly from Electronic Arts.

In June, Pioneer introduced its Kuro line of plasma TVs, which was recently updated last week with two new models. The "Kuro" line promises significantly deeper black levels than any other plasma set. However, the resolution on the flagship Kuro products is only 1024 x 768, which is more closely related to 720p.

The company's new 1080p sets will reportedly be priced at around $5,000 for the 50" model and around $6,500 for 60". "Elite" version of both will also be available for $1,000 more on each set.

I subscribed to Singtel mio TV

Last week, I went down to Suntec and took a look at the Mio TV. After looking at some of the programmes available on the HD WALL (a show of 5 channels in HD). I signed up immediately as they waived off the installation charges.

Singtel staff called me on Tuesday (Signed up on last Saturday) on the configuration and installation date. My date shall be on Aug 11 from 4pm to 6pm.

I will post more details after the installation is done.

31 July 2007

Starhub to launch unlimited HSPA 7.2mbps at S$68 per month on 4th August 2007

MaxMobile Mobile Data Plans

As StarHub launches its 3.5G service on 4 August 2007, the company will also introduce a new pricing structure that is applicable to all its mobile data customers – whether they use HSPA, 3G or 2.5G GPRS. By providing a single set of data plans for all its customers, StarHub will offer a new pricing structure that gives its customers peace of mind and price certainty.

All of StarHub’s mobile data access plans will now be called MaxMobile, a brand name that will act as a mobile complement to StarHub’s MaxOnline cable broadband service. Like MaxOnline, MaxMobile will offer Singaporeans the highest speeds in the market with simple ‘peace of mind’ pricing structures.

Three plans will be available to mobile data users - MaxMobile Lite, MaxMobile Value and MaxMobile Unlimited.

All three MaxMobile plans will have a maximum price cap that will help customers manage their mobile data costs, so there will never be a ‘bill shock’ from high data usage for our customers:

MaxMobile Lite is a ‘pay as you use’ plan at S$0.01/Kb with no minimum spend, but the maximum cost to the customer is $88 per month regardless of the amount of data usage.

MaxMobile Value gives S$20 worth of data usage at S$5/month (the usual price is S$10/month) and thereafter at S$0.0032/Kb. Once again, the total monthly spend is capped at $88 regardless of data usage, making this truly unlimited.
MaxMobile Unlimited subscribers will pay a flat fee of S$68/month, making the MaxMobile Unlimited data package the best value amongst all mobile operators in Singapore, in terms of both subscription plans and mobile access speeds. Again, unlike other operators in Singapore, MaxMobile Unlimited is truly unlimited, with no cap on data usage at all.

28 July 2007

Sony Ericsson K850i interesting video review

OCWorkbench has a review review of the Sony Ericsson K850i. Arghh, only noticed it today. Anyway, here is the video.

Sony Ericsson P1i demo video. SE P1i on sale soon

From what we heard from friends in the industry, the Sony Ericsson P1i (SE P1i) will be launched in early August. That is just a few more days from now. This model was last seen at CommunicAsia 2007 held in Singapore.

Here is a video preview of this product.

Pre-order Samsung F500 divx video phone


You can now pre-order the first DIVX capable mobile phone from Samsung. With no Contract, it costs S$998 which is very expensive for a small screen mobile in your palm.

pfingo Store opens with promotional IDD and SMS rates!

pfingo Store opens with promotional IDD and SMS rates!

We’ve just opened our brand new online store for you to purchase IDD and SMS credits for pfingoTALK. Also this month, we have introduced promotional IDD rates that will give you savings of up to 70% on IDD calls to our top 24 destinations, till the end of this year. Click here for the promotional IDD rates with our TOP 24 Destinations!

Do you know that pfingoTALK IDD offers you not only great rates, but also great voice quality and per second billing, with no connection or hidden charges? Shop at our pfingo Store now at http://store.pfingo.com and check out our launch specials!

From now until 31 December 2007, you can also enjoy our promotional SMS rates - S$0.03 per SMS to Singapore phone numbers and S$0.10 per SMS to all other destinations. So download the latest pfingoTALK Softphone and starting firing out those text messages!

23 July 2007

StarHub To Launch Football Channel Dedicated To Barclays Premier League Programming

StarHub To Launch Football Channel Dedicated To Barclays Premier League Programming

Goal TV, in association with Ten Sports, appointed as channel development partner for Football Channel

Football Channel will offer 24-hour Premier League programming, including ‘live’ matches, studio preview and review shows, half-time studio highlights, and magazine programmes

Singapore, 23 July 2007 – StarHub today announced that it will launch a brand new sports channel - Football Channel, dedicated to 24-hour Premier League programming. Football Channel will be made available to all StarHub Digital Cable’s Sports Group customers when the Premier League season kicks off in August 2007.

The new channel will be packaged fully by Hong Kong’s Goal TV, in association with Ten Sports in Dubai.‘Live’ Premier League matches and magazine programmes on the channel will be produced by TWI, the FA Premier League's official producer and distributor of its international coverage, while Premier League highlights, studio previews, half-time studio shows and match summary shows will be produced by Goal TV and Ten Sports (please see Annex A below).

Ms Tham Loke Kheng, StarHub’s Senior Vice President for Content and Marketing said, “The Barclays Premier League is the most popular league in the world and in Singapore. Bringing our customers quality Premier League programming is a top priority for StarHub, and to that end, we are glad to develop Football Channel in partnership with Goal TV and Ten Sports - two established sports media companies that provide football programming to a combined audience of over 100 million. We are confident that Premier League buffs in Singaporewill enjoy what Football Channel has to offer.”

Tom Kressner, CEO of Goal TV said, “We are pleased to be working with StarHub and to have the opportunity to develop a new and exciting channel that will bring viewers Premier League content round-the-clock. Leveraging on our experience in running a dedicated football network catering to Asian audiences, we will be offering a wide array of content that will complement the ‘live’ matches in creating an immersive viewing experience for soccer fans.”

Football Channel will also be made available to StarHub’s Digital Terrestrial Television (DTTV) customers.

More exciting details on its Sports Group offerings will be unveiled soon.

22 July 2007

Singtel Mio TV start up cost costs more than S$16.05

Yesterday I analysed whether it is worth subscribing to Mio TV. After much thought, I still feel that the contents are subpar to what Starhub has to offer. Moreover, the start up costs is S$117.

I have to thank an anonymous blogger who highlighted to me that I forgot to add in the costs of the phone line. I almost forget that people these days don't have Fix line at home.

Thus if you intend to subscribe to the most basic mio TV with a few channels + free to air + HD5, you would actually have to pay around S$24 (S$16+$8.33). Also don't forget you need to purchase an ADSL2+ modem (Straits Times says it is a Free Loan). You can head over to Singtel mio site and check that the modem is not loaned out for free. You have to either buy those specific models from Singtel or you can grab one at a cheaper price from auctions sites.

At S$29, I think my Starhub Cable TV offers better channels and contents than Singtel Mio TV. Singtel, maybe you can throw in the ADSL2+ modem for loan and scrap off the S$53.50 activation fee, that will certainly grab some market share.

21 July 2007

Will you subscribe to Singtel Mio TV ?

Will you subscribe to Singtel Mio TV ?

Singtel launched their PAY TV service yesterday. I took time to check out their offerings online and check out their pricing.

In contrast to Starhub TV which bundles channels into basic tiers, Singtel MIO TV charges monthly from $16.05(with GST). That is to say, your minimum purchase will be S$16.05. Thus, you got to mix and match some of the channels to match S$16.05 or exceed S$16.05.

Something that MIO TV didn't mention is that you need to own a ADSL2+ modem for this service. For current subscribers to Singnet broadband, this is not a problem. For those who are not, you would need to purchase it at $64.20. With an addtional S$53.50 activation fee. You have to pay an initial amount of $117.70. This one time payment is a bit too steep I would say. Imagine if do not require rewiring of your phone lines, why pay S$53.50 for the technician to plug the ADSL2+ modem to the set top box and connect the STB to your HDTV? The STB has no monthly rental fees.

To subscribe to Starhub, you wouldn't need to go through all this hassle. Just get the set top box, plug the set top box in and you are done. There is no need to meddle with 2 devices just to watch pay tv.

Secondly, the programme line up. Starhub being the incumbent already have exclusive contracts with lots of operators. For example, in terms of news, starhub has CNN, BBC, CBNC while Singtel Mio TV has none of these international news channels. Chinese infotainment channels wise, Starhub has a lot more as compared to what Singtel has to offer.

Although Starhub's Cable do not offer a la carte selection, the 3 Basic Tier sold at S$29 already comes with at least 9 channels (depending on which groups you pick). In addition, you get the free to air MediaCorp channels + 5 International Channels for FREE. In my case, I pay S$29 a mth and I get 6 local channels (5,8,U,CNA,Suria,Central) and 14 other channels
Ch 50 - Phoenix, Ch 51 - MTV Mandarin, Ch 52 - CTI TV, Ch 54 - TVBS-ASIA, Ch 13 - BBC World, Ch 14 - CNN, Ch 15 - CNBC, Ch 25 - Bloomberg Television, Ch 97 - CCTV-9, Ch 46 - Star Chinese Channel, Ch 49 - Asia Plus, Ch 53 - TVB 8, Ch 56 - E City,
Ch 256 - E City (+2). For the same price of S$29, you can hardly get so many channels. Taking an average subscription price of S$5 per channel, you would only get 5 to 6 pay tv channels in addition to the free-to-air MediaCorp channels.

In terms of programming, Singtel Mio TV lacks EPL which everyone watches. The good thing is about Singtel MIO TV is that it has acquired 3 channels broadcasting in Dual Sound in Cantonese and Hokkien. That is something that Starhub should consider offering CH 55 in Dual Sound (Cantonese, Mandarin). This will appeal to the older generation of Singaporeans who has missed all the dialect programming on local TV. Both Starhub and Singtel offers on demand movies/programmes. MIO TV also has 4 HD channels (MediaCorp HD5 is free) but priced at S$12 per channel which is very steep.

For the busy professionals, you can also pay an additional S$10, you get a PVR which you can record your favourite programmes. You no longer need to purchase a PVR just for this purpose or buy another just for watching HD as Singtel Mio TV box is already equipped with HD received.

Will you switch camps or will you wait ? Post your comments.

Price plans of Singtel Mio TV - http://home.singtel.com/miotv/price-plan.asp
Content Pricing of Singtel Mio TV - http://home.singtel.com/miotv/channels-on-demand_channels.asp
Price plan of Starhub Cable TV - http://www.starhub.com/portal/site/CableTV/menuitem.227318645a7b5eb3f75eb1109b1000a0/?vgnextoid=3e292a0a19134010VgnVCM100000b901000aRCRD

20 July 2007

Singtel launches mio tv with 33 IPTV channels

SingTel to revolutionise home entertainment with the launch of mio TV

Most flexible digital pay TV service in Singapore
The latest movies, first on TV
Biggest HD content suite in Singapore
Brings choice and value to the market

Singapore, 20 July 2007 -- Singapore Telecommunications Limited, (SingTel) today announced the launch of its much-anticipated pay TV service. Named mio TV, the offering will revolutionise the way Singapore watches TV. Unlike other services which require customers to be tied to programme schedules and rigid basic tier packages, mio TV allows subscribers full flexibility to watch what they want, when they want.

“The next generation of television watching has arrived,” said Mr Allen Lew, CEO Singapore. “Customers have been calling for choice and flexibility in the pay TV market and now they have it.”

It’s like having the convenience of a digital video store in your home!

mio TV boasts several ‘world firsts’ with its content partner tie-ups and will have the largest range of Video on Demand titles on any Singaporean television platform. Featuring blockbuster movies from major Hollywood movie studios including Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox and Disney, mio TV brings TV entertainment to the next level. mio TV allows customers to search for content by genre, by title or by actor’s name. Viewers simply click on the title and the movie starts playing immediately.

Said Mr Allen Lew, “Singaporeans lead extremely hectic lifestyles. Our customers tell us that they are often disappointed with linear movie channels because their lifestyles sometimes do not allow them to get home in time for their favourite movies. By allowing customers to be able to click and play their movies anytime, mio TV ensures that will never have to happen again”.

In addition, SingTel has successfully inked an unprecedented output deal with Sony Pictures Television International that brings viewers Sony’s upcoming slate of feature films at the same time as the DVD release and before they are seen anywhere else on TV. The deal also includes key titles from Sony’s extensive catalogue of feature films.

Singapore’s largest suite of HD content

High Definition (HD) fans will no doubt be wowed by mio TV’s extensive range of HD content, ranging from blockbuster movies to high quality channels from our partner Mega Media, one of Asia’s largest HD companies. Partnering with VOOM HD Networks, the channels will include an exciting line-up of HD programming selected from VOOM’s 15 HD channels and the first made-in-Singapore HD channel - Sling HD. Viewers can look forward to HD content that includes documentaries, travel, music, arts, fashion and lifestyle programmes, among others. VOOM is the largest producer of HD content in the world.

In addition to MediaCorp's suite of free-to-air channels (Channels 5, 8, U, Channel Newsasia, Suria and Central), MediaCorp's much anticipated HD5 will also be available on mio TV. This will be the first free-to-air HD channel in Singapore which subscribers with HD-ready displays can enjoy, as all mio TV Set-Top Boxes are HD-ready at no extra cost. Singapore is among the world's first to have a free-to-air HD channel carried on an IPTV platform.

Other first-in-the-world content on mio TV

Singaporeans will be thrilled to be the first in the world to receive two brand new BBC channels. Making its global debut, BBC Knowledge will feature amazing documentaries and reality programmes that have never before been seen in Asia. BBC Lifestyle will also bring a wide range of exciting content ranging from food and health to fashion and design. To complete the suite of high quality entertainment to the family, BBC is also launching CBeebies - UK’s number one kids channel - on mio TV.

Hong Kong movie buffs will love the Mei Ah TV channel, Singapore’s first Cantonese movie channel that features Cantonese-only content between noon and midnight. Selected movies will premier simultaneously on mio TV and Hong Kong cinema screens - another ‘world first’ for mio TV subscribers!

mio TV drives innovation, value and flexibility to the next level

mio TV’s a la carte price plans allow customers to pay only for what they want to watch. No longer do customers have to contend with restrictive basic tier subscription packages.

mio TV will be among the first in the world to introduce on-demand channels to the Singapore market. This option allows viewers to choose from up to 25 selected movies for unlimited viewing for only $12 per month. This means movies, anytime, for as low as 50 cents each. There will be a variety of on demand channels to suit different tastes.

All mio TV customers will also be pleased to receive one free on demand ‘movie-of-the month’ - every single month. Starting 1 September 2007, anyone with a mio TV Set-Top Box will be able to access this movie whenever they want, as many times as they want.

Any television viewer can relate to the frustration of missing their favourite programme because they were delayed coming home or forgot to programme the recorder. Subscribers who opt for the Set-Top Box with recording function can pause, rewind and record live TV programmes so that they no longer have to miss anything. The mio TV website allows subscribers to programme their recordings even when they are not at home, and an upcoming service that will enable them to do it via their mobile phones.

“This is the future of television - a world where viewers are able to control their own instant replays, pause the ‘live’ news to get a drink and command their Set-Top Box to record a programme even when they’re out for dinner,” Mr Lew said. The mio TV Set-Top Box allows one channel to be recorded while watching another and has a capacity of 80 hours of recording.

mio TV will continue to revolutionise the TV experience at home

The interactive and flexible mio TV platform will open up even more opportunities for innovative services in the future. Subscribers will have much to look forward to, including the possibility of communicating using video conferencing and instant messaging, displaying photos and playing music from their PCs, all on the TV set.

SingTel will continue to invest in the development of innovative content and services for mio TV subscribers in Singapore.

Such content will engage consumers on multiple levels, for example, watching it on TV, blogging on PC, and interactive voting on mobile. This will definitely appeal to the engaged youths of today, who are already spreading their free time over all these multiple entertainment devices.

Said Dr Christopher Chia, Chief Executive Officer, the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA): “We believe the launch of mioTV will open up more channels for interactive content creation and media services, benefiting both consumers and industry with greater choice and content flexibility."

SingTel's mio TV platform will set a new paradigm in content distribution by providing international and local content providers with an excellent opportunity to reach households in Singapore effectively and efficiently.

HK first to deliver HD broadcast through ADSL now TV

now TV launches High Definition
Hong Kong's first HD broadcasts include Barclays Premier League action plus other top sports events

now TV to produce Barclays Asia Trophy live in HD
Broadcast will reach 130 countries around the world

HONG KONG, 19 July 2007 - PCCW today announced the launch of High Definition (HD) programming on now TV. Starting in August 2007, customers can pre-register for now TV's HD service and enjoy Barclays Premier League (BPL) matches in spectacular style.

Subscribers will be able to view more than 90 of the best Barclays Premier League matches live in HD on now SPORTS HD channel - the first of its kind in Hong Kong.

now TV will also broadcast other major sports events in HD, including 38 Italian Serie A matches, 31 UEFA EURO 2008 clashes and the Stanley Cup Playoffs, All Star and Regular Season Games and the Stanley Cup from the National Hockey League's 2007/08 season.

As host broadcaster, now TV will produce - in HD format - Barclays Asia Trophy, featuring Liverpool, Portsmouth, Fulham and Hong Kong FA Cup winner South China. The broadcast will be picked up by more than 130 countries around the world.

now TV invites all Hong Kong soccer fans to sample this sensational High Definition viewing experience at a Barclays Asia Trophy viewing party to be staged at Maritime Square, in Tsing Yi, on July 27 and in selected PCCW Shops. The Hong Kong-based tournament will also be broadcast on now SPORTS 1 channel in Standard Definition (SD).

In addition, to further enhance the overall sports viewing experience, now TV will unveil an array of super value-added services to tie in with the launch of the 2007/08 season of the Barclays Premier League. For example, soccer enthusiasts will be able to view four live matches simultaneously via a split-screen function, as well as other interactive features that allow viewers to retrieve information on any BPL team or player by using the now TV remote control.

PCCW Television & Content Managing Director Dominic Leung said: "We are excited to be providing live HD programming on our platform. With the very latest HD equipment and 14 cameras ready to roll at Hong Kong Stadium, now TV will capture every exciting moment of the Barclays Asia Trophy."

He added: "Starting August 11, HD broadcasts of Barclays Premier League action represent the opening of another exciting new chapter in the now TV success story and taking sports viewing experience to a new level."

To view exciting now SPORTS HD programs, subscribers need to replace the standard set-top box with an HD version at the promotional rate of HK$38/month (regular price HK$78/month) for the STB rental and customers subscribing to the HK$488 Super Value Pack can enjoy this for free. The HD Sports package will be available to now TV Mega Sports Pack subscribers at at promotional rate of HK$68/mth (regular price HK$88/mth). There is a one-off charge for HD service installation and activation. Customers can call our hotline on 2888 0008 (press 1) or visit a PCCW shop for installation or pre-registration starting early August.

Also in August, now TV will unveil a dedicated HD channel, VOOM HD, which offers a large and varied collection of HD programming. Content includes adventure travel, fashion, luxury lifestyles, art, live concerts, action sports and video games.

More HD programming will be rolled out on now TV in phases.

17 July 2007

Samsung 40" IDTV LA40M81BD LCD TV with embedded H.264 decoder review sighted


OCWorkbench reviewed the Samsung 40" IDTV LA40M81BD LCD TV. It is the first LCD TV with embedded Digital (DVB-T) tuner that can decode H.264 broadcasts. The pictures posted were amazingly clear.

I am pondering where to buy it. It is priced at around ~SGD 6000 which is way too expensive just for the purpose of watch HD5 which is just a simulcast of Channel 5.

The review URL.

16 July 2007

Aztech 200Mbps HomePlug Powerline Adaptor readies for HD


The Aztech 200Mbps HomePlug Powerline Adaptor provides No New Wires communications to any rooms, over any powerline wires, at the speed of up to 200Mbps.

Targeted at the residential users, the 200Mbps HomePlug Powerline Adaptor is utilizing Intellon INT6000 high-speed powerline chipset. With transfer rates of 200Mbps, the HomePlug Powerline Adaptor can easily support full multimedia home networking throughout the whole house including simultaneous High Definition (HD) and Standard Definition (SD) video distribution, whole-house audio, Voice Over IP and high speed Internet in addition to data networking. The 200Mbps HomePlug Powerline Adaptor uses the power lines already installed in a home as a path to transmit digital data, voice, audio and video between devices.


Enhanced Quality of Service (QOS) also provides the guaranteed bandwidth reservations for multimedia payloads including TV over IP (IPTV), higher data rate broadband sharing, Online-Gaming, VoIP Calls, extending Wireless LANs coverage, Audio-Video transmission across the network as well as Network camera connectivity.

The 200Mbps HomePlug Powerline Adaptor is a plug and play solution that can be used wherever there is a wall socket, acting just like a physical network cable, streaming bandwidth to any room in the house. I t comes with a 128-bit AES encryption ensuring that your network communications is free from eavesdroppers and hackers. The Auto MDI/MDIX functionality of the HL108E also simplifies and ensures a hassle free installation.

PC makers continue to develop laptops with HDTV capabilities

PC manufacturers are continuing to push the development of HDTV capabilities in their desktop and laptop computers. Gateway and AMD are the latest companies to embrace high-definition technology with both arms.

Gateway has announced its M-Series and T-Series laptop ranges, which both come HDTV Ready. And, AMD is launching its TV Wonder 650 Combo PCIe – a plug and play device that allows any compatible PC to receive locally available satellite and cable programming, including HDTV channels.

Gateway's line up features PCs with HDMI outputs, optional ATI graphics, Blu-ray or HD-DVD drives and wireless connectivity – and gateway is pushing to have HDTV integrated into its laptops. The M-Series comes with a high-resolution (1920x1200) 15in screen, while the T-Series features a slightly smaller 14in screen – not large enough for home cinema but ideal if you're on the move.

While you'll still have to subscribe to HDTV services using AMD's TV Wonder 650 device, free to air HD broadcasts should be accessibly…if they ever arrive. And, with its external ATI TV Wonder 600 USB the device will also be able to record programmes to DVR too.

Source

Singapore's QMAX pushes speed envelope of wireless broadband to 1Mbps

Singapore's only Wimax Operator Qmax has upped its speed limits to 1Mbps. Previously it only offer plans of Q256K and Q512K at SGD11.90 and SGD21.90 with 1 yr contract.

The new subscription plan for Q1Mbps is at SGD 37.45 and there is no contract involved. You have to pay upfronta One Time Charge (OTC) activation fee of SGD74.80.

All plans are inclusive of 7% GST and they
Product Price: No Contract Subscription : Q1Mbps ($ 37.45)
One Year Subscription Plan: Q256K ($ 11.90) , Q512K ($ 21.90)

Considering the pricing, it is very competitive as Singtel now offers ADSL 1Mbps around SGD 30-33 for 1 or 2 yrs contract. M1 Broadband on the other hand offers HSDPA service with 6 mths contract at SGD 22 for 384Kbps and SGD 38 for 1.8Mbps.

Both M1 Broadband and Qmax do not require any existing phone line or cable. Thus, if you do not already have a fix line and paying SGD 8 a mth, the wireless plans are way cheaper.

So which broadband plan will you choose ?

Source

Digital U coming to DVB-T

Lately I overheard a reseller saying that Channel U will go Digital very soon. It is said to be scheduled by September.

Well, although it goes digital, it is still SD. I wonder when we will see a real H.264 HD channel on air. Currently HD5 is simulcast from Ch 5 with upscaled video.

07 July 2007

Samsung to lanuch cheap hybrid hddvd/bluray player soon

Washington, D.C. (July 5, 2007) -- Samsung yesterday announced that it will launch a dual format High-Definition player in late fall.

The company hopes that the set-top, which will play both Blu-ray discs and HD DVDs, will appeal to consumers confused about which format to choose in the high-def war.

Samsung's player (model: BDP-UP5000) will be the second on the market, following LG's dual-format player which was introduced earlier this year.
But unlike LG's player, which carries a whopping $1199 price tag, Samsung said its player would cost less than $600, according to several online reports.

That's roughly $50-$100 more than a standalone Sony Blu-ray player ($499), which is the cheapest Blu-ray set-top on the market. Toshiba's entry-level HD DVD player now costs $299.

At less than $600, Samsung believes its player could find a niche, although it's likely that standalone Blu-ray and HD DVD player prices will fall further in the coming months.

Samsung said the dual-format player would support all the features available on both Blu-ray and HD DVD, including Net-based material accessed via an Ethernet connection.

04 July 2007

Samsung M8 LCD also has clouding issue

Just as I thought the high end expensive models do not have clouding issue (that is, greyish screen when there is no signal), I noticed that Samsung also have this issue, it is just that it is not that apparent.

It is hardly noticable if you use the RF tuner to switch channels or change mode. This is because, they replace it with a bright blue screen.

If you use a starhub set top box to switch between channels in a dim room, you would notice split seconds of greyish background and some uneven brightness. This can be resolved if you choose to set the power saving mode. I suspect it actually dims down the backlight so that it won't look too bright.

Other than that, the M8 display is excellent for a 1920x1080 FULL HD display. The 3 HDMI ports also makes it one of the future proof tv sets.

30 June 2007

Facts of i-phone, technically inferior to Asian touch screen phones

The following are some of the facts summarised by Foxnews. Think before you buy this gadget which is not so technically advance compared to products from Asian phone makers like Samsung (a 7.2Mbps HSDPA phone F700 with touch screen and keyboard) or LG Prada which was the first touch screen phone.

—Most cell phone- and electronics-industry experts expect prices for the iPhone to drop significantly by Christmas.

—The iPhone has a 3.5-inch (measured diagonally) full-color LCD touchscreen. There is no physical keyboard; virtual number keypads or text keyboards pop up as required. Applications include MP3 and video playback, Apple's Safari Web browser, e-mail, text messaging, photo viewing, as well as cell-phone functions. It has a 2-megapixel digital camera, but does not as of now record video.

—Voice connectivity is via AT&T's GSM network. Internet connectivity is via AT&T's EDGE data network or local Wi-Fi hotspots; the initial versions of the iPhone will not connect to AT&T's faster HSDPA data network, though that will almost certainly be included in later versions. Bluetooth connectivity will link the iPhone to similarly enabled devices, but it is not clear if Internet access can be achieved this way. Nor is it clear whether some sort of Voice over Internet Protocol telephone service might be possible through the Safari Web browser.

—In a first for the cell-phone industry, the iPhone will not be activated in-store. Instead, each end user will need an online iTunes Store account to activate one of several AT&T service plans. Holders of existing AT&T wireless plans will be able to keep their old numbers, but will still need iTunes. The iPhone will not work, even as a music player, without cellular-service activation.

—The iPhone is compatible with iTunes running on Mac OS X 10.4.10, Windows XP Home or Professional with Service Pack 2 and all versions of Windows Vista except Windows Vista Home Basic. Connected PCs will need a USB 2.0

20 June 2007

CommunicAsia 2007 LG, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, Nokia phones all goes for HSDPA



I have read a couple of online news about the Phones shown at CommunicAsia. This year, it seems that everyone is going for high speed communications. Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, LG all introduce new phones supporting 3.6Mbps HSDPA.

Nokia did not introduce a lot of new handsets this year, in fact only 2 mid range and 1 HSDPA phone. Sony Ericsson on the other hand has the 5 mpixel camera phone which seems to be the focus of this year's show.

Samsung's highlight is the SGH-U700 phone (Ultra edition 10.9 which offers 3.2 mpixel camera, 3.6mbps HSDPA, Music library and a full screen HTML browser. LG has a series of handsets on show too LG KS10 a Symbian phone with HSDPA capability and LG Shine phone Candy Bar KE770.

For details photos, you can check out my favourite site's linkage below

http://www.ocworkbench.com/2007/communicasia/part1/p1.htm
http://www.ocworkbench.com/2007/communicasia/part2/p1.htm

17 June 2007

Singtel IPTV to be launched soon???

Judging from the 2 page advertisements on the Straits Times on Saturday, I have more reason to suspect that Singtel is ready to launch its IPTV service at the CommunicAsia event to be held on Tuesday.

I am just wondering what would be their package like and if there are any HD channels available.

If you heard anything, do post a comment.

12 June 2007

Starhub Cable to raise fees from $4 to $10 across the board

From July 11, subscription for the Basic Group and Value Pack will go up by $4. That means their cheapest package of three basic groups will cost $24.

And in October, the price for the Sports Group will be up $10 to $25. In 2004, the price for this group almost doubled - from $8 to $15. Sports fans will be the ones who pay most.

What is your say ?

08 June 2007

Computex 2007 News and Coverages all over the net

My favourite event always happen when I am stucked with loads of work.
100 Show girls wah!! definitely looks better than the girls you see on the streets here.

PC MAG : http://www.pcmag.com/category2/0,1874,2140400,00.asp
HotHardware : http://www.hothardware.com/
HEXUS http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=8978

http://www.ocworkbench.com/2007/computex/day0/p1.htm

http://www.ocworkbench.com/2007/computex/day1/p1.htm

http://www.ocworkbench.com/2007/computex/day2/p1.htm

http://www.ocworkbench.com/2007/computex/day3/p1.htm

Show girls at http://my.ocworkbench.com/bbs/forumdisplay.php?f=74

05 June 2007

Computex Taipei Coverage sighted




Wah the annual event in Taipei has started. Both OCWorkbench and HEXUS has the first coverages already posted. Just saw the pictures and was quite surprised by the mess there. How nice if I can be there, I will surely check out the LCD TVs.

Here is a link

31 May 2007

Register and get a free PFINGO VOIP account

Register and get a free PFINGO VOIP account. You can get this number for FREE. 3105xxxx and users can call you anywhere over VOIP using Nokia E61, E65.

https://www.pfingo.com/pf/public/control/signUp

tell you your experience here.

30 May 2007

SingTel says it will focus on boosting content for its upcoming internet protocol television or IPTV service

SingTel says it will focus on boosting content for its upcoming internet protocol television or IPTV service.

This follows feedback from users who took part in a six-month trial which ended in April.

When launched later this year, IPTV users will be able to watch TV programmes and buy videos through their broadband connection, accessed via a set-top box connected to their TV sets.

SingTel is still keeping mum about the exact launch date of its upcoming IPTV service as well as the content line-up and price plans.

But the telco took pains at a news briefing on Wednesday to differentiate its service from other existing pay TV offerings.

It stressed that IPTV will be more than just watching TV on the computer, like MobTV, or transferring PC content to the TV set, like M2B World.

Low Ka Hoe, Director, IPTV and Content, SingTel, said: "Offering a pay TV service is not about offering features. It's about offering content ultimately. So obviously customers have fed back that all the features are good, but ultimately what they want is the kind of channels that they want to watch, the content that they want to watch.

"For the trial, obviously we had a limited content line-up, strictly for the technical trial. When we launch our service commercially, obviously content will be a huge focus for us."

The battle for content will be fierce.

And for SingTel it is expected to be a big challenge as it has already been outbid by StarHub for rights to broadcast the hugely-popular English Premier League football matches for the next three years.

Analysts say the success of IPTV is critical for SingTel as the service allows the telco to take on StarHub head-on on all three services - TV, data and voice.

StarHub has gained market share in recent years, through its "hubbing" strategy of packaging the three services.

The Media Development Authority gave SingTel the go-ahead in January this year to launch its commercial pay TV service.

25 May 2007

SingTel launches ‘BroadBand on Mobile’ using HSDPA 3.6Mbps

SingTel launches ‘BroadBand on Mobile’
First phase of HSDPA rollout in Orchard Road and CBD
Island-wide coverage expected by year end

Singapore, 24 May 2007 -- Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel) today announced that its BroadBand on Mobile service is now commercially available.

‘BroadBand on Mobile’ uses next generation mobile technology known as High Speed Downlink Packet Access, also known as HSDPA or 3.5G.

A commercial trial involving more than 400 customers was announced last November, making the telco the first in Singapore to introduce such a service.

The BroadBand on Mobile service will initially be available in the Orchard Road and CBD areas, promising download speeds of up to 3.6Mbps, a significant step up from 3G’s maximum speed of 384kbps.

“BroadBand on Mobile opens up a whole world of possibilities in the realm of information and entertainment on-the-go,” said Ms Vicki Brady, SingTel’s Vice President of Consumer Marketing. “We are delighted to be able to offer our customers yet another service that perfectly complements their increasingly mobile business and lifestyle needs.”

Coverage will be extended to the North Zone by June, and the rest of the island by December this year. SingTel is also the operator providing free wireless Internet (WiFi) access in the North Zone for IDA’s Wireless@SG initiative.

SingTel also announced a range of highly competitive data price plans for its BroadBand on Mobile service. At 512kbps, this is the fastest entry-level plan in the market and priced from only $31.50 for 10GB worth of data. Selected price plans also include unlimited WiFi access at 1Mbps, giving SingTel subscribers who require mobile access a true multiple platform advantage.

BroadBand on Mobile - which is technology-agnostic and backward-compatible - can be accessed through devices such as laptops with HSDPA modems, as well a range of mobile phones and PDAs on any 3G price plan using a 3G SIM card. To make data use even more convenient and accessible, all SingTel 3G customers who are currently not on a 3G data plan will be 3.5G-enabled by the time the service is available island-wide.

Customers can also look forward to an array of special introductory offers and freebies to be announced over the weekend.

Note:

Primary Catchment Areas in North Region are: Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Checkpoint, Hougang, Kovan, Novena, Orchard Road, Sembawang, Sengkang, Serangoon, Thomson, Toa Payoh, Woodlands, Yishun.

22 May 2007

Gigabyte GA-MA69G-S3H sightings

Today, I came across my favourite site and found that they have published the GA-MA69G-S3H review. This should be the board i should consider. It has the HDMI/HDCP that i need for my LCD TV.

What surprised me is the overclockability of this board. The biggest surprise is that it supports CROSSFIRE!!!! WHOA!!



Source http://www.ocworkbench.com/2007/gigabyte/GA-MA69G-S3H/g1.htm

17 May 2007

Improve your Alexa Ranking with VISTA

A lot of websites especially start ups like to boost about their Alexa Ranking. I was quite surprised how Alexa actually works as most websites don't install a Counter. Even if one installs such a counter, will they want to publicise their traffic in public ?

Initally, I thought Alexa is just BS. After reading its documentation, I understand that it actually requires WindowsXP users to Install the so called Alexa toolbar. In fact, the ranking is based on how many people visit a particular site. If you don't install the toolbar, you are just missing the game.

Some sites I know of actually has supporters whom are probably paid to install the alexa toolbar on WINXP and reload their mainpage just to boost their ranking.

I have tried it on this blog after installing the alexa toolbar. The ranking went up in a few days time.

These sites or webmasters are really silly to deceive themselves by this boosted records. If you are the supporter of the site, just to let you know that you have been asked to install a malware for the purpose of boosting that site's ranking.

Anyway, Alexa toolbar is treated as a malware in VISTA. FireFox users can't install the toolbar as well.

There are some alternatives though. Below are some which you can use on FireFox.

Some developers have already built FireFox toolbars incorporating Alexa. You can find them here:

SearchStatus. Quirk has built a small toolbar that shows Alexa Rank and Google PageRank.

About This Site. Gina Trapani at scribbling.net built a handy plugin.
SEO Toolbar. The Rankquest SEO Toolbar provides you quick access to many SEO tools including the Alexa Traffic Rank.

Wyzo. If you would like to try a new browser based on Firefox, the Wyzo Media Browser comes pre-loaded with Alexa data via the SearchStatus extension.

15 May 2007

Panasonic Launches Global Plasma Roadshow to Demonstrate the Plasma Advantages

Panasonic Launches Global Plasma Roadshowto Demonstrate the Plasma Advantages

Singapore is the first stop for the Plasma Roadshow in the Asia Pacific region

Singapore, 11 May 2007 – Panasonic, one of the market leaders of flat-panel TVssized 37-inches or larger, launched its “Global Plasma Roadshow” in Singaporetoday, featuring its VIERA plasma TV lineup including the world’s largest 103-inchplasma TV. Singapore is the first stop for the tour in the Asia Pacific region, while theGlobal Plasma Roadshow is scheduled to cover over 80 cities around the world thisyear. With the increasing demand for large screen TVs worldwide, Panasonicproposes plasma to be the optimal choice in its campaign, “Thinking big? Thinkplasma!” Throughout the campaign, visitors will be able to experience the advantagesof plasma for large screen TVs in a series of home entertainment vignettes.Demand for Plasma Display Panel TVs is increasingPanasonic forecasts that with the rapid increase of the demand for flat-panel TVs dueto the global digitization of TV broadcasts, 65% of the 200 million world aggregatedemand for TVs will be for flat-panel TVs in 2010. 30% of the world aggregatedemand for TVs will be for 37-inch or larger flat-panel TVs in 2010.With extensive research on its plasma technology, Panasonic believes that plasmatechnology gives a great viewing experience for large screen sizes. Panasonicestimates that the market demand for Plasma Display Panel (PDP) market will growto 30 million units in 2010.With such a demand, Panasonic plans to build a new PDP manufacturing facility inJapan. It will be the fifth PDP plant, enabling Panasonic to further step up its PDPproduction capacity, making it by far the largest PDP manufacturer in the world.



There are many reasons for the growing popularity of flat-panel TVs, particularlyplasma TVs. Due to global digitization of TV broadcasts, more people are making theswitch to flat-panel TVs. The demand for larger-screen TVs will also increase rapidlywith the expansion of contents with high picture quality. In addition, Panasonicprojects that the demand for Plasma TVs will greatly increase especially withinternational sports events like the Olympic Games kicking off in Beijing in 2008.The demand for PDPs with extended lifetime, energy-efficiency and high picturequality has also been increasing rapidly for business-use as multipurpose displays forbusiness, educational and medical applications as well as for home-use.Global Plasma Roadshow highlights benefits of plasma TVsBecause of the anticipated increase in demand for large screen TVs, the GlobalPlasma Roadshow focuses on helping the consumers make an informed choicethrough the public education on the advantages of plasma TV. It is also designed forlow environmental impact and built around the concept of ‘Living in High Definition’.Panasonic high-definition product innovations help people to create and share linksto other products and people - around the home and around the world.Panasonic’s Plasma Roadshow will drive the five major benefits of VIERA plasmaTVs as follows:1) VIERA plasma TVs are perfect for watching the speed of sportsThe VIERA plasma TVs reduce image distortion and provide high resolution even forfast moving scenes. Viewers will get smooth high-speed action, super-sharp imageswhen watching sports programme.2) VIERA plasma TVs are great for a realistic movie experienceFor the movie buffs, VIERA plasma TVs produce deep, rich blacks for exceptionalcontrast which brings out the ultimate effect when watching movies. It has superbgradation performance which means it can express details in all areas of the imagewith beautiful smoothness. Advanced 3D Colour Management controls multiple colours at the same time without affecting neighbouring colours. By independentlyadjusting the colour hue, density and brightness, the VIERA brings out the full beautyand richness of every image. Besides this, the VIERA reproduces 100% of the colourrange specified in the High Definition TV Standard.Now, one can view their favourite HD movies in the true, original colour.3) VIERA plasma TVs are ideal for large-screen size viewing with friends andfamilyThe VIERA plasma TVs reduce image distortion and provide a wide range of visibility.Colours virtually look good from a sharp angle as they do from directly in front. Sinceour VIERA plasma TVs are compatible with popular multimedia and video graphicformats, one can enjoy a movie or play games with many people.4) VIERA plasma TVs are reliable for long life and gentle on the eyesPlasma panels also reduce visual fatigue tendency and blurriness among viewers. Anacademic research indicates that viewing plasma is gentle on the eyes and lesstiresome.(For more details, see http://panasonic.net/think_plasma/eco5/index.html).Because of the technological advances present in Panasonic plasma TVs, thelifespan of TVs are lengthened beyond the conventional CRT TVs. The VIERA has alifespan of 60,000 hours (based on an average viewing time of 8 hours a day).Panasonic adds to the benefits of plasma by being the first brand to incorporateAnti-Glare Process technology in their deluxe range of VIERA Panels. Thistechnology subdues the reflection and also greatly reduces TV glare.5) VIERA plasma TVs are designed for low environmental impactPanasonic’s VIERA plasma TVs are environmentally friendly. The plasma panelscontain no lead and no mercury. The VIERA plasma TVs are designed for efficientpower consumption.

Mr. Paul Wong, Managing Director of Panasonic Singapore (PSP), said, “We aredelighted to have the opportunity to share with our local consumers the benefits ofplasma TVs. In addition to increased consumers’ spending on home entertainmentsystem, there is also greater awareness of the benefits of switching to large screenTVs, particularly plasma TVs. The biggest advantage of plasma is the high resolutioneven in fast moving scenes when compared with other LCD panels. By producingergonomically and environmentally responsible plasma TVs in Singapore, we expectto meet the increasing demand for Plasma Display Panels in the region.”Mr. Katsumi (Karl) Takahashi, Manager, Brand Promotion Planning Office, BrandPromotion Group of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Osaka,Japan,) said “We are very much pleased to provide to Singaporean consumers anopportunity to experience and enjoy the advantages of our VIERA plasma TVs,especially in the large screen TV category, during this special weekend of Mother’sDay.Panasonic has strong confidence in the advantages of plasma andconvenience of the linkage of high definition products. The roadshow will be aperfect opportunity for the consumers to experience and feel the undeniable power ofplasma, and how Panasonic’s technologies to create, share and link high definitionproducts can make one’s lifestyle more entertaining and beneficial. ”The local roadshow will start Friday from May 11 till May 13, at the Vivo City inSingapore. It will continue in 6 cities in the Asia Pacific region including Vietnam,Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand

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