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.

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