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.


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.


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.