Showing posts with label digital television. Show all posts
Showing posts with label digital television. Show all posts

Thursday, 29 March 2007

Black Box

Microsoft Unveils Xbox 360 Elite

Premium black console includes 120GB hard drive and line of new accessories.

REDMOND, Wash. - March 27, 2007 - Microsoft Corp. today announced the upcoming availability of Xbox 360™ Elite, a new model of the video game and entertainment system that will include a 120GB hard drive, a high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) port, a high-definition cable, and a premium black finish for the console, wireless controller and Xbox LIVE® headset. Xbox 360 Elite has enough space for a library of Xbox LIVE Arcade games and thousands of songs, as well as downloadable high-definition TV shows and movies available on Xbox LIVE Marketplace. The new 120GB hard drive also will be sold as a stand-alone accessory to give current Xbox 360 owners greater choice and flexibility in their games and entertainment experience. Additional Xbox 360 Elite accessories, such as the black Xbox 360 Wireless Controller, Xbox 360 Play & Charge kit and the Xbox 360 rechargeable battery, will be available separately. The Xbox 360 Elite and its accessories are expected to begin arriving in U.S. stores on April 29.

"Today's games and entertainment enthusiast has an insatiable appetite for digital high-definition content," said Peter Moore, corporate vice president for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. "Xbox 360 Elite's larger hard drive and premium accessories will allow our community to enjoy all that the next generation of entertainment has to offer."

Distinguished by its black finish and signature metallic detailing, Xbox 360 Elite will have an estimated retail price1 of $479.99 (U.S.)/479.99 euros/349.99 pounds, and will come packed with components and accessories for the ultimate high-definition entertainment experience.

· Xbox 360 Elite console. The console is equipped with a premium black finish and three powerful core processors capable of producing the best in HD entertainment (up to 1080p), 16:9 cinematic aspect ratio, anti-aliasing for smooth textures, full surround sound, HDMI output and DVD playback with upscaling capabilities right out of the box.

· Xbox 360 120GB hard drive. The 120GB detachable hard drive allows gamers to save their games and store television shows, movies, music, pictures, trailers, levels, demos and other content available from Xbox LIVE Marketplace.3 The hard drive is sold separately for an estimated retail price of $179.99 (U.S.)/179.99 euros/119.99 pounds.

· Xbox 360 Wireless Controller (black). This award-winning, high-performance wireless controller, now in black, features the Xbox® Guide Button for quick, in-game access to friends and music. It has a range of up to 30 feet and a battery life of 30 hours on two AA batteries. It is sold separately for an estimated retail price of $49.99 (U.S.)/44.99 euros/32.99 pounds.

· Xbox 360 headset (black). Now available in black, the headset lets gamers strategize or trade taunts while playing games and send voice messages to friends on Xbox LIVE.

· Xbox 360 HDMI cable. New to Xbox 360, HDMI allows consumers to get HD video (up to 1080p) and multichannel surround sound, all from one cable.

· Xbox LIVE Silver Membership. With this, gamers can chat with friends online, collect achievements and gamerscores, send and receive voice and text messages, and access Xbox LIVE Marketplace content such as game demos, HD movies and TV, as well as the best in downloadable games from Xbox LIVE Arcade.

· One-month subscription to Xbox LIVE Gold. An Xbox LIVE Gold Membership provides a complete online entertainment experience. Those who subscribe to this premium service can engage in competitive online multiplayer matches, tailor their matchmaking via feedback and accomplishments, chat with more than one person at a time, and take advantage of unique privileges in the Xbox LIVE Marketplace and Xbox LIVE Arcade.

The following accessories for the Xbox 360 Elite console will only be sold separately:

· Xbox 360 Play & Charge kit. Complete with a charging cable and a black rechargeable battery pack, the Xbox 360 Play & Charge kit allows gamers to recharge their Xbox 360 Wireless Controller without interrupting their gameplay. it is sold separately for an estimated retail price of $19.99 (U.S.)/19.99 euros/14.99 pounds.

· Xbox 360 rechargeable battery (black). The rechargeable battery pack provides more than 25 hours of gameplay per charge. It is sold separately for an estimated retail price of $11.99 (U.S.)/11.99 euros/9.99 pounds.

About Xbox 360

Xbox 360 is the most powerful video game and entertainment system, delivering the best games, the next generation of the premier Xbox LIVE online gaming network and unique digital entertainment experiences that revolve around gamers. Xbox 360 has a catalog of more than 160 high-definition games and is available in 37 countries. More information can be found online at

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

The Xbox 360 Elite should appear on European retail shelves as early as the summer.

Wednesday, 15 March 2006

Power of 3

Sitting down at my Apple Computer (not just any computer per se) I was delighted to receive the following juice from SCEE Press Office:

PLAYSTATION®3 Launches Worldwide in Early November 2006

Tokyo, March 15, 2006 – Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) announced today that it would launch PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3) in early November 2006 in Japan, North America and Europe simultaneously. With a monthly production capacity of one million units, SCEI will push forward a powerful product launch to spread the platform rapidly throughout the world, together with a strong and attractive lineup of PS3 game titles.

PS3 incorporates the final specifications of BD (Blu-ray Disc), and with the overwhelming computing power of PS3, it enables to playback BD software at a high bit rate. With a maximum storage capacity of 50 GB (dual layer) and robust security, BD is a highly anticipated storage medium that delivers digital entertainment content such as games and movies at an unparalleled level of image quality.

PS3 is compatible with a vast lineup of television sets currently out in the market, from standard-definition TV to full high-definition TV.

Users can also connect PS3 to high-speed broadband network through Gigabit Ethernet and comfortably enjoy a wide-range of rich and exciting content and services over the network.

SCEI, together with the support and cooperation of game content creators around the world, will strongly promote the creation of a new world of computer entertainment available on PS3.

PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) Continues to Evolve Expanding the World of Portable Entertainment With New Peripherals, Features and Services

Base Model to Become Available in North America and Europe
Tokyo, March 15, 2006 – Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) announced today that it will continue to further expand the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) platform with new attractive accessories, features and services responding to active demand throughout the world.

Since its launch in Japan in December 2004, North America in March 2005, and in Europe in September, 2005, PSP® has already shipped more than 15 million units worldwide establishing its position as a new handheld entertainment platform around the world. With its overwhelming power, unparalleled in handheld systems, PSP® has gained huge support from a broad range of users.

To accelerate further penetration throughout the world, a new Base Model in black color will become available in Europe from March 22, 2006, and 199 Euro/199US$ respectively in North America end of March 2006. SCEI will also introduce Ceramic White for the base model of PSP® (PSP-1000 CW) at a recommended retail price of 19,800 yen excluding tax (20,790 yen including tax) for the Japanese market.

On the software side, a series of new PSP®Game are expected to be released from third party developers, publishers and SCE Worldwide Studios (SCE WWS) * around the world. Highly anticipated titles are such as DragonBall Z: Shin, Budokai (BANDAI CO.,LTD), LocoRoco (SCE WWS) and MIN-NA NO CHIZU (ZENRIN CO., LTD) in Japan, Field Commander (Sony Online Entertainment), Godfather (Electronic Arts) and Syphon Filter (SCEA) in North America, and Football Manager Handheld (Sega Europe) and Lemmings(SCEE) in Europe.

Since its launch, PSP® platform has evolved continuously with system software updates* adding new and attractive features such as internet browsing, playback and storing of high quality video. SCEI will further continue to update the system software and expand the world of entertainment with PSP®. As a next step, SCEI will newly add Macromedia® Flash® player and extend RSS Channel function which enable users to playback and save internet radio content and entertainment movies.

As part of SCEI’s passion to spread the entertainment world of PSP®. it has been introducing “PlayStation® Spot” * in Japan since February 2006. SCEI has now more than 150 locations at train stations, complex cafĂ© and games shops where PSP® users can easily enjoy various content such as trial game software for free of charge. SCEI will further extend its location base so that more PSP® users could have easier access to the “PlayStation® Spot”.

For expanding the potential capability of PSP® hardware, new camera (PSP-300) and GPS receiver (PSP-290) will be introduced from this autumn. By adding these new attractive peripherals, new features such as motion tracking technology of Eye Toy™, developing the new game titles by utilizing the video chat function, portable navigating system with GPS function are highly expected.

SCEI will also start a new download service offering selected popular PlayStation® format tittles from the past. By reviving software assets, users will be able to enjoy exiting PlayStation® titles anytime, anywhere on PSP®.

SCEI aims to expand the world of entertainment with game, music and movies in the mobile entertainment arena by offering new peripherals and the continuous system software upgrades for the additional features on PSP®. With PlayStation, PlayStation®2 and PSP®, SCEI will create and develop a new world of computer entertainment through the fusion of game, music, movies and broadcasting.

*) Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios *) For details regarding the system software update of PSP, please refer to our official website ( *) Area (spot) in which multiple PSP users can enjoy trial version data such as game demo at the same time, using wireless LAN.

Product Information Japan Models: Product Name PSP®(PlayStation®Portable) Product Code PSP-1000 CW Color Ceramic White Recommended Retail Price 19,800 Yen Included PSP™ hardware AC adaptor (for PSP™) Battery pack (for PSP™)

US Models: Product Name PSP®(PlayStation®Portable) Product Code PSP-1000 Color Black Recommended Retail Price 199 US Dollars Included PSP™ hardware AC adaptor (for PSP™) Battery pack (for PSP™)

Europe Models: Product Name PSP®(PlayStation®Portable) Product Code PSP-1000 Color Black Recommended Retail Price 199 Euros Included PSP™ hardware AC adaptor (for PSP™) Battery pack (for PSP™)

Monday, 7 November 2005

Fire In The Sky

This year's Bonfire Night passed without incident. Unlike 1985 when a high school friend ignited a rocket in my parents kitchen and burned a hole in the carpet (luckily for him we were moving to a new property).

Here's an in-depth look at the new Pace TDS470N.

*VCR A/V SCART – VCR Scart for connection to Video Recorder.
*TV A/V SCART – Provides either composite or RGB and composite video output. Audio volume can also be controlled in software.
*Analogue Audio Outputs – An important addition for users wishing to integrate the set-top box into their home audio system. Volume can be adjusted or muted under software control.
*S-Video Connector – For high quality video connection.
*UHF Modulator – For connection to main TV and optional connection to second TV.
*RS232 – Serial port connector for service and factory use only.
*USB 2.0 – For connection to an array of multi-media devices (iPod and PSP).
*SPDIF – For connection to home Dolby Digital amplifier.
*RF Input – Twin IF inputs to connect to dual LNB at dish.
*RJ11 – For telephone line connection.
*AC Input – For mains power supply.

3rd Generation
The TDS470N is a third generation personal video recorder (PVR) currently deployed by BSkyB in the UK.

Main processor speed runs at 166MHZ.
Internal hard disk drive (possible option to upgrade HDD size).
High speed data port for future connectivity upgrades.

PVR Features
Twin Tuners – The TDS470N’s twin digital tuners allow the user to:

*Watch one digital channel whilst recording another.
*Pause live TV – Pause a live programme.
*Archive favourite programmes on to VCR.
*Dual Record - Record two programmes simultaneously while watching a programme from disk.

The TDS470N’s Time Shift and Video Recorder functionality allows the user to:

*Store 40-80 hours of programmes (depending on bit rate and set up).
*Use VCR style facilities (FFWD/RWD/Stop/Pause).

Assuming that your satellite dish is installed and correctly aligned. Self installation is a breeze. Before starting I'd recommend switching the mains power off. Interconnect quality is important and I used Monster and IXOS SCART and Toslink cables. Once you've completed this step. Insert your viewing card and turn mains power on. Leave in standby for at least 60 seconds. Switch on and leave it for another 60 seconds. This gives the software time to settle and download channel listings.

The Pace TDS470N shipped with EPG version 1.28d (latest version is 1.30q) and is missing new, but non-essential features (the new PIN restrictions are a nuisance). Go into the menu, system settings and configure the following (not defaults):

Picture > RGB SCART (for a suitably equipped television)

Sound > Dolby D (for a suitably equipped receiver)

Foregoing callback (accessed via 'secret menu' Installer Setup - 4 0 1 Select > New Installation), call customer care to match your viewing card (you will need to go into Service > System Setup > System Details). And that's it! Really, really simple.

Yesterday evening I watched this on sky+! With the exception of Star Trek: Nemesis all scheduled recordings in the sky+ Planner were successful.

Friday, 14 October 2005

Bobbing for apples

Apple's announcement of a video iPod, iTunes 6 (including obligatory QuickTime update) and Front Row Media Experience was almost too much to digest in one evening. And the closer content ties between Cupertino and the Magic Kingdom, hint at possible merger* plans! At the very least Pixar should continue to leverage Disney's considerable marketing might coupled with vertical integration. In return Disney secures lucrative brands and artistic talent.

Churlish comment alert! In its present form I can't see myself downloading video from iTunes 6. Whilst the image quality surpasses HDTV, it scales poorly (see UMD) and there's no approved way to burn videos in iDVD. Toast 7 is crippled (due to contractual reasons). So, no legal means for me (or any UK viewers for that matter) to watch the new series of Lost (USA only) or Battlestar Galactica (the best sci-fi/tech noir series since Babylon 5, which is unavailable at present). A year from now things could be very, very different! As Master Yoda would say "Patience!"

The decision to use an existing form factor - a slimmer G5 iMac - meant that Apple's media centre proposition is in stores before the holiday season and the computer company can establish a beachhead into an overcrowded market that includes TiVo and Microsoft. Personally, I would suggest that power users wait for the 'star dust' to settle and snatch the first of the Intel-powered machines next year! A portable Mac mini Front Row Media Experience is alluring in the extreme.

It is arguable that Apple is now the custodian of the Capitalist media industry and if they can't get digital distribution of television programs and movies right then no one can!

Never one to be deterred by bleeding-edge technology. I've tested QuickTime Pro's new Movie to iPod (320x240) export option. Here's hoping a 60GB video iPod (in black) is in my stocking this year!

[*A merger between Apple and Disney has been the subject of Wall Street water-cooler conversations since 1997.]

Friday, 4 February 2005

Laguna chic

The North American release of Sony's PSP will indeed be a blockbuster package. The PSP Value Pack contains an unprecedented added-value package of accessories and entertainment content, including 32MB Memory Stick Duo, headphones with remote control, battery pack, AC adaptor, soft case and cleaning cloth, movie/music/game video sampler UMD disc including multiple non-interactive game demos, and for the first one million PSP Value Packs shipped, a special UMD video release of the feature film Spider-Man 2 from Sony Pictures Entertainment.

In light of shipping to Japanese and North American markets sans chip capacity. The highly anticipated European PSP launch remains unclear according to Bloomberg (a world class financial news service). Although I'm eager to get my hands on a PlayStation Portable, the 'quality control' problems - from stuck buttons to dead pixels - are an area of concern for a high value product and it's preferable to see these resolved in a timely fashion.

Sony is a vertically integrated global company and can leverage a formidable hardware (electronics) and software (film, music and television) portfolio. Clearly the PlayStation is now an integral part of their business model, which has suffered a fall in profitability with the success of online and a decline in offline markets. The masstige brand is being repositioned as a digital lifestyle product - a concept pioneered by and synonymous with Apple. PSX (DESR-7000) and PSP may intimate Sony's plans for PS3. Doubtlessly there will be future interoperability between the portable and home consoles. Think of the Mac mini and iPod as a good analogy.

Saturday, 1 January 2005


Happy New Year to all.

Very special thanks to two of my friends, Ben and Michael, for the amazing Star Wars Christmas gifts, which now take pride of place in front of my Plasma television!

The lighting set-up is below par and I don't own a tripod, but this evening's impromptu photographic session was an opportunity to install the firmware 2.0 upgrade (released two years ago) onto my Canon PowerShot A70 camera! And also the updated version of Canon's digital camera utilities for the Macintosh platform, which includes ImageBrowser 5 and CameraWindow 5.

It is my intention to further explore photography this year.

Tuesday, 9 November 2004

Out of Sight

After further exhaustive investigation, it appears that my keyboard may be the culprit behind recent system freezes, and not a broken installation as reported previously! This is actually good news because a replacement keyboard from the Apple Store is relatively inexpensive. In other computer peripheral news, my new Wireless Intellimouse Explorer 2.0 works a treat and breezily accesses power user features in Microsoft Office 2004. Neat.

Firefox 1.0 is now available and anyone (especially Windows users) would be advised to download and make it their default browser! Will this branch of the Mozilla code metamorphose into the Google browser? The gauntlet has been thrown down and, in the Mac User community, eyes are now on Safari 1.3 and 2.0. Exciting times.

New UK digital television channel ITV 3 starts showing Karen Sisco tonight! Ms Sisco was played to perfection by JLo (Out of Sight, 1998) and the small screen incarnation is depicted by model/actress Carla Gugino. With the likes of Kathryn Bigelow (a former Mrs James Cameron) at the directing helm and co-stars Robert Forster and Bill Duke, the series has been well received by press plaudits.

No sooner has Apple opened its online doors to the iPod Store. You can now checkout the Amazon iPod Store from today!

Tuesday, 3 August 2004

Pinter pause

Please humour my self-indulgence, but not all gentlemen prefer blondes! IMDb Salutes "Hollywood Brunettes" and satiates my penchant for the dark side.

I have Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) in the majority of rooms in my home! Last week a Grundig GDT1500, which resided in the lounge, 'overheated' (less than a year old)! Ironically a Philips model (from the ONDigital era) remains in active service. So, I searched the net and selected a Sony VTX-D800U Freeview STB. A signature design. Sony updated the software to v1.11.01 U and the seven day EPG is now up and running. The VTX-D800U ships with one of the most intuitive remote controls I've ever used!

iTunes UK released its first single of the week today! The Tina Dico song Break of Day. It will only be available, free, for a limited time. iPhoto has been updated to 4.0.2 and iSync 1.5 is imminent.