Yahoo-Microsoft buyout brawl, one-two punch with a swift comeback punch http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9916001-7.html http://www.news.com/8301-13953_3-9915835-80.html http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120776803032602423.html… Read more
(Updated 08-28-2008) Panasonic's plasma HDTV lineup for 2008 includes five total series, each with multiple screen sizes but identical features within the series. In case you're wondering, we have reviewed four models so far, the TH-46PZ85U, TH-42PX80U, TH-50PZ800U and TH-50PZ850U. Most models detailed below are available now, although the larger 58- and 65-inch models in the 800U and 850U series (the other series max out at 50 inches) will ship in September.… Read more
Update: Check out three related videos with more info on the forthcoming Apple TV upgrade: Steve Jobs comments during his keynote address; the video guided tour on Apple's Web site; and a summary from CNET's Donald Bell. This post has also been updated since its original publication with additional information.
The Apple TV just got a whole lot more useful.
Steve Jobs unveiled a major feature update to the Apple TV today during his Macworld keynote address in San Francisco that aims to transform the device from a TV-based iTunes media viewer to a more full-featured media-on-demand device. The hardware will remain the same, with the entry-level 40GB model dropping from $300 to $230, but a free software upgrade--available in two weeks--will add the following functionality:
What was arguably the biggest story of CES 2008 occurred three days before the show actually opened for business: Warner Home Video went Blu-ray exclusive, leaving just Paramount and Universal (and smaller DreamWorks) as exclusive HD DVD content partners. Indeed, in the days since, the issue of those studios following Warner's lead seems to be one of when, not if. Blu-ray seems on the verge of a complete victory in the HD disc format war to become the high-def successor to DVD. As a result, combo players--including a newly announced model from Samsung--were greeted more by yawns than … Read more
But this is the year, the company insists, that the long-awaited product will indeed be on sale. No specific date has been set, but the word is sometime in the second quarter. Though it originally planned to have it out in time for holiday sales, "… Read more
Microsoft has been investing in interactive TV for more than a decade, but as of this month, the company can finally say it has a million customers.
Right now, there about 1 million set-top boxes running Microsoft's Mediaroom IPTV software. In the coming weeks, Microsoft said it expects to also have more than 1 million homes using its software. (The difference between homes and set-top boxes stems from the fact that some customers have more than one set-top box).
There are a lot of reasons why unit CTO Peter Barrett expects the IPTV effort to start paying off even … Read more
Microsoft has been trying to work its way into the living room for some time. Now the company is trying to target the most easily wooed addresses: those belonging to its employees.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has an interesting write-up on how Microsoft is letting some of its workers try out elaborate digital living room set-ups to get a better sense of how its technology plays inside actual homes.
It's a start. But, of course, how Microsoft workers enjoy their own technology is often vastly different than how ordinary consumers do.
Microsoft also does plenty of field testing of its … Read more
Microsoft has quietly folded its Internet Protocol television, Media Center, and HD DVD efforts into a single organization, known as the Connected TV business group.
The unit, which is part of Robbie Bach's Entertainment and Devices division, is headed by Enrique Rodriguez, the VP (and former WebTV developer) who has been heading the IPTV effort. Peter Barrett, who was CTO of the IPTV unit, takes on that role for the unit.
The move, which took place in October, paves the way for the different technologies, all centered around the television, to work more closely together.
On the IPTV front, … Read more
I spent last week in San Jose, Calif., at Cisco System's annual analyst event called C-Scape. Since it snowed twice while I was gone, Cisco could have said nothing and it would have been worth the trip, but John Chambers and Co. made sure to fill the two-and-a-half days with loads of content. Unlike past Cisco events, which could have been held in an MIT engineering lab, this one focused on stuff way above Layer 3 in the old OSI stack. Cisco believes it can continue healthy double-digit growth in the future by focusing on:
1. Phat content: Think … Read more
When we reviewed the Vudu back in September, we said "only feature films are available, but Vudu says that TV shows are on the roadmap." Vudu made good on that pledge today, adding 12 TV shows to its content roster. Episodes are available for $1.99 each--the same price you'd pay for TV shows on Apple's iTunes Store.
TV content on Vudu is said to be "in beta," but it should be available to all Vudu owners as of today. The initial dozen shows offered are: 24, Arrested Development, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Family … Read more