It's a funny thing, television: no matter how many of our friends claim they'd rather read than watch, it turns out that most really do. Watch, I mean. At least, that's how it is with our weekly Download Music video report--the one where we sit in front of the cameras and ramble on about what we've been listening to lately. OK, we don't really ramble too much--the show's pretty short--but it is a chance for us to pass along tips on songs and albums that have been grabbing us lately. Personal favorites, and … Read more
While 1080p LCDs are nothing new, "Full HD" plasmas have only started to come on to the market this year. The new PS50P96 from Samsung is designed to redress the balance and make us fall in love with that glorious gas.
Samsung has added a whole bunch of features also intended to improve the viewing experience. Firstly, it is using a technology called "Ultra FilterBright" that is designed to reduce reflection on the screen in bright viewing conditions. In the past, plasma screens have been criticized for being too reflective, so it's nice to see … Read more
Most lightbulbs create light with a pair electrodes. Luxim does it with radio waves.
The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based start-up has come up with a way to get rid of the parts inside of high intensity discharge (HID) lamps that are often the first to fail. As a result, Luxim's LiFi (light fidelity) lamp provides more lumens per watt and lasts longer than competing products, according to the company.
In traditional HID lamps, high voltage pulses pass between two electrodes. The energy creates plasma from the ambient gases trapped inside the bulb and you get light. The electrodes, however, degrade … Read more
It's taken awhile, but that whole thin-vs.-thick thing between LCD and plasma TVs will soon be a thing of the past at this rate. The most extreme example of the LCD crash diet is a prototype that Sharp is reportedly calling the "future of television."
The reason for the boast is in the numbers: A 52-inch screen with a contrast ratio of 100,000:1 that weighs 55 pounds and measures only 20 millimeters thick (about 0.78 inches), about 80 percent thinner than most LCDs of that size on the market today. And just for … Read more
The subject of Sony remotes is a painful experience for some of us at Crave. Ever since we purchased what was touted as an uber-remote nearly a decade ago (the "Commander"), we've been scarred ever since. In addition to finding it virtually impossible to program, it has an exceedingly uncomfortable box-like form--it's like carrying around a small answering machine instead of a remote.
So it is with some trepidation that we view this new model on the Japanese market, a table remote that takes another squarish form at 3.8 by 5 inches. Unlike the Commander, … Read more
There have been some rumblings recently about the next generation of Ambilight televisions from Philips. A number of leaks have now provided model numbers and a few details about the new televisions.
From what we can gather, the new Ambilight technology will no longer just rely on reflecting colour on to a wall--instead, the light will be projected behind the screen as well as shine through the bezel of the TV. The question that we immediately have is: Will that be horribly distracting?
Early details indicate that one of the screens will be a 42-inch LCD, with full 1080p support, … Read more
Nearly a year after its first sightings, the $130,000 "Yalos Diamond" TV may finally have some competition--at least in the Department of Gaudy (otherwise known as DOG).
Speaking of abbreviations, we didn't know that LG stood for "Luxury Gold," as it does in the case of this 24-carat monstrosity. True to its moniker, the home theater system includes a 71-inch LCD in full 1080p high definition, as well as receivers, media players and a 500-watt sound all trimmed and plated in real gold, according to Aving. It's truly obscene.
The price of the … Read more
Last week the new "Baby Einstein" study came out suggesting that "educational" baby videos are ineffective teaching tools. The most memorable conclusion from one of the researchers: "I would rather babies watch American Idol than these videos."
Over the weekend I was invited to debate BabyFirst TV co-founder Sharon Rechter about the relative merits of these products. BabyFirst TV is a 24-hour cable channel that broadcasts "educational" shows aimed at infants and toddlers. Their programming includes the Brainy Baby video series, some of which were included in the recent study.
Unfortunately, a technical glitch meant I didn't get to participate in the discussion as planned, but preparing for the segment gave me a chance to examine the culture behind these products. Why are these videos so appealing to today's parents? As I thought about it over the weekend, and re-read Susan Gregory Thomas' new book Buy Buy Baby I came to realize that there is a perfect match between the marketing messages coming from companies like BabyFirst TV and Baby Einstein, and the culture and socialization of Gen X parents in particular. … Read more
The BBC's recently launched iPlayer, which allows eligible U.K. residents to download episodes of shows they missed on the telly, seems to be a magnet for complaints lately.
The Windows-XP only online service has already peeved Mac, Linux and Windows Vista users who can't, at least for the moment, get direct access (BBC has promised an upgrade this fall) and drawn protests over its use of Microsoft-produced digital-rights management technology.