Tech Culture: Planet CNET: Wall-to-wall wide-screens
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Tech Culture: Planet CNET: Wall-to-wall wide-screens

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Tour Singapore's largest electronics store, see what French teens are watching on the Web, and get the scoop on Nokia's new music service.

[ music ] >> Welcome to Planet CNET. I'm Kara Suboy, reporting from San Francisco. On this show we find out what our CNET colleagues are buzzing about in different corners of the world. We start with John Chen in Singapore, who takes us inside a very impressive electronics store. And get this, it doesn't say Apple on the outside. >> The longest high definition TV wall, and the most sound rooms under one roof. Well [inaudible] electronics store, Audio House, has done something no other store in Singapore has, and it's hoping in Asia too. [ background music] Both claims have been registered with the Singapore Book of Records, the country's official keeper of record breakers in the nation. Let's mosey over to its new premises in River Valley to see what it's all about. The first thing you notice on entering the fifty thousand square foot store is HDTV wall to the left. We counted over one hundred and ten HDTVs lined up on the hundred and ten meter long wall. And get this, each TV has its own mini LCD displaying prices, and specifications. With all the illumination, this part of the shop can get a bit toasty. You fancy some mix and match? The trained sound technicians will help you put together a system. ^M00:01:14 [ music ] ^M00:01:19 The sound room that caught our eye was the Samsung room. This incorporated TV viewing distance to help buyers judge how big a TV they should get for their own rooms. >> After looking at mix and match across all brands, and we also offer a no obligation home trial for our customers. >> For that, the technicians will set up the system in the customer's house, and optimally calibrate it. The customer has a couple of hours to try it. However, if they change their minds, a fifty dollar transport fee will be incurred. In the meantime, if you're in this part of the world, check out these other initiatives from Audio House. ^M00:01:53 [ music ] ^M00:02:03 [ background music ] Like the digital ticker tape that runs around the store, which is used to highlight and [inaudible]. For now we found a better use for it. ^M00:02:10 [ music ] ^M00:02:18 >> By the way, I sure do love how the popular American game show, The Price is Right, plays on the Singaporean model TVs. Just like here in the U.S. Soon enough I'd expect to see some of those babies showing up on the Showcase Showdown. Turning to France, Louise Gehgan [assumed spelling] previews a new show that just might get teenagers to put down the remote, and pick up the mouse. >> Have you ever owned a secret diary? A place where you could express yourself when you felt happy, sad, or angry? Teenagers nowadays are not so much into writing anymore, or privacy either. As a matter of fact, they like sharing their own little world by their webcam, and having other people react and post comments. Hence, one of our TV channels called [inaudible], decided to join My Space to produce a series called The 20 Show, the adventures of four twenty year old fictional characters confiding their hopes, dreams, and fears to their webcam. The three minute episodes will be online on My Space until next February. After that, they will be broadcast on TV. This is the first show of this kind in France. So [inaudible] did not hesitate to invest five hundred thousand Euros in this program. Let's hope that the show will create the same buzz as Quarter Live did, which was very successful on the web, but unfortunately had to stop after being broadcast on NBC. I mean people love internet, and people love series. So shouldn't they love this? Good luck to them, and thanks for watching, I'm Louise Gehgan for CNET France. >> Yes, people love the internet, and yes people love series. So get all your friends to tune into Planet CNET, will ya? Finally we turn to Rory Reed from our U.K. office, where he shows off the cell phone service equivalent of a Vegas buffet. >> Hi, I'm Rory Reed from CNET U.K. And one of the most exciting new announcements on this side of the pond is the Nokia comes with music service. The idea is that you buy a Pay as You Go handset, and with that you get free unlimited access to over two million songs. It's kind of like a musical buffet where you eat as much as you like without spending a fortune. Well the positive aspects of it, you've got all the major labels on board, you've got some of the independent labels, it's just over two million songs at the moment on offer, and the end user, at least as we believe it right now, it's completely free with the phone. The service will eventually be compatible with a wealth of handsets, like the Nokia N958 gig, and the futuristic looking 5800 Express Music, which looks a lot like the iPhone. >> The phone that's on offer is a quite average handset, really. It's not got the sleek design of the iPods, it's not got the aesthetic appeal that the iPods have, and the you know, inherent call factor. So in many ways it's not so much of a competition to the iPod. >> Now you're probably thinking surely, people don't just give music away for free, there's got to be a catch, right? Not really. See each subscription lasts for a year, and you will need to either buy a new handset or a new subscription once that year's up. The good news is any music you've downloaded during that time can be kept for life, whether or not you renew your contract. The bad news is you can only play music on that particular phone, or on the specific PC you registered with the service. >> Well it primarily stops you from putting the music on an iPod, which 75% of the people who own MP3 players have. It restricts you to just one phone, and just one computer. And really, is that what anyone wants, less choice? >> So is this a serious threat to the iPhone? Probably not, in the short term at least. But give it a year or so when Nokia starts making some killer handsets, and Jobsie just might start quaking in his boots. I'm Rory Reed for CNET U.K. >> Glad you brought him up, Rory. But if you want to see more of Steve Jobs, tune into next week's Planet CNET, where we'll have the latest Apple laptop news, and it's sure to feature Jobsie. Thanks for watching this week's episode, I'm Kara Suboy reporting from CNET San Francisco. We'll see you next time.

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