By a bizarre coincidence, three attractive women each holding a Samsung portable device (an MP3 player, a PMP, and an an ultra-mobile PC) wandered into The Venetian Hotel, so the Korean manufacturer roped them into the demo of their new live-TV-anywhere-on-just-about-any-gizmo technology, which will launch here in the U.S. in 2008.
Remember those ethernet-enabled TVs I mentioned in my Netgear post not too long ago? Sharp has announced a new AQUOS Net service that will push handy content to viewers right in their home theaters, including real-time traffic and weather, plus comic strips and infotainment from NBC. Product-specific details can also be supplied to answer common questions about Sharp displays, all upon consumer approval of course.
Pre-matched and easy to install, Netgear's latest home networking accessory brings five-gigahertz power to wirelessly stream even high-definiton video across a high-speed home network, taking advantage of the latest Wi-Fi N developments. This is a boon not just for high-def gamers but also for the growing number of network-enabled HDTVs, providing content with virtually no lag, no jitter, and no interference, as demonstrated at their press event. The Netgear HD/Gaming Wireless-N Kit will be available later this month.
Industry legend Mark Levinson stopped by the LG Electronics press conference Sunday morning to bask in the glow of the PowerPoint presentation. Levisnon has partenered with LG to lend his audio expertise and improve the performance of upcoming TV and HTiB products. Partnerships with the ISF and THX were also announced, part of an aggressive new plan to step up the video quality of their displays.
As of the CES Unveiled official event this evening, Logitech is finally allowing us to write about their Harmony One Advanced Universal remote that they showed in New York late last year. I think about how much time I spend alone, just me and my remote, often in the dark, and I begin to appreciate just how much all of their nitpicking really benefits this traditional yet innovative design, from the shape and thickness of the buttons to the layout of the most frequently used keys and right down the sleek black design and matching recharging station.
Certain catch phrases from my youth have stuck with me more than others. I was never a "Where's the beef?" fan, but lately, the one that keeps coming to mind is, "I want my MTV." It's not so much for the images of hyperactive rock stars and animated moon missions so much as the underlying fervor with which individuals demanded their favorite programming. That could pretty much apply to all TV these days, as well as movies or even video games—and the options for a media-hungry generation have never been as varied, or as powerful. I won't call the Slingbox a revolution for the same reason I won't apply that term to my beloved TiVo. Their uses of technology are bold, but the Slingbox has been a tad slow to penetrate the mainstream, as was the DVR in its early years. The Slingbox, if you don't recall our November 2006 review, is a network-ready place-shifting device that streams the audio and video from a connected home theater component, making it available on a PC connected to the Internet. Rather than start a game of Me Too with the more established Sling Media, competitor Monsoon Multimedia has upped the ante in two significant ways that you can probably figure out from the moniker of this particular model from their HAVA line.
The modern horror maestro loves DVD, hates "torture porn."
Spend some time with the extensive bonus materials on any Eli Roth DVD, and you get his number pretty quickly. An aspiring filmmaker since the age of eight, he's now thoroughly enjoying his professional success. Off a total investment of less than $16 million, he's produced and directed a trio of gruesome, surprisingly funny horror hits, namely Cabin Fever, Hostel, and, most recently, Hostel Part II. Perhaps more DVD-savvy than any filmmaker I've talked to, he's now going Blu-ray with a new Director's Cut of the original Hostel, plus the home video debut of his killer sequel.
Whatever happened to portable TVs, anyway? I know my dad had one. It was a fairly bulky affair with a relatively small black-and-white screen. But the novelty eventually wore off; even the slenderized Sony Watchman didn't exactly take the world by storm, did it? Their allure is still undeniable, and they're certainly still out there, resting upon the knees of tailgaters and beachgoers. But shifts in the ways we use technology have also inspired the tech-savvy to put TV tuners into the omnipresent PC, conceivably turning a laptop into a portable HDTV, with a few caveats.
The art and passion of an actor/singer/producer. . . and director?
One of those great New York actors who just brings a smile to audiences' faces, the ever-affable Danny Aiello has been in front of the camera for more than 30 years with a string of memorable supporting and starring roles, and even an Oscar nomination for 1989's Do the Right Thing. He's also been in front of the microphone as an accomplished singer, and he's now behind the scenes with his own production company, Revolution Earth. Their first film, Shorty, shares the inspirational tale of a very special lifelong football fan at an impossibly friendly, small Southern college town. Shorty is now available as part of Mill Creek Entertainment's Reel Indies line, which showcases movies from smaller studios.