Mitsubishi's upcoming line of Unisen LT-249 LCD TVs were already notable for being the first flat-panel TVs with built-in soundbar speakers. But now the 46-inch and 52-inch models have a second bragging point: built-in support for Vudu. When the TVs hit retailers later in September, they'll have nearly all of the same streaming video features available in the Vudu BX100 set-top box. That includes access to YouTube, Flickr, Picasa, and Pandora online streaming as well.
Logitech is adding a touch-screen model to its line of Squeezebox streaming audio products. Unfortunately, the upcoming Squeezebox Touch has a design flaw (in my opinion) that will likely relegate it to the periphery of the burgeoning home digital audio market.
At first glance, the Squeezebox Touch has a lot to like. Basically, it's the trusty Squeezebox Classic, but with that model's monochrome vacuum fluorescent display replaced by a 4.3-inch color touch screen. Connect it to a stereo (or a pair of powered speakers), and you've got access to your entire home music collection (streamable from … Read more
Apple's Snow Leopard operating system, which hits the streets on Friday, has plenty of new technology--but one of its major new features will soon be available on Microsoft Windows, Linux, and other major platforms.
OpenCL, the Open Computing Language, was originally proposed by Apple to support parallel programming on GPUs. There are other GPU programming languages, such as Nvidia's CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture) extensions for C and the Brook stream program language developed at Stanford University and included in Advanced Micro Devices' Stream Computing software development kit, but rather than choosing one of these languages, Apple chose to create a new standard … Read more
In my business, I deal with all kinds of software from different categories and platforms every day. There's a lot of great software out there for every platform (and certainly some bad ones, too), but once in a while you find something so unique it truly shines. I wouldn't say the app I'm talking about today is the best game I've ever played, but the design, music, and interface are not really found in any other game and are truly something to behold on the iPhone. Let's just say, I've played plenty of iPhone … Read more
Facebook, it appears, was not about to let Google get this week's award for shadowy new projects. On Tuesday night, a number of users--including Mashable blogger Ben Parr--received notifications that they were beta testers for something called "Facebook Lite."
The notifications, as well as the site hosted on the subdomain lite.facebook.com, disappeared within minutes. It seems to have been rolled out prematurely by mistake.
"Last night, the test was temporarily exposed to a larger set of users by mistake," an e-mailed statement from Facebook representative Brandee Barker read. "We have … Read more
In its bid to put together a roster of compelling content, Roku has just acquired an ace.
Starting Tuesday, the set-top box--known to many as "the Netflix box"--will begin streaming Major League Baseball games. As with the current Netflix arrangement, you have to be a subscriber to the service, in this case MLB.com Premium, to access the content that normally would be available only on a PC or iPhone.
And while this is a boon to baseball fans, it's an even more important development for Roku. MLB.tv Premium is the first live content available on Roku's device, and by bringing that from the PC to the TV, the 50-person Saratoga, Calif., company is beginning to differentiate itself from similar consumer electronics products.
Roku currently has access to the Netflix Watch Instantly queue, as well as Amazon Video on Demand, which allows for rental and purchase of movies. More recently, Roku added content from Blip.TV and MediaFly, two content aggregators, for videos and podcasts.
MLB.tv will work the same way. It will be accessed via a new pane that can be reached via the small remote. Once a customer's account is synced, any live, out-of-market (as in, not your home team) game across the league can be seen, with the choice of both the home and away team's local broadcast feed. Games up to one week old are available in the archive, and previews appear of each team's scheduled games up to a week in advance.… Read more
Netflix might be planning to bring its "Watch Instantly" feature to new devices soon. Currently built in to several products, like Sony HDTVs, and very popular on the Xbox 360, the feature lets subscribers watch any of thousands of movies in the Netflix library on their TVs. There are no physical discs; the videos stream via Web connection.
And according to Afterdawn.com, which quotes unnamed executives familiar with the situation, the Nintendo Wii and Apple's iPhone platform are next on the list. The Wii is a fairly obvious choice as Nintendo has been pushing streaming or … Read more
It may be operating in a legal grey area, but Grooveshark is still my favorite on-demand music app--type in any song, artist, or album, and there's a pretty good chance that it's in Grooveshark's database, allowing you to begin playing it immediately. It's great not only for impulse listens, but also for creating playlists of songs you don't own and would never buy, like my favorite heavy metal hits from junior high school. So far, the lawsuit filed by EMI in May hasn't shut the site down or significantly decreased the number of songs … Read more
Now that Blu-ray has won the format war with HD DVD we can all relax and buy Blu-ray players and not have to worry about what physical format our disks are, right?
Maybe not. Besides outside pressure from the combination of high-speed broadband and HD streaming media, a new challenger has risen to seriously challenge Blu-ray's superiority. And it's based heavily on its oldest rival: HD DVD.
Meet China Blue Hi-definition Disk (CBHD), a new HD video disk format based heavily on Toshiba's HD DVD format. Toshiba has licensed its technology to the CBHD group for use in China. The format now has the official backing of the Chinese government and some analysts think it could be the global per-unit HD leader in as little as twelve months. It's already outselling Blu-ray in China.… Read more
Major League Baseball took another step in proving its technical superiority over the other three major sports leagues Wednesday, by connecting its wired MLB.tv subscription package with its At Bat iPhone application.
Beginning Wednesday, MLB will stream every single regular and postseason baseball game to fans via the $9.99 iPhone and iPod Touch application it initially released last year. Customers who already subscribe to MLB.tv and MLB.tv Premium packages--its online baseball viewing service--can now watch any game live from their phone or computer. The games will be streamed over the iPhone or iPod's Wi-Fi connection … Read more