It has to be said: I cannot WAIT to model these suckers for you on camera. I mean, just look at them! Tell me that this is not exactly what leapt to your mind back in the early 90s when you first started dreaming about the time when video glasses would rule the personal entertainment marketplace. Now, that time hasn't quite arrived yet, but MyVu is sure aiming to make it so. The company offers a line of Personal Media Viewers in the form of glasses that hook up to an external video source (such as an iPod) to … Read more
Just a month ago, home theater enthusiasts were clamoring Samsung's soon-to-be released BD-UP5000 HD DVD/Blu-ray combo player, which promised high-end features like HQV processing and the ability to decode DTS-HD Master Audio (after a future firmware update). But the BD-UP5000 was delayed, and now it's likely to face less demand considering Warner's decision to go Blu.
The same goes for Samsung's newly announced combo unit, the BD-UP5500. It appears that the main step-down from the BD-UP5000 is that it lacks HQV video processing, which … Read more
With its ability to deliver on-demand movies to your TV via a broadband Internet connection, the Vudu was one of the more promising home theater gadgets of 2007. The company is building on that momentum by adding a second, step-up model to its lineup: the Vudu XL. Physically, it's a near doppelganger of the original model--which remains available--but it ups the internal hard disk to 1 terabyte of storage. That's 4 times the size of the current version, and--according to Vudu--enough to store up to 500 standard-definition movies. The XL is also designed to be more friendly for … Read more
I'm reporting live from Las Vegas as part of CNET's CES 2008 Backstage Blogging Crew. This is my first trip to the world's largest tech show and I am eager to get a sneak preview of all the cool things that will coming out this year.
I arrived here in Las Vegas with an open mind rather than a long wish list. If I had to pose one preview question, it would be to wonder whether this is the year when digital photo and video finally converge into one oh-so-cool gadget. And if so, will it be … Read more
We live in a remix culture. Open source, user-generated content and its reuse, etc. But overly broad enforcement of copyright threatens to stifle the next generation of creativity and innovation, a new report from the Center and American University's Washington College of Law finds.
The study, entitled "Recut, Reframe, Recycle: Quoting Copyrighted Material in User-Generated Video," details how such video reuse fits into the Fair Use doctrine. NBC Universal and other copyright holders, however, are determined to reinterpret the law and this doctrine to the detriment of culture. Our remix culture. (Same as it ever was.)The courts tell us that fair use should be "transformative"--adding value to what they take and using it for a purpose different from the original work. So when makers mash up several works--say, The Ten Commandments , Ben-Hur and 10 Things I Hate about You , making Ten Things I Hate about Commandments--they aren't necessarily stealing. They are quoting in order to make a new commentary on popular culture, and creating a new piece of popular culture.
Big deal, you say? Consider the alternative.… Read more
Although it's barely creeping into the mainstream consciousness, I'm a big fan of music subscription services. All you can eat for less than the price of your average CD--what's not to like? Sadly, the average music listener usually has trouble reconciling the concept of "renting" with the music medium.
The same is not true when it comes to video services, which is why Vongo has the right idea. Pay a monthly fee of $9.99--less than the cost of your average DVD--for unlimited online access to a growing digital movie library. And if you happen … Read more
A new video streaming service called Qik has been getting some buzz lately. If you're familiar with UStream.tv, Veodia, and Comvu, the idea for Qik is similar: take a mobile phone with a video camera on a fast mobile connection, and stream video live for other people to watch. The service borrows a page from Kyte.tv and UStream in integrating live chat that allows broadcasters to interact with the users--although Qik steps it up a notch by letting the broadcaster simply reply using the phone's integrated microphone instead of having to type out text on the phone's keypad.
To compensate for network lag, the application will calculate the delay and show it in the corner of the screen. In testing over a 3G connection I got the delay up to about a minute, although if you're using the service over Wi-Fi, it's extremely nimble. You can also record videos for uploading later, when away from a data stream of Wi-Fi hot spot. The next time you connect, it'll automatically upload your video--which is a nice touch.
The beauty of Qik is that it's wonderfully simple to use and participate in. People viewing your video either via Qik.com or on a video embed can chat if it's live, and the second it goes offline, the player acts just like any other Web video, and turns the live chat into a comment thread. While the quality of the video leaves something to be desired when compared with Web video hosting services like YouTube, Viddler and Vimeo, it's limited to the mobile network connection and the often lackluster lenses found on camera phones. Qik's creators tell me there are plans to add a higher quality stream to the Nokia N95 and other high-end handsets in the near future.
The service is currently in private alpha, and limited to a range of Nokia phones on the S60 platform. The application itself is only a little over 300k, and downloads in seconds. We didn't get a chance to give it a spin over a slower connection like EDGE, but based on the 3G performance, you likely wouldn't want to. In the pipeline for future updates are mobile-to-mobile streaming (sending and receiving video), integration with social networking sites like Facebook, and additional handset support.
I've embedded an example of Qik after the break. You can also check out whoever's live streaming at the moment on the service's live page.
Last month, some of Silicon Valley's biggest names showed up at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., for the 25th anniversary of the Commodore 64.
What no one I heard mentioned, despite the presence of Pong designer Al Alcorn, was that October marked the 30th anniversary of what may have been an even more influential video game machine, the Atari 2600.
Now, over at GameSpy, Marty Goldberg has spun for us the story of the creation of that iconic console.
And when I say iconic, I do mean it. After all, who doesn't recognize the 2600'… Read more
According to the Financial Times, Apple and Fox have reached an agreement to serve up Fox's movies for rental on iTunes. If true, this would mark the first rental deal that Apple has been able to reach with a movie studio. In the past, they have distributed Disney movies online, but only for purchase at a higher price. Rumor has it that Apple has settled on the $2.99 price point for rentals, as opposed to the $9.99 or $14.99 price to own.
To promote the release of their new album, In Rainbows, Radiohead is debuting a pre-recorded hour long set on Current TV. According to Billboard, the program will feature Radiohead performing the new album in its entirety.
Radiohead is embracing the internet more than any other band out there today, from their much publicized "pay what you want" internet release of In Rainbows back in October to this news today. This New Year's Eve concert just solidifies their web presence. Radiohead is leading the way right now and I expect to see other bands start to follow suit … Read more