Roku has pushed out the latest firmware update for its Netflix streamers, with 2.9-b1509 bringing 1080p HD support to the older Roku XR STBs and various other Hulu optimizations that affect all models. Hulu streams should now start playing quicker, and be more resilient to higher-latency networks.
Consider this my official holiday gift guide column. I'm not going to do a round-up of all my favorite gift ideas. I'm not going to recommend which phone you should buy, which laptop, which Lexus, or whatever. There are plenty of great gift guides to tell you all that (and I've even worked on some of those, myself). I'm not even going to recommend a specific product. I'm just going to tell you to buy a Blu-Ray player. I don't really know which one to buy, and I don't even have one myself. But it's become the number one item on my list, and it should be for you, too.
Texas Instruments has announced its latest mobile processor, the TI OMAP4440, a SoC packaging a pair of 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore CPUs along with two ARM Cortex-M3 cores to power-efficiently offload time-critical and control tasks. Coupled with the POWERVR 3D graphics engine, that provides a quoted 1.25x increase in graphics performance (including 2x faster HD video playback, with support for 1080p60 and 3D stereoscopic 1080p) and a 30-percent cut in webpage loading times.
Amidst the other hot topic that seems to be taking over the Internet right now, BenQ has released a brand new camcorder that, for those who love some pico projectors, may be an interesting addition to their holiday wish list. Packing in the features, inside a bright orange shell, the new DV S11 camcorder is only lacking one thing: a release date for the United States.
Oh my goodness! Vudu is back in a big way, yes? This most recent resurgence covers Panasonic's DMP-BDT350 (with full HD 3D), DMP-BDT300 (with full HD 3D), DMP-BDT100 (with full HD 3D), DMP-BD85, DMP-BD65, and DMP-B500 (the portable Blu-ray disc player). Starting November 24th, all of these devices will get complete access to the Vudu library - that is 4,000+ 1080p movies, all of them streaming, all of them promising to be totally frigging amazing. This system will work something like RedBox, with each title being available for $2 for a two-night rental. Firmware updates are on the way.
Today, Matrox Graphics Inc. officially announced, and unveiled, their brand new Matrox Mura controller board, which the company believes will be a new benchmark for collaborative video walls. The company is already busy showing off their new creation at the InfoComm Asia 2010 event, which is taking place in the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center. And, with the device's ability to provide downstream and upstream on a single board at four times the performance of its closest competitor, we imagine that it's getting plenty of attention over there.
Sony has officially come forward and announced their brand new PMW-F3 Super 35mm Camcorder, but we can still consider this a pretty early release, as one main component is still missing: the price. While we'll take the details where we can get them, when we're dealing with a camera of this capacity, we wish we could see what we might have to start saving up to. But, if you want to tease yourself, head on after the break to learn the details about this new camcorder.
Acer has injected some of their nettop DNA into a new network-capable media player, the Acer Aspire RevoView. The STB is capable of Full HD playback from local storage - either on memory card, USB drive or in the user-accesible 3.5-inch hard-drive bay - or streamed over the network via the RevoView's ethernet port.
Boxee and VUDU have announced a partnership that will see the former's media platform - including the upcoming Boxee Box by D-Link - gain access to pay-per-view titles from the latter's catalog. Up to 1080p Full HD content will be supported, together with Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround sound.
The PandaBoard Cortex-A9 OMAP4 developer board we mentioned at the start of the month has gone on sale, priced at a reasonable $174. Based around a dual-core 1GHz chip with 1GB of RAM, WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1, the PandaBoard supports 1080p 30fps output via HDMI and is intended to allow developers to whip up OMAP4-compatible apps in Android, Angstrom, Chrome, MeeGo and Ubuntu.