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Sony Torne digital TV tuner for Japanese PS3 announced

Sony Torne digital TV tuner for Japanese PS3 announced

As well as the 250GB PS3, Sony Japan have also announced a new digital TV tuner peripheral for the console.  The Sony Torne will drop in March 2010, and offer Japanese buyers a way to watch digital terrestrial TV broadcasts on their PS3, together with PVR functionality that allows for recording content (either to the PS3's HDD or a connected USB 2.0 drive) even while the PS3 is being used for gaming, Blu-ray playback or just in standby mode.

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Toshiba ZX900 Series CELL TV getting 2010 US release

Toshiba ZX900 Series CELL TV getting 2010 US release

"CELL," says Toshiba about its new range of CELL TVs for the US, "makes everything better", and while we're not sure whether that includes lingering health issues we'll concede that the company's new ZX900 Series CELL TV certainly cheers up any mild Winter depression we're having.  The vast 1080p HD set will come in 55- and 65-inch versions, and the CELL engine apparently throws in 143 times the processing power you'll find in a regular TV.  As for what Toshiba does with all that horsepower, they use it to churn through their new True Super Resolution technology.

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Sony VAIO L Touch HD PC/TV multitouch all-in-one debuts

Sony VAIO L Touch HD PC/TV multitouch all-in-one debuts

"Touch me, touch me" sang 80s legend Samantha Fox, "I want to feel your body," and while the intentions of Sony's new VAIO L Series of touchscreen desktops may be different, the sentiment is just the same.  Announced alongside the skinny VAIO X, the L Series is being pushed - like other big-screen all-in-one PCs in Sony's past - as a hybrid HDTV and computer, though with its 24-inch 1920 x 1080 display, optional Blu-ray and optional TV tuners we suppose it does have more of a claim than most.  As for the touchscreen, that's used not only for Windows 7's multitouch functionality but to control Sony's own Media Gallery DVR app.

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Toshiba CELL REGZA 55X1 HDTV: 8 simultaneous time-shift channels

Toshiba CELL REGZA 55X1 HDTV: 8 simultaneous time-shift channels

Toshiba have announced their latest high-end LCD TV, and it's the first to include the Cell Broadband Engine for multi-channel display and DVR recording.  The Toshiba CELL REGZA 55X1 has a 55-inch, 5,000,000:1 contrast LED-backlit panel, with independent control over each of the 512 LED backlighting zones and 240Hz refresh.  It's accompanied by a processor box, housing the Cell goodies, which can pump out eight channels to be shown on-screen at once, time-shift up to eight channels simultaneously for 26 hours, or boot up a web browser based on Opera.

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Media Center for Windows Deserves Some Respect

Media Center for Windows Deserves Some Respect

When I first was briefed on the Media Center edition of XP by Microsoft, I thought MCE was a pretty bad idea. A lot of my skepticism had to do with the market they claimed they were going after, namely college students in dorm rooms and yuppies living in cramped apartments with no room for both TVs and PCs. Of course, college students mostly buy laptops, and no matter where you live most folks don't watch TV on a small computer monitor from across the room. The short-term market were enthusiasts who understood the value of a DVR such as a TiVo.

Over time, Microsoft tried a few approaches with MCE – from extenders to allow you to view content on other TVs in the home over your network, to creating extender technology for Xbox (which is already hooked up to a TV set) – as well as working with a host of OEMs to create "living room" form factor home theater PCs. The result of these efforts was less than a stellar success and few vendors actively build home theater PCs; these days, if a consumer uses media center they're either an enthusiast or they've tripped over it by mistake trying to do something else. That's a shame, as MCE has evolved over time to become a great technology, one that few people even know exist.

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