Popcorn Hour A-110: changes well worth extra $35

After Popcorn Hour announced an updated version of their media streamer, the A-110, we’ve been waiting to see if the changes really could make the great device any greater.  According to Crave UK, they have: for an extra $35 the biggest improvements are HMDI 1.3a, DTS downmixing and USB Target functionality.  In fact they describe the changes as “seriously worthwhile”.


Obscura Digital VisionAire 3D multitouch hologram

Obscura Digital, who specialise in interactive media, have released a video demonstrating their new VisionAire “multitouch” projection system.  The company themselves admit that it’s not exactly true multitouch, since there’s actually no contact involved; in fact, you gesture around in mid-air to control different windows and other objects.  Multiple people can use the system at the same time.

Check out the video demo of VisionAire after the cut


Freecom MediaPlayer XS: direct TV playback from USB drive

External hard-drives with connections to hook up direct to your TV aren’t anything new, but what if you’ve only got a standard USB drive?  Freecom’s MediaPlayer XS is a potential solution; a compact box with a USB 2.0 host port on one side and standard AV cables on the other, it allows for direct playback of MP3, WMA and WAV audio together with MPEG-1, 2 or 4 video files, including DivX, Xvid and more.


Toshiba Centrino 2 notebooks launch, including Cell-equipped G55

Fresh on the Centrino 2 bandwagon, Toshiba have launched their latest media-happy Qosmio entertainment notebooks, including the world’s first laptop with Cell Processor technology.  The three new models, which were first announced last month, comprise the G55, the F55 and the gaming X305, and all use Intel’s latest mobile platform.


SlashGear hands-on at Microsoft Surface Blogger Day 1: Video demo

Vincent has been hanging out with Microsoft at their latest Surface Blogger Event, getting hands-on with the company’s MultiTouch table.  All of the user experiences we’ve heard about over the past few months were out on show, including the Rio iBar gaming, entertainment browser and virtual mini-bar, and AT&T’s in-store use of Surface as a phone information and accessory tool.  They also demonstrated some of the table’s other talents, including its ability to photograph and display, in real-time, anything placed onto it – whether that be money, a drink or even a blogger’s face!

Check out the exclusive hands-on video with Microsoft’s Surface after the cut


Toshiba Qosmio multimedia notebook range updated

Toshiba has rolled out its latest updates to the company’s multimedia-heavy Qosmio range.  Top of the list has to be the new G50-series, which is the first to feature the SpursEngine processor (as seen with the PS3’s cell processor), here under the Quad Core HD Processor banner, for some serious media grunt.  Toshiba are quoting 10x faster video transcoding with the G50-series than a standard notebook from its stables, courtesy of the SpursEngine and NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GR 512MB graphics.  Storage options range up to 500GB space, and there’s Harman Kardon stereo speakers and subwoofer to go with the 18.4-inch widescreen display.


Monster Cable combo coax & wireless 1080p streaming

Monster Cables might be a contentious brand among those who pay a lot of attention to cables, but so far they’re the first I’ve heard to be planning a combination wireless HDAV and UWB-over-Coax system [pdf link].  Developed using Sigma Designs’ UWB technology, the so-called Monster Wireless Digital Express HD system will stream high-definition media from your DVD or Blu-ray player, DVR or cable tuner, and is capable of simultaneously upscaling the signal en-route.  Wirelessly the signal will reach up to 30 feet, while over existing coax cabling it will stretch to 330 feet.



tvCompass Ultimate Remote: WiFi, EPG & now ESPN content

Call your new remote control the “Ultimate Remote” and you’d better have some meat to back up the name, but that’s how tvCompass have decided to brand their WiFi-enabled universal zapper.  We first saw the device back in January at CES, and now the company have partnered with ESPN to launch both the remote and an exclusive media content service for users.  Sports-fans will be able to check out news and stats while they watch the game, as well as browse the EPG on the Ultimate Remote’s full-color 2.2-inch display.


Panasonic PZ850 HDTVs with YouTube & Picasa released

Panasonic’s latest range of web-enabled LCD TVs have finally launched in the US.  Announced back in January, the high-definition VIERA PZ850 is available in sizes ranging from 46 to 65-inches, and is compatible with Panasonic’s “VIERA CAST” multimedia content system.  That offers both YouTube videos and Google Picasa Web Album browsing on your big-screen TV, without requiring a media PC.


AMEX Digital RM-mp1 Wireless USB touchpad media remote

AMEX Digital have taken a break from making DVD and Blu-ray decks to unveil their new RM-mp1 remote control.  Using Wireless USB rather than IR or a proprietary RF link, the RM-mp1 works as a media remote, a presentation controller and for general PC control courtesy of the built-in touchpad and mouse buttons.  It’s also fitted with a USB pointer for momentarily dazzling anybody who tries to throw eggs at you during presentations.


Acer Aspire Gemstone Blue media laptops available now

Back in March, Acer rather breathlessly announced that they would be pretty much revolutionising the laptop market; in the end, they produced a new range of media notebooks, the Aspire Gemstone Blue, which while not exactly earth-shattering were still vaguely attractive and capable machines.  Now, two months later, the Aspire 8920 and 6920 are finally available in North America.  Both powered by Intel Core2 Duo T9500 processors, HD-resolution displays and optional Blu-ray drives, the 6920 has a 16-inch widescreen LCD while the 8920 has an even larger 18.4-inch 16:9 aspect panel.


Toshiba Cell-based SpursEngine to hit Qosmio notebooks this year

After teasing us back in January with a working prototype but no plan to implement it, Toshiba have changed their tune over their graphically marvellous SpursEngine.  Based on the same Cell CPU that gives the PlayStation 3 its graphical grunt, their SE1000 chip in fact contains four of those processors.  Toshiba have now confirmed that the SE1000 will be included in their own high-end multimedia laptops later in 2008, presumably the Qosmio G40.


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