Tag - HD DVD
The third-generation Xbox could mark a symbolic switch in storage but also a step back for game ownership. Kotaku understood from a rumor source that it would keep an optical drive but jump to Blu-ray, allowing it to hold larger games and play offline HD movies. For Microsoft, it would be the footnote to the HD disc debate of the mid-2000s, where the company officially backed HD DVD but was forced to drop plans after Toshiba axed the format and eventually supported Blu-ray.
Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer may have inadvertently tipped off his firm's plans for an external Blu-ray drive for the Xbox 360 in a talk in advance of today's Windows 7 launch. The executive is doubtful that it will ever be built-in but does tell Gizmodo that an external Blu-ray drive will be an option. He doesn't provide details but is unexpectedly confident that the hardware is enroute.
Toshiba picked IFA to make its first real entrance into Blu-ray following last year's exit from HD DVD with both its first dedicated movie player and a notebook to match. The BDX2000 catches up with full BD-Live support for movies with Internet features on an Ethernet connection and an SD card slot for playing the user's own content, including H.264 (AVCHD) videos. A flip-down front door is rare in the breed and keeps the design uncluttered either mid-movie or when it's not in use.
Toshiba started the week by revealing that it hopes to join the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA). The company explained the move as a reaction to "recent growth" in the amount of hardware supporting Blu-ray along with high-enough demand from the public itself. If accepted, the Japanese firm plans to make both Blu-ray movie players, drives for computers and notebooks themselves using the large-capacity format.
Toshiba, which once vehemently defended the HD DVD high-definition format that eventually lost to Sony's prevailing Blu-ray, will soon release a Blu-ray player of its own, according to the Japanese paper Yomiuri. Toshiba should bring out its first Blu-ray player, likely in its home market of Japan initially, before 2010 rolls around. A Blu-ray recorder is also being considered for Japan, though there are no other details on this device.
Warner Bros. has launched a new trade-in program that allows owners of high-definition movies on the now-defunct HD DVD format to trade them in for the same title on the surviving Blu-ray format. Known as Red2blu, the promo lets owners trade up to 25 HD DVD titles produced by Warner for the same title on Blu-ray. A $4.95 charge applies to each movie, as well as the associated shipping and handling costs of $6.95 for each Blu-ray title.
CyberPower on Friday launched a duo of game PCs that all center on bundled GeForce 3D Vision glasses and Samsung's 120Hz, 22-inch 2233RZ LCD display needed to see the extra visual depth. They also both come with a GeForce GTS 250 video card that produces mid-range 3D capable of driving a stereoscopic 3D image.
Okoro Media Systems today signaled itself as one of the first home theater PC builders to use Intel's Core i7 platform for its systems. The TH550 as well as the GX100 and GX300 all use the new quad-core processors combined with faster video cards to produce systems that can both share content across multiple zones, including HD, and also play games on the same level as larger desktop PCs. Every model has dual analog and dual QAM digital tuners that let it pick up as many as four separate wired TV feeds; a separate over-the-air TV tuner catches free broadcasts.
Netflix recently informed its subscribers that, starting on December 15th, it would stop shipping movies on the HD DVD high-definition format. This is the final move in the company's backing of the winning HD format, Blu-ray, after Netflix announced back in February that it would stop purchasing movies recorded on the HD DVD format. In the letter to its subscribers, Netflix told them any current HD DVD title will be substituted with the same movie on standard DVD as of December 15th, making the transition seamless and not requiring them to take any actions.
Sony today reported that its profit had dropped approximately 47 percent in the spring quarter versus the same quarter a year ago, representing one of the company's steeper drops in recent history. The Japanese company chiefly attributes the company-controlled aspects of the shortfall to poor Sony Ericsson results, which saw the company's cellphone sales virtually flatten as customers turned away from its mid-range and high-end phones, which target the same camera and music fields as devices like Apple's iPhone, LG's Viewty, and Nokia's Nseries.
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WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R