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Archive for January, 2010

Keep Those Cables and Cords Organized!

Jan 30, 2010

In any home or office, cables are likely to be found tangled or just plain messy. If you’re dealing with a pile of cables that just seem to lead to nowhere, try using some of these quick and easy tips for organizing your electronics, as well as streamlining your cable usage.

  1. First off, don’t choose cables or cords that are entirely too long for your space. Go with a cord or cable at a length that’s comfortable enough to allow for a bit of movement, but not long enough to have to be coiled in a pile once your devices are set up.
  2. Use cable ties or cable bundles to keep cables separate and from getting tangled. These cable organizers are usually very cheap and can be found at a variety of electronic stores.
  3. Finally, replace any old cords and cables that you may not be using, or just store them away. If you have that extra component video cable still hanging off the back of your entertainment center, now is the time to let it go. Store your cables in a place where you can get to them if you need them, but don’t feel like you have to leave them out in the open.

What’s the Deal with HDMI 1.4?

Jan 21, 2010

Right now, there’s a lot of buzz around the new specifications for HDMI 1.4 and many home theater viewers are asking questions. Will I really need this new format of HDMI cable to watch 3D HDTV? How about Blu-ray 3D disks? Can I still use my existing HDMI cables and HDTV? The answers to all of these questions (until now) have varied depending on the source of information. On one hand, HD device makers said one thing. On another, disc makers said something else. It’s no wonder that consumers are frustrated.

To clear things up, recently interviewed Andy Parsons, Chairperson of the U.S. Promotions Committee for the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA). Just recently, the BDA announced finalization of the Blu-ray 3D specification and well as other technical aspects that will impact player manufacturers. Here’s what he had to say regarding some of the most common questions surrounding HDMI 1.4.

On the matter of having to get all new equipment up to the HDMI 1.4 specification in order to watch HDTV or Blu-ray in 3D, the answer is great news for many. According to Parsons, the answer is that you should be able to still watch Blu-ray discs in 3D as long as everything in the signal path is capable of handling the 3D payload, which means that, for example, HDMI 1.3a devices can be used if all components, including cables and HDMI switching devices (such as A/V receivers) are “High Speed HDMI.” To find out if something is high speed, you’d have to check with the manufacturer. You will, of course, need a 3D-capable TV to watch 3D, but that goes without saying.

To put it more simply, you can still keep all of your old HDMI stuff and it’ll still work once the 3D format is released. However, if you want to take advantage of new 3D technologies, you’re going to need HDMI components and devices that are high speed.

The Push2TV Will Change The Way You Use Your Laptop

Jan 19, 2010

Hooking up your laptop to an external monitor or screen is always a pain. You have to fumble with cords. You have to fight with connections. You have to get stressed over cables…until now.

At the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show, Netgear, in collaboration with Intel, unveiled the Push2TV (model PTV1000), the first Wi-Fi Direct-enabled device that links your laptop screen to a TV.

Unlike the normal fussing you do to get your laptop hooked to a TV or external monitor, the Push2TV uses Wi-Fi Direct to allow for multiple devices to connect peer-to-peer at the throughput and range of Wi-Fi, only without the access point. This new Wi-Fi technology is applied in the Push2TV to limit user involvement, as well as user frustration. Once hooked up, the Push2TV receives a signal from the laptop’s display and then uses an HDMI or composite video connection to play back that signal on TV. Simple, easy, and fast. What’s not to love?

According to official reports from CES, Netgear’s Push2TV adapter, combined with an Intel Wi-Di laptop, makes for a powerful combo for browsing and viewing things in a whole new way on a PC. According to Netgear, consumers will be able to display the vast majority, if not all, of the content from their computers on their TVs, from Internet surfing to high-definition content playback.

Highlights from CES: New Technology on the Way

Jan 12, 2010

The Consumer Electronics Show has revealed a lot about what tech companies are working on at the moment, and to keep you posted on some of the upcoming developments, here’s a quick list of some of the biggest previews getting the most buzz:

Project Natal
Project Natal is Microsoft’s response to way Wii has changed the way we play video games. This new technology will allow gamers to play without controllers by using a kind of camera “which provides full-body 3D motion capture, facial recognition, and voice recognition capabilities.” In short – this sounds awesome.

Hybrid Notebooks
Lenovo showed off a new hybrid laptop design at CES that could possibly provide insight into future tablet PC technologies. This device works as either a regular tablet computer, but can plug into a special dock to work just like a normal laptop.

Transparent OLED Screens
Samsung unveiled a prototype 14-inch notebook, complete with what’s being touted as the world’s first and largest transparent OLED prototype. With 40 percent transparency, this device looks incredibly promising for future OLED strives. Hmm…who do you think will be the first to take this to a TV size?

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