Monday, December 17, 2012

A Great Computer Monitor Made by Apple?

In the world of computer monitors, there are many different manufacturers and hardware makers for consumers to choose from. The interesting thing is that a name most would not think of makes one of the world's best monitors...Apple.

While this may seem like the wrong place to be discussing and talking about an Apple product, the fact is that the 27-inch Thunderbolt Display is a computer monitor and is fantastic. With a resolution of 2560 x 1440 on a beautiful 27-inch LED display, the thunderbolt display is a "top-of-the-line" monitor.

The 27-inch Thunderbolt display is not only a great product because of its large, bright display but also because it has a built in webcam, speakers, and various I/O inputs such as USB and Firewire. The connection used to connect this display to a computer is the "new" connection developed by Intel, Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt is a new connection that is available on all new Apple computers and an increasing amount of PC's.

While this is certainly a great monitor that would make nearly any consumer happy, it does have certain drawbacks. The first of these would be price. The 27-inch Thunderbolt display costs an astounding $999. That price is sure to drive away many consumers as there are many great monitors and even "all-in-one" computers available for less. The other major drawback is that the connection type, Thunderbolt, is still a relatively rare connection, save for Apple products.

In the end, the 27-inch Thunderbolt display from Apple is a fantastic display that will really only be used by two different groups. The two consumer classes that will purchase this monitor are those that are diehard Apple fans that want a big display or those with money to burn that want an amazing monitor. It is hard to say that this is not a good monitor, since the specs are as good as you can get, but until the staggering price drops, it is hard to recommend it.

Source: Apple Thunderbolt Display

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sharp to Release World's Thinnest 4K Monitor

Sharp is planning on selling what it believes is the computer monitor industry's thinnest 4K computer monitor ever. The device itself is a 32", LCD computer monitor that measures only 3.5mm thick and is expected to come out in February, 2013. In addition to that, Sharp said that the new monitor would cost nearly ¥450,000, or roughly $5,500, when it is released in Japan.

The monitor uses Sharp's new IGZO technology and is capable of displaying up to 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, which is equivalent to four full 1080p HD screens. According to spokeswoman for Sharp Miyuki Nakayama, "We are hoping to launch around the same time globally. This is aimed at computer designers, architects, medical users - those types of people."

The monitor will come with dual HDMI hookups, allowing you to connect both your PC and a Blu-ray player or gaming console and even has hookups for external speakers. Sharp is promoting IGZO display technology, which gains its name from the indium gallium zinc oxide semiconductor on which it is based. Sharp will also launch its first smartphone and tablet devices with the same technology in Japan. Two of the main features of this technology are the low energy consumption and prolonged battery life for mobile devices.

Sharp also said that using this technology in the new monitor allows for an extra-thin design die to the fact that the technology requires less backlighting than other methods and can be "edge lit" to avoid bulkiness. Sharp initiated mass production of IGZO screens earlier in 2012.

Television makers across the world are slowly distributing 4K televisions, though there is little in the way of appliances. Sony has already announced that it is planning on revealing the world's first 4K Ultra HD delivery solution while offering exclusive Hollywood content to buyers.

Source: PC World - Sharp to launch world's thinnest 4K monitor for about $5,500

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

AOC Debuts Nearly Borderless Computer Monitor

AOC recently announced a brand new computer monitor that comes with a 23" panel that has been described as "virtually borderless". That description seems pretty accurate if the pictures of this monitor are anywhere near accurate. You can tell from the image above that the borders can barely be discerned around the screen, which is quite a feat if you ask me.

The new AOC monitor is known as the i2367fh, with AOC saying that it will work for normal computing needs as well as gaming. In addition to that, the company stated that the high-performance panel also uses In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology and has a dynamic contrast ratio of 50,000,000:1 along with an integrated HDMI port and built-in speakers.

The integrated HDMI port means that this monitor can also be used as a television, allowing you to connect any type of game console or Blu-ray player, making it a multifarious device. The bezel around the screen is also only 2mm thick. The stand is metallic and hook-shaped, allowing you to choose between two different modes of viewing.

These two viewing modes include a photo frame style without the base with the hook shaped stand functioning as a normal computer stand. The screen is also full 1,9209 x 1,080 HD and has a 5 ms response time. Moreover, the screen also supports 16.7 million colors and has a VGA input. The display is currently available for $199.

This is quite a revolution in computer monitor technology. Companies are trying harder and harder to make seemingly borderless computer monitors and AOC seems to have succeeded. I think it would be cool to watch a movie or play a game on a computer monitor with almost no border. I feel like the picture would seem to be floating, giving it a cool, futuristic vibe that would sit well with gamers and movie enthusiasts.

Source: Slash Gear - AOC unveils new 23-inch i2367fh IPS monitor with thin border

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dell Unveils 23 inch, Windows 8 Compatible Touchscreen Monitor

With the slew of new Windows 8 devices and accessories flooding the consumer marketplace, Dell has decided to not be left out of the game. Dell has released a new 23-inch, touchscreen monitor that is sure to make an impact and be an intriguing offer for consumers.

The new monitor, called the S2340T, is a 23-inch touch display that features 1080P resolution, adjustable positioning, and 10 points-of-contact. The beautiful display features edge-to-edge glass that is sure to be a great experience for users interacting with the touch interface.

This new touchscreen monitor also includes a few peripheral ports that help with compatibility. Included ports are DisplayPort, HDMI, Ethernet, and USB 3.0. Dell is also including a set of stereo speakers in the monitor. 

Dell now joins the ranks of LG and other manufactures as makers of new touch-enabled monitors. Because Windows 8 is such a radical change in design and relies heavily on touch interaction, manufacturers are lining up to produce displays that will meet consumer demand. New features such as the "Start Screen", the "Charms Bar", and others are designed for and work best on touch enabled devices.

While Windows 8 is certainly geared toward a new generation of computing products such as tablets, slates, and hybrid laptops; traditional desktops are not completely left out of the game. This new monitor from Dell is one of the prime examples of a combination of the old (traditional desktop) with the new (touch screen monitor). This is a great resource for those users who want to keep the power of their traditional desktop, yet take advantage of the great "touch focused" features of Windows 8. 

Because this is a relatively new product, it remains to be seen how sales of this monitor will be. While many people who embrace Windows 8 will do so by buying a new computer, many will simply upgrade their existing one. For those that have a desktop, or laptop for that matter, and want to upgrade to Windows 8 and take advantage of the "touch features", look no further than the new S2340T from Dell. 

If you are interested in the latest computer monitor news, remember to check out A Monitor Blog. Also, if you cannot afford a brand new computer or need one in a hurry, consider Computer Rental.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

LG Unveils New Windows 8 Optimized Touchscreen Monitor

With Windows 8 officially released to the public it is time for computer manufacturers, along with manufacturers of computer peripherals, to start embracing the way of touchscreen technology. One such manufacturer that has done this is LG. LG has just announced its Touch 10 ET83 monitor that has been designed with Windows 8 touch capabilities in mind.

This new monitor from LG provides access to a whole host of cool touch features without forcing you to go the route of an all-in-one computer, like most touchscreens these days tend to do. In addition to that, this new offering from the company means that you have the option of upgrading to Windows 8 and utilizing the touchscreen mechanics without having to upgrade your entire PC to an all-in-one, all you have to do is upgrade your monitor.

One of the most common touchscreen motions is the two-finger drag technique, which most people will be familiar with if they have a touchscreen smartphone or tablet. However, the LG 10 goes far beyond that. This touchscreen allows you to utilize all 10 fingers when performing motions, allowing you to perform things like dragging and rotating multiple things at the same time.

The monitor itself is fairly small in thickness, though it is also very nice to look at thanks to an IPS (In-Plane Switching) panel and a 1,920 x 1,080 full HD resolution. Other features include an on-screen keyboard, support for a capacitive stylus and options for a ton of touch-friendly apps that can be downloaded from the Windows Store.

According to Executive Vice President and Head of LG's IT Business Unit J.J. Lee, "This is a compelling new product that re-imagines the touch experience and shows that LG is an industry leader in developing the next generation of touch monitor products. Smartphones and tablets have already proven that consumers are ready to fully embrace touch features. Our 10-point touchscreen takes it one step further by exponentially expanding the range of interactive possibilities. We believe this technology will excite and inspire software developers and users alike."

The one thing LG hasn't revealed about the 23" monitor is when it will appear on store shelves in the United States or how much it will cost when it gets here. The one thing the company did say is that it plans on making this device available to Korean customers first, beginning next month, with European markets and others to follow soon.

Source: ChannelproNetwork - LG Shows Off 23-inch Touch Monitor for Windows 8
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Monday, November 5, 2012

Windows 8 Brings a New Wave of Touch Screen Monitors

With the release of Windows 8 to the world less than two weeks ago, Microsoft also signaled a new wave in the world of computer hardware, touch screen monitors. Because Windows 8 is a very "touch friendly" operating system, many hardware manufacturers are lining up to produce monitors that take advantage of the new OS. Electronics giant LG, for example, is releasing a new 23 in. touch monitor optimized for Windows 8. The new monitor also allows for 10 points of contact over the traditional two points allowed on tablets and smartphones.

With so many new touch enabled features in the update to the world's largest computer operating system, customers should see many new options in the computer monitor market. Computer monitors have traditionally not been touch enabled. While there have been a few exceptions, touch screen monitors have either not been very good or not been needed. With new features in Windows 8, including the new start screen with touch enabled "live tiles" and gestures to control applications, touch screen monitors are suddenly becoming a necessity. While Windows 8 can and does work fine with a traditional mouse and keyboard on a traditional computer monitor, it is certainly geared toward a touch screen. Having a monitor that is touch enabled will allow for an easier interaction with the content on screen, and will make getting around Windows 8 much easier.

While it remains to be seen how many new touch screen monitors are introduced as standalone products, there are already more "all-in-one" computers out than ever before. For people upgrading from a traditional desktop, a computer with a separate monitor and tower, the future should be bright. Hardware manufacturers are aware that many people do not have all-in-one PCs, and that many people will want the touch screen interaction without buying a whole new computer. So if you are one of the many wanting to upgrade to Windows 8 and take full advantage of the touch enabled features without buying a whole new computer, don't worry, touch enabled monitors are on the way. To find out about all the new releases of touch enabled monitors, keep checking out A Monitor Blog.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

New Vizio E-Series 60" LED HDTV Available Now

Vizio recently announced a new line of sleek and slim HDTVs. This collection, which is highlighted by the E-Series 60" Class Razor LED Smart TV, also includes the E-Series 70" Class unit and the M-Series 55" and 65" Class units. The newly designed E-Series 60" model gives customers an ultra-thin, slim-frame design along with full 1080p LED HD and Vizio Internet Apps. What's even better is that the E-Series 60" is already available.

According to Chief Technology Officer for Vizio Matt McRae, "The new E-Series units, which are the first of many large-size Vizio models, give consumers access to great technology on an even bigger scale. The larger units provide more screen space with a narrower border around the picture, allowing consumers to get the most out of the crystal-clear Razor LED picture for a more immersive, WiFi enabled experience."

The E-Series 60" is loaded with all the latest technology that Vizio has to offer including Vizio Internet Apps with WiFi. The Vizio Internet Apps give you access to things like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, VUDU, YouTube, Pandora, Facebook and Twitter without the need for an external piece of hardware, like a computer or video game console.

Tamaryn Pratt, Principal for Quizel Research, added, "'Vizio's 60' is a Smart TV with the thin LED design that consumers prefer, at a price that would have only bought you a 42" CCFL TV in October 2009. Vizio has been able to drive the price down for consumers, allowing them to enjoy the latest features and a slim design on a larger screen, at a great value. With a 60" TV offering more than twice the screen viewing area of 42" TV, now is the perfect time for consumers to trade up."

Source: The Sacramento Bee - Vizio Unveils New Large Screen, LED HDTV Models Available Now
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Maingear Debuts Powerful All-in-One Alpha 24 Super Stock Gaming PC

The hardest thing about successfully creating an all-in-one gaming PC is that there is a lot of powerful hardware that you have to try to fit into a small space. That is why most all-in-ones have typically been unsuccessful in their attempts to bring semi-portable, space-saving PC gaming to customers. However, that hasn't stopped Maingear from designing the Alpha 24 Super Stock, the first true boutique all-in-one gaming PC.

The highlights for the Alpha are pretty good. The device comes with an Intel Core i3 3240 3.4GHz, upgradeable to an Intel Core i7 3770K, as well as up to 256GB Crucial M4 mSATA SSD and up to 3TB mechanical HDD. In addition to that, the Alpha comes with a full-size Nvidia GeForce GTX 650Graphics, which can be enhanced to a GeForce GTX 680. Expansion slots also include two mini PCIe slots and one PCIe x 16 slot.

Of significance here is definitely the graphics card. You don't usually find full-sized graphics cards and PCIe expansion slots in an all-in-one PC. The display itself is a 24", 1,920 x 1,080 full HD touchscreen LCD monitor.Other features include an HDMI input, Nvidia's Synergy technology, power-saving Optimus tech and an optional CableCard tuner.

Despite all that, it is still hard to look past the graphics card. Some all-in-one vendors might throw in a laptop-quality graphics card, but Maingear is the only provider offering a full-fledged desktop 3D card in an all-in-one PC that is aimed right at the hearts of PC gamers. Adding that to the fact that you can upgrade that card further drastically increases the Alpha's race from extinction.

The Alpha 24 Super Stock from Maingear is currently available for purchase with Maingear estimating a two-week shipping time for special built-to-order units. Base price for the device before any customization options rounds out to $1,399, which isn't too bad for a gaming PC, especially one with 3D capabilities.

Source: CNET - Maingear introduces first boutique gaming all-in-one PC

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

ViewSonic Debuts New Android Smart Display and 27" LED Monitors

ViewSonic recently celebrated its 25th birthday and did so in good fashion by unveiling a set of three display products in London. The unveil included the VSD220, a 22" Android-based Smart Display, the VP2770-LED, a high resolution 27" monitor targeted towards graphics professionals, and the Pro9000, a full-HD hybrid laser/LED home cinema projector.

Most people may get a bitter taste in their mouth when they hear the term Smart Display thanks to the short-lived 2003-vintage WiFi-linked thin client technology that was released for Windows XP. In fact, CEO of ViewSonic James Chu even referenced the company's less than stellar airpanel V150 in his opening remarks. Thankfully, the VSD220 is a different product entirely.

The display part of the product is a 21.5" LED-backlit touchscreen monitor with a native resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 full HD while the smart side consists of a dual-core 1GHz TI OMAP 4430 processor with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. In addition to that, the device runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Internet connectivity consists of WiFi 2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n or Ethernet with Bluetooth 2.1 and USB 2.0 built-in for attaching keyboards, mice or any other type of peripheral.

This monitor also comes with a micro HDMI port, allowing you to turn this smart display into a more traditional monitor. The kickstand for the device can also be set back pretty far, which allows you to put the touchscreen at a reasonably comfortable angle. The VS220 should be available in Europe in mid to late October for an estimated price of around $578.

ViewSonic also unveiled the VP2770-LED, which, as I mentioned earlier, is targeted towards professional digital design customers. This device is a 27", slim-bexel IPS monitor with a class-leading maximum resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels. The monitor offers wide viewing angles in both vertical and horizontal planes and is capable of delivering 10-bit color, which is 10.7 billion colors, in case you were wondering.

This monitor comes with VGA, HDMI, dual-link DVI-D and DisplayPort inputs along with five USB ports. The stand is capable of swiveling and pivoting from landscape to portrait mode, adding extra functionality that you don't get with most monitors. The monitor is said to be shipping in October as well for an estimated price of around $739.

Source: ZDNet - ViewSonic launches 22-inch Android Smart Display

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

LG Debuts Extremely Wide EA93 Monitor at IFA 2012

LG recently debuted a rather strange looking monitor before displaying it at this year's IFA 2012 conference. The monitor itself is designed with those who like to multitask in mind as well as people who really enjoy watching movies on their computers. Known as the EA93, this 29" monitor comes with a 21:9 aspect ratio, which is also the same ratio used in movie theaters, as well as a native WQHD resolution of 2,560 x 1,080, which makes it perfect for watching Blu-ray movies or gaming without having to deal with distracting screen bezels that typically come with multi-monitor setups.

In addition to movie buffs and multitaskers, the EA93 is also targeting photographers, multimedia professionals and others. The large frame and the ability for the screen to be split are some of the more appealing features for these users. The screen-splitting feature allows you to break up the display into four different segments and also allows for a variety of customizing options. What's more is that the Dual Link-up function also allows two devices to be connected to the monitor simultaneously, like your computer and a video game console, for example.

The EA93 also comes with a response time of 5ms and a 178-degree viewing angle, both horizontally and vertically. As far as connectivity options are concerned, the EA93 comes with one DVI-D Dual port, two HDMI ports, four USB 3.0 ports, one DisplayPort, PC audio in and headphone out. There is also support for Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL), allowing you to mirror the contents of your smartphone or tablet while simultaneously charging it as well.

Unfortunately, LG has yet to announce an exact release date, nor have they given out exact pricing information either. However, the EA93 wasn't the only thing that LG debuted at IFA 2012. In addition to this monitor, LG debuted the EA83, a 27" IPS monitor with a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution that will sell for €800, or a little over $1,000 USD. This monitor comes with a 16:9 aspect ratio and features a plethora of ports, including one DVI-D Dual, HDMI and USB 3.0.

Source: TechSpot - LG shows off extra-wide 29-inch, 21:9 monitor at IFA
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

AOC Launches New 27" LED Backlit Monitor

AOC, which is probably not as well known among casual PC monitor customers, has been around for quite some time and controls the market of lower priced computer monitors that still have most of the features people want and need. Well, the company recently announced the launch of a new computer display known as the e2752Vh. This device comes with a 27" screen and utilizes LED backlighting which targets PC gamers and home theater enthusiasts who are looking for great image quality at a more affordable price.

The e2752Vh will sell for $249.99, including a $50 discount, from August 11 through August 17 at select retailers. The discounted price can be acquired from TigerDirect along with The normal price of the display is $299.99 while AOC promises that the device is able to handle the grind of computer gaming with a gray-to-gray response time of 2ms. In addition to that, the quick response time should create crisp, clean graphics during fast action sequences in movies and video games.

The screen itself can display 16.7 million colors and can also be wall mounted using a standard VESA 100mm mount. Connectivity ports face outwards instead of downwards, which makes thing much easier to connect and disconnect when you need to. The e2752Vh also includes an Off Timer that sets an alarm clock to turn the screen off automatically whenever you want it to. AOC also ships the screen with Screen+ software, allowing it to be divided into four separate work areas.

Overall resolution for the monitor is full 1,920 x 1,080 HD at 60Hz with a 16:9 aspect ratio. The Dynamic contrast ratio for the screen is 20,000,000:1 with brightness rated at 300 cd/m². Connectivity options include DVI-D as well as HDMI out, both of which support HDCP for protected Blu-ray content, and a pair of internal 2.5-watt speakers are integrated into the design, allowing for sound without the need of external speakers.

If you are looking for a nice-sized LED backlit monitor that isn't extremely expensive, especially one that can double as an HDTV, then the e2752Vh from AOC is definitely something you should look into. If you are also looking for any kind of lower-priced monitor for your PC, AOC is the brand for you. Low-price monitors are this company's specialty and sometimes more expensive doesn't always mean better.

Source: Slash Gear - AOC launches new 27-inch widescreen e2752Vh LED backlit monitor
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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

ViewSonic Debuts New VA12 Eco-Friendly Series

ViewSonic has just announced the latest products that the company will be offering as part of the brand new eco-friendly and affordable VA12 Series, which includes the all new VA1912m-LED and VA2212m-LED monitors. According to ViewSonic's LCD Monitor and PC Product Marketing Director, "Selecting a value series display doesn't mean having to settle for less. Our VA12 Series is a feature-rich line that delivers impressive contrast ratios, video connectivity and leading product and pixel warranties perfect for both consumers and businesses because we are confident in the quality of our displays, no matter their price point."

The VA2212m-LED is perfect for SMBs, government, education and consumer markets, as well as users that are looking for a stylish monitor at a cost-effective price. The monitor itself is a 22" full 1,920 x 1,080 HD widescreen LED monitor that goes all out on the features. This monitor offers a 10,000,000:1 MEGA Dynamic Contrast Ratio, OptiSync digital (DVI with HDCP) and analog (VGA) inputs in addition to two integrated 2-watt speakers.

In addition to that, this monitor offers ViewSonic's Eco-mode feature for extended display life, is mercury-free, has energy savings of up to 40% when compared to regular, equally-sized monitors and is perfect for anybody who is concerned with maintaining a low total cost of ownership. The VA12 Series also comes with a lot of useful features, like automatic aspect ratio adjustment to ensure content is optimally positioned and sized for screen viewing, standard. If you are looking for a smaller 19" model that is still eco-friendly then the VA1912m-LED 1,366 x 768 monitor is perfect for you.

Both the VA2212m-LED and VA1912m-LED come with a 3-year limited warranty standard along with the industry's best pixel performance policy. The VA2212m-LED should be available in North America now for $149 with the VA1912m-LED available in the middle of August for $125.

Source: TechPowerUp - ViewSonic's New VA12 Value Series Displays Deliver Style and Substance
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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Gunnar Glasses: The Technology Eyewear for Habitual Computer Users

If you are like most office workers or tech junkies then you probably spend at least eight hours a day in front of a computer screen. Your eyes can only take so much artificial light and between the lights in your cubicle and the shine from your computer screen, things can get pretty tiring. However, you can now decide to give your eyes a break by opting for a pair of Gunnar glasses, "stylish" glasses that tout themselves as being "technology eyewear".

These glasses, with yellow-tinted curved lenses, are supposed to reduce the fatigue your eyes face when you spend immense amounts of time at your computer. But how well do they work? Most things like this barely seem to work and are more like a cheap gimmick. However, reports from multiple tech outlets are saying positive things about the Gunnar glasses. Many reports state that the glasses allow you to see your computer screen better, reduce squinting and keep your eyes feeling less tired than they usually would.

One of the best things about these glasses is their price. In a world where a pair of prescription glasses can cost as much as $300 or more, the Gunnar glasses can cost as little as $79 or as much as $189, depending on which kind you get. If you are really into these things then you can even pay a little more and have your glasses made with your prescription so you don't have to wear your own eyeglasses in addition to the Gunnar glasses.

According to Gunnar, the glasses help computer users in a variety of ways. The yellow tint of the lenses softens the high-intensity energy that monitors and fluorescent lights emit, making your overall environment seem warmer and less harsh. The one drawback here would be that the yellow tint affects how you see color. If you have a job that requires you to distinguish colors that are very similar then these glasses may make that difficult. However, Gunnar has stated that it makes lenses with a Crystalline tint that doesn't interfere with color perception.

The curved shape of the lenses also serves a two-fold purpose according to Gunnar. The first thing is that the lens focuses specifically on the distance at which most people view their computer screens. In addition to that, the curve helps trap humidity near the eye, which is useful because most offices have chronically dry air that tends to dehydrate peoples' eyes.

Gunnar glasses seem to work pretty well, especially if you are a habitual computer user and spend hours and hours on your computer everyday like I do. If you are finding your eyes becoming tired or stressed while working at your computer, I'd consider giving a pair of Gunnar glasses a try, if anything, they will make you the most stylish looking employee in the office.

Source: PC World - Gunnar Optiks Computer Eyewear

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Panasonic and Sony Join Forces for Mass Production of OLED TV Panels

Sony and Panasonic recently announced that they have decided to team up to create mass production technology for super high-resolution TVs based on OLED technology. The companies said that this is also part of a concentrated effort to drive mainstream adoption and revive the companies' struggling television businesses. Panasonic and Sony are aiming to develop an effective way to print large panels that use OLEDs by 2013, according to a statement from the two manufacturers. In addition to that, both companies signed an agreement that includes sharing their technology and jointly researching mass production techniques.

Televisions based on OLED technology are widely considered to be superior to LCD televisions, which are currently the mainstream standard. The only downside is that OLED TVs are much more expensive than LCD TVs. OLED TVs are capable of producing their own light which means they do not require backlighting like LCD TVs. This means that they can display darker blacks and use less power while also providing better contrast and brightness in a much thinner frame.

In theory, OLED TVs can also be manufactured more efficiently than LCDs due to the fact that they can be printed straight onto a base material whereas the liquid crystal of the LCD screen is usually injected into tiny pockets. OLED screens are even widely used in phones and tablets nowadays, though cheap mass production of OLED TVs is still a major hurdle that needs to be overcome.

Sony debuted the world's first OLED TV back in 2007 with an 11" model that was only 3mm thick. The device initially wowed consumers and techies alike, though that enthusiasm was quickly tarnished by the device's $2,000 pricetag. Samsung and LG have both showed off super-thin 55" OLED models this year with Samsung stating that its TV will go on sale during the second half of 2012 in Korea for about $9,000. As a comparison, LCD TVs from Samsung that are the same size cost about one-fifth of that price.

Sony and Panasonic both saw record losses in the last fiscal year as costs increased in their TV businesses, with prices for LCD TVs dropping significantly. However, despite the depressing numbers, both companies have stated that they will not abandon the flagship product, even though efforts to revive sales through features like 3D and networked services have yet to generate any real profits for either company. Sony  stated that it will continue to contribute its knowledge and research into OLEDs, while Panasonic said it currently has production equipment and know-how that should be applicable to large-screen OLED TVs. 

Source: PC World - Sony, Panasonic to Team up to Mass-produce OLED TV Panels
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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Samsung Debuts New Smart Station Monitor

Samsung Electronics Philippines Corporation (Sepco) is trying to further strengthen its top position in the smartphone, tablet and PC industries with its introduction of the Samsung Smart Station monitor, a central hub that connects all of your devices into a notebook PC. According to Business Unit Director of IT for Sepco Eric Sulit, "We are No. 1 in those categories in the first quarter of the year. We are making these products work very well."

Sulit noted that the Samsung Galaxy Y outsold all other feature phones in the market last holiday season and added, "This was the No. 1 selling phone during the last holiday season." Sulit also mentioned that Samsung also holds the top spot in the computer monitor market with over a 40% share. "Our engineers have been working overtime to produce a monitor that will improve how one uses it. The end result of their work is that in a single connection you can connect your PC to your mobile phone, to your printer, to your keyboard and to your mouse."

The Samsung Smart Station monitor does way more than simply display images from a PC. A single USB connection allows you to dock the PC to a 24" full HD monitor complete with keyboard, mouse, external hard drive disk or printer. In addition to that, the monitor has a mobile HD link that allows you to display the mobile phone's content on the monitor as well. Another feature is the mobile control. The keyboard and mouse can be used to control a smartphone as well, adding extra usability.

Samsung also debuted its wireless printer along with the Smart Station, which prints documents via WiFi, even if there isn't a nearby router. The printer also allows wireless scanning as well. According to Sulit, "Now you can scan, save and print using your Android or iOS smartphone or tablet." The printer, which is also a monochrome multi-function laser printer, has the ability to send faxes as well, making it a true multifarious device.

Samsung is seeking to maintain the number one spot in the PC, smartphone, tablet and monitor industries and they may be very capable of doing so, especially with the release of such devices as the Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone and this new Samsung Smart Station monitor. The Samsung Smart Station monitor runs for around $400.

Source: Business Mirror - Samsung aims for top post in IT market with new offerings

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Samsung and Sony End HDTV Discounts in Stores

Got your eye on a slick Sony or Samsung HDTV that would totally bring your entertainment center together? Does the price seem a bit too high for your bank account? Are you waiting for Black Friday or some other day when that set goes on sale? If you answered yes to that last question then I have some bad news. Samsung and Sony have both announced that they will not allow retailers to sell their HDTVs at discounted prices below the suggested retail price of the device.

Discounts on things like HDTVs are amazing for consumers, though retailers don't particularly like the idea of discounts, especially amid dwindling profit margins. That is why Samsung and Sony have decided to force retailers to drop the heavily discounted pricing schemes in hopes of boosting profits and making more money. The Wall Street Journal reported first that Samsung and Sony were introducing new pricing plans that were specifically designed to increase the lackluster prospects of big name retailers like Best Buy while also trying to help other physical stores compete with online retailers that typically charge less for HDTVs.

This new pricing policy from both companies went into effect last month and prevents stores from advertising or selling Samsung and Sony TVs for less than prices that have been set by the manufacturers. Unfortunately, this plan is extremely risky. The main risk factor is that consumers may simply pass on these name brand TVs for other ones that are on sale, not to mention the fact that other name brand companies, like LG, Panasonic, Sharp and Vizio, are still offering sales and discounts. This could mean that Samsung and Sony's plans could backfire, losing more money for the companies than gaining.

HDTV manufacturers and retailers have suffered dramatically from slowing sales and declining profit margins for a while now, though some manufacturers are hopeful for this year. Both LG and Samsung saw profit margins of just over 2% in 2011, which isn't very impressive, though it is still better than breaking even like the companies did in 2010. In addition to that, retailers have been struggling as well. Best Buy announced in March that it was closing 50 of its bigger stores and replacing them with 100 smaller outlets that will focus on phones, tablets and e-readers but not TVs.

If you still want deals on Samsung and Sony HDTVs, you will have to turn to the internet and online retailers for them as Samsung and Sony's pricing scheme doesn't carry over to online stores. However, you can still get name brand products from physical stores as LG, Panasonic, Sharp and Vizio still think discounts are a smart business decision.

Source: PC World - Samsung, Sony Put the Kibosh on TV Discounts
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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Increased Support for Multi-Monitor Setups Coming with Windows 8

Honestly, I don't know how I used to function with just one computer monitor. Ever since I built my custom gaming PC with dual-monitor setup, the thought of using just one monitor seems archaic. Having two monitors makes everything better. It makes surfing the web better, it makes gaming better, it makes multitasking better and, if you're like me and you work on a computer all day, it makes working better too. Microsoft seems to have finally realized that lots of people use more than one monitor and, as a result, has added a bunch of new tools to Windows 8 to help people who utilize multiple monitors get more out of their extra screen space.

Lead Program Manager for Microsoft's User Experience team Mark Yalovsky recently released quite a substantial blog post on building Windows 8 and explained some of the changes with dual-monitor support. The blog post is huge with tons of details on a lot of different things, though there are a few highlights that focus on multi-monitor technology. First off, Yalovsky threw down some statistics on just how many people utilize multiple monitors. According to data collected by Microsoft's Windows Feedback Program, nearly 14% of desktop PC users and 5% of notebook users run multiple monitors.

In his post Yalovsky talks a lot about how the new Windows 8 will allow better background personalizations for multi-monitor setups. This includes how the updated slideshow application selects the best images for multi-monitor setups that consist of different sized and/or different oriented monitors. Another interesting feature is how Windows 8 will handle the taskbar across multiple screens. Windows 8 will include an option to display the taskbar on every display and will also give you three different options as to how buttons on the taskbar are handled. The default setting shows the taskbar buttons on every taskbar. The second option only shows taskbar buttons on the taskbar where the window is open with the third option shows the taskbar buttons on the main taskbar and on the taskbar where the window is opened.

In addition to that, Windows 8 makes use of different user interface elements, like the Start Menu, Charms bar or lists of recently used apps that are triggered by hovering your mouse around the corner of the screen. This is easy to do on a single monitor, though with multiple monitors you run the risk of overshooting and moving over to the next monitor. To guard against this, Microsoft has added something known as "real corners" to the shared corners in multiple monitor setups. This traps your cursor, allowing you to find the edge and utilize this feature much more easily. The corners themselves are only six pixels in height, which means you shouldn't run into them unless you are trying to. If that isn't good enough for you then know that Microsoft has coded these corners to be intelligent in how they trap the mouse cursor.

The ability to have out of the box support for multi-monitor setups with Windows 8 will definitely be a major selling point for hardcore computer enthusiasts. Having to install third-party applications all the time can be a huge annoyance and hassle which makes the integrated multi-monitor support coming with Windows 8 all the more appealing.

Source: ZDNet - Windows 8 includes enhanced multi-monitor support
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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Samsung's OLED HDTV Dropping in Korea This Year

Samsung is teasing more information on its future plans for OLED HDTVs. In a recent report, the company stated that it hopes to have a 55" Super OLED 3D TV hit store shelves in Korea by the second half of 2012. Unfortunately, the company has yet to release any information on when such a TV would drop in on U.S. shores. However, an executive for the company did say that it would probably take at least two to three years before OLED HDTVs were widely available.

On the other hand, Samsung did mention back in January that its 55" OLEF TV would be available worldwide in 2012 with an expected price tag of $9,000 when it starts selling in Korea. The company first debuted the set at CES 2012 and promised a TV that produced deeper contrasts and finer detail than your average OLED displays. The technology that Samsung is relying on is self-emitting RGB sub-pixels that are placed directly on the display in order to achieve what it claims are more vivid images. In addition to that, the new set will feature voice and gesture control, a dual-processor and Smart Hub media integration.

Aside from Samsung, LG also offers a 55" OLED 3D TV that debuted during CES as well. Amid the early competition between Samsung and LG, it was rumored that LG's set would debut in Europe this May for $8,000. However, the Associated Press reported that the company plans on releasing its OLED HDTV within the last three months of this year.

Sony is also jumping on the bandwagon, working on something that the company is calling Crystal LED, which was also a heavily discussed topic at CES. Sony is claiming that Crystal LED displays will have 3.5 times as much picture contrast as well as 1.4 times richer color. Unlike LG and Samsung, Sony's tech is still in the prototype phase and has no announced plans for a release date or pricing scheme. However, that could easily change as Sony announced in April that it would focus on Crystal LED and OLED display technologies as part of the new corporate overhaul under Kazuo Hira, Sony's new CEO.

Many people are looking forward to both Samsung and LG's 55" OLED HDTVs. What we all want to know is will be when these sets will hit and how much they will cost. As it stands right now, LG's device will be $1,000 cheaper than Samsung's and could also hit U.S. store shelves sooner. More information about Samsung's device is said to be released at Berlin's IFA Trade Show, which begins on August 31, 2012.

Source: PC World - Samsung's 55-Inch OLED TV Rolls Out in 2012; U.S. Launch Date Unknown

Friday, April 27, 2012

LG's IPS4 to Launch in Asia Next Month, Europe and US to Follow

Companies like to talk up their products, that's no surprise to anybody. Companies like to say that their product is the best one on the market and that it can do all these wonderful things that the competition cannot. Nowhere is that more prevalent than in the technology industry. With each new version of a product you get more and more companies saying how theirs is the best, hands down. The latest company to do so is LG with its newest computer monitor, the LG IPS4.

According to LG, the IPS4 is said to deliver "Stunning picture quality, lifelike color expression, original color consistency and enhanced viewing comfort." The reality is, however, that most of the things companies say their products do so well actually only do them ok, which is upsetting when a company sets such high expectations for the product. The same goes for the IPS4. LG has promised a lot of awesome things, though having them actually perform like the company says is a different story.

Aside from all those other things I just mentioned, the LG IPS4 is also said to offer In-Plane Switching (hence the name IPS4) as opposed to your standard Twisted Nematic (TN) panels. In addition to that, the IPS4 is also said to have a wide viewing angle of 178 degrees, which would allow multiple people to view the monitor simultaneously without losing picture quality. Smooth Color Change will also eliminate blur generated from rapid motion in action sequences, sports or video games, also eliminating fatigue on your eyes.

A Dual Smart Solution feature, which relies on a simple, one click setup and is capable of running dual monitors, will also be included. This feature will also result in dual taskbar and auto-optimized dual web split screen display. A cable management design is also standard and is designed to eliminate the need for your cables to wrap around each other, creating a mess behind your computer.

Unfortunately, LG has yet to release any kind of pricing on the IPS4 though they have announced a release schedule for when and where you can pick this device up. The monitor will launch next month in Asia, followed by a release in Europe and then coming to the United States last. Once the monitor goes on sale in Asia we should be able to determine the rough cost for both the European and United States markets, so stay tuned for pricing details in the very near future.

Source: Ubergizmo - LG IPS4 monitors offer a more dynamic viewing experience
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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Phillips Announces Ergonomic Monitor to Help with Posture

Let's face facts, more and more people are spending more and more time in front of their computers. Sitting there at your desk, staring at that screen, typing or gaming away on your computer for hours on end takes its toll on your body. However, Phillips has created a new computer monitor designed to help you be a little healthier while using your computer.

The company recently announced that they have developed a new 24" computer monitor specifically designed to offer feedback related to ergonomics. The device itself is known as the Ergosensor and is an LCD monitor that uses a built-in CMOS sensor to measure your distance from the screen as well as the angle of your neck. So if you slouch, the software developed by DigitalOptics Corporation will let you know to sit up properly or move to an appropriate distance from the monitor. If that's not enough for you, the software also gives advice on the best times to take a break from whatever you're doing.

If you prefer slouching on your home computer, especially after working all day in a stiff, boring job, then that's fine. The monitor's base allows you to adjust the height, tilt, swivel and rotation angle of the screen. In addition to that, the software can be adjusted to lower the amount of warnings that pop up whenever you change your posture. There is even a unique power-saving feature that all the bosses out there may take a liking to. Whenever you stand up and walk away from your monitor, the integrated CMOS sensor detects the movement and powers down. Then, whenever you return, it powers back on and resumes whatever you were working on.

A 0-watt power supply is also included from Phillips, located on the back of the monitor. This cuts any and all power to the monitor, further reducing power consumption wherever you use it. Officials from Phillips state that all Ergosensor models have been developed out of "a minimum of 65% post-consumer recycled plastics" and that the device itself can be recycled whenever you decide to upgrade. Unfortunately, Phillips has yet to announce an official release date for U.S. availability for the Ergosensor, though the device is currently available in Europe for around $375.

Source: Digital Trends - Phillips creates computer monitor that corrects posture, encourages breaks

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

First OLED HDTV from LG to Cost $8,000

LG 55EM9600People say the prices of HDTVs are going down, but I say nay, nay, mainly for the fact that new details have recently surfaced on LG's upcoming 55" OLED HDTV that the company debuted at CES back in January. The details state that LG will be officially unveiling this monstrous television at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival in May with a price tag that is enough to make Michael Bay do a double take.

According to the report, LG will supposedly be pricing the 55" screen, officially labeled as the 55EM9600, at 9 million Korean Won! Wait, what's that you say? You're not Korean and you don't know what a Won is? Well, 9 million Korean Won translates to about $8,000 US or £5,000 UK. Even though that seems utterly ridiculous to us average Joes, lots of tech industry professionals were expecting the set to debut at around $10,000.

This new set from LG will spark the first ever OLED wars, as Samsung is set to launch its very own Super OLED HDTV later on this year. Samsung's set is also a 55" OLED HDTV that is only 0.3" deep, the same depth as LG's 55EM9600. Samsung hasn't officially released a pricing scheme for this TV as of yet, though I would expect it to be very close to LG's pricing range. LG has already stated that it will determine in July whether or not to invest more capital into OLED TV production.

Source: ZDNet - LG's 55-inch OLED HDTV will cost $8,000 when introduced in May

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Google Trying to Control Your TV with Android Voice Commands

Google TVAccording to a patent filed last fall with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Google is creating a voice recognition interface for controlling your TV via your Android device, similar to Apple's Siri voice command interface. Apple describes the patent as a cloud-based system for issuing voice commands to an Android phone. This will then control a set-top box, smart TV, DVR or any other device.

The technology will work similarly to Siri, which is still in beta testing. Voice commands made to your Android device will be taken to the cloud to be interpreted and contextualized. This will essentially allow you to do many things, including looking for a specific program or sporting event by simply speaking into your phone.

The patent also says that users will be able to issue commands from up to a quarter of a mile away so that when they arrive home, their phones will automatically turn their TVs on and tune to the specific program they want to watch. This will also work for music, which could allow many a Casanova to set some mood music before bringing a date home.

Another cool feature outlined by the patent will automatically switch your TV over to a program you have inquired about before, provided that it is currently playing on some channel. You can also schedule a reminder to watch it if it isn't on yet or record it if you won't be home at the scheduled airing.

While this definitely seems cool, Google isn't the only company currently working on adding voice command functionality to televisions. Lenovo also recently announced a voice command TV while Samsung has already debuted a remote control that recognizes voice commands. Samsung takes it a step further, though, by also adding touchscreen functionality to the remote as well. Apple's rumored iTV will also, without a doubt, incorporate the actual Siri voice recognition software, which Google's technology is based off of.

Source: PC World - Patent Reveals Google TV With Siri-Like Voice Recognition

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Acer's New S191HQL Ultra-Thin LED Monitor

Acer has just unveiled its newest product in terms of computer monitors with the brand new Acer S191HQL LED monitor. The S191HQL is an ultra-thin monitor complete with a space-saving design that makes it the ultimate desktop accessory. In addition to that, the S191HQAL guarantees high-definition image quality without breaking the bank.

Due to its ultra-slim design, the Acer S191HQL is able to fit almost anywhere, saving you a ton of space while also giving you an aesthetically pleasing work environment. The monitor itself is an 18.5" LED display with a 1,366 x 768 resolution along with a 12,000,000:1 contrast ratio with 16.7 million colors.

The S191HQL also has a 170° height viewing angle and a 160° vertical viewing angle that was specifically designed for ease of uses and a decrease in eye strain. Acer's Adaptive Contrast Management (ACM) feature also helps optimize your contrast, allowing you to have the highest level of clarity and detail and adjusts images frame by frame to enhance picture detail and gradation.

The S191HQL is also energy efficient, consuming less power, thanks to its mercury-free LED backlight technology that minimizes harmful effects to the environment, consumes less power and is more durable than Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamps or CCFLs. This results in bigger savings for you, something everybody is looking for nowadays.

No word on pricing or availability as of yet but stay tuned because as soon as those details hit, you will be able to find them here.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Canadian Companies May Have Early Apple TV Prototypes

New reports about an Apple HDTV are coming in every day, including this new one that suggests that Apple is currently talking to Rogers Communications Incorporated and Bell Canada Enterprises (both located in Canada) about a possible TV deal. These talks are so serious, in fact, that both Bell and Rogers reportedly have a prototype of Apple's TV in their development labs right now, that is if reports from Canada's biggest national newspaper The Globe and Mail are correct.

Both companies offer wireless, internet, home phone and TV services in Canada and both companies also own a lot of different Canadian television brands. All of these services may also be vital for Apple to get its TV into physical form. According to a statement from an anonymous source to The Globe and Mail, "They're looking for a partner...with wireless and broadband capabilities."

However, the report fails to mention any type of content plans from Apple for its new TV, like whether or not the set would exclusively offer online streaming content or include connections for standard cable or satellite TV. Apple may be looking for a partner with cable providers to make sure that the TV works with broadcast television services from major providers without any problems. But you never know with secretive Apple. The partnership could go farther down the rabbit hole to a place where Apple's hardware is sold exclusively through your cable or internet service provider.

Aside from the two Canadian companies, there haven't been any reports of American cable providers working this closely with an Apple TV. USA Today did report back in January that the company was having some trouble securing content deals for an Apple TV with American content providers. CBS Chief Executive Les Moonves also hinted during an earnings call that CBS had decided against "joining Apple TV."

Apple TV rumors took off after the death of former Apple CEO and Co-Founder Steve Jobs when Walter Isaacson released Steve Jobs' autobiography. In the book, Jobs was quoted saying "I finally cracked it," referring to solving the problem of a user-friendly TV interface. Right after the book was published, the New York Times claimed that Apple was planning a TV that had voice commands ala Siri and could ship as early as 2013. But for now, everything is all rumor.

Source: PC World - Apple's Expected Television Set May Be in TV Makers' Hands

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sony Selling Share of Joint LCD Panel Company to Samsung

Samsung and Sony S-LCDSony just announced on Monday that it plans on selling its entire stake in a single LCD manufacturing joint venture with Samsung for a measly $934 million. The two companies negotiated and signed a contract that will have Samsung turn the company, known as S-LCD, into a fully-owned subsidiary that will provide panels for Sony TVs, among other technologies. The manufacturing company was established by Sony and Samsung in April of 2004 with Sony owning a little less than 50%.

This acquisition comes at a point when Sony faces extreme losses in its television market and also faces lots of inquiries about whether or not it can revive the business that was once at the company's core. Sony announced back in November that it expected to lose more than $1 billion in the current fiscal year through April, even though it is currently recalculating that number in lieu of the recent sale.

According to a Sony press release, "This deal will allow Sony to acquire LCD panels from Samsung Electronics in a stable way based on market prices, without the responsibility or costs that come with operating a factory."

Like so many other companies, Sony has struggled to find profit in the LCD market, despite the fact that executives have claimed that they will not abandon the product. The newest plan by Sony calls for a shift to focus on profitability as opposed to the number of units sold while also shifting to acquiring panels from other manufacturers.

Sony has also announced that it is focused on a "four-screen strategy". This strategy is said to offer content and interconnect smartphones, tablets, laptops and other portable devices, as well as televisions. The company announced back in October that it would acquire Ericsson's 50% stake in their Sony Ericsson mobile phone partnership, which would allow the company to better integrate smartphones into its overall product lineup.

Source: PC World - Samsung to Buy Sony's Share of LCD Panel Joint Company for $934 Million

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Apple Eyeing 5% Market Share in HDTV Industry

The HDTV market is rich with competition but is still dominated by names like Sony, Panasonic, Sharp and Samsung. However, that may all be coming to an end if Apple decides to throw its hat in the ring with an Apple TV. If this predictions truly comes to fruition, it is expected that Apple will make a significant mark in the industry.

Ben A. Reitzes, an analyst for Barclays Capital, has envisioned a world where an Apple TV in the HDTV market could net almost $17 billion in revenue in its first year and climb all the way to the point of controlling 5% of the market share. In a statement from Reitzes, "Apple's eventual television could be so much more than a TV - including gaming, video, communication, content delivery, apps, computing and all the capabilities of the current Apple TV - it is not really fair to compare it to products already available on the market."

A while back, Apple bragged that it could get 1% of the entire cell phone market. Many people found this statement amusing, never believing that Apple would ever achieve such a high expectation. Fast forward to today and those naysayers are pretty quiet as Apple has clearly dominated the smartphone market for the past five years.

That's why not many people are finding the idea of Apple having a 5% market share in the HDTV industry that surprising. The Cupertino giant has already shown that it is capable of lighting a fire under the most dull, rigid and inflexible markets so doing the same to the HDTV industry shouldn't be that hard.

It has already been reported that Apple has approached Rogers and Bell, two Canadian carriers, to integrate their services with iTV. Full details on that partnership are, of course, extremely secretive so we probably won't be getting any new information for quite some time. However, it does go to show you just how innovative Apple can be. Many people believe that we will be seeing an Apple HDTV on the market by the end of this year, provided we live that long.

Source: TG Daily - Apple could take 5% of HDTV market

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Friday, February 3, 2012

Will Apple Release a TV Set in 2012?

Apple has been wildly successful with pretty much everything that they have released recently, so do you believe that an Apple TV set could be a piece of technology that we see in the near future?

On Tuesday, January 31 Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster stated that he believes that Apple is currently targeting a TV set that they would launch sometime in late 2012.

"We are confident that Apple will enter the connected TV market, but timing remains uncertain," he wrote. "More specifically, the hardware could be ready quickly, but the timing and scope of a revamped TV content solution is unclear."

Munster claimed he had talked to a major TV component supplier that told him that Apple had contacted them “regarding various capabilities of their television display components." This report comes shortly after another report was released claiming that Apple was highly interested in a TV set. In September an Asian supplier told Piper Jaffray that a prototype of an Apple TV was in the works.

“We believe that Apple only enters mature markets with the goal of revolutionizing them, as it did with the smartphone," Munster wrote.

"In television we see an opportunity for Apple to reinvent how consumers discover and enjoy video on their TVs and mobile devices (live TV, previously aired shows, movies, user generated content, etc.)," he continued. "Without a revamped TV content solution, we do not think Apple enters the TV market. Since we know Apple is exploring television hardware, we are therefore led to conclude that the company is exploring a solution for live TV, and this solution could be one that has not yet been taken mainstream."

Munster went on to say that he believes that there are three scenarios that Apple could choose from when it comes to its TV plans: partner with cable companies, offer access via broadcast TV or an Internet-based source, or secure a license that would allow them to offer a monthly subscription service.

Of course, the simplest of the three options would be the first. However, "while this would be the easiest and most likely option, it would also be the least revolutionary," Munster wrote.

The second option would be a “broadcast/Web-based hybrid.” According to Munster, "Apple could then leverage a new App Store for the Apple Television to supplement the basic live TV features with Netflix, Hulu Plus, or any content provider that chooses to build an app for the television. In this instance, Apple would also likely continue to offer its iTunes movie and TV content through the iTunes store to the Apple Television."

The third option would definitely be the most difficult because Apple would become the manufacturer as well as the provider. This option would take plenty of work because getting a license can be very difficult.

"Such an offering would be unlikely given existing licensing arrangements between content providers and service providers as well as the fact that it lies outside of Apple's core competencies, even in media," Munster said.

One thing that Munster said was very important was the availability of the App Store on the TV. "Apple's strong iOS developer community would likely jump at the chance to build apps for an Apple Television, and Apple's iOS users would likely jump at the chance to buy one," Munster said.

Source: PCMag – Analyst Predicts Apple TV Set in Late 2012

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Goodbye 16:9 Aspect Ratio and Hello 21:9!

21 x 9 Aspect RatioI think it's safe to say that we have all determined that wide screen television viewing is head over heels better than how we used to watch tv (back when your screen looked like a bubble). However, future HDTVs may have a viewing style that is even wider than our current widescreen format. HDTVs of today have a more rectangular 16 x 9 shape, though a wider 21 x 9 display standard is said to be in the making and was announced at the Consumer Electronics Association, or CEA.

Vizio's upcoming 58" 3D LED CinemaWide display is believed to be the very first television in production that will feature the new 21 x 9 shape. The device isn't set to be released until March for a retail price of $3,499.99 and will come with a total of four pairs of 3D glasses.

In addition to the 58" device, Vizio is planning a 70" and a 50" model as well set to be released in the second half of 2012. CinemaWide HDTVs allow movies shot in the cinema standard 16 x 9 aspect ratio to be automatically re-sized to the 21 x 9 ratio display without any black bars on the top or bottom. In addition to movies, other 16 x 9 content can be scaled up also.

The CinemaWide devices also allow users to use Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Yahoo TV and other apps on the left side of the screen while the full 16 x 9 video fills the rest of the screen.

According to a statement from Vizio's Vice President John Schindler, "We wanted to give consumers a good choice to watch movies and standard TV while you use the internet. This also offers a new look and feel for prospective TV buyers [that are] looking for something more modern in their homes." The CEA is currently in the process of developing a standard that would allow 21 x 9 content to be transferred via HDMI cables as well.

The TVs that Vizio is creating have built-in technology that would allow them to function without the CEA having to update the standard for HDMI cables. According to Schindler, "We really want to lead the charge." Ultra-wide video is also "closer to a cinematic experience," according to Vice President of Technology and Standards at The Industry Trade Group Brian Markwalter. Markwalter also added, "That is the aesthetic to it - to get the more sweeping panorama."

Source: USA Today - New Vizio HDTV breaks widescreen barrier for movies, apps

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lenovo Unveils Android 4.0 HDTV at CES 2012

Lenovo Idea TV
Companies are really starting to make waves in terms of computer monitors and televisions. People flipped out when they announced LED TVs and went crazy over Google TV but now there is something even greater to drool over, Android 4.0 TV. That's right, Lenovo has officially unveiled its first generation Idea TV, a 55" HDTV that has comes with Android's Ice Cream Sandwich.

Reports are coming in from all over about the device which is on display at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show right now. The device is a full 1080p HD television that centers around an Android-based home screen, dubbed by Lenovo as the "Sandwich Screen". From here you use a touchpad located on the TV's remote to navigate between a standard TV feed, a video-on-demand screen and an apps screen with all of the video-on-demand content streamed via Lenovo's servers directly to the television.

Lots of reports are complimenting the device's smooth operation, especially compared to remote-based interfaces out there. In addition to that smooth operation, the 1.5GHz processor in the television makes switching between things very quick. Also, moving between the home screen, video-on-demand screen and apps screen is also very quick and precise.

Lenovo also noted that the Idea TV will also allow you to stream content wirelessly from your tablet, smartphone, laptop, desktop or any other device in your house or from 200GB of cloud storage that Lenovo is also throwing in with the Idea TV. Overall, reports are saying that the television handles like you would want it to and that everything runs smoothly and quickly, allowing for easy and enjoyable transitioning between medias.

The only real problem with the Idea TV is that Lenovo will only be releasing the first generation model in China. It is still unclear as to whether or not this device would actually succeed on the market, but if it does well in China, you can expect Lenovo to start branching out the second generation Idea TV to an extended customer market.

Source: Gizmodo - Eyes On Lenovo's 55-Inch Idea Android HDTV: It Might Make You Want to Move to China

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Monday, January 2, 2012

FedEx Driver Tosses Computer Monitor Over Fence

FedEx DriverI'm sure you have all heard the story by now. A man orders a computer monitor and has it delivered to his house by FedEx, only for the delivery man to carelessly pitch the extremely fragile piece of equipment over the customer's fence like it was a piece of trash. That's right, this driver, whom the customer had no choice but to trust with his package, just tosses the monitor right over the fence.

The video, which made its way around YouTube like wildfire, claims to be surveillance footage from the owner's house that captures the FedEx driver tossing the monitor. The poster of the video wrote, "Here is a video of my monitor being 'delivered'. The sad part is that I was home at the time with the front door wide open. All he had to do was ring the bell on the gate. Now I have to return my monitor since it is broken."

News of this obviously reached the heads of FedEx, especially after every single news station in the country was reporting on it and blasting the video all over t.v., and needless to say, they weren't happy with what they saw. The video itself has nearly 8 million views on YouTube and as for the driver, well, a FedEx spokeswoman put it lightly saying, "This won't be his best day."

I think the fact that the customer's door was wide open is the worst part. I mean, how lazy does the driver have to be if he won't even ring a bell and wait a few seconds for an answer? Oh, and this may be just me but it looks like the security camera is in plain view. I mean, did he not see it directly next to his face? Regardless, this is definitely not the proper way to deliver any package, let alone an expensive, breakable computer monitor. Thankfully, FedEx shipped another one to the customer, completely free of charge, and apologized immensely for the behavior of the driver. The video of the incident is below.

Source: CNET - Computer monitor tossed over fence by FedEx man

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