Massive news has just come in via Engadget concerning the future of HD DVD, related to this afternoon's announcement about film studio Warner going Blu-ray exclusive.
Prepare yourselves, as this is Kleenex worthy. I've been sobbing uncontrollably the last half an hour since discovering this disaster.
The HD DVD people have cancelled Sunday's press conference in the wake of Warner's decision, and issued a press release expressing their dismay with the film studio for siding with the Blu-ray group in this bloody, bloody format war. They even insinuated Warner's decision may be illegal, due to contracts being signed already.
We're rolling out the Logitech scoops at the minute, and as the above video illustrates, we actually got a VERY early peek at the Z Cinéma surround sound system weeks ago. The flock wallpaper gives it away, no?
Anyway, the audio set-up contains two satellite speakers (each containing a three-inch laser-tuned driver), a subwoofer (with an eight-inch high-excursion driver) and control pod (aka, remote control).
According to Logitech, the 2.1 system is perfect for any PC or Mac with at least a six-channel sound card, and contains SRS TruSurround HD, which'll give you a 'surround sound' feel. Out at the end of January, the system is £249.99.
CES hasn't even started yet, but whaddya know, we've managed to get a scoop on a massive product Logitech's launching out here this year. Massive as in, massively useful and important, not massive size-wise. As you can tell in the video above, it's a far cry from the previous large model.
Out this month, the £99.99 diNovo Mini is a cordless mini keyboard that controls your home entertainment PC. As I demonstrate in the video above, you can use it with your TV, hooked up to your PC, running Windows Media Center. Watching TV, browsing the web, listening to music, looking at photos and playing Windows games becomes so much easier with the diNovo, which is also compatible with the Sony PS3. Working with XP or Vista only, this will make home cinemaphiles very happy chappies.
Games accessories firm Mad Catz Interactive has signed a deal to make peripherals for Rock Band, the multi-instrumental rival to Guitar Hero for the hearts of rawk-loving console gamers.
The first fruit of the deal will be wired and wireless bass guitars, a drum kit with proper wooden sticks, and a wired microphone. All are expected to go on sale in the first half of this year.
It's good news for owners of the game, but I for one would like to see this deal expand further - with new peripherals released alongside downloadable patches to let you boost your Rock Band with other instruments. Saxophone! Banjo! Theremin! Come on, you know it makes sense...
We've posted a fair few CES stories today, but trust me, it's the calm before the storm. Once the press events start tomorrow, it's going to be bedlam on here. Thankfully, I'll be sorting and cataloguing all our stories at the end of every day (US-time) so you don't miss a thing. Starting with today...
We're out in Las Vegas now, and it's high time I wrapped up our Top Ten Things We're Looking Forward To At CES 2008 feature. Before I have any more margaritas, obviously. Here's numbers six to ten...
6.) 2008’s touted iPhone killer – Sigh. How I hate writing those words, but we all know it’s true. Whilst 3GSM is the big mobile-con of the year, handset manufacturers can hardly avoid the temptation of announcing the year’s ‘must-have’ fingerprint smeared devices – after all, the whole world’s technology media is in attendance, promising pages of editorial. Tech Digest is guilty. Anything promised as an ‘iPhone killer’, even it’s a bloomin’ LG Chocolate in New! Limited! Edition! Cherry! Red! Could with touch! Sensitive! Buttons! will get undue attention here.
7.)Slimmest TV/handset/laptop – As competitive as the world’s largest TV category, every company and their dog hopes to pip its rivals to the world’s thinnest product X at CES prize. Can an LCD manufacturer one-up Sharp on IFA’s 22mm prototype jobby? What are the chances of Sony launching a Vaio that is lighter and thinner than Toshiba’s Portege R500? We shall await with bated breath over 2008’s most anorexic consumer electronics.
Several companies are beavering away on micro projectors for use inside mobile phones, and the latest to go public with a prototype is 3M. It's showing an LED-illuminated projection engine at CES that's half an inch thick, and capable of projecting a 40-inch image at VGA resolution.
3M says the engine can be integrated into many personal electronic devices, including mobile phones but presumably also personal media players, gaming handhelds, maybe even cameras and camcorders.
The company reckons several consumer electronics firms will be launching products using its engine in early 2008, so hopefully some of them will be decloaking at the show next week too.
Very few computer monitors are worth getting excited about, but the new Dell Crystal should join that exalted club. It's a 22-inch widescreen display blending ultra-clear tempered glass with a polished metal tripod.
Okay, that slinky design comes at a price: $1,199 in the US, to be specific - UK pricing hasn't been announced. Speakers, a two-megapixel webcam and a microphone are all built in, it offers 1680x1050 resolution, and touch controls.
Meanwhile, multimediaheads will appreciate the DVI / HDMI outputs. The Crystal is being shown off at CES next week, and finally gives PC users some spiffing design to crow about, after years of watching Apple fanboys dribble over widescreen displays.
Okay, so I have oversimplified that as only an unscientific idjut could. Basically, HydroPak is a 'portable power generator' that uses a combination of fuel cells and water-activated cartridges. It's the work of two companies: Millennium Cell and Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies.
Here's the important bit though: a HydroPak with one cartridge can be used to recharge an average laptop 8-10 times, without a plug socket in sight. It's being shown off for the first time at CES next week, with plans for it to go on sale in the second half of this year.
The HydroPak itself is expected to cost around $400, with individual cartridges then costing $20. In truth, it's probably aimed as much at soldiers and 'emergency professionals', although it may well appeal to us geek consumers too (I could do with one of these for Sunday's planned day of liveblogging).
Cor. I thought my kingsize divan bed was pretty cool, what with those built-in drawers, but the Starry Night Bed makes it look like a sorry pile of rags on the floor. Why? Let's start with the surround-sound home cinema that's built in, complete with four subwoofers and a 1080p LCD projector that casts a 10-foot screen on the wall.
Wi-Fi is built in too, complete with a wireless keyboard for web surfing and email via that projector. There's an iPod dock too, but you probably won't need it, given the 1.5 terabytes of disc storage that's built in (that's 400,000 songs, apparently).