AmberFin: Snell & Wilcox launches end-to-end content creation solution: good news for consumers

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At first glance, the news that a well-established company which supplies services to the broadcast industry has launched a new service for handling video content may not seem particularly relevant to consumers. Yet Snell and Wilcox’s work is something that most TV viewers in Britain will have experienced even if they’ve never heard of the company.

Yesterday I spoke to Joe Zaller (VP Corporate Development) and Simon Derry (CEO) from S&W. It’s clear that broadcasters, ISPs and telecoms companies need a system like AmberFin if they’re to deliver digital video in a variety of formats to an ever more demanding consumer, in high quality, while still making money.

AmberFin should create a win-win situation for everyone…

Blockbuster developing set top box to "kill" Apple TV

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Poor old Apple. Everyone wants to invent a “killer” to take out its products – and the next cold-blooded assassin is video rental chain Blockbuster.

Blockbuster is developing a video-streaming set-top-box to rival (KILL!) Apple’s Apple TV system, according to The News.

Rumoured to be announced some time this month…

Sony may create HDTV with integrated Blu-ray drive

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Based on recent comments made by Sony’s president and Electronics CEO, Ryoji Chubachi, the company may soon create high definition LCD TVs with integrated Blu-ray players / burners.

It’s part of their 2008 strategy to increase global market share of all Blu-ray products from 20% (current) to 50%…

Four HD channels will arrive in time for the 2012 Olympics, says airwave police Ofcom

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The slow, painful, expensive trek toward free-to-air HD TV channels took another tiny little baby step forward today, with wireless data chiefs Ofcom declaring that we’ll definitely have HD TV through our telly aerials by 2012.

Previously Ofcom and the major broadcasters signed a “non-binding memorandum of understanding” stating that they were all well up for it in principle – now it’s 100% definitely happening. No more massively expensive Sky HD subscription required!

A total of four HD…

Sony's DPP-FP95 HDMI-equipped photo printer

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A slightly insane idea from Sony, this – it’s gone and put an HDMI socket on a photo printer so you can look at your photos in HD on your television.

To make that idea even less appealing, the DPP-FP95 also has its own built-in 3.6″ LCD touch screen for looking at your photos on as well. It’s a gadget for people who definitely like seeing their face…

Up close with the Sony BRAVIA range: Part 2: Display technology

Last time, we looked at how Sony’s BRAVIA range of TVs produce the optimum picture from any video source.

It doesn’t end there, though. There’s plenty more technology built in to these TVs to ensure that programmes and films look their best.

LCD Technology

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Most of the BRAVIA TVs feature a state-of-the-art high performance LCD panel. These feature Advanced Contrast Enhancement, which monitors the brightness of the backlight and automatically adjusts contrast to ensure good detail levels, an ultra wide viewing angle of 178 degrees, and a non-reflective frame which helps to reduce reflections caused by artificial light sources in a room…

Men getting into interior design – so their lovely new LCD TVs match the curtains

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The trend of replacing ugly old CRTs with fancy new LCDS has lead to men getting all worried about the insides of their houses.

A survey from fancy LCD maker LG found that 6/10 Brits believe their TV’s design is important to their homes, with an even higher percentage saying that the TV is “an integral part of their interior design decisions.”

Men, in fact, are now so worried about how their growing home cinema setup looks…

Pioneer to stop making sub-42-inch plasma panels, as its TV business suffers

pioneer-pdp607.jpgJapanese newspaper Asahi has reported that Pioneer will stop the production of 42-inch and smaller plasma panels as early as March next year, and instead buy those panels from Matsushita or Hitachi.

Pioneer’s plasma TV sales targets for this year, ending 31st March, are a mere 10 per cent of Matsushita’s (who use the Panasonic brand), at just 480,000 units compared to five million.

Pioneer will continue to manufacture its own plasma panels sized over 50 inches, while the company looks to sell the Kagoshima plant back to NEC. Pioneer already buys the panels for its LCD TVs from Sharp.

The Toshiba ZF series – with 23mm wide bezel

I do realise this is the third glossy black TV I’ve put up in the last hour, which is why I’ve included every camera angle possible for them so far – had Toshiba launched a fourth series of TVs, I probably would’ve included a bird’s eye shot or even reverse upside-down. Got to keep it fresh, yanno?

With the largest price-tag of the three new series, the ZF is their new flagship series under the REGZA umbrella. They’re sporting those ultra-thin bezels we saw at CES, at just 0.9″ wide, and with three sizes…