Digital Vision announces GiGo – the VCR killer

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Digital Vision has launched the GiGo DV-DTR1 Digital Freeview recorder – the first USB stick based recorder on the market.

It’s basically a single tuner Freeview receiver, with the usual EPG you’d expect on a Freeview box, that has three USB ports on the front of it. Users can record programmes using the EPG direct to any storage device plugged in to one of the slots.

Programmes are recorded in MPEG-2 format with an hour’s worth of programming taking up about 2GB. The file name is taken directly from the EPG and programme synopsis is also copied.

Playback is via the GiGo or via any device that supports MPEG-2, meaning you can take your recorded programmes with you on the move.

Robert Musk told Tech Digest (well, me) that he sees the GiGo box as a direct replacement for people who were comfortable recording onto VHS but haven’t got to grips with Freeview recorders and personal planners yet although, to be honest, the GiGo doesn’t look any easier to use than a standard Freeview recorder.

The GiGo DV-DTR1 will be available in Tesco from September for £69.99 initially, although this will probably drop to £59.99. The cheapest Freeview reorder I could find on the Tesco website was £87.89 for a 250GB DigiHome model meaning the GiGo could be a good entry-level Freeview recorder.

CES 2009: Panasonic launches three new Blu-ray players including one with VHS!

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Panasonic announced its latest line of Blu-ray players. The DMP-BD60 and DMP-BD80 offer all the latest features you’d expect from a decent player, including full high definition audio format decoding, upconversion of standard definition DVDs, VIERA Link and 24p processing, as well as VIERA Cast which allows access to Amazon’s video-on-demand service.

There’s also P4HD (Pixel Precision Progressive Processing for HD) which gives a superior picture by processing over 15 billion pixels per second, PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus, and 96kHz surround re-mastering of audio…

DIY VHS USB hub: fun, nostalgic project, apparently

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Given that you can pick up a four port USB hub for about five quid these days, there’s no economic value in converting an old VHS cassette tape into one (particularly as you need to buy a USB hub to make it work anyway, but for sheer nostalgia, and for the dream of clogging up your desk with a great big hub rather than a tiny one, this project could be for you.

Mention “hot glue” and “soldering equipment” and I’m running — at least for a small project like this — but if it’s your thing, head over to the Instrucables web site and give it a go…

High definition discs outsell VHS tapes: is it really a milestone?

dvd.jpgAccording to research from Video Business, the combined sales of Blu-ray and HD DVD high definition discs was greater than that of VHS cassettes sold in the first half of 2007.

Although standard definition DVD sales also slumped by around 5% in the same period, due mainly to a weak bunch of new releases, the dominant disc format is hardly challenged by these findings.

Sales of pre-recorded video tapes are all but non-existent now, with most consumers preferring the greater convenience, features, quality, and smaller form factor of DVDs.