Toshiba and Sony Get into Catfight Over Cell CPU

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Sony and Toshiba may have been in cahoots when they worked on the Cell processor, but now that it’s out, Toshiba is throwing its pants on and running out the door. Yoshihide Fujii, Toshiba’s digital media network CEO, is claiming they’ll be the first company to put the Cell processor in your living room. Nevermind that Sony’s PS3 already beat them to it, Fujii is determined to beat his partner/rival to the punch. Meanwhile Sony’s also rushing to put the Cell CPU in their own HDTVs and home theater equipment. This puts both Goliaths in a race to deliver Cell CPU-based gear. Maybe both companies should first check to see if people care enough about the Cell processor to put it in their living room in the first place.

Toshiba: We’ll Beat Sony to the Living Room [PC World]

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Wireless HD to make HDMI obsolete

HDMI? Who needs it? Sure, it’s currently the best and only way to get the highest quality signal possible running to your HDTV from all your fancy HD home theater components, but it’s not gonna be king of the mountain for long. No, how can a thick cable stand up to a wireless standard that does the same thing?

That’s exactly what Israeli company Amimon claims to have developed. They have created a high-def modem that can send uncompressed 720p or 1080i video through walls and up to 40 feet away. This, in theory, will make setting up a high-end home theater easier, although I can’t really see too many ways in which you’d really need to make your TV have a wireless connection to the receiver. Sure, it’ll hide the cables, but otherwise it’s not like you’re gonna be moving those things around all that often. Oh well, progress is progress, right?
Amimon, via Gizmodo

Gamer’s Guide to HDTV Purchases

Buying an HDTV may be straightforward if you’re either cheap or have the brain of an eight-year-old, but what if you’re a gamer. Oh wait, you’re already covered with the second option. We kid, we kid. But seriously folks, getting a TV that helps you not get curb-stomped in Gears of War is a different job than buying one that makes Tom Cruise look as good as possible in Mission Impossible.

Dean Takahashi of the Mercury News says—after 10 paragraphs that don’t even mention gaming—that the Xbox 360 only has games currently at 720p, whereas the PS3 has about half its games supporting 1080p. He recommends a TV with HDMI for the PS3, but if you have a 360 you’re going to have to go with component. After testing with all of three TVs, two of which were 720p, he recommends you go 720p until 1080p becomes more widespread in gaming.

So yes, Dean takes 34 paragraphs to say that you don’t really need a 1080p set, because it’s hard to tell the difference between 1080p and 720p.

THANKS! Gamers are totally set for the HDTV revolution now. ~where’s that eye rolling icon when you need it!

Buying an HDTV: What do Gamers Need To Know? [Mercury News via Kotaku]

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Samsung to Ship 70-Inch 1080p LCD Early Next Year

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Samsung teased us with the promise of a 70-inch LCD HDTV last August, and now it’s actually announced dates on the release of that monster, saying that we’ll see the full 1080p flat panel with the 8ms response time and 2000:1 contrast ratio in “February or March” of next year.

The company also boldly stated it would be able to crank out a million of these in a year, so this is one item you won’t have to be standing in line to get. You will certainly need to bring huge bags of money along, though, but Samsung wasn’t saying how much this baby will cost. When it ships, it’ll be the largest mass-produced LCD TV on the market, at least for a while.

Samsung reportedly to mass produce 70-inch LCD TV panels next February [DigiTimes]

First Look: MyTVPal Player Streams HDTV over IP, Shows Potential

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Matrixstream 1080p IPTV streaming has made it to the next level, now calling itself MyTVPal and offering a beta version of its software video player for free download. The company also promises to roll out the Matrixstream MX1020HD set-top box (pictured above) to accompany its H.264-based IPTV video service, vowing to eventually deliver 1080p video over an everyday “best effort” broadband connection.

For now, you can try out the beta version of the MyTVPal IMX player by filling in a bit of mildly intrusive registration information, downloading and installing it. We snagged the IMX player and took it for a spin, and grabbed a screen shot for you. What did we think of this new service?

Looking over the company’s site, its video quality and the meager content is a bit like gazing at a genius newborn baby squalling and crying in its crib and pooping all over himself. The 720p clips are gloriously sharp and rich-looking even when scaled up full-screen on our 1920×1200 PC display, but are plagued by frustrating stoppage every 10 to 15 seconds, with the word “transmitting” superimposed on top (see graphic below).

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It just couldn’t keep up, and that was using our 7Mb premium broadband service here at the Midwest Test Facility. It’s a tease to see high-quality video for a few seconds and have it suddenly taken away over and over. Aside from being a demo of great potential, it was unusable.

Then there’s the paucity of offerings, the best of which are short clips, demos, trailers and musty old Beverly Hillbillies episodes. It’s hardly an auspicious beginning as far as content is concerned. Matrixstream officials told us a few months ago they hope individuals and production entities will be signing up to distribute their content on this channel, but from what we can see, that hasn’t happened yet.

Even with its halting playback and lack of content, this is still an impressive feat to see this H.264 video streaming onto a PC, serving up HDTV at better quality than we’ve ever seen over an Internet connection. It’s a quick glance at the clarity of HDTV that will be coming down the pipes of the future. With a good fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) connection and that upcoming setup box, this will be some disruptive technology. Meanwhile, you might want to try downloading the player and taking a look at this quality for yourself.

Download MyTVPal: Free High Definition TV Over the Internet [Matrixstream]

3rd party Wii component cables

Those HDTV owners lucky enough to have a Wii may well know the sting of the Wii component cable shortage; with the ~$2 part (cost, not retail) fetching upwards of $100 on eBay, we think Blaze may have just saved the day with its $6.71 3rd party Wii component cables. Unfortunately even those are on backorder until this Thurdsay, the 30th, and even then you have to buy it from the same totally unimpeachable operation that brought you the Wii glove. So either way it looks like your ass is going to be rocking the 480i until further notice.

Check it out!

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Sony retracts 1080i fix statement, leaving customers in lurch

All you owners of HDTVs that can only do 1080i, we’ve got some bad news for you. Sony Computer Entertainment America’s head honcho of Corporate communications, David Karraker, apparently retracted — or at least backtracked — on Sony’s previous statements about the increasingly infamous 1080i issue (the one that won’t let PS3s play games at 1080i on HDTVs that don’t support 720p). According to GameDaily, Sony cannot actually confirm this issue can be fixed via a firmware patch (although they’re not denying it, either), and that they are “looking into the issue and haven’t stated any actions that will be taken regarding it.”

Check it out
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