Surround sound? That's old technology. How about surround vision?
The folks at the MIT Media Lab have developed a new system called surround vision that can let you follow objects outside of your regular TV screen by viewing them on smartphones and handheld Internet devices. Imagine you're watching a movie on your regular TV, and a drives off the screen. You could follow and view that car as it drives away by looking at and pointing your smartphone or tablet in its direction.
The person leading this promising new project is Santiago Alfaro, a graduate student at the lab. To kick-start his testing, Alfaro attached a magnetometer to an existing handheld device. A type of digital compass, magnetometers are already used in smartphones like the iPhone to detect the direction the device is pointing. He then created the necessary software to sync the magnetometer with other sensors on the device.
After outfitting the handheld with motion sensors, Alfaro shot video on campus from three different angles--center, left, and right. Watching the TV screen straight on played video from the center. But by pointing the handheld to the left or right, Alfaro was able to view the footage shot from both side angles.
As a further test of the technology, Alfaro took advantage of the alternate takes found on many DVDs. He created a demo that let him switch between the final footage and the alternate takes and angles by changing the direction of the handheld device.… Read more
Hulu who? If you've been waiting to watch your favorite shows on your iPhone, wait no more: the new MobiTV app streams both live and on-demand television content.
What kind of content? Oh, let's see, there's "Caprica," "Castle," "The Colbert Report," "Community," "Cougar Town," and "CSI"--and that's just the shows starting with "C." Needless to say, the on-demand selection is impressive.
As for live channels, MobiTV offers ABC, CNBC, The Disney Channel, ESPN, and MSNBC, among others.
The interface seems a … Read more
Talk about the ultimate man cave. I dropped in at the CNET testing headquarters in New York City and visited with two of the smartest guys in the TV/video space, David Katzmaier and John Falcone. I rely on these guys to keep me up to date on all the latest and greatest in TV-viewing technology.
Their man cave was more of a man cavern! It consisted of eight 50-plus-inch Internet-connected HDTVs loaded with all kinds of shows, applications, and add-on devices. It's their job to review and test the newest products in the digital home space. From TV … Read more
Starting on Friday, owners of all three major game consoles can stream content from Netflix.
Netflix, which in January announced plans to bring its streaming movies and television shows to the Nintendo Wii, on Thursday announced that it has started shipping instant-streaming discs to Nintendo Wii owners.
As part of the "final phase" of Netflix's Wii plans, the company has shipped its instant-streaming disc to "some" of the folks that requested it. In an e-mail sent to those subscribers, Netflix said they should be receiving their discs on Friday.
Netflix expects to use the feedback … Read more
We've been talking a lot about how the next big thing in TVs is 3D tech. But one problem, as my CNET's Erica Ogg points out, is that the sets we've seen all have proprietary glasses, meaning that one brand's glasses may not work with another brand's TV.
This might be a minor problem for some, but it could be a deal breaker for others. Since most households have multiple TVs these days, there may soon be a time at which someone has a Toshiba upstairs and a Samsung downstairs, each with their own pairs … Read more
Google is reportedly testing a new service with Dish Network that would let subscribers search via their TVs for shows and online video from sites like YouTube.
The new search service would run on Internet-connected set-top boxes loaded with Google software, according to The Wall Street Journal, and would let Dish's satellite TV subscribers search for and create their own lineups of shows and online content using a keyboard.
The test started last year and so far has been limited to only some Google employees and their families, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.
The search … Read more
In a world where teens are more likely than ever to be staring at a display, a new analysis has found that all that screen time may be linked to detachment.
The researchers, who examined a 2004 study of more 3,000 youths aged 14 and 15, found that those who spent more time in front of television or computer screens also had more difficulty engaging in a rewarding relationship with parents. In fact, the possibility of low attachment between the teens and their parents increased by 4 percent for every hour of TV screen time, which could include gaming. … Read more
Eager to watch the likes of Hulu and YouTube on the big screen, more people are hooking up their TVs to the Internet, says a new report from iSuppli.
A survey of 800 U.S. consumers who bought TVs in January found that 27.5 percent of them have connected their new sets to the Internet, either through the TV itself or via an external device such as a game console or digital video box. That compares with 24.3 percent in December.
Almost 42 percent of the sets that were purchased in January and are now connected to the … Read more
Do you know where or how to recycle that old TV or computer? If not, you're not alone.
Around 12 percent more people used the Web site Earth911.com last year than in 2008 to find out how to recycle their used items, according to a report (PDF) released Monday by Earth911.com.
The company offers a searchable database at its Web site where you can type the name of a product like computers or cell phones along with your ZIP code and receive a list of local stores and facilities to drop off those items for recycling.
Among … Read more