In a major announcement at CES this year, DirecTV said it would expand its national HD channel offering to 100 channels by the end of the year, far surpassing the HD channel offerings of satellite rival Dish Network and of cable providers. The "100" number sounds suspiciously round to me, but the company's press release mentions it has "signed agreements, or agreements in principle, with more than 70 major networks including: A&E, National Geographic, Bravo, NFL Network, Cartoon Network, SciFi Channel, CNN, Speed, Food Network, TBS, FX, the History Channel, HGTV, the Weather Channel, … Read more
The big surprise at CES 2007 has been the dearth of major announcements about new home-audio products. Receivers with HDMI 1.3 and built-in decoding for next-gen lossless audio formats are nowhere to be seen. But at least one receiver has brought something new to the table: Pioneer's VSX-1017TXV is the first model we've seen that offers built-in compatibility with both XM and Sirius satellite radio services. (In fact, it's one of three receivers in Pioneer's 2007 line that offers the dual-satellite option.)
As evidenced by the model number, the 1017TXV is just an evolutionary upgrade … Read more
Europe on Wednesday morning launched a new space observatory from a rocket base in Kazakhstan.
The COROT satellite was produced by a French-led design and science team. COROT--the acronym for Convection Rotation and Planetary Transits--uses highly precise sensors to note diminshed light emissions when planets pass between the satellite and the star being observed.
Main goal of this satellite: find other rocks in space--that is, other planets around other stars besides our own sun. When they find those other planets, will we also find out if "Britney Spears" is the most-searched term on their Internet?
Sirius Satellite Radio may start beaming video through its service by end of next year, according to comments made by boss Mel Karmazin at a media summit this week in New York. Don't expert to see Howard Stern and his naked guests; The company will initially focus on video content that keeps the kids quiet in the back seat. That's probably the easiest sell to current users and a fairly affordable type of content for Sirius to license.
Bits is bits, so sending video shouldn't be much harder than audio with the main difference being that the … Read more
We firmly believe in freedom on the road, but we have to draw the line at watching TV in the car. After all, if we're already concerned about using the phone while driving, how do you expect us to feel about channel surfing?
We hope, therefore, that KVH's "TracVision A7" is designed for the passengers in the vehicle because it would be dangerously distracting to anyone behind the wheel. The mobile receiver provides up to 185 DirecTV channels and XM Satellite Radio, as well as standard broadcast transmissions. And if you can't resist sneaking a … Read more
These Kenwood satellite speakers are deceiving for a couple of reasons. One, they're made with natural charcoal; two, they look just like fishing reels.
Fareastgizmos, which says the charcoal minimizes distortion, breaks down the specs this way: "The 2-way speaker system with sealed 66mmBINCHO-TAN Plus PP Hybrid cone woofer and 20mmPEI balance dome tweeter with playback frequency 120Hz - 70kHz, 83dB impedance at 4Ω measures 110W?115H?122D and weighs 0.42kg (1) speaker."
Um, OK. All we know is that these KSC-SS10 speakers will be available next month in Japan for about $215. The rod is … Read more
Even in our perpetually clueless state we're somewhat familiar with the concept of gender-specific marketing, but we're not sure why this falls under either category.
For one thing, the photos of this 10-inch-screen Samsung portable TV depict representatives of both sexes gleefully viewing said product, which reportedly can be hooked up to an external hard drive. And the casing is a gender-neutral white--not even pink!--so it's unclear which features make this "exclusively reserved for female customers," as Akihabara News puts it.
The only clue that might tip it in that direction is a picture … Read more
Motorola's designers have been busy creating products that appeal to drivers. First we reported on the Moto T605 music and hands-free system that lets drivers stream audio files wirelessly from their Bluetooth 2.0-enabled cell phones and MP3 players. And now, Motorola is launching iRadio--its own music subscription service that looks like a cross between iTunes and satellite radio.
iRadio enables owners of select Motorola devices equipped with the stereo Bluetooth profile (such as the Motorola Q) to compile their own commercial-free playlists of songs from an online database and then use their mobile devices to stream the music … Read more