Sony is gearing up its marketing department behind Blu-Ray DVDs, its next-generation disc for high definition movies. Toshiba and its partners are lined up behind HD DVD, a different, incompatible format. Sony hopes that you’ll buy its Blu-Ray players and movies this year, and it’s especially hoping that you buy a PlayStation 3 next year with a Blu-Ray drive. […] continuedRead more
There’s a lot of talk online today about the malicious software installed when you play a protected Sony CD. Here’s my first reaction to it a few days ago, and here’s an article in the Washington Post and one from PCPro, for example.
Watching Sony’s home entertainment division implode with one poor decision after another is sad. […] continuedRead more
When XBox 360 is released in a few weeks, Microsoft will be doing two different promotions.
The gamers will be told that the XBox 360 is the best gaming console yet, combining raw power and a huge video card with high definition output. Some new game will be promoted as the best-thing-ever, the way Halo carried the original XBox. […] continuedRead more
The new video iPod is a mediocre product. Similar products have been on the market for months, some (like the Sony PSP) with far superior screens. Battery life is low and it’s deliberately crippled by copy protection. And think about it – are you interested in watching an episode of Lost on a two and half inch screen? […] continuedRead more
There have been screensavers for a long time that would display a slide show of your photos. Now video is coming into its own, as evidenced by the Microsoft Video Screensaver. It comes with canned movie footage from countries around the world, but it can be configured to play your own video files. […] continuedRead more
WalMart is getting out of the rental DVD business and turning its customers over to Netflix.
WalMart only made a half-hearted effort to compete over the last two years, developing a hundred thousand customers who drew from a comparatively small selection and got slow service from a single distribution center. Netflix has five million customers, a deep selection of movies, and dozens of distribution warehouses. […] continuedRead more
HP has introduced a device for the living room that comes closer to a vision of the future than anything else on the market. The HP Digital Entertainment Center z545 ($1,999) is a computer at its heart, but that’s almost incidental. It’s a 480-line progressive scan DVD player, mp3 jukebox, dual-tuner DVR with free program guides, digital photo player, Web browser, and a moderately high-end personal computer with ultra-quiet cooling fans and a wireless keyboard. […] continuedRead more
Aging baby boomers will soon be unable to recognize anything handling media in the home of an affluent 25-year-old. The convergence between the computer world and the audio/video world is happening faster than anyone can follow.
There are dozens of devices hitting the market for moving photos, video and music from your home’s computers to the living room audio center or TV. […] continuedRead more
This article from Wired Magazine is essential reading. We are watching the creation of an entirely new economic model for the media and entertainment industries, with far-reaching consequences for our world. Amazon, Netflix, and online music services are discovering the long tail – the market for books, movies, music in a world where everything can be made readily available to everyone, regardless of their physical location. […] continuedRead more
Not everyone would have predicted it a few years ago, but digital cameras have become a matter-of-fact item in many homes. Normal, non-tech people have learned to unload pictures from a memory card, view them on the computer, and print them on a color inkjet. Ambitious home users can use a program like Adobe Photoshop Elements or Microsoft Digital Image Pro to crop the photos, correct lighting problems, or even manipulate them a bit. […] continuedRead more
Some things to make you go, hmmm . . .continued Read more
A year ago I speculated that Apple would start to shift its emphasis away from the computer business and into consumer electronics. (Click here and scroll down to May 17, 2003.)
Apple announced this week that it will split its product development into two parts, separating the people who develop iPod-related products from those who work on the company’s flailing Macintosh computers. […] continuedRead more
The cost of digital camcorders is coming down and software is flooding onto the market for video editing. The field is still in its early stages; like many new directions for computers over the years, early adopters are having a fine time learning acronyms and technical details but normal people are well advised to stay away. […] continuedRead more
After eight months of deliberation, a San Francisco federal judge ruled that popular DVD-copying software from 321 Studios has to be yanked off the market within seven days. Here’s an article with more details and a bit of the technical background. The ruling encompasses any product that breaks the copy protection on commercial DVDs. […] continuedRead more