Apple has released a firmware update that corrects some problems associated with the iSight camera that is built into their LED cinema displays. Additionally, a couple of updates for Camino and Firefox Beta have been released, so if you use those browsers it's worth updating.… Read more
Best Buy on Tuesday is expected to announce its own movie download service for consumer electronics sold in its stores.
Though it doesn't have a name yet--and probably won't until next week at the earliest--Best Buy says the service will be up and running sometime in the fourth quarter, which could mean anytime between now and the end of the year. The retailer is licensing the software and infrastructure from Sonic Solutions' Roxio CinemaNow service, which has more than 20,000 film titles, mostly new releases, available via its on-demand service.
The software will be available on Best … Read more
Adobe Systems on Thursday released a beta version of a file format called CinemaDNG the company hopes will simplify higher-end digital video processes and improve its quality.
The company behind Photoshop has developed a technology for still cameras called DNG, short for Digital Negative, and is trying to standardize it to encourage broader adoption. CinemaDNG takes the technology and applies it to video
For higher-end cameras such as SLRs, DNG records the raw data from the image sensor with no in-camera processing. That means there are no compression artifacts, no sharpening or contrast filters applied, no camera assumptions made about … Read more
BERLIN--Shelled out several thousands for a Philips Cinema 21:9 television? You'll be pleased to hear it's obsolete.
Philips has bumped the firmware and added a micro polarizing lens to the screen, to create a prototype 3D TV.
The TV gets its tri-dimensional input from a prototype 3D Blu-ray player. Philips said Thursday at IFA 2009 that it's "actively participating in the 3D specification work of the Blu-ray Disc Association."
But hold it right there. Amid the 3D arms race--which has all the major manufacturers at IFA insisting that 3D is the next big thing--Philips … Read more
Many computers come with a built-in camera, but none offer the HD video of the LifeCam Cinema, Microsoft's newest flagship Webcam, which incorporates a native 720p wide-screen sensor that offers higher quality video to instant-messengers, YouTube videographers, and everyone in between.
Webcam users already know that traditional 1.3-megapixel cameras typically struggle to curb digital noise when recording in low light. Last year's LifeCam Show showed improvement, but the video still had bits of graininess. The LifeCam Cinema continues that momentum with Microsoft's new ClearFrame Technology, which promises better low-light performance (and increased visibility thanks to its 74-degree viewing angle) without having to sacrifice resolution quality.
Microsoft also includes Windows Live Movie Maker and Windows Live Photo Gallery to help users edit and upload their videos to popular social networking sites like YouTube or Facebook. The LifeCam Cinema will start shipping in September for $80, which includes a three-year limited hardware warranty.
One last thing: no surprise (though we still have to say it), but the LifeCam Cinema does not work with Macs.… Read more
The maker of the CinemaNow video service says it wants to start adding 3D movies to its repertoire.
Sonic Solutions is working with Nvidia, Samsung, and Mitsubishi to start delivering video in a variety of 3D formats to PCs and some 3D-capable TVs. Whenever it does become available--which is not clear yet because Sonic isn't ready to discuss which hardware partners it's working with--the movies will be delivered via the same method as the company's CinemaNow service.
The technology, however, is still new. It will only work with devices with graphics processors optimized for 3D, which mostly means it will work on PCs with 3D-capable monitors. Some Samusng and Mitsubishi TVs that are 3D-enabled might also work. In all cases, you'll still need plastic 3D glasses.
Though Sonic Solutions actually sees Blu-ray as the best way of delivering 3D content, there are several issues holding that up: the technology has not been agreed upon by all the parties that subscribe to that standard. In the meantime, Sonic says its video service will be a great way to fill the gap, since there are a growing number of 3D movies in the theater.
"We see an opportunity to bridge that time gap," said Michael DiMaria, vice president of product management for CinemaNow. "Ultimately, we believe Blu-ray will be the dominant format for the distribution of 3D content. In the meantime, there's plenty of content available and several ways to display it." … Read more
We're putting the final touches on our review of the LG BD390 (the full review will be up soon), but we've wrapped up our testing of its CinemaNow functionality. We've had some experience with CinemaNow as a PC-centric download service, but the BD390 is the first standalone product with streaming CinemaNow functionality that we've seen. The service is similar to Apple TV, Vudu, or Amazon Video On Demand, allowing you to rent ($3-$4) or buy ($10-$20) movies and stream them over a broadband connection.
The LG BD390 already includes Netflix streaming, so the advantage of CinemaNow is that it includes some new releases that aren't available for Netflix streaming; Netflix's streaming catalog is heavy on older releases. There's no doubt CinemaNow includes some new releases that Netflix doesn't have ("Appaloosa," "W," "The Spirit," "Transporter 3"), but the selection feels much smaller than Amazon's; we couldn't find any of the most popular movies on Amazon ("Bride Wars," "Slumdog Millionaire," "Marley & Me," "Twilight") on CinemaNow. (CinemaNow wouldn't disclose how large the current library is, except that "thousands" of titles are available.)… Read more
Please note: Friendly seas ahead! This is a spoiler-free review.
NEW YORK--When I walked into a theater at Viacom's midtown headquarters for an advance screening of the new J.J. Abrams-directed "Star Trek" prequel on Wednesday night, I felt like that kid who hadn't done her homework--for an entire semester.
And yet that was crucial to my assignment: to see if it was possible for someone completely new to the "Star Trek" universe to understand, process, and more importantly enjoy this new film.
Here's my background. I had never seen any of the … Read more
Online video service CinemaNow and Best Buy are planning to launch a movie download service this summer, according to a published report.
Variety, a film industry trade magazine, quoted unnamed sources in its report about how Best Buy is talking to CinemaNow, as well as other Web movie services, about offering film downloads.
The magazine noted that Best Buy is advertising job openings for digital-movie executive positions on such sites as PaidContent.org.
Why Best Buy would partner with CinemaNow is still unclear. The service was eclipsed by much more influential services, such as those of Apple's iTunes and … Read more
I reviewed Apple's LED Cinema Display late last year and found it a great performer. But it was only compatible with a small subsection of the market--thanks to Apple's use of Mini DisplayPort as its sole video connection. Due to this decision, the display was disappointingly only compatible with the new MacBooks.
This week, Collins announced that it will be the first company besides Apple to release LCD computer monitors with MDP connections.
Collins has dubbed the monitor line CinemaView, and the first three models are slated to be available by September 1.
The three CinemaView displays are … Read more