The time of the streamer

This is a time when network HD media players are starting to gain a serious market share. And their era is only starting these days.


Why am I saying this? Well, more and more people realize that they don’t really need a Blu-Ray or DVD player, because it’s not comfortable to use, when all you’re ever watching are movie that you’ve downloaded of the internet. Nobody admits to this, but basically everybody does it.

So why bother burning those movies on a DVD, when mkv files, which offer the same quality, are always available and you have a home network? Why not just stream those movies through your network (be it wired or wireless) straight to your new plasma.

Most of these HD media players (or “streamers”, as they are called) can play files via a wired Ethernet port. A few examples are Western Digital’s WD Live or Viewsonic’s Icybox. There are a few that can stream your content through a wireless connection – Asus’ new O!Play and Dell’s Zino HD are among these. Some of them even allow for a hard drive to be inserted, so you can play your content straight from it.

More about the best streamers on

TI DLP’s Pico chipset will change the way consumers interact with their mobile devices and home electronics, allowing them to share content and experiences with friends and family.

The same Texas Instruments DLP projection technology that lights up cinema screens around the world, delights home theater enthusiasts and is a classroom mainstay across the United States, is making an even bigger impact as it gets smaller; The DLP Pico chipset is capable of projecting images up to 100 inches from a chip with only half the surface area of a postage stamp, and it’s poised to have a big impact on the consumer technology market.


The Impact of DLP Pico

The tiny Texas Instruments DLP Pico chipset allows Pico projectors to go where projectors have never been before: Into mobile phones, embedded in personal media players, into ultra-portable projectors the size of a deck of cards.

This shift represents more than just the shrinking of devices; it’s a change in how consumers use their personal electronics.

— A traveling businessperson can now carry in their pocket what they used to need a second suitcase for. It allows for impromptu, instant, professional business presentations.
— School districts can put projection capabilities in the palm of the teacher’s hand effectively bringing the classroom to any location.
— Friends can shop online together to share ideas and fashions before buying.
— Social media becomes social again, and users can share photos and updates with the friends sitting next to them, as they share them with their friends around the world.
— Travelers can share pictures and videos from their trip with each other before they even return home.

Consumers today typically have a 1:1 relationship with their personal electronics. By introducing an embedded Pico projector, DLP Pico technology is enabling consumers to effortlessly share their content and experiences with friends and family.

DLP’s Product Lineup

The latest products on the market featuring the TI DLP Pico chipset represent the wide array of uses for the technology:

— Samsung W7900 Projector Phone
— Optoma PK102 Pico Projector
— Samsung MBP200 Media Player/Personal Media Player
— WowWee Cinemin Swivel Pico Projector
— Dell M109S Notebook Companion Projector

What Does the Future Hold for Pico?

With the increasing range and popularity of devices embedded with DLP Pico projectors, the market for these projectors is forecast for huge growth.

While the market for projectors embedded in mobile phones and media players is clearly a growth opportunity, other markets are showing promise.

One of those markets is digital signage. Christie Digital, a global leader in visual solutions, has used DLP Pico technology to develop MicroTiles, modular digital display tiles that can be stacked and clustered like building blocks to create display walls of any shape or scale. MicroTiles use DLP Pico technology to create an entirely new, advanced optical design that produces unparalleled levels of brightness, contrast and color reproduction.

In 2010, we can expect to see:
— Expansion of DLP Pico projectors into even more devices and categories: More mobile phones, notebook companion projectors and media players, as well as toys and gaming accessories.
— New partnerships with leading manufacturers

Innovating with DLP Pico

Almost as soon as the TI DLP products were on the market, developers and researchers working in areas outside of traditional projection displays began requesting access to DLP technology to fuel their innovative ideas. In response, Texas Instruments developed DLP® Discovery(TM) kits to enable innovation in the medical, direct imaging, structured lighting and spectroscopy fields, among others.

The DLP® Pico(TM) Projector Development Kit was created in response to demand from developers and researchers eager to experiment with DLP technology as an alternative to disassembling projectors to gain access to the DLP chipset. The kit combines the imaging power of DLP with a tiny projector form factor to enable innovative mobile projection applications.

The DLP Pico chipset represents a significant innovation for DLP technology. With it, TI is addressing two distinct market categories: consumer-focused products such as cell phones and portable projectors, and non-traditional, high growth markets that require light manipulation.

The resulting application ideas include augmented reality, battery or USB-powered display applications, simple 3D measurement applications, projection of video and images and miniature appliances that don’t have space for a large display.

Source: Texas Instruments DLP

SolarVoice 908 is the first solar-powered Bluetooth headset to feature noise reduction for clear calls

Innovative ear buds eliminate feeling of deafness and fatigue

i.Tech Dynamic introduced the solar-powered SolarVoice 908, a Bluetooth headset that lets users go green while maintaining their productivity and listening to their favorite tunes.

SolarVoice 908

“Our new SolarVoice 908 taps into the power of the sun to charge, making it perfect for consumers who are trying to be environmentally conscious,” said Stephen Ngan, Deputy Managing Director of i.Tech Dynamic Ltd. “SolarVoice stays charged as long as it’s exposed to sunlight, so busy people have two less things to worry about: keeping their Bluetooth headset charged and reducing their carbon footprint.”

First Solar Headset to Feature Noise Reduction for Clear Calls

Sleek and stylish, the eco-friendly SolarVoice 908 is the first solar- powered Bluetooth headset with background noise reduction for clear phone calls. The unit employs an advanced suite of digital signal processing software to reduce background noise and distortion. The noise reduction technology improves the sound quality of a signal by adaptively removing noise or hiding it from the listener through low-latency, low distortion, multi-band signal processing and psycho-acoustic masking.

A2DP Bluetooth Profile for Streaming Multimedia Audio

SolarVoice features Bluetooth’s Advanced Audio Distribution Profile, or A2DP, which lets users stream songs from Bluetooth mobile phones or music devices with A2DP. The headset also lets users hear audio content from videos they’re watching on A2DP-compatible multimedia devices and smartphones, such as the iPhone 3GS and the second generation iPod touch (3.0 software required), or from YouTube and other Web sites (Wi-Fi connection required).

Innovative Ear Buds Eliminate Deafness and Fatigue

SolarVoice’s innovative ear buds are specifically designed to allow air to reach the ear canal, which eliminates the feeling of deafness and fatigue users may experience during extended use of other ear buds. Designed for superior comfort and fit, SolarVoice’s ear buds come in four sizes and hold the headset firmly in place, so an ear hook is not necessary. (For those who prefer to use one, an ear hook comes standard with the headset.)

Many Other User-Friendly Features

A flashing green light indicates when the unit is solar charging, and an elegant headset cradle designed for desktop and in-car use perfectly positions SolarVoice to absorb maximum sunlight.

SolarVoice gives users up to five hours of talk time, infinite standby time while in optimum sunlight and up to 140 hours of standby time without sunlight.

The unit also has an internal lithium-ion battery, so it can be charged via A/C power and a computer USB port (travel adapter and cable included). SolarVoice fully charges in three hours via A/C power or USB connection.

Headset functions include voice dialing (mobile phone dependent), last- number redial, call reject, call transfer (from headset to mobile phone and vice-versa), auto re-link (which re-establishes the Bluetooth connection when the user returns to within range of a device), call waiting and call swap.

Other features and specifications include:
— Bluetooth Version 2.1 + EDR Class 2
— Headset and hands-free Bluetooth profiles
— Multipoint technology, which lets the headset connect simultaneously to two cell phones
— Charging status indicators
— Volume adjust, call transfer and call reject button
— Range: up to 33 feet
— Dimensions: 54.5 (L) x .17 (W) x 11.3 (T) mm
— Weight: .13.1g

Pricing and Availability

Available now at retail stores, SolarVoice 908 has a suggested retail price of HK$588 (approx. US$74.99).

Source: i.Tech Dynamic Ltd.

AUO unveils flexible E-Paper technology

World’s largest* E-Paper Module Will Debut in FPD 2009

Dedicated to the development of green innovation, AU Optronics Corp.  announced a series of innovative e-paper technology applications, including the world’s largest* 20-inch e-paper module and AUO’s first 6-inch flexible e-paper. With its aggressive technology development, AUO plans to offer flexible e-paper samples in 2010 in order to provide a power-efficient and convenient green lifestyle to the consumer market. The relevant e-paper technologies will be showcased in FPD International 2009, held in Yokohama Japan, from Oct. 28-30.

After marking the worldwide debut of its 6-inch touch function e-book at Display Taiwan 2009 in June, AUO launched its first 6-inch flexible e-paper technology in October, drawing widespread attention from the e-paper industry. Adopting Sipix’s exclusive Microcup(R) technology, this flexible e-paper incorporates a plastic substrate, so that the display can be repeatedly bended, allowing it to match even more closely the functionality of real paper. The flexible e-paper is portable and unbreakable, significantly increasing the product’s durability. While the curved radius of this e-paper reaches 100mm, it remains flexible and features 16 gray levels, a 9:1 high contrast ratio, and a reflectance of 33%. In terms of power consumption, there is no electricity required during reading and it consumes power only when the image is updated. Using the roll-to-roll manufacturing process, the technology allows for the commencement of volume production with higher yield rates, making it more cost-competitive. The size of the flexible e-paper is able to be tailor-made based on customers’ needs. AUO expects to distribute samples to customers in 2010 and to start volume production then.

In addition, AUO announces the world’s first 20-inch EPD (Electrophoretic Display) module, which is also the largest EPD size currently ready for mass production. It will be the best choice for future applications in Public Information Display because of its ability to eliminate backlight. It also features extremely low power consumption of less than 2W as well as 16 gray level capabilities.

Other EPD applications to be exhibited in FPD International 2009 include 2-inch Electronic Shelf Label (ESL), and 6-inch & 9-inch touch function built-in e-book displays. Since the 2-inch ESL uses active matrix equipped bi-stable image characteristics, label images can be maintained for at least one month without electricity supply on the shelf. With the in-cell touch functions and embedded Single Chip Solution, the debut 9-inch e-book display provides a 1024×768 high-definition screen. AUO also debuts its 2-piece 6″ e-book with foldable design. Consumers can combine e-book reading with a traditional reading experience.

“As a technology in great demand to replace paper applications, e-paper, with its environmentally friendly features, will bring about more innovative and portable consumer electronic products and applications to the market. In addition, the mass production of the flexible e-paper will drive the next wave of the reading revolution,” said Dr. C.T. Liu, Senior VP & GM of Consumer Product Display Business Group of AUO. “AUO holds the advantage of having integrated technologies and manufacturing capabilities. With the fully supported panel capacity in the different generations of fabs, AUO applies its 4G lines to produce e-tags, 5G lines for 6-inch to 10-inch e-book panels, and 6G or 7.5G to produce e-signage display panels. In the near future, AUO will continue to provide customers with full-range services that lead the industry.”

Dr. C.T. Liu will make a speech about “Opportunities and Challenges for e-Books” on Oct. 30th at the FPD International 2009 Forum.

*Based on available market research information as of October 20, 2009.

Source: AU Optronics Corp.

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