One Minute Video Review: Harmon Kardon/JBL Spyro Speakers

I took a look at the Creature II and Spyro speakers from JBL whilst I was in Berlin, including the limited edition shiny siver ones. The Creature II models are available now from £58 whilst the Spyro is yet to be released.

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Posted by Shiny Media on September 8, 2006 in Home audio, IFA news, Reviews, Video | Permalink | Comments (0)

One Minute Video: The Real IFA 2006

IFA has been and gone for another year, and if you've sadly missed the show, I edited to together a little treat for you courtesy of Adobe Premier Elements, so you can feel like you were there. Enjoy.

Posted by Shiny Media on September 5, 2006 in IFA news | Permalink | Comments (0)

IFA 2006: Harman Kardon Go + Play iPod speaker system

Harmonkardon_plug Remember the Cadbury's Smash robots? Well, you'll soon be able to pick up an iPod speaker system that looks uncannily similar in the form of the Harman Kardon Go + Play, which got an official launch at the IFA.

Apart from its strange looks, the Go + Play has one other stand-out feature - it's been designed for your iPod to lie flat, as opposed to sticking out from the top, which is probably more secure and certainly gives more of a streamlined look. The sound is boosted by a combination of bi-amped digital amplification, DSP (digital sound processing) and Ridge and Atlas transducers, with volume and music selection controlled by remote, which operates up to 30ft away and through walls. It also connects via S-video to your TV if you want to watch your video clips on a bigger screen.

The Harman Kardon Go + Play should be in the shops in time for Christmas, priced around 349 Euros (around £235).

Harman Kardon website

More speaker systems:
Cygnett GrooveBase iPod speaker system
Altec Lansing iM9 iPod speaker system and rucksack

Posted by modculture on September 4, 2006 in IFA news, MP3 players | Permalink | Comments (0)

IFA 2006: Linksys launches WIP330 Wi-Fi VoIP phone

Linksys_voip The rush to get us away from the PC continues with the Linksys WIP330 Wi-Fi-connected VoIP phone, which has been announced at IFA.

The WIP330, which features a 2.2-inch, 65,536-colour display, connects to 802.11b and 802.11g wireless hotspots and supports the SIP 2 VoIP standard - which means it's not Skype friendly. Features include caller ID, call forwarding, speed dial, last number redial, a vibration alert, call waiting and conference calling. The battery should be enough for three hours's talk time and 50 hours in standby.

It should be available from  Linksys distributors in the coming weeks, priced around the £270 mark.

Linksys website

Via The Register

More VoIP:
USRobotics introduces USR9630 cordless phone for Skype and domestic calling
Is ROK set to introduce free mobile VoIP?

Posted by modculture on September 4, 2006 in IFA news, VoiP | Permalink | Comments (0)

IFA 2006: SanDisk reveals Sansa Base Station, licensed accessories

Image001_4 The Sansa e200 proved itself to be a pretty versatile and reasonably priced MP3 player and it looks like the upcoming c200 will follow suit. But killing the iPod will take more than the player alone; Apple's players are as much about the wide range of avaible accessories as the distinctive design and the iTunes Music Store.

Therefore SanDisk has just revealed its first Sansa accessory, the Sansa Base Station, as well as announcing an agreement with several other manufacturers to start producing Sansa compatible accessories including travel cases, wireless earphones and portable speakers.

The Base Station will support the e200 and c200 players and will act as platform for transferring data to the player or as an audio output (using RCA) so you can play your tunes through your Hi-Fi. It also comes with a remote and will charge your player for you. It has a similarly reasonable retail price of $69.99 (about £36) and should be available in Europe in October.

Image003_1Meanwhile, other accessories will be unveiled towards the end of the year from companies including Altec Lansing, DLO, Griffin Technology, HandStands, Macally Peripherals, Maximo Products and Speck Products. Eric Bone, SanDisk’s director of consumer products marketing, had this to say: “With each new addition to the line of licensed Sansa accessories, we are creating a more complete ecosystem for enhancing the user experience among the growing base of Sansa owners.  Now our users will have many options to enhance, customize and personalize their SanDisk players.”

Accessories offered under the Made for Sansa license program include:

  • Portable stereo speakers from Altec Lansing and Macally Peripherals.
  • Travel cases and armband holders from DLO, Griffin Technology, HandStands and Speck Products.
  • Wireless headphones from Macally Peripherals and wired earphones from Maximo Products.
  • USB cables, chargers, adapters and other peripherals from Griffin Technology, Macally Peripherals and Maximo Products.

 

Posted by Al W on September 2, 2006 in IFA news, MP3 players | Permalink | Comments (0)

IFA 2006: SanDisk V-Mate memory card recorder

Image003 There aren’t many gadgets coming out these days that don’t come with some kind of movie playing capabilities, no matter how impractical the screen size is. However, actually getting video content on to them is usually a real pain. The SanDisk V-Mate, announced today at IFA, looks like a practical solution to this; it connects to an analogue audio and video output from pretty much any source you like, then records straight to the card. And it has been designed with small portable video players in mind.

It has a maximum recording resolution of 640 x 480, which makes it suitable for small screens, and means you can fit around three and a half hours of footage per gigabyte. The V-Mate is compatible with SD, MMC, MMCplus MMCmobile, SDHC, MiniSDHC, MicroSDHC, Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick Duo and Memory Stick PRO Duo – that should have all your bases covered then.

To program it you can use a TV-based interface that lets you adjust control settings, record and access content. The unit also includes an infrared emitter.  This will automatically turn on the TV tuner box (cable/satellite/terrestrial receiver or VCR) and select the right channel when programmed to record.  You can connect it to a computer using a mini-USB connection.

What isn’t immediately clear is how you make sure your recorded videos are saved in a file structure compatible with your media playing device. Anyone who has tried to move digital videos to their PSP will know you need to use the right folder and a specific file naming system to make them viewable. Hopefully SanDisk will have found a way to solve this problem.

The V-Mate is coming out in October and has a retail price of $130 (around £70).

Update: I asked a SanDisk representative about the file structure recording issue, he explained that the V-Mate will have special 'end-device' modes (it looks like PSP will be one of those) that can be selected and will record to the right location specific to your player. Firmware updates should mean that SanDisk can cover most major devices as well. You will also be able to name your files whatever you like. 

Posted by Al W on September 2, 2006 in Gadgets, IFA news, Personal video players | Permalink | Comments (0)

IFA 2006: USRobotics Skype DECT Phone

Usr9630_1 Yet another company is joining the race to get every home using Skype. This is USRobotics’ Skype compatible USR9630 cordless phone. It has one obvious flaw already – other companies, such as Philips, are cutting out the middle man and making DECT Skype phones that work independent of a PC. Unfortunately the USR9630 will still need to be tethered to your home computer to work with Skype.

The system will support up to four handsets and will let you make and receive ordinary and VoIP calls from the one handset.

Launch dates and price are still a bit tentative – it looks like a September launch in the US with a price tag amounting to something around £60. Additional handsets, USR9631s, will follow a month later.

Via Pocket Lint

Posted by Al W on September 2, 2006 in IFA news, VoiP | Permalink | Comments (0)

IFA 2006: More Philips amBX details

Ambx_product_05 It looks like PhilipsamBX vision for gamers doesn’t solely consist of an Ambilight monitor. Instead, a whole range of accessories will be launching over the course of next year aimed at extending the immersive aspects of gaming. Philips explains that this will consist of the following:

  • A series of LED based multi-colour lights that engage the eyes and increase realism
  • A powerful 2.1 speaker sound system providing booming audio that gives authenticity to the rumble of thunder or the blast of a gunshot
  • Several fans that bathe gamers in air movement and wind effects
  • A vibration unit that conveys the action and excitement completely in sync with the game situation

Ambilight technology is still the real selling point here; vibration functions have been around for a while (and in the case of Sony, they’ve gone again). I can’t say I’m too sold on the idea of fans blowing at me while I’m gaming – I think my PC produces quite enough fan noise and heat already.

The first game to get the amBX treatment will be Broken Sword: Angel of Death form THQ. Philips has been working closely with THQ to provide the resources and technology to develop the game alongside the new technology.

Philips website

Posted by Al W on September 2, 2006 in Gaming, IFA news | Permalink | Comments (1)

One Minute IFA Update: Philips Blu-Ray players and recorders

Ashley looks at Philips Blu-ray DVD players/recorders - the Media Center PC, the MCP9480i, and the  Blu-ray player - the BDP9000. For more info, check this link.

Posted by Shiny Media on September 1, 2006 in Gadgets, Gaming, IFA news, Video | Permalink | Comments (0)

One Minute IFA Update: Philips WACS7000 wireless music system

Ashley looks at the Philips WACS7000 wireless music system, which was announced today at IFA. For further details, click here.

Posted by Shiny Media on September 1, 2006 in Home audio, IFA news, Reviews, Video | Permalink | Comments (0)