E3, Electronic Entertainment Expo, is an annual convention where the hottest video games of the year are shown. This week wraps up the 3-day convention for 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Tons of press conferences and interviews and demonstrations with game developers sadly draw to a close. Are you wondering why YEW is talking about this, if we don’t even sell video games? Well, we want to know the trends in all generations of electronics and entertainment. That’s why we are bringing you just a few technology highlights from E3. Here’s a brief look at the coolest tech to look forward to: Kinect Fun Labs Microsoft has long been marketing the Kinect, motion-based technology for the Xbox 360, and announced many new games that will be integrated next year. But the most intriguing new feature is voice control. You’ll be able to speak dialog lines and issue commands and have game characters respond. The new Xbox activity is called Kinect Fun Labs uses both voice and new kinds of gesture control are available to Xbox Live members today. The company also announced that Google’s YouTube is coming to Xbox and Bing will also be integrated. You’ll be able to search via voice command for content on Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, and Live TV. For those of us that don’t have a gaming system, LG already offers Smart TVs for access to limitless content with many customizable applications, streaming movies and videos pre-loaded (with subscription and internet access). It has web browsing and services from Netflix, Hulu Plus, Vudu and more. They recently announced AG-S110 3D active shutter glasses with liquid crystal technology to deliver images with virtually no ghosting or image trailing. It has a rechargeable battery for long lasting entertainment. Playstation HDTV At E3, Sony boasted that there will be more than a 100 games available in 3D this year. Almost all first and third-party Playstation exclusives showcased at this year’s show can be played in 3D. And so in a major effort to make 3D gaming more accessible to everyone, Sony has announced the Playstation 3D Display, a 24” LED LCD 1080p HDTV that will retail for $499 when it launches later this year. The price is a stimulating point because currently price is the biggest obstacle for 3D TVs, and electronic retailers like us will be anxious to see how the industry leaders react. Sony also exclaimed that starting this fall they will be selling more affordable 3D glasses for $69 each. It is yet to be seen if these glasses will be universally functional on all 3D TVs. Besides that, this new TV has some impressive tech behind it. Sony’s Two Player Mode allows two individuals to see two separate fullscreen images using stereoscopic active shutter glasses synched to only one screen. Previously, during a co-op or two-player gaming session the screen would be split down the middle, hindering the total viewing area for each player. This way both people can play without sacrificing any screen size. You get a unique, immersive experience sharing “two” TVs in one because the images superimpose on top of each other. Few testers of the product did comment on subtle signs of ghosting. So, at this point it is unclear what level of development the model is and whether or not will be a persistent issue. This is not the first time we’ve seen this technology of sharing screen images on the same TV using shutter glasses. At CES, the consumer electronic show in Las Vegas, NV earlier this year, Vizio presented their version of multiplayer mode. More importantly, we predict the future potential affordability for 3D glasses. XpanD offers Universal 3D Glasses® for $129.99. They have been designed to have the broadest possible compatibility with today’s and tomorrow’s 3D. The XpanD X103 glasses work in combination with state-of-the-art LCD technology, high-performance software, and simple and comfortable lightweight frames to deliver games, movies, pictures, and graphics in the highest quality 3D. The fast switching speed is an active solution to no headaches, ghosting or eyestrain as associated with other 3D solutions. Here is a list of 3D TVs and Projectors compatible with the XpanD Universal 3D Glasses (as of March 2011): Panasonic, LG, Mitsubishi (with compatible emitter), Phillips, Samsung, Sony, Sharp, Toshiba Microsoft is positioning itself with this Kinect Fun Labs technology to platform with individual developers or the general public in creating a community that invites innovation from everyone. Meanwhile, Sony may have success in popularizing 3D using its Playstation brand. This new morsel of gaming information from E3 helps drive innovative technology and entertainment industries. We can get excited how to use the capabilities of these technologies, versus traditional entertainment systems.
Monster Cable® has done it again! The new Digital Life™ product line is the answer to the growing number of questions and concerns many electronics consumers have. As more and more devices fill our homes and pockets, the challenge becomes how to effectively connect them all and get the most enjoyment for the least amount of cost and frustration. Monster Cable is making things simple with their Digital Life products, with new premium cables and surge-protected power strips that meet or exceed industry standards at prices anyone can afford. And if you're looking to save money and are going green, Monster Cable's GreenPower technology can automatically turn off outlets to avoid wasting money and electricity. Keep reading to find out more! Convergence The digital revolution is underway, and in many respects has run its course. By revolution I mean the mass acceptance of digital devices as indispensable parts of our daily lives and the anticipation of emerging technologies. Part of the change has been the dramatic increase in the number of devices; now the challenge becomes making them work together. After all, the purpose of technology is to make our lives easier, more pleasurable, and to empower the individual. As the focus shifts to making everything work -- and work well -- the discussion revolves around convergence, around creating a digital life. This means watching YouTube videos on your HDTV, interacting with family members over your Blu-ray player, creating videos and music to share online, and playing your favorite character on your Playstation or Xbox. In short, your devices are no longer exclusive -- they share information and uses and complement one other, creating an experience that is more meaningful and interactive. Monster Cable's Digital Life product line includes everything you need to get up and running, from the power/surge strips (PowerCenter) to USB cables to DVI, and HDMI cables to Ethernet cables -- just one stop at our Digital Life product page and you'll be set. Monster Cable answers the call Monster Cable is making convergence simple with their Digital Life product line. The cables and PowerCenters™ are designed and constructed to exceed current specifications so you won't have to update cables or worry about compatibility. Form and function combine with sleek cables and PowerCenters that complement today's devices with the highest quality materials and technologies on the inside. That is why the Monster Cable Digital Life MDP-900 PowerCenter won the prestigious Innovations 2009 Design and Engineering Award by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), presented at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Save Money...and the Environment Monster Cable's GreenPower technology saves electricity by automatically shutting off selected outlets when not in use. Many people assume that when they turn off their electrical devices they stop using power -- but that's not the case. Even when turned off your devices still draw power! GreenPower detects the drop in demand (like when a computer goes into standby or your TV turns off) and can manage which outlets to turn completely off. This is useful for accessories such as stereos, disc players, chargers, or even main devices. Either way the result is the same: since the outlets are completely shut off, the flow of electricity stops. You can defeat the dreaded vampire load! By letting GreenPower manage your devices you can stop wasting money and electricity. Another upside? Reducing the amount of electricity you use reduces your carbon footprint! Managing your devices The Digital Life and GreenPower products from Monster Cable make managing your electronics simple. Getting the right cable or power strip is easy, and the quality is always top-notch. And with GreenPower you won't feel bad having all those devices plugged in...you might even brag about how much money you save on your utility bill. So if you want to skip the hassle of choosing the right cables or surge strips, go with the Monster Cable Digital Life product line. Innovation and technology doesn't have to mean chaos -- convergence, and living the digital life to its fullest, means getting rid of what you don't need and effectively managing what you do use. So embrace technology and usher in a new digital paradigm with Monster Cable Digital Life products with GreenPower.
"Which one should I buy?" Trying to sort through the onslaught of technical jargon and conflicting advice usually ends with the customer making a rash decision driven by a desire to end the headaches and waiting instead of accurate and helpful information. We've already discussed the differences between resolutions (eg: 720p vs. 1080p ) and the importance of investing in HD technology (eg: digital transition in February 2009 ), but little has been said about screen size, viewing distance, or which panel technology is right for particular conditions and uses. Below you will find information to help you determine if you should buy a DLP , plasma , or LCD ; how big of a screen you should get; what the different technologies are best at doing; and how and where to position yourself/TV to maximize your HD experience.The first task is to determine what you will be doing with your HDTV . Will you be watching standard definition cable or Blu-ray movies? Will the TV be in a brightly-lit kitchen or a dark basement? Is the ceiling low or high, and is the room small or large? I have created a table to make deciding which HDTV technology is right for you. Now that you've determined what you'll be using the TV for, the viewing conditions, and addressed any personal concerns, it's time to figure out the size of the TV and the viewing distance. Keep in mind that the ranges are approximate and are intended as a guide; they work both ways: if you know your viewing distance you can pick the right size screen, or you can pick a TV and then arrange your furniture as needed, but personal preference always trumps formulas and suggestions. Remember that higher-quality content such as HD movies, satellite, and computer content allows for closer viewing, but low-quality content such as basic cable and up-scaled DVDs is best viewed from greater distances. This is because HD content has more detail and fewer artifacts, enabling closer viewing without distractions or noticing pixel structures. Here are the suggested ranges (in feet) and TV screen size (measured diagonally). Through the entire process it is crucial to keep things in perspective: many Americans spend over 4 hours a day in front of their TVs, or some 1,600+ hours per year (households watch for 8+ hrs/day), and many are integrating their computers, gaming systems, and photo viewing into the TV system. Thus, investing in a large, quality HDTV will mean an enriched media experience. And let's not forget smaller TVs for the kitchen and office and medium sized TVs for bedrooms and multi-use areas. So as content continues to rush toward full-HD and viewing time increases, it's absolutely critical to have TVs that natively display 1920 x 1080p, have multiple HDMI inputs, and have high contrast, high-color panels. Of course having an HDTV is useless without HD content, which means you must have satellite with HD channels, digital cable with HD channels, a Blu-ray or HD-DVD player, HD antenna, gaming systems such as the PS3 or Xbox 360 , a compatible computer or media device, and all the necessary cables and configurations. And let's not forget sound - we are audio beings as much as visual, so a surround sound system is necessary to complete the HD experience and immerse yourself in the content. Fortunately we have blog articles that cover all this, and we sell the HDTVs , Blu-ray players, speakers and home theater systems , and all the accessories you need to get up and running. Check out these blogs for more information: How to get the most out of your HDTV, Part I: The Basics How to get the most out of your HDTV, Part II: Connecting your HD System Warning: The Wrong HDMI Cables Will Ruin Your Home Theater Experience What's the Difference Between 1080p, 1080i, 720p and Other Resolutions? Bose® Introduces its Lifestyle® V20 and V30 Home Theater Systems