Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sony Wins HD DVD War - For Better Or Worse

Sony has been declared the winner in the HD DVD wars. Toshiba has announced that it would stop production of it's HD DVD players. This is the final nail in the coffin for Toshiba's HD DVD format after recently losing the support of Warner Brothers, Netflix and Wal-Mart.

This should help make Sony feel a little vindication after having lost the decade long battle against JVC in the 1980's Betamax vs VHS war. That time, the better format lost out. This time we are not so sure. Sony's Blu-Ray HD format is more costly in both the manufacturing of the discs and the set top players themselves. Eventually prices will fall as they did with standard DVD players. But probably not as fast. Most consumers are perfectly happy with their current DVD players and are in no rush to upgrade. With Blu-Ray players hovering in the $400-600 price range, it will take some serious persuasion to get consumers to plunk down their hard earned cash.

Toshiba's HD-DVD players were far less expensive and were not prone to the manufacturing problems that are prevalent with Blu-Ray. The visual quality difference between the two formats was negligible. So it seems that the public now has a format that is more expensive, more error prone, and visually identical to the losing format. Looks like we picked the wrong format once again.

Stupid is as stupid does. Nice going Sony.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Eye-Fi Wireless SD Memory Card

The problem with digital cameras is that the photos often end up stuck in the camera and are never downloaded to be shared with your friends and family. This is often due to the annoying process of taking the card out of the camera and putting it in a card reader or by trying to find that damn usb cable to connect it to the camera.

Now you have no more excuses. Eye-Fi has come up with a 2GB SD Memory Card that has built in Wi-Fi connectivity. After you return home from taking pictures with your digital camera, Eye-Fi will automatically download your photos to your home network. Nice.

Pros: Automatic Wireless Downloading, WEP & WPA Encryption.

Cons: Currently Only Available In SD.

Price: $99.99

Click here to buy from Pixelphile's Amazon Stop & Shop.

Explosive Slow Motion Skateboarding

As Dave Chappelle once said, "Everything Looks Better In Slow Motion. This is The Truth." You would have to agree with him after you watch the opening title sequence from Lakai's Fully Flared skate video. Directed by the alternative film master Spike Jonze, who once again shows why he is the best when it comes to original ideas.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

You Torrent Comparison Search Engine

I know that PixelPhile readers are law abiding citizens and would never consider using a bit torrent site to find free software, games, tv shows, and mp3's. Wink wink. But if for some reason you needed to, like say for a book report, the big question is which torrent site should you use? Now you can search all the popular sites easily with the real-time torrent comparison search engine YouTorrent. You can find your illegal...I mean for educational purposes only torrents much quicker and easier.

Pros: Searches Most Popular Torrent Sites.

Cons: Big Brother Is Still Watching You.

Price: FREE!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Time Warp

This is a time compression shot that I am working on with my students at Cal State University Northridge. It was shot normally at 24p then stabilized, tweaked, and color corrected in After Effects.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Star Trek The Tour

STAR TREK THE TOUR is dedicated to the over forty years of imagination, artistry and meticulous craftsmanship that together have made the Star Trek legacy the most enduring television franchise in history. This is the largest collection of artifacts, sets and information ever put on public display. A truly impressive array of exhibits, featuring sets, costumes, priceless museum pieces and props from all five Star Trek television series and ten Star Trek feature films. Together these components offer Star Trek fans and novices alike, an unprecedented encounter with the phenomenon that is Star Trek.

STAR TREK THE TOUR is at the Queen Mary Dome in Long Beach, California now through Sunday February 17, 2008. STAR TREK THE TOUR will travel to 40 cities in the United States over the next 5 years.

To quote William Shatner from SNL: "You know, before I answer any more questions there's something I wanted to say. Having received all your letters over the years, and I've spoken to many of you, and some of you have traveled... y'know... hundreds of miles to be here, I'd just like to say... GET A LIFE, will you people? I mean, for crying out loud, it's just a TV show! I mean, look at you, look at the way you're dressed! You've turned an enjoyable little job, that I did as a lark for a few years, into a COLOSSAL WASTE OF TIME!"

Pros: Colossal Waste of Time, Captain Kirk's Command Chair.

It's Not Star Wars.

Price: Adult Tickets $35 Weekend/$30 Weekday.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Green & Mean - Hummer HX Concept

Hummer, the manufacturer of gas guzzling, high carbon footprint vehicles for men with small penises, might actually be going green. Recently at the 2008 North American Auto Show, Hummer debuted it's Hummer HX Concept vehicle that will run on E 85 Flex Fuel.

Looking a bit like the M12 Warthog all-terrain vehicle from the video game Halo, the HX will unfortunately not be equipped with the optional M41 12.7mm LAAG machine gun. This would have been perfect for clearing the fast lane of slow moving soccer moms during rush hour traffic.

Pros: Aggressive Design, Flex Fuel Capable.

No Machine Gun.

List Price: TBA

Saturday, February 2, 2008

DLO Homedock HD

With more and more video content being stored on video capable iPod's, there is a need to be able to watch this content on a HD plasma or LCD display. The only problem is that iPod's are only able to output Standard Definition video which is woefully inadequate for viewing on a HD display.

DLO has a great new iPod dock that will upconvert the video signal to 720p or 1080i. The Homedock HD is a stylish set top box that will output iPod video to your TV via HDMI, S Video, and Composite. It even has Digital Audio and USB connections. A small remote control is also included for easy couch surfing of your videos. The Homedock HD does for the iPod what Oppo's DV-980H does for DVD's.

The Homedock HD was recently awarded as an iLounge Best of Show Finalist for C.E.S. 2008.

Pros: Clean Design, HDMI Output, Remote Control.

No Wifi Connectivity.

List Price: $249.99 (Price subject to change.)