While the PlayStation 3 is more than capable as a Blu-ray player, its lack of support for DTS-HD has been a major complaint among home theatre enthusiasts. These complaints haven't gone unheard as Sony will be adding support for DTS-HD in the next system software update.
I have more good news to report today - the system software update will also add DTS-HD Master Audio output for Blu-ray videos, which means the high-definition visuals of Blu-ray will now be matched with the highest quality audio for the ultimate movie-watching experience on PS3.

DTS-HD Master Audio is literally bit-for-bit identical to the studio master recording and makes movie soundtracks and sound effects truly come to life. The technology delivers audio at the incredibly high rate of 24.5 mega-bits per second (Mbps) on Blu-ray disc, which is significantly higher than standard DVDs. DTS-HD Master Audio also offers 7.1 audio channels at 96k sampling frequency/24 bit depths, so you’ll be totally immersed in the sound. The firmware update will add DTS-HD High Resolution Audio as well, which is a similar output technology that requires less disc space. You can read more about both codecs here.
Support for DTS-HD isn't the only new feature in the 2.30 firmware. This update will also give PS3 owners the ability to access the revamped PlayStation store. Full details can be found here. Add a comment
NetBlender has announced a new technology that gives iPhone users the ability to interact with content on a Blu-ray disc. This new technology, called "BD Touch", enhances the capabilities of BD Live by enabling two-way communication between a Blu-ray player and Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch.

NetBlender today announced a new Blu-ray Disc technology that allows iPhones and iPod Touch devices to interact with content on a Blu-ray disc. Called "BD Touch", the technology leverages the network connection built into Blu-ray players and the WiFi connection on the iPhone to create two-way communication between the devices. Video, audio, text, and player commands can be transferred via the connection.

"Having spent the past decade building interactive video products we are thrilled to bring together two of the most interactive consumer products ever created with BD Touch," said John Harrington, NetBlender CEO. "We began R&D on integrating the two devices right after I experienced the iPhone Multi-Touch interface for the first time."

BD Touch connects the 10 foot experience of the large screen home theater with the mobile experience offered by the iPhone. The sophisticated UI of the iPhone enables unprecedented user interaction when compared to any other handheld device. BD Touch applications can take advantage of the iPhone's geo location features, 3D sensors and QWERTY keyboard. BD Touch features will work on any BD Live-enabled Blu-ray Disc player such as the PlayStation 3.
It's not clear as to whether or not BD Touch will work with existing BD Live titles. Most likely, the BD Touch framework will need to be incorporated into the title for it to work correctly. If you'd like to read more, Netblender's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
Blockbuster announced today that it will be offering Blu-ray titles in all of its corporate stores throughout the U.S. and Canada. To highlight the availability of Blu-ray, the company will also be installing kiosks equipped with PS3's and HDTV's in almost 5,000 of its stores.
Beginning this week, inaddition to the standard DVDs lining its shelves, Blockbuster Inc. will beoffering customers something extra -- Blu-ray movies, for rent and sale inall of its corporate stores in the U.S., as well as in Canada, and selectdomestic franchise locations. Blockbuster made news last July with itsannouncement that the company was making Blu-ray available in 1,700 of itsstores. Now, less than a year later, the company is positioning itself tobecome the customer's Blu-ray headquarters for rental and retail productwith this national launch.

To highlight the availability of Blu-ray in its stores, Blockbuster isinstalling Blu-ray kiosks in the center of its stores. Featuring a 42-inchhigh-definition TV with movies playing via a PLAYSTATION(R)3 (PS3(TM))console, the Blu-ray kiosks will enable customers to experience themovie-viewing advantages of high-definition technology while also drivinghome the point that PS3 consoles double as Blu-ray players.
Blockbuster is also offering its online subscribers a Blu-ray preference setting so they can automatically receive all available movies in the high-definition format. Full details can be found here. Add a comment
Good news for those that bought an HD DVD player from Amazon.com. According to Gizmodo, the retailer is giving $50 in credit for every HD DVD player bought from them before February 23, 2008. Here is part of the email that Amazon is sending to their customers:
As someone who purchased an HD DVD player from us before February 23, 2008,* you might like to hear about a special offer available from Amazon.com.

New technologies don't always work out as planned. We at Amazon.com value our customer relationships more than anything and would like to support customers who purchased these players by offering a credit good for $50 off any products sold by Amazon.com.** Just use promotional code PROMO CODE HERE when checking out. The code is valid through April 9, 2009, so you have plenty of time to use your credit. Purchases from third-party merchants on our site are not eligible.
While this isn't as good as an entire refund, its good to see retailers like Amazon making things right with their customers. If you'd like to read more, the entire email can be found here. Add a comment
EMC announced this week that it has agreed to acquire Iomega for $213 million in cash. Once the acquisition is complete, Iomega will serve as the core of EMC's new Consumer/Small Business Products Division.
EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC), the world leader in information infrastructure solutions, and Iomega Corporation (NYSE: IOM), a global leader in data storage and protection for consumers and small businesses, today announced a definitive agreement for EMC to acquire San Diego-based Iomega in a cash tender offer of $3.85 per outstanding share, or approximately $213 million. The addition of Iomega’s products, brand name, route to market and industry expertise will enhance EMC’s reach and focus in the rapidly-growing consumer and small business markets.

EMC intends to commence the tender offer in the next two weeks, with completion of the tender offer expected in the second quarter of 2008, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. The acquisition is expected to have no material impact on EMC financial results for the full 2008 fiscal year.
If you'd like to read more, EMC's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
ASUS P5E3 Premium WiFi-AP @n Motherboard @HardwareLogic
HP 2133 Mini-Note PC @Hardware Zone
In Win B2 Stealth Bomber Case @Tweaknews.net
Kingston Hyper X PC3-13000 2GB Memory Kit @HardwareLogic
MSI N9800GTX-T2D512-OC (GeForce 9800 GTX) @Hardware Zone
MTRON MOBI 64GB SATA Solid State Disk @TweakTown
NVIDIA QuadroFX 3700 512MB Workstation Graphics Card @HotHardware.com
OCZ Vendetta 2 HPT CPU Cooler OCZVEND2 @Benchmark Reviews
PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad @TweakPC.de
Rosewill RCX-Z775-EX Intel CPU Cooler @ThinkComputers.org
Sapphire HD3870X2 @High Tech Reviews
Zalman FPSGun FG1000 Gaming Mouse @Virtual-Hideout
Add a comment
Super Talent has announced the launch of three new 8GB USB flash drives, including the world’s smallest 8GB drive. The PICO series is available in three different versions, including the PICO-C which measures only 31.3mm x 12.4mm x 3.4mm and weighs less than a nickle.

These new drives include: PICO-A, with a swivel lid; the retractable PICO-B; and ultra small PICO-C. Super Talent’s patented PICO series USB drives are manufactured using chip-on-board (COB) technology, which enables up to 8GB of Flash storage to fit into an incredibly minute case. PICO-C drives weigh less than a nickel (about 4.7 grams) and measure only 31.3mm x 12.4mm x 3.4mm.

PICO series drives are shock resistant, storing data securely even under adverse conditions. They also support read speeds upwards of 30MB/sec (200X) for lightning fast access to files. Super Talent Marketing Director, Joe James explained, “These 8GB PICO drives have redefined mobile storage, combining new levels of speed, elegance and durability into the world’s smallest pen drive”.
Super Talent's 8GB PICO drives are available now and can be picked up for less than $35 at retailers like eWiz.com. Full details can be found here. Add a comment
Western Digital announced today that its My Passport Essential USB Drives are now available in ten new colors: brilliant orange, super sunny yellow, raindrop blue, arctic white, deep viola, cherry red, ultra mint, real red, intense blue, and vibrant pink. Here's part of WD's press release:

Just in time to make a perfect gift for Mother's Day, WD (NYSE: WDC) today introduced 10 fresh new colors for its My Passport Essential Portable USB Drives. Weighing in at less than 5 ounces, My Passport Essential USB Drives put almost a third of a terabyte of digital storage in the palm of your hand and are available now at select retailers.

My Passport Essential Drives are simple to use, light and easy to carry, and require no power adapter -- they are powered directly through the USB cable1. Equipped with sync and encryption software2 for easy file transfer, the mega-capacity of the My Passport Essential Portable USB Drive makes it simple to securely carry thousands3 of songs, videos or photos.
WD's My Passport Essential USB Drives are available now in capacities of 160 GB, 250 GB and 320 GB. More information, including prices, can be found here. Add a comment
SanDisk has announced a new version of its Cruzer Enterprise flash drive. Developed for organizations demanding the highest level of data protection, the Cruzer Enterprise FIPS Edition features a software self-test routine to to verify its cryptographic function as well as physical protection to prevent tampering.

SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) today introduced Cruzer Enterprise FIPS Edition, a USB flash drive with security certified by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) of the United States through its Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) program. 

Many government agencies require FIPS certification for portable storage devices, as do some private-sector companies in highly regulated industries such as financial services and healthcare. Based on SanDisk’s secure Cruzer Enterprise flash drive, the new Cruzer Enterprise FIPS Edition has additional data protection features including:

  • A software self-test routine that automatically runs whenever the drive is powered up, to verify the drive’s cryptographic function is intact.
  • Physical protection for the drive’s internal security module to deter tampering.
The Cruzer Enterprise FIPS Edition is available now in capacities ranging from 1GB to 8GB. If you'd like to read more, SanDisk's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
Like Best Buy and Circuit City, Wal-Mart is trying to make things right with customers that bought an HD DVD player. According to a story by the Wall Street Journal, the retailer is giving full refunds to those that bought an HD DVD player on or after November 1st.
Wal-Mart Stores is offering refunds for HD DVD players purchased on or after Nov. 1. To qualify, customers must return the players by April 30 and have a receipt in hand. Original packaging isn't required.
If your local Wal-Mart store gives you any hassles, a copy of the memo sent to all stores is available at SlickDeals.net. If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment