The PlayStation Network is about to get pimped with a slew of new movie releases in glorious high definition from all six major Hollywood studios. Sony signed a deal with 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros., and Sony Pictures Entertainment that will bring a wide range of movies available for purchase or rental at the PSN. The initial batch of 19 include flicks Fantastic Mr. Fox, UP, Star Trek, District 9, Inglourious Basterds, and The Hangover. Look after the break for the full listing, and check the PSN video hub on your PS3 to find out if your favorites are making their way to PS3 HD land. Sony is happy to say that the “PlayStation Network is the first and only service to deliver high definition home entertainment from all six major studios, directly to consumers for download”…for now.
Yeah it’s around seven minutes long, but if you are even slightly interested in 3D TVs and the forthcoming slew of them entering the market this year it’s worth a viewing. In the video preview a Samsung rep details the Samsung C7000 LED TV, giving us an early peek into the brand new 3D tech that’s embedded inside. There’s SD/HD modes, a 3D mode (duh), a 2D to 3D converter, a sleek remote, and the sporty 3D shades. Man I wish I had a British accent.
In addition to the 3D programming DirecTV promises to bring this year, ESPN and Discovery have stepped up to the plate with plans to share 3D broadcasts of their own content.
On June 11 ESPN will launch a brand new channel appropriately called “ESPN 3D” and will air their first 3D broadcast with a World Cup soccer match. According to USA Today: “ESPN 3D expects to showcase at least 85 live sporting events during the first year. There’ll be no reruns initially, so the network will be dark when there’s no 3D event. Among other events planned for 3D broadcast: the Summer X Games (extreme sports), NBA games, college basketball and college football.”
Discovery, Sony, and IMAX have joined forces to broadcast the world’s first 24/7 dedicated 3D TV network. Discovery was the first to bring a 24/7 basic cable HD channel in 2002, so this all makes sense, right? The trifecta plans to switch on such a channel sometime in 2011. Bummer, I know. At least we’ll have ESPN 3D to whet our appetite before we immerse ourselves into wild documentaries.
And remember kids–in order to watch HD 3D programming you are required to go out and purchase a compatible TV set along with those pesky glasses. Expect the first wave of 3D-enabled TV sets to hit stores this spring.
According to the HDGuru, DirecTV plans on launching the first 3D HDTV channel in the US sometime next year. It’s been reported that DirecTV recently shot a brand new satellite into orbit that supports the addition of a 3D channel plus other regular HD stations. The satillite becomes operational in March 2010, so that’s the earliest a 3D channel could pop up. HD Guru’s “sources” tell him that all current DirecTV set top boxes will receive a firmware upgrade that will enable it to receive the 3D programming. But remember, in order to watch 3D on your television, you need a TV that supports it. DirecTV is expected to make this announcement at next week’s Consumer Electronics Show; TV manufacturers like LG, Sony, Samsung, and Panasonic are planning on showing off their latest 3D HDTVs as well.
Thing is, I don’t think we are ready for 3D programming yet. Hell, we are just getting used to high definition! A hefty percentage of America finally owns decent HDTVs, and now the industry expects us to go out and buy a new 3D-supported TV. I think not. Let’s stick with 3D in the theatres for now (Avatar and Up were the first 3D movies I thoroughly enjoyed); slowly but surely the industry should allow it to enter the home.
This past week YouTube lifted the 720p-only upload restriction; users are now able to upload and watch full 1080p high definition videos on YouTube. And what better way to celebrate this news than watch Heroes’ Hayden Panettiere uncork a bottle of champaign in slow motion, in reverse. Enjoy, fellas..
There’s still more YouTube news hot off the press. First, Google decided to shut down YouTube’s API access. What this means is that all the set-top boxes (and other similar devices) no longer have the ability to access YouTube services. Only YouTube-sanctioned devices like supported Blu-Ray players, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, and TiVo will be able to feature a YouTube interface and provide videos to consumers. Why is Google doing this, you ask? Well, the unofficial reason is that Google, like any other company, wants to make as much revenue from its ads as possible and letting anyone and everyone have access to their YouTube service leaves them in a hard-to-control situation. Come December 2 all set-top boxes and unauthorized devices will lose their ability to feature the YouTube service.
On a less somber note, Google is now allowing users to add automatic captions to their YouTube videos to make videos accessible to the deaf and hearing-impaired. YouTube will utilize Google Voice speech-recognition technology to create automatic, on-the-fly captions for uploaded videos. For now this service will be available to a handful of partners including PBS, National Geographic and a some universities until it is perfected. For now, Google is implementing an “auto-timing” feature that will take written words in a user-generated text file and match the text to the words as they are spoken in the video. Neat-o.
Oh, and there’s another (less exciting) 1080p video posted after the break.
The Evolce ONE features a 47-inch full high definition LCD multitouch display and can recognize an unlimited number of touch points. It also has haptic feedback. It can run Windows 7 and it is compatable with all of 7′s multi-touch capabilities. Check out an additional hands-on video after the break, as well as the official press release.
We’ve known for quite some time now about the next Xbox dashboard update coming to Xbox Live subscribers. Here’s a refresher for those of you not in the loop: Facebook/Twitter integration, last.fm, Zune (video) Marketplace, and instant-HD (1080p/5.1 channel) streaming. The new press release (in full after the break) sheds light on new additions:
In addition to these social features, Xbox LIVE will also be debuting “News and More,” a new section of the “Inside Xbox” channel, transforming Xbox LIVE into a full-fledged media portal. With a regularly-updated stream of content from MSNBC, The New Yorker and Dilbert, “News and More” brings the latest in current events, arts and entertainment right to your fingertips.
In what is a surprise turn of events, Esquire has decided to name the beautiful Kate Beckinsale this year’s Sexist Woman Alive. After filming and shooting Megan Fox with a 3K RED One camera for a photoshoot last May, director Greg Williams hinted at using an upgraded 5k Red Epic camera to shoot the Sexiest Woman Alive. This hint misled me to believe that Megan Fox would be shot again, this time for the special shoot. Today Esquire has released the photoshoot video, directed by Greg Williams, of actress Kate Beckinsale. And damn does she look good in super-HD. The 5K RED Epic camera allows the photographer to shoot video in high definition and then choose specific frames to print for the magazine cover and story. Congratuations, Beckinsale. We all look forward to picking up the Sexiest Woman Alive edition of Esquire this November.
Mitsubishi Electric takes the crown for “World’s Largest High-Definition Video Display.” The high-definition video display has four Diamond Vision LED video screens (which contain 10,584,064 LED lights) and a total viewing area of 11,393 square-feet. The two main displays measure 72 feet high by 160 feet wide, and the two Diamond Vision end-zone displays measure 29 feet high by 51 feet wide. This insanely large screen can be seen hanging 90 feet above the field at Cowboys Stadium.
Let’s wrap this up quickly, cool?
What? Microsoft Zune HD. When? September 15, 2009. Price? $219.99/black, 16GB; $289.99/platinum (silver), 32GB. Where? Best Buy, Amazon (pretty much all respectable electronic outlets). Where to demo it? Select stores in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C on 8/22 & 8/23. Preorder: Through http://www.zune.net/zunehd from Amazon.com, Best Buy, Walmart and Microsoft starting on 8/16. Why? TEGRA HD processor, OLED screen, HD radio, Wi-Fi, Internet browser, and more.
In related news, it has been discovered that there will be a bevy of color options to choose from, besides the standard black and silver options–variations of blue, green, and red. Also, the Zune HD’s AV dock and Power Pack are also up for preorder. The AV & Power Pack includes a dock, three inserts, wireless remote, AC adapter, HDMI cable and AV output cable and will sell for $89.99. The AV dock includes an AC adapter, HDMI cable and AC output cable and will sell for just a penny under a Grant. See an image of them together after the break.
It’s almost here, folks. Hopefully this beefier and handsome Zune will have its time to shine before Apple steps in with new iPods this September. *Check out my ongoing coverage of Zune HD news here, here, here, and right here.
The Wii looks gorgeous in stunning high definition. “Pumped through a Wii PC emulator, these images are just upscaled versions of the [game's] existing graphics—in other words, you’re not even seeing what advanced hardware/graphics engines can do with additional texture or lighting. But with a boost in sharpness alone (more pixels),” the Wii looks great in HD. Check after the break (click “…more”) to see more Super Mario Galaxy images in HD. Here’s to the rumors of a WiiHD console coming to fruition sooner than later.