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You wouldn't want to use any of these pocket-size devices as your primary camcorder to record a major event like a wedding. But if your priority is to get the couple's vows posted to YouTube before the first dance, you can't go wrong with one of these point-and-shooters. They seamlessly integrate software for sharing your videos with the global community.
Flip Video has unveiled its fall line of UltraHD and MinoHD (left) pocket camcorders. Most models now have built-in image stabilization and capture video at 720p/60 frames per second. The UltraHD 2-hour version (black or white) debuts the FlipPort, a proprietary connector that can be plugged into specially designed accessories including external microphones (wired or wireless) for audio pickup close to the subject and external batteries for extra power.
If local area networks (LANs) were like plumbing, then Ethernet cables would be the pipes and routers the valve switchers. But data bits have a huge advantage over fluids. They don't require conduits to flow through your home or office to still be useful.
Scribblers of the Livescribe Smartpen Pulse have discovered the joys of turning handwritten notes into computer-searchable text along with linked audio that the pen records with its built-in mono microphone. Now, the company has introduced the LiveScribe Echo Smartpen (left) in 4GB and 8GB versions.
The hottest gear of 2008 comes in small packages. It could be a wireless Internet browser, a digital reader, a pocket projector, or something equally buzz-worthy. Here's our list of cool products to consider when shopping for that special someone.
The Archos 5 Internet Media Tablet is a 4.8-inch touch screen (800 x 480 pixels) with Wi-Fi browser. Besides letting your fingers do the site reading, it's ideal for playing video, music, and slideshows from its embedded hard drive or streamed from a wireless network. If you love Internet radio, you can listen with the earphones or built-in speaker. If you want the ultimate wireless picture frame, just pop the kickstand. Plug the tablet into the optional Archos DVR Station, and you can schedule recordings from your cable or satellite box without paying to download content. The Archos 5 Internet Media Tablets are available in 60-, 120-, and 250 Gigabyte versions. If you prefer a 7-inch screen, there's the Archos 7 Internet Media Tablet with 160- or 320 GB of memory.
The giant balloons in the Thanksgiving Day Parade cry out to be seen on a big screen. The roar of a football game shouts surround sound. Classic holiday movies demand to be seen anew in high definition. And home videos and digital slide shows of gatherings past signal family members to come to the sofa.
The holidays and home theater were made for each other. After all, when the eating's done, it's then that sports nuts and movie connoisseurs get down to some serious holiday viewing. Unless you're a video equipment enthusiast, though, creating a crowd pleasing system can be as elusive as putting together the perfect black truffle soufflé.
Setting up a home theater isn't difficult once you understand how each component contributes to the big picture. Here's grandma's recipe for what you need – or what someone you know deserves.
There seem to be as many flat screen choices as boxes in the cereal aisle. Don't despair. Your first choice should be a known brand featuring "Full HD" resolution, meaning if you counted the number of picture elements, you'd find 1920 pixels across and 1080 pixels down. The bigger the screen, the more you'll appreciate the lifelike quality of high definition programs. So, a 40-inch model (measured diagonally) is an entry point, but a 50-incher is even better.
LCD and plasma technologies have become such strong performers that you can't go wrong with either type of TV. One example is the Samsung LN40A650, a 40-inch LCD model. Another is the Panasonic TH-50PZ85U Viera 50-inch plasma HDTV. Both come with built-in stands for placement on furniture, but the stand can be removed if you'd prefer an optional wall mount.
Families with digital cameras take thousands of pictures but banish most to a computer hard drive never to be seen again. They never make the connection that their home theaters are digital photo-ready. This despite the fact that gathering people on the couch for a slide show was second-nature a generation ago, especially after a vacation or during the holidays. With some advance planning, setting up and running a picture show is a lot less labor intensive than dragging a mechanical projector and retractable screen out of the closet each time you want to impress the neighbors.
Loading slides correctly was a hassle before the show turned digital.
Today, your big screen is already in place. And with that bright display, you don't even have to dim the lights. So why wait? Here are five ways to do it.
I was paying my cable TV company nearly $5 a month to lease a broadband cable modem. Then, I realized I could buy my own, a purchase that would pay for itself in little over a year. So, I bought a Linksys CM100 from B&H, installed it myself, and returned the leased modem to RCN, the cable system operator. While owning your own modem makes sense for some cable customers, ownership isn't for everyone..
LAS VEGAS—The best place to scope out the next nine months in home electronics and entertainment is the annual CES tradeshow. The January, 2009, show revealed among other things that flat panel TV sets will become even more anorexic; LCD TVs will adopt LED-backlighting and still faster refresh rates; sound bars that project discrete audio channels will proliferate; Blu-ray Disc players will be available in a variety of styles; anything larger than an iPod will likely sprout an iPod dock; and TV sets will increasingly connect directly to the Internet so viewers have the option to receive real-time information or stream movies whenever they like. Camera and camcorder enthusiasts on the hunt for the latest features weren’t disappointed either.
If the Casio Ex-G1 was a Timex, some marketing wag might say that it takes a beating and still keeps ticking. But since it's a camera and not one of Casio's watches, it's better to say it still keeps clicking. At least the Technical Image Press Association thinks so. The group, which represents mostly European-based photo magazines, recently named the Exilim EX-G1 the "Best Rugged Compact Camera" of the year.
Still photography just got a major upgrade. By downloading a free firmware upgrade from Sony, Nex-3 and Nex-5 owners who have been confined to capturing pictures in two dimensions (width and height) can add depth. Viewed on a big-screen 3D TV from Sony, Panasonic or Samsung, among other manufacturers, the third dimension can elicit jaw-dropping reactions from viewers. I should know. I just witnessed my first 3D slide show.
An external sound system completes a home theater, and turning one on yields unexpected pleasures. Recently, I stumbled upon a new TV series on HBO and a romantic drama on Blu-ray Disc both designed to indulge the ears.
The series, True Blood, features a waitress who can hear what people are thinking. As she works her way past tables, thoughts cascade toward her from every direction. And the audience hears the cacophony, too, brilliantly steered from multiple speakers at the sides of the TV and near the sofa.
The movie, August Rush, on Blu-ray and also available on DVD, features a humdinger of an opener: a child prodigy deciphers the musical nature of wind rustling the field in which he's standing. As the wind shifts, the sound washes over the audience from various directions. The powerful effect is all but lost on viewers relying on the TV's internal speakers alone. The same is true for the restaurant sounds in True Blood.
Giving cell phones to your kids just to be able to stay in touch with them locally seems like a waste of money, considering the alternative—no-fee two-way radios. What used to be called walkie-talkies are now smaller, lighter and more reliable than ever. Transmission distances range from about two to 18 miles or more. Commercial-class models carried by employees in a sprawling enterprise can help a business watch its pennies, too.
Few manufacturers offer computers in as many sizes, colors and configurations as Sony. Whether you're looking to make a fashion statement or need an ultra portable to get on the Net from anywhere, Sony has a model that meets your needs. Its newest Vaios include notebooks with solid-state drives and ones that wirelessly display to your TV. We've arranged them by category to make it easy for you to fall for the one you love.