Samsung has a new mobile phone with a video display that can be physically switched horizontally to display widescreen images. As the use of video on cell phones explodes among the younger generation, companies are looking to produce programming especially for phones instead of just relying on conventional TV content. In Korea there are already popular five-minute soap operas just for cell phones. Sony has introduced a gadget which fastens to the back of any TV and brings in video content from the Internet such as YouTube – but only from sites with business agreements with Sony. IntelliTouch says they have launched the world’s first digital wireless “whole home” speaker system for the iPod. Using WiFi, the Eos system links up to four remote wireless stereo speakers at 48Khz sampling rate and a frequency hopping scheme with a claimed range of up to 150 feet. They also have a weatherproof remote outdoor amp which hooks to any outdoor speakers and eliminates having to cut holes in the house to run wires.
More new DVD players being shown include up-conversion (uprezzing) to 1080 progressive for the latest HD displays. Panasonic’s S53 features 1080p digital video conversion, advanced progressive scan, and plays just about every conceivable format except the two new hi-def forms. it also has MPEG digital noise reduction and advanced surround sound plus a zoom feature. A spokesman said the idea is “to deliver near-HD quality from non-high-def sources.” Interesting enhancements in portable DVD players include larger screens and extended battery life, due to customers saying they want to watch more than even a double feature on long flights which drag on due to intermediate stops; moreover they seldom want to watch the particular movie being offered on the flight. LG Electronics offered the first universal hi-def DVD player (BH100, $1200), accepting both Blu-ray and HD DVD discs, and Philips brought out their first Blu-ray player: the BDP9000 at $999.