Innovative New Speaker Technology – A Waltham, MA company has come up with an entirely different way of making speakers. Emo Labs has developed the Edge Motion speakers, doing away with the normal magnet and cone model to use a clear thin plastic sheet placed over a TV screen, putting out sound produced by a series of postage-stamp-sized actuators on the sides of the sheet. The force along the sides of the diaphragm produces stereo sound waves out the front, with the actuators on the left side carrying the left channel and those on the right side the right channel. It also reproduces the dialog channel at the center of the screen – similar to commercial movie theaters – rather than thru a center channel speaker which must be located elsewhere. The technology is more expensive than standard speaker design and the company doesn’t expect it to be used in quality home theater systems, but rather in computer monitors and second and third TVs in a house. The intent is to improve the sound quality of TVs with built-in speakers, which has been going seriously downhill as displays have gotten larger and thinner.
Second Blu-ray Conference Focuses on Platform Opportunities – The Hollywood-based trade association Digital Entertainment Group will present its second annual conference related to Blu-ray Disc on November 3 in LA. The event brings together creative, marketing and business experts from the entertainment and electronics industries and will highlight the role Blu-ray plays in today’s home entertainment environment. About 300 will attend, and a keynote speaker will be director Martin Scorsese. Special sessions will be part of “Blu-Con 2.0,” including Digital Copy, BD-Live and other emerging trends, along with the latest Network Players and product developments anticipated to drive Blu-ray sales this Fall.
External Blu-ray Optical Drive for PCs – More mini laptops are coming out without any optical disc drives but with proper input can display Blu-ray. For them Asus has introduced the SBC-04D1S-U, which reads Blu-ray discs and can burn CDs and DVDs. It connects via USB and is priced at from $175 to $200.
California to Set Energy Efficiency Standards for TVs – California has led the way in regulating efficiency standards for home appliances such as refrigerators. As a result, the per capita consumption of electricity in the state has been steady for refrigerators since the 1970s, even though electricity use by other appliances keeps rising.The California Energy Commission now proposes to set efficiency standards of TVs, which are fast becoming one of the biggest energy consumers in homes. The growing use of consumer electronics of all sorts means that such devices already represent 15% of people’s electric bills, according to the International Energy Agency. The new regulations would mandate retailers to carry TVs with 33% lower energy consumption ratings starting in 2011, followed by more stringent levels in 2013. The policy, expect to be approved by the Energy Commission next month, will save households about $30 a year and the state $8.1 billion. Plasma displays will be hard hit by this ruling.
Cisco Acquires Pure Digital – San Francisco-based Pure Digital has been a pioneer in developing consumer-friendly video solutions with mass appeal. Their 4GB Flip MinoHD instant camera is unique in offering 1280 x 720i resolution and easy network sharing, vs. instant video cameras from Apple, Kodak and others which are limited to 640 x 480 resolution.