Audio Video News March 2007

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AMD 8.35.5 Display Driver
Phoronix :: Friday, March 30, 2007
“Ch-ch-ch-changes… Not expecting to hear that with today’s driver release? Well, we had not expected much improvement for the March ATI Catalyst Linux driver either until we saw the driver first hand. Today’s 8.35.5 release has implemented one major change: a new Catalyst Control Center! AMD is eliminating the fireglcontrolpanel in favor of the brand new AMD Catalyst Control Center Linux Edition. In this review we will be looking at the new 8.35.5 display driver along with taking a very close look at this much improved control area.”

Plantronics .Audio 910 Bluetooth Headset Review
Legit Reviews :: Friday, March 30, 2007
The Plantronics .Audio 910 Bluetooth Headset offers true plug-and-play wireless connectivity for internet calling. Skype users receive the additional benefit of remote ring detection and call answer/end from the headset. Ideal for the multi-device user, the .Audio 910 headset offers multipoint technology to let you seamlessly switch between Bluetooth enabled Internet calls and mobile phones. Read on to see how this Bluetooth Headset performs and if it is worth it!

HIS Radeon X1950 Pro IceQ3 512Mb AGP Video Card Review
Madshrimps :: Friday, March 30, 2007
“HIS brings us a highly overclocked X1950 Pro based video card with custom cooling for the AGPplatform. Can it turn an aging system into a full blown gaming rig? Let’s find out.”

Technic3D/Titan EZ-Sound Mini 2.1Speakers
Technic 3d :: Friday, March 30, 2007
“The Titan EZ-Sound Mini 2.1 Speakers arrived Technic3D. Good Sound with very small chassis? Technic3D will hear that in the following Review.”

Foxconn 8800GTS 320MB Overclocking Edition 
The Tech Lounge :: Friday, March 30, 2007
“Since the release of NVIDIA’s 8800-series, NVIDIA has proven that they are kings of quantity -and- quality. Gone are the days of speckled texture processing, along with spiking and dropping framerates. Here are the days of unmatched performance. NVIDIA did good with their new architecture. But the release wasn’t for everybody; only people who could afford the ultra-high or ridiculously-ultra-high performance. Only now have they rolled out a potentially mainstream card: the 8800GTS 320MB. At three hundred or so bucks, it’s not cheap, but if it’s three-quarters as good as its closest brethren, then it’s got to be worth the money.”

Worst Products of Winter
PC Magazine (Speakers) :: Friday, March 30, 2007
Buyer beware: These are the worst products we’ve seen during the first three months of 2007. 

Samsung LN-T4665F
PC Magazine (HDTV) :: Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Preview of the Samsung LN-T4665F. 

PCMag Radio: Cheap Vista PCs and HDTVs
PC Magazine (HDTV) :: Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Vista systems for under $1K, HDTVs are for everyone, the battle to free one substitute teacher, why satellite radio bothers our host and the best YouTube videos. 

Gainward 8800GTS GS 320
CDR Info :: Tuesday, March 27, 2007
This is the second Gainward 8800GTS card we test, this time with “reduced” internal memory and of course lower price. We compare this card against its “big brother” with 640MB of DRAM and the comparison results are interesting. Overall a very good proposal at the price range of 320 Euro.

SteelSound 3H Headset Evaluation
techFEAR :: Tuesday, March 27, 2007
“The SteelSound 3H is SteelSeries’ entry model gaming headset. With a collapsible design and retractable microphone, the SteelSound 3H is a great proposition for the budget-minded user.”

EVGA 8800 GTS 320 review and oc
Hardware Overclock Austria :: Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Hardwareoverclock Austria have posted a review of the EVGA 8800 GTS 320 MB videocard. The most importend themes in this article is a comparison between other 8800 cards and overclocking.

Sapphire X1950 GT Video Card Review
techPowerUp :: Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Sapphire’s new X1950 GT is based on ATI’s RV570 GPU. It comes with 256 MB of GDDR3 memory and is cheaper than the Radeon X1900 GT. Of course you can not expect performance wonders from a $140 card, but it is a great way to survive the wait for ATI’s next-gen products while being able to play all the latest games.

Adobe Creative Suite 3 Preview
Techgage :: Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Adobe has kept many secrets about their Creative Suite 3 over the past few months, but today they are unveiling everything you need to know. This includes product lineup, pricing and bundle information and also the Photoshop Extended edition feature set.

How to Overclock the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 Series
Benchmark Reviews :: Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Although this guide covers all recent NVIDIA video cards, I have selected the FOXCONN NVIDIAGeForce 8800 GTS as my test subject, which I reviewed back in November 2006. Presently, the 640MB version of the GeForce 8800 GTS is the second-best video card available on the market. Gamers and computer enthusiasts alike have already speculated on how the GTS could be made to perform to the same level as the GeForce 8800 GTX with some tweaking. Unfortunately, this just isn’t possible. What is possible though is taking a great product and making it even better; and do it all for free.

One Year With ATI X1000 Linux Support
Poronix :: Tuesday, March 27, 2007
“In less than three weeks it will have been a year since ATI Technologies had added it’s Radeon X1000 family (R500) support to their Linux binary drivers. When that support was finally added it came about six months after the hardware was actually introduced to the public accompanied by the Windows Catalyst drivers. Even with this six months time that developers had to work on the Linux package, the fglrx v8.24.8 driver (the version that had introduced R500 support) resulted in ATI’s flagship GPU series facing a miserable beating by NVIDIA’s 7800GTX and even the GeForce 6800GT. However, a year later and what will be twelve driver releases with R500 support, how does the performance now compare? In this article we will be comparing several R500 parts to see how the performance stacks up using the latest driver.”

Seal 7″ TFT LCD Monitor with Tuner
3dgameman :: Tuesday, March 27, 2007
“Seal was a completely new brand to us when we received the TV-1007 LCD TV. I can say that this product does have a lot of value built into an affordable package. As most wholesale products, there are some features that are left out. This day and age, some kind of VGA or DVIinput is pretty standard. Even many of the mobile vehicle based units even have Component or HDMI inputs…

ATI Radeon X1950 GT & Windows Vista – Not Friends Yet? 
Tech ARP :: Tuesday, March 27, 2007
” Although it may seem impossible, ATI has apparently done just that. The new Radeon X1950 GT is being shipped without a working Vista driver, even though it’s “certified for Windows Vista”.

So, what does Vista certification mean? A working driver right now? Or merely a promise of future support? “

ASUS AquaTank 8800GTX
t-break :: Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Water-cooled components, especially video cards are nothing new. We\\\\\\\’ve already seen companies like Sapphire sell their video cards with a water-cooling kit attached to it. If you\\\\\\\’re a bit of an enthusiast, you can easily find after-market products that can convert your air cooled graphics card to a water-cooled one. Thus ASUS\\\\\\\’ AquaTank 8800GTX that we\\\\\\\’re looking at today, wasn\\\\\\\’t much of a surprise. In fact, BFG has been selling their Water-Cooled 8800GTX card for some time now. The only thing different about the AquaTank 8800GTX is that its overclocked out of the box.

Arctic Cooling Accelero S2
Technic 3d :: Monday, March 26, 2007
“The new passiv Graphics Card Heatsink from Arctic Cooling,the Accelero S2, arrived Technic3D. Only for Midrange Cards? See you in the following Review with a MSI NVIDIA 6600 GT.” 

Apple TV Review
Digital Trends :: Monday, March 26, 2007
“With more fanfare and consumer enthusiasm than most companies could ever hope to muster, in late 2006 Apple announced the Apple TV. The Apple TV is Apple’s opening foray into the near-trillion-dollar industry of television and movie entertainment and is billed as a product that’ll revolutionize the home media experience. The Apple TV, like the iPhone, represents a bold and risky move away from the controlled and perfected realm of computing and into the generic and saturated media streamer markets. Will this new $299 Apple TV be the quintessential blockbuster hit, or will it quietly struggle for survival amongst consumers with ever-soaring expectations? ” 

Sapphire and HIS Radeon X1950PRO: Revisiting AGP Part 2
HW Upgrade :: Monday, March 26, 2007
We continue our review of the Sapphire and HIS Radeon X1950PRO AGP. In the first part of the article, we didn’t find much of a performance difference between current AGP and PCI Express cards. This article continues the performance trend we’ve been seeing and makes it fairly certain that current PCI Express cards don’t use the full potential of the PCI Express interface and that competitive AGP offerings are still being sold by manufacturers.

Titan NB-204 2,1 Traveling Speakers Review
Red & Blackness Mods :: Monday, March 26, 2007
A few days ago we looked at a mini speaker system from Titan. Today we will look at a Traveling speaker system instead, and what I understand this is supposed to have a bit more “boom” to it. It comes with two speakers and a small subwoofer so hopefully this can perform a bit better than the mini speaker system did.

Titan PT-101 2.1 Mini Speaker Review
Red & Blackness Mods :: Sunday, March 25, 2007
Have you ever thought of how bad the actual speakers are on a laptops, PDA´s, cell phones, and portable dvd´s just as an example? There are solutions to this problem if you don’t mind a wire or two extra from your device. Titan has brought some cool looking products to the market, for example; the new Mini 2.1 speaker system which are specially designed for units that need better sound. We are going to try it out with a few devices to see what quality of sound quality they boost out.

PowerColor X1650 XT 256MB AGP Video Card Review 
Big Bruin :: Sunday, March 25, 2007
The PowerColor X1650 XT 256MB AGP Video Card breathed some new life into a solid system that really only shows its age due to AGP graphics being featured. Performance in benchmarks and many games was better than expected, and showed that there really is no reason to retire a system simply due to the fact that it doesn’t support PCI-Express.

CeBIT 2007: Video Cards Roundup
HW Upgrade :: Sunday, March 25, 2007
The video cards of CeBIT this year didn’t turn out to be as interesting as other years, primarily because of AMD and NVIDIA both delaying GPUs. In the end, though, we were still able to see a few interesting products, including a Quad-Crossfire system, NVIDIA’s GeForce 8600 and 8300 cards, a liquid cooled 8800 GTX, and a load of completely silent cards. We also saw running retail samples of ATI’s upcoming GPUs.

The Apple, AMD, Cisco & Microsoft Conspiracy to Kill the Cable Set-Top Box 
Digital Trends :: Sunday, March 25, 2007
“I recall the arguments when Cable TV was first getting started which concluded no one would ever be stupid enough to pay for something they can get for free. Well there are clearly a good chunk of us who are terminally stupid because cable was a success although I think many of us probably wish it hadn’t been. With Cable you are typically locked in to what the cable company wants to use for hardware and the programming the cable company wants to provide. Most of the hardware truly sucks and generally, if you want to see a DVR done badly, all you have to do is get your Cable or Satellite Company to send you one. ” 

Sapphire PI-AM2RS690MHD Video Card Review
techPowerUp :: Sunday, March 25, 2007
Sapphire’s latest motherboard is based on AMD’s RS690 chipset which features integrated VGA and HDMI output onboard. The board is an excellent choice for media PC systems since it is MicroATX and supports audio via HDMI. Performance is almost equal to much more expensive RD580 motherboards, the BIOS also has a load of overclocking options.

AMD R600 retail Radeon X2900XTX – better photos immerge!
Tweak Town :: Sunday, March 25, 2007
“It took a lot of convincing but we have finally been able to secure real photos of AMD’s upcoming Radeon X2900XTX graphics card based on their R600 core and codenamed Dragonshead 2.

It will come with 1GB of GDDR-4 memory but other items such as clock speeds have not been confirmed yet – more details here from our previous “AMD roadmap update on R600 – details confirmed!” news story. The only thing we seemed to screw up on was the launch date, which is looking more and more likely to be sometime in May, but nobody seems to be 100% sure at this stage.

The folks at AMD and ATI went to great lengths to stop pictures being leaked onto the web but with some angry partners, it was only a matter of time until something solid was discovered.”

Logitech Z4-i Speaker Review 
Extreme OC Tech :: Saturday, March 24, 2007
“We fired up a few movies to test the z4i speakers and let me tell you MAJOR BASS! Not distorted bass but BASS! They sounded rich, full and clean even at over half the volume! I mean Logitech has way more expensive speaker sets in the $299 to $500 dollar range and I am still dropping my jaw at the sound that is coming out of these speakers. Whatever Logitech did they did it right.”

DL.TV (Digital Life) Episode 150
Extremetech :: Saturday, March 24, 2007
Apple TV, Command and Conquer 3, Google Homepage Themes and more.

DL.TV (Digital Life) Episode 149
Extremetech :: Saturday, March 24, 2007
Robert’s Back! Xbox 360 vs. DVD, Stopping P2P in the Office.

DL.TV (Digital Life) Episode 148
Extremetech :: Saturday, March 24, 2007
Combo Blu-ray/HD DVD player, Cooking Mama, Dan Rather, Questions!

DL.TV (Digital Life) Episode 147
Extremetech :: Saturday, March 24, 2007
The Cost of Running your PC 24/7, South by SouthWest, GDC and More!

XMPlay Media Player
PC Mechanic :: Thursday, March 22, 2007
Alaron looks at a light-weight media player alternative

Who Needs Apple TV? Here Comes Orb’s MyCasting
Team Xbox :: Thursday, March 22, 2007
Orb is beating Apple to the punch… beginning today, anyone who owns one of the three major game consoles can use Orb’s free MyCasting software to stream YouTube, their photos, etc., to their home TVs.

Pirate Bosses Order a Hit on DVD Sniffer Dogs
Extremetech :: Thursday, March 22, 2007
Malaysian movie pirates have put a bounty on the heads of two sniffer dogs who busted a fake DVD ring with a seizure of discs worth about $3 million, media and officials said on Thursday.

Top Tip: Can you play .avi files on a regular DVD player?
Extremetech :: Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Can you play .avi files on a regular DVD player? When you burn the file to a blank DVD is there some sort of software you can use to make it work? Or are there DVD players that will play .avi and .mpeg files?

Cool HD and Media Players
PC World :: Wednesday, March 21, 2007
An update on the newest HD players and recorders from Japan, as well as Sony’s Video Walkman.

Compro VideoMate V600 External TV Tuner HDTV up to 1680 x 1050 [March 21st 2007]
Ice Teks :: Wednesday, March 21, 2007
This is the heart of the newest VideoMate device. It contains the brains, chipsets and conversion electronics to make everything show up on the monitor. With the ability to handle both NTSC and PAL outputs, this device will work anywhere in the world, even when you are traveling. This already makes the V600 a step above most other contenders on the market since they generally only work well with one type of signal.Compro has also greatly enhanced the resolution that the display will work at. Usually you can consider yourself fortunate if you can get a device to display at 1024 resolution, but this latest little gem can handle display outputs of up to 1680×1050! Of course this is a widescreen format, so those without this luxury item can still get a display output of 1600×1200. Very impressive indeed!