Toshiba has introduced first notebook with rewritable HD DVD drive

HD DVD, HD TV, HD Video, HD-Ready Notebooks Comments Off

Toshiba Q40 Qosmio Series 2

Toshiba this week announced that it is to launch its first notebook PC with built-in rewritable HD DVD drive.

The Qosmio Series 2 will initially launch in Japan, where arguably they can put it to much more use that us lowly high-definition-catcher-uppers in the West.

The notebook will feature either the 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo T7500 or 2GHz Core 2 Duo T7250 processor, 15.4 or 17 inch display offering 1,280x800 or 1,920x1,200 resolution respectively, plus 2GB of RAM, up to 400GB hard drive, TV tuners, and battery life of over three hours. Pre-installed with Windows Vista Home Ultimate (with Premium and Business capabilities)

Taking their place as a decent portable entertainment device, these notebooks can receive two TV channels at once, and record high definition content to standard DVDs, albeit in small amounts, thanks to HD Rec technology.

For those who've been in a cave for the last couple of years, Toshiba are probably one of the biggest fans of HD DVD (having developed it), and this notebook adds to their portfolio of devices which can read and write the high definition disc format.

They'll cost from $2,600 to $3,500, but no word on if and when they'll be arriving over here.


Microsoft has released Xbox 360 HD DVD drive emulator

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Microsoft today released details regarding it’s newly developed Xbox 360 HD DVD Emulator which has been designed to streamline the HD DVD creation and testing process. The Xbox HD DVD Emulator allows producers of HD DVD’s to test all areas of the disc, such as encoded video and Hdi interactivity, virtually to ensure proper functioning of the disc before it is burned. This software based HD DVD burning tool represents a significant reduction in cost for makers of HD DVD’s as it allows companies to do away with costly hardware and an trial and error process of burning which costs both money and time for the company concerned.

Xbox 360 logo

This new product also ensures a better level of quality as the use of the Xbox 360 HD DVD emulator can help companies release more titles free of errors thus ensuring a higher profit on their products. The Xbox 360 HD DVD Emulator has also been designed to be operated from a network storage share, from a USB drive directly connected to the Xbox 360 console, or by using an optical disc in the Xbox 360 HD DVD player. This design was created by Microsoft to lessen the testing time for both Xbox 360 HD-DVD’s and with other HD DVD players.

Jordi Ribas, the general manager of HD DVD at Microsoft, stated that the company was “ committed to supporting and advancing the HD DVD ecosystem” and that “the new Xbox 360 HD DVD Emulator reflects these efforts by providing developers with the software-based tools they need to efficiently deliver the highest-quality content”. Riblas also stated that ““Microsoft developed the Emulator to help save studios and postproduction houses time, resources and costs involved with the creation of HD DVD content, and let them focus on what really matters — pushing the envelope with the format.”

Source: The Game Reviews

Acer announced first dual HD-DVD Blu-Ray desktop PC

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Acer has unveiled what it claims to be the first desktop PC with a combo drive that can play both Blu-ray and HD-DVD content in its new Aspire M5630 series.

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Along with the ability to play 1920 x 1080 resolution HD content via either Blu-ray disc or HD-DVD disc, the new series also features Intel's Core 2 Quad processor Q6600 (2.4GHz with 8MB L2 cache) providing the processing power required for gaming and multimedia applications.

"Acer realised that the battle between Blu-ray and HD-DVD is still in play, and therefore understood the need to create a solution that future proofed our offering in the market," said Acer Computer Australia's Raymond Vardanega.

The Aspire M5630 range starts from $2299, and includes Vista Home Premium, 2GB DDR2 system memory, 500GB SATA HDD, ATI X2400 Pro 256MB PCI-Express x16 video, wireless keyboard / mouse and bundled with HDCP compliant Acer 22-inch wide LCD monitor.

Acer also offers a Core 2 Duo E4500 option with Blu-ray / HD-DVD combo optical drive with an RRP of $1999. It features Vista Home Premium, 2GB DDR2 system memory, 320GB SATA hard drive, ATI X2400 Pro 256MB PCI-Express x16 video, wireless keyboard / mouse and bundled with HDCP compliant Acer 22-inch wide LCD monitor.

The Acer M5 series comes pre-installed with Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium or Genuine Windows Vista Home Basic. Additional pre-installed software includes Microsoft Office 2007 Trial, Acer Arcade Live suite, Acer Empowering Technology, to enhance system performance, reduce noise, protect data and make recovery easy; Norton Internet Security 2007, Adobe Reader 7.0; CyberLink PowerDVD and NTI CD-Maker Gold.

Warranty is two-years carry-in.

Promotion & Specifications

Source: SmartHouse

Sapphire Radeon HD2600XT Ultimate graphics card

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Sapphire has taken the notion of passively cooled graphics cards seriously with its Ultimate range of cards, the latest of which is the HD2600XT.

As you may gather from its name, this Ultimate is built around AMD's DX10-supporting HD2600XTcore and features a nicely designed heatpipe and radiator arrangement to keep it cool.

Built on a blue printed circuit board (PCB), the RV630 core runs at 800MHz and sits under a small copper and aluminium heatsink with two heatpipes running around the board to a big multi-finned cooler. Unlike some passive cards, this cooler isn't too large to fit into a motherboard that uses big passive coolers on the Northbridge. We fitted it into a couple of motherboards with the largest coolers we have seen with no problems.

The 256MB of GDDR3 memory is clocked at 700MHz (1,400MHz effective) and sits uncovered on the PCB. The memory modules are rated at 750MHz (1,500MHz) so running them at 700MHz enables them to be left uncovered.

The HD2600XT Ultimate would make an ideal card for a quiet entertainment PC if you use a case that takes full-size cards, not only for its silence but for the hardware that comes as standard on the HD2600/HD2400 series. The GPU has a built-in audio controller, which, although requiring an audio codec on the motherboard, does away with the need to use a cable to connect them.

Although there is no HDMI output on the card expansion plate, a DVI/HDMI adapter is supplied with the card, which carries both the video and audio streams. Also part of the hardware is AMD's UVD (Unified Video Decoder) which handles all the decoding HD DVD or Blu-ray duties relieving both the GPU and the systems CPU.

Source: VNU Net

HP launched a new dual format burners

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New HP Compaq series logoHewlett-Packard (HP) will begin launching its next-generation PCs with a Blu-ray Disc (BD)/HD DVD dual-format burner in the US and Europe starting October 2007 and in other markets later on, the company said at a product presentation held in Singapore on September 11.

Spotlighting the "HP Tough Innovation" as the main theme for its product presentation, HP claimed that it has extended the latest touch sensing technology to products from PDA phones to PCs and MFPs (multi-function peripherals).

The company's new HP Pavilion dv2000- and Compaq Presario V3000-series notebook PCs now all support capacitive touch sensor technology, HP said.

The presentation also included HP's latest printer, the Photosmart C8180 All-in-One, which comes with a touch-screen display and a built-in CD-DVD burner with Lightscribe technology, according to company data.

At the same venue, HP also announced that it will replace its previous 'Compaq' logo with a brand new one converged from the letters C and Q, with the new logo to be used on its Compaq-series desktop and notebook lineups starting the fourth quarter of this year.

Source: DigiTimes

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