MediaPortal is a rare veteran spinoff of XBMC — a testament to its fan base, but also a sign that it needs a fresh coat of paint. A new 1.3 beta might offer just what home theater PC users have been looking for to keep the front end relevant, at least in the short term. It carries a much more contemporary (and less Windows Media Center-like) skin with minor tweaks to the layout and overall interface. CableCARD support also makes its overdue appearance, although the lack of official CableLabs approval keeps the software from recognizing any copy-protected shows. Don’t fret if those additions aren’t enough, however — we’ve been given a hint as to what the long-in-development MediaPortal 2 will offer through a pair of videos. The clips are largely top-level overviews, but they allude to mobile tie-ins, events, extensions, more skin support, video backgrounds and news. With an Autumn Build of MP2 available “right around the corner” for viewers, it might not be long before we learn what those new additions are like through first-hand experience.
In an odd piece of role reversal, ZTE marketing executive Dennis Lui has played the leaker, posting a blurry picture of what look to be upcoming Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7.8 handsets on the Chinese social network Sina Weibo. According to local news site Winp.cn, the message accompanying the photo reads “two heads are better than one,” presumably referring to the choice of operating systems.
While few details of the actual hardware are visible, the device on the right resembles the existing ZTE Tania, and Winp.cn points out that it appears to be running the W Phone 8 simulator on Windows Phone 7.5 rather than Windows Phone 8 itself. The two other devices are more of a mystery, as is the apparent Windows RT tablet shown in…
While the world waits for a certain other phone that includes a 5 reference in its teaser, HTPC, media streamer and NAS builder Xtreamer has revealed its plans to get into the mobile space. A banner on its forum, a sign-up page for more info and quick teaser trailer are all we have to go on, but so far the available details gives the AiKi 5-inch specs that include dual SIM, Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich, a “powerful” battery, ClockWorkMod based updates, multilingual ROM, root enabled by default and the tagline “why pay more?” Until there’s more details that’s likely to remain an open question, but given Xtreamer’s history, we suspect European users inclined to modding should at least keep an eye out, we’ll let you know when we hear more.
Last year at CEDIA we were introduced to Kaleidescape’s iPad control app, and this year its back and enhanced with the addition of movie ratings from Rotten Tomatoes, and content rating info from Common Sense Media. Rotten Tomatoes can help viewers tell if a particular flick in their collection is any good, while Common Sense Media is built around detailed breakdowns of what potentially objectionable content is in each title so parents can decide what their children are ready to see. Both should reach end users with the free app by the end of this year. Another tweak it’s adding to its movie servers is the Leonard Maltin Recommends Collection. It’s a pack of movies updated quarterly (the 17-disc Blu-ray collection is available for the low, low price of $ 445) that the respected film critic feels are unappreciated greats, to which he adds his own thoughts, anecdotes and behind the scenes info.
A more ambitious development however, is the Kaleidescape Download Store the company was giving an “early sneak preview” of behind closed doors. While its claim to fame has always been disc servers that store user’s movies, making them accessible with as little physical media interaction as possible (and antagonizing the MPAA) its next step is a full digital media distribution service, potentially tied into UltraViolet. There’s not a lot in the way of specifics, but it will be interesting to see how Kaleidescape and Hollywood get along when it comes to selling downloadable content compared to the old wars of the past, whenever the new service actually arrives for its high-end customers.
We’ve wondered if LG’s L-series style phones, like the Optimus L7, would ever reach the US; we just didn’t think LG would be the one to leak its own plans. Astute watchers at Smartphenom caught both a since-pulled LG product page and a brochure that have inadvertently confirmed the bigger (though not biggest) model in the Android 4.0 budget line arriving on US Cellular as the Splendor. The American voyage doesn’t involve much of an overhaul, mind you — the switch to the CDMA network and a conspicuous carrier logo are the biggest changes to the 4.3-inch handset. No word has emerged as to just how soon the Splendor will appear or how much it will cost, although the official documents and the L7′s budget nature could put it in stores relatively soon with a low price tag.
Having most recently introduced products like its water-friendly K310 washable keyboard and that TV Cam HD, Logitech’s now apparently prepping a fresh Ultimate Ears portfolio for all sound lovers out there. Via its UE page on Zuck’s social network, the company’s teasing a plethora of products with some rather suppressive shots that don’t quite tell us what’s on the other end, though we can slightly see new headphones and speakers will be the focus of the main ‘Power to the Music’ event in a couple of days — or August 29th, to be exact. For now, it looks like we’ll have to keep wondering, but you can get a better hint for what to expect by tapping on the Facebook link below.
Not to be outdone by Asus’ Tablet 600, Samsung has begun teasing what appears to be a new transforming Windows 8 notebook in a video posted to its official YouTube page. As Neowin reports, the video flashes glimpses of an unannounced device with a thin-profile keyboard panel, wide bezeled, tablet-style display, and even an integrated stylus. The design seems to match the Series 5 transformer prototype Samsung showcased at Computex in June, which also featured brushed metal backing, rounded edges, and a stylus port. While it remains unclear when Samsung plans to reveal the market-ready version of its transformer concept, the video’s description promises the “time is almost near for the big reveal.”
The Samsung Galaxy Note is coming. Are you ready for its massive 5.5-inch screen? Well, if Internet talk is to be believed, Samsung will reveal the tabletphone on August 29th at a Berlin event.
Samsung just posted this teaser video and it shows the Note 2 with a film director, cleverly pulling at aspiring artists. You see, just like with the first Note, Samsung is aiming the Note 2 at makers. The Note 2′s stylus and included art apps are perfect for sketching while on the go, says Sammy. Forget the Moleskine notebook and jump into the world of digital creation.
So far, not much is known about the successor to the original Note. An image claiming to be the Note II hit the web last week, which shows a device with the same styling cues found on the new Galaxy S III. Samsung’s quad-core Exynos SoC will likely power the device and its large 5.5-inch screen.
Tune in later this month for the full unveiling.Related Posts:
Taking to its Facebook page, Motorola has rewarded its loyal Likers with a tease: an LTE phone will be revealed on Friday, and the company will offer up a new clue about it every day leading up to the announcement. Our guess? We’d say we’re ripe for a Droid RAZR HD debut on Verizon right about now. Regardless, it seems that Moto’s pretty eager for this mysterious device — we just hope it’s worth the anticipation.
Previously, Archos has only ever given us a fleeting glimpse of the G10 xs tablets it’s planning to launch this year — FCC filings don’t count. Cogs in the company’s media machine are turning once again, as the company has posted a teaser press image on Facebook with confirmation that a launch is just three weeks away. It’s difficult to read the tea leaves from the oblique shot we’re given, although we already know that the Android 4.0 slate will support microSD, mini-HDMI and a connector for that Eee Pad Transformer-style keyboard dock. Our main questions now center on when the G10 xs pops up in the US as well as the degree of bang we’ll get for our buck.
Filed under: Tablet PCs