Blast from the past: Electronic paper could have worked like this

31 12 2007

For those of you out there who aren’t big fans of electronic paper devices like the Amazon Kindle and Sony’s e-Reader, just be thankful that we didn’t end up in an alternative universe where this was the way you’d receive your daily newspaper.

Electronic Newsboy

The guys over at Modern Mechanix dug up this priceless gem of a photo from the June 1970 issue of Popular Science. It showed a prototype for a newspaper facsimile printer, dubbed the “Electronic newsboy”. Toshiba described the printer as a device which could crank out one double-sided news page every six minutes and would sell for about $300 (with inflation, that would be a bit over $1600 today).

It looks a bit like a microwave oven gone berserk to me. I wonder if it printed the movie section when you pressed the popcorn button.

via [technabob]


Rumor: Kong-sized 150″ Panasonic Plasma TV to Debut at CES 2008

31 12 2007


Most of the TV-related hubbub for CES has centered on the increased quality and availability of larger LCD screens, leading us to wonder about what exactly the Plasma brigade will have up their sleeve in response. According to the Daily Yomiuri, Panasonic will unleash something extremely large and imposing: A 150″ Plasma TV prototype, beating the current record-holder from Sharp (at 108″) by far. It’s enough to make the local Kong go ape.

According to the report, the super-sized TV will be publicly released in 2009. There are no current cost estimates but since the 108-incher runs about $50,000, you can expect it to be available for over $75K (if the rumors are true and our panel-sizing math is correct). Yet despite the potentially impressive grandstanding, it’s likely that many analysts will still be wary of the tech’s resolve to stay ahead of the LCD’s momentum.

via [Gadget Lab]

Samsung takes OLED to 31 Inches

31 12 2007

We know that the future of flat-panel televisions and monitors is in OLED, and that future is getting closer daily, it seems. Samsung will be showing off at CES next month the largest OLED screen to date, weighing in at 31 inches. While it’s still not big enough for my living room (my 37″ Olevia is tops), it’s progress.

OLED is lighter than LCD or plasma, uses less power, and is brighter than both. They also cure lung cancer and make you more attractive to the sex of your choice. I’m looking forward to the day when I can see what’s on my TV, even with the glare of the sweltering Seattle sun.

via [CrunchGear]


31 12 2007

Middleton, WI—Ramtech, a leading manufacturer of racks and custom plates, and Intelix, a leading manufacturer of audio/video distribution products, recently partnered to provide custom-labeled balun solutions to the commercial and residential audio/video markets.


Effective immediately, users of Ramtech Metalworks Designer Software are able to design, label, and order custom wallplates for Intelix audio/video over twisted pair baluns. Users simply need to download and install the software free from Ramtech’s website,
“Ramtech and Intelix have collaborated on an ideal solution for AV installers,” explains Cameron Smith, Intelix sales and marketing manager. “Contractors are installing wallplate baluns everyday; however, until now they were limited to white decora plates and generic labeling. Our partnership with Ramtech allows contractors to customize their installations by giving their customer a choice of wallplate size, color, labeling, and finish.”

For additional information on Ramtech products or to download Metalworks Designer Software, please visit
For additional information on Intelix audio/video over twisted pair products, please visit

Kramer Introduces VP-26 Presentation Switcher

31 12 2007

Kramer Electronics has introduced the VP-26 presentation switcher, offering four independent routing switchers as well as a master audio switcher all in one box, and capable of passing computer graphics video, s-Video, component, composite or SDI signals at high bandwidth. Its multi-functionality, full feature set, and compact size make the VP-26 ideal in robust presentation and multimedia environments.
The VP-26 is a high performance switcher that includes three independent 4×2 audio/video matrix switchers and one independent 2×2 audio/video matrix switcher, all in a compact two rack unit frame for a standard 19” professional rack enclosure. It combines the functions of a 4×2 matrix switcher for computer graphics signals with audio, a 4×2 matrix switcher for composite video and audio, a 4×2 matrix switcher for s-Video and audio, and a 2×2 matrix switcher for component video (Y, PB/CB, PR/CR). The VP-26 provides a computer graphics video bandwidth of 300MHz to ensure transparent performance even in the most critical applications, and is HDTV compatible. It offers composite/SDI video bandwidth of 420MHz, s-Video bandwidth of 320MHz, and component video bandwidth of 380MHz. The VP-26 also has a CAT5 output for one of the computer graphics video outputs that can handle signals with resolutions up to UXGA for applications that require long distance signal distribution.
The VP-26 also includes a master audio switcher that routes a pre-selected audio input from one of the matrix switchers to two separate outputs, providing audio level (gain) controls for each output. It offers input level control for microphones and features a microphone talk-over mode that lowers the line audio output level when the connected microphone detects sound. The VP-26 also includes an internal 5-Watt per channel (24kHz, 3dB) stereo power amplifier for connecting speakers directly to the switcher.
Front panel control functionality on the VP-26 includes selector buttons for each of the five internal switchers, microphone input level control and master audio level control. A Panel Lock button on the front panel prevents unwanted tampering. The VP-26 can be controlled remotely with RS-485 or RS-232 serial commands transmitted by a touch screen system, PC, or other serial controller. The switcher can also be controlled via Ethernet control or using the Kramer RC-IR1/2 Infra-Red Remote Control Transmitter (included with purchase of the VP-26).
The VP-26 sells in the United States at a list price of $2,895 and is currently in stock and available from Kramer Electronics sales companies around the world.

Da-Lite Makes Silent Motor Standard on the Tensioned Advantage Electrol®

31 12 2007
Tensioned Advantage Silent

Warsaw, IN – December 28, 2007 – Da-Lite Screen Company is pleased to announce that the Silent Motor is now a standard feature on the Tensioned Advantage Electrol® screen line. This motor is virtually silent and offers over a 30% reduction in sound versus standard motors. The Tensioned Advantage Electrol® is an aluminum cased screen with a trim flange designed for a concealed in the ceiling installation. The handsome finished white case provides a clean look and allows easy installation of ceiling tiles. The Silent Motor is standard on all sizes up to 9’ x 12’. The Silent Motor with built-in Low Voltage Control option is also available.

via [press release from Da-Lite]

Sony officially quits rear-projection TV production

31 12 2007

Remember how we told you that Sony, like so many others, is quitting the rear-projection TV business? Well, they finally decided to officially announce as much today, stating that come February its three RPTV plants would quit production of the sets and the company would focus its energy henceforth on LCD and OLED (huge surprise there). Don’t let the door-of-obsolecense hit your ass on the way out, RPTV.

via [Engadget]