Samsung Free-D TV app

Still not convinced that 3D is the next big thing? Neither am I, but Samsung are doubling down (yet again) with an innovative 3D VOD system beamed direct to their latest and greatest TVs. Couple this with their price cut on 3D glasses and at the very least they deserve full marks for trying.

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If you have a D series Samsung Smart TV (it pains me to write this as I’m a lowly schmuck with a C series) then you will be able to enjoy Free, VOD 3D content including films, music videos, children’s classics, documentaries and trailers through the “Explore 3D” app.

Physical media such as 3D BluRay has been the traditional way to access 3D content (or expensive subscription packages) but given that physical media is increasingly become antiquated in this day and age of connected living (yes even 3D BluRays), it makes sense that Samsung is utilising its Smart TV platform to bring more and more content to users. Especially as this is a loss-leading advert for 3D in general.

Andy Griffiths, Vice President, Consumer Electronics, Samsung UK said:

“The demand for 3D is growing rapidly, but only a handful of channels are providing content. Samsung has led the 3D LED TV market since it launched last year, and the roll-out of our 3D video-on-demand service demonstrates our commitment to accelerating its growth. We believe that in the near future every viewer will have access to 3D content in the comfort of their own living room through a Smart TV. We will therefore continue to develop our Smart TV offering in order to provide consumers with the best viewing experience possible.”

One of the lucky few with a D-Series? Head to the app store and give it a whirl.

Currys and PC World Christmas range preview

LatestGadgets were invited to a preview of the new Christmas ranges for Currys and PC World.

3D is very much in demand for TVs, gaming and cameras with an explosion of products set to launch this year and it is expected that 25% of TVs at Currys and PC World will be 3D by December. Sky are launching their 3D channel this year. The PS3 has the capability for 3D now and there are 3D cameras launching this winter.

The most outstanding 3D TV was the Samsung 55C9000. The Samsung UE55C9000 55″ Full HD 3D LED TV has a 3D HyperReal Engine and mega contrast technology and at 7.98mm thin, it is one the slimmest televisions around. However, at £6999.00, it is also one of the most expensive. We also got to see Devil May Cry played in 3D on a laptop. There was real depth to the image and brought a whole new experience to playing Devil May Cry and made me want to play it all over again.

This month, Currys and PC World are introducing a new range of exclusive home electronic brands, which will include basic utility products as well as higher end technology. The brand is designed to combine functionality and aesthetics without the big brand price tag. Think “the IKEA of technology”. For example, the Sandstrom S40LDIB10 is a 40” Full LED TV with High Contrast Dynamic technology, which at £749.99, is pretty decent value.

Advent, the well established range of PCs and laptops at PC World, will be launching a range of personalised laptop covers. Unlike the skins which you can currently get to cover the casing, these replace the casing and look durable. You can select an image from 500 options or upload a photo and have it put on the case, so you can have a picture of your family or holiday on your laptop.

Digital cameras have seen considerable innovation with manufacturers developing features to differentiate from the competition. Here are some the most innovative cameras. The compact Samsung PL100 has not 1 but 2 screens. There is 1.5” LCD display on the front of your camera as well a screen on the back so you can take self-portraits. Casio’s Z335 shoots in High Definition and for the ladies out there, it has a make-up mode, which automatically eliminates blemishes and highlights the face. No bad for £99.99 The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 Micro Four Thirds Camera + 14-42mm Zoom Lens SCS also caught my eye. The successor to revolutionary G1, the camera adds an intuitive touch-screen, which allows the photographer to both focus and release the shutter by touching the on-screen subject.

There were some standout audio products on show for music lovers. The Amethyst Superpig iPod Docking Station is a statement piece with a bling look. It has a 4” subwoofer with 25 watts of crystal output so it packs a punch in a small package. For headphones, Monster Cable Lady Gaga Heartbeats Headphones are high-end performance headphones inspired by Lady Gaga’s unique and ultra-fashionable sense that will definitely turn heads. Monster Beats Active Noise-cancelling Headphones by Dr Dre are also available, which hold a noise-cancelling feature to eliminate outside noise and noise from your headphones so no one will hear your music. The sound is of premium grade, enabling you to hear all the bass and detail just as the artist intended. If you like the sound of anything, why not buy yourself a very early present?

Sharp takes 3D to New Dimensions

Since 3D glasses were first invented in 1953, the 50s and 60s became the “golden age” of 3D viewing, which became a prominent feature of American cinema. 3-dimensional technology has since fallen in and out of popularity. At present we are witnessing a renewed surge in demand for the surreally realistic experiences 3D technology offers, so much so that we are embarking on a second golden age of stereoscopic production and screening.

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Picture courtesy of Flickr user jimf0390

Sharp is at the heart of 3D’s ‘second revolution’, with the announcement of a stunning range of 3D products, covering diverse media formats, which makes you wonder how some of these products could possibly encrypt 3D conventions. Particularly perplexing is the inclusion of 3D mobile phones as part of Sharp’s ambitious 3D tech range. Proudly fronting the range is what has been dubbed as “the next generation of mobile phones”, whose 3-inch liquid crystal display screen plays 3D animations, touch screen panel flicks through a gallery of 3D pictures, and a smaller screen connects to a 3D video camera.

In the second wave of a technological love affair with 3D, 3-dimenional TV sets are at the vanguard, with companies cavernously competing and vying to create the best 3D effect. The presence of many 3D sets on display at this year’s CEF vouches for the contemporary demand for 3D television. Although it has to be said Sharp have ‘got the edge’ in the 3D TV stakes, with the unveiling of the world’s first 3D LCD TV, which uses four primary colors instead of three. Using CG-Silicon technology, Sharp claims its new 3D LCD TV is 80 percent brighter than standard models and is the brightest in the industry.

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But let’s cut to the chase, as the biggest beauty of Sharp’s 3D range is that the Japanese manufacturing giants have kissed goodbye to having to wear the red and yellow 3D glasses, which became synonymous with being found in cereal packets on the 1980s. The most off-putting feature of 3D viewing is the prospect of having to wear these ‘jester’ glasses in order to capture the 3D experience. Recognizing users’ objections to looking foolish and technologically banal, Sharp developed CG-Silicon technology, which shrinks the size of wiring, enables a brightness of 500 cd/m2, which is twice the brightness of previous 3D mobile displays. Incorporating a display known as parallax 3D, Sharp’s ingenious 3D applications can be electrically switched from their autostereoscopic mode, which provides 3D vision without the need for glasses, and a full resolution 2D mode – You can believe it when you read Sharp have been studying this technology since 1992!

Rumor has it that Sharp’s unrivalled monopoly in the field of 3D will equip Nintendo’s forthcoming 3DS gaming console, which is due to be released next spring and will feature games in 3D, although this has yet to have been confirmed and remains speculation. Although one thing is for sure, if Sharp is involved with Nintendo’s new portable, it will promise to be a spectacular spectacle without the need for spectacles.

Latest Gadgets at the Gadget Show Live 2010

As this year’s Gadget Show Live draws to a close we round up the top tech that caught our eye during our trek across every inch of the NEC, Birmingham.

The foldaway Yikebike caught our eye as it looks to become the latest answer to personal travel solutions. It’s a sleekly styled piece of kit with carbon composite frame and a leather seat and looks to bring back the classic penny-farthing design. Expect to shell out £3,000 for one of Time Magazine’s top inventions of 2009, weighing in at a measly 21lb’s it can clock a top speed of 25kph and will have a range of 9km.

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One of the best and cheapest things we came across was from Hong-Kong based Sumvision, called the Cyclone Micro. It’s a USB 2.0 1080p up-scaling HDMI media player adapter, which allows you to plug and play with any USB storage device and play your media files directly to TV via HDMI, and at £40 it’s great value.

The most expensive gadget we came across was the Sky Car MK2 from Wiltshire Company Parajet. Half car, half plane, the Sky Car is rear wheel off-road buggy, which can hit 110 mph and o-62 in 4.2 seconds. As well the impressive performance on the road, it can also fly with the attaching of a ram-air wing and is capable of take-off from a field or airstrip in less than 200 metres. It’s £55,320 and is on sale now.

We loved new headphones from US company Monster who in partnership with rap legend Dr Dre are looking to revolutionise headphones. Called Beats by Dre, they have been designed to allow you listen to music the way artists recorded it. The big powerful speakers dwarf the capabilities of in-ear buds and with excellent power, clarity and super-deep bass we were blown away by the sound quality. And with Monster’s powered isolation technology these headphones cut all external noise so all you hear is the music. On sale now they will set you back a premium price of £270.

At this year’s show, watch phone brand Swap unveiled the new Swap Lady and Swap Rebel designs. The former is “gorgeous” bangle-style watch and phone for the ladies and the latter a lightweight colourful version for the hip young lads. The new Lady design and Rebel design join the recently announced sporty, waterproof Active Design. Prices are predicted to be around £300.

And finally in the year 2010, no gadget show would be complete without 3D kit everywhere you look. To this end, Sony showed of its latest 3D gear, as did Panasonic, MSI, Nvidia, and the rest. We really liked Sony’s 3D TV, which looked impressive when hooked up to a 3D PS3, you can expect a software update this summer for your Playstation, but you will need to save £2,000 for their 3D TV which will be on sale later this year.