YouTube lets you relive the old-school look of VHS -- in HD

Sure, watching YouTube videos in HD is great when you want clarity, but maybe you've been yearning for that grainy, tape-recorded look. Marking what's apparently the 57th anniversary of cassette-based video recording, the YouTube team has snuck a VHS tape-shaped button on select videos. Clicking it will the throw a filter over the content, providing a highly distorted and nostalgic feast for the eyes. There's no official list of compatible content, but the option seems to be available on most of the videos on YouTube's native channel. We have a feeling at least one VCR enthusiast will be quite pleased.

[Source: Engadget]

Apple Working on 4K 'Ultra HD' Television Set for Late 2013 or Early 2014 Launch?

Apple's rumored television set project has a long history of claims from various sources, and while the "iWatch" has taken on a more prominent place in the rumor mill in recent months, an Apple television continues to be on the radar of a number of industry watchers. 

Digitimes now reports on word from unidentified supply chain sources that Apple is working on an "Ultra HD" or "4K" television set that would carry a resolution of 3840 x 2160. The report claims that Apple's Internet-connected television set will support voice and motion control and is targeted for launch late this year or, perhaps more likely, early next year.

The sources said that Apple and Foxconn Electronics have been in discussions for quite some time in terms of the TV's mass production schedule, but that Apple has been considering where panel supply for the TV will come from, as Ultra HD TV panel makers, most of whom are based in Taiwan, are expected to be producing at nearly full capacity in 2013 in order to meet demand from China-based TV vendors. 

Additionally, other panel makers in Apple's supply chain that may have the ability to produce Ultra HD TV panels are expected to allocate most of their panel production to the company's iPhone, iPad and iPad mini products instead, as ultra-mobile devices are expected to be popular in the market during 2013, the sources noted.

Pricing is a major issue on the first Ultra HD televisions announced so far, with price tags generally starting around $20,000, although Westinghouse is planning to launch a line of"budget" Ultra UD televisions this year starting at $2500 for a 50-inch model. Additional equipment will, however, be needed to take full advantage of the 4K capabilities.

But unlike Sony and LG, Westinghouse’s models will be barebones displays with no on-board Smart TV features and no elaborate 4K up-conversion video processing technology. 

Instead, [Westinghouse senior vice president of marketing Rey] Roque said, Westinghouse expects viewers to use the 4K video processing converters that come built into select Blu-ray Disc players, A/V receivers and other devices to handle that load. To present pictures from regular sources, the sets will have only simple 4K up-scaling circuitry and 120Hz refresh rates.

The most recent Apple television set rumor from a mainstream news source came last December when The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple and Foxconn have beentesting prototypes, but a source noted that the effort was still in the early stages and wasn't yet a "formal project" for Apple.

[Source: MacRumors]


BBC Two HD launches today, Freeview HD reaches 3.5 million

BBC Two HD launched today, bringing high-definition versions of Auntie's second-best programmes to millions of high-def homes.

BBC 2 shows to be broadcast in extra-crisp detail include The Great British Bake OffLater... with Jools Holland, and, of course, Top Gear.

Previously, BBC HD showed highlights of BBC shows from across the Beeb board. But BBC Two HD is just the same as BBC Two only with more pixels stuffed into Jeremy Clarkson's increasingly gravity stretched face.

By my reckoning, that means only BBC One and BBC Two shows will be broadcast in high def, which means no more HD for programmes that live on BBC Three or other BBC channels.

From today, BBC Two HD is on channel 102 of your Freeview box, directly replacing the previous BBC HD channel. It's also in the same place on other TV services, except Sky, where it's been shunted to channel 142 to sit next to BBC One HD.

The BBC is also experimenting with its HD channels. For example, the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who will be broadcast in 3D on the HD channel on Saturday 23 November.

Freeview reckons the appetite for high definition is large and growing: Freeview HD is now in the main television in 3.5m living rooms, the second biggest HD service after Sky+ HD. Freeview hopes to see another ten high definition channels in the coming year.

[Source: CNET]

CES 2013: JVC launches Procision slow-mo HD camcorder, refreshed Everio line at CES

When it comes to launching a groundbreaking flagship video camera at CES, JVC's got previous experience. The company has outed the Procision GC-PX100, a 1,920 x 1,080 camcorder that shoots at 36Mbps, a bit-rate that the company claims makes it perfect for slow-motion and special effects work. Light will be pouring forth into a F/1.2 lens, a 1/2.3-inch 12.8-megapixel backside illuminated CMOS censor with optical image stabilization. JVC is claiming that it's capable of cranking out 600 frames per second and shoot still images in bursts of nine frames a second -- although not at the same time. When you're done, you can push the footage straight to your smartphone or tablet over WiFi and the company is also offering a mobile app that'll let sports coaches analyze their players movement in staggering detail. It'll be available in March, but you'd better all of that athletic scrutiny is worth it, as it'll set you back $1,000.

At the same time, the company's outing a game of Everio camcorders, with the entry-level GX-E100 setting you back $230 for the most basic model the company can offer. At the other end of the range, the $500 GZ-VX815 offers a f/1.2 lens, a 12.8-megapixel sensor and WiFi when it goes on sale in March.

[Source: Engadget]

Formula 1's on-board cameras may switch to HD next season

As we enjoy our first F1 action in the US since 2007 we're glad that it's in HD this time, however it still falling short in one area -- in-car camera shots. Although the racing series belatedly made the jump to high definition broadcasts last year, protests from the teams over weight and space issues caused it to stick with standard-definition cameras for the on-board shots. Now that a couple of years have passed and presumably the technology has improved, that may be addressed next year, at the same time US broadcasts of the series move from Speed/Fox to NBC Sports. Formula One Supporters Associationcaught up to F1 journalist Christian Sylt who got a peek at future plans that include the possibility of HD in-car cameras, multi-channel formats offering different views of the track and an interactive 3D replay feature. We'll have to wait and see how much -- if any -- of that is actually implemented any time soon, but if you'd like to check out the technology in use today, Speed TV has a live stream from several of the cars currently racing around the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas.

[Source: Engadget]

Sky+ launches 7-day Catch Up TV, 2TB HD DVRs and adds zeebox extras to its iPad app

Sky+ in the UK has bundled several updates to deliver all at once, including expected ones like zeebox integration into its iPad app and an expanded Catch Up TV lineup, plus a new 2TB Sky+ HD DVR. Viewers will notice the new 7-day Catch Up TV section in their video on-demand section stocked with shows from Sky, ITV Player and Demand 5, with BBC iPlayer arriving this fall and 4oD next year. The Sky+ iPad app has been updated to v4.1 with a notification for possible recording conflicts plus expanded content info and social tie-ins powered by zeebox. Now, you can not only change channels from the tablet, but also find out more about what's playing. Finally, the new expanded size DVR outpaces the stock configuration available from competitor Virgin Media, and we're told it is priced the same as the previous 1TB offering. Check after the break for a press release with all the details, the gallery for screenshots and a look at the DVR or hit iTunes to grab the updated app right now.

[Source: Engadget]

Logitech launches TV Cam HD for living room video chats: built-in Skype, 720p, $200

If Cisco's ill-fated Umi video conferencing system had been more like this, would it have survived? Logitech is about to find out, one way or the other, once its TV Cam HD -- recently spotted at the FCC -- arrives in the US this month. The $199.99 device hooks up to your TV and contains all the processing power needed to run Skype and transmit wide-angle, 720p footage of your couch over WiFi or Ethernet. Unlike the previous TV Cam, there's no need for a Viera Connect HDTV -- anything with HDMI-in will do. The company is banking on the notion that families will forgo the use of their existing mobile devices and laptops in favour of an always-on dedicated system with incoming call alerts, four noise-cancelling mics and a Carl Zeiss lens that "gets the whole family in the video call, so everyone from grandparents to grandchildren can move around naturally." If you're tempted, the publicity video after the break gives a decent overview of the product in action.

[Source: Engadget]