Philips, Samsung Electronics, Sony Corporation and Panasonic today announced they have joined forces to develop a standardized specification for radio frequency-based remote controls for audio visual consumer electronics devices. Working with Freescale Semiconductors, OKI and Texas Instruments, the seven companies have formed the RF4CE (Radio Frequency for Consumer Electronics) Consortium to create a new protocol that will enable the development of radio frequency remote controls that deliver richer communication, increased reliability and more flexible use.
Most existing remote controls use infrared technology to communicate commands to controlled devices. While no radio frequency remote control standard currently exists for audio visual consumer electronic devices, increased demand for advanced functionality that cannot be supported by existing infrared technology has led to the formation of the RF4CE Consortium. Radio frequency remote controls enable non line-of-sight operation and the technology also provides more advanced features based on bi-directional communications such as display feedback for an enhanced entertainment experience.
The new radio frequency remote control standard will be based on IEEE 802.15.4. MAC/PHY radio technology in the 2.4GHz unlicensed frequency band, which enables worldwide operation, low power consumption and instantaneous response time. The RF4CE Consortium aims to develop a radio frequency platform that allows omni-directional and reliable two-way wireless communication, frequency agility to co-exist with other 2.4GHz wireless technologies, simple security set-up and configuration.
The RF4CE specification is due to be launched in the second half of 2008 and will be accessible to all interested parties.
Source: Sony Corporation
Sharp Corporation will introduce into the Japanese market a 108V-inch LCD monitor (LB-1085), the world's largest, for business and commercial applications.
This unit features a widescreen 108V-inch Advanced Super View LCD panel, the maximum size that a single 8th-generation glass substrate (2,160 x 2,460 mm). A rich assortment of inputs, including HDMI and DVI-I connectors, provides greater connectivity with a wide variety of equipment and devices, and a fan-less design that minimizes noise and intake of dust from outside air.
The suggested retail price is open, since this product is build-to-order.
Source: Sharp Corporation
Microsoft Corp. issued the following statement:
"In the weeks since Microsoft withdrew its offer to acquire Yahoo!, the two companies have continued to discuss an alternative transaction that Microsoft believes would have delivered in excess of $33 per share to the Yahoo! shareholders. This partnership would ensure healthy competition in the marketplace, providing greater choice and innovation for advertisers, publishers and consumers.
As stated on May 3rd and reiterated on May 18th Microsoft was not interested in rebidding for all of Yahoo!. Our alternative transaction remains available for discussion."
ASUS launched the ultra-slim 22" widescreen LCD monitor, LS221H. It combines pleasing aesthetics with leather material, and features a 9H-hardness glass panel for scratch resistant protection.
The lower half panel of the LS221H is dressed in genuine leather to present an exquisite outlook. The anti-reflection glass also provides a 96% transmission rate and a reflective rate of less than 2% - allowing users to view clearer images and more vibrant colors. Additionally, the Light-in-Motion II dynamic lighting effects from LEDs built into the base add to the ambience; and an embedded HDMI input does away with cable clutter.
The LS221H features ASUS Smart Contrast Ratio (ASCR) 4000:1 and 2ms response times. The "Aspect Control" function allows selecting display modes between Full and 4:3 modes; and the ASUS Splendid Video Intelligence Technology automatically corrects and constantly adjusts every detail of the image to optimize visual quality. Five video preset modes, three skin tones, and five color temperature settings also allow users to customize the LS221H to their personal preferences.
AMD announced the new ATI Radeon HD 3870 Mac and PC Edition (specs). Optimized exclusively for Apple Mac Pro systems, the new ATI Radeon HD 3870 Mac and PC edition features 256-bit 512MB GDDR4 frame buffer memory and 320 stream processors. Users also can expand visual workspace using twin dual-link DVI ports to connect two 30" Apple Cinema HD displays.
With an MSRP of USD $219, the ATI Radeon HD 3870 Mac and PC Edition is scheduled to be available late June at Mac retailers worldwide.
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