Less than 24 hours after announcing the H9080 wireless headphones, Rapoo’s let it be known that its CES 2013 repertoire also includes a little something for the living room (or bedroom, depending on where you prefer to enjoy your downtime). With its Rapoo TV, the company’s touting the ability to turn any HDTV into one with intelligent features — essentially, though, it is a wireless receiver that allows iOS and Android devices to connect to it, allowing them to mirror mostly any content on the bigger screen. Of course, there might be some better options for iOS users (and Android soon, we imagine) in the market already, but the company’s still hoping some folks may have room for yet another set-top-like unit in their home. The company says the Rapoo TV will be available sometime in Q1 of this year, however there’s no word on pricing just yet.
Sky is reportedly considering splitting its stereoscopic programming into separate Sports and Entertainment channels as its content stable swells. Speaking to Pocket-lint, movie bosses Simon Rexworthy and Ian Lewis confirmed that they don’t have enough time in the schedules unless sporting coverage is hived off to a distinct “Sky Sports 3D”. After the split, Sky 3D would only broadcast films, factual and TV content, with the caveat that they’re prioritizing quality over quantity. Lewis mentioning that one recently-released flick has been blacklisted from the service after making the testers sick, although he neglected to mention its title.
Along with announcing the official release details for its 2012 Plasma and Smart Interaction TV lineup today, Samsung also introduced its Smart Touch Remote and Wireless Keyboard. Essentially serving as the replacement for its 2011 Qwerty remote, the new Touch variant will come included with the ES7500 and ES8000 LED models and E8000 Plasma display. The retro-looking slab features tactile controls for channel switching and adjusting volume on its edges, while the middle section is dedicated to gesture controls for interacting with services like Smart Hub. Notably, the remote also features a built-in microphone which will assist with voice controls if ya happen to be far away from your TV. Moving along for those who like to type, the Wireless Keyboard will be available separately and features most of what you’ll find on the remote cleanly affixed on its right side. We’re also told that it’s compatible with both models of the Galaxy Tab 2.We haven’t heard any word on pricing or availability, but check out the gallery below and a cameo of the remote in the video past the break for further details.
Even though all signs indicate Samsung will be joining the Google TV party shortly, it’s not going to give up on its own existing Smart TV platform just yet. We don’t know if it will run the two side by side as it has operated with Yahoo! Widgets, but the Korean manufacturer has announced it plans to release version 3.0 of its SDK January 5th. The new Samsung Apps toolkit supports mobile devices and TV sets, and lets developers build in support for remote controls, as well as USB mice, keyboards or gamepads. Of course, not all devs will work for free, so they’re also adding a way for them to get paid through the built-in payment system or advertisements. Currently, Samsung claims 25,000 developers from 140 countries in its forums, but we’ll have to wait until CES 2012 to find out if its products live up to the hype and attract more innovative software to the segment.
Toshiba is finally ready to bring its 55-inch, 4K res 3DTV home in Japan, and buyers will have their first chance to part with 900,000 yen ($11,578 US) on December 10th. The 55X3 (ZL2 in Europe) still doesn’t have a North American ship date, but we can still drool over its high res display and autostereoscopic (no glasses) 3D screen that adjusts for its viewers’ location based on face tracking technology, although that results in a resolution drop down to 720p. Our last time getting eyes-on with a prototype panelwas at CES and we probably won’t see it again until we’re back in Las Vegas in a few weeks, let’s hope all that CEVO Engine technology Toshiba’s plugged in for image processing makes it worth the wait… and the price.
Today at IFA 2011, one of Samsung’s many announcements is an update to its Smart TVs that will place YouTube’s library of 3D videos front and center for users to stream. So far one of the major issues for 3DTV owners has been a lack of content, but since it launched support for 3D videos two years ago, YouTube has accumulated quite a library of both professionally developed and user generated videos for viewing. HDTVs from LG added access to the site’s 3D content earlier this year, and the update is expected to appear across the Samsung lineup across the second half of 2011. We spoke with one of the engineer’s responsible for the initial rollout of YouTube’s 3D support, Pete Bradshaw, and he mentioned the project’s genesis as one of Google’s famous “20 percent” projects that was worked on on the side, but has now drawn the support of a multiperson team to support, and a rapidly expanding number of viewers and content creators uploading videos to the service. The intent is to make viewing 3D just as easy as watching anything else, once users film in 3D with their phone or camera, they can upload it to YouTube and watch on TV (or mobile device) without worrying about the formatting and technology involved. We’re still a few steps away from the magic bullet that removes the current hurdles for wider 3D acceptance in the market, but if you’re one of the (not so early at this point) adopters with the hardware to handle it, you’ll probably appreciate anything that makes more content available easily. Check after the break for the press release and a few sample videos to check out.