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Computer News and Rumors

June 1-7 2002

About News and Rumors. InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors is a daily column. It features news coverage of new PC and Mac computer hardware and software, Internet news, and other technical news items.
Every Sunday, News and Rumors features "Sunday Shopping Watch", which is a comparison and analysis of Sunday computer store advertisements.
The Computer News and Rumors is an archived column, so feel free to review previous week's or month's computer news by clicking on the link below. Previous computer news articles can also be searched, by using our site search feature found in the top and bottom menu bar.

InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors Article Index
Date
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to the Index.)
Jun 07 Canon Redefines "Entry-level" With New PowerShot A200 Digital Camera
Jun 07 E Ink Unveils World's Thinnest Active-Matrix Display
Jun 07 SmartDisk Introduces USB 2.0 FireLite Portable Hard Drives
Jun 07 J. River Releases Media Jukebox 8.0
Jun 06 Future ATI AGP 8X Graphics Chip Powers Intel Workstation
Jun 06 Cirrus Logic Announces New DVD Recording Technology
Jun 06 New Sharp LCD 16" Monitor Has Higher Resolution
Jun 06 Best Buy First-Quarter Sales Increase 24%
Jun 06 Online Game Market Set to Grow
Jun 05 AMD Demonstrates New Graphics Standard, AGP-8x
Jun 05 ViewSonic Targets Home Consumers With New LCD Line
Jun 05 ATI Technologies Announces RADEON IGP Support for AMD OPTERON
Jun 05 iVAST MPEG-4 Platform Fuels Consumer Electronic Devices
Jun 05 Movies on Demand to be Coming Attraction for Broadband
Jun 04 AMD Announces Broad Industry Support for Future AMD Opteron
Jun 04 AMD Serves Up Four-Way Multiprocessing Demo At Computex
Jun 04 Rambus Brings Highest Bandwidth PC Memory Module to Market
Jun 04 BHA Ships One-Step DVD-Video Recording Software
Jun 04 Worldwide Silicon Wafer Revenue Decreased by 31 Percent in 2001
Jun 03 Phoenix Technologies Announces Support for AMD Opteron
Jun 03 VIA Introduces C3™ 1GHz Processor
Jun 03 VIA Announces P4PB Pro Mainboard
Jun 03 HP Taps Transmeta to Power New Tablet PC
Jun 03 SONICblue Unveils ReplayTV 4500 Series
Jun 02 Sunday Shopping Watch

 

 
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June 07 - Canon Redefines "Entry-level" With New PowerShot A200 Digital Camera. Designed as an easy-to-use, entry-level digital camera, the new PowerShot A200 combines a 2-megapixel CCD chip with several advanced camera features to create extremely high-quality digital photos at a very affordable price.

In addition, the new camera can produce high-quality 4x6-inch prints by connecting directly to Canon's new CP-100 dye-sublimation printer. The new A200 can also be used as an underwater camera when used with its optional waterproof housing to depths of up to 100 feet. The PowerShot A200 will be available at authorized Canon retailers nationwide in July and have a suggested retail price of $299.

"Canon has created a complete line of digital cameras to satisfy the picture-taking needs of everyone from the beginner to the advanced amateur and professional," said Yukiaki Hashimoto, vice president and general manager, Photographic Products Group, Canon U.S.A., Inc. "The new PowerShot A200 offers consumers an inexpensive way to experience digital photography without sacrificing high image quality or advanced camera features," Mr. Hashimoto added.

The PowerShot A200 is a 2.0 megapixel, single-focal length autofocus camera incorporating several advanced camera features including Movie mode, Photo Effect Mode, Direct Print capabilities using Canon's new CP-100 dye-sub printer, and magnified playback up to 10x for precise image confirmation. It is designed to make digital photography as easy as point-and-shoot.

From its bright silver exterior to the clearly marked control buttons, the A200 is the perfect camera for consumers making the transition from analog to digital. Adding to the simplicity of taking great photographs is the camera's Direct Print capability with Canon's new CP-100 and existing CP-10 photo printers. Now first-time users of digital cameras can make high-quality color prints without the complexity of a computer.

The PowerShot A200 also incorporates a number of high-end features including the popular Photo Effects mode originally introduced in the highly advanced PowerShot G2 digital camera. A low sharpening mode has been added to the Vivid, Neutral, Sepia and Black-and-White modes for a total of five separate effects for greater creativity.

For more information, visit www.usa.canon.com.

June 07 - E Ink Unveils World's Thinnest Active-Matrix Display. E Ink Corporation, the leading developer and marketer of electronic ink technology for paper-like displays, today announced its demonstration of the world's thinnest active-matrix displays. Prototypes were first exhibited to industry leaders at last month's Society for Information Display Symposium, Seminar and Exhibition, in Boston, Massachusetts.

E Ink has demonstrated two display sizes targeting highly portable, rugged information appliances. At less than half the thickness of a credit card, these development prototypes have a total display thickness of just 0.3 mm.

"These displays are an important milestone for E Ink," stated Dr. Michael McCreary, vice president of Research and Development at E Ink. "These prototypes are the first of their kind on steel foil, and their thinness and flexibility opens many exciting application possibilities."

Traditional active-matrix display panels measure 2 mm thick and often require a backlight for a combined thickness of 4 mm or more. E Ink's prototypes are roughly 90% thinner and lighter than typical glass-based, liquid crystal displays.

Active-matrix displays that are commercially available today are produced with two sheets of thick, fragile glass. Fracture of glass substrates is often reported as the leading cause of field failure of portable devices. In contrast, E Ink's flexible displays are constructed by combining a thin, shatterproof steel foil transistor substrate with E Ink's paper-like electronic ink display material coated onto a plastic face sheet. Steel foil was chosen as the transistor backplane material because of its overall performance from initial transistor processing through final display use. The result is the thinnest, lightest and most rugged active-matrix graphical display ever demonstrated.

"Today, `anywhere, anytime' information enabled by the latest advances in wireless, broadband and processor technologies places new demands on mobile displays. Enhanced information access and readability are required, while not compromising device portability and battery life," stated Dr. Dan Button, vice president of Business Development at E Ink. "These displays represent an ideal solution. They offer not only the great ink-on-paper look of electronic ink, but begin to take on the form and utility of paper with ultra-thin, flexible structures and ultra-low power."

"The beauty of this technology is that it is compatible with existing display production technology, cutting years off time-to-market," McCreary added.

Unlike other flexible display or ultra-thin display solutions -using plastic substrates, specially processed glass or organic transistors - E Ink's novel backplane technology is practical; it is based on readily available substrate materials and well-established semiconductor process technologies. Combined with E Ink's electronic ink front plane film, E Ink now offers a complete technology platform for flexible, paper-like displays. These advanced display products are expected to reach consumers in 2004-2005.

The transistor process and steel foil substrate technology were reduced to practice by E Ink's flexible microelectronics development team. E Ink intends to license this technology to display manufacturers for mass production.

The first display prototype is targeted at card-sized mobile applications such as SmartCards and cell phones. With a 1.6 inch diagonal and 80 pixels per inch (ppi), the display has a resolution of 100 x 80 pixels. The second display prototype measures 3.0 inches diagonally and is targeted at handheld devices. These include PDAs, two-way pagers and novel communication devices such as mobile display appliances or handheld monitors that are peripheral to cell phones or other wireless `servers.' The resolution of this display is 240 x 160 with 96 ppi. E Ink envisions the unveiled prototypes will enable new design freedom for device makers - such as curved surfaces and bendability - while providing end users with highly portable and rugged information appliances.

"E Ink is now working with leading device makers to integrate our novel electronic ink and backplane technologies into ultra-thin and flexible displays for next generation portable devices," stated Button.

For additional information, visit E Ink's Web site at www.eink.com.

June 07 - SmartDisk Introduces USB 2.0 FireLite Portable Hard Drives. SmartDisk Corporation (Nasdaq:SMDK) today announced the availability of Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0 versions of its FireLite(TM) portable hard drives for consumers and professionals. Available in capacities of 20 Gigabytes (GB), 30 GB and 40 GB, FireLite drives feature outstanding performance and a unique, high tech design with a strong, shock-resistant, lightweight casing.

FireLite drives are designed for professionals and consumers who require convenient, portable storage of vast amounts of data. FireLite drives can be used to backup critical data, transport and synchronize data between multiple computers, and free up valuable hard disk space on existing computers. They are especially convenient for mobile computing platforms. FireLite drives are ideal, for example, for transferring large files between home and office, for storing hours of superior quality video or warehousing huge graphics files.

The drives have performance rates that easily allow users to access and use data directly on FireLite without first copying it to a personal computer. They support both USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 host systems, which means that users in transition between the two versions can use a single FireLite on any USB machine.

Featuring a sleek, silver-colored magnesium casing for outstanding durability, FireLite drives are pocket-sized, measuring just 3.25" (W) x 5.0" (D) x 0.75" (H) and weighing just over six (6) ounces. They are "Mass Storage Class" peripherals: they require no driver installation when used with operating systems like Windows XP and Windows Me, Mac OS 9 and Mac OS-X.

"According to a recent report by NPD Techworld, external hard drives like FireLite are the second fastest growing product category demanded by on-line shoppers," said Rod H. King, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales and Marketing for SmartDisk. "Our new FireLite drives are positioned to take advantage of this increasing consumer demand for portable storage products."

"FireLite represents the ultimate solution for users seeking an immediate, convenient, highly portable data storage solution," said Mike Goldenberg, Product Marketing Director for SmartDisk. "FireLite drives were designed to provide uncompromising quality, performance and style for consumers. As a result, we believe they are the `best value' product in their category."

Each FireLite drive ships with Retrospect Express Backup(TM) personal backup software for Windows users and Connectix CopyAgent(TM) data backup, recovery and synchronization software for Macintosh users. The package also contains an AC adapter, a stacking clip and a protective carrying case.

Suggested retail prices for the FireLite USB 2.0 drives are $199.95 for the 20 GB model, $259.95 for the 30 GB model and $309.95 for the 40 GB model. All models will be available in mid-June through retailers and distributors, as well as through the company's Web site at www.smartdisk.com.

June 07 - J. River Releases Media Jukebox 8.0. J. River, pioneering digital music software developer, today released version 8.0 of its award-winning MEDIA JUKEBOX media management software. This player and organizer introduces the latest technology in jukebox software for playing MP3's, ripping, burning and managing a digital music collection. A close collaboration between developers and MJ users, in the unique online forum called Interact, has resulted in a more streamlined interface with a wealth of new features such as a file Tagging Studio, Download Manager and a CD Labeler.

Options for customization have been enhanced with a revised Media View feature that can include custom fields, file location and playlists. Three different skinning modes are now supported: MEGA-MODE, mini-me freeform skinning and support for more than 40,000 Winamp skins. A Visualization Studio feature lets users create their own savable visualizations, and a DSP Studio allows customization of the listening environment.

In addition, the jukebox includes utilities such as the Media Scheduler for sleep, alarm and recording functions, and a Media Editor for editing sound files. The new Download Manager utility works seamlessly with sites such as Emusic.com for easy download and playback of tracks and albums.

"This release has taken the jukebox software category to an entirely different level. Version 8.0 represents the most comprehensive, all-in-one solution available for collecting, organizing and playing music and other media files," says Nikolay Sokratov, J. River's Chief Technology Officer. "We're giving users a complete set of tools in a streamlined package. Our development effort was shaped by a large group of enthusiastic and vocal MJ users. They asked us to build it and we did."

MEDIA JUKEBOX supports MP3 hardware players and some remote control devices. Home networking on multiple PC's is enabled through the Media Server.

MEDIA JUKEBOX software plays all popular music formats, including MP3, Microsoft(R) Windows Media(TM), and RealAudio(R). The jukebox has consistently received 5-star ratings from the top download sites. MJ is used by novices as well as expert users, including professional DJ's, Internet radio stations, and others requiring powerful and reliable media management and playback capabilities. For a free download visit www.mediajukebox.com.

June 06 - Future ATI AGP 8X Graphics Chip Powers Intel Workstation. ATI's next generation graphics was selected to be part of an Intel(R) Xeon(TM) workstation platform technology demonstration at Computex featuring the newly specified Accelerated Graphics Port 8x interface (AGP8x) designed to double the graphics processing bandwidth over today's current AGP4x.

ATI's as-yet-unannounced graphics chip offers advanced, high-performance graphics power for workstations. As a validation partner for AGP8x, ATI's chip is the first to be demonstrated on Intel's future workstation platform based on the Intel Xeon processor family.

"AGP8x will revolutionize the graphics market, and ATI is proud to be an integral part of its public showing," said Rick Bergman, senior vice president, marketing and general manager, Desktop, ATI Technologies Inc. "Appropriately, like Intel's AGP8x workstation platforms, ATI's highly-anticipated next-generation product will bring a new level of 3D realism and killer graphics power to the market."

"ATI's next generation graphics hardware offers a leading platform to showcase this exciting progression in workstation-class graphics technology," said Jason Ziller, technology initiatives manager, Intel Corporation. "Both Intel and ATI are committed to delivering the benefits of AGP8x to our customers."

Visit ATI at www.ati.com.

June 06 - Cirrus Logic Announces New DVD Recording Technology. Cirrus Logic Inc. (Nasdaq:CRUS) today introduced new technology that makes it easy to record audio and video in real-time from any analog source, encode it into MPEG2 format, store it onto a PC for editing and save it onto DVD recordable media.

Cirrus' USB-DVR CS92288 reference design enables the creation of sub-$200 products that preserve, edit and store aging analog home movies and videotape collections onto DVD media. Additionally, the design can output MPEG video to either a computer display or a standard NTSC/PAL video monitor, allowing consumers to play back their DVD creations on their TV sets or record them onto a VCR to share with family and friends.

According to Mike McCoy, CEO of ADS Technologies, the reference design will play a role in future ADS products. "ADS has enjoyed great commercial success with its InstantDVD product line, which is enabled by the Cirrus Logic CS92210 MPEG video codec," said McCoy. "We are very pleased to adopt the CS92288 MPEG AV codec in our future designs, which will drive the desktop DVD recording market much further with performance and cost advantages."

The USB-DVR CS92288 reference design integrates three Cirrus parts: the CS92288 MPEG-2 A/V codec, the CS4223 audio codec and the CS4954 NTSC/PAL video encoder. The parts work together to enable sharp video recording at the widest range of bitrates, giving consumers top-quality video or maximum content storage.

Unlike software-based encoders, the product can record up to full D1 resolution images in real-time, utilizing only a very small percentage of the host PC's resources. The design also provides for video output to TVs and VCRs, which is unavailable from software-only encoders.

"Digital recording is becoming a mainstream part of video entertainment," said Brian Heuckroth, vice president of marketing for Cirrus Logic's Optical Products Division.

"While new PC sales have declined, consumer interest in entertainment applications for their current PCs has steadily increased. Meanwhile, DVD-recordable drives have begun to ramp in earnest, camcorder sales are booming, and DVD recording software is readily usable even by novice consumers. All these factors combine to make the desktop DVD recording market a very profitable category this year."

The USB-DVR CS92288 reference design is available immediately from Cirrus Logic. More information about Cirrus Logic is available at www.cirrus.com.

June 06 - New Sharp LCD 16" Monitor Has Higher Resolution. Sharp Systems of America, a division of Sharp Electronics Corporation, has announced the newest member of its premium LCD monitor line, the LL-T1620.

Joining the recently announced LL-T1820 and LL-T1520 (18-inch and 15-inch respectively), the new monitor is characterized by a 16-inch viewable panel with SXGA (1280 X 1024) resolution.

Sharp leads the industry in LCD color imaging technology and this latest announcement adds to the diverse line of high quality, budget priced LCD displays ideal for small office, home office, government, education, creative professional, and/or corporate users.

"The LL-T1620 utilizes a unique Sharp LCD panel with 60% more resolution than a standard XGA 15-inch LCD monitor," explained Herb Berkwits, director of LCD business development at Sharp Systems of America. "The ultra-high pixel density of 100 pixels per inch results in sharper text and crystal-clear graphics, yet the cost per pixel is among the lowest in the industry making the LL-T1620 an extraordinary value."

The LL-T1620 features the Sharp ASV technology LCD panel that provides a superior 25 ms video response and super-wide display angles of 170 degrees both horizontally and vertically. This LCD panel employs Sharp's Ultra High Aperture (UHA) technology for improved brightness (300 nits) coupled with reduced power consumption.
In addition, this LCD panel features AGLR, a multi-layer surface treatment that reduces reflectance to approximately one-third that of a conventional LCD by optical cancellation, thus maintaining superior contrast, velvety blacks, and fully saturated colors even in brightly-lit environments.

With a slim bezel width of only 16.3 mm, the LL-T1620 is ideal for multi-monitor applications. The LL-T1620 may be switched between two computers, and its dual inputs accommodate analog or digital (DVI) interface for maximum flexibility in configuring new and existing installations. Its integrated speakers fire downward to maintain the sleek look of the super-slim bezel.

The LL-T1620 is available in black (LL-T1620B) or white (LL-T1620H) for an estimated street price of $649 and is available through Sharp Systems of America's network of resellers or by going online at www.sharpplace.com.

June 06 - Best Buy First-Quarter Sales Increase 24%. Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) today reported record sales for the Company's fiscal 2003 first quarter, ended June 1, 2002. Total sales rose 24 percent to $4.58 billion in the quarter compared with $3.70 billion in the Company's fiscal 2002 first quarter. The increase was driven by the addition of 63 Best Buy stores in the past 12 months as well as a comparable store sales gain of 5.7 percent. Sales also benefited from the inclusion of sales from Future Shop stores, which were acquired in November 2001.
The Company's first-quarter comparable store sales rose 5.7 percent, fueled by the expanding digital product cycle. Comparable store sales at Best Buy stores increased 6.6 percent during the fiscal first quarter, compared with a decrease of 3.1 percent in the first quarter of fiscal 2002. The increase, which was higher than the Company's guidance of 3 to 4 percent, reflected better-than-expected sales of video gaming, television, desktop computers and related software.
Digital products - including DVD hardware and software, digital cameras and camcorders, digital TVs, wireless communications devices and digital broadcast systems - comprised 19 percent of sales in the first quarter, up from 15 percent in the same period last year.
Best Buy can be found online at www.bestbuy.com.

June 06 - Online Game Market Set to Grow. A new research report from DFC Intelligence forecasts that 114 million people worldwide are expected to be playing online games by the year 2006.
Furthermore, online game usage is expected to increase nearly six-fold in that period. According to David Cole, president of DFC Intelligence, "Online games should garner significant usage over the next few years. The major question mark is whether individual companies will be able to monetize that usage."
The report also discusses how top online games are now able to generate revenue in excess of $100 million each. "The end of 2001 saw another major success story with the release of Mythic Entertainment's Dark Age of Camelot, one of the fastest selling online games of all-time. This could bode well for some of the big budget online games being released in 2002," said Cole.
However, Cole also notes that the online game market is still in its infancy and already there are substantially more products in development than the market can support.
The report also looks closely at the issue of console online gaming. "Microsoft's Xbox Live service is probably the biggest investment in online games yet. It is likely to be a major indicator of the future of console online gaming," said Cole.
The report goes into detail about the difference between Microsoft's approach to online gaming and Sony and Nintendo's approach. DFC forecasts that by 2006, 23 million consumers worldwide will be playing console games online.
For more information, go to the DFC Web site at www.dfcint.com.

June 05 - AMD Demonstrates New Graphics Standard, AGP-8x. At Computex Taipei 2002, AMD today demonstrated new graphics standard, AGP-8x, on the upcoming eighth-generation AMD Athlon(TM) processor-based platform. Platforms based on the AMD eighth-generation architecture and AGP-8x technology are designed to provide customers the advanced graphics technology they seek, including low memory latency, increased data throughput, and the option for larger cache sizes.

The demonstration was performed on a system that included an AMD-8151(TM) Graphics Tunnel, with a core logic component based on AGP-8x and HyperTransport(TM) technologies, and a SiS Xabre AGP-8x graphics card.

"Implementing new technologies like AGP-8x on AMD's future eighth-generation processor-based platforms is designed to increase the data throughput between the processor and the graphics card," said Rich Heye, vice president of Platform Engineering and Infrastructure, AMD's Computation Products Group. "Customers using graphically intense applications, ranging from gamers to digital content creators, will benefit from faster screen refreshes and reduced graphics data bottlenecks enabled by systems based on these new platforms."

"Native support for AGP-8x on both the SiS Xabre Graphics Card and AMD Opteron(TM) and eighth-generation AMD Athlon platform is designed to provide the system resources necessary to significantly improve our customers' graphical experience," said Shing Wong, senior vice-president, SiS Corporation. "With more than 2.1GB/s of bandwidth, today we saw a sneak preview of the potential of this powerful combination."

Support for AGP-8x technology is among many system design enhancements in AMD's upcoming eighth-generation processor family to help reduce system bottlenecks. Others include HyperTransport technology and an integrated DDR memory controller.

Shipments of the AMD Opteron processor for servers and workstations are planned to begin in the first half of 2003. Shipments of AMD's eighth-generation AMD Athlon processor for desktops are planned to begin in the fourth quarter of 2002.

For more information, visit www.amd.com/8thgenerationnews.

June 05 - ViewSonic Targets Home Consumers With New LCD Line. ViewSonic(R) Corporation, a worldwide Visual Technologies(TM) leader, today introduced two new LCD displays, the VA720 and VA520, that bring high performance with a sleek new design to Internet, gaming and home office computing enthusiasts.

"Consumers today not only want high performance, but high style in their technology products," said Eric Cox, product manager, ViewSonic Corporation. "Our new LCDs satisfy these requirements by enabling people to transform their home office computing products into entertainment devices."

The 17-inch VA720 combines photo-like image quality with a contemporary, ultra-thin monitor design. It features 1280x1024 native resolution, 260 nits of brightness and a high contrast ratio of 450:1 that deliver crisp images with razor-thin edges, making it perfect for Internet and home office applications. The wide 140-degree horizontal and 135-degree vertical viewing angle of the VA720 provides a greater range of viewing for competitive gaming. At just 13.6 pounds and with a depth of 2.7 inches, the VA720 saves consumers considerable space.

The 15-inch VA520 is also engineered for high performance with a native resolution of 1024x768, 250 nits of brightness, and a 400:1 contrast ratio. Both products offer metallic-on-black frames, which complement next generation PC designs to provide users with additional display options over traditional bundled systems. Additional features include OnView(R) controls for making simple, custom image adjustments, and compliance with TCO '99 emissions standards.

The VA720 and VA520 are currently available with a $100 rebate at Best Buy, CompUSA and Office Depot, as well as through ViewSonic distributors and mail order catalogs with estimated street prices, after rebate, of $699 and $429 respectively.

Visit ViewSonic Corporation at www.ViewSonic.com.

June 05 - ATI Technologies Announces RADEON IGP Support for AMD OPTERON. ATI Technologies (TSE: ATY, Nasdaq: ATYT) today announced that future generations of the RADEON(TM) IGP family of integrated graphics and communications processors will support AMD's upcoming AMD Opteron(TM) and eighth-generation AMD Athlon(TM) processors. The RADEON IGP family is the world's most powerful, feature-rich family of integrated graphics processors and communications processors for the desktop and mobile PC markets.

"ATI's RADEON IGP family delivers the ultimate combination of performance, features, power management and scalability to PC users, and will fully support the AMD eighth-generation processor-based platforms," said Philip Eisler, Vice-President and General Manager, Mobile and Integrated Business Unit, ATI Technologies. "AMD's upcoming eighth-generation processors will help provide investment protection for our shared customers, and AMD's 64-bit technology will allow enterprise IT leaders to optimize 32-bit performance in the near term, and seamlessly migrate to 64-bit applications when they need to."

"With native, and concurrent support of both 32-bit and 64-bit systems and applications, systems that will use eighth-generation AMD processors and ATI technologies will be able to benefit customers with optimized performance, and simplified support," said Rich Heye, vice president, platform engineering and infrastructure, AMD's Computation Products Group. "With x86-64 architecture, upcoming AMD Opteron and eighth-generation AMD Athlon processors will deliver world-class performance on the x86 platform."

The RADEON IGP family uses a 64-bit system architecture, supports the latest DDR memory technology, and is the first and only integrated graphics solution to support ATI's industry-leading POWERPLAY power management technology. The RADEON IGP family employs a scalable architecture with AGP 4X support, which allows the user to upgrade their system with a performance graphics board, such as ATI's RADEON 8500. The RADEON IGP family is also the only integrated graphics family to include ATI's patented Fast Z-Clear technology that increases 3D rendering speed, TV-out functionality and HYDRAVISION(TM) dual-display support.

The RADEON IGP family also features ATI's exclusive FLEXFIT(TM) Universal Platform Architecture, which allows computer manufacturers to control their engineering investment and support costs while still offering a variety of systems, each tailored to a targeted computer segment. FLEXFIT allows computer manufacturers to design products for all segments by creating a baseline platform that can be tailored to satisfy the needs of different market segments without changing the BIOS and driver set or redesigning the motherboard.

The RADEON IGP family incorporates a variety of award-winning RADEON(TM) features including ATI's PIXEL TAPESTRY(TM) and VIDEO IMMERSION(TM) engines. PIXEL TAPESTRY allows the RADEON IGP family of processors to create lifelike environments by combining the industry's fastest rendering engines with an unprecedented set of 3D special effects. The chip's ability to process up to three textures concurrently means unsurpassed performance in accelerating multi-textured game content. The VIDEO IMERSION adaptive de-interlacing engine advances ATI's historic leadership in digital video and delivers features such as hardware motion compensation and iDCT (inverse discrete cosine transform).

ATI can be found on the Web at ww.ati.com.

June 05 - iVAST MPEG-4 Platform Fuels Consumer Electronic Devices. crucial milestone for MPEG-4 playback in consumer devices has been achieved through an agreement announced today between the semiconductor division of Philips (NYSE:PHG)(AEX:PHI), and iVAST Inc., the world leader in MPEG-4 interactive media platforms.
Under terms of the agreement, iVAST will port its iVAST Experience Player(TM) onto Philips' Nexperia(TM) silicon system architecture for use in next-generation digital set-top boxes, advanced DVD players and other devices, marking the first complete implementation of MPEG-4 audio/video decode and systems-layer technologies in programmable silicon.
Philips, a leader in the development of the Compact Disc, DVD and other successful consumer electronics formats, intends to play a similar role with MPEG-4 playback devices. "Philips has been a leader at every step of the way in the transition from analog to digital media technologies," said Elliot Broadwin, CEO of iVAST. "Their commitment to MPEG-4 is a strong indicator of the standard's widespread adoption."
"With the future evolutionary trend of digital media from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4, we looked to iVAST, an established leader in MPEG-4 software, to integrate their technology with our Nexperia Digital Video Platform (DVP)," said John Payne, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Philips Semiconductor. "Our combined solution will transform how consumers experience media today enabling personalized and interactive services like video-on-demand."
The solution will provide consumer electronics manufacturers a cost-effective playback solution for broadcast-quality video, CD-quality audio and fully interactive MPEG-4 experiences, including support for multiple audio and video streams, and animation. This silicon and software solution, is built on Philips' unique Nexperia DVP based MIPS(TM)/TriMedia(TM) dual-processor.
It offers a highly programmable media processor that allows for the rapid development and deployment of iVAST's complete MPEG-4 solution. Cable and satellite providers utilizing set-top boxes and other devices with this system gain the agility to implement new revenue-generating services by leveraging the interactive capabilities of iVAST's MPEG-4 Platform.
For more information, please visit www.ivast.com and www.semiconductors.philips.com.

June 05 - Movies on Demand to be Coming Attraction for Broadband. As deployments of cable modems and Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) services continue to increase throughout the world, Video-on-Demand (VOD) services over Internet Protocol (IP) networks will grow to a total of more than 17 million users, generating over $1.9 billion (U.S.) in subscription and pay-per-view revenue during 2006, according to In-Stat/MDR (www.instat.com).
The high-tech market research firm reports, that as consumer-oriented VOD services over IP become more pervasive, revenue generated by family-oriented VOD services will eventually surpass those of adult content sites, which currently dominate the VOD-over-IP market.
"Consumers who have broadband Internet connections represent a strong growth market for VOD services," said Gerry Kaufhold, a principal analyst with In-Stat/MDR. "Adult content Internet VOD services are way ahead of cable TV VOD deployments in terms of total subscribers and revenues.
"However, four new family-oriented VOD-over-IP service efforts are underway: CinemaNow, Intertainer, MovieLink, and Movies.com." CinemaNow has deployments in North America, Taiwan, and Singapore, with more to come. Intertainer is rolling out their service in 35 major U.S. cities that have strong broadband deployments in place and the other two services will launch later this year.
"Several million movie streams per month are currently being served up for free, but as the major movie studios enter the fray, with premium movie titles, pay-per-view and subscription services will gain traction, helping Hollywood figure out what the market is for 'on demand' content, and help engineers and software programmers to develop efficient delivery systems and workable Digital Rights Management solutions," said Kaufhold.
Slated to generate approximately $460 million worldwide in 2002, the adult content segment of the market (representing over 98 percent of revenues) will serve as a barometer for the future success of the market as a whole.
By the end of 2004, the number of subscribers and pay-per-view participants, regularly using family-oriented "on demand" IP services, will out number the users of adult content services, and, by 2006, family-oriented "on demand" services will overtake the adult content sites in terms of annual revenues.

In-Stat/MDR has also found that:

-- By 2006, about 40 percent of worldwide consumers who have high-speed Internet connections to their residences will be using "on demand" services for which they pay monthly fees, bringing $1.9 billion to Hollywood.
-- The North American market has the lion's share of consumer broadband connections deployed, and, by 2006, will represent over 7.6 million VOD users, generating over $820 million in revenues.
-- Asia, especially South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and others, will represent about 37 percent of worldwide VOD-over-IP subscribers by 2006, producing over $700 million for movie studios. Europe will provide about 15 percent of worldwide VOD-over-IP revenues in 2006, and the Rest-of-the-World will bring in about 4.7 percent.
-- Blockbuster Video rental stores won't go away, but VOD services from Cable TV, Satellite TV services, and digital terrestrial datacasting services, will all add momentum to the "on demand" market.

June 04 - AMD Announces Broad Industry Support for Future AMD Opteron. At Computex Taipei 2002, AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced more than 35 leading hardware infrastructure vendors plan to support its upcoming AMD Opteron(TM) and eighth-generation AMD Athlon(TM) processors. AMD's next-generation processors are designed to provide enterprise-class 32-bit and native 64-bit performance.

Market-leading motherboard, chipset, BIOS, memory, clock generator, socket, voltage and LPC flash manufacturers have pledged support of AMD's eighth-generation platform. AMD and our partners are committed to providing customers an enterprise-class 64-bit computing experience.

"AMD and our infrastructure partners are committed to building innovative technologies based on the next-generation AMD Athlon and AMD Opteron platform," said Rich Heye, vice president, platform engineering and infrastructure, Computation Products Group, AMD. "AMD is gaining critical mass with broad partner support of our eighth-generation platforms, and will help lead the industry toward an easy-to-adopt 64-bit computing standard."

The AMD Opteron processor is based on the industry-standard x86 instruction set, providing a compelling 64-bit migration strategy for enterprise IT customers. Enterprise IT customers can also benefit from the unified processing architecture, allowing them to use the same processor technology for front and back office environments. The AMD Opteron platform is designed to support large, intensive workloads, allowing companies to develop enterprise solutions and scale up to an 8-way multiprocessing environment. About the AMD Opteron(TM) Processor

The AMD Opteron processor is based on AMD's eighth-generation processor core, which is planned to mark the introduction of the industry's first x86-64 technology. This technology is planned to preserve companies' investments in 32-bit applications while allowing a seamless transition to 64-bit computing, as those companies require. The AMD Opteron processor is designed to deliver high-performance server and workstation solutions for today's most demanding enterprise applications. The processor is designed to be scalable, reliable and compatible, which can result in lower total cost of ownership. Key AMD Opteron processor innovations include an integrated memory controller, which reduces memory bottlenecks, and HyperTransport(TM) technology, which increases overall performance by removing or reducing I/O bottlenecks, increasing bandwidth and reducing latency.

About HyperTransport(TM) Technology

HyperTransport technology is a high-speed, high-performance, point-to-point link for integrated circuits, and is designed to meet the bandwidth needs of tomorrow's computing and communications platforms. HyperTransport technology helps reduce the number of buses while providing a high-performance link for PCs, workstations, and servers, as well as numerous embedded applications and highly scalable multiprocessing systems. It is designed to allow chips inside of PCs, networking and communications devices to communicate with each other up to 48 times faster than with some existing bus technologies.

About AMD's x86-64 Technology

AMD's straightforward approach to 64-bit computing builds upon the x86 instruction set, one of the industry's most proven and widely supported technologies. AMD's x86-64 technology is designed to support applications that address large amounts of physical and virtual memory, such as high performance servers, database management systems, and CAD tools. AMD's x86-64 technology seamlessly integrates into the current computing and support environment, and is designed to enable enterprises to deploy high performance 64-bit capable systems that build upon the billions of dollars already invested in 32-bit software.

For more information, visit www.amd.com/8thgenerationnews.

June 04 -AMD Serves Up Four-Way Multiprocessing Demo At Computex. At Computex Taipei 2002, AMD (NYSE:AMD) today demonstrated a four-way multiprocessing server, based on its upcoming eighth-generation AMD Opteron(TM) processor. The demo marks the first-ever public showing of a four-way multiprocessing platform by AMD, and illustrates AMD's unwavering commitment to the 64-bit server market.

Systems based on AMD's four to eight-way multiprocessing platform will be suitable for all enterprise-class workloads. AMD has resolved to provide businesses a platform to help them grow into the 64-bit future, without abandoning the productive and valuable investments they have already made in their 32-bit environments.

"What a difference a year makes," said Ed Ellett, vice president of marketing for AMD's Computational Products Group. "One year ago, we introduced our first-ever multiprocessor designed for the commercial market. Today, we're demonstrating a four-way product that will enable us to exceed the needs of even more enterprise users in the future. With this upcoming product, enterprises will have, for the first time, a choice of x86-based, four to eight-way servers for their critical e-business and database applications."

AMD's server demonstration, containing four AMD Opteron processors, ran a 32-bit Web server on top of a 64-bit SuSE Linux operating system and served Web pages to an eighth-generation AMD Athlon(TM) processor-based machine.

AMD has previously shown single and dual-processor configurations of its eighth-generation processor family, running both 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems, including a developmental version of 64-bit Microsoft(R) Windows(R). Microsoft Corporation is collaborating with AMD to incorporate 64-bit support for the eighth-generation AMD Athlon and AMD Opteron processors into the Windows operating system. Together, AMD's next-generation processors and Windows are designed to provide customers a flexible, compatible and reliable platform.

AMD continues to hit developmental milestones for its next-generation processors, as shown by today's demonstration, and continues to build industry momentum for its upcoming product family.

The AMD Opteron processor is designed to scale from one to eight processors with no external logic required. This can aid system designers by reducing the cost and complexity of building servers and workstations. It can also aid customers by reducing cost and increasing server scalability.

Shipments of the AMD Opteron processor are planned to begin in the first half of 2003. For more information about today's announcement, please visit www.amd.com/8thgenerationnews.

June 04 - Rambus Brings Highest Bandwidth PC Memory Module to Market. Rambus Inc. (Nasdaq:RMBS), the world's leading developer of chip-to-chip interface technology, today announced availability of the RIMM 4200 memory module design. The RIMM 4200 module is a dual channel RIMM design using 1066 MHz RDRAM memory and provides 4.2GB/s of memory bandwidth, the highest bandwidth memory module available today for the PC market. The design improves ease of implementation for manufacturers by requiring fewer total components. End-users benefit from the convenience of upgrading high performance dual channel memory systems using a single module.

ASUSTeK Computer Inc. is the first to market a RIMM 4200 motherboard with the Intel(R) 850E chipset. By pairing the Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor with RDRAM, ASUSTeK ensures its customers maximize the system performance.

"RDRAM memory is the perfect companion for Pentium 4 processors," said Jonathan Tsang, vice president, ASUSTeK Computer Inc. "To date, no other memory in the market extracts the full performance from Pentium 4. The single module, dual channel RIMM 4200 design provides the 4.2GB/s of memory bandwidth needed by the Pentium 4 in a fashion that is easier for us and our customers to use."

The RIMM 4200 module shares a common design with the RIMM 3200 module built with 800MHz RDRAM memory and offering 3.2GBs of memory bandwidth. Reference designs using mainstream PCB technology are available from Rambus for 128MB, 256MB and 512MB modules. As with existing RIMM motherboards, the RIMM 4200 memory channel is implemented on four layers.

RIMM 4200 and 1066MHz-based boards are currently available from ASUSTeK. RIMM 4200 modules running at 1066MHz and RIMM 3200 modules running at 800MHz are currently available from Samsung, Elpida, and Kingston with OEM systems expected in the third quarter.

For more information about RDRAM technology and the RIMM 4200 design, visit www.RDRAM.com.

June 04 - BHA Ships One-Step DVD-Video Recording Software. B.H.A Corporation announced today that shipments of their first DVD-Video creation and recording software, B's DVD(R) have begun in the U.S. B's DVD enables users to create, author and record DVD-video titles in a single, quick and easy step, enabling users of all experience levels to create their own professional-looking DVD-video discs from video clips either on hard disk or captured from a digital video (DV) camcorder.
With B's DVD, the user simply selects a template, drags and drops a video file, and clicks "write" to start writing to a DVD+RW or DVD-R recorder. This intuitive utility encodes, formats, authors, and records without further user interaction. The included range of professionally designed templates automatically sets the look and feel of the finished DVD-video disc, including backgrounds, button positions and color schemes. To ensure flexibility, the software also provides more advanced users with expanded options to create hierarchical custom sub-menus, import graphics for menus and buttons, as well as store DVD disc images on hard disk.
In addition to using prerecorded MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and AVI files as the video source, users can capture video directly from a mini DV camcorder connected to a FireWire (IEEE-1394) port. Two video capture modes are available: "automatic" for hands-free operation and "manual" for full control capture operations. Captured video clips can be quickly cut to desired length using the "Easy-Trim" function. These clips are then automatically available on the DVD's menus and chapter listings for easy retrieval.
B's DVD includes a "DVD Slide Show" capability allowing digital photo enthusiasts to create personalized photo collections, which can be viewed from any standard DVD-ROM drive or DVD-Video player. Combining slide shows and video to the same DVD, users can create custom DVD content that can be shared with friends, relatives and business associates for a broad range of applications.
B's DVD is built with proprietary high-quality encoding, authoring and recording technologies, all developed by BHA.
For more information, visit www.bhacorp.com.

June 04 - Worldwide Silicon Wafer Revenue Decreased by 31 Percent in 2001. Due to a major slump of semiconductor chip demand, the worldwide silicon wafer market revenue in 2001 totaled $5.4 billion, a 31 percent decline from 2000 revenue of $7.8 billion, according to Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB).

"Clearly, 2001 was a severe year for the silicon wafer industry. Such a dreary double-digit decline in million square inches (MSIs) demand had not been seen since 1985," said Takashi Ogawa, principal analyst of Gartner Dataquest's semiconductor manufacturing research group.

"At the same time, however, the year marked the burgeoning of the 300mm wafer market, which showed significant presence for the first time. In fact, if it weren't for commercial shipments of the premium price product, the entire wafer market would have sunk more deeply due to the across-the-board declines in demand and price for standard products."

On a regional basis, silicon wafer revenue in the Americas and Japan suffered the largest decline of 34 percent each, while Taiwan experienced a 28 percent downturn and South Korea 26 percent. Europe recorded a 20 percent decrease.

Gartner Dataquest analysts said the market will begin to see increased sales, but it won't be as quick as manufacturers would like. There will also be upcoming changes in market leadership positions.

"300mm wafer demand will grow moderately in 2002 and will ramp up in 2003," Ogawa said. "As the 300mm ramp looms, major players will accelerate the move toward the industry's reorganization. As a result, we expect the industry's market share structure, which was relatively unchanged in the past decade, could change appreciably in the next three to five years."

More information can be found in the Gartner Semiconductor Focus Area at www.gartner.com/1_researchanalysis/focus/semimkt_fa.html.

June 03 - Phoenix Technologies Announces Support for AMD Opteron. Phoenix Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq:PTEC), a global leader in device-enabling and management software products for connected digital devices, today announced that Phoenix ServerBIOS(TM), Phoenix ServerBIOS Pro(TM), FirstBIOS Desktop(TM), and FirstBIOS Workstation(TM) will be available for platforms incorporating the upcoming AMD Opteron(TM) and eighth-generation AMD Athlon(TM) 64-bit processors. The AMD Opteron processor is designed to provide flexibility, scalability, and performance for today's demanding enterprise-class applications.
The Phoenix ServerBIOS and FirstBIOS families provide original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and original device manufacturers (ODMs) with a smooth path to 64-bit computing. Phoenix software helps to optimize performance of the AMD Opteron's dual 32-bit and 64-bit fast engine, enabling stronger security and management capabilities for high performance platforms. As a leader in 64-bit software, Phoenix supports AMD 64-bit configurations of desktop computers and workstations with up to 2 processors and servers with up to 8 processors.
"Our ongoing cooperation with AMD continues to enable innovative new technology for the PC industry. In fact, our customers such as ALi, Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, SiS, and VIA have already been using Phoenix BIOS solutions to successfully bring-up their AMD 64-bit processor-based designs," said Alan L. McCann, senior vice president, Corporate Marketing and Products Division, Phoenix Technologies.
"At Phoenix, we have worked hard to build robust and stable software support for the new line of AMD processors. We believe the comprehensive feature set of the ServerBIOS and FirstBIOS families combined with our many years of experience in 64-bit computing will provide customers with time-to-market advantages and smooth transitions from 32-bit to 64-bit platform designs."

For more information about the AMD Opteron processor, visit: www.amd.com/8thgenerationnews. For more information about Phoenix Technologies, visit www.phoenix.com.

June 03 - VIA Introduces C3™ 1GHz Processor. VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator and developer of silicon chip technologies and PC platform solutions, today announced the new VIA C3™ 1GHz series of processors.

"We have finally succeeded in providing a processor for small and quiet 1GHz systems based on standard, off the shelf components," commented Paul Hsu, Special Assistant to the President, VIA Technologies, Inc. "At twice the speed of the currently installed user base, the VIA C3™ 1GHz processor is a compelling option for upgrading existing Socket 370 PCs or building aesthetically pleasing and affordable ergonomic systems that demand less desk real estate."

The expensive noise dampening and cooling mechanisms of today's multi GHz systems with their massive power supplies are driving the market to more affordable unobtrusive solutions. Recognizing this, system designs are moving towards smaller form factors that break the traditional mould of the large white PC box for office, home and school systems. With a typical power consumption of a mere 5.7 watts, the VIA C3™ 1GHz processor only requires a standard small fan and heat sink to operate with rock solid reliability and stability, even in tough thermal conditions.

VIA C3™ 1GHz Processor
Building on the VIA C3™ processor's reputation for Cool Processing, the VIA C3™ 1GHz processor continues to boast the world's smallest x86 processor die size and industry leading 0.13 micron manufacturing process, while delivering ultra low power consumption and world class levels of stability. Other features include 128KB Level 1 and 64KB Level 2 full speed cache, as well as support for a 100/133MHz Front Side Bus and MMX™ and 3DNow! multimedia instructions, to ensure robust levels of performance for all the most popular mainstream software and Internet applications. The VIA C3™ 1GHz processor will ship at speeds from 1GHz; pricing information is available on request. Future versions will continue to embrace the Socket 370 form factor.

Additional information can be found at www.via.com.tw.

June 03 - VIA Announces P4PB Pro Mainboard. VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator and developer of silicon chip technologies and PC platform solutions, today announced the VIA P4PB Pro Mainboard, redefining the standard of high end performance and connectivity on the Pentium® 4 platform. The VIA P4PB Pro utilizes VIA's highly acclaimed Apollo P4X333 North Bridge and the recently released VT8235 South Bridge chipset combination.

The VIA P4PB Pro's impressive performance features includes AGP4X and 533/400MHz FSB support, as well as the industry's fastest memory controller, providing the Pentium® 4 with 2700MB/sec of fast DDR333 SDRAM memory. The VIA P4PB Pro's unsurpassed connectivity features include integrated USB 2.0/1.1, IDE ATA/133, onboard IEEE 1394, 10/100 LAN, and a Smart Card connector.

An onboard VIA VT1616 audio codec provides six channels of studio quality, crisp, digital surround sound and supports S/PDIF optical and digital outputs. The VIA P4PB Pro is bundled with a S/PDIF connector bracket that fits neatly into any available PC chassis I/O expansion slot. The S/PDIF brackets enables digital-to-digital signal transfers between devices thus eliminating the signal degradation associated with traditional analog audio.

Network connectivity is provided through the onboard VIA VT6105M 10/100Mbps Ethernet LAN management controller chip. The VT6105M is VIA's most advanced LAN chip featuring Wake-on-LAN, remote bootability, multiple VLAN and advanced remote management software, resulting in increased system performance, security and convenient network management.

The onboard VIA VT6306 Fire II IEEE 1394 host controller and integrated VIA USB 2.0 enables seamless connectivity to all the latest high speed PC peripherals and multimedia devices such as digital video cameras, MP3 players, and printers.

"The VIA P4PB Pro is the ultimate expression of high end mainboard design, fully exploiting the capabilities of the VIA Apollo P4X333 chipset" commented Richard Brown, Director of Marketing at VIA Technologies, Inc. "The VIA P4PB Pro is a no compromise, high performance, total connectivity solution".

The VIA P4PB Pro is available now through global distribution partners. For further details, visit www.viavpsd.com/products/P4PBPRO_spec.jsp.

June 03 - HP Taps Transmeta to Power New Tablet PC. HP (NYSE:HPQ), continuing its leadership in the design and development of mobile computing products, today announced a relationship with Transmeta Corporation (Nasdaq:TMTA) to use Transmeta's 1 GHz Crusoe TM5800 processors to power HP's forthcoming Compaq Evo Tablet PC.
Comparable in size to a pad of paper, the device is a fully compatible Windows(R) XP PC that allows users to write directly on the screen. With this innovative ability, common business tasks are made more efficient -- such as taking handwritten notes in a meeting for later reference or conversion to text; annotating documents or presentations using digital ink; or easily reading electronic magazines or books.
"When designing the Tablet PC we needed a high-performance processor that delivered the capability business users expect, but also put a premium on battery life," said Ted Clark, vice president of new notebook markets, HP Personal Systems Group. "Transmeta's Crusoe TM5800 processor will help HP deliver a sleek, comfortable, lightweight Tablet PC that will allow business users to increase productivity in today's ever-changing business environment."
"HP is known within the industry as a birthplace of invention and the Tablet PC is another example of the innovation and leadership they bring to the mobile market," said Matthew Perry, president and chief executive officer, Transmeta Corporation. "Crusoe's power efficiency attributes are enabling mobile systems, such as the Compaq Evo Tablet PC, that require long battery life and minimal weight with cool, quiet operation."
The two companies also are collaborating on product development and testing of the Tablet PC, as well as joint-marketing activities and technical support of lab and field tests.
HP intends to introduce the Compaq Evo Tablet PC later this year at the launch of Microsoft's Windows XP Tablet PC Edition. Additional information on the Compaq Evo Tablet PC is available at www.hp.com/products/tabletpc.
Transmeta's family of Crusoe microprocessors is targeted at the notebook, Tablet PC and Internet appliance segments of the mobile Internet computer market, as well as a range of embedded applications. For more information visit www.transmeta.com.

June 03 - SONICblue Unveils ReplayTV 4500 Series. SONICblue(TM) Incorporated (Nasdaq:SBLU) today unveiled the ReplayTV(R) 4500 series, the next generation of the Company's award-winning ReplayTV 4000 design. The ReplayTV 4500 series maintains all the innovative features of the ReplayTV 4000 design, while adding modem support for standard phone line connections, a redesigned software package and a service-based pricing model. These design changes significantly expand SONICblue's ReplayTV market potential, enabling consumers with or without broadband to enjoy the technology and allowing SONICblue to enter mainstream retail distribution.

About the ReplayTV 4500 Series

The ReplayTV 4500 series is based on SONICblue's acclaimed ReplayTV 4000 design. Widely recognized for its innovation, the ReplayTV 4000 has won numerous awards, including FORTUNE magazine's "Best Video Product of the Year," BusinessWeek's "Best Products of 2001," Popular Science's "Best of What's New" and, most recently, PC World's "2002 World Class." Building on that strength, the ReplayTV 4500 lets you watch what you want, when you want. Key features of the ReplayTV 4500 series include:


-- Record Without Tape -- Easy one-touch recording with on-screen channel guide
-- Commercial Advance(R) -- Choose to playback recorded shows without commercials
-- Control Live TV -- Pause, rewind, instant replay, slo-mo and frame advance
-- Highest Recording Capacity -- Record up to 320 hours of television
-- Broadband Ready -- Choose broadband or phone line access to the ReplayTV service
-- Send Shows -- Send video to friends and family who own ReplayTV 4000 or ReplayTV 4500 units over the Internet with broadband connectivity
-- Theme Record -- Automatically record shows by keyword or theme
-- QuickSkip(TM) -- Use QuickSkip on your remote to jump past the boring parts
-- MyReplayTV -- Program your ReplayTV while away from home using the Internet
-- Room-To-Room -- Stream video from one room to another between networked ReplayTVs
-- Your Photos(TM) -- Store and view your digital photos on TV
-- And More! -- Find Shows, Parental Control, Show Organizer, Conflict Resolver, Manual Record, Show Extender and ReplayZones(TM)

The ReplayTV 4500 series consists of:


-- ReplayTV 4504 -- Up to 40 hours of recording capacity for $449.99 (MSRP)
-- ReplayTV 4508 -- Up to 80 hours of recording capacity for $749.99 (MSRP)
-- ReplayTV 4516 -- Up to 160 hours of recording capacity for $1,249.99 (MSRP)
-- ReplayTV 4532 -- Up to 320 hours of recording capacity for $1,749.99 (MSRP)

In addition, there is a mandatory, one-time service activation fee of $250 per each new ReplayTV 4500 product purchased. All ReplayTV 4500 models are compatible with cable, satellite and antenna programming feeds.
The new ReplayTV 4500 series is shipping today to key retailers, including Good Guys, Amazon, The Wiz and Tweeter, and is expected to be available from these retailers' shortly.
For more information on the ReplayTV 4500 series, visit www.SONICblue.com.

June 02 - Sunday Shopping Watch.

Best Sunday Deals - Best Buy is offering a Compaq Celeron 1.2 GHz complete system for $599.

Weekly Comparison.

Notebooks - Prices remain high on notebooks. Prices increased $50-$100 over last week's prices.
Desktops - This week's 1.2 GHz Celeron system for $599 is not as good of a deal as last week's 1.3 GHz Celeron system for the same price.
Prices are a little lower on Pentium 4 desktops compared to last week. Prices on Athlon "+" processor desktops went up about $50-$100 compared to last week.

This Sunday's Special Discounts and Financing. In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales are advertised this week. (Note that these ads are for the Dayton,Ohio area. Prices or offerings may be different where you live.)

BestBuy is giving away 6 months of free MSN with any computer purchase. They are also offering 18 months of interest free financing on Intel processor desktop computer purchases, and on all notebooks, over $298. Additionally, they are giving $100 mail-in rebates on all desktop packages, and on notebooks with 14.1 inch displays.
Circuit City is giving 12 months of free CompuServe on any in-store computer purchase and no interest for 12 months on Intel Pentium 4 computer packages.
Office Depot is offering no interest, no payment, financing for 6 months on purchases over $298.
CompUSA no ad today.
Staples no ad today.
Compare to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday Ad prices to those being offered at 160 online computer stores.

Shopping Alert on Lower Priced Desktops. Many lower priced Celeron desktops made by almost all computer manufacturers should be carefully investigated before purchase.
Most of these low priced desktops have no AGP video expansion slot, no onboard dedicated video RAM, no CD-RW drive, and very few empty PCI expansion slots. These computers will be very difficult to upgrade, and they have poorer performance than other desktops that do not have integrated audio and video chips on the motherboard.
Often by spending $200-$400 more dollars for a Pentium 4 or Athlon XP based system, you can get twice the performance, more features, and you will have an upgradeable computer that will serve you well for another 3 years.
If you choose the $700 Celeron system to save a few bucks, keep in mind that in a year or two you will probably want to replace it.

About Windows XP. It has been a little over 5 months since Windows XP began to be bundled with new computers. Windows XP became available for separate purchase on October 25th. For more information on Windows XP see our Windows XP Upgrade Guide.

Internet Rebates. Most stores are no longer advertising 3 year Internet rebates. Check with your local store before you buy. Please see our article, What You Need to Know About Internet Rebates and Free PCs, for an in-depth discussion of Internet Rebates.

Definitions. A desktop system/package is defined as a computer with monitor and printer or scanner.
A build-to-order system is customized at the retailer and then ordered from a vendor's store. In addition to the computer's stated price, you still pay sales tax and shipping charges (if you order direct from the vendor without going through the chain store, you may not have to pay sales tax and you could get a better warranty).

Caution about advertised prices. When reading advertisements, read the fine print of the ad to make sure you know what is being advertised and what it cost. For example, many advertisers will show a complete system with computer, monitor, and printer but advertise a price for the computer only.

* Prices discussed in this article. We report prices after rebates and discounts are subtracted.
Items highlighted in Black are good deals.
Items highlighted in Red means prices have gone up and the system is not a good buy this week.
Items in normal text means prices are about the same as the previous weeks.

Best Ad Deals this Sunday
Category
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Store
Best Celeron Deal
HP 1.2 GHz complete system
$599
Best Buy
Best Low-cost Pentium 4
HP 1.8 GHz complete system
$1049
Best Buy
Best High-end Pentium 4 System
None advertised
Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
Compaq 1600+ system with 17" monitor
$849
Office Depot
Best High-end Athlon XP System
Compaq 1900+ system with 17" monitor
$1049
Office Depot
Best Low-cost Notebook
Compaq 1.1 GHz Duron with DVD
$1049
Best Buy
Best High-end Notebook
Compaq 1600+ Athlon 4 with DVD/CD-RW
$1399
Best Buy

Additional Information. For additional technical information, advice on how to buy a laptop or desktop, and vendor and manufacturer links, please see our Computer Buying Advice page.
About Sunday Shopping Watch. Sunday Shopping Watch appears every Sunday (except some holidays like Easter and Christmas) in our News and Rumors column. It is a review of local (Dayton, Ohio) computer chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your local chain store has the same items, this article should help you make informed buying decisions.

 

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