GW-233

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J@pan Inc Magazine Presents:
G A D G E T W A T C H
The Hottest Gadgets and Gizmos from Japan
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Issue No. 233
Friday April 7, 2006

(Long URLs may break across two lines, so copy to your browser.)

================ANNOUNCEMENT=========================
Nippon Medical University is seeking foreigners living in the Tokyo
area to be simulated patients for new medical students.

April 13 (Thursday) from 12:45 - 16:40

Organizer and facilitators
Dr. Kazue Takayanagi, Dr. T. Saito, Dr. T. Shimura
Nippon Medical School
Phone: 03-3822-2131 (5411,5413) fax 03-3822-8144
Email: taka-y@nms.ac.jp
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Name: Logitec LHD-LANGV series
Category: Network Attached Storage
Price: 160GB: 35,175 yen; 250GB: 38,535 yen; 300GB: 44,100 yen
Release date in Japan: Early April 2006

The Gist: Logitec is releasing a new series of hard drives designed to act as
"Network Attached Storage" devices. This means that the drives themselves
can be connected directly to a network, so any computer or other device on
the same network can access them as necessary. The LHD-LANGV series
will be available in capacities from 160GB to 300GB.

One of the primary selling points of the LANGV series is its compatibility with
the rapidly emerging DLNA, or Digital Living Network Alliance, set of standards.
Explaining the actual standards would be somewhat meaningless, so all you
need to know is that DLNA means you'll be able to use one company's
networked multimedia devices with another company's networked multimedia
device. So where Toshiba may previously have required a special "Toshiba"
brand hard drive for external storage of a digital video recorder, DLNA compliance
means that same recorder can interface with a hard drive from another company.
Specifically, these Logitec drives come with the "DiXiM server," and can interact
with the "DiXiM Media Client" software, also included.

Gigabit Ethernet support is also present on the LANGV series. Gigabit Ethernet
is certainly overkill for current multimedia networking applications, but this is
good news for people who plan to use this device in an office or other environment
that demands quick networking speeds.

The LANGV series client is supported under all modern versions of Windows and
Mac OS. You'll also find three USB ports for adding more capacity, or attaching
a USB printer.

More info: http://www.logitec.co.jp/press/2006/0331.html
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Name: COWON iAudio 6
Category: Portable audio player
Price: Open Price; estimated around 29,980 yen
Release date in Japan: April 8, 2006

The Gist: Look forward to COWON's new "iAudio 6," a portable media player with
a 0.85" hard drive and a 4GB capacity. According to COWON, it's the first portable

audio/video player to contain a hard drive of this size. There's a 1.3" organic EL
display on the front of the device with a 160 x 128 dot resolution, so it shouldn't
take you long to guess that the unit also supports video playback.

Interestingly enough, the supported video format of the player is XviD. You can
use the included "JetAudio VX" software to create compatible files. For audio,
you can throw pretty much anything at it: MP3, WMA, OGG, WAV, and even
FLAC, or the Free Lossless Audio Codec. There's also an FM tuner, recorder,
text viewer, and image viewer.

Of course the iAudio 6 connects with USB 2.0, but it also supports USB
On-The-Go; you'll be able to connect something like a digital camera directly to
the device and download your photos to it. The internal lithium polymer battery
should last about 6 hours for video playback or 20 hours for audio playback.

More info: http://www.cowonjapan.com/zeroboard/zboard.php?id=A02&no=104&bmenu=support
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Name: Pioneer DV-696AV
Category: DVD player
Price: Open Price; estimated around 20,000 yen
Release date in Japan: Late May 2006

The Gist: At only 20,000 yen, Pioneer's new DV-696AV DVD player seems to
straddle the marketplace. On one hand, it offers a powerful feature set: HDMI
output, HDTV upscaling, Super Audio CD playback, and DivX Ultra support.
But on the other hand, it seems odd that Pioneer would offer these features at
such a low price; wouldn't someone who owns an HDTV and needs HDMI
output be able to afford something else?

Whatever the reason, the 696AV does have a number of nice features. First
and foremost, it has an HDMI output, and can upscale video to 720p/1080i.
It takes DVD-Audio, Super Audio CD, DVD-R/RW, DVD-R DL, DVD+R/RW,
and CD-R/RW. Digging deeper, we find support for playback of DivX, DivX Ultra
(DivX with menus, subtitles, multiple languages), MP3, WMA, and JPEG.

Video output jacks include HDMI, Component, D2, S-video, and Composite,
and for audio, you have your choice of optical digital, coaxial digital, or standard
analog.

Other features of the 696AV include "Dialog" that makes it easier to hear the
dialog of a video even when the audio is turned down, and "Disc Navigator"
for browsing through the contents of discs created by DVD recorders.

More info: http://www.pioneer.co.jp/press/release528-j.html
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STAFF
Written by: Liam McNulty
Edited by: Burritt Sabin (editors2@japaninc.com)

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