GW-250 -- Toshiba's REGZA H2000 Series Is Chock-a-block With Features of the Digital TV revolution

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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. 250
Saturday September 2, 2006

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

==================== ICA Events - Sept 21 =============

Speaker: Andrew Perons, Manager, Risk & Compliance,
Strata Works K.K.
Topic: "Corporate Governance - The Changing
Regulations and Implications"

Details: Complete event details at http://www.icajapan.jp/
(RSVP Required)
Date: Thursday, Sept 21, 2006
Time: 6:30 Doors open, buffet dinner included
Cost: 3,000 yen (members), 5,500 yen (non-members),

Open to all - Location is Foreign Correspondents' Club
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Name: Toshiba REGZA H2000 series
Category: LCD TV
Price: 300,000 yen - 450,000 yen
Release date in Japan: Late October 2006

The Gist: Toshiba's "H2000" series of LCD TVs in their
REGZA line is gearing up for a launch in late October.
Like many other LCD TVs nowadays, the H2000 series
sets package a 300GB hard drive and contain all kinds
of features for the digital TV revolution.

Available in 32", 37", and 42" versions, the H2000
series offers a double tuner, allowing you to watch
terrestrial digital and analog broadcasts at the same
time. Unfortunately, these capabilities do not extend
to the recorder; you'll only be able to record one
signal at a time. The tuner also supports BS and CS.

The H2000 series may not have quite the quantity of
recording features of competing sets, but for those
who want basic capabilities, it should do just fine.
Users can schedule programming using an Electronic
Programming Guide, and if a baseball game runs over,
the unit will automatically adjust the recording
schedule to accommodate the change. The "Regza
Remote" also has a specific button for scheduling
future episodes of dramas to be recorded, a button
that lets you "pause" TV, and a "News Now" button
for automatically recording any news program. When
your hard drive is full, old programs that haven't
been protected will automatically be deleted.

Each set is equipped with two HDMI inputs, one D4
input, two S-video inputs, three composite inputs,
and three analog audio inputs. There's also a
digital broadcast recorder output, S1 video output,
optical digital audio output, and headphone output.

More info: http://www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press/2006_08/pr_j2302.htm
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Name: Panasonic SC-SX850
Category: Home Audio/Video
Price: Open Price; estimated around 80,000 yen
Release date in Japan: September 8, 2006

The Gist: Panasonic has announced the latest in their
"D-dock" line of minicomponent audio systems. The
SC-SX850 and SC-SX450 will be available next week.
The SX850 offers 160GB of space on its internal hard
drive, and the SX450 offers 80GB. Otherwise, they're
mostly the same. We'll address the SX850, since it's
the high-end model.

The SX850 offers an SD card slot, hard drive, and
CD drive. The card slot can handle SDHC audio cards.
You have plenty of options for managing music using
the unit: you can copy Audio CDs to SD cards using
the SD-Audio format (AAC), you can record them to
the hard drive, or you can connect it to your network
via the Ethernet jack and load files on there manually.

Inside that hard drive is a Gracenote database with
song/artist/album information for over 350,000
albums. Pop your Audio CD in the drive, and as long
as it's not something extraordinarily rare, you won't
have to worry about entering album information
manually. In the event that the disc information isn't
found in the internal database, it can seek this data
over the Internet, assuming it's connected via the
Ethernet jack.

One of the bigger selling points of the D-dock series
is its interface with Panasonic's "D-snap Audio" line
of portable audio players. The new D-dock actually has
a sort of integrated cradle for D-snap players now.
Music inside the D-snap Audio player can be played
using the D-dock's speakers, and the dock will recharge
the player while it's inserted. For one reason or
another, Panasonic unfortunately didn't give the
"D-dock" the ability to "dock" -- you can't use the
cradle to transfer tracks from the D-dock to your
D-snap Audio player. You have to do it through the
SD card slot. Whoops. Still, it's nice to see companies
come up with new ways to bridge the ever-present gap
between "portable" and "home" audio.

More info: http://panasonic.co.jp/corp/news/official.data/data.dir/jn060823-4/jn060...
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Name: Onkyo WAVIO MP-1000J
Category: Hard drive enclosure
Price: Open Price; direct sale price 14,800 yen
Release date in Japan: Already available

The Gist: There's a new 2.5" hard drive enclosure on
the horizon from Onkyo. After getting a hard drive
inside of it and formatting the drive under FAT32 or
NTFS, you're ready to throw some media files on there.
For those that have not heard the term, an "enclosure"
is a container for converting a hard drive into a
portable one.

Indeed, the MP-1000J supports the playback of
MPEG-1/2/4, DivX, and XviD video files, and MP3, WMA,
WAV, and Ogg Vorbis Audio files. JPEG still images
are in there just for good measure.

The concept behind the MP-1000J is nothing new; a
number of companies have already released hard drive
enclosures that double as somewhat portable media
players. That's fine with us, though, since there's
always room in the market for more. The MP-1000J is
equipped with composite and component video outputs,
and an analog audio output. There's also a coaxial
digital audio output, but that's just for passing a
digital signal on to your digital receiver.
Connection with your PC is via USB 1.1 or USB 2.0.
If you have a spare 2.5" hard drive lying around
(perhaps inside of the dead laptop you still have
in your closet), and want another media player, the
MP-1000J should do the trick for 14,800 yen.

More info: http://www2.jp.onkyo.com/what/news.nsf/view/mp1000j_0901?OpenDocument

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The Tyler Foundation for Childhood Cancer presents:
Sports Extravaganza 2006, September 29 - October 1.

Cricket and rugby celebrities from the UK, South
Africa, India, Australia and New Zealand will come
to Tokyo for 3 days of sport, fun and fundraising!
Sports Dinner at the Grand Hyatt, Golf Day and Celebrity
Cricket match. All proceeds benefit children with cancer
in Japan.

Shine On! www.tylershineon.org
For more information on the Sports Extravaganza 2006,
please see: http://www.tylershineon.org/index.php/events/sports_extravaganza
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STAFF
Written by: Liam McNulty
Edited by: Burritt Sabin (editors2@japaninc.com)

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