Skype updates Mac client, adds HD video

Skype just dropped an update for its Mac client. Version 5.3 includes support for HD video, so long as your Mac is equipped with one of the new FaceTime HD cameras introduced in MacBook Pros earlier this year, or a third-party camera that supports HD resolution.

iPhone SLR mount is kind of expensive, kind of awesome

Is it wrong that I want this new iPhone 4 SLR mount from Photojojo so badly? The new case/adapter combo that allows you to use either Canon or Nikon SLR lenses with your iPhone 4 to add some professional veneer to your mobile photos.

Inside the ultra-high-speed wireless home wars

The clear winner of the home networking wars of the last few years has undoubtedly been Wi-Fi. The sheer number of Wi-Fi embedded devices, from laptops to smartphones, is being increasingly joined by pack of new consumer electronics device categories with Wi-Fi, such as Smart TVs and OTT set tops, which means the technology isn’t going anywhere soon. But it’s not without its limitations, and a pack of new technologies could serve as more capable replacements.

AVPlayerHD Unlocks the Power of Apple’s Dual-Core A5 for HD Video

Apple started letting third-party apps that play multi-format video files not too long ago, and one of those, AVPlayerHD, got an update this week that makes it pretty near perfect. It uses the power of the iPad 2’s dual-core A5 to master non-native HD video.

App Brings HD YouTube Video Uploads Without Compression

The iPhone 4 can record video in glorious 720p HD. Unfortunately, when you use the built-in Send to YouTube function, that same video gets compressed to 320p. A new app sets out to remedy that problem, and does so both simply and for free.

iPhone 4 Brings 2 Cameras and HD Video

Monday saw the unveiling of the fourth generation iPhone and with it came not one, but two new integrated cameras, both of which offer a whole host of sorely awaited, yet welcome features.

Zune HD Coming This Fall

ZuneNews came out last night that Microsoft (s MSFT) will release a new Zune HD this fall that will feature a touchscreen, HD radio, HD video output, and integration with the Xbox LIVE Marketplace. It’s the latest salvo the Redmond giant is firing directly at Apple (s AAPL), but will it be enough to push the Zune more into mainstream as something other than the butt end of a joke?

Here’s a quick breakdown of the new features that will be found in the Zune HD:

  • Built-in HD radio receiver
  • OLED touchscreen with 16:9 widescreen format
  • HDMI output for watching HD movies on a big screen TV in 720p (requires a separate dock)
  • Wi-Fi enabled for instant streaming to the device, and Internet browsing

Additionally, the Zune brand is going to get in front of a bunch of new eyeballs as the Zune entertainment service will be a premium partner in the Xbox LIVE Marketplace, which reaches more than 17 million subscribers internationally.

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Whose HD Streams Reign Supreme?

A number of the major online video services have added an HD option for video uploads, but which one is the best? CNET’s Josh Lowensohn did a really great round-up of HD services and determined YouTube to be the best. Even better, Lowensohn created this handy-dandy chart so you can compare them.

One thing CNET didn’t look at is upload and processing times, which probably is a good thing for YouTube because in my tests with them, I’ve run into major errors on those fronts. And there were a couple services CNET missed, like Motionbox (which the article cops to) and Viddyou. But overall, this is a good starting point, and Lowensohn’s accompanying post is worth a read.


Does HD Online Matter? AOL, CBS Say No

As cable companies and satellite service providers duke it out to augment HD programing for your TV, companies like AOL and CBS are backing out of or shying away from delivering HD viewing experiences online. Such a retreat raises the bigger question: Do audiences even care about HD online?

AOL (TWX) is phasing out its HD-like “Hi-Q” service because of low consumer adoption. Fred McIntyre, sr. VP of AOL Video, said the number of Hi-Q users was “very small, so small that we haven’t tracked it.” [digg=]

Launched in November of 2005, AOL’s Hi-Q won accolades from industry analysts for providing a DVD viewing experience online. “We were pleased with the nice things people said about it, but there are things consumers care about more: finding stuff, clicking on video and it playing, browser independence,” said McIntyre.

Quincy Smith, president of CBS Interactive (CBS), echoed that sentiment in a separate interview with NewTeeVee. “We are finding, generally speaking, people don’t care as much about the video quality. Right now, it damn well better work quick and fast,” said Smith.

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