YouTube Live on Apple TV Today; Coming to iPhone on June 29

Apple today announced that iPhone users will be able to enjoy YouTube’s originally-created content on their iPhones when they begin shipping on June 29. A new Apple-designed application on iPhone will wirelessly stream YouTube’s content to iPhone over Wi-Fi or EDGE networks and play it on iPhone’s stunning 3.5 inch display.

In addition, Apple announced that YouTube is now live on Apple TV. Users can download the free software update using Apple TV’s built-in software update feature, and then easily navigate through YouTube’s familiar video browsing categories or search for specific videos. YouTube members can also log-in to their YouTube accounts on Apple TV to view and save their favorite videos.

“iPhone delivers the best YouTube mobile experience by far,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Now users can enjoy YouTube wherever they are-on their iPhone, on their Mac or on a widescreen TV in their living room with Apple TV.”

To achieve higher video quality and longer battery life on mobile devices, YouTube has begun encoding their videos in the advanced H.264 format, and iPhone will be the first mobile device to use the H.264-encoded videos. Over 10,000 videos will be available on June 29, and YouTube will be adding more each week until their full catalog of videos is available in the H.264 format this fall.

The combination of H.264-encoded videos plus iPhone’s built-in Wi-Fi networking, stunning 3.5 inch display, and custom YouTube application with its multi-touch user interface results in the best YouTube experience on any mobile device.

Pricing & Availability
iPhone will include the built-in Apple-designed YouTube application when it is available in the US on June 29, 2007 in a 4GB model for $499 (US) and an 8GB model for $599 (US). iPhone will be sold in the US through Apple’s retail and online stores, and through AT&T’s retail stores.

Apple TV users can download the free software update using Apple TV’s built-in software update feature.

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Manhunt 2 rated AO stateside; Banned in Britain, Ireland

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Once again, stuffy old people are afraid to count on free adults to distinguish for themselves the bold line between fictitious entertainment and really-real life. Low-resolution slaughterfest and high-profile hype-machine Manhunt 2 (slated for release on PS2, Wii, and PSP) is receiving the royal cold-shoulder from ratings boards across the globe, being banned so far in Ireland and the United Kingdom, and awarded the scarlet letters “AO” in the US. I’m sure the mania isn’t settled yet. Read on for the disheartening details of worldwide stupidity and my carefully formed, ojective rebuttal.

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Blockbuster Video adopts Blu-Ray exclusively, HD-DVD pouting currently

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It looks like Sony got something right this generation after all. After dogging the HD-DVD format in sales during this year’s first quarter, Sony-backed Blu-ray has gained a powerful ally in the format wars. Blockbuster Video rental stores have announced that going forward they will carry Blu-ray DVD exclusively in-store, although they will continue carrying HD-DVD in 250 initial test stores and online. They report that Blu-ray accounted for 70% of rentals between the two formats. This may deal the killing stroke to HD-DVD in a valiantly fought, yet futile, battle. And if it isn’t, rumor has it Target plans to do the same soon. Oh Noes, HD-DVD!

The North American HD DVD Promotional Group (what a name) says Blockbuster is jumping the gun, and that their decision was skewed by the success of Blu-ray titles released the first 3 months of this year. That’s right, the “TNAHDDVDPG” says that Blockbuster’s decision was skewed by RATIONAL THINKING! Logic ftw!

Thank Science I didn’t buy that HD-DVD player for my Xbox 360!

Tomb Raider Anniversary going episodic on 360

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Eidos Interactive has announced that their upcoming game, Tomb Raider: Anniversary will be the first ever full retail game to be serialized through Xbox Live Marketplace. The game will be split into four episodes, with episodes 1 & 2 available in September, and episodes 3 & 4 following “shortly afterwards”. All the episodes will total 2400 Live points, which I think equals $30? Stupid point system.

You know there’s a catch, though. The episodes will require the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider Legend disc to play, so this nifty little distribution is only for owners of the previous Xbox 360 title. D’oh! Happily, a full retail version of the game is planned for later in the year, just in case you didn’t buy that steaming pile of crap that was Legend. Read on for the full press release.

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XM Goes Split Screen

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These two new radios join the mid-tier Xpress receiver to create a full suite of Xpress plug-and-play products, manufactured by Audiovox.

“Depending on how, when and where you listen, the Xpress family of radios offers three different options designed to meet your needs for enjoying more than 170 channels of XM music, sports, talk and news,” said Blair Kutrow, XM senior vice president, product and campaign marketing. “Regardless of which model you choose, all Xpress radios are compact in size, yet big on entertainment.”

The XpressR features:
* The first ever split screen receiver for satellite radio, allowing XM listeners the ability maximize their XM Radio experience by viewing six different XM channels, simultaneously. When using this function, the device’s screen splits into two sections to display the current listening channel on the left side, and five additional XM channels on the right side. All six channels can be viewed by channel name, artist or song title.

* The radio also boasts a 30-minute buffer, which continuously and automatically saves the last 30 minutes of programming so users can replay what they just heard, even after they changed channels. XpressR users can also pause the XM programming they are listening to with the option to playback that program within 30 minutes.

* In addition, XpressR offers quick channel navigation with the option to program up to 30 favorite channels, or press number buttons to enter and move directly to the channel you want. The radio also features a remote control with pause, replay and direct channel entry buttons. The radio display automatically adjusts brightness from day to night while in the car and includes a customizable stock and sports ticker. It also includes a feature that will alert you whenever your favorite songs, artists, or sports teams are being played on another channel.

The XpressEZ features:
* A new sleek, entry-level radio for easy and affordable access to XM Radio’s 170 channels of music, sports and entertainment in the car or home. XpressEZ is compact and lightweight, and offers a bright, large three-line display for viewing XM channel, artist and song title.

* XpressEZ also offers the option to save up to 10 channels, for quick and easy access to your favorites. There is also a convenient tuner dial for simple navigation through XM’s variety of programming.

Both radios are compact and lightweight so they can easily be moved from home to car, and audio systems with compatible accessories. Optional accessories for the home include the Universal Xpress Home Kit, new Delphi Premium Sound System, and Belkin Boombox.

Manufactured by Audiovox, the new XpressEZ and XpressR receivers will be available for a suggested retail price of $69.99 and $129.99, respectively.

iPhone Gets More Battery Life!

Apple today announced that iPhone will deliver significantly longer battery life when it ships on June 29 than was originally estimated when iPhone was unveiled in January. iPhone will feature up to 8 hours of talk time, 6 hours of Internet use, 7 hours of video playback or 24 hours of audio playback.* In addition, iPhone will feature up to 250 hours-more than 10 days-of standby time. Apple also announced that the entire top surface of iPhone, including its stunning 3.5-inch display, has been upgraded from plastic to optical-quality glass to achieve a superior level of scratch resistance and optical clarity.

“With 8 hours of talk time, and 24 hours of audio playback, iPhone’s battery life is longer than any other ‘Smartphone’ and even longer than most MP3 players,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We’ve also upgraded iPhone’s entire top surface from plastic to optical-quality glass for superior scratch resistance and clarity. There has never been a phone like iPhone, and we can’t wait to get this truly magical product into the hands of customers starting just 11 days from today.”

iPhone introduces an entirely new user interface based on a revolutionary multi-touch display and pioneering new software that allows users to control iPhone with just a tap, flick or pinch of their fingers. iPhone combines three products into one small and lightweight handheld device — a revolutionary mobile phone, a widescreen iPod, and the Internet in your pocket with best-ever applications on a mobile phone for email, web browsing and maps. iPhone ushers in an era of software power and sophistication never before seen in a mobile device, which completely redefines what users can do on their
mobile phones.

Pricing and Availability
iPhone will be available in the US on June 29, 2007 in a 4GB model for $499 (US) and an 8GB model for $599 (US), and will work with either a PC or
Mac. iPhone will be sold in the US through Apple’s retail and online stores, and through AT&T’s select retail stores.

*All Battery claims are dependent upon network configuration and many other factors; actual results may vary. See http://www.apple.com/batteries for more information. Music capacity is based on four minutes per song and 128-Kbps AAC encoding; actual capacity varies by content.