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Multimedia&VoIP

Skype adds on connection fees

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If you are using Skype for PC-to-landline calls, you soon could find new and additional charges on your account: The company announced that it will be adding a connection fees to every "SkypeOut" call - in exchange for dropping per-minute charges on a new "SkypePro" package.

The change it usage fees is part of a new strategy to offer "a simple, convenient and cost-effective way for consumers worldwide to call landlines and mobiles over the Internet," Skype said in an announcement posted on Thursday. Initially focused on Europe, Skype decided to apply new pricing models to SkypeOut accounts worldwide during the 2007 calendar year.

Full story on TG Daily.

Netgear SPH200D Review: Wireless, computer-free Skype for homebodies

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Read more...Wi-Fi Skype phones may look like sexy little things, but they're not for everyone. Tim Higgins thinks computer-free Skype phones like Netgear's SPH200D are a better match for home-based callers.

D-Link puts draft 11n in new networked media player

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(Las Vegas, NV) D-Link today at CES announced the DSM-750 MediaLounge Wireless Media Player that can display HD video and that incorporates draft 802.11n wireless.

Buffalo adds dual-band standard-def media player

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(Las Vegas, NV) Buffalo Technology announced the addition of a dual-band wireless player to its LinkTheater line.

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The LinkTheater Wireless-A&G Media Player (PC-P4LWAG) can receive music, video and still image content via 10/100 Ethernet or 802.11a/b/g wireless connections. The player can connect with UPnP AV servers and has certifications for Intel Viiv, DLNA and Dolby Digital.

The player is based on Mediabolic's Media Player software and supports MP3, WMA, AAC, LPCM, JPEG, BMP, PNG, MPEG 1/2/4, WMV 7/8/9, XviD and H.264 file formats. Video output connections include composite, S-video, and D4 component video.

The player will be available in this month at an estimated street price of $249.

New HD media player from Netgear

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Netgear has announced its Digital Entertainer HD (EVA8000), a UPnP AV / DLNA networked media player supporting up to 1080p video via its HDMI port.

Netgear intros standalone Skype / PSTN DECT phone

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(Las Vegas) Netgear today announced its Dual-Mode Cordless Phone with Skype.

The SPH200D is a dual-mode 1.9 GHz DECT cordless phone supporting both landline and Skype Internet calls without the need to be connected to a computer.

Read more...

The base station has an Ethernet (RJ-45) port to connect to a network router and a PSTN (RJ11) connector to connect into a traditional telephone wall jack.

The base can support up to four cordless handsets (sold separately) but only one Skype or PSTN call at a time. The handset has a built-in speakerphone and color display, with an interface similar to that on Netgear's Wi-Fi Skype phone.

The SPH200D is available now at an MSRP of $199.99.

Digium releases VoIP 'software appliance'

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(HUNTSVILLE, AL) Asterisk creator Digium today announced what it calls its "first software appliance", aimed at getting an Asterisk-based VoIP PBX up and running within 30 minutes.

AsteriskNOW is an open source distribution based on the recently released Asterisk 1.4, featuring a Digium-designed GUI. It includes a new setup wizard that guides users through the installation process "regardless of any previous Linux experience" and includes all the Linux components necessary to run, debug and build Asterisk.

SpectraLink announces dual-band enterprise Wi-Fi phones

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(BOULDER, Co) SpectraLink today announced its next-generation Wi-Fi telephony handsets. The new NetLink 8000 Series handsets are said to be the first commercially available "enterprise-grade" handsets to support 802.11a, b and g WLANs. Additional enhancements include a slim, lightweight design and a larger display screen.

Two models are available: the basic NetLink 8020 Wireless Telephone, and the enhanced NetLink 8030 Wireless Telephone supporting SpectraLink's integrated push-to-talk (PTT) capabilities with 24 PTT channels plus a priority channel for emergency broadcast applications.

Axis adds megapixel day/night netcam

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Axis Communications today announced the company’s first two-megapixel network camera designed for professional security and surveillance applications. The AXIS 223M Network Camera provides high image detail in day or night lighting conditions.

D-Link adds Viiv-verified media player

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D-Link today announced it has begun shipment of a new networked media player that is Intel Viiv technology verified. The DSM-510 MediaLounge Wireless Media Player supports Ethernet and 802.11b/g wireless network playback of music, image and video files from either Intel Viiv technolgy PCs or devices supporting UPnP AV.

Linksys launches Skype iPhone

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Linksys today launched a new phone that many expected to be announced by Apple in early January: A device with the name iPhone will be available from wireless equipment maker Linksys in the first quarter of next year.

But besides the name, there is little the Linksys device has in common with what we expected the iPhone to be. Instead of a cellphone with iPod functionality, the iPhone WIP320 is a Wi-Fi Skype phone that appears to be a clone to already released models from Netgear and Belkin.

Full story on TG Daily

Skype 3.0 officially released

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Skype has officially released version 3.0 of its popular Internet chat program. Skype 3.0.0.190 is now available for download and includes several new features.

The program now plugs into Internet Explorer and users can make Skype calls to regular phone numbers with one click. Skype has also added a Skypecast feature where users can participate in moderated chats with up to a hundred people.

Full story on TG Daily

Skype Announces Skype Out Unlimited Calling plan

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With its free Skype Out promotion due to end in a few weeks, Skype today announced a new Skype Unlimited Calling plan. This is a paid annual subscription service that allows registered users to make 12 months of unlimited SkypeOut calls to any phone within the U.S. and Canada. This is the first time that Skype is making an annual subscription calling plan available anywhere in the world.

Microsoft begins private beta of VoIP server

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Microsoft today opened a private beta of its new enterprise voice communications server, Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, to 2,500 IT professionals. The new server is aimed at allowing companies to integrate voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) technology into existing telephony infrastructure and is the successor to Microsoft Live Communications Server 2005.

The Hidden Gotcha of VoIP phones

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Sometimes you just need an operator. It's not often, but there are services that a real, live operator can perform that you just don't get when you subscribe to one of the popular VOIP services such as Vonage. Of course, you're not gong to make collect calls from your VOIP line, and international calls likewise need no operator intervention. But what happens if you need to check the status of a line? That was the scenario I recently faced.

Belkin's Wi-Fi Phone for Skype Breaks Out of the Pack

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Read more...Our reviews of the SMC and Netgear versions of this phone have shown them to be less than impressive. But Tim Higgins found that Belkin's version is the one to get.

Belkin adds Boingo support to Wi-Fi Skype phone

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Belkin today announced that it has added support for using its Wi-Fi Phone for Skype with Boingo Wireless hot spots. This makes Belkin the first company to address one of the weaknesses of the current crop of Wi-Fi Skype phones; the inability to be used with wireless hot spots that require browser-based authentication.

A Belkin spokesperson said that the authentication will be done using Boingo's embedded Wi-Fi toolkit, which is basically a configuration file that provides the credentials to authenticate to each Boingo hotspot type. Belkin also said that a firmware upgrade for current Wi-Fi Phone users will be available "by mid December" for download from Belkin's website.

Belkin Wi-Fi Phone users can sign up for a Boingo Mobile Unlimited account, which gives them unlimited access to Boingo hot spots, for only $7.95 per month.

Truphone brings free mobile calls over VoIP

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With computer VoIP services like Skype and Vonage continuing to build consumer base, Truphone is a new London-based start-up going a slightly different route - bringing the same technology to cell phones to enable free or inexpensive calls on the go.

The technology behind Truphone, which is currently only available for select Nokia handsets, is based on the idea that that calls are routed through the Internet instead the more costly networks of mobile carriers. It can be used anywhere where a strong Wi-Fi signal is present, Truphone writes.

Full story on TG Daily

Axis announces rugged bus, train network camera

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Axis Communications today introduced what it claims is the first network camera designed for use in buses and rail vehicles. The AXIS 209FD-R Network Camera is a compact (less than 1.6" high), ruggedized camera designed to resist the vibration, dust and high humidity typically found in mass transit vehicles.

SMC, Skype, FON team for WiFi Skype phone bundle

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SMC Networks today announced a product bundle for wireless Skype calling.

The bundle includes everything you need to make Internet calls using an 802.11b or g wireless LAN: SMC's WSKP100 Wi-Fi Phone for Skype (reviewed here), FON’s “La Fonera” wireless router, 500 minutes of SkypeOut credit and Skype Voicemail for a year.

The bundle is available now from the Skype Web store for $159.99.

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