: Look Ma! No glasses. Toshiba has announced plans to release its first glasses free 3DTV the REGZA GL1, expected to hit shelves in Japan this month and other cities around the globe in 2011.
Toshiba’s corporate release on the REGZA calls it “the world’s first glasses-less 3DTV specifically designed for personal use,” and says there are two models developed and ready to deliver: a 20-inch 20GL1 and a 12-inch 12GL1. Toshiba first unveiled a prototype of the REGZA at the CEATEC 2010 in Tokyo. The flat screen TV is intended to go on sale to the public and will be available in 12- and 20- inch sizes. Toshiba claims the TV will be able to easily and quickly switch between 2D and 3D modes, which means you don’t have t chuck those 2D discs.
Toshiba is pinning its market expectations on global demand for LCD TV growth from 142 million units in 2009 to 200 million units in 2012. Last spring Toshiba reported sales of 10 million units worldwide, according to company reports. Toshiba is aiming for 1.2 million units in the ASEAN market in 2011.
The current 3DTV is based on active shutter glasses designed to deliver separate images to the left and right eyes. But customer demand is calling for a 3DTV experience that allows viewers to shun the “nerdy” glasses and deliver a free form entertainment option. Toshiba’s REGZA GL1 employs an integral imaging system and a perpendicular lenticular sheet to display smooth, natural images, according to Shigenori Tokumitsu, Toshiba vice president for visual products. Tokumitsu explained. The result is precise rendering of high-quality 3D images whatever the viewing angle is.
“With our 3D technology we are aiming for impressive reality,” said Tokumitsu. “By that we mean 3D TVs that can be viewed without any need for special glasses. This is our solution in pursuit of reality and I am pleased that we have succeeded to be the first in the world to introduce a glasses-free 3D TV,” said Tokumitsu.
The rush to replace the clunky 3D glasses in theaters is also on, and experts anticipate it may take several more years before that technology is in place. Meanwhile big theater chains across the country who have been relying on 3D film sales are struggling to provide top-quality glasses for patrons in order to justify higher ticket sales. Tests in fall of the 3D version of the recently released Harry Potter The Deathly Hollows Part 1 did not prove popular with audiences, and the film was released in 2D instead. Part 2 of the Potter franchise is expected to be released in 3D in summer of 2011.
Toshiba also unveiled a new 3D LED TV series for the ASEAN market along with the so called Power TV series.
According to WorldTVPC.com, the WL700 series of slim LED TVs, that will be available in 46 inch and 55 inch models, was designed with the help of Europe’s Jacob Jensen Design who gave the series a minimalist look that combined glass and metal in a slim 22mm profile and a bezel free screen.
The Toshiba’s TV product family now includes the world’s first LED TV with an integrated battery backup. Made with Third World infrastructure conditions in mind, the model with a standby rechargeable battery should be useful to people living in areas with unreliable power supply, also according to WorldTVPC.com. When fully charged, the TV can run up to two hours on battery.
The Power TV also features an Auto Signal Booster and Auto View. The former helps improve the TV’s signal to improve the reception in areas with weak TV signal, while the latter optimizes picture settings according to ambient lighting condition for a better viewing experience and a lower power consumption.

Checkout the following websites

Multisystem LED TV


One of the less-publicized factors of traveling abroad is the need for voltage converters to account for the differing electrical systems in Europe and Asia. If you’re planning to tote your favorite hair dryer, coffee maker and battery chargers on your overseas trip, you’ll also need to invest in the right voltage regulator and plug adapters to use with your appliances.
Without a voltage regulator, you run the risk of destroying your personal appliances and small electronics when you plug them in—if you can plug them in at all. Most countries have different plug configuration as well as different strengths and frequencies of electricity flowing through the circuits. But that doesn’t mean you have to leave your personal electronics at home, it just means you’ll have to do a little research and bring the right voltage converters and plug adapters along with you. Here’s how to make sure you’ve got the right stuff to run your electrical appliances when you travel.
  1. Check the electrical system and plug type you’ll need for the country or countries you’re planning to visit. There are references available online that list the plug types and voltages for most countries in the world.
  2. If you’re traveling from the U.S., which uses 110 V current, to most EU countries, you’ll need a step down converter in order to use your 110 V appliances with the 220 V electrical systems there.
  3. Purchase a plug adapter that will fit the outlets in the countries where you’ll be traveling. The plug configurations are designated by a letter code – the UK uses a G adapter, for example, while Albania, Italy and Sweden use a C adapter.
  4. Check your electronic device to learn its power requirements. A few, such as many hair dryers, are rated for both 110 and 220 volts. You won’t need a voltage regulator with those, just a plug adapter, but you should be sure that you’ve set the switch to the right type of voltage before plugging it in.
  5. Calculate the amount of wattage your device needs by multiplying the voltage by the amperage – both listed on a label on the device. If your cell phone charger is listed at 110 V and 2 A, for example, it requires 220 watts to run. Make sure that your voltage converter fits the wattage that you need. If it’s rated too low, your appliance won’t work. If it’s too high, you may short out your device.
  6. If you’re using a transformer or voltage converter, plug the device’s power cord into the power socket on the converter. Insert the plug for the converter into the correct plug adapter, and plug the adapter into the wall outlet.
If you travel often, invest in a deluxe automatic voltage regulator, which can handle conversions from 110 V to 220 V and vice versa, instead of a basic voltage converter. A plug adapter kit that includes adapters for use with several different electric plug configurations will save you from having to purchase multiple plugs.
With the explosion of online retailing there are very few things that cannot now be purchased online.  Sites for consumer goods range from the small niche local retailer, to auction sites to big brand online retailers to online malls.  The Internet is a fantastic source for products that are not available in your local are. You can also buy products in bulk and find some fantastic price deals. The purchase of major electrical appliances such as a multisystem TV can also be accomplished online. 
Buying Electrical Products Online
The biggest advantage to buying electrical products online is that you are able to browse at your leisure, visit as many sites you like, and look around for the best deal you can find—all without leaving your home. You’ll be able to compare prices and features easily, both within sites and between sites, and compare household name products and their lesser known counterparts.  You’ll also be able to select from products that may not be within your reach geographically if you were to buy from a store.
Another advantage to buying electrical products online is the array of technical data that’s available. For example, if you’re an electronics engineer who is looking for something to control an alternator, you would be able to find out that the deluxe automatic voltage regulator is better than the standard one or whether or not it will deal with the level of output you are working with. With the Internet you can look up the full range of technical specifications and read user reviews.
Internet shopping also helps when you don’t know exactly what you need. For instance, you might have a passion for a film that is only available as a limited distribution, and you’ve learned that you’ll need a player that can play DVDs from anywhere in the world. By doing a little research, you’ll learn that you’ll need to buy a region code free DVD player.
What are the Potential Pitfalls?
There might be times when seeing a demonstration of a product working is better than reading about it on an internet site. An example might be when you want to compare the picture quality of a Plasma v LCD TV, but that won’t be as important when you’re looking for single function items such as voltage converters.
Some electrical appliances might need to be installed by a qualified engineer, and this might make the purchase a two step process; first buy the product online, and then find a local installer.
No matter which electrical appliance you’re looking for—whether it’s voltage converters or a multi-system TV, you’ll do well to research your options online and then find a good online store to buy from.
Nowadays, with the wide spread of consumer electronics being sold all over the world via the Internet as well as increasing international travel, voltage converters are a necessary fact of life for many. Why are voltage converters needed? Here in the United States we use one electric current, whereas most of the rest of the world uses another. If you travel and bring electronic gadgets with you, or have bought electronic devices made for other parts of the world, you may need a voltage converter or deluxe automatic voltage regulator.
What do They do?
Voltage transformers and voltage converters change their electric current from 220/240 volt (used in foreign countries) to 110/120 volt (used in the USA), which is called a step down. There are step up voltage converters that change 110/120 volts to 220/240 volts and voltage regulator converters that can step up and step down, which are 10-220 volts 50/60 HZ that can be used anywhere. Knowing this can help you determine what kind of transformer or converter you will need to buy to fit your needs.
Checking Wattage
You will also need to know the correct wattage of any appliance in order to buy the correct converter. Usually this information is easy to find and is either etched into the device or shown on a sticker. The key is to buy a converter that is rated slightly higher in wattage than what is listed on your appliance.
Small vs. Large Gadgets
Keep in mind that cell phones or iPods will require much less wattage than say your laptop computer. If you are going to be using one converter for multiple gadgets make sure it supports the highest rated wattage item that you have. If you are traveling through multiple countries you will also want to buy international adapters plugs.
Other Things to Consider
International conversion standards are different for TVs and DVDs, which use codes. For these you may want purchase a multisystem TV or region code free DVD players.  Power conversion can also be an issue when it comes to high-power appliances like motors, compressor and generators. If you are planning on using appliances such as these, invest a bit more in deluxe automatic voltage regulator.
It would be great if the world could get together and just decide to use one voltage, but unfortunately this is not the case. If you want to insure that all your gadgets will function properly anywhere you are, be prepared with the proper voltage converter, deluxe automatic voltage regulator, and foreign plug adapters, and you won’t regret it.
We live in a world that is increasingly global.  Whether we are living in the USA or any other country, the likelihood of life or business taking us overseas on vacation or to work is increasingly possible. Wherever anyone may travel, it’s increasingly possible there will be a need to pack a voltage converter or transformer in their luggage.
Overseas Travel and Electronics
Travelling for business purposes usually means taking a variety of electronic equipment. Business travelers often take computers or other essential equipment to prepare for the conference they may be attending.  Vacationers take hair dryers, electric razors and electronic equipment to play games or listen to music.
Voltage Differences between Different Countries
Those who travel regularly know that there are huge differences between the electrical voltages supplied between countries.  Some countries provide 110 volt electrical supplies, while others provide voltage that is 240 volts.
The Frustration of Equipment Not Working
Arriving in a country with electrical equipment and not being able to use it due to voltage differences can be very disheartening and even frustrating.   Packing a voltage converter and foreign plug adaptor is essential when carrying electronic equipment.
Converters and Adaptors
Deluxe automatic voltage regulators are superior converters that provide automatic and safe correction of voltage delivered to electrical equipment that meet the voltage requirements of the computer or other electrical equipment.   
International adaptor plugs are selected to suit the plug shape of the country of destination. Whether a plug is angled, straight, two pronged or three pronged, correct selection of the plug type will enable the transformer to be plugged into the wall socket and supply the correct voltage.
Leaving Home without a Converter
It is easier to purchase converters and adaptors in the country of origin, rather than the country of destination.   Many travelers know the frustration of finding their equipment does not work and being unable to find a suitable plug or converter for their equipment.  Shops and electronic stores usually carry international adaptors and convertors and plugs in stock and buying them well ahead of travel dates is sensible.
Online and store front retailers can provide the necessary advice and purchase assistance to customers, This advice enables the customer to buy the most suitable voltage converter, transformer or foreign adaptor plug necessary for the equipment they’re carrying overseas.  
Until the release of the Blue Ray Disc in 2006, DVD technology provided the most resilient and best quality medium for the distribution of motion pictures.  In order to provide a level of control over the release dates, the DVD Copy Control Association in California, was requiring the manufacturers of DVD players to incorporate the Regional Playback Control (RPC) system into the DVD players they distribute.  Since then the majority of DVD’s sold in shops are region locked.  DVD’s are rated according to the region that they are distributed in and may only be watched by players that are coded for that region. There are still older Region Code Free DVD players available on the market—usually as hardware in older model computer DVD drives.  All new computers must also incorporate Region Control into their new hardware.   Because of all these new regulations, it’s becoming increasingly more and more difficult to purchase a code free player.
The practice of restricting region sharing has been incorporated as a way of reducing pirated copies of movies being distributed, The concept of restricted regions existed in previous years with the release of movies on tapes in either the PAL or NTSC format, however, there are those  who claim that the practice is discriminatory and anti competitive.
Consumers who are determined to have the right to watch DVD’s regardless of their country of origin have created methods of turning locked region DVD players into Region code free DVD players.   Using either software or hardware modification, they modify the technology to unlock the device and enable the multi region operation of the player.  These methods are successful, but their ongoing success is variable.  It is not uncommon for a modified DVD player to revert back to its Region Coded Locked System and to display a sign indicating that a DVD cannot be played due to the region not being recognized.
It is legal to own region code free DVD players, however it is not legal to operate them for illegal purposes.   Consumers who modify their players, either by using software or hardware modifications, are encouraged to check with their state and national laws for further information about their rights.
New technology is being introduced in Region 1 DVDs to prevent them from being played on Region Code Free DVD players, and as you can imagine, this will only cause further restrictions to people who want to play region specific DVD’s.


Once you get an LCD TV, you’ll get hooked on it.  The vivid sharp images have transformed television viewing into a near cinematic experience for most folks.  Whether you get a multisystem TV or other set, you’ll want to create a set up that optimizes your experience.
People are so enthralled by LCD TVs that they are redesigning their living spaces in order to watch their favorite shows and movies in high comfort.  You don’t need a rear projector and fancy screen to create a theater-like setting in your home.  You just need a great TV and a good place to put it.   
If you want to add to your enjoyment by creating a cinematic experience, try these tips from the experts.  Read this over before you buy your television or any entertainment centers or chairs, and you’ll end up with a much better result. 
Measure Before You Buy
First figure out where your TV will go.  The viewing distances may be restricted by your room size, so consider the optimal distance between your sofa or chairs and the screen.  Figure about 8 feet for a 32 inch screen, 11 for a 45 inch screen, and 13 plus for a 55 inch screen. Measure your desired distance and then choose the appropriate size TV.  For example, I realized that my living room is just not wide enough for a huge screen, so we went for a Toshiba 32” multisystem TV that works just great for the two of us.  So consider your own situation. If you have a spacious area, you can simply decide what size TV you prefer and then figure where your seating should go. 
Now figure out your actual TV placement.  This also depends on your seating and viewing angle.  Do not place the television too high on the wall as it gets uncomfortable looking up for extended periods of time.  Put the TV so that when you are seated and looking at the screen, your eyes are directed right at the middle of the screen.
Now you have the basic measurements needed to get your TV and entertainment center or other TV stand.
Seating:  What Do You Prefer
As noted above, you’ll want to be at eye level with your television, so choose seating that complements the setup that you have created.  Do you want to sprawl on an over-sized sofa, or do you prefer to have a reclining chair or perhaps a bearskin rug for those romantic movies with your partner?  This is all up to you.
Lighting and Eye Strain Issues
Ophthalmologists, those eye experts who know all about eye strain, say that for television watch, room lighting should be 50 percent dimmer than the screen illumination.  You should make sure that lighting does not cause either reflections on the screen or glare.  They agree with what Mom always said—don’t watch in total darkness as the sharp contrast can cause fatigue, as can watching from an angle.  They suggest sitting in front of the set at a distance which is about four or five times the TV screen width, though those with poor vision might want to sit closer.
Some of my friends have gone to a lot of trouble with fancy backlighting for their plasma multisystem TV, but I am not sure that the results are worth the effort. To each his or her own, I say!  May you enjoy your own mini-theater your own way, with or without the popcorn!
One of the hot topics in any expat group revolves around television and videos because nearly everyone wants to watch TV and movies at home, no matter where they may be living.
Last week someone wanted to know about multisystem TVs, which seems to be confusing more than a few folks.  Moving abroad always brings the opportunity to flex the mind a lot, since what you took for granted as “normal” at home turns out to be absent or different in the new country.  
Television is no exception.  There are weird abbreviations and odd numbers that are just as confusing as a new language.  Just as with the language, you need a dictionary or a translator in order to get by, or in this case, in order to buy what you need.
A little digging around brought us to this multisystem TV primer for enjoying television and at-home movies across the globe.
1.  How can I find out what TV standard my country uses?
Each country adopts a television standard for the display of lines of resolution which are identified by an abbreviation which is standard across the planet.   (The political and technical reasons are too vast to go into here.)
NTSC stands for National Television Standards Committee and is the standard for North America and Japan as well has half of Brazil.  This standard enables the display of up to 525 lines of resolution.
PAL stands for Phase Alternating Line, and it is the standard employed almost everywhere else in the world.  It can display 625 lines of resolution.  Most of the world that uses PAL uses just plain old PAL.  However, half of Brazil uses PAL-M, and its neighbors, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay use PAL-N. 
SECAM is the abbreviation for Sequential Color Memory, which is hardly used.  You can find it in France, parts of Greece, Africa, Russia, and Eastern Europe, and some other hidden corners of the world.  Any SECAN country’s system allows you to play PAL tapes in full color on a VCR, but PAL countries work fully only with true SECAM tapes and not MESECAM tapes.
If you are not sure what standard your current country uses, contact a local cable company or a shop that sells home electronics.
2.  How do I find out what standard my videotape is?
If you are not sure what standard your commercial videotaped movie is, just look on the back—it should be listed right there.
If you are going to record on a blank tape, no problem! When you buy a blank tape, it is just that—blank.  You can record any video standard on it.  Then that tape has that standard.  You might want to jot that on the label for future reference if you tend to move a lot!
3.  What if I want to watch a videotape from some other country?
This is where it gets tricky since those tapes come in all of the above mentioned standards, and all are incompatible with each other for the most part.  If you want to watch videos from abroad that do not match the same standard as your own, you will need to have a set up that will convert it.  In simple terms, you need a multisystem VCR and a multisystem TV.  Alternatively, you could use a Digital Video Standards Converter and a VCR with a built-in converter. 
What it boils down to is this:  Having a multisystem VCR and a multisystem TV is like having a totally reliable translator on hand all the time.  When you already have to deal with translating human language at the office or in shops, it’s good to know that you can go home and relax with your entertainment system and let it do all that work!

When my sisters gave me a much desired Wii and Wii Fit module for my sixtieth birthday, I was delighted at their generosity and thoughtfulness.  Never having been a video game fan, I was surprised to see how much fun these electronic diversions can be.  Of course it is easy for me to justify owning a Wii because I mostly use it for fitness training. 

But I discovered that I needed one more thing to really enjoy my new adventure into electronic fitness and games.  Frankly, I wasn’t enjoying my Wii set up at my house as much as I was at theirs.  Why?  Well, they each have these huge flatscreen TV while I was making do with a prehistoric 26 inch tube set!  My husband and I decided that we’d get a new TV since we were already enjoying the fitness programs and the games on my new Wii.   It had been so long since we’d bought a television that we did not even know the right questions to ask at first. 

We also have the added factor of being U.S. expats in Europe, with an international assortment of DVDs, so we wanted to make sure that a purchase of this magnitude would serve us equally well here as well as when we returned home.  So here is how our shopping adventure developed.
Should We Buy a Plasma TV or an LCD TV?
That seemed to be the first question sales folks ask.  Given that we were less than up-to-date on TV technology, we did a little research and discovered that really there are advantages and disadvantages to each.  This sums up the comparisons we found:

Plasma TVs.  These have better contrast, better blacks and color depth, better motion tracking, and more models to choose from if you want a really large screen and if price is not a major factor.   They are not recommended for higher altitudes.  Since we live just barely above sea level, that was of no concern to us.   They can be heavier, which is a consideration if wall mounting.
LCD TVs.  These consume less energy and thus, not surprisingly, put out less heat.  They also weigh less and hold up better when shipped.  Screen glare and burn in are less likely but burn out of individual pixels more likely.  They can have impressive enough resolution at more reasonable prices even at screens over 36 inches. 
What Other Factors Should You Consider?

Multi-system TVs.  We quickly discovered that it is easy to find “multi-system” sets that will accommodate the variety of DVDs. 

Blu-ray and HD-DVD compatibility.  If you are planning to get a Blu-ray Disc or HD-DVD, this may be the best choice cost-wise since you can get a 1080 pixel resolution in a 37 to 42 inch set for less than you’d pay for a similar plasma TV.  If you want a much larger screen, the plasmas can be more economical.

Can It Be Too Big?  Be sure to plan out where you plan to put your wonderful new flat-screen television.  The size should be proportional to the room you will be in.  It’s hard to enjoy a 72-inch screen if you cannot move your sofa or chair back more than six or seven feet!  These TVs come with manuals that suggest appropriate home theater configurations. 

You should definitely check out actual models if you can before making your decision.  We did, and we selected a 37” Hitachi LCD Multi-system TV and then ordered it over the internet along with a new region-free DVD player.  Once we got everything in to place, we were surprised at what a fabulous difference it makes!  Not only do we enjoy our Wii more, but we enjoy movies and DVDs a lot more as well.  So here’s to happy viewing!


 Did you know that DVDs have something called a Region Lock?  This restriction keeps you from playing DVDs marked for one particular region on a DVD player or drive that is marked for another region.  As long as you stay put, don’t travel, don’t buy or accept foreign DVDs, you’ll never need to concern yourself with this.  If you are concerned, you will want to know about region code free DVD players.

If you’ve ever had the disappointing experience of putting a foreign movie DVD in your US machine or a new US movie in a foreign machine, and then getting a blank screen, you have already run into the problem.  That’s because the DVD drives, including those in laptops and game consoles as well as the stand-alone players, are usually rigged by manufacturers.

Let the Consumer Beware

Unbeknownst to most consumers, most DVD drives come with a region-blocking chip, or flag, that is built right into the machine. Unless you have a region code free player, your machine’s drive flag must match the disc flag. This is an impediment to not only to travelers, but also to immigrants who want to watch films from their homeland, to foreign film buffs, and even to students of foreign languages, as one Washington Post writer noted. 

This is done to allow those who produce those discs (e.g., film companies) to have different release dates across the globe, and more importantly, to raise the price wherever the market lets them, which some consider price discrimination.  Movie producers are especially anxious to keep movie DVDs to reaching foreign ports before the theater version has run its course.  They don’t want you taking the US DVD back to Buenos Aires with you, for example.  Accordingly, in the current state of affairs, the world has been divided into these separate consumer regions by flag number.  The logic behind these divisions totally escapes me!  Apparently it has more to do with sales areas than any kind of cultural, linguistic, or geographic sense!  

Here they are:

1. US & its territories, Canada, Bermuda 
2. Europe (minus Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus), Middle East, Egypt, Japan, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Greenland
3. Southeast Asia, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau
4. Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, Oceana (As if hemisphere matters more than language?)
5. Afghanistan, Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Africa (minus those mentioned elsewhere), Central & South Asia, Mongolia, North Korea
6. China, Hong Kong
7. Reserved for future use
8. International venues (planes, cruises)
How To Get Past the Region Block on DVD Players

Only “region code free” DVD players, i.e., those with NO flag (sometimes called region “0” players).  There are no region-free discs, by the way.  As the world gets flatter, I’d personally like to see this aggravating technological bump excised.  Some call it an infringement of international commerce; others see it as an opportunity for hacking.  If you read techno blogs, you’ll discover that some really smart people have invented software to circumvent the regional blocking (often for a fee) that enables the user to unlock the regional control by entering an unlock code via the remote control.  Beware:  This kind of hacking voids your machine’s warranty.

The best current solution to this problem is simple:  Look for a “multi-region or region code free DVD player” from any number of manufacturers, including Panasonic, Phillips, Pioneer, and Toshiba.  It’s legal.  Just look for the one that fits your needs and budget and start enjoying hassle-free DVD watching.  So while you are at it, why not check out the new screens too?  The Multisystem LCD TV’s are PAL, SECAM, NTSC worldwide compatible and would make a great complement to your new DVD player!