Top 20 news stories: w/e 7 Sept 2007

The best in computing, mobile and consumer tech

The last seven days have been dominated heavily by news coming out of IFA 2007 in Berlin. IFA itself was dominated by home entertainment companies launching lots of new HD TVs and high definition disc players. Here's our round-up of all the week's most popular news stories...

Our exclusive interview with Blu-ray Disc Association chief Frank Simonis certainly tickled a few tonsils over the weekend. Maybe that was because he said some rather interesting and controversial things? For a start, he enraged some staunch supporters of the HD DVD format by suggesting that HD DVD is just not good enough to meet the demands of HD movie studios.

He also hinted that the format war could be over in 18 months, which raised a few eyebrows on some forums across the web. Simonis also had a little dig at Microsoft and its founder Bill Gates. He said that 'Microsoft is not the Holy Grail and accused it of having a bad track record at making market predictions.

Simonis also admitted that it's perfectly possible that the format which wins in the US might well not win in Europe. So we could see two dominant formats in two different continents.

Staying on topic, Panasonic waded into hte HD disc war by saying, " Blu-ray will succeed to become the predominant high-definition format, be certain."

You can read a round-up of all the hype over the HD formats in our article: Blu-ray v HD VD: fighting talk. And in one of the week's most bizarre stories, Toshiba is giving away free HD DVD players with copies of The Matrix Trilogy on HD DVD. Surely it should be the other way around?

However Blu-ray and HD DVD may not have it all their own way: UK firm New Media Enterprises (NME) is launching an alternative to both formats called HD VMD. Not only does this fledgling format support 1080p Full HD, it's also ridiculously cheap with players available from as little as £119, and discs from £12.99.

But as if to get its own back Sony also launched a 200-disc Blu-ray changer, enabling you to stock up on the format's rapidly expanding library, although you'd actually have to buy two as there are now 300 titles available, according to the latest estimates.

Also in the top 20 this week were some more stories from IFA 2007. Sharp revealed some stunning prototypes of its forthcoming LCD TV range. The TVs are only 20mm thick. And in an interview with, a Sharp man said that by 2010 all of Sharp's TVs will come out of the factory at that size.

The same Sharp guy also predicted the demise of plasma TV technology, saying that LCD advances will kill plasma off for good.

The Apple iPod has also been a hot topic this week, with the launch of the new iPod touch as well as a revamp to the rest of the iPod range. We managed to get our hands on the new models and they were pretty special to say the least.

There are also some strong indications that phone network O2 is going to be the UK carrier of the Apple iPhone. It seems pretty certain, but then that often doesn't mean anything when it comes to Apple products.

In other Apple-related news, market research firm iSuppli said on Tuesday that the iPhone manage to outsell every smartphone in the US during July, including the RIM Blackberry... but then on Friday it backtracked slightly and said that it meant individual Blackberry models, apologised and said it would never do it again.

Apple also killed off its rather expensive iPod Hi-Fi. However it was careful not to confirm or deny that this was the case... as usual. Apple then bunged early iPhone buyers a $100 Apple Store voucher - its way to stemming a rising tide of anger that followed a $200 price cut in the iPhone's price. Early adopters complained they'd been stiffed by the company, especially as the price cut had come just two months after the iPhone launched.

Finally, another story which seemed to excite a lot of people was the news that Microsoft is launching a new entertainment channel available on Xbox 360, Windows Vista and Windows XP Media Center.

James Rivington

James was part of the TechRadar editorial team for eight years up until 2015 and now works in a senior position for TR's parent company Future. An experienced Content Director with a demonstrated history of working in the media production industry. Skilled in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), E-commerce Optimization, Journalism, Digital Marketing, and Social Media. James can do it all.