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Scart issue: transforming the Apple TV

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Register Hardware Register Hardware - it's just like The Register, only harder - brings you the hottest personal technology news and reviews every day. The gadgets that grabbed the headlines this week:

Brits to get year-old Sony Blu-ray Disc player

The consumer electronics giant released its BDP-S1 Blu-ray Disc player in the US last autumn, having originally promised to ship it in the summer. Earlier this year it promised a new, slimline model. But what do the Brits get? Not the new unit but the old one...

This after a Sony executive claimed we're paying more for the PS3 than the Americans because they're "cheap people". More wonderful Sony quotations here.

Polishing the Apple TV

It's been a busy week for Apple TV hackers. Some have been taking the set-top box apart to replace its underwhelming 40GB hard drive with a much more capacious unit, while others have worked out how to run its version of Mac OS X on other machines.

And there was good news for folk keen to connect an Apple TV to a widescreen CRT or a display without HDMI or component-video ports: J S Technology's component-to-Scart converter had its price cut by 40 per cent.

De-scratch your DVDs

US-based VenMill appealed to anyone with kids and a hefty CD and DVD collection with a gadget that will, it claimed, render badly scratched discs playable. All it takes is a little heat and pressure...

Intel strums 'Van Nehalem' riff

The chip giant focused on its upcoming 45nm processor architecture, 'Penryn' this week, confirming bigger caches, better power savings and clock speeds nudging past 3GHz.

But the real shock was the return of Hyper-threading, due with Penryn's successor, 'Nehalem', in 2008. The AMD-esque architecture will feature an integrated memory controller, an on-board graphics core, a HyperTransport-like point-to-point serial bus and the ability to scale to eight cores. Might as well jump...

iRiver revival

iRiver's sleek Flash-based media player, the X20 appeared in the UK in a bid to win hearts and minds away from the iPod. Its weapons: a cute rotating user interface and a features list as long as your arm.

iPod users needn't feel left out - accessory maker Griffin Technology rolled out its promised iTrip FM transmitter once again, this time for the second-gen Nano.

The iRiver's UK supplier even put a DAP inside that seaonal treat, the Easter Egg... Eggsemplary.

Best of the rest

Nvidia launches nForce 680i LT SLI chipset
Samsung shows self-adjusting phone display
AMD launches laptop-friendly 690 chipset
Palm to bring HSDPA to 3G Treo 750
Ricoh extends SLR-wannabe compact camera line
Samsung doubles solid-state drive capacity
DLO flips for dual-cover iPod case

Hot reviews

LG Prada KE850
Like so much couture, the Prada phone looks ab fab from a distance but tacky up close. But its slick-looking software has the power to persuade.

AMD 690G chipset
AMD's 690G makes for a compact Asus mobo with integrated graphics good enough to play Half Life 2.

HANNspree HANNSlounge designer LCD TV
The HANNSlounge is competent, but you'll either love or hate the design. Definitely one for those that like to be noticed.

Motorola Motofone F3
Cheap as chips and just as desirable, Moto's F3 is the perfect 'talk and nothing but' handset.

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