For those not yet able to afford both the Hi-Definition TV and a good media center to go with it a company called TViX has the perfect solution for you. The TViX-HD M-5000U not only features a tongue twister of a product name, but also the power to display 720p and 1080i content from a portable USB hard-drive of from a share on your network on your TV via component video or DVI/HDMI connection. The small cylindrical device is capable of playing WMV9 hi-definition content, and can play .TS files directly that have been downloaded from a cable box or satellite provider for delayed playback. The M-5000U will also work as an HDTV tuner with an added tuner box. Supporting WMV9, DivX, XVid and MPEG 1/2 as well as AAC, MP3, WMAM, PCM, OOG and every common static image format this seems to be an all in one wonder that can bridge your living room with your office. The only things missing from their website are a launch date and a price, although I’m sure it will be cheaper than a Windows Media Center - the only real competition when it comes to getting your computer based Hi-Def content on your screen.
Read More | TViX HD-5000U
So you are digging Tivo but haven’t bought one yet for whatever reason. Well now’s your chance to get your hands on one for free if you pay for a full year of the Tivo service up front. They are probably giving the 40 hour version away since its being discontinued. Nonetheless, it’s a very good deal for a service you’ll end up paying for anyways – so why not get something in return? Offer ends on 7/27/05 so get it quick.
Read More | Tivo Offer Page
Elgato systems just announced the EyeTV for DTT, a highly portable USB2.0 digital TV tuner for the Mac. The EyeToy is bus powered and thus requires no external power supply or adapter. The Eye Toy comes bundled with software to enable the user to perform PVR functionality - pause, repeat, and recording live TV for later transfer to a Sony PSP, iTunes, DVD-R’s, or other digital video devices. With a small and powerful tuner like this for digital TV broadcasts Apple’s brand is one step closer to having the Digital Media Trinity. I wonder how Sony feels about their use of the name Eye Toy?
TiVo knows that its customers skip commercials, and we’ve seen them try to get us involved in watching them by offering the “Thumbs Up” option on some commercials, allowing us learn more about a certain product, show, or movie simply by pressing the little green button. I can’t say I haven’t tried it once or twice merely to see what would happen when I pressed the button, but I can tell you for sure I most definitely won’t be trying TiVo’s latest form of interactive advertising. Soon, viewers will have the option of hitting a button during a commercial which will send their information to an advertising firm which will in turn add the viewer to a mailing list. No thanks TiVo…my mailbox is full of enough junk mail already.
Read More | Tech Dirt
With rumors flying around about a video iPod and an Apple videos store (iMovies?) Gear Live would like to take the following opportunity to speculate wildly that Apple would secure dominance in the emerging digital multimedia market place if they do the following things:
- Launch an Apple videos store - not just music videos like iTunes has now, but full feature length movies from all the major movie houses available in (sadly a necessity) DRM’ed H.264. Apple already has the store infrastructure in place through iTunes, and the bandwidth, media savvy, and codec to pull this off.
- Apple then must produce a multimedia focused set top box - A slightly modified Mac Mini would be perfect for this. The device will need to be able to browse the movies store on a TV screen, and include a remote. They might want to include PVR software and a TV tuner, but that is neither here nor there.
- The final spire of Apple’s digital media trinity would be the video iPod to allow consumers to take (compressed) versions of their content with them wherever they go.
With all three of these key points presented to the marketplace at the same time with Apple’s legendary user interface ease of use and industrial design skills they could not only make a big splash, but gain iTunes dominance in yet another new marketplace. If they are going to do it they had better do it quick though as Microsoft is trying to make hollywood connections to do the same thing with their Windows Media Center and Portable Media Center platform, Sony has the PSP and store infrastructure and Tivo is rumored to be in the works with a video download service as well.
This coming digital media revolution will be far reaching - within 5-10 years physical media like DVD’s, HD-DVD’s, Blu-Ray, and CD’s will disappear entirely. CD sales are already starting to sag under the legal downloaded music juggernaught. Whoever gets there first with this “digital media trinity” will certainly end up with the lions share of a market that is set to replace every visual entertainment sales and rental business that we know of.
Did you hear it here first? Did Gear Live call it? Well we will have to wait and see - the industry analysts are saying to expect a big announcement come September.
This “dream” system could be yours for just under $400 USD. This home theater system comes equipped with some pretty nice features, including an FM and AM Tuner which is not found on most units. The design is very sleek, and silver is always a nice addition to any decor. All the satellite speakers, aside from the heavy subwoofer, weigh less than 3 pounds. The best part: they are all wireless.
Here are some basic specs given by Sony Style’s web site
- 750 watts total system power
- 5-disc slot loading DVD/SACD/CD changer
- S-Master™ full digital amplifier
- CD-R/RW1, Super Audio CD (Multi), MP3 and JPEG Playback
- Silver finish
What we don’t like? Home Theater systems that integrate the DVD player into the receiver.
Read More | Sony Style
The 2005 Emmy Award Nominations were announced early Thursday morning by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences from the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in Hollywood, California. A total of 434 separate nominations covering 88 categories and areas were announced, with HBO taking an astounding 93 nominations, followed by CBS (59), NBC (54), and ABC (51). Desperate Housewives and Will & Grace topped the list with 15 nominations each, including Outstanding Comedy Series. Take a look at the nominees in the top categories, and a couple other categories that might be of interest.
I can’t say I am saddened by the news, but everything is now a go for broadcasters to begin using purely digital broadcast methods. This means that analog TV will be a thing of the past in another four years. This will then allow the government to sell off the analog spectrum for an estimated 30-70 billion, and would likely be re-used for high speed wireless and data services. In 2007, all new televisions should have a built-in digital tuner.
Read More | USA Today
Microsoft’s Hardware division unveiled some fun new products today. First up is the Remote Keyboard for Windows XP Media Center Edition, designed for those of you that want a wireless keyboard with Media Center-specific functions to help replace that remote control. It’s got a 30-foot wireless range, and a key lock to prevent accidental activation. The media keys are backlit, to aid controlling the media center in a darkened room. It’s even got a pointer nub and mouse buttons (on opposite sides of the keyboard) so that you can mouse-around without putting down the keyboard. No word on whether or not it is popcorn or soda proof, but I doubt it. MSRP is $104.95, but expect it to hit stores around $99.95.
The other new keyboard is an update to Microsoft’s Wireless Desktop package. The Wireless Desktop 5000 has keys dedicated to photo editing, and the mouse features Microsoft’s new “High Definition” optical technology (which we assume is simply a higher scan rate for the mouse, aiding in precision). The keyboard has the same “comfort curve” as the Wireless Desktop Comfort Edition that was released last year. Finally, Microsoft’s Digital Image Standard 2006 software is bundled in, so you can get started putting mustaches on your grandmother right away. It should retail for the same price as the Remote Keyboard.
Read More | Microsoft Entertainment Hardware
One of Gear Live’s favorite audio manufacturers, Denon, has released their new S301 and S101 high end audio receivers. Both of them have the much requested feature of including a true iPod dock. You can plug your iPod into the system and control it fully though the remote control. Now like most Denon equipment, this blend of great audio and stunning functionality won’t come cheap - $999 for the ‘low end’ S-101 and the S-301 commands a $1599 price tag. The perfect solution for the bleeding edge early adopter.
Read More | Playlist Magazine