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MovieBeam

Yet another company is looking to cash in on the HDTV craze, looking to deliver first-run high-definition content through a set-top box. MovieBeam will provide a Linksys box, with capacity for 100 movies, priced at around $200 USD after rebate and $29 USD activation fee. It is meant to be stacked on top of a cable TV set-top box and comes with a paperback-book sized antenna to receive movie updates.

Anyone else looking forward to adding yet another set-top box to their entertainment center? We aren’t. Even worse though, is the pricing. First-run standard format videos will rent for $3.99 and high-definition videos rent for $4.99. Older movies in the catalog cost $1.99 for standard format and $2.99 for high- definition—roughly in line with rates at video stores. MovieBeam, which uses datacasting technology over the Public Broadcasting System network, will initially be available in 29 U.S. cities.

Companies are going to need to start realizing that subscription models are going to be the way to go. Why wouldn’t I just stick with Netflix if they are going to be able to provide me with high-definition DVD formats for one monthly fee?


Read More | Yahoo!

Gallery: MovieBeam To Offer On-Demand High Definition Movie Rentals


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Gear Live Bleeding EdgeThis episode is packed with a ton of interviews that we shot at CES, including:

  • Major Nelson Interview: We had the opportunity to catch up with our friend Larry Hryb - Major Nelson to the layperson - to ask him about what his CES experience was like. Major had been pretty much tied to the Xbox area in the Microsoft booth, but he took a few minutes to talk to us about Fight Night 3, Dead Rising, and Street Fighter II on Xbox Live Arcade.
  • DualCor cPC: We have a look at the amazing DualCor cPC. This may turn out to be an OQO killer, as it is a handheld Windows XP computer that also runs Windows Mobile 5.0 on a separate processor, allowing the user to switch between the two OSes with the touch of an icon.
  • Netomat Hub Service: Netomat’s Hub is an online space where you can create “hubs” to get and share picture and text messages, as well as content such as news feeds and blogs with a friend or your own private group of friends. You and your friends can view and update your hubs using a PC or a mobile phone.
  • TiVo Series 3 First Look:We got some quality hands-on time with the forthcoming TiVo Series 3, TiVo’s first HD-capable DVR. The Series 3 unit has some cool new features, including a single-color, two-line OLED LCD display on the front of the unit that shows you what’s being recorded on each tuner. We interviewed Bob Pony of TiVo (TiVoPony on the TiVo Community forums) about what we can expect in the Series 3, so be sure to check out the video interview above. The quick and dirty is that it features built-in ethernet, an external SATA port for expanding your TiVo’s capacity, and that it will ship with a 250 GB hard drive.

Here’s how to get it:

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Voices: Andru Edwards
Length: 29:31, 14.3 MB

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LISTEN | Gear Live Podcast

Gallery: Gear Live Podcast Episode 14: Major Nelson, TiVo Series 3, DualCor cPC, Netomat Hub


Gear Live Bleeding EdgeSo here it is - the first episode of Gear Live’s new video show, The Bleeding Edge. This episode is packed with a ton of interviews that we shot at CES, including:

  • Major Nelson Interview: We had the opportunity to catch up with our friend Larry Hryb - Major Nelson to the layperson - to ask him about what his CES experience was like. Major had been pretty much tied to the Xbox area in the Microsoft booth, but he took a few minutes to talk to us about Fight Night 3, Dead Rising, and Street Fighter II on Xbox Live Arcade.
  • DualCor cPC: We have a look at the amazing DualCor cPC. This may turn out to be an OQO killer, as it is a handheld Windows XP computer that also runs Windows Mobile 5.0 on a separate processor, allowing the user to switch between the two OSes with the touch of an icon.
  • Netomat Hub Service: Netomat’s Hub is an online space where you can create “hubs” to get and share picture and text messages, as well as content such as news feeds and blogs with a friend or your own private group of friends. You and your friends can view and update your hubs using a PC or a mobile phone.
  • TiVo Series 3 First Look:We got some quality hands-on time with the forthcoming TiVo Series 3, TiVo’s first HD-capable DVR. The Series 3 unit has some cool new features, including a single-color, two-line OLED LCD display on the front of the unit that shows you what’s being recorded on each tuner. We interviewed Bob Pony of TiVo (TiVoPony on the TiVo Community forums) about what we can expect in the Series 3, so be sure to check out the video interview above. The quick and dirty is that it features built-in ethernet, an external SATA port for expanding your TiVo’s capacity, and that it will ship with a 250 GB hard drive.

Here’s how to get the show:

|iTunes| - Subscribe to our iTunes video feed
|RSS| - Subscribe to our video RSS feed
|Download| - iPod-formatted H.264
|Download| - XviD
|Download| - MPEG-4
Or you can view the video in the embedded player after the jump.

Feel free to let us know what you think in the comments.

Here's how to get the show:
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|Download| - MPEG-4

Gallery: The Bleeding Edge 1: Major Nelson, Dualcor, Netomat Hub, TiVo Series 3


Crayola ElectronicsGPX, maker of electronic items that are cheap, disposable, and usually not worth their weight in peanuts

of fine quality, has been contracted by Crayola (yes, the crayon people) to produce a series of audio/video products carrying the Crayola brand.  The product line includes a 13” TV/DVD combo, an MP3 player, CD boombox with Illustration Station, a pocket radio, calculator, and a clock radio with a color-changing night light to soothe your inner beast (plus a voice-recordable alarm).  Although crayons are the first thing that comes to mind when the name Crayola pops up, a representative for Crayola is quoted as saying that “Today(s) customers equate the brand with color, fun, quality and self-expression”.  The new products certainly are colorful, and given that they will coincide with the back-to-school period later this year, they’re sure to be popular with their target audience.


Read More | Audioholics

Gallery: Crayola Audio And Video Products


Oprah on XM XM Radio today announced that Oprah will begin her new show “Oprah & Friends” in September 2006.  The new show will feature original daily programming on a variety of topics including nutrition, fitness, health, self improvement, home, and current events from popular ‘Oprah’ personalities, including Bob Greene, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Robin Smith, Marianne Williamson, Nate Berkus, and Gayle King. We are so there.


Read More | XM Radio

Gallery: Oprah Spreads Her Joy To XM Radio


Blu-Ray PricingSony has announced wholesale prices for its Blu-Ray discs today.

Catalog Blu-ray disc titles will wholesale for $17.95, about the same as DVDs when that format hit the market in 1997. New-release Blu-ray discs will wholesale for $23.45, a premium of 15%-20% over what suppliers were charging for new theatrical DVDs.

The price doesn’t seem too bad, seeing as the original DVD format launched at about the same price. However, it’s still a price premium over what we’re paying now for DVDs, so don’t complain when you do have to pay a little more for Blu-Ray movies and PS3 titles.


Read More | Evil Avatar

Gallery: Blu-Ray Disc Pricing Announced


Octava HDMI SwitchIn the audio/video world, digital connections are arguably superior to their older analog brethren.  Because of the increased signal quality, many more devices are coming with DVI or HDMI video outputs - Media Center PCs, progressive-scan DVD players, digital cable/satellite receivers, and so forth.  Unfortunately, unless one has deep pockets, most AV receivers with HDMI/DVI switching capability and upconversion, are far out of reach.  It then becomes a matter of deciding which component gets the “good” connection to your HD display of choice, and settling for an inferior connection method with the rest.  With Octava’s Clear EYE HDMI Switch, you can hook all of your HDMI/DVI equipped devices up all at once.  The Clear EYE comes in three and five port versions, both of which utilize Octava’s “Smart Scan” algorithm to choose the correct display source with no need for manual selection.  At a price point that’s hard to beat compared to the alternatives ($229 for the 5-port with no cables), Octava looks to have a real winner on their hands.


Read More | Octava via CD Freaks

Gallery: Octava Clear EYE HDMI Switch


Acrilan RadioSatellite radio has me spoiled.  I can’t remember the last time I listened to normal terrestrial radio and I have no intentions of going back.  However, there are those of you who still partake of FM broadcasts, and for that there’s the Acrilan Radio.  The Acrilan is a 4 inch diameter piece of acrylic whose outer body controls the volume, and pop-up center button handles power and volume.  Not much going on in the color choice department with only white and silver up for grabs but that’s a minor quibble.  A mono speaker and blue LED lighting round out the package.  Only one major problem - since it’s made for the Japanese market the frequency range (76.1 - 96.3 MHz) doesn’t match up with that of the U.S. 


Read More | AssistOn (jp) via The Red Ferret

Gallery: Acrilan Radio


Sony VGX-XL1Sony has a Media Center PC available called the VGX-XL1 Digital Living System - quite a mouthful for what is essentially a run-of-the-mill Media Center PC.  Sure, it has some additional bells and whistles, one of which is a 200-disc CD/DVD changer.  At first glance, a 200-disc changer is nothing terribly new, but this one has the ability to sequentially rip 200 CD’s without having to be “babysat” during the process.  Of course, when you’re not ripping CD’s you can use it to store your DVD’s for immediate access via your Media Center PC.

Right now the only way to get the changer is to buy the whole XL1 package which goes for a tidy $2,299.99 MSRP.  In the rumor department though, there’s this one guy who talked to his friend’s mother who knows this janitor who cleans the Marketing Dept. at Sony who overheard…okay, it’s not quite that bad.  However, rumor has it that Sony will be offering the changer as a standalone model when their new XL2 PC launches (no ETA on that yet).  The changer connects via Firewire, so as long as your MCE has that (and what self-respecting MCE doesn’t?), you’ll be good to go.

Read More | eHomeUpgrade

Gallery: Sony 200-Disc Standalone VGX-XL1 CD/DVD Changer for MCE


iBall

We recently got our hands on the Oregon Scientific iBall Speaker System for the iPod.  The iBall is a wireless speaker that is about the size of a bowling ball which features an LCD screen and iPod controls. Read our impressions and check out more images, after the jump.

Click to continue reading Oregon Scientific iBall Speaker System Impressions

Gallery: Oregon Scientific iBall Speaker System Impressions


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