Now that Sony has felt the smell of victory, this summer they will be releasing Blu-ray disc players with new features. The BDP-S350 features an ethernet connection for broadband which will be accessible with the software upgrade BD-Live. That will allow download bonuses such as trailers and games The player should carry a MSRP of ~$400.00. The BDP-S550 will already be BD-Live capable for about $100.00 more. Both will feature PIP Bonus View for cast and crew commentary. Note how it is encased in a “we won” color.
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Netgear’s Powerline HD Plus (HDX111) took the award for the Best of Home Networking. It will take an ordinary electrical outlet and turn it into an HD streaming connection. It features an ethernet adapter that can connect to PCs, DVRs, game systems, and Tivos for both audio and video transmission. The Powerline has Quality of Service (QoS) for video, voice, and data and Netgear claims it can transfer files 12 times faster than its previous models. Check with Netgear for price and availability in your area.
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Okay, the holidays are right around the corner. In our continuing effort to hook you up with the best gear, we had to point out the Onkyo TX-NR905. This is a product that has blown us away in our testing.
Let’s be clear - the Onkyo TX-NR905 A/V receiver isn’t the lightest device in the world, as it weighs in at 54 pounds - but that’s just about where the negatives end when it comes to this beast. This thing is like a classic Mustang - all muscle. You can throw anything at it - you know, HD DVD players, game consoles, TiVos, Blu-ray - and expect phenomenal 7.1 surround sound. And we mean pristine. Even better, the TX-NR905 bridges the gap between your entertainment center and the Internet by way of it’s Ethernet port. Hook up to the Internet, and you can stream Internet radio directly through this system. Moving on the picture quality - again, top notch all the way here. It will pump out 1080p signals, it supports 24p framerate, and has 2 HDMI outputs along with component out for your HDTV needs. Oh course, this thing is all about the sound. You get 140 watts per channel, and this is the most inexpensive receiver to feature THX Ultra2 certification. Believe me, if you haven’t heard it, you will be the envy of your block. Don’t worry though, you won’t be able to hear the complaints if you crank this thing up. Rounding out the feature set here, it will upconvert all inputs to 1080p, supports multiple zones, and also has HD radio built-in. Retails for $1,999. Compare prices on Onkyo TX-NR905.
Read More | Onkyo TX-NR905 on Amazon
WAAV’s AirBox CM3 can turn your car into a mobile WiFi unit. The broadband cellular router plugs into your car lighter by Ethernet or wirelessly and will keep the connection up to speeds of 100 mph or up to 300 feet when you are parked. Its 3G digital cell phone network seeks out EV-DO, which is comparable to cable Internet or DSL connection. If that fails, it will find an available 2G network. Available for $499.99, you still have to pay for a data plan but at least you won’t have to seek out the nearest Starbucks when a communicative mood strikes you.
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Another company has decided that we still don’t have enough choices when it comes to watching movies. Vudu promises access to over 5,000 movies with its 250-gigabyte hard drive that will handle about 100 hours of storage. The Vudu runs by Ethernet with at least a 2 Mbpm broadband Internet connection. In time, the box will have more storage capability with an additional USB hard drive. The price of the Vudu is $399.00 and although there is no subscription fee, you pay 99 cents to $3.99 to rent or $4.99 to $19.99 to own. The way we go through movies around here makes us think that with that kind of spending, we could probably purchase a new car by the end of the year. We’ll just be satisfied with our now dependable NetFlix which we figure pays for itself in the first week of any given month.
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The Korean company AXIS has designed a 1.3M 211W network cam with a choice of a Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection. With an omni-directional indoor antenna, it switches automatically between day and night. The cam also features a progressive scan sensor and advanced imaging, and is compatible with IEEE 802.11g standard as well as being backward compatible with IEEE 802.11b. With two-way, one-way, or audio off, and at a size of 44 x 88 x 200 mm, the cam is the perfect excuse to spy on employees of retail outlets, offices, and hotels, or just for peeking around college dorms.
After its recent debut at the IFA, Philips has released its Ambilight TV with models 32PF9731D and 42PF9731D, featuring 1366 x 768 resolution panels, and its 37PF9731D with a 1920 x 1080 1080p set. All three feature Philips’ Pixel Plus technology integrated with digital tuners and boast 2x HDMI ports along with two RGB scart sockets, component video input, S/PDIF in/out and an Ethernet port on the rear. Philips also utilizes Dolby Digital for full surround sound, and a USB connector for easy play.
Philips claims that Ambilight “makes an impressive contribution to the overall viewing experience with ambient light to complement the colours and light intensity of the image on screen. It creates ambiance, stimulates more relaxed viewing and improves perceived picture detail, contrast and colour.”
To experience Ambilight for yourself visit Philips. At price points of £1,799 (~$3396), £2,499 (~$4717) and £3,000 (~$5663), we may have to wait to catch Ambilight at the neighbors’ next Superbowl party.
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Tivo Inc. has announced the release of its TiVo Series 3 Digital Media Recorder. The new Tivo is HD compatible and multiple tuners enable the recording of two different shows simultaneously. Its built-in Ethernet jack and USB ports provide advanced connectivity and easy networking, giving it a simpler accessibility. The TiVo Series 3 is also a THX-certified device. “As more and more digital video recorders get connected to HDTVs, the demand for higher playback quality rises,” said Michael Rudd, chief of AV architecture at THX Ltd. “With THX certification, the integrity of HD content won’t be compromised.”
Other Product Features:
- Schedule from your workplace, on the road, or anywhere else you can access the Internet.
- WishList finds programs by actor, director, keyword or topic.
- Automatically record every episode, even if the network schedule changes.
- Season Pass Recording allows you to skip repeat episodes.
Later this year, TiVo will allow parents to create a pre-approved customized area with KidZone. Future software releases will enable advanced MPEG-4 based download features. The Series 3 will be available at retail stores within the next 60 days, and is already available online.
The bad part? Everyone wants to TiVo, but at an MSRP of $799.99 we’ll keep our old TiVos and VCRs around for another year. Especially when you consider that standard TiVo features like TiVoToGo and Multi-Room Viewing isn’t even available on the new Series 3 just yet. Still, we are sure that won’t stop the early-adopters out there.