After a couple of delays, Onkyo has finally announced that their flagship TX-SR905 and TX-SR875 7.1 surround sound receivers are now shipping. These are the first A/V receivers to include Silicon Optix’s Reon-VX HQV video processing chips, which provide the receivers with some fancy video scaling and deinterlacing capabilities, including upscaling of all video sources to 1080p for output over HDMI. All video sources are also upconverted to HD output via the units’ component video outputs to accommodate video displays lacking an HDMI input. You’ll find 3 HDMI inputs on the TX-SR9875, and four on the TX-SR975. Extra features on the 975 include built-in Ethernet for streaming Internet radio and network media, HD Radio receiver, and USB port for use with digital audio players and USB memory devices.
The Onkyo TX-SR875 is available for $1699 USD, while the TX-SR905 sells at $2099 - excellent prices for receivers that include THX Ultra2 mode.
Sonance, the company that introduced the first in-wall loudspeaker unveils a brand new website that follows the company’s new corporate identity and branding initiative, which reflects the continuing evolution of the brand.
The new site features a contemporary design and homepage that greets visitors with a series of beautifully decorated rooms featuring a variety of Sonance components including the company’s revolutionary new Architectural Series speakers, the first truly flush-mounted speaker. Users can easily navigate to company information, individual product categories, and a special solutions section, which offers product recommendations by various categories and visitors can explore a room for placement of products. Whether it is Multi-room Audio, Home Theater, Outdoor & Marine, Multi-Dwelling Units, Commercial applications or International options, Sonance has a solution that fits any project.
Additional enhancements to the site include a live search option that updates results as you type, full product descriptions, choose additional add-ons, as well as download product manuals and brochures. Not to be missed is the news section that contains up to date press releases on new products, awards, reviews, and more.
Steve Crawford, Chief Marketing Officer of Sonance, said, “Our objective was to better reflect our current brand, business and product strategy while providing easy access to up-to-date information. The result is a website that combines elegant, contemporary imagery with powerful and intuitive sort and search functionality.”
Read More | Sonance
Steve Jobs announced it at All Things D, and earlier today Apple released the first software update for the Apple TV, which included the addition of YouTube to the device. As we noted previously, YouTube has begun to encode videos in the H.264 codec, and these are the videos you are able to see on Apple TV. This should result in higher quality visuals, and YouTube plans to have 10,000 videos encoded by June 29th, and will continue adding more each week. If you have an Apple TV, be sure to fire up software update for YouTube functionality.
Our bad! When we put up our Apple TV Unboxing Gallery, maybe you would have appreciated it if we actually let you know it was there. So, here we are to redeem ourselves, with what we think is a not-too-shabby look at the Apple TV unboxing experience. If you are curious about what comes in the box (not much, really) as well as what is lacking (video cables?), you may find our gallery of some use to yourself. Once again Apple has done a fantastic job of making a device possibly feel more special than it is simply by the way they packaged it—although, with their failure to pack in any sort of video cable, be it digital or analog, they managed to also make you feel like something is missing at the same time. See for yourself in our Apple TV unboxing gallery.
Read More | The Bleeding Edge
We were able to get a first-hand look at the new AMD LIVE! Digital Home Cinema concept while hanging out with the AMD crew. For those who may have missed it at CES, the AMD LIVE! Home Cinema is pretty much a specialized HTPC that aims to replace just about everything in your entertainment center, save for game consoles. It can run Linux or Windows Media Center, and is even a digital cable tuner that is CableCARD compatible. Powered by an AMD Athlon 64 X2 dual-core processor, it aims to provide an immersive theater-quality media experience with high-definition video, integrated 100 watt per channel surround sound audio and Internet capability, all in a device fit for your entertainment center. Check the video for a full walk-through.
Read More | The Bleeding Edge
Seems everyone wants to get into the business of streaming content both from the Internet and from your home network, to your television. Of course, we are of the opinion that in as little as ten years time, this will be the way most television entertainment is consumed in the first place, so it only makes sense that companies start getting on the ball now. AMD recently gave us a look and demo of their Active TV softwawre. This aims to bridge the gap between video and other content found on your home computer, along with that found on the Internet.
We caught up with Intel where we got the lowdown on the Viiv platform along with the latest Viiv-based PCs. For a definition on what Viiv is, we go to Wikipedia:
Viiv is a platform marketing initiative from Intel. Like Intel’s Centrino and vPro, Viiv is a computer platform certification for a particular combination of Intel products as its primary components. It is an open specification for an Intel-based Media Center PC. Specifically, Viiv is a particular combination of CPU, mainboard chipset, software, Digital Rights Management and network card. It is intended for primary use as an in-home media and desktop platform with the ability to operate as a normal PC or as a hardware media player/centre - running applications, playing DVDs, CDs, MP3, photographs and games as well as subscription based (partially DRM protected) content such as ILoveFilm, Napster and SKY.
So, if you want to hop on board with the next-generation of computing devices specifically targeted towards multimedia in a living room environment, check the video to get all the details from Intel.