TiVo has finally launches the TiVo Mini, the first DVR extender offered by the company. Previously offered through a partnership to Suddenlink customers, the TiVo Mini allows the user to stream content from a TiVo Series 4 unit (either a Premiere 4 or XL4,) thus allowing you to view your recorded TiVo content on a television where you don't have a TiVo in the mix. You'll also have to make sure you can plug the TiVo Mini into Ethernet or MoCA, as that's another requirement--no Wi-Fi here. Additionally, you can also stream live TV to the mini as well, provided that one of your four tuners is available and free. Lastly, the Mini will also provide access to other services that tie into TiVo, like Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Pandora. Think of it as a TiVo Stream, but for another television instead of for your iOS devices.
You can pick up the TiVo Mini now for $99.99, and you'll have to pay a monthly subscription fee of $5.99 to use it. Alternatively, you can pay a one-time fee of $149.99 for a lifetime subscription, making the TiVo Mini actually cost $249.98.
Read More | TiVo Mini
Last week we hit you with our Sonos Playbar review, and we let you know that we would have the Playbar unboxing video up shortly. Well, here it is. As you know, we got an early look at the Sonos Playbar, and we open it up and give you an overview review in this episode of Unboxing Live! The Sonos Playbar fits right in to your home theater setup, providing you with 3.0 sound. Add in the Sonos SUB for 3.1, or a SUB and two PLAY:3 speakers for full 5.1 surround. The Playbar is the best soundbar out there as far as features go.
You can buy the Sonos Playbar for $699.
Media streaming enthusiasts have a new toy to play with! The new Roku 3 has launched and is ready to wage war for its place in the living room against other streaming alternatives like the Apple TV. The Roku 3 has improved internals, new glossy hockey puck hardware look and a much needed revamped user interface to navigate those 700 channels. However, it still doesn't have YouTube!
As far as internal hardware specs go, the Roku 3 is now housing a dual-band Wi-Fi, assuming it now runs in the 5 Ghz frequency. Inside, it has a new faster processor which is said to be much faster than its other variant predecessors, like the Roku 2 XS. Additionally, it has a USB port, ethernet, HDMI, SD card slot, and digital in.
Read More | Roku
The Sonos Playbar is a product that filled us with excitement when it was announced, and we are back with our Playbar review. With the Playbar, Sonos enters the home theater market with a pretty sound strategy--provide a soundbar that puts out a 3.0 sound signal, and allow it to be paired with the Sonos SUB for those who want 3.1 sound…then, make it even better by allowing two Sonos PLAY:3 speakers to be used as a full on 5.1 surround sound system.
Of course, for the ultimate Sonos 5.1 setup, you'll have to pay an additional $699 for the SUB and $598 for the two PLAY:3 units, an additional $1,397 above the $699 price of the Playbar. So, while we will touch on the 3.1 and 5.1 configurations, we are here to bring you a Sonos Playbar review that focuses on the standalone abilities of the ambitious soundbar. Has it been worth the wait? We explore the answer in our full Playbar review--read on.
The Sonos Playbar is an exciting piece of gadgetry coming from one of our favorite companies, and it's now been announced that it ships on March 5. The Playbar connects to your television using a digital optical cable, offering massive sound through its nine drivers. Since it's a Sonos device, you can also play all your music through it as well. Throw in a Sonos SUB and a pair of Play:3 units, and you've got yourself a 5.1 surround sound system. March 5th is the date, and you can pre-order it now for $699.
Gear Live's love affair with Sonos is no secret - we love the product dearly, and with today's introduction of the Playbar, it's grown even more. With the Sonos Playbar, the company is effectively entering the home theater space, providing a soundbar that's capable of pumping out massive sound through its nine drivers (size mid-range drivers and three tweeters.) Simply connect it to your television through optical TOSlink, and you are ready to go.
The Playbar isn't just a typical soundbar speaker--it's a Sonos product, and that means it ties right in to the Sonos ecosystem. You can use it to play music streamed from your iTunes library, streaming music subscription services like Rdio and Spotify, Pandora, and many more.
It gets better, too. Sonos says you can pair the Soundbar with the Sonos SUB and/or a couple of Play:3 or Play:5 units for a full-on 5.1 surround sound experience. It'll be expensive, but it leaves us salivating. You can pick up the Sonos Playbar next month for $699, and it's available for pre-order right now.
Read More | Sonos
For a number of years, the Logitech Harmony One has been recognized as the best universal remote control, and now the company is back with the Harmony Touch. What's changed? Well, the Harmony Touch controls are focused mainly on its capacitive touchscreen, which is front and center. A lot of the typical controls that you'd typically have hardware keys for are moved to the touchscreen, which supports taps and swipe gestures. The goal here is to make is super easy for those of you who have a bunch of devices connected to your television or receiver, allowing you to swap between each with ease. The question is, does it do it's job as expected, and is it better than the Harmony One? Follow along in our full Logitech Harmony Touch review as we explore these answers.
Alongside our Logitech Harmony Touch review, we also put together a gallery of images showing off the device, which is the follow-up to the fantastic Logitech Harmony One. Check out the review, and head over to the unboxing gallery to get a look at the touchscreen universal remote up close! You can pick up the Harmony Touch on Amazon for a discount.
Samsung's latest audio line, revealed at CES, comes with a bold claim: it's are the first in the world to use a soundbar with a built-in vacuum tube amplifier, and Bluetooth to connect to your TV, ditching the wires if you use it alongside a 2013 Samsung television (or other Bluetooth-enabled TV, we'd imagine.) As you can see, it also has a subwoofer, making it a 2.1 solution.
This feat is apparently achieved by a wireless Bluetooth speaker (DA-F60) using the apt-X audio codec and NFC to connect to devices such as your TV. Furthermore, its 7.1 channel surround sound system should also please the home theater crowd, which will work with Samsung's 2013 television line-up. The system also uses a Gallium Nitride amplifier to enhance the sound quality.
Samsung also revealed a "premium" Blu-ray player capable of upscaling DVD content to 4K.
Read More | Samsung
We've declared our love for Sonos multiple times here on Gear Live, which is why we're excited about the prospect of the company bringing its product line into home theater. An FCC filing reveals that Sonos has indeed submitted documents related to a soundbar with integrated Wi-Fi (like all other Sonos products) that should play nicely with the Sonos SUB that was released earlier this year. Perhaps we'll get a look at this one at CES next week, pretty please?
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