We’ve think that it’s a travesty that the only Apple product to sport an HDMI port has been the Apple TV, especially when you consider that the Mac mini is pretty much the best Mac to have connected as a permanent part of your home theater setup. Well, it looks like that could possibly be changing with the next Mac mini refresh, is AppleInsider sources are to be believed. They’re saying that there are prototype HDMI-based Mac minis floating through the normal channels within the company, and one or more of them are based on the NVIDIA MCP89 chipset, which would mean that the mini would stay on the Core 2 Duo architecture rather than moving on to the newer Core i3, i5, i7 processors if that doesn’t change. Of course, this is all rumor for now and there’s no release date or any other official info on the HDMI mini, so take this all with a grain of salt.
Read More | AppleInsider
At CES 2010, we caught up with Sling Media, who gave us a look at their Sling Touch Control 100 remote control, which they see as the next generation in controlling your TV programming and home theater. The remote incorporates the SlingGuide interface, and you can even manage DVR content without disturbing television viewing. The Sling Touch Control 100 has a 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen, and a 480x272 resolution.
A big thank you to Bing for sponsoring our CES 2010 coverage!
Okay, TiVo, you are setting up your March 2 NYC announcement to be a pretty big deal when you use the words “Inventing the DVR was just a warmup” to get people to pay attention. That said, you’ve got our attention. We definitely know TiVo has something going on, what with the whole TiVo Premiere accidental leak a couple of months ago, and how their CES presence was pretty much relegated to invite-only status. So, what do we think will happen?
We are expecting the new TiVo Premiere box will launch, alongside a newly revamped menu system that will also be pushed out to TiVo Series3 and TiVo HD boxes (kind of like the new Xbox Experience dashboard refresh) that will be in full HD. We also expect that the interface might be made to be a bit more modular, to support apps, widgets, and all of that Internet-y goodness that people are into these days. We’ll know for sure on the 2nd of March, 6PM EST.
HDMI 1.4 is the next big thing, namely because it brings with it support for 3D television as well as the Audio Return Channel, and Onkyo seems to be leading the charge with getting it rolled into their products and into the hands of the public. In fact, Onkyo just announced that their 2010 receivers, scheduled to start shipping this spring, will support HDMI 1.4. That’s just in time for some of that 3D TV and Blu-ray content to appear.
“We are very supportive of the new standard,” said Onkyo’s marketing manager Paul Wasek, “because of the added capabilities and the simplification of system connections.”
We are fans of Onkyo, and we are definitely looking forward to getting our hands on the new receiver line.
Read More | Onkyo
Looks like TiVo has run out of TiVo HD units, if their online store is any indication, which has us wondering if the newer TiVo Premiere is about to make it’s debut. We originally mentioned the TiVo Premiere when a customer accidentally received a manual for the device packed in with a TiVo HD purchase. You’d think that if TiVo was already printing instructions on how to use the device, it had to be near-ready to ship, and this was just over a month ago.
In the meantime, if you want a TiVo, go for the TiVo XL instead.
Read More | TiVo Store
Newegg has a great and inexpensive way for you to incorpate 7.1 surround sound into your home theater, with a great deal on the Sony STR-DN1000 7.1 channel receiver. It looks great with a piano black finish, and supports codecs like Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD MAster Audio, and lossless PCM. For visuals, you get 1080p playback with 24p support. The best part is that Newegg’s got it for $299.99. If you want to get in on it, head on over to the Newegg Sony STR-DN1000 page, add it to your cart, and use promo code “RECEIVER222” to take part in the festivities.
As always, you can find all sorts of Newegg promo codes and deals on our forums.
Read More | Sony 7.1 STR-DN1000 Surround Sound Receiver
The Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player allows you to attach any external hard drive or USB flash drive to the device, which lets you watch videos, listen to music, or even create your own slideshows from your photos, right on your television. The WD TV HD Media Player can accept up to two external drives at once, and supports Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 sound, making it ideal to play movies stored on those devices in glorious 1080p. They typically sell for $129, but Amazon has them for $99.
Read More | Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player
We are kicking off our 2009 Holiday Gift Guide with the Roku HD-XR player. Why? Well, we think that it’s the perfect time to introduce someone to the new hotness that is TV, delivered over the web, and right into the living room. Sure, Netflix has come to the Xbox 360, but if you want streaming access to the Netflix service and don’t own a game console, this is your cheapest barrier to entry. The HD-XR model also gives you access to the Amazon Unbox catalogue, as well as the entire MLB game service as well, if you are subscribed.
Definitely a great gift for movie buffs, the Roku HD-XR player is able to stream over 12,000 movies and television shows from the Netflix Watch Instantly catalogue, and over 45,000 from Amazon Video on Demand. It connects to your home network through an ethernet port, or over Wi-Fi, connecting at up to 802.11n if you have it. There’s also a USB port on back, which Roku says is for future use. Our guess is that they’ll be allowing the device to read from an external USB drive, which would be stellar.
The actual device is tiny, so it takes up barely any space, and setup takes just a couple of minutes - very simple. Of course, a Netflix subscription is required, but once you have that, everything else is a piece of cake.
Honorable Mention: If you want all the features of the Roku HD-XR, but don’t need the USB port or 802.11n wireless speeds, you can grab the Roku HD Player for $99!
Read More | Roku HD-XR
Yesterday, Apple released Apple TV 3.0, the first “major” release for the device in about two years. The company has often referred to the Apple TV as a hobby, as opposed to a real business. That said, there are a few nice additions that can be found in the Apple TV 3.0 update, so we give you a full walkthrough of the device, giving you a sampling of some of the new hotness.
Some of the standout features are the obviously redesigned home screen. Instead of the centered grid, you get a full screen menu that makes it easier to navigate right to the content that you want. I mean, it’s nice, but it seems to be the biggest visual upgrade to the device, which we think is in need of a hardware refresh. You also score Genius DJ playlist abilities, nice for parties and such, but I rock a Sonos system, so it doesn’t really appeal to me personally. Same goes for Internet radio, but it is there as a feature, and it’s nice. The one we like is the addition of iTunes Extras and iTunes LP content. We are fans of the iTunes LP, so being able to see it on an HDTV, which is where we think it shines, is also “nice.”
If you are picking up on a trend, you win. This whole 3.0 business is, in a word, “nice.” It isn’t anything more than that. It brings the Apple TV in line with other Apple products, allowing it to do things that other devices can do, and it gets a UI refresh, and the Helvetica font. All well and good, but let’s hope that next time around we get some decent new hardware. In any event, hit the play button for the full tour.
LG is set to make you consider a HTIB set with their HB954SP, a 5.1 channel surround sound system with five speakers and a subwoofer, all pushing 1,000 total watts of power. It also includes a BD-Live-enabled Blu-ray player that has an iDock - basically an iPod dock that you can use to charge an iPod or iPhone.
Expect to see the HB954SP HTIB launch sometime in November. No mention of price, but we are thinking it won’t be cheap.
Read More | LG
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