Sling Media announced this morning that they’ve started shipping their much-anticipated Slingbox PRO-HD uber placeshifter, which turns out to be the first with the ability to to deliver content in high definition (up to 1080i) over a network, or locally. The PRO-HD can accept signals from cable boxes, DVRs, and anything else that can plug into its coaxial, component, S-video, RCA, and composite inputs. It can take advantage of up to four difference sources, and can then transmit it to just about anything. The best part here, though, is that the Slingbox PRO-HD can transmit HD video, so if you are running the SlingPlayer 2.0 software (only available on Windows at the moment - boo!) you can view live and recorded video, right up 1080i HDTV. You can pick one up for $300. If HD isn’t y our thing, you can pick up the Slingbox PRO for $230.
Read More | Slingbox PRO-HD product page
When was the last time you drove by an old abandoned drive-in and longed for the good old days? Kevin Van did more than just wish. He decided to create one in his back yard. Not only did he set up his own retractable 16:9 screen, he restored nine vintage drive-in speakers that now play Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound on his deck and 2-channel stereo near his pool. And of course this home theater would not be complete without a popcorn popper, hot dog steamer, and a nacho machine and chili warmer so that he can get the carbs that go with the screenings. The rest of us can check out his entire equipment list and still dream.
Read More | Electronic House
Kodak isn’t just for film anymore. Their new Theatre HD Player allows you to display pictures and video on your HDTV and access Internet Radio, podcasts and other webbish delights. Accessible by PC, camera, and online photo sites, bore your relatives by creating slide shows to your tunes. The Picture Mail can wirelessly send and receive images. The theatre will be available in September for $299.95
Read More | Kodak
If you have an Apple TV, you are gonna wanna go ahead and update it. Just head into the General Settings menu, and go to Software Update. Apple TV will find the latest version, and offer to download it. This update provides a couple of new functionalities for the device, namely MobileMe support, as well as support for the new Remote app. This is the newly released iPhone and iPod touch application that allows you to take control of iTunes or Apple TV right from your handheld device itself. We were playing with it a bit earlier today, and we think it’s fantastic.
Just in time for Father’s Day, OPPO has released another upconverting DVD player. The DV-983H produces even better details, color, and a picture closer to HD. Hook it up to your HDTV and turn standard DVDs into high-def 1080p. The player can also convert PAL to NTSC and is multi-level zoom capable. And for those music videos, the DV offers 7.1 channel audio with Dolby Digital Surround EX. Your dad will probably hand you the keys to his vacation home if you present him with this as a gift at a price of $399.99, which can be purchased online at the OPPO store.
Read More | OPPO DV-983H Product Page
OPPO Digital has released their latest up-converting player for Standard DVDs. The DV-980H has a 1080p output, 7.1 channel audio with Dolby Digital Surround EX decoding, and optimized high-fidelity audio circuitry for Super Audio CD, DVD-Audio, HDCD and regular CDs. Add to that Kodak Picture CD for high resolution picture slide shows, a USB 2.0 interface, and the ability to play all versions of DivX video (including DivX 6) with standard playback of DivX media files. While it doesn’t support Blu-ray or the failed HD DVD, it certainly is a lot less expensive for $169.00.
Read More | OPPO
Apple has quietly made a subtle change to the Apple TV movie experience. Previously, you were able to rent standard definition and high definition movies through Apple TV, and obviously, those rentals would expire if left unwatched for 30 days, or within 24 hours of you starting the movie. However, people have been asking for movie downloads since Apple TV Take 2 launched. Well, all that has changed, as Apple has come to an agreement with movie studios that will see new movies available for purchase and download on the same day that they are released on DVD.
The downside to all this? Well, for starters, you can’t buy the HD versions of these movies, despite the fact that you can rent them in HD. If you have an HDTV, we are guessing that you prefer your movies in HD. Also, for a similar price, you could just buy the movie on disc, and get all the extra special feature videos that are lacking on the iTunes download. Oh well, I guess we should just be happy that we are seeing progress.
Ultralink has come up with the Ultrapower Powersource PS-103 surge protector that is smaller than others we have seen of late. Recommended for home theatre components, it reduces EMI/RFI noise in an AC line. Rated at 1,080 Joules, the company claims its energy shield protects your electronic gadgets “from dangerous and polluted conditions that can affect performance and even cause long term damage.” The PS-103 has three AC outlets, one of them rotating, and two bi-directional rotating RF coaxial connectors to protect against TV/DSS signal surges. Get yours at a $49.95 MSRP.
Read More | Ultralink
Okay, so first and foremost, the atrocious PLAYSTATION Store that the PS3 has been sporting is going to be replaced with PS3 firmware 2.30. That is a good thing, because compared to both the Xbox Live Marketplace and the Wii Shopping Channel, the PLAYSTATION Store just performs horrible in our opinion. So good on Sony for changing that up. You can get a look at the new interface in the video above, which Sony put together. It looks a lot better.
Second thing, which is even better than the store upgrade if you ask us, is that the 2.30 firmware update is going to finally bring DTS-HD Master Audio to the Playstation 3, alongside DTS-HD High Resolution Audio. If you are a Blu-ray fan, then this means the world to you if you have a compatible receiver. Be prepared for perfect lossless audio to be read at an “incredible high variable rate of 24.5 mega-bits per second” in 7.1 surround sound. This is the one thing the PS3 was missing as a Blu-ray player (well, this, and Dolby-HD), and now makes it pretty much future-proof.
You get all this goodness on April 15th.
Read More | Playstation Blog
If you are like me, you’ve been waiting for Apple TV Take 2 to hit for just about a month now. When it was delayed two weeks ago, I stared at my Apple TV in disgust. In it’s current form, it was nothing more than a YouTube viewer, and sometimes, a nice picture screensaver. However, the wait is no more. As part of today’s Tuesday updates, Apple has finally released the Apple TV Take 2 software, and it is available now for download. Aside from a freatly enhanced UI, here are some of the features:
- Movie rentals in both high definition and standard definition
- Flickr photo browsing and slideshows
- .Mac photo gallery browsing and slideshows
- Purchasing of items from iTunes Store from Apple TV
- Browse and view podcasts in iTunes Podcast directory on Apple TV
If you have an Apple TV, fire up Software Update on the device to get the new hotness, and let us know what you think.
Read More | Apple TV Take 2 Guided Tour