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
Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Gizmatic, Short Bytes, Accessories, Apple, Cell Phones, CES, CES 2008, Design, Features, Handhelds, Home Entertainment, Music, Podcasts, Portable Audio / Video, Videocasts
Bowers and Wilkins has long been known for their stunning audiophile loudspeaker and home theater equipment so it’s no surprise that their foray into the iPod/iPhone speaker dock territory is an impressive one. The new Zeppelin dock features a subwoofer and two midrange/tweeters all in a single compact unit. The odd football shape does indeed bring to mind it’s airship namesake with a look that is sure to draw a second look for passers by. The downside - it’s $600; or $200 more than you spent on the iPhone that goes in it.
In the video we show off the product, and even demonstrate how it handles an iPhone taking a call while in use. Amazingly, there is no GSM interference to be found. Definitely a plus.
At CES, Logitech showed us some cool gadgets to enhance your home entertainment system. First was the diNovo Mini Palm-Size Keyboard, a little larger than an eyeglass case, which controls either your media-center PC or a computer hooked-up to a TV, depending on your setup. For example, you can use the diNovo to scan through the photos on your laptop—and display them on your TV. Plus, it’s Bluetooth-enabled ...in case you’d like to type and send a text to your bud’s phone without reaching for your cell.
We also loved Logitech’s newest Harmony One remote control with touch screen. Just hook it up to your computer via USB, and the accompanying software helps you program all your devices (and more) to the remote. This one will be available at the end of January for $250 USD.
We visited Sharp at CES and checked out their TV specifically for gamers. It’s the GP3 Series of 1080p LCD TVs, with a 6 millisecond response time, which reduces lag time between your beloved console and the TV. It’s even available in 3 cool colors: Red, White or Black. Available for $1500. We also checked out their D64 Series of 1080p LCDs, 20% lighter and thinner than the previous D62 Series. Sizes range from 32” - 65” and are available now.
We loved AquosNet, an internet service in which up-to-the-minute, customizable information (weather, stocks, sports, traffic, Hollywood news and more) appears on the side of the TV screen at the push of a button. AquosNet is free with the SC94 and D74 Series.
We know that everyone could use a bit more storage capacity in thier TiVo Series3 or TiVo HD units. Luckily, Western Digital has released My DVR Expander - a 500GB eSATA disk that is perfect for bumping up your TiVo’s storage capacity. We show you how it works in this episode.
As for the My DVR Expander unit itself, here is an overview from Western Digital:
Instantly add up to 60 hours of high-definition TV or up to 300 hours of standard-definition TV to your eSATA-enabled DVR. You’ll have plenty of room to save your programs longer and never miss your favorite shows.
Easy to set up, easy to use - Just plug it in to the external SATA (eSATA) port on your DVR and start recording even more TV shows, sporting events and movies. eSATA port must be active.
Compatible - My DVR Expander has been tested for compatibility with Scientific Atlanta 8300 Series, and has been TiVo verified compatible with TiVo® Series3 and TiVo HD DVRs. Check with your cable service provider to confirm compatibility with their system.
Quiet and Cool - A unique no-fan passive cooling system and special hard drive design makes it quiet for the living room or bedroom.
Low-intensity LED - Designed with a soft amber LED indicator, ideal for the living room or bedrooms.
As we note in the video, once you hook up and activate the My DVR Expander, if you ever choose to disconnect it from your DVR, you will lose all the content that is stored on it.
Universal Remote Control has already won CES awards for its MX-810 and MX-980s. Each MX-810 is usable for one room. It features RF accessibility so that you don’t have to worry about aiming it, a color LCD, and personalized programming. It will work up to 100 feet away, even for components that are hidden, and can be programmed with any Windows compatible program. URC’s MX-980 takes care of customizing entire home theaters and A/V systems. It is definitely built for homes or offices that have large or more than one system. Both remotes will be featured at the CES in January and come with prices of $399.00 and $599.00 respectively.
Read More | Universal Remote Control
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