As part of Apple's Spring Forward event, the company announced a major price cut for Apple TV. After announcing that the brand new standalone streaming service, HBO Now, will launch exclusively on Apple devices this April, Tim Cook then followed up by letting the audience know that the Apple TV would be receiving a 30% price cut. The Apple TV now costs just $69, down from $99 previously. This is the same Apple TV that Apple has been selling for a few years, so no hardware changes here just yet--but it's good to see the price drop nonetheless. You can pick up an Apple TV at the new price right now.
Read More | Apple TV
What's exciting about the new TiVo Roamio DVR line is that it's been a while since TiVo last released some new hardware. Three and a half years, in fact. That's when the TiVo Premiere debuted, promising an HD interface and dual-core chip that was supposed to bring about speed and efficiency. Well, the Premiere failed to live up to the hype, and TiVo went back to the drawing board and spent a few years building Roamio.
TiVo Roamio is actually a line of three DVRs that range in price from $199 to $599, with four tuners built-in to the standard Roamio, and six tuners in the Roamio Plus and Pro models. The Plus and Pro also have integrated TiVo Stream functionality, too, allowing you to watch TiVo content on your iOS devices wherever you have Wi-Fi. Has TiVo done enough to earn your attention and hard-earned dollar with the Roamio DVR? Join us for our full TiVo Roamio Pro review as we answer just that.
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?
I've been a TiVo fan for many years, and a subscriber for about ten of those years. I've had various TiVo machines and have been happy with the performance of my HD TiVo. But like any tech-geek, I'm always interested in what's new.
The TiVo Premiere, released last year, intrigued me because of its HD interface, improved UI, larger storage capacity, and 1080p support. The specs sounded great and I was ready to upgrade my system, but as it approached time to pull the trigger, I began hearing stories of sluggish UI performance. Threads posted on TiVoCommunity.com indicate that the second core of the dual-core processor is disabled for stability reasons, thus crippling its Flash-based interface.
This week, TiVo announced the Premiere Elite ($499), which features four tuners and 2 terabytes of storage. Will it have a better processor that will take advantage of the HD UI or will it be more of the same? Unfortunately, I have a hunch that it will be more of the same.
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
Now I realize you’ve been drooling over those new mini-projectors for a while now, but if you’d rather have an extra-large experience and already own a normal projector, you’re in luck:
Remember that “velvety” inflatable couch you had in college? Well, we’ve found you the perfect TV to go along with it – the Open Air Cinema 16 Foot Inflatable Movie Screen. The 16ft x 9ft, widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio, 20-pound inflatable movie screen is the perfect compliment to any backyard (if you’re lucky enough to have a backyard, ahem). Just don’t go filling it with helium - that’s a very, very bad idea; this potential balloon is available at an introductory price of $999, or purchase their CineBox Home complete backyard theater system which includes projection, sound and all necessary cables for $3,299 - you’ll instantly have the most popular backyard on the block and you can recoup the expense by charging admission and selling refreshments…
Read More | Open Air Cinema
AMD shows us how the home theatre PC arena is getting exciting again. Thanks to AMD Live!, manufacturers are finally creating affordable high-quality and high-performance components for the home theatre PC. Inexpensive platforms supporting full-resolution 1080p HD and 7.1 channel surround sound are being manufactured and will be out for sale real soon.
We love the intiative AMD has taken on this one! We talk with Jay Taylor of AMD Live! and have a look at the new components.