Onkyo has just released a couple of new high-end THX Ultra2 receivers upon us all, in their TX-NR906 and TX-SR876 units. Both units feature 7.1-channel surround processing, four HDMI inputs, new THX Loudness Plus processing, XM HD, and the fantastic HQV Reon-VX upscaling processor. These bad boys will upconvert just about anything you throw at it to 1080p. In terms of audio, your got both units conservatively rated - the TX-SR876 is at 140 watts per channel, while the TX-NR906 hits you with 145 watts per channel. The TX-NR906 specifically is also Windows Vista certified, and supports digital audio devices (like the Zune) by way of its front USB port. You can also stream a bunch of audio formats on your local network to it, as well as streaming Internet radio, including SIRIUS iRadio.
Both models are available now. Suggested retail comes out to $1,799 for the TX-SR876, and $2,299 for the TX-NR906, but we are sure you can find them for a lot less if you do a little shopping around. Be sure to also hit up our Onkyo TX-SR906 image gallery.
We are right around the corner from the release of Rock Band 2, so we figured we would bring you this extensive preview of the game, starring the makers of the game themselves, Harmonix. We bring you a 15-minute primer, focusing on all the new hotness in the next iteration of Rock Band, including the tracks, features, and instruments. We also go in to a little of the history behind the Rock band franchise and the reason it came about (other than seeing that Guitar Hero was a raging success, we mean.) We end it with a demo of the game, with a couple of people teaming up to form bands on the fly. If you are into Rock band, this is definitely one to watch.
I’ve been looking forward to Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe from the moment that I saw the original teaser, where Sub-Zero and Batman were beating the crap out of each other. Back at E3, we were able to get our hands on the title, and were even more impressed when we got to experience Superman, Scorpion, and The Flash. However, now we can happily report that the full roster of the game has been revealed. It’s looking good:
Mortal Kombat side: Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Sonya, Jax, Shang Tsung, Shao Kahn, Liu Kang, Raiden, Kitana, Kano, Baraka
DC side: Batman, Superman, Catwoman, Green Lantern, The Joker, Shazam, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Deathstroke, Lex Luthor, Darkseid
So we get 11 characters from each side (and who knows if we will get any hidden surprises?), and in turn, we get some interesting combinations. Raiden vs The Flash? Lex Luthor vs. Kano? Good stuff. You can get your hands on the game when it hits retail stores on November 10 for Xbox 360 and PS3.
Oh, and for those fearing that the DC license might mean a watered-down Mortal Kombat experience, we’ve got a video of The Joker’s fatality for you, after the break.
Read More | 1Up
To say “That was fast” would be an understatement. Just three days after Apple unleashed the new iPod touch 2.1 firmware, alongside a newly updated iPod touch, the new firmware has already been jailbroken by the good folks at the QuickPwn project. Hey, I guess we should no longer be surprised anymore. If you are jonesing to jailbreak your touch, just know that you are gonna have to mess around with the command line, as the GUI version has yet to be completed (it’s coming though - as is an iPhone 2.1 jailbreak.) But, hey, getting comfy with the command line is right in line with the iPod touch being the “funnest iPod ever”, am I right?
Read More | QuickPwn
Apple has finally unleashed the iPhone 2.1 firmware to the masses as of an hour or so ago. If you’ve been running iPhone 2.0 since July, then you’ve probably been waiting desperately for this firmware release, which is supposed to clear up a ton of bugs and other annoyances about the app-centric iPhone OS. Here’s a list of the changes and improvements:
- Decrease in call set-up failures and dropped calls
- Significantly better battery life for most users
- Dramatically reduced time to backup to iTunes
- Improved email reliability, notably fetching email from POP and Exchange accounts
- Faster installation of 3rd party applications
- Fixed bugs causing hangs and crashes for users with lots of third party applications
- Improved performance in text messaging
- Faster loading and searching of contacts
- Improved accuracy of the 3G signal strength display
- Repeat alert up to two additional times for incoming text messages
- Option to wipe data after ten failed passcode attempts
- Genius playlist creation
So, there’s a lot of stuff there. Of course, most are concerned primarily with the big fixes. Here’s hoping that iPhone 2.1 is the solid OS that the 2.0 release should have been. You can get the update by connecting your iPhone to your computer, firing up iTunes 8 (it’s required), and hitting “Check for Update.” Good luck!
Read More | iPhone 2.1 details
The worst-kept secret of today’s Apple Let’s Rock iPod event was the newly updated iPod nano. Apple officially let the cat out of the bag today, sharing all the details. The new iPod nano is taller, and also turns out to be the thinnest iPod ever made. It’s available in a record nine colors, and you get two models to choose from - an 8GB version for $149, and a 16GB version for $199. The battery will hook you up with 24 hours of music or 4 hours of video. The nano now has an included accelerometer, which allows it to sense if you are holding it in portrait or landscape mode, so it can then change the screen orientation accordingly. That same accelerometer also gives rise to a new “Shake to Shuffle” feature. It’s exactly what it sounds like. If you don’t like what you are listening to, shake the nano, and you get a new random track. You can order the new iPod nano now at the online Apple Store, or pick one up at a physical location as they arrive over the next few days.
Read More | iPod nano
iTunes 8 was announced this morning as part of the whole Let’s Rock Apple announcement festivities, and there were a few nice pieces of news. First, NBC is back on iTunes with shows like The Office, 30 Rock, and Ballestar Galactics. What’s more, though, is that iTunes will now be selling TV shows in high definition. Aside from the feeling that I know my wallet is about to be drained, this is a very welcome addition. My only hope is that they allow those of us who have purchased shows in SD to “upgrade” to the HD versions at a discount. It’s only fair, right?
In other news, Apple has added “Genius” to iTunes - that being a recommendation engine that looks at the track you are listening to, and recommends other tracks in the iTunes store that it believes you would like. In addition, Genius can also create truly customized playlists on the fly, again, just by sampling what you are listening to. It will pull other songs from your iTunes library that it believes would complement your selection, without any work to be done on your part. We must admit, it looks slick. Speaking of which, they’ve also included a new visualizer, which is just off the hook. You’ve gotta see it to believe it.
iTunes 8 is available now.
Read More | iTunes
Apple is improving the iPod touch with a thinner stainless steel case, hardware volume controls, a built-in speaker, and a Nike+ receiver (you’ll need to puchase a Nike+ kit to take advantage of that one.) Battery life is now at 36 hours for music, which translates to around six hours for video. The new Genius feature will be included, alongside the App Store. They’ve also redone the casing, which is now a thinner stainless steel, and we’ve even got actual hardware volume control buttons. The new iPod touch is available now - 8GB for $229, 16GB for $299, and 32GB for $399. You can pick on up from the Apple Store Online now.
Read More | iPod touch
We knew it was just a matter of time before our friends at TiVo finally released something a little more, robust, to take the place of the discontinued TiVo Series3 DVR. While the TiVo HD is a nice unit, it just wasn’t the premium product that the Series3 was. The TiVo HD XL is all about taking that premium spot, and it certainly looks like a worthy replacement. The unit ships with a 1 terabyte hard drive, which means it can record up to 150 hours of HD programming, HDMI cable, along with a premium Series3 backlit TiVo remote. The TiVo HD XL features dual tuners, which lets you record two programs at the same time, and is even THX certified (something that the TiVo HD can’t brag about.) The one jarring piece here is the price, as the TiVo HD XL is selling for $599.99. If it’s worth it to you, you can order one right now at the TiVo website, or you can wait a few days and check your local retailer. We have the full press release for you after the break.
Well, what do you know? Looks like that Apple event that Kevin Rose speculated about a couple of weeks ago is finally official. This morning, Apple sent out notification of their next event, titled “Let’s Rock”, is set for September 9th. Now, looking at the graphic, we think it is pretty clear that this one is going to be focused on iPods. Apple is notorious for refreshing their portable media player line in September (heck, last September was when the iPod touch was announced) for the whole back-to-school and holiday vibe.
While we expect to see new models across the board, word on the street is that the iPod nano and iPod touch will be the ones to pay attention to this time around. That is, unless, you are like me and have tons of media that you want with you at all times. If that is you, then you are with me in hoping we see something akin to a 250GB iPod classic. Aside from that, though, some surprises would be nice. I know I’ve been asking for it for years now, and this probably isn’t the appropriate place to announce it, but I sure as heck would just love it if Apple would also give us a new Cinema Display. Could happen, right? Yeah, I didn’t think so either.
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