Netflix subscribers on unlimited rental plans are now allowed endless streaming of movies on their PCs. Previously, the company offered a limited amount of viewing depending on a subscription rate, but it seems that now that it has a library of over 90,000 titles, this is their time to shine over the competition. If you now are on the $4.99 singular DVD Plan or 2 a month option, you will still receive two hours of instant streaming per month. It remains to be seen just how the competition will react to the news, not to mention the dwindling supply of local neighborhood video stores.
Read More | Netflix
Building on their line of Squeezebox and Transporter music network devices, Logitech is introducing the Squeezebox Duet. Consisting of a brand new controller with a full-color 2.4 inch LCD screen and a receiver that utilizes 802.11g, the Duet allows users to stream music from any computer to any room with an audio setup in the house, browse their music collection, and view album art.
When the Squeezebox Duet’s receiver is registered, users can even use the receiver and remote to browse Internet radio stations, subscription-based music services, and music that the user has uploaded to the open-source SqueezeNetwork, no computer required. Additional receivers can be added in order to control the music in every room in the house, separately or synced so that every room is playing the same thing. For people already using the Squeezebox (and Transporter) system, controllers can be purchased alone and integrated into an existing network.
Squeezebox Duet will be released this month and will retail for $400. Individual receivers will retail for $150, and standalone controllers will retail for $300.
Read More | Logitech Press Release
VeriSign is throwing down the content delivery gauntlet with their Intelligent CDN technology. We are talking about full high definition video content streamed directly to your television at very high speeds. They show off a 200 MB file that is encoded at 5 mbps 1080p, which downloads completely in under 30 seconds. This is the kind of technology we hope to see on our set top boxes in the near future, and VeriSign is promising that it isn’t far away at all. Give it a view, and let us know what you think. Could both HD DVD and Blu-ray be dead in the water with tech like this soon to be available everywhere?
The Buffalo LinkTheater Wireless A/G Media Player is new in town, but looks to be a winner. The device allows you to stream just about any video or audio format you can think of from your PC to your home theater system. This new model even has a few optimization specifically targetted toward Intel Viiv PCs, so if you have one of those, it’s a plus (though it’s not required.) The device is even compatible with DRM movie downloads from the likes of CinemaNow and MovieLink. Definitely worth it if you store a bunch of multimedia content on your PC, and you want an easy way to get that to your HDTV.
One of the new features added to the Xbox 360 in the recent Fall Update is the ability to playback WMV video from a variety of sources, including PCs running Windows Media Connect, Windows Media Player 11, the Zune client, optical disc, and USB storage. Now, the Xbox development team has detailed exactly which codecs and video formats are supported.
Microsoft’s Windows Movie Maker can be used to create movie files, and the Xbox Team recommends that any videos created be at least 360 pixels high so scaling is minimized. Anamorphic content is unsupported, so videos should be re-encoded in a square-pixel format. According to the Xbox team, the following codecs are supported:
|Windows Media Video 7||WMV1|
|Windows Media Video 8||WMV2|
|Windows Media Video 9||WMV3|
|Windows Media Video 9 Advanced Profile||WVC1|
The Xbox team also listed a number of common WMV formats that are currently unsupported, including the Windows Media Screen and Windows Media 9 Image (Photostory) formats.
Read More | Xbox Team