DVD recorders are old news, but they've been given a little shot in the arm at CES 2007. Because of federal mandates that require any product with an analog tuner to also include a digital tuner, we've seen several DVD recorders with built-in ATSC tuners. That means you should be able to pull in free, over-the-air HDTV with these new DVD recorders and an antenna. The bottom line is that these recorders should be able to burn downconverted high-definition programs from the digital HD tuner in the correct wide-screen aspect ratio. Of course these burned discs won't … Read more
I met with HP this morning to hear how its new MediaSmart TVs work with your Media Center PC ecosystem. (Takeaway: the TVs will play your PC-stored digital media, but you have to use Windows Media Player 11, and FairPlay-protected media from the iTunes Store won't work. Also, the built-in 802.11n wireless networking is a much-needed high-bandwidth touch.) The highlight of the meeting, though, was when a member of HP's PR team stepped in to hand the PR manager giving the presentation a write-up of the just-announced Apple TV device.
In a heretofore-unseen display of marketing agility, … Read more
Well, this is a first...the first one I've seen, anyway. Yesterday at CES, Viewsonic announced the ViewDock projector, which features a built-in iPod dock. According to Viewsonic's press release, iPod users are "three times as likely to download video clips, movies and Web casts to their computers"--the company is obviously interested in capitalizing on this fact. Viewsonic asserts that the ViewDock is great for on-the-go sharing, but at 3-plus pounds and roughly 12 x 10 x 5 inches (my estimate), it's not really all that portable. In a car, certainly, but I wouldn'… Read more
In 2006, we saw a few DVD players that could upscale to 1080p, but you had to pay a little extra for the cutting-edge technology. At CES 2007, several manufacturers have announced 1080p-upscaling DVD players, with most of the prices hovering right around $100. And while the LG Super Multi Blue Player is certainly the biggest video disc player of the show, we're betting plenty of people will be jumping on these 1080p players as a relatively cheap way to make their DVD collection look a little better.
Pioneer so far has the cheapest 1080p-upscaling DVD player we've … Read more
The headline on Dish Network's press release says "free high-definition DVR," but the fine print is a bit less exciting. The company introduced two new programming packages, called DishDVR Advantage and Dish DVR Advantage HD, that are said to reduce the cost of items purchased separately--as much as seven percent for the first package (woo hoo!). The "free high-definition DVR," a ViP-622 normally available for $199, is part of the HD version. For the reasonable cost of $69.99 per month, customers will receive the DVR, the satcaster's 30 national HD channels (more info), … Read more
They lack the sizzle of Philips' new portable DVD players, which include iPod docks and displays that swivel 180 degrees. But Toshiba's new line of "premium" portable DVD players offer larger screen sizes, an updated design and, the company claims, longer battery life.
The top-of-the-line SD-P2900 has a 10.2-inch wide-screen LCD screen, four-in-one (SD, MMC, MS, and xD) memory card slot and component-video output. Battery life is rated at six hours. The SD-P2900 will be available in March for $300.
The midrange SD-P1900 has a 9-inch wide-screen LCD screen with a new black acrylic top, dual … Read more
Microsoft has announced that the Xbox 360 will get digital television features based on the company's Microsoft TV IPTV software. The online television service offers users channel guides, digital video recording, on-demand video, and other online features.The upcoming IPTV features expand on the Xbox 360's already formidable multimedia features, like iXbox Live downloads, HD-DVD support with an optional drive, and compatibility with Windows XP Media Center media streaming.
The Xbox 360-IPTV connection was announced at Bill Gates' CES keynote address on Monday, and details remain sparse. Beyond the mention that IPTV features will become available to the … Read more
In a major announcement at CES this year, DirecTV said it would expand its national HD channel offering to 100 channels by the end of the year, far surpassing the HD channel offerings of satellite rival Dish Network and of cable providers. The "100" number sounds suspiciously round to me, but the company's press release mentions it has "signed agreements, or agreements in principle, with more than 70 major networks including: A&E, National Geographic, Bravo, NFL Network, Cartoon Network, SciFi Channel, CNN, Speed, Food Network, TBS, FX, the History Channel, HGTV, the Weather Channel, … Read more
To date, the SlingPlayer viewing software has let owners of the Slingbox watch their home TV on a Windows PC, a Mac, or a Windows Mobile device anywhere in the world they have a broadband connection available. Symbian smartphone software is already available in Europe, and Palm software has just been announced. Those software players will soon be joined by a hardware option in the form of the recently announced SlingCatcher, due to hit stores in mid-2007 for under $200.
A handful of all-in-one home-theater projectors have hit the market over the last 18 months, and InFocus jumps into this interesting category with the InFocus Play Big IN1, an inexpensive DLP projector with an integrated DVD player and speaker to output sound. While the info on the unit is a little vague, InFocus says that they are also looking into having an iPod dock for playing back iPod videos, to go along with the DVD player "dock" that attaches to the bottom of the projector.
Here are the details so far:
Price: $499 (subject to change)
Availability: Spring … Read more