If you read my "What is refresh rate?" post, you'll know that plasma TV manufacturers (Panasonic, Samsung, and LG) make a point in claiming a "600Hz" refresh rate on their TVs. As we discussed in that article, it's not exactly comparable to LCD's 120 and 240Hz refresh.
So what is 600Hz, and how does it work?… Read more
Sonos has announced support for music service Murfie, which is a site that enables users to store their physical CD collection offsite and stream or sell the CDs through the cloud.
Users can stream their ripped CDs or, for a dollar, download them in a number of formats including FLAC. Until today, the only way a Murfie user could stream a collection was via a Web browser, but the dedicated Murfie plug-in means you can use your Sonos controller wirelessly around the house.
Murfie works by enabling users to mail their CDs in and rip them and have them stored … Read more
Like many consumers of online video, Timbo Drayson wanted badly to bring his favorite viral clips from his smartphone to the big screen. But doing so hasn't always been easy, particularly for Google TV owners like himself.
"I love it when the video is playing," Drayson said. "But actually trying to navigate with these remotes is a nightmare."
Fortunately, as a product manager for YouTube, Drayson is in a position to do something about it. Recently, Drayson has been working in Google's London office on a new feature for YouTube designed to make streaming … Read more
The list below only considers picture quality and ignores value. It represents the best TVs regardless of cost, and incidentally, regardless of design and features, that we've reviewed this year. I already listed the best TV series for picture quality, but the list below goes through the field at key size points, too.
TV makers are reluctant to put the best quality into their smallest, cheapest TVs, but the field really opens up once you hit 46 inches or so. I also threw in a runner-up -- the second-best-performing TV available in each size range -- for people who don't like door No. 1.
I omitted TVs larger than 65 inches this time because the 70-inch-plus 2012 models we have reviewed aren't quite worthy. If you're unsatisfied with 65 inches, however, the 70-inch Sharp Elite is my price-no-object, mammoth-screen pick.
If there's one thing music lovers enjoy, it's discovering new favorite artists, and there are now a wealth of online services that offer this. I was first exposed to digital music subscriptions in 1999 when They Might Be Giants released "Long Tall Weekend" via eMusic. It was one of the first Internet-only releases, and while listening to those files now shows the limitations of MP3 at the time, eMusic rebooted a concept that had fallen into disaffection: the "record club."
The first major record club began in 1955 by Columbia Records and was a way to sell music directly to the customer often with a "record of the month" suggestion. While the service and the others like it have faded from popularity, digital music sellers are now trying something similar.… Read more
Boxee has released some additional promotional details for early adopters of Boxee TV. If you purchase a Boxee TV during the holiday season, you'll get three months of free month of "No Limits DVR" service, plus you'll get a reduced $10 monthly fee for the lifetime of your subscription.
Early adopters will also get three months of free Netflix, for both new and current subscribers; if you're a current subscriber, three … Read more
The official length of last week's thrilling Giants-Cowboys game was 3 hours and 25 minutes, although by my calculations there was only an hour of football worth watching.
That's not commentary on the quality of the game, but rather the endless stream of commercials, "analysis," and challenges that end up taking twice as long the actual football action. For DVR users accustomed to zipping past every commercial, watching a live NFL game can be an unbearable slog, even if the game itself is great. That's why I gave up watching NFL in real time years … Read more
The Walt Disney Co. has announced plans to make "Star Wars VII" for release in 2015, but it has yet to announce who the director will be.
Meanwhile, George Lucas will stay on as a creative consultant at Lucasfilm and the now-Disney-owned company will now be run by mega-producer Kathleen Kennedy.
But are you looking forward to a new movie? The second trilogy wasn't well-received by critics -- or long-term fans -- both of whom complained that Lucas had lost touch with his audience, with creations like Jar Jar Binks as exhibit A.… Read more
The Consumer Electronics Association has decided on a name for 4K resolution: Ultra HD. I guess this leaves room for future resolution increases, with names like Uber Ultra HD (UUHD), Super Ultra Definition (SUD), and, of course, Fantastic Ultra Brilliant Amazing Resolution (FUBAR).
But 4K is still largely just an increase in resolution, which is only one aspect of picture quality, and not the most important.
Here are three things more important than an increase in resolution.… Read more
Streaming video may be the epitome of instant gratification, but that's only after you actually find the content you're looking for. You may know you want to watch "True Grit," but it's not easy to remember whether it's available on Netflix, Amazon Instant, or any of the other countless services available.
That's exactly the problem the newly announced Roku Search is designed to fix.
The feature upgrade will allow owners of Roku boxes to search for TV and movies available on Netflix, Amazon Instant, Vudu, Hulu Plus, Crackle, and HBO Go via one simple interface. The Roku Search channel will be rolling out to supported players (Roku LT, Roku HD and Roku 2 boxes) over the week and sits right next to the settings menu on Roku's home screen.… Read more