A few weeks ago, TiVo announced that the subscription music service Rhapsody is now available on Series2, Series3, and TiVo HD boxes. As a Rhapsody subscriber and owner of a TiVo Series2 box, this was pretty exciting. For me, being able to browse Rhapsody's entire music library (million of tracks) from my living room is, in many ways, more exciting than being able to access purchased songs from iTunes, which is one of the main features of the much-hyped Apple TV. (Sonos already offers full Rhapsody access, but it's much more expensive.) I've lived with Rhapsody on … Read more
The Olympus Stylus 790 SW is one of those devices that may not provide the best image quality and is lacking in overall functionality, but does something other products do not. And just what does the 790 SW do that many other digital cameras of this ilk do not? It takes a beating (and drenching) and continues to snap images and record video.
While many may find this shockproof, waterproof, freezeproof, and sand/dustproof device to be exactly what they're looking for when they scuba dive or spend time in the outdoors, the picture quality and price preclude me from being able to recommend the 790 SW to everyone else.… Read more
When Altec Lansing asked if I would take a look at its new desktop speaker replacement, I was interested in the possibilities. According to the company, the SoundBar was designed to fit onto a desk with little room left without sacrificing high-quality audio. Unfortunately, the SoundBar only delivers on the first goal.… Read more
Generally speaking, my love for satellite radio is nonexistent. Sorry to say, I just don't see a reason to spend that kind of money ($12 per month) to listen to a host of shows that can usually be heard on the radio and music that copies what we hear on local radio for free. Now for some, the prospect of missing Howard Stern may be too much to handle, so they go out and pay for Sirius. But XM doesn't have a show like that and more often than not, you'll find yourself working your way through dreck just to get to MLB or other exclusive offerings.
But alas, this hands-on isn't about XM programming as much as it's about the XpressRC. And for all of the faults I find in XM programming, they can't compare to just how nice the XpressRC is.… Read more
Hey everyone. For those of you who were looking for my Friday hands-on with the XM Xpress RC, I apologize. Unfortunately, I took an impromptu vacation over the weekend and just got back. I fully expect my hands-on with the new XM player to be up today or tomorrow at the latest.
While I'm discussing Hands-on Friday, I want to ask you if you'd like to see a video hands-on in tandem with my current hands-on of products. I'm currently exploring the opportunity of doing some video with products and if that's something you'd like … Read more
Most of the time here on The Digital Home, I talk about products that may seem more consumer-focused than a NAS soluion. And while this D-Link SATA RAID Gigabit NAS may seem like a more business-use device, think again. For a nicely affordable price and fantastic performance, the DNS-323 is a great addition to any home.
The DNS-323 is small enough to fit on a bookshelf and its black coloring helps it easily become part of any home setup. The front faceplate on the device comes off and reveals two drive bays that allow you to insert any SATA … Read more
When I use my computer, I typically find myself listening to music and podcasts, or maybe even watch some videos. And while my six-year old Altec Lansing speakers do a pretty nice job of reproducing sound, the Logitech G51 Surround Sound Speaker System does it far better than any other computer surround sound system I've used.
The Logitech G51 Surround Sound Speaker System is well-equipped and quite attractive. It comes with four speakers (FL, FR, RL, RR), a center channel, subwoofer and a control pod that does your bidding. The subwoofer is cased in a nice black plastic, while the speakers are small, yet adequately sized to fit any space. Even better, the G51 came with extra designs that you can cut out and apply to the side of the speakers for additional customization. If you'd rather to do it yourself, you can also surf over to this page to download software and artwork. If that still doesn't work, you can always design your own and insert it into the "patent-pending mod system" on each satellite speaker. Sure, it's not the greatest of add-ons, but it does add some personal flair to an otherwise run-of-the-mill design.… Read more
The Samsung HT-TX75 is a well-rounded home theater solution that doesn't break the mold, by any means, but is a well-equipped device that is worth the $499 (and sometimes lower) price tag.
Before I tell you about what I liked and what I didn't, I want to point you to the following CNET Review performed by the ever-capable John Falcone. Although he reviewed the Samsung HT-X70, the head unit is roughly identical to the HT-TX75, but the speakers and a few other specs are different. For this reason, I will not be rehashing the in-depth coverage of those features that are the same as the HT-X70. In case you're wondering, the HT-X70 was given a 7.1 out of 10 by Falcone.
The first thing that will strike you with the HT-TX75 is the device's stylish head unit. With a sleek black finish and a host of options including a hidden USB port for easy connectivity of an iPod or other USB-capable device, XM capability, wireless speaker capability and support for DivX, the HT-TX75 will immediately strike you as a capable product.
One of my favorite features of this home theater in a box is its five-disc CD/DVD changer. Not only did I appreciate just one trip to the system, but the remote's disc skip button basically allowed me to be lazy and sit in my chair when we were ready to watch the next movie. That said, there is no easy way to know which film is next and I sometimes found myself waiting for each movie to load before I could decide if that was the intended disc.Another great feature of the device, as John pointed out in his review of the X70, is the HDMI upscaling to 720p/1080i. Usually, I'm not a fan of upscaling DVDs to 720p or 1080i because if it's not done well, the picture looks worse than if it was a simple 480p image. With that in mind, I was quite impressed with the TX75's upscaling abilities.
And while I tend to get sucked in by a good remote more than anything, the Samsung remote leaves a bit to be desired. And although my hand size is above average, the remote is still too long for anyone to hit a button on the bottom and the top without sliding it back and forth in their hand. Besides that, the buttons are in awkward positions and the range of button sizes didn't help in any way. All in all, the remote is pretty bad.… Read more
As a Mac Mini and MacBook owner, I think it's safe to say that I know my way around the Mac. My MacBook comes with me wherever I go and as for my Mac Mini? Well, the Mac Mini was an impulse buy that was designed to make my life a little more comfortable. Along with the purchase of the lowest-end Intel Core Duo Mini, I purchased a wireless keyboard and wireless mighty mouse for distant computing. Once home, I hooked it up to the HDTV in my bedroom and it has sat there ever since. Why in my … Read more
As a guy who prefers silence over noise and high-quality music playback over garbage, I'm an ideal candidate for noise-canceling headphones. And while I know these headphones have been out for a while and most of the people who already own them are the only people who care about noise-canceling headphones, I couldn't resist taking a look at the Bose QuietComfort 3 noise-canceling headphones.
The Bose QuietComfort series of noise-canceling headphones were originally designed as a way to block out annoying noises. If you're a frequent flyer and you can't stand the sound of the roaring … Read more