The release of Apple TV is imminent--the first hands-on review has appeared, pre-orders have already begun shipping, and it should be popping up in Apple Stores by the end of the week. It's fair to say that Apple's first living room entertainment device is going to cause some major waves in the industry. At the same time, though, it's neither the first nor only product of its kind. Plenty of others--known as digital media adapters or network media devices--are capable of streaming digital media from networked PCs. And iTunes isn't the only show in town when it comes to digitally delivering premium movies and TV shows. So, as the Apple TV rocket leaves the launchpad, we thought it only fair to present a look at the alternatives.… Read more
Gadget godfather Walt Mossberg is first out of the gate with a review of the Apple TV, and he likes what he sees. It seems that Apple's first A/V product designed for the living room worked exactly as advertised. Over 10 days of testing, Mossberg (and colleague Katie Boehret) was able to stream the iTunes-based music, video, and photos from six computers--three Windows PCs and three Macs--without a hitch. Even more impressive was the fact that the video streaming was stutter-free, even though he was testing with an older 802.11g wireless router rather than the state-of-the-art 802.… Read more
To: Fox Home Entertainment From: Caroline McCarthy, Crave Re: What's with the Blu-rays?
Fox, you have been all too generous. I'm not a movie critic. I'm not a DVD reviewer. I'm not even employed as a reviewer here at CNET. But it's always a pleasant surprise when a package arrives from you guys every few weeks and there's a complimentary Blu-ray Disc inside. Today, it was an especially nice surprise when Eragon showed up in my mailbox. (I'm a "so bad it's good" fan.)
But here's my dilemma. I … Read more
... at least for the next six weeks. By then, the Xbox 360 "version 2" may finally be available. It seems that Game Informer magazine is reporting in its April issue that an upgraded 360 will soon be hitting store shelves, with at least some of the long-rumored goodies: 120GB hard drive (six times the current model's capacity), HDMI output, and a sweet black paint job. Kotaku (where we snagged the Game Informer page scan shown here) has confirmed with the magazine's editor that the story is legit, not an April Fool's joke. And Engadget followed … Read more
At long last, it looks like Apple TV is available for purchase. The Apple Web site on Tuesday morning listed the set-top box as available for shipment in three to five business days.
Calls to New York- and San Francisco-area Apple stores confirmed that the box, which is meant to deliver content between a TV and a PC, is so far only available online. A San Francisco Apple store employee said they expect to have Apple TV "any day now."
Ah, the art of blogging. Today, AOL's Engadget reported that according to some alleged retail insiders who frequent the AVS Forum message boards, the much-rumored price drop on HD DVD players is about to become a reality. According to said blogger, on April 1 the HD-A2 will be repriced at $399 MSRP (down from $499) and the $799 HD-XA2 will also shed $100. That all may be true, but the fact is a quick check over at Amazon would reveal that the price cuts are already in effect. The HD-A2 is $356.99 and the HD-XA2 is sitting at … Read more
You've heard of home theater in a box. Now try home theater in a pool.
Apparently, these Wisconsin home owners weren't big swimmers--or perhaps even anti-exercise--and decided to drain their indoor pool and convert it into something more couch-potato friendly. The folks over at Electronic House magazine put the little showcase together, and it has to be one of the more unique looking theaters we've seen. Personally, instead of the expensive leather couch, I'd have gone for putting three of four giant beanbags at the deep end, so you could literally dive into your seat.
P.… Read more
The Blu-ray Disc Association in Europe is making some big claims.
"Within three years it will just be Blu-ray," Frank Simonis, the group's European chairman, said Thursday at the CeBit tech show in Hannover, Germany.
While it's impossible to know how the next-gen DVD battle will turn out--we don't all have access to Simonis' crystal ball--Blu-ray does have a bit of a head start over rival format HD DVD with Sony's PlayStation 3.
That's because there's a Blu-ray player in every PS3, 1.84 million of which were sold in Japan and … Read more
Chocolate lovers are everywhere, and LG knows it. So the company is taking its popular phone brand and milking it (sorry) for home entertainment products as well on the U.K. market.
The "J10HD Chocolate" is a home theater system with an 80GB hard drive and surround-sound speakers that can play DVDs, CDs and MPEG4 videos, as well as MP3 files. The only feature it shares with its handset cousin is a touchpad similar to one on the Chocolate phone, according to Coolest-Gadgets, but that's not the point. It's more about marketing than any technological ties.… Read more
It's been so long we almost forgot about it, but Verizon Wireless finally delivered on its year-old promise to bring TiVo services to cell phones. As a refresher, TiVo Mobile will allow Verizon customers to schedule recordings on their Series2 and Series3 DVRs from their phones. That's pretty neat by itself but Verizon also is pushing a selection of "premium content" that will come with a TiVo Mobile subscription. Included will be a customizable channel lineup, the most popular and most recorded shows, and a current list of TiVo recommendations. The service is available for a … Read more