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
April 15 may be known as Tax Day, but the HD DVD backers over at AVS forum are calling it something else: Buy HD DVDs from Amazon Day!
As one forum member put it: "The idea is to show support for HD DVD by buying movies on a specific day. There is no better way to show support for HD DVD than by backing it financially. That is the language the movie studios understand best. If there is a strong demand for HD DVD software, then hopefully Blu-ray-only studios will at least go neutral."
So far about a … Read more
Say what you will about PS3 sales, but it seems clear that the game console is having an impact on the next-gen DVD war. This week the Blu-ray version of Casino Royale broke into the Amazon top 10 for DVD sales and four other Blu-ray titles sit in the top 100. On the other hand, the top title on HD DVD, Happy Feet, is currently ranked at No. 117.
The Brits are using a simulated combat environment developed by the University of Southern California, to treat soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
By bringing to life a "virtual Iraq," complete with the realistic thumps and bumps of battle, the program allows troops to "relive and confront psychological trauma." All this takes place in a graduated manner so as not to re-traumatize, according to the University of Reading's Visualisation Centre.
The Iraq simulation experience is "fully immersive," meaning that patients wear VR goggles that transport them to the virtual battlefield. There, an attending … Read more
Amazon Unbox on TiVo launched yesterday, which means TiVo subscribers will be able to download selected Amazon Unbox videos straight to their TiVo box. We were pretty excited about the announcement, because at first glance Amazon Unbox on TiVo looks to be a possible replacement for a DVD renting service like Netflix, or Pay-Per-View services available on cable or satellite. The service works on any broadband connected Series2 or Series3 TiVo, and we took it for a spin on our Series2 TiVo.
We had absolutely no trouble linking our TiVo with our Amazon account, and we were selecting movies in just a couple of clicks. The interface to select movies will be familiar to anyone who has used Amazon, which is to say it's pretty painless. The only knock we had is that Amazon doesn't seem 100-percent ready for TiVo fans, as the method of filtering TiVo-transferable files from other Amazon Unbox files is just using the search term "tivo" in the Unbox section. A separate section of Amazon Unbox would be preferable.
We found the initial selection to be a little meager. Not all Amazon Unbox videos are available to be transferred to TiVos, presumably because of the need to convert the files to a TiVo-friendly format. As of press time, 1,433 videos were labeled "TiVo", which is a combination of TV shows and movies. Sure, that's a lot of videos for any one person to watch, but it's not much of a library. However, Amazon claims it will be adding new titles every week, so you can expect this library to grow. In terms of cost, most movies we saw were $15 to buy and $4 to rent, while TV shows were $2 to buy.… Read more
The SciFi network has a little gift for Battlestar Galactica fans. It's posted downloadable audio and video clips from the show and is running a contest for the best 4-minute, fan-made, BSG knockoff video. Amateur BSG directors are encouraged to mash up the SciFi clips with their own footage. Hopefully, hilarity will ensue.
SciFi isn't providing any online video-editing option (maybe a deal with Adobe, for Remix, or with Yahoo, for JumpCut, would have been a good idea). But there's an upside to that: the BSG files are free and clear to download, not locked into a … Read more