Just about every home audio manufacturer is getting into the sound bar business, and Bose is no exception. Bose has released two sound bar home theater systems, the Lifestyle 135 and CineMate 1 SR, each sporting a wireless subwoofer and programmable universal remote. They're the first sound bars ever released by Bose, and prices are entirely Bose-like: $2,500 for the Lifestyle 135 and $1,500 for the CineMate 1 SR.… Read more
If you haven't ripped your CD collection yet, you either have a runaway case of procrastination or you're just not that into technology. That's what makes LG's CD-ripping Blu-ray player, the BD690, a bit of a strange hybrid. The type of tech-oriented people who will appreciate the BD690's solid Blu-ray playback and excellent suite of streaming-media services probably ripped their CD collections years ago and are in no rush to revisit that tedious process. They're also better off going with the similarly priced Sony PlayStation 3 Slim ($250), which gets you HD gaming, streaming video, Blu-ray playback, and CD ripping.… Read more
Big-name iPhone/iPod speaker manufacturers like Bose and Logitech have recently rolled out new products designed to wirelessly stream music from your iOS devices using...Bluetooth. Wait, wasn't AirPlay supposed to take over in this space, promising better compatibility, range, and sound quality? It was, but as good as AirPlay is, it's not a great choice for iPod speakers this year, especially with the Bluetooth alternative. Here's why.
Bluetooth works nearly identically to AirPlay on iOS devices When we reviewed LG's LSB316 sound bar with built-in Bluetooth, we were surprised at how easily the Bluetooth feature worked with our iPhone 4. It felt exactly like AirPlay, offering the same compatibility between apps, and it even uses the AirPlay icon. If nobody told you it was Bluetooth, you probably wouldn't even realize you weren't using AirPlay.
AirPlay products are prohibitively expensive so far If you really want AirPlay, you can plunk down $600 for the B&W Zeppelin Air Speaker, but that's about four times more than most people want to spend on an iPhone speaker. JBL's On Air Wireless costs $350. Even iHome, known for its budget iPod speakers, is charging $300 for its AirPlay-equipped iW1.… Read more
Come one, come all, to the greatest collection of knowledge ever assembled by human kind! Is it Wikipedia? No! Is it a digitization of the ancient Library of Alexandria? No! (And what's a library?)
Updated June 2012
Instead, it's an epic one-stop repository of home theater and HDTV info. Here you'll find the best and most helpful AV-centric articles written by me and others, both here on CNET and elsewhere on the Web.
They're categorized by topic and updated constantly, so check back regularly. Bookmark for fun and profit! Read every one and become an expert in all things audio/video! Better yet, once you're an expert, you don't have to answer your in-laws' questions; just send them this guide in a passive-aggressive fit of brilliance.
So without further babbling (and pompous hyperbolic dabbling)...
Each year around this time I do a roundup of the most-anticipated products of the coming year. Last year I had 18; this year I'm going with 12.
Since many companies like to keep future new releases under tight wraps so they don't short-circuit sales of their current products, we can't predict what all the new hot gadgets will be. But we did see a fair amount of intriguing stuff at this year's CES in Vegas, and we know that plenty of sequels to today's popular products are on the way--whether the company wants you … Read more
Whether it's someone looking to "cut the cord" and save money, or just a way to expand your on-demand video options, online streaming video is more popular than ever. But with so many options now available, what's the best solution -- be it for Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO Go, Vudu, Amazon, iTunes, or any of the myriad other online video sources?
As with anything in real life, there isn't one simple, straightforward answer that works for everyone. But we've created a set of different recommendations that should work for nearly anybody, based upon your individual priorities.
The best news for anyone shopping in 2013? Prices for excellent media-streaming devices now start at just $50, with plenty of other great options at less than $100.… Read more
First, an admission. We ran this same story last year with many of the same picks. At the time, several readers said we were not only wrong for running it, but were downright ignorant.
As elbrado67 so eloquently put it:
We still have another year left in the decade, I would expect more from a "tech" site to be scientifically correct. You start counting with "1," not "0." Despite popular belief on the news and everywhere else, the new "Millennium" started in 2001, not 2000. Please stop dumbing everything down.
Many others … Read more
We've put together a few roundups of top Blu-ray discs, but for some reason, trying to do a list of the best concert Blu-ray discs was more challenging. Part of the problem is that music--and musical tastes--are such personal things that it's hard to declare something the "best" or "top" when it's more than likely that a lot of people will think the pick is bad because they simply don't like the artist or band.
That's totally understandable, so I apologize in advance if some of these picks don't appeal … Read more
Recently, with the help of some of the editors here at CNET, I put together list of the biggest tech flops of the decade. Since I'm not a negative guy at heart, it was only a matter of time before I came up with a more positive spin on the whole tech-products-of-the-decade concept that's all the rage as we approach the end of '09.
Once again, I've enlisted the help of my fellow editors, so while my name may appear at the top of this list, it's really a collective effort. That said, you can blame … Read more
Just came across this hot little number on Amazon: a set of Harman Kardon PC speakers made out of glass. They don't appear to be available quite yet, but Amazon is taking pre-orders at $999.99.
Harman's made other clear speakers in the past, including the well-received SoundSticks II system, but these are the first to use glass--and the GLA-55s really make a statement. From some angles they have a gem-like quality, from others--namely in profile--they look almost alien in nature.
While these speakers are obviously about design, Harman's also touting the GLA-55s' "impeccable" sound … Read more