Q: I've finally decided to buy a HDTV, and I was just wondering what your input on DLNA was. Do you know of any good models out there that support this feature (that also allow access to several media servers)? Or should I wait until DLNA becomes more standard in HDTVs? -- Chris, via e-mail.
A: Hi Chris. We've covered in detail what exactly the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) is all about before, and reviewed several models (as mentioned below) that support the specification. As for access to several media servers--most DLNA-certified clients (including all the certified HDTVs we reviewed this year) support several media servers at once. You will have to switch between them of course, but it's never been a issue with performance in our experience. The short answer to your other question, however, is DLNA is still in its infancy for being adopted by TV manufacturers. 2008 has been the year where it was introduced and perhaps 2009 will be the year that its more commonplace in HDTVs. As of now, you can expect to pay a hefty premium for the technology, as much as $500 above the average price of a HDTV. Then you have to consider the television's interoperability issues.… Read more
Vudu, Amazon's Video on Demand, and Netflix's instant-streaming service--what do they all have in common? They're Internet-based video-streaming services, and they also charge a fee. But, what if you already own an extensive DVD or Blu-ray collection and don't want to "rebuy" them, but want the benefits of streaming, i.e. accessibility, potentially better picture quality, and physical ownership of your movie collection? In this post we'll compare those pay services versus a do-it-yourself streaming media solution.… Read more
At CNET we've reviewed and covered a number of products designated "DLNA-certified," from game consoles to HDTVs, and in our experience the standard's idealistic vision, "to be able to easily and conveniently enjoy this content using any electronic device, and from any location in their home, and beyond," according to the DLNA's FAQ, sometime fails to come to fruition.
This failure can be blamed on numerous factors, including competing standards, Digital Rights Management issues, or manufacturers not entirely following the DLNA standard or eschewing it for their own. Confusion over what DLNA means can put buyers of media devices in a precarious situation: will my DLNA-certified Nokia N95 digital camera connect to my DLNA-certified Sony KDL-46Z4100 HDTV so I can share my photos of my trip to Maui for my family to view? In this blog I'll unravel some of the mysteries around DLNA and try to make sense of what it actually means.
For years it's been possible to pull in standard and high definition programming onto your computer using a Slingbox or a TV tuner such as ATI's All-in-Wonder PCI cards. But these solutions have their limitations (for example, a Slingbox cannot display a high-definition picture) and let's face it, nobody wants to sit uncomfortably in front of their 19-inch monitor to watch their favorite TV program. Now with TV manufacturers integrating Web-based content into their sets, the possibility has become more mainstream.
The promise of the DirecTV's HDPC-20 might further change that perception--if it's released. The … Read more
We recently tested the network media capabilities of Sony's KDL-46Z4100 flat-panel LCD, and frankly there's not much to look at save for a slide show of colorful photography. Unlike other media-rich televisions we've covered in the past, such as the Pioneer's PDP-5020FD and the Samsung LN46A750, the Sony only supports the streaming of JPEG photos, not music or video, over an Ethernet connection.… Read more
Pioneer has followed the current trend of TV media streaming, introducing an Ethernet jack on the back of its latest line of Kuro televisions, the PDP-6020FD and PDP-5020FD; the latter of which we gave high marks. The set is one of a few HDTVs on the market that are certified as DLNA clients, delivering an interoperability framework that promises to allow you to painlessly stream movies, music, and photos over your home network to your attached television, using Windows Media Player 11, TVersity, or some other media streaming software. If you're not interested in using your computer as a media-hub, it might be worthwhile to check out some of these products, which offer similar streaming functionality without the clunky PC tower.… Read more
Anytime the format war between HD DVD and Blu-ray is discussed on the Internet, there's always a commenter that chimes in to say that digital downloads are going to beat them both. While we've seen some successful products using the digital distribution model, such as Vudu, we've always been skeptical about true high-def digital distribution taking off in the near future, mostly because high-bandwidth Internet access just isn't cheap enough.
Instead of waiting for cheap, super-fast internet connections, XStreamHD is looking to an older technology to provide the extra bandwidth--a satellite dish. The XStreamHD system consists … Read more
Wi-Fi? Pffft. Sony's late to the wireless photography party, but it bypasses the hot spot in favor of the connected home. Its Cyber-shot DSC-G1 integrates DLNA--Digital Living Network Alliance--wireless connectivity, a superset of Wi-Fi that adds interdevice recognition. So far, though, there aren't many DLNA-enabled devices.
Besides, with its 921,000-pixel, 3.5-inch LCD screen, the G1 is practically a TV (in contrast, the usual camera LCD has about 220,000 pixels). Two gigabytes of internal memory make it possible to carry your whole photo library around with you for display on that huge LCD.
The G1 … Read more