Even by Oppo's high standards the BDP-105 is an extraordinary Blu-ray player. Sure, it's loaded with up-to-the-second features -- 4K upscaling, 2D-to-3D conversion, and a high-quality USB 2.0 digital-to-analog converter -- but what really makes the Oppo special is the sound. Pop the cover and look inside and you'll see why. Most of the 17-pound component's chassis space is devoted to the audio circuitry. That's nice, but the audio advantages will be completely irrelevant if you connect the BDP-105 to your receiver with a HDMI cable (the digital-to-analog conversion would then be handled in … Read more
Apologies for being a little tardy on updating our long-running list of must-have Blu-ray movies, but here it is, refreshed for 2013. This month's updates entries include "Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection," "The Avengers," "Finding Nemo," "Jaws," "Lawrence of Arabia," and "Titanic."
Though my face is at the top of the column, the list was compiled with input from editors John Falcone, Matthew Moskovciak, and David Katzmaier, who look at a lot of video content in their day-to-day testing of products. We also keep an eye on AVS Forum's Blu-ray picture-quality and audio-quality threads, and have always appreciated the site's tiered rating system.
This list is not set in stone, and we'll be adding and removing discs as new ones come out. As always, feel free to make comments and suggest your own personal favorites. They may get added to the list in the future. … Read more
We're always a little skeptical of media players that promise to deliver free, high-quality content. They often end up being too good to be true, annoying us with poor performance, obscure content, or restrictions on the good stuff. We were pleasantly surprised by CherryPlayer. This easy-to-use program gives users access to a huge selection of streaming music, and it has a built-in YouTube downloader as well. CherryPlayer is a great choice for listening to today's popular songs, exploring new music, and revisiting old favorites.
CherryPlayer's interface is straightforward and doesn't require much in the way of … Read more
Total Video Player is a free media player that can play most of the video and audio files most people need to be able to play, as well as CDs and DVDs. It's compact and doesn't require extra codecs, though if there's a type of file you need to play and TVP doesn't play it, you're better off with one of the open source players that can play any file type. What TVP has to offer over those others is simplicity: It's easy to set up and use, though it's not stripped-down or … Read more
Though the default media player in Android gets better with every update, it's still not great. You want something more customizable that offers more format support, and, of course, a useful home screen widget wouldn't hurt, either. Media Player for Android is missing all of those features.
Media Player for Android can barely even load without crashing. When it is working, it doesn't give you nearly the amount of file support that it promises. Though Media Player for Android advertises MP4 and M4V file support, it fails to play these files consistently. These days, even the default … Read more
Elmedia Player for Mac is a media playback app that supports many popular media file formats. With a free download for the basic package, there's a $20 upgrade to the Pro version. Elmedia Player for Mac installs cleanly.
Elmedia Player for Mac supports all the popular video formats, including FLV, SWF, RM, AVI, MOV, MP4, and others. With full support for Flash, Elmedia Player for Mac lets you watch videos that you normally can't without a Web browser plug-in. As part of the package, Elmedia Player for Mac adds content management (allowing you to catalog and sort your … Read more
Google's Eric Schmidt is a very busy man.
But he still found the time to interview fellow political philosopher Stephen Colbert, when the latter appeared at Google this week.
You might imagine that Colbert would be au fait with all of Google's services before presenting himself before an audience of Googlies.
But, no.… Read more
It's been months since Roku announced that the Amazon Cloud Player was "coming soon," but today the company finally made good on that promise.
Amazon's cloud music service is now available on Roku and Samsung Smart TVs, offering the ability to stream your own digital music tracks without needing to keep a separate computer running. For Roku, it's a solid response to Apple's iTunes Match service, which offers cloud storage and streaming for $25 per year.
While Amazon Cloud Player started off as a largely free service, it now requires a similar fee as … Read more
iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches get all the attention, but let us not forget the humble iPod Shuffle, the tiny clip-on MP3 player that's hard to beat for hiking, biking, running, and the gym.
Apple sells the Shuffle for $49, but for a limited time, Walmart has the fourth-generation iPod Shuffle 2GB and accessory kit for $39, plus sales tax where applicable. Shipping adds about $3, but you can avoid that charge by choosing store pickup or padding your cart to at least $45.
I should note that three of the seven available color choices are already out of … Read more