Philips' line of Streamium products was one of the pioneers in the network audio realm, but it never really clicked with consumers (at least in the U.S.), even as competitors like Sonos and Logitech's Squeezebox began carving out their own niches. But Philips is hardly throwing in the towel: the company has unveiled two new models, the Streamium NP2500 and the Streamium NP2900.
Both models offer the same basic features of the earlier Streamium NP1100: streaming non-DRM audio files from networked Windows and Mac PCs, as well as the ability to stream Rhapsody content (subscription required) and thousands … Read more
While last year's CES didn't offer much in terms of gaming, it would appear that CES 2009 has a lot more in store. This is partially thanks to the Nintendo Wii, which has not only solidified itself as the best-selling console of this generation, but because the system lends itself so well to third-party accessories. We expect to see plenty of new products announced exclusively for the Wii from companies like Mad Catz and Nyko.
If you're open to browsing thousands of Internet radio stations from around the world, you've come to the right place. Tuner Internet Radio for iPhone has a great (but not flashy) interface for browsing stations by musical genre or popularity, and for searching a station by name. Apart from bookmarking favorite stations and glancing at the bit rate next to the station name, there's not much else you can do except sit back and enjoy the beats (and perhaps the visualizer); that's with or without headphones, as long as you jack up the sound to enjoy … Read more
Some movies previously available for streaming on iTunes and Netflix are disappearing from those sites' libraries. Reporter Greg Sandoval drops by the podcast studio to explain why (hint: it's about money) and whether we can expect it to change anytime soon.
Also in this podcast: We knew layoffs were coming to Yahoo, and today, they finally happened; Mac clone maker Psystar uses a new argument in its legal fight against Apple; AOL makes it easy to track your friends' social-network movements; and how Web users in England got their Wikipedia back.Listen now: Download today's podcast
Today's … Read more
Social-bookmarking site Delicious announced Tuesday that it has launched a mobile site to allow users to view saved pages while on the go. Delicious Mobile allows users to browse saved bookmarks, view their in-box, and browse recent bookmarks and tags from the Delicious community. The company says it will integrate its social search engine into the mobile site next.
Analysts from market research firm Gartner said Wednesday that organizations need to understand how social networks are "altering the recruitment landscape and adapt recruiting strategies and systems accordingly." Gartner analysts went on to say that by 2011, organizations that … Read more
Web video-rental store Netflix has laid off 50 technical specialists, the people who typically do most of the trouble-shooting for customers with tech issues, such as struggling to connect the service to their laptop or set-top boxes.
Steve Swasey, a Netflix spokesman, said 15 of the company's 65 technical specialists will join the 300-person Customer Service group. According to Swasey, Netflix also plans to add 50 more people to its customer service unit sometime after the New Year.
Swasey said there just wasn't as much need to keep so many tech specialists. He credited Microsoft's Silverlight with … Read more
At the end of October, TiVo and Netflix announced that Netflix's streaming service would be coming to TiVo DVRs by the end of 2008. The companies have made good on their promise, and the service is rolling out to TiVo HD, HD XL, and Series3 boxes today. TiVo turned on the service for us over the weekend, and we've had the chance to give it a full workout. The short story: this is an awesome added feature for TiVo HD owners.
The interface is significantly different than what we've seen on the Netflix Player by Roku. Rather than offering up large box shots to scroll through, the TiVo's interface instead lists the names in text, with smaller box shots showing up on the right side. We preferred the TiVo's interface, as it allows us to see more titles at once, which is convenient if you have a large queue. On the other hand, we felt the TiVo interface was less responsive, which is a problem that affects almost all of the extra services on TiVo.
While the interface is an improvement over the Netflix Player, we still saw plenty of room for improvement. Now that Netflix has added a lot of content to the Instant Streaming service, our instant queue is getting pretty full. The current interface simply lists titles in the same order as your Instant Queue, which, if you're anything like us, is kind of haphazard. While the queue system makes sense for the traditional Netflix mailing service, we'd rather have more categorization options--such as by genre and star rating--for online streaming. We were also disappointed that there was no way to tell from the TiVo screen which movies were available in "HD" quality.
Like on the Netflix Player, video quality is determined by the speed of your connection. While the Netflix Player uses a "four dot" graphic to indicate video quality, the TiVo HD has a more granular meter, with about 14 bars. We generally got all 14 bars filled up, using a wired Ethernet connection and a standard cable modem.
Although the term "near-DVD" is often abused with video-streaming services, it accurately describes the video quality offered by Netflix streaming on TiVo. We fired up a bunch of movies and we were never disappointed by how they looked. Pan's Labrynth was available in "HD" and in most cases it looked as good as a well-mastered DVD--occasionally we could see some blockiness to the image or the background would be soft, but nothing to take us out of the movie-watching experience. Next up was Ratatouille, which wasn't available in HD. This looked slightly softer than DVD-quality (and much softer than the excellent Blu-ray), but not by much. Only the pickiest videophiles would turn up their noses at the image quality. In short, there's room for improvement, but it's darn good already. (You can read more about the technical details behind Netflix's streaming service here.)… Read more
Some owners of Microsoft's Xbox 360 who have signed up to receive movies via Netflix's streaming movie service have seen the same loss of video quality as owners of Roku's Netflix Player.
A mysterious glitch has been hobbling video streams distributed by the two set-top boxes for at least two weeks, said a source close to Netflix on Thursday. The problem is the first setback for Netflix's streaming, which has won accolades since the $99 Roku box debuted last spring. Microsoft, LG Electronics, and Samsung followed with their own set-top boxes featuring Netflix's service. Microsoft … Read more
Unlike streaming solutions from Roku and Microsoft's Xbox 360, Boxee's effort includes the option to both browse and search through Netflix's library. Roku's box and the Xbox are currently limited to showing users the videos from their saved queues. The two also require special hardware (and in the Xbox's case a paid Xbox Live Gold membership), whereas Boxee works on any Intel-Mac or Linux PC. Boxee's service is not yet available for … Read more