Looks like it wasn't the HD DVD/Blu-ray battle that was keeping potential customers away from high-definition video players after all.
The NPD Group released some of its retail sales tracking data Wednesday that showed sales of Blu-ray standalone players (not a PlayStation 3, combo player, or PC with Blu-ray drive) had mostly decreased since the beginning of the year.
Standalone Blu-ray player unit sales in the U.S. decreased 40 percent from January to February and saw a very slight increase (2 percent) between February and March, according to NPD.
HD DVD players fared even worse--player unit sales … Read more
Leading chip and consumer electronics companies say they are pursuing powerline networking on the road to the completely connected digital home.
Intel, Texas Instruments, Infineon, and Panasonic said Tuesday that they are working on a home-networking standard that uses electrical and phone lines and coaxial cable that consumers already have wired into their homes, according to a Reuters report.
The four are the largest members of what they are calling the HomeGrid Forum. The group says it plans to work closely with the International Telecommunications Union to promote the standard the ITU is already developing, called ITU-T G.hn. The … Read more
Not long ago the idea of adding 500GB of storage space to a home media system was unthinkable to the average consumer, unless one was willing to pay ungodly sums of money. What a difference a couple of years make.
Iomega is releasing its "ScreenPlay HD Multimedia Drive" at that half-terabyte mark, a considerable leap from the 60GB capacity of its last generation. As storage technologies continue to drop in price--the new ScreenPlay is selling for around $200--it's positioned to compete with a growing number of products such as LaCie's "LaCinema Premier," which was … Read more
FCC’s Martin: Comcast blocking was widespread http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/ 144942/fccs_martin_comcast_blocking_was_widespread.html
Sony Computer Entertainment announced Tuesday that it is again delaying the launch of its 3D social-networking gaming service, "Home," for the PlayStation 3.
The PlayStation Home Open Beta service is expected to begin in the fall, nearly a year after its expected launch date. Sony unveiled the concept of its Home service more than 12 months ago and had anticipated at the time a full launch of the service at the end of last year.
Sony, in delaying the service launch, noted it wanted to expand its closed beta program to more PS3 users. The pending Home service … Read more
Onkyo's home theater in a box systems have always been among our favorites, and now they've introduced three new entry-level home theater systems. Unlike some HTIBs that rely on underpowered DVD player/A/V receivers, these Onlyos come with bona-fide HDTV-capable receivers.
HTIB speakers, even some of the ones packed with upper end Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony systems don't always have tweeters on all of the speakers, but the Onkyo speakers are two-way, tweeter and woofer designs. If my past experiences with previous generations of Onkyo HTIBs apply, the new HT-S5100 ($579 SRP) 290 watt subwoofer will … Read more
HDMI has certainly had its growing pains, but the connection is finally beginning to deliver on its original promise: a single-cable solution for delivering high-bandwidth, all-digital HD video and multichannel audio. HDMI is nearly universal in the home video market, present on all current HDTVs and Blu-ray players, as well as nearly all HD-capable cable and satellite set-top boxes; DVRs; game consoles; AV receivers; upscaling DVD players and recorders; and network video streamers such as the Apple TV. In fact, you realize just how convenient HDMI is when you come across a product without it--I'm looking at you, Nintendo Wii--and then have five cables (three component video wires plus two-channel stereo) instead of one crowding the back of your home entertainment system.
But one aspect of the HDMI promise remains unfulfilled: wireless HDMI. It's an attractive idea, especially for anybody with a wall-mounted flat-panel TV or a ceiling-mounted projector: have all of your HDMI-capable gear running into an AV receiver or HDMI switcher with a wireless HDMI transmitter, and have the TV equipped with a matching receiver--thus allowing you to have all your AV sources across the room from the actual display. We've been hearing about it for years, but to date, there are few--if any--products that you can actually buy. Here's a quick update on the wireless HDMI products we've heard about to date--including when (or whether) we can expect to see them: … Read more
Windows Live Home is a one-stop place to monitor all your activity on Microsoft's various Web properties. People can get a bird's-eye view on their Hotmail, Live Spaces, and Live Calendar, and easily see who's on Windows Live Messenger, and how much space they're using on their SkyDrive.
Users can also add all sorts of customizable gadgets to their Live Home page, as they would on Netvibes or My Yahoo. That same directory houses gadgets that can be included in the Windows Vista sidebar, or on their Live Spaces or Events pages.
Winner: Windows Live Home (… Read more