The BD-P3600 Blu-ray player includes much of the same basic feature list as the Samsung BD-P2550 released last fall: Profile 2.0 (BD-Live), built-in Netflix and Pandora streaming, and 1GB onboard memory. But the 2009 model includes a few niceties missing from the 2550: an included USB dongle adds 802.11n Wi-Fi (in addition to Ethernet) and the 3600 should support DTS-HD Master Audio decoding out of the box (no need to wait for a future firmware update, as with early purchasers of the 2550). On the design front, the BD-P3600 will also sport unusual topside button placement and Samsung'… Read more
The prices for 1080p front-projectors have gradually been coming down, and Sharp thinks it has a nice proposition for consumers in its new $3,000 XV-Z15000 projector that arrives in March.
This is a DLP projector that features a single 1080p DLP 0.65" DMD chip from Texas Instruments and what Sharp is calling "an unprecedented 30,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and high brightness in a price-competitive model."
The XV-Z15000 offers a native resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, a 24 Hz film mode, and a six-segment, six-speed color wheel. The press release adds that, &… Read more
In case you didn't know, Sharp makes Aquos Blu-ray players, and it's got two new models lined up for the first half of 2009, the BD-HP22U and BD-HP16U. The major difference between the two is that the BD-HP22U ($299.99)--due to hit stores in May--supports Profile 2.0, also known as BD-Live, and delivers Blu-ray's interactive features through an Ethernet-enabled Internet connection. Meanwhile, the marginally less expensive BD-HP16U ($279.99)--due out in March--does not.
Both models have a new slim, compact design and piano-black finish to match Sharp's Aquos TVs. In terms of specifications, … Read more
Acoustic Research (a brand of Audiovox) has unveiled two new universal remotes that users can program directly (using a built-in code library) or via a PC. Both new models--dubbed "XSight"--look to be worthwhile contenders to our current favorite universal remote, the Logitech Harmony One.
Like that Logitech model--which costs between $200 and $250--the designs of the Acoustic Research XSight remotes mix hard buttons and color screens, and allow for task-based macro programming ("watch TV," "watch Blu-ray movie," etc.). But the XSight models one-up the Harmony with multiple user profiles and favorite channels lists, … Read more
Nestled squarely between the LHB954 and LHB979 in LG's 2009 home theater system line-up is the LHB977. While the midrange package lacks the bundled wireless rear-speaker option and champagne-glass design of the 979, it's still loaded with features: 5.1 speaker array with funky front tallboy speakers; built-in Blu-ray player with Profile 2.0/BD-Live capability and Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD audio decoding; support for streaming online Netflix, CinemaNow, and YouTube video; and two extra HDMI inputs, useful for connecting game consoles and DVRs. Look for the LHB977 in the spring of 2009 (price TBD).
In 2008, LG's BD300 set itself apart from other Blu-ray players by becoming the first one to include compatibility with the Netflix's "Watch Instantly" streaming service. Unfortunately, the uniqueness of the feature was short-lived: within weeks, Netflix support was added to the Xbox 360, TiVo HD DVRs, and a pair of rival Blu-ray decks from Samsung. Now, LG's back with its second take on the Blu-ray/Netflix player, the BD370, which will also include the ability to stream online content from CinemaNow (pay-per-view) and YouTube (free).
Aside from those two new online content providers, the … Read more
Network-attached storage servers, in my opinion, have generally not been user-friendly enough. Even the easiest-to-use ones require some getting used to.
This is looking to change with the two new Media Hub series released under the networking giant's marketing brand "Linksys by Cisco" at CES this year, the NMH400 and the NMH300.
The NMH300 series is a budget solution that offers just the core features of the Media Hub, and you need to use a computer to manage the device.
The NMH400 series, on the other hand, features an LCD screen that lets users view a variety … Read more
This is an Internet set-top device with a simple remote control that allows viewers to watch Internet videos from various sources on their TV screens. It works with both new HDTVs and old analog TVs.
The purpose of the device is to display on a big screen TV what you would normally watch alone on your computer.
Currently, the device can stream content from popular sites such as BBC.com, CNN.com, ESPN.com, EuroSport.com, NBC.com, PGATour and TMZ.com, as well … Read more
During CES 2007, Netgear joined the home entertainment department with the Netgear EVA8000 Digital Entertainer HD, a networked digital content streaming device. Two years later, Netgear unveils the device's successor, the Digital Entertainer Elite EVA9150, which offers a few significant improvements.
First off, it now comes with a 500GB internal hard drive for extra local content storage. This means the device now not only works as a media-streaming device but it can also store content on its own. The hard drive is even removable so you can change or replace it with a larger hard drive.
Secondly, the new … Read more
Don't want the champagne-glass tallboy speakers of the LG LHB979 home-theater system? Step on down to the LHB954. You'll lose a few of the 979's value-added features (wireless rear speakers, HDMI inputs), but you'll still get a 1,000-watt Blu-ray home theater system that offers access to Netflix, CinemaNow, and YouTube streaming and an integrated iPod dock. The LHB979 also sports unique-looking spherical speakers. The built-in Blu-ray player is fully BD-Live compliant, and includes full Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding. Look for the LHB954 in May 2009 (price TBD).