LAS VEGAS--If you always wished you had a Blu-ray player equipped with wireless HDMI to stream video from across the room to a wall-mounted TV, Philips has a new solution: the BDP7580 wireless HDMI Blu-ray player.Due out in April with a price tag of $499.99, the BDP7580 offers 3D playback, NetTV, Netflix, and Blockbuster streaming, as well as Philips MediaConnect, which allows you to stream content from your PC to your TV via a Wi-Fi connection. NetTV is Philips' integrated Internet TV feature that offers a built-in browser for accessing standard Web sites, including Facebook and Twitter. The … Read more
Looking to connect a Blu-ray player, game console, Roku box, and other video goodies to a TV that has only one or two HDMI ports? I've got just the connectivity bundle you need.
Or, rather, Meritline does. You can get a three-pack of 6-foot HDMI cables and a three-port HDMI switchbox for $9.99 shipped. That's after applying coupon code MLC195169010740NL1 at checkout.
(Note: Meritline's codes tend to expire after a certain number of uses, and there's no way to know how many this one has left. But even at the regular price of $15.99, … Read more
LAS VEGAS--A new gadget from Aluratek takes the idea of an Internet-enabled TV and ramps it up a few notches.
Being demonstrated this week at the Consumer Electronics Show, the new device lets you use your TV as a full computer with the ability to surf any Web site. The device is so new that it doesn't yet have an official name. The working title is Plug PC, but that may change based in part on the response it gets from the crowds at CES.
How does it work? Plug PC contains an embedded copy of Ubuntu Linux. Just … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Exactly a year ago, Netgear debuted its first Intel Wireless Display-based display device, the Push2TV, which enables consumers to stream whatever is being viewed on a laptop to the TV without the need for cables or wires, via a click of a mouse.
Today the company announced the second generation of the product, the Push2TV HD TV adapter (model PTV2000), which now offers full-HD 1080p video resolution and other improvements, including:
30fps video: Image quality is now improved with full motion video.
Dual-band wireless connectivity: Supports multiple wireless bands to minimize wireless interference.
Extend mode: Users now can browse … Read more
About a year ago I picked up a fairly entry-level 52-inch Sony LCD TV, the KDL-52V5100, as a second TV for a playroom. For a year, the set worked fine, then a few days ago a babysitter asked me to please fix it because it wasn't working.
At first, I figured someone had simply set the cable box to the wrong input. But a quick input assessment ruled that out as the possible culprit. I moved onto the next likely source of the problem: the cable box, which I unplugged, then waited for it to cycle through its painfully long rebooting process.
Still, nothing. No picture. Not even a menu. Conclusion: the cable box had crapped out. It had happened before, it would happen again.
I packed the thing up and the next day set off for a Time Warner Cable service center that happened to be about six blocks away from the CNET offices in Manhattan. My old cable box, a Samsung non-DVR model, was promptly chucked in a bin and I was handed a newer model Samsung box that was black instead of silver. I was happy. It matched the TV.
But upon returning home and hooking it up, the same thing happened. Nothing.… Read more
At last year's CES, Intel Wireless Display was one of our Best of CES nominees, standing out for its potential to bring streaming Internet video to an HDTV from a laptop over its own dedicated wireless channel, including audio. In fact, it was your pick as Best in Show, winning the People's Voice Award (as determined by a user poll).
Let's go back to early 2010: back then, connecting a laptop to a TV with a wired connection was still the best way to get Internet video content such as Hulu and Netflix without an additional set-top box. Despite having a slight delay in the video/audio signal, and requiring a $99 Push2TV box from Netgear plugged into an HDTV or non-HD television to receive the signal, the benefits seemed clear, and for those looking to make a laptop into a home entertainment solution, there was no better choice.
Times have changed, indeed, although Intel Wireless Display really hasn't. The debut of Apple's iPad, and its support of Netflix, Hulu Plus, and other streaming services, has changed the equation a bit, even if the iPad doesn't support Flash. Video game consoles now have Netflix across the board, and even (on the PS3, at least) Hulu Plus and Vudu. TV sets are including an ever-increasing number of Internet apps for accessing digital content, and set-top boxes such as the Boxee Box, the next-gen Roku box, and Apple TV offer a variety of solutions.
When it comes to methods of getting Internet or computer-stored video content on your TV, your options come to this: … Read more
I get a lot of questions from readers, and by far, this is the one that seems to be on everyone's mind: "I have an old receiver, and I was considering upgrading to a newer model with HDMI switching and Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio processing. Would I notice a dramatic difference in sound quality from what I have now?"
It's a hard question to answer for a lot of reasons, starting with the fact that one man's "dramatic" is another man's "subtle" difference. I think the best new … Read more
Amid a week featuring the debut of a fashionably small laptop, Dell has announced a line of products that move firmly in the opposite direction. The new XPS line of laptops are a high-end-targeted set of media-featured notebooks aimed squarely at the HP Envy and MacBook Pro crowds. The design, from a backlit keyboard to lots of anodized and brushed aluminum, feels like an upscale fusion of the Studio and Adamo lines. They aren't flashy, but they seem quite sleek, and Dell offers its arsenal of Design Studio tweaks for anyone looking to pop these XPS models up a … Read more
Getting PC content onto the more communal view screen of the living room TV has always been a challenge. Media Center PCs, which plug directly into your home theater setup, are cumbersome and necessarily tethered to a single location; media streamers and hubs only work with a subset of content, and can't handle games or social networking. Plugging your laptop directly into the back of a TV isn't always convenient, especially if you want to still access the keyboard and touch pad at the same time.
One solution worth looking at is wirelessly transmitting the video output from your laptop to any nearby television or monitor. Two current laptop-focused choices in this area are Intel's Wireless Display and wireless HDMI boxes such as the Asus WiCast.
We've been reasonably positive about Intel's Wireless Display technology since its introduction earlier in 2010, but the platform has a handful of major issues keeping it from being a tool mainstream users will embrace.
If you're not familiar with WiDi, it's essentially a technology built into select laptops running Intel's latest CPUs and chipsets that allows the laptop's display to be wirelessly duplicated on a remote screen (say, a big-screen TV). Though the transmitting hardware is built into the laptop itself, the receiver is a small box that retails for $99 and plugs in to the HDMI port of your TV. The big problem with WiDi is that there's perceptible lag between the laptop and TV, making it fine for set-it-and-forget-it video playback, but useless for gaming or real-time Web surfing. It also can't play certain kinds of DRM-protected content, such as Blu-ray, and the current version tops out at a 720p resolution signal.
The Asus WiCast system solves many of those problems, while injecting a few of its own.… Read more
The revision of Apple's self-professed "hobby," the Apple TV, left a lot of people excited for the small, inexpensive, set-top steaming box. Unfortunately, if your Apple TV is connected to an older HD TV, you may experience video distortion. Users have reported that the new Apple TV may not be compatible with some television sets only five years old.… Read more