Simple.TV won CNET's Best Of CES 2012 in the home theater category for its innovative, app-based approach to recording over-the-air TV. At only $150, the initial buy-in price is low and there are no monthly fees for standard program guide data. Simple.TV says it's looking to release the product in "late spring," so cord-cutters will likely have to wait a while before getting their hands on this next-gen DVR.
If you just can't get enough HDMI ports in your AV receiver, keep an eye on the the Onkyo TX-NR515. It has an incredible eight HDMI inputs with a list price of $600, although I'd bet the street price dips under $500 if Onkyo's pricing trajectory is similar to previous years.
Last year Panasonic's DMP-BDT210 was awarded CNET's Editors' Choice Award and the DMP-BDT220 is its successor. Not much has changed, with the DMP-BDT220 featuring built-in Wi-Fi, 3D, and a solid suite of streaming-media services. Even better, it looks like it will cost significantly less this year, with street prices already showing up at less than $150.
Dish made a splash at CES 2012 with its kangaroo-themed press conference, but the actual product announcements were pretty cool, too. The Dish Hopper DVR sports all kinds of impressive specs, including a 2TB hard drive and the ability to record six (!) programs at once. The Hopper has already started rolling, so if you're a Dish subscriber, it's worth checking out.
Sony was an early proponent of Google TV, and the company is continuing to support the platform with the NSZ-GS7. It will be the first Google TV-powered set-top box since Logitech's (now discontinued) Revue, and Sony's remote looks a lot less intrusive than a full-blown home theater keyboard. I'm still not sold on Google TV's software, but this looks like a step in the right direction in terms of the hardware. Look for it later this spring.