Archive for July, 2011

Maxell launches two new designer headphone models

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

What Hi-fi: New from Maxell are two new designer headphone models: the Audio Wild, seen above in its choice of three finishes, and the Retro DJ, combining ‘old school’ looks with modern…



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Netflix plugin for ChromeOS hits v1.0.2, is an official release around the corner?

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

When Google Chromebooks started arriving without the Netflix streaming we’d been promised we were predictably bummed, but that may be rectified soon. While Chromebook owners attuned to beta channel updates first noticed an entry for a Netflix plugin last month, it still couldn’t actually play movies and didn’t appear on older, single-core Atom powered Cr-48 laptops. Fast forward to the present, where one of our friendly comment moderators, masterofrandom has spotted this updated v1.0.2 plugin lurking in the depths of his murdered out 12-incher. There’s still no playback to be had, but we’re figuring Netflix didn’t update the version number past 1.0 because it’s finally figured out the perfect queue management system. Chromebook owners or prospective owners (and by extension, Linux users) still awaiting Watch Instantly streaming — your alert level is at Vermilion.

[Thanks, masterofrandom]

Netflix plugin for ChromeOS hits v1.0.2, is an official release around the corner? originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 31 Jul 2011 00:48:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Paramount Streams Jackass Movies via Facebook

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

Got Facebook Credits? You can have instant access to a whole lot of Jackass antics.

Big Picture Big Sound – Home Theater, HDTV, Movie Reviews

Over the top video already more popular than DVRs

Saturday, July 30th, 2011
Motorola DVR

This is a stat that research firm Magna Global announced a few weeks ago, but really just set in; about 13 million more American households use over-the-top video services, like Netflix, than own a DVR (53.3 million vs 40.5 respectively).We’ve always known DVRs were a stop gap technology until the day we can watch whatever we want, whenever we want, but still. That gap isn’t exactly closing though either, as the very same firm predicts that DVRs will continue to grow by about 33 percent to 63.1 million over the next four years, which is a little less than over-the-top is expected to grow. The real take away here though is that linear TV is going to die a slow death, but it is on its way out as it gets squeezed in both directions by high tech options.

Over the top video already more popular than DVRs originally appeared on Engadget HD on Sat, 30 Jul 2011 16:52:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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VIZIO XWH200 Universal Wireless HD AV Kit Review

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

It doesn’t ditch the wires entirely, but VIZIO’s slick little system can move your wire mess up to 30 feet from the TV.

Big Picture Big Sound – Home Theater, HDTV, Movie Reviews

Panasonic Viera TC-L42E30 LED HDTV Review

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

Panasonic serves up a plainly-styled LED TV with fewer features than some of its older siblings. But how important is 3D and iPhone control when the price tag is this appealing?

Big Picture Big Sound – Home Theater, HDTV, Movie Reviews

Details Emerge on Panasonic’s PT-AE7000U 3D Projector

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

The company has revealed details on its first full HD 3D home theater projector, which starts selling in September.

Big Picture Big Sound – Home Theater, HDTV, Movie Reviews

Lenco iPod Tower 2 re-energizes your multimedia needs

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Bornrich: For audiophiles who are always looking for ways to accessorize their iPhone and iPod, with demanding systems where they can dock up their phones and music players, and listen to their…



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Engadget Android app updated, now with Honeycomb support!

Friday, July 29th, 2011
Engadget Android app updated, now with Honeycomb support!

An Engadget app? On your Honeycomb tablet? It’s more likely than you think. We’ve heard your e-mails and your tweets and your various requests for an app that will truly make the most of your pixels, and now you’ve got it. Version 1.1.12.1 of our offering has been released to the Android Market and with that comes support for your Transformers, your Galaxy Tab 10.1‘s, and your Iconia Tab A500‘s — even your hacked Nooks. You can of course get all the latest news and updates, browse by category, watch the latest episodes of The Engadget Show, and do it all while the podcast is playing in the background. Give it a try, we think you’ll like it.

Engadget Android app updated, now with Honeycomb support! originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 28 Jul 2011 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Time Warner Cable iPad app update stomps out a few bugs

Friday, July 29th, 2011

As promised, v2.0.1 of the TWCable TV iPad app has arrived with a slew of tweaks and bug fixes. The Time Warner Cable Untangled blog has a run-down of the release notes, claiming improved overall stability (no more crashes when you disconnect from WiFi with the app open), new filters and and effects on the guide, and DVR improvements including conflict resolution and more. Check the source link for a full list of the improvements or just head over to iTunes to grab the latest and greatest.

Time Warner Cable iPad app update stomps out a few bugs originally appeared on Engadget HD on Thu, 28 Jul 2011 22:39:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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AUO VP says large OLED TVs won’t be feasible for commercial use until 2014

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Eager to get your hands on a big-screen OLED TV? Then it looks like you may still have to wait a few more years — at least according to Paul Peng, the executive vice president of display manufacturer AU Optronics (otherwise known as AUO). While the technology has been getting cheaper and more efficient as of late, he says that the production costs are still too high and yield rates too low for large OLED TVs to be feasible for commercial use any time before 2014. Of course, we suppose that all depends on your definition of “feasible.” Last we heard, LG was still planning on releasing a 55-inch OLED TV by mid-2012 — for a yet-to-be-disclosed price.

AUO VP says large OLED TVs won’t be feasible for commercial use until 2014 originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 28 Jul 2011 15:06:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Bose Promises Big Sound from Companion 20 Computer Speakers

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Featuring proprietary TrueSpace technology, this compact set boasts lifelike sound for music, games, videos, and more.

Big Picture Big Sound – Home Theater, HDTV, Movie Reviews

Box pics, price and features leak out for the Best Buy Insignia cTV with TiVo

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

As we close in on the purported release date for Best Buy’s Insignia cTV, more details have come to light about the TiVo menu system (but not DVR) powered HDTV. Zatz Not Funny reports the 32- and 42-inch models available initially will cost 9 and 9, respectively, with a pretty standard list of features including built-in 802.11n WiFi, 4 HDMI ports, etc. More interesting however are these box shots that reveal unannounced apps on the way including Chumby widgets — destined to replace the late FrameChannel? — as well as Twitter and Facebook, which were integrated via the iPad app but not the box, yet. So far we still don’t know for sure if these TVs will be able to serve as multiroom extenders and stream video from a TiVo Premiere (whenever TiVo brings the feature back) but until there’s some official word you can get more pictures and details at the source below.

Box pics, price and features leak out for the Best Buy Insignia cTV with TiVo originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 27 Jul 2011 18:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Bose introduces Companion 20 computer speakers with DSP for £199

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

What Hi-fi: Need a smart looking pair of stereo speakers to go with your computer? Say hello to the new Bose Companion 20, yours for £199.
Each speaker measures 8.9cm wide x 11cm deep, incoprates a…



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Fast 5 Blu-ray arrives October 4 with Second Screen feature in tow (video)

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Fast 5 may have dropped “Furious” from the title but we saw it in theaters and can confirm things are just as angry as ever with director Justin Lin at the helm once again, and throwing The Rock into the mix with stars Paul Walker and Vin Diesel. Plot descriptions between fast cars, explosions and Brazil are wholly unnecessary for this flick, although the reason we’re highlighting it is because of a bevy of Blu-ray exclusive extras. Beyond the usual set of featurettes and behind the scenes look, Universal is making this the first flick to work with the Second Screen feature of its pocket BLU app, now updated for tablets. We’ll have to wait and see if it lives up to previous efforts by Disney or if the flick is just dragging it around like a vault through city streets, but there’s a trailer for the feature included after the break if you’re interested.

Continue reading Fast 5 Blu-ray arrives October 4 with Second Screen feature in tow (video)

Fast 5 Blu-ray arrives October 4 with Second Screen feature in tow (video) originally appeared on Engadget HD on Wed, 27 Jul 2011 22:54:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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DisplaySearch: LED Costs Less Overall

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

The display market research firm DisplaySearch has released its latest “Quarterly TV Design and Features Report” for Q2′11, in which the company points out the energy-savings advantages of LED backlights for LCD HDTVs. An analysis of 40″ LCD TVs shows that consumers will save money over the life of the television set in spite of paying more for a model with an LED backlight.

For the average U.S. consumer, the payback period is just over five years. In spite of recent trends toward shorter replacement cycles, I expect that a 40″ set purchased today is likely to still be in use ten years from now, so it looks as though the extra cost for an LED backlight is worth it in the long run. (I also expect that energy costs are likely to rise, which presumably makes the analysis even more favorable for the LED model.) Higher energy costs reduce the payback estimate; DisplaySearch puts it at under four years for California consumers, and less than two years for consumers in Western Europe.

If you’re looking for a practical reason to justify going with a more expensive LED backlit model, this may be what you need. On the other hand, the energy savings advantage may soon be moot. DisplaySearch expects LED backlights to outnumber CCFL backlights two to one next year, with CCFL disappearing almost completely by 2015. So you won’t have to struggle with the choice much longer.

HDTV Almanac

Rango Blu-ray Review

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

This animated tale of a lizard sheriff is the stuff of home theater legend. But is the script firing blanks?

Big Picture Big Sound – Home Theater, HDTV, Movie Reviews

ArtStation Pro a stylized iPad dock and speaker combo

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Electronista: With a swivel arm that mounts the iPad and a wireless infrared remote that clips magnetically to the back of the device, iLuv’s new iPad docking and audio station —…



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Dyle-ing Mobile TV with a New Brand

Monday, July 25th, 2011

The logo for the new Dyle brand for mobile DTV

New wine in a new bottle, already. Mobile DTV was the name for the broadcast television for mobile devices that has started to roll out in markets across the country. There aren’t many devices available yet that can receive these signals, but the industry hopes that it will be supported by a wide range of devices from smartphones to tablets. And now to make it easier for consumers to recognize which products support this service, the Mobile Content Venture (MVC) has announced the new “Dyle” brand.

Efforts by the MVC and the overlapping Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC) have announced lots of stations nationwide that are now or will soon start broadcasting mobile television signals. It still remains to be seen whether or not there will be any significant consumer demand for this service. Mobile television is one of the key applications that local broadcasters cite for wanting to retain the full assigned radio spectrum for their television channels. On the other side, the FCC and the federal government believe that some of this spectrum could be put to better use, including wireless broadband services. The sale of the underused spectrum could bring in billions of dollars for the government and for the stations that surrender a portion of their allocation.

HDTV Almanac

Netflix negotiating for Dreamworks Animation movies?

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Netflix will reveal its financial results for the second quarter tomorrow (better known as the one before they raised prices) and already we’ve got a juicy rumor about the company signing up Dreamworks Animation flicks for streaming. Bloomberg reports that Netflix would replace HBO’s agreement for these movies, while The Hollywood Reporter’s sources indicate HBO actually offered to end its deal early after signing up movies from Summit Entertainment and because it anticipates more animated flicks from other studios. If the rumors are on target, with Dreamworks also reporting earnings this week we’re likely to hear confirmation soon. Besides that, Hacking Netflix also has the low down on a couple of other Netflix tidbits, including that it’s recently spun off DVD operations are moving to their own offices, and a rumor that Weeds creator Jenji Kohan is working on an original show for the service. The over/under on Engadget Netflix posts this week is set at 3.5.

Netflix negotiating for Dreamworks Animation movies? originally appeared on Engadget HD on Sun, 24 Jul 2011 21:46:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Voomote One turns your iPhone into a well organized universal remote

Monday, July 25th, 2011
Voomote One

Ok, so the name isn’t great, but the Voomote One is actually kinda neat. It’s not the first universal remote adapter we’ve seen for the iPhone and, unlike the Surc IR case, you probably wouldn’t want to leave this bulky add-on attached to your handset when not in use. But, the app does have some convenient features, like the ability to create custom layouts that can easily be switched based on the devices in a particular room. So you can setup a living room profile to control your big screen and cable box, and a separate bed room one for your more modest set and a stereo. You can also create command macros that fire up multiple devices with the tap of a single virtual button. The Voomote app is available for free in the app store, but the actual IR-blasting sleeve will set you back . Check out the gallery below and head on after the break for some PR.

Continue reading Voomote One turns your iPhone into a well organized universal remote

Voomote One turns your iPhone into a well organized universal remote originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 25 Jul 2011 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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TiVo is set for a September launch in Spain with ONO

Sunday, July 24th, 2011
International expansion plans for TiVo don’t stop with the UK, as it will be a key part of Spanish cable operator ONO’s new high definition service that launches in September. Gizmo Lovers points out an article detailing the ten channel package that will kick things off, including Fox, Sony TV, MTV Live, TVE and Gol TV. While there’s still not a lot of details available about the boxes themselves, our friends at Engadget Spanish also have information on the Cisco hardware that will get all of that HD flowing from the head end, and are probably a good place to keep an eye on if you’re waiting for this TiVo to arrive.

Continue reading TiVo is set for a September launch in Spain with ONO

TiVo is set for a September launch in Spain with ONO originally appeared on Engadget HD on Sun, 24 Jul 2011 23:22:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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CBS Picks Amazon

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

If you’re a Hulu fan, you have probably noticed the conspicuous absence of any current CBS shows. It’s not too surprising, given that the owners of major rivals ABC (Walt Disney Co.), NBC (Comcast), and FOX (News Corp.) are Hulu’s owners. Now comes word that CBS has signed a deal with Amazon to offer about 2,000 full-length episodes to subscribers of Amazon’s Prime service. Amazon Prime is primarily a VIP customer service, with free two-day shipping on all eligible orders in return for a per year subscription fee. As a fringe benefit, however, you get free access to Amazon’s library of streaming content.

If you consider the fee as paying just for the video, however, it is just .59 a month which is nearly .50 less than the .99 charged by Netflix. Netflix does have a larger library, listed at about 20,000 compared with Amazon’s 8,000 titles, but this latest deal indicates that Amazon is looking to become a serious player in this market. Adding the CBS content could be a big step in that direction.

Amazon’s deal with CBS is non-exclusive, which means that you could also see the same content appear on other services. If the sale of Hulu goes through, that could help make CBS more willing to license its content there as well. The new buyers may have enough cash to make that an attractive possibility.

HDTV Almanac

TiVo Premiere 14.8b patch stops (apparently glitchy) Premiere-to-Premiere streaming

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

We never got official word on Premiere-to-Premiere streaming being enabled after the last update from TiVo, but now it appears the company is nixing the feature, for now. According to TiVo Community poster eddieb187, one of his boxes downloaded the new 14.8b software update overnight and can no longer stream recordings from his other box. After a call to customer service confirmed the change, claiming unspecified issues with the feature, he checked his other box which has not yet updated and is still able to stream. If a little bit of multiroom action is all that’s keeping your two TiVo Premiere household running you might want to avoid any updates if possible until we find out when it’s coming back.

[Thanks, @BrennokBob]

TiVo Premiere 14.8b patch stops (apparently glitchy) Premiere-to-Premiere streaming originally appeared on Engadget HD on Fri, 22 Jul 2011 19:08:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Samsung studies 3D viewing discomfort, finds out bloggers don’t read

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

Judging by the headlines today, Samsung’s 3D R&D department made a huge mistake, just check them out: “Who Could Have Guessed: 3D Hurts Your Eyes”, “Samsung-funded study finds 3D video causes extra eye strain, fatigue”, “Samsung study finds that 3D video causes eye strain, fatigue”. It seems obvious that Samsung’s research grant financing a UC Berkeley study published in the Journal of Vision was wasted, except for one minor issue — all of those headlines are wrong. “The zone of comfort: Predicting visual discomfort with stereo displays” is actually trying to find out why 3D-related eyestrain happens. That it can and does happen with poorly formatted video, whether 2D, 3D or otherwise, is already known.

Scrolling down beyond the abstract reveals the prof’s data actually indicated a wider comfort zone than 3D video producers commonly assumed with their percentage rule of thumb. It’s a Friday night and you don’t have to pick thumbing through dry descriptions of experiments over whatever your plans are, but that’s why you have us. Shockingly, companies desperately hawking 3D tech are busy making it better instead of undermining their own products, but you’d have to actually read the study to find out for sure.

Samsung studies 3D viewing discomfort, finds out bloggers don’t read originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 22 Jul 2011 21:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Verizon, AT&T celebrate subscriber growth, new features rolled out in Q2

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

When earnings for AT&T and Verizon came out we mostly focused on their cellphone related business, but both are also major players in the pay-TV space these days. Verizon’s FiOS TV segment (minus the parts sacrificed to Frontier) added 184,000 customers in the last quarter, bringing it to a total of 3.4 million subscribers and crossing over 30 percent of potential penetration. AT&T’s U-verse TV added 202,000 subscribers and reached 3.4 million in total, while also rolling out a few new features. We’ll have to wait until next week to get most of the other pay-TV numbers, but who’s betting there will be a new round of “cable cutting” predictions to go around?

Continue reading Verizon, AT&T celebrate subscriber growth, new features rolled out in Q2

Verizon, AT&T celebrate subscriber growth, new features rolled out in Q2 originally appeared on Engadget HD on Sat, 23 Jul 2011 16:12:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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LG promises 55-inch OLED TV in 2012, just in time for the next b’ak’tun

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011
LG OLEDs

LG is apparently tired of this tiny OLED stuff. 15-inch TVs and 4-inch cellphones? What is this, 2009? The company has decided it’s time to super-size the organically-powered panels and plans to introduce a 55-inch HDTV in mid 2012. We’ve got faith it can deliver too — last summer the Korean manufacturer was showing off a 31-inch model (above) and it sounds like it’s shifting focus completely towards larger sizes. CEO Kwon Young-soo has said that IPS technology is much better suited for the mobile space. Of course, LG has promised impressively-sized panels before and, even if such a set does make it to market, chances are you’ll have to take out a second mortgage to afford one.

LG promises 55-inch OLED TV in 2012, just in time for the next b’ak’tun originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 23 Jul 2011 05:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Zediva: Rent-a-DVD-Player Service under Fire

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

If you haven’t heard about Zediva yet, you may want to check it out quickly. Like iviTV and FilmOn, this company thinks that it has figured out a way to game the system to provide video content over the Internet. Where iviTV and FilmOn provided broadcast television programming, however, Zediva is renting DVD movies.

The wrinkle on the service is that you actually rent the physical DVD, just as if you were going to a Blockbuster store. You don’t ever get the DVD, however; the rental price includes the use of a DVD player in a Zediva server farm. The physical disc is put in a physical drive that is dedicated to sending you the content over the Internet. Rentals cost between and , depending on how many rental credits you buy at a time, which you can purchase using PayPal. You have 14 days to watch the movie once you’ve rented it. And based on the company’s website, you can choose from the most current and popular DVD releases. The service only offers DVDs at this point; high-definition Blu-ray is not yet supported.

As you might imagine, not everyone is happy with this arrangement. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has asked a California district court for an injunction against the service, pending the outcome of a copyright lawsuit. The MPAA claims that Zediva is streaming the content without a license. In an interesting development, Cablevision has filed a brief with the court that supports the MPAA position. This is a tad ironic, since Cablevision was sued for copyright violations when it created a digital video recording (DVR) service for its customers that stored and streamed the recorded programming from its own servers.

The hearing on the injunction request is scheduled for July 25, so you may not have much time to check out Zediva if things don’t go its way in court.

HDTV Almanac

Ideum’s MT-55 ‘Platform’ multitouch table goes ultrathin, demands but $18,000

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Engadget: It’s been a hot minute since we’ve heard from the fine folks at Ideum, but when the image above floated into our inbox… well, it’s safe to say our interest was…



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Pioneer iControlAV2 app now available on Android Market

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

What Hi-fi: We’ve just spotted Pioneer’s iControlAV2 app on the Android Market app store.
Already available for Apple iDevices, the iControlAV2 app can control a variety of Pioneer home…



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V-MODA Scares Up New True Blood Revamp Headphones

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

The company is taking another bite out of the portable audio market, with a new in-ear model.

Big Picture Big Sound – Home Theater, HDTV, Movie Reviews

Libratone’s AirPlay-enabled soundbars want to cozy up with your iOS wares

Friday, July 22nd, 2011
Libratone Lounge
Been on the prowl for an audio solution with AirPlay to compliment your iDevice or Apple TV? Bid hello to Libratone’s ultra-chic Lounge and Live soundbars. Last year, the company introduced its eye-catching Beat wireless speaker system back at IFA; we were intrigued by its active drivers and carry handle, but mildly disappointed that cord-cutting required pesky proprietary adapters. Apple users will be happy to know AirPlay’s been fully embraced this time, along with the signature adornment of cashmere wool. First up, the Live appears to be an Airplay-enabled Beat with 50 extra watts of RMS power (150 total), and an updated — mini TOSlink accepting — 3.5mm input for hooking up non AirPlay-enabled gear. Next up, the sleek Lounge unit above sports a similar external design and digital 3.5mm jack, but it’s svelte in comparison for wall-mounting under a TV. Under its sheep fuzz, you’ll find two 1-inch ribbon tweeters, two 4-inch ceramic drivers, and one 8-inch inverted woofer, all of which are independently amplified for a combined output of 150 RMS watts.

Poised to please audio enthusiasts, both employ DSP and Libratone’s FullRoom for a “360 degree soundscape” controllable via an iOS app, while the Lounge’s volume can also be handled by a TV remote. The Lounge will be available through Apple’s online store this September priced at £1,099 to €,1199 (about ,791 to ,954), and the Live for £599 to £6,99 (9) at Apple retail locations in the EU and US — both in various colorways. You’ll find details in the PR after the break while your next bout of Gear Acquisition Syndrome begins settling in.

Continue reading Libratone’s AirPlay-enabled soundbars want to cozy up with your iOS wares

Libratone’s AirPlay-enabled soundbars want to cozy up with your iOS wares originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 21 Jul 2011 23:49:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Beyond Smell-o-Vision

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

I recently wrote about adding odors to movie screenings, but it was a low-tech, scratch-and-sniff solution. And it is totally eclipsed by a new venture coming out of Korea that looks to enhance your movie-going experience with a lot more than some simple scents. The company is CJ CGV, and it has created what it calls the CGV Smartplex cinema which uses the company’s “4Dplex” technology.

Yes, the system has a way to waft smells to the audience during the movie, but that’s just for starters. Emitters mounted in the seat backs can blast you with air, or send out a mist when a fog drifts across the scene on the screen. Individual speakers in each seat bring the action right to you. But wait, there’s more! The seats themselves can move, rocking in any direction in sync with the action on the screen. Add stereoscopic 3D and you’ll literally be ducking for cover as bullets whiz past your ear in the midst of a big fight scene.

The company has already built four of these sensory-overload chambers in Korea, and has plans to build one in New York City to demonstrate its powers to U.S. audiences. If they take to this more immersive cinema experience, you may eventually get to see, smell, and feel for yourself at your local movie theater before long. Then you have to ask, how long until this technology follows 3D and migrates to your living room?

HDTV Almanac

Closed-Captions Coming to the Internet

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

With all the interest and excitement about streaming video over the Internet, one detail is often overlooked. Some individuals with disabilities — particularly those with limited hearing – are closed out from this video content because it does not include closed captioning. Broadcast television provides it and most movie DVDs offer English sub-titles, but not on the Internet.

As part of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, the FCC was charged with creating a Video Programming and Emergency Access Advisory Committee (VPAAC) to address this and other problems. Last week, the committee submitted its report, which starts a six-month clock running at the end of which the FCC has to come up with rules for closed captions on Internet video content.

We’re probably at least a year or more away from the time when closed captions will be available for content on the Internet. In the beginning, it will likely be limited to television shows that already are produced with closed captions for broadcast. And it will take time for the hardware to catch up with the technology. The new rules will likely include user-controls for the caption features, and add-on devices will be needed for a while until these control features become standard in televisions and other devices. But the good news is that progress is being made, and a significant part of the population will eventually get better access to this content.

HDTV Almanac

Sonos Gets Official and Affordable with PLAY:3 Wireless Speaker

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

The compact 9 box promises every type of streaming music imaginable.

Big Picture Big Sound – Home Theater, HDTV, Movie Reviews

Netflix app on Android updated to work on 24 models including Galaxy S, Droid 3

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

The number of Android devices officially compatible with the Netflix streaming app has more than doubled in v1.3, growing from 9 to 24. Last night the description was updated with a new list of devices but the actual updated APK only started pushing this afternoon, bringing Netflix not only to the Lenovo tablet announced last night but also to the Droid 3, HTC Thunderbolt, Motorola Atrix, several Galaxy S phones including the Epic 4G and Fascinate and more. Fragmentation is clearly still an issue for DRM’d apps like this and Hulu Plus, but at least now there’s a growing number of recent superphones supported instead of sitting on the sidelines. We’ve got the updated list of devices after the break, hit the source link to download the app from the Android Market.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

Continue reading Netflix app on Android updated to work on 24 models including Galaxy S, Droid 3

Netflix app on Android updated to work on 24 models including Galaxy S, Droid 3 originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 20 Jul 2011 14:35:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Klipsch’s AirPlay-enabled Gallery G-17 Air soundbar pleases ears sans cords for $530

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Engadget: No, that’s not some oversized Kinect KIRF. What you’re looking at is Klipsch’s latest soundbar, the Gallery G-17 Air. Seem familiar? If you’ll recall, back at CES it…



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Hands-on with the Star Wars Blu-ray: Early Access iOS app

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

We know, we know. You’re fit to be tied waiting for the complete Star Wars collection to be released on Blu-ray in September, but there’s good news for impatient iPad owners here in the US. You see, some of the collection’s bonus materials can be had for free a bit early — as in tomorrow — courtesy of the Star Wars Blu-ray: Early Access App. Even better, we’ve got video of the app in action plus a gallery of pics for you to drool over until you can download it yourself. And for folks abroad or those with an iPhone or iPod touch, the same sneak peek will be available in August.

The app itself is a ported version of what you’ll see on the Blu-ray discs, but there’s some added touchscreen functionality — pinch-to-zoom on the concept art and users can spin props and models with the flick of a finger in the “Collection” section. The app also lets you selectively download the content, so all that artwork and video won’t eat up an undue portion of your iPad’s memory. After getting handsy with it in person, we found the app easy to use and the content compelling (where else can you examine the Death Star up close?), but we were left wishing that there was a bit… more. Of course, the lion’s share of extras are reserved for the paying customers come September 16th — though we were disappointed to discover that, currently, there are no plans to make it all available on the app even if you buy the Blu-rays. Regardless, you get what you pay for, and that makes this gratis addition to the Star Wars universe a darn good deal.

Continue reading Hands-on with the Star Wars Blu-ray: Early Access iOS app

Hands-on with the Star Wars Blu-ray: Early Access iOS app originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 19 Jul 2011 21:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Winter in Wartime Blu-ray Review

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

With the end of the war in sight, one Dutch boy has to endure the final winter of despair.

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NAD Starts Shipping T 757 3D-Ready Surround Sound Receiver

Monday, July 18th, 2011

The new AV component offers 3D support, the MDC upgrade option, and the exclusive EARS surround mode.

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Sony’s CMT-CX5BiP HiFi system takes a style cue from the S2

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

Engadget: Leave it to Sony to deliver futuristic designs. The company’s latest CMT-CX5 “HiFi” system sure is a looker, and could easily be mistaken as the lovechild of its S2…



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FCC: More Waiver Trouble

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

The fast-track waivers that the FCC granted Lightsquared have received a lot of attention lately, none of which makes the federal agency look good. Now the courts have struck down another set of waivers that the FCC granted to allow some companies to own a newspaper and a television station in the same market. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the agency’s decision that was made back in 2008.

The FCC originally created the TV station-newspaper ownership prohibition back in 1975. There are also complex rules, imposed in 2008, that govern how many television stations that one company can own in one market, or how many radio stations. There are also limits on the combined ownership of television and radio stations in one market. The concern behind all of these rules is to foster competition, and to try to prevent one company from dominating all the broadcast media in a given market.

The FCC is in the middle of a major review of all the rules governing broadcast and newspaper ownership. Given that newspapers are no longer the dominant force that they once were, and some papers in even major cities are struggling to survive, there is no doubt that the FCC needs to consider the changing landscape of media distribution. Market forces are already eliminating alternate sources of news and information, and it would seem that preserving competition would be in the best interests of the citizens as a whole.

HDTV Almanac

Winnie the Pooh (2011) Movie Review

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

The classic illustrated tales of A. A. Milne are brought to life in a refreshingly simple, nostalgic and heartfelt new film.

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Product Placement on the Fly

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

Frequent readers of the HDTV Almanac will know that one of my favorite hobbyhorses is the question of who will pay for episodic “television” and movie content going forward. Consumers now have more ways to avoid watching commercials, and there are limits to how much money you can get from them in monthly subscription fees. So where will the money come from?

One source that I have stressed as a likely candidate is product placement. This is nothing new; how many times have you noticed that illuminated Apple logo on the back of a notebook in a TV show or movie? That doesn’t happen by accident; that off-hand appearance was almost certainly bought and paid for. The same goes for other products, such as the cars used on screen. (Who could miss the tie-in with Ford in the orginial Hawaii Five-O when McGarrett got behind the wheel of his big, bad, black Lincoln Mercury?)

But product placement needs to be brought into the 21st Century. A company called SeamBI has created a technology that it calls “Dynamic Product Placement.” This process takes program content after it has been produced, and locates opportunities for product messages within the program. For example, the characters might be walking past a store window or driving past a billboard. The SeamBI technology can automatically replace portions of the scene so that the sponsor’s message appears on the billboard or within the store window. The power of the system is that different sponsor messages can appear in different airings of the content, so that it can be used with syndicated reruns to provide different product placement opportunities in different markets. And it’s all handled automatically, without manual editing of the source each time.

I think this is a good idea, as the placements blend into the existing scene. I think the real potential, however, comes with targeted advertising with streaming video. There is every reason to expect that eventually streaming sources like Netflix or Hulu will know a lot about my individual interests. I think it would be wonderful if the world inhabited by the characters on my favorite shows were to be filled with the brands and companies that I already favor, or might be interested in trying. And if this helped keep my subscription costs down in the process, so much the better. I know that all the information I share about myself with various services such as search engines has value, and I’d like to get some of that value back in the form of a lower cost for my video entertainment content.

HDTV Almanac

Netflix Raises Rates

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

Netflix has raised its rates. Get over it.

Apparently there has been a firestorm of protest over Netflix raising its rates this week. The focus is on the company increasing the rate by 60% for some subscribers. That’s sounds pretty egregious, but let’s break it down.

There used to be a plan that gave you one DVD at a time by mail for .99 a month, and you also got unlimited access to the online streaming at no extra charge. Then the company made a commitment to the streaming business and offered a .99 a month plan for streaming only, or more a month if you still wanted the one DVD at a time service. (Given that most rental stores charge about twice that for a single rental, that’s a pretty good deal. And you’d only get two DVDs a month for from Redbox kiosks, compared with the dozen or so you could get from Netflix if you watched them the day they came in.)

So guess what? Netflix has decided that a month for one-at-a-time DVDs is a money-losing proposition. And now they are giving you a choice: for .99 a month, you can get either unlimited streaming, or you can get one-at-a-time DVD by mail service. So it is true that if you want to keep getting what cost .99, it will now cost you .98. Or you can just get the unlimited streaming and go to Redbox twice a month for DVDs with your extra a month.

It’s not difficult to have seen this coming. Mail is expensive. DVDs are expensive. Netflix figured that most subscribers would be happy with the streaming service and would switch over to that. (And many millions have done just that.) Netflix has to spend a lot of money for the licensing rights to the streaming content; it is bidding against cable and satellite services for much of the same content, after all. So it’s going to take more money for Netflix to keep expanding its library and to bring us more of the recent and “good stuff” content. This all means that if you want to continue to get DVDs in the mail, you’ll have to spend a little more for them. It just makes sense.

If you want to be able to choose between tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes whenever and wherever you want, you need to expect to pay for it. And if you want to hold onto the legacy technology of polycarbonate discs showing up in your mailbox, then you’re going to have to pay for that too. I think Netflix is on the right track with its streaming service, and that it is getting noticeably better each year. And I think that a month for that is a bargain.

HDTV Almanac

Pirates of the Caribbean Blu-ray combo arrives October 18th in two, five or 15 disc sets

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

Three years after the first three movies were released on Blu-ray as a combo, the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie, On Stranger Tides, is ready to come home. Expect it in multiple forms, from a simple two disc combo with the movie on Blu-ray and DVD to a five disc pack that throws in a Blu-ray 3D edition and another Blu-ray full of extras, and finally the big daddy 15-disc Pirate’s Chest Limited Collectors Edition (pictured above) that contains all four movies, a never before seen short film and more. All Blu-ray editions include a Disney Second Screen tie-in like the one seen on Bambi and Tron: Legacy, if you’re wondering what else is in store check after the break for the press release with all the details, and one of the bonus clips.

Continue reading Pirates of the Caribbean Blu-ray combo arrives October 18th in two, five or 15 disc sets

Pirates of the Caribbean Blu-ray combo arrives October 18th in two, five or 15 disc sets originally appeared on Engadget HD on Fri, 15 Jul 2011 15:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Netflix coming to Spain and the UK next year?

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

File this one in the unconfirmed-but-hopeful file, as Variety has it on good authority that Netflix could be making its first foray into European waters as early as Q1 2012. After taking Latin America by storm (and subsequently storming the wallets of plain ‘ole Americans), the company is purportedly lining up Spain and the United Kingdom for its next trick. Unnamed sources at “leading European film distributors” have confirmed that representatives from the company were looking to “put roots down” in both of those nations as soon as next year, and while Netflix itself is refusing to comment, it’s certainly a tale that’s easy to believe. ‘Course, breaking into the UK market won’t be as easy as it has been in other nations — Lovefilm already has a firm grip on the local rental market, but as your favorite capitalist always says, there’s never not room for increased competition. We’ll keep you posted.

[Thanks, Eric]

Netflix coming to Spain and the UK next year? originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 15 Jul 2011 15:41:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Best Buy Insignia cTV with DVR-less TiVo built-in launches July 31st

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

Best Buy and TiVo announced they were forming a “broad partnership” two years ago, then revealed a connected HDTV product last year, and now it’s apparently just days from being released. This information posted over at ZatzNotFunny pegs the launch date for the Insignia cTV as July 31st, packing the TiVo Premiere’s menu system and apps like Netflix, CinemaNow and Pandora. The 32- and 42-inch models feature built-in WiFi, but no included DVR and don’t require a TiVo subscription. With the recent launch of multiroom streaming on the TiVo Premiere and another DVR-less product from TiVo in the Preview, this is a perfect opportunity to include multiroom access, no set-top box needed. Unfortunately, like the pricetag of the cTV units, that detail has yet to be revealed.

Best Buy Insignia cTV with DVR-less TiVo built-in launches July 31st originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 15 Jul 2011 16:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: 3.5 million 3D Blu-ray discs ‘sold’ in first year, half were bundled with hardware

Friday, July 15th, 2011


If we’re looking at sales figures of 3.5 million units in the first year for a new laptop, smartphone, or camera, then we might be impressed. But 3D Blu-ray discs? When half were included in the box with a Blu-ray player? Man, that’s gotta sting. Those numbers are based on an IHS Screen Digest estimate, tallying US sales beginning in June of 2010 and ending last month, though many larger titles didn’t make their debut until later in the year. Still, if those results are even in the ballpark of official (unreleased) numbers from BD distributors, then things really aren’t looking up for 3D. With fewer than 100 titles even available on Blu-ray, however, we’re not really surprised that discs aren’t exactly flying off the shelves. Obviously, as a growing number of movies are filmed in 3D we’ll see BD title availability increase as well, but with the technology’s lackluster beginnings over the last year and no sign that consumers are ready to spend more to embrace that new dimension, 3D may continue its slow crawl toward the mainstream for some time to come.

Report: 3.5 million 3D Blu-ray discs ‘sold’ in first year, half were bundled with hardware originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 15 Jul 2011 17:55:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Yamaha introduces four-strong Aventage home cinema receiver range

Friday, July 15th, 2011

What Hi-fi: Today Yamaha unveils its new (and newly-named) Aventage range of home cinema receivers, joining the rest of its 2011 line-up.
They replace the existing higher-end models from 2010 and as…



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New DirecTiVo launch may not come until later this year

Friday, July 15th, 2011

We’ve got bad news for anyone (still) waiting on the new DirecTiVo. The newly relaunched Gizmo Lovers blog points out a FAQ page on DirecTV.com saying the box is still waiting for production approval, although it’s “optimistic” the box will see a release in the 2011 calendar year. Even that rings hollow, however, as our friend Dave Zatz mentions on Twitter that he’s heard it may not arrive until November at the earliest. It’s been nearly three years since the new box was first announced, anyone want to lay a wager down on whether the TiVo Premiere will get its second core enabled before we ever see a new TiVo for DirecTV released?

New DirecTiVo launch may not come until later this year originally appeared on Engadget HD on Thu, 14 Jul 2011 15:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sony Re-Ups for ESPN 3D

Friday, July 15th, 2011

“They cost too much.” “There’s not enough content.” “I won’t get one until they get rid of those stupid glasses.” Two out of three ain’t bad, and frankly, I expect that it will be more than enough.

We’ve already seen the prices falling for 3DTVs and I expect that the cost difference with standard HDTVs will be close to zero in a year or two, if you’ll even have the choice of getting a flat panel television without 3D support. And we continue to see more good news about increased 3D content.

One of the content success stories is ESPN 3D; launched about a year ago, the channel went to 24/7 broadcasts in February of this year. Sony was an original sponsor, and has just announced that it will renew its commitment for another year. According to the company press release, ESPN will double the number of college football games that will be broadcast in 3D this coming season. The channel will also provide extensive 3D coverage of the Summer X Games July 28 through 31.

ESPN is a leader in live sports coverage, and it has stepped out in front of the pack on 3D coverage. Its partnership with Sony has given it access to equipment and expertise that has helped maximize its investment in this technology. The channel has already broadcast coverage of 115 live sporting events. Sports has always been a driving force in the growth of television technology, and ESPN is positioning itself to have the best 3D skills when the user installed base is ready to take advantage of it. In another year or two, I expect that 3D coverage of major sporting events will become commonplace.

As for getting rid of the stupid glasses for multi-viewer 3DTVs, I’ve already made it clear why that isn’t going to happen.

HDTV Almanac

Hauppauge USB CableCARD tuner announced on Facebook, ships later this month for $129

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

It seems like just yesterday that we couldn’t find a CableCARD tuner anywhere, and news that Hauppauge has has announced a name, price for its new device highlights what has suddenly become a flood of ways to get pay-TV on your HTPC. MissingRemote dug up a post on Hauppauge’s Facebook page announcing the dual tuner WinTV-DCR-2650, which it developed in partnership with SiliconDust and plans to ship by the end of this month for just 9. It’s already certified by CableLabs so everything appears to be ready to go, with preorders apparently ready to begin Monday through the company’s direct store and Amazon. Are any of you canceling a HDHomeRun/InfiniTV 4 order and switching over?

[Thanks, Craig, Brian & Joe]

Hauppauge USB CableCARD tuner announced on Facebook, ships later this month for 9 originally appeared on Engadget HD on Wed, 13 Jul 2011 22:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hulu Plus Android app is now playing on Evo 4G, Thunderbolt, myTouch 4G and G2

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Last month Hulu Plus finally arrived on Android however support was unfortunately limited to just six devices, but tonight the official blog has announced the count has reached double digits. Four HTC phones are on the list — the Evo 4G, Thunderbolt, myTouch 4G and G2 — bringing the total to ten models supported, featuring a mix of first and second gen Snapdragon chips clocked at varying speeds. Given shared architecture with some phones already on the list it’s not clear why these had to wait, but Senior Product Manager Lonn Lee is quick to point out that the streaming video site isn’t done yet. Even as it’s on the auction block, there’s at least some chance to pick up disgruntled Netflix subscribers and adding a few underserved handsets is as good a way as any to reach out.

Hulu Plus Android app is now playing on Evo 4G, Thunderbolt, myTouch 4G and G2 originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 14 Jul 2011 01:34:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Klipsch Mode noise-canceling headphones tweet highs, woof lows

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Engadget: We’ve been worried about Klipsch’s future since Audiovox joined the picture, but it looks like there isn’t reason to fret just yet. Remember the company’s first…



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New Netflix, NBCUniversal deal announced; extra $6 a month buys some old eps of The Event

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

In case you were wondering what the updated rates are buying, Netflix’s first step in making its case for your .99 a month in streaming fees appears to be a renewal of its content deal with NBCUniversal. The new deal secures availability of previous seasons of popular shows including 30 Rock, The Office, Psych and other selections we’ve gotten used to seeing on the service for the next couple of years. There is one notable loss however, as the LA Times points out an arrangement that brought new episodes of Saturday Night Live to the service the day after they aired has come to an end. Rumors had swirled that Netflix could revive The Event after its cancellation by NBC, but while existing episodes will be available there’s nothing mentioned about putting it next to the streamer’s own House of Cards. Given Comcast (and now NBCU) leader Brian Robert’s reference to Netflix as the rerun TV and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’ embracing of the term this deal isn’t surprising, but our only question is whether it is enough to keep current subscribers around.

Continue reading New Netflix, NBCUniversal deal announced; extra a month buys some old eps of The Event

New Netflix, NBCUniversal deal announced; extra a month buys some old eps of The Event originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 13 Jul 2011 17:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Touchscreen demand to grow by 90-percent, led by mobile, tablet markets

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

This just in: people really like touchscreens, and their tastes aren’t going to change anytime soon. That’s the takeaway from a new report from market research firm DisplaySearch, which predicts that revenue from touch panel sales will hit the .4 billion mark by the end of this year, before soaring to nearly billion by 2017. Shipments of capacitive touch displays, in particular, are expected to increase by 100-percent over last year, accounting for a full 70-percent of all tactile revenues. The mobile market still accounts for most of this industry-wide growth, but demand for touch-based tablets is accelerating considerably, with more than 72 million panels expected to ship this year, and 100 million projected in 2012. Jonesing for more numbers? Better gallop past the break to get your hands on the full PR.

Continue reading Report: Touchscreen demand to grow by 90-percent, led by mobile, tablet markets

Report: Touchscreen demand to grow by 90-percent, led by mobile, tablet markets originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 13 Jul 2011 06:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Pioneer Invades Your Computer Workspace with Multimedia Speakers

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Gizmodo: Pioneer makes nice A/V receivers and car audio products, so it’s not entirely shocking to see them move into the PC space. Their first offering will be a pair of 2.0 multimedia…



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ISPs Ready to Get Tough on Copyrights

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Have you heard of the Center for Copyright Information? I encourage you to head over to their site and check it out. In particular, look at the “Copyright Alerts” section because it could have an impact on your access to the Internet.

The Center is a joint effort between the copyright holders — the music, film, and television industries — and the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) who provide consumers with access to the Internet. The program apparently received support from the White House, which has encouraged major cable companies and other ISPs to get on board with the program. The idea is to get serious about enforcing copyright restrictions; last week, the group announced its program of “Copyright Alerts”.

The basic concept is that broadband account owners may not be aware that their account is being used to access copyrighted information illegally. It could be that the consumer is not aware of the limitations for accessing copyrighted material, or it may be that someone else in the household has access to the account and is using it to download content illegally without the account owner’s knowledge. The program is designed to give the account owner up to six Copyright Alerts. Consumers who repeatedly violate copyright rules will then be subject to “mitigation measures.” These penalties can range from a throttling of data throughput to blocking access to the Web altogether. There are provisions for independent review of violations so that consumers have recourse if they think that the alerts are in error.

The news here is that the major ISPs appear to be willing to take a more proactive role in protecting copyrighted material. Comcast, Cablevision, Verizon, and Time Warner Cable have all agreed to take part in the program. A cynic might point out that many of these companies are now the owners of copyrighted material themselves, and so it is no longer someone else’s ox being gored. Whatever the motivation, this move holds out the hope that the people creating the content that we want for our entertainment will stand a better chance of getting a better return on their investment of time, money, and skill, which in turn could mean that we will be more likely to have new content to enjoy in the future.

HDTV Almanac

Four tuner firmware update for Cisco Tuning Adapters rolling out

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011
Cisco Tuning Adapter

With less than two weeks to go until the very same FCC requirement (FCC-10-81) goes into effect, a Cisco Tuning Adapter in the wild received the F.1402 firmware update that upgrades it from double to quadruple duty. This is fantastic news for those who already have a Ceton InfiniTV 4 on a system that uses Switched Digital Video, as it will eliminate the need for one more set-top box, but should also be good news to the company who formally requested CableLabs change the spec to require four tuners in the first place; TiVo. No way to know exactly when this firmware update will roll out, but we’re sure we’re not alone when we say we hope it brings some much needed stability along with it.

Four tuner firmware update for Cisco Tuning Adapters rolling out originally appeared on Engadget HD on Tue, 12 Jul 2011 23:46:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Jawbone Jambox Gold Limited Edition Bluetooth speaker for iDevices

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Newlaunches: Whatever happened to Apple accessories that manage to highlight the elegance and pure white design elegance of the newer breed of gizmos from the maker? Well, we’re seeing the Jawbone…



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Yamaha develops Android app for 2011 AV receivers and BD players

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

What Hi-fi: Yamaha is the latest manufacturer to develop a smartphone control app for its 2011 range of home cinema receivers and Blu-ray players.
The free app will be available for Android devices…



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Veebeam HD Review

Monday, July 11th, 2011

While not glitch-free, this bold, capable wireless solution effectively brings the limitless world of the computer to the home theater, in high-def.

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Bowers & Wilkins C5 Headphones Will Probably Actually Stay on Your Head

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Gizmodo: B&W makes golden-sounding stuff—but for a high-end audio firm, it’s pretty odd that they only make a single model of headphones. And the P5s, although terrific, are nothing you…



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HDMI group reportedly putting a stop to Mini DisplayPort-to-HDMI adapters

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

If you’ve been thinking about buying a one piece Mini DisplayPort-to-HDMI cable to bring vids from your Macbook to an HDTV, you may want to get it now. According to a report from TechRadar, the group behind HDMI has decided they don’t meet the requirements and cannot be tested or licensed for compatibility. Their sin? Not having a male HDMI plug on each end as required by the spec, which only allows for dongles featuring an all-female pairing of Mini DisplayPort and HDMI to get the job done. We’ve contacted the group to find out exactly what’s going on, but until we hear back it may be prudent to keep an eye on suddenly black-market cable pricing like gasoline before a big holiday.

HDMI group reportedly putting a stop to Mini DisplayPort-to-HDMI adapters originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 10 Jul 2011 13:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Horrible Bosses Movie Review

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day lead a star-studded cast with dizzying chemistry. No matter how evil your boss is, there’s no way he can hold a candle to these guys.

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CBS considering a 3D cable network?

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

So far the broadcast networks have been reticent to do anything when it comes to 3D, a bummer if you want to watch any of the content a network like CBS has locked up (pro football, NCAA Tournament games, prime time TV shows) in 3D on your new 3D TV. However, Multichannel News sources indicate CBS is considering a 24-hour pay-TV network that would air 2D-to-3D converted programming. Reportedly it’s working with conversion technology from DDD, but another executive claimed everything was “very preliminary” so it’s hard to know what details could be in place if it actually launches. We haven’t seen any converted 3D that has us lusting over a post-converted version of CSI, but if this cracks open the door to live 3D sports simulcasts, we may be able to get behind it.

CBS considering a 3D cable network? originally appeared on Engadget HD on Sat, 09 Jul 2011 13:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Double Team This Speaker Dock with Your iPad AND iPhone

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

Gizmodo: This JVC speaker dock has a spot for both your iPad and iPhone. Not like that’s incredibly necessary BUT now your iPad won’t feel left out when your iPhone is plugged in. Or vice…



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Soundfreaq unleashes Sound Step wireless speakers for audio-loving multitaskers

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

Engadget: Soundfreaq made quite the first impression last year with its Sound Platform SFQ-01 audio system, which is why our ears perked up when we heard about the company’s newest creations…



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Planet Earth Special Edition Blu-ray arrives October 4th

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

Warner has officially revealed the launch date and pricing for refreshed editions of the epic Planet Earth series on Blu-ray and DVD. There are two versions planned, the Limited Collector’s Edition pictured above with the globe packaging, and a Special Edition in more every day trim. The MSRP for the LCE is and the Special Edition runs when both arrive October 4th, check out the official list of extras after the break.

Continue reading Planet Earth Special Edition Blu-ray arrives October 4th

Planet Earth Special Edition Blu-ray arrives October 4th originally appeared on Engadget HD on Fri, 08 Jul 2011 18:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Zookeeper Movie Review

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Lock it up and throw away the key.

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Onkyo adds high-end 3D Blu-ray player

Friday, July 8th, 2011

What Hi-fi: The latest addition to Onkyo’s home cinema line-up is the BDP-SP809, a £500 Blu-ray player complete with 3D capability, network streaming and THX certification.
On sale next month,…



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Throttle Back Production

Friday, July 8th, 2011

DigiTimes has reported that LCD panel makers in Korea and Taiwan scaled back production of large size panels, starting in June. Panel prices went up a little in May, but soft demand for product has threatened to drive prices down again. By limiting production, the manufacturers hope to stabilize prices. The article indicated that the cuts will last through July, and likely will extend into August.

This is not good news for the manufacturers. These plants are capital-intensive, and it costs more when they are operating at anything less than full capacity. On the other hand, they lose money if they have to sell the products below their cost, so they have to walk a fine line to try to minimize the inevitable losses. This could be a good sign for consumer, however. If there is a glut of panels on the market now, then the prices for HDTVs during the holiday buying season will remain low. The only problem would be if the economy should turn on a dime and lots of people go looking for a new television in November; if demand exceeds supply then the prices will rise, but that seems unlikely at this point.

HDTV Almanac

Breakfast at Tiffany’s 50th Anniversary Blu-ray will be released September 20th

Friday, July 8th, 2011

The parade of classic films debuting on Blu-ray this fall continues, with Breakfast at Tiffany’s as the latest addition. Paramount has announced a restored and remastered 50th Anniversary edition it will release September 20th complete with the option of a 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack or restored mono audio track. Other special features include a producer commentary and featurettes on topics including the star Audrey Hepburn’s style. Check after the break for the press release with all the details and the original movie trailer or head to Amazon and preorder it now for .99.

Continue reading Breakfast at Tiffany’s 50th Anniversary Blu-ray will be released September 20th

Breakfast at Tiffany’s 50th Anniversary Blu-ray will be released September 20th originally appeared on Engadget HD on Thu, 07 Jul 2011 20:53:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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For Sale: Hulu

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Disney CEO Bob Igor has gone on the record confirming the rumors that Hulu is up for sale. The joint venture owned by Disney, News Corp, and Comcast/NBC Universal is expected to reach a million registered users and more than 0 million in revenues this year.

One problem is that Hulu does not own its content, and if it can’t get licenses for programming, it’s out of business. Fortunately, it recently renewed agreements with News Corp (which owns Fox) and Disney (which owns ABC) which provides it with a stable supply of content.

There are still plenty of rumors surrounding this situation, the most intriguing of which is that Google may be the front-runner to purchase the service. The company is a good candidate because it has deep pockets and and excellent record of finding synergy among its online offerings. It already has YouTube, and is expanding the full-length video offerings available through that site. It would have the resources and the clout to push Hulu to the next level so that the service could compete successfully with the rapidly-expanding Netflix.

The next generation of “television” is changing quickly, and this could be one of the tipping points in its development.

HDTV Almanac

Samsung Claims 60 Percent of the 3D TV Market

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Promotions and price drops in 3D-enabled TVs have contributed to the company’s current sales numbers.

Big Picture Big Sound – Home Theater, HDTV, Movie Reviews

Rare-Earth at Sea

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Rare-earth” is the term given to a number of exotic minerals that have proven to be essential to the modern electronics industry. Currently, nearly all this material comes from China, but that country has made noises about restricting supply and increasing prices. As a result, geologists have been searching for other sources. The problem is that while these materials are not rare at all, they are so widely dispersed in most areas that it is not practical to try to mine them.

That is why there is a lot of interest in a letter published in the scientific journal, Nature Geoscience. According to the article, Japanese researchers have found high concentrations of rare-earth minerals on the sea floor of the Pacific, including areas near Hawaii. These results are based on a study of more than 2,000 bottom samples, At present, it may be too expensive to retrieve the materials from three miles below the ocean’s surface, but not impossible. Some sources expect it to be a viable industry within 20 years, though there are technical and environmental issues to resolve, as well as determining how to manage the mining rights under international waters.

For now, there are probably ample rare-earth reserves available to be mined in the U.S. and Russia, which provides some protection against price gouging by China, but it could be that the sea floor may provide a significant portion of these materials in the future.

HDTV Almanac

D-Link brings the Boxee Box remote to PC, Mac users

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Boxee users on PC and Mac should no longer feel ignored, with promises of updated software on the way and now the option to use a Boxee Box remote from D-Link. The two sided QWERTY design is unchanged and the included RF dongle means your HTPC can stay safely out of sight while you enjoy some branded remote control action without selling out for a one-size-fits-all box. The roll your own media player crowd can pick up the remote at a penny under at a variety of online retailers right now, the long awaited software update is still due this fall.

Continue reading D-Link brings the Boxee Box remote to PC, Mac users

D-Link brings the Boxee Box remote to PC, Mac users originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 06 Jul 2011 12:48:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Engadget HD

The Warrior’s Way Blu-ray Review

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

With eye-popping action and a punchy 5.1 soundtrack, this disc might stimulate the senses without ever engaging higher brain functions.

Big Picture Big Sound – Home Theater, HDTV, Movie Reviews

Must See HDTV (July 5th – 10th)

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

After a long holiday weekend we’re ready to get back to it, and although this week’s Blu-ray releases were unexciting beyond some Pixar re-releases there’s still plenty to watch on TV. This time around we’ll try extending through the weekend because really, why should we wait until Sunday to talk about Larry David?

Curb Your Enthusiasm
While Larry David may not understand why anyone wants to see this old man in HD, we wouldn’t have it any other way and Curb is ready to kick off its second season in high definition Sunday night. Last season featured a Seinfeld reunion show-within-the-show and while the title itself may be a warning to lower our expectations, we can’t wait to see where it will go next.
(July 10th, HBO, 10 p.m.)

Wilfred
If you’ve been missing out on Elijah Wood starring as a somewhat lost young man suddenly accompanied by a dog that he (but not anyone else) sees as a human being, this Thursday’s episode is an opportunity to correct a grave mistake. Yes, it’s a remake of an Australian show, and a lot like a live action version of Calvin & Hobbes or Brian from Family Guy. So?
(July 7th, FX, 10 p.m.)

Women’s World Cup soccer
Yes, it’s soccer, and it’s women’s soccer, but we’ll always take an opportunity to watch the beautiful game being played at a high level with national pride on the line. The US faces Sweden in their final opening round match and having already locked up a spot in the quarterfinals, will play to determine seeding in the hopes of avoiding playing Brazil in the next round. Consider this one a warm up to get familiar with the squad before the matches get real this weekend.
(July 6th, ESPN2, 2:45 p.m., replay at 9 p.m.)

Continue reading Must See HDTV (July 5th – 10th)

Must See HDTV (July 5th – 10th) originally appeared on Engadget HD on Tue, 05 Jul 2011 17:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Engadget HD

Join the Engadget HD Podcast live on Ustream at 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

It’s Monday, and we’re still here to help by letting you peek into the recording booth when the Engadget HD podcast goes to mp3 at 5:30 pm. We’re back at our regular time, so take a peek at the live stream, chat and list of topics after the break.

Continue reading Join the Engadget HD Podcast live on Ustream at 5:30 p.m.

Join the Engadget HD Podcast live on Ustream at 5:30 p.m. originally appeared on Engadget HD on Tue, 05 Jul 2011 17:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Engadget HD

VIZIO VXT3D650SV 65-inch 3D LED HDTV Review

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

VIZIO tries its hand at a big screen passive 3D TV with decidedly mixed results.

Big Picture Big Sound – Home Theater, HDTV, Movie Reviews

RoadMate 5175T-LM GPS

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Navigadget: Magellan just introduced a new RoadMate GPS with WiFi, called the Magellan RoadMate 5175T-LM GPSnavigation device.
The new GPS navigation system is already available for purchase for…



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Happy 4th of July!

Monday, July 4th, 2011

Backyard barbecue or small town parade: how are you celebrating Independence Day? I’m probably sitting someplace shady with a cool beverage right now, taking the day off from the HDTV Almanac. If you’re in the U.S., I hope you enjoy a great long weekend. And I’ll be back tomorrow with more news and insight into home entertainment and related topics.

HDTV Almanac

Return of Smell-o-Vision!

Monday, July 4th, 2011

I know that lots of people are of the opinion that most of Hollywood’s movies stink, but filmmaker Robert Rodriguez apparently wants movie goers to come to that conclusion about his films, literally. His new 3D version of “Spy Kids” All the Time in the World” will provide simulated scents to enhance the cinematic experience.

The 1960 technology Smell-o-Vision pumped the odors into the movie theaters, but Rodriguez is using a simpler “Aromascope” technology for his production. Audience members will be issued a card with numbered circles. At appropriate points in the movie — where a character is obviously pausing to smell something in the scene — the number will appear on the movie screen and viewers will then rub that circle on their card to get the desired scent. One advantage of this approach is that it can also work at home; if the scent cards are bundled with a DVD, for example, the viewers can still get the same olfactory experience as at the local cinema.

Clearly, there is not a groundswell of market demand for smelly movies, so I don’t expect this trend to take over living rooms any time soon. (Or ever.) But it apparently is still novel enough that it works as a publicity ploy. It got me to write about it here, after all.

HDTV Almanac

Jamo launches £300 surround system

Monday, July 4th, 2011

What Hi-fi: Jamo has announced a new surround sound speaker package for the budget market, the S 426HCS3.
Weighing in at just £300, the five-channel package has floorstanding front speakers,…



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Audio Technica announces tough AT-SPB30 Boogie Box speaker for street performers

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

Akihabaranews: You, yeah you! Noisy little rats that are polluting our street with your so call music and other performances that you call art… Well it seems that you have some fans over at Audio…



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iPhone Users Like Video

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

I have an Android smartphone, and I’m a bit surprised that I actually watch video on it. I don’t watch lengthy content such as movies or television episodes (at least not yet), but I do find myself watching more YouTube videos and similar content on the device in spite of its tiny screen. All the same, I was interested to read about a press release from Futuresource about the results of a new study. The company surveyed users in the U.S., United Kingdom, France, and Germany about smartphones and their use. About 25% of UK users have smartphones, and in the U.S. that portion is about one third.

The result that grabbed my attention was that 64% of iPhone users watch video content on their phones, while the number is about 32% for owners of other smartphones. Even the third for other types of phones seems high to me, though the iPhone percentage being twice as large is an interesting detail. Are iPhone users more inclined to see their phones as an entertainment device? Or is it possible that since the iPhones came out first, their owners have had longer to explore and become comfortable with the multimedia features of their phones?

Whatever the reason for the results, it is clear that an increasing number of people are turning to their smallest screens for some of their video content. As adoption of smartphones increases — Futuresource predicts a 75% market share by 2014 — this increased usage of video will likely add to the strain on the wireless data networks.

A reminder: if you’re interested in knowing about what I’m writing elsewhere, such as explaining the different types of HDMI cables, you can follow me on Twitter @AlfredPoor to get updates on my latest posts on other sites.

HDTV Almanac

Boxee 1.2 update will bring order to apps with categories

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

It may not be as swanky a revamped browser, but Boxee has revealed that the v1.2 update for the Boxee Box will help users browse through the available apps by adding more categories. NewTeeVee points out a blog post directed at developers to show how their app can be assigned some of the 14 new categories, an upgrade over the three (video, photo, music) available previously. The new version is expected to drop in “a few weeks” so we should find out then what else is in store.

Boxee 1.2 update will bring order to apps with categories originally appeared on Engadget HD on Sat, 02 Jul 2011 17:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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v-Jays headphones get matt finish and new price

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

What Hi-fi: Jays has given its v-Jays on-ear headphones a new matt finish and dropped the price tag.
On sale in new packaging alongside the rest of the Jays range as part of a renewed push by the…



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Mitsubishi new Car Navigation System let you Record TV and Watch BD Movies while driving!

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

Akihabaranews: Mitsubishi Electric has introduced today a new Car Navigation System with the NR-MZ50. Announced at 150,000 Yen and schedule for August, this new 2DIN AV GPS comes with this usual GPS…



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Soundfreaq Ghost is one beautiful speaker dock

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

Ubergizmo: The folks over at Soundfreaq are back with a new audio accessory called the SFQ-01W Sound Platform, or just Ghost (it’s actually the same sound platform they’ve been selling all this…



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Facebook, Hulu partnership accidentally clicks ‘security breach’ instead of ‘Like’

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Even though there’s a For Sale sign in the window Hulu isn’t taking a break and today it unveiled a new partnership with Facebook to make its library of TV shows and movies more social. Adding Facebook Connect (competitor Netflix may be on the board, but it’s still working on adding the button) should let the social network log you in, customize things based on preferences from you and your friends, and share time-coded likes and comments. Unfortunately what actually happened for some users was that they were suddenly given access to someone else’s Hulu account, a problem documented by both AVRev and NewTeeVee. According to a second blog post, due to approximately 50 users being affected Hulu has shut down the program, required everyone to log in again and cranked privacy settings to the highest for anyone who logged in while it was on. Of course, with rumors from the LA Times that Google (along with Microsoft and Yahoo) is interested in purchasing the service, maybe they can get an invite to the Google+ party and forget the whole thing ever happened

Facebook, Hulu partnership accidentally clicks ‘security breach’ instead of ‘Like’ originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 01 Jul 2011 18:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Engadget HD

Sony launches G Series micro systems with wi-fi and DAB

Friday, July 1st, 2011

What Hi-fi: Sony has announced four new G Series micro hi-fi systems, with the two top models incorporating built-in wi-fi for streaming music.
The G Series one-box systems are finished in solid…



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Digital Projection, ADA, Totem, Stewart, D-Box System is Part 3D Home Theater, Part Theme Park

Friday, July 1st, 2011

An assortment of best-in-class gear came together for a very special series of demos in New York City last week. And yeah, we needed to hang onto something.

Big Picture Big Sound – Home Theater, HDTV, Movie Reviews

Larry Crowne Movie Review

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Sadly, the presence of Tom Hanks isn’t the guarantee of quality that it used to be.

Big Picture Big Sound – Home Theater, HDTV, Movie Reviews