Earlier today we reported the major details on Sony's new Blu-ray player ($600, comes out this summer), and now we've received the full press release for the BDP-S300 which will be announced tomorrow at Sony's line show. As we mentioned before, the BDP-S300 is similar to the BDP-S1, including features such as support for DVD upconversion up to 1080p and 24 frames per second output on Blu-ray discs. There are also a few new features, such as support for standard audio CDs (a major omission on the BDP-S1) and Bravia Theater Sync, which enables the BDP-S300 to … Read more
The delay is neither surprising nor particularly problematic. With less than 72 hours left in the month of February, the possibility of hitting the announced release window was becoming increasingly unlikely. That said, a March release for Apple TV would only be two to three weeks late and still within the Q1 2007 span originally mentioned when the product was initially announced last fall (under the "iTV" moniker).
In other words: take a deep breath, fanboys. The Apple TV … Read more
If you're planning on buying an Apple TV, make sure you have some extra A/V cables on hand. According to the Apple Web site, the only items included in the box--besides the Apple TV unit itself--are the remote, a power cord, and the instruction manual. Indeed, a more detailed overview of the product elsewhere on Apple's site lists the cables you'll need to supply: either HDMI (which can carry audio and video to compatible HDTVs) or component video, and--if using component--a pair of analog stereo or an optical digital cable to handle the audio. Those not … Read more
There's still no word on whether the TiVo Series3 will be seeing a price cut in the near future. But in the meantime, it's worth visiting an issue that cropped up during our testing of the box back in the fall of 2006. At that time, we noticed that the Series3 analog-video outputs exhibited some strange behavior when connected to JVC A/V receivers via HDMI--essentially, the composite and S-video outputs wouldn't work when playing back recordings that were flagged as "restricted" by the content provider.
Both TiVo and JVC have since followed up on … Read more
One of the big surprises at CES 2007 was what we didn't see in the home-theater space. Despite expectations that a slew of next-gen A/V receivers would debut, Sherwood Newcastle was the only brand of note to announce a receiver offering HDMI 1.3 connectivity and built-in support for Blu-ray and HD DVD-friendly Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD decoding. But now that CES is history and the 2007 product cycle is ramping up, details on new receivers are finally starting to leak out: Home Theater Blog posted details on five new Denon receivers that it says will debut in … Read more
TiVo is slowly rolling out a software update to its Series3 high-def DVR. Among the improvements in the 8.1 version (as reported at tivocommunity.com): TiVoCast (video downloads); Extend Live (autoprompt for live-event recording extensions); KidZone (family-friendly content control); wireless networking improvement (WPA support added to WEP); Product Watch (download preferred advertising videos that caters to your interest); and Recently Deleted Folder (resurrect accidentally deleted content). As Dave Zatz points out, that brings the Series3 functionality in line with that of the non-HD Series2 boxes except for two big missing features: TiVo To Go and multiroom viewing, both of … Read more
The underlying encryption on both the Blu-ray and HD DVD high-def disc formats has been cracked. That's the word from user arnezami on the Doom9 forums, where anti-DRM denizens have been hacking and slashing their way through the AACS (Advanced Access Content System) encryption algorithm found on all Blu-ray and HD DVD discs. Previously, Doom9 user muslix64 had cracked the encryption keys to individual titles, but the newly uncovered "processing key" is said to be the Rosetta Stone for all current titles on both HD disc formats.
We haven't independently verified this crack, but given that … Read more
Slowly but surely, the February 17, 2009, cutoff date for over-the-air analog TV gets an increasing amount of attention as we get closer to the date (just two years away). But an equally important date is just days away: February 28, 2007. That's the last day that manufacturers can ship or import any product that has only an analog TV tuner. As of March 1, all new TV and video products imported into the U.S. or shipped to retailers that include an analog (NTSC) tuner need to have a digital (ATSC) tuner as well.
The March 1 date … Read more
TiVo DVR owners will soon be able to watch movies and TV shows purchased or rented from Amazon's Unbox video download service. The new feature, being beta tested by a "select group of TiVo subscribers" according to TiVo's press release, will eventually be rolled out to more than 1.5 million TiVo Series2 and Series3 owners.
According to the FAQ page on Amazon, you'll choose the videos you want to download while browsing Amazon's site on your PC, but the videos will be downloaded directly to the TiVo. Once they're fully downloaded, they'… Read more
Let's face it: no matter how much you spend, home theater gear is pretty ugly. That's why the stuff used to be built into fine furniture in the '50s and '60s. And now that is happening again.
The "Theatre" system is part of a collection designed by Marcel Wanders for HE of the Netherlands. It's a low-slung, modern wooden side table with all the home theater stuff built into it and barely visible. The specs are fairly modest at just 25 watts of audio output, but they're probably just being honest, unlike the labeling … Read more