Hailed as the ultimate multimedia wall, the $60,000 SmartWall AV from The Pleasure Home is a complete home entertainment solution centered on a 13-foot-wide wardrobe-style A/V console with electronics. The hefty asking price includes a mega 60-inch HDTV, two smaller panels to monitor your stock indices and home security, three front speakers, and a whole lot of other accessories.
We're rather impressed by the SmartWall's clever-yet-functional design, which sets it up in two distinct configurations: one for showcasing your prized antiques and fine collection of liquor without the huge TV stealing the limelight, the other for … Read more
Nowadays, many media recording and playback devices, such as camcorders, TVs, DVRs, and Blu-ray players, use external storage devices for storage. If you own one of those and wonder which storage device is most compatible with it, Western Digital might have what you're looking for.
The company announced Wednesday the new My Passport AV portable media drive that's designed to store digital content for digital media players and recorders. According to company representatives, the new drive "delivers the formatting and low-power consumption that assures out-of-the-box compatibility with many leading consumer electronics devices."
WD assures that the … Read more
For the second time in less than six months, visitors to the Drudge Report say they got malware in addition to the Web site's usual sensational headlines.
Matt Drudge denied that his site was infecting visitors, however it's likely that the malware is coming from ads delivered by a third-party ad network and not the site itself.
"I can personally vouch for disinfecting my mom's desktop yesterday after visiting this Web page, even taking a screenshot after beginning remedial steps to address the attempted infection," a CNET reader wrote in an e-mail early on Tuesday. &… Read more
Add Onkyo to the list of AV manufacturers jumping on the 3D bandwagon. The company has unveiled a trio of new entry- and midlevel AV receivers for 2010, all of which boast HDMI 1.4 connections that are capable of passing the 3D signal from a Blu-ray player to a compatible TV. In addition to 3D compatibility, Onkyo is touting the receivers' support for audio return channel (if you want to, say, amplify the audio from a TV's built-in Netflix or Pandora stream) as well as HDMI passthrough (useful when you want to play a game on your PS3 using the TV speakers, while the receiver remains in standby mode). The $600 model even includes a VGA input for PCs--the first such feature we've seen on an AV receiver.
Highlights of the three new models follow:… Read more
Powerline networking adapters tend to suffer from slow speeds, especially when compared with regular wired Ethernet connections. However that's about to possibly change with two new products from Netgear.
Powerline networking kits allow you to expand your local network via the electrical wiring, sparing you from having to run network cable to a far corner of the house. This is especially helpful when the corner is so far away … Read more
Last year, Pioneer's VSX-1019AH-K was our top midrange AV receiver pick, offering more features for the same price as its competitors, and still serving up solid sound quality. Pioneer has announced its new 2010 lineup for AV receivers, and our first impression is that the company looks like it has a good shot at maintaining its edge in the "features war." Here's a quick rundown of the announced models.
Key features of the Pioneer VSX-520-K:5.1 AV receiver, 110 watts per channel 3 HDMI 1.4 inputs 3D-compatible (able to pass 3D HDMI signal from 3D Blu-ray player to 3D TV) Onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, plus Dolby ProLogic IIz decoding Bluetooth-ready (can stream Bluetooth audio from compatible A2DP devices with $100 AS-BT100 adapter) Advanced Sound Retriever and Automatic Level Control processing $230 | Available in April
Key step-up features of the Pioneer VSX-820-K:4 HDMI 1.4 inputs… Read more
In our 3D TV FAQ, we mention that we expect new 3D-capable AV receivers to be released in 2010. Sony is the first manufacturer out of the gate, introducing new AV receivers, including the STR-DN1010 that is capable of passing 3D video signals. Their full spec sheets aren't available yet, but here's what we know so far:
Key features of the Sony STR-DH510:5.1 channel AV receiver, 100 watts per channel 3 HDMI inputs HDMI standby pass-through HDMI audio return channel capable 2 component video inputs $230 list price; available in March
Key step-up features of the Sony STR-DH710:7.1 channel AV receiver, 105 watts per channel… Read more
Though it's certainly hard to get excited about entry-level point-and-shoot cameras, the manufacturers generally sell a lot of them simply because they're cheap. The FinePix AV100 and AX200 from Fujifilm are no different, priced at $99.95 and $109.95, respectively, with just a lens differentiating them.
There's almost nothing to get worked up about as far as features go. I say almost nothing because Fujifilm has decided not to use HD video capture as an upsell feature in its compacts, so even these two get 720p movie modes.
FinePix AV10012 megapixels Fujinon 3x optical zoom … Read more
I didn't go to CES, but a lot of my friends did. I call them all the time, and they don't seem to be all that jazzed about what they're seeing. "Nothing new" is what I keep hearing, but there were a few juicy tidbits to be found.
The new 3D TVs and Blu-ray players may or may not render the AV receiver you bought way back in 2009 obsolete. I can't get a consistent answer to the question: do you need a receiver with HDMI 1.4 to pass 3D program material to your 3D TV? You may not care about 3D, but if you do please direct your anger at the consumer electronics industry that regularly leaves its client base high and dry. We'll have to see how 1.4 works out.
Ultimate AV magazine was impressed with the Manley Stingray iTube stereo integrated amplifier. Sure, we've seen vacuum tube iPod dock/amps before, but this is the first one with real audiophile appeal. The blue LED displays surrounding the input and volume knobs can be dimmed down or turned off entirely. Manley makes truly stellar tube electronics for audiophiles and the pro market. … Read more