We looked at the MP80D's little brother, the MP70D, a few months back, and this beast is similar--but with a larger screen (8 inches to the MP70D's measly 7). It's a decent little DVD player--it does that job really quite well. Sharp picture, actually in sync with the sound, all the options you'd expect, and it's all very easy to use.
Back in 2005, CNET reviewed Orb, a software package that promised to let users access media files located on their home PC and stream them to any other broadband-connected computer and even some mobile devices. Orb scored a 7.0--"very good"--and that was that--except that Orb has offered some pretty compelling upgrades in the meantime.
Since our original review, the company has rolled out Orb 2.0 (fall 2006), which is essentially a Web 2.0 version of the product. You still run a small server applet on your home PC that catalogs and streams your media files--video, audio, and photos--but you can now access all of these files via a single Web page (available at mycast.orb.com). It's a user-customizable, AJAX-based page that's similar to the personalized home page that you can make at Google, Yahoo, Live.com, and elsewhere. In addition to keeping links to your home PC media files (or any other documents you choose to make accessible), Orb 2.0 lets you add pretty much any RSS-based resource from the Web. In addition to a variety of pre-fab options available (news, weather, sports, stock quotes, and the like), I was able to add several blog and news feeds, plus an array of my friends' Flickr, Twitter, and Jaiku feeds. In other words, you're able to mix your own "local" media with pretty much anything you can find online. Orb even supports Google Gadgets; I was able to include a Google Maps applet and even a decent game of Pac-Man.
And then there were two.
Samsung will join its archrival LG in releasing a combo HD disc player later this year. According to a brief press release, the Korean consumer electronics giant will introduce the BD-UP5000 "Duo HD" player this year. The release also specified that the player will "fully support both HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc formats and their interactive technologies, HDi and BD-Java." No pricing or additional feature details on the Samsung BD-UP5000 were made available.
The official announcement of the BD-UP5000 confirms rumors that have been percolating for months. Most recently, Home Theater Blog … Read more
There are pros and cons to video projectors. On the one hand, films can look stunning when blown up to the size of a wall. On the other hand, Deal or No Deal is unlikely to benefit from being expanded to such epic proportions. With high-definition content becoming more common though, there is an increasing amount of stuff just begging to be projected on to a huge screen.
The Projectiondesign M20 promises high-end performance, but it doesn't come cheap at 3,500 pounds (about $6,935). The price seems particularly steep when you consider this is only a 720p … Read more
We have to give the folks at Vidikron a hard time about the company's announcement that its flagship front projector, the Vision Model 150, is now shipping. Make no mistake, the thing looks awesome. (I think that word was in the press release somewhere.) But what's with the $99,995 pricing for the base model? If I've got that kind of money to spend on a projector, what do I care about 5 bucks? We're not talking about a $999.99 plasma; we're talking about the ultimate projector. So come on, guys, let's go … Read more
One of our biggest complaints with the Apple TV was the dearth of HD video content. The product is capable of streaming 720p high-definition video, but to date, all of the movies and TV shows at Apple's iTunes Store are encoded at a "near DVD" resolution of 480p. But HD content has finally arrived on iTunes--and it's free. The Washington Post announced today that its online HD video podcast--which is shot in 720p high-definition--will now be available through iTunes.
We downloaded the two most recent episodes of the podcast--Edwards Family Values as well as Contamination … Read more
The release of Apple TV a few weeks ago has opened up an intriguing new possibility: streaming music from iTunes on your home computer to your cell phone.
No, Apple TV does not stream over the Internet or across a cellular phone network, but the SlingBox does. And Sling Media, the makers of the SlingBox, confirmed to CNET News.com on Monday that the company is working on making the Slingbox compatible with Apple TV. The most likely--and compelling--scenario would be to allow the streaming of Apple TV content (which is synched with a PC) to a mobile device.
"… Read more
Back in November of last year, our U.K. sister blog reported that JVC would be releasing a new line of sleek, flat-panel-friendly, virtual surround home-theater systems that also featured streaming media capabilities in a couple of the models. Well, word is that one of those systems, the Sophisti DD-3 is actually shipping--or about to ship--in the U.S. It carries a list price of $999.95 and seems semi-intriguing on paper.
JVC calls the 3.1-speaker system, "A new type of home theater system, featuring a Network Media Player that serves as the nerve center of the home … Read more
Earlier today, we noticed a small item that was little bit buried on Engadget HD. The post referred to a report from Hi-Def Digest that said that Universal Studios Home Entertainment was "lessening its support for the controversial HD DVD/DVD combo format," and had "reconfigured the planned April combo releases of The Jerk and The Nutty Professor to be HD DVD-only." The article went on to say that the "latest move by the Universal comes on the heels of news late last week that the studio is discontinuing two of its most popular combo … Read more
Kudos to Laptop magazine for getting the scoop, with the one of the first hands-on reviews we've seen of the Netgear EVA8000 Digital Entertainer HD. There's just one problem: they got one big detail of the product dead wrong. The Netgear product does play songs purchased from the iTunes Store, as confirmed by hands-on tests in the CNET Labs.
We purchased and played two songs from the store, and were surprised to see that the Netgear was able to stream them to the TV/stereo system in the next room just as easily as it could with DRM-free … Read more