In a major announcement at CES this year, DirecTV said it would expand its national HD channel offering to 100 channels by the end of the year, far surpassing the HD channel offerings of satellite rival Dish Network and of cable providers. The "100" number sounds suspiciously round to me, but the company's press release mentions it has "signed agreements, or agreements in principle, with more than 70 major networks including: A&E, National Geographic, Bravo, NFL Network, Cartoon Network, SciFi Channel, CNN, Speed, Food Network, TBS, FX, the History Channel, HGTV, the Weather Channel, … Read more
To date, the SlingPlayer viewing software has let owners of the Slingbox watch their home TV on a Windows PC, a Mac, or a Windows Mobile device anywhere in the world they have a broadband connection available. Symbian smartphone software is already available in Europe, and Palm software has just been announced. Those software players will soon be joined by a hardware option in the form of the recently announced SlingCatcher, due to hit stores in mid-2007 for under $200.
A handful of all-in-one home-theater projectors have hit the market over the last 18 months, and InFocus jumps into this interesting category with the InFocus Play Big IN1, an inexpensive DLP projector with an integrated DVD player and speaker to output sound. While the info on the unit is a little vague, InFocus says that they are also looking into having an iPod dock for playing back iPod videos, to go along with the DVD player "dock" that attaches to the bottom of the projector.
Here are the details so far:
Price: $499 (subject to change)
Availability: Spring … Read more
Sony's gargantuan booth at CES 2007 covers a lot of real estate, and it's always packed full of onlookers soaking up the sights and sounds. But the flashy booth hides a dirty little secret: Aside from a handful of headline products, very few of the devices on display are actually new. Instead, the company waits until late February to announce a detailed product plan for the forthcoming year (at which time CNET will have in-depth coverage).
In the meantime, there are a few gems on display in the form of prototypes. Designed to showcase a technology or a … Read more
Many companies at CES are working on products that combine TV programming with related content from the Internet and distribute it throughout the home (Microsoft demonstrated some of these capabilities with Vista and Media Center Extenders during its keynote on Sunday). But Sharp is the first company to demonstrate a prototype product that can stream two simultaneous HD feeds and Internet content over the existing power lines in your home.
The technology, called Network AQUOS, uses PowerLine Communication modems to connect the TV and PC, and transmit high-quality audio, video and online content over Homeplug AV, a high-speed networking standard. … Read more
HP announced its new lineup of HDTVs for 2007, and the biggest news is probably that its well-received DLP (digital light processing) rear-projection sets aren't being refreshed for the new year. Word is that the company will let stores sell through the DLPs still out there, but that's it. The focus for 2007 will be on flat-panel models. It's strange, considering that the company invested heavily in DLP technology.
It wouldn't be CES without some giant TVs that nobody can afford, and Sharp has done its part with a gigantic 108-inch LCD TV. The 1080p-resolution set measures 93.9 inches high by 52.9 inches wide, so you'll probably need a mansion to go along with your new TV. There's not much more to say except that, unlike many of the giant TVs that are unveiled, Sharp announced at its press conference that this set actually will be available to consumers.
We had a chance to take a quick look at this set both at the … Read more
On Sunday at CES, a couple of CNET staffers and I attended a demonstration of Pioneer's newest plasma technology, and judging from the brief demo, the company has made some significant advancements. Pioneer had lined up five 50-something-inch displays, four plasmas, and an LCD; one of the plasmas utilized the new technology, which is designed to increase black level and reject ambient light reflections. After watching a variety of high-def feeds, I was convinced that the new plasma evinced some of the deepest blacks I'd seen yet in a flat-panel technology. I don't want to say more … Read more
Every year at CES it seems like more and more manufacturers release less and less information about their coolest products. Sure, I realize that the pricing, availability, and specs given are usually "preliminary" anyway, but any information is better than none. Take Samsung's higher-end flat-panel LCD lineup for 2007. Its three models, the 52-inch LN-T5265F, the 46-inch LN-T4665F, and the 40-inch LN-T4065F, all offer HDMI 1.3, 1080p (1,920x1,080) native resolution, a more-unbelievable-than-usual 12,000:1 contrast ratio, and "chrome accents and glossy black finish to accentuate any home theater." Also glossed over … Read more
Most CES announcements about new HDTVs pertain to products that cost more than anybody's grandpa would consider paying for a television, but traditional cathode ray tubes can provide high-def to even stingy old codgers. Samsung, along with Toshiba and no-names such as Insignia, markets a few wide-screen HDTVs that don't cost a fortune, and at CES 2007 it continues the tradition of models including the Samsung TX-S3082WH with an updated trio. The 30-inch TX-T3093WH and TX-T3092 (both April, $699 list) are identical but for speaker configuration; the first has side-mounted speakers, while the second saves width by placing … Read more