The headline on Dish Network's press release says "free high-definition DVR," but the fine print is a bit less exciting. The company introduced two new programming packages, called DishDVR Advantage and Dish DVR Advantage HD, that are said to reduce the cost of items purchased separately--as much as seven percent for the first package (woo hoo!). The "free high-definition DVR," a ViP-622 normally available for $199, is part of the HD version. For the reasonable cost of $69.99 per month, customers will receive the DVR, the satcaster's 30 national HD channels (more info), … Read more
They lack the sizzle of Philips' new portable DVD players, which include iPod docks and displays that swivel 180 degrees. But Toshiba's new line of "premium" portable DVD players offer larger screen sizes, an updated design and, the company claims, longer battery life.
The top-of-the-line SD-P2900 has a 10.2-inch wide-screen LCD screen, four-in-one (SD, MMC, MS, and xD) memory card slot and component-video output. Battery life is rated at six hours. The SD-P2900 will be available in March for $300.
The midrange SD-P1900 has a 9-inch wide-screen LCD screen with a new black acrylic top, dual … Read more
Microsoft has announced that the Xbox 360 will get digital television features based on the company's Microsoft TV IPTV software. The online television service offers users channel guides, digital video recording, on-demand video, and other online features.The upcoming IPTV features expand on the Xbox 360's already formidable multimedia features, like iXbox Live downloads, HD-DVD support with an optional drive, and compatibility with Windows XP Media Center media streaming.
The Xbox 360-IPTV connection was announced at Bill Gates' CES keynote address on Monday, and details remain sparse. Beyond the mention that IPTV features will become available to the … Read more
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
Sure, it's likely going to be somewhat overshadowed by the iPhone, but one of the other big highlights of Steve Jobs' keynote address at Macworld has been Apple TV, a box that you can plug into your TV so that you can stream your iTunes content--movies, photos, TV shows, music--directly to the tube. The interface reminds me a little bit of the PlayStation 3's media functions, but I'm hoping that Apple's version will be a heck of a lot cooler. Keep an eye on Crave's Macworld coverage here.
Here are some of the specs:720p … Read more
Yeah, there's still no video standard among portable devices. But ADS Tech is trying to help us all out with the Instant Video To-Go ($79.95), the first "self-contained, hardware-based video-content conversion solution for consumers." In English, that translates to a small device that converts video content for your iPod, PSP, and so on. It connects to any PC via the integrated USB 2.0 plug and can crush a 100-minute (roughly 2GB) MPEG-2 or VOB file down into a manageable QVGA H.264 video in a mere 20 minutes. Eliminate overnight encoding jobs for less than … Read more
The big surprise at CES 2007 has been the dearth of major announcements about new home-audio products. Receivers with HDMI 1.3 and built-in decoding for next-gen lossless audio formats are nowhere to be seen. But at least one receiver has brought something new to the table: Pioneer's VSX-1017TXV is the first model we've seen that offers built-in compatibility with both XM and Sirius satellite radio services. (In fact, it's one of three receivers in Pioneer's 2007 line that offers the dual-satellite option.)
As evidenced by the model number, the 1017TXV is just an evolutionary upgrade … 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