Sony's network audio streamer should be hitting store shelves soon. First unveiled at the January Consumer Electronics Show--and no stranger to Crave--the VGF-WA1 is the baby of Sony's VAIO PC division, not the consumer electronics side of the company. While we've seen similar Wi-Fi boom boxes in the past--the Roku SoundBridge Radio comes to mind--the VGF-WA1 is the first I've seen with a rechargeable battery, so you can go truly wireless (for up to 4 hours, according to Sony). In addition to streaming a variety of audio files (MP3, AAC, WAV, and, of course, Sony'… Read more
We're not terribly big on wine, preferring single-malt scotch for our imbibing pleasures, but we couldn't resist beating Caroline McCarthy to the punch on her favorite subject. (Well, one of her favorites, anyway.)
GE's "Monogram Walk-in Wine Vault" is the ultimate oenophile gadget, combining the convenience of a home cellar with security for a vintage collection, according to Gearfuse. From a tech standpoint, one of the most impressive features is its digital inventory system, which the vault's Web site describes this way: "In just seconds, you can locate wines and determine whether bottles … Read more
It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to us either: Baby monitors are supposed to let you hear every whimper no matter where you are, presuming that you haven't gone out for groceries. And yet many monitors on the market today still come in sizes reminiscent of those 5-pound "mobile" phones of the late '80s, as Slashgear rightly points out.
So you've gotten a "Weemote" to limit your kids' TV hours, but what happens when they get bored of Nick Jr. reruns and want to go online? Even if they've exceeded their allotted time, you know they'll try to find a way to sneak in a few games, especially if they're boys.
Those are situations that could call for the "Best Net Guard," a parental control device that comes in the form of a remote similar to one used to lock and unlock the car. If you're doing dishes in the … Read more
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.
We've always thought of Philips as something like the Sony of Europe: No matter what you think of their products' performance, it's usually difficult to argue with their aesthetically clean designs. (And if it was able to tame the notorious Swarovski, the Liberace of consumer electronics, then it has provided a public service to the world.)
Philips' latest ID9371 land-line phone is no exception, with a sleek glossy-black design somewhat reminiscent of the Bang & Olufsen "Serene" portable handset. But there's something even more interesting about a sound technology it uses called "ClearVoice HD,&… Read more
With audio technology on the verge of becoming microscopic, it's comforting to see that some manufacturers aren't afraid to go in the other direction in a big way, literally. One product that lives up to its name, for instance, is the "Geneva Sound System XL."
This all-in-one beast, which includes a CD player and FM radio as well as serving as an iPod player, has 8-inch subwoofers and a 600-watt digital amplifier, according to Red Ferret, and comes in red, white and black. All of this is housed in a petite cabinet that measures 21.7 … Read more
We've been touting the virtues of digital radio for some time now, but a prohibitive factor (to cheapskates like us, anyway) has always been price--usually somewhere around $300. An outfit called Radiosophy, however, is aiming to change that in a hurry by offering its "HD100" for $120.
The high-definition radio is intentionally stripped-down but still includes such information as song and traffic data, as well as an alarm clock and connections for MP3 players, according to Electronista. And as if the price weren't low enough already, Radiosophy is running a promotional $100 tag for customers that … Read more
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
Rock's nutty professors have been hard at work cooking up the Meivo--a 22-inch LCD TV with a high-end PC stuffed inside it.
The Meivo (pronounced my-vo) is Vista-ready, meaning it'll have awesome media-handling capabilities out of the box, and it'll have up to two hard drives and an incredible four Freeview or analog TV tuners--a media junkie's dream.
This does overlook the impossibility of there being four things on Freeview at the same time you desperately have to watch. "Oh no, the repeat of Deal or No Deal clashes with Hollyoaks, the local news … Read more