We're constantly hearing that seamless integration of television and broadband video is fast approaching, but nobody's gotten it right yet. That hasn't stopped new companies from jumping into the mix.
Enter Sezmi, the latest start-up hoping to capture the market: on Thursday, the venture-backed company unveiled a piece of hardware that it claims will be able to handle broadcast and cable TV, as well as streaming and downloaded Internet video content.
Currently in testing, Sezmi has already inked partnerships with a number of broadcasters, content companies, and broadband service providers. The ambitious company hopes to start putting … Read more
Onkyo's home theater in a box systems have always been among our favorites, and now they've introduced three new entry-level home theater systems. Unlike some HTIBs that rely on underpowered DVD player/A/V receivers, these Onlyos come with bona-fide HDTV-capable receivers.
HTIB speakers, even some of the ones packed with upper end Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony systems don't always have tweeters on all of the speakers, but the Onkyo speakers are two-way, tweeter and woofer designs. If my past experiences with previous generations of Onkyo HTIBs apply, the new HT-S5100 ($579 SRP) 290 watt subwoofer will … Read more
Box.net is an online Web storage provider. Users can store 1GB of whatever they want, or pay a little extra for more space with the service's premium plans. What really makes the service stand out is its slick-looking file-sharing widgets. Users get instant previews of images, music, and text documents. The files reside in your Box.net storage area, and as the widget owner you can even upload files through the widget.
In 2007, Box.net launched a development platform for third-party sites and services to tap into Box.net's file systems to run applications right within … Read more
30 Boxes is an online calendaring tool. Instead of clicking on dates and times to enter appointments, you can type in its single entry box something like, "Lunch, noon Friday with Frank," and it will create the appointment based on that.
Despite its simplicity, it's more than an events calendar with a rudimentary understanding of scheduling grammar. It's also an aggregation service for time-based updates from your social sites and for those of your friends. For example, 30 Boxes will put your blog updates, Twitter messages, Upcoming.org calendar items, and Flickr photos on your calendar, … Read more
We finally got one of our government-issued DTV converter box coupons in the mail, and one of the notices on the accompanying information sheet caught our eye:
IMPORTANT UPDATE REGARDING REFUNDS: You will not be able to receive cash or credit for the coupon amount, but you can receive cash or credit for any amount you paid out of pocket, if the store policy permits.
To be honest, that's not much of a surprise when you consider how the coupon program actually works. If consumers were able to get credit or cash for returned DTV converter boxes, unscrupulous buyers could return a DTV converter box then use the credit to purchase any piece of electronics they wanted--which is definitely not the spirit of the coupon program.
But what happens if you get your DTV converter box back and it's broken?… Read more
Microsoft confirmed that it is planning a subscription service that combines the consumer version of Office with its OneCare security suite.
Code-named Albany, the product has a single installer that puts Office Home and Student, OneCare, as well as a host of Windows Live services, onto a user's PC. As long as users keep paying for the subscription, they are entitled to the latest versions of the products. Once they stop paying, they lose the right to use any version.
The product is aimed at consumers that want a simple way to have access to Microsoft's productivity suite … Read more
Trips to the video rental store may be a thing of the past sooner than thought.
Netflix and Blockbuster are already offering DVD rental service by mail. Amazon.com, Microsoft's Xbox Live, and Netflix deliver movies directly to the PC. TiVo, Vudu, and Apple TV--not to mention cable and satellite companies--are doing the same for TV sets. Local independent stores notwithstanding, the only major brick-and-mortar options left for renting discs are Hollywood Video/Movie Gallery, which is close to bankruptcy, and Blockbuster.
But The Hollywood Reporter says Blockbuster may be giving customers more reasons not to visit its stores. … Read more
If you're a parent with small children, you likely know that birthdays are a much bigger deal than they were when you were growing up. No more simple cake and pinata affairs; now it's inflatable jumpies, jugglers, puppet shows, goodie bags, and maybe even a pony or two. So the idea of a giant inflatable boombox may not be so crazy as it sounds (or looks).