On paper, CableCard sounded pretty great. Instead of a cable box, your local provider would give you a small smartcard--the exact same design as a PCMCIA card--that would fit into the back of your TV (or DVR). In theory, you were getting the benefit of "the good old days" of analog cable with a digital makeover--just plug the wire into the back of the TV, and you'd get access to all of your digital and HD channels. In reality, CableCard has been plagued with problems. The existing technology is one-way, so you don't have access to … Read more
If you're planning on buying an Apple TV, make sure you have some extra A/V cables on hand. According to the Apple Web site, the only items included in the box--besides the Apple TV unit itself--are the remote, a power cord, and the instruction manual. Indeed, a more detailed overview of the product elsewhere on Apple's site lists the cables you'll need to supply: either HDMI (which can carry audio and video to compatible HDTVs) or component video, and--if using component--a pair of analog stereo or an optical digital cable to handle the audio. Those not … Read more
Just because a cable lights up, that doesn't necessarily mean it's smart. To wit, Evergreen Japan has developed one that "dances to the rhythm of the music you are listening to," Gearfuse says, but doesn't do much of anything else except maybe keep you from getting run over by a car at night. They also require a clunky battery box to provide power, diluting whatever cool factor they manage to muster--which probably isn't a huge loss.
The idea of a "smart cable" has always seemed weird to us. (Where do they keep their brains?) But that's essentially what SoundTech is promising with its "LightSnake" line, which lights up in glowing green when in use.
The company is touting these USB cables as simple tools for garage guitarists and other amateur musicians who don't want to mess around with complicated recording equipment. (Even its name sounds like a rock band.) Dubbed a "sound card in a cable," the LightSnake requires no drivers and will work with a variety of … Read more