For every person who loves the idea of 6-foot tower speakers at each corner of the room, there are 20 others who prefer their home theater to be heard but not seen. It's for that latter group that the Sony DAV-IS10 Micro Home Theater System was designed. The system crams an entire 5.1 home-theater-in-a-box (HTIB) down to Mini-Me proportions: the 2-way 100-watt subwoofer barely outsizes a couple of phone books, the DVD/CD player head unit is a bit larger than a Mac Mini, and the five satellite speakers are--as Sony's press kit helpfully points out--"about the size of a golf ball." Despite the minuscule size, the DAV-IS10 will include the much of the same impressive features found on Sony's trio of Bravia HTIBs: DVD upscaling to 720p and 1080i via the HDMI output, automated speaker setup (which Sony calls "Digital Cinema Auto Calibration," or DCAC), and HDMI-CEC capability (the ability to control compatible TVs via the IS10's remote when connected via HDMI--"Bravia Theater Sync," in Sony speak). The system also features a Digital Media Port, so it can interface with Sony's quartet of proprietary digital audio accessories--though that's less of an enticement, now that we've been underwhelmed by the first two we've reviewed, the TDM-IP1 iPod dock and the TDM-BT1 Bluetooth interface. … Read more
Down from its debut price of $500, this mid-high-end HD DVD player is offered at a $200 discount at several sellers right now. We did the research for you: read on for a great deal with free shipping. We like this one because Circuit City also posts a rebate for 5 free DVDs to go with your new equipment. Check CNET Reviews (link below) for plenty of details & consumer feedback.
Among the first-generation Blu-ray players, Panasonic's DMP-BD10 was remarkable for its higher-than-average price tag ($1,300 versus the $1,000 norm) and the company's promise of a future firmware upgrade that would unleash the full sonic power of Blu-ray audio soundtracks. Having made good on the firmware upgrade in April, Panasonic has now shaved 54 percent off the price. In addition to sporting the upgraded firmware, the newly christened DMP-BD10A will retail for $600 and include five Blu-ray movies--Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Transporter, Fantastic Four, … Read more
We knew that one of these had to be out there. About a week ago we found a video boombox that seemed to have everything except an iPod dock--which, to many people, made it virtually useless. But Boston Innovative Products has come to the rescue with one that provides just that.
Its "iMep" line of iPod boomboxes are also equipped for DVDs, CDs, TV and radio, according to iLounge. They're a bit of a stretch for the manufacturer, which is better known for making air purifiers and other household appliances. But hey, Samsung and LG are making … Read more
I think of this as a marriage between two of the most hated concepts in technology.
NXP Semiconductors and Kestrel Wireless next week will show off a solution that lets DVD makers embed RFID tags into their products. The RFID tag will disable the disc until the point of sale. Thus, if the DVD is stolen out of a warehouse or shoplifted from a store, it won't work. Granted, hacks will emerge, but it makes theft more difficult and it certainly increases the risk that you'll get your one dollar's worth when you buy pirated movies in … Read more
To ensure that the kids don't miss too much screen time during this year's summer road-trip season, Disney is about to launch its dual-screen mobile DVD system. The system features two screens with a choice of Disney-inspired faceplate designs (including Pirates of the Caribbean and Tinker Bell) that strap onto the back of the front-seat headrests.
The screens come with built-in speakers and (mercifully) headphones, as well as a 12-volt power adapter for plugging into the car for powering. There's even a subscription-based option to filter out bad language from the programs that the kids are watching. … Read more
Digg.com users, very upset at the news aggregate site for deleting articles containing an encryption key that could be used to crack the digital rights management on HD DVDs, have inundated the site with thousands of recommendations to pages that contain the code. The protest was apparently heard by Digg administrators, who later reversed the ban.
On Tuesday night, the "All topics" category contained several pages of the most popular articles recommended by Digg readers populated only by links to sites that contained the code, as well as messages deriding the Motion Picture Association of America, a … Read more
Digg exploded into riot on Tuesday.
The Digg user community was not to be silenced, and found a way to route around this … Read more
Because Crave leads such an active social life (read: we can't stop playing World of Warcraft), we're very rarely around to watch TV. This means Freeview hard-drive recorders are absolutely invaluable. One of our faves was the excellent Panasonic DMR-EX75, so we're overjoyed to see an upgrade: the DMR-EX77, which allows digital recording to either DVD or its built-in 160GB hard drive.
The EX77 also has a built-in Freeview receiver, so there's no messing around with those pesky Scart leads to plug in your Freeview receiver and suffering a loss in quality as everything is converted … Read more
Our Xbox 360 Elite review sample showed up late yesterday afternoon, and we're working up a full review. But that's gonna be a 3,500-word monster intended more for casual gamers and tech newbies who don't know a thumbstick from a joystick or a shoulder button from a trigger. For those in the know, here's the crib sheet on the Elite.
Cosmetics: The Xbox 360 Elite has a matte-black finish. I strongly prefer it to the "iPod white" color scheme of past Xbox 360 models. The included wireless controller and Xbox Live headset are … Read more