Over the course of several CES shows and major press announcements, we have been eagerly following the PlayStation 3's future evolution into a console capable not only of 3D games, but 3D Blu-ray content. We know that the PS3 is in the official 3D Blu-ray spec, but what has been unclear to this point is when, and how, we'll get that 3D content at home.
Wouldn't it be nice if you could browse and play back your entire Blu-ray movie collection with the click of a button? For $1,499, the S1Digital 100-disc Blu-ray changer delivers this level of convenience and the flexibility to download metadata and cover art automatically over the Web. All you need is to hook up the jukebox to a Windows Media Center-compatible PC and install its bundled My Movies software to access up to 1,000 Blu-ray, DVD, and CD titles through the intuitive WMC graphics user interface.
By connecting this S1Digital box to a Windows Home server, users … Read more
LG announced its new Blu-ray lineup just over a month ago at CES 2010, so we were shocked to hear we'd be getting review units in early February. The BD590 took home the Best of CES 2010 award in the home theater category for its built-in 250GB hard drive and CD-ripping functionality, and the BD570 is the more direct successor to the popular (and well-reviewed) BD390. LG says the BD570 and the BD590 will be coming in mid-March with list prices of $280 and $380, respectively. We'll be doing in-depth reviews with both of these products over the next few weeks, but we wrote up our initial impressions of the BD590's exterior design and revamped user interface.
Design The BD590 takes its design cues from its predecessor, but it's a slightly slimmer, less bulky unit, despite the fact that it includes a hard drive. The front is dominated by a long glossy panel that automatically flips down when the disc tray is ejected. We're not big fans of flip-down panels--they seem like one more thing that can break down the road--but it does keep the unit looking sleek.
Under the front panel reveals a few playback buttons (including handy chapter forward/backward buttons) and a USB port. Of course, if you plan on keeping a USB drive in the port, you'll have to leave the front panel down, which is considerably less slick-looking. The power and eject buttons are toward the top and are always accessible.
The included remote is a complete redesign of last year's clicker. The main surface is glossy black, which looks sleek coming out of the box but, being a remote, naturally accumulates fingerprints quickly. Button layout is mostly straightforward. Playback controls have a "hill" that runs underneath, making it easy to find by feel; there are also nubs on the rewind/fast-forward button. The main directional pad is surrounded by six buttons, which is a little more cluttered than most Blu-ray remotes we use, but we didn't find it that troublesome in use. Along the bottom are a few buttons for controlling a TV.
We loved the dead-simple user interface on last year's BD390, so we were a little dismayed to see that LG has done a complete overhaul.… Read more
A lot of people like to complain about the premium you have to pay for Blu-ray Discs, but Blu-ray price watchers should take heart in the $5.99 sale price on the "Heathers" Blu-ray at Amazon.
As one might expect from a disc that wasn't known for having particular good video quality on the DVD, this Blu-ray doesn't pack much visual punch. When Hi-def Digest's writer Kenneth Brown reviewed the disc back in November 2008, he was disappointed with the video quality but found it passable.
"Vibrant reds punctuate the experience, but the remaining … Read more
We've been longtime fans of Oppo's disc players, but as much as we liked the company's BDP-83 Blu-ray player, its $500 price puts it out of reach for most buyers. With that in mind, Oppo has released the BDP-80, a lower priced Blu-ray player that looks to keep much of what we liked about the BDP-83 for only $290. It's available today.
Here's a neat idea: an app that links your iPhone or iPod Touch to whatever Blu-ray movie you're watching and serves up extra content, a remote control, a soundtrack listing, and even Facebook integration so you can tell friends about the movie.
Pocket BLU is that app. It's free, it works, and it's pretty cool--but it suffers from two major limitations.
The first is that it works only with Blu-ray players that have Wi-Fi. I can understand the need for a network connection, but what's wrong with Ethernet? Save for PlayStation 3s, few modern players … Read more
A sub-$100 Blu-ray player is no big deal these days, but it's still fairly rare to find one that offers BD-Live at that price point--especially a Sony model.
Last month, SonyStyle offered the refurbished BDP-S360 Blu-ray player for $99.99 shipped (plus sales tax where applicable). I'm happy to report that the deal is back.
Happy, but not ecstatic. See, I now think if you're going to buy a Blu-ray player, you should get a model that can stream Netflix movies. This one can't.
Also, because it's a refurb, the warranty expires after 90 … Read more
LAS VEGAS--For the past few years, Blu-ray has been at the center of CES home theater news and 2010 was no different. Whether its 3D, portable players, streaming media, HTIBs or even AV receiver/Blu-ray combos, Blu-ray seemed to play a part in nearly every aspect of the home theater gadgets announced at the show this year. Here's a quick summary of the major trends we saw.
3D is coming, like it or not 3D was the biggest story at CES 2010, and four manufacturers announced 3D Blu-ray players: Panasonic, Sony, Samsung, and Toshiba. We liked the Panasonic DMP-BD350T … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Sony surprised us by announcing a 3D-capable Blu-ray home-theater-in-a-box (HTIB) system at CES 2010, but the company also introduced several standard Blu-ray HTIBs, too.
Key features of the Sony BDV-E570:5.1 home theater system Built-in Blu-ray player 1000 watts of total power Wi-Fi capable using the included USB dongle Access to the Bravia Internet Video platform, which includes Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand, YouTube, Pandora, Slacker, and NPR streaming capability Onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio Can control using iPhone/iPod Touch iPod playback using USB S-Air-ready (requires purchase of S-Air transmitter) DLNA compatible $550 … Read more