The Samsung HT-X810T--which debuted at 2008's Consumer Electronics Show--wasn't the first sound bar home theater system with a built-in DVD player (that'd be the Philips HTS8100). When CNET eventually reviewed it, we praised the inclusion of the wireless subwoofer, but included this knock: "the [built-in] DVD player's nice, but a Blu-ray player would have been even better." Well, it seems Samsung took that criticism to heart. The 2009 version, known as the HT-BD8200, does indeed get the upgrade to a Blu-ray player. Like the other models in the Sammy's '09 line-up, it'… Read more
Your flat-screen TV looks awfully lonely mounted on the wall by itself--why not give it a companion? That, we assume, is the rationale behind the Samsung BD-P4600 wall-mountable Blu-ray player. The BD-P4600 looks to include all the features of its step-down sibling, the BD-P3600: Profile 2.0/BD-Live, Netflix and Pandora streaming, 1GB onboard memory, built-in Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding, "Touch of Color" style accents, and--the big upgrade for 2009--802.11n Wi-Fi via an included USB dongle. But unlike the 3600, this ultraslim 1.5-inch model has a slot-loading disc drive and can be mounted … Read more
The BD-P3600 Blu-ray player includes much of the same basic feature list as the Samsung BD-P2550 released last fall: Profile 2.0 (BD-Live), built-in Netflix and Pandora streaming, and 1GB onboard memory. But the 2009 model includes a few niceties missing from the 2550: an included USB dongle adds 802.11n Wi-Fi (in addition to Ethernet) and the 3600 should support DTS-HD Master Audio decoding out of the box (no need to wait for a future firmware update, as with early purchasers of the 2550). On the design front, the BD-P3600 will also sport unusual topside button placement and Samsung'… Read more
Nestled squarely between the LHB954 and LHB979 in LG's 2009 home theater system line-up is the LHB977. While the midrange package lacks the bundled wireless rear-speaker option and champagne-glass design of the 979, it's still loaded with features: 5.1 speaker array with funky front tallboy speakers; built-in Blu-ray player with Profile 2.0/BD-Live capability and Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD audio decoding; support for streaming online Netflix, CinemaNow, and YouTube video; and two extra HDMI inputs, useful for connecting game consoles and DVRs. Look for the LHB977 in the spring of 2009 (price TBD).
In 2008, LG's BD300 set itself apart from other Blu-ray players by becoming the first one to include compatibility with the Netflix's "Watch Instantly" streaming service. Unfortunately, the uniqueness of the feature was short-lived: within weeks, Netflix support was added to the Xbox 360, TiVo HD DVRs, and a pair of rival Blu-ray decks from Samsung. Now, LG's back with its second take on the Blu-ray/Netflix player, the BD370, which will also include the ability to stream online content from CinemaNow (pay-per-view) and YouTube (free).
Aside from those two new online content providers, the … Read more
LG and Netflix have already announced that select TVs produced by the Korean electronics company will be the first to stream Netflix's Watch Now video service without the need for an additional set-top box. Today LG fleshed out details on specific models.
The company will put Netflix and a host of other broadband content options into one series of LCD TVs, the LH50 models detailed here, as well as the PS80 series of plasmas. The LH50 series will come in two sizes: the 47-inch 47LH50 and the 42-inch 42LH50. Pricing was not announced at the show, but the LCDs … Read more
LG and Netflix have already announced that select TVs produced by the Korean electronics company will be the first to stream Netflix's Watch Now video service without the need for an additional set-top box. Today LG fleshed out details on specific models, including two plasmas with THX display certification.
The company will put Netflix and a host of other broadband content options into a pair of plasma TVs, the PS80 models detailed here, as well as the LH50 series of LCDs. The two sizes in the PS80 series include the 50-inch 50PS80 and the 60-inch 60PS80. Both are available … Read more
Don't want the champagne-glass tallboy speakers of the LG LHB979 home-theater system? Step on down to the LHB954. You'll lose a few of the 979's value-added features (wireless rear speakers, HDMI inputs), but you'll still get a 1,000-watt Blu-ray home theater system that offers access to Netflix, CinemaNow, and YouTube streaming and an integrated iPod dock. The LHB979 also sports unique-looking spherical speakers. The built-in Blu-ray player is fully BD-Live compliant, and includes full Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding. Look for the LHB954 in May 2009 (price TBD).
Unlike Panasonic and Samsung, LG didn't offer any home theater systems with built-in Blu-ray players in 2008. No problem: the company gets to hit the ground running in 2009 with fully loaded Blu-ray models like its flagship home theater system, the LHB979. The 5.1-channel system takes its design cues from last year's DVD-only LHT888, with champagne-glass front-tower speakers and smaller rears that can be connected wirelessly (obviating the need for front-to-back speaker wires in the room). LG boasts that the LHB979 is "tuned by renowned audio expert Mr. Mark Levinson," but we'll have to … Read more
Amazon Video On Demand will be coming to the Roku Netflix Player in early 2009.
Amazon's video service will become the first non-Netflix "channel" to be available on the Roku box. The service, formerly known as Amazon Unbox, offers more than 40,000 movies and TV shows.
While that dwarfs the 12,000 or so streaming titles currently available via Netflix--and includes many newer titles as they're released on DVD--they're available on a pay-per-view basis rather than the flat-fee subscription of the Netflix.