The Boxee Box is finally shipping--and it's doing so with an updated user interface and some important new features.
The company held a launch party in Manhattan tonight, celebrating the availability of the long-awaited streaming media box and--finally--confirming the online content services that it will support. The two big ones: Netflix will be supported "by the end of the year," and Hulu Plus integration is also on deck. Those premium subscription apps will join Vudu's pay-per-view movie service, which had been announced previously, as well as MUBI, OpenFilm, IndieMoviesOnline, and EZTakes. Boxee also supports MLB TV, … Read more
Add Vudu to Boxee's list of streaming video tricks.
The Wal-Mart-owned Web video service will be offered as a native app on Boxee's hardware and software platforms starting in November. On the D-Link Boxee Box (due November 10), the full library of Vudu movies--including titles in 1080p HDX video and 5.1 Dolby Digital Plus surround sound--will be available. On the Mac and Windows software version of Boxee, the same content will be available, but video output will be limited to standard-definition playback.
The $200 Boxee Box is the fourth and final major Internet TV device to hit … Read more
Logitech was first across the Google TV finish line with its big Revue unveiling, but now it's Sony's turn.
The Japanese electronics giant will be pulling back the curtain on the Sony Internet TV. Unlike the Logitech add-on box, Sony's unit includes built-in Google TV functionality. The product was first announced at the Google I/O conference in May, and subsequently demoed at the IFA show in Germany earlier this month (see photos below).
The press conference will be in New York City at 5:30 p.m. EDT (2:30 p.m. PDT). CNET will be … Read more
Editor's note: We used Cover It Live for this event, so if you missed the live blog, you can still replay it in the embedded component below. Replaying the event will give you all the live updates along with commentary and questions from our readers. For those of you who just want the basic updates, we've included them in regular text here. To get the key points from today's announcement, you can check out our summary post here.
Transcript of live blog starts here:
2:48 p.m.: (Tom Krazit) Hi everybody! I'm out here in … Read more
The great Internet TV battle royale of 2010 is officially underway, with new boxes from Roku and Apple TV leading the charge. On paper, it's a very even-handed match-up: both are miniscule $99 streaming-media boxes that promise to offer an expanded slate of TV shows, movies, and music for consumers. Other matching features: both offer Netflix streaming, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi and Ethernet networking, and HDMI output. So, which is worth your hard-earned Benjamin Franklin?
Unfortunately, it's not a cut-and-dry situation. Both units scored an identical 3.5 stars on our CNET rating scale. But if you look at the sub-ratings (design, features, performance), you'll see that each box has a relative strength and weakness. Right now, it shakes out as follows:… Read more
It looks as if Logitech will beat Sony across the Google TV finish line.
Sony recently trumpeted an October 12 event in New York City, at which the company will be revealing its Google TV-powered Internet TV. But now Logitech has scheduled its own Google TV event in Manhattan event six days earlier.
The invitation (see photo) promises that "Google TV will be a new experience that combines TV, the entire Web, and apps--as well as a way to search across them all." The press conference will be led by Logitech's Executive VP of Products, Junien Labrousse. … Read more
The first reviews of Apple TV are hitting the Web today, and there are, for the most part, no big surprises. (As for the CNET review: Apple has indicated that our review sample will be arriving on September 30; we'll have a full hands-on review with video soon after.)
As expected, the new Apple TV delivers largely the same experience as the previous model, with the addition of an all-streaming rental service and Netflix compatibility, all crammed into a much smaller design. But it's the $99 price tag that's the real attraction here: at that price, the device is likely to become an impulse buy in a way its $229 predecessor never was.
That's the idea, anyway. Unlike the weak competition the first Apple TV faced in 2007, the new one will be entering a far more mature market for Internet TV, with everything from game consoles to Blu-ray players to TiVo DVRs offering the same sort of video-on-demand functionality. Add to that the forthcoming Logitech and Sony products offering Google TV, and the long-awaited Boxee Box product. Already going head-to-head with the Apple TV, meanwhile, is a refreshed line of Roku boxes, with models available at an even cheaper $59 and $79.
Roku got a big boost earlier today with the news that the Hulu Plus subscription service will soon be available on all of the company's existing and forthcoming models. On the surface, that strengthens Roku's pitch as an Apple TV alternative with far more choices. Roku lacks iTunes, of course, but it matches Apple TV's Netflix and Flickr support, plus adds Hulu, Amazon, Pandora, and MLB.TV--in addition to dozens of other, more niche-y "channels" available on its ever-growing roster.
Hulu Plus promises to deliver all current-season episodes of most ABC, Fox, and NBC shows (and quite a bit of legacy content) for a flat $9.99 monthly fee. That means--assuming you're interested in shows from those networks--that the Roku could save you a bundle versus Apple TV, where your best-case scenario (aside from Netflix) is to buy shows a la carte. Assuming a price of 99 cents, that's just 10 episodes on iTunes (say, two to three a week) versus an unlimited number on Hulu during the same month.
Meanwhile, for shows not available on Hulu Plus, Roku users could rent or buy them on Amazon's service, which has matched Apple's 99-cent pricing on ABC and Fox shows. (We're leaving out a discussion of the Roku versus Apple hardware costs, and Netflix subscription is identical--if not less, if you opt for one of the cheaper Roku boxes. That's at least a wash between these two options.)
So, game, set, match Roku, right? Maybe, maybe not. … Read more
Sony has just dispatched an invitation for a New York City media event slated for October 12 that promises the introduction of "the world's first Internet Television." Sony's "Internet Television" is one of the first home video products that will include built-in support for Google TV, the new Web video service from the search giant that promises to integrate Google search and any Web-based Flash video directly into the TV.
If there's been an underlying theme to consumer electronics in the past year, it's been this: audiences are looking for easier ways to view Web video on their big-screen TVs. That's really the promise of widget- and app-enabled TVs, Blu-ray players, game consoles, and Roku boxes, as well as the coming wave of specialized products such as Boxee, Apple TV, and Google TV. And it's exactly the market for which newcomer Veebeam is aiming as well.
Veebeam can most accurately be described as a PC-to-TV video streamer. Plug the included USB dongle into your laptop, and … Read more
Panasonic makes some of the best cordless phones we've reviewed, and now the company is offering Crave readers the chance to win one of its latest models. The Panasonic KX-TG6582 is a two-handset system that offers the latest DECT 6.0 Plus wireless for optimal interference-free reception over the longest distances possible. In addition to its built-in answering machine and easy-to-see high contrast screen, the KX-TG6582 also features "Link-to-Cell" support, which means you can use its built-in Bluetooth radio to make or receive calls from your cell phone via these home phones. While we haven't reviewed … Read more