Netflix is taking over the world! It seems almost every week we here some great news about Netflix and we're really excited about news that Netflix and TiVo are linking up. According to CNET.com:
Netflix streaming will be coming to TiVo DVRs by the end of 2008.
The ability to stream Netflix movies and TV shows will begin beta testing for select TiVo owners immediately, with an official roll-out scheduled for early December. It will be available on TiVo HD, HD XL, and Series3 DVRs (not Series2 or DirecTV models).
The service will effectively be identical to the Netflix feature available on the LG BD300, Samsung BD-P2500, and BD-P2550, Roku Player, and--as of mid-November--the Xbox 360. That means that existing Netflix subscribers can stream more than 12,000 movies and TV shows directly to their TV over a broadband Internet connection on an "all you can eat" basis, with no additional charges beyond the existing Netflix and TiVo service fees.
The other interesting part of the article is about HD streaming:
Separately, CNET has confirmed that Netflix's nascent HD streaming capability will soon be coming to all Netflix-compatible devices, not just the Xbox 360. However, the Netflix HD library will be starting with a very small selection (just 300 titles), and will require significantly higher bandwidth than the standard-def streaming that's currently available.
Most people don't think they need one but one of the nicest devices you can have in your home is a Networked Attached Server (NAS). Just imagine having a safe storage and media server that takes care of your data even when you laptop or desktop PC decides to blow up? Mvix has announced the MvixBox 3 Terabyte NAS which comes in at a decent price-point (under $300).
Chantilly, VA. October 24, 2008: Mvix(USA), Inc., a market leader in high-definition entertainment and business signage solutions announces the launch of the MvixBOX (WDN-2000) 2-Bay Ultra Performance NAS/Media Server. MvixBOX is a 2-Bay Network Attached Server featuring a user-friendly interface with Web-Disk, Torrent Sharing, Dynamic Website hosting, and data backup capable of holding 2 x 1.5TB (total 3 TB) SATA Hard Drives.
Beyond its dizzying array of features, the MvixBOX offers many advanced features for home-office network environments. It's WebServer feature offers a complete Media / Web Server solution in one box. The unit comes pre-configured with Apache, MySQL, SQlife, and PHP, offering a ready-to-go solution for hosting personal or small business websites, blogs, family forums or wikis. MvixBOX also comes pre-configured for dynamic DNS functionality. MvixBOX offers the ability to use simple name, easy to remember domains... allowing easy access of files across the web.
Amazon is showing the MvixBox coming in at under $300 and the MvixBox should be shipping anytime.
Earlier this month we let you know that streaming Netflix to a Mac was becoming a closer to a reality, and you might see the ability to stream Netfilx to Mac as early as today. According to Macworld:
Nettflix on Monday will begin rolling out its second generation media player that includes support for Intel-based Macs. The company is also adding support for the Firefox Web browser with this release.
Using Microsoft's Silverlight technology, Netflix's new media player will allow Mac users to watch movies and TV shows using the company's "instant watching" feature. The Netflix player will use Microsoft's Play Ready DRM to protect its content, a feature that wasn't available for Mac users before the release of Silverlight 2.0.
What great news! We'll keep you posted on when the rollout is actually live for us.
Just a few days ago, I was thinking about copy my vinyl over to my computer for safe keeping but that just seems like a chore. I may just wait a while to see if the Denon DP-200USB turntable hits the states anytime soon. According to Engadget:
The DP-200USB enables deep-pocketed DJs to rip vinyl straight to MP3, and you can even save the digital files to a USB drive thanks to the built-in USB socket. The unit will be available in Japan early next month for ¥31,500 ($310), though it's hard to say if or when Denon will see fit to bring this Stateside.
A turntable with USB may be a bit much for hardcore vinyl lovers but it sounds like pure heaven to us.
We'll let you know when we get more details on the DP-200USB
There's a rumor out there that today Boxee's media center app for Apple TV is going to support streaming TV from Hulu. According to Mac Soda:
Alright everyone, listen up. Mac Soda has heard reliable word that Boxee is going to announce on Moday at CEA i-Stage that their popular media-center app, which is available for the Apple TV, is going to now support streaming videos from Hulu.com.
That's great news for Apple TV owners. We'll let you know if and when the info from Mac Soda is confirmed from Boxee.
Steaming content from your PC to your TV is a pretty easy thing to do but it's amazing how people are scared to try it. Here's a pretty simple video that's easy to understand and will help you with the setup:
What's funny is the video is from Time Warner and is showing you how to stream because some channels were removed from Time Warner Cable. Seems weird for a cable company to push online content but we guess it's better than losing customers.
One of the greatest inventions ever has to be the DVR. In fact, it's totally changed the way we watch tv at home. One feature we've really been waiting for is the ability to stream DVR content to other DVR units throughout the house. While that service hasn't hit our area yet, it's now available to some lucky verizon customers. According to OneTRAK:
Verizon has launched a new version of its interactive media guide in Maryland and Virginia, which allows subscribers, among other attributes, to stream HD content from the main HD DVR to other HD sets throughout the home if the resident has whole home HD DVR service.
New features include:
Streaming of Recorded HD Video
New channel sorting options
"Wait for Me"
"What's Hot on FiOS TV"
and much more.
If you're a Verizon customer in the service area, be sure to check out this great service.
Want to stream music from your cellphone to your home stereo? Well you can with the Chordette Gem from Cord Electronics. According to Chord's website:
The Chordette Gem is the first in a new range of lower cost products designed to integrate within any existing HiFi system. The Gem has our unique Bluetooth Audio receiver technolgy to allow the transfer of music from a Bluetooth enabled phone, PDA or personal computer. The addition of a USB port also allows direct streaming of audio from a PC.
Sounds like a pretty neat device especially if you rely on your phone for your musical entertainment. The only drawback to the Gem might be the almost $700 price tag.
A few months ago we mentioned the the LG BD300 Blu-ray player, a device with the ability to play streaming content from Netflix. Well, the BD-300 seems to be delayed in some areas. According to EngadgetHD:
Circuit City is sending out notifications to consumers that pre-ordered the unit to inform them of the holdup. According to the note, the manufacturer (that'd be LG) has yet to release the product to the store for shipment, meaning that there's no telling when it'll finally be received. What's the deal, LG? Is this just a momentary snag, or something we should really be concerned about?
Engadget points out that the delay doesn't seem to affect every market but we haven't seen any of the devices in our area. If you've spotted the BD300 in your area, leave us a comment.
Apple TV owners listen up, you can finally download HD TV shows with a new firmware upgrade for Apple TV. There also quite a few new features with the upgrade which you can see from the screenshot below (click image to expand):
If you haven't updated your firmware yet, follow these steps (according to Apple's website):
Select Settings > General using your Apple Remote.
Select Update Software.
At this time your Apple TV checks to see if an update is available and a Download Now message should appear.
Select Download Now to start the download process.
When the update has finished downloading, an Update Now message should appear.
To start the update process, select Update Now. During the update process, your Apple TV will conduct a restart which is followed by the Apple logo and a status bar.
Note: On some TVs, the screen may display black for up to 15 minutes and the Apple TV may flash an amber light; this is expected behavior. Do not unplug your Apple TV during the update process.
After the final restart, your Apple TV plays the opening video and returns to the main menu.
While there's a ton of tutorials out there to help you stream music throughout the house, we found a handy tutorial that shows you how to stream using both Windows Media Player 11 and iTunes. According to the tutorial at PCAdvisor.uk:
You've no doubt already fine-tuned your existing audio setup, but why stop at optimising the audio potential of just one PC? Connecting all your computers and audio devices on a wireless network does away with the hassle of transferring CDs between machines and re-downloading files.
Streaming media across a network used to require expensive and complex hardware. Not so today. Windows Media Player (WMP) 11.0 and iTunes have facilities for sharing music libraries. We'll show you how to use these services to set up a free media-streaming network.
If you've got more than one computer in the house and you aren't streaming, what are you waiting for?
While digital picture frames still haven't cracked the market the way manufacturers had hoped, the devices are getting more popular. What's making digital frames more noticable is all of the features being crammed into the frames. Take the Image Moments 6 Digiframe from Digital Foci for example. The base features are:
5.7" VGA (640x480) digital LCD with high pixel density of 140 PPI.
Leading technology LCD with LED backlight.
Superb, subtle color representation with high contrast ratio of 300:1.
450MB internal memory.
Built-in memory card slots provide native support for: CF, MD, MMC, SD/HC Card, Memory Stick, MS PRO, MS Duo, MS PRO Duo, and xD-Picture Card (also supports mini-SD and RS-MMC with adapter).
Copies photos directly from memory cards to internal memory without needing a computer.
USB 2.0 connection for transferring photos between your computer and device.
Memory Source Select allows concurrent selection of a single or multiple memory sources for playback.
File Management Features: Organize, copy, delete, rename files; sort files by name or date; create new folders; copy between memory cards and internal memory.
Overall, the IMT-063 is a pretty loaded digital frame that comes in at a reasonable $149. The Image Moments 6 begins shipping on October 13, 2008.
A few days ago we told you that Netflix was now offering Starz content to "watch instantly". We also noticed at the Netflix blog, this cool little tidbit:
And, for all of you Mac users (of which I am one) we've been busy working getting a solution that will allow you to watch instantly on your Mac. So hang in there - we'll have something for you by the end of the year.
That's some great news for Mac users. We'll let you know when more details come in.
There's been a lot of talk about how there's just not enough quality content being offered by Netflix to watch on the Netflix player. Well, that's all changed instantly with the announcement that brings Starz content to Netflix. According to the press release:
LOS GATOS, Calif. and ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the world's largest online movie rental service, and Starz Entertainment, LLC, a premium movie service provider operating in the U.S., today announced an agreement to make movies from Starz, through its "Starz Play" broadband subscription movie service, available to be streamed instantly at Netflix. Access to the Starz Play service at Netflix will be included with Netflix members' current monthly subscription fee.
The deal adds significantly to a growing library of over 12,000 choices of movies and TV episodes that can be watched instantly at Netflix. Netflix members who have unlimited subscription plans, which start at only $8.99 a month, will have full and unlimited access to approximately 2,500 additional movies and other choices from Starz Play as part of their current monthly subscription. That includes the opportunity to enjoy a live feed of the Starz TV network on their PCs and does not impact the number of DVDs members receive as part of their monthly plans.
The first of the Starz titles -- approximately 1,000 -- are available now at the Netflix Web site, where they are presented in a distinct area accessible by clicking on the "Watch Instantly" tab on the Netflix member home page. More titles will be added in the coming weeks.
Starz Play, Starz' collection of programming content for online distribution, features a wide variety of first-run hit movies, independent films and well-known movie classics, in addition to extreme sports, concerts, anime, Westerns and more. "Spider-Man™ 3," "Ratatouille," "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," "Superbad," "No Country for Old Men" and "Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert" highlight the movie offerings now available to be watched instantly. Starz Play also features new original content from Starz, including episodes of the upcoming dramatic series "Crash," from the producers of the Academy Award®-winning Best Picture "Crash," which remains the most-rented DVD in the history of Netflix.
Beginning today, Netflix and Starz Play will offer a sneak preview of the first full episode of "Crash" in advance of the Starz primetime premiere on October 17 at 10 p.m. Eastern/Pacific. "Crash" will remain a staple in the Starz Play programming mix and new episodes will debut day-and-date with new episode premieres.
How incredibly cool is that! We've looked and all the movies they claim are available are already showing up.
It's only been a few days since we told you about LiquidTV, a package that turns a Windows PC into a TiVo based TV recorder. So imagine our surprise when we heard EngadgetHD already got their hands on LiquidTV. We'll say wer'e a bit jealous. According to EngadgetHD:
Although we wonder how big the market is for yet another piece of DVR, HTPC software, we do want to find out if the $200 price point, and $99 a year for service, is worth it for a remote, IR transceiver, hybrid tuner, antenna and software.
Very cool! Be sure to check out the complete gallery.
Not too long ago we told you about RealDVD, the supposed "legal" way to rip DVDs. As expected, Hollywood is starting to question Real's definition of "legal" and has finally filed a lawsuit (we expected this sooner). According to Yahoo News:
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, alleges RealNetworks' RealDVD program, which launched Tuesday, illegally bypasses the copyright protection built into DVDs.
"The incentive for the consumer is obvious and all but overwhelming," the studios said in a request for a temporary restraining order. "'Why,' he or she may ask, 'should I pay $18.50 to purchase a DVD when I can rent it for $3.25 and make a permanent copy?'"
For $30, consumers can buy RealDVD and use it to copy DVDs to computers or portable hard drives, though the program prevents them from transferring the files to other users. The maker calls RealDVD "100 percent legal" on its Web site.
One of these days you think a company might come out with a questionable product and be a little more humble with their introduction. Instead of proclaiming RealDVD "legal", maybe Real should of said "We look forward to working with content providers and look forward to their input". Seems like the way to go but maybe we here at NAV are just a bit naive to the cutthroat world of big business.