February 27, 2009

Freakin' Friday! A/V Explorer 4-Port Switch

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Some of us still haven't gone past our old VCRs and TVs and the mess in the back of our equipment is mind-boggling. For us, there is a simple solution, a 4-port audio/video switch from Cables To Go. The front panel of the Composite Audio/Video Explorer has easy access for camcorders, games systems or other A/V and because no external power is needed, you can connect multiple systems. The connector has 8 RCA audio and 4 video composite inputs, and 2 audio and one composite output. At a mini size of 8.8 x 5.8 x 2", it has a mini-price of $17.19.

Via A/V Explorer

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February 27, 2009

Bosco's Freebie Screen Share

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Show what you are doing on your PC/Mac with your best bud while he/she can show you the same with Bosco's Screen Share. The technology works with any web sharing system whether it is a room or half a world away. Best of all, because it is advertiser supported, its free. If you need help configuring your computer and router, the company offers training. Bosco interactive screen sharing is compatible with Mac OS X (7.8 MB) and Windows XP/Vista (3 MB.) and you must have either high speed Internet connection or LAN.

Via Bosco

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February 26, 2009

Kenwood DTS Surround Sensation

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It even looks rather Bose-y. Kenwood is developing a CD system they refer to as a DTS Surround Sensation. According to the translated press release, the system is compatible with digital audio players, PC and even telephones with 3D sound. Perhaps more details will appear following its debut at the A&V Festa 2009 in Japan this week.

Via Kenwood (translated)

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February 26, 2009

URC PSX-2 Does More Than Your iPod Can

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The Universal Remote Control's PSX-2 is more than your average dock. It has hundreds of IR codes that not only cover every one on your iPod or PMP, but has some that aren't, such as alpha searches and EQ command settings. Connect to a TV and get metadata like cover art, songs, album and artist. Shortcut keys have access to genres, playlists, music videos and podcasts and there are 12 different shuffle options. An HD video output means you can hook it up to your HDTV and it can sync with your computer on a home network. URC also has an optional wireless keypad and touchscreen that can be used en lieu of a television making your house even more connected. The PSX-2 will debut with a $399.00 price, high for a normal dock, but not so bad for a super-system.

Via Ubergizmo

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February 25, 2009

Sentry Combines Old and New Tech

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Sentry's SoundBox
combines retro with modern technology. The wood cabinet houses and AM/FM radio, digital alarm clock, backlit display and a handy pop-up cradle input for your iPod or MP3 player. There is also a calendar with date and day. The SoundBox comes with a recently reduced price of $35.99.

Via Sentry Soundbox


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GenevaSound Comes Stateside

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GenevaSound has finally become available in the U.S. This fine Swiss "furniture music" combines wood with all-in-one audio sounds. The system has a built-in slot-loading CD player, FM tuner and a line-in connection for all iPods and iPhones, as well as wireless systems, satellite radio, TVs and PCs. Inside the deluxe box are all-digital Class D amps with Geneva EmbracingSound signal processor that uses algorithms for excellent stereo sound. Not to mention it looks bitchin'. Their top of the line audio home theater will cost you $3,999.99, comes in black or white and will make the entire neighborhood green with media-envy.

Via Geneva Sound

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February 24, 2009

Vizio Debuts Inexpensive Blu-Ray Player

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Last week a Sound Bar and this week we found a VIZIO Blu-ray Player. The VBR100 features a 108MHz/11 bit DAC, and selectable 720p/1080i/1080p video upconversion for standard definition DVDs via HDMI output. With Dolby sound and BD-live capability, it can play DVD-Video, DVD-R, DVD-RW, CD, audio CD-R and CD-RW and MP3 CDs. At a slim size of 17 X 11 X 2", it comes with remote and will debut in April with a decent $199.99 price.

Via Vizio

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Kindle 2 Now Available

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The
Kindle 2
has arrived. You can still receive books, newspapers, magazines and blogs wirelessly, usually in less than a minute. The new e-book has a better display, longer battery life, faster page turns, and a new Read to Me feature for traveling or lazy readers. The Kindle Store already has more than 240,000 books and their plan is to have every book in every language that was ever written. That's quite a lofty goal but an obvious omen of technology to come.

So why do we mention this now? Aside from being a very kewl product, you can get NAV's Blog for only $1.99 a month. Such a deal! You not only get a 14 day free trial, you receive automatic posting and updating so you won't miss out on the latest and greatest A/V news and gadgets.

Via Networking Audio Video Blog

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Control4 Table Top Touch Screen

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We find it somewhat amazing that things we saw on TV and read in sci-fi books only a few years ago are possible now. Control4 has released its Table Top Touch Screen for whole house automation. With a simple interface, you can control your home theater, multi-room music, security, smart lighting, temperature control and more by Ethernet or WiFi. The screen has a 16x9 format and four customizable buttons and has optional access to online Rhapsody. Look for it to come out sometime this month. By the way, if you are not the tabletop type, the touchscreen is available in a wall mountable model.

Via Control4

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February 23, 2009

Why We Hate Digital TV

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This is not exactly true. We love the way HD looks and cleans up the worst of pictures. What we hate is the changeover from analog to digital. That's not exactly true either. What we hate is that our TV that is in our office is connected to a converter and rabbit ears and when the wind blows the wrong way, we get mush. It takes a couple of seconds to switch channels, the sound sucks without stereo and we see ghosts. But when it the sun is out and the wind dies down, we love HD. And we love that some of our local channels have extras that show movies and classic TV shows 24/7. How about you guys? Have you made the switch yet? Are you having problems or is everything peachy keen?

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (5) | social bookmarking

Squeezebox Offers Napster

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Logitech has added Napster to its
Squeezebox
music players. You only need your existing wireless home network to receive access to 7 million songs on demand from both major and independent labels. Create your own playlist or let Napster Automix create a custom one for you after you select a few of your fave tracks or artists. After a free 30 day trial period, you pay a subscription fee of $12.95 per month.

Via Logitech

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February 20, 2009

Freakin' Friday! CC CWF WiFi Internet Radio

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Thinking of making the switch to Internet Radio with a stand-alone player? The CC CWF WiFi Radio has access to over 11,000 stations worldwide. At the small size of 3.9 x 6.5 x 3.9", you can search by location and genre at the same time. The device features 99 memory presets, an alarm with 5 settings, a sleep timer and an Ethernet port. Since it is wireless you can stream music and audio from your PC or Mac. The CC WiFi so impressed us by its simplicity and style that we have made it our Freakin' Friday pick this week at its moderate price of $191.38.

Via CC CWF WiFi Radio

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Marantz BD7003 Blu-ray/DVD/CD Player

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Marantz has joined the Blu-ray market with their BD7003. It also handles DVDs, audio CDs, including those with MP3 and WMA content, photo CDs in JPEG or Kodak format and DivX6 video. It has a front panel SD card reader to allow custom playlists from your home theater system or photos on your HDTV. Add to that Dolby sound and HDMI output. Marantz products may cost a bit more than most, but at $549.99 they are confident enough to offer a 3 year warranty.

Via Marantz


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February 19, 2009

Sell Your Old Electronics, Buy New Ones

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Rousseau Aurelien has quite a business going. He says that only about 1% of people in the U.S. sell their old electronics online. So he came up with Gazelle, a site that does just that. Enter the name of the product you want to sell, rate its condition and get an automated bid based on their inventory and success rate of resale. They will probably take almost anything, although the best sellers seem to be the Blackberry Curve, the Motorola Razr and of course, the iPhone. Wouldn't this be a great excuse to update your equipment?

Via Gazelle

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Victor JVC Debuts New SX-L BK Series Speakers

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Victor JVC Japan has a new SX-L BK series for home theater or super sound enthusiasts. The SX-LT55BK features two 14.5cm cone woofers, a 14.5cm Bottom Woofer and a 1.9cm tweeter. With a frequency range of 32Hz-80kHz, its price is a deluxe ¥147,000 (~$1609.00.) The SX-LC33BK is a pair of 2-way speakers with two 14.5cm cone woofers, 1.9cm tweeter, a frequency range of 52Hz-80kHz and a price of ¥73,500 (~$805.00.) Finally, the SX-L33BK has a 14.5cm woofer and 1.9cm tweeter with a frequency range of 55Hz-80kHz and a price of ¥47,250 (~$517.00.) The entire series will be available in March.

Via Akihabara News

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February 18, 2009

ServiceLive - You Choose the Price

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Sears has opened a ServiceLive beta site. The coolest thing about it is that you choose the price you are willing to pay to the provider and only need to cough up the funding when the job is completed. This doesn't just apply to the usual appliances. It includes wireless networking, PC repairs, home theater installation and audio and TV repair. Sears claims that all of the providers undergo criminal, civil and vehicle background checks. And if you are handy at any of the above, you can join ServiceLive by putting your profile on their site with no obligation to accept gigs you don't want. You only need to pay them a 10% finders fee if you accept.

Via Service Live

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Actiontec MegaPlug Kits for Home Networking

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Actiontec has a entire line of MegaPlug kits guaranteed to make your home networking easier. Their
AV Powerline Networking Kit
is a simple solution and uses home electrical lines to create a 200Mbps network. The
AV Powerline Gaming Kit
does the same for your Xbox 360, Playstation 3 or Nintendo Wii. The
85 Mbps Ethernet Adapter Twin-Pack
can link your computers, install a networked printer or be used as a connection for another device to your network. Finally, who couldn't use some extra ports? Their
85 Mbps 4-Port Hub
is an inexpensive way to connect DSL modems, gateways, or broadband routers with a single Ethernet port.

Via Actiontec MegaPlugs

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February 17, 2009

Kharma International Visionaire 1 Media Rack

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Kharma International, the high-end media product makers, have entered into the realm of A/V with their Visionaire 1. The media rack houses a 5.1 - 7.1 channel system, a large plasma screen and lots of space for your equipment and accessories. Made of polished aluminum and leather, it also comes with a remote. The extravagant system is available to those who can handle its €100,000 price (~$128,572.00.)

Via Born Rich

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Netflix Hits 10 Million Mark - Blockbuster Tests Game Download

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Netflix announced last week that they now have 10 million subscribers. VP Steve Swasey posted a thank you on their official blog to all. Perhaps this is the reason that Blockbuster is now testing video game downloads with their Total Access plan. We know that they are not doing as well as the renting giant, so perhaps this will be their saving grace. The service is available for a $5.00 surcharge and the company is hoping that it will be available for all by the end of the year.

Via Netflix Blog

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February 16, 2009

VIZIO Sound Bar

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VIZIO has recently released a Universal Sound Bar and wireless subwoofer system for those with home theaters. Compatible with almost any HDTV, the VSB210WS features SRS TruSurround HD for better sound and TruVolume for limiting noise levels. The 39.95 x 4.82 x 4.33" system has four 3" high-efficiency mid/bass transducers, two 1" high-performance aluminum neodymium tweeters, a 2.4Ghz wireless subwoofer with 6.5" long throw and a high excursion driver. The system will be a decently priced $349.99 and comes with remote.

Via VIZIO

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Pioneer to Drop TV Products

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Pioneer Electronics announced that it is leaving the TV business and will cut 10,000 jobs by March 2010. Instead they will concentrate on car and home electronics such as DJ equipment, cable TV set-top boxes and audio products. In a recent DisplaySearch report, the company ranked fifth in the plasma TV market, down 9% from the previous year. If you want to purchase or already own one of their TVs, Pioneer says it will still provide after-sales service. Our first audio receiver was a Pioneer and they certainly are experts when it comes to sound. We hope the move saves the company.

Note: No sooner did we hear the news about Pioneer, Vizio also announced that they are getting out of the plasma business, partially due to the popularity of LCD. Co-founder Laynie Newsome claims that they don't sell as well when displayed in bright lighting and. The company plans on focusing on its own line of LCD sets.

Via Twice

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February 13, 2009

Freakin' Friday! Kodak Theatre HD Player

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Stream your PC to your TV with Kodak's
Theatre HD Player
through Ethernet or WiFi by USB connection. View photos, videos, music, podcasts, Internet Radio or other digital content in HD. The company's EasyShare display software makes the device easy to navigate with its oddly curved gyro-based RF remote. With Kodak's Picture Mail you can wirelessly send and receive pictures. The device can also create slideshows with music to bore your family and friends which certainly qualifies it to be our Freakin' Friday pick of the week. Compatible with Windows, it has a price of $199.95.

Via Kodak HD Theatre

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Thanko's SATA HDD Media Player 2

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Name an electronic product and Thanko will certainly come up with a cheap an inexpensive one. Their 3.5" SATA HDD Media Player 2 plays files from your PC to your TV. The device is compatible with AVI, DivX, VOB, MPG, MP3 and JPEG files and works with both Windows and Mac, even when your computer is turned off. The player attaches via USB 2.0 and AV cable, comes with remote and has a price of $75.00. A good deal if you already have an HDD, not so much if you don't.

Via Cyber Theater

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February 12, 2009

Farewell to Circuit City

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We just saw a commercial for Circuit City. It was almost sad with the blaring voice telling everyone they were liquidating their 567 stores in the style of a Starving Artist sale. A visit to their site is equally depressing with a thank you to customers and mention of the fact that they were in business for 60 years. While you can trot over there and pick up some relatively inexpensive electronics, remember that you will not be able to return the items or get a refund at a later date from the chain, so only purchase from reputable names.

Via Circuit City

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Creative Lowers Xmod Music System Price

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We've told you before about Creative Labs Xmod wireless music system with its simplified usage. It takes your music files and makes them sound better than an original CD with X-fi technology. No home network is needed since it wirelessly transmits from your PC to anywhere in your home. What we couldn't tell you back then is that the Xmod has recently been reduced 60%. At a price of $91.99 with free shipping, even an amateur can set up the music system as it needs no special software or driver to operate. Plug in and you are good to go.

Via Creative Labs Xmod wireless music system

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February 11, 2009

ioBridge System

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ioBridge combines widgets and applications with Internet projects. Start with one of their widgets which can be applied to any browser, remote or such mobile devices as the iPhone and Blackberry. No dedicated computer or special firewall setting is needed to use them. They also feature a Data Feed API to distribute said widgets or other feeds and integrate into Internet, desktop or social networking applications.

A good place to start is their The IO-204 Monitor and Control Module. Take a peek at its features that you can get for their special beta price of only $88.00.

  • 4 I/O channels, with separate digital input, analog input and digital output
  • Up to 4 Smart Boards for more complex functions
  • Time interval based or event based data delivery
  • Works on any 10/100/1000Base-T auto-negotiated network
  • Works on Dynamic IP based networks
  • Configurable MAC address and DHCP host name
  • Network status indicator
  • Non-volatile memory
  • Configurable network disconnect failsafe settings
  • Upgradeable firmware

The company also offers smart boards, an I/O channel tester, a temperature probe, relay and terminal boards and ambient light sensor at prices less than $20.00. Whether you are a hacker, developer or integrator, head over to their site to check out more of their ideas.

Via ioBridge

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Thumbs Up or Down For Apple TV?

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While we don't get to review firsthand as many products as we would like, Dave Caolo received an Apple TV for Christmas and shares his thoughts about the first two months with the gadget. His positives includes the look of it, easy hook up and navigation and the HD content. His negatives? Mostly the charge for watching TV episodes and how he hasn't yet adapted to the way he receives his audio/video sources. Those who remember 45 records can surely see his point of view. Dave suggests that Apple come up with a subscription service. What do you guys think?

Via TUAW

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February 10, 2009

MLB.TV Drops Prices

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MLB.TV Premium has lowered their prices to $19.95 per month or $109.95 a year, $10.00 less than last year. Their regular MLB.TV is only $79.95 yearly. With their service, you get HD for your Mac or PC, live game functionality, multi-game viewing, PIP, player tracker and live game radio and chat. The company claims that they have lowered their prices "in a spirit similar to that of many teams' ballpark ticket prices this season." Whatever the reason, this is a $10.00 break for baseball fans.

Via MLB.TV

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Amazon VOD Private Beta Available for Roku

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There may now another reason to invest in one of our favorite gadgets, the Roku. According to their forum, Amazon Video On Demandhas entered into private beta. Unfortunately, if you were not one of the initial users to jump on their bandwagon, you cannot participate, but we expect the VOD will open up to us all very soon. And perhaps the next stop is HD.

Via Roku Labs

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Xbox Live Gold Netflix Download Hits Million Mark

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Microsoft and Netflix has announced that more than a million Xbox Live Gold members downloaded the Watch Instantly application since it was launched in November and have viewed about 1.5 billion minutes of TV and movies. Their streaming library is already up to 12,000 titles with more HD being added. The press release also states that Video Marketplace downloads have grown 174 % from December 2008 to January 2009. We don't know if the deal that Amazon has with a less expensive subscription to Xbox Live Gold helped those figures but it certainly didn't hurt.

Via Microsoft

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February 9, 2009

iBoard Functional Furniture

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This takes functional furniture to a "whole 'nother level." The Swiss company iBoard creates multimedia furniture. It transmits a 2.4 GHz radio signal to a system of a 100W digital amplifier, 4 speakers and 8" subwoofer. The system is waterproof and can dock iPods, iPhones and most MP3 players. The result is that it can play anywhere in or outside your house wirelessly up to 100m.

Via Born Rich

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S1 Digital Deluxe P500 Media Center

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So money is no object and you want to build yourself a new media center. You are in luck as S1 Digital has released an HTPC system that supports up to 3 audio/video streaming zones. The P500 features:

  • 4 CableCARD HDTV or 2 ATSC/QAM and NTSC tuners
  • 3TB of RAID-5 storage
  • 4GB of memory
  • Blu-ray 2.0 drive
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Intel E8500 Core 2 Duo 3.0Ghz processor
  • ATI All-In-Wonder 3650 (HDMI / DVI / Component / VGA video outputs)
  • Logitech DiNovo Mini bluetooth keyboard / media center remote.
That's a lot of diversity for a lot of price as the P500 starts at $5,999.00.

(Thanks, David)

Via eHome Upgrade

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February 6, 2009

VTech Outs Its Internet Radio

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VTech, the company that plays kids games, has released the IS9181 Internet Radio. Stream music stored on your PC or Mac or listen to 11,000 worldwide Internet radio stations. Connect to your digital audio player with the provided cord and listen to MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV and Real audio files through the built-in 3W front facing stereo speakers. The IS9181 also features a 10W subwoofers and class D amplifiers. The radio receiver carries a MSRP under $200.00.

Via Fareast Gizmos

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Freakin' Friday! Philips Dual Format DVD Player

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Philips'
DVP 5140 DVD Player
can handle DVD, DVDR/RW, VCD, DiVx, CD, MP3-CD, CD-R/RW, WMA and JPEG file playback. Its progressive scan produces images in 12-bit/108Mhz video DAC and the company promises sharpness, natural colors and flicker free pictures. Connect the 17 3/16 x 1 1/2 x 9 5/16" player to any TV for better viewing and enjoy the extra features of subtitles, resume playback memory, mutiple tracks and menus. At a price of less than $50.00, if you cannot afford Blu-ray yet, this may be the way to go and makes it our Freakin' Friday choice this week.

Via Philips DVP 5140 Player

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February 5, 2009

Grand Cinema HD - Theater on Your PC

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Turn your PC into a home cinema with the Grand Cinema HD. Plug one side of the digital media streamer into your USB and the other into your TV HDMI port. Connect 7 of them to your computer, (if you have enough TVs and USB ports) and you will end up with a 9960x720 resolution and great sound. No price yet but if the company thinks you can afford 7 of them, they had better not be too expensive.

Via Akihabara News

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Dragon I iPod Dock - 4-in-One Speakers

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The Dragon I iPod dock works with iPod, iTouch, iPhone, iBook, Macbook and most MP3 players. The device features four 5W bendable speakers and this new and improved version has a 10W subwoofer. There is also a USB port, a 3.5mm input mini-jack, an FM tuner, an alarm clock so you can arise to tunes and a remote in case you wake up on the wrong side of the bed. The Dragon is available for €149,95 ($193.00.)

Via MegaGadgets

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February 4, 2009

Apricorn Xpander Holds a Week of Programming

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Instead of investing in a more expensive DVR with extra storage, Apricorn has a series of DVR External Hard drives. The Xpander features a dual eSATA/USB 2.0 interface, fan, quiet operation and connects via eSATA port.The 7200 rpm hard drive is compatible with most DVRs including the DISH Network ViP Series and Scientific Atlanta 8300 Series DVRs (Time Warner, Cox Cable, Comcast, Rogers.) Choose between 500GB, 750GB,
1TB
or a whopping 1.5TB ($239.00.) We are talking 843 hours of
standard or 187.5 HD programming, equal to about a week's worth of material.

Via Apricorn at Apricorn Expanders

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Smartparts Frames for Everyone

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Smartparts has a whole range of JPEG digital photo frames in 5 different shades of wood with matting from
7"
up to 15". Each is compatible with SD, MMC, xD cards and MS, and features Optipix Pro for finding, transferring, sharpening and viewing photos. Computer uploading and editing isn't necessary and the slideshow automatically runs for 5 - 20 seconds, depending on the size of the file. Press the rotate button to change viewing mode. Each frame comes with a removable picture stand, USB cord and AC adapter. Prices range from $64.99 - $209.95.

Via Smartparts Digital Frames

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February 3, 2009

JVC's First Blu-ray Player

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This is JVC's entry into the realm of Blu-ray. Having made its debut at the CES, the XV-BP1 features AVCHD playback and BD Live with USB connection. Compatible with BD-ROM, BD-R/RE, BD/DVD Hybrid, DVD-Video, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, Audio CD and CD-R/RW, as well as JPEG, MP3, WMA, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD, DTS and DTS HD. Add to that component and composite video, analog, optical, and coaxial audio outputs, and HDMI ver.1.3, USB and LAN connections. We're not sure, but we don't think it vacuums. Get one in March for $299.95.

Via JVC

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Interview: Todd Juenger Tells US Most Watched Super Bowl 2009 Ads

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The folks at TiVo do more than just put out a fine product. For 7 years they have been assessing the watching habits of viewers during the Super Bowl and determine which commercials are most watched, trends, and most popular plays during the game. The analysis is based on data from 20,000 anonymous TiVo users during the event.

We interviewed TiVo Exec. Todd Juenger who gave us the inside scoop. Note that they get these results overnight, so the delay of the telling was only dependent on our slow typing skills. (Pull out your magnifying glass for the fine print.)

So break down the winners for us.

What we are measuring here is the highest, overall audience for each commercial. It's not a popularity contest or a vote. It's not a survey. It's measured by taking anonymous data so the metric is most viewed commercials. The baseline audience comes from anybody who is watching the game on TiVo. But they also do a lot of rewinding and fast forwarding, so when they watch commercials multiple times, that adds up to higher ratings.

Drum roll, please. Here are the top ten.

1. GoDaddy.com: "Enhanced?"
2. Bud Light Lime: "Summer to Winter"
3. Careerbuilder.com: "It May Be Time"
4. Doritos: "Crystal Ball"
5. Transformers: "Revenge of the Fallen"
6. Monster.com: "Moose Head"
7. Bud Light: "Man Thrown out the Window"
8. Pepsi: "MacGruber/Pepsuber"
9. Dennys: "Thugs"
10. Coke Zero: "Mr. Polamalu"

The top 2 spots were the last two spots to run in the game. I think they ran at the 2 minute warning. That was the apex of overall viewership in the game, so clearly they got the most views. It's not that they were re-viewed but just seen more. That was a risky move because if the game is no good or people have tuned out they lose, but it turned out to be a great strategy.

A good contrast is that the other GoDaddy's and Doritos ad ran in the first quarter of the game and didn't make the list. The spikes are made from people watching them over and over again.

The graph is a second by second measure of the number of people watching the game. It can go up or down dependent on fast forwarding and rewinding. The biggest peaks in the first half are the commercials. If you contrast that with the fourth quarter, you see a gradual upslope as the game got more intense and exciting.

The other thing that was really different about this year's Super Bowl, some spikes are not aligned with commercials. They are points of the game, but we have never seen that before. The Super Bowl is all about the commercials.

What about the Harrison play?

It's right before halftime, the second highest in the first half that wasn't a commercial. Then that big drop is because a lot of people were rewinding to watch it again. Which may be the reason that the 3D commercials didn't do so well. They were behind in time, so they just fast forwarded to the Boss.

We really liked the 3D commercials.

Those were much talked about and highly promoted but did not do so well. The 90" ad for "Monsters vs. Aliens" was #49 on our list and the SoBe ad came in at #34. As we looked through the data, a lot of it was explained by their decision to run them at half time. A lot of viewers zapped straight through to Bruce. Or maybe the concept itself wasn't compelling enough for people to keep their fingers off the fast forward button or get their 3D glasses ready.

After those ads came on, we commented that another one should have been in 3D. Soon we were thinking they all should have been.

The thing that really should have been in 3D was during the halftime show when Springsteen slid into the camera and almost fell off the stage. He was coming right at you!

How well did Bruce do?

He had a better showing in our data than most half time performers going back to Janet Jackson. He had a steady audience that was as big as the game. I find it interesting that we can look inside his audience and see which parts were most exciting. He started out strong with "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out." There was a downward slide until he played "Born to Run." When he got to "Workin' on a Dream," the obligatory new cut, the audience dropped significantly, but when "Glory Days" came on, it jumped up to its highest level. You can see it in the graph, which we have made public for the first time.

Do you think overall the ads weren't as good this year?

We gauge peoples' reactions. There is no data to see if they are better or worse. I think it was a strained environment to navigate for a Super Bowl advertiser and that may have resulted in a lot more misses than hits this year. Super Bowl is all about excess ($3 million dollars per spot,) big stars and big productions. It's not a climate now for excess.

On the other hand, the tone of the commercials seemed kind of harsh. Slapstick humor and physical comedy work in the Super Bowl, like the Doritos ad "Crystal Ball" or the Bud Lite ad where the guy gets thrown out of the window. Maybe we are just processing things differently these days. As I said before, the ratings were higher during the game in the second half than the commercials. That is either because the game was spectacularly good, which it was, or the ads weren't that good, or maybe both.

Another thing that stuck out to me this year was that last year one of the E*Trade ads was the winner, the one where the baby spit up. They ran two of the same kind this year. One came in at #52 this year. It may be that the execution was better last year, or that it's a little hard to advertise brokerage services and that Wall St. environment. Some of them (companies) work with the idea that if you have a winning concept, stick with it. Budweiser does that and so did E*Trade, but they weren't as successful.

If you have ever seen the Clydesdales, how can you compare those beautiful horses with a baby that's been altered by computer?

I have seen them and you are right, they are magnificent and I am reminded of that every time I see a Super Bowl commercial with them.

Because of the economy, it seemed that many of the advertisers were spending less on production.

The one that sticks out in my head was the one for Vizio TV (#63.) It looked like a screensaver and could have been made by high school students but they must have gone for that look. I was struck with the opposite feeling with the NBC promos. Those felt more like paid commercials, at least from what we are used to, like the ones with Leno and Conan.

I agree. Thanks for talking to us, Todd.

Thanks. It's been fun.

Via TiVo at TiVo DVR

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

February 2, 2009

WiFi Susceptible to Malware

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Beware of malware in Wireless access points. Some researchers claim that viruses and worms can get into security holes. The team of Hao Hu, Steven Myers, Vittoria Colizza, and Alessandro Vespignani from the University of Indiana, using methods to trace actual disease, displayed a worm infecting access points in urban areas, with the majority striking within the first 24 hours.

Within the first 2 weeks, 55% of WiFi points would be compromised, leaving tens of thousands of people at risk. They concluded that the hi-tech baddies take advantage of the fact that few users take steps to stop unauthorized access.

The researchers also noted few routers have lock out mechanisms that stop endless attempts to guess passwords that have been changed. They suggest that users change default passwords or use incription to keep the malware at bay. Even so, we find this sobering and scary news.

Via BBC

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Sonos On The Rise

We recently heard from Thomas Meyer of Sonos who had such great news we had to share. Not only did they have a great December, their Controller for iPhone seems to be a hit.

Since Apple dispensed with iTunes Fairplay DRM, Sono owners can now get iTunes Plus (which will upgrade music to DRM-free, higher quality sound) and buy from the iTunes store. Not only that, you can access Rhapsody, Napster or SIRIUS/XM as well as free access to 15,000 radio stations worldwide, Last.fm and Pandora.

Sonos launched their Configurator late last year so now DIY-ers can build their own system before purchase. And if you want to find out more before you buy, you can keep up @SonosPR Twitter.

(Thanks, Thomas)

Via Sonos at Sonos Music

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

February 1, 2009

Monthly Round Up - January 2009

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January at NAV had lots of great stuff, from audio and video devices to accessories to go with them. More ways to network in February including some hot news from Sonos and an interview with TiVo's exec Todd Juenger. Now get off the computer and go watch the Super Bowl!

Apple TV

Audio Devices

Audio Streaming

Blu-ray Players

Freakin' Friday

Home Networking

Home Theater

How To

Internet Radio

Internet Video

Media Hard Drives

Media Routers

Netflix Streaming

Portable Media

Press Release

Remote Control

Reviews

Roku Netflix Player

Steals and Deals

Storage

TV Streaming

Video Devices

Video Recorder

Video Streaming

Wireless Music

Wireless Network

Wireless Speakers

Xbox Streaming

iPod Streaming

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
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