Best Selling HDTVs

November 22, 2008

VUDU Offers Up Black Friday Promotion, New Set-Top Box

vudu.jpgVUDU is still battling hard through the economic downturn, earlier this week unveiling the XL2 HD media streamer. Not content to settle for the average home theater consumer, VUDU is sticking by its 'premium' strategy, pricing the XL2 at $1299. Just recently the company reached a milestone, expanding their HD content selection to 1100 titles, and claiming the "world's largest streaming HD library."

The XL2 is an aluminum rack-mountable unit designed for integration into most home theater setups. Features include a 1 TB HDD, IP and IR remote control input, routing/switching HD signals into 1080i output, and it can output its HDX and TruFilm streams at 1080p/24fps with 5.1-channel Dolby Digital audio.

In other VUDU news, I noticed on their forum this evening that the company will be featuring some sort of Black Friday promotion. Unfortunately it doesn't look to include sales on set-top boxes. The post reads:

Keep your eyes glued to your VUDU box because, starting next Tuesday, November 25th, VUDU will begin a limited time, Black Friday promotion featuring special pricing on select SD, HD and HDX Purchases! You read correctly, we will offer a handful of HD and HDX titles for purchase at very attractive prices. More details next week.

But hey, any sale is better than none.

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 16, 2008

Slingbox PRO HD Gets Unboxed...

As I've promised you, we have a review of the Slingbox PRO HD, but first off we want to show you an unboxing just so you know what to expect. Thanks to Sling Media for their kindness in providing us with the Slingbox PRO HD and accompanying Slinglink TURBO.

The Slingbox PRO HD comes in a nice attractive black box,

sboxprohd1.jpg

that once opened reveals the Slingbox, an AC adapter, and a variety of connections including: 1 ethernet, 1 coaxial, 1 composite a/v, 1 stereo audio, 1 component video, 1 remote control IR, and 1-S-video.

sboxhd2.jpg


sboxhd3.jpg

Along with the Slingbox PRO HD came the Slinglink TURBO, which can network your entire home through electrical outlets. Coming with two separate boxes, the Slinglink TURBO comes in a box similar to the Slingbox PRO HD,

slinglink.jpg


SLINGLINK2.jpg

So I bet you thought I was going to give you a rundown regarding design, functionality, etc., etc.? I don't think so! You'll have to stay tuned until later this week when you'll get the full review.

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 10, 2008

Blockbuster Finally Launching MovieLink Fed Set-Top Box

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Not only has Circuit City filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today, but Blockbuster has finally decided now's the time to rush out a set-top box in time for the holiday rush. As you probably know, Blockbuster's bricks-and-mortar retail sales have been smashed by Netflix and others, and despite the fact the company purchased MovieLink specifically to compete it's just been sitting around. But apparently the company has decided to get a move on, distributing a set-top box that allows for movie downloads from its MovieLink service in time for Christmas. Once again Blockbuster is far behind; Netflix not only has its own Roku box, they've been busy signing content distribution partnerships with bigwigs like Apple and TiVo. Too little, too late Blockbuster?

via paidcontent

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 3, 2008

Roku Getting Free HD Netflix Flix This Year

roku(2).jpgGot a Roku? Sometime before the end of 2008 Netflix will offer high-definition movie streaming to Roku owners via a free, automatic upgrade. According to Netflix, video will be streamed using something called "advanced profiles" encoding which will enable movies to hit your screen in high-def even though it'll make its way there at a relatively low bitrate. Don't expect a lot of HD content when it launches, but the Roku box is only $99 and will also be opening up to other content providers soon.

Via Business of Online Video

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 24, 2008

Disney, Jaman Flicks Downloadable To Your TiVo Now

tivojaman(2).jpgThis is why we love our TiVo's: now you can download and rent indie flicks from Jaman.com. The rentals are priced at $1.99 for a 24-hour viewing timeslot and the videos are perfect for film and fringe festival types. Next week TiVo users will also be able to download Disney movies via CinemaNow for $2.99 per rental. Unfortunately the service will only work with Series 2 and Series 3/HD TiVo's and the content will only stream in standard definition, but definitely a move in the right direction on TiVo's behalf.

Via Crunchgear

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 23, 2008

Netflix Streaming Scared: Instant Watch Content Available For Samsung Blu-ray Players

netflix_logo.gifOwners of Samsung's BDP2550 and BDP2500 Blu-ray players can now access over 12, 000 Netflix instantly streamed TV shows and movies, thanks to yet another Netflix partnership. It's the fourth deal in the last while Netflix has set up to enable instant streaming of its content, likely fearing that the increasingly connected home theater will eventually cause damage to their mail-order DVD rental service. Aside from Samsung, Netflix streams content to Microsoft's Xbox 360, Roku's set-top box and LG Electronics' BD300 Blu-ray player. Now we just have to wait for Blu-ray streaming.

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 20, 2008

Vudu Blows By Another Industry Milestone...

vuduxl.jpgLost in the midst of HDX-related discussion, Vudu has achieved yet another industry milestone, squirreling its Vudu XL into the product offerings of 1, 000 custom installation companies. Who knew Vudu was doing such a great job of penetrating the high dollar home theater market?

"HDX is rapidly becoming the solution of choice for HD home theater enthusiasts nationwide. We are pleased that in just seven months of shipping VUDU XL, we have signed up over 1,000 home theater dealers," said Mark Jung, CEO of VUDU. "Their commitment to VUDU means that consumers throughout the US will be able to enjoy the highest quality 1080p on-demand movies on their home theater systems."

Congrats Vudu!

ArrowContinue reading: "Vudu Blows By Another Industry Milestone..."

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 13, 2008

Iomega ScreenPlay TV Link Reviewed: Convenient Solution But Lackluster Design

iomega.jpgIomega's ScreenPlay TV Link is an ideal solution for those who need to quickly transfer video content from the computer to their television, according to the reviewers at CNET. It's just a simple USB dongle that allows you to simply transfer nearly all popular video, audio, and image files onto the drive, plug it into the TV Link which connects to your HDTV using either HDMI, composite, component or even SCART ports. It'll upconvert standard-definition video content to 720p/1080i, but while there is apparently a noticeable difference between 480i and 480p, it's not nearly as noticeable between 480p and 720p.

The only real issues with the ScreenPlay TV Link look to be a matter of design, not functionality or performance. Because it uses an IR remote, its front-face needs to visible and the USB port is located in back causing a little bit of cable clutter. Other than the placement issues, CNET gave it a 3.5 out of 5, deeming it an effective computer-to-HDTV transfer device not requiring any type of media center hookup.

$87 At Amazon

Via CNET

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 8, 2008

Vudu's HDX Streaming Quality "Hands-Down The Best"

vuduweb_540x360(2).jpgSkeptical about Vudu's new HDX streaming quality? I was too, but according to the fine folks at CNET HDX is "hands-down the best internet-delivered" video they've ever seen. And it's the "first to noticeably outclass DVDs". Of course the trade-off is you won't be able to watch HDX movies immediately. Because it uses a variable bit-rate to improve the picture quality, you'll have to wait while your Vudu analyzes the entire movie to figure out exactly where it has to ramp up the bit streaming. Although there was some graininess in certain scenes of tested flicks, the Blu-ray playback of the same movies produced identical defects. Pretty impressive I have to say.

Via Crave

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

October 3, 2008

Vudu Streaming Movies In 1080p/24 Super-HD HDX Format

vudu_hdx_compare.jpgIt's no travel bag. In fact the latest news from Vudu is oh so much better. The IP-based video-on-demand service has come up with a new 1080p/24 video format that they claim eliminates artifacts. Geared at owners of HDTV's larger than 40-inches, the HDX format basically works by analyzing the entire movie and using a variable bit-rate encoding scheme, decreasing the bit rate for simple scenes and pumping out everything its got for complex, action-type scenes. Of course analyzing the entire movie takes a little time, so expect to wait about 3 hours after ordering before you can watch your movie. Right now there are a few more than 50 HDX format films, but every new HD movie release will now be available in the new format in addition to many of Vudu's 300 HD titles that'll be converted. HDX movies will be priced exactly as HD titles, kind of a fair trade-off for making you wait 3 hours for on-demand content.

Via CEPro

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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