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Home Entertainment

SlingCatcher brings YouTube videos to your TV

January 8, 2007

Sling Media launched SlingCatcher, a device similiar to the original Slingbox that let you rebroadcast TV video to the Internet, except now in the reverse - the SlingCatcher lets you broadcast Internet video to your TV! Sling Media Inc. just unveiled its upcoming SlingCatcher product at Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

In addition, Sling Media's Slingbox product line and its client software, SlingPlayer, will include multiple new features enabled by Windows Vista. These new features include a full screen viewing mode that takes advantage of Vista's Aero Glass by allowing SlingPlayer controls and customized TV remote controls to transparently overlay on top of the video stream from the Slingbox. The Windows Vista gadgets feature will also allow multiple versions of the SlingPlayer, each attached to a separate Slingbox, to run in the Windows Sidebar.

Qflix copy protection aims to enable DVD movie downloads

January 4, 2007

Hollywood studios have approved a new DVD copy-protection technology called Qflix that they claim will remove a major obstacle consumers now face with burning movies they buy digitally over the Internet and burn onto a DVD that will play everywhere. If you recall, I wrote about this here and here

If you recall, I stated back in April - "If Hollywood makes it easy for users to download and play movies on their television, they could make a killing. Just look at what Apple iTunes did after everybody said that no one would pay for music in the "Napster age". Apple proved them wrong.

Interview with WowWee Robots CEO

December 20, 2006

Robocommunity has an interesting interview with WowWee CTO Davin Sufer. If you've been living under a rock, or perhaps you just don't have kids, then perhaps you're not familiar with WowWee robots. Heck, I have a daughter that is too young to play with robots, yet I'm familiar with WowWee's cool robots. You can't miss them if you walk into Bed Bath & Beyond - or maybe it was Linens and Things.

Fix Scratched DVD problems

December 12, 2006

A scratched DVD can certainly leave you frustrated, especially if it's one of your favorite movies, but at least the DVD can be replaced. Now imagine the scratched DVD is a home video of your most cherished family memories and you have no backup copy. This is pretty bad. Now imagine the scratched DVD is your wedding video, you then try the backup DVD and the backup DVD also fails with sector errors.

Now It's Time Warner's Time

November 29, 2006

Not to be too outdone by yesterday's news about the planned Wal-Mart digital movie download service, Time Warner is now planning to launch its own direct-to-DVD movie download service.

According to reports, this is in the "wait until next year" time frame.  TW also said it's pondering movie kiosks at Wal-Mart.

Seems to be it's about time the major motion picture studios woke up and smelled the coffee over the potential profits of direct-to-consumer downloads. 

Wal-Mart Goes to the Movies (Back to the Future?)

November 28, 2006

Well, movie rentals didn't work out too good for them, but now Wal-Mart keeps forging ahead by joining the ranks of digital movie download retailers.

According to a published report, the biggest of the big box retailers is launching the new download service with an exclusive Superman Returns DVD bundle that will contain a video download option with the purchase of the actual DVD.

If that doesn't make sense to you (buy the DVD, then buy the download?), then you may not be the only one scratching your head.

OPPO Digital LT2007 20-inch LCD-TV DVD Combo Player Review

November 21, 2006

The OPPO Digital LT2007 20-inch LCD-TV DVD Combo Player is an interesting "combination" device, combining a 181-channel TV tuner, VGA input for PC/laptop video support, built-in DVD player, 5-in-1 USB Memory Card reader, component ports, built-in speakers, and a remote control -- all in a small, elegant, and stylish design that is perfectly suited for kitchens, dorms, dens, or other rooms with limited space. Oppo sent me a review unit to check out and put through the paces.

For my first test I inserted the DVD movie Cellular into the front-loading DVD slot. Similar to cars' in-dash DVD/CD players, the DVD player automatically "catches" the DVD disc as you insert it. Using the ultra-thin remote control, which actually uses a thin watch battery, I was able to easily navigate the DVD menus and start the movie.

Verizon FIOS will have set-top delivery of ALL Internet videos

September 28, 2006

Russell Shaw has an interesting post about Verizon planning to offer all video content to their customer's set-top boxes in just 12-18 months using the fiber network. If you recall, I analyzed Verizon's race to build out their fiber network, which I read about in a NYTimes article.

Teaser of Russell's post:
In a private note to several of his colleagues (including your truly) Dave Burstein of DSL Prime reports this morning he has found out that Verizon is about 12 to 18 months away from executing a plan to open the set-top box to all Internet video. This woud be done by means of Verizon FIOS, their broadband video service.

And by all Internet video, not just the video content provided by Verizon content partners, but all of it.

Hmmm. While Russell suggests that Internet video will be available, he doesn't give specifics how this would work. Will the set-top box feature a built-in web browser?

VON = Voice on the Net or Video on the Net?

September 27, 2006

I didn't attend VON, so I cannot attest to the traffic numbers or how the "buzz" was at the show just a few short weeks ago. However, I found some interesting posts from bloggers and websites that discussed the VON show. One interesting comment was from Eric Chamberlain, from Voxilla that said,  "This was my first VON show. Turnout appeared light and my peers confirmed that turnout was around 20 percent lower than in past years.

Quickie Quiz: More TVs or More People?

September 25, 2006

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