Sonos introduces a smaller, sexier, …all-in-one player

Posted in Hardware,News by Ruslan Ulanov on the July 21st, 2011

Sonos PLAY:3

Sonos has just announced a new model in its acclaimed and best-selling line-up of multi-room connected audio players – PLAY:3. It’s smaller and sexier then PLAY:5 model. And, what might be most important, at  $299 MSRP, it’s cheaper than any other Sonos player out there. With increased competition from Apple, and soon Google Android@Home, the price of entry into multi-room audio should drop even further.

PLAY:3 is a full-featured model with capabilities comparable to it’s larger PLAY:5 brother, but, as the model name suggests, loosing a couple of speakers (one tweeter and dedicated bass driver replaced with a radiator) compared to latter.

Like its peers, PLAY:3 still requires Sonos Bridge ($49) or another hardwired Sonos Zoneplayer for wireless playback of networked media. The PLAY:3 has minimalistic design with only volume buttons on the body of the player. But its playback could be remotely controlled from any iPhone, iPad, Android, or PC, MAC on the same network.

Here’s the quick specs of PLAY:3 player (continue reading this article and leave comments here…)

MyMovies 4 is out

Posted in HTPC,Software by Ruslan Ulanov on the May 6th, 2011

It is with great pleasure that we today can write that we have released My Movies for Windows Media Center and My Movies Collection Management 4.00, which brings extended TV Series support to My Movies.

The long awaited support for TV Series is finally out and as usual the main functionality is provided free of charge, with some advanced features requiring points to unlock. You can request a 21-day trial to experience the complete functionality of MyMovies on the website.

For complete feature presentation of the new release see this link.

The Pre Release of My Movies 4 is now available

Posted in HTPC,News,Software by Ruslan Ulanov on the March 1st, 2011

If you are lucky to have 2500 points in your My Movies account, you can download and try the next major release of My Movies 4.

Below are a few highlights from the Release Notes.

TV Series support

My Movies 4 brings extended TV Series support to My Movies for Windows Media Center and My Movies Collection Management. You have with My Movies 3 always been able to add TV Series on DVD, Blu-ray or HD DVD to your collection, and users of TV series in online single file structures have been able to have their TV series supported to some extend by using the Series/Box set functionality along with the option to add multiple discs to a disc title profile.

With My Movies 4, we are extending this functionality to what some will refer to as proper TV series import, monitoring, management and browsing. The pre release is intended for users who would like to participate in reviewing, testing and giving us feedback for My Movies 4. The pre release requires 2,500 points or a licensed installer license file to participate – this is done to limit the amount of participating users to a level that we are able to handle support wise.

The functionality implemented for TV series is similar in requirements to what was originally created in XBMC, and today is used in various projects.

Media Center Start Menu Changes

My Movies 4 menu strip

Both Windows Vista and Windows 7 is currently supported by My Movies 4, however some functionalities are only available in Windows 7, such as the extended configuration options for the start menu.

There are changes in the Windows 7 SDK for Windows Media Center that we currently do not make use of, but consider making use of. Due to this, we are also considering if we whould make My Movies 4 a product exclusively for Windows 7, and deprecate support for Windows Vista.

This is something we would like to hear your thoughts of on our forums. (continue reading this article and leave comments here…)

HP TouchPad Brings webOS to the Big Screen

Posted in Hardware,News by Ruslan Ulanov on the February 9th, 2011

HP TouchPad

First webOS tablet works the way you do, introduces fun, mobile productivity on larger scale.

PALO ALTO, Calif., Feb. 9, 2011

HP today enlarged the HP webOS world with the first webOS slate – the HP TouchPad – the breakthrough webOS user interface fully realized in the tablet experience.(1)

With its vibrant 9.7-inch diagonal flush capacitive multitouch display, virtual keyboard, instant-on access, support for Adobe® Flash® Player 10.1 beta in the browser and access to thousands of webOS applications,(2) TouchPad works the way you do and is designed not just for fun but for mobile productivity. It’s ideal for anyone who wants the benefits of the amazing webOS platform on a much bigger scale.

TouchPad is one of the products HP announced today to introduce a unique experience for customers around connected mobility, offering a unified experience for the first time across a variety of devices. It’s one of the building blocks in HP’s vision to seamlessly connect all your worlds through the power of HP webOS.

“Today we’re embarking on a new era of webOS with the goal of linking a wide family of HP products through the best mobile experience available,” said Jon Rubinstein, senior vice president and general manager, Palm Global Business Unit, HP. “The flexibility of the webOS platform makes it ideal for creating a range of innovative devices that work together to keep you better connected to your world.”

Designed to be used alone or as a digital companion to your webOS phone, TouchPad connects you and your devices through the elegant webOS experience. Never miss an important call or SMS message – they can be answered and viewed right on your TouchPad.(3,4) Plus, HP’s exclusive new touch-to-share feature will let you simply touch an enabled webOS phone to your TouchPad to share web URLs.(1,5)

With the HP Synergy feature, you simply have to sign in to your Facebook®, Google, Microsoft® Exchange, LinkedIn and Yahoo!® accounts and your contacts, calendar and email automatically populate your TouchPad.(6)

(continue reading this article and leave comments here…)

Electronic House 2011 Products of the Year Winners Announced

Posted in News by Ruslan Ulanov on the January 6th, 2011

January 6, 2011 – Framingham, MA – EH Publishing today announced the winners of Electronic House magazine’s 2011 Product of the Year Awards, recognizing technologies of manufacturers and service providers that cater to the connected home. Awards will be presented at the CE Pro HQ Booth #21767 at CES, LVCC, at 4:00 p.m. today.

Covering 35 different categories, the winning entries were chosen by a panel of industry experts, integrators and the editors of Electronic House. Judging criteria for the Electronic House 2011 Product of the Year Awards include creativity, innovation, incorporated equiment, obstacles overcome, aesthetics, and lifestyle benefits.  View all winning Electronic House 2011 Products of the Year at http://www.electronichouse.com/product/potywinners.

“There’s a lot that goes into the “electronic house” these days,” states Lisa Montgomery, editor of Electronic House.  “We’ve come up with nearly 40 categories – everything from the usual projectors, loudspeakers and home automation systems to newer technologies like home health and energy monitoring devices.”  Adds Montgomery,  “We scoured through hundreds of submissions from some of the top manufacturers in the business to pick the crème de la crème in the industry.”

Electronic House 2011 Product of the Year Award Winners: (continue reading this article and leave comments here…)

Logitech Revue goes on pre-order

Posted in Hardware,News by Ruslan Ulanov on the October 6th, 2010

Logitech Revue

The first Google TV client – the Logitech Revue Companion Box is now available for pre-order at Amazon.com, Best Buy and on Logitech’s own web store for $299.99.

In addition to the previously available information we now know that it will ship with a wireless Keyboard Controller, which integrates full QWERTY keyboard with a track pad, with some common remote control functions (such as Rewind, Fast-Forward, Play, Stop, etc), dedicated Volume control buttons and Input switching buttons for TV, AV Receiver and a Set top box.

The Box itself features 2 USB 2.0 ports, HDMI input for your cable or satellite box, HDMI output to your HDTV, Optical S/PDIF output to AV Receiver and a pair of Infrared blaster outputs to control your TV and Set top box.
Revue connects to your network router with either Ethernet cable or wirelessly through built-in 802.11n WiFi. It could output HD contents at full 1080p/60fps through its HDMI 1.3a w/CEC. The CEC stands for Consumer Electronics Control and allows to, for example, automatically turn on your HDMI-connected HDTV whenever you power on the Companion Box.
(continue reading this article and leave comments here…)

Deal alert: Windows7 family pack is on SALE!

Posted in Deals,Software by Ruslan Ulanov on the September 29th, 2010

Win7 Home Premium Family PackIf you wanted to upgrade your household PCs to Windows 7, now would be a good time to do that.

The Microsoft Store is excited to announce the Windows 7 Family Pack will be on sale for $149! That is only $149 for 3 licenses of Windows 7!

Offer is valid while supplies last, so get the Windows 7 Family Pack from The Microsoft Store while you can and save more than $200.

Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade Family Pack provides you with three licenses of Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade, in either 32- or 64-bit.

Take a look at these highlighted features in Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade Family Pack:

  • Upgrade three PCs, save more than $200
  • Package contains one disc with a license key that can be entered on as many as three machines
  • Enjoy a PC that works the way you want it to with better support for today’s technologies, like 64-bit PC hardware and memory
  • Use HomeGroup to connect all your PCs running Windows 7 to a single printer
  • Find something instantly, compare documents side-by-side, or open your favorite file in just two clicks
  • Watch Internet TV, pause, rewind, and record TV, or use Touch to interact with your PC in new ways
  • Watch movies in your Netflix queue
  • Use Windows Media Player to stream music files on any network-connected device
  • Easily change backgrounds, window colors, and sounds to reflect your personal style
  • Use Windows Search from the Start menu to instantly locate and open virtually any file on your PC—from documents to emails to songs—just by typing a word or two
  • Pin any program to the taskbar and rearrange the icons on the taskbar just by clicking and dragging
  • 90 days of Microsoft Support Services included

For more details head on to The Microsoft Store.

The Boxee Box by D-Link hits Amazon

Posted in Deals,Hardware,HTPC by Ruslan Ulanov on the September 16th, 2010

Boxee logo After a very long wait after the official announcement all the way back in December of last year The Boxee Box by D-Link is finally available for pre-order on Amazon.com for $199.99.

Just in case you were living deep in the forest for the last few months and missed the announcement here’s the skinny on The Boxee Box:

  • It runs the free open-source software that was in the epicenter of the heated debates with Hulu in the winter of 2010.
  • It brings all your favorite TV shows & movies from the Internet or your hard drive onto your TV – no PC needed. You’ll never run out of things to watch (and listen to) as Boxee gives people movies, TV shows, music and photos, as well as streaming content from websites like Netflix, MLB.TV, Comedy Central, Pandora, Last.fm, and flickr.
  • With the Boxee Box you never need to “surf the Web” on your TV, instead you just use your remote control to pick and choose the best digital entertainment. No keyboard required.
  • The Boxee Box plays any non-DRM media. If you can create it, Boxee will play it.
  • Connecting the Boxee Box to your HDTV is as easy as hooking up a DVD player.
  • The backside of the remote features a full keyboard to make it easier to interact with your TV — say goodbye to hunting and pecking for letters on-screen!
  • Boxee makes it easy for friends to share their favorite movies, TV Shows, and songs with each other, on Boxee or on social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
  • It has a very weird shape (see the photos below).
  • And YES, you can tweet from it. :*)

The specs at a glance: (continue reading this article and leave comments here…)

Google TV news round-up

Posted in News by Ruslan Ulanov on the May 25th, 2010

The recent announcement by Mountain View giant caused the news waves going around the globe.

google_tv Yes, I’m talking about Google TV, the latest attempt of the company to get into, and potentially dominate, yet another (and arguably the largest) AD medium – your TV.

So what is Google TV and how is it different from other solutions, such as Boxee or Roku?

Google TV is primarily a software application running either on a set-top box or directly inside specifically-designed TVs.

The software will run on Android platform and will include Google’s Chrome browser that will allow you to browse the entire world wide web and get access to multitude of online video services including, but not limited to, Youtube, Netflix and Hulu (provided Hulu would not block it, like it did for Boxee and Kylo). The platform will be powered by some custom version of Intel’s Atom processor and will feature the upcoming version of Flash (v10.1) which is specifically optimized for hardware video processing.

Google TV will feature some unique capabilities, such as using your cell phone as a remote allowing you to speak your commands to Google TV. (continue reading this article and leave comments here…)

Sharp Unveils 3D Camera for Mobile Devices

Posted in Hardware,News by Ruslan Ulanov on the May 12th, 2010

Sharp Develops 3D Camera Module for Mobile Devices Capable of Capturing High-Definition 3D Video Images; Key Device to Make 3D Video Readily Available

Sharp 3D camera

Sharp 3D camera

Osaka, May 12, 2010 – (JCN Newswire) – Sharp Corporation has developed a 3D camera module for mobile devices capable of capturing high-definition (720p)(1) 3D video images, an industry first.(2) Sharp will start shipping samples in July. Mass production of these modules will begin within 2010.

3D images are composed of two views taken using two cameras that simultaneously capture separate images for the right and left eyes. Consequently, a 3D camera requires peripheral circuitry to apply image processing to the two images, for example, to adjust color or to correct positioning between the images from the two cameras. Manufacturers have thus been pursuing designs that reduce the size and weight of 3D cameras and seeking ways to shorten their development period. (continue reading this article and leave comments here…)