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All posts tagged "media"


Monday, October 24, 2011

Apple Television Talk Turns Focus To Looming Battles

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Digital Home Talk" @ 11:00 AM

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/in-t...ooms-large/4163

"That war will be fought in the living room-and the den, and the dorm room, and just about any place where people watch movies and TV programs and listen to music. It's been an open secret for years that Apple will make a play for the living room eventually. Despite Steve Jobs's protestations that Apple TV was "just a hobby," a high-definition TV is the inevitable next step in the natural evolution of the Apple ecosystem."

Like others close to the industry, Ed Bott from ZDNet has been following the "battle for the living room" for some time. His editorial on the subject (hit the Read link below) is great background reading for a subject that will likely explode in focus now as it has essentially been confirmed in the Steve Jobs biography that Apple has great interest in developing a TV to add to their arsenal. This is a battle that will play out for a very long time, but it almost certainly will change the way we have traditionally viewed TV shows and other forms of entertainment. The players include representatives from a wide variety of viewpoints and ecosystems, including Microsoft, Google, Netflix, Hulu, TiVo and a slew of others, basically hardware, software, and content providers from all aspects of the entertainment, news, sports, and music industries. Bott does a nice job of introducing the battleground, including providing his perspective on which dimensions will be particularly important (user experiences, business relationships with content providers, and cable/satellite infrastructure). To get started, curl up in your easy chair, in your living room, of course, and get reading.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Comprehensive Guide to Ripping, Watching, And Converting All Things Digital

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Digital Home Talk" @ 08:30 AM

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/di..._guide?page=0,1

"Listen up, mediaphiles, because this might just be the last time we tackle the preservation of physical media in the hallowed pages of Maximum PC. Yes, the times are changing. Yes, we've cut back on purchasing CDs, DVDs, and BDs lately. Yes, we still have plenty of discs lying around in jewel cases on dusty shelves or in enormous three-ring binders. And yes-most definitely yes-we want to be able to access all these movies and songs from our PC, television, and our shiny new smartphone."

It's hard to imagine anyone today not having an ever growing collection of digital media. While much of that media is now originating in an electronic format that you can download directly, you likely still have many old favorite DVDs and other media sources stored in a physical format. At one time we heard and read regularly about ripping and converting digital media. While not as common a topic as it once was perhaps, it is still an important issue and one that can confound even the most experienced people. Maximum PC has done a very nice job of over viewing and presenting the in's and out's of ripping, watching, and converting all things digital. The article covers video and audio file formats, target playback devices, storage devices, organization strategies, streaming, and more. It would be a great site to add to your bookmarks list, and to refer to when you need a refresher or advice on handling your digital media.


Monday, September 27, 2010

My Journey to a Media PC in the Living Room

Posted by Don Tolson in "Digital Home Talk" @ 07:00 AM

Here's how it all started: like many people (and I would guess a majority of DHT readers), building my home theatre started slowly. First it was the big screen TV from Costco. That was pretty cool as we hoisted it up on the wall, but then we needed better sound, so it was off to the audio shop for a 5.1 receiver/amplifier and so on and so on -- bit by bit getting pieces of equipment and jury-rigging them together as they are added. Eventually, it got to the point where I was the only one in the house who knew how to get everything working (which is quite the accomplishment, given that I have two pretty techno-saavy teenaged sons!!). Read more...


Monday, March 8, 2010

Seagate FreeAgent Theater+ HD Media Player Reviewed

Posted by Ron Hostetter in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 08:00 AM

Product Category: HD Digital Media Player
Manufacturer: Seagate
Where to Buy: Amazon (affiliate link)
Price: $149 USD
In the Box: FreeAgent Theater+ HD media player, Remote Control, 2 AAA Batteries, Component video cable, Composite A/V cable, Ethernet Cable, Power supply, FreeAgent Theater software CD, Quick start guide.
Specifications: Video codecs: MPEG-1, MPEG-2 (VOB/ISO), MPEG-4 (DivX/Xvid), DivX HD, Xvid HD, AVI, MOV, MKV, RMVB, AVC HD, H.264, WMV9, VC-1, M2TS, TS/TP/M2T. Video resolutions: TNSC 480i/480p, PAL 576i/576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p. Audio: AAC, MP3, Dolby Digital, DTS, ASF, FLAC, WMA, LPCM, ADPCM, WAV, OGG. Playlists: M3U, PLS. Photo: jPDG files up to 20 megapixels, BMP, GIF, PNG, TIFF. Output: Composite, Component, HDMI 1.3, Stereo Audio, Optical S/PDIF audio, HDMI 1.3 audio. Ethernet 10/100 mbps, 2 USB 2.0 ports.

Pros:

  • Easily connects to your TV using a variety of connection types;
  • Vast codec support;
  • Internet connected with a variety of content available, and more on the way.

Cons:

  • Optional wireless adapter difficult to configure;
  • Primitive user interface;
  • FreeAgent Go portable hard drive connection seems cumbersome.

Summary: Many companies are rushing to provide a means to make digital content easily accessible in your living room. The FreeAgent Theater+ easily connects to your TV using HDMI (although an HDMI cable is not included) or a variety of other connections, and allows access to your digital media. The Theater+ also provides Internet connectivity to access a limited selection of online content. While the interface leaves a little to be desired, the device performs as advertised, and opens up another avenue for living room entertainment.

Read more...


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

doubleTwist Releases 2.0 Software

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 03:30 PM

http://www.doubletwist.com/dt/Home/Index.dt

"Our vision is simple: to create a unifying media platform that connects consumers with all their media and all their devices, regardless of whether they are online or offline. We feel that just like you don't use a different browser for every web site you visit (Firefox to read the NY Times, IE to stream Hulu, Chrome to browse YouTube, etc) you shouldn't have to use iTunes for Apple products, Nokia software for Nokia phones, Sony software for Sony products, etc. The typical household today has many such devices and there is a need for a simple and powerful software that connects them."

doubleTwist has updated their software to 2.0 which sports performance improvements, a better interface, and of course, more device support. For those of you not familiar with doubleTwist, it is a media manager and syncing program. It behaves much like iTunes, Windows Media Player and the like, but with support for a wide variety of devices including phones, the PSP and even the Kindle. I honestly cannot say that it is the greatest thing since sliced silicon wafers, but it does provide you with another option when syncing your media to go, even with multiple devices and they do provide an easy way to share media with your peers. I think it comes down to personal preference; there are already lots of programs, or combination of programs that do what doubleTwist does, but some are clunkier than others, so if you're not happy with how you load up your playlists, this might be worth a shot.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Traditional Broadcast Media Still King

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home News" @ 07:00 AM

http://arstechnica.com/media/news/2...-trumps-all.ars

"Despite the growing popularity of online video options, average TV watchers still get most of their TV exposure from switching on the ol' boob tube and watching whatever's available at the moment. DVRs, web video, and even mobile devices are gaining in prominence, according to a new report by the Nielsen-funded Council for Research Excellence (CRE). Still, when it comes to sitting back, turning your brain off, and watching objects move on a screen, traditional TV viewing remains king."

No surprise here, but I think they are missing something. They seem focused on the quantitative rather than the qualitative. By their measures, we probably watch more broadcast TV than most, but for us, broadcast TV is kind of like the radio, it is background. For example, I put Sci-Fi channel on when I get home from work for Star Trek and Stargate episodes, while I do chores, cook dinner, etc. When I actually sit down to watch something without doing background tasks, it tends to be more on-demand media like DVD's, Netflix streaming, or Hulu.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Linksys Wants You to Love The Media Hub

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 03:30 PM

http://www.linksysbycisco.com/US/en...products/NMH410

"You love your media, so treat it well. The Media Hub makes it easy to organize, access, and share your digital video, photos, and music -- around your home and around the world. With massive capacity, intelligent aggregation, and media optimized file-serving capabilities, it’s an ideal way to manage your material, enjoy your entertainment and share your memories. Show your media how much you love it – give it a Hub."

I can't say I understand or am thrilled by Linksys' attempt to make me love my media, but the Media Hub does look like a decent upgrade from the standard UPnP capable NAS. The Media Hub comes with a lot of services that one would expect from current generation NAS like devices of something with Windows Home Server such as file aggregation, the ability to share your media with friends on the net, automated backups, but what makes the Media Hub stand out from more other devices is the pretty LCD screen that helps you interact with your precious media files via a five way navigation pad. While this certainly is a nice idea on paper, I can't help but wonder if they've done any practical tests. Any computing appliance I have, from a router, to NAS to a wireless webcam is configured and managed through a web interface. I don't think it's necessary to physically be there to change a setting, and the premium that a physical "control panel" usually commands is not worth it to me. Did I mention that it currently retails at Amazon for $429.99 for 1TB? Are you feeling the love?


Friday, July 11, 2008

Kodak Bringing Media Hub To Your Living Room

Posted by Tim Williamson in "Digital Home News" @ 06:00 AM

http://www.hdtvmagazine.com/news/20...me_theatres.php

"ROCHESTER, N.Y., July 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE:EK) today unveiled the KODAK Theatre HD Player, a High Definition (HD) media player that enables consumers to interact more freely and creatively with their most valuable possessions -- their memories. Harnessing Wi-Fi and HD technologies, a wide array of organizational and display features and access to online content through unique partners, the KODAK Theatre HD Player turns consumers into the directors of their own show with a wireless remote control pointer in-hand. The device will roll out in stages, with a market trial commencing in September 2008."



It looks like Kodak will be bringing their own HD media hub to your living room, the KODAK Theatre HD Player, which appears to be in competition with Windows Media Center and Apple TV. I haven't seen any pictures of the interface or actual hardware, but it will be really difficult to compete with Media Center's interface and Apple TV's hardware. Right now it looks like it will only be able to display video at 720p, why wouldn't they have this device future-proofed and give it the ability to display at 1080p??? I'm not too excited about this device, but I'll have to see the final hardware before making final judgement.


Friday, March 28, 2008

Paying More For Music Downloads?

Posted by Suhit Gupta in "Digital Home Talk" @ 10:00 AM

http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-99...g=2547-1_3-0-20


"Hotels tack extra charges onto your bill when you raid the minibar--or if they're really mean, when you steal towels. If a new Warner Music Group executive gets his way, your Internet service provider will be billing you each month for music downloads. Jim Griffin, Warner's latest top-shelf hire and the former head of Geffen Music, told Portfolio.com the details of a radical new strategy to deal with the record industry's 21st-century crisis. According to Griffin's plan, to which he said Warner Music is "totally committed," a monthly fee added to an Internet service bill--say, five bucks--could give consumers unlimited access to music that they could download, copy, and share. He estimated that this could provide as much $20 billion per year to reimburse artists and copyright holders."

Ugh! This is what happens when an ex-music industry exec takes over. I can see how checking at the ISP level is one way to monitor music downloads, but isn't this bordering on 'big brother watching'? I am all for artists and copyright holders getting compensated, but between the DRM, pay-for-unlimited-music services, iTunes (and similar services) and all the other technologies available, do we need to add more inconvenience to our lives? I feel like the people that are following the rules are the ones that are hurt all the more. I dunno, I was just a little annoyed when I read this, maybe I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed today.

Tags: music, media

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