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Archive | October, 2010

Samsung Galaxy Tab T-Mobile version now available for pre-order at Amazon

If you wanted for a way to buy the Samsung Galaxy Tab here, in US without a wireless subscription, here is your chance: It is now available for pre-order at Amazon, configured for T-Mobile’s 3G network (both Go plan and subscription), but you don’t HAVE to order a plan. The current price $699 with free shipping and no taxes and the release data is November 9, so you can pre-order it now and have it in time for the holidays.

In case you didn’t know already, Samsung Galaxy Tab is currently the hottest tablet to rival Apple’s iPad, with the following technical specs:

Operating System: Android Froyo 2.2

Screen: LCD, 1024 x 600 with capacitive multi-touch

Processor: 1 GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor

Cameras: 3MP rear, 1.3MP front

Connectivity: Wireless-N, Bluetooth, microSD (up to 32GB)

Battery: 4000 mAh, 7 hours

Apps (preloaded): Kindle, Slacker Radio, Gameloft’s Asphalt 5 HD (racing)

Google TV media streamers is now officially PlayOn compatible – How to use it

If you remember in out in-depth Google TV review, PlayOn support was a hit and miss, with many users reporting that it doesn’t work properly. Well, now thanks to some PlayOn tweaks in their latest version, Google TV is able to play nice with PlayOn software, although there are some issues left. Here is how to do it:

Step 1: Go to PlayOn website and download their latest release (version 3.0.28 or higher)

Step 2: Navigate from your browser / search in your search box  for gtv.playon.tv (that is the page that should discover your PlayOn server), bookmark it

Step 3: Once PlayOn UI is available on your TV, choose whatever you want to play.

Per PlayOn comments, there are some issues controlling the playback: back button from the keyboard works but the play / pause don’t so you’ll need to use on screen navigation to perform the actual commands.

Sony Google TV Review


1. Introduction

2010 is certainly a year where media streaming boxes really flourished. From cheap dedicated media streamers like WD TV Live Plus and Apple TV, going through (although unreleased yet  Boxee Box) and ending with more expensive (for now) Google TV boxes from Sony and Logitech (Revue) there is enough diversity to satisfy everyone. The questions are: Do they succeed in offering a truly enjoyable experience? Which one is better / simpler to use / easier to integrate in your existing Home Theater?

Google TV’s entry in the media streamers market is here and it hopes to bring more than mere streaming. Its main purpose is convergence and the ability to search / reach for your media in a unified manner, while enjoying the comfort of your own couch. Does it succeed? We’ll try to find out in Review’s Horizon ambitious take to review this complex box.

2. Sony Google TV Unpacking Read More…

LG Optimus Windows Phone 7 for PDC 2010 participants?

I was late for the Keynote and when going around the Registration area I noticed Microsoft employee stacking LG marked boxes. A free Windows 7 phone for us? I certainly hope so…keep my fingers crossed. I’ll keep you updated once the Keynote is ending.

Update: Confirmed, we’ll get a LG Optimus 7 Windows 7 Smartphone starting 12:30pm.

LG Optimus 7 Windows 7 Phone is built around a 1Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU and features a 3.8″ WVGA display, 16GB storage, 5MP camera capable of recording 720p HD video, WiFi and GPS, and, interestingly enough, native DLNA client, a first in the industry. But a client DLNA is not all, LG Optimus 7 can also act as a DLNA server sharing its content to other DLNA enabled devices around your home.

Update 2: Apparently a select group will get a Samsung (probably Omnia 7) device. We’ll see at 12:30 who and why!

Update 3: I just got my device, if you signed fo the Windows Phone 7 Workshop on Saturday, you get a Samsung!

Boxee Box announces its first big partner, VUDU

Boxee Box people were fairly quiet in announcing big content partners with an obvious effect that everybody suspected the worse. Fortunately, things started to move and today Boxee and VUDU announced a partnership so at launch, around 10th of November Boxee Box (and the software version, Boxee) will box start having access to VUDU catalog with both HD up to 1080p and 5.1 surround available.

That being said, Netflix is in infinitely more popular than VUDU and we continue to say that the box will fail without Netflix support. It wasn’t announce yet but there is plenty of time until November 10 when Boxee Box will launch so it is possible the announcement is delayed for maximum effect. We can only wait and will post a full hands on review as soon as possible.

Check the full Press Release after the break.

Read More…

Barnes & Noble Nook Color launches

Ladies and gentlemen, the first full color dedicated eReader from a major company just launched. Following their highly successful Nook (review) Barnes & Noble followed by a color version today. The new Color Nook also called NOOKcolor version uses a slightly larger LG 7″ 1024 x 600 16 million colors IPS touchscreen color display with a large 178 degree viewing angle, 8GB memory included for up to  6000 books and an additional micro-SDHC slot that can accommodate up to 32GB additional storage and an accelerometer for automatic switching between portrait – landscape orientation.

Per B&N, while NOOKColor is still Android based, it won’t be able to access Android Marketplace (at least in its non-rooted incarnation), no Adobe Flash love either, although it will feature a web browser. However, for those interested, it will come with its own SDK so expect multiple applications to pop-up soon. Maybe even NETFLIX streaming…after all we can dream, right? Pandora Radio streaming  will be included at launch after all…

NOOKcolor is also a social eReader shipping with web clients for popular social sites as Facebook and Twitter and your kids are somehow included in the plan as well with the addition of AliveTouch, a technology to make your books interactive, similar with the one found on Apple iPad devices. Check after the break for full tech features / image gallery.  Read More…

Black Friday / Cyber Monday 2010 deals collection updates

Starting today, we are creating a dedicated category for Media streamers / eReaders / storage / TVs / camcorders and any other electronic gadgets you can imagine that are for sale during year 2010 Black Friday (and Cyber Monday). Bookmark us and check back often as we’ll publish the deals as soon as they are available.

Update: Expired!

Walmart

Direct Walmart Black Friday Link

Amazon

  • doorbuster – Kindle 2 for $89 on Black Friday day, starting 9:00AM

Starting November 22 through November 27, Amazon will publish each day several Black Friday deals. Amazon’s Cyber Monday event will be on November 28-29 and then something called Top Holiday Deals between November 20 – December 23. I’ll make this post sticky for your reference, or you can bookmark the links as well. In my past experience, Amazon had the best Black Friday Deals but they sold out very fast.

Black Friday Deals Week (Nov 22-27)

Cyber Monday Deals (Nov 28-29)

Top Holiday Deals (Nov 20 – Dec 23)

Get $3 in MP3 Downloads from Amazon music store using coupon GET3MP3S

Get 75% Off Rental Coupon “RENTDEAL” for Amazon Video on Demand Store as low as $1. The code needs to be redeemed between November 23 and November 30, 2010.

Electronics Daily Deals starting 11/22 2010

  • TCL L40FHDF11TA 40-Inch 1080p 60 Hz LCD HDTV with 2-Year Warranty -$399
  • Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars with Tripod Adapter $49.99
  • TCL L32HDF11TA 32-Inch 720p 60 Hz LCD HDTV with 2-Year Warranty (3 HDMI Inputs)
  • Philips PD9000/37 9-Inch LCD Portable DVD Player with 5 Hour Battery – $70 (plays DIVX, MPEG4, MP3 and it is region free., 110-240V charger)

Microsoft Store

  • Take 25% off the Xbox Premium Bundle from the Microsoft Store! Offer ends 12.31.10
  • Black Friday Leak: Take $88 off the Xbox + Kinect Premium Bundle from the Microsoft Store. Offer ends 12.31.10
  • Xbox 360 4GB Slim Console with Kinect Bundle for $300 – 10% off code TNSGIFT10 = $270 with free shipping (choose one of the previous links to get to the store – the coupon code also works with other bundles)

Best Buy

BestBuy Black Friday ad just surfaced and it is full of goodies, including:

  • Panasonic VIERA TC-P50U2 50″ 1080p Plasma HDTV for $699.99 (currently $848 at Amazon). They say they’ll have at least 8 per store. 2,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, 3 HDMI inputs and one of the best black levels in industry Read More…

Samsung BD-C7500 Review and Samsung Apps

1. Introduction

Without a doubt, Samsung BD-C7500 looks really nice. Described as the world’s slimmest Blu-ray player BD-C7500 brings not only good looks in the equation but also a large set of media streaming features, a fast boot time and a plethora of web clients thanks to Samsung Apps store, the first store by my knowledge to offer applications to run on both TV and media streaming boxes / Blu-ray players. Let’s not forget that Apple TV doesn’t support applications and Google TV’s Android Marketplace compatibility will only arrive next year.

While Blu-ray capabilities of today’s players are fairly good and I doubt many of us could perceive differences in the output quality, especially on a HDMI connection, the media streaming and web clients implementation differ wildly, and this is what makes the subject of today’s review. The screenshot and observations should apply to all Samsung 2010 Blu-ray players and connected TVs implementing Samsung Apps. Most of the Samsung TVs released in 2010 support Samsung Apps and all of Samsung’s new Blu-ray players including BD-C8000, BD-C7900, BD-C6900, BD-C6800,  BD-C5900, BD-C7500, BD-C6500 and BD-C5500.

2. Samsung BD-C7500 Unpacking and Design

Read More…

Western Digital WD TV Live Hub media streamer launched with 1TB, 1080p, DLNA and MKV support

The latest entrance in the media streamers crowd comes from Western Digital who, while a storage company, found a good way to charge a premium for their storage devices by building some media streaming functionality around them.

The WD TV Live Hub is based in part on their very successful WD TV Live Plus line (review here)  and packs a 1TB hard-drive inside as well. The box scores additionally 1080p video playback, an HDMI 1.4 and Gigabit Ethernet connectors, a fairly good web client support with Netflix (including movie categories browsing), Blockbuster, Pandora, YouTube, Flickr, AccuWeather, MediaFly and even Facebook.

The video codec support was historically one of the strong points for the entire WD TV Live line and the WD TV Live Hub doesn’t disappoint either, playing pretty much every video format under the sun like Divx, XVid, MKV, h.264. MOV, MPEG 4, etc. The box includes a solid UPNP / DLNA support as well and it plays well with DLNA servers as PlayON or PS3 Media Server.

The Western Digital WD TV Live Hub media streamer is available for $199 at BestBuy or WD’s online store.

Check WD’s full Presss Release, photo gallery and full codec support after the break. Read More…

Kobo non-WiFi version now on sale for $99 at Borders

It is obvious that Borders is under heavy pressure from Amazon and Barnes & Noble when it comes to eReaders, especially when better featured eReaders are selling for $139 so their latest move doesn’t come completely unexpected. Starting today, their non-WiFi (older version) Kobo eReader had its price slashed down to $99 from $129, just in time for the holidays. The new low price enters into impulse buying range and it might be a hot seller during the upcoming holidays, especially among the readers that don’t necessarily need WiFi or more sophisticated features.

Borders newer WiFi version is still at $139, the same price level with the Amazon Kindle 3 reader.