Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home3/soriconm/public_html/_reviewhorizon/wp-content/themes/boldnews/functions/admin-hooks.php on line 160
Tag Archives: mkv

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3010/3010e 3D Projector Review 2012

1. Introduction

I was thinking for a while to make the transition to 3D, but I held back due to less than satisfactory equipment and experience. Like many, I went around the show rooms and tested various 3D TV sets, only to be disappointed by the viewing experience. While 2D TV is absolutely fine on most TV sizes, to watch 3D you need in my opinion a certain perspective, otherwise it feels like you are watching an aquarium. I wanted to feel like I am being immersed in the 3D scene, and I soon realized there is no way I can achieve my goal with a regular size TV set, so I started looking to some reasonably priced 3D full HD capable projector. Reasonably priced would been the entire setup around $2000, or $2500 at most. After a couple of months of researching (and about the same time spent in convincing my wife that we “need” yet another electronic toy), I bought Epson’s new PowerLite Home Cinema 3010 (3010e version) from Amazon (no taxes in California and they have the lowest price by far), 4 pairs of Panasonic 3D 3rd generation glasses (yes, they are compatible)  and a 120 inches FAVI motorized screen. I put everything together and the impressions will be fully detailed in this Epson 3010 review. Read More…

LG ST600 Smart TV Upgrader Review

Introduction

In our never ending quest for the perfect media player / streamer, we got one of the LG newest products, the LG ST600 Smart TV Upgrader, put it to the tests and produced this review for your reading pleasure. Let’s see what it is about:
Announced at CES 2011, the LG ST600 Smart TV Upgrader was advertised as a cheap solution to transform your TV into a connected set with access to a myriad of web services and applications. During the official press release, services like Netflix, Vudu, Pandora, YouTube, CinemaNow, Hulu Plus, Amazon VOD, NHL GameCenter, NBA Game Live, and MLB.TV were announced as well, also an integrated web browser and the capability to run Apps from the LG App Store (social capabilities include Facebook and Twitter access). The box would be an official competitor to other boxes that we reviewed including Boxee Box, Google TV, Roku or WD TV Live Plus. Does it provide? Read away… Read More…

VUDU starts renting TV Shows

VUDU, a  streaming company well knows for its rental services of new movies in very high quality (up to 1080p and Dolby Digital surround sound, if your Internet connection is up to par) is looking to conquer more territory and starts renting TV shows. This move puts it in direct competition with Amazon Video on Demand and Apple’s iTunes, so it will be interesting to know how it will work out.

The TV shows streaming deal covers episodes from ABC, HDNet, Starz, 20th Century Fox and FOX, Lionsgate and Showtime, Anchor Bay Entertainment and AMC and includes popular shows like Glee, Modern Family, Nurse Jackie, Weeds, Bones, Gossip Girl, The Walking Dead, etc. New episodes will be available one day after they air, similar with Hulu Plus offering. Unlike Hulu though ,with VUDU you will be able to buy the shows, including one season at a time Read More…

Sony SMP-N100 Review – Network Media Player with Wi-Fi, Netflix and Hulu Plus


Introduction

Since I cut the cable cord a while ago, I am constantly looking for solutions to improve my TV watching experience. At this point, I am using a PS3 in living room and ROKU / WD TV Live Plus boxes in every room I have TVs. Recently Sony released a new media streamer box that offers streaming functionality similar (but improved in several ways) to their flagship entertainment product – Playstation 3.  The box is rather cheap at only $89  so I decided to give it a try. It got shipped fast enough and the results are described in this review.
The box includes the main media streamer box, the external power brick adapter, the remote, user manual and the good old red white yellow analog audio video cable. Why Sony did not include a HDMI cable in the year 2011 is beyond me.

Tech Specs

Codecs, Inputs, Outputs: Read More…

Boxee Box Review

1. Introduction

Boxee Box is without question one of the most awaited media streamers for this year. The reason? The way things look right now, it might well be the only box that actually can successfully replace a home theater PC in both CODEC support and extensibility. Promising a full range of audio/video codecs, media library with automatic artwork downloading and also web clients for popular services as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pandora, VUDU and even Netflix, combined with an open development platform supporting Adobe Flash 10.1, a Webkit based browser and QWERTY remote control, many feel that boxee Box is currently the media streamer to beat, not Google TV or Apple TV. For a long time, there has been an uncertainty about the capability to stream Netflix but yesterday the people from D-Link confirmed Netflix support to come sometime by the end of the year, so I won’t touch this issue until the next firmware release.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge gadget lover and I actually own and use every piece of equipment that I reviewed on this website, however I don’t  like the idea of turning my PS3 to watch Netflix, XBOX 360 for a nice Twitter of Facebook client, my HTPC for some exotic codec that nobody else supports, etc. I think everybody keeps waiting for the mystical “do it all” box (aside from a beefy HTPC that needs its own power plant) and the open nature of Boxee Box might help it become that box.

2. Boxee Box Unpacking Read More…

Boxee Box ships today with Netflix and Hulu Plus coming by the end of the year – did you order yours?

Good news ladies and gentleman, the long awaited boxy media streamer code name Boxee Box manufactured by D-Link is currently shipping. Long awaited because is one of a very few media streaming boxes to support a browser (and a good one, nonetheless, WebKit based with HTML 5 support), Adobe Flash 10.1, a QWERTY remote control and compatibility with every codec under the sun including MKV, XVID, DIVX, h264, etc.

This is not all, as everybody probably wondered, the box will support both Netflix and Hulu Plus before the end of the year, it is confirmed!!!! (see Boxee blog)

The supported resolutions include 1080p and the box has a DLNA client and can also access your network shares (really cool if you have a home server). Compatibility with Adobe flash ensures easy development and the box will ship at launch with over 400 software applications and web clients including popular ones as Twitter, Pandora, Last.FM, Amazon Video on Demand, Digg, Revision 3, CNN, YouTube, etc. Mine just shipped today and will post a review as soon as I get it.
One more thing, if you used Boxee software or Windows Media Center with some kind of audio / video library software like Media browser, you will be glad to know that Boxee Box supports the same features, displaying the artwork, movie covers, etc via automatic downloads.

Full codec support list:

  • FLV/On2 VP6 (FLV/FV4/M4V)
  • H.264 AVC (TS/AVI/MKV/MOV/M2TS/MP4)
  • MPEG-1 (DAT/MPG/MPEG)
  • MPEG-2 (MPG/MPEG/VOB/TS/TP/ISO/IFO)
  • VC-1 (TS/AVI/MKV/WMV)
  • MPEG-4 (MP4/AVI/MOV)
  • Xvid (AVI/MKV)
  • WMV9 (WMV/ASF/DVR-MS)
  • DivX 3/4/5/6 (AVI/MKV)

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…

Deal of the Day – $66 – Brite-View BV-5005HD media streamer

A very big price drop for one of the best media streamers on the market, Brite-View BV-5005HD is the same unit as the re-badged Zinwell ZIN-5005HD that we recently reviewed and it is available now at Amazon for $66 with free shipping and no taxes.

The box features an extended code support with MPEG 1/2/3, MKV, h264, DTS and Dolby and basically plays pretty much everything you can throw at it up to 1080p. In terms of web clients, it has MUZEE Internet Radio and TV with more than 20,000 radio and 8000 TV stations around the world. As a bonus, you also get Torrent downloading with 3 simultaneous torrents and, even more important, UPnP / DLNA client supporting PS3 media Server, TVersity and PlayOn. I am currently using it to watch HULU/Netflix in the kitchen.

Google TV launches today via Logitech Revue

Today is a very important day that might define the future of television. We already announced the new Google TV Website but today we get to see the first devices supporting Google TV  a standalone box called Logitech Revue that will connect between your existing set top box and your TV and display its data as an overlay over the existing TV image enabling real time searches while you watch a TV Show. The Logitech Revue boxes will run a new Android OS optimized for large screens and, more important, starting early next year it will also support applications from Android Marketplace. The initial price will be considerably higher than Apple TV ($300 vs $100) it will offer more content and also Adobe Flash 10.1. This way we can expect a lot more applications (and games) in the following months and put the final nail in the Yahoo! TV Widgets coffin which never took off (We had foreseen that 😉 )

Google TV will come pre-loaded with apps like Netflix, Twitter, CNBC, Pandora, Napster, NBA Game Time, Amazon Video On Demand and many other so in terms of pure content it beats most media streamers boxes available on the market. Apps to remote-control the box will be available on iOS and Android OS devices. Most important for some, it includes a DLNA client and attached hard drives (and it can search there as well) and supports MKV files. No HULU yet (they are blocking the box) but Google and HULU are in discussion, so we might see some agreements soon.

Google TV Logitech Revue Highlights:

  • Dish Network’s subscribers will get a much better price at $179 which is well worth it since the box will have deep integration with Dish Network Guide and DVR boxes – can search the recordings from your DVR for example
  • Logitech Revue also uses Logitech’s universal remote control technology to manage various components in your entertainment system send IR signals
  • really neat RF Keyboard
  • HD camera for video conference (Die overpriced Cisco umi, die!) capable of 720p. You will need to buy a separate camera as it won’t come in the box and it uses Logitech’s Vid HD Service. Skype (and others0 computability can presumably come via 3rd party apps later through the Android marketplace. Neat!!! The camera has autofocus Carl Zeiss lens and microphones adapted to be used in the living room
  • You can use existing Harmony remotes for the box as well (that goes without saying)
  • a new Logitech Mini Controller, (customized from a DiNovo Mini). I wonder if I can use mine as  my Dinovo Mini or we need to buy a new one…
  • Voice search via your smart phone
  • launch day apps include CNBC, Photo Gallery, Chrome, HD camera, Napster, NBA Game Time, Netflix,  Pandora, Podcast
  • Netflix interface is rather old, it just displays the queue, no categories. Uhhhhh 🙁
  • Logitech Media Player – DLNA client – and indexes DLNA feeds and locally connected drives, and it also supports MKV files!!!
  • The Revue box costs  $299 ($179 via Dish Network) including keyboard
  • Keyboard by itself costs $99
  • DiNovo style mini keyboard costs $129
  • HD TV camera costs $149 (everything pretty steep but that’s Logitech prices for you). All in all, cheaper than Cisco’s solution and no monthly fee.
  • Available for pre-order at Amazon sometime today, will ship by end of October

Logitech Revue supported media formats and audio/video codecs:

  • Music: AAC (.aac), FLAC (.flac), MP3 (.mp3), OGG (.ogg),WMA (.wma)
  • Photos: JPEG (.jpg, .jpeg), BMP (.bmp) PNG (.png), TIFF (.tiff)
  • Videos: WMV (VC-1) (.asf .wma .wmv), WMV (VC-1) + WMA (.asf .wma .wmv), WMV + WMA (.avi), Xvid (H-264) + AAC (.avi),
    Xvid (H-264) + AAC (.mp4), Xvid (H-264) + AAC (.mt2s .mt2), Xvid (MPEG4part2) + AAC (.avi), Xvid (MPEG4part2) + MP3 (.avi)

Check photo gallery after the break.

Read More…