Samsung announced a Blu-ray Disc player that let’s you get digital copies of your movies. This does not mean that the Blu-ray Disc is making digital copies of your movies. Instead, you put a DVD or Blu-ray Disc into the Blu-ray Disc player, and it will access Ultraviolet where you can purchase a digital copy of the movie and save it to your Ultraviolet cloud locker.
The Samsung BD-P4600 full-featured player has been designed with more than a “touch” of the red color to go along with their TVs. The whole unit is a deep red. Designed to hang on the wall, or sit angled to show off its good looks on a shelf, Samsung simply added good looks to its best Blu-ray Disc player. Featuring Netflix and Pandora for streaming media, this player can use Samsung’s $39 wireless dongle so the user doesn’t have to find other solutions (like powerline adaptors or running long lengths of Ethernet cables) to connect online. Sleek enough to keep your interior designer happy.
Hitachi showed a prototype of a motion sensing TV that could be controlled simply by waving your hand in front of its sensor. On screen circles and arcs help you determine the volume levels and other controls. Simply applaud the end of your show (clap your hands) to turn the TV off. It’s estimated that this won’t be available until 2010 or 2011.
I recently cut the cord and canceled my cable TV subscription but kept cable-delivered broadband Internet access. Unfortunately, dropping cable TV didn't work for me because my antenna reception is spotty, so I was glad when someone told me that I could connect my TV to the cable jack and get my local channels. Little did I know that I was being "illicit" and that my circumstances were part of a bigger controversy.
This year's TVs are incorporating ease-of-use features.
While I love the amazing picture on my flat-screen HDTV, there are times when I find myself nostalgic for the days when all you had to do to watch TV was pull on a power button, turn the channel dial, and adjust the rabbit ears. It's bad enough that we home theater enthusiasts struggle to decipher menus and muck about a 75-button remote control, but it's our loved ones who curse us when they can't figure out how to use the TV. Manufacturers and retailers have been talking about simplicity in home theater for the past few years. Well, 2007 is the year that easier menus, setup, and remotes have been incorporated into some HDTVs. Some companies have been quietly working toward ease of use; others, like Philips, have made the pursuit a brand tag line: "sense and simplicity." Perhaps you can finally relinquish your remote to your nervous spouse.
Price: $300 At a Glance: Stream 1080p live TV and recordings from your DVR • Complete control of your set-top box from any device • Displays photos and videos from smartphone on TV
While cable and satellite companies often tout their ability to let you start watching a recording in one room and finish it in another, you can forgo the cost of these multiroom systems with a Slingbox. The original TV place-shifter, Slingbox allows you to access your cable or satellite set-top box and all of its content from mobile devices, media players, and computers— from across the house or across the country—by using the SlingPlayer app. Hoping to save some money in box rentals, I was happy to test Sling Media’s first new consumer model in four years, the Slingbox 500 HD. There are a number of ways to watch TV on computers and mobile devices, but Slingbox is unique in providing remote access and control of your set-top box.
Social TV will soon be as commonplace as onscreen tickers but it won't happen like everyone expected. Joel Espelien of The Diffusion Group explains the findings of his report, "Social TV: Myths, Facts, and the Future."