Audio Video News January 2009

Logitech SqueezeboxT Boom Review
RB Mods :: Friday, January 30, 2009
Imagine this: A Boombox that plays all your internet radio stations through a wireless connection. At the same time it’s reasonably sized but is still able to actually pump out a good sound. You are probably wondering, is this even possible?! Well Logitech claims their new Squeezebox Boom is that device, this means you can even have it with you and just hook it up to any WIFI connection and play your favorite radio stations by adding the feed to your list.

Blu-ray Release Line-up for 2009
Tweak Town :: Friday, January 30, 2009
“2008 saw a lot of traction and gains by the Blu-ray format, not least of which included the death of HD-DVD, the first million selling disc (The Dark Knight), amongst quite a few other killer titles. But 2009 has been billed as the year of Blu-ray by many industry pundits and we are certainly looking forward to many great releases.

I’ve taken the liberty of rounding up the rumored release lists of titles for the year. I will stress that these are not confirmed and are in certain degrees of production. It is also possible some may be delayed. Additionally, this does not profess to be a list of every Blu-ray to be released this year, but a selection of the major ones. And there are of course many others that I don’t know about. That said, let’s take a look and start saving accordingly!”

Spectroniq Portable DVD Player Review 
OCIA :: Saturday, January 24, 2009
“The portable DVD player we have for review from is the PDV-70X from Spectroniq which offers a 7” widescreen LCD display housed in an attractive silver body. It supports 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio, has a standard 480 x 234 resolution, supports DVD, VCD, CD and JPEG playback and advertises up to 2½ hours of power with the included rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack.”

The Godfather Trilogy HD Movie Review
Tweak Town :: Friday, January 23, 2009
“Every film critic, would be actor or director, fans of film – everyone, should see these films. There really is no other way to cut it. I can’t stress enough how important these films are and it truly is a blessing that we can view these films in this quality in our own homes with this Blu-ray release. Over a year and millions of dollars was spent re-mastering these films, but thank goodness they were. The aging materials that were used to release the previous DVD in 2002 were a far cry from what we have now and Paramount now has a properly re-mastered backup in much higher than Blu-ray resolution; this for further use and theatrical distribution.

There was a real danger that the Godfather would not have been able to be bought back from the brink if action wasn’t taken when it was, but the image we have now is breathtaking in clarity. If you have never seen these films, now would be the best time.”

Verbatim MediaStation Pro
Inside HW :: Friday, January 23, 2009
“Multimedia players capable of reproducing various file types have become more and more popular lately. If someone, by any chance, is asking himself why anyone would use multimedia player instead of PC for watching movies and listening of music, than, we must tell you – because of so many advantages. First of all, multimedia players are very easy to use, secondly, you can enjoy in picture on big screen (many people don’t hold PC beside TV) and one more thing that some of you find very important – you have a chance to keep family away from your computer for awhile…”

SageTV HD Theater Review 
Digital Trends :: Thursday, January 22, 2009
“The SageTV HD Theater is akin to Western Digital’s WD TV HD Media Player in that it can stream music and video to your television independent of a computer-that means you don’t need a computer at all. Like that device, it’s outfitted with HDMI, composite, component, and S-video outputs, and analog and S/PDIF audio outputs. Also similar to the WD TV, the HD Theater delivers video resolution up to 1080p. But if you’re the type who expects to plug something in and have it just work, the SageTV HD Theater probably isn’t the right media extender for you. That’s not to say that the device is extremely buggy or poorly designed; it’s just most appropriate for people who like to tinker and share their experience on online forums.”

Sony Blu-ray BDV-IS1000 Review
Digital Trends :: Thursday, January 22, 2009
“Blu-ray home-theater-in-a-box (HTIB) systems are still a rarity-there are currently only a few models available from Panasonic, Samsung and Sony. What’s more, they’re pricey. Sony’s BDV-IS1000 lists for $1,000, keeping it just outside the realm of most mainstream consumers. But the biggest hurdle, as we found out, is simply that they don’t always work. Despite trying two systems, spending an hour on the line with a support specialist, and about half that time again on a conference call with a product manager, we were unable to make the system’s rear wireless speakers connect with the main amplifier. Other than that one, rather significant inconvenience, it’s a sweet system.”

Top Online Video Services Compared
Digital Trends :: Saturday, January 17, 2009
“With more than a dozen services competing for the same eyeballs, a shakeout is pretty much inevitable, though. Here’s our guide to eight contenders with the best prospects for long-term survival. Amazon Video on Demand, Blockbuster OnDemand, CinemaNow, the iTunes Store, and Vudu all rent downloadable movies and sell downloadable episodes of new and classic TV shows. Netflix allows you to stream many older movies and some TV episodes as part of its subscription DVD-rental service. Hulu and Joost are free movie-, TV-, and music-streaming services supported by advertising. Have a look through our in-depth recaps of all, and we’re confident you’ll never bother checking out a DVD again.”

Logitech Squeezebox Boom
Inside HW :: Saturday, January 17, 2009
“Twenty first century is here and with it came new technologies like wireless connectivity that we will be focusing on in this review. Nowadays everything “must” be wireless and portable so folks from Logitech created one very unusual device. Name Squeezebox Boom doesn’t speak for itself too much. Actually Logitech Squeezebox Boom is speaker with two integrated wireless devices that allows it to be connected to your computer and internet at the same time…”

CES 2009: Creative
Think Computers :: Saturday, January 17, 2009
“Creative had a very strong showing this year, once again featuring Jonathan “Fatal1ty” Wendell in frag matches throughout the day. They showed off a new video recorder, new speakers, a new sound card, new OEM partners, and a kick-ass new processor architecture, too. Let’s take a look!”

Do Expensive Home Audio/Video Cables Matter? 
Digital Trends :: Friday, January 16, 2009
“The question is as old as the audio-video industry itself: Do high-quality cables really matter? In fact, it may not surprise you to note that it’s even one of the most common questions that custom installers are asked by clients building high-performance systems. But finally, we here at DT can provide an answer: Predictably, it’s an emphatic “yes!””

GeForce 185.20, ambient occlusion tested
TechConnect :: Thursday, January 15, 2009
“Everywhere you turn these days you see people saying that 2009 will be tough, with economic recession, more trouble in the Middle East and the filming of BloodRayne 3. Despite the grim outlook, this year has started on a high note for Nvidia graphics card owners as a new GeForce driver bearing a new feature and the potential of improved performance got trapped in the spider-less world wide web. Also coming with a rather high number jump – from 180.70/87/88 to 185.20, the driver features support for every GeForce desktop card from the 6 series up and adds a new tab in the Nvidia Control Panel that enables Ambient Occlusion, a lighting model that’s supposed to bring more realism to 3D games.”

Azden SGM-X Shotgun Microphone Review
PC Shop Talk :: Saturday, January 10, 2009
While many users use Standard or High-Definition camcorders for their vacation videos or perhaps for making some home-made movies, the onboard sound quality becomes noticeable to the user as they want to make more professional movies. The reason for this is because the onboard microphones tend to pick up background noises that lower the quality of your audio. Some cameras that use MiniDV tapes tend to pick up a small hum sound from the motor inside the camera itself. Whether you are aiming for just a home-made footage of your family and/or you just want to film your own little short, we highly recommend a shotgun microphone for all users that want to get the most out of their camera.

Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player Review 
Digital Trends :: Friday, January 09, 2009
“With so much digital media available at our fingertips, the computer has become a trusty companion when it comes to content management. It may be busting at the seams, but it’s a nice alternative for those that don’t have thousands of dollars to plunk down on a dedicated mediaserver. Now the only problem is how to enjoy that entertainment. You could curl up on the couch or office chair and experience everything right on your desktop. However, unless you’re the type to hook a 60-inch screen up to your PC, stuff can often get a bit lost in the translation. For those times when the small screen just doesn’t deliver the goods, the WD TV HD Media Player wants to make the transition from small to big screen pretty seamless.”

Is Blu-ray Worth Buying? 
Digital Trends :: Wednesday, January 07, 2009
“With stock values plummeting and your 401K on the brink of becoming a 40K, it’s getting increasingly hard to look at next-generation Blu-ray disc players as a sound investment. The big question: While the high-definition storage format quickly ousted HD DVD for popular dominance amongst entertainment enthusiasts, at current prices, does it deserve a place in your home?”

Audio Archiving Guide: Part 2 – CD Ripping 
Techgage :: Tuesday, January 06, 2009
In the first part to this series, we took a deep look at the various music formats available, while here, we’ll tackle the actual ripping process. Believe it or not, some methods are better than others, and we’ll explain why. We’ll also discuss specific rippers for Windows, Mac and Linux, so no matter your OS choice, we have you covered.

Digital Lounge Blu-ray Awards 2008
Tweak Town :: Thursday, January 01, 2009
“I trust that everyone is enjoying the revamped Digital Lounge, where I have been reviewing Blu-ray movies and hosting the Blu-ray release schedule since the start of the year. Over that time, we’ve seen some pretty major changes; the growth of the format and the multitude of releases, both catalogue and new. And let’s not forget the spectacular demise of Toshiba’s HD-DVD format, which paved the way for mainstream success.

I thought it would be an apt time to take a look at the best of the best, the Blu-ray releases for 2008 which have stood above the rest. So join me in rounding up the winners (and runners up) in the first annual TweakTown Blu-ray awards!”