Home Theater

2012 Panasonic Blu-ray Players Get Firmware and Smartphone App Updates

June 25, 2012
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2012 Panasonic Blu-ray Players Get Firmware and Smartphone App Updates

Panasonic’s 2012 3D Blu-ray players have now received their second firmware update, version 1.39, since being released in North America. The update covers the DMP-BDT220, 320 and 500. Panasonic has also released an iPhone and iPad app to control the players as well. More on that later. First, I’ll focus on the firmware updates....

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Why Apple Didn’t Introduce an Apple TV App Store

June 14, 2012
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Why Apple Didn’t Introduce an Apple TV App Store

An app store for Apple TV? Apple TV APIs available for any developer to create apps? It was the biggest rumor that didn’t come to pass at this week’s Apple World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC). Despite this, there was still a fairly impressive list of announcements: iOS 6 with a virtual wallet app (Passbook),...

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TiVo Stream and IP Set-Top Boxes: A Closer Look

May 22, 2012
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TiVo Stream Box Connects to the TiVo Premiere

TiVo unveiled preview versions of its new TiVo Stream and IP set-top boxes at the Boston Cable Show (pictures below). I first saw a prototype of the TiVo Stream at this year’s CES, back in January. Both boxes are complimentary boxes to TiVo’s Premiere line of digital video recorders (DVRs). The Stream will let...

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Warner Brothers Blu-ray Blowout

May 21, 2012
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Warner Brothers Blu-ray Blowout

While the Internet can do lots of things, it still doesn’t provide the best audio and video experience for your home theater. That distinction still rests with the physical entity known as the Blu-ray disc. I’m always on the look out for great Blu-ray deals. Lately, I’ve had some good luck at Newbury Comics...

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TiVo’s New Netflix Player Hands-On Review

May 10, 2012
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TiVo’s New Netflix Player Hands-On Review

TiVo has just released a new Netflix player as part of their 2012 spring software update. In addition to being able to browse the Netflix catalog, the new TiVo Premiere Netflix player comes with support for 1080P HD video, Dolby Digital Plus surround sound and closed captions. When you add in TiVo’s comprehensive search...

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Dolby Atmos: The Virtualization of Surround Sound

May 3, 2012
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Dolby Atmos: The Virtualization of Surround Sound

Dolby is on a quest to bring movie theater sound to the next level. At this year’s CinemaCon, Dolby introduced a new surround sound platform called Dolby Atmos. Unlike the incremental change from 5.1 to 7.1 channel surround sound, Atmos is a fundamental change in how audio is authored for and delivered in the...

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Apple TV’s iTunes Digital Copies from iCloud are in SD

April 27, 2012
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Apple TV’s iTunes Digital Copies from iCloud are in SD

iTunes Digital Copies, included with select Blu-rays or DVDs, only stream in standard definition (SD) to Apple TV from iCloud. When I originally uncovered movies streaming from iCloud, I thought I found at least one example of a movie streaming in HD from iCloud: Star Trek. Looking at it in the “Purchased” section of...

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iTunes Digital Copy Bargains: Harry Potter and Wolverine Blu-rays

April 19, 2012
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iTunes Digital Copy Bargains: Harry Potter and Wolverine Blu-rays

Lately, I’ve been on the hunt for Blu-rays that come with an iTunes digital copy. I’m especially keen on ones I can find on sale or better yet the ones in the used Blu-ray rack. Two recent finds have been the Harry Potter movies and Wolverine. Starting last year, there were limited edition releases...

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Pioneer Introduces New A/V Receivers for 2012

April 14, 2012
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Pioneer Introduces New A/V Receivers for 2012

Pioneer has refreshed its line-up of home theater A/V receivers with four new models. Starting with the entry level VSX-522 ($249 MSRP), all four models feature 3D HDMI connectivity, audio return channel support (ARC), HDMI pass-through and Pioneer’s room calibration system: MCACC. With the exception of the entry level model which does not have...

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TiVo Upgrades Premiere and Drops Prices

March 23, 2012
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TiVo Upgrades Premiere and Drops Prices

TiVo announced a capacity upgrade to the entry level TiVo Premiere DVR as well as a number of price cuts. Starting this Sunday, the TiVo Premiere will now ship with a 500 GB hard drive providing 75 hours of high definition recording. However, the cost of the entry level Premiere went up to a...

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Panasonic DMP-BDT220 Blu-Ray Player Review and Tips

March 19, 2012
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Panasonic DMP-BDT220 Blu-Ray Player Review and Tips

While the new 2012 Panasonic DMP-BDT220 is an entry level 3D Blu-ray player, don’t lower your expectations. This model packs in an impressive set of features at a $150 suggested retail price ($135 at Amazon). It also shares the same internals for audio and video processing as the more expensive DMP-BDT320 and DMP-BDT500. However,...

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