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Archive for Set Top Boxes

Hauppauge Digital Broadway Box

Posted in Set Top Boxes by Reuben Drake on June 28th, 2011

The Hauppauge Digital Broadway Box is not what it sounds like. This isn’t a box full of musicals and Broadway shows. It’s a new way to watch live TV on your iPhone and iPad (as well as other mobile devices). It’s basically a small stand alone box that connects to any TV signal and streams live TV wirelessly to mobile devices like your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.

Live TV can be watched over your home Wi-Fi network or it can be streamed over the Internet anywhere in the world as long as you have an Internet connection. It will arrive in July or early August for $199.

Freebox V6 Revolution offers Calling, TV and Gaming

Posted in Set Top Boxes by Conner Flynn on December 14th, 2010

Many set top boxes are boring, but that’s not the case here. Free, an ISP in France, has introduced the Freebox v6 Revolution, a set-top box designed by Philippe Starck. The device offers a 250GB hard drive and an internal 802.11n Wi-Fi module, Blu-ray drive, web browser, Intel’s Atom CE4100 media processor and also a motion-sensing remote.

So you will get live/streaming TV options, Internet, gaming and even at-home calling. What can’t it do? They also throw in a joystick and a pair of powerline adapters. The device is already available for pre-order and will cost you between EUR59.99 ($80) to EUR119.99 ($161). Not bad considering all it does.

Roku update brings 1080p support for the XR

Posted in Set Top Boxes by Conner Flynn on December 13th, 2010

Roku XR owners are celebrating Christmas a bit early as the company has released the 2.9-b1509 firmware update which ups the video support from 720p to 1080p. Nice! So what other improvements does this update include?

Well, there’s Hulu application optimization for quicker navigation and playback along with some other cool stuff. If you haven’t received the update yet, you can always leave your box running and it should update itself at some point. Or if you prefer, you can get the update manually. Just go to Settings->Player Info->Check for Updates. That should do it.

Yonsei WebTube HD Box stops by the FCC

Posted in Set Top Boxes by Conner Flynn on November 24th, 2010

The WebTube HD box from Yonsei might be a good budget version of a Roku box, but you can expect limited abilities. The WebTube HD has just visited the FCC where it was poked and prodded. The device can be connected to the Internet and gives users an interface for viewing YouTube videos, browsing the web and more.

The WebTube HD platform also has its own TV App Market, so you can download apps for added functionality. Do you still want it, even with it’s lack of Hulu or Netflix support? Probably not.

iFixit Boxee Teardown

Posted in Set Top Boxes by Conner Flynn on November 11th, 2010

No gadget is safe from a teardown from iFixit. Now they have dismantled the new Boxee. So what did the teardown reveal? Well, a lot of the internal component space is taken up by the huge heatsink needed to cool the Boxee Intel CE4110 processor, the 1GB of RAM, 1GB of flash memory, and a digital-to-analog audio converter.

So in the end, iFixit gave the Boxee a repair score of 7 /10, since the separate power board can be replaced independently from the motherboard, should it ever fail and need to be replaced.

Roku rolls out version 2.8 software update

Posted in Set Top Boxes by Conner Flynn on November 6th, 2010

You’ve been waiting for it and now Roku has finally rolled out its version 2.8 software update. The biggest changes are to the interface itself.

These improvements include a new seasonal home screen banner, the capability to re-order channels on the home screen, an updated Channel Store with a grid of icons and a home screen clock. This update will gradually find its way to Roku boxes over the next few days, or you can just go to the settings menu to force a download right now if you want.

Boxee Box ships November 10th

Posted in Set Top Boxes by Conner Flynn on October 20th, 2010

Well, now it is confirmed that the D-Link Boxee Box will begin shipping on November 10th. It will come pre-loaded with Boxee 1.0 to get you started. If you placed a pre-order with Amazon, you could receive your Box as early as November 11th.

The rest of the Boxes should start arriving in stores on November 17th. Just goes to show you that sometimes it pays to place an Amazon pre-order instead.

Vudu drops some rentals to $2 to fight Apple, Netflix

Posted in Set Top Boxes by Conner Flynn on October 18th, 2010

Vudu just has started an aggressive campaign to corner the movie rental space through its pricing strategy – lowering the price to below average. What this means to you is just $2 for around 4,000 “top films” in the company’s Movies On Sale section, where you have 48 hours to finish watching once playback begins.

The deal is good until the end of 2010. Lower prices should apply both to those who still use a Vudu Box as well as the TVs and Blu-ray players that have streaming support, like those from LG, Samsung and Vizio.

Pre-Order the Boxee Box today, now with Intel CE4100

Posted in Set Top Boxes by Conner Flynn on September 13th, 2010

If you have been waiting for the Boxee Box, your wait is almost over. Pre-orders start today. In other news, it no longer has an NVIDIA Tegra 2 under the hood. Boxee has switched to the Intel Atom CE4100. The company had said that it expected the Box to hit the streets at under $200, but now it is $229.

Intel’s CE4100 processor is the same one found inside Logitech’s Google TV box. So now your Boxee will be able to handle full 1080p playback at 60fps. The Boxee Box should ship in November in Canada, Australia, European Union and the U.S.

XStreamHD: Blu-ray quality movies instantly

Posted in Set Top Boxes by Conner Flynn on July 14th, 2010

Charlie over at DVICE got a chance to check out the XStreamHD entertainment system that’s currently under development and in beta. The satellite-based XStreamHD works using the concept of “pre-fetched entertainment.” which means you can view movies without having to download or stream. The data for up to 40 movies is sent to your box during the night ready for you to view whenever you’re ready. All Blu-Ray quality.

When you want to watch a movie just unlock it and play it immediately. There’s a monthly fee of $10 plus a fee for each movie watched but XStreamHD claims that it will keep prices in line with amazon and iTunes rentals.

Popbox is the first set-top box to support RealD 3D

Posted in Set Top Boxes by Conner Flynn on May 21st, 2010

Popbox is the first entry-level media streamer and set top box to offer RealD 3D support, allowing you to enjoy 3D from the comfort of your living room. Broadcasting a 3D signal is as simple as sending the signal through a standard HDMI cable, but RealD will do it side-by-side, using circular-polarized light.

You might want to check to make sure your TV is capable of this kind of performance. No matter what Popbox model you own, it should be able to stream RealD content though.

Wal-Mart is buying Vudu movie service

Posted in Set Top Boxes by Conner Flynn on February 22nd, 2010

According to the New York Times, Wal-Mart will acquire Vudu, the online movie service. Looks like it will be a good match since Wal-Mart sells a boat-load of DVDs. Vudu gives them an easy way into the streaming market without having to build something from the ground up.

For Vudu it’s good as well. They’ve never been profitable, despite having their players embedded in increasing numbers of TVs which may have turned that around eventually. Walmart should make it easy to build on that momentum.

Sky+HD 1TB box: 240 hours of HD video

Posted in Set Top Boxes by Conner Flynn on January 28th, 2010

Check out the new Sky+HD box for £249. It will store up to 1TB worth of data. That’s four times more storage than its predecessor, or to put it another way, 10 days of High Definition programs. On one hand, that’s awesome, on the other, who has time to watch it all?

Similar to the previous Sky+HD box, this model is also compatible with Sky 3D, which is being readied for release later this year along with Sky’s on-demand service. If you do have time to watch it all, it will store every second of it. Maybe take a ten day vacation and catch up on all your TV.

ZAGGbox media center now available for pre-order

Posted in Set Top Boxes by Conner Flynn on January 16th, 2010

ZAGG has announced that the ZAGGbox is available for pre-order for $799. While it isn’t on the cheap end, that price includes some nice features, like simultaneous transcoding of captured video for viewing on both your TV and the mobile device. And it comes with its own iPhone app.

You’ll also get 1TB of storage, a wide range of A/V inputs and outputs, 802.11n WiFi, and Slingbox-like streaming to any device, anywhere.

TeleAdapt MediaHub HD

Posted in Set Top Boxes by Conner Flynn on January 12th, 2010

Want to make hotel visits more entertaining? As in, enjoying your own tunes or movies, instead of the same old boring TV channels? Well, if hotels adopt the TeleAdapt TA-7650 MediaHub HD, your hotel visit will be very different.

This device allows you to “have it your way” and play media from your portable devices wirelessly to the TV, so if you have a media player, whether it’s an iPod or anything else, you’ll be able to connect it to the television in your hotel room. Assuming you stay in the hotel for most of your trip, this could be great.