Netflix set-top box reviews

We mentioned the Netflix set top box for streaming movies to your TV earlier today and already there are a bunch of reviews posted. Here’s a sampling:

PC Mag gives it 4/5 and says “For those looking to augment an unlimited Netflix subscription, this set-top box from Roku is affordable and easy to use. Here’s hoping the movie selection becomes broader.”

CNet gives it 7.7/10 and says: “While it’s still a work in progress–and currently lean on quality content–the Netflix Player’s simple operation, overall convenience, and cheap price makes it a compelling option for Netflix subscribers looking for instant gratification.”

and Wired gives it 7/10 and says “Another nondescript black box to clutter up your living room. Just not as much content as we wish was available. Box and remote, while functional, just aren’t very good looking.”

DLink DSM-750 HD media center extender now shipping

DLink DSM-750 HD media center extender now shipping

Dlink has announced their DLink DSM-750 HD media center extender is now shipping.

The $330 DSM-750 works best with Vista Media Center PCs (sorry XP Media Center owners, no HD for you) and streams HD content, music, and pictures from any device on your home network over 802.11n wireless or 10/100 ethernet to any attached TV.

We have to wonder though: why no gigabit ethernet: the extra cost over 10/100 would have been minimal and the performance improvement should be substantial.

Full press release on the DSM-750 follows.

DLink DSM-750 via SlipperyBrick
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Mac mini as a vista media center pc

Mac mini as a vista media center pc

Krunker took an old mac mini, upgraded the ram, adding some external hard drives, an external HD TV tuner, installed vista, and ended up with a very usuable vista media center pc.

Here’s the summary:

“In this article, I’ve gone over the high level elements that I’ve undertaken to transform a Apple Mac mini into a Windows Vista Media Center system. At the end of the day, the Mac mini makes a solid and capable Media Center box. It’s even better when you use the system in conjunction with Media Center Extender systems since the Extenders can deal with the actual video processing and rendering. There are of course some limitations with the Mac mini – mostly in the areas of storage and expandability. Storage expansion can be solved via external hard drives or via a network attached storage device such as Windows Home Server (and I’ll delve into that in the near future). Additional capabilities can be added to the Mac mini via USB connections although it does destroy the simplistic look of the overall system a bit.”

(full article at krunker)

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TivoToGo Launched

TivoToGo launched

Tivo has finally launched their TivoToGo service which will either get them a bunch of new customers or will get them sued into oblivion (I’m hoping for the new customer option not the suing).

They specifically got the FCC to approve this so I hope they will be ok.

TivoToGo sounds like a great service, if your Tivo is networked you can copy programs from it to another PC on your network (you need special software on that PC, programs can be shared with a maximum of 10 PCs, and TV stations “may restrict or limit the ability to record, display, view or transfer any particular program using a variety of copy protection mechanisms”.)

If it lets me transfer shows to my laptop and watch them while I’m traveling I will be happy.

If you have a series 2 Tivo you can get on the priority list for the service upgrade at

(TivoToGo via PVRBlog)

Sony Type X Uber-Tivo

Sony Vaio Type X Tivo PVR

Imagine taking 7 Tivos and squishing them all together inside a box, what do you end up with?: The Sony Vaio Type X.

Yes they stole the name from Jaguar but this is the Ferrari of video recorders: 3.6GHz Pentium 4 Processor, 1 GB RAM, 1 TeraByte (1000 GB of storage, dual layer DVD writer, and 7 (yes 7) TV tuners. The tricky thing will be getting it to work with your cable or satellite service.

In addition it can be configured with 17″ to 23″ LCD screens and a HD digital tuner version will be available in December.

Expect a basic Type X to be around $4,000 and a fully tricked out one to be closer to $10k.

Sharp Mebius 26″ LCD PVR TV

sharp mebius 26 inch PC LCD TV combo

Sharp has announced a 26″ LCD TV and PC combo in Japan that is more PVR than PC.

The Sharp Mebius PC-TX26GS/TX26G has a 1366 x 768 pixel resolution 26″ LCD TV (that needs a seperate tuner if you want to watch HD-TV), and a DVD recorder/PC with 250gb hard drive, celeron processor, and 512mb RAM.

The Sharp Mebius PC-TX26GS/TX26G will be available in Japan in December.

Sharp press release (japanese)

Telly MC1200 Home Entertainment Server

Telly MC1200 1200 home entertainment server PVR

The Telly MC1200 is the third generation of Interact-TV’s home entertainment server: basically a cross between a Tivo and a Media PC.

The Telly MC1200 is 16.5 x 4.6 x 12.2 inches, runs Linux, and is controlled with a wireless keyboard and remote control. It comes with a 80gb hard drive, 1.2ghz Via C3 processor, 256mb RAM, ethernet connection, and a DVD-CDRW drive but can be upgraded to 3 250gb drives, a DVD writer and 1gb RAM.

The Telly MC1200 has a software interface allowing you to choose and record tv programs as well as watch movies, listen to music, and view pictures.

press release

Tivo Rollercoaster Continues

good news for Tivo

In what looks like a sign of despiration Tivo halved the price of their 40 hour model by offering a $100 mail-in rebate bringing the price down to $99.

The rebate is valid for other Tivo digital video recorders from Toshiba, Pioneer, and Humax.

In addition they are switching to cheaper packaging, starting to sell Tivo in a wider range of retail stores, and kicking off a national advertising campaign in non-tech related magazines.

Press Release