Of course the record labels knew selling a new format on the basis of sound quality was a risky business, so they tacked on 5.1 surround sound. There were millions of households in the early 2000s with multichannel home theaters, so selling new music surround formats looked … Read more
We're moving away from watching video on discs in general, but Blu-ray is helping stem that erosion somewhat. Hmm, doesn't sound like a very compelling argument to get on the Blu-ray bandwagon, until you consider that the best Blu-ray players are also streaming powerhouses that move you into the future of watching. Here are our Top 5 that deserve a place in your home video stack today and tomorrow.
You can find all of CNET's reviews of Blu-ray players here.
You can get a decent Blu-ray player for less than $100 these days, but many models cost much more. Are they truly better? What do they offer to justify the higher price?
And most importantly, are they worth the extra money? … Read more
Back in 1959 "Ben-Hur" won 11 Academy Awards, including Best Motion Picture, Best Actor, and Best Director. You'd figure a movie like that would be out on Blu-ray, but it has remained on our "Top 30 movies not out on Blu-ray" list for the last couple of years.
That's about to change, as Warner Bros. has announced that "Ben-Hur" will make its debut on Blu-ray on September 27 as the "Ben-Hur 50th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition."
Your HDTV, HD cable box, Blu-ray player, and even most DVD players and receivers will "upconvert," or scale, a standard-definition image to fill the screen of an HDTV.
Despite the marketing hype, this doesn't make SD look like HD, but it can make it look better than regular SD. The better the source, the better your TV will look. So how well a piece of gear can make standard definition appear is one of the major performance differences between two products. Recent TVs and Blu-ray players have gotten quite good at this.
The irony is, as good as scalers or upconverters have gotten, they're becoming obsolete.… Read more
Laptop news keeps coming this week, and Acer's latest is a funky one indeed. The newly-announced Acer Aspire Ethos is a new laptop line that's aimed squarely at the high-end over-$1000 market, with a very unique twist: its touch pad detaches and becomes a wireless remote.
That's right: a remote. The design's enough to mildly surprise even the most jaded laptop expert. While the rest of the Ethos chassis is downright staid, that wide multitouch pad's transformation into a separately functioning wireless remote complete with LED-backlit controls might qualify as one of the most … Read more
Need an inexpensive set-top box that can sling Netflix movies and TV shows, play tunes from Pandora and Slacker, and stream the latest YouTube videos? The Sony BDP-S270 can do all that for just $49.99 (after applying coupon code OUTLETBDPS270 at checkout).
Oh, it's also a Blu-ray player.
Funny how priorities change, right? Think about it: if I showed you a Roku box for $50, you'd probably snap it up. Well, the BDP-S270 streams a lot of the same services (Amazon Video on Demand, Hulu Plus, Vudu). And unlike a Roku box, it can play those quaint … Read more
Let's say you have a TV you like. Maybe it's a few years old; maybe it's new. But you have the upgrade bug, and can't decide what's best to get.
The following guide should help you figure out where the most bang will come from your dollars. … Read more
Editors' note: The chart doesn't list every streaming-media service available on each content portal; for the sake of simplicity, we chose those we considered most important.
If you're buying a Blu-ray player this year and you care about streaming media, the chart above is your new best friend. We've tallied up all the streaming-media services offered on each manufacturer's Blu-ray content portal, making it easy to directly compare the competing platforms. While every manufacturer includes Netflix, Vudu, YouTube, and Pandora, that's where the similarities end.
You can read the in-depth reviews of each streaming content portal by clicking on the links in the chart, which includes screenshots and a detailed look at each service's user interface. We'll continue to update the chart as the year goes on, but here's the quick-and-easy takeaway as of now.… Read more
If you're buying a Blu-ray player in 2011, you're probably as interested in streaming-media services as you are in Blu-ray. The BDP-S580 is a tantalizing option for a streaming-media fan, packing in more services (including Netflix, Amazon Instant, and Hulu Plus) than any of its competitors. It also has built-in Wi-Fi and an excellent smartphone application you can use to search Netflix and other streaming-media services--no competitor provides this option for searching inside Netflix.
Yet we can't recommend the BDP-S580 without a few caveats. Unlike other Blu-ray players, the BDP-S580 has its own custom user interface for … Read more