New Tricks for AVerMedia's TV Players

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Upping the media-savvy IQ of your TV set is easy with one of AVerMedia's newly arrived players. Each attaches to an HDMI input on your TV or home theater receiver: one model adds a USB input and card reader; another lets you attach a USB or eSATA device and stream content from your home network or the Internet; a third turns your cable or satellite box into a computer-controlled DVR.

With the explosion in digital media, a TV connected to cable TV alone just doesn't cut it. If you're ready to upgrade your HDTV set to one capable of displaying content formally confined to your computer, here are three types of products from AVerMedia that do the job.

The entry-level AverMedia AVerLife Cinema lets you watch your home videos and photos and listen to your digital music on your home entertainment center without a network. At the front of the model you simply plug in your SD memory card or USB storage device filled with content, then choose your pleasure from the onscreen menu using the included remote. The Home Screen prompts you to load media from the card or USB drive, while the Select Media screen lets you choose from photos, music, video or text as well as checking file details.

Load media from a memory card or USB device.

Choose the type of media to play.

Note: B&H offers two versions: AVerLife Cinemaand AVerLife Cinema (Canada). The products are identical except the packaging on the Canadian version is in both English and French.

The AVerMedia AVerLife ExtremeVision Wireless Media Player doesn't have a card slot, but it does support an attached USB device plus an eSATA hard drive. It does something the AVerLife Cinema player doesn't do: stream content from the Internet. As a media receiver, the ExtremeVision links to your Ethernet or Wi-Fi network. (Wireless streaming is built in.) Also, unlike the AVerLife Cinema device, the HDMI cable is included. The Web Browser menu lets you access popular sites including flickr.

 Visit Google, YouTube, Facebook, Picasa and more.

 Sign into flickr on your HDTV to view your photos.

The AVerMedia AVerTV USB HD DVR accepts the component video output from your cable or satellite box or gaming console and saves high-definition recordings on your attached Windows computer.  A supplied IR emitter cable lets you change channels for unattended recordings. You download TitanTV guide listings from the Internet, which works with the AVerScheduler to record shows.

Also included is ArcSoft TotalMedia Extreme software for recording, playback, editing and burning discs. The software enables you to transcode recorded files for later playback on such devices as an iPhone or iPod, Xbox 360, PSP or PS3. Output formats include MP4, WMV and MOV. The AVerMedia AVerTV USB HD DVR has other uses including converting your analog library to digital files. (In addition to component video, it has composite, S-Video and stereo inputs.) A USB cable for connection to your computer is included as well as component video and A/V cables, but an HDMI cable for attaching the DVR to your TV is not included.