Here's what you do: transfer video (photos and music, too) from a Windows or Mac computer or directly from a 2010 or later model-year Sony camcorder with the Direct Copy feature to the AV Media Drive. Then you plug the drive into any USB port-equipped consumer electronics device capable of decoding at least one of the media formats you use. You've just freed up valuable space on your camcorder or computer, and now you can enjoy all that good stuff on your TV.
Monolithic looking in its napkin holder-like stand, the My Passport AV Media Drive from Western Digital is a 320-Gigabyte hard drive that's actually no larger than a half-inch stack of 3 x 5 cards. Powered through its USB 2.0 interface, the drive is intended as a source component for the increasing number of TV sets, Blu-ray Disc players, camcorders, game consoles, and media players that can decode digital video.
Still listening to AM or FM when you can be enjoying crisp digital radio free of the Internet or a subscription? For stations broadcasting in HD Radio, AM sounds like FM and FM sounds like a CD. HD Radio also enables a broadcaster to send out some three different channels simultaneously, increasing your choices beyond the limitations of conventional stations. If you're ready to step up to HD, radios for under $100 abound.
I hate backing up. I do it, but I hate it. If you’re not running back ups, you’re courting heartache. My cautionary tale: A few years back, my brother and I were editing our first indie feature. Our data got corrupted. Nothing was backed up. We lost 3 months of post-production -- the entire film. Starting from scratch nearly killed us. Don’t let it happen to you.
Many people are obsessed with keeping a close eye on the latest gadgets, and often judge if each new doodad has a forward-thinking design. If you place a Tivoli iPAL on a shelf next to the latest gizmos, it fits right in. What's interesting is that some of the fundamental design concepts behind it date back to the 1950 s and 60's. This week I realized that in our web 2.0 world, a portable AM/FM radio is still a wonderfully handy piece of technology to have around.
A portable TV set can be a cozy companion at the ballpark or a picnic; but if you own an old one, and you haven't used it lately, you may be unaware that these days it's unlikely to pick up anything but static. That's because TV stations ended over-the-air analog broadcasting on June 12, 2009. So, if that portable contains an analog-only tuner, you may find yourself with a first-rate doorstop.
Did you get an iPad for the holidays this year? This is being put to paper in advance of the actual festivities, so I’m hoping for one too, although there’s always the chance that I’ll only walk away with a few lumps of Pennsylvania anthracite. Here are a few products that will help you to get more out of your iPad.
At the heart of the receiver is the surround-sound processor. The most basic surround processors use a Dolby Pro Logic II decoder. Pro Logic II is a "matrix" system that takes an encoded two-channel stereo signal and converts it to a five-channel full bandwidth (range) playback (Left/Center/Right/Left Surround/Right Surround),resulting in a surround experience. Most TV shows are encoded in Dolby Pro Logic II, as are the majority of VHS videos. You can also play DVDs through a Pro Logic II only-receiver because DVD players can synthesize a Pro Logic II signal that mimics a surround soundtrack. The newer Dolby Pro Logic IIx adds the ability of converting stereo or 5.1-channel surround sound for seamless 6.1 or 7.1 playback.
That old computer is getting longer in the tooth. Sure, when you got it, Windows Me was the latest and greatest, and it had a whopping 40GB hard drive… maybe even 256MB of RAM. Imagine that. Nowadays, that computer seems like it belongs in Barney Rubble's den, not your home office. If you're faced with the oft-daunting task of choosing a new computer, read on for a few suggestions.
I have my own plot of land at B&H's cube farm. Sitting, thinking, and writing is fun, but it's always awesome to change things up a bit and take a field trip to the B&H SuperStore. The SuperStore has grown a lot. Like a child in a toy store, I'm mezmerized by the overhead conveyor belts and displays of shiny new whack-a-doodles. I stop where the VCRs and DVDs grow.
Graham our friendly salesman greets me with a smile, "Can I help you?" "I'm looking for an easy solution under $200.00 to transfer VHS to DVD. What do you suggest?" After plowing through a few new options, we both decide that the Sony RDR-VX560 DVD/VCR combo is our best option.
To prepare for your annual bout of feverish, zeal-laden frenzy that accompanies that frenetic period from the middle of November until the bacchanal bliss of January first, we present a simplified gift-giving guide to one of the most popular gifts: the digital picture frame. Despite its recent introduction to the digital marketplace, the popularity and practicality of having a standalone petite and stylish screen present an entire album or gallery's worth of photographs in a single device has won over the favor of both the technophiles and the Luddites amongst us. Manufacturers produce a slew of display options that vary from the pocket-sized key fob to a 32” diagonal behemoth. Today we will wade through the offerings and help you match the right frame to the right person on your gift list.
The "5.1" reference that appears at the start of many primetime shows is the networks' advisory to switch on your home theater's speaker system. When you do, you'll enjoy the program the way it was meant to be heard. A show broadcast in Dolby Digital 5.1 can deliver audio to five full-range speakers (front left, center, front right, surround left, and surround right) plus a low frequency effects channel (designated by the ".1") to the subwoofer.
To increase your awareness of what you're missing if you happen to be watching a TV that doesn't include an external sound system, we've listed some of the ways a program's sound director enhances the show by steering audio to discrete speakers in your home theater.
Apple recently refreshed their entire MacBook product line – which includes the MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air – with new designs and higher horsepower hardware.
The aluminum unibody design, used on the majority of the new Macs, is cut from a brick of solid aluminum. This results in a stronger, more durable notebook, while at the same time reducing the computer's weight. You really have to handle one of these machines to appreciate the leap that Apple has made with manufacturing; they simply feel more solid than any other notebook that I've handled.
An Aluminum MacBook
The compact MacBook, previously only available in a plastic polycarbonate housing, is now available with an aluminum unibody design. The system features a high-gloss 13.3" widescreen display with a 1280 x 800 resolution, a DVD burner, and integrated GeForce 9400M graphics by nVIDIA.
Weighing in at only 4.5 pounds, the computer is less than an inch thick when closed. Two USB 2.0 ports are available for device connectivity. It should be noted that the computer lacks FireWire connectivity, a longtime staple on Macs. Users who desire an aluminum notebook and require FireWire will have to move up to the MacBook Pro.
Nearly 72 percent of online households log on for entertainment purposes every day, according to the Conference Board. They stream episodes of cable TV programs like The Daily Show, watch YouTube clips, and download video podcasts. Even without the Internet, you may have transferred hours of family camcorder footage now buried on the computer's hard drive. Suddenly, it's easy to see your computer as a versatile source component for your big screen TV. Too bad the PC is shackled to a desk in a different room, and show time in the home office amounts to people standing behind your chair squinting at the small screen.
It doesn't have to be that way, especially during the holidays or any home gathering. Here are three ways to view computer content in the more accommodating setting of your living room and home theater:
An external sound system completes a home theater, and turning one on yields unexpected pleasures. Recently, I stumbled upon a new TV series on HBO and a romantic drama on Blu-ray Disc both designed to indulge the ears.
The series, True Blood, features a waitress who can hear what people are thinking. As she works her way past tables, thoughts cascade toward her from every direction. And the audience hears the cacophony, too, brilliantly steered from multiple speakers at the sides of the TV and near the sofa.
The movie, August Rush, on Blu-ray and also available on DVD, features a humdinger of an opener: a child prodigy deciphers the musical nature of wind rustling the field in which he's standing. As the wind shifts, the sound washes over the audience from various directions. The powerful effect is all but lost on viewers relying on the TV's internal speakers alone. The same is true for the restaurant sounds in True Blood.
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