Cnet's Crave blog reports that Logitech has rolled out yet another member of its low-end 500 series of Harmony universal remotes, the 510. According to Cnet, the 510, which retails for $99.99 but is widely available for less, is similar in its control design to the 550 ($129.99 MSRP), but only controls five devices, versus 15 for the 550.
Commenters at the Engadget blog have already spotted the 510 "in the wild" and have noted that the older 550 is less expensive at some stores and has a blue backlight (preferred by some to the 510's green backlight). Many users are noting that the Xbox 360-compatible Logitech Harmony remote is also a better deal than the 510, as it supports up to 12 devices (and you don't need to have an Xbox 360 to use it).
Logitech's official web page for the Harmony 510 is here, and you can find all of the US-market models listed here.
Fans of under $100 universal remotes, time to speak up. Is newer better, or are you hunting for the 550 while you can still get it? Join us after the jump for your chance to chime in.
In your June 2008 issue, Frank Buttell mentioned a problem with a disappearing hard drive. I have also had that problem with Vista Ultimate, except my disappearing drive was my DVD +/- RW with LightScribe. I am dual-booting with XP Pro x64 edition and Vista Ultimate (32 bit). The drive is fine in XP, but in Vista, it will randomly disappear. A restart or sometimes a disconnect and reconnect of the SATA cable will solve the problem. So something must be up. What’s going on?
RealNetworks is soon going to tread the perilous waters of DVD copying. The company has announced that it is going to release RealDVD, an application for making digital copies of DVDs. Although DVD copying applications have been available for long, RealDVD will be the first such tool to be released by a major company.
RealNetworks is fully convinced that there won't be a strong case against it, if the company is ever dragged to court over the software. RealDVD will come with certain restrictions to prevent its use for piracy. "We have put in significant barriers so people don't just take this and put it on peer-to-peer networks," RealNetwork's Robert Glaser told NYT. However, he did not spill the beans on the exact nature of the curbs. RealDVD will carry a $30 price tag.
Since Blu-ray won out on the high-definition format war over Toshiba’s HD DVD, high definition on disc has just languished. Blu-ray’s victory has been a hollow one with few people rushing out to replace their trusty old DVD players and DVD collections. The initial assumption that it was the format war that kept adoption of the new standard slow. It turned out to be customers being perfectly happy with standard DVD quality.
Toshiba has been considering it’s next move and has decided DVD is good enough and is jumping on the "upconverting" DVD player bandwagon. They are releasing the XD-E500 DVD player that they says does more than previous models to improve the look of DVDs on high-definition TVs. At a MSRP of $149.99 it is twice as much as regular "upconverting" players, but it is less than half the price of a Blu-ray player.
An Associated Press report said that the XDE player produced a noticeable sharpening of the image over a standard, $70 up-scaling model on side-by-side LCD HDTVs. Toshiba didn't demonstrate the XDE against a Blu-ray or HD DVD player, however. Toshiba did stress that it's not meant to compete with Blu-ray.
Toshiba is playing up to Blu-ray’s marketing weakness, they can’t seem to convince users that there is enough of a difference in between regular Blu-ray and Standard DVD to warrant the expense of upgrading. The appearance of “upconverting” DVD players is only going to further hinder Blu-ray adoption. It might be an inevitability that someday we will have to upgrade. The big question is who will hold out the longest, Blu-ray’s high prices or consumers not wanting to pay those high prices and holding on to standard DVD? Who do you think will win out? My money is on the consumers.
What good is winning the war if there's no one to celebrate with afterward? That's the dilemma the Blu-ray camp has found itself in after having whipped HD-DVD out of contention in the high definition DVD market. According to a new consumer survey from ABI Research, there exists a widespread reluctance among consumers to jump on the Blu-ray bandwagon, with over half of the 1,000 respondents saying they have no plans to purchase one citing "other priorities."
Making copies of protected DVD media is complicated process conducted over dark fiber and only by the hacker elite, or is it? A new survey conducted by Futuresource Consulting shows that in reality, more than one in three US & UK residents have owned up to making copies of content they didn’t own. These numbers are up sharply from the one in four self proclaimed pirates surveyed during the previous year. The results tell the true story of what keeps Hollywood executives up at night. Is the movie industry doomed to suffer the same collapse facing music labels?
Now that Blu-ray rules the high definition roost, many are left wondering what Toshiba's next move be in the wake of HD-DVD's death, and a new logo has kicked speculation into high gear. The Toshiba-chaired DVD Forum recently approved the DVD Download/DL logo, a new spec likely to show up in Toshiba's next batch of super upscaling DVD players. But what exactly is this new feature? According to wireless consumer advocate Christopher Rice, DVD Download/DL equipped players will enable transmissions of HD-quality video from the web, so not only will your standard videos look better when upscaled, but you'll have the option to download the DVD in HD.
If true, one has to wonder why Toshiba would go down this road again and wage another war with Blu-ray, but is it really such a big gamble? Despite winning the high definition format war, Blu-ray sales have been a bust among consumers, and buyers are realizing that upscaled DVDs look pretty darn good on a HDTV. And because the new players won't introduce a new optical format, movie studios won't be able to render the player obsolete as easily as they did with HD-DVD. Sounds promising in theory, but let's see how it shakes out in practice.
Stable and affordable subscription plans; unlimited streaming downloads; large DVD catalog; optional living room set-top player. With all Netflix has going for it, the announcement that it would disable user Profiles came as a curious one. In between carpooling to class and eating Ramen noodles, college roommates would suddenly have to share a queue, and parents would no longer be able to configure a separate profile with parental controls for the kids. The surprise announcement sparked an outrage from hundreds of angry subscribers who left comments on Netflix's blog, and while not quite on par with the backlash inflicted upon Creative over Daniel_K and his now infamous modified soundcard drivers, one had to wonder why Netflix would risk agitating a content customer base. After some reflection of their own, and undoubtedly a few angry letters, Netflix sent out a letter to subscribers today reversing its decision to kill user Profiles:
"You spoke, and we listened. We are keeping user Profiles. Thank you for all the calls and emails telling us how important Profiles are." - Netflix
Whether you care about Profiles or not, isn't it nice knowing the customer can sometimes still be right?
A scant six months ago, we all wondered which camp would prevail in the high-definition format war. But as fate (and the studios) would have it, Sony's Blu-ray format emerged as the victor, leaving movie buffs with yet another question: Where will we get our flicks from? The days of renting movies in a brick and mortar store are slowly coming to an end, and this new war for your movie-renting dollar is being waged online. Both blockbuster and Netflix offer video rentals delivered straight to your mailbox, and while Netflix seems poised to emerge as a fan favorite, not all changes have subscribers jumping for joy. Click through to learn what's changing with Netflix, and what you can do about it.