It may have started as a media center for the original Xbox, but XBMChas since evolved into a full-fledged application with a huge library of add-ons generated by diehard fans and users. Available on pretty much every platform you’d want to install it on—Windows, OS X, Linux, Android, iOS, and more—it’s a stellar way to get all of your content onto a big screen without having to deal with a mouse and keyboard, unless you want to.
Over a year ago, I wrote in this space that 3D TV is inevitable in the home theater market. I still feel that way, and I’ll explain why.
I saw my first 3D movie in 1953. It was House Of Wax, starring Vincent Price, Phyllis Kirk, Carolyn Jones, and featured a pretty scary newcomer named Charles Bronson. It was directed by Andre de Toth, who ironically only had one good eye.
To this day, it remains one of my favorite 3D movies, and I wish Warner Bros. would get off their butts and release it on 3D Blu-Ray, perhaps a double set with Phantom Of The Rue Morgue, starring Karl Malden. I’d also like Universal to release a box set of The Creature From The Black Lagoon, Revenge Of The Creature, The Creature Walks Among Us (not in 3D) and It Came From Outer Space.
We test three "do-everything" packages for media creation and management to find the one that strikes the perfect balance of features, performance, and ease-of-use
When friends or family members you haven’t seen in years suddenly show up at your front door, the proper thing to do is invite them in, find out whom they’re married to these days, and then reminisce about old times over a tall glass of Guinness. What you don’t do is drag out a two-ton box full of photo albums and Super-8 tapes and bore your company to tears, like you might have done before the digital era drop-kicked that kind of coma-inducing behavior into obsolescence. That might still work for your computer-illiterate parents, but this is a different time, and you’re much more likely to have your memories and adventures preserved as digital bits scattered all over your hard drive. In the back of your mind, you keep meaning to organize your digital photos, home movies, and even your epic music collection, and wouldn’t it be rad to mash them together? After all, a home-brewed DVD with a custom soundtrack and visual effects would dazzle your friends and relatives in ways a simple photo album and unorganized video can’t.
This is where fully fledged media suites come into play. They not only help you organize and spice up your digital collection, they’re also capable of converting music and videos into formats better suited for portable devices, like your handheld game player, smartphone, or tablet. Today’s media suites are all about managing and manipulating your content so you can view it whenever, wherever, and however you want, and not simply burning to disc like you did in the 1990s.
To help you choose the right one, we rounded up three of the biggest, most popular media suites around: CyberLink Media Suite 9 Ultra, Nero 11 Platinum, and Roxio Creator 2012 Pro. Each one brings a barrelful of tricks to the digital party, so we narrowed our focus to the tasks you’re most likely to use over and over again. Specifically, we’re testing for Blu-ray/DVD/3D playback, DVD/Blu-ray burning, basic video and photo editing chores, and transcoding. Is there a suite that stands head and shoulders above the others? Let’s find out!
After Freddy Got Fingered, we really shouldn't be surprised at the junk Hollywood will cast on the silver screen. Yet somehow we're still a little shocked that Farmville is making the move from Facebook to the local cinema, or at least that's what IGN was able to extrapolate from a recent interview with Toy Story writers Alec Sokolow and Joel Cohen.
Last month, Toshiba ended its decade-long absence from the desktop market with the 21.5-inch DX1210 all-in-one (AIO) PC. Now the electronics conglomerate has effectively doubled the size of its AIO lineup by adding another product to it. The new DX735 features a 23-inch full HD multi-touch display with a “stylish and space-saving TV-like design.” Specs after the jump.
While many of us might consider e-books to be a relatively new phenomena, in reality they have existed almost as long as the Internet itself. Public domain junkies have no doubt made at least one or more visit to the Project Gutenberg archives, but what they probably don’t realize is that the movement to digitize public works under this name has been around since 1971. Why the history lesson you ask? Well, it seemed appropriate to reflect on the history of e-books today following the news that the founder of Project Gutenberg, Michael S. Hart, passed away of unknown causes last week at the age of 64.
More and more folks are turning to cloud services like Dropbox to store their oh-so-precious private data, but when it comes to truly valuable info, it's still a good idea to keep a physical backup disc around in case those virtual services crap out on you. Then again, CDs and DVDs scratch waaaaay too easily and have limited shelf lives. If you've ever been screwed by a big gouge across an important backup disc, you might want to check out the new optical media that's hitting the market soon. Supposedly, it lasts forever, and the Department of Defense vouches for its resiliency.
Technological progress grows at different rates depending on the industry, and few industries have gained as much growth in the last several years as sports entertainment. With companies like ESPN leading the way in HD and then 3D television, the sports industry has pushed the rest of the entertainment business to improve and innovate.
There are a variety of ways to watch, listen, and follow your sports team these days. Things are almost to the point where a simply having a cable TV service isn’t enough to really get the full experience. We’re going to take a look at a number of services and gadgets that will both enhance your sports viewing experience and provide more flexibility in how and where you watch your sports.
I have an average-size spare bedroom that mostly functions as a home office and gaming room, and has been used primarily by me. Given the cramped quarters of San Francisco apartments, I set out to make the room less me-centric and more family-friendly by transforming this home office into a home office theater. The goal was to create a room suitable for three things: normal PC computing, big-screen surround sound movie viewing with no reconfiguration needed, and big-screen gaming. Ancillary goals were to make the room feel less like a cluttered man cave, and to avoid breaking the bank.
Why do I like VLC Media Player? Because it plays media. That’s pretty apparent in the title, however, so hear me out: The bane of Windows Media Player is that it straps a whole ton of accessories and add-ons into the picture when all you want to do is play a movie file. You don’t want to fuss with the library. You don’t want to go through a bunch of crappy skins or rudimentary add-ons. You don’t want to wait for Windows Media Player to load. You want a video. End of story.