by Oliver Amnuayphol
If you're a Netflix user, lucky you: they've just expanded your movie viewing horizons with the debut of their new $99 Netflix Player direct-streaming box. Supplied by Roku, this small wonder hooks up to your computer via ethernet or wi-fi and streams content to your PC or TV. Since this box works in unison with Netflix's web-based, instant viewing feature available to subscribers, you can watch unlimited content for free in addition to the DVDs you receive via mail. What's more, you can fast foward or rewind streaming content, and there's a wide variety of connection options--including HDMI, component video, S-video, composite video, digital optical audio, and analog stereo audio. Speaking as someone who's sick of watching my instant Netflix movies on my meager 15" monitor instead of my big screen, I'm sure this boss streamer will be a hit with Netflixers everywhere.
On the A/V receiver front, Harman Kardon has recently announced three all-new, HDMI 1.3 equipped A/V receivers: The AVR354 ($899), AVR254 ($649), and AVR154 ($399). The top two models feature internal decoding of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, 1080p upscaling, and Faroudja DCDi video processing; the AVR354 also features Bridge II iPod connectivity and a separate, 2nd zone remote. Given Harman's reputation for outstanding sonics, user-friendliness, and severely underrating the power output of their receivers, these are sure to be all-out winners.
Movie Releases for Next Week.
DVD: Flawless; Get Smart--The Complete Series; Dirty Harry--Ultimate Collector's Edition; The Best of Radiohead; Houdini; The Eye; Almost an Angel.
Blu-ray: Cloverfield; There Will be Blood; Bee Movie; Face Off; Signs; Shooter; Semi-Pro; Blades of Glory; We Were Soldiers; The Untouchables; The Italian Job; Mission Impossible III; Sleepy Hollow; THe Recruit; Patton; Dirty Harry--Ultimate Collector's Edition; The Longest Day; A Bridge Too Far; Next; Weeds--Season Three; and a truckload of others.