But that hasn't stopped VidaBox from adding the option to rip high definition movies to its media center computers. The software won't play encrypted video streams, but if you've got third party software that can rip encrypted movies, VidaBox's software will let you watch your videos.
Niveus is taking a different approach, by developing a new media management program that will let users watch any video saved on their computer, whether that video is a recorded TV show or a ripped DVD or Blu-Ray disc. Because the Niveus Movie Gallery doesn't inlcude any ripping software, Niveus reps are confident they won't run into any legal troubles.
Niveus's software also has a nifty feature that displays ripped high definition movies when you're using your main computer but hides them from view when you're using a Media extender device. That makes a lot of sense, since ripped high definition videos will tend to be huge files that might not play very well over a network connection. The Movie Gallery application also has a recommendation engine that will show similar titles you might want to watch. Niveus plans to release a beta version of the application in a few weeks.
PowerDVD is the software that comes with many DVD, HD DVD, and Blu-Ray drives. And it works pretty well if you're sitting right in front of your computer. But if you've got a computer running Windows Media Center, you probably want to be able to sit on the couch and watch your movies with the aid of your trusty remote control. Unfortunately, Windows Media Center won't automatically recognize PowerDVD and add an option to launch the program to your menus. Fortunately, There's a third party plugin that'll do the trick. It launches PowerDVD when you click the button, and when you close PowerDVD you're returned to Windows Media Center.
So far, so good. But if you want to actually use a remote control with PowerDVD, you'll find that a standard media center remote doesn't work properly with Blu-Ray discs. You could remap all the buttons on your remote using software like LM Gestion, but you really just need one or two keys to be fixed. So Missing Remote has posted a configuration file that should work for most users.
Or as one user points out in the Missing Remote forums, you could also try ArcSoft TotalMedia Theatre instead of PowerDVD. It works perfectly well with a Media Center remote control. But it also costs a good $90. And you'll have to figure out how to add a button to your Windows Media Center menus.
While the earliest TiVo models were able to store fewer hours of programming, 16 hours doesn't really cut it these days, so of course, each of Sony's new machines also has a hard drive, ranging in size from 250GB to 500GB.
While dropping DVD recording support might seem like a big move, there's less competition for high-def optical disc recorders than standard def right now. And if Sony is seen as an innovator early on, they could establish their position as a market leader when the rest of the world realizes DVDs are about as cool as VHS tapes. Unless of course, the rest of the world prefers HD-DVD.
Alienware took the wraps off of its new HD Media Server system at the CEDIA tech show in Denver today. This rack-mountable system comes packed with up to four terabytes of storage, 1080p output via HDMI, 7.1 channel audio, Blu-Ray and CableCard support.
No pricing or availability has been announced, but Alienware is gearing this system toward high-end home media center installers. So even though at first blush it doesn't look like much more than a rack-mountable Hanger18 media center with a bit more storage potential, we suspect it's going to set you back significantly more than $2000.
For example, you can now get native HDMI output, and a combo Blu-Ray/HD-DVD player.
HiPe is also offering a wireless LTB Q-bean microphone headset for issuing voice commands to your PC. HiPe's eMage-N HD systems start at $1199, but the sky is the limit with options including DVD changers, LCD/Plasma televisions, 12.1 inch touchscreens for the computer case, and up to 15 terabytes of storage space.
Gizmodo managed to get a few details and snap a few pictures of hte DVC600, but we've got more questions than answers at the moment. Here's what we know. It will support Blu-Ray playback, sport custom Unix-based software, and cost between 3,000 and 4,000 Euros (or about $4,000 to $5500 US).
What we don't know is if the DVC600 will be available in the US, or what kind of high definition inputs it supports. Are you going to need to line up a series of HDTV antennas if this puppy ever hits the US, or will there be CableCard support?
We're probably putting the cart in front of the horse here though. Odds are this dreamy machine will only be available to Europeans with cash burning a hole in their pockets.
- A Blu-ray burner
- ATI Digital Cable Tuner (for CableCard)
There's also a standard definition version that loses the Blu-Ray and CableCard features. Both models should be available in October, with the HD version weighing in at about $2900 and the SD model running about $1900.
Both machines include CyberLink's PowerDVD Ultra software, 1080p output, and 7.1 channel surround sound. There's also the usual array of inputs and outputs including DVI, VGA, component, S-video, USB, Firewire, and antenna inputs for the HDTV and standard def TV tuners.
Inteset doesn't list the price on their website, so you know these puppies don't come cheap.
Now, we're not going to bother telling you how to rip or download those movies, because that would be illegal. But here are some more updates in My Movies 2.31:
- Add HD-DVD and Blu-ray metadata (such as cover art, disc IDs, etc) to your library and associate it with ripped movies
- Use My Movies data in Media Center's "DVD library" if you prefer the default interface
- Movie information now includes aspect ratios and sound track information
This little monster includes an AMD 6000+ dual core CPU, up to 4GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA 8600GTS video card. Oh, did we mention support for Blu-Ray, HD-DVD and CableCard? You also get up to 9TB of storage.
To top things off, that 12'1 inch display on the front of the box. Yeah, it's 1080p. We have no idea why you'd need 1080p on a front panel display that's really more of a secondary display since you'll probably be putting the Magnum under your ginormous flat screen TV anyway.
So what's the catch? The Magnum's starting price is $7,999. That's right, the base configuration costs more than a lightly used car. When Vidabox mentioned on its website that you should call for pricing, we knew the Magnum wouldn't be cheap, but wow. Just wow.
The BX100 and BX300 will both sport a single optical drive that can play back either high definition format. The thing is, this is the sort of thing that drives up the price significantly on already expensive machines. And while it's too early to tell whether Blu-ray or HD-DVD will go the way of Betamax, you're taking a gamble by plopping down $3000+ on a machine simply because it supports both high def formats.
Of course, if you could peek into your crystal ball and determine that three years from now there'd be a much wider selection of videos available on one format or the other, you'd still probably have to pay $2000+ to get a machine today that has support for Blu-ray or HD-DVD and:
- 2GB of DDR2 memory
- Windows Vista Ultimate
- 500GB to 1TB of storage
- HDCP output via Nvidia 8500GT graphics board
- Analog and ATSC HD TV tuners (times two on the pricier BX300)
I saw Debbie Does Dallas years ago. It was purely for, um, journalistic research purposes, I assure you.
If you haven't heard, Vivid is remaking the movie (remaking a porn flick...let's think about that for a second), and Showtime is also going to have a reality show to find the star! Showtime, with good reason, is a little nervous about the show. Of course, I wonder if this nervousness is really just more hype for the show (Debbie Does Dallas...Again) itself. The reality show will have several porn stars trying to become the next Debbie.
So if people on Survivor have to eat bugs and the people on Project Runway have to actually make clothing to become a designer, won't the people on this show have to...well, I'm sure you can imagine. And imagine you will.
The show starts on March 9 at 11pm.
[via TV Tattle]
Well, SlySoft is already out with a beta version of AnyDVD HD, a program designed to remove copy protection and region codes from DVDs and HD-DVDs, allowing you to create a backup copy of your disc. Sure, it's not legal in the U.S., but SlySoft's not an American company, so there you go.
AnyDVD HD beta only works with HD-DVDs at the moment, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Blu-Ray support added soon. The final version will likely carry a hefty price tag. AnyDVD runs $49, meaning you can expect AnyDVD HD to run at least as much.
In other words, ripping a high definition disc just became almost as easy as ripping a DVD. In the short term, you can probably expect to see an explosion in high definition films torrents available online. In the long run, we can only hope someone will wrap this hack into a nice little GUI and create an easy high-definition disc backup utility that anyone can use.
Steven Hirsch from Vivid Entertainment is quoted talking about the troubles they have had in trying to adopt Blu-Ray, saying "It was difficult, and (Sony) tried to block us." This is not unlike the VHS/Betamax battle where the adult industry's choice helped promote the adoption of the VHS technology. While it operates completely off the radar of many consumers, the adult industry has a lot of power where technology is concerned.
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