Media Players

Oct 19 2012

News - VLC for Android Beta 6 Released and VLC Media Player Updated to 2.0.4, Adds Opus Support

The VideoLAN Organization development teams have been mighty busy this week with two different versions of VLC receiving updates. VLC for Android Beta 6 has been released, the latest in a series of rapid fire updates for the project. With Beta 6, VLC for Android continues to improve compatibilty and performance across different Android devices and different versions of Android. Beta 6 also comes with an updated interface that looks to do a better job of taking advantage of the different screen real estate available on a phone and tablet.

VLC for Android Beta 6

VLC media player, meanwhile, has been updated to version 2.0.4. The update brings a number of bug fixes and performance improvements, particularly on Mac OS X, with improvements in UI performance and better support for BluRay. Support for YouTube, Vimeo, Soundclud, and Koreus streams also returns in 2.0.4. The new feature that is likely to draw the most attention is support for Opus, the open source codec recently standardized by the Internet Engineering Task Force. Opus was designed specifically to provide high quality sound for Internet streams, and though I have yet to see any online broadcasters offering Opus streams, it is nice to know that VLC will be standing by, ready to receive them.

For a summary of the most important features, you have:

  • Support for Opus codec, including multi-channel and icecast streams,
  • Support for MSS1 and MSS2 codecs through DMO on Windows and Linux (this can still be hard to use until 2.1.Innocent.
  • Support for Youtube Live Streams,
  • Support for BluRays correctly on OSX,
  • Karaoke control on OSX interface.

Jean-Baptiste Kempf

Feb 15 2012

News - VideoLAN Unleashes VLC 2.0 Release Candidate for PCs, Android and iOS Coming Soon

VLC 2.0VLC is the Swiss Army knife of media players, capable of playing just about every format one can think of. It has even added the ability to play unencrypted Blu-ray movies, but that bit of functionality had been limited to those intrepid souls who were willing to run the VLC nightly builds. For those not interested in nightly builds, fear not, for VideoLAN has announced that the first release candidate for VLC 2.0 is now available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The Mac version is evidently getting the most obvious overhaul with a completely redesigned UI, but it will not come with the experimental Blu-ray support. Linux and Windows updates will be primarily under the hood. VideoLAN is reportedly also prepping versions of VLC 2.0 for Android and iOS. The decision to bring VLC 2.0 to iOS is somewhat surprising given the difficulties that arose the last time VideoLAN submitted a VLC app, but hopefully this time the VLC team has their GPL ducks in a row.

VideoLAN has announced VLC 2.0 and the first release candidate is available to the public today. The biggest changes are in the OS X version but there are a few interesting changes in the Windows version as well, such as a 64-bit version and support for multiple video files inside RAR archives. 


Jan 08 2012

News - Eminent Media Player and Arctic MC-001 Entertainment Center

These two reviews seemed somewhat related, so figured I'd throw them together. I've never heard of Eminent, but it seems anyone can do a media player these days. It looks like they're UK based only for now.


While Microsoft and Nintendo might be hoping that their next generation of home consols will ultimately become our HTPC, media centres of the future, for now the trend is for media players like the one I’m looking at today. The Eminent RT3 is an HD video, music and image player with built in web functionality.


There haven’t been very many products in the market that has truly fired me up and got me as excited as the MC001-BD. Many companies have tried to make HTPC that are compact and quiet but I usually find that I can do better for less. The MC001-BD is probably the first where I wouldn’t be able to do that. With over ten years experience in system cooling they were able to engineer an Entertainment Center that was both compact and passively cooled.
 Overclockers Online
Nov 04 2011

News - Review of Popbox 3D/ Comparision to Popbox V8

 For those of you in the market for a media player in addition to checking to checking out our Media Player Comparsion Guide should also check out this review of the Popbox 3D from In this hybrid review/comparison Damian over at takes an in depth look at the Popbox 3D highlighting many of the problems with the device and compares them to the Popbox V8 to see how the company improved the design:


It has been over a year since the Popbox 3D was released, and the entire time for better or worse I have had the Popbox 3D in my possession. The main reason why I never did a review when it was first released was because it was an absolutely horrible launch, and I felt is just didn’t warrant the time spent. However, with over a year under its belt many of the issues that plagued the Popbox 3D at launch have been fixed, and given the release of the Popbox V8 I thought it would be a good opportunity to put together a review/comparison to the V8. 

 For those of you who have either the 3D or the new V8, do you agree or disagree with's conclusions?

Aug 18 2011

News - Sony PS3 Lands NFL Streaming

Is this a bigger win than XBox360 and its ESPN3 deal? Depends who you ask, but it's pretty big given the recent price reduction of the PS3 as well, showing Sony really trying to put some muscle in. Given the high price point though ($350) I'm not sure how many people are going to do this...but hey, still newsworthy for sure.

This is a massive deal given the NFL’s status in the US as not only the premiere sports league but also as one of the most lucrative entertainment properties of any stripe. And this marks the first time the NFL will all be available to a television-based device over the Internet. Minus those in market games, of course.


Aug 17 2011

News - Hulu Plus Comes to Select WD Media Players

I don't think Hulu Plus has taken off quite as fast as they would have liked, but it's worth noting that they are making strides in getting at least to be more accessible to folks, and WD gets to provided yet another benefit to their already strong media player platform. If you're in the market, don't forget to check out our Media Player Comparison Guide.

Today the Hulu Plus subscription service is available on the WD TV™ Live Plus and WD TV™ Live Hub. For $7.99/month, WD TV users can now instantly stream any current season episode of top shows like Modern Family and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, catch up on full back seasons of series including Lost and The X-Files, and choose from hundreds of movies from Miramax and the Criterion Collection.

Hulu Blog

Aug 17 2011

News - Sony Cuts $50 off PlayStation 3

This isn't directly home theater related but given the price reduction and the built in Blu-ray player, this could make a lot of sense to some people now. Especially if you hack it for more media capabilities.

Speculation about a price cut — announced at the Gamescom confab in Cologne, Germany — had picked up speed following Nintendo’s 32% reduction on the price of its 3DS system earlier this month.
The 160GB PS3 system now retails for $249 (from $299) while the 320GB unit sells for $299 ($349).


Jul 28 2011

News - Logitech Revue Price Slashed in Half

It sounds like May's price reduction of the GoogleTV-based Logitech Revue to $199 wasn't enough to goose sales of the struggling device because Logitech has decided to reduce the price again this quarter to $99. Apparently, the whole affair has been enough to cause Logitech and now former CEO, Gerald P. Quindlen, to part ways. Even with the new pricing, it's a bit difficult to imagine the Revue taking off in any meaningful way until the GoogleTV platform itself has been updated and considering that several content owners have blocked the device. What do you think? Can a $99 Logitech Revue compete with the likes of AppleTV and Roku?

This is becoming a trend. After a disappointing Q4 saw Logitech reduce the price of its Revue it revealed today that after a net loss of $29.6 million for the first quarter it is cutting the price of the Revue to $99, as well as saying goodbye to CEO Gerald P. Quindlen. Quindlen had been an outspoken supporter of the Google TV box (see the video after the break) but according to Logitech this price cut and corresponding $34 million hit to its finances are necessary to "remove price as a barrier to broad customer acceptance." In the midst of these results -- as well as lowered sales in several regions and key products like Harmony remotes -- Chairman and former CEO Guerrino De Luca will assume the role of acting CEO while a long term replacement is sought.

Engadget HD

Jun 23 2011

News - Google TV 2.0 Coming to Logitech Revue This Summer

It looks like Google has somehow managed to convince Logitech to stay on board the Google TV train for at least one more go around. I think this is a good thing, as I would hate to see it go the way of WHS where all the major OEMs abandon it without giving it more time to develop. I'm not sure I'm convinced on the changes that have occurred, so we'll see.


Loaded in the device is what’s known as Google TV 2.0 beta, the Android 3.1 based OS we’ve been waiting for, complete with apps. Unfortunately the only apps presently available are a Clock app and Live TV app, whose source is the HDMI input on the device. The interface retains Honeycomb’s blue and black theme and shows plenty of effective optimizations for the big screen. Fishtank is supported by a private Groups message board, through which the main request from the 50 or so participants is the ability to overlay video with data from an application. This feature is apparently available while on the home screen, but not open for developers to use.


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