Monday, July 30, 2007
Get It Together
Displaying, sharing and carrying your photos and media by getting digital products to play nicely with each other
Labels: Camera Storage, Computers, Computing and Peripherals, Gear, How To, Organization and Storage
iTunes is the center of the Apple media world, seamlessly synching your computer, iPod and Apple TV. It's a free download, available to both Windows and Mac users, and acts as your digital library, importing and organizing your MP3s, videos, TV programs, audiobooks, podcasts and more.
Apple's media hub, Apple TV, builds on the familiar menu system of the iPod and extends it to your home theater. Apple TV syncs and transmits photos, movies, TV shows, trailers and even YouTube media to widescreen TVs in a variety of high-def resolutions. For photographers who want to show off their photos on the big screen, Apple TV can sync photos from iPhoto and Aperture on the Mac, or Adobe Photoshop Elements on a Windows PC, or any folder on your hard disk.
The built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi of Apple TV automatically updates when the library on your primary computer changes. The interface is elegant and intuitive, displaying file information and graphics while you navigate with the included remote. It's available at 40 GB at $299 or 160 GB at $399.
Monster's iTV Link ($39) component video cable connects to your HDTV and shields your video signal for noise-free playback from your Apple TV or docked iPod. The cable delivers HD video up to 720p/1080i resolution through 24k-gold shielding, separated color signals and multi-stranded copper conduction.
Belkin's line of USB, FireWire and iPod hubs will come in handy for all of the extra gear you'll be plugging in. The TuneSync, for instance, acts as an iPod dock, while also connecting five USB peripherals to your PC through its base. Prices vary by form and function.
Able to transmit standard- and high-definition streaming of digital content, the $249 Slingbox PRO sends your home theater to you, even when you're not actually home. The Slingbox PRO compresses the viewable content of your TV, DVR, cable box or satellite receiver and delivers it to your PC or Mac laptop or mobile device for playback.
With the newly boosted memory and graphics performance of Apple's MacBook Pro laptops, content will look even smoother on the 15- and 17-inch screens. (They'll look especially nice on the optional 17-inch high-resolution display.) There's built-in 802.11n wireless, and every MacBook Pro comes with the iLife '06 suite of media software for custom control over your pics, music and videos. Prices vary.
The iPod (30 GB at $249, 80 GB at $349) wasn't the first portable MP3 player, but it's the market's supreme seller, with more than 100 million models sold. And it's not surprising, with support of audio, photo, video and game files, all showcased on its 2.5-inch color display. You can even use it as a backup for your camera storage when you're on the move with an optional iPod Camera Connector ($29) available from Apple.
When you reach base camp for the evening, SendStation's PocketDock AV ($36) uses a single-wire grouping of USB, audio, composite video and S-Video cables to output your iPod's content to stereos, TVs or PCs.
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