Slingbox for Mac updated to 1.0.7

Slingplayer for Mac version 1.0.7 is out – go get it.  New features include:

  • Improved video quality
  • Online Slingbox registration added; plus users can store their Slingbox ID online for easy access
  • Improved Slingbox Setup Assistant: New setup and configuration screens are streamlined and easier to use
  • Users can rapidly cycle between Fullscreen (4:3), Widescreen (16:9), Letterbox, Windowbox, Pillarbox modes
  • Show / Hide player controls with one-click toggle

The question on everyone’s minds is: When is the iPhone/iPod touch version coming out?

Polk Audio Sound bar 60% off – $399

OK, here’s the deal of the week (year?) from Audio’s Sound bar is $600 off at Amazon for like the next 20 minutes or something.  We’ve had our eye on this for awhile and were considering paying the $1000 normal price.  Nope, $399  Merry Christmas!  (only in Titanium, black is still $1000 for some reason – take that Black Macbook!) (Thanks Marty!!)

From the Manufacturer:



SurroundBar® Series

Five Channels. One Speaker. Zero Clutter.

Select a model below:

The SurroundBar 360º DVD Theater is the best performing single-speaker surround sound theater system on the market.

Based on our highly acclaimed original SurroundBar, the SurroundBar 360° DVD Theater adds all the electronics needed along with patented* SDA® Surround Digital Technology, to deliver sensational surround sound.

SurroundBar 50 is the best performing passive all-in-one surround speaker requiring no rear speakers.

The new SurroundBar 50 is the larger version of SurroundBar featuring Polk’s exclusive SDA Surround Technology. SurroundBar 50 adds SDA Surround Technology to the front channels, plus cabinet porting and neodymium motor assemblies resulting in an even bigger, even more dynamic sound.

The original SurroundBar (42" Model) from Polk Audio is designed to complete your High Definition TV experience.

The SurroundBar the perfect match for flat-panel and shallow screen TVs, and fits seamlessly with 42" widescreen TVs. It works with virtually any surround sound receiver in any room to bring you the thrills of 5 channel surround sound from a single speaker.

Polk’s SDA® Surround Sound Technology

Here’s what sets SurroundBar speakers apart from the crowd: They do not depend on room acoustics or perfect placement to achieve the desired effect thanks to patented SDA Surround Technology.

SDA stands for Stereo Dimensional Array, a patented Polk Audio exclusive*. Matthew Polk describes SDA Surround Technology as "a mixture of acoustical engineering, psychoacoustic principles and a little magic." Read Matt Polk’s SDA Whitepaper for an even more in depth explanation on SDA Surround Technology.

Three models, thousands of uses.

There are three SurroundBar models to fit almost every application. Regardless of which SurroundBar you choose, be prepared to experience full-fledged 5-channel surround sound from one speaker. If you already have a receiver and DVD player, or have your heart set on one, there are two passive SurroundBar models to meet your needs. Both are available in either black or titanium. Just add a Digital Surround Receiver, a Subwoofer, your TV and you’re ready to go!

If you want an easy all-in-one integrated system, and don’t plan on using or don’t have an existing amplifier, SurroundBar 360º DVD Theater is an all-inclusive Home Theater system that includes a DVD player, AM/FM tuner with integrated amplifier, and universal remote control.

The SurroundBar 360° DVD Theater includes an amplifier and built-in DVD player with HDMI output for 1080p resolution to your high-definition TV.

Stunning Simplicity

Installation versatility is designed in. You can wall mount the SurroundBar right below your flat-panel TV. Or use the included cradle on a TV stand, a shelf or for set-top placement. You will experience all the thrills of surround sound…with none of the hassles of running rear speakers.

Look Ma, no rear wires!

Don’t hassle with running rear speaker wire all over the place, with the SurroundBar you don’t need rear speakers so there are no ugly wires lining your floors and walls.






Complete Your Home Theater with One Speaker

The Polk Audio SurroundBar is designed to complete your High Definition TV experience. It’s the perfect match for flat-panel and shallow screen TVs. And it works with any surround sound receiver in any room to bring you the thrills of 5 channel surround sound from a single speaker. The SurroundBar’s unobtrusive design and color-coded hookup configuration make it a welcome addition for anyone who wants the thrilling benefits of 5.1 surround sound and none of the hassles.

Patented SDA Surround Technology Delivers a Full Room of Sound

Get professional surround-sound from a single speaker bar, regardless of your room’s layout

Our patented SDA Surround technology means there’s no need to install rear speakers. SDA Surround creates a completely immersive 5 channel surround experience, as if there were dozens of speakers all around you, all from a single, 43-inch long cabinet. No rear speakers are required. This technology is based on fundamental research into the way our ears process sound and perceive the direction of sounds.

The SurroundBar works in any room; SDA Surround is not dependent on your room’s walls to produce the surround effect. It uses a patented combination of signal processing and acoustical geometry that complements the spacing between your ears to produce surround sound without the need for rear mounted speakers or special room characteristics.

Some other single speaker surround solutions bounce sound off of walls and require symmetrical rooms and un-cluttered side and rear walls to create a surround effect. Since the SurroundBar works directly with the hearing mechanism and requires no special room characteristics, it can deliver a room-filling 5 channel surround experience in nearly any location.

SDA Surround technology relies on a mixture of acoustical engineering, psychoacoustic principles and a little magic. The original SDA technology, developed in the early 1980’s, was a two-channel technology intended to overcome a fundamental problem of stereo reproduction. SDA Surround utilizes the same basic principles but expands the technology to allow for reproduction of surround sound without the need for rear speakers. This technology requires no reflecting surfaces or special speaker placement and can be connected to any surround sound receiver. It will work well in almost any room of any size or shape and will deliver a surround sound experience for almost all listener locations. Because of the psychoacoustic principles on which the technology is based, SDA Surround achieves exceptional continuity side-to-side and front-to-back so that sounds closely follow the action suggested on screen. It also delivers consistent soundstage depth, even directly to the sides, a quality only achieved by the best conventional hard wired systems. This quality makes SDA Surround seem more like having dozens of speakers around you providing smoother and more immersive surround sound.

Innovative Design with Simple Installation

Seven 3 ½" Dynamic Balance Drivers and three ¾" Dynamic Balance Dome Tweeters deliver clear, natural midrange, high frequencies and lifelike imaging. An aluminum-extruded enclosure eliminates cabinet resonance. The anti-diffraction grille and bezel help create open, spacious imaging. And it’s magnetically shielded, of course, for safe placement on or near TVs.

Installation versatility is designed in. You can wall mount the SurroundBar right below your flat-panel TV. Or use the included cradle on a TV stand, a shelf or for set-top placement. The Polk Audio SurroundBar is a welcome addition for anyone who wants all the thrills of surround sound…but none of the hassles or clutter.

Technical Specifications

  • Driver Complement: 9 x 3.5" composite cones
  • Magnet Structure: Neodymium drivers
  • Tweeters: 3 x 3/4" silk dome
  • Nominal Impedance: 8 ohms
  • Recommended Amplification: 150 watts/channel
  • Frequency Response: 80 Hz – 23 KHz
  • Efficiency: 90 dB
  • Bass Technology: Dual front ports
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 51" x 4.5" x 5.1"
  • Weight: 15 lbs

    Product Description
    The Polk Audio SurroundBar 50 is 51" wide to offer an enveloping surround sound experience to anyone who wants better sound from their TV but does not want to install rear-mounted speakers. It delivers surround sound from a single, multi-driver loudspeaker located under or over the TV screen using SDA Surround technology. SDA Surround technology uses a patented combination of signal processing and acoustical geometry that complements the spacing between your ears to produce surround sound without the need for rear mounted speakers. It can deliver a room-filling surround experience in nearly any location in almost any type of room with no special room characteristics required. The SurroundBar 50 is sized to match the width of 50" Plasma and LCD TVs. In addition to using SDA Surround technology on the surround channels, the SurroundBar 50 adds SDA Surround image enhancing technology on the front Left & Right channels to further enhance the surround experience as well as produce a huge stereo sound field from a two-channel source. New drivers and crossover design along with a larger enclosure produce far better bass performance than the original SurroundBar. The aluminum enclosure houses nine mid/bass drivers with Neodymium magnets, three dome tweeters and a four-PC board crossover with over 60 components.

Addonics USB to Ethernet Adapter

Engadget points us to a great little tool that just came out of the gate.  Addonics NAS (network attached storage) adapter is a little block with Gigabit Ethernet in and USB out. This basically allows any and all of your USB HDD’s and USB Sticks a free (or $55 retail) ride on your network.  It has SMB and FTP so it works on Mac but AFP would be a bit better.   Maybe in a firmware update?

We’ll put it in the as soon as it hits stores.

Great idea!

We’d love to see a wireless version too!

Best of Toys

We’re seeing a strong growth in our section which means we are saving our readers some money on some exciting products from a number of vendors.  Here’s a collection of fun Apple related items from Amazon that you might have missed over the past few days.  These offers are still good:

Remember you can add/comments to Toys posts and steer your fellow reader in a better direction if need be.  If you have any good or bad experiences with these products, also, please feel free to comment.

To get in your feedreader, simply add this link:


Boxee gets Netflix. Apple warming up lawyers

Built on the back of the XBMC/’s GPL’d hard work, Boxee is now rattling Apple’s cage just a bit harder.  Today they announced support for Netflix download service on all platforms except AppleTV (still working on that one).  They also added some other content sources:

  • a new Hulu – looks more like, enables you to login (so you can get your Hulu Queue), works faster, and playback should be greatly improved on Apple TV
  • a new YouTube – new look, as well as higher quality video playback. some of these YouTube clips look pretty good on your 46” LCD
  • a new CNN, Flickr, Picasa and Apple Movie Trailers – we’ve re-written all of these plug-ins to work faster and look better
  • Boston Globe’s The Big Picture – it’s a great photo-blog, which we really like, and thought could be pretty cool in a 10-foot experience. if you’ll like it we could bring much more of these type of services (let us know!)
  • integration with MTV Music – when you click on an album you’ll see a new option to let you watch music videos of the artist. check it out. MTV said they can give us higher quality videos, and we have a few more ideas for providing a great music video experience on boxee
  • theWB – on our quest to bring more TV content to boxee theWB is the latest addition. it means shows like Buffy, Babylon5, Firefly, One Tree Hill and The O.C. are now available on boxee

on the bug fixing/polish front:

  • support for skip forward, rewind in Hulu, CBS, etc. – this is a big one.. should work now. the code behind it is sooo ugly that yuvalt had to chew on anti-nausea tablets while writing it
  • improved streaming of podcast, trailers and youtube videos – we rewrote the buffering/caching mechanism. Skip and rewind within video streams is now much better
  • more boxee less crashee – it’s still alpha, and it will crash from time to time (we promise), but this version is supposed to be more stable. we are trying to weed out those nasty bugs – help us out by submitting bugs to or post in our forum
  • faster scanning of local/network media – your movies, tv shows and albums should be identified faster. if you have a huge music collection then you could still cook a 7-course dinner, wash the dishes and read a telephone book before it will be done, but it’s greatly improved..
  • new on-screen keyboard – as dave described when he reported the bug “typing a URL with our on-screen keyboard is a once in a lifetime experience. you do it once, and never want to do it again”. so we made it a bit better
  • faster loading of the movies/music screen in case you have hundreds or thousands of albums..
  • fixes and new look for to the lyrics and subtitles features – the new auto-scroll of the lyrics is arbitrary… but sometimes it works pretty well. fooled me the first time I tried it

Google Earth browser plugin now available for Safari and Firefox on Mac

You’ll want to be getting this…

What is the Google Earth API?

The Google Earth Plug-in and its JavaScript API let you embed Google Earth, a true 3D digital globe, into your web pages. Using the API you can draw markers and lines, drape images over the terrain, add 3D models, or load KML files, allowing you to build sophisticated 3D map applications. If you have an existing Maps API site, you can 3D-enable your page with as little as one line of code.

New! The Earth Browser Plug-in is now available on Mac OS X (Intel and PowerPC).

Note: The Google Earth API and Maps API Terms of Service have been recently updated.

The Google Earth API is a free beta service, available for any web site that is free to consumers. Please see the terms of use for more information.

Black Friday every day. Presenting 9to5Mac Toys

We’ve been hard at work finding good Apple-related deals for you guys over the past few months but thought we could really step it up a notch by getting one of the experts involved.

So, we went to the best deals site out there, Dealnews, and we’ve pulled only their Apple related merchandise into our blog posts.  From time to time we’ll put a post onto our frontpage content (if it is that insane) but it will constantly be updated (about 20-30 posts/day) on our new Toys site:

You’ll be able to comment on the products just like any other blog post and give your fellow 9to5mac readers some direction with their purchasing.  Perhaps you know of better deals out there or you have some positive or negative opinions about the products being offered?  Let everyone know. 

We’ll feature the top 5 deals in a block on the right side of the page and also have a link to at the top nav bar. If you are a feed type of person, grab the feed here.  Other than that, get shopping!

Just a little ‘for instance': $120 for a 1.5TB hard drive with free shipping


9to5mac sometimes may recieve financial beneft from purchased items through our affiliate programs and partner, Dealnews.


Plex media center adds Aperture support, continues to shine hits .71 release this week and continues its ascent to the top of the Apple media center world.  Sure, Frontrow is blessed by Apple.  Boxee has lifted the same XBMC code and gone a different direction.  But, as far as fully funtioning Media Centers go, is easily the best, and getting better fast.

This latest update adds support for Aperture library browsing (iPhoto and iTunes has been supported for months).  Not just your Aperture either…but any Aperture out there on the Internet so long as everyone is using Plex.  Support for Adobe’s Lightroom is also on the way.

Recent features include the ability to open any application from Plex’s interface (including FrontRow), iTunes visualizers and playback of DRM tracks from the iTunes store and Sparkle software updates.


Plex Media server, another recent update,  is a standalone program that runs alongside Plex (or alone on any machine, it’s a Universal Binary). It serves up media from your iLife applications and Aperature/Lightroom. Plex communicates with the Plex Media Server on the local machine, on your local network, or even across the world over the Internet. This means that you can play your friends’ iTunes playlists or browse their podcasts or photo albums.

The list really goes on and on.  Plex is everything you’d want in a media center including the ability to browse folders on any system and play just about any type of audio or video file.  Plex isn’t bound by any of the studio deals or format wars Apple software is limited to.

The release can be downloaded via Sparkle (updates), HTTP, or torrent, or built from source.