updated 11:15 am EDT, Wed July 23, 2008
Samsung today followed up its HDTV announcements with word of its MediaLive add-on. The attachment requires one of Samsung's sets made in 2008 with CEC automation support but mostly eliminates the need for a media hub such as the Apple TV or the Roku Netflix Player; a compatible TV has direct access to movies from MovieLink and Vongo as well as shorter-form content from Fox Sports and Showtime TV. Streaming Internet radio stations from XM are also available.
MediaLive also turns the TV into a viewing point for local content, Samsung adds. The hub acts as a media extender for Windows Vista's Media Center and will play H.264, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, and WMV videos at up to 1080p, including with Dolby AC3 surround sound. It also handles multiple common audio formats and JPEG photo viewing. A single PC can serve as many as five Samsung TVs depending on the material.
The new network attachment connects through either its integrated Ethernet connection or else an internal 802.11n Wi-Fi receiver. Samsung ships the MediaLive in tune with its newest round of TVs in August and prices it at $200.