Is it time to sound the death knell for media streamers and the Windows Media PC? We already have connected HDTVs and connected Blu-ray, and now Sherwood lets us get rid of another extra box with its connected AV receiver, unveiled at the CEDIA (Custom Electronics Design & Installation Association) Expo here in Atlanta. The R-904N NetBoxx will sell for $650 when it starts selling sometime this month.
You don't need an Ethernet connection — the Netboxx comes with an 802.11g adapter (What? No n?) — to access CinemaNow, YouTube, various TV channels, SHOUTcast audio Internet radio stations, Hulu, Netflix, CBS, CNN, ESPN, Rhapsody and Amazon Video On Demand through your home network. You'll also be able to access your own multimedia files or playback files from a USB connected drive. There are USB jacks front and rear.
On the AVR side, you get three 1.3 (What, not 1.4?) HDMI jacks plus all the other necessary analog and digital connections, plus Dolby TruHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS 96/24, Neo 6 Cinema and Music, Dolby Digital and Dolby ProLogic IIx, and practically all other popular audio and video codecs.
Not only doesn't the Netboxx act like your father's AVR, but it doesn't look like it, either. Instead of the old, dull fat square box, the Netboxx has nice rounded corners and is a munchkin-like 2.5 inches tall.