April 30, 2007

April 30, 2007

The Miuro Mobile Audio Streaming Device

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OK so here is something that is so cool it could only exist in Japan. We constantly write about how you can stream music all over your house. We have countless articles reviewing products that will let you setup a static link between two rooms in order to stream music. Well here comes something that is so decidedly 21st century that you would expect it in a Star Wars movie.

The Miuro will literally follow you around from room to room while playing your favorite tunes. It has wheels on either side of it and an iPod dock in the middle. One option they give you is for you to plug an iPod in and let this little robot on wheels play your songs as it follows you around. You can also skip the iPod and let it play music via iTunes. And if all of that wasn't enough you can actually control it with a joystick allowing the Miuro to become the life of the party.

Their website ( Miuro.com ) is in Japanese so we can't figure out some of the specifics about this, like how does it follow you? Does it do it by sound or do you have to wear something that it tracks? We have no idea.

It is only for sale in Japan right now, but you can be sure it will hit our shores pretty soon.

via webuser

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 30, 2007

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Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 27, 2007

TerraTec Noxon iRadio

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Internet radio has really blossomed over the past 3 years or so and it has been reflected in the number of companies that bundle the ability to stream Internet radio on their devices. Well TerraTec has taken it a step further. With the iRadio( why does everything have to have an 'i' in front of it these days! ) you can hook up to your network via wireless and receive a ton of internet radio stations.

What we love about this is that you don't need to rely on your computer being on, just the availability of a wireless network. There are so many great stations out there that we are constantly amazed and wished that such a product existed.

With the iRadio you never need to be away from your Internet radio again.

Check out terratec for all of their products.

via webuser.

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 26, 2007

Streaming Networks iRecord

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Have you ever wanted to throw that new DVD that you just bought onto your iPod before you ran out the door only to to pass on it since you didn't want to rip it to your computer, then convert it to the proper format for the iPod and then move it over to said iPod. That is surly a lot of work for something seemingly so simple. Well the good people over at Streaming Networks have come up with a great solution.

The iRecord is a standalone device that can take the signal from one A/V source, record it, convert it and push it to the iPod. So for instance you can hook up your DVD player to the iRecord, hook the iRecord up to your iPod and hit record, BAM, the movie is on your iPod.

The main advantage of the iRecord is the simplicity. We know lots of semi technical people that are turned off by the prospect of having to figure out some new software for converting movies to iPod format. This is the mom and pop kind of product that we love around here. So get out and start enjoying your movies on your iPod with just about no hassle.

Info on how to use it can be found here.

You can purchase one here.

via webuser

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 24, 2007

MvixUSA 760-HD in house

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Well our MvixUSA 760-HD has finally arrived and we can't be more excited to put it through our battery of tests. We have only just set it up and are seeing how it performs, but it looks like this could be our holy grail of media centers. We have yet to get to a point of frustration of find any true bottlenecks.

It has an elegant look and has so far past all of our tests, the most important one being that it just works out of the box. No one should have to spend hours searching the Internet trying to find answers on how to get their cool new product to work. We followed the directions and in a matter of minutes we were able to see our files on the TV.

We will have a bunch more articles coming up on this amazing product and a special one that pits the 760HD against the Apple TV, stay tuned.

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 22, 2007

Yamada HTV-200XU - 21st century boombox

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A Germany company called Yamada has released a new product that re-invents the traditional boombox. This sucker comes with a DVD player and a 7" LCD screen. So not only does it play your music over the attached speakers, but it also can play DVD movies in a variety of disc formats that include:

  • DVD R/RW
  • DVD+R/RW
  • CD
  • CD-R/RW

The DVD player plays both MPEG-4 and DivX files and can be used to view JPEG photos too. It also sports a USB port that allows you to hook up either a computer or a MP3 player to play music. And if all this wasn't enough it can also hook up to your entertainment system via:

  • S-Video
  • Composite
  • Stereo and digital Coax line-out

We aren't sure if this will be available in the States but it seems like a very cool new idea. Its mobile so you can take it with you and has the ability to hook into you existing entertainment center if you want to 'dock' it at you home. We'll keep you posted if we find out any more about this


via ubergizmo

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 20, 2007

Pandigital's PAN-150 digiframe

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One thing that has been around for along time but never really took off is the digital picture frame. We bought one years ago and were very underwhelmed. The small storage size and the very industrial look of them didn't make them great candidates for display in the living room. Well as the years have gone on companies continue to try and improve these products by adding more storage, more interactivity and better frames.

The Pandigital PAN-150 [engadget] is one of the newest digital frames on the market and its sure to make a large impact. Just look at some of the features:

  • 1,024 x 768 resolution
  • 256MB of internal memory
  • built-in USB port
  • MPEG1/4, AVI, and MP3 playback support
  • integrated stereo speakers
  • and works with: SD, xD, MSPro, MSDuo, CF, and MMC flash cards

Unlike other products in this line you don't hook this directly up to your computer, instead you insert media and store the photos internally. This is a nice change since in the past when you wanted to update the frame you not only had to move it to where your computer was you also had to find the cable.

While this isn't shipping yet Amazon has a bunch of their smaller products here and here.

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 19, 2007

SanDisk Digital Photo Album

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The SanDisk Photo Album is a very cool little utility product that is sure to find a lot of success in the world. Basically it is a flash card reader that can output to a TV. So lets say you are visiting friends and you want to show everyone pictures of your new baby, instead of having everyone look at the display on your camera, you can just plug this into the TV, put your storage card in the Photo Album and bam, pictures on your TV. And as if that wasn't enough it will also let you play music and video via the TV as well.

Media formats that it supports

  • CompactFlash Type I/II
  • Secure Digital (SD)/MultiMediaCard (MMC)
  • Memory Stick/Memory Stick PRO
  • SmartMedia/xD

It also sports a USB input on the back allowing you to use a USB thumb drive for viewing your media. With the small size and the wide compatibility of input media we think this is a sure fire winner for great travel product or a very cheap way to view things on your home TV when company comes over. How far we have come from the old days of setting up the projector with the slides to now just plugging a device into the TV and boring your friends with ease.

At Amazon.

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 18, 2007

Networked Home Audio Market to Hit $7.2 Billion by 2012

Over at eHomeUpgrade they have an interesting article that sites a ABI Research study that predicts a huge boom in the home networking market to the tune of 7.2 Billion Dollars by 2012. The article talks about some of the early products to make a splash on the scene like the Sonos, Roku and Squeezebox and how they have, "small but loyal followings". The prediction is that the Apple TV will bring the concept of the digital home media solution to the masses.

This is something that we had expected, but it is nice to get some official research to back up our hunch. We are looking forward to seeing more and more vendors release a bunch of cool networked devices for the home. Soon there will be a time when people take for granted the ability to stream music, video and photos all over there house with ease. We can not wait for that day!!

You can read the article here.

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 17, 2007

Onkyo MHP-AV1 Digital Wireless Headphone Review

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Over at Audiocubes we came across a very nice set of wireless headphones from Onkyo.
These headphones operate in the 2.4GHz range and offer 5.1 Dolby Digital sound! That will allow you to listen to the most demanding of digital media without any real loss in quality.

You hook up the base unit to your stereo via a digital connection or over standard RCA cables. The headphones are completely adjustable allowing you to fit them to your head and block out just about all external noise. These aren't noise canceling headphones, just form fitting so that the nice big cushy ear pads do most of the sound blocking for you.

The headset's rechargeable batteries should last around 9 hours before they need to be charged again. The base unit has a power cord so no batteries are needed there. From looking at the specs on both the transmitter and receiver we were very impressed.

Transmitter

Transmission band: 2.4GHz band (2400MHz~2483.5MHz)
Corresponding audio format: Dolby digital, DTS and AAC, 44.1/48kHz linear PCM, analog 2ch
Input terminal: Optical digital 1, Coaxial digital 1, RCA pin 1, 3.5mm stereo mini- 2 (front 1/rear 1)
Output terminal: Optical digital 1

Receiver

Driver unit aperture: 40mm
Playback frequency zone: 20Hz - 20kHz
Power source: Private nickel hydrogen electric battery x2
Electric battery duration: 9 hours
Charge time: 6 hours

We are seeing more and more high quality wireless headphones hitting the market as of late. Just a few years ago the thought that there would be a lot of affordable wireless headphones that actually sounded great seemed like a pipe dream. Not anymore. We are very excited for the future as more companies start offering wireless headphones as the digital music landscape continues to evolve.

You can pick these bad boys up over at AudioCubes.com.

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 16, 2007

Sandisk SDMV1-R V-Mate Video Recorder Review

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SanDisk's V-Mate is a very cool product that is sure to be a huge hit with anyone that likes to take their media with them. It is basically a digital VCR that records onto memory cards that can be viewed later on the device of your choice.

It has fully scheduling capability so once it is hooked up to your cable box or PVR you can tell it what to record and off it goes. So with the on screen interface you can have it record that episode of 24 you don't want to miss and watch it on the train as you go to work. It can also hook up to your DVD player , VHS recorder( you still have one of thse! ) or TV and capture data right from the source. Want to finish watching that movie from last night, just throw it on a memory stick and you are all set.

ArrowContinue reading: "Sandisk SDMV1-R V-Mate Video Recorder Review"

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 14, 2007

Slingbox Pro Review

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The Slingbox by SlingMedia has been around for awhile and it has really proven to be a great little device. When we first read about the Slingbox we have to admit that we smiled and thought that this would fail in a matter of months. Well boy were we wrong. Not only has the Slingbox not failed, but it has thrived.

Targeted to those with fast home connections and the desire to watch their TV anywhere else in the world the Slingbox has become the perfect companion. For those not in the know the Slingbox hooks up to your DVR, cable box or whatever you have that is grabbing TV off the airwaves and, via a computer in your house that has a fast internet connection, will allow you then to watch it from anywhere else.

ArrowContinue reading: "Slingbox Pro Review"

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 13, 2007

NYTimes Review of the Horrors of Home Networking

There is a great article on the New York Times site about the horrible state of home networking in 2007. We can definitely say that even with years of experience dealing with networks professionally we are always amazed at how hard it is to deal with what should be a simple home network.

Is it just the Mircosoft OS that is the problem or is it systemic of the home networking companies? Our thought is that it is a wider problem and not related to any one OS. We use products from Apple, D-Link and Linksys as well as OS's from Microsoft and Apple and none of them are truly plug and play.

We have to agree with David Pouge when he says:

Home networking remains one of the world's most frustrating endeavors

Here's to hoping that in the coming years companies come up with better solutions for mom and pop to easily setup reliable secure networks in their house.

You can read the full article over at the New York Times here.

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Belkin TuneFM Radio Transmitter Review

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Belkin's TuneFM radio broadcaster for the iPod has been kicking around for about a year or so and has been met with mixed reviews. The idea is simple enough, plug in the device to your iPod so that you can broadcast music that your stereo can pick up via its FM receiver. This is what a lot of people have to use their iPod in a car that lacks any kind of auxiliary input. While the concept is simple enough it is the implementation that often falls short as is the case with the TuneFM.

The TuneFM allows you to use any FM station between 88.1 MHz and 107.9 MHz. The reviews we have have been reading basically say that the broadcast quality isn't what you would expect. Most peoples reports range from complaining about lackluster audio playback to a very weak single that sounded like crap on their car stereo. There is an entire crop of these FM broadcasting devices and it looks like Belkin either rushed this to market or just missed the mark.

Here is the list of iPods that it is compatible with:

  • iPod nano
  • 5th generation (video)
  • 4th generation (color display)
  • 4th generation
  • mini

Hopefully they will keep releasing revisions to this so that in the future we can enjoy high quality iPod music in our car as we drive. The are available at Amazon for pretty cheap.

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 12, 2007

TuneView for iPod Review

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Keyspan has a new product that adds a few cool new twists to the crowded market of iPod streaming. The TuneView comes with a color LCD screen for navigating your iPods music collection. It will connect both to your stereo or your TV so you can either listen to music or watch movies. The screen will display everything you could want about the currently playing song: duration, album, title, and artist. The only thing they haven't set up is for it to display album art, but we can forgive them for that one.

There have been some negative reviews of the product though. Complaints range from the LCD screen not looking that sharp and therefor ugly, to bad button placement and overall bad ergonomic design. While all of these are valid complaints we would say that if it does its job and does it well we can always look the other way at not so great design.

From what we can tell it is a superb product that does exactly what it claims to do. The remote is a fully functional replacement to your iPod, allowing you to be just about anywhere and control your music selections. The dock is a multi-function dock that not only charges your iPod but allows for syncing with your iTunes library.

TuneViewForiPodComplete.jpg

If you want something that gives you the mobility of a remote and allows you a lot of freedoms with how you select your music then this just might be the product for you.

At Amazon.

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 11, 2007

Sony NAS-CZ1 Network Audio Player Review

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The NAS-CZ1 is one of Sony's first entries into the networked music world. The have combined a CD player, AM/FM radio along with the ability to stream music anywhere in your house. We like the addition of the standard stereo components like the CD player and radio receiver a lot since it makes this an all in one unit and not just another add-on to your already bulging assortment of stereo equipment.

The streaming is done through some included software called m-crew. From what we have read online the software is the major downside of this product. What was shocking to us is that the software apparently can not stream files if they are not on the actual computer where the software is installed, so anyone out there that has either a NAS or maybe an external USB drive will be out of luck.

ArrowContinue reading: "Sony NAS-CZ1 Network Audio Player Review"

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 10, 2007

Ety8 In-The-Ear Bluetooth Earphones Review

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Ety8's Bluetooth earbuds are part cool new device and part Star Trek geek product. Earbuds have been all the rage lately when it comes to listening to your portable music, but there was always one thing that people didn't seem to like....the wires. So now Etymotic Research has answered our wishes with a Bluetooth ear bud that doesn't sacrifice quality just to be wireless.

They claim on their website:

Etymotic Research developed the world's first in-ear high fidelity, noise-isolating earphones. Now enjoy the freedom of wireless in-ear earphones and audio quality expected from Etymotic.

Well for the money they are charging for these suckers they better be high fidelity! They are selling at Amazon for $300 with the iPod adapter and $200 without it. Not sure if we could ever buy Bluetooth earbuds for $300, but if you really want the freedom and don't mind a few of your friends making fun of you for these big square things stuck in your ear, then go for it.

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 9, 2007

Oregon Scientific IB368 iBall Wireless iPod Speaker with Transmitter Dock

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Oregon Scientific has another very cool product out there that we think you might be interested in. We reviewed their Music Sphere earlier and really liked what they had produced. Now looking over the iBall we have found another great product that we think is sure to make many an iPod owner happy.

With the iBall you have a transmitter that you dock your iPod into and a receiver that picks up the wireless transmission and outputs it via its built in speaker. The receiver unit has a little LCD display that displays all sorts of information from the current time to the bass/treble output levels to the songs playing status.

The docking station is much more functional then many we have seen on the market these days. It charges your iPod as well as lets you sync it with iTunes. Most other units only will charge the iPod and make you disconnect the iPod and dock it with your computer to add/remove songs. So the ability to just leave it in the dock and have complete control over it is a great feature.

Also to note is that the receiver unit comes with an auxiliary line-in for hooking up a CD player or another MP3 player. This is a great addition that really expands this devices usefulness. You could for instance take this outside with a CD player and stream music outside at a Summer party. We like choices and the simple inclusion of an aux-in makes us smile.

The iBall supports the following iPods:

  • iPod shuffle (512 MB and 1 GB models)
  • iPod mini (4 GB and 6 GB models)
  • iPod with click wheel (20 GB and 40 GB models)
  • iPod with dock connector (10 GB, 15 GB, 20 GB, 30 GB, and 40 GB models)
  • iPod with color display (20 GB, 30 GB, 40 GB, and 60 GB models)
  • iPod nano

So just like its cousin, the Music Sphere, we love this product and think that anyone looking to use their iPod as a way to stream music around the house or outside would love it. Amazon is currently selling these guys at a HUGE discount so now is a great time to pick one up.

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 6, 2007

Soundcast iCast System Review

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The iCast System is the latest product from the people at Soundcast. It is both a stylish stereo accessory as well as a very functional iPod music transmitter. Built to work with just about any iPod out there the iCast allows you to stream your music anywhere in your house with a very simple setup.

Wireless iPod docs are becoming all the more popular these days as the storage on these devices keeps increasing. With the high end iPods capable of 80 gigs they are being seen as perfect little units to run a home media station.


ArrowContinue reading: "Soundcast iCast System Review"

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 3, 2007

Creative's new Xdock shown at CeBIT

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Creative debuted a very interesting new line of products at CeBit this year. They are calling the technology X-Fi for "Xtreme Fidelity". The Xdock is at first glance just another run of the mill looking iPod docking station. But in reality it is so much more.

With the Xdock you can stream music to the rest of your house by purchasing extra receiver units and attaching speakers to them. Each unit has the ability to output its music through attached powered speakers or to a home audio system. That way you can have one iPod service your entire house.

It also comes with S-video and composite video connections allowing you to display photos and videos from your iPod to your TV. Creative has attempted to make the all in one media station based around an iPod and by the looks of it they have succeeded.

ArrowContinue reading: "Creative's new Xdock shown at CeBIT"

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 2, 2007

Review of MythTV

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For those of you with some technical know-how and that are looking for a product that not only does it all, but does it all and then some, you should think about MythTV. MythTV is an open source software package that can do just about anything with your home media. It can act as a PVR, video viewer, photo viewer, mp3 player, game emulator, RSS feed reader, weather viewer, and a dvd player. And if it can't do something you want, odds are someone has already written a plug in to do it.

The reason we say that you need some technical know-how is that this is a Linux based software package, and the installation, depending on which flavor of Linux you install on, can be challenging. We played around with this about 3 years ago and then again just a few weeks ago and the improvements blew us away. First off the install is fairly simple now following a pretty standard install script that most computer users have seen before. The interface is very smooth and responsive and the themes that come bundled are gorgeous.

ArrowContinue reading: "Review of MythTV"

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 1, 2007

March 2007 Monthly Round Up for Networking Audio Video

We've had a pretty busy month here at Networking Audio Video, reviewing lots of fun products and really getting a good look at whats coming down the line.
From wireless speakers, to high end music streamers, March had its full share. Lets take a stroll down memory lane and look back at what we covered.

Audio Streaming Product Reviews
First Impressions: AppleTV
Creative Home Theater Connect DTS-610
SqueezeBox 3 First Impressions
mvix MX-760HD Review
Slim Devices Transporter
Logitech Wireless DJ Music System
Logitech Wireless Music System for iPod
Pioneer Music Tap
Hands on with the Logitech Wireless Music System for the iPod

Video Streaming Product Reviews
Hauppauge MediaMVP
D-Link DSM-520 MediaLounge Wireless HD Media Player
Netgear Digital Entertainer EVA7000
Hauppauge MediaMVP Hands on Review
Buffalo Link Theater DVD
Netgear EVA8000 Digital Entertainer HD
Mvix MV-5000U Multimedia Player
D-Link DSM-120 review
Aitech Pro PC/TV Wireless PC to TV Converter

Wireless Speaker Reviews
Pioneer SE-DIR800C Wireless Headphones
Panasonic Digital Wireless Headphones
Oregon Scientific WRS368 Music Sphere

Book Reviews
Home Networking Simplified Book Review

How-Tos
Backing up your digital files: Part 1
CD ripping services
How To Rip your music Part 2
Soundproofing 101

News and Oddities
Cool Sofa with Built-in Speakers
AppleTV Stops User Hacks

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Philips WACS700 Wireless Audio System

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Philips has released an interesting product to compete in the very competitive networked audio space. The WACS7000 Wireless Audio System is an interesting addition to the market. They offer a two fold solution to streaming audio in your house. First you can stream music from your PC like most units and also you can store music on the internal drive. The nice thing about having both options is that if you don't have a connection to your network you can just play right from the device.

The WACS700 comes with the central until and the remote player station. That way you can have the main unit play and have the remote unit pick up the signal and replay the same stream somewhere else in your house. Philips has produced a visually beautiful device, but unfortunately it is not without its flaws.

ArrowContinue reading: "Philips WACS700 Wireless Audio System"

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
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