December 29, 2007
One thing has been becoming more and more popular as of late are Internet radio alarm clocks. Waking up to any web station in the world is a nice perk for a lot of people. We just stumbled across another entry into this growing market. The OXX ALTO
looks to be a very strong competitor since it not only can stream thousands of Internet radio stations, but also stream music off of a computer on your home network.
It will hook into your network via a wireless connection using WEP or WPA security. It can stream the following formats from your PC:
- AAC (unprotected)
- Ogg Vorbis
The idea that you can wake up to a variety of radio stations from around the world is very cool. We have grown tired of the over the air radio that we are subjected to. Internet radio has really shown us that there is more life to radio, you just have to release it from commercial interests and allow us to just hear good music.
We found a good review of it here
. From the looks of it this seems to be a great idea if you are looking for a way to grab Internet radio stations or an easy way to listen to music streamed off of your home computer.
available at Amazon
December 28, 2007
The Sony VAIO WA1 Wireless Music Streamer
attempt to release a full on music streamer
. Sony has gone for portability with this product as it will run on batteries so that you can take it wherever you want. With its built in speakers you now have a portable jukebox that can play all of the music from your server as well as Internet Radio from Live365
This will play the following formats:
This device will not play DRM music so if you have a large collection of that this is not for you. What we really like about this is the fact that it is so portable. As long as it can stay connected to your wireless network you can have your music wherever you want. We haven't been able to find any information yet on what wireless security it supports. It seems to suporrt WEP, but we aren't sure if it also supports WPA. Don't worry, we won't go on our typical rant about wireless network security and the inherent flaws in WEP, we'll just leave it to your imagination. We also haven't seen many reviews. If we see any other info we will let you know. From what we can see this looks like a really cool product for someone looking for that portable music solution.
available at Amazon
December 27, 2007
Well the end of the year is upon us and we want to take a look back and ask our readers what they feel were some of the best streaming products of the year. We have covered a lot of different types of devices this year, some old and some new and we want to know what you think are the best. Since this is our first year on the web we won't limit you to products that were released just this year for voting. Feel free to vote for products that have been out for awhile, just state your case why you think they are the best. We have our opinions on what ranks where, but we want to hear what you have to say.
So come on and add a comment and tell the world about media streaming devices that have blown you away. We bet there are a bunch out there that we haven't even heard of yet.
December 26, 2007
One great thing about the Internet is there is always someone out there with way more free time then you. People love combing over the FCC database looking for the latest and greatest products that are coming down the pipeline. Thankfully, sites like engadget
collect all this information and make it available to us. One such item almost slipped past our radar until one friendly reader pointed it out to us.
The EZFetch HD media streamer
from EZ 4 Media
boosts a lot of options for getting your content off your network and onto your TV. This device sports most of the standard connections you would expect in a new streamer these days.
One of the things that separates this device from the piles of other networking streamers is this will allow you to stream media off your Nokia N series devices. So if you captured a good image or movie while you were out this will let you stream it to your TV with the ease.
The EZFetch uses standard UPnP software to fetch its media. It comes bundled with SimpleCenter
which is just one of the many great UPnP based media streaming servers that are out there. While SimpleCenter is a Windows only program you can always use the amazing TwonkyMedia
which runs on Windows, Linux and Mac. For a list of the different codecs it supports check it out after the break.
Continue reading: "EZFetch HD Networked Media Streaming Device"
December 25, 2007
Another holiday season has come and gone and we all seem to have survived. Now that it's over, we here at Networking Audio Video are curious what the holidays brought you geeks. Did you get any sweet streaming gadgets? We spent the holidays playing with our new toy, the GMG TVisto Pro 3500 Media Streamer
. While it didn't really fill us with glee, it wasn't without merit.
So what did everyone else get? Add a comment and let us know what the other geeks of the world received this holiday season. Hope everyone had a happy and safe holiday and is gearing up for CES this January and all the goodies that entails!
December 24, 2007
has joined the ranks of companies offering a hard drive streaming product. The new WL-HDD2.5
allows you to add a standard 2.5 IDE
drive to your network via either a wired connection or wirelessly. While this seems to be a Windows only device it is still a pretty sweet system. Since it uses Samba we suspect this will work with other operating systems, but the configuration needs to be done on a Windows box so you will at least need one to start the process of adding this to your network.
The WL-HDD can use either WEP or WPA security to hook into your network. We are glad they added WPA, we are still amazed how many companies just refuse to use it, even though they know of the problems with WEP. Call us security crazy, but why use a protocol that has known vulnerabilities when there is a much more secure option in WPA just sitting there.
They have also included a UPnP server so this will be perfect for someone wanting to add a low power media streamer to their house to use with say their PS3
or Xbox 360
. No need to have your power hungry computer on all the time. Put a high capacity 2.5" hard drive in here and you have a pretty sweet network streamer. We aren't sure if there will be any problems with transfer speeds as we have yet to read a review of this. There also doesn't seem to be any information on how to buy this yet either. So we will keep hunting and let you know what we find.
December 23, 2007
We came across a pretty simple setup guide to get your PS3
streaming all of your media to your TV. There have been a lot of updates to the PS3 over the past couple of months and it has turned into a pretty full functioning media streamer. If you already own a PS3 then you might not need to go out and buy a pure media streamer at all. From the looks of it the PS3 can handle all of the streaming duties you throw at it.
It is nice to see the PS3 really catch up with the Xbox 360
in this area. It seems that all of the companies producing the next generation consoles realized the extra benefit of adding media streaming capability to their device. We know a lot of people that aren't geeky gadget owners and who aren't into the whole streaming thing, but once they found they could stream movies via their console they loved it and were converts. It seems that console streaming could be the gateway application to get a wider audience to realize the beauty of having all of your movies, music and pictures at your fingertips. Anyway, check out the simple guide to get the server and the PS3 working together here
December 22, 2007
We have had the TVisto Pro 3500 in our office for a couple of weeks now and we have finally finished our hands on review. We had initially reviewed
the product and thought it was a great sounding new device. The marketing surrounding it had all the right buzzwords and we were very excited to to get our hands on it. We have been playing with it for some time now and we have put it through our testing and come up with a review. Click on to read what we thought of the TVisto Pro 3500.
Continue reading: "Hands on with the GMG TVisto Pro 3500 Media Streamer"
December 20, 2007
Well for those that have yet to buy that special gift and are dreading the cost of shipping it in time for Christmas you are in luck. Sonos is offering free overnight shipping if you order in the next 2 days. We had reviewed the Sonos in the past
and found it to be an amazing music streamer that would make any music aficionado smile from ear to ear.
Some people seem to have a problem with the price of the Sonos system, well those people surely haven't had a chance to test one out. We were blown away with how polished the system was and how easy it was to setup and stream your music. If you have someone special that you still need to get a gift for and they love music and you have a few extra bucks kicking around then the Sonos bundle
will make an excellent gift. It even got third place
on our top 7 list! Happy shopping.
December 19, 2007
Well we see another example of companies seeing a problem and stepping in with a good solution. Honeywell has added another product to the new segment of allowing us to transmit HDMI over standard Cat5 cable. We reviewed a product from Tributaries
in the past
that did something similar, but it used an external device to do all the conversion. What makes this product really cool is that it is an in wall setup. If you are one of the lucky ones that has Cat5 running throughout your house already this could be the perfect solution. Using a standard wall plate mount this will fit right in with the rest of your network drops around the house. Behind each plate is where the Cat5 will plug into and on the outside of the plate is the actual HDMI connector port.
We love the idea of having the ability to stream HD content anywhere we have a network drop without lost of quality, assuming of course if we stay in the ~200 foot range of the source. Devices like these are what is going to transform our living rooms into complete media experiences. Soon the days of having all of your equipment in one area, crammed together because they all need to be directly connected will be gone. You can have your TV on the wall in front of the main couch, your stereo on the other side of the room near the listening chair and speakers wherever the hell you want them. Between piggybacking on existing cabling( Cat5 and power ) and using wireless technology the entertainment center of tomorrow will be a lot more flexible and all encompassing then what we have today. With wireless HDMI around the corner we will be seeing a complete decoupling of your media equipment.
There has been no price set on this yet, but it should be launching any day now. We will update you when we hear about this actually being sold.
December 18, 2007
has just updated their software to now allow you to stream to your iPhone and iPod. We have been playing around with this software for awhile and we never really got into it for the home, but we could see huge reasons why we would love this on a mobile device. For those of you not familiar with what Orb is, it is a service you run on your computer at home. You tell it where your media is and then it allows you to share it on the web. They create a web page for you that has access to all of your media. It is all password protected and whatnot so your media isn't just flying around out there, but it is a nice presentation and a nice way to access your content from remote locations.
Like we said, we haven't been huge fans of the service since we are either home or at the office, both places where we have all of our media. We do see the huge benefit of having this work on the iPhone though. Imagine you are out and about and you want to check out that new show that you just downloaded. Well fire up your iPhone, login to your web portal, and what do you, there it is. No need to wait to get home, just start viewing right there and then. There is a pretty cool video over at myitablet
showing off how it all works. It looks pretty slick. The quality is pretty amazing and we can't see any serious loss of frames at all from the one video they showed streaming. Any of you iPhone users out there should get on this and let us know what you think. We aren't cool enough yet to own an iPhone so we can only sit back and imagine how fun it would be to have this running.
December 17, 2007
It looks like the Archos TV+
is set to be launched the first week of January. We had reviewed this
back in July so we are very excited to see this nearing its launch date. Looks like it will be shipping in 2 models, with 80GB($200)
of built in storage.
This seems like another great competitor to the likes of AppleTV
and one that you can be sure we will be all over when it is launched. From what we have seen of the interface it looks to be rather clean and easy to navigate. Archos has a reputation for making quality products and as this is their first foray into a full time streaming box we can only imagine that it is going to be great. Where this might set itself apart from Apple is that not only does it have an internal drive, but it will be able to stream from another PC on your network and not just iTunes videos. It will hook up with any UPnP server that you have running on your network and use that as one of its media sources. This is one of the biggest drawbacks to the AppleTV in our opinion. Apple forces you into their world and doesn't make it easy for you to use your existing video library as content for the AppleTV. Products like the Archos TV+ are the types we love. They get the simple point that a lot of people out there don't want to be forced into one way of doing something.
Anyway, they launch soon so be sure that we will have new info when we get this sweet new product in house.
December 15, 2007
A company called Homer Technology
is set to release a new product called the iViewer. This simple little device will allow you to stream an analog signal from one source to your TV. This is a simple pass through type device that doesn't have to decode anything, just send the signal that it receives onto your TV.
One of the things that worries us about this device is the fact that it has Composite inputs. This doesn't necessarily mean that the output will be of very low quality, but it does mean that it won't be the highest of quality. There isn't much info on this unit yet, we have asked Homer Tech for a release date and we will be sure to update you when they give us an answer. The stated price is only $42.99 and for that money it might just be worth it to give this a shot and see how it works in your home setup.
December 14, 2007
Well once again we have to report about something cool that most of you won't be able to get. The Japanese once again get all the love when it comes to the PSP
. This time it comes in the shape of a firmware update that will bring basic DVR functionality to the PSP
. Of course you first need to use the wireless digital tuner accessory(1seg
). This new firmware will allow you to turn your PSP into fairly decent DVR. Of course since the PSP doesn't sport the most high end internals you won't be able to do anything else with the device while it is in this mode, but come on, what else do you want. The nice thing is you can set this down and put it into sleep mode and it can record shows while it is idle.
With all the new updates that the PSP is getting these days it is really looking like a more attractive device to us. It started out as just a basic portable game player that could play back movies, but over the years it has morphed into a fully functional personal media player. If this latest update ever makes it to the states it could send us over the edge and make us have to buy one. We'll see.
December 13, 2007
Well if you happen to live across the pond in Europe we have come across a very nice media streamer that might interest you. The DMP-1120w
seems to be a fully capable media streamer that keeps its basis covered. With the ability to stream video, music and images from your PC to your TV it allows you to kick back on the couch and enjoy your media without having to be crammed around your computer monitor. With the wireless antenna that is built in you never need to worry about running cables throughout your house, you just need to be within range of your wireless router.
The DMP-1120w supports a fair amount of video options including:
Audio formats include:
And for images it looks like your only option is JPEG which is pretty standard and not to big of a deal.
Don't be fooled into thinking this is a HD media streamer though. This is strictly standard definition. There isn't anything wrong with this as the majority of TV owners are still running in standard definition and not HD. Also, this device seems to be targeted at the more entry level crowd so they don't really have to worry about not supporting HD content yet.
This seems to be a fairly solid entry level media streamer that would be great for anyone who is fairly experienced with computers. You will need to install a media streaming server on your pC if you dont' plan to use Windows Media Player 11. There are a lot of good options out there and their website has a full list
of all the compatible server software that works with their device. Looking over the list of streamers
they seem to have test a fair amount of the popular options out there so it is sure to fit in with whatever you have running. For only £83.30 it seems to be a no brainer if you are looking for a streamer. If any of you folks across the pond already own one of these bad boys we would love to get some feedback on what you think of it.
Available at Amazon
December 12, 2007
Well it looks like Microsoft is making a huge push to become the de facto media streaming solution in your house. Just about every time they try and break into a new market they start with a product that doesn't match up against the already existing competition in that space. But they have more money then just about anyone so they keep at it. They throw so much money at the product that after awhile, say 2 or 3 years, people just come to see it as the standard in the space. There was a time when people laughed at the Xbox
and saw the PS2 as the best console around. Microsoft actually lost billions on the first Xbox, but they knew they just had to wait and improve. Make your beachhead and don't give up. Well here we are at the end of 2007 and the new Xbox
has become the platform of choice in the States.
Continue reading: "Microsoft Positioning Itself to be the Center of Your Media Streaming World"
December 11, 2007
Ever run into that problem where you have a few devices in your media cabinet that use HDMI, but your TV only has one input. You are forced to either downgrade one of the devices to another standard( if that is an option ) or do the manual wire switching whenever you need to use the other device. Well Belkin
has come up with a nice solution. Their 2 port HDMI switcher
with remote allows you to hook up two HDMI devices to the same HDMI port and use a remote control to switch between the two.
This is a perfect solution for those people that have run into the all too familiar problem of having more HDMI devices than your TV supports. What we love about it is that it comes with a simple remote control. We have seem other solutions
that opt not to go the remote control route and we find this to be a problem. The ability to change between sources without relying on the device to 'know' which device you want to be viewing is important. We have tried some similar devices that are suppose to switch to the appropriate device when you turn it on, but they are never perfect and leave you to manually switch it anyway. Including a small remote that allows you to just select the device you want is a simple and easy solution.
So if you find yourself with more then 1 HDMI device and only 1 input on your TV consider the Belkin AV24503 HDMI 2-to-1 Video Switch
as a solution for your problem.
Available at Amazon
December 10, 2007
One of the things we are constantly talking about is how media streaming has yet to hit the masses. There are a ton of options out there, but it seems that the market hasn't really taken off just yet. We keep reading articles predicting that this is the year of streaming and whatnot. Well we have seen how well the AppleTV
has done and it is clear that mainstream America is not ready for media streaming.
One area that has made some serious inroads into getting your average person into streaming media has been the newest generations of game consoles. They all have the ability to stream media from your local network with some being better then others. The Xbox 360
seems to be the best of the lot so far in dealing with getting your media onto your TV. A great piece of software that people have been using to stream their content to the 360 is a software product called Connect360
. This has proven to be one of the better solutions to using the Xbox as your main media streamer.
We stumbled across a very interesting post about one persons dealings with taking the plunge and making their 360
their main streaming device. They provide a great first hand account of what you can expect if you decide to use your 360
as your media streaming device of choice. It is a very well written article and one that we think can help people to get a better grasp of what they have in store for them if they decide to go that route. You can check it out here
December 8, 2007
Well we the mail has arrived and our shinny new TVisto Pro
has arrived. We were so surprised when we read about this device since we follow this market very closely and we hadn't heard a peep about this on the horizon. We must be getting lazy! Well we had a brief review in the past
that highlighted the features advertised, but we couldn't take their word for it, we needed to find out for ourselves what this device was all about.
Well we haven't had time to give it a full once over and poke and prod it, but we do have some nice unboxing pictures for you as well as our initial comments. Check it out after the jump.
Continue reading: "GMG TVisto Pro 3500 Media Streaming Device Unboxing"
December 7, 2007
We have seen all types of devices for streaming music around the house and we have had our opinions, good and bad, about all of them. Well there seems to be a bunch of people that assume that rich people just love parting with their money. The latest product to make us think this is the NuVo NV-M3 Multi-Room Audio Streamer
. With all options to stream music around your house, why someone would choose to spend $2,200 on a device that only has a 160GB Hard drive and limited options for streaming is beyond us.
Don't get us wrong, we love that they have come out with a product that allows multi-room streaming and they have done it with a very sexy design. Our problem comes from the price tag and the available options.
Check out after the jump for options that make us scratch our heads.
Continue reading: "NuVo NV-M3 Expensive Multi-Room Audio Server"
December 6, 2007
So the Sonos ZoneBridge BR100 is shipping from Amazon
and for those that own the Sonos system
you are in luck. This cheap( $100 ) add-on to your system will allow you to extend the Sonos network in your house without the need to buy the more expensive ZonePlayer
. The ZoneBridge has Ethernet ports on the back that will allow you to hook it up to a multitude of devices that you can pull music from, above and beyond your already functioning ZonePlayer setup.
One of the beauties of the ZoneBridge
is the ease in which you can extend your Sonos network. For 100 bucks you can add one of these somewhere remote in your home and enjoy music places you thought would always be silent.
On top of all of this they have also rolled out a new firmare (2.5) that adds the ability to hook into the Napster platform as well as Best Buy's Digital Music store. There are some other nice features in the upgrade as well that cover connectivity and browsing. Anyone that owns a Sonos system
already should really check out the new firmware as it looks to be a very nice upgrade.
and available at Amazon
December 5, 2007
It looks like Intel
have gotten together and produced a new chipset to allow extremely fast HD wireless streaming. There has been lots of news lately about companies working on streaming HD signals so you don't need to run wires to your HDTV. One of the biggest problems with the HD craze that has swept the nation this past year is if you wanted to stream HD content from your PC to your TV via a media streamer
lets say, there really isn't the necessary bandwidth available to do this streaming smoothly. Sure we now have 802.11N, and that is fine for 2007, but what happens in 2010 when file sizes start growing even larger then they are now. There needs to be a new way, a way without wires, to get all this data pushed around.
This isn't just for HDTV signals, it will apply to all sorts of media content that needs to be moved around. Imagine syncing your MP3 player with your 100GB music library in a few seconds. Well that is what this new chipset is hoping to achieve. Here is an impressive quote from the Engadget article
Apparently, the happy couple will both utilize their knowledge of millimeter wave (mmWave) radio technology in order to construct chipsets that allow end users to fling a 10GB file to its destination in just "five seconds" -- all without wires, of course.
We aren't sure when this will make it to consumers, but with claims like this, "and digital chipsets that enable at least 100 times higher data rates than current Wi-Fi standards", we can't wait till it hits. This will change the way we think about content. You also will no longer be tied to having your TV where your entertainment center is. If you can just pop your video wirelessly to the TV then you can put it anywhere and then all you'll need is a plug, or course until wireless energy
is mainstream. :)
December 4, 2007
We had reported earlier on the cool product that SanDisk was coming out with called TakeTv
and it looked like a very cool device. We were impressed with the simple concept of just transporting your videos via a USB stick and how it took a new angle at video streaming. Well we told you we would update you when we heard more about this device and we just heard more about it. It is available over at Amazon
for $150 for the 8GB model and $99 for the 4GB model. We will have one in house soon and we will be sure to give you a hands on with it so stay tuned.
December 3, 2007
continues to release more and more products to help us enjoy a fully networked house with all of our media at our finger tips. They are set to release the new DSM-750
, a media extender to help you share your media throughout your house regardless of where the media is being served from. Media extenders are becoming much more popular these days as there are so many new devices that stream our media.
To quote the description from the D-Link site:
"high-speed, uninterrupted wireless (or wired) streaming and sharing of HD / SD video, movies, digital photos and music"
Yeah it does sound like typical marketing, throw in as many buzzwords as possible, but D-Link seems to be very committed to the media streaming segment so we are hoping that the DSM-750 is more then just marketing speak. We'll keep our eye on it and update you when it is released and more information is available.
UPDATE: Checking D-links site
, it seems that you can now pre-order the DSM-750 and they expect to ship in March and it will run you $329.99.
December 1, 2007