May 29, 2008
have teamed up and released a very sweet little movie streamer that may give the AppleTV
a run for their money soon. Netflix has allowed subscribers to stream movies to their PCs for some time now, but this little device allows you to watch them on your nice big TV. The big advantage this has over the AppleTV
is that it is only $99 and it uses your monthly subscription to get unlimited movie streaming.
The Netflix Player connects via HDMI, Component, S-Video and Composite for video and with digital optical and RCA for audio. Setting it up was a breeze. It can use a wireless connection or wired and configuring either was very straight forward. Once you are connected you are given an access code that you then need to enter on your Netflix account page. The device responds near instantaneously and you are now ready to start adding movies to your queue. Here is where this amazing device starts to have problems and why we think they will give the AppleTV a run for their money in the future and not right now. First you can't browse the available movies via the device. You must use the Netflix website to add movies to your 'instant queue'. Second, the list of available movies is fairly limited as of now. Unless you are a big fan of some of the later 1980's movies you might want to wait on this. If they expand their lineup of movies you can stream this could be a top shelf device.
In terms of quality we were extremely impressed. The picture quality looked great to us and the streaming quality was much better then we thought it would be. There is no internal hard drive to cache anything with and yet the movie started right away and we never saw any hiccups or stutters.
We are going to continue to play with this and also watch to see how the movie collection expands so stay tuned for more information.
May 20, 2008
Sony has added yet another component to their TV and PS3 video platform. The DMX-NV1
will allow consumers to watch Internet video on their Bravia TVs via this somewhat expensive video link device. This basically has a connection to the Internet and then hooks up to your TV. It will add a small media bar to the TV picture and you can choose what you want to watch. So we don't see where exactly this will be super useful as most online content is best viewed on a small PC screen and not your giant 42" LCD TV, but whatever, it's out there. So if you have the right Bravia TV, around $299 to spend and a hunkering to watch Internet video all the time this might just be the device you are looking for.
available via Amazon
May 19, 2008
We have been playing around with the D-Link DSM-330
for awhile now and we have been very impressed with all that it offers. One thing that we were really enjoying was the ability to view all of the nice high-def videos offered by the Stage6
website. Unfortunately the site was shutdown because of funding issues. This left a big hole in the DivX Connected platform in our opinion because one of the great parts of the software was the interface they had developed into the web. The ability to view HD content via the web and have it seem like it is coming from your local network was amazing. We watched a ton of content from National Geographic and we never felt like it was some crappy web video. The quality made it look like it was just another TV program and not a streamed web movie.
Well it seems that DivX is working very hard to get the web content section of their software back up to snuff. They just recently announced a partnership with Revision3
to become their new main high quality content site. This should make most people pretty happy and offer a decent replacement for Stage6. We'll see how it pans out and if they give you the ability to login to your account( something that wasn't possible with Stage6 ). Stay tuned for our in-depth review of the DSM-330 that we should soon while you wait for Revision3 integration.
May 15, 2008
One of our favorite companies over the years has been Slingmedia
. They have single handedly changed the way we think about placeshifting TV. They are going to be announcing a very cool new product next week at The Cable Show
Dubbed the SlingModem it will basically act as a cable modem on steroids. This will act as both a cable modem and a palceshifting streaming device in one. To quote from our sister site, TV Snob
The SlingModem will require a broadband connection with a network router to enable web streaming, but unlike the SlingBox, won't have to sit between the router and the TV or set-top box eliminating home network clutter.
This seems like a very interesting streaming device that will be able to remove one layer of confusion for the user when setting up their streaming solution. It also will come equipped with an analog tuner so you can bypass the TV altogether. Slingmedia constantly comes up with very innovative products that further their dominance in the home TV placeshifting market. Once more info is released about the Slingmodem we'll be sure to add another article.
via TV Snob
May 14, 2008
, one of the leaders in helping you store your content, has released a Hi-Def media streaming hard drive to help with experiencing your media via your entertainment center. The Screenplay
is a USB based hard drive streaming device that will allow you to store just about all of your videos, music and pictures in one place. There is no network with this device so you will have to load it up via USB with all of your content, but it does support HDMI which most of the media hard drives
on the market do not support. This will allow you to play a bunch of different file types like:
MPEG-2( AVI / VOB )
MPEG-4( AVI / DiVX / XVid )
With the Screenplay
you will be able to view your videos at 1080i which should satisfy most people these days. Sadly there is no H.264 support as of yet. We couldn't find any info on their site as to what CPU they are using in there so it may be that they can't do H.264. Hopefully they are using the newer Sigma 8634 processor. That way H.264 can come via a firmware update later. If they are using a lower powered CPU then H.264 probably will remain a pipe dream. This is a device we may have to go out and get as this could be a very cool travel streamer. Going somewhere and want to take your media collection with you, bring the Screenplay. We'll hunt around for some hands on reviews in the meantime and see if this thing is worth your time.
via gadgets fan
available at Amazon
May 13, 2008
has released a free update that will add support for H.264 to their flagship PVR product. Elgato's EyeTV is one of the leaders when it comes to Mac PVR software. Coupled with their other products this lets you turn your Mac laptop into a portable entertainment center. You can record all the shows you want and then have the freedom to view them from wherever. Now with the addition of H.264 you can add to their list of features high quality and low space requirements. Once you get your cable input hooked up to your Mac you will be able to utilize their highly intuitive menu system and program guide to customize your viewing experience to however you like it. Products like these are perfect of the person on go. Record a ton of your favorite shows to your Mac and watch them as you travel.
We are planning a bigger review of the Elgato line-up since they offer so many really cool products for the digital media world so stay tuned.
May 9, 2008
Our friends at MediaGateUSA
were kind enough to set us up with a demo unit of the MG-450HD
media streaming device they have recently unleashed on the world. While we give it our once over we thought we would share with you the standard unboxing porn that always comes with a new device here at Networking Audio Video. Keep an eye out for our hands on review in the coming weeks, for now check out after the jump for all the juicy pictures.
Continue reading: "MediaGate HD MG-450HD Wireless Media Streaming Device [Unboxing]"
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May 7, 2008
One of our favorite companies when it comes to media streamers has been MvixUSA
and they have just released another cool portable media streamer dubbed the MV-2500U
. This little( 5- x 3- x 0.8-inches ) device sports a 2.5" internal drive and basically will be able to fit in your pocket. You can now take a large portion of your media collection with you wherever you go. And the fact that it will let you output in HD is a huge bonus for this little device. MvixUSA has focused on this segment for awhile now, producing products that can act as your main home streamer, but also have the functionality to be taken with you. The MV-2500U does not have an LCD screen like the rest of their products so you will have to rely on the on-screen menu system to navigate your stored media.
Check out after the jump for the format and connection options that you will have with this device.
Continue reading: "MvixUSA Releases New MV-2500U HD Multimedia Hard Drive"
May 5, 2008
For all you BitTorrent fans out there a new box is on the market( somewhere ) that may be your holy grail. The Planex DigiJuke NAS device will allow you to specify what content you are interested in and it will use its built-in browser to find the torrents and start downloading them. This is basically like having Tivo, but instead of just being able to grab only what your cable provider gives you, now you can have anything that has been uploaded on the web. With the built in 1TB of storage it will allow you to store quite a few movies before you need to offload to a backup device. One of the DIgiJukes big selling points is that it can automatically format your newly downloaded content for a bevy of devices from PSPs to iPods to just your standard TV.
On top of the BitTorrent hard drive aspect of the DigiJuke, it can also act as your standard NAS device serving up files and media to all of your devices. It comes with the standard USB ports so you can attach extra storage or just so you can pop in an extra hard drive to watch some of your friends content.
The main site is in Japanese and the translation page doesn't reveal much so we don't have all the info on this device. We do know that it will retail for around $524 and come with 2 500GB drives. We don't know if this will ever be released in the US, but we will continue to look into it and see if we can dig anything up.
May 2, 2008
We recently got an email from our friends over at Popcorn Hour
letting us know that they have opened up their ordering system to everyone. For a long time you were only able to buy a Popcorn Hour A-100 by signing up as a member and getting on their wait list. In the past this wait list was months long. Well it looks like they have been able to ramp up their manufacturing process and have enough devices to open up the ordering to everyone. It will still be a first come first serve system, so the sooner your pre-order the quicker you will receive your Popcorn Hour streamer.
We have had our Popcorn Hour A-100
in the office for awhile now and we have been really digging it. Of course it is not without its flaws, but it is one of the top streamers on the market today. And for $179 it is a total bargain. You would be hard pressed to find a HD( 1080p ) media streamer out there for under $200. So If you are in need of a new media streamer and you want to be able to stream true HD, stream over NFS and have a device from a company that is devoted to constantly improving their product, then this is the box for you. Like we said, for $179 it is a no brainer.
You can read all of our coverage of the Popcorn Hour A-100 Media Streamer here
May 1, 2008
As always April was a very busy month for us here. We go the Squeezebox Duet
remote in for testing( expect our review next month ), we saw a host of cool new products get announced and we reviewed some older products just to round out our catalog with as many media streaming reviews as possible. It looks like May is shaping up to be just as busy with the MediaGate MG-450HD
due to arrive and a few other products we are working to get in the office so stay tuned.
Media Hard Drives