March 30, 2008

D-Link DSM-750 Finally Shipping

Well after a lot of waiting the DSM-750 from D-Link is finally shipping. This was announced awhile ago and those of you waiting for the latest media center extender can finally have your wish and own the newest extender on the market. The 750 sports the fancy new 802.11N wireless protocol so streaming hi-def content won't be a problem. We did read though that you can only expect to get 1080i via the HDMI cables so that is a bummer. The 750 can be used in one of two ways. Either acting as an extender for your Windows Media Center or as a standalone D-Link MediaLounge player. They have reduced the price down to $329.99 from $349.99 that they originally announced. It supports the usually bevy of media formats and should cover just about everything you could want( sorry, no FLAC ).

If you are in the market for a media extender to add to your new fancy Media Center PC then this might be a great addition. Covers the basics and adds ultra fast wireless N speeds. There are a lot of cool things you can do with these media extenders and we have definitely seen an upsurge in the amount that are getting produced. If anyone has been using one of these we would love to hear from you. Everyone has different needs and tastes and we want to hear what you think about media extenders in general.

via ehomeupgrade

Grab one from Amazon.
David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 27, 2008

Tekkeon NavDock: TV Integration for your iPod

The NavDock from Tekkeon is an iPod extender that allows you to use the supplied remote control to view the contents of your iPod on your TV. They have re-skinned the OS so it works with their remote and looks OK on a TV. You can listen to your music and watch your videos off of your iPod all from the comfort of your couch. These types of systems are great for people that carry around their entire media library on their iPod. This way you get home, plunk it down in the dock, and you can now access all of your media via your TV. The only real problem we can find with this is that it doesn't upscale your content so you will have to deal with watching your videos in the same crappy resolution you used to jam them onto the iPod. If it upscaled then we would be talking about a killer iPod accessory that everyone should own.

via engadget
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March 26, 2008

Creative's New X-Fi X30 iPod Dock Coming Soon

Creative is getting ready to launch a new X-Fi device next month for all of you iPod owners out there. We had reviewed a few of their other products in the past, here and here, and they always seemed like very cool products. Creative is a great company and they usually produce quality products. The X30 should be no different as it will allow you to hook up your iPod to your stereo system as well as letting you watch your videos on your TV. According to the review we read on Engadget there will be no wireless media streaming options with the X30 as you will be limited to only pushing audio and video to the TV/Stereo that you are directly connected to. The video will be transmitted over S-Video which might actually look halfway decent considering the original quality of the video you will be dealing with. Videos on the iPod are already very compressed so using high end HDMI or Component will not really gain you much. S-Video should be all you need. We aren't exactly sure what is used to stream the audio, but we would guess it would be either optical or RCA. Both would be good options of this device. This is set to release in Europe next month and so far no mention of a US release date. As always we will keep our ear to the ground and let you know if we hear anything.

via engadget
David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 24, 2008

Myka Media Streamer Adds BitTorrent to the Mix

There has been a flood of new streamers from companies we have never heard of lately and we have mixed feelings. On the one hand it is great that so many people are jumping into the media streaming world. The more competition in the space the better. On the other hand, for every great product that is released there are ten others that are pretty crappy and it can be hard for someone thinking of buying their first media streamer to know what is the right device to get. Now that we got that off of our chest we can talk about this new product we just came across: the Myka media streamer. This guy has the form factor of a Mac Mini and the specs of a pretty bad ass little streamer. The main draw of the Myka is the fact that it has BitTorrent built right into the device. This isn't being billed as an extra, but rather the main reason to own the Myka. This box seems to ditch the traditional idea of a media streamer and put all of its eggs in the BitTorrent basket.

Looking over their site the seem to have some grand plans for this device. They say that they are in talks with a bunch of major studios and television networks so that you can use the Mkya as your one stop destination to download all of your favorite movies and shows. They are going directly up against AppleTV and they admit it. They are touting that the fact that they are open will allow them to make a better streamer and ultimately a better experience for the viewer. While we love the idea of companies opening up their devices so that we can all tinker with them we can't see any studio signing on unless they have strict assurances that their content won't just be pirated off the box. The reason studios sign up with Apple is because they have a decent security system set up so that it is very difficult for people to take the content out of iTunes and share it with everyone.

This is set to release this Summer so you can bet that we will be all over it when it comes out. If we here anymore info about this we'll update you. Check out after the jump for different connection options and supported formats. ArrowContinue reading: "Myka Media Streamer Adds BitTorrent to the Mix"

David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 20, 2008

D-Link's DPG-1200 PC on TV Media Player

D-Link's soon to be released DPG-1200 takes an interesting approach to media streaming. Instead of building a device that has the ability to play all the different formats and having to deal with the development of such a complex device, they have opted for the pass the buck approach. They claim that you will be able to stream anything that you can see on your PC. There are no images of the interface so we aren't sure how this exactly works. For connection options they offer standard Ethernet or 802.11g( with WPA/WPA2 support ). There is no HDMI option sadly, but they do offer Component and Composite for the video connection. It ships with a very cool remote that has a trackball on it so you can control your PC with the remote. This would seem like just screen sharing to us and we aren't sure how this would look or work, but it they do it right it could be very cool. One of our biggest complaints about photo streamers has always been the poor implementations that most of them have. If you can just use your PC's resources on the TV you can have access to a bunch of software that can handle photos in a much more elegant way.

This is not yet available, but we would be very interested in seeing how it works. If the price is right this could be a great option for people wanting to watch Internet videos or look at photos from their latest trip on their big TV. As always we'll try to find out more and keep you posted.
David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 17, 2008

AudioEngine AW1 USB Streaming Media Solution

Audioengine has released a pretty cool little hardware setup that we thought you might be interested in. The AW1 comes with two modules, one to connect to your PC the other connects to your stereo. With no software to install the AW1 removes all of the hassle of having to deal with getting wireless streaming setup in your home. They use their own proprietary connection technology so it would seem that they are able to find each other rather easily. The site is a little slim on details on how this all actually works, but it seems that you plug one dongle into your computer and then plug your audio out into that dongle. The second dongle plugs into battery pack/wall plug and then using the supplied RCA cables you plug it into your stereo. This would seem like a nice way to make audio streaming in the house about as simple as possible.

They claim to be able to work 100 feet apart and offer "CD-quality HD stereo sound with no reduction in audio quality". And because this is just passing the audio out to your stereo you don't have to worry about which audio formats it supports, it will do them all. This will work with your PC or your Mac and they are selling for $150 at their website.

via gizmodo
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March 14, 2008

Ziovia C615 HD Network Media Streamer Is Coming

In going over some saved articles we had lying around we found a gem that the good people over at Gizmodo had reported on a few months back. The C615 is the newest creation out of the Ziovia labs and from the Gizmodo report it looks like it keeps up with the high standards that their previous products had set. We had reported on the CS505 awhile back and where extremely impressed with what we saw. The new C615 takes their products to the next level with a new design and a new approach. In the past most of their products included a DVD drive so you could not only use it as your media streamer, but also as your everyday DVD player. Well the new 615 moves away from that and becomes more of a true streamer by ditching its DVD player and relying completely on network content.

ArrowContinue reading: "Ziovia C615 HD Network Media Streamer Is Coming"

David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 6, 2008

Logitech Squeezebox Duet Reviewed by CNET

We had reported that the Squeezebox Duet was finally available for sale and we have been looking around for a hands on review. Well C|Net labs played with a Duet for a while and they came away with exactly the feeling we thought they would: It rocks. Slim Devices has constantly produced top notch music streamers and we had no doubt that they would hit a home run with the Duet. The review over at C|Net is very detailed and very thorough. They come away with the conclusion that while the Duet is very similar to the Sonos the fact that it costs so much less and basically has the same functionality it comes out ahead. We are working on getting a review unit in the office so we can compare it with the Sonos that we tested out as well as see how much of a leap this is from the old Squeezebox we have here. We'll let you know if we end up getting our hands on one of these.

via engadget from C|Net
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March 4, 2008

Video Download Battle Royal: Xbox 360 vs Vudu vs AppleTV

We here at Networking Audio Video have always been about finding the best way to stream media around your house. We love the idea that you can load all of your Videos, Pictures and Music onto a server and play them anywhere in your house. While we always will love the idea of owning content we can't help but see the writing on the wall and realize that renting content or subscribing to content on the web is probably going to be the next step for many people. Devices like the Vudu haven't really interested us much since they only allow you to view/buy content that they have on their servers. Well we realize that we may have to get with the times and accept that content in the cloud is probably going to be the media streaming choice of the future.

The god people over at gizmodo have done a nice round up of 3 of the best known devices that allow you to rent/buy content from the web: the Xbox 360, the Vudu and the AppleTV. They end up leaning towards the Vudu as the overall winner, but they had a lot of good points as to why the Xbox 360 and AppleTV should be considered right up there with them. They did a fairly thorough review of the three units and we think it seems like a great resource for anyone trying to figure out which device is best suited for them. You can check out their review here.

We would love to hear any of your feedback or comments on their findings. We haven't had first hand experience with the Vudu yet so we don't know what that service is like. Anyone want to give us their impressions?

via gizmodo
David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 3, 2008

ISTAR Mini: Another Media Player Using the Networked Media Tank Software

After just reviewing the new Popcorn Hour product we came across this other device that uses the same middleware stack: the ISTAR Mini Networked Media Tank Player. A company called syabas writes the middleware and sells it to device manufacturers to install in their device. This is a pretty standard deal these days as more and more of these products that we come across use 3rd party middleware.

The ISTAR( their caps not mine ) has a better looking case in my opinion then the Popcorn Hour. It is sporting a different connection scheme on the back then the Popcorn Hour though. The ISTAR has an HDMI port along with VGA and composite while the Popcorn Hour has HDMI, composite, component and S-Video. Another difference between the two devices is that unlike the Popcorn Hour this can use a SATA drive for its internal HD. But I have to say that after looking at their site it just reeks of something that was slapped together to get a product out the door. The site sports all the buzzwords that is so common with media streamers today. With the Popcorn Hour you get the sense that while they did use another companies middleware to power their device they really want to create a great product for their customers. We could be totally off base here and the ISTAR could be a great device, but since we had never head of it before and there is no real 'meat' on the site letting us know anything special about the device we figure it is just a slap together.

If anyone owns one of these, knows someone who owns one or even works at the company making these wants to correct us we are all ears. We would love to be wrong and welcome another top notch media streamer to the party, but our guess is that this guy won't be invited.
David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

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