January 21, 2008

New Media Streamer From MvixUSA: The MX780HD


After many months of silence it looks like MvixUSA will be releasing their new HD streamer, the 780HD. This is a nice upgrade to their 760HD which has garnered a lot of praise from us over the past year.[here and here] The 780 is set to fix the few problems that the 760 had. For starters they have upgraded the Sigma CPU to the EM8621L which can decode H.264 and that will make a lot of people happy since we have heard a lot of people saying they won't buy a media streamer that can't do H.264. Also added to the new device is a HDMI port which again had a lot of 760HD owners upset. We personally love Component video since you aren't subjected to the same DRM restrictions and since most experts agree that few people can really tell the difference between a movie shown via Component and one shown via HDMI. But non the less people love it so it has been added.

They have also thrown a few other new things into this device. There is an eMule client so you can download straight to the box, no need to transfer anything. There isn't much else different, the same case design although this time it is in black. The same connectors on the back with the addition of HDMI. We have spoken with the guys over at MvixUSA and we are going to be getting us a demo unit so you can be sure that we will have all the details for you soon. For those of you that held off on the Mvix 760HD for whatever reason, this could be the update you have been looking for. For those that have yet to buy a digital media center the guys from Mvix have the best multi-function media streamer on the market. So stay tuned for when we get our hands on this sucker.
David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 18, 2008

Popcorn Hour Networked Media Tank Unboxing

We have been waiting for the opportunity to get our hands on the Networked Media Tank for a long time and today it finally arrived. This is from a company called Popcorn Hour and they have been getting great reviews. Before we dive into the meat of the product ( we don't want to be too hasty ) we thought we would do the obligatory unboxing photo shoot for you. We have just started testing it out and we can already say that it is living up to the hype that we had been reading about. OK enough of that, lets get to the photos.

The box, the glorious box

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

January 16, 2008

AppleTV Take 2: Maybe the Second Time Apple Gets it Right


We reported about the AppleTV last year and we had mixed feelings about it. We loved the ease of use and the fact that unlike so many other devices on the market it just worked. One of our biggest pet peeves is that for this sector to take off devices need to just work. Not everyone likes to hack up little scripts to get their device to auto NFS mount their media server. Most people just want to plug the device in and start using it. This is were the AppleTV has crushed everyone else. We have not see a simpler setup and an easier way to get a device to find all your media then the way Apple has done it. It is in this ease that our main complaint lies.

We are not fans of being forced to use iTunes for all of our media. Call us commitment phobic, but we don't like being tied down to one technology. We have a large collection of DVDs ripped to .ISO as well as a bunch of other random formats. Having to use iTunes means that we need to covert all of our media to fit the model that Apple wants us to follow. This is probably fine for like 90 percent of the users, it just bothers us.

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David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

January 2, 2008

EZFetch HD Networked Media Streaming Device Unboxing

Just the box

Our EZFetch Media Streamer showed up today and we were very excited to tear into it. Before we ripped it apart and put it through our testing we made sure to take some unboxing photos for you so you had something to look at while we test.
So with out further ado here are the pics of the device. A full review will be coming next week.

A look at the back of the box

The first look inside

A litter further into the box

Everything that was in the box. They provide a lot of cables which is nice

Front of the EZFetch, notice the free 128MB USB stick they provide

A rather nice assortment of video outputs. The only thing missing in our opinion is Component out.

So there you have it. Our unboxing of the EZMedia HD Media Streamer. Stay tuned for our full review.
David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 22, 2007

Hands on with the GMG TVisto Pro 3500 Media Streamer


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.
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David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

December 17, 2007

Archos TV+ Nearing Launch


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) and 250GB($350) 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.
David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 13, 2007

Solwise DMP-1120w Media Streamer Review


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 from Solwise 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:
  • DIVX
  • XVID
Audio formats include:
  • PCM
  • WAV
  • MP3
  • AC
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
David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 12, 2007

Microsoft Positioning Itself to be the Center of Your Media Streaming World


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

December 8, 2007

GMG TVisto Pro 3500 Media Streaming Device Unboxing


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.

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

November 17, 2007

Linksys Kiss 1600 Review


So many of the big home networking companies are taking notice of the streaming media frenzy and are doing whatever they can to get into the game. Linksys has released a bunch of products over the past couple of years to try and establish themselves firmly in the space. We have reviewed a few of their products in the past, here and here, and for the most part have been impressed. They have never really blown us away with anything yet, but they are surely making an effort to make their name synonymous with media streaming.

The latest product we have found from them is the Kiss 1600 Media Player. This is an upscaling DVD player that adds on media streaming as well as USB expansion. Those with fancy HDTVs that haven't yet jumped into the new HD/Blu ray DVD format will enjoy the upscaling feature of the 1600. It will push a standard DVD to look like HD. This is a nice bridge until you make the leap to Hi-Def DVDs. ArrowContinue reading: "Linksys Kiss 1600 Review"

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

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