September 14, 2007

Monolith Deliver MythTV Without The Nasty Install

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One thing we love is free open software, especially when it is of very high quality. We have followed the free media center apps for many years now, mainly MythTV and Freevo. These are very robust and fully featured media centers that run on Linux and are completely free. MythTV is the more mature of the two and has a wider adoption in the world.

One of the downsides of MythTV, Freevo and the other open source packages is that they tend to be hard to install and they require you to have at least one Linux machine in your home, not to mention experience with the Linux OS. This tends to be enough to turn most people without a little tech savy off. We have tried to tell people how great it is, but once they realize they can't buy it and need to install and configure it they get turned off very quickly.

We can't blame them at all. As any reader of this site knows we are all about things working out of the box. We don't mind having to configure systems and tweak settings, but your average person doesn't want to, or need to, deal with that. So with Monolith releasing a pre-built system running MythTV is a huge step forward and one we find very encouraging. ArrowContinue reading: "Monolith Deliver MythTV Without The Nasty Install"

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

September 10, 2007

Emtec new Cube -R Media Streaming Hard Drive

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We here at Networking Audio Video love multi-function devices and we love nothing better then a cool hard drive that has media streaming capabilities. The Emtec Movie Cube -R is more then just a run of the mill media streaming hard drive, it is a full fledged media streaming device. Emtec has always been a company that had cool innovative products, but we really love the prospect of their forthcoming Movie Cube -R.

Like most hard drives that stream media the Movie Cube has an internal hard drive that will store all of your media and let you play it on your TV. The nice thing about this device is it also has video in allowing you to record off of your TV, which is a great addition to this niche. The included remote allows you to choose what actions you want to do, record off the TV, playback a movie off the internal drive, or view photos off of your camera. ArrowContinue reading: "Emtec new Cube -R Media Streaming Hard Drive"

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

August 27, 2007

Neuros Already Working on a New Media Streaming Device?

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Well it looks like Neuros is not resting on their laurels and is in the works to release a new media streaming device that adds some nice additions to the standard fair.

Details are sketchy at the moment, but it looks like they are trying to add a layer of metadata over existing TV shows so you can access related shows and whatnot. We aren't sure how they are going to pull it off, but if they do then they will have opened up a whole new arena in viewing television.

One of the few cool features of AppleTV was the ability to ask for related shows when you finished watching a YouTube video. If Neuros can pull that off with regular TV then we will be waiting in whatever line forms to pick one up.

We should have our first Neuros OSD in house soon to get a review of their basic media streamer and you can be sure we will keep you posted with any new developments along the lines of this new device.

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

August 7, 2007

ZyXel DMA-1000 Digital Media Theater

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Another contender in the complete streaming digital home theater is the DMA-1000 from ZyXel. It carries all the appropriate buzz words to land it in the same category with the likes of AppleTV, Mvix760HD and the Netgear EVA-8000, but after reading through their website and looking at a few reviews it seems that the people at ZyXel just whipped something together without a lot of thought and in the end aren't in the same league with those big boys.

So right off the bat the unit does not come with WiFi. This is a huge strike against it since most people don't have a network connection by their entertainment center. Strike two comes when we found out that it doesn't play DivX files. While this would seem a minor annoyance to some, we find it as a sign of a poor product. The popularity of the DivX encoder has been well established for many years so we are curious as to why they didn't add support for it.

ArrowContinue reading: "ZyXel DMA-1000 Digital Media Theater"

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

August 6, 2007

New Lanner NAS Server with Media Playing Capabilities

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Lanner is set to release a new NAS server to the market that should make a lot of people happy. With 4 bays that can handle SATA drives in either RAID 0,1 and 5 and with 750GB and 1TB drives not that uncommon these days you are looking at a very beefy storage system. Add to that the fact that it can be used as a media server and you might just have found what you are looking for if you need a central storage solution.

It seems that more and more people are realize just how frail hard drives are these days and the fact that they need a backup system for their home unless they don't mind losing their data every so often. We have had enough hard drives crash on us that we now have a dedicated backup server in the house so all of our movies, music and pictures are secure.

Here is the feature list from their site:

  • Marvel 88F5281 Processor : 30+ MBps read performance with minial power draw.
  • Large Storage Capacity : Four Serial ATA drives
  • RAID Data Protection : RAID 0, 1, 5 and JBOD
  • DHCP and FTP Server : Easy network integration
  • UPnP AV and iTunes Server : Stream music directly to iTunes or network media device
  • OS Support : Windows 2000/XP/Vista, Linux and Mac OS X
  • System backup and restore : Optional software package for business orientated clients

If you don't already have a storage solution and/or you are looking for a way to serve up media to your network without having your main computer on all the time this might work out perfectly for you.

No word on when it will be released, but we will keep you posted when it does.

via akihabaranews

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

August 3, 2007

Review of the Neuros OSD DVR and Streaming Appliance

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The Neuros OSD is a very cool product that should make a lot of people turn their heads. This is the next generation media streamer we have been thinking about for a long time. The Neuros OSD is a very slick looking media streamer that aims to do it all.

The OSD has some very interesting features we haven't seen in other media streamers we have reviewed. For one you can hook up a DVD player to it and stream the output to a bunch of different devices around the house or around the Internet. Usually network streamers only can push content stored on your computer or cable box, the fact that this can do it straight from your DVD player is a very nice addition.

Just check out the other options for streaming and recording, very impressive.

ArrowContinue reading: "Review of the Neuros OSD DVR and Streaming Appliance"

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

July 20, 2007

The Top 7 Media Streaming Products Available Today

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Well we have reviewed a lot of different devices over the past months and we are here to say what we think our the top 7 products on the market today. Why 7, well we are just sick of top ten lists, thats why. There are a lot of things to weigh when you are deciding on which device makes the list.

For us here at Networking Audio Video, one of the most important aspects of any media streamer is ease of setup. If your average person off the street can't open the box and get this thing to work then it won't be widely adopted, plain and simple.

We also had to decide if we were only going to include products that could stream all media types or also include specialized devices that only did audio, video, or images. After much internal debate we decided to include all the devices out there even if they only streamed one type of content.

Well enough boring setup, on to the list!

ArrowContinue reading: "The Top 7 Media Streaming Products Available Today"

David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

June 23, 2007

Pixel Magic Systems Media Players HD MediaBox

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We just saw the HD MediaBox™ from Pixel Magic yesterday at Microcenter. It was tucked behind one of the smaller HDTVs and looked interesting. The HD Mediabox is a high definition HDD (hard disk drive) media player which gives instant access to your high definition video, digital music, digital photos and DVD files no matter where they are stored - on it's internal hard disk drive (HDD), on your personal computer*, USB HDD or Network Attached Storage box*. The HD MediaBox™ supports output resolutions of up to 1080p so you can now set all your HD media free from the constraints of your monitor. Use any VGA, component video, DVI or HDMI equipped display device - Flat panel displays, projectors, HDTVs and more.

The HD MediaBox™ is designed with high quality audio playback in mind. Equipped with 24-bit/192KHz audio DAC from Analog Devices Inc, low noise Op Amps from Burr-Brown® (famous for their clean output and ultra-low distortion characteristics) and our own specially developed timing circuitry, HD MediaBox™ can now be the centre of your hifi as a high end CD jukebox storing thousands of CDs!

We'll find out more as we check out this interesting new streaming wonder.

At Pixel Magic Systems - Media Players - HD MediaBox

David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

May 30, 2007

MvixUSA 760-HD Wireless Media Center Hands on Review

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Well we have had some time to play around with our shiny new 760HD and we can only say, WOW! Sure its not the most creative description of our thoughts, but we were so blown away with everything this thing can do that we are left speechless.

We were expecting the typical streaming device that worked, but left us with that, meh, feeling. From the minute we plugged this sucker in we knew that there was more to this then just your run of the mill device. We had been reading up on and writing about the 760 for awhile now so we had a basic understanding of what it should be able to do, but we were excited to see how well it actually did them.

ArrowContinue reading: "MvixUSA 760-HD Wireless Media Center Hands on Review"

David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

May 25, 2007

Oneforall PC Media Streaming Kit

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The Oneforall is an interesting device in the media streaming world. It ships with two pieces, the transmitter and receiver. The receiver hooks up to your TV and waits for a single from the transmitter to start playing files.

The Transmitter hooks up to your video card on your computer. This will only work if you have S-Video out on your card. Once hooked up to your computer you have to install the Simplecenter media software on your computer to bring it all together.

The Transmitter uses RF signals to send the files to the TV. There is an inherent problem with this in that RF signals are susceptible to interference from any number of sources around your house. From what we have read the use of RF for the transmission of your media files really impacts the quality of the files. Here is a very telling quote from the people at computer active:


Due to the nature of RF technology, other electrical appliances and power cables will interfere with the signal, resulting in an image that looks like a poorly tuned TV.

The upside of this approach to streaming media is that the box doesn't have to deal with formats since it is just streaming the signal from your computer. So unlike so many other boxes out there that fight to get just the right mix of formats to make everyone happy, this little sucker just passes the info on not caring what it is.

Wether or not to buy this for your home comes down to a few factors. Personally we don't like the RF transmission, but if you don't have a wireless or wired network in your house this may be a good option. Another telling quote from the review:

If you’re looking to stream movies, music and photos over short distances and your PC and TV are in the same room, you’d probably get good use out of this reasonably priced device. Realistically, though, most of us will want to fire off media to varying parts of the house and that's where reception will be a problem.


via computeractive

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

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