It looks like Intel and MediaTek 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 we saw:
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. :)
There is an interesting article at C|net discussing not only how poorly AppleTV has sold, but that most people don't know media streaming products exist or why they would want them. We started this site because we realized that not everyone knew what they could do with their media. Occasionally we would run across someone that was using the Airport Express to stream music to their stereo, but more often then not we would see the people with the racks and racks of CDs and the piles of DVDs and they never thought of doing anything with them. Well it looks like after almost a year of watching and writing about the industry little has changed. The AppleTV is selling poorly it seems simply because people haven't caught on to streaming their media around the house.
Sure the Internet is everywhere now and even grandmothers are using it, but the idea that we will ditch physical media to just stream movies over the Internet is still a far fetch reality for most. Nevermind that the US is woefully behind the rest of the developed world when it comes to connection speeds, but most people would rather use Netflix or go to their local rental shop. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but once their collection of purchased DVDs grows it becomes not only a pain to store them, but we found that you don't utilize them as much. Once we put all of our DVDs onto our server we ended up watching them more often. Not to say we watch more movies then normal, but now the choice of what to watch so so very different. With all your movies so easily accessible it made the selection process very different then the typical browsing of all of your DVD cases. OK, sure this sounds like the lazy mans excuse or something, it's not. Having all of our DVDs and CDs at your finger tips without having to leaf through cases to find the right one and without having to worry about scratches is a great thing.
Well the article is a sad read as it seems to point out that we are a long way away from people jumping on the streaming media bandwagon. Hopefully some more exposure and a big 2008 will help propel our little niche market into the mainstream. We are doing our part, not get out there and spread the word!
Sonos has a great deal going on right now. If you buy their Sonos Bungle 130 they are going to throw in a free charging cradle for the remote. If you haven't read our review of this product you should jump here and check it out. It was such an amazing device to play with. We were very sad when we had to send it back.
If there is someone in your life that has been extra special good this year and loves music you should set them up with the Sonos Bundle. It will change the way they listen to their music and they will be forever grateful. Granted it is fairly pricey, but this is a product that will last years and allow for a lot of quality time listening to music and maybe a little less time watching TV.
We are always preaching here about the importance of a good backup strategy for your media files. More times then we care to count we have lost files because of a drive that failed. In the end we went overboard and created a large RAID 5 storage system that will keep all of our data safe even with drive failure. Well, it seems that as much as we tell people that they should buy storage to back their files up they don't want to listen. A bunch of people we know over the past year have lost a lot of very important files because of a drive that failed. Even the simple act of buying an external USB drive can save you in case of a crash.
Well to hammer home the point a little further we would like to point you at a real world example of what can happen if you don't take a lot of care with your data. Baratunde Thurston writes an excellent blog over at baratunde.com and he has a very sad article about what happened to him one day when his hard drive crashed. If you think you've lost something important go check out his article and you will learn about how devastating it can be to lose your data. Losing some MP3s or some photos is one thing, but losing the last recording of your dead mothers voice puts it on a whole new level.
So once again, please, go out and buy an external hard drive and make sure you protect the files that are important to you.
Well we have been keeping our eye on the black Friday deals that have been reported and we wanted to share some that we thought you might be interested in. There are plenty of great deals to be had on Friday, it all comes down to how willing you are to fight the crowds. Some of these deals are in store only so you might have to show up at like 6 AM to have a fighting chance to get in on them while others you can actually do online so you can sleep in on turkey day and still get a sweet deal on the product you want. OK, so what do we have for you...
Well as anyone that reads this blog knows that we have an unhealthy obsession with storage in our house and our mouth started watering when we found out that Circuit City would be selling a Seagate 500GB external HD for $79.99! That is around $40 less then their normal sale price meaning that you can add a Terabyte to your home network for $160!! Compare that to what Amazon is selling it for and you can see the savings. Seagate makes excellent drives that come with a 5 year warranty. We personally don't use anything else in our systems. We have had great success with them and don't feel the need to test the waters with anyone else's product, and at $79 it is very hard to pas up!
For anyone looking to add another computer to their home network to add either a MythTV box or a media server or storage center there is a great deal from Dell that might be too hard to pass up. You can get a pretty sweet system with a 24" monitor for $649. You would be hard pressed to build a similarly configured machine from parts for less then this. Consider the fact that for $649 you are also getting a 24" monitor and it might send people over the edge. The monitor alone is worth $470 so it just shows you the value that this system provides. We are very tempted by this, you can add a powerful system to your network that can handle any of the jobs you throw at it as well as getting a nice 24" monitor to enjoy some of your media on.
We will have more Black Friday info the rest of the week as more and more deals are announced. Be sure to check back often as we will try to put as much info up here as possible. The next 7 days are a geeks shopping dream come true. Companies give huge discounts on a ton of their products hoping to move a lot of their inventory. It is a win win situation.
Radiospire, a small Massachusetts based company, has come up with an amazing new wireless chipset that could revolutionize the industry. They are claiming that this chip was designed with streaming HD signals in mind whereas the other major standards( 802.11n and Ultra-Wideband ) where not. In their press release they say that the chip will deliver 1.6 Gbps transmission speeds which will enable device makers to stream pure uncompressed data wirelessly. No more need for compression and decompression which can only degrade the overall experience.
These chips are already being manufactured, so we will have to wait and see how this will be used, but if they can deliver on their promise then we are in for a whole new way of thinking about streaming media. We are very excited about the prospect of living in a world without all the wires that we are saddled with these days.
We will have our eyes open for the any products included this new chip set. Here's to hoping to a truly wireless future.
So it looks like Sling Media has filed for a patent that will allow them to display ads inside the streams coming from their box. The patent shows that they can display these ads over any of the current mediums that they stream over. There is quite a bit of detail about the differetnt ways they could display ads via their network. It is kind of scary to think about the amount of differnt ways that they can slip ads into the viewing experience, but as the article over at gizmodo says, they have no plans to use this, just filing for the patent so they have the option to do it.
We'll see if they actually implement any of this, but our take is similar to that of gizmodo; if they do turn this on it will start a mass exodus to other TV streaming solutions. Companies need to figure out a way to show ads in a new way in this modern streaming world, we hope it doesn't come this way.
Well our friends over at LG have a very cool contest going on right now. You make a short youtube video of why you think "life is good" and you could win up to $30,000 worth of prizes. Unfortunately we are a little late on reporting this as the deadline for submitting a video is November 10th, but you still have time.
Here is a good example of what some people are doing.
The main site can be found here and the youtube page can be found here
Hopefully one of you guys will be lucky enough to win some of these cool prizes. If anyone does decide to make a video we would love to hear about it so drop us a line and share your video.
One of our favorite audio streamers, the Sonos Music System is about to get a nice update in the form of a network extender. One of the complaints people have had with the system is that if you are spreading it out over a decent distance you need to buy the expensive wireless receiver to accomplish it, even if you don't need a music player at that location .
Well the good people at Sonos have listened and are releasing the ZoneBridge to allow for extended network range without having to fork over big bucks for a device that you only need part of. So one good use is to hook it up to your router which may be in the basement and far from where you want audio. Then in the room with your stereo you can hook up a proper ZP80 or ZP100 to connect up to the ZoneBridge and actually stream the music.
We think this is an excellent move on the part of Sonos and we would expect going into the holiday buying season this will turn more and more people onto the wonderful world that is Sonos.
OK so we know there are a lot of people out there that still have huge collections of LPs and savor the times they listen to them. Having an old school sound system is almost a religion to some people. Sure the sound quality from some of these LPs is richer and fuller then what you will find in a digital media like the CD, but there are so many difficulties in keeping and using a large collection of them. First off storage, where the hell are you going to store 100s of LPs so that they don't take over your house. Sure this isn't the biggest concern since anyone that is that passionate about their music has probably already covered this, but it is still something you have to deal with. The main problem will this is portability. Say you have a great Miles Davis record that you want your friend to hear. Well you now need to get the LP to their house and if they don't have a record player then you need to bring yours. Sounds fun right?!
Well that is where the FALTIMA 010 comes into play. This handy device will allow you to transfer all of your LPs to a digital format whether it be an actual CD or hard drive or USB stick. The beauty of this is that you can keep your impressive collection of records, but now be able to enjoy them( albeit at a lower quality ) anywhere you want. So this gives you the best of both worlds.
Unfortunately this is only available in Japan currently, but one never knows, this may make it West one day if it turns out as very popular purchase.