November 5, 2007

Sling Media May Show Ads While Streaming


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.

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

October 18, 2007

Fiire Media Streaming Computer Could Be All You Will Ever Need


We are constantly on the look out for the coolest devices to stream media around the house. They are typically proprietary devices from the likes of MvixUSA or Apple or Netgear and they are closed systems. Well as much as we like these systems( and own a few ) our hearts are with the open systems. Devices that use software that can be modified by the user, have additions developed for it and basically be totally customizable. We have reviewed MythTV in the past and as much as we love it it usually tends to be a complete pain in the ass to setup. Other companies have released pre-configured MythTV boxes, but nothing like this.

Well the good people over at Fiire have released what could be our dream media streaming device. They have taken Linux MCE( basically a souped up version MythTV ) and put it into a very quiet and attractive case to make a great media streaming system for even the most discerning of media geeks. One of the biggest issues to consider when putting a media streaming computer in your entertainment center is noise. We won't go into all the features of Linux MCE, just check out their site here and a good video of the system in operation here, but needless to say it is cooler then you could imagine. The fact that someone has bundled this all together in a pretty sweet package brings a large smile to our face. They have a bunch of offerings from the main beefy server you could keep in the basement while you use one of their smaller offerings to be the client that you keep in the media cabinet. They even have a product that attaches right to the back of your LCD TV so there are no cable lying around and no ugly devices sitting around.

These products don't come cheap, but they do offer you something that very few products do, the ability to configure the software completely. If you were so inclined you could modify the code yourself since this is all open source stuff. Another great thing about this is since it is based on MythTV you can separate the functions of your setup so you could use that beefy server you put in the basement to do all the heavy lifting like encoding and decoding while that nice and quiet system you put next to your TV just takes care of the streaming the media up.

We see these boxes for geeks that have some extra cash, really enjoy the complete package that Linux MCE offers and don't mind doing some tinkering from time to time. We will come back with another review about performance and usability after we have done more research and/or get a system in house so stay tuned.
David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 11, 2007

Review of the Orb Media Streaming Server Software


We have played with the Orb media streaming server for awhile now and it looks like we might just finally get it. When we were first playing with this free software we were intrigued for sure, but we didn't really see the major benefit to it. We have tons of devices that stream all kinds of media around our house, what does this software do that makes me want to play with it?

Well one thing it does really well is it opens up your entire media library to you anywhere you are with a net connection. After you install the software on your PC and you allow it access through your firewall you tell it where are all your media lives. It then starts indexing everything and adding it to your private Orb web page. You then just need to log into your Orb page to be able to have access to all of your favorite media.

Now you can make a playlist out of your entire collection of music at home or create a slideshow of pictures you recently took, or better yet, watch that TV show that you recorded and didn't have a chance to watch before you left the house.
ArrowContinue reading: "Review of the Orb Media Streaming Server Software"

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

October 10, 2007

Review of the Monsoon Multimedia HAVA Wireless HD TV Streaming Device


Well we have had the Hava Wireless HD by Monsoon Multimedia in house for a few months now and we have been won over. As we mentioned before we have never really seen why so many people love these placeshifting devices. Well after a few months with the Hava Wireless HD we really can't imagine a world where we don't have the ability to watch our TV anywhere. The ability to provide access to your Tivo anywhere you are still seems amazing to us and the fact that these placeshifting devices exist and work as well as they do is really impressive. Even with the slow networks in this country the quality of the picture that is streamed is very high quality.

Enough preamble lets get to the review. ArrowContinue reading: "Review of the Monsoon Multimedia HAVA Wireless HD TV Streaming Device"

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

October 4, 2007

Addlogix InternetVue 2020 Media Streamer Review


In the past we had seen devices that allowed you to stream music from your computer to your stereo without having to worry about formats because it just forwarded on the data and didn't have to deal with decoding anything. Well now Addlogix has come out with a product that does the same thing for video.

The InternetVue 2020 hooks up to your TV and can connect to your computer network wirelessly. Without having to worry about codecs you can open up your entire library to your TV. With component hook-ups you can get a very high quality picture. Of course since this connects over 802.11b/g you can't expect to get HD content, but it should still be near DVD quality.

They are on sale now for only $250 which if you think about isn't that bad. You can basically use your computer as your main media center and be able to pump your video across to your TV. We can think of a lot of fun ways this can be used and added to our setup. If we end up getting one in house we will report back and let you know what we think.

For more info check out the product page.

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

October 2, 2007

Sling Media Rolls Out Their Latest Offering the Slingbox SOLO


Hot off the heals of the big news of being acquired by EchoStar, Sling Media has released the Slingbox SOLO, a mid-level offering that is geared toward people that only care about viewing one input. The Slingbox PRO is their higher end model while the Slingbox AV is their base unit.

We have completely seen the light when it comes to placeshifting TV as of late and if you were ever curious about trying this out the SOLO might be perfect. One thing we love is the ability to be upstairs in the office while watching our TV that is downstairs. If you had asked us 4 months ago if we would recommend one of these to people we would have been luke warm. Now after having played with it for awhile we can't talk about it enough.

The other great thing about these products is if you happen to travel a lot and would like access to your stored shows on your Tivo. With the Slingbox and some fiddling with your home network you can do it. For $180 it isn't a bad deal at all and we think you will wonder why you didn't jump on this bandwagon earlier.

via Gizmos For Geeks
David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 20, 2007

Microsoft Wakes Up and Adds TV Streaming to Media Center


Microsoft has finally seen the light and is adding TV Streaming to their Media Center. Companies like SlingMedia and Monsoon Multimedia have already released amazing products that allow you to stream your TV anywhere you are with an Internet connection, but that is all they do. This new software from Microsoft allows you access your Media Center from anywhere via just about any net connected device and have total access to your content. Anything you can do locally with the Microsoft Media Center you can now do remotely. With the new WebGuide software you not only can watch TV remotely, but listen to any of your music or watch any of your movies. We normally aren't big fans of most things Microsoft, but we have to admit that this is pretty cool stuff. And the big kicker for us is the fact that they are giving this update out for free. Shocking.

We have played with the Media Center a bit and we never were really that impressed, but after reading this news we will have to go back and see what it is like now. Good job Microsoft for giving your users something they want and giving it to them for free.

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

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