How often does your remote get lost? Jasco, a GE distributer, is now carrying the Find-it Remote with a locator on its base. With 2-way RF paging, you simply press the button and the device's alarm goes off if it is within 25 ft. The Find-it is compatible with TVs, Satellite, DVD and DVR players, and VCRs. The low price of $24.99 will keep you from complaining that the dog ate the remote.
We were watching a show on PBS a couple of nights ago and the station director came on and whined about the station's not being ready for the changeover to digital TV. We suspect that his dilemma is shared by others and that is part of the reason that the Senate and House are trying to delay the Feb. 17 launch at least 3 months. Even President Obama agrees. And it certainly reflects the procrastination of the 2 million that are now on the coupon waiting list. Instead of worrying about coupons, why don't companies keep them inexpensive enough to buy a converter, like this one from ACCESS, outright? What do you guys think?
Back in October we told you HD was coming to the Roku Netflix Player. It's now being reported that the new 1.5 firmware update is available and may take up to 10 days to get to every customer.
As of this morning, we still weren't seeing the update here at the NAV headquarters. Luckily we found the trick to force the update at the Roku Forums:
Just go to Settings>Player Info>Check for update.
It will say "Your software is up to date"
Check again 2 more times. On the 3rd time it should start downloading the software.
Visually the new updates adds a few features like a home screen (supposedly to navigate through the new content that's been promised) and of course the ability to watch HD programs which looks really good. We'll give you more details as we check out the update.
If you don't have a VUDU player yet, there's a great new reason to get one. According to CNET.com:
Vudu is adding some free video content to its set-top box. Streaming video from providers such as YouTube, MSNBC, CNN, MTV, PBS, and National Geographic will be available, as will access to Flickr and Picasa photos and a handful of casual video games. The new content will be available via a free firmware update that's scheduled to hit all Vudu boxes over the next 24 hours.
Another tidbit in the article:
If the new Vudu features sound compelling--or potentially compelling, at least--remember that Best Buy's $200 movie credit--bringing the price of the $300 Vudu BX100 to an effective price of just $100--expires on December 31.
You might want to jump on the Best Buy deal if you're leaning towards the VUDU.
Slingbox owners know what a great device it is. If you don't know what a Slingbox is, it's a device that hooks up to your team and streams your TV stations so you can watch TV from a computer or PDA from anywhere in the world.
To compliment the Slingbox, SlingMedia has introduced Sling.com, a website that offers video from other content providers. The best part of the website is you can also view your streaming TV from Sling.com, which eliminates having to install software to view your show. Xchange.com gives a little more detail about Sling.com:
The site enters a crowded field of Web video viewing sites, some from which it features movie and sports content. A deal with Hulu.com gives the site access to a lot of mainstream broadcast network programming.
The site's features include blogs, playlists and clip collections. It also has socialization features that let you subscribe to any channel, show or user to create a feed of programming and activity that reflects your personal tastes and those of your social network.
Also, Slingbox owners can now access and view their home television (cable, satellite receiver) and DVR via the Sling.com Web site, making their Slingboxes available without a software client download.
Now you can watch Slingbox on those pesty work computers that won't let you install software. Just don't get caught!
Remember a few weeks ago when we told you Blockbuster was going to offer a device to download content to your TV? Well it's a now a reality. According to Blockbuster, when you order 25 movie or TV episode rentals you'll receive a free MediaPoint Digital Media Player by 2Wire. Some of the MediaPoint Player features are:
Browse and watch movies directly on your TV
Rentals start at just $1.99
DVD-quality looks great, even on HDTVs
Uses progressive playback, not streaming, so video quality is consistent no matter the speed of your internet connection
Has a wide range of outputs including HDMI and component
New movies are available within 30 days of video release
While it would be nice to see more devices that focus on free content or even a subscription model like Netflix, it is nice to see another big player like Blockbuster enter the market.
If you're using the MediaPoint service from Blockbuster, drop us a comment and let us know what you think.
You've probably notice that we here at NAV are big fans of the Roku Netflix Player. Now it appears that Blockbuster is jumping into the set-top box fray. According to HomeMediaMagazine.com:
Blockbuster is planning to bow for the holidays a set-top box that would deliver movies on demand from its Movielink download service. The Dallas-based DVD rental chain next year also will bow a Blockbuster-branded widget on Intel-manufactured chips imbedded in IPTV monitors.
Chairman and CEO Jim Keyes, who made the announcement Nov. 6 during a call with investors, offered no additional information on the set-top box, including manufacturer, price and availability.
Analyst Edward Woo with Wedbush Morgan Securities in Los Angeles said the set-top box device sounded ambitious, but wondered how consumers under pressure from the current economic downturn would receive it.
As exciting as it will be to see what Blockbuster offers, we're confident it won't come close to competing with Netflix. We found an article entitled Blockbuster's Set-Top Box Will Flop at Mashable.com that we believe lines up with our views pretty well on the subject. Be sure to check the article out.
One of the biggest frustrations with streaming media can be the constant rebuffering. That's why it's so important to have the right devices and wireless equipment to get the most of your setup. We found a small but informative article at MediaSmartHome that starts out:
Everyone knows that for best wireless performance with a digital media receiver, especially when streaming HD video, one has to use an wireless "n" router. What people usually don't know is that a wireless router needs to meet requests from all clients (including the legacy b, g, and a devices) so any client with a legacy receiver (say a printer with wireless "g", or a laptop with wireless "b") can in effect slow down or downgrade your overall performance.
one of the tips in the article:
You connect your old router to one of the LAN ports of your wireless "n" router, and you configure it in "bridge" mode. Bridge mode means that there is no DHCP server running on this router (all IP's will be provided by the "n" router" and connects to the Internet via your "n" router).
So if you're struggling to keep your streaming media seamless, be sure to check out the article.
While there's quite a few media streamers out there, we really like ones that work well for Road Warriers. Western Digital has introduced the WD TV HD Media Player which streams content from your USB drive. For $129.00 MSRP, this might be a great device for the laptop bag.
The basic features:
Compatible with My Passport portable hard drives and other USB storage devices
Full HD 1080p video playback and navigation
Provides access to 2 USB drives simultaneously
HDMI and composite video interfaces for easy connection to a TV
Ultracompact design for easy portability
Includes My Passport hard drive stand, compact remote with batteries, composite A/V cable, AC adapter, media converter software and owner's manual
Looks like Best Buy even has the device for $99 right now. Be sure to check it out.