Looking for a streaming media player that's totally portable. You might want to check out the new Screenplay TV Link from Iomega. According to Iomega's press release:
Iomega, an EMC company (NYSE: EMC) and a global leader in data protection and security, today announced the new Iomega(R) ScreenPlay(TM) TV Link, making it convenient and affordable to access multimedia content on any high-definition television or home theater system. Complete with full-function remote control, the new ScreenPlay TV Link features an easy-to-use USB port for attaching compatible storage devices and enjoying high quality movies, music and photos from the best seat in the house.
Smaller than a deck of playing cards, the new Iomega ScreenPlay TV Link is based on the same display technology as Iomega's ScreenPlay HD Multimedia drive, introduced in April 2008, and offers the same audio and video quality with upscaling to high definition. While the ScreenPlay HD Multimedia Drive features a fully-integrated 500GB hard drive solution, this latest addition to the ScreenPlay product family gives users the flexibility to connect their own USB external storage devices to the ScreenPlay TV Link and play back the media content on an attached TV.
The result is an affordable, easy-to-use multi-media solution that can utilize different storage devices when friends, family or co-workers drop by with a media file to share. Compatible USB devices with the new ScreenPlay TV Link include flash drives, hard drives, and Iomega's REV drives.
While the Screenplay TV Link is lacking some features, we could definitely see a place in our briefcase for this $99 device.
Last week we mentioned the BD-300 Netflix-streaming Blu-ray player and there seems to be a lot of buzz out there for the device. Recently the media got a sneak peek of the BD-300 and according to TVSnob.com:
LG has given a sneak peak of its BD300 Netflix-streaming Blu-ray player to a select few in Manhattan and now we know exactly what to expect when it's available this fall. In a nutshell, using the BD300 is pretty well identical to using Netflix's own Roku player. Any Netflix subscriber with the $8.99/month plan or better can stream movies from the 12000-title-strong Watch Now library just by adding the LG Blu-ray player to their account. Simple and fast. Other networked features include music and photo streaming via PC's or any other device that will connect to the BD300's USB port.
As we mentioned before, we're pretty jazzed about the BD-300 and can't want to check it out. We'll keep you posted.
One of the most popular products we've ever reviewed here at NAV was the Popcorn Hour Networked A-100 Networked Media Tank. That being said, we expect a lot of excitment now that Popcorn Hour has announced that you can preorder the A-110 and B-110. The specs on both according to Popcorn Hour:
Popcorn Hour A-110
The Popcorn Hour A-110 is a enhanced version of the popular A-100 model. It adds support for 2.5"/3.5" SATA HDD and USB Slave functionality to improve connectivity and transfer rates.
HDMI has been updated to the 1.3a spec, allowing full support of HD Audio pass-through for DTS HD-HR, DTS HD-MA, Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby TrueHD. The ports on the device have also been reconfigured, with a USB port moved to the rear panel, optical S/PDIF replacing the co-axial S/PDIF and a hardware reset button to allow for easier use of the device.
Popcorn Hour B-110 Baseline (Analog Stereo Audio)
The Popcorn Hour B-110 Baseline Home Theater Motherboard (HTMB) is designed with the AV enthusiast in mind. With support for HDMI 1.3a, optical and coaxial S/PDIF connectors ensures that the user will not be lacking in connectivity options to their AV Receiver/TV. HD Audio pass-through is support for DTS HD-HR, DTS HD-MA, Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby TrueHD.
On the hardware and network side, the B-110 Baseline HTMB sports 4xUSB2.0 host ports, 2xSATA, 1xIDE, 10/100 Ethernet and mini-PCI WiFi support (WiFi card not included). It's mini-ITX form-factor allowing it to be placed in any compliant casing. All these options combine to ensure that the user has the flexibility to customize the device to their preference.
Great News! We really like the B-110 because it gives you a head start on building the multimedia powerhouse PC you've always dreamed of. You may want to get your preorders in now.
Anytime we can combine the zillion boxes that coming off of our TVs here at the the NAV headquarters, we get pretty excited. One of the coolest dual products to come along lately is the BD-300 from LG. The BD-300 is a Blu-ray player with the ability to play streaming content from Netflix. Excellent! According to Gizmodo:
After adding flicks to your instant queue, you can access them directly from the player, just like with the Roku box. Basically, the BD-300 is a BD-Live Blu-ray player with an invisible bolted-on Roku box--and that's totally awesome, since it chops the number of boxes you need down by at least one (and shows why Netflix's strategy to win the set-top box war is brilliant). If you're a Netflix subscriber, this is three levels of win. We'll see this baby later tonight, but here's all the details we got in the meantime.
What great news. Now when your Netflix Blu-ray DVDs show up you can just pop them in the BD-300. When you're done with the DVDs, you can fire up the Netflix streaming over the same device. Anyone else notice that Netflix is taking over the world? We're not complaining though!
The LG BD-300 Network Blu-ray Disc Player will be available this fall at under a $500 price point. We'll let you know when more details come in.
So simple yet so cool! How would you like the ability to shove a SATA hardrive into a dock that connects to your TV without a bunch of headaches. You can do tha that with the SATA HDD Multimedia Dock and according to RedFerret.net:
This new SATA HDD Multimedia Dock not only accepts 2.5/3.5 inch hard disks and SD Cards but will deliver multimedia content like video and audio from the disk to your television without a computer. Now that's cool. So you can drop in your disk full of photos or MP3s, hook the thing up to your HiFi or TV and play it all without missing a beat. Now that's cool. Did we say that already? There is however one tiny hitch, the thing only streams FAT32 formatted disks, which is a bit naff, eh? Ah well. $84.00.
At $84, this is quite a deal. The only thing to figure out you'll want an easy to access harddrive external case for your PC so you can load your data. Other than that, the SATA HDD Multimedia Dock looks like a handy device to have around the house.
Here's some news that doesn't surprise us here at the NAV headquarters. More people are watching TV online. According to a poll by Integrated Media Measurement Inc. (IMMI):
A fifth of U.S. television viewers are putting down their remote controls and clicking on a mouse instead to watch primetime programs online -- particularly professional women, according to a new survey.
It showed that 50 percent of people viewing TV on the Web are watching programs as they become available and "appear to be beginning to use the computer as a substitute for the television set," Integrated Media Measurement Inc. (IMMI), which conducted the poll, said.
We're guessing the reason the number of online viewers is increasing is because of the advent of handy devices like AppleTV and the Netflix Player.
While the news may dissapoint some Netflix streaming users, we like the news that Netflix has no plans to be a pay-per-view model. According to Gizmodo, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings states:
"We don't plan to enter the pay-per-view segment, where Apple, Amazon, Sony and others focus, or the ad-supported segment, where Hulu, YouTube and others compete,"
While Netflix does need to work on more streaming content, we here at NAV like the current concept and simplicity of the Netflix streaming model. We can always get pay-per-view from other sources if we really want it.
Want to take your brand new Samsung TV to the next level? Well you'll want to check out Samsung's MediaLive media center extender that hooks up with Windows Media center to stream content from your PC to your TV. According to TVSnob.com:
The company's new MediaLive media center extender, available next month, enables Windows Media Center users running Vista Home Premium or Vista Ultimate operating systems on a PC to quickly and easily stream digital content from the computer to 2008 model Samsung HDTV's using an HDMI-CEC connection via either a wired or wireless home network. The MediaLive extender supports all types of multimedia codecs including AC3, H.264, JPEG, MPEG2, MPEG4, WMA, and WMV bringing virtually any audio, video or photographic content straight to your bigscreen.
The extender discreetly attaches to the back of the Samsung TV. Since the extender is for Samsung only, it's a tad limited but at $200 it's probably not a bas investment.
Over the last few days, there's been a lot of unverified claims that the Neflix Player by Roku has surpassed 100K units sold. According to the WashingPost.com:
The Roku-Netflix ( NSDQ: NFLX) movie delivery box, which went out of stock soon after it was launched, has apparently sold close to 100K units since its launch in May, a seemingly high number considering its limited application and selection of Netflix movies for now..that number comes from Dan Rayburn on his blog. The price point of the box is $99 (and then Netflix movies are free for most of its subscribers), and 100K is only 1 percent of total Netflix user base of 8.2 million customers, so it is possible.
Here at NetworkingAudioVideo we're not surprised and actually believe the number may actually be much higher. The one thing the player always takes a beating on is the lack of content (about 10,000 titles to stream). The key is at a $99 price point if you're already a Netflix subscriber at say $8.99 at month you're only paying .02 cents per show or movie the first year. Even if you only find 1000 shows or movies to watch thats only .20 cents a show or movie.
The whole point is there is no other type of "legal" content out there that is that cheap. As Roku adds more providers and Netflix and more streaming content, we predict that the Netflix Player sales will surpass all the other streaming media devices out there. The biggest issue for Roku right now is there isn't a lot of promotion for the product going on and we only have to assume that's because they've had a tough time fufilling the orders they alreay have. Once they fix their supply issues, Roku will definitely want to look at an all out media blitz.
It's been a few years since we here at NetworkingAudioVideo built our Home Theater PC. At the time it cost us around $1000 for our setup. Here's a decent video on building a Home Theater PC that shows you how to build a pretty nice setup for around $500 and it's a lot nicer than the one we built.
So if you're interested in building a home theater pc, be sure to check this video out.