July 22, 2008

Review: MediaGate MG-450HD High Definition Digital Media Server

A few months ago we introduced the MediaGate MG-450HD High Definition Digital Media Server to you. Since then we've been working on a review of the MG-450HD that we wanted to share with our readers. In case you missed it, you'll want to check out our unboxing of the device we did in May.

We'll start by telling what makes the MG-450HD such a powerhouse. The device is a media streamer that connects to you home theater in ways that most devices can't. Besides wireless and wireless connections you also have the ability to connect to multiple drives like to the hard drive of a networked computer, an attached USB device, or an optional SATA internal hard drive. Without the optional drives you can stream HD video, photos and audio from any PC on your wireless or wired network to your TV. Once you add one of the optional drives you can then store media locally.

Let's look at the basic specs:

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William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 21, 2008

TiVo to Deliver YouTube Videos To TV Sets


We've known this was coming for awhile but you should see YouTube videos on certain TiVo boxes within the next few weeks. According to NewsFactor.com:

TiVo says it has completed the technology to make YouTube videos available on TV sets connected to its digital video recorder (DVR) boxes. As part of an agreement with YouTube announced in March, TiVo expects to roll out a software upgrade over the next few weeks.

Broadband subscribers with TiVo Series3 and TiVo HD DVRs will have access to the YouTube video universe. Viewers will be able to search by keyword or browse for content under categories such as featured, most recent, favorites or most viewed today.

It's amazing how YouTube is becoming available on all types of streaming devices. Hopefully YouTube will be on the Roku Netflix Player soon. We'll keep our fingers crossed.

At NewsFactor.com

William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 18, 2008

Get Acquainted With the Slingbox

Here at the NetworkingAudioVideo headquarters we recently received a Slingbox Solo to review. As we mentioned the Slingbox to a few friends we we're amazed how many of them had no idea what the Slingbox was (shows you how many of our friends read our site!). For those of you not in the know, the Slingbox is one of the greatest devices to stream your television shows ever made we found a short video from TekieTV to that helps familiarize you with the Slingbox.

At TechiTV.Blip.TV

Slingbox Solo at Amazon.com

Slingbox Solo at Amazon.com

William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

Apple TV vs. Roku Netflix Payer - Can They Really be Compared?


Lately there's been several articles on Apple TV vs. the Roku Netflix Player. The strange thing is that almost all of them come Mac based websites which usually clues you in to which way the article is going to lean. MacNewsWorld has an article that pits the two against each other that actually doesn't slant too far in the Apple TVs favor. The problem is article starts by stating the services can't really be compared by saying:

Comparing the Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) TV to the Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) Player by Roku is like comparing two wildly different kinds of automobiles -- like a Chevrolet Camaro vs. a Ford F-150 pickup.

Sure, the Camaro and F-150 are both automobiles, and they can take you places you've never been before, but it's their differences that define them more than their similarities.

Then the article goes on to comparing the two devices and finishes up:

Basically, it comes down to this: If you want fresh HD quality content downloadable for immediate TV viewing, your best choice is the Apple TV, hands down. The only catch is you have to be willing to pay for it each time you rent or buy a movie or TV show.

If you gravitate toward an all-you-can-eat buffet, Netflix, with its mail-order DVDs and bigger streaming library, will at least keep you full.

We'll start by saying that we think both the Apple TV an the Netflix Player are incredibly great products. Our concern is that the last sentence in the quote above is never keyed on enough when you compare the two products. Comparing a service that charges for every download against a service that gives unlimited downloads for as low as $8.99 per month just doesn't work.

Anyway, we still suggest reading the article because it does point out the key features of each device.

At MacworldNews.com

William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

July 17, 2008

Sony Announces Video-On-Demand for PS3 and PSP Owners


Our sister site TVSnob has some great news for PS3 and PSP owners, a new video service from Sony is on the way:

Just days after Microsoft announced Netflix would be coming to the Xbox 360, Sony has announced a new video service for the Playstation 3 and Playstation Portable that has already kicked off with 300 full-length movie titles and 1200 TV shows. That's just a start-Sony claims that they have signed seven movie studios to the service including Disney, Fox, MGM, Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, and Lions Gate.

Both HD and SD movie rentals will be available priced between $2.99 and $5.99 and TV shows will set you back $1.99 per episode, and you'll be able to purchase standard-def movies with the exception of those from Disney.

While that's some great news, we'd still like to see some free content coming from Sony.

At TVsnob.com (Picture Credit: PS3 Fanboy)

William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 16, 2008

A Family's Review of the AppleTV - It Rocks!


We've seen quite a few reviews of the AppleTV from the media but it's nice to when we find reviews from typical users. We found a review of AppleTV from Sean at Sean808080.com that states:

When we started reviewing the AppleTV, we were surprised to find out that the AppleTV requires an HDTV. It was for this reason that we went out and bought one this year {REALLY!}

After that rather expensive day of picking up an HDTV and the 160GB AppleTV, we hooked things up. It was a _very simple_ hookup. Just an HDMI cable and we were off. After setting up our account information on the AppleTV, we began looking at our flickr pictures.

This is really one of the key benefits of the AppleTV. When it's idle, it will pull your photos and display them in beautiful color on your HDTV. If you've got a decent set of pictures that you've either taken or marked as favorites, prepare to be pleasantly surprised at how beautiful they are on an HDTV as opposed to your computer monitor.

What really interested us in the review is the way the family bonds around the AppleTV:

The big surprise for me was Youtube. I personally use Youtube sparingly as it's not very interesting to me. The kids on the other hand go bonkers when I offer to play some Youtube videos. They all sit around watch and dance to the Youtube selections. This was a real unexpected benefit of the AppleTV. It turns Youtube watching into a family experience as everyone in the house sits and watches very excitedly. I had no idea that the Youtube player on AppleTV would be the killer feature in our house.

It's a nice review so be sure to check it out.

At Sean808080.com

Related: First Impressions: Apple TV

AppleTV at Amazon

William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 14, 2008

Dissecting the Roku Netflix Player


Are you curious about the guts of the Netflix Player by Roku but you just don't what it takes to tear it apart? Well the good folks at TechRepublic.com have torn apart a Roku player, saying us the pain of doing it ourselves.


So for you geeky types who drool over disassembled hardware, be sure to stop by TechRepublic and see all of the images.

At TechRepublic.com

William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 10, 2008

A Brief Video Primer on IPTV

Lately we've been talking a lot about streaming set-top boxes and IPTV. The basic concept of IPTV is internet packets are sent to a box that then sends video to your television. While the concept is simple, there's quite a bit happening behind the scenes. If you're interested in how IPTV works from a technology standpoint, check out this short video:

William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

WhereverTV Set-Top Box Launched - Over 2,000 Channels of International Programming


As streaming set-top boxes continue to hit the markets, we're glad to see some boxes that link to free content starting to arrive. Recently the WhereverTV Receiver was debuted at the SINO Consumer Electronics show in Qingdao, China. The box streams channels from the Wherever.TV website. According to BetaNews.com:

Content that can be watched on Wherever.tv, which consists of simulcasted regional stations and broadband-exclusive TV channels, can be watched through the WhereverTV receiver with just a high speed connection and a television.

The $199 receiver is similar to the Neuros OSD digital archiving box in both design and onboard hardware, but offers WhereverTV's exclusive Global Interactive Program Guide (IPG) to manage and browse the thousands of channels the service handles. No additional fees are incurred for usage, and the unit offers a simple way to access content from 94 countries in 43 languages on any television. Premium content can also be accessed in real time, at an additional cost to the user.

Pretty cool! With all of the content Wherever.TV offers, $199 isn't too bad for the WhereverTV receiver. We'll try to get a box and let you know what we think.

At BetaNews.com

Website: Wherever.tv

WhereverTv Receiver at Amazon.com

William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 9, 2008

TVersity Finally Launches Version 1.0 of Media Streaming Service


TVersity has finally come out of beta after several years and has launched as Release Candidate 1. If your're not familiar with TVersity, it's free software that allows you to stream media from your PC to multiple devices. While there are quite a few pieces of media streaming software out there, TVersity is a Truly loaded product. According to the TVersity website:

Play Internet audio, image and video streams and RSS/RDF/ATOM/OPML
feeds and podcasts on your TV, Stereo and other connected devices

The media server streams media from the Internet and delivers it to
connected devices via HTTP, the only protocol supported by those devices

The only truly universal media server (including support for the
Apple iPhone, Sony PSP, the Sony PS3, the Xbox 360, the Nintendo Wii, The
Nokia 770/N800 and many more devices)

Use the same server for home and mobile networked devices (with multimedia
capabilities) whether they support UPnP AV / DLNA or just have a web browser
or an RSS/Podcast Reader

Enter your own Internet URLs or select from the bundled Audio and
Video Guides

The media server is bundled with hundreds of TV stations from all over the
world and thousands of radio stations

Play your ENTIRE media collection on your connected

Finally almost any content that plays in Windows Media Player can be
played on any of the supported devices disregarding their codec limitations

Automatic Real-time Seamless Transcoding
Let the Media Server automatically detect when a given media needs to be
transcoded for playback on your media player

Very fast browsing of your media library with unprecedented speed
for huge libraries (up to 100,000 items and more)

You can see the full (and very long) list of features here. At the great price of free, you got no reason to not give the software a try.

At TVersity.com

William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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