January 11, 2008

iRiver UNIT-2: The All in One Kitchen Sink Media Player/Streamer


We have fallen in love with iRiver since they just make the coolest devices around. We bought the iRiver clix2 awhile back and have been in love with it, it does so many things right and makes us forget all about our nasty iPod. They really have spent a lot of time thinking not only about design, but about functionality and have really pushed the innovation of portable music. Well they were at it again at CES with their UNIT-2 announcement. They really have put everything they could think of into this new device. It is hard to fully describe it since it is so many different things in one. It is a standalone boombox with a built in CD/DVD player with two decent sized speakers and a nice 7-inch screen. This will play video and music back from a variety of sources including the CD/DVD drive, the internal 30GB hard drive, Internet radio stations or streamed from a connected computer on your network.

As if this wasn't enough iRiver is claiming that they will have VoIP phone capabilities, with video mind you, as well as the ability to surf the web so it can become the center of so many different areas of your life. Since there has been no actual release date or price set for this we have no idea the time table iRiver is looking at and if they will be able to get all of this functionality crammed into this device for a reasonable price. Time will tell, but if their track record is anything to go by then you should be getting very excited about the coming year for iRiver.

Oh did we mention that the 7" inch screen on the device detaches and can be carried around while you watch streaming movies or surf the web, yeah sorry about that :) Trust us we will scouring the web looking for any more concrete info about this and we'll let you know the minute we have more information.

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

January 8, 2008

Hauppauge Shows Off WinTV-HVR-950Q USB Tuner


Hauppauge has shown off yet another great little product over at CES. This little guy is your standard USB TV tuner that can do NTSC, ATSC and Clear-QAM. It will work with their MPEG-2 encoding software, SoftPVR and SoftMCE. There is an included remote control allowing you to navigate the on screen software from across the room. Once you store the info on the device you can take it with you and watch your favorite programs sans your TV. Makes a great companion for those that travel a lot and want to watch their favorite shows on the road. This is slated to ship this month for the low low price of $99.

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

Wireless HD: Panasonic Unveils it at CES


Panasonic has demoed what we have been talking about for awhile now, wireless HD streaming. It looks like a camera type device beams the content across the room to a receiver that is hooked up to the TV. The signal seems to be robust enough not to get cut off if someone walks in front of it. We love the idea of streaming content without wires as it can really transform the setup of your entertainment center and frees you of having to think of where to run the cables in your house. Cables are so 2007. We can't wait till the day that nothing has cables, not even for power...ahh we can dream can't we. Who knows when this will hit for consumers, we just hope it actually hits.
David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Nullriver Shows Love for the Mac, Creates Connect 360 like App for the PS3


Some cool news out of CES for all you PS3 owners is that it looks like Nullriver, the company behind the hugely successful product Connect 360 is setting its aim on the PS3. Connect 360 allowed Mac users to seamlessly stream their content to their Xbox 360 with a simple and intuitive interface. Well now it looks like they are giving the PS3 some love. Called MediaLink, they aim to make the same simple app transform streaming media to your PS3 a simple affair. If you poke around the forums you will find that a lot of people are having difficulty streaming media to their PS3. For whatever the reason, it just doesn't seem to be an easy process for some. Nullriver brings their vast experience at making console streaming a trivial matter. We will try this out as soon as we can and report back how it seems to work for us. We just got a PS3 in the office( purely for research of course ) so you can bet we will be taking this new software for a whirl. Check out after the jump all the formats it supports.
ArrowContinue reading: "Nullriver Shows Love for the Mac, Creates Connect 360 like App for the PS3"

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

January 7, 2008

D-Link DSM-330: Finally Coming to the States


We had reported on the GejBox awhile ago and it has since launched in the UK, but word out of CES is that it will be coming to the States in the first half of this year. From everything we have read this looks to be a very impressive device that can handle just about any file you can throw at it and we can't wait to get our hands on one. We have been so disappointed with most of the media streamers we have demoed so far. We have high hopes for this one though. You can be sure that the minute it is for sale in the US we will snatch one up.
David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 2, 2008

EZFetch HD Networked Media Streaming Device Unboxing

Just the box

Our EZFetch Media Streamer showed up today and we were very excited to tear into it. Before we ripped it apart and put it through our testing we made sure to take some unboxing photos for you so you had something to look at while we test.
So with out further ado here are the pics of the device. A full review will be coming next week.

A look at the back of the box

The first look inside

A litter further into the box

Everything that was in the box. They provide a lot of cables which is nice

Front of the EZFetch, notice the free 128MB USB stick they provide

A rather nice assortment of video outputs. The only thing missing in our opinion is Component out.

So there you have it. Our unboxing of the EZMedia HD Media Streamer. Stay tuned for our full review.
David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 26, 2007

EZFetch HD Networked Media Streaming Device


One great thing about the Internet is there is always someone out there with way more free time then you. People love combing over the FCC database looking for the latest and greatest products that are coming down the pipeline. Thankfully, sites like engadget collect all this information and make it available to us. One such item almost slipped past our radar until one friendly reader pointed it out to us.

The EZFetch HD media streamer from EZ 4 Media boosts a lot of options for getting your content off your network and onto your TV. This device sports most of the standard connections you would expect in a new streamer these days.

For Video:
  • Composite
  • DVI-D
  • S-Video
For Audio:
  • RCA
  • Optical

One of the things that separates this device from the piles of other networking streamers is this will allow you to stream media off your Nokia N series devices. So if you captured a good image or movie while you were out this will let you stream it to your TV with the ease.

The EZFetch uses standard UPnP software to fetch its media. It comes bundled with SimpleCenter which is just one of the many great UPnP based media streaming servers that are out there. While SimpleCenter is a Windows only program you can always use the amazing TwonkyMedia which runs on Windows, Linux and Mac. For a list of the different codecs it supports check it out after the break.
ArrowContinue reading: "EZFetch HD Networked Media Streaming Device"

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

December 22, 2007

Hands on with the GMG TVisto Pro 3500 Media Streamer


We have had the TVisto Pro 3500 in our office for a couple of weeks now and we have finally finished our hands on review. We had initially reviewed the product and thought it was a great sounding new device. The marketing surrounding it had all the right buzzwords and we were very excited to to get our hands on it. We have been playing with it for some time now and we have put it through our testing and come up with a review. Click on to read what we thought of the TVisto Pro 3500.
ArrowContinue reading: "Hands on with the GMG TVisto Pro 3500 Media Streamer"

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

December 19, 2007

Honeywell's New Product Allows Us to Transmit HDMI Over Cat5


Well we see another example of companies seeing a problem and stepping in with a good solution. Honeywell has added another product to the new segment of allowing us to transmit HDMI over standard Cat5 cable. We reviewed a product from Tributaries in the past that did something similar, but it used an external device to do all the conversion. What makes this product really cool is that it is an in wall setup. If you are one of the lucky ones that has Cat5 running throughout your house already this could be the perfect solution. Using a standard wall plate mount this will fit right in with the rest of your network drops around the house. Behind each plate is where the Cat5 will plug into and on the outside of the plate is the actual HDMI connector port.

We love the idea of having the ability to stream HD content anywhere we have a network drop without lost of quality, assuming of course if we stay in the ~200 foot range of the source. Devices like these are what is going to transform our living rooms into complete media experiences. Soon the days of having all of your equipment in one area, crammed together because they all need to be directly connected will be gone. You can have your TV on the wall in front of the main couch, your stereo on the other side of the room near the listening chair and speakers wherever the hell you want them. Between piggybacking on existing cabling( Cat5 and power ) and using wireless technology the entertainment center of tomorrow will be a lot more flexible and all encompassing then what we have today. With wireless HDMI around the corner we will be seeing a complete decoupling of your media equipment.

There has been no price set on this yet, but it should be launching any day now. We will update you when we hear about this actually being sold.

via ehomeupgrade
David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

December 18, 2007

Orb to Now Stream to Your iPhone and iPod


Orb Networks has just updated their software to now allow you to stream to your iPhone and iPod. We have been playing around with this software for awhile and we never really got into it for the home, but we could see huge reasons why we would love this on a mobile device. For those of you not familiar with what Orb is, it is a service you run on your computer at home. You tell it where your media is and then it allows you to share it on the web. They create a web page for you that has access to all of your media. It is all password protected and whatnot so your media isn't just flying around out there, but it is a nice presentation and a nice way to access your content from remote locations.

Like we said, we haven't been huge fans of the service since we are either home or at the office, both places where we have all of our media. We do see the huge benefit of having this work on the iPhone though. Imagine you are out and about and you want to check out that new show that you just downloaded. Well fire up your iPhone, login to your web portal, and what do you, there it is. No need to wait to get home, just start viewing right there and then. There is a pretty cool video over at myitablet showing off how it all works. It looks pretty slick. The quality is pretty amazing and we can't see any serious loss of frames at all from the one video they showed streaming. Any of you iPhone users out there should get on this and let us know what you think. We aren't cool enough yet to own an iPhone so we can only sit back and imagine how fun it would be to have this running.
David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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