December 17, 2007

Archos TV+ Nearing Launch


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It looks like the Archos TV+ is set to be launched the first week of January. We had reviewed this back in July so we are very excited to see this nearing its launch date. Looks like it will be shipping in 2 models, with 80GB($200) and 250GB($350) of built in storage.

This seems like another great competitor to the likes of AppleTV and one that you can be sure we will be all over when it is launched. From what we have seen of the interface it looks to be rather clean and easy to navigate. Archos has a reputation for making quality products and as this is their first foray into a full time streaming box we can only imagine that it is going to be great. Where this might set itself apart from Apple is that not only does it have an internal drive, but it will be able to stream from another PC on your network and not just iTunes videos. It will hook up with any UPnP server that you have running on your network and use that as one of its media sources. This is one of the biggest drawbacks to the AppleTV in our opinion. Apple forces you into their world and doesn't make it easy for you to use your existing video library as content for the AppleTV. Products like the Archos TV+ are the types we love. They get the simple point that a lot of people out there don't want to be forced into one way of doing something.

Anyway, they launch soon so be sure that we will have new info when we get this sweet new product in house.
David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 15, 2007

iViewer TV Streamer Removes the Wires from Your Home


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A company called Homer Technology is set to release a new product called the iViewer. This simple little device will allow you to stream an analog signal from one source to your TV. This is a simple pass through type device that doesn't have to decode anything, just send the signal that it receives onto your TV.

One of the things that worries us about this device is the fact that it has Composite inputs. This doesn't necessarily mean that the output will be of very low quality, but it does mean that it won't be the highest of quality. There isn't much info on this unit yet, we have asked Homer Tech for a release date and we will be sure to update you when they give us an answer. The stated price is only $42.99 and for that money it might just be worth it to give this a shot and see how it works in your home setup.

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

December 13, 2007

Solwise DMP-1120w Media Streamer Review


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Well if you happen to live across the pond in Europe we have come across a very nice media streamer that might interest you. The DMP-1120w from Solwise seems to be a fully capable media streamer that keeps its basis covered. With the ability to stream video, music and images from your PC to your TV it allows you to kick back on the couch and enjoy your media without having to be crammed around your computer monitor. With the wireless antenna that is built in you never need to worry about running cables throughout your house, you just need to be within range of your wireless router. The DMP-1120w supports a fair amount of video options including:
  • MPEG1/MPEG2/MPEG4
  • DIVX
  • XVID
Audio formats include:
  • PCM
  • WAV
  • MP3
  • AC
And for images it looks like your only option is JPEG which is pretty standard and not to big of a deal.

Don't be fooled into thinking this is a HD media streamer though. This is strictly standard definition. There isn't anything wrong with this as the majority of TV owners are still running in standard definition and not HD. Also, this device seems to be targeted at the more entry level crowd so they don't really have to worry about not supporting HD content yet.

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This seems to be a fairly solid entry level media streamer that would be great for anyone who is fairly experienced with computers. You will need to install a media streaming server on your pC if you dont' plan to use Windows Media Player 11. There are a lot of good options out there and their website has a full list of all the compatible server software that works with their device. Looking over the list of streamers they seem to have test a fair amount of the popular options out there so it is sure to fit in with whatever you have running. For only £83.30 it seems to be a no brainer if you are looking for a streamer. If any of you folks across the pond already own one of these bad boys we would love to get some feedback on what you think of it.

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

December 12, 2007

Microsoft Positioning Itself to be the Center of Your Media Streaming World


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Well it looks like Microsoft is making a huge push to become the de facto media streaming solution in your house. Just about every time they try and break into a new market they start with a product that doesn't match up against the already existing competition in that space. But they have more money then just about anyone so they keep at it. They throw so much money at the product that after awhile, say 2 or 3 years, people just come to see it as the standard in the space. There was a time when people laughed at the Xbox and saw the PS2 as the best console around. Microsoft actually lost billions on the first Xbox, but they knew they just had to wait and improve. Make your beachhead and don't give up. Well here we are at the end of 2007 and the new Xbox has become the platform of choice in the States.
ArrowContinue reading: "Microsoft Positioning Itself to be the Center of Your Media Streaming World"

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

December 11, 2007

Belkin Solves Your Lack of HDMI Ports with a HDMI Switch


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Ever run into that problem where you have a few devices in your media cabinet that use HDMI, but your TV only has one input. You are forced to either downgrade one of the devices to another standard( if that is an option ) or do the manual wire switching whenever you need to use the other device. Well Belkin has come up with a nice solution. Their 2 port HDMI switcher with remote allows you to hook up two HDMI devices to the same HDMI port and use a remote control to switch between the two.

This is a perfect solution for those people that have run into the all too familiar problem of having more HDMI devices than your TV supports. What we love about it is that it comes with a simple remote control. We have seem other solutions that opt not to go the remote control route and we find this to be a problem. The ability to change between sources without relying on the device to 'know' which device you want to be viewing is important. We have tried some similar devices that are suppose to switch to the appropriate device when you turn it on, but they are never perfect and leave you to manually switch it anyway. Including a small remote that allows you to just select the device you want is a simple and easy solution.

So if you find yourself with more then 1 HDMI device and only 1 input on your TV consider the Belkin AV24503 HDMI 2-to-1 Video Switch as a solution for your problem.

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

December 8, 2007

GMG TVisto Pro 3500 Media Streaming Device Unboxing


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Well we the mail has arrived and our shinny new TVisto Pro has arrived. We were so surprised when we read about this device since we follow this market very closely and we hadn't heard a peep about this on the horizon. We must be getting lazy! Well we had a brief review in the past that highlighted the features advertised, but we couldn't take their word for it, we needed to find out for ourselves what this device was all about.

Well we haven't had time to give it a full once over and poke and prod it, but we do have some nice unboxing pictures for you as well as our initial comments. Check it out after the jump.

ArrowContinue reading: "GMG TVisto Pro 3500 Media Streaming Device Unboxing"

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

December 5, 2007

New Chip From Intel to Give a Large Boost to HD Streaming


It looks like Intel and MediaTek have gotten together and produced a new chipset to allow extremely fast HD wireless streaming. There has been lots of news lately about companies working on streaming HD signals so you don't need to run wires to your HDTV. One of the biggest problems with the HD craze that has swept the nation this past year is if you wanted to stream HD content from your PC to your TV via a media streamer lets say, there really isn't the necessary bandwidth available to do this streaming smoothly. Sure we now have 802.11N, and that is fine for 2007, but what happens in 2010 when file sizes start growing even larger then they are now. There needs to be a new way, a way without wires, to get all this data pushed around.

This isn't just for HDTV signals, it will apply to all sorts of media content that needs to be moved around. Imagine syncing your MP3 player with your 100GB music library in a few seconds. Well that is what this new chipset is hoping to achieve. Here is an impressive quote from the Engadget article we saw:
Apparently, the happy couple will both utilize their knowledge of millimeter wave (mmWave) radio technology in order to construct chipsets that allow end users to fling a 10GB file to its destination in just "five seconds" -- all without wires, of course.
We aren't sure when this will make it to consumers, but with claims like this, "and digital chipsets that enable at least 100 times higher data rates than current Wi-Fi standards", we can't wait till it hits. This will change the way we think about content. You also will no longer be tied to having your TV where your entertainment center is. If you can just pop your video wirelessly to the TV then you can put it anywhere and then all you'll need is a plug, or course until wireless energy is mainstream. :)

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

December 4, 2007

Sansa TakeTV 4 and 8 GB Video Player Review


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We had reported earlier on the cool product that SanDisk was coming out with called TakeTv and it looked like a very cool device. We were impressed with the simple concept of just transporting your videos via a USB stick and how it took a new angle at video streaming. Well we told you we would update you when we heard more about this device and we just heard more about it. It is available over at Amazon for $150 for the 8GB model and $99 for the 4GB model. We will have one in house soon and we will be sure to give you a hands on with it so stay tuned.
David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 17, 2007

Linksys Kiss 1600 Review


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So many of the big home networking companies are taking notice of the streaming media frenzy and are doing whatever they can to get into the game. Linksys has released a bunch of products over the past couple of years to try and establish themselves firmly in the space. We have reviewed a few of their products in the past, here and here, and for the most part have been impressed. They have never really blown us away with anything yet, but they are surely making an effort to make their name synonymous with media streaming.

The latest product we have found from them is the Kiss 1600 Media Player. This is an upscaling DVD player that adds on media streaming as well as USB expansion. Those with fancy HDTVs that haven't yet jumped into the new HD/Blu ray DVD format will enjoy the upscaling feature of the 1600. It will push a standard DVD to look like HD. This is a nice bridge until you make the leap to Hi-Def DVDs. ArrowContinue reading: "Linksys Kiss 1600 Review"

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

November 15, 2007

GMG TVisto Pro 3500 USB 2.0 / Ethernet Media Player


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We just stumbled upon this really cool new media streamer today and we were pretty blown away with what we read. Out of no where this little( read 6.5 inch wide ) media streamer seems to have all its bases covered. It offers decent amount of file formats to be streamed over it as well as offering multiple ways in which to stream them. You can install in internal SATA drive to the device, you can hook up a USB drive to it or you can stream content over your local network.

Hook the TVisto up in your entertainment cabinet, connect it to your TV and you will have access to all of your movies, music and photos at the touch of a button. The setup seems pretty simple and from what little we have seen of the interface it looks very clean and easy to use. This is the type of device that we think could really bring a whole new crop of people to the media streaming world.

Read after the jump about file formats and what we view are the shortcomings. ArrowContinue reading: "GMG TVisto Pro 3500 USB 2.0 / Ethernet Media Player"

David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (5) | social bookmarking

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