March 12, 2007

Netgear EVA8000 Digital Entertainer HD

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With the release of the eva8000 HD Netgear has shown that it belongs in the consumer networked media world. They tested the waters with the eva7000 and found out what worked and what didn't work and the eva8000 is the product of that research.
They took just about everything from the eva7000 and added a HDMI port to go with the bevy of other output options. They are also trying out the new 802.11n draft standard for its WiFi connection.

This baby will basically do anything you ask of it when it comes to playing media. We are talking just about every music and video format you could want.
Other features include the ability to play internet radio, view RSS feeds and if your PC is setup with a TV capture card you can use it as a PVR!
We will try to get our hands on one when they go one sale sometime in the first quarter of '07

at Amazon

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

March 11, 2007

Buffalo Link Theater DVD

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Buffalo has been making NAS ( Network Attached Storage ) equipment for many years, but recently they have been trying the waters in the networked media world.

With this release they have basically thrown the kitchen sink into the Link Theater. It has the ability to play just about any audio format you can think of and can output it in either analog, optical and digital coax. It can also output video in either s-video, composite or component. It has a DVD player which is nice since you could use this as your primary DVD player and not feel the need to add yet another device to your already overcrowded entertainment center. The DVD player supports progressive scan and from what we have read the playback is very respectable. Here is a very thorough review at trustedreviews.com

So as we read more about the Link Theater we were very impressed with what Buffalo had been able to release, but it seems that it falls down on one of its biggest features and that is video playback. We are always tolerant of some hiccups here and there, but from the sound of it steaming video playback is terrible. We will keep you updated on any future firmware releases that may address these issues.
If you would still like to get one you can pick one up for pretty cheap at Amazon

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

March 8, 2007

Hauppauge MediaMVP Hands on Review

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We received our MediaMVP today and we got right to the task of ripping it open and setting it up. We first installed the server software that came in the box. Nothing exciting there, just your basic server install. We then set to the task of hooking it up to our computer monitor for our first test. It has the standard connections you would expect on the back: ethernet, power, composite, s-video and digital coax.

Once we plugged the power in the MVP found our host server right away and downloaded the client software it needed to boot up. The MVP doesn't store its OS on the box, it downloads it each time it boots from the server( this opens it up to some great hacks we'll cover in a later article )

After it found the server it configured itself and then started the process of getting ready to finish booting. This is where the wheels fell off for us. It was stuck in an endless loop trying to contact the server. We couldn't figure out how this could be since it just found the server seconds ago to download its client software. Not to be daunted, we started changing the way we were hooking it up.

Maybe it didn't like our gig router so we hook it into a 10Mbit Hub. No dice. We read online that it likes to be hooked up to switches, so we hooked it up to a switch and guess what....no dice still.

At this point it had already failed our most basic test which is it should just work out of the box. We don't mind playing around with these things and searching online for the solution and staying up late trying to solve the problem, but that is not what mom and pop are going to want to, nor should the have to.

ArrowContinue reading: "Hauppauge MediaMVP Hands on Review"

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

March 6, 2007

Netgear Digital Entertainer EVA7000

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Released a few years ago, the Netgear EVA7000 Digital Entertainer is Netgear's frist try and making a consumer device fit for the living room. What they have come up with is a very nice product that allows you to view your photos and movies as well as listen to your music over your stereo/TV. By all accounts this is a great device if you are looking for something to bring all of your digital media to your living room and not break the bank doing it.

It has the ability to hook into your network either wired or wirelessly(b/g) and with the dual antenna that are on the back, having a weak connection to your wireless router won't be a problem. A quick word of caution for those that buy this device and want to use it with their wireless network. Out of the box it only supports WEP encryption, which as we all know is so 2003. The company does offer a firmware update that will upgrade the box to WPA. So we HIGHLY recommend that the first thing you do is get the update!
The EVA7000 boosts support for a large assortment of formats and that right there is a huge selling point for us.

Like we said, its been out for awhile and isn't the most cutting edge device out there( no HDMI ) but for the price it might be a nice way to try out streaming your content in your house. You can pick one up at Amazon.com for cheap these days.

They recently released the EVA8000 with support for HD content. Look for our review on that coming soon.

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

MvixUSA MX-760HD Review

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The MX-760HD from MvixUsa is their latest offering in the networked digital media market. The Mvix 760HD is basically an external hard drive that has built in media playing capabilities. Hook this up to your TV and you can, via the on screen menus, browse the media that is backed up on the internal hard drive ( up to 750gig can be purchased and installed by the user ) or another location on your network. This is a very stylish device that offers what a lot of people have been looking for, an attractive unit that can easily display their media on their TV. Very few people want to sit at their computer to watch movies or look at sideshows of pictures. Hook this up to your TV and you won't have to. Once you have the hard drive set up to work with the Mvix, whatever you put on it will be accessible either via the front control panels or the remote control. ArrowContinue reading: "MvixUSA MX-760HD Review"

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

March 4, 2007

D-Link DSM-520 MediaLounge Wireless HD Media Player

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D-link has released a new networked media player with the DMS-520. They have added HD support up to 1080i so you can now view your photos and movies in all their glory. It comes with support for both wired and wireless connections to your network. The player is sized perfectly to fit in with the rest of your equipment and not stick out like some of the other devices we have seen. ArrowContinue reading: "D-Link DSM-520 MediaLounge Wireless HD Media Player"

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

Hauppauge MediaMVP

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Hauppauge, long a player in the video capture card world, has moved into digital media streaming. The MediaMVP is a low cost device that allows you to stream your digital media to your TV. They have included both wired and wireless connections so you can set this little guy up anywhere in your house, regardless of what kind of network you have.

The MediaMVP will allow you to play MP3 and WMA files for audio and MPEG 1 and MPEG 2 as well as DivX on the video side. With the included remote you are able to browse your PC, via the included server software, and select the video, song, or photo you want.

ArrowContinue reading: "Hauppauge MediaMVP"

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

February 27, 2007

Apple TV - The next big thing?

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Apple TV is Apples foray into more then just streaming music around the house, but rather streaming media of all kinds. With the ability to hook into your iTunes library this little device can stream all the HD content you have bought from the iTunes store and play it right on your HDTV as well as let you listen to all your music. With its small form factor( think about half as big as a Mac Mini ) it will be sure to fit nicely in your media cabinet and with the ability to use the new draft n standard of 802.11 for its wireless connection you should have no problem streaming HD over it. The AppleTV uses a modified version of FrontRow to display your music,video,photos,audio books, etc on a very simple menu system displayed on your TV. Using the supplied remote you just navigate the menu like you would an iPod and select what you want. This is one of those products that is going to help bridge the gap between geeks like us gushing over networked media and mom and pop realizing the beauty of digital storage of all of your media. Lets hope Apple can do it again and revolutionize yet another area of technology! ArrowContinue reading: "Apple TV - The next big thing?"

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

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