Since I started to collect quite a big number of media streaming boxes, I decided to review them all. Today I will review the recently released Viewsonic VMP75 1080p Network Media Player, the latest Viewsonic entrance in the media streaming market and a direct competitor to the Western Digital WD TV Live Plus which I reviewed not too long ago. Let’s see how VMP75 stands in terms of features, functionality and reliability against its quite popular competitor. Due to time constraints, I’ll split this review in two parts. The first part will describe the unpacking, box content, remote, web clients supported and DLNA/network capability. The second part will concentrate on the video codec support. During the review, I will often refer to the WD TV Live Plus experience since I consider it the current standard in terms of streaming capabilities.
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The latest rumor (and we love them, don’t we?) is coming straight from the Digg founder, Kevin Rose. He claims that he also heard rumors that iTV will use Apple iOS (which we knew already) and be priced around $99 (which we also knew from previous rumors). What we didn’t know is that the expected launch to be in September, which is just next month. Apple of course is mum on the subject, but technically wise is doable considering that most of the hardware and software platforms are almost the same between iPhone 4, iPad and presumably iTV devices.
Among the possible features, Kevin also mentioned an iPhone/iPad marketplace but for TV which makes a lot of sense and will certainly help the adoption especially if you can jailbreak it ;). In this particular case, jailbreaking the device might be mandatory because I cannot imagine Apple freely supporting MKV for example or Blu-ray/DVD rips streamed over the network. Other features might include a la carte stations with unforeseen effects for the TV/cable industry in general, MobileMe Picture and Video sharing and something obvious – iPhone/iPad used as a remote control. Now, whether Kevin Rose really heard a rumor or he made up a list of obvious applications and features, remain to be seen. Also to be seen is the 720p video playback limitation that could be due to the power of the A4 CPU…or Apple might surprise us and release a faster version for the iTV launch.
Now, with Google TV also in the works and almost priced, Apple is sure to have some competition. Eventually, both boxes might coexist and eliminate the smaller competition completely if they support the right codecs.