Tag Archives: dlna

Western Digital WD TV Live Hub media streamer launched with 1TB, 1080p, DLNA and MKV support

The latest entrance in the media streamers crowd comes from Western Digital who, while a storage company, found a good way to charge a premium for their storage devices by building some media streaming functionality around them.

The WD TV Live Hub is based in part on their very successful WD TV Live Plus line (review here)  and packs a 1TB hard-drive inside as well. The box scores additionally 1080p video playback, an HDMI 1.4 and Gigabit Ethernet connectors, a fairly good web client support with Netflix (including movie categories browsing), Blockbuster, Pandora, YouTube, Flickr, AccuWeather, MediaFly and even Facebook.

The video codec support was historically one of the strong points for the entire WD TV Live line and the WD TV Live Hub doesn’t disappoint either, playing pretty much every video format under the sun like Divx, XVid, MKV, h.264. MOV, MPEG 4, etc. The box includes a solid UPNP / DLNA support as well and it plays well with DLNA servers as PlayON or PS3 Media Server.

The Western Digital WD TV Live Hub media streamer is available for $199 at BestBuy or WD’s online store.

Check WD’s full Presss Release, photo gallery and full codec support after the break. Read More…

PS3 Netflix Review 2010

As you might know, Sony’s PS3 got its disk-less Netflix client two days ago, as soon as Microsoft exclusivity for XBOX 360 expired. Because Sony had some time to spend for their implementation, they had the chance to do it right, but did they? Let’s take a look and let the screenshots speak for themselves.

One of the pre-requisites of the new Netflix client for PS3 is the firmware 3.50 which also enables support for 3D Blu-ray content. After you upgrade to the latest firmware, you will see a red Netflix icon in the Xross media bar. Selecting it will prompt to download the Netflix applications and a minute later you are in business. The activation is a tad different that other Netflix media streamers and it doesn’t prompt you to go to a PC to input a code. Instead, you’ll have to input your Netflix user name and password. Upon sign in, the new Netflix client is waiting for you. Read More…

D-Link Boxee Box media streamer on sale Nov 10th

If you are like me and pre-ordered the funny shaped Boxee Box, I have some good news for you. There is a official shipping day from D-Link now and it is November 10th for the lucky ones that pre-ordered through Amazon / Best Buy and one week later, on Nov 17th will be available for everybody else.

Boxee Box is based on the popular Boxee software (a branch of the famous XBMC), an open platform that will support more than 400 applications and web clients at start including Last.FM, Pandora, Twitter, etc. The box also supports a web browser, includes a QWERTY remote control and Adobe Flash 10.1.
Beside the support for basically every popular web service under the sun and unlike Apple TV or Google TV, Boxee Box comes prepared to play every media format you might have available on your home server / USB drives including FLV/On2 VP6 (FLV/FV4/M4V), H.264 AVC (TS/AVI/MKV/MOV/M2TS/MP4) , MPEG-1 (DAT/MPG/MPEG), MPEG-2 (MPG/MPEG/VOB/TS/TP/ISO/IFO), VC-1 (TS/AVI/MKV/WMV), MPEG-4 (MP4/AVI/MOV), Xvid (AVI/MKV), WMV9 (WMV/ASF/DVR-MS), DivX 3/4/5/6 (AVI/MKV) at resolutions up to 1080p from a DLNA server or Windows shares.
Check the full press release after the break. Read More…

Deal of the Day – $66 – Brite-View BV-5005HD media streamer

A very big price drop for one of the best media streamers on the market, Brite-View BV-5005HD is the same unit as the re-badged Zinwell ZIN-5005HD that we recently reviewed and it is available now at Amazon for $66 with free shipping and no taxes.

The box features an extended code support with MPEG 1/2/3, MKV, h264, DTS and Dolby and basically plays pretty much everything you can throw at it up to 1080p. In terms of web clients, it has MUZEE Internet Radio and TV with more than 20,000 radio and 8000 TV stations around the world. As a bonus, you also get Torrent downloading with 3 simultaneous torrents and, even more important, UPnP / DLNA client supporting PS3 media Server, TVersity and PlayOn. I am currently using it to watch HULU/Netflix in the kitchen.

Dish Network VIP 922 DVR gets DLNA Video support – Review

At launch, Dish Network’s flagship DVR  – VIP 922 shipped with a DLNA client, however it was only able to play photos and music. We released a full review for it several months ago and since then, VIP 922 got quite a number of software updates. One of the latest updates brought in a surprise – DLNA Video support, although somewhat unfinished. Let’s take a short look and review it.

All my media in installed on a server running Windows Server 2008 and I am using two DLNA server packages at the same time: PS3 Media Server and PlayOn. Both software packages are stable and are working fine with other DLNA clients I have (WD TV Live Plus, PS3, XBOX 360). Read More…

Netgear Roku XD media player / streamer box launches

You know what they say, if you can’t beat them, join them and since Netgear doesn’t really have any amazingly successful media streamer box, they partnered with Roku to sell theirs. Is it a move to counter the upcoming Boxee Box from D-Link? Not sure since Boxee box doesn’t look like it will support Netflix, but time will tell.

Anyway, the model Netgear will sell is Roku XD which right now is available at Amazon for $79. Supposedly, the deal will enable Roku to benefit from Netgear’s larger distribution network so soon you’ll see the little box available everywhere from Best Buy, Frys, etc. Do people still buy from brick and mortar stores anymore?

The price, interestingly enough seems to be $10 extra compared with the original Roku XD media streamer box, not sure why and also not sure why you would pay it, but then again, Best Buy for example was never a store dedicated to lower prices…At this range, it is in a direct competition with media streaming boxes that are additionally capable to play the content stored on your home network like Western Digital WD TV Live Plus (Review) capable of playing from network shares and also implementing a DLNA client. Which one would you prefer?

PogoPlug Pro launches – new wireless NAS device

A while ago we reviewed the Seagate FreeAgent DockStart Network Adapter, a small and very cheap NAS with 4 USB ports, containing PogoPlug technology so you can access your files from outside your home.

The PogoPlug runs on Linux and it is highly hackable. Today, a new unit was launched – the PogoPlug Pro. The functionality is pretty much the same like in the old version without the Pro-oriented features like sharing controls, multiple users and various usage statistics, destined to appeal to the business oriented users. The four USB ports are still available with an added bonus: Wireless access (802.11 b/g/n). And, if the PC is not enough, there are readily available applications to access your content (music, photos, video) from Android, iPad, BlackBerry, and webOS platforms. The MSRP price is set at $99 which makes it a competitor to the DLNA capable WD My Book Live. If you intend to watch the movies stored on your hard drive  from the Internet, remember: The quality will be limited by your Internet connection’s  upload speed. PogoPlug Pro accepts NTFS, FAT32, HFS+, EXT2, EXT3 formatted USB hard disks and sports a fast Gigabit Ethernet Connection. Not directly advertised, but PogoPlug also has some sort of DLNA functionality embedded since it can be configured to feed media to both XBOX 360 and PS3 (it won’t transcode your videos though, so you’ll be able to play only the video formats supported by XBOX 360 or PS3)

Western Digital launches My Book Live, has built in DLNA server

…And now we have a “Live” pair. With their latest product announcement, Western Digital My Book Live, Western Digital establishes their position in the market as a manufacturer of cheap network drives. The new member lets you access your data on the network at 100Mbs (yes, it is 1080p Blu-ray ISO streaming capable, but only one client at the time). WD My Book Live is also compatible with Apple Time Machine, but probably one of the greatest features is the inclusion of a DLNA server. No transcoding but every DLNA friendly devices around your house will be able to access photos, videos and music from it, and that include XBOX 360, Sony PS3, LG connected TVs, popular media streaming boxes like WD TV Live Plus or Viewsonic VMP75.

WD My Book Live can also work as an iTunes server working with both MAC and PC and can stream photos via WD Photos, a free iOS app.

The prices? 1TB (WDBACG0010HCH) will cost you $169, the 2TB one (WDBACG0020HCH) is $229. As for us, we’ll always go for the big one ;). The 1TB version is available at Amazon with a funny warning: “CHOKING HAZARD — Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs”.

Read more at WD’s website.

Google TV launches today via Logitech Revue

Today is a very important day that might define the future of television. We already announced the new Google TV Website but today we get to see the first devices supporting Google TV  a standalone box called Logitech Revue that will connect between your existing set top box and your TV and display its data as an overlay over the existing TV image enabling real time searches while you watch a TV Show. The Logitech Revue boxes will run a new Android OS optimized for large screens and, more important, starting early next year it will also support applications from Android Marketplace. The initial price will be considerably higher than Apple TV ($300 vs $100) it will offer more content and also Adobe Flash 10.1. This way we can expect a lot more applications (and games) in the following months and put the final nail in the Yahoo! TV Widgets coffin which never took off (We had foreseen that 😉 )

Google TV will come pre-loaded with apps like Netflix, Twitter, CNBC, Pandora, Napster, NBA Game Time, Amazon Video On Demand and many other so in terms of pure content it beats most media streamers boxes available on the market. Apps to remote-control the box will be available on iOS and Android OS devices. Most important for some, it includes a DLNA client and attached hard drives (and it can search there as well) and supports MKV files. No HULU yet (they are blocking the box) but Google and HULU are in discussion, so we might see some agreements soon.

Google TV Logitech Revue Highlights:

  • Dish Network’s subscribers will get a much better price at $179 which is well worth it since the box will have deep integration with Dish Network Guide and DVR boxes – can search the recordings from your DVR for example
  • Logitech Revue also uses Logitech’s universal remote control technology to manage various components in your entertainment system send IR signals
  • really neat RF Keyboard
  • HD camera for video conference (Die overpriced Cisco umi, die!) capable of 720p. You will need to buy a separate camera as it won’t come in the box and it uses Logitech’s Vid HD Service. Skype (and others0 computability can presumably come via 3rd party apps later through the Android marketplace. Neat!!! The camera has autofocus Carl Zeiss lens and microphones adapted to be used in the living room
  • You can use existing Harmony remotes for the box as well (that goes without saying)
  • a new Logitech Mini Controller, (customized from a DiNovo Mini). I wonder if I can use mine as  my Dinovo Mini or we need to buy a new one…
  • Voice search via your smart phone
  • launch day apps include CNBC, Photo Gallery, Chrome, HD camera, Napster, NBA Game Time, Netflix,  Pandora, Podcast
  • Netflix interface is rather old, it just displays the queue, no categories. Uhhhhh 🙁
  • Logitech Media Player – DLNA client – and indexes DLNA feeds and locally connected drives, and it also supports MKV files!!!
  • The Revue box costs  $299 ($179 via Dish Network) including keyboard
  • Keyboard by itself costs $99
  • DiNovo style mini keyboard costs $129
  • HD TV camera costs $149 (everything pretty steep but that’s Logitech prices for you). All in all, cheaper than Cisco’s solution and no monthly fee.
  • Available for pre-order at Amazon sometime today, will ship by end of October

Logitech Revue supported media formats and audio/video codecs:

  • Music: AAC (.aac), FLAC (.flac), MP3 (.mp3), OGG (.ogg),WMA (.wma)
  • Photos: JPEG (.jpg, .jpeg), BMP (.bmp) PNG (.png), TIFF (.tiff)
  • Videos: WMV (VC-1) (.asf .wma .wmv), WMV (VC-1) + WMA (.asf .wma .wmv), WMV + WMA (.avi), Xvid (H-264) + AAC (.avi),
    Xvid (H-264) + AAC (.mp4), Xvid (H-264) + AAC (.mt2s .mt2), Xvid (MPEG4part2) + AAC (.avi), Xvid (MPEG4part2) + MP3 (.avi)

Check photo gallery after the break.

Read More…

CMC3000 Platinum Network HD Multimedia Center surfaces

The CMC3000 Platinum Network HD Multimedia Center is only the latest entry into the overcrowded market for media player / streamer boxes, and has some extra features to set it apart from the competition –  the time-shift TV recording capability,1080p playback, DLNA/UPNP client and NAS / BitTorrent features. Hardware wise, the box include the now standard HDMI 1.3 connector along with SPDIF optical for surround sound, Ethernet, optional wireless, 2 USB ports and a memory card adapter. What is missing though is the support for today’s popular web clients as Pandora, Netflix, YouTube, Flickr, etc, support that most of its competitors have. How do you think it compares against more popular media streamers like WD TV Live HD Plus, Viewsonic VMP75 already reviewed on our website?

The CMC3000 media streamer is available for sale at Amazon in several flavors, including with 500Gb and 1TB storage. The 1TB version ships for $238.

Check after the break for full specs and a presentation video.

Read More…