Yesterday I had the pleasant surprise to find a package in front of my door – the new Roku 2 3100X has arrived. I unpacked it immediately so I can put it to the test – here is the Roku 2 XS review summing my impressions. I also own the previous Roku (review here) box for more than a year, so I knew what to expect. I knew the software would be similar, so I was mainly interested in the new box responsivity and of course, the new gaming platform Roku just launched.
A bit of history on the side – Roku was the first company to release a dedicated streaming box and they are now at the 3rd generation. While weak for local content, they have arguably the lagest selection of streaming choices with content from Netflix to Vimeo and UFC to FoxNews. Private channels can be added as well to support Plex, YouTube, PlayOn, etc.
Following our successful tutorials about rooting the Nook Color, we decided to write a new tutorial involving the new Barnes and Noble eReader, Nook Touch. Much like its older brother, the original nook, Nook Touch is build on top of an Android (2.1) based platform, and, as a result, fully capable of being rooted / hacked. The new Nook Touch has a faster processor, memory and overall a better hardware than its older brother and also a much longer battery life. Let’s go ahead and see what extra functionality / advantages you can Read More…
When you are looking to get DVR functionality for your home, you have several options: Get a cable box, a satellite box, a TIVO or build your own. If you are reading this review, you are probably thinking about building your own and we’ll gladly lend you a hand.
One of the most popular tuners for the last couple of years are coming from a company called SiliconDust. They are the manufacturer for the wildly successful line of network connected TV tuners called HDHomeRun. The main selling point compared with let’s say a PCI-E capture card is the capability to share it over the home network between several computers at the same time. Just plug-it in on your switch and it should be available to any computer on your network. What is even better, several units can be added to increase the available units pool, they are automatically allocated on demand to the computers on your network and it is fully compatible with a large number of DVR / media packages available on Windows, Linux and MAC machines and, also compatible with XBOX 360 when used as an extender to Windows Media Center.
HDHomeRun is now at Revision 3 codename HDHR3 and it is smaller, lighter and even cheaper, all while Read More…
Note: there is a newer Best Media Players / Streamers list for 2012 that will be maintained from now on.
A new year, a new top 10 list that tries to offer a comprehensive view of the top 10 best media streamers for 2011.
If 2010 was a year in which the media streamer boxes sales experienced a big grow and many new web clients launched, in my opinion 2011 is a year of consolidation, partnerships and jump from technologically inclined users to wide adoption. Apple TV is one box that helped the transition due to its simplicity and customer friendlies. Although Apple TV was one of the boxes that took streaming to mainstream, I decided not to include ti in my list due to lack of support for local content and low number of web clients supported.
In terms of pure streaming, Roku deserves to be on the first place due to its excellent implementation of web clients and the support for all important premium clients such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Video on Demand, etc.
Local files support continues to be critical and Boxee Box and Western Digital boxes are among the best in this category (even with their inherent bugs), without stepping into the pro-sumer category like the Dune BD Prime 3.0 media player for example which is in my opinion the best in terms of codec support.
As usual, I’ll update the list as new devices come on the market and I would also appreciate your input / votes as well. Considering that some will prefer a stronger codec support for local media and some will only care about web streaming, this top 10 will obviously not make everybody happy. However, I tried to add as many technical specs as I could so you can perform a side by side comparison.
The latest entry in my series of articles about rooting your Nook Color will describe how, after you root it, you can configure it to behave exactly like an Android tablet, although much cheaper. To be honest, I just returned from Costco where I found Samsung Galaxy Tab and I was able to to a comparison. While Nook Color is heavier, is thinner and looks way better in my opinion. While it doesn’t have 3G capabilities and GPS, I have an iPhone for those purposes and Nook Color tethering via the iPhone works very well.
To begin, let’s look at the prerequisites: You’ll need to have your Nook Color rooted, side-loading of the apps enabled, Android Market installed and, if you need it, tethering installed. I wrote separate articles for each process:
Update: Our tutorial for rooting Nook Touch is now live as well.
1. If your Nook Color is still at version 1.0.0, follow How to root Nook Color
2. If your Nook Color is at the version 1.0.1, follow How to root Nook Color 1.0.1 using Auto-Nooter
3. Auto-Nooter method will install Android Market by default, it is a good idea to update your Nook and follow the rooting method that uses Auto-Nooter. if you performed the root following Method 1, you’ll need to separately install Android Market. Read More…
The Review Horizon Analytics application for Windows Phone 7 version 1.1 just got approved to the marketplace.
Among other things, version 1.1 fixes a nasty bug that made the application useless for everybody that uses a non GMail.com address to log in to Google Analytics, for which I do apologize.
Review Horizon Analytics has both a paid ($1.99) and a free (ad supported, called Analytics Free) version and retrieve and displays the most common web traffic reports from Google Analytics including Hourly Visits, Visitor Summary, Bounce Rate, New Visits, Average time on site, Average page views, Traffic Sources, Top Countries , Top Cities, Top Keywords, Top Landing Pages, Top OS with the top 20 in each category. Read More…
2010 is certainly a year where media streaming boxes really flourished. From cheap dedicated media streamers like WD TV Live Plus and Apple TV, going through (although unreleased yet Boxee Box) and ending with more expensive (for now) Google TV boxes from Sony and Logitech (Revue) there is enough diversity to satisfy everyone. The questions are: Do they succeed in offering a truly enjoyable experience? Which one is better / simpler to use / easier to integrate in your existing Home Theater?
Google TV’s entry in the media streamers market is here and it hopes to bring more than mere streaming. Its main purpose is convergence and the ability to search / reach for your media in a unified manner, while enjoying the comfort of your own couch. Does it succeed? We’ll try to find out in Review’s Horizon ambitious take to review this complex box.
2. Sony Google TV Unpacking Read More…
Kindle 3 is the latest Amazon take in the eBook readers market and it does not disappoint: It is smaller and lighter, comes in two colors and ads WiFi to the specifications list. I received mine on Friday from Amazon and had the whole weekend to play with it, so here is my experience. Before starting, I want to add that I also own Kindle 2 and Barnes and Noble’s Nook for quite a while, so my review will not only go through all the Kindle 3 functionality but it will also compare its features and usability against the other two devices. In the end, I will add a series of functionality tips and tricks destined to improve your experience.
1. Kindle 3 Unpacking
I am using a Windows Media Center HTPC in living-room, where my main home theater system resides, but I wanted to be able to access Netflix/home network content in the bedroom as well, and, due to obvious reasons a full featured PC didn’t quite cut it (noise, form factor, etc). I just wanted something simple, low power and fast to boot, something that my wife will also enjoy. I was familiar with Western Digital’s line of media streamers, but they only supported Netflix via DLNA, when combined with something like PlayOn. Not user friendly enough. Then, the big day has come and WD released their WD TV Live Plus media streamer finally including Netflix. (Netflix is now what mp3 used to be a while ago, a must have for everything that connects to the TV – Blu-ray players, media streamers, etc) Read More…