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Tag Archives: flickr

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…

Zune HD gets Live Messenger and games, all free

Nobody knows exactly the future of Zune HD, but with the upcoming Windows Phone 7, it might be well forgotten. If anything, Microsoft has a way of killing products that don’t sell in millions, and the ill fated Kin family is just one of the latest examples.

However, Microsoft just did a nice gesture and released the biggest Zune HD applications update in several months: Windows Live Messenger and three games: Castles & Cannons, WordMonger and Dr. Optics. Zune HD Windows Live Messenger joins to several other social applications already supported by Zune HD like Facebook, Flickr and MySpace. Not a bad collection but we already know Microsoft used Zune platform to test the market for their particular user interface, so Zune hardware won’t be part of the company’s plans for long, at least not in the current incarnation.

Zune HD Windows Live Messenger also integrates with FaceBook (we know Microsoft has a financial interest in Facebook and also owns about 1.6% they bough for $240 millions back in 2007). The FaceBook integration lets users check for photos, videos, status updates, etc. Zune HD Messenger also can connect to MySpace and Flickr as well. The only questions is: Anybody still uses Live Messenger? I used to use it but all my friends moved to Skype or Yahoo so I did not have too much of a choice.

Roku launches new HD, XD, and XDS media streamers

Roku just launched several upgraded streaming boxes as part of their popular media streamers family: Roku models HD, XD, XDS and simultaneously cutting prices as well. First of all, there is no standard definition only model anymore with the cheapest model, Roku HD selling for $59 and containing both wired and wireless network connections and capable of streaming video up to 720p. The next model is Roku XD selling for $79 and includes upgraded 1080p streaming support. Roku’s top of the line media streamer is the $99 Roku XDS which features a USB port for local streaming (not supported in firmware yet) and dual-channel 802.11n wireless adapter. All three models support HDMI and component outputs for the best video quality.

A first in the industry is the inclusion of a buffer that can hold about 10 seconds worth of video. This feature enables a sort of quick skip which might come in handy if you just missed a scene.

Currently Roku is offering the largest selection of media streaming sources among all media streamers manufacturers supporting the most polished Netflix client in the industry and additional clients for Amazon Video on Demand, Flixster, Vimeo, Pandora, Nasa, Flickr, Major League Baseball, Facebook Photos, etc, over 75 channels to choose from. The current capabilities and streaming  offerings position the new Roku boxes above the capabilities of recently announced Apple TV, especially 1080p streaming capabilities. And, in the future, Roku also promised to add DLNA support which will put them also in direct competition with other media streamer boxes as Western Digital WD TV Live Plus HD and Viewsonic VMP75.

You can currently pre-order the new Roku media streamers at Amazon and they’ll ship on October 7.

Boxee brings United Football League on your TV

Boxee Box is already available for pre-order at Amazon, but good thinks keep on coming. After you got the hardware right, the next important thing is content and the Boxee folks are keeping busy. Their latest deal is to bring live football games in glorious HD via the United Football League (UFL). The streaming will be live, according with Boxee Blog, and at the same time they air on HDNet and Versus. The streaming content will include the games, behind the scenes goodies and access to previous games on-demand.

Beside UFL streaming, Boxee Box will also come with a large number of applications available at launch including popular web clients for CNN, YouTube, Pandora, MTV, Digg, FaceBook, Flickr and over 400 other applications due in part to its 10.1 Flash support. Worth mentioning is also an HTML 5 compliant WebKit browser and a QWERTY remote control keyboard.

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…

New Twitter interface is all about multimedia and integration

Twitter will gradually release a new interface in the following weeks. Similar with their recently released iPad application, the new interface shows your mentions, tweets and searches in a unique timeline on the left side of the screen while the right side is dedicated to details about what you are actually twitter, parsing and streaming content automatically. And since lately everybody is crazy about integration, Twitter does it too, allowing access to your photos, videos, news, etc via partnerships with companies like Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, TwitPic and Kiva. How does all of these work together? Is all about content: Click on a tweet and you will automatically see the right panel populated with replies to that particular tweet, other tweets submitted by the same person, geographical data if available , etc. For more information, check out the new Twitter Webpage.

The new Apple TV available at Amazon for pre-order

The new and improved Apple TV is available now for pre-order at Amazon for $99 with no tax and free shipping. Announced several days ago during Apple’s conference on September 1st, the new box is much cheaper than the predecessor and supports Netflix streaming as well as Flickr and YouTube support. Hardware wise, it provides 720p output, WiFi 802.11n, HDMI, optical and USB port. Check back for a review when the units become available.

The box also supports high definition TV Show rentals for $0.99 and can be remotely controlled using your iPhone / iPod Touch.

Deal of the Day – Roku player new prices trickles down on Amazon

We announced yesterday that Roku’s intention is to have not one but three Roku players in each US home. To sustain this plan, Roku has slashed prices across their whole line of media players / streamers to fairly low levels. Yesterday, the new prices were only available on Roku’s website but it looks now that the same prices are available on Amazon as well (where you don’t pay taxes  / shipping) and they have really great reviews. Here are the models:

  • Roku HD-XR Player – built in WiFi, outputs in HD 1080p ($99)
  • Roku HD Player – no WiFi, output in HD 720p ($69)
  • Roku SD Player – no WiFi, outputs in SD ($59)

All three Roku players include Netflix client as well as Amazon VOD, Pandora, UFC, MLB.TV, Flickr, FaceBook Photos, Revision 3, NASA TV, etc.

Viewsonic’s VMP75 1080p Network Media Player / Streamer release date announced

The long awaited new contender for supremacy among the ever growing crowd of media streamers received an official arrival date and it is July 19, 2010. Those of you that pre-ordered the Viewsonic’s VMP75 1080p Network Media Player should receive it by the above mentioned date and should enjoy features not found in other media streamers as Internet browsing. Other notable features, beside playing most CODECs under the sun are web clients like Live365.com, ShoutCast Radio, YouTube and Flickr.

Netflix capable Viewsonic’s VMP75 1080p Network Media Player available for pre-order

Behold yet another Netflix capable media streamer, the newly launched Viewsonic VMP75. Remember when every little device had to have mp3 playing capability or else wouldn’t sell? Well, a number of years later the trend shifted toward Netflix capability. Everything from Blu-ray players, connected TVs and media streamers has to support Netflix…And I like it. The question is of course, prices being fairly similar, how to differentiate from the competitors? Viewsonic adds support for ShoutCast radio for example…and, surprise: an Internet Browse (but not flash compatible). Available for pre-order now at Amazon. Photo Gallery / Specs available after the break.

Read More…