Media Extenders Category

Devices that hook TVs and PCs together over a home network so media can be viewed from any TV or PC in the home.

Posted in: Media Extenders, TV Gadgets & Equipment by Chris Tew on January 14, 2010

iomega-screenplay-director-34650

The new Iomega Screenplay Director HD media player is an internet TV and home network set top box that offers HD online movies, YouTube & web TV, and access to media stored on devices on your home network.

The device replaces the old Screenplay TV link which came out in 2008. I got a hands-on look at the new media box while at CES 2010 and it certainly delivers on what it promises with a very reasonable price tag.

You can watch HD movies purchased or rented from Cinema Now, an online movie rental service similar to iTunes and Amazon Video-on-Demand.

Other online content includes YouTube, Flickr, Internet radio, RSS feeds, or podcasts, all accessible through the easy-to-use user interface and remote. Check out the GUI in the video below:

iomega-screenplay-director-remote-control
It also comes with a healthy 1TB internal drive and uou can also hook up additional storage via the 3 USB ports.

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Posted in: Media Extenders, TV Gadgets & Equipment by RobM on January 14, 2010
ZeeVee ZvBox - View online content from your computer on your HDTV

The ZeeVee ZvBox allows you to watch streaming online content from your computer on your home HDTV with a remote control.

What the ZeeVee System is All About

ZeeVee ZvBox allows you to stream any HD content from your computer to your HDTVs. It’s a clever system in which the computer broadcasts into the television via an unused cable channel.

Once running, you can basically sit on your couch and use the ZeeVee remote to view online content from your PC. Various sources of ZeeVee ZvBox content from your computer can include:

  • Streaming television content from major networks, most in HD (e.g. shows from ABC online like ‘Lost’)
  • Movie download services, like NetFlix and iTunes
  • The computer’s DVD player, that can be controlled by the remote with any of your HDTVs
  • Content from YouTube and BitTorrent peer-to-peer sites
  • etc.

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Posted in: Media Extenders, TV Gadgets & Equipment by Chris Tew on January 12, 2010

icron-extremelink-pc-to-tv

Like many people I’ve been waiting a long time for a decent PC-on-TV solution that allows you to view and control your PC when sitting in front of your TV. The Icron ExtremeLink PC-on-TV does just that and it actually works extremely well, unlike other products on the market.

Icron’s forte is its wireless USB technology and it has integrated this technology into its ExtremeLink PC-on-TV solution.

The system consists of two boxes, one which hooks up to your PC, and one which hooks up to your TV via HDMI, with some USB connections. You can literally hook up any USB device from a mouse to control the cursor, a webcam, a printer or whatever, and it will work just like you’ve plugged it directly into your PC.

You’re oblivious PC will be none-the-wiser it is being controlled from your living room!

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Posted in: Media Extenders, Placeshifting & Slingbox, TV Gadgets & Equipment by Chris Tew on January 10, 2010

zaggbox

Zagg has made a big jump into the home convergence & placeshifting set top box market, from their typical line-up of cell phone screen protectors. Enter the ZaGGbox…

The device acts as a central hub for your various home TV devices (Xbox, Blu-ray player, PS3, DVR, cable box etc.), a way to watch media from devices on your home network as well as a Slingbox style placeshifter.

Universal Remote

zaggbox-remote

A neat feature of the Zaggbox, which is largely absent from other media streaming hubs, is the fact it has a truly universal remote.

You can control any device hooked up to the device with the remote (pictured below) or with the iPhone/iPod touch app. Remote control apps for other smart-phones are also due to be released.

zaggbox-interface

I got to check out the Zaggbox at this year’s CES and it does have an easy-to-use onscreen interface. So using the universal remote to manage your integrated home media equipment from one convenient control is pretty easy.

Record from any Device

You can record from any device that is hooked up to the Zaggbox too onto its internal 1TB drive. This gives it basic DVR functionality as well as creating an easy way to record of gaming consoles or any other set top box.

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Posted in: Media Extenders, TV Gadgets & Equipment by Chris Tew on January 9, 2010

xstreamhd

The XstreamHD service has been in the works for a few years and is finally due for public release later this year. It essentially offers DVR functionality, on-demand video and sharing of video across your home network.

When you buy an XstreamHD you would get a HD Media Server unit which will store your video content on a hard drive, and a HD Media receiver which hooks up to your TV.

A remote control would also be provided to use the XstreamHD interface on your TV. As you can see from the pics below the GUI looks well designed and intuitive.
xstreamhd-interface

[Image Source: Sound & Vision]

Main Features

Video on demand will be delivered via satellite which seems odd given the move by most Set Top Boxes to IPTV based services. Video will be available in full 1080p HD and audio will be DTS-HD.

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Posted in: Internet HDTV, Media Extenders, News, Placeshifting & Slingbox, TV Gadgets & Equipment by Chris Tew on January 8, 2010

connectv-gui

ConnecTV is billed as the world’s first social media center for MIPS Android-based embedded platforms. Today it provides an insight into how the digital home may evolve over the next few years as more powerful internet frameworks are rolled out.

Today I got a hands-on preview of the ConnecTV platform produced by Home Jinni. At first it looks like just another GUI for a home media center like you’d see on the AppleTV, Boxee or PopBox. However, after a while you realize this media center software is incredibly powerful and packed with potential.

The platform would be used by any TVs, media centers, cell phones and set top boxes that wanted the technology. There’s also the possibility it would be released as a standalone open-source software for compatible computers reminiscent of Boxee.

Let’s take a hands-on peakā€¦

A Media Center for the Future

Essentially it has the potential to create a set-top-box that has everything. A couple of years ago I dreamed about the DVR of the future, now ConnecTV looks like the platform that could pull it off.

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Posted in: Media Extenders, Placeshifting & Slingbox, TV Gadgets & Equipment by Chris Tew on January 7, 2010

monsoon-volcano-hd

A new promising placeshifting device with the potential to become the ultimate all-in-one home TV device is due for launch in March 2010.

The ‘Volcano’ from Monsoon Multimedia (the makers of the HAVA placeshifting line) is WebTVWire’s favorite device from the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show. Quite simply this slimline set top box is packed with a variety of promising features.

It is essentially does all of the following:

  • HD placeshifter – Allows you to view 720p high definition streams of your home Cable TV connection and home video library over the internet.
  • DVR – Plug in your cable box or other TV source and you have the typical DVR functions of recording and playing TV.
  • Internet TV – Right not its YouTube for online video and CinemaNow for paid movies. In the works are many other web TV services including Boxee and Netflix.
  • Apps – The device should also allow you to play on Twitter and Facebook as well as do a lot of other stuff like play games and check the weather through third-party apps.
  • Live Broadcast - It can even broadcast video from your home live across the internet.
  • Home Network Media – Access and share video and media across your home network wired or wirelessly.

Soak up some pics and watch a video of it in action…

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