Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
| VoIP & Gadgets blog - Latest news in VoIP & gadgets, wireless, mobile phones, reviews, & opinions

Home Entertainment

Musician's Friend: That's What It Is

September 22, 2006

Playaway audio books

August 23, 2006

No time to read a book? You can of course by a "book on tape" or "book on CD", but that is so yesterday. With Playaway's iPod-Mini-sized audiobooks, you can now listen to the books you've wanted to read but have not had the time.

These Playaway audio-books come with ear buds and a lanyard and run on one AAA battery. Of course, why not just download an audio book from iTunes?

According to Orb, Internet users are streaming media FIENDS!

August 22, 2006

Orb Networks today announced that consumers have enjoyed a record 66 million minutes -- the equivalent of a whopping 125 years -- of digital media (recorded videos, TV, music, etc.) streamed from their home computer to a mobile phone, PDA or laptop using the free Orb MyCasting service. Orb stated that all this streaming has occurred in just 19 months since Orb's inception.

I've used Orb's software in the past to stream my personal TV recordings as well as stream live TV. Quite useful when I'm travelling and the hotel doesn't offer FOX News or the YES Network.

The nice thing about Orb is that the software is free and integrates quite nicely with Windows Media Center Edition. My only complaint is that Orb buffers the video, so it makes it difficult to "channel surf". Also, if there is congestion, it takes awhile for Windows Media Player (or RealPlayer) to rebuffer.

That's why I like SightSpeed 5.0's channel surfing capabilities, which doesn't require buffering.

Burn Baby Burn: Downloadable Movies to DVD

August 10, 2006

Let's get the lawyers out of the way! According to a CEA SmartBrief report, a film industry group plans to remove some of the hurdles that have prevented the legal recording of movies onto blank DVDs -- a further sign that Hollywood studios are preparing to expand what consumers can do with downloadable movies.

Here's the details: Under rule changes expected to be finalized soon by the DVD Copy Control Association (DVDCCA), retailers could create movie jukebox kiosks with which customers can select a movie and burn it to a DVD on the spot.

LT-2006 20" TV and DVD player

July 28, 2006

No, that's not an iMac G5, but they sure look similar. OPPO Digital, Inc., a consumer electronics manufacturer, on August 1st will release the stylish and sexy LT-2007 20-inch LCD TV and DVD player combination wrapped in a fashionable translucent case.

The LT-2006 is great for television and movie watching in small spaces, such as the kitchen counter. The LT-2007 sports a high quality enhanced definition 20-inch flat-panel LCD TV with a slot-loading DVD player that is built directly into the base.

Sony Brand Is Tops (No Baloney)

July 25, 2006

WiJET.e gadget streams DVD video over WiFi

July 20, 2006

The new WiJET.e from Pegasus Wireless Corporation is a cool new wireless video streaming gadget that can connect to your home entertainment system and stream 5.1 surround sound audio and high definition video (up to 2048 x 1536) in real time to any display in the home. Think of it like a Slingbox, except it was specifically designed for high-quality video on your LAN where as Slingbox was designed for streaming over the Internet.

Not only can the WiJET.e be used to make wireless presentations and play movies wirelessly, it is also a feature rich media gateway, wireless access point as well as an Internet appliance.

The WiJET.e is 802.11a/b/g compliant and features all of the existing functions now supported by our existing WiJET products, but it is also capable of playing any DVD movie (MPEG 2), VCD, plus many of today's popular media formats including MP3 music, DivX, and MPEG 4.

  • Wirelessly replicates PC screen to multiple remote displays.
  • Wirelessly streams video and audio from PC to remote displays and receivers/speakers
  • Supports wireless direct DVD playback (>10Mbps) with full navigation control feature
  • Supports Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound
  • Resolution support up to 2048 x 1536
  • Supports 802.11 a/b/g
  • Configurable as wireless AP or Infrastructure Station
  • Supports WEP, WPA and WPA2 wireless security in both AP and Station mode
  • Supports Dual Monitor function
  • Supports Moderator function
  • Supports Automatic Script function
  • Local mode supports: Internet access, web browsing
  • Local video and audio playback from USB storage devices
  • Supports lR remote control, controllable from PC or directly through WiJET.e

    Audio-Visual formats supported:

  • DVD
  • VCD
  • Audio CD
  • AVI
  • MOV
  • ASF
  • WAV

    Video Codecs supported:

  • MPEG 1/2
  • MPEG 4
  • DivX
  • WMV
  • Sorensen

    Audio Codecs supported:

  • WMA
  • PCM
  • AC3
  • MP3

MovieLink offers DVD downloads

July 18, 2006

Movie download service Movielink announced that it has licensed technology from Sonic Solutions to allow consumers to download a movie and burn it onto a DVD for use in standard DVD players. This is a huge move since before MovieLink required that you play its downloaded movies only on PCs since they used DRM (digital rights management) to ensure that only the PC you downloaded the movie could play it - plus up to 2 other PCs.

If you recall, back in April, I wrote about MovieLink's movie download service and said this:
The films available on Movielink can be stored indefinitely on a computer hard drive or transferred to as many as two other computers. A copy can be burned to a DVD as a backup, however these DVD discs can only be played on up three PCs authorized by Movielink - they cannot be viewed on a standard DVD player because of special security encryption. Studios are being extra cautious about selling films online in part because DVD sales produce more profit than theater box office receipts. Still, this could be a deal breaker for many users that don't have a PC hooked up to their large-screen TVs. Who wants to watch a DVD on a teensy 17" or even 21" PC monitor?

Further, I stated back in April - "If Hollywood makes it easy for users to download and play movies on their television, they could make a killing.

NFL On Dish: SD & HD

July 13, 2006

This might seem a bit early to be too excited about, but if you're a lover of pro football, does the season ever end?

EchoStar and the the NFL Network recently announced a multi-year extension to bring many new advanced features to customers of EchoStar’s DISH Network satellite TV service.

These features include availability on DISH Network’s America’s Top 60; 168 games televised nationally, including NFL Network’s regular season primetime game package debuting this Thanksgiving; and full-time carriage of NFL Network’s High Definition feed.

Beginning today, the NFL Network will be available to DISH Network customers on Channel 154 on the America’s Top 60 package or above. 

Millennials Rule!

June 30, 2006

Not too surprising to find out that no other group of consumers will have as profound an impact on the media business over the next 10 years as the "Millennial Generation," today's 9- to 28-year-olds. (This from Frank Magid, president and CEO of Frank M. Magid Associates, at the annual Promax conference in New York City.)

Today, this group numbers 79 million, one million more than the Baby Boomers in this country, and have grown up using multiple media platforms at the same time. 

Featured Events