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All posts tagged "video streaming"


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Have An Extra $500? Build A Dream Media Center

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Digital Home Talk" @ 04:00 PM

http://lifehacker.com/5936546/how-i...s-for-under-500

"Between the Blu-Ray player, cable box, laptop, and everything else hooked up to your TV, your home theater situation is a mess. Here's how I rolled all those devices into one awesome media center-the media center of my dreams-for under $500."

Who wouldn't like to have the perfect Media Center working effectively at home, all for under $500? Over at Lifehacker they've made a list of ingredients, written out the recipe, and added some anecdotal information to help you get it built, up, and running. Their claim is that the recipe will enable you to play all of your ripped or downloaded movies, TV shows, and music, your DVD and Blu-Ray discs, Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime streaming (depending on your geographic location, of course), plus nearly any other streaming channel you can imagine. In addition, they claim you will be able to play any video game you can install on a computer, from old school emulators to modern PC materpieces. Ok hobbyists, let's get cracking.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Aging Consoles Finding New Life as Video Streaming Devices

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 11:00 AM

http://hothardware.com/News/Aging-C...eaming-Devices/

"Microsoft's Xbox 360 console is six years old. The Nintendo Wii is five years old, and so is the Sony PlayStation 3. All three are due for an overhaul (can you imagine gaming on a PC that's half a decade old, or more?), and while they're still popular gaming platforms, consoles are really starting to shine as streaming media centers."

Makes sense to me - I have an Xbox 360 and I'm using it for more video streaming that I ever could have guessed a few years ago. Of course, part of that is me living in the USA now, but if I were back in Canada I'd be streaming Netflix off it for sure. Now I also have the option to stream Hulu Plus, among others. If there were only a way to get my Xbox 360 to play ISO or MKV files...then I'd really be a happy guy! Until then, my Boxee Box performs those tasks quite well.

Do you game on your console more than use it for other reasons? Or vice-versa?


Monday, May 9, 2011

Eight Alternatives to Cable

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 07:48 PM

http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternat...you-entertained

"According to the SmartMoney, nearly 144 million consumers watch videos online. A recent experiment by WalletPop revealed that "for the price Americans pay for cable TV, they can enjoy a mini-vacation." Just how much are we spending for the convenience of cable? Comcast, for instance, costs about $552 a year - and that's just basic service; premium packages run more than $1,200 annually."

I've been looking at my cable bill recently - which runs around $100 - and wondering how much I really get out of it. There are definitely shows I enjoy watching, and my wife her her favourite shows as well, but I've been starting to do the math comparing the all-you-can-eat model with a pay-per-show model and it's beginning to tip the other way. This article discusses some of the options you may or may not have (depending on where you live) for cutting cable.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Stream Your Media Around With Skifta

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Software" @ 03:30 PM

http://lifehacker.com/5733604/skift...v-from-anywhere

"Skifta allows you to play media pretty much anywhere, on any device. You can stream media-whether it's music, photos, or video-from your phone to a TV, from your home PC to your phone, or even from your home PC to your friend's TV using your phone as an intermediary. All you need is a DLNA-compatible device, which includes lots of different things, from a PlayStation 3 to an XBMC box to a simple Windows 7 computer."

It seems like there's a new media streaming app coming out every week, and Skifta seems about the same as every other one I've looked at. They're all based around DLNA compliance - unfortunately, neither one of my big-screen TVs has DLNA functionality...so I'm kind of hooped in that regard. I've opted instead to connect devices to my TVs that allow me to get the media I want. In the case of my 50" plasma on my digital wall, it has an HP Slimline computer connected to it; my 72" DLP has an Xbox 360 and a Boxee Box. My next TV will certainly have DLNA compliance, but I'm not about to go out and buy a new TV for that sole purpose.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Take on Netflix Coming to Canada

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 10:30 AM

http://www.netflix.ca

It might be difficult for our American readers to fully appreciate how frustrating it is for the rest of the world to hear about these cool video streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon VOD, etc.) and not be able to access them. Well, finally I can cross one of those off my list: Netflix has launched their video streaming service in Canada. It's streaming only; no DVD rentals are part of the deal, but as a Zip customer, I'm OK with that. I immediately signed up this morning when I saw the email come in, and within 60 seconds, I was streaming a movie. I've got to say, that's pretty damn cool - it's what I've been waiting for! Xbox 360 support isn't ready yet for Canadians; they say it's coming this fall. Read more...


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Robert X. Cringely on The Future of Television

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 04:00 PM

http://www.cringely.com/2009/05/the...vision-part-ii/

"The important lesson to learn when it comes to these competitive services is that the first three - broadcast, cable, and satellite - are all going up in cost to their providers while the cost of providing Internet service is going down. In the USA, broadcast viewership is dropping, which means the cost per viewer is rising. Same for cable where viewers are stagnant, viewership is declining (number of hours of viewing) and the cost of content is rising. Satellite has been growing marginally but that could end at any moment and it shares the same content cost increases as cable. Meanwhile Internet service just gets faster and cheaper thanks to a Moore's Law double whammy."

I always enjoy Cringely's prognostications about the future of technology, and this time he's taking aim at what's going to happen to television - one of his favourite topics. It's funny, I must be one of those odd-ball types who bucks the trend - I watch more TV now than I did a few years ago. I think the landscape in the US will transform faster than it will elsewhere - with all the IP blocking going on with Hulu and similar services, there's no "next-gen" Internet TV service available to me in Canada, and I suspect the same is elsewhere. We'll see what happens, but I've heard that Hulu is having a heck of a time making enough money to offset the costs of streaming the content - its business model is shaky. And until Hulu or services like it are seamlessly integrated into TVs or a set-top box connected to the TV, watching TV in the browser is going to be a uber-geek-only approach.


Friday, May 1, 2009

PBS Video Now Available On-line

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home News" @ 03:00 AM

http://www.ehomeupgrade.com/2009/04...s-video-portal/

"The new PBS Video portal is leaps and bound better than pbs.org’s previous online video offering. I know I’ll be coming back. In fact, I’ll probably be watching most of PBS’ content online due in large part to its on-demand nature. Plus, PBS Video is a great alternative to some of the mind-numbing content available on YouTube and Hulu."

This looks great, PBS has tons of quality television and offers great educational programming. I always used to like Nova and Nature, but have not watched them in a while. I'll be reacquainting myself soon.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Amazon.com Launching Online TV and Movie Streaming Service

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 09:33 AM

http://www.dailytech.com/Amazon+Lau...rticle12405.htm

"Amazon announced today that it plans to launch its online store for movies and TV show rentals and purchases. Amazon also says that the films will require no downloading to watch and will be stored on a special page for the customer at the Amazon.com website. This will do two things for Amazon's service. First since the films never reach the consumer's hard drive thanks to no need for download, issues with security for the movie publisher are lessened. Second, the customer can begin watching their movie immediately without having to wait for the download to complete like you do with Apple TV rented movies from iTunes."

Amazon continues their full-press assault on iTunes with the addition of this video streaming service, and seeing some serious competition is a great thing - although it seems like Amazon.com won't have any device-side story if this only works in a browser. They do mention a partnership with Sony's Bravia Internet Video Link - but I think they'll need to include the Xbox 360, and other hardware devices, if they want to make any traction in this market.


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