Jun 28 2014

Blog - Aereo’s Flaw was Hubris

Aereo

The recent SCOTUS ruling making the service Aereo provides illegal was disappointing, but not surprising given the stakes. I was discussing this with a friend who pointed out that “The micro-antennas didn’t fool anyone, it’s the same as cable tv”. Which makes an incredibly valid point because it draws focus to what is the real problem with Aereo -- hubris.

Jun 26 2014

Review - D-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug (DSP-W215)


Home automation has always been one of the most sought after pieces to anyone’s home or home theater environment—at least to our fans. Getting ready to watch a movie, you press a button and the lights dim, the curtains go down, and your movie collection shows up. In the past this was impossible to suggest without an exorbitant price tag, as most home automation systems operated on their unique network and required proprietary and expensive hardware—not to mention the software that required a computer programmer to configure! D-Link’s newest $49.99 Wi-Fi Smart Plug (DSP-W215) is just a small component of home automation, but it’s attempting to do so over your existing wireless network, and with an extremely simple smartphone utility to configure and use.

Jun 26 2014

News - SiliconDust Brings STB-free TV to Google, er..., Android TV

 

When GoogleTV first came out, it was an interesting idea but poorly executed. Refusing to give up on the idea Google has soldiered on and yesterday GoogleTV became Android TV, bringing their little-black-box OS closer to their main branch of Android which should provide greater access to the catalog of apps available through the Play store. Alongside this, it looks like SiliconDust has been busy writing a plugin which provides Live TV from their popular network tuners, which means you finally don’t need an MSO provided STB to view Live TV; removing the kludge of HDMI pass-through and IR-blasting from the mix. Frankly, I think this is really slick and hopefully just a stepping stone towards full CableCARD DVR support (can’t be that hard, can it?). I imagine SiliconDust have the same thing in mind because included in their PR is a link to download the plugin that POCs the Live TV integration – hopefully someone takes up the challenge and makes it happen.

Pleasanton, CAJune 25, 2014Silicondust USA Inc., innovators of the HDHomeRun® network attached TV tuners, today announced that it was selected to participate in the Google I/O Developer Sandbox being held in San Francisco. Google I/O is an annual developer-focused conference featuring in-depth sessions focused on innovations for web, mobile and social breakthroughs to bring together thousands of developers. SiliconDust is demonstrating its HomerunInput plugin enabling Live TV as a core component to Android TV’s platform. HomerunInput uses SiliconDust’s HDHomeRun devices to deliver a Live TV source for Android TV devices.

SiliconDust

UPDATE: According to Engadget (thanks Skye), all Android TV devices have to have PlayReady DRM (one way to make Copy-Once content work).

There are a few hardware requirements to ensure that Android TV doesn't offer an inconsistent (or miserable) user experience: 2GB of RAM, 8GB of flash storage, WiFi and/or Ethernet, Bluetooth 4, Play-ready DRM and Widevine level one.

Engadget

 

Jun 25 2014

News - NETGEAR Announces Nighthawk X6—AC3200 Tri-Band WiFi Gigabit Router

NETGEAR Nighthawk X6—AC3200 Tri-Band WiFi Gigabit Router

The pace of improvement in the 802.11AC market has been blistering, and I had a chance to talk to NETGEAR about their newest top-end entrant the $299 Nighthawk X6 (R8000) – AC3200 Tri-Band Wi-Fi Gigabit Router yesterday. Before digging into the specifics of the R8000 it is critical to understand what exactly the X6’s AC3200 actually means. Unlike the AC1750 and AC1900 class routers that preceded it the Nighthawk X6 has three discrete radios; one 2.4GHz and two 5GHz. The “3200” is the sum of total bandwidth (600 + 1300 + 1300) available across these radios, but it be made absolutely clear that two 5GHz radios are not bonded so each device that connects (even another X6 media bridge) will only have 1300Mbps (theoretical) available. That is not to say that this isn’t a useful feature, it actually solves a problem that I have experienced, just that it is important to understand what the technology actually offers. Full PR and more from our conversation after the click.

Jun 20 2014

News - D-Link Announces Wi-Fi Motion Sensor and an AC1900 Router

There must be something in the water at D-Link the last few weeks; their product announcements just keep rolling in. I certainly don't mean that as a complaint however. Choice is a good thing Smile. This time it's a $40 Wi-Fi enabled motion sensor which is part of their growing collection of wireless home automation (HA) devices. We have PR for that device (after the click), but strangely none for the "AC1900" wireless router also announced.

I must admit that I'm not a big fan of D-Link's move towards canister shaped routers, so it was pleasantly surprising to see that the DIR-880L 802.11AC returns to to the [more sensible] external antenna design. Which also makes it much easier to wall mount.

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