HSTi‘s Wireless Media Stick is a Wifi dongle that converts almost anything that can read USB storage into a media streamer. Instead of reading files direct from the disk, the files from network shares are read as if they were local.
It’s perhaps easier if you think of an example. Let’s say you’ve got a PVR or DVD player that has a USB port into which you can plug a memory stick and play .mp4s or .avis. You have to go upstairs, turn on your PC, figure out what movies or video you want to watch, wait for them to be copied over to the memory stick, trot downstairs and plug it in.
With HSTi’s Media Stick, you leave the Stick in the PVR and the files in shared directories appear as if they were plugged in locally. Select the one you want to watch as normal and the file is streamed over your wireless network to the PVR. Much easier.
The Media Stick is basically a wireless bridge with an SMB client built-in and it doesn’t do anything much beyond that. So there’s no video transcoding or anything fancy like that. But it potentially has lots of uses – you could use it to transfer digital photos to a USB-enabled picture frame.
v2 costs $119 and is shipping worldwide now.
HSTi has also introduced at CES an Android app that streams media from the smartphone to the Media Stick, making it very easy to show photos or videos stored in the phone on a TV or PC. Apparently Blackberry and iOS versions are being developed as well. Available from the Android Market at the end of January.
“We all create memories, and document our experiences with our smartphones. They do a great job of consolidating our lives into one device. But when it comes to sharing it back from our phone, options are limited,” says Ramesh Uppal, HSTi President and CEO. “People want to share their experiences, whether its photos or videos from a trip, or just music selections. The Wireless Media Stick is the natural extension of their smartphone or tablet making it a must-have accessory for everyday life.