Tablo Takes TPN Award at CES

Tablo LogoDigital video recorders (DVRs) are commonplace but usually they’re integrated with a cable decoder. Tablo’s offering records OTA (over the air) HD broadcasts that are transmitted from local TV stations, free of charge. Still not excited? The Tablo can stream both live and record programs to any connected device including Android and Apple devices, and set-top boxes like the Roku or AppleTV. Now that’s cool.

The Tablo contains two tuners (with a four tuner option), so can record two broadcasts at once. There’s no built-in storage but there are 2 USB ports for external HDD units to provide whatever space is needed. It’s perfect for cord-cutters. I’d love to see this come to the UK too.

The Tablo is on pre-order for US$219 and will be available in February 2014.

Interview by Daniel J Lewis of The Audacity To Podcast and Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

Support our Show Sponsor:
30% off your new order @ GoDaddy: gnc30
1.49 .com New or Renewal geek149
$1.00 / mo WordPress Hosting with a free domain! Promo Code: press4
$1.00 / mo Economy Hosting with a free domain! Promo Code: geeks12
GoDaddy Promo Codes always save you money, check out my Promo Codes Today

PlayPlay

Omnimount Ergonomic TV Mounts

Omnimount Omnimount the maker of ergonomic furniture is now making ergonomic TV mounts. The Omnimount mount for TVs allows a television to be moved easily up, down, forward and backward. If you are sitting on the floor you can lower the TV so that you are not craning your neck  to watch it. The mount is also extendable so you can bring the TV closer to you. The mount can be extended out up to 28 inches. These mounts would be perfect for people who want to mount their television sets over their fireplace. The problem with this idea is that it leads to the viewer having to look up to watch it which is uncomfortable and unhealthy. With the Omnimount mount you can still place the TV over the fire-place and then bring it down when you want to watch it.

The mounts can handle monitors up to seventy pounds and come in various sizes. Mounts that handle smaller TV monitors are available now and those that can handle bigger monitors should be available soon at an MSRP of $449.00.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine.

Support our Show Sponsor:
30% off your new order @ GoDaddy: gnc30
1.49 .com New or Renewal geek149
$1.00 / mo WordPress Hosting with a free domain! Promo Code: press4
$1.00 / mo Economy Hosting with a free domain! Promo Code: geeks12
GoDaddy Promo Codes always save you money, check out my Promo Codes Today

PlayPlay

Sookbox

Sookbox Sookbox is a small box that will acts as a media server for your videos and music. This not only includes music on your local server, but also music that is stored in the cloud and on services such as Pandora or Spotify. The software includes an internet browser. You can access your Sookbox through an ip address from anywhere. The Sookbox includes four HDMI outputs, 16 analog audio outputs and 1.5 TB of storage capability. You can connect to your TVs and receivers either wired or wirelessly. The wireless connection works with a dongle that you connect to the TV. Everything is controlled through an app which will be available on Android or iOs. Sookbox is currently still in beta. The control has an open api and they are looking for developers.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine. and Daniel J. Lewis of the The Noodle.mx Network and the Audacity to Podcast

Support our Show Sponsor:
30% off your new order @ GoDaddy: gnc30
1.49 .com New or Renewal geek149
$1.00 / mo WordPress Hosting with a free domain! Promo Code: press4
$1.00 / mo Economy Hosting with a free domain! Promo Code: geeks12
GoDaddy Promo Codes always save you money, check out my Promo Codes Today

PlayPlay

Moving from Windows Media Center to Linux Media Center

When I first decided to put a computer in my home theater cabinet I wasn’t sure how much we would really use it.  After all, I wasn’t ready to give up DirecTV so I wasn’t concerned with the DVR functionality because there is no DirecTV tuner available.  What I wanted was to have all of our photographs viewable on the TV, our music (almost 100 GB) to be playable through our receiver and speakers, and our DVD’s to be ripped and placed in an easier-to-access location than a drawer.

Consequently, I bought a cheap used desktop (as in non-tower case) computer off of Ebay.  My first goal was price and my second was something that would sit on a shelf in the cabinet with the HD DVR, receiver, and the like.  Because I wasn’t sure how much we would use it, I went cheap – a Pentium 4 processor system.  I did some back-end upgrades when I received it – I added RAM and upgraded the video and sound cards to give it SPDIF audio out and DVI video out.  This got the video and audio into the A/V receiver via a SPDIF cable and a DVI to HDMI cable.  The system has been solid for two years running Windows 7 Ultimate, with Media Center set to open on Startup.  I have customized the software also – Media Center Studio is great for tweaking the WMC interface, and MyMovies is a much better DVD library than WMC’s built-in library.

The computer is now outdated – okay, maybe it was when I bought it – and we use it EVERY day.  I am faced with two options – buy a new computer or scale back the load on the existing one.  In the long run, I will be buying a new PC.  In the short term, however, I am considering scaling back the software – not the functionality, just the processor and memory intensive parts of it.  In fact, I will be adding functionality while my computer does less work to run it.

I stumbled on Linux Media Center a couple of years ago and was intrigued by it, but never took the plunge.  Since then I have checked back with their website periodically and watched it evolve.  I have marveled at the functionality it brings that isn’t present in Windows Media Center.  There’s control of the home security system, home automation, telephones, and more.  Sure, some of that can be added to Windows Media Center, but it’s added – not built-in.  And, in some cases, it will cost you.  Linux Media Center also comes with mobile apps for smartphone and tablet use, while WMC doesn’t.  There are unofficial WMC apps, like the MyRemote for Android, which I use, it’s not quite the same as a full-featured, fully-integrated app.

So, I am now contemplating taking that plunge that I have so long considered.  Over the next few days I will install Linux Media Center and will begin exploring and writing about what I encounter and what I like and don’t like.  In the meantime, I have posted a couple of random screenshots below and if you want more information, you can visit LinuxMCE.com.

Plex on the Roku

Plex is now on the Roku. If you follow me on Geeknews Central you know that I have a Roku XD|S and that I liked everything about it, except you couldn’t easily stream media from your internal network. There were ways but, they were complicated and unreliable. Well Plex just saved me $100 (the cost of an Apple TV). If you aren’t familiar with Plex it is a fork of XBMC and one of the best way to view your media on a Mac. I actually prefer it over Boxee for watching video. Boxee does have more channels and sharing options that Plex does not have, however I like the Plex UI better. Plus Plex is available on multiple devices, including all OS devices, Mac, PC and Android devices.  It is how I consume most of my media on my Mac and my iPad, including stuff I download from the itunes Store or from Amazon.

Well, this morning I woke up to a post on my feeds, that Plex had been added to the Roku. It is still in beta so you have to add it as a private channel. You do have to have the Plex media server running on a computer on the same network for this too work, Mac or PC, (sorry Linux) . Once you have added it to your Roku channel listing it will stream media that is on your Plex server. Right now it is only streaming video, but according to the Plex blog music and images are coming soon. When you first add Plex it does take sometime to update, so be patient. Once it updates it works fine. I finally have everything I want for now on my chosen media device the Roku XD|S. This makes me very happy, I hope that the Plex team continues to improve on this application. I think this is good for both Plex and Roku.

 

Microsoft Kinected Technologies Evening for Techsumers

Back with Microsoft for a more consumer oriented evening. This time it’s going to be Windows Media Centre, Home Server, Xbox, Kinect and more on the phones.

First up is Microsoft Home Server 2011 – every house should have one. As standard it’s a media server, dishing out photos, music and videos. Usual DLNA stuff.

Microsoft provides a remote site which in turn can connect to the home server across the Internet. Great if you travel and you need to get at your stuff.

But when you are at home, any PC can connect to the Home Server to configure. Normally the Windows Server works headlessly i.e. without a monitor, so this is how the Server is manager.

Great news – the Drive Extender feature is going to return in 2011 courtesy of a community plug-in which appears to be endorsed by Microsoft.

Not sure if this new news, but they’re saying here that a Nokia running Windows Phone 7 will be out before Christmas, perhaps in October.

A quick demo now using Sonos to play music.

Now it’s the turn of the Xbox and Kinect. He’s playing Kinect Sports. Everything’s been done waving his hand. Ok so it’s a game but the possibilities are there in say, sterile environments. No touch, no cross-infection.

They’re now showing off a Kinect controlling the cursor on a PC instead of a mouse. Flicking through a Powerpoint presentation with your hands rather than a controller.

A video of win&i is being shown – it’s a product from a German company which shows the Kinect interacting with various apps including Media Center and Google Earth.

Microsoft sees Kinect being built directly in TVs and monitors. Several OEMs already have plans (allegedly).

Windows Phone 7 integrates with Xbox Live, pulling in avatars, badges and messages.
The next generation of games will bring the phone together with the Xbox and Kinect. Imagine a game where one player is on the phone flicking footballs at a goal and the other player is on the Xbox and is the goalkeeper. He’s saving the footballs as seen by the Kinect. Tres cool.

That’s it for now! Goodnight.

VidaBox vCase3 $50 Coupon Deal

If you are a Home Theater PC fan then you probably know the name VidaBox.  They are a high-end manufacturer of HTPC’s, media servers, and accessories.  In addition to that they also sell a few components for DIYers.  One such component is the vCase3, which is a PC case that enthusiasts can use to build their dream system in.

The vCase3 is sleek component that fits perfectly into a media rack.  Despite it’s size it has space for 3 HDD’s which allows users to pack in up to 9 GB (by current standards).  The HDD storage is rubberized and suspended to cut down on noise.  The front panel contains 2 USB ports and a card reader.  It has space for a Blu-Ray drive (full size, not slim) and takes as standard ATX power supply.

The regular price is $239, but right now they are offering a coupon code that gives a $50 discount.  You can visit the vCase3 site and when purchasing the box use the coupon code SPRING11.

Orb: Getting Your Media Where You Want it

Orb

Tom Newman and Jeffery Powers interviewed Joe Costello CEO of Orb. The problem that Orb is attempting to solve is how to get your digital content to your TV and your stereo system. Mr. Costello talked about three solutions that Orb has developed. The first is the Orb music, you connect the Orb device to your receiver or speakers. Run the Orb Caster on your PC or Mac and stream your music collection from your music library to the your stereo. The second is Orb TV, which attaches to your TV and captures any media from your network.

Finally the newest solution Orb BR which uses a disc you put in a media live enabled blue-ray player that is connected to the same network where your media is. All Orb devices can be controlled through a smart phone The Orb Music player is available now for $69.00 the Orb TV is $99.00, the Orb BR should ship sometime in February for $20.00. All these devices not only stream the media on your network but also online media.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of The Geekazine Podcast. and Tom Newman of The Fogview Podcast.

Please Support our CES 2011 Sponsors.

Save 25% on 4GH Hosting 1yr Subscriptions Save 25% Promo Code CES2.

The Xi3 Modular Microcomputer

David Politis of Xi3 Microcomputers (http://xi3.org/) presents the Xi3 Modular Computer. It is an extremely small form factor and operates on only 20 watts of power, yet contains a dual-core AMD Athlon x86 processor operating at 2 gigahertz. The standard model ships with 2 gigabytes of DDR 2 RAM and 8 gigabytes of solid SSD solid state drive memory.

The Xi3 is revolutionary in several different respects. Not only is the unit as small as possible, the motherboard is broken down into three modular, replaceable components. Thus it becomes possible to upgrade to the latest technologies such as USB 3.0 once it becomes widely available in the near future or to higher-performance future CPU processors.

Imagine the Xi3 as the heart of a high-performance, low-engergy-drain, absolutely silent-running Media Center PC. Since it’s x86 architecture running on a dual-core processor on a high-performance SSD drive it can easily boot Windows 7 Ultimate in 30 seconds flat.

Why didn’t someone think of this before?

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of The Geekazine Podcast and Tom Newman of The Fogview Podcast.

Please Support our CES 2011 Sponsors

Get your 14 day Free Trial of Audible Gold to start Listening to great Books!
Save 25% on 4GH Hosting 1yr Subscriptions Save 25% Promo Code CES2.
Sponsor: The New Luxor, Las Vegas Deals Start @ $40.00 best rates guaranteed

Iomega TV with Boxee – Media Streamer and NAS

Iomega becomes the second manufacturer to offer a Boxee-based product with their brand new Iomega TV with Boxee. Available in two variants, one as a media streamer device with no storage, the other with up to 2TB of storage built-in. The devices also offer NAS features such as DLNA server, iTunes server and access to your Iomega Personal Cloud.

Available from late February at $229, $299 and $349 price points. You can register to be notified of availability at the link above.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

Please Support our CES 2011 Sponsors

Get your 14 day Free Trial of Audible Gold to start Listening to great Books!
Save 25% on 4GH Hosting 1yr Subscriptions Save 25% Promo Code CES2.