Category Archives: Media

Nuvo Tech introduces a new wireless home audio system



Nuvo Tech is known for high-end, professionally installed home audio systems. Now the company is making a move to become more friendly to the masses with a wireless, consumer-based home audio system to compete with devices like Sonos.

The new setup is not weak either — it can simultaneously stream to up to 16 different locations. To do this, the system uses a dual-WiFi system with antennae. There are two different models of players, depending on the wattage you want. The higher-end version also has bluetooth for streaming content from a phone or tablet. The base station plugs directly into your router.

Prices start at $199 and head up, depending on the setup you want. For more information you can watch the video below and also head over to Nuvo Technologies.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network and by Don Baine, the Gadget Professor

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Popcornflix



Popcorn FlixPopcornflix is an ad-supported free streaming feature-length movie platform. They stream independent movies. The ads run about every 8–10 minutes. They are careful to make the user experience the best they can, streaming the movies at the highest quality available.

Popcornflix is available on the Roku, Bravia, iOs platforms including iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch and online through a browser. Popcornflix is one of the fastest growing app on the Roku with over 700,00 downloads in just a 9 month period. They are working out contracts with other platforms included connected TVs.

Screen Media Ventures is the parent company which is a traditional movie distributor. They are self financed and have built their own apps. Working out contracts and building a separate apps  for each platform is one of the biggest problem that Popcornflix has to deal with.

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

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Play on Roku app for iPhone, Android updated



Roku introduced its mobile app for iPhone and Android a while back, allowing owners of the handy little set top boxes to stream pictures and music from their smartphone to the entertainment device. Customers can also use the app to browse and add channels and control their devices with a remote control feature.

Now the company has rolled out an update to its mobile apps that adds even more functionality. According to Roku’s Tom Markworth this update “adds music shuffle and repeat options for Play on Roku.” He went on to elaborate that “You can now create on-the-fly playlists of your favorite artists with the “All Songs” view on the artist screen. Additionally, we fixed several bugs related to music and photo playback on Play on Roku in both versions of the app.”

If you have either a Roku 2, Roku LT or theRoku HD player then uou can get the iOS version here and the Android version here. The new app is version 2.1. If you already had it installed then you should get the update automatically.


TV by Apple-A Rant



Sometime this week, if not today there has been a rumor published about the imaginary TV that Apple is building. Most of these reports are assuming the new TV by Apple is a done deal and it is just a matter of time. From the time these rumors started the question that has run through my brain has been why?

I am really not looking for a TV made by Apple. I have no doubt that Apple has the technical know how to make an awesome TV, including retina display and Siri integration. That is not where the problem lies, the problem lies as always with content. Apple somehow has to convince the various content providers to allow their content to be used. Something that Google has been unable to do with the Google TV. Let say they get the content providers to agree to an arrangement, that is just the first problem. Then they have to get the content to the consumer through cable companies like Comcast, which has already shown that they will favor those who have an agreement with them over independent content. Third, it will have to convince consumers that purchasing a new HD panel is worth it. A panel which will probably be over 1,000 dollars if Apple’s history is any indicator.

Instead of creating a whole new TV, I wish Apple would improve the Apple TV they already have. They need to open it up to more third-party video platforms like Plex or XMBC. That way I could watch content not only from providers such as PBS or Aljazerra or HBO Go, but also live streaming from Ustream, Justin TV or YouTube to name a few. Second open up the platform to games and allow third-party vendors to create wireless controllers. Yes, I know a lot of this can be accomplished by jail breaking the Apple TV, but I shouldn’t have to do that. Plus if you do jail break the Apple TV, than you are always in this constant game with Apple. They do an update and you have to wait for the new jailbreak to come out, they do another update and it’s another jailbreak and on and on.

I know I am probably wrong the current Apple TV will continue to remain what it has always been for Apple just a hobby and this fall just in time for the holiday season, there will be an Apple TV monitor for sale in the Apple Store. The Apple pundits will write about it like it is the next coming.  I and all the other Mac fans will be drooling over it, wishing we could afford it.  Meanwhile the hobby which could be so much more will continue to be ignored, I just wish it wasn’t so.


Google Hangouts Live Opening to the Public



Google Hangout Live One of the problems that Google Hangout has it is limited to 10 people and you can’t record or embed it on your Web site or YouTube. Over the next couple of weeks Google is going to open up Google Hangout Live, which was being tested by a limited number of users to the public in countries around the world. Now you can do a hangout and have any number of people watch it live. There is also an embed code so you can have people watch the videos live directly from your Web site or your YouTube account. This will allow people who aren’t part of Google + or even Google to watch the video live. The videos will also be recorded and upload to your YouTube channel and to your Google+ post. In order to start a hangout on air yourself you do have to agree to the terms of services. This will link your Google + account with your YouTube channel.

If you are on Google+ you can see what hangouts are live and you can watch by click on the Google Hangout symbol on the left. The top group are the hangouts that available to watch. It also has a list of hangouts that you can join and participate in. So far the ones I have started to watch have not had any commercials, the question is whether this will continue. If it does then this could be a big blow to sites like Justin TV and Ustream.

It will be interesting to see how this works as more and more people start using it. One problem I see already is that some Google Hangouts that are going live, may not be work place or family friendly. I am not sure how to solve this problem. Also although Google Hangouts Live has opened up around the world, it is still limited to a small group of countries and China is not one of them, although it is available in Hong Kong.


Spotify Available on the iPad



Today, May 2 Spotify released a new app for the iPad. It is available in the iTunes App Store. In order to use the app you have to be a Premium member, which is $9.99 a month. The premium membership allows you to access Spotify on a mobile device. It is a beautiful app and very easy to use.

When you first open it you have to sign in using either your Spotify account (if you have one) or your Facebook account. The first page you will see is the What’s New Page. On the left hand side are Search, What’s New, Inbox, Playlists, People. These option are available on all screens.

Whats New
 

At the bottom of the screen is the song you are playing. To see the album art in full screen you simply tap on the arrows next to the album art icon. Then if you want to star the song, share it or find out more details about it, just tap on the album and then the options are listed below it. To go to the next song on the playlist swipe up, for previous song swipe down. To go back to the main page tap on the black section of the screen and hit the hide button.

On the People tab you can click on the person icon and see their top tracks, top artist and published play list. If you tap on an artist it will open up a tab on the right hand side of the screen and show; related artist, the artist top hits, their albums and singles. To close the tab simply swipe right. Under the setting’s tab you can control offline mode, crossfade, gapless playback and whether you want to make the session private or public.

The one thing I noticed was when I uninstalled and then reinstalled the application, the people’s faces I was following no longer showed up under the People tab. There was just a grey profile with a number underneath. If you tap on the grey profile, on some of them the name would appear, but on others nothing would happen. It appears the names would appear only if the person had published a playlist. If you have a lot of friends who publish playlist this can get a little annoying. To fix this problem I powered down my iPad completely and than power it back on again and the pictures were back.  Other then that small annoyance I really like the Spotify app for the iPad. It is beautiful and highly intuitive. If you have a premium account I highly recommend downloading it.


The NAB Show was a Success



NAB Show The National Broadcast Association (NAB) show ran from April 14-April 19 in Las Vegas and Geek News Central was there to cover it. The NAB is a lobbying or advocacy association for America’s broadcaster. It works to advance the interest of radio and television in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. It also works to educate and promote innovation so that broadcasters can better serve their community. The NAB continues to support traditional media while embracing the changes that new media is bringing.

The NAB show is the largest electronic media show, unlike the Consumer Electronic Show(CES) which concentrates on consumer products, NAB is a show set up for the professional who works in media behind the scene. The initial numbers from the show are starting to come in and despite a still slow economy it appears the NAB show was a success. They had a 10 percent increase in size over 2011. There were 1,600 exhibitors with 815,000 net square feet of exhibit space used compared to 1,550 exhibitors and 745,000 net square space used in 2011. There were over 92,1112 registered attendees with 24,928 coming from outside the US representing over 151 countries.

The NAB show is where you see the equipment that makes the movies, television shows and radio that you watch or listen to better. NAB will be back in 2013 and I am sure Geek News Central will be there to cover it.


What is the Future of Television



New Tek At the NAB show New Tek had a panel Broadcast Minds: The Future of Television with Leo Laporte of TWIT.TV,  Kevin Pollak, Award winning Actor and Comedian, Jeff Jacobs, Vice President, Production Planning, Strategic Initiatives & Business Operations of the MTV Music Group,  Bill Chapman, Vice President of Creative Development/Emerging Technologies of Turner Studios and Jeff Hawley, Director, Customer Experience Group. Yamaha Corporation of America. They discussed the future of television and media, if you are interested in media and where it is going you need to watch it. Among the areas they discussed are:

  • The importance of live streaming as an event.
  • People need to feel like they are a part of a community.
  • Engaging the viewer on the various platforms they are on.
  • Creative people are only limited by their own imagination.
  • Creativity drives technology and vice a versa.
  • Anyone can build an on-demand library of content.
  • The ability to store and send big data is a major cost concern.
  • Social Media has become an integral part of the whole process from creation to distribution.

This should only be the start of this dialog and it needs to continue both online and off.

Wal-mart and Movies in the Cloud



Ultraviolet This past week Wal-Mart announced exclusive disk to digital service using Vudu. The way it works is the consumer would bring down his or her DVDs or Blu-ray discs to their local Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart would then create a digital copy of that disc on Vudu.  Vudu is a content delivery network which is available through over 300 devices including PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. This is the first attempt to introduce the UltraViolet system to the public on a large-scale. The Ultraviolet system works like a locker in the cloud . It was created in 2008 by most major Hollywood studios and their partners . Consumers store the digital rights to the DVDs they own in this locker. They then can watch the movie on any device that carries Vudu. The UltraViolet system can handle a multiple number of DRM technologies, which Hollywood continues to support. However so far consumers have not looked favorably upon the UltraViolet system so this is the first really big test to see if this system can work or not.

I see several problems with this system the first is that you physically have to bring your DVDs or Blu-ray disc down to local Wal-Mart and stand in line, how many people are going to do this. The second is it does not work with all movies in fact any movie distributed by Disney cannot be added. Disney is not a part of the UltraViolet consortium. Third you can’t watch the movie on a iPad or iPhone,(except in the Safari browser) remember Steve Jobs was on the Disney board and iTunes is a competitor to Vudu.  Fourth you are putting it in a locker that someone else controls, Which means at any time they can change the combination or take away the key or close the whole system down and you have no say in it. Also you don’t get any of the extras and no subtitles on English films. Fifth most movies especially older ones are already available through other means such as Netflix or Amazon or iTunes often at a cheaper rate. Sixth if you want to watch the movie on your computer it will be in standard definition, not full HD. Finally most sophisticated users already have ways to rip their DVD’s without having to carry them down to the local Wal-Mart and stand in line. I will be surprise if this is successful, sophisticated tech users will not use it and normal will not understand or trust it. I wonder if Wal-Mart will offer this automatically when you purchase a new DVD or BLu Ray, that may help add to its popularity.  Will you use this system, will your parents, or is dead before it gets off the ground?


Panashiba AIO-101



AIO-101How many of you have a docking station for your iPhone and than a separate one for your iPad. I bet many of you are raising your hands. That is the trouble with a lot of iPad or iPhone docks they will dock one or the other, but not both.  Until the AIO-101 by Panashiba.  The AIO-101 by Panashiba allows you to dock and charge either the iPad or theiPhone/iPod Touch. It has an FM radio and an alarm clock. It is also Bluetooth capable which allows you to use it with any Bluetooth capable phone to make hands free calls. It also has a usb port and an SD card slot, On the back of the device there are three HDMI inputs, where you can connect any HDMI capable device including a blu ray player or a video camera just to name a few. There is also an HDMI output which you can use to connect to any HDTV. You can then either watch the video on the large screen TV or on your Ios device depending on your situation.

Panashiba hopes to have this device available in the US soon and will run around $165.00. It looks like a pretty nice device, with a lot of capabilities. I would love to see how well it is made and if it works as well as advertised.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine

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