Tag Archives: Cutting the cord

Warpia Wireless Media Streaming Adapters Now At BestBuy.com

“Cut the cord.” in the hospital it means one thing but at home, in your living room, it refers to something completely different. With the amount of content readily available on the internet these days lots of people are fed up with enormous cable bills and have decided to end their service, relying solely on the videos they find online, thus “cutting the cord.”

Services like Hulu Plus, Netflix and Vudu only make it easier but running cables from your PC to a TV is just a pain — trust me, I know. On top of that, going all-out and buying a PC specifically to feed your home theater really isn’t an option for most of us. That’s where Warpia, and their recent deal with Best Buy, comes in.

Their wireless display adapters, the StreamHD and Wireless USB PC-to-TV adapter, provide a simple and easy way to stream any content you find on the web straight to your TV. Neither device restricts any content or web page, they both simply mirror your PC’s display and put it on your TV screen — sounds simple right? It is!

Both products come with a wireless USB dongle for your PC and a base station that connects to your TV. Both have HDMI ports for HD video but, the cheaper USB PC-to-TV model only supports 720p resolution while the StreamHD delivers full 1080p HD madness. They both come with an HDMI cable and an SPDIF optical audio cable — which is awesome — and Warpia says they’ll stream from up to 30-feet away!

The StreamHD will cost a pretty penny at about $170 but, that’s a lot cheaper than a HTPC, not to mention months upon months of cable bills. The Wireless USB PC to TV adapter is a little cheaper coming in at $130 and both are available at BestBuy.com.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what each product provides…

StreamHD $169.99
Full 1080p (1920 x 1280) HD video
5.1-channel surround sound
HDMI cable
SPDIF audio cable
Wireless USB Dongle for PC
Video Base station for TV and power supply

Wireless PC-to-TV Media Adapter $129.99
720p HD video
16-bit stereo sound
HDMI cable
SPDIF audio cable
Wireless USB Dongle for PC
Video Base station for TV and power supply

Will GoogleTV Be The Winner In The Long Run?

The recent introduction of GoogleTV by Logitech and Sony has generated a lot of hype.  At the moment I am not so sure that it deserves it.  It’s nice and it looks useful, but I can do more with my HTPC and I don’t necessarily think it’s better than Roku or the upcoming Boxee Box.  And the Logitech box is pricey at $299 and Sony’s TV’s are going to be pricey as well.

But, I wonder about it down the road if Google chooses to really pursue it.  Let’s face it, they do drop things all the time as if they just lost interest.  But I doubt that GoogleTV will go that way.  There are too many partners and too much at stake.  All of the talk these days surrounds online TV and cord-cutting.  This is the future of entertainment and there are a lot of companies who want to control it – and none is more powerful than Google.

What I find interesting about Google’s play here is that, while companies like Roku build a box with apps, Google is creating a platform.  They aren’t building a box.  They created a platform to power everyone else’s boxes and other types of devices.  Logitech can make a box and Sony can make TV’s and Blu-Ray players, and Dish can make a box and they can all use Google’s platform.

One interesting thing I noticed was GoogleTV’s lack of support for tuner cards.  At first glance I thought it was an oversight or that maybe they were still working on it and it would come in an update.  But, after further thought, I am not so sure of that.  Do they want to try and force the revolt from traditional delivery?  Force the content to go online so that the cord becomes obsolete?  Maybe.  After all, why else would they not support tuners?  It would seem a no-brainer to try and get into cable company DVR’s.  But I can’t find anything that suggests the support will be coming.  And they have to realize that, while the crowd who visits sites like this may not mind having a DVR and separate box like GoogleTV, a large portion of the population doesn’t want two boxes and many won’t even understand the need.  Obsoleting DVR’s and forcing everyone online where everything will be on-demand certainly would be good for Google’s business…

Prices drop, sometimes quickly, once a new technology is out, so the initial prices of these offerings from Logitech and Sony aren’t a real concern to me.  For now I am happy with my current setup.  But I know big changes in media consumption are coming and I think building a platform may be the smarter bet in the long run.  The battle for our living rooms is heating up and it’s going to be fun to watch this fight unfold.