Archive for June, 2009

Networked media tank with opensource firmware

Mvix Ultio

New networked media tank (NMT) Mvix Ultio has a standard set of interfaces and services as any other NMT – support of all known media types and codes, playback Full HD, possibility to play media content from local HDD, USB storage and network shares, offering Samba server, torrent and UPnP AV clients. The player can be connected to the LAN via Ethernet or WiFi (needs USB adapter). Even the price is more or less the same – $170 for diskless device and $260 including 1TB HDD. But there is one big advantage of Mvix Ultio over the rest NMT – its firmware is opensource. So, developers can download them, build new image with some additional features, send it to the producer and get $500! Not bad, isn’t?

Taking into account how is popular router ASUS WL-500g because enthusiasts can build custom image using its opensource firmware we can predict the good success of Mvix Ultio.

[via eHomeUpgrade]

RF Wireless Multimedia Tiny Keyboard for HTPC

USB 2.4Ghz RF Wireless Multimedia Tiny Keyboard

I thought about buying wireless compact keyboard for my LinuxMCE hybrid server a long time ago. Something like that illuminated keyboard. And finally I bought RF Wireless Multimedia Tiny Keyboard. It’s really light and small. Also it has a big advantage over the illuminated keyboard – a trackball and mouse buttons. I was scare a bit about supporting of that features in Linux. But the keyboard started working properly right after paring with adaptor.

Another cool feature – switching off mouse to save battery. Personally I use mouse very rarely. So, that possibility is very helpful for me. I think that the RF Wireless Multimedia Tiny Keyboard is very good addition to Windows or Linux based HTPC.

A big update of Boxee

boxee logo

Two days ago Boxee released a big update. First of all the Windows version is a public now. So, Windows users can now try it without invitation. At the same time the user interface was changed a bit. The navigation know is more streamlined – local and Internet media are separated clearly. The latest update brought a Full HD possibility for Ubuntu users. Boxee supports VDPAU. So, nVidia owners can play 1080p without having strong processor.

Together with changes above a few new services were added to the Boxee. Partnership with Major League Baseball will allow to watch thousands of baseball games, live and on-demand in HD (where available), paused and rewind them (DVR functionality). Also Boxee users can try Digg for TV, Tumblr and current_. Nice to see that Boxee growing fast in the right direction.

Don’t forget about possibility to create Boxee extensions using its API. A lot of interesting ones were released During Dev Challenge – DropBoxee, We Are Hunted, Facebook Photos, BBC Live, OpenCourseWare and more. Check them!

Next generation of Logitech Squeezebox

Logitech Squeezebox Touch

It seems that next generation of Logitech Squeezebox will have4.3-inch color touchscreen to control music playback. Not sure that this is a real device because there is no any word on the Logitech’s site about such product (remember, the same situation was with its Squeezebox Boom). But I like that conception. More over, according to tentative spec, Logitech Squeezebox Touch will support host USB to playback music directly from the flash-drive. The rest specification includes:

  • Audio formats: MP3, FLAC, WAV, AIFF, WMA, Ogg Vorbis, AAC, Apple Lossless, WMA Lossless, APE, MPC and WavPack supported through transcoding
  • Support for MP3, Ogg Vorbis, and WMA formatted Internet Radio streams Wireless interface
  • True 802.11g wireless networking
  • One-touch setup (with compatible WPS-supporting routers)
  • Support WPA Personal, WPA-2AES, and 64/128-bit WEP encryption Ethernet interface
  • Connects to any 100 Mbps or 10 Mbps network (with Auto MDX)
  • USB host connector for accessing music and photos via USB drive or USB key
  • SD card slot for music and photos
  • Supports sampling rates up to 24 bit / 96 kHz
  • Stereo analog (RCA), headphone jack, digital optical, and digital coax output
  • 4.3-inch 24-bit color LCD with capacitive touch screen
  • Ambient light sensor to adjust display brightness according to environment
  • Infrared proximity sensor to detect presence

The price of Logitech Squeezebox Touch is about €330. Will wait for official Logitech announcement.

[via Zatz Not Funny]

SmartUnity AudioMultiRoom application


SmartUnity announced its new product – AudioMultiRoom application which will help you to create PC-based multiroom system with up to 12 independent zones. It offers following functionality:

  • Supports up to 12 USB sound cards
  • Auto detects sound card and creates an independent stereo-zone
  • Supports Windows Media Player library (playlists, artists, covers etc.)
  • API to work via TCP/IP interface (volume control, navigation, lists, status etc.)
  • You can create your own Windows user interface using Microsoft Blend and AudioMultiRoom dll for Microsoft Blend
  • Apple iPhone client (in development)

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