Archive for the 'Entertainment Area' Category

Slacker Radio come to Sonos wireless music systems

Logo
Sonos users now have another option for online radio called Slacker:

  • 10 times larger music catalog than Pandora
  • Only service to offer listening options ranging from Personal Radio to on-demand, allowing listeners to lean back and enjoy radio or lean forward to create playlists, hear entire albums and more
  • Offers a range of non-music content including personalized ESPN sports news, comedy, ABC News, festival stations with exclusive artist interviews, band/artist curated “Spotlight” stations and more
  • Offers over 150 custom genre stations hand programmed by expert DJs. DJ’s curation also influences listener-created custom stations

See the full press release after break. BTW, Logitech Squeezebox added support of Slacker Radio long time ago.
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Boxee Box will get LiveTV in January

Boxee LiveTV

Boxee team officially confirmed LiveTV feature. It’ll be available in January 2012 for US and Canada users Boxee Box only. PC version of Boxee won’t have such possibility. Also there is a clear explanation that PVR (Personal Video Recorder) functionality won’t be available. It’ll be truly Live TV without recording or pausing.

The main goal of LiveTV on Boxee Box is to replace many devices by only one and to bring a competitor of existing cable boxes and services. Boxee promises a good range of channels with reasonable price. And it’ll be really cool advantage to existing Boxee features – playback various media types from different sources and integration with online media and social services. Also Boxee Box LiveTV looks much better then any GoogleTV box.

As I already mentioned, the LiveTV will be available in January 2012. But LiveTV USB stick can be pre-ordered even now.

Remote control for modern HTPC and TV

PC-TV All in One

Recently I received to my mailbox a link to a very interesting remote control called PC-TV All in One. It has both IR and RF. IR is used to control TV while RF is needed to send commands to HTPC. Except navigation, numeric and playback hard keys, the remote control sports QWERTY keyboard and 360-degree Jog-ball mouse control. Not bad for thirty four bucks device.

The PC-TV All in One remote control will be ideal if you use just TV and HTPC with XBMC, Boxee, PLEX or LinuxMCE. It’ll make navigation through media library or online services. However if you have additionally cable box or AV receiver then you should find something else. Because PC-TV All in One supports only two devices. Also not sure then Jog-ball is good to control mouse. I use similar one in the iMON remote and would like to say the Gyration remote is much more handy. But the QWERTY keyboard is a big advantage. so, take it into account.

Boxee will get PVR support soon

Fibaro Z-Wave Mini-Module

Looks like Boxee is going to add PVR functionality very soon. It’ll use USB TV tuner to allow Boxee users watch, schedule, pause Live TV as well as navigate via EPG. Social features will be also available for that kind of media content. You’ll be able to share your favorite TV shows with your Boxee or Facebook friends.

XBMC which was and is a base for Boxee still doesn’t have PVR support. There is a way to watch and record live TV using VDR (yaVDR) or MythTV (MythBox). But it’d be nice to have a native PVR functionality. Let’s see how it’ll be implemented in Boxee. The PVR release should be launched soon. But now let’s watch a short demo video of Live TV setup under the Boxee after break.
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Griffin’s Beacon universal remote for Android

Griffin's Beacon universal remote

There are plenty of possibilities to use iOS devices to control AV equipment. But there is not such abundance for Android platform. So, Griffin tries to change that situation launching its Beacon universal remote control system for Android. It costs like iOS version – $69.99 and includes hardware and software parts. To communicate with IR transmitter it uses Bluetooth and not WiFi. I like that approach because consumers don’t need WiFi access point to use this system.

Additionally to ordinary features of universal remote control Beacon offers integrated guide to browse, search and call up TV shows. But I suspect it’ll work only in US and Canada, where all digital channels have EPG. In any case I like the Griffin’s Beacon universal remote for Android. Good stuff indeed.

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