Physical DVD and Blu-ray collections may soon be a thing of the pastthe trend is clearly toward streaming movies from online sources. Walmart and the Hollywood movie studios know this, and they've responded by announcing the Walmart "Disc-to-Digital" service. I've been focusing on streaming media for a number of years, and I'm extremely excited about this forward movement by retailers and Hollywood movie studios.
Price: $99 At A Glance: Great picture and sound quality • Wi-Fi-enabled • Clean, easy-to-use menus • Variety of streaming content services • Quirky difficulties with file indexing
The WD TV Live streaming media player has much in common with its predecessor, the WD TV Live Hub. When the WD TV Live Hub came out, I thought it was the best network media player and streamer on the market. It has a clean menu system; can play movies, music, and photos on my home network, and simply works.
A media controller is not a device or a physical remote control. You can’t go to the store and buy a media controller. "Media Controller" is a DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) certification. Part of a home network streaming media solution, the media controller finds photos, music and movies on connected media servers, and sends (pushes) the media file to an enabled media player, Smart TV or other streaming device. Typically you’ll find that a media controller is an app on a smartphone, tablet or computer.
Media renderer is another Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) certification that is part of the home network streaming experience. It can play videos, photos and music that are sent to it from a media controller. I know of no devices that are exclusively media renderers. Typically the ability to accept media files is a feature of media streaming device.
In the world of digital media, there’s no doubt that you have downloaded movies and/or music, and saved digital photos to your computer. Now you want to watch them on your TV and home theater. Before you can stream the movies, music or photos from your computer, networked external hard drive, or network attached storage (NAS) drive, the media player must first find the sources—“see” the device where you have saved your media files. The computer or device where your files are saved is called a “media server.”
While home theater enthusiasts may not have given much thought to routers and other home network devices in the past, it’s time we started to pay attention. Whether we are streaming a high definition movie from Vudu, or everyone in the house wants to stream to their own TVs, the router must be able to handle the demand. Netgear, Linksys, D-Link, and Belkin all showed new routers that are capable of streaming several high definition mov
Price: $300-$400 At a Glance: Streams from online providers and networked home computers • Kinect voice and gesture command work well • Excellent video and audio quality
Unless you've been living in an isolated compound in Abadabad, Pakistanand perhaps even if you haveyou know that the Microsoft Xbox 360 is a top-ranked video-game console. However, you might not know that it's also a media streamer with access to oodles of online content. In fact, with all the streaming devices, TVs, and connected Blu-ray players I have in my house at any given time, my first go-to player is the Xbox 360. Not only does it have all my favorite streaming services, its Kinect voice and gesture control appeals to my tendency to be lazy.
Xbox 360 launches new SmartGlass app for smartphones and tablets and updates Bing search. The combination make the video game console one of the best media streaming experiences available for home theater.