Apple’s AirPlay is the most exciting addition to iOS since multitasking, and it’s ready to make the audio market boom with supported devices. Although choice is limited at the moment, with AirPlay being a new standard from Apple, there are a number of great speaker systems already announced and coming to the market within the next few months – you can find some compatible speakers on the market right now – so if you’d like to join me, I’m going to run down what I think are the five best systems available now or in the near future!
When the AirPort Express was released back in 2004, it represented Apple’s first steps in to the world of streaming content around the house. Many people who own an AirPort Express don’t think to use it for its ‘AirTunes’ capabilities, but every AirPort Express comes with a 3.5mm audio output port for connecting a sound system. With this in place, users can choose to output their music from iTunes to the AirPort Express, as opposed to the computer the music is being played from.
AirPlay is an extension of this system, allowing video and audio content from your Mac OS X or iOS 4.3 device to be played on Apple TVs or speakers around the house completely wirelessly on your local network. Let’s say you’ve set up a few AirPlay speakers around the house. You have your computer in the home office, with wireless speakers located in the bedroom, kitchen and living room. You can start listening to an album of music or a podcast on iTunes, and then hit the AirPlay button in the corner of the screen to bring up all of the speakers that are connected to your network. [Read more…]
Amazon has today announced that it has reached an agreement to swallow up all remaining shares of movie rental and streaming company LoveFilm.
It’s really that simple from our point of view, but obviously from a business perspective on their side of the fence it’s a great deal more complicated, although in truth we don’t need to get into that, we can leave it for the experts.
We recently saw news of LoveFilm movie streaming coming to the PS3 here in the UK – much like the US-based service, NetFlix, which operates an entirely similar service to LoveFilm in the US.
With the impending release of both the new Apple TV and the Boxee Box, the ability to stream your media around your home is becoming an ever-simpler task. Well, far be it from Sony to hang around when a hot new trend comes around, so they’ve come up with their own device to access web content and media accessible on your home network, and as always with Sony, its name is slightly more ambiguous than some of its rivals.
The SMP-N100 Network Media Player is a simple device really in terms of what it achieves, and really it won’t offer anything over and above its rivals when it comes to features, but the way I see it, it’s not what it offers, but how.
The hotly anticipated, much-discussed and sort of exciting Project Canvas is now on it’s way to market under a new name. The new set-top box offering the best the UK has to offer in Internet TV has now been confirmed and is to be named YouView.
The necessity for an extra set-top box may be a little off putting to some, with many calling for it to be integrated fully into your TV set, however the functionality it brings is much greater than that of a standard or HD Freeview set top box alone.
So what is YouView? Well, we haven’t really covered much on the topic of Project Canvas before here on Zath, mostly because there was nothing concrete to report, however now we have the full story I feel it’s now time to share the love of IPTV on a set top box.
Great new products are coming thick and fast out of the LaCie headquarters over the past couple of weeks; first with the new Rikiki Go external drive followed by the inclusion of USB 3.0 in Rikiki Go and Minimus hard drives. Now however, the company has decided to briefly move away from all the wires, be they USB 2.0 or 3.0, with the announcement of the new LaCie Wireless Space.
Aesthetically, the product is in line with LaCie’s current range of home entertainment devices and a couple of external hard drive enclosures, being designed by Neil Poulton. Being predominantly a glossy black finish with a glowing blue, LED lit, front end, in fact it looks very much like the LaCie LaCinema Classic HD — 1080p Home Media Center Server – all in all it’s an extremely sleek device, as is usually the case with LaCie, and will look good in pretty much any home I’m sure.
After Apple’s press event last week, I was left pondering over the new and refreshed Apple TV, and what it means for the future of living rooms. Will it prove to be another insanely popular Apple device, or will it wilt like the original model did?
There isn’t any doubt that Apple’s new approach will certainly cater to some people. Being able to rent all the TV and movies that you want without worrying about storage is an attractive proposition, but there is one major problem to this new model, and that is for those of us who do have a lot of video files stored on external hard drives or other media.
I’ve said quite a few times in the past that I enjoy using my media centre, in fact, I did a whole series of articles on the topic earlier in the year. The only problem with media centres in general, however, is the fact that you need a separate box to your TV, which of course joins your Sky HD / Virgin set top box, sound system, and other goodies hidden away under your TV set.
Fortunately, it appears that LG and Plex may have come to one hell of a solution to our little problem, in signing an agreement that will bundle Plex with future LG televisions, no box required.
There is that one more thing we were looking for! Apple have just announced their brand new Apple TV at their September event. So what is it packing? Quite a lot, actually!
The new Apple TV is a quarter of the size that the original model was, which means it’s absolutely tiny. Around the back of the Apple TV, things are super simple, with just a power adaptor, HDMI connection, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi, too.
Aesthetically, the box looks great, with a black case and not much to speak of round the rear. For people looking for simplicity, you can’t really beat this! [Read more…]
Just a quick reminder for everyone that missed our earlier memo: Apple are holding their annual September event TOMORROW, is Wednesday 1st September.
So, what are we going to see? There are few things that are certain at any Apple event, but here’s my rundown of a few things that I think may see the light of day tomorrow.
Touch Screen iPod Line Up
Let us re-assess the current iPod situation. There’s the iPod Shuffle, which is small, screenless, and a hit with gym dwellers throughout the nation. Then we have the insanely popular iPod Nano, which comes in more colours than you could imagine, alongside the iPhone-like iPod Touch (3G), which is closing the gap between music and phone in each generation.