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Barb Gonzalez

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Filed under
Barb Gonzalez Posted: Jan 10, 2014 0 comments
With Sony’s One Flick Entertainment menu, finding something you want to watch is as easy as flicking back and forth (or up and down) through the list of services
Filed under
Barb Gonzalez Posted: Sep 29, 2013 0 comments
The ReQuest media server and media player system has added a new 3D media player and has improved it web-based controller for easier discovery and playback of movies.
Filed under
Barb Gonzalez Posted: Sep 27, 2013 5 comments
Two-year old RipWave has come out with the ultimate media streaming machine. Not only can it rip your Blu-rays and DVDs to its hard drive, you can add a cable card or off-air antenna and use its hard drives as a DVR. It can also stream videos from most any video streaming website using the PlayOn server or stream to other devices using the Plex DLNA server.

Models names follow the surf theme. They are offering a dedicated movie player model, the Tsunami for $2000. The media player line can also play music and photos and includes the Stingray with 3 to 12 TB of storage, the Barracuda, and the Orca with 9 TB up to 30 TB of storage. The software menus are as impressive as the hardware features. Users can choose from a number of graphic menus from a carousel to a grid to extensive information about a movie that displays metadata from 7 different sources. The menu options make it one of the truly intuitive devices as each user can choose the view that is easiest for them to use.

The Ripwave is the best media server I've seen yet. Let's see if it performs as well as its first impression.

Barb Gonzalez Posted: Dec 16, 2011 9 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $99 At A Glance: Vastly improved picture quality • More responsive, motion-sensitive, Bluetooth remote • Tiny footprint • Wide variety of content providers

Roku has released its newest generation of media streamers, including the top-of-the-line Roku 2 XS player. Perhaps you haven't given Roku much thought as a serious addition to your home theater. Its earlier models gave more attention to the quantity of media-streaming partners than to the quality of the pictures they were streaming. The Roku 2 XS may change your mind as it changed mine.

Barb Gonzalez Posted: Jul 15, 2013 Published: Jan 31, 2014 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $100

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Remote control with headphone jack
Global movie title search
Zippy processor for quick navigation and search
Minus
Can only be connected via HDMI

THE VERDICT
Performance improvements and a new interface make streaming easy and keep Roku ahead of the competition.

Where other companies that make media players seem stuck in endless delays in the release of new models, it seems that Roku rolls out a new option every few months. I’m not complaining. Its newest release, the Roku 3, is my favorite so far. I use a Roku box with my bedroom TV because my tech-challenged partner can easily understand how to navigate its menus. Roku 3 has now added a headphone jack in the remote that mutes the TV when you plug into it. No longer do I have to endure listening to explosions, gunshots, and car-chase scenes while I’m trying to fall asleep. Performance improvements plus a new interface and box design continue to keep Roku ahead of its competition.

Filed under
Barb Gonzalez Posted: Jan 10, 2012 2 comments
Roku showed a network media player that is simply a large dongle that connects directly to your TV set. Shrinking the already small Roku 2 design even more, the new device doesn’t reduce the content or experience.

The Roku dongle will connect to an HDMI port on your TV. It will not come with its own remote. Instead, once connected, you can use the TV remote to navigate the Roku’s home screen, channels and to control playback.

Barb Gonzalez Posted: Mar 22, 2013 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Price: $100 At a Glance: Small stick connects directly to HDMI input on TV • Same menus and channels as full-sized Roku Box • No additional power connection; requires MHL-enabled TV

That Roku box is shrinking…again. The Roku Stick looks like a thumb drive and is only about 3 inches long. For the most part, it provides the same experience as the standard Roku boxes—same menus, same performance. But to use one, you’ll need an MHL-enabled TV or other device.

Barb Gonzalez Posted: Aug 28, 2014 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
PRICE $50

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Direct HDMI connection to most TVs
Extensive content options
Suggested videos and apps on home screen
Remote with direct access to Netflix, M-Go, Amazon Instant Video, and Blockbuster

Minus
Music stops when navigating away from channel
Long start-up time
No option to group channels by category

THE VERDICT
The great features of a Roku box in a stick for half the price.

The second Roku Streaming Stick (HDMI version) is a fit-in-your-pocket HDMI dongle that is basically a Roku box on a stick. Where the previous Roku Streaming stick worked only with TVs that have an MHL (Mobile High Definition Link) HDMI port, the new Roku is compatible with most TVs’ standard HDMI connections. As with its predecessors, the Roku HDMI is easy to use and offers more than 1,700 channels (that is, apps). Notably, these now include apps that stream from pretty much any video source you can think of—the usual online streaming services, plus your home network media libraries, or live TV and recorded DVR recorded content using Simple.tv or a Slingplayer channel.

Filed under
Barb Gonzalez Posted: Aug 20, 2014 0 comments
TV manufacturers are getting ready to release a new Smart TV powered by the Roku platform. And they promise it goes well beyond adding Roku Stick to a TV.
Filed under
Barb Gonzalez Posted: Jan 10, 2014 0 comments
Samsung's Multi-Link automatically knows to search for videos and information related to what you are watching.

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