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Multimedia&VoIP

Apple TV Review: Highly Polished, Limited Video Formats

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Read more...The Apple TV provides a best-in-class user experience. But, as usual, you have to play by Apple's rules.

Buffalo LinkTheater Wireless A&G Network Media Player Review: Inexpensive, but no bargain

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Read more...Like its predecessors, Buffalo's latest networked media player fails to impress.

Plantronics .Audio 910 Bluetooth Headset Review

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Read more...The Plantronics .Audio 910 raises your expectations but then disappoints...just like the last four Bluetooth headsets you've purchased.

Sling Media adds HomePlug Turbo adapters

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Sling Media today announced two new HomePlug 1.0 Turbo compliant powerline adapters.

The SlingLink TURBO 1 Port and SlingLink TURBO 4 Port offer a higher speed connection between the Slingbox and network router "creating a better Slingbox experience for customers". Both products use power cords to connect to power outlets or strips for maximum connection flexibility.

Skype now in Wal-Mart stores

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Skype today announced that Wal-Mart is now offering Skype Certified hardware as well as the first pre-paid cards for Skype available in the U.S. in 1,800 of its U.S. stores.

Wal-Mart is the first and currently only retailer in the U.S. to offer Skype’s pre-paid cards. Shoppers can purchase a $20 pre-paid card and redeem it for Skype credit to make inexpensive international calls at rates as low as 2.1 cents per minute. Another pre-paid card is available in stores for a three-month subscription to the Skype Unlimited Calling Plan for just $8.85.

Up to nine different Skype Certified hardware products are available in Wal-Mart stores’ electronics department including headsets, webcams and handsets from manufacturers such as Plantronics, Philips, Logitech.

For more information, go to www.skype.com/walmart.

Netgear EVA8000 Review - YouTube, Flickr, iTunes and more

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Read more...Jim Buzbee liked the wide format support and Internet content features, but also found some significant rough edges.

Mac OS SlingPlayer released

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Sling Media today announced the availability of SlingPlayer for Mac, a software client for Slingbox customers who want to view their home TV or Apple TV on their Apple Macintosh desktop or laptop.

SlingPlayer for Mac, Version 1.0, includes photo-realistic remote controls as well as the ability to program favorite channels with a full range of viewing modes all leveraging the Mac OS look and feel.

Available in the US and Canada, the SlingPlayer for Mac supports all Slingbox hardware and can be downloaded free of charge directly from Sling Media:

Intel to sponsor free Mother's Day Skype calling

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Skype and Intel today announced a joint promotion to promote Internet calling. Consumers in the U.S. and Canada will be able to place free SkypeOut calls to any landline or mobile number around the world on Mother's Day (May 13, 2007).

Intel said it is sponsoring the "Gift of Gab" promotion as a way to demonstrate how audio and video calling are optimized when using PCs powered by the Intel Core 2 Duo processor. The company said Skype conference calls are now clearer and users’ PCs more responsive during calls due to collaborative efforts between Intel and Skype engineers.

More information about the “Gift of Gab” is available at www.skype.com/go/giftofgab.

Cisco invests in home networked entertainment company

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Avega Systems yesterday announced that Cisco Systems, JAFCO Asia and Technology Venture Partners (TVP), have completed a $7M Series B funding deal.

Avega Systems develops networked home entertainment technology platforms and for the past three years has been developing core technologies targeted at the "connected digital home". Avega’s Aios technology platform is targeted at whole-home, multi-zone networked entertainment. The technology incorporates standard wired and wireless technologies including draft 11n and HomePlug AV as well as UPnP AV and DLNA. Aios is being made available to partners on an OEM basis.

SimpleSignal Announces “On Demand” SIP Business Trunking

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VoIP and SIP solution provider SimpleSignal today announced its “On Demand” overflow calling feature for inbound and outbound business VoIP communications.

The feature instantly adds additional VoIP capacity for making outbound calls and receiving incoming calls when the normal service capacity is reached. There are no service limitations on the capacity on the number incoming or outgoing calls.

SimpleSignal “On Demand” works with any SIP-compatible IP-PBX system or SIP device or with an additional add-on IAD device for older systems. The service is available in all cities in the U.S. and Canada with unlimited incoming and local calls including the free bonus features.

Axis announces compact video server

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Axis Communications today announced an "ultra-compact" video server designed for space-restrictive video surveillance applications. The AXIS 247S Video Server converts an analog video stream into high quality, full frame rate digital video.

The video encoder can deliver Motion JPEG and advanced MPEG-4 streams simultaneously, providing the ability to optimize for both image quality and bandwidth. It also provides video motion detection, one-way audio for audio monitoring in area, and audio detection alarm.

Other features include support for IPv6, 802.3af Power over Ethernet and QoS. Network security features include multiple user access levels, IP address filtering, HTTPS encryption and IEEE 802.1X authentication

The 247S will be available in "early Q2, 2007" for $499 MSRP.

Linksys rolls out new VoIP products

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Linksys yesterday announced a new SIP phone, attendant console, 8 port ATA and ADSL2+ Gateway with VoIP at the Spring VON show.

Brix , Linksys, SunRocket join for automatic VoIP quality monitoring

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Brix Networks today announced it is collaborating with Linksys and SunRocket to deliver automated endpoint monitoring for improved quality of experience (QoE) for SunRocket’s customers.

Brix has integrated its service assurance technology with various Linksys SIP-based home networking devices to provide SunRocket with a scalable, real-time service assurance product. The combined solution automates periodic SIP media loopback testing across the entire network, groups, or single subscribers, and also collects, correlates, and analyzes the results to produce actionable information reports. Quality metrics generated include mean opinion score (MOS), latency, jitter, and packet loss.

This automated Brix-Linksys SIP media loopback testing solution continuously verifies the performance and quality of deployed Linksys equipment, and can quickly identify issues that may be occurring between SunRocket’s infrastructure and its members.

Smartvue S4 Video Surveillance System: Expensive,Yes. Worth it, ?

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Read more...Would you spend $4,000 for a single camera wireless 'surveillance system'? Jim Buzbee reviews Smartvue's S4 to see why.

Skype moves beyond voice with biz guide and paid advice services

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Skype today announced Skype 3.1 for Windows which includes two new services that move Skype into applications beyond voice, video and text communications.

SkypeFind is a new, user-generated guide that lets the worldwide Skype community share, rate and review businesses. Users can add businesses along with a review and rating, search for businesses and place Skype calls to found businesses with the click of a button. Initially, SkypeFind will not allow for paid-for listings.

Skype Prime is a new way for people to sell their expertise, answers and advice to other Skype users. The service consists of Skype-to-Skype voice and video calls and includes a "convenient" payment feature. Skype Prime is in Beta and is described as "in the very early stages of its lifecycle". Skype Prime fees are paid using PayPal and subject to a 30% charge by Skype.

NETGEAR Ships HD media player

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NETGEAR today said it has begun shipment of the Digital Entertainer HD (EVA8000) media player that was announced at January's Consumer Electronics Show.

The EVA8000 can display still, music and video files streamed from UPnP AV sources without the need to run server software on a PC. However, running included software on a Windows PC enables the EVA8000 to play iTunes content, view YouTube videos and access a Windows desktop across a network.

The EVA8000 is available now at an MSRP of $399.

TRENDnet TV-IP301W Internet Camera: Good Hardware, Bad Software

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Read more...Trendnet's high-end networked camera has a solid hardware design. But unfortunately, it is crippled by poor software and documentation. Craig Ellison reviews.

ARCHOS intros 7 inch screen WiFi PMP

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ARCHOS today announced the ARCHOS 704-WiFi, which it claims is the only PMP with a 7-inch touch-screen and full wireless capabilities.

The 704-WiFi has a 5x7 inch 800x480 16 million color touch screen—similar in size to a standard photograph—and integrated high-quality stereo speakers. The 80GB hard drive can store 70 DVD-quality movies, 40,000 songs or 800,000 photos.

Panasonic adds business-focused Wi-Fi Skype phone kit

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Panasonic Communications yesterday entered the Skype phone market with a standalone Wi-Fi phone kit aimed at business travelers.

The Panasonic KX-WP1050 Wi-Fi phone for use with Skype is said to be one in a series of planned Skype Certified products.

Vonage calls Verizon's patent suit "frivolous"

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Vonage is saying that Verizon's patent lawsuit against the VoIP-telephony giant is "frivolous". The Holmdel, New Jersey-based company vowed to defend itself and added that the lawsuit will not affect operations, no matter what happens.

Apparently Vonage has a large legal warchest and its CEO, Mike Snyder, said that the suit will not hurt the company financially and adds, "Our financial reserves would allow us to continue normal operations regardless of the outcome. In addition, we are confident that regardless of how this litigation is ultimately decided, Vonage's customers will see no change whatsoever to any aspect of their phone service."

Full story on TG Daily.

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