streaming media

Samsung Galaxy Tab wireless TV streaming [Hands on]

Samsung has a new feature for their Galaxy Tabs coming out which will add wireless TV streaming. Chris Davies over at Slashgear got a look at it during IFA 2011. Originally announced back in February, the new feature enables users of the Samsung D7000 or D8000 HDTVs to stream wirelessly to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1 out of the box. It's very similar to Samsung's AllShare DNLA client, but it works the other way, with the HDTV transcoding the signal and sending it wirelessly to the Galaxy Tab.

Skifta Preview: Talking Streaming with Qualcomm’s Digital Media Gurus

We've been covering Qualcomm's Skifta project since almost the very beginning, from when the DLNA streaming media system was a simple 2009 side-project in the chipset company's labs, to its status as a legitimate standalone product with an eye on potential revenue streams. Android Community has had early access to the latest version of Skifta, hitting the Android Market today, to see whether a free app can really replace expensive media streaming systems around the home and office. Skifta build 68 does everything we're already familiar with from the app, so you get access to local media sources - such as your phone, NAS, computers sharing media and other devices - as well as streaming radio content, which can be squirted to a DLNA-compliant TV, WiFi radio or other device and controlled from your Android phone. A free download, it uses straightforward media plugins to add extra internet content; as for playback, if you have an internet-connected TV (or a DLNA-supporting streamer) then you're all set. As ever, as long as you have the bandwidth, it all works surprisingly well. The Skifta UI has been polished since the early days, with a three-step process of picking a source - audio, video or images, including Facebook and Picasa photos - then a playback device, and finally choosing which media you'd like to play. The new version adds in support for premium channels, like Napster; if you have a Napster account, you can log in and access the service's 10m+ streaming tracks. There's also new control over playback, to take into account the fact that not all media players are created equal. Given that many users have drives full of video and audio using different codecs, Skifta now allows you to choose which media player app on your phone you want to use to render the content. We loaded up vPlayer and Rock Player, and could choose between them in a simple Android dialog box. It means that files not natively supported by the Android media player can now often be played using a third-party player, and hugely extends the use of Skifta. We caught up with Skifta's director of marketing, Gary Brotman, at MWC 2011 last week, and talked to him about the future of the app and the growing Skifta ecosystem. With a long background in digital music - Brotman is actually behind one of the streaming radio channels featured in Skifta, Paper Buddha - he's unsurprisingly enthusiastic about the potential of the app, particularly when it comes to partnerships with other media sources. Napster - as added in build 68 - is just the start of it; Brotman is also keen to work with other subscription-based music services, such as Spotify. "It's less about owning music, today, and more about having access to it" he told us, suggesting that while people have historically built up huge stacks of CDs and records, and then gone on to amass collections of MP3s, the focus now is shifting away from ownership and more to ubiquity. Part of that is the increase in connectivity options, like 3G/4G on mobile devices and faster WiFi networks in homes and offices. "Previously, you had what content you could carry or had loaded up before you left" Brotman explained. As for making Qualcomm some money, Brotman is cautious of the usual ways Android apps are monetized. Although adverts are the obvious strategy - either AdWords in the app itself, or even audio or video promotions interspersed with the streamed content - he's wary of negatively impacting the user experience, especially when it comes to mining users' media catalogs for context-aware ads. Instead, the Skifta team is looking for more roundabout ways of commercialising the software, perhaps through affiliate links to download music from Amazon or other vendors. If you hear a track you like on a streaming radio station, Skifta could offer a one-click way of purchasing that music, with Qualcomm taking a slice of the proceeds. Alternatively, if more premium channels - such as Spotify - get onboard, Skifta could take a tithe of their subscription revenue too. Of course, there's always the potential for Skifta to evolve into a paid version, or perhaps split into free and premium, though for now the app remains a free download. You can find the updated build 68 in the Android Market; don't forget to let us know how you get on in the comments.

Dropcam Android app: Feed your CCTV paranoia on the move [Video]

Dropcam has added an Android app for accessing its streaming webcams to the Android Market, having previously only offered basic browser support for non-iOS devices. The app itself is a free download, though you'll need to be a paying Dropcam subscriber in order to actually access your cameras. As well as regular streams, you can set alerts to be notified on movement or audio. [youtube jIbzF3RQf6g] [via AppScout]

Skifta DLNA-certified: Free, easy streaming with an Android remote

Skifta has been bubbling away in Qualcomm's labs since 2009, and the company's Android app is the first to be DLNA certified under the Digital Living Network Alliance's new software certification program. Skifta promises to funnel content easily from a phone, NAS or cloud-store, via your Android 2.2+ smartphone, to any DLNA playback source. That could be a PS3, an HDTV, stereo, PC or other device; there's a list of examples here. While we've seen DLNA-compliant Android smartphones before, Skifta promises to boost usability with a slicker remote control display, as well as giving the functionality to every Android device. More details in the video below. [youtube ezP6Ee9HoRo] Press Release:
Skifta Becomes First Software Application to Receive DLNA Certification Application-based Service Turns Smartphones and Tablets into Global Remote Controls for Streaming Media and Furthers DLNA Vision for Connected Digital Home SAN DIEGO — February 2, 2011 — Skifta™ for Android, a product of Qualcomm Services Labs Inc., has become the first application to be certified by the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) under its new Software Certification program. Skifta is an application-based media shifting service that allows consumers to access and play their digital media from virtually any source, whether it’s accessed on the phone, from the cloud, or remotely from home. Consumers can then stream this media to DLNA Certified® consumer electronics such as TVs, IP-connected stereos, Windows 7 PCs, PlayStation3 game consoles and many other consumer electronics product via their Android smartphones and tablets. As a DLNA-Certified® software application, Skifta now gives Android users the added assurance that digital music, photos and videos from the phone and around the connected home can be streamed easily to DLNA Certified® products at home or on the go. Through DLNA Certification, Skifta helps meet digital media consumers’ demand for a reliable, interoperable platform for accessing and streaming media within the connected home, or accessing it remotely via smartphone. “We are proud that the Skifta Android application has become the first DLNA Certified software application,” said Bruce Jackson, vice president of technology at Qualcomm Services Labs. “The Skifta application demonstrates our commitment to DLNA and to making the smartphone central to the connected home and lifestyle. The Skifta application creates the potential for tens of millions of smartphones and tablets to run DLNA Certified® software and stream multimedia content reliably to devices around the home.” Analysts estimate that that there will be nearly two billion DLNA Certified® devices in homes worldwide by 2014, and some expect that DLNA software certification will propel adoption and usage of DLNA devices on consumers’ home networks. The Skifta application takes advantage of the rapid adoption of DLNA-enabled devices, the growing desire for on-demand streaming media, and the rapid proliferation of smartphones to deliver an easy-to-use service for taking your digital media with you, without actually having to take it with you. “DLNA Certified® software such as Skifta will help bring content such as photos, videos and music, stored on DLNA Certified® devices, to an even larger selection of consumer electronics, mobile and PC products,” said Nidhish Parikh, chairman and president of DLNA. “Qualcomm has been an active DLNA member for some time and as the first Certified software application, Skifta complements the DLNA standards and vision.” Availability The Skifta application beta is currently available as a free download in the Android Marketplace for smartphones running Android version 2.2 and higher.

Spotify & Shazam offer track ID & instant playback on Android

Streaming music service Spotify has announced a deal with track-ID specialists Shazam which will see links between the two apps. After identifying a song with the Android Shazam app, a "Play in Spotify" button will automatically open the Spotify Mobile app and load the track there, along with any other content from that artist it can find. You'll need a premium Spotify account in order to use the Spotify Mobile app, and Shazam apparently are yet to add the integration support to their free app, but it's said to be coming soon. [via SlashGear]

iMediaShare shoots NASA and TED videos to TV from Android

Bianor has announced that it has updated its iMediaShare Android app to a new version. The update brings the app to version 3.0 and adds in some cool new features. If you aren’t familiar with the app, it allows users to use their Android device as a media remote and stream video content from it to their TV.

HSTi Wireless Media Stick funnels content from Android to your HDTV, more

HSTi is promising to make streaming content between your Android smartphone and an HDTV, digital photo frame or another media player straightforward, with their Wireless Media Stick. The USB stick and the companion Wireless Media Stick Android mobile App funnel photos, videos and music from your phone to the media player, with the stick presenting the content as if it were locally stored. Because of that, even non-network-aware devices, such as older TVs, can use the system, just as long as they can access files stored on a USB drive. The HSTi Wireless Media Stick is available now, priced at $119.99, while the app will be released later this month. Press Release:
Wireless Media Stick™ – the perfect accessory for the Android™ life January 2, 2010, Las Vegas, NV – HSTi announces the Wireless Media Stick™, a game changing accessory that sets Android™-based phones apart from their competition, and will change the way people enjoy media files like movies, home videos, music and photos. Exclusively at the CES 2011, HSTi will unveil the Wireless Media Stick Android™ mobile App that allows the Wireless Media Stick™ to now stream your stored movies, videos, music, and photos, from any Android™-based Smart Phone and Tablet, to your favourite media player without interrupting the use or functionality of the phone. Turn your Android™ Smart Phone into a media hub, for complete entertainment portability. Small enough to fit in your pocket, the Wireless Media Stick™ combined with the Wireless Media Stick mobile App, makes the perfect accessory for an Android™ Smart Phone or Tablet. Based on HSTi’s proprietary and patented technology, the Wireless Media Stick™ is able to deliver to playback devices the files stored in a PC, Mac and NAS device, and also files from your Android™ phone and Tablet’s internal storage. Not only is the phone portable, but so is the Wireless Media Stick™. Plug it into your HDTV and watch a movie, or plug it into the stereo in your bedroom to play your favourite tunes, then go to your friend’s house and plug it into their PS3 to share pictures from your party, all without having to set up the stick again. Attaching to a wireless router, or your Smart Phone’s or Tablet’s built in Wi-Fi Access Point, the Wireless Media Stick™ basically acts as a wireless bridge that plugs into the USB playback ports on media players, game consoles or set top boxes like, a TV, PS3™, Xbox™, DVD/Blu-ray™ player, WD TV™, O!Play, Google TV™, etc and presents the shared files from the Smart Phone and Tablet. The media player reads the file as if it was stored inside the Wireless Media Stick™, but the file resides in the original location. When the user instructs the media player to playback the file, the file is streamed from the original location, wirelessly. The Wireless Media Stick™ is a self contained solution that is easy to setup and use and does not require networked media players for it to work. Plug the Wireless Media Stick™ to a non-networked digital picture frame or even a three-year old DVD player, and stream files from your phone to that device for playback. You can even share or backup documents and files stored in your Smart Phone or Tablet by plugging the Wireless Media Stick™ into the USB port of a computer. The possibilities are endless. “We all create memories, and document our experiences with our Smart Phones. They do a great job of consolidating our lives into one device. But when it comes to sharing it back from our phone, options are limited,” says Ramesh Uppal, HSTi President and CEO. “People want to share their experiences, whether its photos or videos from a trip, or just music selections. The Wireless Media Stick™ is the natural extension of their Smart Phone or Tablet making it a must-have accessory for everyday life.” Unlike other streaming devices that are dedicated or tie up the devices they serve, the Wireless Media Stick™ lets you continue to use your computer, Smart Phone or Tablet, without interrupting your media streaming. Continue to make phone calls, check email, or post on your social media sites, while enjoying your streamed movies, music or photos. The Wireless Media Stick™ is available today in various retail outlets and at hsti.com/shop. The Wireless Media Stick Android™ App will be available on the Android™ Market at the end of January.

chumby Application for Android Available Now

chumby, which is a well known name in the cloud market, has officially launched an application for the Android platform. The application is available right now in the Android Market, but will only appear for those devices that are running Android 2.2 or later. And it's not a free app, with the cost set at $4.99.

SPB TV v2.0 released: Free mobile TV with VoD

SPB TV has been updated to v2.0, and the mobile TV app has lost its price tag in the process. Now free, the streaming TV software offers over 150 channels in more than 20 languages, and is advert supported; SPB promises the ads themselves only last as long as it takes for the video to buffer. There's also support for larger-screen devices like Android tablets, a picture-in-picture mode, video on demand and faster channel switching. SPB has also switched to H.264 for better quality video that's more forgiving of lower-bandwidth connections. You'll need an Android 1.6 device or higher; more information here, and you can find SPB TV in the Android Market. SPB TV 2.0 for Android Main Features:
  • Integrated TV Guide with a list of current and upcoming TV shows
  • Unique browser with fast channel launching and switching
  • Quick channel preview (picture-in-picture mode)
  • On-screen control panel
  • Video on Demand
  • Setting a reminder
  • Video quality switcher
  • Advanced Video Codec support
  • Tablets support
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QNAP QMobile Android app allows remote NAS access

QNAP's network-attached storage has a decent reputation among data backup aficionados, and now the company has rolled out a way for Android users to access their files remotely, too.  The new QNAP QMobile app for Android 1.5, 1.6 and 2.1 devices allows for wireless access of a QNAP Turbo NAS server over WiFi or 3G. While you can access all files stored on the server, QNAP has made the multimedia experience a little more prominent; there's a My Jukebox feature, for browsing and selecting playlists by son title, artist, album and ID3 tag, while you can also upload photos taken with your smartphone's camera directly to the remote NAS.  It's a free download in the Android Market now, though of course you'll need a QNAP NAS to take advantage of it. Press Release:
QNAP Released Official QMobile Application for Android 1.5, 1.6, and 2.1 Platforms Taipei, Taiwan, October 2010 - QNAP Systems, Inc., a leading manufacturer of world class NAS (Network Attached Storage) servers revealed today the official QMobile application for Android 1.5, 1.6, and 2.1 platforms following the successful release of the app for iPhone users. The QMobile app, when used in conjunction with a QNAP Turbo NAS server and the V3.3.2 management software, allows users to stream music, digital pictures, and videos from their home NAS server and play directly on the Android handsets from anywhere, using Wi-Fi or 3G networks. This reduces the need to have the files synchronized and stored physically on the device while providing a simple and convenient way for mobile consumers to access their home content from anywhere. QMobile's cool My Jukebox feature lets users remotely browse and select playlists created on the NAS to suit their mood by song title, artist, album, even ID3 tags. The QMobile app lets Android users upload pictures to a QNAP Turbo NAS and showcase pictures stored on the NAS on the mobile device. No more wishing you had added additional songs, videos, or pictures before a trip, so long as you have Internet access, you can play it remotely; it's like having a media center in your pocket! QMobile can remotely select and play terabytes of compatible multimedia files stored on a QNAP NAS. Multimedia files can be easily selected to be copied to an Android phone using the QMobile app and the selected files will be placed in "My Favorites". This allows users to play and watch the content offline when they are disconnected from Internet access. The QMobile app will also inform users should any changes are made to their favorite files on the QNAP NAS and let them select whether or not to synchronize the changes to their Android devices. "QMobile is a user-friendly media player application for iPhone and Android users to play and watch their music, pictures, and videos stored on QNAP NAS on the move. By streaming to the NAS, they can enjoy all their multimedia contents and there is no worry about the storage space limit of their mobile devices," said Johnny Chen, Product Manager of QNAP. For more information about QMobile app, please visit http://www.qnap.com/QMobile/ The NAS management software (required to use QMobile) can be downloaded from the QNAP website at http://www.qnap.com/. QNAP offers the broadest lineup of NAS server enclosures currently available. QNAP Turbo NAS servers are available in 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 8-bay tower and rack mount configurations to fit consumer's needs, including small/medium business, workgroups, and entry-level enterprise networks. Most QNAP NAS servers feature hot-swap removable cartridge drives with 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drive support, and offer unique features including virtual disk, and dual Gigabit LAN ports with fail-over, load-balancing and multi-IP setting capabilities for all Intel-based models. QNAP NAS servers are ideal for simple website hosting, ultra-high performance RAID storage supporting RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 5+ hot spare and 6+hot spare (5-drive and higher models), stand-alone file downloading, network-wide backups, printer sharing, video surveillance, and a whole lot more. QNAP NAS servers are fully compatible with Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and UNIX networks and incorporate green power management technologies.
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