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Posts Tagged ‘Wireless’

SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive

December 24th, 2013 No comments

4 stars

SanDisk Connect flash drive

Mobile device manufacturers still charge a big premium for devices with additional memory. The cost difference between a base iPad Air with 16GB of memory and the 128GB version is a whopping $300. There is, however, no shortage of secondary Wi-Fi storage solutions available. The SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive is one of most portable I’ve seen and is definitely a keeper.

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Seagate Wireless Plus Portable Hard Drive

August 29th, 2013 No comments

4 stars

Seagate Wireless Plus 1TB

There are a variety of wireless mobile storage solutions available to consumers these days. Wireless portable hard drives, wireless flash drives, wireless docks, and wireless memory card readers can all supplement the limited amount of storage that are typical of most mobile devices. Seagate introduced the first wireless mobile storage drive back in 2011 (GoFlex Satellite) and is back with an all new drive called the Seagate Wireless Plus.

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Kingston MobileLite Wireless

May 6th, 2013 1 comment

5 Stars

MobileLite Wireless

Sharing media files and content with mobile devices isn’t always an easy task. The Kingston MobileLite Wireless is a compact Wi-Fi device that aims to simplify file sharing while on the go and provide additional storage for devices with limited memory. Basically a Wi-Fi enabled card reader, the MobileLite Wireless comes without any on-board storage. Instead, it has a USB port and a built-in SD card reader that allows the user to plug in their own USB flash drives and microSD/SD memory cards. It also doubles as an external battery pack, capable of charging your mobile devices. Could the MobileLite Wireless be an ideal mobile travel companion? Read on to find out.

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Netgear N600 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router (WNDR3800)

July 22nd, 2012 5 comments

3 Stars
Netgear WNDR3800

The Netgear N600 WNDR3800 is a dual-band, gigabit wireless router that adds a strong set of new features to the critically-acclaimed WNDR3700. The “premium” in the description, refers to ReadyShare Print, ReadyShare Cloud, ClearChannel selector, dedicated video mode, Time Machine compatibility, and extended TiVo storage capability. I tested the WNDR3800 to see if the premium features were worth the upgrade from the WNDR3700.

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Corsair Vengeance 2000 Wireless 7.1 Gaming Headset

June 6th, 2012 No comments

5 Stars
Corsair Vengeance 2000

I’ve wanted a wireless headphone/headset for use on my PC for years. I came really close to buying one of the cheaper Sennheiser models, but also had looked at some Sony IR and Bluetooth models as well. In the end, I convinced myself that it wasn’t worth it. Most of the wireless solutions available had one problem or another and realistically, weren’t going to sound as good as wired headphones anyways.

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Netgear N900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router (WNDR4500)

April 9th, 2012 No comments

4 stars
NETGEAR N900 WNDR4500

Netgear has been on a roll with their wireless routers of late. The N600 (WNDR3700), released a couple of years ago, was very popular for its performance and value. The N900 ups the ante with 450Mbps throughput on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands and is the fastest-rated router offered by Netgear. All that performance comes at a cost, however; the N900 sells for just under $200.

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Veebeam HD Wireless USB Media Streamer

May 23rd, 2011 No comments

3 Stars- techdad
Veebeam HD Front

In the new age of streaming multimedia, there is no shortage of devices and services vying for the attention of consumers. Veebeam is a relative newcomer in the space with a little twist. Veebeam’s device differs from devices like the Apple TV, Boxee, or Roku, in that it works in conjunction with your PC. It also uses a new wireless standard called Wireless USB. Let me walk you through how the Veebeam works and whether or not you should consider getting one.

PROS

  • Simple setup
  • Thoughtful design
  • Flexible streaming options

CONS

  • Requires a powerful PC
  • Problems with judder (stuttering)
  • Poor solution for presentations
  • Impossible to use for gaming
  • Short wireless range limited to same-room location

HOW IT WORKS
The Veebeam comes with a receiver unit that you connect to your TV or home theater system and a wireless USB dongle that you plug into your laptop. You then install the Veebeam software to you laptop, which acts as a screencasting server. To send a media stream to your TV, you just launch the Veebeam software and wait for it to connect to your TV, then start your music, launch your picture slide show or play your videos.

WHAT YOU GET
Veebeam HD Contents
The Veebeam HD comes with the receiver unit, wireless USB dongle, a set of RCA cables, and power adapter. If you want to stream in HD, you will need to provide your own HDMI cable.

INSTALLATION
Installation of the Veebeam was relatively easy. I connected the receiver to my TV and installed the Veebeam software on my laptop. The Wireless USB dongle installed without a hitch. I did have to add a rule in my software-based firewall to allow Veebeam to work but Veebeam’s website had directions on doing this for several popular security applications.

BUILD & DESIGN
Veebeam HD Back

The receiver unit has a very funky, Star Trek-like design. Is it Klingon? I can’t say for sure, but I can say that it was thoughtfully designed. The front of the receiver unit has a dock for the Wireless USB dongle. When the dongle is removed, it automatically turns the receiver on. When you put the dongle back, it turns the receiver off. There are no power buttons to play with. The back of the receiver has a good selection of outputs. It has standard RCA jacks for connecting to a standard definition TV, an HDMI port, an optical audio out and two USB ports for future use (webcam and USB storage). The receiver is made entirely of plastic that is light, but doesn’t feel cheap. There are also a lot of ventilation holes to keep it cool. The wireless USB dongle is fairly wide and has an antenna that can be placed upright. With the antenna up, the dongle is slightly wider than a standard USB flash drive. It has a glossy finish that looks attractive but gets dusty and attracts fingerprints.

PERFORMANCE
Veebeam Compatibility Test
The Veebeam HD is compatible with Mac OS X and Windows XP/Vista/7. It requires at least a 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor but doesn’t list memory or graphics card requirements. I tested the Veebeam with a laptop with the following specifications:

  • Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz
  • 4GB RAM
  • Integrated Intel graphics
  • Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

Given that the laptop exceeded the only real requirement listed, I felt confident that performance would not be an issue. Unfortunately, I was wrong. My initial test results were less than ideal. Out of curiosity, I decided to run Veebeam’s compatibility testing application. As you can see from the screenshot, my laptop did not meet the Veebeam’s requirements for HD streaming. The laptop exceeded their minimum requirements but I was disappointed to learn that I’d be limited to SD streams only. What made things worse was that when I did try to stream in SD, I still experienced performance issues.

The two streaming sources that I felt would be ideal to use with the Veebeam were Hulu and Netflix. Veebeam is an ideal solution because there are no worries about content providers banning their streams on devices, unlike Google TV and Boxee. Alas, Netflix failed terribly on my laptop because there was no way for me to downgrade the resolution. Netflix automatically detects the best possible resolution, which on my laptop, is HD. When I tried to watch Netflix, I experienced severe judder (stuttering). This happened whether I used Firefox, Chrome, or IE9 and regardless of whether it was in full screen or not. Hulu was pretty much the same story, but unlike Netflix, I could fiddle with the resolution of the stream. The best balance was achieved at 240p in full screen. The interesting part was that I could watch streams easily in 720p, when I didn’t enable full screen. In that case, the video looked amazing. This obviously isn’t ideal since you want to be able to watch streams in full screen on your TV without the distraction of your web browser’s frame.

Veebeam Player

Local video files didn’t fare much better. I tried DivX, AVI and DVD movies and they all had so much judder that by the time I finished testing, I felt nauseous. It’s about how I felt after watching Blair Witch Project. The only time I could watch a stream in full screen without judder, was when I used the Veebeam player.

SUPPORT
Veebeam Settings

Currently, Veebeam support is limited to chat support and an email form. Chat support’s hours are 7AM-3PM Pacific Time. Via a form on Veebeam’s website, you can also request a callback. I elected to use the form to email them and they were prompt in replying and eager to help. The Veebeam is so easy to set up and use that I don’t think most people will need to go beyond reading the manual and FAQ.

MISC
In order to use the Veebeam system, both the receiver and the laptop need to be in the same room. Range is limited to a maximum of 30 feet.

Windows Media Center is not supported in full screen at all. You’ll just get a blank screen. Windows Media Player also has a problem where a visible horizontal line splits the screen. Veebeam recommends using Quicktime or VLC to circumvent this issue until it can be resolved.

There is an advertised two second lag between your laptop and TV. This all but rules out using Veebeam for presentations or gaming.

CONCLUSION
The Veebeam HD Wireless USB Media streaming device has a lot going for it. It is well-designed, easy to install, and has more flexibility than other standalone devices like the WDTV, Google TV, Boxee, etc. However, underpowered laptops need not apply here. Though my laptop exceeded the minimum system requirements, I experienced severe judder (stutter). I recommend using a beefy laptop with the Veebeam and running the compatibility test before buying it to make sure it passes. The Veebeam has loads of potential and I can’t wait to see what features and improvements come down the line.

Available from Amazon.com.

* Review unit courtesy of Veebeam

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