While many probably think of me as a Slingbox homer, I’m also a HAVA owner. However, while employed by Sling, you might not have trusted me to objectively cover competitor Monsoon Multimedia – so I largely steered clear. (Like the Slingbox, HAVA boxes ($100 – $250) stream content from a variety of set-top boxes over a local network or beyond via the Internet.)
At CTIA last spring the HAVA team combined two of my favorite geek technologies by bringing placeshifting to Nokia’s N810 WiFi-enabled Internet tablet (<$400). A device that I doubt we’ll see Sling tackle. And while the N810 is a niche product, this software allows HAVA to differentiate themselves (and their mobile clients are free). Plus, they’ve proven they can produce a Linux client – which should open doors to additional mobile and desktop platforms.
As you can see from the pics, the N810 makes for a nice portable television. (Love that integrated kickstand.) I had great results streaming my TiVo Series3 both within and outside of the home – relatively high download rates and consistently decent picture quality… despite HAVA not taking advantage of Nokia’s QVGA resolution when full-screen. HAVA made an interesting design choice when it comes to control – instead of squeezing everything into a lone virtual remote, they provide four different remote screens divvied up by function. The benefit being that buttons are large enough to hit with a finger tip, no stylus needed. It’s a fine idea but, for us DVR owners, they should really find a way to display transport controls on all screens.