When we last checked in with Monsoon Multimedia at CES, they had unveiled the Volcano “God Box” — a device that intends to do it all: DVR, placeshifting, Internet video, and local media playback. Although they’ve missed their spring target, the rebranded “Vulkano” is now available for pre-order with units expected to arrive early August.
Monsoon is no stranger to placeshifting technologies, as the team behind the HAVA Slingbox competitor. However, they’re seriously expanding their repertoire with Vulkano. And, on paper, their device appears most excellent. However, I’m reserving judgement until I’ve spent some time exploring the various features. And it’s the combined DVR+placeshifting functionality that interests me most. While Sling’s new parent company has integrated Slingbox technology into a DVR, that product is limited to DISH Network customers. Whereas Vulkano is an agnostic product, controlling all sorts of set-top boxes via IR, and recording (or streaming) high def video via component outputs. (Think Hauppauge’s HD-PVR.)
Monsoon intends to have Windows, Android, iPhone and iPad clients available at launch, in addition to their new 10′ interface, with Blackberry and Mac OS X software launching shortly thereafter. Hardware runs $279 – $379, dependent on the type (SD or eSATA) and amount (16GB – 1TB) of storage you choose.