Hands on the Veebeam PC-to-TV Streamer

Like so many products we cover these days, the new Veebeam ($100 – $130) attempts to facilitate the piping of web video and local media to our televisions. However, unlike Intel’s Wireless Display (WiDi) technology, Veebeam is mostly agnostic – in terms of both hardware and operating system.

The Veebeam solution consists of two components: a small USB stick that wirelessly transmits AV from a computer to a larger receiver/set-top that you connect (preferably over HDMI) to your television. The model I looked at handles digital audio and 1080p content. However, you’ll want to review hardware specs carefully… two Core 2 Duo laptops I tested on provided slightly different experiences. A 2.0Ghz model with 3GB of memory produced some dropped frames/stuttering when running Hulu.com Flash content fullscreen, while a 2.4Ghz model with 4GB of memory ran pretty darn smooth all things considered – as you can see in my video above. (The computers also house different graphics cards, but I don’t have that info handy at the moment.)

Setup and operation is mostly a straight forward affair… Load up the Windows or OS X software and the Veebeam service runs. Pop-in the USB stick that automagically links to the Veebeam receiver. Once everything’s up and running, inserting the USB stick triggers laptop audio and video to be intercepted and passed along to the Veebeam receiver in what’s referred to as screencasting mode. Audio is also kindly muted on the host machine. Additionally, Veebeam can natively pipe select video files (think rips or home movies) straight to the television without any chrome in the video play-to mode – leaving your laptop free for additional tasks. The Veebeam receiver houses the USB antenna when not in use, and inserting it puts Veebeam into standby.

Like WiDi and similar solutions of this nature, Veebeam is partially hobbled in not providing a remote control. Then again, their assumption is that your computer is the remote. And, given the capabilities of their wireless technology (WUSB), they expect us to keep a laptop in the same room. During screencasting I couldn’t simply force the video to stretch or match the television’s resolution, resulting in black bars – perhaps a minor annoyance and something that I imagine could be better handled through a software update. Also, be aware, the OS X streaming software isn’t quite as reliable as Veebeam’s Windows variants at the moment. So if you run a purely Mac household, I might suggest holding off on a purchase for the time being.

Click to enlarge:

5 thoughts on “Hands on the Veebeam PC-to-TV Streamer”

  1. Looks nice enough. At that price point, it seems like kind of a no-brainer. Most of the other products seem to have huge devices they expect you to hook up to your laptop which is really a non-starter. I’d prefer something that just used Wi-Fi direct honestly, so I didn’t even have to install a dongle, but this is a good start given that Intel isn’t licensing WiDi (to their eventual detriment).

  2. Well, WiFi may not have enough muscle to support the kind of bandwidth that this application would need(even with 802.11n). Streaming 1080p live must surely be a whole lot. And besides we use WiFi for LAN which probably eat up most of bandwidth. a dedicated link (as in this case) looks like a good way. No complaints about the pricing!! (if this is actually as good as the blog says)

  3. This program runs on windows, mac, linux etc. When it is combined with navi-x.org (or .com) own navi-x.zip file (no extraction needed) Once navi-x is installed via the xbmc “programs” option to add in via .zip file is complete ( no more than 30 seconds for xbmc to import naxi-x) plus XBMC is only 40 megs for windows (Can be run as a live thumb or cd rom but 400 megs, based on linux but also has navi-x option you will not only have something similar to your cable or stelite TV but for several countries and for FREE. How they get away, well that implies, however they manage this must be special. XBMC has a built in DLNA server with 2 web servers for remote control as well as skipping songs, volume and you see the albumn cover via any computer or device (like my google tv box) all you need is your IP address like and bingo there is another built in server with an address with a nice flash server Also XBMC will change on the fly say a .avi to a .mp4 ON THE FLY. without little drain on CPU! It was origonaly designed to serve to X BOX hence the name X BMC For X Box Media Center. (Excuse me for talking Windows here and some linux, Im yet to learn Apple) You can run XBMC with VLC (Win, Lin and I think a MAC vers) or Traversity Media Server, PS3 Media Server or Transcode 360 (sorry I dont have the links in my head) B U T despite all the neat stuff I can’t figure out how in the world to get simultaneous transcoding or plain transfer as is the screen Im watching onto another box such as another computer (The Logitec Review Google TV, Apple TV and Dlink Box are all mini computers but my Google Box allows me to type in any web address I wish I can stream any “FILE” I have on my own computer or if its eve on another drive via WIFI (YES WIFI WILL STEAM 1080P with 5.1 just fine via WIFI N (a good Video requires less than 900k Netflix will run on 400 and even less so plain 2.4 ghz N Wifi will do it. I just cant get say a framed video playing (from XBMC Showtime or HBO) to show via my Google TV because its plugged into my 50″ Plasma TV’s HDMI port. Someone please tell me what software or what Im overlloking that will allow me to essentially watch the exact same video being streamed to me from Gosh knows where re-streamed to my Google T box so I can lay back in my Lazy-Boy and enjoy?

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