Tablo TV Liberates OTA HDTV (and crushes Simple TV)

Final Location

Lets try this again, shall we?

If you caught my first look at the dual tuner Simple TV, you’ll know that the product fell short of my expectations. A combination of fan issues and software instability led me to question if the dual tuner was actually ready for release. The idea for a networked DVR is sound, but the execution simply failed. In the end, I returned the Simple.TV hoping future updates might resolve the open issues.

Last week, a startup out of Canada entered the same playing field. Tablo TV has made similar promises as Simple TV, an easy way to record Over-The-Air (OTA) TV signals with playback to multiple devices. And the setup is essentially the same for Tablo TV: One part Slingbox, one part DVR. Like rolling your own Aereo with a better UI and higher video quality, without those pesky regional restrictions.

tablo-setup

You connect an antenna and hard drive (or two) to the Tablo TV box, scan for OTA channels, and then start watching TV. There is no HDMI connection from the Tablo to your TV. Everything is done over a network connection and within the apps Tablo provides. Why no HDMI?

Read moreTablo TV Liberates OTA HDTV (and crushes Simple TV)

Netgear ReadyNAS 102 Review

ReadyNAS

Netgear ReadyNAS is a line of network attached storage devices that allows you to centralize all your content into one place. The main benefit being that you can then access your content from one place. The Netgear ReadyNAS 102, released about a year ago, incorporates a new modern UI for web management, a marketplace for apps that can be installed, and additional backup tools for your computers and mobile devices. Overall, the ReadyNAS is a fairly intuitive system that should fit basic storage needs while providing additional features with app support (and is a distant descendant of the highly acclaimed Infrant NAS line).

Hardware
The ReadyNAS 102 is the base model for the home ReadyNAS series. It provides 2 bays for hard drives and the ability to swap drives if your storage needs should grow. The 100 series is meant for home use with multiple users accessing the device. Along with the 100 series, Netgear also has a step up in performance with their 300 series, but those devices are geared towards business office crowd. You can view the different model’s on Netgear’s site here.

You can purchase the 102 with or without hard drives depending on how much you want to spend, and whether or not you have extra drives sitting around. The base 102 model starts out at $199 (diskless) and goes up depending on storage amount. Other options for the ReadyNAS 100 series included a 4 bay option.  Our loaner review unit arrived with two preinstalled 1TB drives in RAID 1 mode, meaning that the data was mirrored on both drives and the over storage space was 1TB.  You have the option to put the device in RAID 0 which would provide double the storage at the loss of drive mirroring.

Read moreNetgear ReadyNAS 102 Review

Simple TV Dual Tuner First Impressions

Bringing tech to the corn fields of the Midwest, gadgeteer and cat lover Adam Miarka contributes to Zatz Not Funny when the overlord allows. When not on ZNF, Adam posts pictures to http://www.adammiarka.com and harasses the public from @adammiarka on Twitter.

simpletv2-unboxing1

Background
Being a Kickstarter for the first generation Simple TV, I’ve always been interested in technologies that could disrupt traditional TV viewing. When the original Simple TV was announced back in 2012, it looked like something that could actually let me break from my current (TiVo) setup while lowering our monthly expenditures.The original Simple TV had one fatal flaw, a single tuner for recording.

Despite this limitation, I decided to back the project to get a feeling for how this new setup might work in our household. The idea of having a device that could basically capture any OTA or ClearQAM signals and then have it playback on a myriad of devices (web browser, iOS devices, Android devices, Roku) was very enticing. You only need to bring a hard drive to get the Simple TV party started!

Read moreSimple TV Dual Tuner First Impressions

The iHome iW1 AirPlay Speaker System Review

Bringing tech to the corn fields of the Midwest, gadgeteer and cat lover Adam Miarka contributes to Zatz Not Funny when the overlord allows. When not on ZNF, Adam posts pictures to http://www.adammiarka.com and harasses the public from @adammiarka on Twitter.

Background and Initial Impressions

My new iHome iW1 AirPlay speaker system has arrived. And it’s probably one of the more anticipated AirPlay speakers to hit the market due to its portability. In fact, demand was so strong, the device was sold out within a half hour of going live on iHome’s site when it debuted August 31st. iHome took to Twitter and Facebook to calm those who didn’t get in on the initial launch, indicating a broader iW1 release on September 26th. Fortunately, I was one of the lucky ones.

As for an unboxing, the iW1 consists of the speaker, AC adapter, charging “dock”, remote control, and a set of instruction manuals. Upon first picking up the speaker, there is definitely some heft to the device – it doesn’t feel cheaply made at all and features a nice clean design. The instruction manuals are straight forward and easy to follow.

Click to enlarge:
[gallery include=”27976,27968,27974″]

Charging / Power

After I removed everything from the box, it was time to charge it. iHome has taken a unique approach to charging the iW1. Instead of having a plug and unplug the device, you simply remove it from the charging dock. Around the back of the speaker is a hidden handle to allow you to move the speaker easily from the dock.

Also around the back is a battery indicator button on the back which lights up the top panel of the device and shows the amount of battery left. Lastly, there is a power switch which can toggle the speaker’s power on and off.

Read moreThe iHome iW1 AirPlay Speaker System Review