Connected Media with Macox

6 06 2009

Streaming video from a Mac/ internet to your Bigscreen

   Usually you’d have an apple TV or a Mac Mini that would connect to your TV and stream content from your Mac server to your TV using itunes or other file sharing protocols. But what about streaming to consoles or other set top boxes that support DLNA.

   DLNA(the microsoft media streaming protocol that is mainstream now) on MacosX is not integrated – obviously its not something that apple is currently interested in since they have their own streaming protocols that work fine for the Core Apple community. I for one, like backing up DVD’s and playing back on my living room TV is not possible over Itunes today as it is.

    Nullriver has a couple of cool products to do this to your gaming Console. Connect360 is a Mac OSX app that lets you stream, transcode on the fly and integrate your Itunes/iphoto etc into a nice DLNA cloud for your Xbox 360. Medialink — another application from the same company allows you to stream the same for PS3. Both transcode content on the fly and support internet RSS feeds.

    Check them out here…   

If you have a PSP and a PS3, enable remote play, setup Medialink and viola, you have your own slingbox that could stream content from your PC to your PSP. 

    I for one don’t get Cable and count on Hulu. Its really really cool, and i love it because its free, who wouldn’t? Boxee is an excellent application for Mac OSX that would integrate nicely with your apple remote to get the most out of HULU, ABC, BBC, Comedy Central and several other Internet content providers. 

    Boxee is available for the AppleTV as well, although I have to warn you that its not covered under warranty as soon as you override your boot-rom. It can Stream movies and episodes from Hulu direct to your HDMI connection over your wifi. If you have a Mac in your living room, Hulu also has a hulu Desktop for Mac and PC that can be controlled by the apple remote or a media center remote. Its pretty cool, the day that Hulu replaces Cable is here. 

    XMBC Media center is another free application that can stream, transcode and play all sorts of video, audio content on your AppleTV or a PC/Mac/linux etc. The neat thing is its got all the codecs you could ever imagine!  

Moving audio around your house.

   There are multiple options you have. 

+ Go the really old way  – Run cables. I know you don’t want that

+ Go wireless

       Sonos is a nice high end wireless distribution system. Integrates with Itunes, rhapsody, pandora etc. Kinda pricey but has a nice controller and does 48kHz 24bit. Logitech squeezebox does the same bitrate a smaller less cooler controller but 1/3 the price. Audio quality is essentially the same. The one cool thing with logitech is that they have something called a softsqueeze, its a piece of sw emulator that can emulate the music receiver. Cisco recently got into this business with linksys but they are on the top of the list in price, haven’t heard them yet.

       If you are a soul itunes user then the new airport express works great. If you get airfoil from rogue amoeba, you can hijack and stream any audio from your mac or PC. If you are going this way get the apple remote app and an ipod touch. Really a cheap and cool solution. the airport express from my experience does only 44.1khz.