Apple to dominate the streaming world?

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Jul 24, 2012 in Apple, Films, Tech

Before you read, this isn’t based on any official news, just my speculation.

Over the past couple of years in the UK, more and more steaming companies have been popping up and as  internet speeds rise in the UK, it’s becoming more practical for the like of BBC, ITV, Channel4, Channel5 and various other terrestrial providers to offer a steaming service. Youtube now host many TV programs and films, and it won’t be long until they offer a monthly set fee subscription model.

Personally I cancelled my Sky ‘normal TV’ subscription over a year ago now, and have been fed my visual entertainment via streaming and rental services.

Until recently, I had the Lovefilm streaming service as well as Netflix, however I made the choice and decided to kill off Lovefilm. Personally I prefer a ‘all you can eat’ service if I’m paying a monthly fee, not a monthly fee plus an additional ‘pay for anything that’s worth watching’ fee.

Sky have recently released NowTV, offering either pay as you go model or a set fee ‘watch as much as you want’ service. This currently only has movies, but they plan to add everything Sky subscribes have been able to access via SkyPlayer.

This all led me to think, why the hell don’t Apple offer this kind of service, I assumed it was some kind of licencing, however as of Friday, all my previously purchased movies were available to stream from the iCloud, which hopefully they’ve now signed whatever contracts are needed to allow movie streaming in the UK (and 35 other countries).

Apple do have a huge range of TV programs and Films on a ‘pay as you go’ rental and buy model (probably a larger library than Netflix and Lovefilm put together (in the UK)), and if they offered this at a reasonable monthly price, this would surely increase the sales of Apple TV, as well as collecting a monthly subscription.

I hope that Apple doing things the Apple way, possibly, hopefully in the near future Apple will offer a streaming service ?

Fingers crossed!

ps, I would however like to point out my previous prediction of the AppleTV being Apples game console haven’t yet come try….but I live in hope.

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Belkin Powerline AV 200Mbps Networking Adapter (F5D4072uk)

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Feb 8, 2009 in Tech

Anybody who watches HD content, will know that streaming this across a wireless network is virtually impossible.

My upstairs network is wired, however downstairs (my Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3) are all wireless. This has been fine for gaming, web browsing, and everything else I normally use the Internet for downstairs, however it’s just not quick enough to stream HD content.

I’m a bit of a AV snob, and like the Video and Audio quality to be the best I can get. I like most people download TV episode from the web (just seems easier than recording via Sky, plus if you get them from the web, they tent to be a couple of days in front if the UK). I normally download the 720p version, granted they are over a gig in size, but the quality is so much better.

As you know from my previous posts about my Acer Aspire Easystore box, it’s got a Upnp Media server built in, which allows me to stream the content, and I normally watch these on my PS3 in the bedroom. If I do feel like watch the downloaded episodes downstairs, it normally means copying to a memory stick, then plugging into the PS3, then watching. This process has been fine up until recently. As I’m starting to build up a collection of Bluray Disks, I decided to look at converting these to mkv files, so I could stream these across my network, job done, a couple of films sat on my NAS Drive, converted into a readable format for the PS3. I’ve ripped these in full 1080p, and they are 11Gb+. Now my problem is, a, I don’t have a memory stick with 11Gb on it (8Gb is the largest I have), b, as you need to format the memory stick in FAT32 for the PS3 to be able to read it, I could only get 4Gb on it, and c, if I’m copying the film to a memory stick, I might as well put the bloody disk in, lol !

I’ve tested the films in the bedroom, and these work flawlessly, downstair was “play a couple of seconds, stutter, freeze, play a couple more seconds…….so decided to upgrade to the Powerline adapters (I know, I’ve finally got to the point !)

I spent Thursday morning reading through reviews, if I should go for the cheaper 85Mbps or splash out for the 200Mbps (Go on, have a guess which ones I went for, lol).

A lot of people dependant on their house hold power electrical wiring were getting on average 40Mbps connection speed through the 85Mbps ones, which wasn’t really much improvement on my Wireless, however the reviews for the 200Mbps were suggesting the people were getting 100Mbps, so went for the 200Mbps.

The strange thing is, even through the adaptors are advertised as 200Mbps, the built in NIC adaptor is only an auto sensing 10/100 card, after reading further at the specs, its 100Mbps each way (send and receive), making them a 100Mbps Full duplex.

Anyway, I got home, plugged them in, I end into a 10/100 Switch downstairs (which I then plugged in my PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii), and upstairs I plugged into the router. That’s it, done !, it worked straight away.

I plugged my MacBook into the downstairs switch and got a full 100Mbps transfer rate when copying from my NAS drive.

The ones I bought were £80, however well worth it for me, no drilling, no running cables, they just worked, I can highly recommend.

What’s in the box

Official Overview from Belkin

Powerline AV allows you to reliably transmit content from your Internet directly to your computer and other network devices through the electrical wires in your home. Transfer speeds of up to 200Mpbs makes Powerline AV ideal for streaming media to your home entertainment devices such as gaming consoles and set-top boxes.

Powerline is a great solution for areas in the home that are hard to reach by wireless connections, Powerline is the most reliable solution for providing secure Internet connectivity to these remote areas.

Setup of Powerline is simple with its plug-and-play connectivity. Connect one adapter to your router and plug it into an available electrical outlet. Plug the second adpter into an available wall outlet and connect the other end to any device with an available Ethernet port such as a gaming console, set-top box, or computer.

Official Features from Belkin

  • Includes extension power cables for the optional placement of powerline adapter away from the electrical outlet
  • Data speeds of up to 200Mbps
  • Ideal for surfing the Internet and reducing online gaming latency
  • Security: 128-bit AES link encryption with key management for secure powerline communications
  • Operating range: Up to 300m in wall powerlines
  • IEEE 802.3/802.3u
  • HomePlug® AV-certified

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