Network media players for the home are becoming more and more popular as the average consumer migrates from physical media to digital media for home movies and other content. As we grow these digital media collections, we need a device to play all that media back easily and a device that is capable of storing that media safely.
Promise has just released a new NAS box called the SmartStor ZERO NS2600, which the company claims is the first no-hassle NAS server to hit the market. According to Promise, all you need to do is plug the server in, power it on, and install the included software and the rest is automatic. The software will map an open network share, allowing instant access for data backup and DLNA media sharing via digital media players. The server also functions as an iTunes Media Server, allowing music and video to be streamed via iTunes.
LaCie seem to be going back and filling in any blanks in their mediaplayer line-up right now, neatly slotting the LaCinema Classic HD into the range. Coming somewhere in-between the non-HD LaCinema Classic and the HDD-free LaCinema Classic Bridge, the new device promises Full HD 1080p playback of various formats - including DivX, MKV, AVC and H.264 - from its 1TB internal hard-drive, together with DLNA media server support.
Zagg has been around for a while and makes some of the best protective coatings out there for a myriad of gadgets from smartphones to full computers. I use ZAGG invisibleSHIELD film on my iPhone to keep the scratches away. The company has announced a few details on its upcoming new product called the ZAGGbox.
It's been a long time since we reviewed Iomega's original StorCenter ix2 NAS, and the company have finally got around to updating the dual-drive consumer/small-office backup and media-sharing system. The Iomega StorCenter ix2-200 keeps the compact footprint of its predecessor but boosts capacity - 1TB, 2TB and 4TB models are on offer - upgrade potential and green credentials.
Unlike the ix2, the ix2-200 has twin user-accessible drive bays, and they're filled with low-power drives that are automatically spun-down when not in use. The StorCenter also has DLNA media streaming, RAID 1 drive spanning for improved data security, three USB ports for plugging in external drives or webcams, and optional Bluetooth for wirelessly transferring files from mobile devices.
LG have announced a new NAS (network-attached storage) which rather than positioning as a computer peripheral are instead suggesting would make a great place to back up multimedia files. The LG N2R1 packs up to 2TB of storage and RAID data redundancy, and can function as a DLNA or iTunes media server in addition to backing up your family photos, videos of grandparents falling off chairs and other priceless clips.
Yamaha have announced a new version of their home audio streaming system, the MusicCAST2. Set to take on Sonos in the high-end audiophile market, MusicCAST2 currently consists of a touchscreen LCD controller, the MCX-RC100 Network Music Commander, and two types of Network Music Players, the MCX-A300, which has an integrated amplifier, or the MCX-P200, which is non-amplified for integration with an existing AV setup.
PopcornHour have revealed their latest media streamer, the C200, and compared to the previous-gen models it's a significant step up. As well as a new 667MHz processor, the Sigma SMP8643, the PopcornHour C200 gets an HDMI 1.3 port, two SATA connectors, and a user-accessible drive bay for a HDD, DVD or Blu-ray drive.
After Apple made such bold claims about Safari 4 during their WWDC keynote last week, it was only a matter of time until another browser company came along and claimed to "reinvent the web". Opera have done just that with Opera Unite, a cloud-based system integrated with the company's browser, that synchronizes user data - including files, music, photos and notes - and makes it available to any internet-connected browser.
Sony have announced two new products in its GIGA Juke range of streaming home audio equipment, which also add docks for the company's Walkman range such as the OLED-touchscreen Walkman-X we reviewed. The NAS-SC500PK (shown here) gets increased amplification - up to 100W - and a chunkier 160GB hard-drive, while the NAS-E300HD (shown after the cut) sticks with 60W and half the storage.