FlipShare TV gets official: reasonably straightforward streaming

Having been prematurely outed by the FCC a little over a month ago, Cisco and Flip Video have officially launched the FlipShare TV, their new media streamer system.  Consisting of a USB transmitter for your PC/Mac, a set-top box and a remote control, the FlipShare TV uses a proprietary wireless standard and accompanying software – which is preloaded onto the USB transmitter itself – to beam content to your big-screen TV.

The proprietary wireless is based on 802.11n, so it should be speedy enough for reasonably high resolution video content; certainly enough to cope with the sort of footage you could record with a Flip camcorder.  Flip Video reckon the FlipShare TV will be ideal for less tech-savvy users, though arguably a regular WiFi connection built into the set-top box and no requirement for installed software would make that an easier sell.

Walt Mossberg has reviewed it, and reckons it works – up to a point.  Considering Flip are billing it as a straightforward way to share content not only in your own home but with family and friends remotely, the absence of simple things like a "new video waiting" indicator are disappointing; Flip say they'll be adding that to an updated model next year.

At $149.99 it undercuts the SlingCatcher by fifty bucks, and of course the Sling device lacks onboard wireless.  We're not entirely convinced, but if you're addicted to your Flip camcorder and you want to keep things in the family when it comes to streaming, the FlipShare TV might scratch an itch.

Press Release:


Latest Innovation from Flip Video Creates an Easy Way to Watch and Share Flip Videos on TVs Everywhere

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., December 2, 2009 – The makers of the acclaimed Flip Video™ family of camcorders, recently acquired by Cisco®, today announced a brand new innovation in home video sharing called FlipShare™ TV. An industry first, FlipShare TV brings the user's entire Flip Video library of photos and videos into the family room and onto the TV screen without wires, and lets them share video instantly with other FlipShare TV owners. FlipShare TV extends the Flip Video product family by making it even easier for Flip users to enjoy and share video with friends and family anywhere.

"We're bringing back the home movie night," said Jonathan Kaplan, senior vice president and general manager, Cisco consumer products group. "There's now a simple and affordable solution to view and share photos and videos on any TV."

Like all Flip Video products, setting up and using FlipShare TV is simple. The small FlipShare TV base connects to the TV via the included composite cables or an HDMI cable, and the FlipShare TV USB key plugs into a USB port on a PC or Mac. The USB key and console are preconfigured to function wirelessly* so the Flip videos stored on the computer can be instantly viewed on the TV with no need for a wireless home network. Using the included wireless remote, the user can easily click through the intuitive TV interface to watch their favorite videos, custom movies, or photos and watch them in full HD.

FlipShare TV is designed to work with FlipShare 5.0, the new software from Flip Video that provides an easy way to organize, edit, and share favorite video moments online and through mobile phones. The new FlipShare TV takes sharing one step further by providing a simple way for users to display videos in full glory on their television, or share them with others on their TVs. With FlipShare TV, a user can also watch video shared by other Flip Video users on their own TV. FlipShare TV automatically accesses video shared through Flip Channels™, presenting them for users to watch directly through the simple FlipShare TV interface.

The Perfect Gift for Far-Away Family and Friends

FlipShare TV is a great new way to share videos with loved ones anywhere. A Flip user can simply set up Flip Channels within FlipShare and choose the friends and family they want to be able to watch. Whenever they add new content to a Flip Channel, everyone included in that channel can view it instantly. So now, grandparents can simply turn on the TV and watch the latest Flip video of their grandchildren, or siblings living far away can share video to each other's TVs with ease.

FlipShare TV Features:

Watch FlipShare video and photo library instantly on the TV

View any shared Flip Channel videos on the TV

Share Video with anyone else who has a FlipShare TV

FlipShare TV Includes: TV Base, USB Key, and Remote

TV Base Console: 4.6 x 4.6 x 1.3 inches / 4.6 oz

Remote Control: 3.9 x 1.6 x .04 inches/ 1.3 oz

USB Key: 3.5 x 1.0 x 0.5 inches / 0.6 oz

Wireless: 802.11n point-to-point proprietary interface (does not require a home wireless network)

Batteries: 2 x AAA for remote (included)

Composite cable included

Pricing and Availability

MSRP: $149.99

Availability: Amazon, BestBuy.com, Target.com, Wal-Mart.com, and the official Flip Store at theflip.com