3M Streaming Projector Powered by Roku: Potent Palm-Size Entertainment Center

3M Streaming Projector powered by Roku.

Internet video in your living room without the TV or the Internet box? That’s what 3M and Roku announced Friday as the companies introduced the 3M Streaming Projector Powered by Roku, a tiny, but potent portable projector which wirelessly streams Internet video content at projection sizes up to 120 inches. The battery-powered unit pulls in content from Roku’s 600-plus channels without the need for a TV or one of Roku’s standalone devices.

Mark Colin, vice president and general manager of the 3M Mobile Interactive Solutions Division, shows off the 3M Streaming Projector powered by Roku.

The $299 3M Streaming Projector powered by Roku comes with a removable Roku Streaming Stick, a USB-flash-drive-size device with a built-in Wi-Fi wireless networking adapter, Roku software and an MHL (mobile high-definition link) port. The Roku Streaming Stick allows the projector to access content from online services such as Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus and Netflix.

“It’s everything you expect from a Roku platform,” said Chas Smith, Roku’s senior vice president and general manager of its platform OEM business. “The big thing about Roku is the simplicity.”

The one-pound unit has a rechargeable lithium ion battery that provides up to two hours and 45 minutes of video playback, thus making it possible to show videos wherever you can find a Wi-Fi connection–even outdoors.

The device comes with a small infrared remote control, but for about $20 you can purchase the Roku Game Remote, an enhanced Wi-Fi remote with an accelerometer, which allows you to play interactive games such as Angry Birds on the big screen. By utilizing a Wi-Fi Direct connection, the unit can also stream images and videos from compatible cell phone and other mobile devices. Of course you can use the 3M Streaming Projector powered by Roku as a standard projector and connect it to a laptop or other device via an HDMI cable.

At a resolution of 800 by 480 pixels and with a 60-lumen brightness rating, the image from the unit, although clear and sharp, doesn’t compare to that of much more expensive plasma or LCD HDTVs. The unit’s performance is best in low-light situations such as a darkened basement as opposed to a brightly sunlit room. The unit has an internal speaker, but a headphone jack is included for external speakers.

Mark Colin of 3M (left) and Roku’s Chas Smith explain the features of the 3M Streaming Projector powered by Roku at New York press conference.

The 3M Streaming Projector powered by Roku is now available for pre-order exclusively from Amazon. The first units will be delivered to customers on or about Oct. 22.

Text and photos Copyright 2012
Robert S. Anthony, Stadium Circle Features

Diamond Multimedia AMP1000 1080P Media Player Brings HD Android to the TV Screen

Diamond Multimedia AMP1000 Android Media Player

The Diamond Multimedia AMP1000 Android Media player has taken Google’s Android operating system to a place where you’re not used to seeing it: On the big screen of your living room TV.

The media player (about $120), which goes on sale today, streams video content from the Internet, supports full 1080P HD graphics, runs Android 2.3 and has full access to the Google Play app store’s massive collection of apps. Thus the AMP1000 allows you to load up your HDTV with the same Android apps that you now use on your Android smartphone or tablet and. According to Diamond Multimedia, these apps include Skype, Twitter, Facebook, Pandora, Netflix and many other popular Android titles.

The AMP1000 has access to Android apps from the Google Play app store.

The AMP1000 comes with the Google Chrome Web browser, a music player, a photo viewer, an ebook reader and a game player. It also offers support for Adobe Flash, thus ensuring that online video will run as they would on your notebook or tablet.

The AMP1000 Android Media Player connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi or with an Ethernet cable, which means you’re not limited to using it on a TV near your router. A Bluetooth option is $10 extra. The unit has 3.5GB of storage and an SD card slot for removable memory cards. It connects to your TV via HDMI cable.

The AMP1000 comes with a slender thumb-driven, but full QWERTY keypad which also incorporates an integrated mouse.

The unit is now available from various retailers and a rebate was expected be available soon on Diamond Multimedia’s Facebook page.

Photos courtesy of Diamond Multimedia
Text © Copyright 2012 Robert S. Anthony, Stadium Circle Features, info@paperpc.net

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Apple Store’s Gift to Grand Central Terminal: Free Wi-Fi

You may not have noticed, but the new Apple Store which opened in
Grand Central Terminal Friday brought with it an early holiday
gift for harried New York commuters: Free Wi-Fi.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority has offered free Wi-Fi in the historic venue since 2008, but only in the small ticketed-passengers-only Station Master’s Office waiting area on the station’s west side.

The vast Main Concourse, with its soaring, 125-foot-high ceiling, iconic four-faced clock and landmark circular information booth, is well beyond the reach of the MTA’s Wi-Fi access point.

Fortunately the new Apple Store at Grand Central Terminal offers free Wi-Fi which freely spills out of the store’s base on the East Balcony, across the vast Main Concourse and into many of the other areas of the station’s main level.

When tested with a new LG Nitro HD Android 2.3 smartphone for AT&T, the Apple Store’s Wi-Fi signal was strong throughout the Main Concourse and was even reachable under archways below the West Balcony. The signal didn’t disappear until just before the west side escalators to the lower level.

The free Wi-Fi is good news for delayed commuters with iPods, Wi-Fi-only Kindles, iPads and other tablets and handheld devices and for those with limited data plans for their cell phones. It’s also good news for users of smartphone videoconferencing apps that run only over Wi-Fi, not over their carriers’ data networks.

So how do you connect? Just turn on your device’s Wi-Fi adapter, search for the access point named “Apple Store,” and connect. The open network doesn’t even require a sign-in; just connect and go. But a word to the wise: Since this Wi-Fi connection offers no security, save your online banking for a more secure Internet link at home or work.

Text, video and photo Copyright 2011, Robert S. Anthony, Stadium Circle Features