This box is basically a 802.11g box (about the same size as a ADSL modem/router) that plugs into the RCA sockets on your TV.
It allows you to access:
- Music (eg MP3s)
stored on any computer on your local network.
Although Philips have their own server software that you can install on each PC, I've personally chosen to use TVersity (www.tversity.com). TVersity offers an excellent directory of internet based content (eg CNN, Bloomberg) and offers on-the-fly conversion of formats that the SL300i might not support natively.
For example, I particularly like a lot of the "old" (ie 80s) music videos that are currently available on YouTube. I've used keepvid.com to get the flv files and with the aid of some conversion software, TVersity converts these to mpeg that can be viewed on our TV via the SL300i.
I've had a few problems with the SL300i (eg I can't update the firmware), and unfortunately it is a discontinued product now so assistance from Philips hasn't been easy to come by.
That being said there are some excellent forums (eg www.streamiumcafe.com, forums.tversity.com ) that offer a lot of assistance.
Overall, I love the concept of viewing videos and photos and listening to music on my Philips 29" TV, all without having to worry about copying the files to CD or DVD. I'm guessing that Philips had a few teething problems with the early versions of the products that left them at the point where they decided it was too much hassle to continue with the product.
I honestly believe they've got a great product that would be welcome in any home with a WiFi network and a collection of photos, videos and music that are normally viewed only once or twice a year.
So, the next problem is disk space 8-).
Luckily I've got another trip to Las Vegas early next month - the Western Digital My Book Essential Edition for US$99 from Amazon looks to be the next gadget that will turn up on my colleagues desk!
Other related posts:
Freeview and HDMI cables for $23 vs $90!
My latest gadget: Canon Selphy DS700 Printer
Vodafone HSDPA launch
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