Following hot on the heels of Sling Media’s Slingbox PRO-HD announcement, Monsoon Multimedia is announcing their own HD place-shifting device, the HAVA Wireless with HD. Unlike the Slingbox PRO-HD, which has built-in Ethernet but will utilize the SlingLink Wireless for 11g WiFi, the HAVA will have 802.11n (well ‘Pre-N’ since it isn’t finalized yet) networking built-in. However, it is still limited to Windows-only clients – Windows PCs or Windows Mobile devices, while Sling supports Windows, Windows Mobile, Mac OS, Palm OS, Symbian, and have just announced Blackberry support in the near term. Sling is also working on a client for the iPhone, and, of course, don’t forget the SlingCatcher.
On the other hand, the HAVA’s integration with Windows allows it to be used as a Windows Media Center tuner, just like a tuner installed in the PC only over the network. And HAVA’s PC software allows for recording the streams, something Sling has yet to offer in their official products. (There have been 3rd party solutions for recording Sling streams.)
The HAVA Wireless with HD has a built in NTSC/ATSC tuner (no mention of QAM like the SB PRO-HD) as well as component video input and can stream video up to 1080i. There is no mention of any digital audio input however, so it doesn’t sound like it has the ability to stream 5.1 audio like the PRO-HD.
The HAVA streams using MPEG-2 locally, which probably explains the need for 11n WiFi instead of 11g, while using MPEG-4 for Internet streaming.
It will be available in ‘Spring 2008′, and no pricing has been announced at this time.
The press release:
Jan 7, 2008 11:30 ET
Monsoon Multimedia Announces Streaming HD Video Over WiFi With HAVA
Monsoon HAVA First to Stream True 1080i Video to any PC Throughout a Home Wireless Network
LAS VEGAS, Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ — Monsoon Multimedia, an innovative digital video solutions provider, today announced HAVA as the first consumer solution to stream HD video throughout a home 802.11n or wired network. Customers can now enjoy the full glory of HD video on multiple PCs throughout the home or view and control live home TV from anywhere in the world on a broadband-connected PC, Windows Mobile phone or handheld computer.
The HAVA wireless hardware setup is fast, easy and eliminates the need to run ethernet cables, or purchase costly HomePlug or PowerLine adapters required by similar place-shifting solutions. The included HAVA Player software includes a wide range of familiar virtual remote control designs allowing users to change channels and control other features of their video source as if they were sitting at home.
Combined with 802.11n-enabled laptops, Monsoon’s breakthrough technology in streaming true HD offers households a viable alternative to the traditional TV set. Users can enjoy television and video content on their laptops as a portable, hi-resolution alternative that brings together all of the features of a television and the power of a PC.
“Wireless-N technology with notebook computers based on Intel(R) Centrino(R) processor technology featuring 45nm Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo Processor delivers the speed and coverage needed for consumers to wirelessly enjoy their digital entertainment in full HD,” said Erik Reid, Director of Marketing, Mobile Platforms Group, Intel Corporation. ” Our wireless-N technology improves the home network experience — especially when multiple people access their wireless network simultaneously and enjoy bandwidth consuming applications such as full HD video entertainment.”
Monsoon’s HAVA also allows a PC to operate with TiVo-like functionality. Customers can pause, fast forward, rewind and record live TV to a PC hard disk and burn the recorded content to DVD for archiving purposes. In addition, the HAVA can employ WiFi to serve as a wireless network TV tuner for Media Center PCs within the home allowing customers to enjoy the full functionality of their Media Center XP or Vista PC without having to install a TV Tuner Card or place their PC in the living room.
“Wirelessly streaming HD TV to PCs and other portable devices throughout the home has been a dream until now,” said Colin Stiles EVP, Sales and Marketing at Monsoon. “Our world class engineering team continues to enrich the consumer TV experience, by mobilizing HD TV content with 802.11n and eliminating the inconvenience of wires or costly power-line adapters. Monsoon’s leadership position in place-shifting technology is really TV Set Free”
HAVA features Monsoon’s vBooster technology which provides superior picture quality and enables multicast video allowing an unlimited* number of PCs connected to a home network to view video content while simultaneously transmitting video to a broadband-connected PC or mobile phone anywhere in the world. Monsoon’s vBooster technology allows the local MPEG-2 video streams to bypass the router, effectively doubling the available bandwidth, while simultaneously keeping the PC connected to the router for non-video traffic.
Monsoon HAVA Features: -- Stream Live 1080i, 720p and 480p HD TV to multiple PCs within the home (Multicast) -- ATSC/NTSC hybrid tuner to receive off-the-air HDTV broadcast -- Component input and support for HD video source (1080i, 720p, 480p/576p) played back in the native 16:9 aspect ratio on the client display -- Supports Windows Vista -- Functions as a wireless networked TV Tuner for Microsoft Media Center PCs on home network -- Connects to any TV source including Cable, Satellite, DVD, TiVo or a Camcorder -- Enables TiVo-like functionality on the PC. Users can record, store, pause, rewind and fast forward stored video -- Schedule and record programs for later viewing -- Allows archival of recorded material to DVD -- All inputs include a pass-through connector, eliminating the use of splitters when connecting HAVA to home video equipment -- Streams video at an average of 18-20Mbps directly to PCs in a home network in MPEG-2 at HD resolution up to 1920x1080 -- Streams MPEG-2 format over the home network, MPEG-4 format over the Internet -- Supports Windows Mobile 5.0, 6.0 cell phones and PDAs
Pricing and Availability
The Monsoon Multimedia HAVA with true HD streaming will be available Spring 2008 through select retailers and etailers nationwide as well as directly through Monsoon’s e-tailing division at http://www.myhava.com/
About Monsoon Multimedia
Monsoon Multimedia provides advanced, standards based multimedia products and technologies for the PC and Consumer Electronics industries. Monsoon licenses highly optimized multimedia solutions compromised of applications, drivers, frameworks, middleware and reference designs. Monsoon customers and partners are semiconductor companies, PC manufacturers, software suppliers and consumer electronics companies. Founded by the founders of Dazzle and Emuzed, Monsoon Multimedia is headquartered in Noida, India with offices in California and Russia. For more information, please visit http://www.monsoonmultimedia.com/.
* The number of PCs is based on available network bandwidth Media Contact: Anders Steele FortyThree, Inc. 831.239.0960 firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Monsoon Multimedia
CONTACT: Anders Steele of FortyThree, Inc., +1-831-239-0960,
email@example.com, for Monsoon Multimedia