If you haven’t jumped into the world of placeshifting yet, with a Slingbox or HAVA, here is a chance to win one. Zatz Not Funny is giving away a HAVA Gold, and all you have to do is leave a comment and be the lucky winner of the drawing.
HAVA, from Monsoon Multimedia, is the primary competition to Sling Media’s Slingbox. HAVA has some features not found on Slingboxes – such as supporting multicast on a LAN (multiple, simultaneous clients), officially supporting recording on PCs, working as a tuner within Windows Media Center, learning new IR codes, and more. Additionally, all HAVA Mobile clients are free, unlike SlingPlayer Mobile. However, the HAVA products tend to be less polished than Sling, and little rougher around the edges. While Sling has clients for Windows and Mac OS, and mobile clients for Windows Mobile Standard & Professional, Symbian S60 & UIQ, Palm OS, and BlackBerry, HAVA Player is available only for Windows, Windows Mobile Standard & Professional, Symbian S60, and Maemo (the Linux flavor on Nokia N810 Internet tablets).
Sling has submitted their iPhone client to Apple, while HAVA demo’d an early version of their iPhone client at CES, so they’ll hopefully be submitting that soon. HAVA is also apparently developing a client for Mac OS. So as long as you have a supported platform, it could work fine for you.
You know, if HAVA really wants to compete with Sling, they should probably go after markets where Sling isn’t yet – like Android and Linux desktops. And since all HAVA boxes stream in MPEG-2 and MPEG-4/H.264, while Slingboxes stream in WMV/VC-1 (except the PRO-HD which also supports MPEG-2 and MPEG-4/H.264), and Flash video supports H.264, they might be able to put out a Flash-based client. A Flash client would be a killer app. Release a reference implementation and open-source it – widespread client availability would sell hardware.
Also, since they give away their clients for free, unlike Sling, they’d have nothing to lose by getting HAVA Player built into things like Boxee, VLC, the Roku Digital video Player, etc. Maybe even TiVo – since Sling Media parent EchoStar and TiVo are still slugging it out in court, and EchoStar is adding placeshifting to DISH DVRs and cable boxes, TiVo could use HAVA to respond.
But that’s a tangent and maybe I should just do a whole post on my thoughts on the placeshifting market.
Unrelated, sorry I haven’t been posting. I thought I’d be jumping back in when I posted a few weeks ago, but I underestimated just how draining the job hunting process can be. The good news is I’ve accepted an offer and should be back to work soon. The only downside is that the job is in Somerville, MA, and I live in Worcester, MA, so I’ll have a commute of about an hour each way. But I’ll be working 3rd shift, so traffic shouldn’t be bad, and I’m happy about the job itself.