Whether you have multimedia content on a remote device like a file server (NAS) or your laptop, the next big question: how do I stream that content wirelessly to my TV? There are a few ways to do so, and if you’re into consumer gadgetry in general then chances are you have a solution already. For instance, I have a Xbox 360 and an Apple TV2. The Xbox 360 natively supports wireless networking to a file server but is limited in its media codec support. Plus its pretty college-bootleg to have to boot up the 360 to watch a movie.
Apple TV 2 on the other hand is very slick and simple, yet missing the essential streaming from a (gasp!) non-Apple machine. That’s right – at this time, Home Sharing is not something you’ll find on a device other than another apple computer. I had no intention of buying another Apple device to serve media content. Thankfully, the kind folks at http://www.appletvhacks.net had just published an article to jailbreak the operating system on the Apple TV so you can inject additional software onto the device. This sounds complicated, but it really isn’t. Just follow the instructions and soon you can be playing high definition movies from your file server running XBMC (formerly Xbox Media Center).
March 22, 2011 Comments Off
Earlier this year, Google announced that they had a plan for the VP-8 video they acquiring after purchasing On2 Technologies in early 2010. They stated its Chrome browser will stop supporting the H.264 codec in a couple of months and will support its own WebM and Ogg Theora technologies instead. According to Wikipedia’s article on the topic, “there were calls for Google to release the VP8 source code, notably the Free Software Foundation issued an open letter on March 12, 2010, asking Google to gradually replace the usage of the Adobe Flash Player and H.264 on YouTube with a mixture of HTML5 and a freed VP8.” So, in essence, Google is taking, what I consider to be, a large chunk of H.264 support away to support open innovation. H.264, after all, is patented. Patents for the technologies in H.264 are held by 27 companies, including Microsoft and Apple, and administered by the MPEG LA. If you consider the biggest technology companies in the US, including Apple, Google, and Microsoft hold a considerable slice of the patent applications in software, then you get the picture. By any measure, the value of patents is a very, very big deal, and now the U.S. government is now getting involved to decide whether the MPEG LA is unfairly trying to squash Google’s WebM.
March 15, 2011 Comments Off