Tech Time: Streaming Media

In its basic form, streaming media is technology which enables real-time or on-demand access to audio, video and multimedia content via the internet (or an intranet). But in practical terms, streaming media will represent a lifestyle shift in entertainment consumption.

Streaming media is not new, we’ve been able to watch video and listen to music from files stored remotely on our computers for years. The success of streaming was limited by bandwidth concerns and universal standards, both of which have been largely resolved. And the phenomenal success of streaming media sites such as YouTube and Hulu have pushed the demand for both user generated and broadcast quality content.

To enjoy streaming media, you’ll need software or hardware (or both). Popular players include VLC, Quicktime and Windows Media Player; most streaming media software is free. But to migrate content from your computer to your TV using hardware devices such as Apple TV and Xbox or similar devises from Lynksys, Logitech and Netgear. Generally, these gadgets cost between US$150 and US$300.

Or, you may have both the best of both with Boxee. Watch broadcast TV, sports, movies, music videos, user content and a variety of user content thanks to free open source software on your PC or Mac. Listen to radio, podcasts or music. Bounce the content from your computer to your TV with the appropriate cables. Comment and share content with friends over the internet. Take the best of online from your desk and combine it with the best of your home theatre in the comfort of your living room.

You can eliminate the personal computer altogether with the evolution of the Boxee Box, which will compete directly with productions like Apple TV and other media streamers. But if you are inclined to wait, Boxee (and Boxee type media streamers) will come built into new TV’s, converging multiple content sources into the most popular of entertainment devices.

Tech Service ...
(Doing good with technology)
Techies have made history with their massive donations towards Haiti relief through text donations. Locally and internationally, charities have been able to raise millions of dollars in aid through mobile phone technology. Beware of bogus charities.

For Digicel customers, call or text ‘help’ to 162 and $25 is contributed to the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund.

For LIME customers, text ‘haiti’ to 444-HELP or 444-4357

In Tech News ...
(What’s hot, next, big)
Apple has invited media to an announcement event on January 27 and techies are betting that the fabled Mac tablet computer will finally be revealed.

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