For the past few days, every tech site and blog seems to be overly excited about the announcement by LG about the LG Smart TV Upgrader they will be showing at CES 2011 (but likely not to be available until LATE 2011. According to the specs, this is a DLNA device and some folks are getting excited by this.
I just can’t get excited by this device. It’s just another closed system that features its own LG apps. And the press release mentions Premium Content, without stating if it is extra cost. And the price of this device has not been disclosed. No info on supported codecs, either.
The DLNA functionality is minimal (it is NOT a digital media renderer/DMR) which means Windows 7 Play To will not work. (But hopefully Windows Media Player streaming will).
Hopefully another vendor will show something at CES that will be fully featured DLNA 1.5 with DMR support.
For any of you attending CES 2011, let me know what DLNA 1.5 DMR add-on devices you discover at the show in The Green Button DLNA forum.
Yes, you read that correctly. The iPxxx devices don’t natively support DLNA functionality, which rules out using Windows 7 Play To”, so I decided to see what could be done, at least as a proof of concept, to try to get this working.
The secret sauce was finding an app called PlugPlayer and installing it on my iPhone and iPad and seeing my iPxx devices show up in the Network Window .
I was intrigued, and not expecting much success, used Windows Explorer, right clicked a music file and saw not only my TV and Sonos Players listed, but my iPhone (via PlugPlayer) as well.
Then, the next task was finding which file formats would be supported.
I’m not easily impressed, but my jaw is hanging open today after installing two Sonos S5 Music Players to cover my home with end to end music. I’ve used computers, Media Center Extenders and all kinds of hardware and software in the past to move music around my home, but I always had to cobble together pieces and use separate devices and controllers to get what I wanted. What did I want? Well, everything imaginable. The list below is not in any particular order:
1. The ability to stream from ANY of my computers (using Play To or anything else) to more than one music player/renderer simultaneously.
2. To be able to control the volume above individually or together.
3. Play Pandora Radio and other Internet sourced digital music
4. Use existing/create new playlists
5. Use iPhones, iPads and iPxxx whatever to control and manage the device as a remote control (including graphical menus).
6. Use the system as an alarm clock with choices to wake from alarm, music, Internet music, whatever
7. Wireless connectivity in my Living Room
8. A system that was upgradeable.
9. Quality sound
I’m still stunned that I found a system that does ALL of the above. (And I’m betting I discover more features – I’ve only had a few hours experience with this all, so my exploration and discovery has only just begun).
This is a love story. Sometimes diving off the technology cliff means you follow your heart and take a chance on emerging/converging standards. When my nine year old once upon a time bleeding edge first of its kind 45 inch front projection component only HDTV developed the purple blotchies, I knew it was well past time to replace it. It was an ugly beast as well.
I did a fair amount of online research and put three HD TVs on my “see and compare” list based on features. The best features were on a Samsung 52 inch LN52B750 that also happened to be on sale for $600 off at the time. The picture quality from High Def sources is absolutely stunning. Breathtaking. I was hooked. And there was a LOT of icing on the cake to go along with a superb TV.
Old TV before the attack of the Purple Blotchies
New Samsung LN52B750