June 22 press release from Toshiba announces an effort to “ promote a new SD card that integrates Wi-Fi wireless communication with data storage capabilities. The forum, the "Standard Promotion Forum for Memory Cards Embedding Wireless LAN"* has been founded by Toshiba and Singapore-based Trek 2000 International Ltd.. ‘
But they want to make this 802.11b/g and not the faster 802.11n (which is backwards compatible with b/g.
As any photographer knows, RAW files are huge, and even the JPEGs at Fine and Super-Fine resolutions are pretty big.
Eye-FI has done it right and offers SDHC cards that utilize 802.11n.
Why in the world would Toshiba (or anyone else for that matter) want to slow people down? This may be a price based decision. I sure have no interest.
There is a lot of interest in this technology and naturally, accompanying confusion as to what this is and how to get it. Some of this has been driven by a recent Windows 7 was My Idea commercial. That commercial and possibly similar ones, have stirred up things in the past few weeks.
What they don’t tell you is that you need a specific computer with Intel GMA HD graphics and the Intel WiFi embedded radio. Initially, three laptops only were initially available, exclusively from Best Buy.
For more in depth info on the technology see:
I’ve been using this technology since it became available in January and recommend it highly. You can read about my personal experience with this technology HERE.
Intel announced on June 21,2010 that "Intel Wireless Display is now available on more than 25 systems based on Intel Core i3 or Intel Core i5 processors from manufacturers like ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba. It is now available at more than 10 retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Dell.com, Fry’s, Sony Style, OfficeMax, Tiger Direct, and more. Enhancements to Intel Wireless Display are available for download with the 1.2 software version. This enables people to access an extended display mode for watching a video on TV while surfing the Internet on the laptop. New remote only mode allows you to watch a video with a black screen on the laptop to lower glare and distractions. A new fast cursor improves navigation on the TV. Intel Wireless Display is available on select Intel Core i5 or i5 systems and requires a Push to TV adapter from Netgear."
Dell has just announced an Inspiron model that can be custom ordered to include this technology. You will need to be sure to order or configure to order the right combination of components including the Intel HD GMA video chip and Intel WiFi. And be sure to order the Netgear Push2TV adapter as well.
If someone knows where I can buy the Apple iPad Camera Connector, PLEASE let me know. I just grabbed another brass ring off the iPad carousel.
Eye-Fi on its own is cool enough. Send digital photos from your camera to your desktop via 802.11n (2.4 GHz only) for editing, to various online photo sharing sites, Facebook, and so on. It sure beats connecting cables or removing cards from a camera.
I thought that the advertised free iPhone app for Eye-Fi (available in the App Store of course) might be useful on my iPad since its function is to send photos from the iPhone via 3G to your desktop or a supported online photo sharing site (Facebook, Flickr, MobileMe, Picasa, Smugmug). And I was right.
Surprisingly, there was virtually no setup to speak up. You authenticate by entering the credentials for your Eye Fi account and the little app “just works”. Once I logged in, the computer showed an additional tab on the left labelled iPhone (which I promptly changed to iPad). A settings window popped right up (and it can be accessed at any time) that let me specify a folder hierarchy and type and some other options.
Back on the iPad, since there is no camera and because I don’t yet have my hands on the camera connector for iPad, I was able to upload photos stored on the device. I used this feature to take the screen captures I made of the Eye Fi functionality on the iPad and send them to my desktop for editing and inclusion in this post.
Well, I can’t take a photo with the iPad as I said, but I sure can choose an existing photo and upload it. I just selected my Saved Pictures folder on the iPad and selected three images. The two above and one showing all the saved screen shots (appears below as iPhone005.JPG inside the Windows Explorer image).
I could tell the image uploads were completed via both a tool tip in the system and the Eye-Fi center window below.
Here’s the Windows Explorer view.
Yup, this is way cool. I really want to get my hands on that iPad Camera Connector. I’m relishing the thought of all my pictures being uploaded and ready for editing on the home computer when I walk in the front door at the end of a day of photo shooting.
The D-Link DSM-210 Internet Frame really is best of breed. Besides displaying images from various places on my network, or from its built in 1 gig memory, it does a really great job of displaying RSS feed snippets from blogs and such. Or weather reports, or images emailed to my online frame account from invited friends. There’s lots of content available from http://dlink.framechannel.com/ that can be displayed on the frame. Including the ability to view shared photo streams from flickr, facebook, webshots, photobucket, and more. MSNBC had a write up of Frame Media, which provides the online service for D-Link and several other companies.
The DSM-210 displays an RSS feed snippet
As much as I liked the Momento frame that I’ve had for a couple of years, it had a few shortcomings. It didn’t support WPA2 (only WPA) and the remote was a little flaky requiring multiple keypresses at times to enter a character at times. And it did not see my mixed g/n networks (and couldn’t connect to them even if I entered the SSID and credentials manually). There haven’t been any firmware updates, and the Momento frame really isn’t readily available. It is important to note that the Momento I had here was pre-production, from the floor of CES.
The DSM-210, however, implements WPA2, sees all available networks, and the mini remote is extremely responsive. The frame goes into standby mode at night when I turn off the lights in my living room and starts up again in the morning when I enter the room. D-Link tells me that the frame will be available soon online and in the usual big box stores.
HP was kind enough to send me an early near production version of their soon to be released (July 31) MediaSmart Connect Home Theater component. I’ve had a few minutes to take a VERY quick look and the first impression is: It’s great!
Nice looking hardware, piano black finish (production units will have a neat Zen imprint) with a solid heft/feel. Connections for component and HDMI (720p and 1080i supported on both). An HDMI cable is included (nice touch). Audio jacks include RCA stereo (analog) and Optical Digital (SPDIF). No Coax digital, but that suits me just fine. I ranted some about the lack of Optical output on the ”competing” (and I use that term loosely) Linksys DMA-2100.
802.11a/b/g/n (Draft 2.0n) wireless (and 10/100 Ethernet) connect this device to your home network. The device sports USB ports front and rear and includes a HP Pocket Media Drive Bay (the 21st century version of sneaker net storage used to move your digital “stuff” between computers and devices).
If you are looking at size and aesthetics, this image shows the sizes of the x280n, the Linksys DMA-2200 (the 2100 is even smaller and as I blogged, chintzy in feel and cheap looking), the D-Link theater component size DSM-750, and an Xbox 360. For me, it is a draw between the component sized D-Link which, in the real world would fit nicely on the rack that holds my home theater receiver and the HP x280n which would fit nicely and discreetly on top of or under the TV. Top to bottom: HP MediaSmart x280n, Linksys DMA-2200, D-Link DSM-750, Xbox 360.
HP includes a really nice handheld remote. It’s certainly the best of the remotes offered with any of the extenders I’ve seen. It’s backlit (which for me is a must in a darkened room). Setting up the x280n was menu driven and simple. It found several of my 2.4GHz “N” networks (I’m not certain it is seeing 5GHz N yet, more to come). I associated it, entered the WPA2-PSK passphrase and it was off and running. The first thing it did was check for new firmware. Finding a newer version, it downloaded and applied the newer firmware. After a reboot, it was back up and ready for action.
I elected to set it up as a Media Center Extender first and verify that my OCUR/DCT high def streaming was good to go. No problem there. Since I can do MCX setups in my sleep, and at the speed of light, I was able to quickly get through setup and watch Live and Recorded HD TV.
Exploring the HP MediaSmart interface:
I had a short amount of time to explore HP’s MediaSmart proprietary interface for Media Sharing. I used Windows Media Sharing and UPnP streaming from a server. I have yet to setup HP’s own MediaSmart gateway software, but I’ll get to that. HP has developed a slick and intuitive interface which can be used with Windows XP, Vista, and most likely will be future proof, at least for a while. I like the HP interface and functionality slightly more than D-Link’s MediaLounge interface. Linksys has no such secondary interface. I was easily able to start playing some music and access my photos and play a slide show. This works almost exactly the same way it does on the Media Center Extender interface. All in all, in my first look, a nice, user friendly, solid piece of hardware with great functionality.
I’ll be updating this post as time permits as I continue to explore and experiment.