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Wednesday, September 29, 2004

ViewSonic Media Gateways

Unwire Your Audio & Video with Home Media Networking

Home media networking products that let you stream audio, photos and video from your PC to your stereo and TV are multiplying fast. The first such products streamed music only, but now complete media systems that handle virtually everything your PC can produce are hitting the mainstream.

This fall, HP and others will be shipping the first Windows Media Center PC Extenders, which are basically intelligent Wi-Fi receivers for data stored on your Media Center PC. You can access all the content on your remote PC with a wireless keyboard and your TV monitor.

Another approach to Wi-Fi media networking is the home media gateway. ViewSonic's new WMG80 and WMG120 Wireless Media Gateways are Wi-Fi routers with built-in 80 or 120GB hard drives for media serving, as well as two USB ports for adding external storage devices and printers. The companion WMA100 Wireless Media Adapter then connects to your home entertainment system via a plethora of AV ports, including component video, S-video, DVI, composite video, digital audio, and analog audio. The WMA100 also includes a full-function remote control that makes it easy to access your media files, including Internet radio.

The ViewSonic system's combination of total media access, integration with the Wi-Fi gateway, and full complement of AV connections make it a unique solution at a relatively popular price ($399 for the 80GB gateway, $299 for the adapter and remote). Look for similar products in the near future from major consumer electronics vendors.


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