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SlingPlayer MobileThe Slingbox just gets better and better with each new update, and the gang at Sling Media have finally released SlingPlayer Mobile.  Unlike streaming media options offered by Verizon, Sprint and Cingular, there’s no recurring monthly fees (aside from the data plan), and you can watch exactly what you want to.  The software works on PocketPC and Windows Mobile 5 devices, with the exception of Windows Smartphones.  SlingPlayer Mobile for Smartphones will be released in the 2nd Quarter of 2006. 

For proper operation a minimum of 112Kbps sustained incoming bandwidth is required.  Beyond that just about any type of Internet connection will do, including WiFi, USB, Bluetooth, EV-DO and UMTS.  EDGE may not quite make the grade as its advertised speeds range form 80-130Kbps, so your mileage may vary.

SlingPlayer Mobile is available for purchase at $29.99 USD unless of course you qualify to get it free.  To obtain a free license you must have purchased and registered your SlingPlayer prior to April 26, 2006.


Read More | Sling Media


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Samba 75
We talked about the SAMBA 3G CDMA/EV-DO modem almost exactly one year ago, yet there’s no indication that it ever saw the light of day.  What did get released was the SAMBA 75, a quad band GPRS/EDGE USB modem that fills a need, but falls a bit short of 3G glory.  It’s been out for a while now, but doesn’t exactly carry a high profile, which is really a shame.  When you look at the number of laptops that have eschewed CardBus in favor of ExpressCard, or that lack a PC card slot altogether, there’s definitely a market for a product of this nature. 

A quick peek at the basic specifications doesn’t reveal anything out of the ordinary.
• Integrated Quad Band GSM/GPRS/EDGE Engine
• SAMBA 75: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
• Data, SMS, Fax, MMS, Downloads
• TCP/IP stack implemented
• Audio/Video streaming
• GPRS class 12, class B
• EDGE class 10, class B
• Integrated USB-Hub
• GSM antenna included
• USB serial link
• World-wide applicable

Current street pricing in the US places the SAMBA 75 at $197 USD.  Stay tuned as we’ll be doing a review of the SAMBA 75 in the near future.


Read More | Falcom


Phoebus MB6000Looking to squeeze as much value out of your 3G wireless connection as possible?  Then direct your attention to Top Global’s newest variation on their 3G router lineup - the Phoebus MB6000.  The MB6000 is housed in a unique pyramid-shaped housing that is an interesting departure from the norm of squat, rectangular boxes, but may not appeal to everyone’s sense of aesthetics.  While your mileage may vary on the design, it’s hard to argue with the ability to take a CDMA 1x, EV-DO, EDGE, or UMTS PCMCIA card and share it with other users over an 802.11b/g wireless connection.  The MB6000 can also be upgraded to handle EV-DO Release A and HSDPA should the need arise.  If you do decide to take advantage of the Phoebus MB6000 or similar ilk, make sure your data plan is of the unlimited variety or you might be in for a nasty surprise when the bill arrives.

A quick check reveals street pricing to be right around $400 USD with wide availability.


Read More | Top Global via eHomeUpgrade


 Novatel USB 870 EVDO

We have been waiting for months on end to hear about an EVDO solution for the new Intel Core Duo portable computers. Finally, word is making rounds that Novatel is going to be the first to market with the goods. First up is their USB 720 EVDO modem from Sprint, aimed at both Windows and Mac OS X users. Interesting to note here, you can either plug in the USB modem directly into your notebook’s USB port, or you can connect it to a USB cord. The thought process here is that by placing the modem 12 inches away from your computer, you get less interference, and a signal that is increased by as much as 3 decibels - and it will perform better than embedded or card-style EVDO devices. What’s more, the Sprint USB720 is a Rev. A EVDO device, so if you have a need for speed, this is the device you want.

We are going to keep an eye on this one. Expect it to hit the market in Fall 2006.


Read More | EVDOInfo


LG LG550

LG’s new phone, the LG550, has a lot to get excited about.  The new handset is an EV-DO capable 3G ready device.  Some of the other features include music, video on demand, Bluetooth stereo support, a 1.3 megapixel camera, and a FM transmitter.  The FM transmitter allows the handset to broadcast tunes to a nearby FM radio.  A microSD/TransFlash slot is available for additional storage room.  The screen is a 262,000 color, 176x220 TFT display. The phone also features an external 96x96 65,000 color TFT. Another interesting feature of this phone is that there are external music controls.  While there are no official carrier plans, there have been rumors that Sprint will pick it up.


Read More | MobileBurn


Shakira V-CASTAs it turns out, Shakira’s new music video and single Hips Don’t Lie (which we can actually vouch for - we have yet to be lied to by any pair of hips) will be debuting exclusively on Verizon’s V-CAST network. This will give V-CAST subscribers the jump on viewing the new video, even before any television distribution outlet gets the chance. The package also includes behind-the-scenes footage, ringtones, and the like. The video will be made available to traditional channels at a later date. We expect to see mainstream entertainment hit mobile devices in limited-exclusivity fashion more and more, especially as ultra-portable devices become the norm.


Read More | TV Envy


ExpressCardRemember all those rumors that started spreading as soon as Steve jobs announced the MacBook Pro, stating that ExpressCard EV-DO devices might be available right around the time that the MacBook Pro hits retail? Turns out we still have yet to hear any news on which companies are close to finalizing an EV-DO card for the new Apple notebook (as well as the Windows laptops that use the Core Duo chip from Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba, etc.) One thing is for certain - we know of a lot of people that are holding off on the upgrade to the MacBook Pro from their PowerBook, pending the release of some sort of EV-DO solution. Here’s to hoping that we hear something next month at CTIA. MacBook Pro owners - how are you getting around the whole ExpressCard issue in the meantime?


Comcast Voice Modem

So, here at the office we got rid of Vonage and added Comcast Digital Voice to our cable package. Aside from the hike on the Comcast bill, the biggest change we have noticed in this process is the insanely large telephony modem that they gave us to replace the little Motorola cable modem that we knew and loved. I mean, we understand that the new modem includes a battery backup that allows us to maintain phone service in the event of a power outage (although Internet drops out thoroughly in the same situation,) but what should we make of the two times the phone service did cut out? Oh, wait - that was due to Comcast performing “standard area upgrades.” Sweet.


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