A buggy streaming stick short on content Video
A buggy streaming stick short on content Video Transcript
Hey. I'm Matthew Moskovciak from CNET. And today, we're going to take a look at Player. This is a unique looking device that promises to stream a whole bunch of free web content from your laptop, tablet or smartphone for just $99. Now, the Player has a pretty cool look to it but a lot of the allure wears off once you get it in your hands. There's no getting around with the product, just feels cheap in your hand and the plastic casing actually split apart when I pulled it out of the box. Pop off the top cover and you'll see Players HDMI plug, that's designed to slide right into a spare port on your TV. So, what's this cable for? Well, HDMI doesn't provide enough juice to power a player. So, there's a micro USB port on the side that you could connect to a power outlet using the included adapter or your TV's USB port if it has one. A dangling cable does spoil a lot of players just the stick design and the other problem is that I had an awfully tough time getting the cable to actually fit in the port. The plastic casing in the port just don't line up that well. So, getting the USB plug to fit can be a real struggle. Getting players set up to work with your wireless network and devices is straight forward with simple on-screen instructions. Once it's set up, you can start streaming. Player's app for iOS and Android devices which offer pre-selected content but a lot of it ends up being clips rather than full episodes. The real appeal of Player is the Chrome plugin and it supposedly let you stream any web video from your browser to Player. Even better after you select a video to play, Player works independently of your computer. So, you can turn off your laptop or use it for something else. Now, that's the pitch but in practice, I found it to be pretty unreliable. Full episodes of Saturday Night Live worked but Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Conan didn't. The [unk] would stream but only with an annoying overlay over the video content. The Daily Show didn't have that overlay but it did have close captions and there is no way to turn them off. Even more frustrating is that there were a lot of glitches during playback and I never quite made it through an entire show without at least one minor glitch and most time the glitches were more significant. There's also the issue of image quality. Some stuff could look good like 1080p stream from YouTube but most of the times a video quality was pretty poor with a lot of artifacts and frame rate issues. There's also a lot of content that player doesn't even attempt to stream. Big name services like Netflix and HBO Go are off the table and it won't play your personal music collection or stream for music services like Pandora. So, with all the glitches and limitations, player just isn't really recommendable right now. It's just too unreliable and there's none enough good content that works. There are also a lot of great competing boxes for $100 like the Roku 3 and Apple TV, both of which offer a lot more functionality including a fair amount of web video content. And if you're really looking to stream web video to your TV, your best bet is still connecting a $5 HDMI cable from your laptop to your TV. It may not be the sleekest or most convenient solution but it's cheap and a lot more reliable. I'm Matthew Moskovciak from CNET and this is Player.
Google's Mario Queiroz reveals the Chromecast, a sticklike device that connects to one of your TV's HDMI inputs and accepts video pushed from smartphones, tablets, and the Chrome browser. It's available starting today for $35.
With currently only a single TV on the market that fully supports it, the Roku Streaming Stick is too niche compared to every other Roku device.
3M and Roku are trying to go one step further and take the TV out of the equation. The two companies have teamed to create the 3M Streaming Projector, an intriguing gadget that combines a pico projector small enough to fit in your hand with Roku's tiny Streaming Stick.
Google unveils new software and products, including an updated Nexus 7 tablet and a TV streaming stick with huge potential.
At CES 2007, we take a look at the SlingMedia SlingCatcher. The new device comes with an optional hard drive and is designed to stream Internet video to your home television or stream television to other rooms of your house.
Google's $35 Chromecast stick is a cheap and easy way to add streaming video and music to your TV, but it still isn't as fully featured as similarly priced Roku boxes.
At CES 2007, we take a look at the Sony Bravia Internet Video Link, a device that streams Web video to your high-definition television.
Use your existing Internet devices to record and stream live TV on your smartphones or computers.
Mark Licea joins us on the show for a chat about television programming as it's affected by streaming content providers like Hulu and Netflix Watch Instantly.
The Apple TV delivers a simple and elegant streaming media solution, although the current lack of high-quality video at the iTunes Store is a major shortcoming.
PLAiR (passion) Review
The good: PLAiR is stick-like device that streams free Web videos from smartphones, tablets, and Chrome browsers. PLAiR handles all the streaming itself, so once you've selected a video, you can use your computer or mobile device without worrying about interrupting the video. It's capable of streaming shows from several major TV networks for free.
The bad: Streaming is glitchy and unreliable, plus many Web videos don't work. PLAiR also doesn't support most major streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, and HBO Go, nor does it play back any music files or services. PLAiR also requires a separate power source, which detracts from its "just a stick" design. The physical hardware itself is cheap-feeling and poorly made.
The bottom line: PLAiR is a neat-looking streaming device, but it's buggy, unreliable, and short on content.
PLAiR (passion) Specs
Part number: CNETPLAIR-MAGENTA
- Product Specifications