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I posted this on our other site but am curious what your answers will be compared to theirs.
I personally am glad there is more competition for the Slingbox. Competition always pushes companies to make things better.
What do you think?
June 10, 2010
I think Vulkano will need to get out of the 480/720 resolution slump which the Hava's been stuck in for the last googillion years. The idea that it can be a DVR is nifty, except I'm a little old school and enjoy the modular approach. It allows me to upgrade or repair the individual modules as necessary without affecting the rest of the ecosystem.
For my current situation all the other features are kind of fluffy. And I'm actually hoping Google TV's offering will fortify that space not Monsoon Media. In all honesty, I have no confidence in either Sling Media nor Monsoon Media for anything other than placeshifting.
That being said, I wish Monsoon Media the best of luck and hope that the Vulkano's will take off. As I know they're filling in a space that is currently void by any other manufacturer's single offering.
July 27, 2010
I am not sure if Vulkano will allow to change the streaming ports that were hard coded in the prveious HAVA boxes. Slingbox allows to change the port to anything like port 80 which is known to be opened by most Corporate's Firewalls. Yes, I want to be able to watch streaming video thru whatever port that my company has opened in the Firewall. Right now, I cannot stream anything with my HAVA devices since the hard coded ports are blocked and I cannot change them.
Will Vulkano alllow to change the port or we will be stuck with whatever port that is hard coded to the device?
June 10, 2010
So let me get this straight:
- Slingbox LAN Quality: 1280×720
- Vulkano LAN Quality: 720×480 (less than half)
- Slingbox WAN Quality: 1280×720
- Vulkano WAN Quality: 320×240 (1/12th)
It is true that the Hava boxes all use a fixed resolution of 720×480 for LAN and 320×240 (QVGA) for WAN. The Slingboxes is not that clear cut because it isn't as rigid. Each Slingbox have multiple fixed resolutions to which the stream can be encoded. The maximum output resolution for the Slingbox Classic, Tuner, Pro, Solo, and AV is 640×480 (VGA), but for the Slingbox Pro-HD it is 1920 x 544 (1080i). Each company has a different placeshifting implementation, both have pro's and con's in their individual implementations. Neither company has it quite right for everyone.
The Slingbox will dynamically adjust its encoding parameters to attempt to give you the best picture possible under your network conditions and computer performance. It does by working with the Slingplayer client in tandem to gain the statisics of your viewing performance. It doesn't just adjust the resolution but frames per sec, number of i-frames, and video and audio bit rates. This is why HD Streaming (1920 x 544 or lower) requires 3 Mbps (or higher), SD Streaming (640×480 or lower) requires 600 Kbps (or higher), and Mobile Streaming (320×240 or lower) requires 150 Kbps (or higher).
While you may think Sling's implementation is better, this is one of the reasons that you limited to a single viewer. Since the Hava boxes uses fixed encoding parameters, it is easier for it to support multicasting. In fact, Hava boxes will allow you to have up to 5 local clients to view the same content. This is not an option for Sling unless you use third-party software to rebroadcoast from your computer.
I've always thought that Hava's remote viewing implementation exceeded Sling's quality in most cases. Using the UDP transport layer only makes sense since live streaming is a time sensative service. There's no reason to resend packets that were dropped. It only creates an avalanche effect in latency as more and more packets are dropped and resent. This is a huge mistake in Sling Media implementaiton.
That's not to say Monsoon methodolgy is always perfect. Especially when using it at public sites that block the UDP transport layer or don't open up specific ports. I think there's failure in both Sling Media and Monsoon Media in this respect to their networking implementation. Neither company allows the user to easily switch between transports; TCP, UDP, Tunneled UDP, or Proxy to meet the needs of any given situation.
As far as I know, only Spawn Labs has realized the need when they beta tested their Spawn HD-720 boxes. And so far they seem to be the only company that has gone through the effort of allow user configuration for transport options available and simple.
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