Archives For Accessories

hp-tivo-expander

Earlier this month when Netgear announced new ReadyNAS products ($900 – $1350) that incorporate TiVo functionality, I reached out to the companies for more info. And, without having seen the feature in action, it sounds pretty much like what we’d expect… Sort of a TiVo Desktop port allowing you to offload shows to the NAS for storage and to later retrieve them from a network folder found within the TiVo UI.

Netgear also informed me they’re the first TiVo-compatible DVR network storage solution to alleviate local capacity concerns, so I asked TiVo about HP’s earlier TiVo MediaSmart implementation (recently updated, thanks Alex). Apparently, HP’s solution ($550 – $700) is also legit but the company didn’t go through the evaluation process that would allow them to be labeled “TiVo Compatible.” Whatev?

Both Netgear and HP solutions are nice additions if you happen to be in the market for a NAS, but I’m not sure TiVo integration is compelling enough to sell the device on its own. Then again, as a digital cable subscriber treated like a content thief by Cox Communications, I can’t offload anything but recordings of local network programming (and one premium they missed). Making me a less than ideal candidate.

Here at ZNF, we’re very selective in the product samples we choose to receive. Yet, every now and then, gadgets just magically appear – with no indication who sent an item… or how to return it.

As is the case with the Yamaha PSG-01S SoundGadget ($220) pictured above. I’m sure it’s a fine USB-powered PC Skype speakerphone (4 mics, 2 speakers), but it’s not something I’d use. And frankly, reviewing a speakerphone doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun… even though the Sound Gadget does double duty as a computer stereo speaker array.

But, as a public service, here are some related links should you want to learn more:

With that out of the way, if you like what you see, entering the Yamaha PSG-01S SoundGadget giveaway is as easy as it gets, simply leave a comment. (US residents in the lower 48 only, please.) We’ll choose the winner at random in a few days.

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Prettying Up the iPad

Mari Silbey —  July 9, 2010 — 1 Comment

As some fabulous soul on Twitter pointed out, this may very well be the best iPad decal ever. (Discovered and blogged over at The Next Web) But if your tastes don’t trend toward children’s literature, you might swing by Skinit for a look at other options. I didn’t have the best luck with Skinit for my Asus netbook, but I grant that part of my experience had to do with not applying the decal in the right direction the first time. (Odd design to fit an oddly curved computer) Dave had better luck, and Skinit’s got some nice graphics tricked out specifically for the latest Apple machine.

Polaroid-PoGo-printer-6

My cell phone photos live in limbo. I like to take them, and occasionally show them off, but I rarely manage to transfer them anywhere for permanent keeping. So when I saw a tweet recommendation from Brad Linder for a refurb Polaroid PoGo Instant Mobile Printer on sale for $25, I gave in to impulse and ordered one on the spot. (Thanks, Brad)

The PoGo printer performs as advertised. It’s got an AC power adapter for charging, and connects to your mobile phone via Bluetooth or USB. After years of owning phones with the Bluetooth disabled, I still tend to forget about the short-range wireless option. But my Droid Eris paired with the PoGo over Bluetooth immediately, and after less than a minute of processing, I saw my first cell phone photo on a 2″x3″ printout.

The Pogo prints are decent quality, and the no-edge format distinctly reminds me of a Moo card. That said, the colors did seem to fade a bit after the first printing, and you certainly wouldn’t use a PoGo printer to win any photography prizes. For casual or craft use, though, the PoGo is great. Want to include a photo with a thank-you card? Or make a family-tree pictorial for a school project? The PoGo printer is a handy solution.

As with any photo printer, the big catch in the deal is the cost of the photo paper. Luckily, the no-ink Zink paper that goes with the PoGo Printer isn’t overly expensive. The cost for a 30-pack of 2″x3″ paper seems to range from just under $9 to $12. The Pogo Printer itself ships at regular price for $39 from Amazon.

TiVo kindly overnighted the new Wireless N Network Adapter ($90) for a ZNF unboxing and giveaway.

Unlike their 802.11g USB TiVo adapter, this is more of a “network bridge” in a pretty sleek package. Other than the serious cable clutter, which won’t fly in my household. As a wireless bridge, the adapter connects to a TiVo (Premiere, Series3, TiVoHD, S2 DT) via Ethernet rather than USB — and needs to be configured beyond the DVR. WPS-enabled wireless routers should provide two click configuration with the adapter in client mode. However, I got this unit going in bridge mode simply by connecting it to my laptop via Ethernet and browsing to 192.168.10.1, where I provided my network details. As I utilize a hidden SSID, of limited security benefit, I jumped out of the wizard and into the manual configuration area. However, setup is quite straightforward and presented much more clearly than my ASUS bridge. (Find TiVo’s adapter manual here.) Those with more than one device to wire and some network savvy may prefer buying or building an access point for the same money. Although you won’t be treated to the TiVo branding seen on the Wireless N Network adapter, splitter cable, and power adapter.

Entering the TiVo Wireless N Network Adapter giveaway is as easy as it gets, simply leave a comment below. (US residents in the lower 48 only, please.) I’ll choose one winner at random in a few days.

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