Ever since I installed our wireless router I’ve been keeping one eye on the various “Digital Media Servers” being offered by various manufacturers, but none of them offered much in the way of features I really needed. For the most part they allow you to stream video and audio from your PC to your TV/stereo and that’s about it. I don’t tend to use my stereo to listen to music as that’s usually something I do when I’m on the computer or driving in my car. When I’m in the living room the stereo is something I purely use to make watching DVDs much more of a… moving… experience. As for video, I’m not one to download movies and such to my PC and I already have a DVD player on the TV so there’s little need for me to stream anything from my PC to the TV.
Now a device that worked in both directions—allowing me to move video and audio to as well as from my PC—that’s something that would get my Geek Mojo working. The folks at SkipJam must be reading my mind as they’ve just announced a new DMS that sets my heart aflutter. Here’s some of the details from the folks at eHomeUpgrade’s article on it:
According to SkipJam’s press release, the iMedia solution consists of four products that all work seamlessly with current analog and digital A/V components and a bevy of home networking solutions (802.11a/b/g, coax, Ethernet, Home-plug, etc.). Furthermore, PCs are not required for the system to work, but if you decide to connect them, SkipJam devices can access their content as well as store recordings and music anywhere on the network (even onto external USB hard drives connected to the back of an iMedia Center). If that isn’t cool enough they also have a whole-house remote solution to access content and control attached A/V devices anywhere in the home.
SkipJam iMedia features:
- High-end audio and video for superior digital audio and video reproduction (e.g. 24-bit 192Khz DAC/ADCs with 114db dynamic range).
- Personal Video Recorder – records using MPEG-4 for complete networked multi-tuner recording of favorite shows to any networked hard drive.
- Universal whole-house remote control – Control any device from anywhere, even while away from home.
- Live media streaming – Move any AV source “live” to any other room wired or wireless.
- Digital Video Recorder – Record DVDs, VHS, and music (even radio) to any networked hard drive to watch any time.
- No PC Required – Network AV devices and digital media (MP3, MPEG-2/4/, etc.), even without a home PC.
- TV to PC connectivity – Play MPEG 1/2/4, MP3, WMA, WAV, Ogg, JPG and more.
- PC to TV connectivity – Access PC desktop screen on the TV to check e-mail, or run any PC software and see the result on the TV screen, rooms away.
- Home Intercom – Use any stereo/TV as a paging speaker or speakerphone.
- Power – 32/64 bit superscalar MIPS architecture CPU with separate DSP processors for audio and video, dual PCI buses and dual Ethernet ports, integrated TV and FM tuner.
- Flexibility – 4 analog video inputs (3 S-video and 4 composite), 6 analog audio inputs, 4 PCM digital inputs (both optical and coaxial inputs and outputs) Firewire, USB 2.0, 3 IR output ports, IR Blaster LEDs, RS232 control.
It’s enough to make my nipples tingle! Of course to get all of that in one package you have to buy the SkipJam iMedia Center which has an estimated street price of $799. Honestly, that’s better than I expected it to be. There are three other options available that remove some of the functionality in return for a lower price for folks who don’t need all the bells and whistles. As far as I’m aware no one has actually seen one of these devices first hand as of yet so there’s a chance it’ll end being vaporware, but I can always dream. Especially seeing as I won’t be able to afford one anytime soon.