tv


Filmon: Free IPTV service

filmonIPTV is in a great momentum. In Spain we saw the rise of a lot of platforms: Yomvi, MovistarTV, OrangeTV, Nubeox… mainly paid platforms, but I am only interested in channels in English and Filmon is a great (and legal) option to watch some of them for free.

Filmon offers more than 600 live channels. There are lots of crap, but others are quite interesting:

  • UK TV channels: BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC News, ITV1, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4…
  • News channels: Al Jazeera, Bloomberg, Euronews, France24, Russia Today…

Filmon is free for SD resolution, if you want to watch it in HD and access to program recording you must pay a 15€/month fee.

You can can watch Filmon directly from their web page http://filmon.tv, or from their Android and iOS apps.

There is also an unofficial Kodi plugin (previously called XBMC) at SuperRepo.


Chromecast vs a HDMI cable (with a MHL adapter)

chromecast_vs_hdmi_cableIt’s been some time since Chromecast was launched in Europe and, despite the hype, I cannot find too much advantages over using a simple HDMI cable with a MHL adapter that you plug in your phone’s MicroUSB (mirroring your phone/tablet screen to the TV screen). Here is my comparative, you will decide if is Chromecast worth it.

Chromecast HDMI cable with a MHL adapter
Price 35€ 12€
Wireless Yes No, it’s a wire 😉 you need to be near your TV (or a long cable)
Router needed Needs a router with Wifi No
Additional development Apps need to implement specific features to use Chromecast You can view in your TV all that you see in your phone screen
Multi-User Yes You need to unplug the cable and plug it to the another device
Phone charging while streaming Needs to plug a charger to the phone Needs to plug a charger to the MHL adapter
Stream your own content from your phone Yes, but normally with paid applications Yes
You can use your phone/tablet while viewing content Yes No, you see in the TV what you are doing in the phone
Play/pause From your phone From your phone
Screen mirroring With lag With almost no lag

Ok, I didn’t bought a Chromecast yet…


MythTV vs XBMC vs Blusens WebTV

I used for many years MythTV and XBMC, and as now I own a Blusens WebTV, I will do a feature comparation between this three media centers. I will rate some features from one star (*) to five stars (*****) based on my personal opinion.

MythTV XMBC Blusens WebTV
Movie library w/covers and info no yes no (but there is an app to build an HTML interface to your movie library)
Music library w/ covers, artists, genres… no yes no
TV tuner yes no yes (there is a cheaper LITE version without tuner)
PVR & time-shift yes no yes (no on LITE version)
TV and radio streaming  to other computers yes no yes (but TS streams, needs a low of BW, probably will not work over your WiFi)
Transcoding (converting between audio/video formats) yes (on records and streams!) no no
Web interface **** **** ****
Interface design **** (skinnable) ***** (skinnable and has great themes like Aeon, MediaStream…) *** (not skinnable)
Installable apps QT plugins (no app store, needs manual install) Python HTML & Javascript, Webkit powered
Killer apps Emulators (MythGame) Netflix (not on Spain), Emulators (with some work on the Launcher plugin), IMDB queries… Online Films and Serials from cinetube.es, peliculasyonkis.com…
Web browsing ** no **** (Webkit , no Adobe Flash, identified like an iPad)
Ease of setup * *** (if installing on a PC, if you buy a Boxee will be *****) *****
Ease of use **** **** ****
Android remote app *** ***** (shows movie & music library on the mobile) ***
Price of packaged solution No packaged solution 200€ (Boxee) 150€
Web http://mythtv.org http://xbmc.org, http://boxee.tv http://blusens.com

Now I’m using the Blusens WebTV because it’s a silent and small device (much more than my old PC running MythTV/XBMC). I solved the emulators part (that I had working on XBMC) with some Wii homebrew…


Upcoming Android Gadgets at Blusens 9

LED TV Assembly Line

Last week I was invited by Miguel Silva Constenla to the Blusens HQ at Santiago de Compostela. Blusens is a Galician consumer electronics manufacturer with worldwide presence.

I had a great expectation because Miguel said that was going to show us their upcoming Android devices. He received us at their administrative office, but soon we went to their I+D facilities.

There I was impressed with a production line where their LED TVs are assembled, he also show us their logistic office (with their famous “Orgy of the Senses” poster), call center, repair center, and engineering offices. Finally we went to their showroom where their upcoming android devices were waiting.

First one is an 7″ Android tablet. This is a cheap low-end Android device with something different: a cover with an integrated keyboard. This keyboard is plugged by USB to the tablet. It will be available in about two months by about 160€.

CONS:

  • Resistive Touchscreen: Miguel said us that a capacitive touchscreen will increase the price about 50€, but the experience with the touchscreen was quite bad.
  • Android 2.x: (in the release date is going to be Android 2.3). This low-end devices do not support Honeycomb.

7" Blusens Android Tablet

  • Lack of Android Market: This device is not certified by Google so it cannot include the Android Market app. The ROM installed on  the prototype had the SlideMe market, but I don’t consider it an alternative. The solution is to install manually the Android Market (copying GoogleServicesFramework.apk and Vending.apk from other device to the /system/apps dir), but needs some Android knowledge…

PROS:

  • 160€ is a very low price, I think that this kind of devices are very appropriate for children or for people in countries where people cannot pay 400€ for a computer.
  • Elegant cover with embedded keyboard: great for fast text input, answering emails on the go, etc… Transforms the tablet in a kind-of-netbook and compensates the bad experience with the touchscreen.
  • Local repair center and customer support: you can buy a chinese tablet by this price, but you will not have the customer support and repair center in europe.

Blusens Android STB Prototype

The other device is an Android Set-top-box. Blusens has a great experience with their web:tv device and they are investigating to release a similar Android based device. They showed us a prototype running Android 2.2.

This device will include a remote with a complete keyboard and the pointer will work like the WiiMote, pointing with it to the TV. Some optional accessories will be a TV tuner and a webcam.

It seems an aggressive proposal when GoogleTV is not yet on the market, but I think that it’s great to have Android apps on the TV.They also have plans to integrate something similar to this device on their upcoming TV models.

Finally Miguel had a present for us: a Web:TV device! What I like of this device are the continuous firmware updates and HTML apps powered by a Webkit-based browser (ok! media player and PVR are also great features).


Impresionante originalidad de Telefónica 2

Esta semana los de la T vuelven a la carga con el anuncio copia barata del gran vídeo de YouTube:

basándose en el cual han hecho esto….

… menudo desprestigio para los Daft Punk. ¿Que había que estudiar para ser publicista? ¿Introducirán una nueva asignatura en la carrera de que se llame “Cómo Fusilar YouTube”?


Documental: Revolution OS

Este es un interesante documental del 2001 sobre el nacimiento del Linux, GNU, la FSF y el movimiento del software libre en general. Más que recomendable para los que hemos abrazado la filosofía del pingüino y los que quieran saber más sobre este apasionante mundo. El vídeo dura 1h y 25 minutos (preparad el sillón) y está en inglés, pero es muy claro y fácil de comprender (vamos, que hasta yo lo entiendo), no obstante, también lo hay subtitulado en Stage6.




Marionetas del Barrio Sésamo holandés

Marionetas del Barrio Sésamo holandésIbán Cereijo me envió hace un par de días este enlace a vídeos de marionetas hechas ¡con las manos! del Barrio Sésamo holandés. Mi sobrina (y su tío) se han pasado un par de horas delante del ordenador viéndolos… Muy recomendable para cuando se os acerque un peque…


The It Crowd 4

theitcrowd.jpgHace unas semanas Jose Juan Montes me recomendaba una serie muy friki, The It Crowd, sobre el departamento de sistemas de una empresa dirigido por un jefe que no tiene mucha idea (uhmm….). Yo me he visto todos los capítulos (bueno, sólo hay 6, y en inglés subtitulado en español) y me lo he pasado bomba. Para pillar muchos de los chistes hay que ser un poco friki, pero creo que muchos de los que leéis esto los entenderéis…

Los capítulos se pueden encontrar en PeliculasOnline.net, que es una página web de películas/documentales/videos/series basado en Stage6 de DivX, un YouTube de alta calidad.


Directorio de radios y TVs en Internet

Buscando televisiones para ver mediante programas P2P, como Sopcast, también me he encontrado el World Wide Media Project (http://www.worldwidemediaproject.com/), que es un índice de las radios y televisiones que podemos escuchar y ver a través de internet. En este sitio se encuentran perfectamente categorizadas las radios y televisiones por país, idioma y estilo.

De este sitio web echan mano algunos mediacenters para obtener la lista de contenido que pueden mostrar. En el caso de mi favorito MythTV, hay un plugin adicional que permite ver estos canales, MythStream, pero que de momento debe ser compilado a mano, ya que no viene en el repositorio de paquetes de Debian Multimedia.

Para los que utilicéis Windows hay un plugin para el Media Center MediaPortal, que también permite ver los canales de este directorio.