updated 01:55 pm EDT, Mon July 2, 2007
Monsoon HAVA Ships
Monsoon today revealed that its HAVA Gold and Platinum HD media hubs are now reaching retail shops. Serving as direct rivals to the Slingbox, the devices stream video from connected TVs to computers and Windows Mobile handhelds; a unique multicast system can stream DVD-level video in MPEG-2 form to multiple PCs at once on a local network without degrading image quality. Video online is streamed through MPEG-4 to provide the best quality possible on limited speed, Monsoon says. They both accept multiple inputs and include a pass-through cable to free the often limited ports on current TVs.
The Gold version is Monsoon's reference device and ships for $130 with support for standard-defnition sources; the $160 Platinum HD adds component input for relaying HD video signals and appears as a TV tuner in Windows XP or Vista Media Center PCs, giving them an option to schedule video recording and burn video clips to DVDs. The Mobile Player is also available today as a free trial and currently supports several HP, HTC-made, and Palm devices using Windows Mobile 5 as well as a cellular Internet connection such as EVDO or HSDPA that can sustain 150Kbps or higher.