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Interesting new media networking products from Viewsonic  

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I didn't see this topic discussed anywhere here and so I thought some
of you might find it interesting. Viewsonic


has announced 2 new products which seem to be exactly what I
personally was looking for.

WMG80 - integrated broadboand router, wireless access point, 4-port
switch, print server, 80GB hard drive, and 2 USB ports
(there is also the WGM120 which is a 120GB version)
WMA100 - 54Mbps 802.11g digital media adapter
It has S-video, composite, component, VGA, and DVI video
outputs along with stereo analog and coaxial S/PDIF
digital audio outputs. The video has "scalable" resolution
to match to the display.

A bundle consisting of both the WMG80 and WMA100 is supposed to
cost $699.

With these products I would not need any computer on all the time.
One can attach additional hard drives to the USB ports of the WMG80.
I called up about this and the person that I talked to said that
the drives were not formatted in some proprietary way but that one
could attach Windows formatted drives to them. I must say though
that I was not fully confident that the person knew what he was talking
about. Unfortunately, there is no specific information about this on the
web site. The items are supposed to be available mid November.

I can't wait until these units come out and more information is
available for them.
post #2 of 7
The above link didn't work for me. Here are a couple more that did:



PDF of WMA100 with 2 screenshots and specs: http://www.viewsonic.com/pdf/products/LR_WMA100.pdf

-- jeff
post #3 of 7
Interesting that the thing has Component and DVI outputs. But it specifically does NOT mention HDTV support (only that scaling comment). My guess is it won't support HDTV resolutions out of the box, but possibly with a future upgrade (if ever)... Pure speculation on my part, though. Or, maybe, it just scales a 480i/p display to 720p/1080i output...

Will be interesting to see what the initial reports say. I assume noone has a word on when they would be available?
post #4 of 7
Hmmm, I don't see many screen shots of the GUI, and they don't mention anything about the features for the music section. Browsing, searching, playlists?
post #5 of 7
I just bought the wma100 from Amazon and set it up yesterday. It took about 1 hour to set up - relatively easy. My video connection is DVI/VGA adaptor to Mits DLP TV (the dvi/vga adaptor is included). My audio connection is a digital out to my Yamaha AV receiver. I wired the wma100 using the ethernet connection. I have not tested wireless yet and probably won't.

The wma100 has pre-installed software on it (Media Guide) and you also install software on any PC that you want to host media on (Media Manager). You can configure where you want your media to be stored - what directory on your PC. There's no playing with shares or anything - the wma100 just finds your media where you tell it to. I was able to play my music (AACs from Itunes), view pictures, and play a home movie (in mpeg4 format) with no problems. With the DVI/VGA, the resolution looked pretty good on my 52" TV. I would say about the same as a DVD maybe a little less quality. Depended on which camera took the pictures.

The remote is pretty easy to navigate with a handy "Home" button that gets you back to the Media Guide main menu quickly.

The installation CD also comes with a pdf user guide which is much more informative than anything on Viewsonic's web site.

A couple more notes - the PC must be on to serve up the media. As for the TV, you need it on to set up and start a music playlist but if you want to turn the TV off once the playlist is launched, you can with no impact. This is important for me as I didn't want to burn "bulb hours" with my DLP TV just to listen to music.

Oh yeah, there are visualizations on the TV during music but they're pretty basic and you'll quickly grow tired of them. What's better though is you can set your music play up to display specificied pictures or the reverse to play specific music during a slideshow.

So far, so good. I'll post more if I have problems.
post #6 of 7
Tom's Hardware has a new review of the WMA100 here.
post #7 of 7
Thanks for the review link. Kind of a strange review. Seems harsh to review errors that come up when installed in Windows 98 when it clearly states it requires Windows 2000 or XP.

He's right on the user interface being a little rudimentary though I've only experienced a few of the problems he did and was able to get around them once I learned their intended navigation.

I'm not sure I fully understand his point on Itunes. I just pointed the wma100 to my Itunes folder on my PC harddisk and it plays all the songs in the Itunes library.

Also, I'm using a Linksys befw11s4 as my router / gateway and just ran an ethernet cable from it to the wma100. The Viewsonic wireless gateway is not a requirement to use the Viewsonic media adapter (wma100).
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