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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Daily Predictions - July 27, 2011

Daily Predictions - July 27, 2011

FlipShare TV review

The actual FlipShare TV set-top box is pretty basic stuff: it's smaller than a CD case, just big enough to accommodate power, HDMI, and composite video jacks. In the first of many puzzling design choices, Cisco cheap out and only packs in composite cables, which is super lame considering the tech-averse target market here. Similarly, the seven-button remote is RF-based, which means you can't use the FlipShare with a universal remote  not the world's greatest inconvenience, but still annoying.
That's nothing compared to the most puzzling design choice of all: the wireless dongle. For reasons we still don't entirely understand, the FlipShare TV does not connect to your home Wi-Fi network directly instead, it comes with a wireless dongle that plugs into your computer and streams video over a proprietary 2.4 / 5GHz RF link. Cisco told us the idea is to make setup as simple as possible for non-technical users to get up and running -- the software is preloaded on the stick, so you just plug it in, install, and go but that means that the set-top is totally useless unless your computer is turned on with the dongle plugged in and the FlipShare app running. That seems hopelessly clunky to us, and we're not sure saving a few moments of potential set-up frustration is worth disrupting what would otherwise be a straightforward experience and besides, shouldn't Cisco know how to make connecting a device to a WiFi network simple and painless
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