The Wave – Is it your ticket to surfing the net on your TV?

Are you trying to decide which hardware option is best for you for adding internet capability to your TV? Do you go with the new Apple TV or Google TV? What about the Popcorn Hour or Seagate FreeAgent TV HD Media Player? All of these solutions have their good and bad points, but all of them have one thing in common. They restrict what you can and can’t access on the net. For example, none of them allow you to access Hulu (without some hacking). That’s why I’ve been considering the purchase of the new Mac mini. It’s a full blown computer with HDMI out and with it, I can pretty much view anything I like on my 55″ Samsung LED TV. The only ‘problem’ is the price – $700. Ouchy. But now I’ve learned of yet another potential solution. It’s The Wave. It’s a WiFi enabled 8×10 inch box that is powered by Linux and can be controlled by your iPad, iPhone, and other wireless remote controllers. The price starts at $349, but there are some gotchas. It isn’t compatible with Netflix or iTunes and it doesn’t have an HDMI port. Hmmm, the Mac mini keeps looking better and better. What do you guys think?

Posted in: Audio, Video, TV Gear, News

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Rob Tillotson November 1, 2010, 12:17 pm

    Frankly I’m a bit unimpressed. For the very same $350, you can get a dual-core Atom/ION nettop with an HDMI port and Windows 7 Home Premium (both of which the makers of the Wave claim are too expensive for them to include), plus a wireless keyboard/trackball remote. And if you really want to cripple your ability to use iTunes and Netflix, those will run Ubuntu just fine as well :)

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  • Pam T. November 1, 2010, 3:43 pm

    I’m with @Rob…I spent $199 on an Acer Revo nettop (before the advent of dual-core Atoms, sigh). I get full internet access, iTunes and everything off my monster computer with HomeSharing. No compromises and it works just fine (as long as I don’t let the DH near it).

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  • Adam Scinto November 1, 2010, 10:37 pm

    I ended up going with a Mac Mini connected to the TV, networking over WiFi. It’s not the latest Mac Mini, it’s an older Core 2 Duo 2GHz with the GMA950 integrated graphics, but it’s does everything I throw at it without any problems. I use a couple full-screen options like Boxee and Plex to manage it, but it seems that more often I just end up looking for what I want in the Finder and playing it with VLC fullscreen. I mostly use the Logitech TouchMouse on my iPhone to control the Mini from the couch. Highly recommend you go with the Mini.

    3
  • Joel November 2, 2010, 5:50 pm

    I bought a Gateway “unadvertised” full sized laptop special at Best Buy for $549. It’s a full blown system with HDMI and Blueray. I’m using the remote keyboard in this article’s picture, and have two terabytes of MyBook’s plugged into it ($99 each).

    Works really well, plays anything/everything using VLC or Firefox and can be used in a pinch if my real laptop dies.

    I don’t see the point of these single purpose boxes until they get really cheap, or come from a vendor you trust will upgrade them as needed as technologies change/emerge in multi-media access.

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  • ScottG November 4, 2010, 5:55 am

    OK, this might make you feel sick as to the price…

    $99.00 Easy to Find Used Apple Mac mini G4 (M9687LL/A) (1.42 GHz, 1 GB RAM, 80 GB HD, DVD Combo Drive) ALL STANDARD for the Mac Mini. Since this has a DVI monitor port for 1600 x 1200 support, I bought a $14.00 DVI to HDMI cable from Amazon, a Mini Jack to RCA L & R splitter $6.55, and a Wireless keyboard with built-in trackpad at $49.98 from OWC. (You can even take it up a notch on the sound, and get a Optical Toslink cable $28.00 from the Mac to the TV if it has it. The optical port on the Mac Mini is also a standard)

    $169.53 TOTAL to surf the Net, do all my Email, Facebook, Watch Netflix over the wireless, and since it’s a full blown Mac OSX 10.5 I can run most anything I want right on it, including DVD’s. I even found a way to run the Apple Front Row on it so to have a clean cut interface for Movies, Video, Online Trailers, ANYTHING!!!

    I have set up 2 of these already in my house on each a Sony 40″ LCD HDTV, and a Toshiba 55″ LCD HDTV. it’s so easy to do I was thinking of putting up a How2 on YouTube with the steps to do it.

    ScottG

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  • Julie November 4, 2010, 7:28 am

    @ScottG Very nice!

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