Moonsoon Multimedia’s HAVA Gold is their response to the popularity of the Slingbox and other place-shifting video devices.

The device allows users to view and control live television on networked computers via broadband and mobile phone service. It’s novel technology and priced right.

The new product has made an impressive splash since its summer arrival on store shelves. Recently, Hava took home the “Best of RetailVision” award in the Digital Home category.

“After only being in the retail space for 60 days, we are thrilled to be nominated as a finalist in the RetailVision Digital Home category,” said Colin Stiles, EVP of Marketing and Sales at Monsoon Multimedia. “With all of the outstanding companies and technologies presented at RetailVision, Monsoon is honored that our line of products that let consumers choose how and where they view their home TV were nominated for this award.”

It’s a good product. Just plug it in and let it go. HAVA Gold is the model I tested, but you may want to go with the Gold HD or the Platinum HD because it will support high-def and give you TIVO-style PVR support. Of course, if you just want an inexpensive way to stream your TV or video source remotely, the regular Gold variant will do just fine.

There’s also an application that goes beyond traditional television. You can plug any video source into the HAVA and check it remotely. You can plug your videocard’s output into it and check up on your PC (or any other PC for that matter) from anywhere in the world. You can throw your video collection online — keeping the large videos safely on a server. But best of all, you can watch live television from anywhere in the world. So if you go abroad or across the country on business, you can still watch your local headlines at 5 p.m.

I like this technology. I like this product. It’s cheap, and it gets the job done. It’s another device that lets you take full advantage of that high-speed Comcast is getting rich off of you with.

Monsoon HAVA Gold HD Features:

  • Component Input and support for HD video source (1080i, 720p, 480p/576p) played back in the native 16:9 aspect ratio on the clientdisplay — “HD capable”
  • Supports Windows Vista
  • Windows XP Media Center Edition integration — appears as an installed TV-tuner card
  • Connects to any TV source such as Cable, Satellite, DVD, TiVo or a Camcorder
  • Enables TiVo-like functionality on the PC. Users can record, store, pause, rewind and fast forward stored video
  • All inputs include a pass through connector, eliminating the use of splitters when connecting HAVA to home video equipment
  • Streams video at an average of 8Mbps directly to PCs in home network in MPEG-2 full D1 resolution, at 720 x 480 pixels
  • Streams MPEG-2 format over the home network, MPEG-4 format over the Internet
  • Schedule and record programs for later viewing
  • Allows burning of stored material to DVD

Overall: [rating:4/5]

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

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