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Vulkano Flow Mobile Device for Viewing TV on the Go
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- Watch & control your TV from anywhere in the world over Wi-Fi or 3G on any mobile device
- Record TV shows to your PC or Mac hard drive
- Pause, rewind or fast forward live or recorded TV
- Stream TV wirelessly around your home; watch TV on your deck, by the pool, or laying in bed with your iPad
- Easy to set up use; wireless set up makes installation a breeze
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|Shipping||—||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Available from these sellers||Frontier Factory||TechWoods||Moayas||HQ Tech||5 HIVE OUTLET|
|Connectivity Technology||HTC-ExtUSB||wi-fi_ready||Wi-Fi||Powerline||Wi-Fi||Built-in Wi-Fi|
|Item Dimensions||3.4 x 19.3 x 7 in||3.13 x 16.38 x 10 in||4.7 x 8 x 3.8 in||3.5 x 3.5 x 1 in||9.17 x 6.81 x 1 in||14.2 x 7.4 x 2 in|
|Item Weight||—||1.22 lbs||1.6 lbs||5 ounces||1.7 lbs||3.7 lbs|
|Internet Applications||YouTube||Cinemanow, Daily Motion, Free Sat/Free View, Google TV, Blockbuster||Netflix||Amazon Instant Video||Netflix, Pandora, Vudu, YouTube, Amazon Instant Video||Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, YouTube, Vudu, Pandora|
|Total HDMI Ports||—||2||0||1||1||1|
|Total Usb Ports||—||1||1||1||2||2|
Vulkano Flow let's you Watch & Control your home TV service (Cable, Satellite) from anywhere in the world over Wi-Fi or 3G on any mobile device. Watch TV on a PC, Mac, iPad, Tablets, or Smartphones like the iPhone, Android, or BlackBerry. Record favorite TV shows to a PC or Mac hard drive to watch at a later date. Watch your TV anytime, anywhere on any mobile device.
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Two reasons. First, the Sling has one very annoying drawback. When traveling, your wifi speed is often iffy and the transmission may therefore be lost periodically. That is particularly problematical if you are trying to watch a recorded program that is more than a half hour or so. When that happens, you have to exit the Dish Anywhere app and then reopen it and reload the recorded program. Unfortunately, when doing so, you are forced to go back to the beginning of the program even if you select Resume Play. That means you then have to try to fast forward to find where you left off, which is nightmarish since there will always be a significant delay between the time a button in the app is selected and the time that selection registers on your home DVR. It takes forever to get to the right spot, and this often will occur multiple times in a long show.
The other reason is simpler. My Dish Network contract is expiring, and none of their competitors offer a comparable technology. Therefore, since the Vulkano can be used with any company's platform, I wanted to give it a try to see if it would free me from being tied to Dish.
I purchased the Vulkano Flow and immediately tried to set the unit up. I linked it via component video to my Dish DVR (with composite cables for the audio feed). The component output will provide a much better picture than just using composite video. Vulkano will allow you to select either component or composite, and will also let you set the desired picture quality (higher resolution requiring a better wifi speed). The Vulkano has built in wifi capability, which I need because my router is far removed from my DVR receiver.
I initially encountered an annoying problem. After hooking up the Flow unit, I downloaded the Vulkano Setup/Player software over the internet to my Windows 7 desktop. I then ran the Setup program, and the software "recognized" the Flow unit in another room. However, when I entered my wireless internet key at the next prompt, the software refused to recognize that key. I tried again and again with the same result. I finally called Customer Service for Monsoon, and was surprised to get an agent very quickly. After describing the problem, the agent (who claimed to have years of experience) said the issue was with my ATT Uverse internet service. He told me that certain ports were probably not open and that I should contact ATT to rectify it. Well, after spending 45 minutes or so to do all this, the problem was NOT rectified.
In frustration, I called Monsoon again and got a different agent. He promptly told me to take the Flow unit down to my router and connect it directly via the included Ethernet cable to set up the wireless. Once that was done, I would be able to take the unit and reattach it at the original location to my DVR. I tried that and it worked perfectly.
Actually, after the setup was complete, I first tried to attach the Flow to my "satellite" receiver rather than the main DVR. After getting repeated picture freezes when I tried to perform functions, I moved the unit back to attach it to the main DVR. That resolved all those issues and it has worked fine since.
There was only one other issue. When setting up the software, the program asks for your TV provider, the DVR model you are using, and the type of remote. Other than selecting Dish Network as the provider, there were no applicable choices for the receiver and remote. I therefore had to fudge it a bit and got everything to work. However, the virtual remote that the Player software created did not allow me to operate certain features of my DVR. I therefore called Customer Service once again, and was told to go back through the Setup program and select the last remote listed in the software's pop-up menu. That worked beautifully and now I have total DVR control. Bear in mind, however, that there will be a 5 to 10 second delay between entering a selection on the virtual remote and getting your home receiver to respond. But that's no different than the Sling adapter.
I was delighted to discover that if there was a transmission breakdown due to a wifi deficiency, the Flow unit will take you back to about where you were when you reenter the program. This is a major advantage vis-à-vis the Sling. In general, I find the Flow to be quite impressive in terms of usability and picture quality. For around $100, it is a great deal. Bear in mind, though, that I have yet to try it over a lengthy period away from home.
One final note. The software/app that Monsoon has created for Windows 7/8 is much better than the Android app. Specifically, the virtual remote is much, much better. With Android, you are required to go through a series of remote screens to access certain functions, and it is a major pain. Monsoon really needs to upgrade that Android app.. Fortunately, I have a Windows Netbook that I can take on a trip. By the way, if you are going to use Android, try the free app first. My guess is that it will work (subject to the limitation above), although I wound up downloading the paid app -- the reason is that I could not get the free app to recognize the Flow unit, only to discover after the fact that I was not entering the correct name for the unit (the name is CASE SENSITIVE and I was entering all small letters). Just be careful.
This email I received will cure most remote control problems. It worked for me.
Please select Directv HR20 Model from the Wizard. It will work with your STB.
· Directv Receivers allow you to control them using RF and IR Remote controllers. Kindly make sure your DirecTv Receiver Settings are set to use IR. Vulkano IR will only work if the Remote control setting on DirecTv is set to IR.
· Make sure the IR Blaster Cable is connected properly at the back of the Vulkano. This is best done by unplugging the cable and then plugging it back in as you listen for that tell-tale "click."
· Double-check the positioning of the IR emitters (the clear bulb at the end of the IR Blaster cable). Make sure that the emitter (bulb) end of the IR Blaster cable is hanging over the edge of your A/V device or is otherwise properly positioned in front of the IR sensor (usually a small, dark red "window") of the device you want Vulkano to control for you. The Projection of the IR emitters should be on the IR Sensor of your Directv. (See my notes above)
The IR Blaster is powerful, but it needs to be at the proper angle.