Veebeam HD

Author
Rich
Editor
Aron Schatz
Posted
February 28, 2011
Manufacturer
Veebeam
Product Page
Veebeam HD
Views
46940
Veebeam HD
New HDTVs with the capability to stream selected Internet content are becoming standard. Many of us that purchased HDTVs in the past aren't so fortunate to have this capability. Should we have to buy a new HDTV to enjoy the full 1080p HD glory of streaming Internet content? Veebeam doesn't think so.

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Page 1
Introduction

The Veebeam HD exists in a growing market of devices that can get digital and Internet content to your HDTV. This is especially important for people that bought their HDTVs before they came with Internet capabilities built in. The Veebeam’s most attractive feature is that it pushes full 1080p quality video wirelessly from your computer to your HDTV. With that capability, we couldn’t wait to get our hands on it.

About Veebeam

Quote

Veebeam is the easiest, most affordable, way to wirelessly stream anything from your laptop to your TV. It makes it possible to easily share the best of the Internet with the whole family from the comfort of your living room.
The company operated in a stealth mode for over two years as it systematically honed every facet of the product to ensure it met consumer expectations.
The Veebeam team includes an impressive group of veterans with experience bringing to market a wide array of consumer hardware, mobile phones, Bluetooth and WiFi products. The team has a track record of building successful products and services at such companies as Virata, Texas Instruments, SiGe, IBM, Best Buy, Logitech, VUDU, and AOL.
Veebeam is a privately held, venture-backed, corporation created by the 2008 merger of Staccato Communications (San Diego, CA) and Artimi (Cambridge, UK). It maintains offices in Burlingame (CA), Cambridge (UK), and Bangalore (IN).

http://www.veebeam.com/pages/Company.html


Packaging

The Veebeam HD arrived in a very plain cardboard box. The company logo appears in a few spots, but there’s no product info to be found. It's contents would be a mystery if we didn't know any better. This is understandable since the product can only be purchased online and is not currently found in stores.

Veebeam_HDPackage.png
Page 2
Specifications

  • Video/Audio/USB Output
    Composite A/V, HDMI, Digial Audio/TOSLink, Two (2) USB Ports
  • Screen/input Resolution
    480i - NTSC/PAL; 1080p - HDMI
  • A/V Containers
    If you play it on your PC, you can play it on Veebeam. Capable of supporting: AVI, MKV (Matroska), MOV/M4V (Quicktime), MP4, ASF/WMV (Microsoft), MPG (MPEG2-PS/TS), Flash, AVCHD.
  • Video Decoders
    If you can play it on your PC, you can play it on Veebeam.
    Capable of supporting: H.264/AVC, MPEG4 (part 2)/Xvid, WMV (VC-1), MPEG-2 , VP6/7/8, Theora
  • Audio Decoders
    If you can play it on your PC, you can play it on Veebeam.
    MP3 (MPEG1 Layer 3), AAC, AAC+, Dolby Digital/AC-3 (downmix), LPCM (AIFF, WAV), WMA, DTS (downmix), FLAC
  • Photo Formats
    Screencast | JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF
  • Power
    110-120VAC (60Hz) or 220-240VAC (50Hz) 10W at 12VDC (20W max)
  • Wireless
    Ultra-Wideband @>150Mbps constant rate
  • DRM
    None
  • System Requirements
    2.2 GHz or greater Intel Core 2 Duo or Intel i3, i5, and i7
    2 MB cache memory
    2 MB RAM
    Mac OS X (10.5, 10.6), Windows 7, Vista and XP
  • Protocols Used
    DLNA, UPnP and Wireless USB Compatible
  • Footprint
    120mm x 120mm x 80mm
  • Warranty
    30 Day Money Back Guarantee and a 1 Year Warranty

http://www.veebeam.com/products/Veebeam-HD.html

Features

  • Streams Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, YouTube and other Internet sites
  • Built-in wireless PC to TV link
  • Easy to set up, easy to use
  • Compatible with Mac OS X (10.5, 10.6), Windows 7, Vista and XP
  • Ideal for laptops
  • Use laptop keyboard & track pad to control playback
  • Plays 1080p HD movie files
  • Optical audio output for surround sound
  • HDMI connector
  • Displays photos and desktop in HD
  • Two (2) USB ports for future support of webcams and external hard-drives

http://www.veebeam.com/products/Veebeam-HD.html

Packaging Contents

  • The Veebeam HD television receiver
  • Power Adapter (for the receiver)
  • The Veebeam Wireless USB transmitter
  • HDMI Cable
  • Composite Cable
  • The Veebeam Getting Started Guide


Veebeam_HDPackageContents.png

Page 3
The Veebeam HD

Veebeam recommends that you use the HD with a computer that has a 2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor or greater. This is of course a “recommended” spec, but Veebeam offers a compatibility tool to check how well it will run on any system. The tool is on their support/downloads page and only takes a minute or so to run. It provides a good estimate as to how the HD will perform with the computer in question. One of the 3 PCs we tested the Veebeam HD with had a lesser processor and ran the software acceptably. So, it will function on lesser systems, but do so using your own discretion.

Setting up the Veebeam HD is a relatively painless process. First, Veebeam suggests that you install the software. There is no software media that comes with the product, so it will need to be downloaded from the Veebeam website. The software works with Windows 7, Vista (Vista 32-bit ONLY), and XP. There’s also a separate version for OS X 10.5 and 10.6. As usual, Linux users are left in the dark as I'm sure they're used to. Though, Veebeam mentions in the FAQs that future Linux support is a possibility. Once the application is downloaded, the installation is easy and requires minimal user interaction. When the software is active and waiting to see a connection, you’ll notice the Veebeam icon in the system tray. The icon is grey when there’s no connection and becomes green when a connection is made. If the device is plugged in but Screencasting is turned off, the icon will be orange.

Veebeam_HDIconDisconnected.PNGVeebeam_HDIconOn.pngVeebeam_HDOff.png


Next, the receiver needs to be connected to a television. The receiver has a strange unique shape to it. It gives the device character, but wouldn’t likely be very easy to hide. Veebeam recommends that the receiver has a direct line of sight with the transmitter. This should be taken into consideration when choosing an ideal location for it. The Veebeam HD supports HDMI and composite interfaces and comes with cables for both. There’s also a digital audio port if needed. The receiver has it’s own power adapter that can be used in any standard US outlet. You’ll know the receiver is on when the small yellow light on the front is lit. An interesting feature the Veebeam HD has is the notch in the front of the receiver. The notch serves as a dock for the USB transmitter. When the transmitter is in the dock, the receiver turns off and the yellow light on the front goes out. This is handy and should help to prevent users from losing the transmitter.

Veebeam_HDReceiver.pngVeebeam_HDRT.pngVeebeam_HDReceiverBack.png


The last step of the setup process is to plug in the USB transmitter. This can be plugged into any USB 2.0 or 3.0 port. Once the transmitter is plugged in, it should automatically make a connection to the receiver and enter “Screencasting” mode. The first time the transmitter is plugged in, a driver installation will take place. If you're using Vista or Windows 7, the Aero interface will become disabled for performance. Again, Veebeam recommends that the transmitter has a line of sight to the receiver and that they are within 5 meters of one another. Veebeam says that the device will work up to 10 meters, but still recommends 5 meters.
Page 4
The Veebeam HD Part 2

Veebeam_HDTransmitter.pngVeebeam_HDTransmitterOpen.png


While in “Screencasting” mode, exactly what’s on you computer screen is what will be displayed on the television. This is great for maximizing a browser window and streaming content from the internet, using your favorite streaming applications like Boxee and Hulu Desktop, playing a DVD, or looking at family photos. There’s a delay that happens during Screencasting between the video that appears on the computer screen and the television. It varies, but can be a few seconds long. It would be really distracting if you needed to use the computer screen and the television screen at once. I found that its better to start the video and turn the computer screen off while using the Screencasting option. Screencasting could be used for business as well. It will work with a projector provided the it has a compatible video input. The delay might take some getting used to for presentations, but to be fair we don't think it was Veebeam's intention to use it as such.

Right-clicking on the system tray icon will bring up a few other options and settings. The Settings section allows for some video and screen adjustments. The “Find...” option brings up a window with links to some recommended video streaming sites. Clicking on the links will bring you to the selected site in your default browser.

Veebeam_HDMenu.pngVeebeam_HDSettings.PNGVeebeam_HDFind.PNG


The “Share...” option remained greyed out in all instances we used Veebeam. We couldn’t figure out what it was used for, nor could the feature be found in any of the documentation. It may be there for future use. Perhaps Veebeam has some sort of social networking integration planned.

The option worth mentioning most is the “Play....” option. This allows you to take digital video files and queue them up to play on the television without taking up any screen real estate. It will play the video on the television while you’d be free to work on your computer while the video is playing. Nothing from your computer screen is shown while using this feature; just the video. So if someone wanted to play a video for their kids while getting some work done, this would be a good option. Unfortunately, if you wanted to do this while streaming video using Netflix in your browser or using the Boxee application, you’d be out of luck. It would have been nice if Veebeam had an option to use your television as a second monitor to extend the desktop for such occasions. This was really disappointing as it seemed to be a obvious feature to include.
Page 5
The Veebeam HD Part 3

Veebeam_HDPlay.PNG


We used the Veebeam HD with 3 different PCs: a Windows XP laptop with less than recommended specs, a Windows Vista 64-bit desktop with above recommended specs, and a Windows 7 32-bit laptop with the recommended specs. As mentioned earlier, the XP computer ran everything acceptably. The Windows 7 computer worked optimally without any issues. Naturally, I had problems with the Vista 64-bit desktop since the OS isn’t supported. While I was looking though Veebeam’s forums, they had mentioned that it worked for some users and support would try to help even though it has known issues. I decided to use Veebeam’s chat support to attempt at troubleshooting it. This is worth mentioning because Veebeam’s chat support was great. There was no wait time and the representative provided excellent support. We didn’t get it working, but I didn’t expect to anyway since it’s clearly stated that it isn’t supported. Nonetheless, Veebeam took my e-mail address to notify me when it works with Vista 64-bit.

While testing the Veebeam HD, we streamed video in Screencasting mode with Netflix, Boxee, and Hulu Desktop. We also played a few video files in “Play...” mode. The Veebeam performed without a hitch and we were watching all of our video in full 1080p HD. The device simply does precisely what it claims to do. Arguably, the best thing about the device is that it appears to have the ability to upgrade the firmware. Veebeam mentions that the two USB ports on the back are for future use with webcams and external storage devices. This shows that Veebeam intends to continue to improve and update the product. This gives it great potential to become a better, more feature rich device.

Conclusion

The Veebeam HD is a great device for streaming video to your television. Wireless 1080p video is impressive. Still, there’s a few features we would have like to have seen included. If Veebeam continues to update the firmware with new abilities, we might just get them. Even as the device stands now, we can definitely recommend the Veebeam HD. You can buy it for $149.00 directly from Veebeam or from Amazon. Considering the flexibility it gives to an HDTV you may already have that doesn't have Internet capabilities built in, it's a very reasonable price.

ASE Publishing would like to thank Veebeam for making this review possible.

Comments

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