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Monsoon Multimedia's HAVA tries to one-up Slingbox

Monsoon Multimedia's HAVA tries to one-up Slingbox

IPTV is everywhere at CES 2006, whether as a replacement for traditional broadcasting or as a way to get your video media around the home--or around the world. In 2005, one of our favorite devices in this category was the Slingbox. But as cool as the Slingbox is, it's a very bachelor-oriented device: it can stream to only one PC client at a time. That's where Monsoon Multimedia's HAVA device may have an edge. It offers a similar model to the Slingbox, encoding your TV signals and digitally streaming them to a PC or a mobile device. But instead of being limited to just one PC (as the Slingbox is), the HAVA is designed as a "multicast" device for viewing on multiple clients throughout the home. (Sending video to Internet-connected PCs and devices elsewhere on the Net is still restricted to one client, however.) Monsoon is claiming that its device bests Slingbox in other ways, such as its built-in 802.11a/b/g wireless and the ability to record streams on PCs for later DVD burning. The HAVA is intended as an OEM device, so it should appear under multiple third-party brands when it becomes available later in 2006. The target price tag is $250 to $300.