Monsoon Vulkano on Tab
Just got the Vulkano, a quick review:
For those that don't know, Vulkano is a place-shifting device, similar to slingbox but with a few extras (It can record shows, copy those recordings straight to the tab and the Android application is free).
Live streaming works well. I've tried it over both wifi and 3g and both work fine. Obviously the 3g is dependent on your signal.
Recording. It has it's own program guide. Search for what you want and click record. Afterwards you download it to the tab, you can't stream recorded shows. Works fairly well, with some major glitches. It has a box to check for 'download automatically' when you set up the recording, not only does it not work, it won't let you record at all if it's selected. So you have to manually click 'download', no big deal, but it would be nice to be able to do it automatically overnight. The 'large' resolution recording gives to a tiny picture, 'medium' resolution gives you full screen. It has various recording profiles for android, ipad, pc, etc. A recording done with the ipad profile won't download to android and vice versa. Very annoying, and stupid since they're all mp4. Won't matter unless you have both. I have both (only because the ipad was free).
Another annoying 'feature' is the inability to do season passes. You have to schedule every single recording individually, which is just dumb.
Monsoon is running a special, get 2 Vulkanos for $200 (normally $150 each). Don't do it. From what I've read, you can only run 1 on a home network (can't change the port number). I bought 2 and am really annoyed at the marketing that is half step above a scam (buy 2, but you can only use 1). I can make it work with 2 separate routers, but I'm still annoyed.
They sell 3 levels of Vulkano. One with no storage, 1 with SD card, 1 with hard drive. Buy the basic and add your own storage (sd, USB, ESATA). The hardware is exactly the same and they charge you a fortune for their storage devices.
Overall, I would recommend, with reservations. It does what it's supposed to do, you can watch and record TV, but it could be done much better.
02-15-2011 04:13 PM
Thanks for the detailed review and info. Worth considering if you can live with the caveats.