Get Ready for Vulkano: A TiVo, Roku and Slingbox All In One


Monsoon Multimedia is soon coming to market with a new box called the Vulkano that incorporates place-shifting, time-shifting, web video and personal video sharing all in a single platform, eliminating the need to own multiple devices.

Monsoon is maker of the HAVA place-shifting device, a lesser-known competitor to Slingbox. The company is now making the same place-shifting technology available as part of its new product, enabling users to take live television, stream it over the Internet and watch it on other computers or a number of other devices. But it is adding a ton of other features, such as DVR capabilities and connectivity with various mobile devices.

The box enables viewers to have an integrated programming guide through which they can access broadcast TV content, time-shifted or DVRed content, and broadband video content from sites like YouTube and others all in one place. They can then view any of that content directly through their TV, as well as through their PCs and Android, Blackberry, iPhone or iPad devices on WiFi and 3G networks. Users can also schedule recordings and view those recordings by streaming to their preferred device, or easily transfer files of those recording to PCs or other devices.

Currently Vulkano only supports viewing YouTube content through the TV, using the YouTube API. But soon it will also support other services, according to Monsoon EVP of Sales and Marketing Colin Stiles. The company is looking to add content providers such as Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand and Sonic’s RoxioNow to the platform. In the meantime, users can view personal media via Universal Plug-and-Play (UPnP).

The Vulkano has multiple configurations, including units with 8GB or 16GB of SD storage, as well as units with 500GB or 1TB of hard disk storage. Prices range from $259 for the 8GB SD-powered device to $379 for the version with a 1TB hard drive. Monsoon is taking pre-orders for the device at for shipment in early August. The product will also soon be available through various online retailers and in select brick and mortar stores.

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