At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Monsoon Multimedia —
which specializes in video convergence technologies and maker of the
HAVA place-shifting products — has announced Volcano, its next
generation home video convergence device.

Volcano incorporates features of TiVo (time shifting), Slingbox/HAVA
(place shifting), Roku (Internet video such as Netflix movies) and
new functionalities that support streaming and recording video to
smartphones, all in one box. It also supports all major smartphone
and computer operating systems such as Mac OS X, iPhone, Android,
BlackBerry, Symbian, Windows Mobile and Windows.

Volcano allows consumers to schedule and record any of their familiar
TV channels remotely from a smartphone to the Volcano’s hard-drive
and watch the video at the same time or transfer the stored content
to a smartphone for later viewing. This can be accomplished through a
3G or Wi-Fi connection from anywhere in the world including
airplanes, cars, trains, offices or hotel rooms. Integrated players
and EPGs (Electronic Programming Guides) can be downloaded by Volcano
users on to any of the supported devices.

Smartphone users on average can download 128 hours of video or 84
movies of 90 minutes duration on to their phones thanks to Monsoon’s
video compression technology, the company says. Computer users can
download considerably more content on to their hard-drives. A
full-length movie can purportedly be downloaded on to a smartphone in
minutes using a broadband connection. Smartphone users also have the
option of viewing any program live without recording it.

With the included hard-drive and a remote control, Volcano can also
be used as a TiVo DVR at home. Slingbox/HAVA features included in
Volcano enable consumers at home or in remote locations to watch
their TV programs live on their smartphones or computers. Volcano is
connected to the analog output of a set-top box. At 150kbps uplink
speed and by using Monsoon’s new technology deploying H.264
compression, Volcano now allows consumers with lower uplink bandwidth
to stream video to the Internet and view the video in high quality in
remote locations.

In addition, Volc ano owners can surf the web using the included
remote control to watch YouTube videos or view movies from online
services including CinemaNow and others on their big screen TV. Many
more television and video applications like Boxee will be added to
the Volcano throughout 2010.

Consumers can also use their smartphones instead of a physical remote
controller to control all the Volcano features at home. The
installation of the device is through a one-step process innovated by
Monsoon. Automatic wireless set up is achieved through 801.11n
wireless technology embedded in the Volcano. Volcano has built-in
infrared technology to control the set-top box/TV remotely.

The Volcano comes in two different configurations. Volcano and
Volcano Pro have a projected selling price of US$199 and US$299,
respectively. Volcano will come with 4GB of flash memory, while the
Pro version will come with a 250GB hard-drive. Volcano products will
be available in March through leading on-line etailers, and can be
directly purchased with a lifetime or term based subscription from
Monsoon (