I got an email last week announcing a new gadget/service from Flip called Flipshare TV. The new gadget, retailing for $149.99 , allows you to stream your videos from your computer to your TV, without the need for setting up a streaming media server or a wireless network. A move like this for Flip makes a lot of sense, particularly after being acquired by Cisco this year.
Tech enthusiasts may say, “So what, I can already do that.” As a matter of fact, I can stream videos off my home computer to my TV with my Xbox 360. The PS3 can also do this. However, Flip’s M.O. has always been making video easy, and this is another step in that direction.
What I think is particularly cool about the gadget is that it will allow users to share video with friends and family who also have the device. Of course you can also do this with YouTube or a family blog, but that tethers the viewers to the computer screen. FlipShare TV would allow the grandparents to simply launch the device and watch the latest videos of the kids on the big screen.
While many may still argue that the video and sound quality of the Flip cameras are “not that great”, I still believe the cameras really make it easy for normal folks to create quick videos easily. I’ve owned a MiniDV camcorder for 5.5 years, and I’ve only used about 11 hours of tape with the camera. Since getting my Flip Mino 18 months ago, I’ve shot a lot more video and shared a lot more movies. The ease of use, plus the simple to learn software, make the Flip a great tool for sharing video. And now, with the Flip TV gadget, sharing video will only get easier. I’m curious to see how Flip/Cisco will market the device and how well it will be received.
Disclosure: The email I received from Flip was to sell me the service. I have not yet tried the service, and have received nothing from Flip to write this post. I merely think the service/gadget looks promising, and will likely enhance Flip’s camcorder offerings.
Update: I just found a nice review with an actual test of the product on All Things Digital. If you’re curious as to how the Flipshare TV works, definitely check it out.