Two wi-fi toys…

…that I bought recently are the Logik IR100 Internet Radio, and the Belkin VoIP Skype Cordless Phone.

20070606a.jpg The Logik IR100 Internet Radio does what it says on the tin – it allows you to listen to radio stations over the Internet. I bought it from PC World for €120, and there are models from Morphy Richards and Philips in Argos that do much the same thing (although they are more expensive – one of them has an SD slot for recording programmes). The Logik box is very easy to install: turn it on and it shows a list of available wi-fi networks for you to connect to (both open and encrypted). The radio uses the Reciva service, which is basically a big directory of radio stations (like the Shoutcast directory). It can stream MP3, Real Audio or Windows Media-based stations. There are five preset buttons where you can store your favourite stations, and another nice feature is the fact that it can detect any Windows shares or UPnP servers on your LAN, and stream any music files from those shared servers (I have a UPnP on my Dreambox, and it works fine with that). So far, I’ve found it very good and easy to use. My main problem seems to be with stations that drop every now and again (even national ones like RTÉ), so I’m trying to figure out if it is my network connection or something else…

20070606b.jpg The Belkin VoIP Skype Cordless Phone is a little bit different from most Skype phones that you see in the shops, in that it does not require you to have a USB link to your PC (it connects straight to a wi-fi connection). I got it from PC World for €130, but there is a similar product on Skype.com for €139. It comes preinstalled with custom Skype software so that, like the radio, it’s simply a matter of turning it on and it will detect local wi-fi networks. After connecting to wi-fi, it’s very similar to PC-based Skype clients – you logon with your Skype ID and password, and can see your Skype credit and contacts list along with their online status. There is no instant messaging facility, but if you want to contact someone by voice and happen to be near a wi-fi connection without a PC, it’s a very useful gadget…

Categories Internet, Radio

4 thoughts on “Two wi-fi toys…

  1. Let me know how the Skype phone goes. Quite tempted by it.

  2. Hi Damien –

    I’ve returned it. They seem to have a problem with echoes if using SkypeOut, and I don’t seem to be the only one – if you google for “belkin skype echo” or “belkin skype problems” you’ll see more:

    http://www.gahtan.com/techlawblog/2006/12/29/belkin-skype-wi-fi-phone-disappointing-results/

    It’s a great idea but it just isn’t there yet…

    John.

  3. Hi check out this thread on boards for lots more

    http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2055133697

    Mike.

  4. Woh – thanks Mike – I found this link on the thread very informative – http://logikir100.tripod.com/Logik.htm

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