by Imran H. Khan
Jadoo2 is the latest offering from JadooTV which allows you to view multi media content streamed off the internet on your TV screen. I had written about the first Jadoo offering earlier under the title of “Connecting Diasporas with HomeLands” . I recently got the opportunity to experience Jadoo2 to see for myself what improvements have been made by the company since the last two years. I have tried to capture both the installation and the viewing experience of the product in this post, that could potentially help those trying to make a decision to buy, as well as show a few new features. It is an informational faucet for the mind and a source of pleasure for both the eyes and ears.
UnPacking and Installation
The experience of unpacking a well designed product reflects the inner quality of the product. For if the company provides this much attention to details to its packaging, it does not take much to imagine the effort that has gone into its internal design. Apple truly understands and excels in the dimension. While not yet at the Apple standard, Jadoo2 had made considerable strides in this department. All the components were well packaged and opened conveniently and logically. The instructions were succinct and too the point. It took me less than five minutes to hook it up to my Samsung Monitor using the HDMI cable. It configured in about five click of the remote. Even though my TV is on the third floor and wireless router in the basement on the other side of a largish house, the signal received was strong and robust using the new 11n standard. I did not need to extend the wireless USB receiver, provided as an extra with the product. You will need to register with JadooTV using the Box ID to enable the live content. I was particularly surprised by ease with which it connected with my computer’s video content through Microsoft Media Player. When I turned on the computer it prompted me to enable the link with Jadoo2, and that was it. All my media content was now available for viewing on Jadoo2.
The size of the box is slightly bigger that the first box I had evaluated. But the design is still slim and the box bit more visually pleasing. The real improvement was in the design of the new remote control.
The size and feel of the remote is now perfect. The controls are logically placed and don’t overburden the memory as to what each button means. The interaction with the box is crisp and the tactile feel of pressing the button gives positive feedback. The interaction with the playback controls is much improved, but could still use some improvements in responsiveness.
The device connects with the Internet through either the 10/100BASE-T Ethernet or 802.11n compliant wireless connection. Both in my opinion are equally good. I found the wireless connectivity exceptional and offering the flexibility of locating it anywhere in the house. Three USB connectors are more than what anyone would need in connecting external storage to. I liked the fact that there is a front facing USB connector for ease of access.
Jadoo2 with highest resolution of 1080p was more than capable of overpowering my TV which only could only handle 720p resolution. But even with that resolution it was more than adequate for experiencing the HD content. Sadly most of the movies that I browsed through were not available at the HD resolution. This is more a reflection of limited bandwidth from the servers and the compression at which the movies are being stored. I think a separate categorization of the HD content would improve the viewing experience dramatically.
The content is now organized by countries and continents. I got the pleasure of refreshing my Turkish by listening to a Turkish news broadcast. One can get the different perspectives of important news by seeing it being presented from a large number of countries from around the world. The most surreal experience was watching Pakistani flood effectee being interviewed by Taiwanese reporter. Many of the better Bollywood movies are available in the category of Middle Releases. It was a little disappointing to see that the HD content is still lacking , which precludes the true capabilities of the device from being showcased.
I misread the box ID and had to interact with the customer support during the registration process. I found Jadoo support staff to be extremely responsive.
Powerful Education Tool
Jadoo2 is mainly being marketed as an entertainment tool. The fact that it allows a shared multi media experience through connection with a large viewing device, control using a remote and simple menu driven interface makes it an ideal educational tool at a very cost effective price. I had written about an ever increasing and large amount of quality educational content becoming available on the internet in my post titles “Rethinking Education in a Connected World” . This content is typically available through Youtube that can be viewed using Jadoo2. A case in point are lectures from Khan Academy that are available in HD. This kind of content when coupled with PowerPoint delivery can cover a lot of ground without the need for even a computer. PowerPoint presentation can be easily converted to JPEGs that can be streamed or viewed using USB stick. Both RCA jacks and HDMI connectors can be used for connection with a projectors The teacher only needs to copy the lecture to a USB stick and he or she is ready to present without the constraints of being close to a laptop or computer to switch through a rich multi media presentation.
The multi-cultural real time and archived content is ideal for teaching languages, current affairs and other studies requiring cultural immersion.
Room for Improvement
There are a couple of nits that would improve the product further. I was unable to back out after selecting a station that was taking long to connect. I had to wait for a rather prolonged time out period before the remote buttons became effective. I also find the need to having to go to the computer to register the ID of the box diminishing, the otherwise very efficient, installation experience. Can this not be achieved through some one time start up menu options since the connection with the server has already been established.
I think if the box had internationalization implemented in some of the major languages in its menus and documentation, it could achieve a much larger penetration in those markets.
While I had not yet explored all of the features that it offers, I think it is a considerable improvement over its predecessors. With the upcoming addition of DVR functionality with Electronic Program Guide (EPG), it would enhance its usefulness for its customers.Share