Sunday, February 22, 2009

Navi-X + XBMC = Streaming Bliss

If you were to ask around, you'd find that more and more people are getting their news and entertainment content from the Internet, and many from Internet-only sources, like podcasts and Internet radio. There are lots of Internet-only TV shows out there. Some of the bigger players in the streaming game are G4TV, Revision3, NPR, CollegeHumor, YouTube, and Apple Trailers just to name a few. It would be nice if there was a place that all of the popular streaming content on the Internet could be found under one roof with an attractive and customizable user interface.

Enter Navi-X, a script (plugin) for XBMC. I've mentioned XBMC, the open source media center powerhouse, several times on this blog before. Navi-X is a small downloadable app that allows me to stream all of my favorite shows, audio and video for playback on my TV. Installation is plug and play. Simply dump it into XBMC's "Scripts" directory, and it's installed. From there, browse to it in XBMC's Scripts browser. Not only can I stream all of my favorite shows and podcasts, I can download the streams for offline playback and cataloguing, if desired. I can also create my own "playlists" of streaming content, where I can share my favorite streaming media with other Navi-X users.

The shows I watch the most via Navi-X are Revision3's Systm, Tekzilla and G4TV's Gadget Pron. Sometimes I'll check out Apple Trailers, which is a great place to look at upcoming films, although the standalone Apple Movie Trailers plugin for XBMC is arguably better. Overall, I'm more than satisfied with Navi-X's streaming abilities. I highly recommend this app to any current or would-be XBMC users that need a neat and convenient way to access streaming content in their living room.