Michael experiments with wireless streaming to Android devices
The PNY Wireless Media Reader is a playing cardsized device that allows you to share media content to various mobile devices. This functionality is achieved by the PNY product creating its own wi-fi network. Mobile devices joining this network will first need to have downloaded the PNY Wireless Media Reader app in order to access the data.
The PNY Wireless Media reader features connection options for standard and micro USB plus an SD memory card slot. Flush to the top of the unit is an on/off button positioned alongside three LED lights that provide feedback as to the status of the internal 2000mAh battery that powers this device, WAN and wi-fi features. PNY supplies a micro-to-standard USB lead, microSD to SD adapter, draw-string carry pouch and a folded sheet of instructions that has a very small font size. In fact, I had to use a magnifying glass to read it…
A full battery charging session can take up to four hours, which might seem a little excessive. However this can give you at least 4.5 hours of streaming capabilities to multiple devices. A three second depress of the power button will start the devices boot-up routine as a password-protected wi-fi network is created. This can then accept mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones of either the Android or iOS persuasion. Unfortunately those operating on the Fire platform are not currently supported.
Like similar personal wi-fi network devices, the PNY Wireless Media Reader does not possess its own built-in storage capacity. This is where the standard USB and SD memory card slot comes into play. By attaching a USB flash stick and/ or memory card containing the media content you wish to stream to connected devices, you create your own storage.
Accessing this content is carried out via the PNY app. Initially this content will be displayed as folders appropriately named SD_Volume1 and USBDisk1_Volume1. You can drill down using standard procedures to find the content you want. There is a search facility, but this is limited to just the main folder level rather than specific files that may be buned deeper.
As not everybody attached to the PNY network will want to access the same media files, each user can opt to access different items. I was able to set up five Android devices that each displayed a separate movie simultaneously. It is also possible to mix music and video files for the attached audience. With the five Android devices located within the same room, I was unable to detect any break up in the streaming signal during a test period of over 4.5 hours of continuous running.
As well as providing streaming capabilities to multiple devices, the PNY kit also features an option allowing connected devices access to the Internet. I was able to browse various websites and download an app on to an Android device. You can also use this product to act as a standard SD card reader when it is attached to a computer using the supplied lead or as battery charger for a smartphone or tablet. When used as a card reader or battery charger you do temporarily loose the wi-fi functionality. Michael Fereday
A compact device providing streaming options to multiple devices.