FlipShare TV Review

It's true benefit is being able to access Flip footage sent to you by other FlipShare TV owners, which means everyone in your circle needs to have one.
It's true benefit is being able to access Flip footage sent to you by other FlipShare TV owners, which means everyone in your circle needs to have one.
It's true benefit is being able to access Flip footage sent to you by other FlipShare TV owners, which means everyone in your circle needs to have one.

Highs

  • Creates private WiFi network
  • Simple RF remote control
  • Automatic software and driver installation
  • Attractive design

Lows

  • Need multiple units to gain full sharing benefits
  • Same price as more fully-functional media bridges
  • Connection confirmation LED on rear

DT Editors' Rating

FlipShare TV

Introduction

What’s the best way to send HD camcorder footage to family and friends? Post a low-res version on Facebook or YouTube? Use an intermediary service such as MotionBox or You Send It? Burn your footage to a DVD and use snail mail? The folks at Flip feel you should use their new media bridge system, the three-piece FlipShare TV ($150), which uses a dedicated Wi-Fi connection to transmit video from your PC or Mac to your HDTV and to create a Flip Channel, so other FlipShare TV owners can watch your footage, and vice versa. While the hardware seems to work as advertised, the question is, does it kill the video sharing fly with an anvil?

Features and Design

FlipShare TV is a pretty three-piece system finished in eggshell white with powder blue highlights: a 4.6-inch square round-cornered base unit (or console), an RF remote control, and a USB Wi-Fi key. On the rear of the console are a power jack, HDMI and component A/V jacks.

FlipShare TV

FlipShare TV’s design conceit is that it creates its own private 802.11n link between the key and the console, communicating via a dual-band (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) radio link to avoid potential interference. All the connecting drivers and software are pre-loaded on the key; It automatically loads onto a PC when you plug it in; on a Mac you have to double-click the app through Finder. Your footage is then transmitted from your PC or Mac via the private N network to the console, and then to your TV screen.

FlipShare Software Interface
FlipShare Software Interface


When you jack in your Flip camcorder, the controlling FlipShare video management software automatically loads. You can then transfer your footage to your hard drive, edit your footage to make more cogent little movies, create a video postcard, burn your footage to a DVD, and most importantly, create a FlipShare channel to which other FlipShare TV owners can post their footage.

Performance

FlipShare TV When you connect either a Flip camcorder or the USB key, it looks as if nothing is happening. After a few minutes, the software appears and the key begins to make its Wi-Fi connection to the console – an LED on the rear of the console turns from red to blue. Why this connecting confirmation LED is on the rear of the console instead of the front is an annoying puzzle.

After that, most everything on both the PC and TV screen is simple and self-explanatory. The RF remote works from about 10 feet away from the console, and we got a solid Wi-Fi connection between the USB key and the console despite our living room being flooded by our own home network and several other media bridges in our A/V stack. Oddly, despite extensive testing by Flip’s parent Cisco, the manual warns you to keep the console an unspecified distance from other wireless or electrical devices, away from large pieces of metal, and not directly behind a flat panel TV. In other words, it works best when your TV is located in wheat field and away from everything else.

Theoretically, you can import other photos and videos into FlipShare. We had no problem transferring with photos, but the FlipShare wouldn’t let us move compatible non-Flip .mov and .mpg videos.

Conclusion

In many ways, FlipShare TV is like a videophone – you can’t really buy just one. Its true benefit is being able to access Flip footage sent to you by other FlipShare TV owners to view on your HDTV, and vice versa. To get FlipShare TV’s full benefit, everyone in your circle needs to have one.

FlipShare’s dongle-and-console private network solution is clever, and works as advertised. But to us, it seems like a lot of hoops to jump through just to be able to watch home video footage on your TV, rather than a PC screen. It would be far simpler – and cheaper – to simply connect your Flip to your HDTV via HDMI cable, and transmit your footage to others via other cheaper Internet video sharing, or social networking sites. It works as advertised, but we have to ask, “Why would anyone want this”?

Highs:

  • Creates private WiFi network
  • Simple RF remote control
  • Automatic software and driver installation
  • Attractive design

Lows:

  • Need multiple units to gain full sharing benefits
  • Same price as more fully-functional media bridges
  • Connection confirmation LED on rear
Home Theater

Budget TVs are finally worth buying, and you can thank Roku

Not all that long ago, budget TVs were only worth looking at if, well, you were on a budget. Thanks to Roku, not only are budget TVs now a viable option for anyone, but they might even be a better buy than more expensive TVs.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.
Deals

Time for a new TV? Grab the 55-inch Samsung curved 4K smart TV for $598

Shopping for a new TV and want to upgrade to 4K? Consider going curved: Samsung makes some of the best UHD TVs on the market today, including its unique curved lineup. Now, you can score the 55-inch Samsung curved 4K smart TV for just $598…
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Home Theater

Lynxsonic’s 4:33 headphones offer premium features at a not-so-premium price

If you're looking for a set of wireless headphones that has a similar feature set to Bose's QuietComfort 35 but with a lower price, the Lynxsonic 4:33 is an intriguing new contender on Kickstarter.
Home Theater

Demystify home audio with our ultimate A/V receiver buying guide

Today's A/V receivers are packed with lots of advanced technology and just plain cool features. From understanding watt ratings to Wi-Fi, we explain how to buy one that will last you for years in our ultimate A/V receiver buying guide.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

The best noise-canceling headphones paint your music on a cleaner canvas

Drowning out the sound of babies, jet engines, and the outside world isn't as hard as it seems. Here are the best noise-canceling headphones, whether you're concerned with style, comfort, or sound.
Home Theater

The seven best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2018.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in October, from 'The Witch’ to ‘Black Panther’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, subdued humor, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this fall with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Castle Rock'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we've put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Curse of La Llorona,’ ‘Jonathan,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. To simplify things, we round up the best ones each week. On tap this week: New trailers for The Curse of La Llarona, The Kid Who Would Be King, and more.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (October 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.