Four new devices from a company called Skreens popped up on Kickstarter this week, and it could very well change the way you consume your digital media.
The base models, the NexusTwo and NexusFour, are powerful little devices that let you display multiple video sources onto one display, at the same time. They let you resize windows on-the-fly and can support up to four HDMI sources at one time. For example, the NexusTwo and NexusFour will let you play a video game while watching a TV show or movie. You could even have a web browser or chat window open, too.
Skreens is releasing four variants of its screen-sharing devices. The NexusTwo and NexusFour are the basic units that have two and four HDMI ports, respectively. The basic models can share screens, but lack many of the features that the Pro models have.
Skreens NexusTwo and NexusFour will let you resize windows and position them any place you would like on the display, and the device will save the layout so you don't have to configure it every time. The company sees this as a great fit for streamers who can play a game in one pane, and have the Twitch chat screen off to the side, and even view their own broadcast while doing it. What streamers use multiple displays for now can be done with one panel using screens.
In addition to having multiple video sources, the Skreens Nexus Pro devices have support for transparency, allowing for overlapping panes. They also support chroma key, so you could overlay yourself in a broadcast without the need for a PC to do the work. This will be especially handy for those streaming console games. Cropping of video sources is also supported, which will allow for very unique viewing setups.
The Skreens NexusTwoPro and NexusFourPro devices are able to handle audio for all inputs, though it will only output one through the HDMI port or optical S/PDIF port to the stereo. Using the associated smartphone application, the primary audio source can be selected, and all other audio channels are broadcast through Wi-Fi. Using a tablet or smartphone, users can listen to the additional channels. Thus, you could have someone listening to one thing on headphones while the main source comes through the stereo. The standard Nexus models do not have the capability to broadcast the other audio channels.
Screen configuration for the device is controlled by a smartphone application. The app is available for Android and iOS devices and enables the ability to resize windows using the pinch gesture and drag panes into place using the touch screen. Changes are applied in real time to Skreens, making it simple to configure it exactly as you'd like. The Pro versions of the devices add universal remote control support to the application.
Skreens is running a Kickstarter campaign to get the Nexus devices to market, and so far it is going very well for the company. The initial goal of $25,000 has been shattered, with the company raising over $100,000 in the first 24 hours and more than double that amount so far.
The NexusTwo can be had for as little as $179. The pro version is going for $299. The four-port NexusFour starts at $325, and the Pro version is $450. Skreens is also offering a "Professional Streamer" streamer package that includes two NexusFourPros that can be daisy chained together for a total of seven usable inputs.
|Skreens NexusTwo||Skreens NexusFour|
|1" tall, 4.75" long and 3" deep||1" tall, 4.75" long and 3" deep|
|Kintex®-7 Field Programmable Gate array with Dual ARM® Cortex™-A9 MPCore™ with CoreSight™ (Over 1M ASIC Gates)||Kintex®-7 Field Programmable Gate array with Dual ARM® Cortex™-A9 MPCore™ with CoreSight™ (Over 4M ASIC Gates)|
|NEON™ & Single / Double Precision Floating Point for each processor, 1GHz each||NEON™ & Single / Double Precision Floating Point for each processor, >1GHz each|
|802.1 b/g/n Wi-Fi/BT||802.1 b/g/n Wi-Fi/BT|
|Dual USB 2.0 (for Skreens approved peripherals)||Dual USB 2.0 (for Skreens approved peripherals)|
|Dual independent HDMI 1.4 up to 1080p/60||Quad independent HDMI 1.4 up to 1080p/60|
|Single HDMI 1.4 output 1080p/60||Single HDMI 1.4 output 1080p/60|
|Skreens OS||Skreens OS|
Skreens said that backers will start receiving their devices in March of next year.