Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ameba TV: Review and Giveaway!

Photobucket
Kids television without commercials? Is this for real? Yes! Let me introduce you to Ameba TV. An Ameba TV box is basically like an external hard drive ("box") that I connect to my TV. The setup is surprisingly easy and once it's completed I can look online at AmebaTV.com where I select the shows I want my kids to watch. Once I or my children start up the Ameba it automatically checks via a wireless connection to see what shows the parent selected online for download. This setup is similar to the concept of Tivo except I have immediate access to what shows I choose for my kids to watch and I'm not paying for cable service. (*Ameba TV is now available as a premier children's channel on the Roku player and online streaming options through your computer will be available in the next few months as well.)

Ameba recently sent me a box to review.  In the past, television has not played a large role in our home because: a) I don't like my kids watching commercials that push products b) more importantly, I like to know what type of content my children view. With the Ameba I get both of these benefits as well as access to an online library of hundreds of current episodes.

Photobucket TV time in our house still has a time limit but I'm glad my kids were able to spend some time viewing these educational shows. Yesterday morning while eating breakfast my eldest daughter said: "Dad, did you know there are pink, white and black pearls?" A World of Wonders, one of her favorite shows, has episodes on everything from Japanese Robotics to Tanzania Rainmakers. Head on over HERE to browse what episodes are available on Ameba TV!

In the few months my family has had to use the Ameba I found a number of things I like.
  • Parents can hand pick which shows their kids watch
  • Children can watch shows as many times as they want
  • Wide selection of content including over 1,000 hours of programming
  • I'm downloading educational content for viewing purposes and not just fluffy entertainment!
  • Quick download speed
  • $9.99 monthly subscription rate is reasonable
  • Each show can be downloaded to an individual Ameba profile. An example might be downloading Rainbow Fish and assigning it to my Kindergartner's profile and then assigning Einsteinabot, a show teaching multiplication tables, to my older child. When the child clicks on their Ameba avatar the shows will be hand selected for their age and understanding.
  • The remote control is very simple and child user-friendly
  • I can filter my browsing experience by language (including English, Chinese, French & Spanish) 
There are a few areas for improvement that I need to honestly share regarding the Ameba. First, when an episode is selected you must watch a short preview (approximately 10-15 seconds) before playing the show. My younger children get frustrated because they think the show has stopped right when it was getting exciting. It would be nice if users had the option to press 'play' directly from the menu and forgo the preview option. The second feature I wasn't a fan of was that once an episode finishes the Ameba plays another previously viewed episode instead of automatically going to a newly downloaded episode. If you want to view a new download you have to go to the menu and scroll through all the previously viewed episodes before seeing a list of new episodes.

To get additional details about Ameba TV and to subscribe for yourself visit http://amebatv.com

The generous people at Ameba TV would like to offer one Moana Saves reader an Ameba box with a complimentary 3 month subscription! To earn a mandatory entry in this giveaway, become a Google Friends Connect follower of Moana Saves (in the sidebar).

To earn an additional entry, do one (or all) of the following and leave a separate comment for each thing you do:

1. Become a Networked Blogs follower of Moana Saves (in the sidebar).

2. Like the Ameba TV Facebook page.

3. Like the Moana Saves Facebook page.

4. Follow Ameba TV on Twitter

5. Follow Moana Saves on Twitter.

6. Tweet about this giveaway (limit one tweet per day) using the following: #Win an @AmebaTV box and 3 month subscription from @amebaTV and @moanasaves! ends 3/3 http://bit.ly/heuBiz

7. Subscribe to the Moana Saves feed via RSS reader and/or email updates (in the sidebar).

8. Grab the Moana Saves button and put it on your blog until the giveaway is over.

Only one person per email/household/IPaddress can enter this giveaway.  He/she must be 18+ years old and reside in the U.S. or Canada. This giveaway ends on Thursday, March 3rd, 2011 HST (Hawaii Standard Time).  One winner will be chosen randomly via Random.org.  I will notify the winner via email and he/she must respond to claim the prize within 48 hours or I will draw another winner.

I was not compensated for this giveaway although I did receive an Ameba TV box and subscription to facilitate the original review.  Any and all opinions here are mine.

88 comments:

  1. I'm a google friends connect follower! alicedemskehansen at gmail.com

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  2. I follow you on twitter - I'm @alicedemske - thanks! alicedemskehansen at gmail.com

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  3. I follow Ameba TV on twitter - I'm @alicedemske - thanks! alicedemskehansen at gmail.com

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  53. I'm a GFC follower.

    Ameba is an interesting concept - especially since even youtube is starting to have commercials in their videos now, as does watching directly on pbs.org. I'd like to give it a go and see how well it works for my son since I hate the commercialization of children these days.

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  54. Google friends connect follower

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  61. I am a fan of Ameba via Facebook as Jill Myrick.

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