Aug 26 2015

Review - Sewell Direct Ghost IR Extender

Sewell Direct Ghost IR Extender

Infrared (IR) line-of-sight (LoS) is a cruel requirement, too often ignored by A/V cabinet designers and dismissed by the main furniture decision makers who “don’t want to see” the kit that makes the picture box work. Of course, solving the control problem afterwards is usually someone else’s responsibility; and chances are that since you’re reading this – it’s you. There are a few solutions available, including universal remotes that use RF for remote-to-hub communication with hub-to-IR blasters to manage the devices, but they are more expensive and more complex than a device like the $35 Sewell Direct Ghost IR Extender. Let’s find out if this simple, battery powered extender can solve your LoS issues or if it’s best left on the shelf.

Aug 25 2015

News - Plex for Roku Freely Available

If you're a Plex user with a Roku, you should check out the channel that is now freely available for everyone.

That's right, the new Plex channel for Roku players is out of Plex Pass preview mode and FREE to all of our lovely users. With a sleek new look and improved support for lots of new features, the streaming experience is awesome, on-point, gooch, or whatever the cool kids are saying today. Discovery features make it easier than ever to find new content and come across things you haven't seen or listened to in a while, and you can enjoy customized categories of media based on your viewing habits. The music experience has been improved as well, with play queue and playlist support for everyone and Premium music for our Plex Pass members.


Aug 07 2015

News - D-Link Now Shipping DCH-S160 Wi-Fi Water Sensor

If you've ever had a pipe burst or your basement flooded, you know that finding out ASAP is critical. The sooner you know, the greater the ability to pull things out, or turn the water off and start dealing with the problem. Once you've made the jump to home automation (HA), adding water detection sensors is a no brainer, but can be a hard sell if you don't already have a hub on premises - which is one of the key differentiators between most HA sensors and a Wi-Fi sensor like the $60 DCH-S160. It doesn't require a hub, linking to your smartphone and/or to D-Link's companion DCH-S220 ($50) siren. Assuming it does what it says on the tin it is money well spent IMO.

PR after the click

Jul 31 2015

News - Intel Brings Discrete IR Back to NUC5i5RYK

Discrete IR On/Off are a critical part of my home theater setup. Without them, I can't include an "On" command in my startup macro for the HTPC which leads to all sorts of "training issues" with the other users in the house. So I was pretty upset when Intel killed the feature in a recent BIOS release. Fortunately they were able to fix the issue in the latest (0348) release. Users will now need to select the type of remote they're using in BIOS; with everyone benefiting. Huzzah!!!

A big thanks to everyone at Intel who worked on this issue and got it sorted. Word has it that it will also be coming in a future release for the D54250WYK, which also has this issue.


Jul 16 2015

Review - SiliconDust HDHR4-2DT Dual DVB-T/T2 HD Network Tuner

SiliconDust HDHR4-2DT Dual DVB-T/T2 HD Network Tuner

We’ve been waiting for the SiliconDust HDHR4-2DT network attached DVB-T2 tuner for a couple years now. In the meantime, anyone leveraging the UK’s digital terrestrial television networks have had to make an unwelcome choice between pretending HD content doesn’t exist, or living without the inherent flexibility of an Ethernet enabled TV tuner. With the £100 device finally hitting shelves, it is time to see if the HDHR4-2DT can deliver the same stability and capability SiliconDust’s US customers have enjoyed for several years.

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