Nov 05 2014

News - NETGEAR Announces Arlo Smart Home Security Kit (VMS3230)

NETGEAR arlo

The rapid expansion of products in the Home Automation (HA) space this year has been amazing. As the “Internet of Things” gains ground, OEMs who have only dabbled in the past are focusing more on delivering holistic solutions. Today, NETGEAR becomes one of these vendors with their Arlo product line. Currently this only manifests as wireless video monitoring solution that leverages an 802.11N base station (hub) to provide the link between local cameras and Cloud (aka remote Internet) based  monitoring intelligence, but should expand over time to incorporate more of what we expect from a true HA system.

Oct 13 2014

Review - D-Link Dual Band AC1200 802.11AC (DAP-1650) Gigabit Range Extender

D-Link DAP-1650 AC1200

For me, the most interesting thing about 802.11AC Wi-Fi comes down to bandwidth. While it can’t quite deliver the same speed and bullet-proof reliability as a full Cat6 wired installation, its capability comes at a fraction of the cost and much greater flexibility; dropping in an AC1750+ router + media bridge enables the same kind of "heavy" media consumption possibilities without the hassle of running wire. A few months ago, while still a cheaper alternative, it still wasn’t exactly "cheap" to add this capability to your home – with most vendors only offering run-a-second-router-as-a-bridge solutions. Fortunately, as the AC market has matured so has the supporting ecosystem, bringing two-stream "AC1200" (867Mbps 5GHz + 300Mbps 2.4GHz) bridges into play. Offering a four Gigabit Ethernet 802.11AC Wi-Fi Extender (bridge) the D-Link’s DAP-1650 is not alone in this group, but at $90 it is one of the most affordable. 

Oct 09 2014

News - Fractal Design Announces EDISON M 80+ Gold PSU

Fractal Design is best known for their outstanding PC chassis, but they also sell power supply units (PSU). I've haven't had the pleasure of playing with one of theirs, but if it even comes close to the experience I've had with their enclosures it will definitely be on my shortlist the next time I need a modular PSU.

Key Features

 
  • Modular construction to assist with a clean build with only the most essential cables permanently attached 
  • 80PLUS® Gold efficiency with a 5 year warranty on the PSU
  • ATX 2.4 compliant, including full support for the new C6 / C7 power states introduced with the 4th generation Intel Core CPUs
  • DC-DC design for improved system stability and maximum 12V output
  • Tight voltage regulation: +/- 2% for +12V and +/- 3% for minor rails
  • Japanese electrolytic capacitors, rated at 105°C; Japanese and Taiwanese solid polymer capacitors
  • Extra-long ATX 12V cable
  • Silent, temperature-controlled 120mm fan with quiet, long-life FDB bearings
  • Full protection suite: Over Power Protection, Over Voltage Protection, Short Circuit Protection, Under Voltage Protection, Over Current Protection and Over Temperature Protection
  • Sleek look to add to the overall design of your build
  • Available in Black
  • Available in different wattages: 450W, 550W, 650W and 750W

Fractal Design

Oct 08 2014

News - Plex Comes to XBox

Plex fans with an Xbox One (360 is "coming soon") can now enjoy their media on the Microsoft gaming console. I think this is great news and strengthens the device's position as a media consumption hub.

Plex for Xbox is currently available for free to Plex Pass subscribers. In the future, it will be made available, for a fee, to those without a Plex Pass. In addition to the Xbox app, a Plex Pass also gives you exclusive premium features and early access to new ones.

Plex

Oct 05 2014

Review - Ditter U20 Media Player

Ditter U20

Ditter is a company you’ve probably never heard of located in Shenzhen China, the ultimate home of most electronics. If you google the brand however, you’ll find a lot of forum chatter surrounding their affordable line of XBMC-compatible media players available for sale from a number of sources. We received the U20 model—which uses an Allwinner A20 dual core 1.2GHz CPU and have been putting it through the paces. Available for just under $50, this tiny box is similar in footprint to an AppleTV, and touts a world of features at a fraction of the cost. In this review, we will dig deeper to see if all the hype lives up to the performance.

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