Mar 10 2016

News - Insignia 4K RokuTVs available, maybe just Canada

There's an odd disconnect between what's in the PR email and on Roku's site. One says Canada, the other seems targeted to the US. I don't know if they're [poorly] geo-targeting my UK IP or just got their PR wires crossed. Either way, it's nice to see more options available for the best OTT platform out there.

Mar 10 2016

News - Kodi will get touch friendly "Estuary" skin

As much as I like to look at Confluence, I have to agree that it's kind of a pain to use on my phone. Now it works, which is why I keep Kodi on my mobile, but it would be great to have something a bit more touch friendly for it, and the slate that has become our "2nd TV". That's why it's great to see the upcoming Estuary skin. It retains much of the visual pop, but uses real estate better and has much larger targets. Looking forward to having a play.

Mar 09 2016

News - C-NET explains "What is UHD Alliance Premium Certified?"

I suck at naming things. So I am sympathetic to those whose job it is to do exactly that. Sometimes names matter, sometimes they don't. This one does seem to matter... most of the time... except when the display OEM... bleh! Let's just let Geoffrey handle it.

Mar 08 2016

News - 2nd Gen Amazon FireTV reviewed @ HTR

I was tempted by the new 4K FireTV, but seems a bit too focused on Amazon's services to find a place in my stack. That said, the price is right ($99) and Amazon is making great strides in the content space... Maybe next year Smile.

Mar 07 2016

News - Kodi Javis 16.1 RC1

Kodi keeps on coming. This time to 16.1; looks like some good fixes - although it's unclear to me if they are fixes for 16 or regresions in pre-RC1 16.1.

Mar 04 2016

News - New Emby Theater released for web and Windows

I'm a big fan of Emby. The server does a great job of cataloging my media, and exposing my TV content/EPG out to the web and every type of device (even Windows Phone/Mobile Wink). The team has been working really hard on a new version of Emby Theater that ditches the old WPF architechture going for a slick and modern UI built with HTML5. Which means it looks great in modern browsers (Chrome, FireFox, & Edge) and in the new Electron based Windows Client. While the UI is the same web/Windows, the playback framework is not. The Windows player uses the same DirectShow based player that the legacy MBT app relied on.

Mar 04 2016

News - That didn't take long. RedFox, back in business.

Ah, the Internet is a beautiful (and terrible) thing. Like the hydra, when one head is removed it is just replaced by another. Where there was SlySoft, there is now RedFox. Even new license purchasing will be back online ADN. Huzzah!

The king is dead. Long live the King.

Mar 03 2016

News - AVForums' guide to UltraHD Blu-ray

TIL: UltraHD Blu-ray disc will not be region coded. There's quite a few other interesting tidbits in the guide. Will probably learn a thing or two even if you've been following developments closely.

Mar 01 2016

News - Linksys EA7500 reviewed at SmallNetBuilder

I think this is the only MU-MIMO AC1900 router I've seen so far. It's certainly a unique product there, and at $200 it is consistent with other AC1900 802.11AC routers. So it might be worth having a look at the Linksys EA7500.

Mar 01 2016

News - CEPro addresses SlySoft demise

It shouldn't suprise anyone that the recent demise of SlySoft was covered here. The HTPC wouldn't be quite what it is without AnyDVD HD and similar products. It was interesting to see it covered by the CE industry focused CEPro though. Head on over to get their take...

Feb 27 2016

News - Streacom F12C reviewed at Nikk Tech

I haven't seen fit to build a Full ATX HTPC in ages, but if you game and need a beast in the A/V stack it is definitely the way to go. Streacom makes great cases, and the F12C looks like it also has excellent build quality and plenty of venting for that dual dGPU rig.

Feb 26 2016

News - MantelMount

Mounting your TV over the fireplace is a horrid place to put it, but unfortunately many times it’s about the only place in the room where you really can – especially in a lot of modern houses. In the past, I’ve always offered simple guidance on it: DON’T. Besides the obvious problem with viewing angles, you also end up looking up at the TV. Which, unless you have a dentist’s chair in the main room means you’re putting a lot of strain on your neck.

Feb 25 2016

Review - First Look axiim Q Wireless Home Theater System

First Look axiim Q Wireless Home Theater System

Not everyone will agree, but I think there is a compelling argument to be made that audio is the most important aspect of creating an immersive home theater experience. Yes, video matters, a lot, but what really draws you into the experience? Better contrast, or when you can hear the shell casings hit the ground behind you to the right? Which raises the obvious question around why more households opt to have a large HDTV and a soundbar than a real muti-speaker audio system? There probably are many reasons, but if I had to speculate [lack of] installation convenience for a wired system would be pretty near the top. Getting a traditional wired audio video receiver (AVR) up-and-running with five speakers and a subwoofer can be very complicated; after all, if you do not already have wires in the wall that will need to get sorted, which can be costly, time consuming, and certainly involves a lot more planning than slapping a “good enough” soundbar under the TV. Wireless audio provides another approach to getting around the installation complexity problem, but until recently wireless audio was either proprietary, substandard, or both. Which is exactly why we have been covering WiSA over the past few years as it evolved from ether to product. The axiim Q Wireless Home Theater System is the first holistic example of an AVR + 5.1 (or 7.1) speaker setup using the 5GHz wireless audio technology available for purchase. It is still in BETA however, with an introductory price of $1,500 for the 5.1 ($3,143 post BETA), and $2,000 for the 7.1 ($3,741 post BETA) systems, placing it currently on the higher end of the home theater in a box (HTIB) pricing scale. But, if it can deliver the same result as a wired system, without the hassle of wires then that is certainly worth a “convenience fee”, and with the Q’s streamlined user experience, including HDMI CEC, it could end up a bargain compared to a standard HTIB. Because it is an unfinished product, this should not be viewed as a comprehensive review; that will come later. Instead, let’s have a first look at the system.

Feb 25 2016

News - Noctua NH-C14S reviewed @ TechnologyX

 

Noctua makes some really innovative HSF. They aren't cheap, but always quiet and effective. I especially like this model because the fan can go either side of the fins Smile.

Feb 25 2016

News - HDMI CEC 2.0 magic

HDMI CEC is great, when it works. Some of this comes down to HDMI 1.x's lack of clear definition around how it should work, and most of the rest belongs to OEM's just making it work for their kit. It looks like the version of CEC for HDMI 2.x devices should address this - certainly goes a long way, when the MD of Pulse-Eight chaired the HDMI CEC 2.0 group. Check out the writeup and video of everything working. Magic!

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