Mar 14 2016

News - Observer makes copy pissing on Smart Home tech

While I can see the author's point ("Smart Home" technology doesn't play nice together), I'm not convinced his approach is valid. Yes, the market is fragmented. Yes, there is a serious lack of agreement on standards. Yes, it can be very, very frustrating. But, it's a new thing. We are very much still in the early adopter phase. I'd rather have this Darwinian experiement where the strong and agile survive than something handed to me by Comcast, Verizon, or ADT.

More importantly. If you just want something that works. Stop whinging and do your homework before buying. Pick a holistic solution. Sure there might be compromises, and you won't get the best-of-breed flavor of the month, but it will work. Or, if you don't want to revise - get a Z-Wave + IP system (like the Vera). Been around for ages, works great.

Mar 14 2016

News - Sony Vue OTT Live TV streaming released nationwide

I'm not sure you can really call a $30/month (baseline) TV package "cord cutting". Since you've just switched your cable provider from a QAM to IP service. C-NET has a lot of detail, including that locals aren't included in many markets (really?). Looks interesting, but I'm not convinced unless the "Cloud DVR" really offers full DVR features, and the pricing - while good, isn't really ground breaking.

Mar 12 2016

News - Rockjaw Audio Kickstarting Sentio; first open & closed headphones

I've been on the prowl for a good set of overear headphones for a few months, and wouldn't you know it... Right as I was about to hit "buy" on a pair, I ran across the Rockjaw Audio Sentio Kickstarter page. There are a couple things that make this pair quite unique; most notably that they are the first to be able to function as both an open and a closed headphone, but it's also a dual driver (per ear) design with an optional aptX supporting Bluetooth module availble. Meaning that it ticks all the right boxes, and then some.

I haven't decide quite yet if I'm willing to wait until September, but the £95 (headphones) + £25(BT module) backer price is well inside my budget. Very tempted.

Mar 11 2016

News - AVSForum compiles list of HDR 4K displays

HDR is arguablly the best thing about 4K, and probably the best thing to happen to consumer displays in a long time. Figuring out what a TV's capabilities are, and therefore which ones should be elminated from consideration, can be daunting. AVSForum to the resue Smile.

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.

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