Nov 24 2010

Blog - Re-Launch Giveaway #5- Nvidia Geforce GT 430


Is everyone still enjoying the contest?? I surely hope so, because we still have a TON of prizes! Given the upcoming holiday weekend upon us, we decided to have a special prize and make it last longer than the rest.

Thanks to our friends at NVIDIA, we have up for grabs a brand new EVGA GT 430 Video Card with 3D & HDMI 1.4a support!!!! While it's not exactly the same, you can get an idea about the bit streaming support of these new awesome 4-series graphics cards from Andrew Van Til's Review of the GTS 450 card.

The EVGA GT 430 has arrived. Tap into the horsepower of the GPU for a visually-charged boost on your favorite applications. Edit your photos & HD videos and push the limits of your Web experience with a new generation of GPU-accelerated browsers like Internet Explorer 9. Boost your gaming performance with the next generation gaming architecture built from the ground up for DirectX 11 and take 3D home with the latest Blu-ray 3D movies.

EVGA Geforce GT 430

Nov 24 2010

News - ASRock Vision 3D Blu-ray HTPC Reviewed by Benchmark Reviews

We reviewed one of ASRock's original HTPC nettop systems last year and were very pleased with its foray into the market. It's great to see them continue on what they started and evolve the product to be more cutting edge. This looks to be another solid competitor. At $999 it's in a space far beyond the Boxee and Rokus of the world, but also much more powerful.

Benchmark Reviews has tested several products designed for the Home Theater PC segment, and of them all only ASRock has ever really delivered on the packaged HTPC concept. The ASRock Vision 3D Blu-ray HTPC could be the first solid example of a compact Home Theater PC that finally poses a threat to desktop computers. Armed with NVIDIA's GeForce GT 425M graphics card, the ASRock Vision-3D enables 3D Blu-ray Disc movie play back or video games using NVIDIA's 3D Vision technology. The Vision 3D system offers powerful dual-core Intel Core-i3 processing, a Blu-ray Disc optical drive, THX audio output, and even includes SuperSpeed USB 3.0. With HDMI 1.4a support, the ASRock Vision 3D also supports Bitstream audio pass through 7.1 channel surround sound with THX TruStudio PRO, making this the ideal Home Theater PC solution.

Benchmark Reviews

Nov 24 2010

News - Kinect on Media Center? Closer than you think

This is FAR from official, but a guy by the name of Wolfgang Herfurtner is working on an open source driver for the Kinect that would work with Media Center. Special thanks to Derek Flickinger for the heads up.

Nov 23 2010

News - Windows Home Server Vail Drops Drive Extender, Twitterverse Goes Mad

While this isn't directly home theater related, I know plenty of readers today (myself included) rely on a Windows Home Server-based solution as our central storage device. While the details of what exactly this means, for now it seems Drive Extender as we know it is DEAD. While you can head over to the Windows Blog for lots of banter on how awful it is for the product, my main question is, as a company, how can Microsoft invest so much time implementing and testing a feature, to just decide in the end to scrap it--especially when this feature is one if not THE main differentiator to your competitors? These next few months will be interesting to see how this develops, clearly Microsoft can't expect users to just map \\HOMESERVER\E\MOVIES and \\HOMESERVER\F\MUSIC once again, can they?

When weighing up the future direction of storage in the consumer and SMB market, the team felt the Drive Extender technology was not meeting our customer needs. Therefore, moving forward we have decided to remove the Drive Extender technology from Windows Home Server Code Name “Vail” (and Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials and Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials) which are currently in beta.

Windows Team Blog

Nov 23 2010

News - New Noctua Cooler, The NH-C14 Premium Cooler

Noctua NH-C14

I've been a fan of Noctua heat sinks and fans for some time. All my workstations and home servers use them but they are typically too large for my low-profile HTPC enclosures. I got the news today on the NH-C14 and I can't wait to get my hands on it (I'm a heat sink\fan junkie...)  It offers everything I look for in a HTPC cooler: 1- Optionally low profile; 2- Large quite fans (the NF-P14 rocks); 3- And extremely important to me, a non-push pin mounting bracket; 4- A down blowing cooler.

The NH-C14 brings top-flow cooling to a new level by offering an exquisite, uniquely flexible 140mm dual fan setup: The two supplied NF-P14 premium fans can be installed on top and underneath the fin-stack to configure the cooler for maximum performance in dual fan mode and either lower profile (105mm) or maximum component clearance in single fan modes. Bundled with the award-winning NT-H1 thermal compound and Noctua’s SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system, the NH-C14 is a highly flexible, premium-class top-flow solution that further boosts the renowned quiet cooling performance of the much acclaimed NH-C12P series.

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