Oct 25 2010

News - How to: Create a Mac Mini Media Center

When I first saw this on my blogroll, I got excited and assumed it was using Mac OSX and being a HTPC...but the guys at WGS have a different twist and have gotten a new Mac Mini with the purpose of putting on Windows Media Center--sorry Plex fans!
Near the top of the tree in terms of small footprint performance is Apple’s Mac Mini – at $699/£649 it’s a premium option for sure, but Cupertino’s mid-2010 refresh of the model has produced a strong hardware specification in a tiny aluminium chassis that would look the business in anyone’s TV cabinet. There are compromises for sure – no internal Blu-ray drive (although you could attach an external drive via USB), a 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processor rather than Intel’s new Core i3/5/7 processor family, and a rather sparse package from Apple that lacks keyboard, mouse and HDMI cables. But Apple do design fantastic hardware, so with a little love, the Mac Mini can make a cracking Media Center PC.


Oct 25 2010

News - ArcSoft to Debut Total Media Theatre 5

We don't normally publish Press Releases, but this is definitely something to look forward to given the number of readers using TMT as their preferred Blu-ray software.

Optimized for compatibility with the new AMD Radeon HD 6800 series graphics, TotalMedia Theatre 5 will officially be released this holiday season with the following features:

  • Plays Blu-ray 3D™ movies and converts 2D movies to 3D in real-time
  • Includes online video streaming directly from popular streaming websites
  • Includes a powerful Media Manager to help you organize, view, and search for videos easily and quickly
  • Newly improved, OpenCL-based SimHD supports with De-Noise and increased frame-rate conversion
  • Provides a Smart Menu for browsing and bookmarking DVD and video files
  • Supports external subtitle files: SRT, SMI, SSA, IDX, and SUB
  • Supports video formats: AVS, WTV, MKV, (with multiple audio tracks and subtitles)
  • Supports audio formats: ALAC, wmal, APE, FLAC, LPAC, OFR
  • Redefined elegant Audio/Video Center and intuitive user interface


Oct 24 2010

News - Big Screen byRemote 1.0a Launched

Great news from BigScreenGlobal--not only has Big Screen byRemote reached an official 1.0 version, but Niall is giving away the basic version for free. No news yet on the additional features which will be coming soon at additional cost. Big Screen byRemote allows you to schedule recordings for your Media Center PC's--think MSN Remote Record or Webguide, but Microsoft can't abandon this one since they have nothing to do with it. :-)
A *FREE* “Basic Edition” (which never expires) – and offers the majority of the functionality you’ve so far seen in the beta versions (with a few minor limitations on the Silverlight client – and with no restrictions on the Mobile XHTML client).


Oct 24 2010

Review - Vidabox vCase3 - Slimline HTPC Case

Vidabox vCase3

When building a Home Theater PC, the case is quite possibly the most long lasting component and one that if chosen smartly can be used for build after build. While you may swap tuner cards, motherboards, video cards, and more, a good case will provide a foundation for your HTPC builds year after year while looking smart in your family room or home theater. Let's take a look at the updated vCase3 from Vidabox and see if this case has the potential to last through those many builds.

Oct 22 2010

News - Zalman VF3000F VGA Cooler

If you're looking for some more powerful HTPC card but still want the quiet factor, an aftermarket VGA cooler is a great idea. Zalman's been doing this for a while and know what they're doing still it seems.
Nvidia's Fermi core runs hot, and stock coolers are fine if you can get used to their loud and whiny operation. But if you really want performance and silence, you need to upgrade to an aftermarket cooler. The Zalman VF3000F (GTX470/465) VGA cooler is an excellent choice. Our testing showed that you can have both performance and nearly silent operation in the same package.


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