Dec 04 2015

News - Another Roku 4 review that doesn't mention fan noise

I'm beginning to wonder if Roku is cherry picking review units, or if the vocal folk out on the Interwebs complaining about fan noise are in a small (but obviously loud) minority. It is always curious when the actual experience doesn’t mirror (at least roughly) what is available from the media.

I do recommend checking out the review, I learned three things that I wasn't aware of before:

  • Roku 4 doesn't support 24p out
  • Nvidia SHIELD does
  • Roku 4 does not support HDMI 2.0a, so HDR is a no-go

There are surely other tidbits of technical goodness hidden within.

Dec 04 2015

News - Skylake cannot handle the pressure.

Stress is difficult. Sometime almost impossible to deal with, and when that happens you're forced to break, or bend, if you happen to be a CPU. Thankfully there doesn't appear to be a "gate" associated with what is turning out to be quite an issue for some third-party HSF suppliers (see the Ars article for more detail and links). With ARCTIC (my favorite budget HSF OEM) proactively stating that all of their coolers are fine, but shipping could be the problem...

Dec 03 2015

News - TP-LINK Touch P5 AC1900 Wi-Fi Gigabit Router Reviewed @ Mad Shrimps

I'm not completely sold on the idea of a touchscreen router. Mostly because of its impact on BOM. While it can be easier to do the first-run, most of the time after first-run users simply never interact with the device again - besides rebooting it when the cable company is looking for someone else to blame after their network goes down. Hah, who am I kidding - that never happens Wink.

If you do see the value, and have been eyeying TP-LINK's Touch P5, then head on over and have a look at this review.

Dec 03 2015

News - ASUS goes deep on their new RT-AC88U Wave 2 802.11AC router

I notice ASUS's RT-AC88U a while ago, but back then the exact specifications (beyond AC3100 and eight, yes eight, Gigabit Ethernet ports) weren't really available on the [probably unintentionally published] product page. There have been a few more tidbits since, but nothing that goes as in-depth as this YouTube video, which not only discusses the router, but provides a useful overview of many of the features that any modern Wave 2 802.11AC router will have. It does clock in at around 30 minutes, so make sure you’ve grabbed a beverage and allocated the time.

Dec 03 2015

Review - NETGEAR ReadyNAS 212 Quad-core 2-bay Network Attached Storage (NAS)

NETGEAR recently introduced the ReadyNAS 2xx family of network attached storage (NAS) devices running 1.4GHz Cortex ARM A-15 SoC. Having just reviewed the ReadyNAS 202, the introduction of the 212 (and 214) bumping the spec from two to four cores, but not the price – still $330 (diskless), came as a surprise. With all of the great features of the ReadyOS 6 (rev’d to 6.4) and twice as much horsepower on tap, we should see a decent improvement in throughput, alongside NETGEAR’s hallmark add: real time 1080p->480p transcoding via Plex for mobile devices.

Dec 02 2015

News - Foscam FI9821P Reviewed @ TweakTown

I cannot tell you how many times I've almost bought this, or one of the innumerable other Foscam IP cameras that look exactly like it (and TBH, who can tell the difference). I've never quite been able to pull the trigger though. I think it's the name, "FI9821P" (et. al.) just isn't interesting enough. C'mon Foscam - put some effort into it. Of course if, you're not hung up on names, maybe you should read this review.

Dec 02 2015

News - Rukus Wireless announces ZoneFlex 710 4x4 Wave 2 802.11AC Access Point

I've never heard of Ruckus Wireless before, so it was a bit of a surprise when I ran across their announcement of the ZoneFlex R710 which claims to be the first wave 2 802.11AC AP, and it's probably true because unless someone snuck out another 4x4 MU-MIMO AP, and I missed it, this will be the first - which is awesome. Unfortunately pricing info looks to be a bit thin on the ground, and the website not-so-consumer oriented (which might explain why I haven't heard of them). If you have, and can give us the skinny on this company please do so in the comments.

Dec 02 2015

News - Amazon HDR Video now available on LG's awesome OLEDs

Unless you have a fantastically large display, or sit really close to your moderately sized 4K TV, HDR is arguably the most important feature “get” of new 4K displays – should they support it (i.e. don’t buy one that doesn’t). With the future of 4K content probably more in the hands of OTT providers (sorry Blu-ray Association) announcements like today’s that Amazon and LG are turning on the HDR for the video service. Yum… Now I just need to figure out how to get one of these displays Smile.

Dec 02 2015

News - Emby for QNAP NAS now available

Looks like Emby made it to another NAS platform. Installation looks super easy too, so go ahead and give it a play.

Dec 02 2015

News - How out of date is your router's software?

@RMerlinDev maintains a custom firmware for ASUS routers that adds that extra bit of polish, so he definitely has a level of expertise in this area. Which is why I follow him on Twitter and why I followed his link to see where current gen flagships fall out - unfortunately most didn't do well. The really sad thing about all of this is that this is the cutting edge, who knows how out of date all the non-flagship and lower spec models are. Hopefully this is something that the router OEM community can address sooner, before it's a bigger problem. Especially if the FCC get's its way and locks everyone else out.

Dec 02 2015

News - Goodness me, that's a lot of storage.

10TB is a gigantic amount of storage, but the size is not the biggest bit of news with WD's announcement today. That would go to the use of perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) in this Helium filled monster -- which means that when combined with 7200RPM means that it should perform like a normal hard drive instead like slowly like its shingled magnetic recording (SMR) competition. Saw this news on Ars Techinca, and there's also some good stuff on the next gen HAMR technology so well worth the read.

Dec 01 2015

News - Thecus N4310 NAS Reviewed @ phoronix

The config UI is a bit hard on the eyes, but the feature set and $266 price tag make up for that a bit - considering it's a 4-bay NAS.

Dec 01 2015

News - Western Digital Black WD6001FZWX 6TB Reviewed @ APH Networks

If you can live the noise, I've found the WD Black drives to be one of my favorites for recording disc duty.  I’ve never played with the 6TB model reviewed, or any 6TB HDD for that matter. That’s a lot of data, but the Black has 128MB cache, updated dual-core processor, and WD is claiming better performance than the 4TB Black – impressive.

Dec 01 2015

News - Is the center channel a misunderstood audio component?

It's probably not fair for me to pick at the intro paragraph to a review of two SVS center channels, but frankly it just grated. I've believed, and stated myriad times publicly, that the center channel is the most important speaker in the mix for the majority of common multi-channel use cases. If you listen to TV, movies, or anything but stereo content that doesn't have an upmix encoded in (generally music) - you want a good center. That's where the majority of the dialog is output. Bad center = bad experience. Simple as that.

With that bit of rant out of the way, what were we talking about again? Oh yes, a couple SVS center speakers that were reviewed (and loved)...

Nov 30 2015

News - Jeff Atwood (aka codinghorror) Shares 2016 HTPC Config

I like it when people share their HTPC configs. It's nice to get an idea of what they're doing, and why. Jeff is a proficient blogger, and we've shared similar thought process in the past so I am always quick to have a look when he updates his setup.

IMO, his update is solid - but I find the I/O choices to be a bit odd. Especially, opting for a standard SATA SSD instead of a modern interface. Either way, have a look and if you have any thoughts, I'd love to hear them.

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