Jan 26 2016

News - RHT unleashes UHD Blu-ray database

UHD Blu-ray is a big step up from Blu-ray, and should be a huge step up from streaming. But history has a way of not picking winners solely on the techincal merits, so I'm not convinced that it has long term legs. Even so, if I had a 4K TV it would be hard not to pony up the $ for a player and a least a couple titles to show off said display when folks come calling Smile.

Unfortunately, not all UHD titles are 4K though so you may want to check RHT's database when picking ouf your perfect demo material.

Jan 26 2016

Guide - Block Google DNS per device

"Domain name space". Licensed under Public Domain via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Domain_name_space.svg#/media/File:Domain_name_space.svg
Domain name space. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

Some apps, like Netflix, have recently started hard coding Google's DNS servers into them to combat the use of VPNs and Smart DNS services. Most of the guides I've seen have indicated that the best way to combat this is via "static routes to nowhere". While this is an approach, I don't think it's the best, or most reliable way to get it done. In my opinion IP filtering is a much better option.

Jan 21 2016

News - This time, trust us, it's finally a CableCARD replacement

CableCARD has been being replaced for as long as I can remember (OK, not really, but it sure feels that way). Now I have heard rumors that this was coming, and it would be AWESOME if it did, but until it's a bit more solid I'm not going to get excited. Could just be another RVU...

Jan 21 2016

News - Kwikset introduces new Z-Wave deadbolt

I'm sure I missed a lot of news by not being able to make it to CES this year. One of these things, and I know I would have seen it close up because I always stop by the Kwikset booth, is their new Z-Wave deadbolt. Frankly, I think it looks great and I was really happy with my Kwikset locks, so I'm sure it will be a solid addition to their home automation (HA) lock portfolio.

Jan 21 2016

News - Lowe's picks Centralite for next Iris generation

Lowe's has made a solid play in home automation (HA) with Iris. So it's great to see them bringing out another generation of devices including a slew of core sensors from Centralite.

Jan 21 2016

News - SVS SoundPath Cables reviewed @ RHT

I'll be honest. I usually avoid audio cable reviews because, well... they are generally fluff. There just isn't any value to be had from getting riled up reading about the unicorn mane and dodo tears that went into the manufacture of an over-priced bit of metal. But, when I saw SVS's new SoundPath cables reviewed on Reference Home Theater, I thought it just might be worth 30 seconds Smile. Fortunately, there was no mention of arcane manufacturing processes and we already knew the cables were reasonably priced... I can't help but wonder though; given the reviewer's own words on the subject - why only 4.5/5 for performance?

Jan 20 2016

News - Securifi adds Almond 3 to consumer home automation router lineup

I love the idea of a home router hub that integrates all the radios necessary for home automation (HA) in the same box. I've heard mixed reviews of Securifi's kit since it launched, but it's great that they are inovating and bringing a cheaper model to market. Hit up AnandTech for the details on their newest, cheaper, model.

Jan 20 2016

News - Intel 750 NVMe SSD reviewed @ Technology X

For most workloads, I find my PC to be I/O limited much more frequently than by the CPU, so while an NVMe SSD wouldn't find it's way into most HTPCs... I still think it's cool enough to post a review of Intel's 750 SSD Smile.

Jan 19 2016

News - Epson PowerLite 2040 LCD projector reviewed @ RHT

I think Chris pretty much nails the main reason why you would consider an LCD projector in this (<$1000) price range over DLP - rainbows. I don't see them, but they are a real, blocking issue for some...

Jan 15 2016

News - Robert Heron and Patrick Norton spin up new home theatre focused podcast

If the names Robert Heron and Patrick Norton sound familar, it's because they used to do the "HD Nation" video show on Revision3. I really liked the show, so I am hoping that their new podcast is just as awesome. I had intended to have a listen before posting, but after churning on it a bit I thought that was a bit selfish. So go listen to the AVEXCEL podcast.

Jan 15 2016

Review - Arq Cloud Backup for Mac and PC

Between us, I have been procrastinating. Unwilling to take the final step towards a truly comprehensive data protection plan. The first two stages (multiple copies, multiple formats) have been in place for years. Leveraging RAID1 (redundancy), multiple hard disk drives (backup), and DVD archival (format shift) but taking my important data off premises has been a sticking point because of trust, and simplicity. Frankly, I just do not have enough faith in any cloud storage provider’s security. They are all big juicy targets and the risk of a breach just seems more likely (cough, iCloud) than the type of event that would wipe away all of my home storage. Fortunately though, I recently found a solution that I am comfortable with – something that protects the data itself, and significantly reduces the risk of data leakage if there is a breach. Thank you Arq.

Jan 15 2016

News - Ring, Wi-Fi doorbell reviewed at Neowin

I know the HA market is still young, but is it really too much to ask that players start to integrate with each other? How many apps should I need to get a best-of-breed solution? Rant done, the Ring looks interesting, go check out what Neowin has to say...

Jan 14 2016

News - Cherry Trail Intel Compute Stick reviewed @ AnandTech

The review reads a lot like the last rev, at least when it comes to HTPC performance, so I am a bit disappointed. That said, it is in interesting look at year-on-year gains in the form factor.

Jan 14 2016

News - LG upgrades OLED line-up, Robert Heron breaks it down

Nothing brings [mild] regret for electronics purchases like CES, and it looks like a big one for anyone who picked up a 2015 LG OLED owners with the 2016's getting a slew of really nice upgrades (10-bit support!). Display expert Robert Heron breaks it down for us.

Jan 14 2016

News - Silicondust enables HDHR DVR for ClearQAM users

It's an unfortunate reality in the US, that ClearQAM is slowly disappearing. But equally true, is that when it works, it is fantastic - sometimes even magical, like when HBO HD is broadcast in the clear Smile. So it is great that SD has added [sort of] support for the capture method in their developing HDHR DVR project.

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