Feb 10 2015

Review - Amazon FireTV Stick – A Dream XBMC/KODI Player

When Amazon first released their FireTV player there was not a ton of excitement for the AppleTV competitor. Sure it looked the same, provided similar features, and cost the same ($99), but for most consumers the features were too similar to create a buzz. With the release of the FireTV Stick however, Amazon has now targeted the very popular Google Chromecast price range, but added a wealth of features—and a Bluetooth remote—for $39, making it one of the lower cost media players and directly placing it in competition with the Chromecast, and Roku devices as well.

Amazon FireTV Stick

While the Amazon FireTV Stick is a more than capable media player that does exactly what it’s advertised, the true magic was discovered when I learned that the Stick could be used as an XBMC (now called Kodi) client. I have tested a number of various low cost XBMC clients over the years, and the problem has always been that the client can rarely play all of the files as my main HTPC, as anything with higher resolution or bitrate would either not play or cause stutter. With the FireTV Stick, that was not the case!

Feb 03 2015

Review - iRemocon IR Learning Remote Control

iRemocon

There is a point in scaling out a home theater where a good universal remote control becomes an essential part of the experience. Yes, you can get by with the pseudo universal that came with the AVR, but then you have to train your family, and worse the babysitter, how to use that in a productive way. They need to have input specific knowledge to understand how to make it all play. We’ve seen myriad solutions that attempt to resolve this, but so far unless you step up to the quite expensive custom integrator (CI) solutions, nothing I’ve played with can touch the [still sometimes frustrating] experience of Logitech’s Harmony remotes. iRemocon has taken on this challenge with their $180 smartphone driven IR blasting fixed location device. Offering infinite customization via their UI designer, it holds significant promise – let’s see if it can deliver.

Jan 25 2015

Review - Quick Review - HD Frequency Antennas

 

We met with the folks at Silicon Dust during our week at International CES 2015, HDFrequency Logoand among the things we talked about were the antennas they were using to pull in a signal. They are manufactured in the USA by HD Frequency. While we were not able to meet in person with them at CES, we did get a chance to speak via conference call and they were kind enough to provide us with three OTA HD antennas to review.

Jan 22 2015

News - OOMI Launches Funding Campaign

We saw OOMI at ShowStoppers and while they didn't have actual product, they certainly said all the right things to indicated a good understanding of what HA is and what HA users want to get from the system. If you'd like to get in on the launch [aka pre-order] price of $229 (SRP will be $449) head on over to Indiegogo. Full PR after the click.

Jan 21 2015

Podcast - MissingRemote Podcast 49 - CES follow-up part 2 w/ Andrew too

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CES was so big we just can’t stop talking about it, and Andrew (@babgvant) was excited too so he joined us too. We had a little audio trouble starting off, be we delayed it and brought you the best show. Andrew has been hard at work posting follow up stories for the items we visited at #CES2015. OLED and Audio were some of the stuff Andrew was impressed by at CES. Smart Home was huge this year at CES and they had some great stuff and some not so great stuff. 9 volt smart battery with wifi and sound detection was pretty cool. Why do we have some many protocol and standards we discuss when they join forces they have much better products. Internet of Things was the theme at CES this year. We are really excited about the new NAS that are coming out from many companies and we will talk about them more on the show. Earthquake Audio was great at CES and John was like a little school girl at the show. WiSA audio is growing and with products launching it will be nice to see the products in the stores.

MissingRemote Podcast

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