Jan 09 2017

News - Intel announces 5 new NUC models

Another CES, another set of NUCs announced. I must say I also like the darker chassis, but it concerns me tha tthe renders don't appear to have CIR built in. If that is the case, it would be a big minus for their HTPC use.

Jan 09 2017

News - Intel announces "Compute Card" to replace Compute Stick

You can read more about what the Intel Compute Card is and what's inside in the linked article, but when you do that keep in mind how awesome a HTPC this make. Where you buy a chassis which provides the basic shell connectors (Ethernet, HDMI, SATA, etc) and you can easily upgrade the CPU/GPU every few years as they add fancy new features.

Jan 05 2017

News - D-Link announces first Apple HomeKit compatible camera

The Apple HomeKit ecosystem has been a bit sluggish (relative to other Apple kit), so it's nice that their finally getting a camera via the D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD (DSH-C310). No word on price though...

Full PR after the break.

Jan 05 2017

News - New NVIDIA Shield TV announced, will have Amazon Video

One of my only complaints about the first gen NVIDIA Shield TV was that Amazon Video wasn't natively available. It looks like that will end soon, at least for the upcoming Gen2. Wasn't about to find a clear answer on whether it will come to the first one (please!).

UPDATE: Amazon Video will come to 1st gen Shield TV. Thanks @Starkenator!



Dec 15 2016

News - CPCR guide for DIY survelience system

I've been leaning heavilty towards building a DIY NVR solution. If you've also thought about it, but weren't quite sure where to start - this is a great guide, even if you opt not to go with the hardware they selected.

Dec 15 2016

News - NETGEAR patches critical issue in a slew of routers

I mentioned a few days ago that some NETGEAR routers have a severe security issue. The good news is that there's a patch available, but on the downside the list of affected routers has grown exponentially. It doesn't look like any of the most recent crop are impacted, but it wouldn't hurt to have a look at the list anyway.

Dec 14 2016

News - Pinch me. AMD releasing Ryzen CPU, could be competative on more than just price

I'll admit it. I was a hardcore AMD fanboi back in the day. K7 was awesome, and the subsequent stream of related CPUs gave Intel a proper foil on the performance, and value, fronts. But, somewhere along the way AMD got lost in the wilderness... Perhaps too distracted by their attempts to ingest ATI into the fold... Although... I guess it doesn't really matter why, with the gist being that if we're honest, it's been quite a while since one could purchase an AMD CPU for any reason that didn't lean very heavily on the value argument.

Excitingly, that could be changing with Ryzen though. From what I've seen from the PR and initial analysis (so let's keep the enthusiasm tamped down for now) on the interwebs they could actually be turning that around.  Releasing a competitive 8C/16T 100W CPU on a modern platform; supporting NVMe, USB3.1 Gen2, PCIe Gen3, and DDR4. Come Q1, might be time to start cross shopping again.

Dec 13 2016

News - Microsoft adds HBR bit streaming support to XBox One & XBox One S to Insider build

While it's pretty shameful that the XBox One didn't ship with HBR bit stream support, it wasn't that big of an issue until the next-gen formats found on UltraHD Blu-ray came out, because to get all that spatial goodness they must be decoded in the AVR. Microsoft promised to deliver exactly that a while back, and it looks like the feature is rolling out to the Insider (read Beta) XBox group now. When this feature hits stable, it will solidify the XBox One S as the UltraHD Blu-ray player to get - and if I had a UHD display I would certainly be asking Santa for one.

Thanks to Curt Wilber for the heads up.

Dec 12 2016

News - ASUS annouces VivoMini VM65N & VM65 SFF HTPC

They aren't quite NUC sized, but still quite small and sleek. These ASUS VivoMini SFF look like they should be quite suitable for HTPC use, and the higher end model with the Kaby Lake Intel Core i7 and NVIDIA GeForce 930M dGPU would do for some gaming as well. Unfortunately the PR (after the the click), doesn't note NIC OEM, but otherwise seems nicely spec'd. Prices start from £399, so they won't be crazy money either.

Dec 12 2016

News - Might want to turn off some NETGEAR routers...

If you have a NETGEAR R6400, R7000, or R8000 there is [potentially] a serious security issue with the routers which could lead to a complete compromise of the device. CERT is recommending that owners should disable the popular routers until a patch is released. NETGEAR hasn't yet confirmed the hole, but they have put up an article that should be used to monitor the issue as it developes.

Dec 08 2016

News - ASUSTOR Launches Surveillance Center 2.6 Beta

I've played with a couple NVR solutions in the past, but haven't quite found one where the software really lived up to what I wanted to have from a security camera solution. While I don't have the necessary hardware to play with the ASUSTOR solution, putting it on a NAS and providing the wide-ranging BYOC[amera] support certainly hint at the kind of flexibility and capability that would be more to my liking.

Dec 07 2016

News - TinkerTry writes up a few M.2 NVMe PCIe adapters

No M.2 NVMe support built into your motherboard? No problem, check out one of adapters TinkerTry has played with.

Dec 07 2016

News - Vera Control opens beta for Amazon Alexa control

I've quite pleased with how HA Bridge exposes Vera devices and scenes to my Amazon Alexa, so I'm a little conflicted about signing up. But, if you don't have that setup, this is perfect for you.

Dec 03 2016

News - ASUS Announces BRT-AC828 802.11AC AC2600 4x4 Wi-Fi router

I wasn't able to run down price or exact availabilty, but this is still quite an interesting looking device, even though it's not the latest wireless technology. As we can see from the photo above, the business oriented BRT-AC828 sports two WAN and eight LAN Gigabit Ethernet ports. Providing fail-over and enought connectivity that those of us who need a swtich next to the router should give this a once over. It's also the first router I'm aware of that offers M.2 storage capability on device.

Dec 03 2016

News - CyberLink PowerDVD certified for Ultra HD Blu-ray playback

We haven't heard much from CyberLink about PowerDVD in a while, and I guess it made sense because there really wasn't much going on with the player, or space. That has changed however, with PowerDVD becoming the first PC player for Ultra HD Blu-ray disc. This is welcome news on two fronts. First, the HTPC as the best universal player dream is still alive, and second Ultra HD Blu-ray drives for the PC have to be coming to market soon.

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