Sep 12 2016

News - Don't call it a comeback, Kaleidescape wasn't down that long

According to Inside CI, Kaleidescape used it recent troubles to restructure a bit. Although I'm not that confident given market trends, and even what Kaleidescape has to say for itself.

Sep 10 2016

Blog - Site maintenance

You may have noticed the site going up and down a lot today. We were doing some maintenance to update core software and get the site setup with an certificate.

Please drop me a line if you notice any issues.

Thanks

Sep 08 2016

News - ASUS announces RT-AC58U 802.11AC 2x2 Wi-Fi router

Not everyone wants, needs, or is willing to pay for the top-of-the-line tri/quad stream 802.11AC Wi-Fi router. For those who fall into that category, but still want modern features like MU-MIMO the ASUS RT-AC58U might be just the thing. It is launching at the end of September, but price hasn't been disclosed yet so we'll have to wait and see it where this falls in the value-for-money spectrum.

Update: I was able to run down pricing (£89.99), but unfortunately is now delayed until December.

Sep 06 2016

Review - Olloclip Active Lens iPhone 6 / 6s & 6 / 6s plus

I typically rely on my manual 35mm SLR to take higher quality pictures. I have in the past only used my camera phone for casual picture taking. I recently switched to an Apple iPhone 6s plus and acquired an Olloclip Active lens at the same time to see if I could get photos with the two that would replace my SLR in most situations. The Olloclip Active lens is 99.99. It is more expensive than the Olloclip 4-in-1 lens but should allow iPhone photography to capture wider scenes, more detail from close up objects and focus on further objects than without it.

Sep 05 2016

News - CNET knows OLED

I'd really, really like an OLED TV, but with a still quite decent PDP to "make do" with it's been a bit difficult to justify the purchase; especially given #3 on CNET's "should I upgrade" questions. Even if you're not in the market. It is a good breakdown of what's out there, and how much it will hurt to bring it home.

Sep 05 2016

News - NETATMO announces smart radiator valves

People may poke fun at IoT and Smart Home, but these smart radiator valves are exactly the kind of thing that I think sell the home automation (HA) story. They increase efficiency, reduce the need to intervene, and provide useful feedback on what's goin on in my home while potentially saving me money. Perfect.

The valves are £59.99 and you need their £149 Smart theromostat, so not crazy expensive especially compared to some of the other players in the UK Smart heat control market (and they look a bit nicer IMO). There was no mention of how the valves are powered though, which would be something I'd want to know before splashing out.

Update: the valves are powered by two AA batteries which should last about two years.

Sep 05 2016

News - OmarKnows Circle

I found out about Circle a few days ago and was very curious about how it works, because frankly it sounded awesome and scary at the same time. Fortunately, Omar was able to help me out there (Arp Spoofing) as well as provide a nice testimonial around how it works for his family. As my kids approach their teenage years, I'm starting to think that simple parental controls and parenting might not be enough - so I've been looking for something like this. That said, I'd much rather it was built into the router instead of using a technique that can be circumvented by a reasonably sophisticated user once they know it's there. But, I guess that's where Circle's MDM (shudder) product comes in.

Sep 01 2016

News - Plex adds DVR feature

If you're rocking a Plex Pass you can have a play with their new DVR feature. It also requires a supported Silicon Dust HDHR tuner, so if you have one of those you're ready to roll. Awesome!

Well, that is, unless you're Plex server is sitting on an NVIDIA Shield Android TV. That's unsupported at this time Sad.

As a BETA, there are a few other caveats (e.g. Copy-Once no-go). So make sure to check out the full release and forum post.

Aug 30 2016

Review - NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV

Let me start by saying, I am not much of a gamer. So while the NVIDIA Shield Android TV box has been out for a while, offering 4K UHD support for native playback and over-the-top (OTT) services like Netflix, the value proposition really did not speak to me given its $200/£150 (16GB) $300/£220 (500GB “PRO”) price tag. The landscape for the device changed recently with major feature additions in the form of Plex media server and SiliconDust HDHR DVR recording engine support; turning this gaming-streamer into a legitimate home theater PC (HTPC) alternative.

Aug 29 2016

News - Eero v. Luma - Mesh Wi-Fi comparison

Mesh Wi-Fi systems promising whole house Wi-Fi coverage via multiple APs is rapidly moving from enterprise only into the home. I haven't had a chance to play with either of the two main players in this market, Eero & Luma, so it was interesting to see Omar's comparison.

Aug 28 2016

News - HDR Roku on the horizon

As is typical for this sort of news, Zatz Not Funny! has the skinny on a new crop of Rokus queuing for release. While I've lost most of my love for our Roku 2 since testing started on the NIVIDA Shield, I think it remains the best general purpose media streamer for most people - and the price should be just right. The new models look like nice/worthy upgrades from the current offerings, but I do have to say that it's abominable that Roku is only supporting HDR on the top-end "Ultra" model, even though 4K will flow down to some of the lessor devices. Shameful.

Aug 24 2016

News - OTT killed the Kaleidescape star (if there ever was one)

It didn't come as a shock when I saw Engadget's report that Kaleidescape is closing down its high end movie player business. Frankly, I'm surprised they've held out this long against the onslaught of "good enough" content from the myriad over-the-top (OTT) content players out there that don't cost $25K. I've seen this in my own consumption as well. My need for a huge NAS, filled to the brim with content has diminished greatly; directly proportional to the improvements in quality and content available from Netflix, Amazon, VUDU, Google Play, etc. Has your experience been the same?

Aug 16 2016

News - HDHR DVR comes to XBoxOne

I've never had a reason to regret opting for a PS4 over an Xbox One, but there is now one thing that I really wish that it could do - that the Xbox can now do. Work with the HDHR DVR.

Hopefully, PS4 is next Smile. If you have an Xbox, head over to the Microsoft store and let us know how it works.

Jul 31 2016

Review - dbrand OnePlus 3 back wrap

Mobile cases are a strange thing. Yeah, it’s clear that they provide a valuable service by protecting your device should it meet the ground in an unscheduled way, but they’re ugly. Or at least, if not ugly, they obfuscate the industrial design of the device making your thin, metallic device into a clunky plastic one.

Jul 30 2016

Review - Amazon Fire TV Stick

This is going to be a very short review. Don't buy the Amazon Fire TV Stick, at any price, period.

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