Jan 25 2017

News - CyberLink Ships World’s First Ultra HD Blu-ray Playback Software to the PC Market

It looks like those UltraHD Blu-ray drives from Pioneer will come with a copy of CyberLinks UHD support PowerDVD (huzzah!), with retail copies available for purchase sometime later. CyberLink didn't mention how much said retail copy would be, but they did note that only the latest (and greatest) Intel Kaby Lakes would be able to handle it - more details in the PR. I made a point of asking about AMD's new Ryzen CPU (answer was "there are only plans to support Intel Platforms"), so... hmm...

Jan 25 2017

News - Ultra HD Blu-ray drives coming from Pioneer via BDR-S11J-BK / BDR-S11J-X models

It should come as no surprise that the first OEM with UltraHD Blu-ray drives will be Pioneer. It is news that there will be two models ranging from ~$200-$300, and only Windows 10 will be supported. Should go nicely with that copy of PowerDVD.

Jan 19 2017

News - Anandtech compares three low-profile HSF

If you're not planning to use your HTPC as a gaming rig, opting for a full-height chassis is a waste Smile. Finding the right low-profile HSF to cool the CPU can be a major challenge though... If you're in that boat, Anandtech has a look at three different height coolers that might make the selection process easier.

Jan 18 2017

News - Steiger Dynamics announces set of VR enabled HTPC

I prefer to build my own HTPC, but not everyone has the time or desire to do that. Fortunately companies like Steiger Dynamics provide options, including three new Kaby Lake models announced at CES. With different sizes and configs they should have most use cases covered...

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.

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