Jun 21 2016

News - NETGEAR Arlo may need security school

It looks like the NETGEAR Arlo monitoring cameras have a security issue where other people can view your cameras. Based on the description on reddit, it looks like it should be reasonably difficult to accidently reproduce, but if it does NETGEAR needs to get on that quickly.

Update: NETGEAR responds...

Jun 08 2016

Review - Intel NUC6i5SYK Skylake SFF HTPC kit

Intel just about perfected the small form factor (SFF) home theater PC (HTPC) over the last few iterations of NUC systems, so it is great to see that the Skylake based Intel NUC6i5SYK kit has stayed with this winning formula. Updated with an Intel Core i5-6260U with Intel Iris Graphics 540, support for NVMe SSD, and DDR4, the system has the opportunity to fix the shortcomings in the previous generation (cough, CSH). The sleek looks and features will not be as much of a bargain as the plug-in-and-go Intel Pentium based NUC5PGYH. Intel is asking $380/£335 for the barebones kit,  but with quite a bit more performance, better networking, and features on tap, it could well be worth the extra dosh.

Jun 05 2016

Blog - Will you buy another AnyDVD HD license?

It was a sad day when Slysoft went away, but soon there was hope in the form of RedFox. Based on the same code, run by the same developers, it seemed too good to be true. And it sort of is because as it turns out RedFox is cutting out existing license holders. Now, I do see their point - they need money to keep the lights on, and any licenses were with Slysoft and not them. While lifetime license holders got great value for the money from Slysoft, I'm not sure that it's worth the risk this time around, and RedFox is being a bit underhanded about it.

May 28 2016

Blog - Is YouTube paying fair?

Last week the music industry released some PR around how vinyl makes them more money than YouTube; with the intent to demonstrate that YouTube is not paying a “fair” price for their content. I will admit that this is a little late, I still think it should be said that this sort of whinging and the press mindlessly repeating it isn’t helpful – if there really is a problem.

The biggest limitation here is that we (the public) don’t have access to the detailed information that is required to make a solid judgement around whether the rates are fair or not, but let’s deconstruct it as far as we can anyway.

May 28 2016

News - Video distribution problems - not anymore

The idea that you can send 1080p over any pair of wires seems fanciful, but it appears that Altinex has managed to do exactly that. Now, it's not quite the same experience as HDMI, there is some compression (and associated lossy artifacts), but still quite amazing - and should solve the how-do-I-get-video-to-this-place problem for those where HDMI (wired/wireless) or a solution like HDBase-T aren't suitable.

May 28 2016

News - Intel plans to change GPU development approach

It's no secret that Intel's GPU driver provides a richer experience on Windows than Linux, so it's welcome news that they are planning to take a more shared-code approach with the two OSs. Hopefully, this will translate into better HWA CODEC support in Kodi/OpenELEC where there isn't quite the level of coverage that there is in Windows.

May 27 2016

Review - NETGEAR Nighthawk X8 - AC5300 Tri-Band Quad-Stream Wi-Fi Router (R8500)

NETGEAR Nighthawk X8 - AC5300 Tri-Band Quad-Stream Wi-Fi Router (R8500)


NETGEAR touts the Nighthawk X8 AC5300 (R8500) Smart Wi-Fi router as “the next wave in Wi-Fi”. Generally, I am inclined to dismiss this sort of hyperbole, but the $350/£350 802.11AC includes features that are a reasonable step up from other models including: quad-streams, two 802.11AC radios, Wave 2 enhancements , and six Gigabit Ethernet ports, with two 802.3ad (link aggregation) enabled. Alongside this, it also includes a feature that should have a tangible benefit for all clients – active antennas. By moving the amplifiers from the mainboard to the tops of the antennas, there should be a clear benefit in signal strength and clarity. I am not sure that is enough to count as a “next wave”, but it has got me very interested in testing out the R8500.

May 17 2016

News - TIL: What a first-order crossover is

We should all be pretty familar with what a crossover is, and what it does in an audio system, but in all my previous reading I've either glossed over or never seen a "first-order" crossover mentioned. So this article, which explains the pro/cons nicely in defense of Thiel's decision to pull them from their latest speaker makes for a very interesting (and reasonable short) read on the topic.

May 13 2016

News - OmniMount 3N1-PJT projector mount reviewed @ RHT

You don't see many projector mount reviews, so it was enlightening to see this one of the OmniMount 3N1-PJT and get a better understanding of the process that goes into selecting the right model for your projector.

May 10 2016

News - NETGEAR Arlo now supports IFTTT

One of my main complaints about NETGEAR's Arlo cameras was that they weren't able to interact with a larger home ecosystem when it got reviewed here about a year ago. Happily, this is no longer the case with the system now able to interact with the IFTTT (If This Then That) service. I haven't had a chance to play with it yet (just found out), but it is fantastic news. A great way to pull the Arlo out of its silo and make the devices act as sensors for a smarter home.

May 10 2016

News - TIL: Skylake NUC will get healthy I.O increase in future BIOS

Articles like this one about how an issue with the Skylake NUC was identified, including the background, and news of an upcoming fix remind me of a couple things. First, why Anandtech is a great resource, and second (which mirrors my own experience) that Intel is very open to feedback to the community when something is identified. Even if you're not interested in the specifics, the article is a excellent resource around the I.O architecture sported by Intel's mobile Skylake platform.

May 10 2016

News - Roku Streaming Stick reviewed @ RHT

Had the updated Roku Streaming Stick been available a few months ago when I picked up a Roku 2, I'm confident that I would have opt'd for it instead. With a very sleek profile, RF remote (vs. IR), the same capabilities for a lower price ($50), it just makes sense.

May 09 2016

News - MSI Cubi 2 Plus HTPC reviewed @ Anandtech

If you want a NUC like HTPC, but don't want an Intel branded system this system from MSI looks like a decent alternative. Although, it doesn't look to have CIR or HDMI CEC capability so...

May 09 2016

News - Ubiquiti launches consumer line

Ubiquiti is pretty well known for their [relatively expensive] line of business access points. The feature set is really nice, but the price point and complexity has to put off quite a few buyers. It looks like they are addressing that with a new line of consumer oriented access points that should be easier to use and it includes a router in the list.

May 05 2016

Guide - Install Pulse-Eight internal HDMI-CEC adapter in Intel Skylake NUC (NUC6i5SYK)


As you all know, one of the major disappointment with the Intel Broadwell NUCs was that Intel made it much harder than is should have been to leverage the HTPC’s HDMI CEC header. So when the Intel NUC6i5SYK (Skylake NUC) review unit arrived, one of the first things I did was crack the case to see if Intel had done anything to make it easier to use a Pulse-Eight internal CEC adapter, or if a soldering iron would still be a critical part of the install. What I found was a fantastic improvement.

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