Mar 31 2016

News - Brewie automated brewing machine at Gadget Show

I have to admit that covering a home beer brewing machine is a bit of a strech, but first-off IT'S A HOME BREWING MACHINE and secondly about the only time I don't have a cool malt beverage companion when sitting down for a movie is when it's a distillate of said beverage. So definitely part of the home viewing experience, at least for me. Anyway, I digress. If you missed the chance to have a look at Brewie at CES, and are heading out the Gadget Show (which is open to the public), might want to have a stop at their booth and try a sample.

Mar 30 2016

News - Journey towards the right subwoofer

There is a lot of useful information included in the write-up. It's more personal journey, than review, but either way well worth a read if you want to learn more about subwoofers in general and the SVS lineup in particular.

Mar 30 2016

News - NETGEAR launches M4200/M4300 PoE+ managed switches

The prices of the M4200/M4300 ($1800/$1600-7000) place them solidly in enterprise or large scale CI territory. But that doesn't mean we can't drool a little at the capability Smile. Mostly intended for 802.11AC AP deployments, they offer 10Gbe inbound links and PoE+ out with a variety of port counts. Yum.

Mar 28 2016

News - Samsung UE55KS9000 4K display reviewed @ HDTVtest

As awesome as OLED displays are, they aren't for everyone. Whether it's cost or some other reason, maybe a curved LED backlit LCD is more your thing. From the looks of it the Samsung UEKS9000 would be a solid contender, even though it doesn't quite offer the same blacks as a full-array local dimming and has some issues with HDR content. That is unless you want a display that will support 3D content, because this guy, like all 2016 Samsungs, does not.

Mar 23 2016

News - 3D BD/MKV support added to JRiver Media Center

It was really just a matter of time after madVR added 3D to its feature-set, and the time has come. With JRiver Media Center (unsurprisingly) being quick to add in official support. Fantastic news for fans of BD-Lite.

Mar 23 2016

News - The Wirecutter chooses best universal remote

In what can only be called a Harmony lovefest, The Wirecutter has picked out a few universal remotes at different price points. Naturally they are all Harmony branded, and while I would normally take issue with that kind of ah... focus, in this case it's really hard to argue. I've used Harmonly remotes for years, and frankly, it would take something really special to displace it.

Mar 18 2016

Review - NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S R7800 AC2600 Wireless Router

The quad stream NETGEAR AC2600 Nighthawk X4S R7800 802.11AC wireless router is the successor to last year’s AC2350 Nighthawk X4 R7500 (and R7500v2). Besides a bump in “S”, for Smart, the Nighthawk X4S also jumps to the dual-core 1.7GHz Qualcomm IPQ8065, adds 200MHz of theoretical bandwidth to the 2.4GHz radio (800Mbps + 1733Mbps = AC2600) by increasing to 4x4 in both bands, and enables 160MHz channel width for 5GHz. Priced at $270/£230 SRP ($260/£213 street) the Nighthawk X4S R7800 looks to be a solid contender for the mid-range performance 802.11AC router market, and with Wave 2 features like MU-MIMO enabled out-of-the-box (OOTB) a fair degree of future proofing.

Mar 18 2016

News - axiim nears BETA end point

You should have read Missing Remote's first look at the axiim Q Wireless Home Theater System (if you haven't, seriously!!!). So you'll all know that it's currently in BETA, and therefore offers a pretty steep discount off the eventual SRP. If you have been pondering potentially purchasing this WiSA based home audio system, there won't be much more time to pick it up without paying full price.

Mar 18 2016

News - FLUANCE announces XL5F floor standing speaker

I have to admint that I really like the looks of these speakers, and the spec's are enticing at the $400/pair price point.

Mar 17 2016

News - Sling TV & Sony Playstation Vue compared @ Cord Cutter News

I was planning to do this, but looks like I won't have to Smile. Thanks to Cord Cutter News.

Mar 16 2016

News - Panasonic DMP-UB900 Ultra HD Blu-ray player reviewed @ WHAT HI-FI

It doesn't look like you can actually buy this £600 Ultra HD Blu-ray player, which is disappointing because it certainly was loved by the reviewer at WHAT HI-FI. Naturally you will need a 4K TV to make it useful, and there aren't many titles out yet, so I guess there's plenty of time for it to become available.

Mar 15 2016

News - ASUSTOR AS3104T 4-bay NAS reviewed @ Mad Shrimps

Having recently reviewed an ASUSTOR NAS, I know it's very capable machine. This ATOM based NAS, should have plenty of go and many of of the features, like HWA transcoding, to make it a good home solution.

Mar 14 2016

News - Observer makes copy pissing on Smart Home tech

While I can see the author's point ("Smart Home" technology doesn't play nice together), I'm not convinced his approach is valid. Yes, the market is fragmented. Yes, there is a serious lack of agreement on standards. Yes, it can be very, very frustrating. But, it's a new thing. We are very much still in the early adopter phase. I'd rather have this Darwinian experiement where the strong and agile survive than something handed to me by Comcast, Verizon, or ADT.

More importantly. If you just want something that works. Stop whinging and do your homework before buying. Pick a holistic solution. Sure there might be compromises, and you won't get the best-of-breed flavor of the month, but it will work. Or, if you don't want to revise - get a Z-Wave + IP system (like the Vera). Been around for ages, works great.

Mar 14 2016

News - Sony Vue OTT Live TV streaming released nationwide

I'm not sure you can really call a $30/month (baseline) TV package "cord cutting". Since you've just switched your cable provider from a QAM to IP service. C-NET has a lot of detail, including that locals aren't included in many markets (really?). Looks interesting, but I'm not convinced unless the "Cloud DVR" really offers full DVR features, and the pricing - while good, isn't really ground breaking.

Mar 12 2016

News - Rockjaw Audio Kickstarting Sentio; first open & closed headphones

I've been on the prowl for a good set of overear headphones for a few months, and wouldn't you know it... Right as I was about to hit "buy" on a pair, I ran across the Rockjaw Audio Sentio Kickstarter page. There are a couple things that make this pair quite unique; most notably that they are the first to be able to function as both an open and a closed headphone, but it's also a dual driver (per ear) design with an optional aptX supporting Bluetooth module availble. Meaning that it ticks all the right boxes, and then some.

I haven't decide quite yet if I'm willing to wait until September, but the £95 (headphones) + £25(BT module) backer price is well inside my budget. Very tempted.

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