Jan 30 2016

News - Techradar explains why you should care about HDR

One of the best things about 4K, isn't really the updated resolution. While that is nice, it will really only benefit those who have a massive display and/or sit close to their displays (i.e. the right place). The biggest benefit, is along with more pixels the content and panels are getting support for high dyanamic range (HDR). I know that I've been banging on about HDR, but it really does make a difference Smile. So if you're not really sure, and want more information on what it is and why you should care - Techradar has a good primer on the subject.

Jan 28 2016

News - I'm not sure what Data Privacy Day is, but Arq is offering 20% off...

If you recall (or at least I hope you do Smile), I reviewed Arq a little while back and found it to be exactly what I was looking for when it came to cloud based data backup. If it sounded interesting but the price was just a touch to much, Arq is offering 20% off today because it's Data Privacy Day (don't tell Hallmark).

Jan 27 2016

News - Skylake Iris Pro pricing is out, ouch!!!

If you were waiting for Iris Pro to pickup a Skylake system, the prices have come out and they are hefty - although currently they are all Xeon models (so aimed more at enterprise workstation), so hopefully we'll see some Core branded models in a more comfortable price range soon.

Jan 27 2016

News - Need an indoor OTA antenna? The Wirecutter does best off...

Outside or in the attic is best, but sometimes it's just not possible to mount a big [ugly] antenna and run the necessary cables. This is where you have to fall back on the indoor variety, and a guide like The Wirecutter's is so useful.

Jan 27 2016

News - Pulse-Eight launches neo:4 Professional HDBaseT Matrix switch

I was vaguely aware that Pulse-Eight (yep, the PC HDMI-CEC gurus) had moved into the custom installer (CI) market, but must admit to not really following it that closely. Having looked at what their new neo:4 HDMI matrix switch can do, I'm quite impressed. 4K, HDCP 2.2, and four HDBaseT ports + intelligent HDMI CEC control - yum!

Jan 26 2016

News - Speaking of 4K demo material. LG is just about ready to roll out their droolworthy Signature OLED TVs

If you had a hard time not grabbing one of LG's OLEDs last year, it's going to be even more difficult this time around. Their outstanding displays have only gotten better; both in the picture quality and the eye candy quadrants - with the G6 'Signature' line at the top. Naturally, if you're going to drop $8K on a display, you will want to see it and LG is stating to roll out the demo models. HD GURU has the details.

Jan 26 2016

News - RHT unleashes UHD Blu-ray database

UHD Blu-ray is a big step up from Blu-ray, and should be a huge step up from streaming. But history has a way of not picking winners solely on the techincal merits, so I'm not convinced that it has long term legs. Even so, if I had a 4K TV it would be hard not to pony up the $ for a player and a least a couple titles to show off said display when folks come calling Smile.

Unfortunately, not all UHD titles are 4K though so you may want to check RHT's database when picking ouf your perfect demo material.

Jan 26 2016

Guide - Block Google DNS per device

"Domain name space". Licensed under Public Domain via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Domain_name_space.svg#/media/File:Domain_name_space.svg
Domain name space. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

Some apps, like Netflix, have recently started hard coding Google's DNS servers into them to combat the use of VPNs and Smart DNS services. Most of the guides I've seen have indicated that the best way to combat this is via "static routes to nowhere". While this is an approach, I don't think it's the best, or most reliable way to get it done. In my opinion IP filtering is a much better option.

Jan 21 2016

News - This time, trust us, it's finally a CableCARD replacement

CableCARD has been being replaced for as long as I can remember (OK, not really, but it sure feels that way). Now I have heard rumors that this was coming, and it would be AWESOME if it did, but until it's a bit more solid I'm not going to get excited. Could just be another RVU...

Jan 21 2016

News - Kwikset introduces new Z-Wave deadbolt

I'm sure I missed a lot of news by not being able to make it to CES this year. One of these things, and I know I would have seen it close up because I always stop by the Kwikset booth, is their new Z-Wave deadbolt. Frankly, I think it looks great and I was really happy with my Kwikset locks, so I'm sure it will be a solid addition to their home automation (HA) lock portfolio.

Jan 21 2016

News - Lowe's picks Centralite for next Iris generation

Lowe's has made a solid play in home automation (HA) with Iris. So it's great to see them bringing out another generation of devices including a slew of core sensors from Centralite.

Jan 21 2016

News - SVS SoundPath Cables reviewed @ RHT

I'll be honest. I usually avoid audio cable reviews because, well... they are generally fluff. There just isn't any value to be had from getting riled up reading about the unicorn mane and dodo tears that went into the manufacture of an over-priced bit of metal. But, when I saw SVS's new SoundPath cables reviewed on Reference Home Theater, I thought it just might be worth 30 seconds Smile. Fortunately, there was no mention of arcane manufacturing processes and we already knew the cables were reasonably priced... I can't help but wonder though; given the reviewer's own words on the subject - why only 4.5/5 for performance?

Jan 20 2016

News - Securifi adds Almond 3 to consumer home automation router lineup

I love the idea of a home router hub that integrates all the radios necessary for home automation (HA) in the same box. I've heard mixed reviews of Securifi's kit since it launched, but it's great that they are inovating and bringing a cheaper model to market. Hit up AnandTech for the details on their newest, cheaper, model.

Jan 20 2016

News - Intel 750 NVMe SSD reviewed @ Technology X

For most workloads, I find my PC to be I/O limited much more frequently than by the CPU, so while an NVMe SSD wouldn't find it's way into most HTPCs... I still think it's cool enough to post a review of Intel's 750 SSD Smile.

Jan 19 2016

News - Epson PowerLite 2040 LCD projector reviewed @ RHT

I think Chris pretty much nails the main reason why you would consider an LCD projector in this (<$1000) price range over DLP - rainbows. I don't see them, but they are a real, blocking issue for some...

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