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CLONES Audio 25p Power Amplifier Review
Audioengine A2+ Desktop Speakers Review
Darwin Truth Silver Cable Review
Anthony Gallo Acoustics A’Diva SE Loudspeakers & TR-3D Subwoofer Review
Denon DA-300USB DAC Review
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Saturday, 01 November 2008 ,  Written by Andrew Robinson
AppleTV - Take 2
Introduction In all my years of reviewing audio equipment, no product has graced my system that I’ve despised more than the original release of Apple’s AppleTV.  The first incarnation of the wireless media extender/server for Apple users was so fatally flawed that it begged the question, “Why bother?”  I wasn’t alone in my feelings for the AppleTV.  Sales were abysmal (which is uncommon for many upstart Apple products) and consumers either returned them in record numbers or voided their warranties by cracking them open and making them do the things we all hoped they could. Personally, I bought three more and, with the help of some third-party software, managed to make the AppleTV what I wanted it to be with little effort.  Minus the fact that it still didn’t support multi-channel audio, 1080p video or high-definition, all was well.  I didn’t ...
Friday, 09 May 2008 ,  Written by AVRev.com
Niveus Media Rainier750HD Media Center PC
The Basics: Niveus Media’s Rainier line of Windows Media Center PCs includes four models, with hard drives ranging from 320 to 750GB. The Rainier750HD is the top-of-the-line model, with Windows Vista Ultimate, a 750GB hard drive, a built-in Blu-ray drive, internal NTSC/ATSC tuners and DVR functionality. The internal tuners allow you to record over-the-air HDTV/SDTV content, as well as SD content from a set-top box. To record premium HD channels, cable users can add the optional $1499 Digital Cable Receiver, which includes two CableCARD and Clear-QAM tuners. The Digital Cable Receiver links to the Rainier via USB. The Rainier750HD has a thorough connection panel, with HDMI, DVI and component video, with BNC-style connectors. Through HDMI and DVI, you can output Blu-ray discs at 1080p/60 or 1080p/24, and the Rainier, which uses Nvidia’s PureVideo HD technology, has earned ISF certification. On the ...
Friday, 09 May 2008 ,  Written by AVRev.com
Exceptional Innovation Life|media LMS-750 Media Center PC
The Basics: Exceptional Innovation has established a name in custom-retail and home-automation circles for its Life|ware system, a software-based automation platform that runs on Windows Media Center PCs. The addition of Life|ware to a Media Center PC allows you to control compatible whole-house products (lighting, security, HVAC, music distribution) easily through the Media Center interface. It was only a matter of time until EI decided to release its own Media Center hardware, with the Life|ware software preloaded; these new units are called Life|media. Life/media is available in five different configurations, which vary in hard-drive storage, processing speed, graphic cards and overall size. The LMS-750 is a higher-end, four-rack-space model with a 3TB hard drive, DVR functionality, a DVD/CD burner and two built-in CableCARD/Clear-QAM tuners to access premium HD channels (for non-cable users, the LMS-700 offers the same specs, but sports dual NTSC/ATSC ...
Friday, 09 May 2008 ,  Written by AVRev.com
Apple Mac Mini Media Center
The Basics: The Mac mini is the least expensive Apple computer on the market, targeted at the digital-media fan who wants to import and manage digital content via iTunes and iLife (iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, GarageBand, and iWeb) and navigate it using Apple’s Front Row interface. Consequently, it has become a popular choice for those who want to build a Mac-based media center. The specs above reflect the basic Mac mini configuration, but you can upgrade to a 2.0GHz Intel processor, 120GB hard drive, 2GB of RAM and a SuperDrive with DVD-RW/CD-RW capabilities for $899. Neither version includes internal TV tuners or DVR functionality, although you can add these features through third-party software from companies like Elgato Systems. The Mac mini has a very basic set of connections: It has a single DVI video output, with an included VGA adapter and a single ...
Friday, 09 May 2008 ,  Written by AVRev.com
Sony VAIO VGX-TP25E Home Theater PC
The Basics: Sony offers two Windows Media Center PCs that sport a unique form factor, with a small, round, glossy chassis. Both models have a 500GB hard drive and a disc drive that allows Blu-ray playback and has read/write abilities for DVD and CD. The VGX-TP25E is the higher-end edition of the two. It offers 4GB of RAM and comes bundled with two external ATI TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuner modules, which connect to the PC via the USB 2.0 ports. Each module has a CableCARD, Clear-QAM, and an NTSC and ATSC tuner. The step-down VGX-TP20 lacks the ATI bundle (it has one internal NTSC and ATSC tuner) and offers only 2GB of RAM, but its $1599.99 asking price is substantially lower. The VGX-TP25E has two video output options (HDMI and VGA) and two audio output options (HDMI and optical digital). It ...
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