equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
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
The SVS SB-2000 Subwoofer Review
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Categories in section: Home Theater Media Servers
Home Theater/Media Center PCs (24) Music Servers (28) Satellite & Cable Receivers/PVRs/DVRs/TiVo (15)
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Tuesday, 22 February 2011 ,  Written by Mike Flacy
Slingbox PRO-HD Review
While set-top boxes and home media servers have done an excellent job of providing access to our content around the home, another battlefield for gaining our attention is on the mobile front.  Beyond the barrage of online services to choose form for streaming content, we also have the ability to stream our own recorded content on the web.  The Slingbox Pro-HD is a device exactly for that purpose.  For those that are unfamiliar with the concept of the Slingbox, it's a intermediary device that sits between your content provider (cable, satellite, DVR, etc) and your television.  Using a connection to your home network, it can send out anything on content provider to your PC or most mobile devices.  For instance, if you are commuting and want to watch a live football game, you can. However, it's not a device to record ...
Tuesday, 15 February 2011 ,  Written by Mike Flacy
Dell Inspiron Zino HD (410) HTPC Review
With the set-top box and Internet-connected televisions dominating the home theater space as of late, dedicated home theater PCs have become less useful from the standpoint of the mainstream user.  However, there's still a niche space for those looking for high-end performance and small form factor in the home theater, something that a simple set-top box struggles with.  The custom HTPC market has been dwindling due to the rise of small computers like the Mac Mini or, in this case, the Dell Zino.  The first iteration of the Zino (released in early 2010) was woefully underpowered for playing high-definition media and was panned by critics due to stuttering 1080p playback as well as a lack of a Blu-ray option.  Dall must have taken that criticism to heart with the revision of the hardware (the 410), the model that's the focal ...
Thursday, 27 January 2011 ,  Written by AVRev.com
Orb TV VP-1 Review
The rapid growth of the smart phone market has heavily influenced design choices and device compatibility in the home theater realm, both with audio and video components.  For instance, you couldn’t go more than a few steps at CES 2011 without seeing another device that was utilizing Apple’s Airplay functionality for streaming media.  There are devices being released with molded ports for iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches and the barrage of Android phones.   In addition, the home theater television is getting smarter and providing access to a wider variety of web content like Netflix, Hulu and other downloadable video services.  If you don’t want to upgrade to that net connected TV yet, there are a barrage of step-top boxes and Blu-ray players that can perform the same function.  Beyond that, there are devices like the Orb TV VP-1.   The WP-1 is ...
Wednesday, 19 January 2011 ,  Written by Mike Flacy
Boxee Box Review
Over 2010, there were a plethora of media players released in the consumer electronic space from brands like Western Digital, Apple, Netgear, Roku, etc…  Add in the iterations of digital cable boxes released with similar features as well as new Smart HDTVs with built in apps and the space is already insanely crowded.  In order to appeal to the average CE consumer, you really have to bring something original to the space. Enter the Boxee Box created by D-Link, a uniquely designed set-top box that brings file functionality and organization to streaming web content.  It’s a result of the evolution of a piece of software called Xbox Media Center, an interface designed for the original Xbox that cataloged all of your media.  This software is still highly popular for the diy home theater PC crowd, but Boxee has taken it ...
Monday, 06 December 2010 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
Cue Radio Model r1 Radio and Model s1 Speaker Review
In the early 2000s something strange happened in the world of consumer electronics: table radios became popular again – wildly so. I remember seeing ads for the Bose Wave Radio in newspapers and other publications, and because of the company's brand reputation and how easy Bose made it to purchase the Wave (extended payment plan), people were snapping them up and once again listening to radio in the home. But the real splash, for me, was when Tivoli Audio released its Model One Radio. This elegant set – based on Henry Kloss' design for the KLH Model 8 – was immediately recognized for its retro style, excellent sound (in mono no less!) and reception. I bought in several years ago and still use my Model One to this day. I love it as a radio but its limitations have kept ...
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