equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
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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Categories in section: Home Theater Media Servers
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Wednesday, 09 September 2009 ,  Written by Andre Marc
NuForce MSR-1 Music Server Review
The raging debate du jour these days for both the music industry and audiophiles is the future of physical media. The compact disc is 25 plus years old, but is still the primary format for physical music purchases. There is also a tiny sliver of music buyers who opt for SACD, DVD-A, or Vinyl LP. The formidable and rapidly growing population of music buyers, who purchase music downloads, prefers to be free spirits in their relationships to any physical medium. The trade off is these consumers are willing to accept much lower sound quality. It should be noted that there a handful of websites that also sell high resolution, lossless music files as well, but at a premium, and usually by lesser known artists.Music servers systems are at the vanguard of the new landscape. Truth be told, the iPod and ...
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 ...
Monday, 01 September 2008 ,  Written by Andrew Robinson
Krell KID and Papa Dock Amplifier
Introduction When I was told Krell was developing an iPod dock, I knew I had to have it, if for no other reason other than the fact that it was a Krell iPod dock and was sure to be ridiculous.  If there’s one thing I like about Krell, it’s the simple fact that every product they make goes to 11 in more ways than sheer volume.  After un-boxing the Krell KID (Krell iPod Dock) and matching Papa dock stereo amplifier, it’s safe to say this system takes iPod music to the ultra-extreme.  Until the KID’s arrival, my impression of an iPod dock was a cheap puck-style hunk of plastic helping to produce cheap hunk of plastic sound.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the Apple iPod, truly I do, and I consider it a viable music source when handled correctly, but ...
Tuesday, 01 July 2008 ,  Written by Jim Swantko
Vudu Media Server
Introduction With over 120,000,000 Apple iPods sold to date, most people have a pretty solid idea of what a media server is, even if the term media server isn’t an everyday part of the American lexicon yet. Apple brought video to the iPod and YouTube has brought video to the masses, but DVD remains the all-powerful king for movies late in 2008, even with the rise of the high-definition Blu-ray format. While many are willing wait for slow load times on Blu-ray players and funky HDMI connections, others (historically with tons of money) could buy a closed-ended system like Kaleidescape for upwards of $30,000 in order to get a slick, reliable broadcast of SD (yes, I said $30,000 for standard definition) video throughout their homes. Now there are new options on the market that are getting some buzz. Enter Vudu. To be ...
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 ...
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