equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
DH Labs Mirage USB Cable Review
SOtM sHP-100 Headphone Amplifier & DSD DAC Review
Marantz PM5005 Integrated Amplifier & CD5005 CD Player Review
Musical Fidelity M6si Integrated Amplifier Review
Denon AVR-X3100W Home Theater Receiver Review
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Home Theater Media Servers
Categories in section: Home Theater Media Servers
Home Theater/Media Center PCs (24) Music Servers (29) Satellite & Cable Receivers/PVRs/DVRs/TiVo (15)
Video Servers (4)

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Friday, 01 April 2005 ,  Written by Bryan Dailey
Dish Network 921 HD Satellite Receiver/DVR
Introduction After owning my new 61-inch rear-projection HDTV for about 30 minutes, I started jonesing hard for a High Definition PVR. When I finally made the move to HD, tacking on a few thousand dollars for the set and a extra few bucks to my monthly satellite bill, I somehow had justified in my mind that I could just live with my standard definition TiVo running into my TV and that someday later, I would own an HD PVR. That “someday” came about a week later for me. I called up Dish Network to inquire about the cost of their 921 receiver and, much to my chagrin, it was in the $1,000 range, priced comparably with their HD TiVo competition from DirecTV. (Note: The 921 is currently priced at $549 according to Dish Network.) This price point is a barrier to entry for most home theater enthusiasts, but it just so happens that ...
Saturday, 01 January 2005 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
ReQuest Fusion Pro 250 Music Server
Introduction These days, the landscape of traditional audio/video source components is changing at a blinding pace. In the glory days of high-end audio, you had your compact disc player and/or a turntable – maybe a VCR and a laserdisc player – and you were considered by darn near everybody as pretty ahead of the technical curve. More than a decade later in today’s connected home, your sources make up a completely new cast of characters. Beyond the ubiquitous DVD player, you might find the HD Tuner/DVR, a D-VHS deck, a satellite radio receiver and, with increasing likelihood, a music server. The ReQuest Fusion 250 is a $9,000 music server designed to work with your home theater, as well as your distributed whole-house audio system. The immediate question is – how is the ReQuest different than a fractionally-priced iPod? The most notable way is how the ReQuest is reliably controlled via RS232. The second most important issue ...
Wednesday, 01 December 2004 ,  Written by Matthew Evert
Humax DRT-800 DVD Recorder/DVR
Introduction One of the more amazing trends today is the absolute explosion in the amount of television programming available to the average person. Technologies such as digital cable and satellite TV have made the proliferation of television channels a reality. My DirecTV satellite service offers over 900 channels of programming, ranging from the Thai Channel to HBO and darn near everything in between. With programming available on most channels 24 hours a day, a nearly limitless variety of shows can be seen. Of course, you may have to be up at 4:00 AM to see that episode of “The A-Team” that you missed back in the ‘80s. With a TiVo digital video recorder (DVR), you can now record those normally out of reach shows with a click of a button, and watch the recording at your convenience. The shows are written to the built-in hard drive of the TiVo unit, allowing you to play, ...
Monday, 01 November 2004 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
DirecTV HR10-250 HD DVR
Introduction In a recent poll conducted as a part of an Audio Video Revolution sweepstakes, a question was asked to the nearly 20,000 respondents as to what AV product they are planning on buying next within the next six months. We asked a very similar question in 2003: for a resounding majority, the answer was an HDTV set. In 2004, the most likely purchase was an HD-DVR (or TiVo). This new AV component category led all others, including HD sets themselves, with 28 percent of our readers saying this would be their next purchase. To say HD-DVR is a scorching hot new category of gear is to understate its importance. To not mention how bad and overpriced the category of HDTV tuners have been since the early adopters started dialing into HDTV would be to forget an important piece of recent AV history. Up until now, nearly every HDTV receiver has been practically pathetic in ...
Wednesday, 01 September 2004 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Escient Fireball DVDM-100 DVD and Music Manager
Introduction The Escient FireBall DVDM-100 retails for $1,995 and is a high-tech solution to the ever-growing problem of AV media management. The FireBall unit is best described as the brain or control center for up to 1200 CDs and/or DVDs. The Escient unit itself does not hold any discs, nor does it have an internal hard drive to store data (like the insanely overpriced Kalidescape products). Instead, these discs are housed in up to three of Sony or Kenwood’s 400-disc changers. The FireBall then acts as a switcher and controller for the external changers. The FireBall also thoughtfully has a built-in Internet radio receiver. For those of you with large MP3 libraries, the FireBall, when connected to a hard drive-based music storage system from Escient or another manufacturer, can access and manage playback of MP3 encoded music as well. The unit itself measures 17-3/8 inches wide by four-and-five-eighths inches high and 11-7/8 inches deep, about the size ...
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