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This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Merrill Audio THOR Mono Block Amplifiers Review
Plinius Hautonga Integrated Amplifier Review
KEF R700 Loudspeaker Review
Marantz SA-14S1 SACD Player & DSD DAC Review
Genesis G7c Loudspeakers
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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 ...
Sunday, 01 June 2008 ,  Written by Ken Taraszka, MD
Anthem Statement D2 w Room Correction
IntroductionThe most frequently overlooked aspect of a great-sounding audiophile or dedicated home theater system is the room itself. No matter how good your components are, you can’t beat the physics of a badly designed and/or optimized room without a little help. While there are many devices to control reflections such as diffusers and bass traps, in the real world, most of us have our systems installed in multi-use rooms of our homes, like the living room, that are subject to significant wife acceptance factor. We can’t treat all the corners with traps and pad the walls. In fact, our wives would think we needed to live in padded rooms just for making the suggestion. Even in multi-use rooms, getting professional acoustical advice is always the best bet, but the cost, aesthetics and effort often leaves us looking for other, more ...
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
Alienware Hangar18 Media Center PC
The Basics: The Alienware Hangar18 is a highly configurable Windows Media Center PC, with different disc drive options, hard drive sizes, RAM levels and peripherals. Its base price is $2229, but the specs above reflect one of the highest-end configurations, with a 2TB hard drive, 4GB of RAM and an integrated, slot-loading Blu-ray/DVD/CD burner. One option we did not include is the Media Center Extender upgrade, which adds a Linksys extender and 802.11n capability, recommended for those who want to stream HD video; this feature ups the price to $4533. The Hangar18 has a well-rounded connection panel, with HDMI, VGA and component video outputs. For audio, you can use HDMI or your choice of optical/coaxial digital outputs. This product contains its own 1,000-watt five-channel amplifier, so you can attach speakers directly to it, with a subwoofer output to direct bass to an ...
Thursday, 13 December 2007 ,  Written by John Sunier
So you missed out on the $199 deals last fall for digital satellite video. You're increasingly frustrated by the noisy, poor quality signal your local cable system provides plus there are a couple channels you'd love to get but The Powers That Be force you to buy another $20-a-month "package" to get them. And to top it all off, now your cable provider is not only raising their rates again but lowering the picture quality even further. . . The Man's keepin' you down too, eh, buddy?
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