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This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
ZenWave Cables and SurgeX ZenWave Edition Review
REDGUM BLACK RGi35ENR Integrated Amplifier Review
Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL 2.0 Headphone Amp & Preamp Review
iFi Micro iUSB 3.0 & Gemini USB Cable Reviews
Marantz M-CR611 Network CD Receiver Review
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Categories in section: Home Theater Media Servers
Home Theater/Media Center PCs (24) Music Servers (30) Satellite & Cable Receivers/PVRs/DVRs/TiVo (15)
Video Servers (4)

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Friday, 09 May 2008 ,  Written by
Exceptional Innovation Life|media LMS-500 Media Center PC
The Basics: Exceptional Innovation has established a name in custom-retail and home-automation circles for its Life|ware platform, a software-based automation system 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, multiroom 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 LMC-500 is a mid-level, three-rack-space model with a 2TB hard drive, DVR functionality, a DVD/CD burner, an FM tuner and two NTSC and ATSC tuners (the step-up LMS-550 replaces the FM/NTSC/ATSC tuners with dual CableCARD/Clear-QAM tuners, but otherwise has ...
Tuesday, 01 April 2008 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Introduction My father is pretty high-tech for a guy in his early sixties. He has an iPhone and can make his Mac laptop jump through hoops, including wirelessly pumping music (and often vintage jingles from his days as a program director at WIBG in Philadelphia in the late 1960s) to his Wilson Audio and Krell-based audiophile system in his living room. His music students at the University of Southern California demand this level of tech savvy, but where he had admittedly fallen behind was with his home theater system. Installed in an odd niche in his house in Scottsdale, Arizona, this system was pretty state of the art in its day, with a big Sony CRT standard-definition television set, a DVD player and a custom installation in a nifty cabinet. However, by 2008 standards, a 40-inch standard-definition tube TV (which ...
Friday, 01 February 2008 ,  Written by Bryan Dailey
Dish Network Vip722 High-Definition DVR
Introduction Every time I hear about a new high-def DVR from Dish Network, I get excited. “Will this be the one that finally has dual-zone HD output via HDMI?" I ask myself. I have been successfully using Dish Network’s line of non-high-def and high-def dual output DVRs for years. The one feature I have been waiting for is dual HDMI support, so I could run two HDTVs independently and simultaneously. I currently have a mirrored version of the picture on my big screen also going to the smaller kitchen LCD, but ideally I want to be able to have two different high-def shows on simultaneously. Dish Network has been a real innovator in the DVR market for several years, as they were the first company to feature units with multi-room capabilities. This not only saves the consumer on monthly DVR fees, but ...
Thursday, 01 November 2007 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Slim Devices Transporter Digital Music Player
Introduction Whether we are in the car driving to the grocery store or on a plane suffering through yet another painful flight to somewhere, music lovers are able to access what used to be an impossibly large music collection right in the palms of our hands. Why shouldn’t we be able to do the same when we are at home? Over the past few years, has reviewed several top-notch music servers from the likes of ReQuest, Escient QSonix and others that give music lovers better than iPod audio quality, along with larger than iPod storage. In 2006, we reviewed the very affordable ($299) Squeezebox from Slim Devices (since purchased by Logitech) which differs significantly from the aforementioned competition in that Squeezebox does not have a hard drive to store music, but rather interfaces with your computer system to access the music files stored therein, as well as Internet radio. The Slim Devices Transporter, which retails ...
Monday, 01 October 2007 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Vidabox LUX Home Theater PC
Introduction Home Theater PCs (HTPCs) are becoming more and more prevalent in today’s most adventurous media rooms. HTPCs are being offered by some larger mainstream manufacturers, as well as smaller, specialized manufacturers, such as Vidabox, that focus on the “HT or home theater” portion of HTPC. Microsoft’s incorporation of media features in their Vista operating system all but ensures that PCs will remain in our home theaters. Vidabox, LLC is based in Garden City, New York, where co-founders Steven Cheung and Sergio DeAlbuquerque remain hands on in day-to-day operations. Vidabox was founded to design and build premium quality media centers and home theater PCs. The LUX model reviewed here is toward the higher end of the line. The LUX that is running in my home theater right now is different from every other HTPC that I have seen to date, in that it supports both the HD DVD and Blu-Ray formats. Niveus, a well-regarded competitor in ...
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