Feb 11 2016

News - madVR adds to its awesome with HDMI 1.4 3D support

I don't care what you think. 3D creates a more immersive viewing experience. OK, the glasses aren't awesome, but frankly the modern ones are light enough that it doesn't bother me at all. Needing to use a standalone player, or commercial software with all the cruft it brings along for the ride has made it less enticing for me personally. So the news that 3D has been added to madVR is fantastic. Now, it's not quite ready for primetime, but if you're feeling adventurous go ahead and give it a go Smile.

Feb 11 2016

News - Fractal Design Core 500 SFF chassis reviewed @Mad Shrimps

I think we can all agree that Fractal Design makes a fantastic chassis. Whether its a full ATX or SFF, the design is always elegant and well thought out. At $60 this looks like a really nice value as well.

Feb 11 2016

News - Want to DIY a NAS?

Ars Techinca has a basic walkthrough of the "why not DIY" when it comes to NAS. I would be curious to see how Window Storage Spaces' performance stacks up to what an off-the-shelf NAS can provide, but aside from that there's little fault to find with the thought process and component selection (although the price is reasonably high-end for a consumer NAS). The motherboard certainly checks the boxes with 2x Intel GbE and 6x SATA, although it has quite a few extras I'd probably skip if it were me.

Feb 09 2016

Review - ASUSTOR AS5002T 2-Bay Intel Bay Trail Network Attached Storage (NAS)

ASUSTOR AS5002T two-bay Intel Bay Trail NAS

The ASUSTOR AS5002T is the first Intel based network attached storage (NAS) device tested at Missing Remote. So, I was very curious to see how its dual-core 2.4GHz Celeron J1800 would stack up against the strong showing we’ve seen from ARM Cortex-A15 based systems recently. With two Gigabit network interface cards (NIC), two bays, 1GB RAM, and USB 3.0/eSATA support, on the surface the $315/£185 AS5002T aligns nicely into the same category. But, it also offers a few features that are not found on similarly priced ARM devices: most notably, virtualization, hardware assisted transcoding, and Kodi integration. Offering the potential for this SOHO NAS to also be a well featured home theater PC (HTPC).

Feb 07 2016

News - UHD (4K) is easy. What's UHD Premium?

As much as having yet another standard can cause overload, adding a "Premium" lable to UHD does add some value; potentially making it easier to select a display. The downside is that if you just bought a 2015 UHD display it's quite likely that some, if not all, of the things that make a UHD Premium display better than [plain-ol'] UHD aren't supported on your shiny new TV. So maybe, if you just jumped on a "Big Game" 4K TV deal you shouldn't follow the link to RHT Smile.

Feb 04 2016

News - IoT gets a lot of crap

The Internet of Things (IoT) is coming. It just makes sense to put the devices around us on a network. To make them "smarter". To make the data they possess available to us, and other devices also on that network to use, consume, and react to.

This is scary, but it's also really, really cool. Of course some OEMs have let the cool get ahead of the planning, and the implementations aren't always well thought out from a security, updating, or longevity perspective - which might cause all sorts of problems down the road. But, it's still going to happen and it still has an amazing potential to make our lives easier, better, smarter.

I've been meaning to write something about this, but unfortunately time has been really lacking lately. Fortunately I ran across a high-level paper by Cee Links (CEO of GreenPeak, a company working with Zigbee silicon) that addresses some of the things I wanted to write about. So I thought it might be easier to use that as a conversation starter. Go have a read...

Feb 02 2016

News - Denon AVR-S710W reviewed at RHT

I have a Denon AVR, and I've found it to be quite solid so RHT's conclusion on this HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2 $480 Denon AVR-S710W doesn't surprise me in the least.

Jan 30 2016

News - ASUS PG348Q 34" QHD curved 21:9 monitor announced

Would it be OK to use an ASUS Republic of Gamers monitor for things besides gaming? I ask, because I think this QHD 34" curved PC monitor seems like it would be pretty awesome for quite a few applications - some fun (21:9 is perfect for movies), and others a bit less so (work).

There's a lot of details in the PR, most notably that it will be available in February. Pricing is distressingly absent however...

Jan 30 2016

News - ASUSTOR AS602T NAS reviewed at TweakTown

I haven't seen many Intel Braswell NAS reviews, it's great that they are starting to come out.

Jan 30 2016

News - What's wrong with HA today. CEPro laughs, then answers

It's true. The current HA market is kind of a mess... Everyone has their own app, nothing talks to each other, etc. While incredibly frustrating I prefer to see this as growing pains. An artifact of the newness of the market that will sort itself out eventually. Have a look at CEPro's take on the matter.

Jan 30 2016

News - Techradar explains why you should care about HDR

One of the best things about 4K, isn't really the updated resolution. While that is nice, it will really only benefit those who have a massive display and/or sit close to their displays (i.e. the right place). The biggest benefit, is along with more pixels the content and panels are getting support for high dyanamic range (HDR). I know that I've been banging on about HDR, but it really does make a difference Smile. So if you're not really sure, and want more information on what it is and why you should care - Techradar has a good primer on the subject.

Jan 28 2016

News - I'm not sure what Data Privacy Day is, but Arq is offering 20% off...

If you recall (or at least I hope you do Smile), I reviewed Arq a little while back and found it to be exactly what I was looking for when it came to cloud based data backup. If it sounded interesting but the price was just a touch to much, Arq is offering 20% off today because it's Data Privacy Day (don't tell Hallmark).

Jan 27 2016

News - Skylake Iris Pro pricing is out, ouch!!!

If you were waiting for Iris Pro to pickup a Skylake system, the prices have come out and they are hefty - although currently they are all Xeon models (so aimed more at enterprise workstation), so hopefully we'll see some Core branded models in a more comfortable price range soon.

Jan 27 2016

News - Need an indoor OTA antenna? The Wirecutter does best off...

Outside or in the attic is best, but sometimes it's just not possible to mount a big [ugly] antenna and run the necessary cables. This is where you have to fall back on the indoor variety, and a guide like The Wirecutter's is so useful.

Jan 27 2016

News - Pulse-Eight launches neo:4 Professional HDBaseT Matrix switch

I was vaguely aware that Pulse-Eight (yep, the PC HDMI-CEC gurus) had moved into the custom installer (CI) market, but must admit to not really following it that closely. Having looked at what their new neo:4 HDMI matrix switch can do, I'm quite impressed. 4K, HDCP 2.2, and four HDBaseT ports + intelligent HDMI CEC control - yum!

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