Jun 30 2016

News - Plex server for NVIDIA Shield is live

Plex announced that the NVIDIA Shield would support their server a few weeks ago, and it looks like the wait is over. Adding HWA transcode + Plex to what is shaping up to be one of the most compelling content consumption devices (e.g. HDHR DVR support), makes me wondering if maybe I ought to have one of these in my AV stack.

Jun 29 2016

News - Emby Android TV app now supports refresh rate switching

Playing your content at its native refresh rate is generally key to getting the best experience from your viewing time, so I think it's great that Emby has added this feature to the Android TV app.

Jun 29 2016

News - Epson Announces two LCD projectors with 4K UHD signal input & HDR

You would be forgiven for thinking that this pair of ~$3k LCD projectors support 4K, and they do, sort of... It's not spelled out explicitly in the PR (aside from the "signal input" bit), but these are really just 1080p, that accept a 4K input and downscale it. HDR compatiblity is a plus, but I didn't see which formats will work on a quick scan through the specs. If you know, please spill in the comments.

Jun 29 2016

News - Intel Core m3-6Y30 Compute Stick Reviewed @ Anandtech

With 2x2 802.11AC, the Intel Core m5 based Compute Stick looks like a pretty reasonable HTPC. Pricing ($390) is a bit on the high side though considering what you can do with with an Atom NUC, but if the form factor is required...

Jun 23 2016

News - HDHR View now runs directly on RUI 2016 Samsung TVs

I have a Samsung TV, so I was initially really excited about this announcement. But, alas, it isn't a 2016 model so I can't test it. If you do have both, let us know how well it works for you. Bonus, should also work for DVR features as well!

Details.

 

 

Jun 21 2016

News - SVS brings SoundPath pivoting bracket to market

SVS Sound does a great job with accessories. Good looking and reasonably priced (just like the speakers Smile). They have introduced a pivoting wall/ceiling mount to help you build the perfect Dolby Atmos setup using Prime Satellites for height and width channels. I didn't see any pricing info in the PR, will update if I hear back on it.

Update: Cheaper than I expected. $40/pair.

Jun 21 2016

News - NETGEAR patches Badlock on ReadyNAS

TLDR: If you have a NETGEAR ReadyNAS NAS, you need to update it to v6.5.0.

Jun 21 2016

News - NETGEAR Arlo may need security school

It looks like the NETGEAR Arlo monitoring cameras have a security issue where other people can view your cameras. Based on the description on reddit, it looks like it should be reasonably difficult to accidently reproduce, but if it does NETGEAR needs to get on that quickly.

Update: NETGEAR responds...

Jun 08 2016

Review - Intel NUC6i5SYK Skylake SFF HTPC kit

Intel just about perfected the small form factor (SFF) home theater PC (HTPC) over the last few iterations of NUC systems, so it is great to see that the Skylake based Intel NUC6i5SYK kit has stayed with this winning formula. Updated with an Intel Core i5-6260U with Intel Iris Graphics 540, support for NVMe SSD, and DDR4, the system has the opportunity to fix the shortcomings in the previous generation (cough, CSH). The sleek looks and features will not be as much of a bargain as the plug-in-and-go Intel Pentium based NUC5PGYH. Intel is asking $380/£335 for the barebones kit,  but with quite a bit more performance, better networking, and features on tap, it could well be worth the extra dosh.

Jun 05 2016

Blog - Will you buy another AnyDVD HD license?

It was a sad day when Slysoft went away, but soon there was hope in the form of RedFox. Based on the same code, run by the same developers, it seemed too good to be true. And it sort of is because as it turns out RedFox is cutting out existing license holders. Now, I do see their point - they need money to keep the lights on, and any licenses were with Slysoft and not them. While lifetime license holders got great value for the money from Slysoft, I'm not sure that it's worth the risk this time around, and RedFox is being a bit underhanded about it.

May 28 2016

Blog - Is YouTube paying fair?

Last week the music industry released some PR around how vinyl makes them more money than YouTube; with the intent to demonstrate that YouTube is not paying a “fair” price for their content. I will admit that this is a little late, I still think it should be said that this sort of whinging and the press mindlessly repeating it isn’t helpful – if there really is a problem.

The biggest limitation here is that we (the public) don’t have access to the detailed information that is required to make a solid judgement around whether the rates are fair or not, but let’s deconstruct it as far as we can anyway.

May 28 2016

News - Video distribution problems - not anymore

The idea that you can send 1080p over any pair of wires seems fanciful, but it appears that Altinex has managed to do exactly that. Now, it's not quite the same experience as HDMI, there is some compression (and associated lossy artifacts), but still quite amazing - and should solve the how-do-I-get-video-to-this-place problem for those where HDMI (wired/wireless) or a solution like HDBase-T aren't suitable.

May 28 2016

News - Intel plans to change GPU development approach

It's no secret that Intel's GPU driver provides a richer experience on Windows than Linux, so it's welcome news that they are planning to take a more shared-code approach with the two OSs. Hopefully, this will translate into better HWA CODEC support in Kodi/OpenELEC where there isn't quite the level of coverage that there is in Windows.

May 27 2016

Review - NETGEAR Nighthawk X8 - AC5300 Tri-Band Quad-Stream Wi-Fi Router (R8500)

NETGEAR Nighthawk X8 - AC5300 Tri-Band Quad-Stream Wi-Fi Router (R8500)

 

NETGEAR touts the Nighthawk X8 AC5300 (R8500) Smart Wi-Fi router as “the next wave in Wi-Fi”. Generally, I am inclined to dismiss this sort of hyperbole, but the $350/£350 802.11AC includes features that are a reasonable step up from other models including: quad-streams, two 802.11AC radios, Wave 2 enhancements , and six Gigabit Ethernet ports, with two 802.3ad (link aggregation) enabled. Alongside this, it also includes a feature that should have a tangible benefit for all clients – active antennas. By moving the amplifiers from the mainboard to the tops of the antennas, there should be a clear benefit in signal strength and clarity. I am not sure that is enough to count as a “next wave”, but it has got me very interested in testing out the R8500.

May 17 2016

News - TIL: What a first-order crossover is

We should all be pretty familar with what a crossover is, and what it does in an audio system, but in all my previous reading I've either glossed over or never seen a "first-order" crossover mentioned. So this article, which explains the pro/cons nicely in defense of Thiel's decision to pull them from their latest speaker makes for a very interesting (and reasonable short) read on the topic.

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