Feb 18 2017

News - Caavo selling expensive HDMI switcher + universal search

I have to give Caavo credit for a sleek industrial design, but any positive feeling ends there. I just don't see what problem this $400 box solves for me. OK, it will switch inputs, but so does my AVR (while providing audio too). There might be some CEC magic at play here, but that requires that everything plays along, and again does nothing that I can't do with a TV remote.

What am I missing?

Feb 17 2017

News - AMD Ryzen benchmarks looking good

Leaked benchmarks of AMD's upcoming Ryzen CPU look very promising.

Feb 14 2017

News - ASUS Announces DSL-AC88U

If you have DSL at home the new ASUS DSL-AC88U provides an integrated approach to providing internet connectivity from a single device. What makes this guy particularly interesting is that it also has a WAN port, so if you decide to drop the DSL when cable comes to down you won't have to eBay it. Also, while it's not mentioned in the PR, I'd be surprised if it didn't support dual WAN connections from the DSL & WAN ports. If it does, and you need that level of backup this could be just the thing.

Even more interesting is that this looks to be quite a bargin even if you don't need a DSL modem. Its SRP of £220 is less than the £250 DSL-modem-less RT-AC88U that it appears to clone.

Feb 07 2017

News - Valens and Lattice Semiconductor deliver HDBaseT 4K 60Hz 4:4:4 reference design

Reference designs aren't intrinsically news, but since they are an essential tool to enable product flexibilty (i.e. smaller OEMs can play too). I think it's worth highlighting this announcement. Afterall, who doesn't want to see a plethera of 4K 60Hz 4:4:4 devices; creating a more competative market Smile.

Feb 07 2017

News - HDBaseT over IP announced at ISE

It's not a huge drawback if you only use your Ethernet network for A/V, but if you have other goals HDBaseT's exclusive use of the HW is a limitation. Or, was a limitation. Because the technology will now work over IP networks. Now it will probably take a while for product to hit the market, so we'll be sure to keep an eye on it here.

Feb 03 2017

News - HDHomeRun DVR now supports protected (DRM) channels on XBox One and some Windows 10 machines

SilconDust promised it, and it's certainly taken longer than expected, but if you've been waiting for protected CableCARD content support from the HDHomeRun DVR you can finally dive in. If you have an XBox One, or are one of the lucky Windows 10 users where it works.

Details are a bit light on what separates the have/have nots on W10, but if you are one of the unlucky - you will need to get back into wait mode. 

Jan 25 2017

News - CyberLink Ships World’s First Ultra HD Blu-ray Playback Software to the PC Market

It looks like those UltraHD Blu-ray drives from Pioneer will come with a copy of CyberLinks UHD support PowerDVD (huzzah!), with retail copies available for purchase sometime later. CyberLink didn't mention how much said retail copy would be, but they did note that only the latest (and greatest) Intel Kaby Lakes would be able to handle it - more details in the PR. I made a point of asking about AMD's new Ryzen CPU (answer was "there are only plans to support Intel Platforms"), so... hmm...

Jan 25 2017

News - Ultra HD Blu-ray drives coming from Pioneer via BDR-S11J-BK / BDR-S11J-X models

It should come as no surprise that the first OEM with UltraHD Blu-ray drives will be Pioneer. It is news that there will be two models ranging from ~$200-$300, and only Windows 10 will be supported. Should go nicely with that copy of PowerDVD.

Jan 19 2017

News - Anandtech compares three low-profile HSF

If you're not planning to use your HTPC as a gaming rig, opting for a full-height chassis is a waste Smile. Finding the right low-profile HSF to cool the CPU can be a major challenge though... If you're in that boat, Anandtech has a look at three different height coolers that might make the selection process easier.

Jan 18 2017

News - Steiger Dynamics announces set of VR enabled HTPC

I prefer to build my own HTPC, but not everyone has the time or desire to do that. Fortunately companies like Steiger Dynamics provide options, including three new Kaby Lake models announced at CES. With different sizes and configs they should have most use cases covered...

Jan 09 2017

News - Intel announces 5 new NUC models

Another CES, another set of NUCs announced. I must say I also like the darker chassis, but it concerns me tha tthe renders don't appear to have CIR built in. If that is the case, it would be a big minus for their HTPC use.

Jan 09 2017

News - Intel announces "Compute Card" to replace Compute Stick

You can read more about what the Intel Compute Card is and what's inside in the linked article, but when you do that keep in mind how awesome a HTPC this make. Where you buy a chassis which provides the basic shell connectors (Ethernet, HDMI, SATA, etc) and you can easily upgrade the CPU/GPU every few years as they add fancy new features.

Jan 05 2017

News - D-Link announces first Apple HomeKit compatible camera

The Apple HomeKit ecosystem has been a bit sluggish (relative to other Apple kit), so it's nice that their finally getting a camera via the D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD (DSH-C310). No word on price though...

Full PR after the break.

Jan 05 2017

News - New NVIDIA Shield TV announced, will have Amazon Video

One of my only complaints about the first gen NVIDIA Shield TV was that Amazon Video wasn't natively available. It looks like that will end soon, at least for the upcoming Gen2. Wasn't about to find a clear answer on whether it will come to the first one (please!).

UPDATE: Amazon Video will come to 1st gen Shield TV. Thanks @Starkenator!



Dec 15 2016

News - CPCR guide for DIY survelience system

I've been leaning heavilty towards building a DIY NVR solution. If you've also thought about it, but weren't quite sure where to start - this is a great guide, even if you opt not to go with the hardware they selected.

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