Accessories

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John Archer  |  Apr 23, 2018  |  0 comments
Handily for Roku, in the very week I reviewed the Roku Streaming Stick+, YouTube was removed from Amazon video streaming devices because of a spat between Google and Amazon. This serves as a perfect reminder of just why Roku is perhaps the smart choice when it comes to the streaming devices.
Martin Pipe  |  Apr 19, 2017  |  0 comments

In the past, we've extolled the virtues of powerline networking, where data is basically superimposed on your mains wiring by a couple of boxes that plug into convenient wall sockets. One's near your broadband router, while the other is located where remote network coverage is required. Now Devolo is offering a cutting-edge alternative in the form of the Gigagate, a wireless bridge. 

John Archer  |  Nov 30, 2016  |  0 comments

While 4K/Ultra HD televisions have been around for years now, native 4K sources are still relatively scarce. Especially if you can’t afford an Ultra HD Blu-ray player, the new Sky Q Silver box and subscription UHD service, and/or Netflix and Amazon 4K streaming. 

Jon Thompson  |  Sep 30, 2016  |  0 comments

Around twenty years ago an essential component of any high-end home cinema was a scaler, with companies such as Faroudja and Snell & Wilcox striving to deliver the very best picture from the humble old DVD. Twenty years later all equipment seems to have some form of scaler built in. So why the need for a high-priced outboard model, such as Lumagen's Radiance Pro 4242?

Mark Craven  |  Mar 28, 2016  |  0 comments

Prime Music is a free part of Amazon's Prime service bundle, which includes on-demand access to a wealth of TV programming and movies (including 4K content), plus free next-day delivery on millions of Amazon purchases, cloud photo storage and a few other treats. A Prime sub is £79 a year, or less than £7 a month. It's very good value, but if you sign up, is Prime Music strong enough to have you cancelling your existing Spotify, Tidal or Apple Music sub?

Steve May  |  Aug 26, 2015  |  0 comments

The QNAP TS-453mini is not your typical SOHO NAS. For starters, it doesn’t look grimly utilitarian. Instead we have a glossy black vertical design with a cute magnetic top cover. It sports an HDMI output, inviting you to plumb it into an AV system like any other source. It also overflows with media serving options. If you’re after powerful Network Attached Storage that your connected TV will look up to, it’s a compelling proposition.

Martin Pipe  |  Jul 28, 2015  |  0 comments

It looks like a piece of military hardware produced by Stark Industries, but what we have here is actually the X7 'soundcard' from the pioneer of that particular genre, Creative Labs. In the past, Creative's Sound Blasters used to sit inside a PC. They endowed games with a sonic accompaniment, enabled you to play music on your computer and even gave your machine 'straight-to-hard-drive' digital audio recording. Trust me, in the early '90s this stuff was revolutionary.

Martin Pipe  |  Jul 16, 2015  |  0 comments

If you've been put off buying a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device, the HS-251 from QNAP might change your mind. It's capable of the stuff a typical modern NAS can do  – acting as a repository for all of your files (among them movies, TV programmes and music) that can be accessed by every networked gadget in your home – but it goes further. The appearance suggests this; the HS-251 looks more like AV equipment than something you'll tuck away out of sight.

Mark Craven  |  May 28, 2015  |  0 comments

I'm partial to the concept of a dedicated internet radio. These days the trend is towards using your Smart device to store/stream music in conjunction with a Bluetooth speaker, but taking your phone/tablet out of the equation can sometimes be liberating. However, the £220 Encore, from new-to-the-UK American brand Grace Digital, suffers from such a painfully overwrought control experience from its top-panel buttons and supplied handset that you'll be downloading the free app for your smartphone as soon as you can. 

Adrian Justins  |  May 27, 2015  |  0 comments

Promising an easy way to transmit Full HD video signals around your house using existing mains power lines, Marmitek's HDTV Anywhere consists of a rather dull-looking transmitter and receiver, each of which have an HDMI output. The transmitter has two HDMI inputs.

Martin Pipe  |  May 20, 2015  |  0 comments

The appeal of a soundbar is obvious, but here we have something a little different – the Somle Silent White, a substantially built and easily-assembled TV stand with fixed-height (150mm) glass equipment-shelf and a integrated soundbase thrown in.

Adrian Justins  |  Mar 05, 2015  |  0 comments

One For All's Smart Zapper is yet another gizmo released to work in conjunction with its Nevo app (some readers will remember the Nevo name from its pro-grade universal remote days). It's a small, battery-powered IR blaster with eight re-assignable physical control buttons, which connects to your smartphone or tablet using the Bluetooth Smart standard (compatibility is not universal and generally requires the latest versions of Android or iOS). It's controlled by the free-to-download app. So you get a touchscreen universal remote (and don't have to deal with multiple apps), plus a cutesy regular handset to boot.

Steve May  |  Feb 24, 2015  |  0 comments

These days anyone can cast music like a graduate of Hogwarts. With wireless and multiroom hi-fi du jour, a simple swipe can throw an entire discography to multiple rooms. It’s enough to make spinning a humble CD seem positively prehistoric.  

Steve May  |  Jan 25, 2015  |  0 comments

Faster than an Apple TV and thinner than a Roku, Amazon’s Fire TV streaming player is a little box with big appeal. It’s so good in fact, that it might make Prime Instant Video subscribers out of all of us.

Martin Pipe  |  Sep 28, 2014  |  0 comments

Dune HD's Base 3D shows how media player manufacturers are rising to the challenge of Smart TVs, tablets and the latest Blu-ray players. Although not ridiculously expensive, the Base 3D is easy to install (it even checks for new firmware when connected) and offers plenty of features that you won't find on non-specialist gear. It's very much a media player for the serious AV enthusiast.

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