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Steve May  |  Jul 27, 2013  |  0 comments

If you’ve been looking for a cost-effective way of adding Internet TV, be it catch-up or Video on Demand, to a non-connected telly, then Sky’s new £9.99 Now TV box must seem heaven sent. 

John Archer  |  Jun 21, 2013  |  0 comments

For some hardcore gamers, winning isn’t enough; posting videos online for all to see is the only way to satisfy their egos. If this sounds like you, then the Hauppauge HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition, a standalone PS3/Xbox/Wii video recorder, is right up your FPS alley.

Mark Craven  |  Jun 13, 2013  |  0 comments

It's hard to find an AVR these days that doesn't feature the Spotify music-on-demand platform. Yet it has its rivals, notably Deezer and, in the UK as of this year, Rdio.

Mark Craven  |  May 24, 2013  |  0 comments

With Logitech recently announcing plans to offload its Harmony handset division, and most AV products now controllable via dedicated smartphone and tablet apps, you might think the last nail has been hammered into the universal remote coffin. One For All has other ideas, bringing its Simple 4 to market with a tempting £22 price tag.

Mark Craven  |  May 23, 2013  |  0 comments

Philips knows a thing or two about lighting, with its Ambilight technology adding a USP to its TV range. With Hue, it’s giving you the opportunity to experiment with intelligent illumination without it coming attached to an LED TV.

Ed Selley  |  May 05, 2013  |  0 comments

You own one of the latest crop of BD players and you’ve noticed that as well as playing just about any video format you can think of, it can also act as a gateway to your audio collection, pulling files off networked hardware. The only problem is that it sounds a bit lacking. Can anything be done?

Martin Pipe  |  Dec 20, 2012  |  0 comments

A.C. Ryan has been responsible for some of the better networked multimedia players of recent years. Another entity that started rising to prominence at about the same time is the smartphone. The best-known example of this is, of course, the iPhone, which is rivalled by a range of devices running Google’s Android – a Linux-derived operating system optimised for handheld devices. However, some are now taking Android and building it into other electronic gizmos.

Martin Pipe  |  Nov 29, 2012  |  0 comments

Netgear, better-known for its NAS boxes and routers, has for some time also been producing network devices of another type – media players. One of its stable is the NeoTV 550, which, thanks to its lack of Android, Boxee, etc, feels reassuringly traditional. It’s not out-dated, though – as well as networked content, the player gives you a choice of some online material, and the ability to feed media into it via USB or SD cards.

Martin Pipe  |  Nov 03, 2012  |  0 comments

Better-known to those of a certain age for blowing away the Bauhaus lead-singer with the sound of its iconic cassette tapes, Maxell has since embraced the digital age with gusto. One of its more interesting current products is the MMB300, a multimedia player based around the Android 2.3 operating system.

Martin Pipe  |  Oct 30, 2012  |  0 comments

Take the internet TV capabilities of a recent Bravia flatscreen television and shove them into a little box (that’s operated with one of the coolest-looking handsets ever to grace a multimedia player) and you get Sony’s latest entry into this competitive field.

Mark Craven  |  Oct 15, 2012  |  0 comments

With so many iPod/iPad docks coming to market, manufacturers are having to work harder to make their products stand out from the crowd. LG’s approach with the new ND8520 is to adopt a radical, retro-infused styling – at a time when many rivals are exploring curved edges and clean lines. Looking like an oversized, all-black Rubik’s Cube will certainly help grab buyers’ attention, but what may look good on a shop shelf doesn’t always fit in well at home.

Steve May  |  Sep 04, 2012  |  0 comments

It may not be pretty, but Eminent’s EM7285 network media player is certainly advanced. Built around the Realtek RT1185 chipset, it’s compatible with a huge array of files and formats. The player ships sans hard drive, but one is easily loaded into the side if you want to store content locally; large files can be quickly moved onto it via a high-speed USB 3.0 connection. Rear-facing connections include HDMI and component with digital optical and coaxial audio outputs. There are also legacy phonos if you want to slum it. Gigabit Ethernet is the recommended network connection but there’s also integrated Wi-Fi.

Martin Pipe  |  Aug 31, 2012  |  0 comments

Once again we have to thank the hackers for something cool. An offshoot of the XBMC multimedia player that was installed on many hacked Xboxes, Boxee adds – amongst other things – social networking integration and plugin (app) support. It’s available for Windows, Linux and Apple devices, but licensed hardware products designed around the software are now available.

Steve May  |  Aug 15, 2012  |  0 comments

If you want to pipe Full HD around your home, the pro way of doing it has been via HDMI over Ethernet, utilising paired network cables book-ended by an HDMI transmitter and receiver. But now a new, more versatile standard is finding its feet. Known as HDBaseT, it allows a single Ethernet cable (Cat5e upwards) to carry lossless HD video and audio, plus 100BT internet and control, over 100m without any signal problems.

Steve May  |  Jul 23, 2012  |  0 comments

AV enthusiasts have long argued the merits of interconnects, debating the pros and cons of construction and the relative benefits different cables bring to sound and vision. But when streaming from networked devices and across the ‘net itself, the very nature of what constitutes AV cabling is thrown into the air. When Wi-Fi and Ethernet are the required delivery systems, black art babbling gives way to more practical concerns.

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