Martin Pipe

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Martin Pipe  |  Jul 28, 2013  |  0 comments

Most of Acer's projectors have been aimed at commercial and educational users, but a handful have been designed with home cinema in mind. Of these, the latest is the H7532BD. Surprisingly compact, this Full HD 1080p PJ sports all of the connectivity you'll find on bulkier units. First and foremost are the two HDMI inputs, which will accept 3D signals from suitable Blu-ray players, although no pairs of the necessary Active shutter glasses are supplied.

Martin Pipe  |  May 26, 2013  |  0 comments

Occupying the lowest rung of Yamaha's elite 'Aventage' range, the RX-A820 is a versatile beast with DSPs galore (an area where Yamaha has a rich history), a claimed 7 x 130W of amplification at your disposal and no fewer than eight HDMI ports. With its £850 price tag it's aimed at those who want something more than just a basic AVR.

Martin Pipe  |  Apr 01, 2013  |  0 comments

We really liked Epson's TW9000W, the company's earlier foray into the 3D PJ market. A 3-chip LCD design with Full HD resolution, the TW9000W was well-endowed with features, including an ISF calibration mode, THX certification, wireless HDMI and a 480Hz refresh rate to reduce 3D crosstalk.

Martin Pipe  |  Dec 29, 2012  |  0 comments

Although it lacks the FreeTime functionality of Humax's HDR-1000S, the brand's established Foxsat-HDR is an acknowledged 'classic'. It's stable, looks good, performs well and is user-friendly. A pair of tuners allow you to watch one channel while another records onto its 1TB HDD. All of the Freesat regulars – such as a comprehensive EPG and digital teletext - are present, as is (non-HD) BBC iPlayer.

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.

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.

Martin Pipe  |  Jun 12, 2012  |  0 comments

The proud owner of this stunning cinema room in South Africa – complete with unique 5000-element fibre-optic star ceiling – is a true movie-holic, to the point where the cinema was the first room to be completed during a comprehensive home-renovation project. In fact, the property already featured a home cinema, but during initial discussions with installer Sphere Custom it became clear that the existing room would not accommodate what the film-mad owner had in mind. It was decided instead to start from a ‘clean slate’, and a dedicated extension for the proposed 12m x 7m room was constructed.

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