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Martin Pipe  |  Feb 03, 2014  |  0 comments

Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system cannot even play DVDs – never mind Blu-rays. This seems strange, as modern PCs are more than capable of handling movies from disc, and can be connected to your AVR and display with the same ease as a conventional Blu-ray spinner. The basic (and free to install) VLC media player can deal with DVDs and Blu-rays amongst other things, but if you want more sophistication then Cyberlink aims to please.

Mark Craven  |  Dec 21, 2013  |  0 comments

Kaleidescape's cinema one sees the American media server specialist lowering the price point at which technophiles can enter its world of slick music and movie jukeboxing. Well, sort of – the asking price of £3,300 will still be too much for many, particularly considering the less-than-perfect way it enables Blu-ray rips to be played...

Martin Pipe  |  Sep 21, 2013  |  0 comments

I've tested a number of video processors over the years, but this one's rather different. The tiny Darbee DVP 5000 'Darblet' only caters for HDMI, and has none of the usual adjustments offered by conventional processors, such as brightness, contrast, noise reduction, deinterlacing modes or colour balance. 

Steve May  |  Aug 19, 2013  |  0 comments

In our new networked entertainment era, storing movies, TV shows and music on a NAS is a necessity rather than a geeky indulgence. But a fat hard drive locked to your network doesn’t really fly when you also want to view your stuff on mobile devices when out and about. Enter the Voyager Air from Corsair.

Benny Har-Even  |  Aug 06, 2013  |  0 comments

Bucking the trend of much of the tech industry, the headphone market has seen a stellar rise in recent years and everyone wants a piece of the pie. No surprise, then, that AV receiver supremo Onkyo has joined the fray.

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.

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