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Martin Pipe  |  Sep 01, 2011  |  0 comments
To Nfiniti and beyond... Martin Pipe sorts out several different network woes with this device

Buffalo’s WLAE-AG300N works in three ways. The first is to add an additional wi-fi access point if there are ‘black spots’ in your home. Here, an Ethernet cable is run from your router to where the additional coverage is required. In the second mode, two WLAE-AG300Ns act as a wireless ‘bridge’ between two existing wired networks. Finally, there’s the ability to connect non wi-fi devices to a wireless network, by running an Ethernet cable from the WLAE-AG300N to the device.

Ed Selley  |  Sep 01, 2011  |  0 comments
Pack some high vaultage Martin Pipe checks out an upmarket storage tank

Networked-attached storage (NAS) is a speedy, convenient means of backing up data. Modern units, such as the ReadyNAS Ultra 4 featured here, are also capable of streaming any multimedia files stored on them to any Smart device that can accept them. The four drive bays of the heavy and massively-built ReadyNAS Ultra 4 can each accommodate 2TB drives and so a combined total of 8TB is possible – that’s an awful lot of video, photos and music.

Ed Selley  |  Sep 01, 2011  |  0 comments
Get your '3D parties' started Martin Pipe tests 3D spex designed to work across many brands

XpanD has now introduced 3D glasses that can be partnered with infra-red triggered 3D displays from the likes of Panasonic, Samsung, Philips and Toshiba, thereby reducing compatibility issues for 3DTV owners. If you’re going to a 3D party and aren’t sure what (older!) TV you’ll be watching, these XpanD glasses are good bet-hedgers. XpanD will be launching a new range (the X104) with support for Bluetooth as well as the radio system favoured by Panasonic.

Ed Selley  |  Aug 25, 2011  |  0 comments
Hammer cracks volume nut Late-night volume changes can be avoided, finds Martin Pipe

This system uses Dolby Volume, which is a technology designed to intelligently ‘normalise’ loudness to avoid the annoying volume jumps familiar to late-night telly addicts, when broadcasters turn up the sound for adverts. The tech, which was modelled on psychoacoustic research conducted by Dolby, is integral to recent TVs, AVRs and this Volume Stabiliser.

Ed Selley  |  Aug 25, 2011  |  0 comments
Passive actively targets groups Chris Jenkins checks out a curious 3D projection proposition

Active shutter 3D technology can be expensive, particularly if you want to cater to a large audience, but what if you could convert an active shutter 3D projector into a passive one? Then you could use the dirt-cheap passive polarised glasses of the sort you get in cinemas.

Ed Selley  |  Jul 15, 2011  |  0 comments
What's the Stor.e? Cliff Joseph goes on a file frenzy with Toshiba’s 1TB media player

There’s no shortage of ‘multimedia hard disks’ available these days, and they’re handy for people who want to store photos, music and video files and play them on a TV or music system. However, most of these devices are produced by specialist hard disk manufacturers and they aren’t always as user-friendly as they could be – so I was curious to see what additional expertise mass market brand Toshiba would bring to its Stor.E TV+.

Ed Selley  |  Jul 07, 2011  |  0 comments
Whizzing media about the house Wi-fi networking and a USB media server impresses Martin Pipe

If all you need is the ability to stream multimedia files to various players around the home, then this device is for you. The 4420 has a server that’s fully uPnP compliant, and boasts a feature you won’t find on the average NAS – the 4420’s integrated wi-fi capabilites enable you to set up an additional access point, or bridge any networking ‘gaps’ in larger homes.

Ed Selley  |  Jul 07, 2011  |  0 comments
Only half the picture? An HD tuner for PCs for £30? Martin Pipe discovers the catch...

This neat dongle adds terrestrial digital TV reception to a Windows PC. But let’s get one thing straight from the beginning – the packaging (and product name) may suggest HD happiness, but the tuner is DVB-T only. Some other countries use the DVB-T standard for HD broadcasting, and the AVerTV Volar HD may well be ready for them. But in the UK, it’s SD-only folks – although manufacturer AVerMedia has said it will release DVB-T2 standard devices in the second part of this year.

Ed Selley  |  Jul 07, 2011  |  0 comments
The buffering slayer Adrian Justins tries a networked media player that saves buying a new TV

The DPS-1000 is aimed at anyone who wants the benefits of a connected TV. It’s not the neatest-looking solution (think doorstep sandwich with ventilation holes), but it’s more affordable than replacing your main TV, and at least its black plastic fascia looks classy.

Ed Selley  |  Jul 07, 2011  |  0 comments
No-strings audio from a box Martin Pipe tries out a nifty package aimed at cable-phobes

This solid pair of black boxes, from speaker manufacturer Teufel, will let you send two channels of audio wirelessly. This is a handy concept if you can’t run wires to rear speakers, or simply want hassle-free, multi-room music. The cigarette box-sized transmitter sports a couple of phono sockets, which are fed with the relevant outputs of your AVR or audio system. Rather larger is the receiver, the internal amp of which can drive speakers directly. A nifty circuit automatically switches the RearStation 4 into standby in the absence of audio. Additional receivers can be bought for £180 and any number can be partnered with a single transmitter ‘within range’.

Ed Selley  |  Jul 07, 2011  |  0 comments
Looping the loopthrough Adrian Justins reviews a 'bot that remembers viewing habits

How do you stand out in the crowded Freeview HD PVR market? Excluding media streaming and DLNA networking is hardly in keeping with the Freeview zeitgeist, but the DTR-Z500HD boasts a couple of handy features that look compelling. One is a built-in HDMI switcher and two, it can make basic, TiVo-style recommendations based on your recording history so long as metadata is provided by each broadcaster for the shows you choose to record.

Ed Selley  |  Jun 17, 2011  |  0 comments
As thick as a brick, but smarter Adrian Justins organises and manages his media collection via USB

Out of the box, this is a non-networked version of AC Ryan’s PlayOn!HD media streamer, but you can add an optional £20 wi-fi dongle to change that. My sample came with a pre-installed 1TB HDD and there are 500GB and 2TB versions.

Ed Selley  |  Jun 17, 2011  |  0 comments
When I’m streaming Windows Replace your media player with a PC, says Chris Jenkins

The popularity of video downloading means that media players are becoming increasingly essential, even if your PC media source is in another room. But what if the PC is small enough to tuck under your TV? Enter Acer’s super-compact Revo 100.

Ed Selley  |  Jun 17, 2011  |  0 comments
Faster than a speeding bullet... Chris Jenkins tests out the zippiest external Blu-ray burner on the market

While a Blu-ray/HDD recorder can cost you around £400, if you have a laptop, it may make more sense to add an external Blu-ray burner to it at half the cost. Buffalo’s 12X external drive is ideal.

Ed Selley  |  Jun 17, 2011  |  0 comments
Multimedia megastore Adrian Justins gets acquainted with a 1TB media player

The ScreenPlay is a no-thrills, hard drive-based storage device for easy multimedia file playback. With no networking functions, it’s down to you to stream your media via a USB drive or laptop after installation.

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