Accessories

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Ed Selley  |  Oct 30, 2011  |  0 comments
Real-deal multichannel cans Genuine 5.1 from any Dolby Digital source? Steve May plugs in

These surround sound headphones ship with their own Dolby Digital 5.1 decoder module and employ a quartet of dedicated channel drivers in each ear cup. Peel away one of the felt pads and you’ll uncover a pair of 30mm drivers, one for the front left/right and the other for a surround channel, plus a 23mm driver for the centre and a large 40mm driver to handle the .1 LFE.

Ed Selley  |  Oct 30, 2011  |  0 comments
Media in your pocket Unstylish but affordable, this tiny media player has a lot going for it

Better known for its range of quality home cinema speakers, Crystal Audio is now tackling the burgeoning multimedia-playback market with a diddy little player that occupies much the same volume as the plug that powers it. Of course, the diminutive size of this solidly-built aluminum enclosure restricts connectivity, although the essentials are there. First and foremost is the HDMI output, which is necessary for hi-def.

Ed Selley  |  Oct 30, 2011  |  0 comments
Affordable excellence The Screenplay MX TV Link excels where some more expensive players falter

Finishing off pretty much where I started, Iomega’s Screenplay MX TV Link is a device very much in the vein of the PicoHD5.1.

Ed Selley  |  Oct 30, 2011  |  0 comments
Xtreamly appealing This do-it-all device will certainly find fans amongst the technorati

From one extreme to another; no fewer than thirty-six PicoHD5.1s could fit into the glossily-finished slab that is the Linux-powered iXtreamer.

Ed Selley  |  Oct 30, 2011  |  0 comments
Black box of tricks Netgear's NeoTV player offers plenty of features, but some niggles, too

It may not boast all of the ‘gadgets’ of the iXtreamer, but the NeoTV 550 will still give media moguls plenty to sink their teeth into. It’s made by Netgear, a company with a good track record in network equipment (I used its ReadyNAS Ultra 4 as one of our servers during this test).

Ed Selley  |  Oct 30, 2011  |  0 comments
Looking to the future MKV3D support and BBC iPlayer access are two of this device’s key talents

he Popbox network player shares has come from the same school of design as the the Netgear NeoTV 550. It’s black, it’s rectangular, and kinda ugly. But don’t let that put you off.

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.

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