Accessories

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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.

Ed Selley  |  May 28, 2011  |  0 comments
Well served for little outlay Martin Pipe builds a media server and has change from £100

Networked-attached storage (NAS) is damn useful. In addition to providing a convenient means of backing up important data stored on your computers, today’s consumer-orientated models typically incorporate a DLNA media server.

Ed Selley  |  May 28, 2011  |  0 comments
Wacky streamer can confuse Adrian Justins ponders the promise of a flawed fancy

Boxee Box acts as a conduit between your TV and an unrestricted universe of online entertainment including movies, TV shows, music and photos. It also lets you share your favourite content via Facebook and Twitter.

Ed Selley  |  May 28, 2011  |  0 comments
Mains-lining to the video vein Martin Pipe tries a networking solution that bridges wi-fi and powerline

Powerline networking, which uses your home’s mains wiring to transport data, has become quite popular. But there can be messy cables to deal with, and when you discover that one of your items is ‘wi-fi only’, and there’s not enough signal from your existing router, this product comes to the rescue. This kit consists of 200Mbps HomePlug AV network adaptors, incorporating a Wireless 802.11n extender.

Ed Selley  |  May 28, 2011  |  0 comments
Terrestrial Terminator Martin Pipe tries the world’s first PC tuner to support DVB-T2

Until now all of the digital terrestrial tuners sold for use with PCs complied to the old DVB-T standard. But all HDTV transmissions employ the newer and more efficient DVB-T2. The T2 290e, a tiny and stylish USB 2.0 dongle, is the first to be compatible with both. It can be used with notebooks or installed on desktop machines.

Ed Selley  |  May 28, 2011  |  0 comments
Player courts the net Martin Pipe likes Sony’s first standalone networkable multimedia player

There must be plenty of readers who have spent the best part of a grand on a cutting-edge full HD TV, only to discover that its replacement model is ‘network-enabled’. Increasingly popular, this feature enables you to stream video from various websites, install widgets and play video content, music or photos stored on devices connected to your home network.

Ed Selley  |  Apr 02, 2011  |  0 comments
Fast mover takes it all in Chris Jenkins warms to this plug’n’go storage

NAS (Network Attached Storage) drives are becoming the solution of choice for storing a wide range of digital media, including downloaded movies and TV, music, images and CD/DVD/Blu-ray rips. Speed, capacity and reliability are essential, and Buffalo’s Linkstation Pro LS-VL has all three.

Ed Selley  |  Mar 07, 2011  |  0 comments
One-stop media shop fits the bill Martin Pipe finds plenty of reasons to recommend this multimedia player

Take the optical disk drive out of a recent Blu-ray player and replace it with an HDD compartment. Squeeze the result into a glossy black box with roughly the same dimensions as a Mac Mini (complete with the external power supply) and you have the Eminent EM7080. The Realtek-based device is a flexible multimedia workhorse that sports two front-panel USB ports for Flash drives or HDDs, plus an eSATA terminal.

Ed Selley  |  Mar 07, 2011  |  0 comments
Dream streaming all the way Martin Pipe rates a powerline adaptor with near 1Gbps claims

We’ve come a long way since the late 1980s, when British company Curran, sold pairs of innovative adaptors interconnecting RS232 serial devices via the mains. The speed? A whopping 9,600 bits per second! Today we have speedier (and cheaper) devices like this product from Solwise, which - if your mains wiring and connected electrical-appliances are up to scratch - boasts speeds of up to 882Mbps. ’.

Ed Selley  |  Mar 07, 2011  |  0 comments
Freeview+ HD scrubs up well This PVR marries style with substance says Grant Rennell

There’s no shortage of little black boxes on the market these days, Freeview+ HD PVRs included. Kudos to TVonics then for being bold with the HD500. But has it gone far enough with its features?

Ed Selley  |  Mar 07, 2011  |  0 comments
No strings attached HD beaming Martin Pipe bridges the gap between PC and TV with this HD transmitter

Unusually, the Veebeam HD wirelessly sends whatever is on your PC (or Mac) desktop to a distinctively sculpted black box, which is, in turn, connected to your TV. The device sports a composite AV output for your set and an HDMI socket. There’s also an optical digital audio output, which will give better quality PC audio (especially from music) if fed into your AVR. Your computer must run Windows 7, the Vista turkey that preceded it, or Mac OS 10.5/6.

Ed Selley  |  Feb 16, 2011  |  0 comments
Cut to the core Cliff Joseph still isn’t won over by Apple’s revamped rental box

The new-look AppleTV replaces the original 2007 model. It’s smaller than its predecessor, measuring a mere 3.9ins wide and deep, and just 0.9in high. The reduction in size – and price cut from £200 to £100 – was made possible by removing the hard disk. This means that the AppleTV can only be used to rent and stream video now, as there’s no way of buying and permanently storing anything on this model. However, you do still have the option of buying content using iTunes on your Mac/PC and then streaming them to the AppleTV over your home network.

Ed Selley  |  Feb 15, 2011  |  0 comments
Rock it in the socket... Wi-Fi not reliable enough? Martin Pipe networks via his mains

Powerline networking is a convenient way of bridging the network ‘gaps’ in your house without recourse to hard-to-hide CAT-5 cable or undependable Wi-Fi. The Livewire packs two powerline adapters; plug one into the mains sockets at the network gear end, the other in the remote location for which access is required; connect the Ethernet cables, press the ‘sync’ button on one of the Livewires, and it will seek out and then pair itself to the other. Easy!

Ed Selley  |  Feb 15, 2011  |  0 comments
Spreading the net far and wide Serious about home media servers? Then go large. Martin Pipe has...

A speedy and convenient means of backing up data and distributing multimedia files, the well-built DS410 can accommodate an impressive total of 8TB in its four drive bays.

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