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Ed Selley  |  Jun 17, 2011  |  0 comments
Flexible AV friend Danny Phillips savours a combination package of Blu-ray player with Freeview HD PVR and finds Samsung has catered for almost every need

Why take two hi-def sources into the shower when you can simply watch ‘n’ go with Samsung’s latest Blu-ray player/Freeview HD PVR combi? By forcing these two products into shared accommodation, Samsung is putting an unfeasible amount of content at your disposal, as well as saving you some space in your AV cabinet.

Ed Selley  |  Jun 17, 2011  |  0 comments
Vento 5.1 feeds a craving for power Fine engineering, high-quality sonics. Adam Rayner is impressed

German loudspeaker brand Canton was one heck of a startup, having hit the deck running back in 1972, with 35 folks all busily making what they knew to be terribly posh speakers. Meanwhile, Acoustic Energy, as I recall, started with just three blokes.

Ed Selley  |  Jun 17, 2011  |  0 comments

Pioneer’s efforts as a speaker manufacturer can often be overlooked in favour of its more widely recognised efforts in electronics and the great – if doomed – Kuro plasma project. Despite this, the Japanese giant has produced a number of interesting designs over the years and, in both construction and performance, its high-end TAD models are on par with most rival high-end speakers. Some of this thinking has been making its way down to less rarefied price points and more than a bit of it can be found inside the S-71 series tested here.

Steve May  |  Jun 17, 2011  |  0 comments

The Harman group cuts quite a dash. With such brands as Infinity, JBL, Lexicon and Mark Levinson on the books, it knows its way around the higher end of the home entertainment market.

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
Flat HD fun Despite not offering 3D pictures, Mark Craven finds a lot to like about Panasonic's newest LED TV

Ask any AV enthusiast to recommend a plasma TV and they’ll invariably mention Panasonic. The same isn’t always true of LED TVs, though – something the PDP giant will hope to change with its new 2011 range of LED sets.

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
Passive resistance With the LW550 series, LG continues its quest to promote passive 3D. Chris Jenkins asks if this LED Smart set is the way to go

Up until now, most of the marketing activity for 3D has been based around active systems, which require expensive (c. £100 per pair) LCD-shutter glasses which need charging, and can have issues with synchronisation to the 3D frame-switching signal.

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
Looking Sharp It may lack some essentials, but this 37-incher has an understated appeal, says Steve May

The LC-37LE320 is an LED flatscreen that takes its design cues, if not its picture technology, from Sharp’s high-end Quattron TV range. These panels squeezed a fourth pixel from the usual RGB array, and the yellow pixel’s arrival certainly led to a significant step up in performance.

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