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Ed Selley  |  May 28, 2011  |  0 comments
Denon bites Apple’s Airplay Music streaming to the AVR-4311 opens up all sorts of possibilities for getting audio entertainment flowing around the house

Denon’s AVR-4311 is the first serious AV receiver to feature Apple’s AirPlay media streaming technology. The latter was part of Apple’s iOS 4.2 launch last November and is essentially a new version of AirTunes for Apple’s AirPort Express wireless network system. The difference this time is that AirPlay has a much wider remit, with the capability of wireless media streaming to and from any current iOS4.2 device or to any AirPlay-enabled third party electronics. If that sounds a little familiar, this is just what DLNA promised and has thus far only half-heartedly delivered.

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.

Anton van Beek  |  May 23, 2011  |  0 comments

Stanley Kubrick: Visionary Filmmaker Collection is quite a lofty title for a Blu-ray boxset. But then again, it’s one that is wholly justified by the career of this methodical and meticulous filmmaker who only completed 13 feature films in his 46-year career.

Anton van Beek  |  May 23, 2011  |  0 comments

True Blood: The Complete Third Season continues the adventures of telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse as she goes hunting for her missing vampire lover Bill following the shocking finale to the last year’s 12-episode run.

Anton van Beek  |  May 16, 2011  |  0 comments

Black Swan might be about ballet, but that doesn’t make it a chick-flick. Mixing together elements from All About Eve, Dostoevsky’s The Double, early Polanski psycho-drama, Cronenbergian body horror and even a splash of Dario Argento’s Suspiria, Darren Aronofsky’s latest finds Natalie Portman giving an award-winning turn as a ballerina who must battle with rivals and her own repressive nature when she wins the lead role in a production of Swan Lake. But the further she goes in trying to get in touch with her dark side for the role of the Black Swan, the more her life spirals out of control.

Anton van Beek  |  May 16, 2011  |  0 comments

Spartacus: Blood and Sand is the ultimate in ‘guilty pleasure’ TV. Never afraid to push at the boundaries of taste and decency, this 13-episode debut season of the rollicking ‘adults only’ take on the historical story of gladiator-turned-slave-rebellion-leader Spartacus is awash with gore, sex and the most ribald and inventive swearing since Deadwood left our screens. That’s not to say that this Starz production is even half as smart as your average HBO series, but it makes up for its rampant dumbness with 300-style action scenes and plenty of naked romping (featuring everyone from Lucy ‘Xena’ Lawless to, gulp, John Hannah). Tremendous fun for lovers of trash TV.

Anton van Beek  |  May 16, 2011  |  0 comments

The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season is a must-see for any fan of the undead. Coming from the same channel that gave us Mad Men and overseen by Frank ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ Darabont, this adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s award-winning comic book is probably the best thing to feature the living dead since Romero’s original zombie trilogy. This is truly adult horror; an intelligent and intense show that focuses as much on the everyday horrors the survivors must endure as it does on flesh-eating corpses. Of course, if you are just here for the zombies, then rest that it also packs more gore and thrills into its six episodes than all of the Resident Evil films put together.

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