Accessories

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Martin Pipe  |  Apr 19, 2017  |  0 comments

In the past, we've extolled the virtues of powerline networking, where data is basically superimposed on your mains wiring by a couple of boxes that plug into convenient wall sockets. One's near your broadband router, while the other is located where remote network coverage is required. Now Devolo is offering a cutting-edge alternative in the form of the Gigagate, a wireless bridge. 

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  |  Jan 20, 2011  |  0 comments
Smoothing the sound waves Martin Pipe lets this Finnish bass 'doctor' tame his sub’s room modes

It’s a sad truth, but the average living room isn’t suited to sub-bass. Room modes (aka standing waves) can create havoc with the lower frequencies, and can contribute to a response that is often far from smooth. However, insert this useful device between the amp’s LFE output and your sub’s line-level input, calibrate the listening area with the supplied mic, and a series of test tones will allow the 8033 to analyse the response and apply correction, so that the overall LFE response is as flat as possible.

Martin Pipe  |  Sep 28, 2014  |  0 comments

Dune HD's Base 3D shows how media player manufacturers are rising to the challenge of Smart TVs, tablets and the latest Blu-ray players. Although not ridiculously expensive, the Base 3D is easy to install (it even checks for new firmware when connected) and offers plenty of features that you won't find on non-specialist gear. It's very much a media player for the serious AV enthusiast.

John Archer  |  Nov 30, 2016  |  0 comments

While 4K/Ultra HD televisions have been around for years now, native 4K sources are still relatively scarce. Especially if you can’t afford an Ultra HD Blu-ray player, the new Sky Q Silver box and subscription UHD service, and/or Netflix and Amazon 4K streaming. 

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.

Steve May  |  Sep 04, 2012  |  0 comments

It may not be pretty, but Eminent’s EM7285 network media player is certainly advanced. Built around the Realtek RT1185 chipset, it’s compatible with a huge array of files and formats. The player ships sans hard drive, but one is easily loaded into the side if you want to store content locally; large files can be quickly moved onto it via a high-speed USB 3.0 connection. Rear-facing connections include HDMI and component with digital optical and coaxial audio outputs. There are also legacy phonos if you want to slum it. Gigabit Ethernet is the recommended network connection but there’s also integrated Wi-Fi.

Ed Selley  |  Mar 19, 2012  |  0 comments
(Pac-) Man in a suitcase Steve May takes his games console on the road

It’s not everyday you see a game system in a suitcase. But that’s what we have here. The G155 Gaming and Entertainment Mobile System (hence GAEMS) comprises a low-lag 720p 15.5in screen and console-securing straps, net bumpers and a foam base to hold an entrapped games system (Xbox 360 or PS3 slim).

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.

Mark Craven  |  May 28, 2015  |  0 comments

I'm partial to the concept of a dedicated internet radio. These days the trend is towards using your Smart device to store/stream music in conjunction with a Bluetooth speaker, but taking your phone/tablet out of the equation can sometimes be liberating. However, the £220 Encore, from new-to-the-UK American brand Grace Digital, suffers from such a painfully overwrought control experience from its top-panel buttons and supplied handset that you'll be downloading the free app for your smartphone as soon as you can. 

John Archer  |  Jun 21, 2013  |  0 comments

For some hardcore gamers, winning isn’t enough; posting videos online for all to see is the only way to satisfy their egos. If this sounds like you, then the Hauppauge HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition, a standalone PS3/Xbox/Wii video recorder, is right up your FPS alley.

Steve May  |  Aug 15, 2012  |  0 comments

If you want to pipe Full HD around your home, the pro way of doing it has been via HDMI over Ethernet, utilising paired network cables book-ended by an HDMI transmitter and receiver. But now a new, more versatile standard is finding its feet. Known as HDBaseT, it allows a single Ethernet cable (Cat5e upwards) to carry lossless HD video and audio, plus 100BT internet and control, over 100m without any signal problems.

Steve May  |  Feb 24, 2015  |  0 comments

These days anyone can cast music like a graduate of Hogwarts. With wireless and multiroom hi-fi du jour, a simple swipe can throw an entire discography to multiple rooms. It’s enough to make spinning a humble CD seem positively prehistoric.  

Steve May  |  Jan 15, 2021  |  0 comments
hccbestbuybadgev3Humax teams up with Google to re-invent its Freeview Play PVR. Steve May investigates

Humax is hardly the most profligate of PVR makers. When it launches a set-top box, it tends to stick around, quietly serving its audience. Its new model, the Aura, is the company's first hardware overhaul in three years, assuming flagship status from its 2017-era FVP-5000T.

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.

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