Accessories

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Martin Pipe  |  Jul 16, 2015  |  0 comments

If you've been put off buying a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device, the HS-251 from QNAP might change your mind. It's capable of the stuff a typical modern NAS can do  – acting as a repository for all of your files (among them movies, TV programmes and music) that can be accessed by every networked gadget in your home – but it goes further. The appearance suggests this; the HS-251 looks more like AV equipment than something you'll tuck away out of sight.

Steve May  |  Aug 26, 2015  |  0 comments

The QNAP TS-453mini is not your typical SOHO NAS. For starters, it doesn’t look grimly utilitarian. Instead we have a glossy black vertical design with a cute magnetic top cover. It sports an HDMI output, inviting you to plumb it into an AV system like any other source. It also overflows with media serving options. If you’re after powerful Network Attached Storage that your connected TV will look up to, it’s a compelling proposition.

Mark Craven  |  Jun 13, 2013  |  0 comments

It's hard to find an AVR these days that doesn't feature the Spotify music-on-demand platform. Yet it has its rivals, notably Deezer and, in the UK as of this year, Rdio.

Martin Pipe  |  Mar 03, 2014  |  0 comments

Last year we reviewed the Roku LT, a cute streamer with Wi-Fi hookup, slick interface and neat handset. It offers loads of on-demand content, arranged into a grid of channels that can be added to or removed from as you choose. Among them are BBC iPlayer, Sky's NowTV, Demand 5 and Netflix.

John Archer  |  Apr 23, 2018  |  0 comments
Handily for Roku, in the very week I reviewed the Roku Streaming Stick+, YouTube was removed from Amazon video streaming devices because of a spat between Google and Amazon. This serves as a perfect reminder of just why Roku is perhaps the smart choice when it comes to the streaming devices.
John Archer  |  Jun 19, 2012  |  0 comments

If you’re reading this magazine, chances are you love a big screen. In fact, for some of you, even ‘big’ won’t cut it. You want MASSIVE. This would be fine, were it not for the fact that going truly massive where video screens are concerned means either spending a fortune on a king-sized plasma TV (such as Panasonic’s extraordinary 103-incher), or else trying to accommodate a projection system.

Ed Selley  |  Jan 19, 2011  |  0 comments
Get HD on the go Kevin Gallucci catches up with TV remotely thanks to Sling Media

Sling Media’s Slingbox PRO-HD is finally available in the UK, after being on sale in the US for over a year. Its key advantage over the original Slingbox Solo is HD support; where the original model was restricted to only streaming standard-definition, the PRO-HD is capable of streaming 1080i hi-def via component. In addition, Sling Media has added a Freeview tuner to enable users to stream over-the-air broadcasts as well. This is a handy feature that allows those who don’t have a set-top box to still enjoy the convenience the Slingbox provides.

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. ’.

Martin Pipe  |  May 20, 2015  |  0 comments

The appeal of a soundbar is obvious, but here we have something a little different – the Somle Silent White, a substantially built and easily-assembled TV stand with fixed-height (150mm) glass equipment-shelf and a integrated soundbase thrown in.

Steve May  |  Aug 14, 2014  |  0 comments

 

The prospect of high-performance wireless surround headphones should be a mouthwatering one for home cinema enthusiasts. After all, it’s not always possible to run your AV system at full throttle, so the idea of multichannel private listening has great appeal. 

Jamie Carter  |  Dec 20, 2018  |  0 comments
Imagine home cinema projectors were the same size as your smartphone. That's what's promised by this diminutive new projector from Sony, which can create 120in images and even runs off its own power source. Does that sound too good to be true?
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.

Martin Pipe  |  Oct 30, 2012  |  0 comments

Take the internet TV capabilities of a recent Bravia flatscreen television and shove them into a little box (that’s operated with one of the coolest-looking handsets ever to grace a multimedia player) and you get Sony’s latest entry into this competitive field.

Ed Selley  |  Nov 30, 2010  |  0 comments
‘Daddy doesn’t get no rest...’ A networked music player with a screen? Martin Pipe wants it

There are plenty of ways of auditioning music stored on a PC. A plethora of networked media players balance quality with cost is, but most are, alas, not optimised for music and require your TV to be switched on, as tracks are selected by an onscreen menu. Welcome, then, to the latest version of the famous Squeezebox networked music player, which now has an added touchscreen.

Martin Pipe  |  Jun 13, 2014  |  0 comments

Synology's DS214play offers all of the standard NAS functionality (including mobile device access and RAID configuration), plus the company's powerful DSM operating system and the ability to download apps that expand the unit's versatility. But the icing on the cake is audio/video transcoding, which is made possible by a dual-core processor and hardware-acceleration. Typically, trying to play something that your playback device can't handle will reward you with stubborn rejection or even a crash. The DS214play sidesteps this by converting, on-the-fly, the selected file into something that your player can cope with.

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