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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.

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.

Adrian Justins  |  Apr 26, 2012  |  0 comments

Once synonymous with blank audio cassettes, TDK has made a welcome return from the industrial wilderness to the consumer arena with a range of quality headphones.

Ed Selley  |  Jul 07, 2011  |  0 comments
No-strings audio from a box Martin Pipe tries out a nifty package aimed at cable-phobes

This solid pair of black boxes, from speaker manufacturer Teufel, will let you send two channels of audio wirelessly. This is a handy concept if you can’t run wires to rear speakers, or simply want hassle-free, multi-room music. The cigarette box-sized transmitter sports a couple of phono sockets, which are fed with the relevant outputs of your AVR or audio system. Rather larger is the receiver, the internal amp of which can drive speakers directly. A nifty circuit automatically switches the RearStation 4 into standby in the absence of audio. Additional receivers can be bought for £180 and any number can be partnered with a single transmitter ‘within range’.

Ed Selley  |  Jul 15, 2011  |  0 comments
What's the Stor.e? Cliff Joseph goes on a file frenzy with Toshiba’s 1TB media player

There’s no shortage of ‘multimedia hard disks’ available these days, and they’re handy for people who want to store photos, music and video files and play them on a TV or music system. However, most of these devices are produced by specialist hard disk manufacturers and they aren’t always as user-friendly as they could be – so I was curious to see what additional expertise mass market brand Toshiba would bring to its Stor.E TV+.

Ed Selley  |  Oct 30, 2011  |  0 comments
Real-deal multichannel cans Genuine 5.1 from any Dolby Digital source? Steve May plugs in

These surround sound headphones ship with their own Dolby Digital 5.1 decoder module and employ a quartet of dedicated channel drivers in each ear cup. Peel away one of the felt pads and you’ll uncover a pair of 30mm drivers, one for the front left/right and the other for a surround channel, plus a 23mm driver for the centre and a large 40mm driver to handle the .1 LFE.

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  |  Jul 07, 2011  |  0 comments
Looping the loopthrough Adrian Justins reviews a 'bot that remembers viewing habits

How do you stand out in the crowded Freeview HD PVR market? Excluding media streaming and DLNA networking is hardly in keeping with the Freeview zeitgeist, but the DTR-Z500HD boasts a couple of handy features that look compelling. One is a built-in HDMI switcher and two, it can make basic, TiVo-style recommendations based on your recording history so long as metadata is provided by each broadcaster for the shows you choose to record.

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  |  Dec 29, 2010  |  0 comments
The great media escape Break multimedia free of your PC with this bijou NAS, says Martin Pipe

Many of us now store photos, music and video on our PCs to stream to our TVs over a network. But doing so does have its flaws. Using a PC as a media server means coping with operating noise, power consumption and susceptibility to malware. A far better proposition is to copy content to a NAS with inbuilt media server, such as this inexpensive Verbatim MediaShare. The PC can then be turned off, until it’s needed again.

Steve May  |  Jul 13, 2020  |  0 comments
hcc_recommendedViewsonic's M2 adds designer lustre to portable 1080p projection. Steve May also approves of both its performance and price
Ed Selley  |  Nov 30, 2010  |  0 comments
Webbed feat in the stream Sam Kieldsen gives the thumbs up to this 1080p media player

The VMP74 is Viewsonic’s second so-called ‘full HD Network Media Player’, and as the name suggests, it offers full 1080p output for video. The device itself is a small, lightweight and glossy plastic box that fits discreetly into a TV stand. It’s pretty unassuming with just a power indicator LED on the top. Around the back you’ll find an HDMI port for rigging the streamer to your HDTV or projector. This is the only option for hi-def video, although a 3.5mm AV port enables you to use fuzzy, old school composite video (alongside stereo audio). There’s also an optical digital output. On the non-audio/visual front, there’s an Ethernet socket for networking duties (no wi-fi option here), plus USB and eSATA ports for connecting external hard disks and other USB storage devices.

Ed Selley  |  Jan 20, 2011  |  0 comments
Pride of the mounties Chris Jenkins hangs out with a super-thin wallmount

There’s little point in wall-mounting an ultra-thin flatscreen TV if the bracket is so bulky it makes the set stand out from the wall; hence the demand for thin and flat wallmounts.

Steve May  |  Aug 19, 2013  |  0 comments

In our new networked entertainment era, storing movies, TV shows and music on a NAS is a necessity rather than a geeky indulgence. But a fat hard drive locked to your network doesn’t really fly when you also want to view your stuff on mobile devices when out and about. Enter the Voyager Air from Corsair.

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!

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