One thing that's almost certain is that the quality of the sound from flat screen TV speakers rarely equals the quality of the picture. It's understandable, considering the size and location of the speakers. You can of course invest in a surround-sound system and wire up your TV viewing room, or there is the option [...]
I do enjoy my 47" LCD TV, but the sound quality never seemed to equal that of the picture. I realize that it's difficult to get any fidelity out of a couple of puny speakers, however, the alternative of getting a surround sound system was more than I wanted or needed, not to mention having [...]
Another day, another media player. Is it me or what? Now micca has a new entry in the plethora of players available, the EP600 Premium Full-HD media player. This networked player is supposed to play all your media files on your HD TV from connected storage devices and streams from devices on your LAN. We'll give it a [...]
Powerline Ethernet may be the least understood and used technology for networking. It's a shame because it's so easy to use and is more reliable than WiFi. The good news is that there are more vendors offering products in the space, Intellinet being the latest. Their Powerline AV500 Ethernet Adapter provides a true plug and [...]
Several years ago Avid Technology bought Pinnacle Systems, in their attempt to grab some of the consumer level video market. Avid is known the world over for their professional level products for video editing, so I was excited at the chance to review their latest product, Avid Studio. Almost a year ago on this website, [...]
When I was offered the opportunity to review the Cirago TV Platinum Network HD Multimedia Center my first thought was " good grief, not another media center". I had previously reviewed the Cirago CMC2000 and was duly impressed, so how could this be an improvement. Then I read the specs and saw that the CMC3000 [...]
The elgato EyeTV Hybrid is a beautiful little USB 2.0 TV Tuner for Mac or Windows computers. It's "hybrid" in that it will tune just about anything you've got: analog cable/tv, Digital/HDTV, and Clear QAM digital cable. It even has adapters so you can hook up a Composite or S-Video source (such as an analog [...]
The latest offering from Pinnacle Systems is Pinnacle Studio 14 MovieBox Ultimate, and there are some new goodies under the hood for those of you who are long-time Pinnacle users. I started using Pinnacle video software about 6 years ago and still stand by their products as good entry-level consumer video editors. There is alot [...]
The Tandberg PrecisionHD USB Video Camera is a high quality camera that captures 30 frame per second full 720p (1280x720) video and mono audio. This would be the ideal camera for corporate desktop video conferencing, or for casual or mobile video podcasting. It's large size and decent heft make it less appealing for the business [...]
It seems like there's a new media center/player introduced every week, so there must be some interest out there. I had the opportunity to try out the Cirago CMC2000 TV Platinum unit, one of the latest offerings from this Company. If you want to record video, stream music and photos or listen to Internet radio, this could be [...]
The next time I purchase a house I will look for one that has Ethernet wired to all the rooms, but until that happens I need a way to get high speed LAN access in different areas of my home. WiFi is too slow and unreliable. One of the possibilities is a technology called Powerline Ethernet. [...]
The Cirago CMC1000 Multimedia Center is an enigma. I've never heard of the company, or the product. Google found a few online sites that carry it, so I can tell you the 500GB model I am reviewing sells for under $190 online, and its 1TB version goes for about $60 more. It sure seems like [...]
Over the years, I've tried quite a few devices that allow you to watch and listen to your digital media through your television set. Some of these devices have included WiFi, some included hard drives, some required that you stream the content from a computer to the player and some required that you convert the content to a format that the player could handle. For one reason or another, I stopped using all of those devices except for the AppleTV. I really like the AppleTV's user interface, but have never really liked the fact that I have to convert the files and then 'send' them from my desktop computer to the AppleTV in the living room. I'm all about simplicity, and while the AppleTV comes close, it doesn't quite get there. I think I've found a device that does get there tho. It's the WD TV HD Media Player from Western Digital.
Is there a place in the market for another MP3 player? What if this one doesn't require a computer in order to copy music, buy music, etc? Sansa is willing to gamble that the answer to both of those questions is yes, with their new slotMusic player. Keep reading to learn more...
With the massive influx of digital media in the past decade or so, consumers have become aware of the need for some way to use
their media somewhere other than a computer. More specifically, we want to be able to play our music and movies and view our
digital pictures from the comfort of the couch, and with the high definition glory of a 72" plasma television. Apple, of course,
released the Apple TV. However, other electronics companies have tried to come up with good home media center solutions that
don't require a full computer running Windows XP Media Center Edition, or Windows Vista Premium or Ultimate.
It's only been four months since I reviewed Slacker's first generation Slacker Personal Radio Player, and now they have a new model available called the G2. I've loved using their first player, so I was super excited to be able to get my hands on a second generation unit. Second generation units are always better than their predecessors right? Let's find out...
You've no doubt heard of, or have seen the Snowball microphone from BlueMic.
It's a very popular microphone for podcasters and anyone that wants to record audio. BlueMic have a new microphone
to add to their product line - the Snowflake USB mic. This is their first professional portable USB microphone, and I
think they have another winner on their hands.
MP3 players come in 100's of different shapes, sizes, colors and capacities. The player I want to show you today is unique because it's shaped like a Mickey Mouse head. It's the iRiver Mplayer Disney. The fine folks at Advanced MP3 Players in the UK sent one to me to review.
Autumn is my favorite time of year for a couple different reasons. I love the cooler weather, the changing colors of the leaves and ... new Apple iPods! For the last 4 years around this time, we've been introduced to a new iPod nano and this year is no different...
One of the few features Apple has yet to integrate into its iPods is the ability
to stream audio wirelessly via bluetooth. With the large number of electronic
devices and accessories either already available or coming on the market with
built-in bluetooth, it seems like Apple should finally make it a reality. But until
that magic moment, iBluon has created the TD02 (available through Brando), a small, lightweight Bluetooth audio transmitter
engineered to connect to the iPod's connector/sync port.
Since my first experience with digital audio recording with a Sony M1 DAT more than ten years ago I have been an avid fan of new digital audio gadgets. I even got myself a (volunteer, non-paying) gig recording a weekly chamber music series locally, which is an opportunity to spend even bigger bucks on fancy microphones and preamps. But when last year a friend gave me a 1905 Edison Standard Phonograph cylinder player, I really was in gadget heaven...
I love my 65 inch TV. Even though it's a rear projection TV and not a flat screen, which means it takes up a lot of space in my basement. I went from a 27 inch TV straight up to 65. I can't go back now... no way. What do you do if you don't have room for a giant TV, but still want that big screen experience? Vuzix thinks they have a solution with their iWear AV490 Video Eyewear. These glasses claim to give you a 62 inch screen experience. Let's just see about that...
I'm a minimalist. The problem is that I'm a minimalist that has too much stuff. ;o) For those of you that might be true minimalists, I have a nifty USB doo-dad to show you, that has the potential to allow you to ditch your High Def TV and DVR. It's the PCTV HD Pro Stick (801e) from Pinnacle Systems. With it, you can use your Windows laptop or desktop computer as your TV and DVR. Let's take a look...
Gadgets that wirelessly transmit audio from one place to another seem to be pretty popular these days. Case in point - the two reviews we recently posted here: the SoundCast OutCast Wireless Outdoor Speaker and the EOS Wireless Home Audio iPod Speaker System. The product I'd like to tell you about today has approximately the same features, but comes in a smaller package and seems to be marketed towards teens. It's the i2i Stream from Aerielle.
Are you a fan of podcasts? For those of you that are not in the know,
podcasts are pre-recorded
audio or video 'shows' that cover a wide variety of subject manner. These
digital files were first created for the Apple
iPod, hence the
name podcast. iPod owners that use iTunes, have an easy to use interface for
finding and downloading these shows to their computers and / or iPods.
Zune owners have a
similar ability, but owners of other digital audio players are not so lucky.
The CastGrabber comes to the rescue with a
standalone device that allows you to download podcasts into most USB equipped
MP3 players (even iPods), without the aid of a PC.