Audio Video News January 2007

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NZXT Duet Review

Techgage :: Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Home Theater PCs are the fastest-growing trend in home computing. Here’s an in-depth look at enthusiast case maker NZXT’s first HTPC case, the Duet. With its tasteful looks, clever design, and ample cooling, this case has serious potential.

Moneual MonCaso 932B HTPC Case Review
XYZ Computing :: Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Home entertainment is a very interesting thing. Enthusiasts are willing to spend large sums of money to get the right gear and a small upgrade to parts like tuners, televisions, and speakers can easily bring them from being reasonably expensive to downright unreachable for most consumers. HTPCs have followed this trend- while there is still a very strong enthusiast community lot of companies are beginning to sell expensive pre-built HTPC solutions that cater to hobbyists who want the best and are accustomed to spending a considerable amount of money on their equipment. This review will be taking a look at a company that most people have not heard of before, Moneual. These guys make a range of computer hardware, most of it aimed at home theater builders, and also sell full systems. The case we will be looking at, the MonCaso 932B, is their flagship HTPC enclosure and it is the same one used on the company’s $4995 902T2 system.

Midi Keyboard Project – Moo6 
Metku Mods :: Wednesday, January 31, 2007
“When not modding, I usually compose some music. As an input device for the music software, I use old Casio CTK 530 keyboard. One day I realized how ugly it really is, so it’s time for modding, once again! In this project I’ll continue to use minimalistic design which I find attractive.”

Logitech Wireless Music System for iPod Review 
Think Computers :: Wednesday, January 31, 2007
“So many people have an iPod. It is the most popular MP3 player out there. So say you have a ton of music on your iPod and you want to listen to it on your brand new home theatre system. Well you could go out and buy the iPod AV cables, but those are limited by the length of the wire and who wants to have wire stretching across their room. This is where theLogitech Wireless Music System comes in. It enables you to move around without the limitations of wires and listen to your iPod on your home theatre with ease.”

HIS Radeon X1650XT and X1950PRO – Quiet Gaming
Tweak Town :: Wednesday, January 31, 2007
“We have with us a pair of cards from HIS, one the Radeon 1650XT and the other a Radeon 1950PRO. We will see what these particular cards from HIS have to offer us along with what card is best for you. If you’re on an LCD monitor that only supports a resolution as high as 1280 x 1024, is it worth the extra money to move to the X1950PRO? We’ll discuss this and more.

Normally we see a lot of IceQ type graphics cards from HIS but this time around while we do have an IceQ edition in the shape of the Radeon X1950PRO we also got the chance to check out the new iSilenceII cooling design on the Radeon X1650XT.”

LG BH100 Blu-ray Disc/HD-DVD Combo Player – Product Review :: Tuesday, January 30, 2007
The BH100 is the new hybrid Blu-ray Disc / HD-DVD combo player from LG. Dubbed “Super Multi Blue”. The BH100 plays both Blu-ray Discs and HD-DVDs at full 720p, 1080i,… 1/30/2007 2:00 AM

Home Theater Gifts For Lovers :: Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Instead of giving your lover jewelry, flowers, candy, or lingerie on this Valentine’s Day, why not give a gift that will not only last, but provide the perfect catalyst for…

How To Avoid Common Home Theater Mistakes :: Tuesday, January 30, 2007
You spent a lot of money and time setting up your new home theater system, but something just doesn’t seem right. Did you make any mistakes? To find out, check… 1/27/2007 2:00 AM

Improving Skype Audio in Windows 
Big Bruin :: Monday, January 29, 2007
Skype is arguably the most popular Web telephony service out there… One common complaint is that the quality of the calls varies widely. There are a number of simple changes that you can make to both your system settings and the settings of your Skype client software to improve the audio quality of your Skype calls.

The Rise of the LCD
PC Mech :: Monday, January 29, 2007
Remember those days when 17″ LCD’s used to cost over $250, for an off-brand, extremely basic model? Remember that bulky CRT that is quite possibly obesely sitting in front of you as you read this article? Well, let me tell you — the days of those obese monitors are shrinking slowly away into history. As LCD prices continue to fall, and new developments and advantages continue to roll off the assembly line, the time is getting increasingly ripe to replace that toxic-waste producing CRT with a bright, crisp LCD screen.

XFX 7600GT Fatality Review
Gamepyre :: Monday, January 29, 2007
The 7600GT Fatal1ty card has some good and some bad points. The good is that it is the fastest available 7600GT card on the market today with clockspeeds exceeding the other 7600GT cards by a good margin. The card is quiet, meaning that if you’re wanting a silent system, this card is the card for you. It also carries the “Fatal1ty” brand, which kids may see as cool as this gamer is on TV with shows like “60 Minutes.” The 7600GT is Vista Premium ready meaning that it will run the new Aero Glass interface.

GeCube X1950 Pro Champion Edition 
techPowerUp! :: Monday, January 29, 2007
The Radeon X1950 Pro series is one of the hottest selling video cards at the moment. It is competitively priced and can run all current games without breaking a sweat. Gecube has engineered a special TEC cooled solution for improved overclocking. In our testing we saw amazing clock increases of 20% on both the core and memory for a final clock of 682 MHz / 816 MHz.

EVGA e-GeForce 8800 GTX 
Barry’s Rigs ‘n’ Reviews :: Monday, January 29, 2007
“Revolutionary” is the most over-used word in video card technology. But that changed when NVIDIA unleashed their new GeForce 8800-series video cards. More advanced and powerful than anything else before it, EVGA’s e-GeForce 8800 GTX brings unprecedented performance and visual fidelity to existing DirectX 9 games under Windows XP—and tomorrow’s incredible games under Windows Vista and DirectX 10!

ATI Catalyst 7.1 for Vista – Software improvement and Crossfire!
Tweak Town :: Monday, January 29, 2007
“In one day or so depending on where you are sitting, Microsoft is set to release all versions of their latest operating system into the consumer world. AMD’s ATI driver team in Canada has seemingly saved all for the last minute. They sent us their Catalyst 7.1 graphics card driver for Vista to check out last week and have promised not just DirectX 3D performance and stability increases over the previous release but also an improved Catalyst Control Center, HD-DVD and Blu-ray support through AVIVO, a new installer and Crossfire support for the full range of X1000 series Radeon cards.

We’ll examine the changes in the WHQL driver going through the PDF presentation which they sent to us and then run some 32-bit based benchmarks under Vista Home Premium to try and backup their claims. Let’s get started and see if AMD finally have a Vista driver for their Radeon cards, which is actually worth installing and using.”

Sapphire X1900 XT 512MB Video Card Review 
Think Computers :: Monday, January 29, 2007
“A little while ago we took a look at the Sapphire Radeon X1300 XT video card. It proved to be a great midrange card, especially for the price. Well today we will be talking a look at its bigger brother on the high-end; the Radeon X1900 XT. I was really excited to get the X1900 XT and see what it had to offer. It really changed the way I play games and the feel of those games so let’s take a look and see what it can do.”

Creative X-fi XtremeGamer soundcard
RB Mods :: Thursday, January 25, 2007
I don’t think I have to introduce the X-fi soundcard series from Creative, most of us know that it’s an extremely powerful soundcard in whatever form or shape it comes in. The main problem with the cards have been the price as the cheapest card even has gone for over 120$. Now there might be a solution to this, Creative have launched a Xtremegamer card which belongs to the X-fi family but only costs around 80$USD. So can you get the same features as the expensive cards have? That’s what we are here to find out today.

MSI 7600GT 256mb DDR3 Passive Review 
XS Reviews :: Thursday, January 25, 2007
“Noise and power are normally two things that go together these days in the graphics card market. However, with what I have in my hand today, that could all change…”

Logitech Wireless DJ Review
Design Technica :: Thursday, January 25, 2007
“The Wireless DJ Music System uses the 2.4GHz frequency band to wirelessly transmit the audio signal from your PC and the included transmitter, to the base station receiver (which also doubles as the charger to remote control). You can install more than one receiver, in different rooms for example, and then label that room using the Streampoint software. The music system can then stream music to the desired room simply by selecting the zone you want with the remote control. Unfortunately you cannot stream music to different rooms/zones at the same time like you can with the Sonos Music System; you can only listen to one zone at a time. Additional wireless receivers cost a spendy $80 each, nearly 1/3rd of the systems total cost. ”

Sapphire Ultimate X1650PRO 256MB Graphics Card Review @ Virtual-Hideout
Virtual Hideout :: Wednesday, January 24, 2007
“The Sapphire Ultimate X1650PRO is a very stable and solid card to say the least. Although it didn’t play F.E.A.R. smoothly at the game’s maximum settings, it did play it fine at lower settings. The other games played fairly well, and I feel that this card would work out better in a HTPC setup rather than a gaming rig.”

Westinghouse Digital LTV-46w1 46″ LCD 1080i TV
Bona Fide Reviews :: Wednesday, January 24, 2007
If you’re like one of the millions of people looking to make the jump into the world high definition then you’ve probably spent at least a week searching for the perfect display. With the holiday’s not long past now is one of the busiest times for buying new display and today at BFR we have one of the newest displays available from Westinghouse Digital.

MSI NX8800GTX Review and Mixed-Vendor SLI
NV News :: Wednesday, January 24, 2007
“We have finally completed a follow-up review of the MSI NX8800GTX. In addition to reviewing the graphics card in a single GPU configuration, we also pair it up with a second GeForce 8800 GTX to form a mixed vendor SLI configuration. The review is packed with single GPU and SLI benchmarks at resolutions of 1920×1200 and 2560×1600 with various levels of antialiasing in F.E.A.R., Far Cry, Half-Life 2: Lost Coast, Half-Life 2 Episode One, and Dark Messiah, which is new to our list of benchmarks. Gameplay performance is tested in Quake 4 as well as a couple of new titles that include Gothic 3 and Neverwinter Nights 2. Throughout the review are plenty of high resolution screenshots for your viewing pleasure, a plethora of interactive image quality comparisons and video clips that demonstrate our walkthrough’s in Dark Messiah, Gothic 3, and Neverwinter Nights 2.”
The Tech Report :: Wednesday, January 24, 2007
WHEN WE REVIEWED the GeForce 8800, I said we’d test the GPU in an SLI configuration “as soon as we can.” I will admit that I’ve dabbled in CPUs a little too much, and our look at GeForce 8800 SLI has been delayed. However, I also wondered in that same review: “who needs two of these things right now?” That’s a pretty good question given the GeForce 8800 GTX’s astounding pixel-slinging performance, and something of a de-motivator for one considering looking into GeForce 8800 SLI.

But now I have seen the light. It’s wider than it is tall, modulated by a series of filters, and about 30″ from corner to corner. I’m talking, of course, about Dell’s 3007WFP LCD. We need not invent a reason for GeForce 8800 SLI since display makers have already invented a darn fine one. A four-megapixel monster like this one cries out for the fastest possible graphics subsystem to drive it, and the GeForce 8800 in SLI seems like a perfect match. We’ve had a bundle of fun testing the two together and exploring the world of uber-high-res widescreen gaming.

We’ve also dug a little deeper into GeForce 8800 antialiasing, to see how it compares to single- and multi-GPU antialiasing modes. Even the vaunted quad SLI makes an appearance to take on dual GeForce 8800 GTXs for extreme bragging rights supremacy. Read on to see how we put all of that power to use.

HIS X1650 IceQ Turbo 
Bjorn 3d :: Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Unfortunately this means it might be a bit hard for a regular user to keep up and to figure out which card is better than the other. The card I am testing today, the HIS X1650XT IceQ Turbo, uses the relatively new graphic chipset, the x1650XT from ATI. While the name suggests it is nothing more than a slightly faster X1650 Pro, the truth is that it is much more than that.

Nvidia 8800 GTX SLI review 
Driver Heaven :: Wednesday, January 24, 2007
“While many other sites published rushed reviews on 8800 SLI to get the hits, we were testing and reporting various bugs with companies to give you the definitive review of Nvidia’s 8800 solution in SLI.

Over 2 months in the making, with testing on a Vapochill overclocked Quad Core CPU @ 4GHZ with a selection of 8800 SLI solutions from Foxconn, Asus and XFX. Not only are we testing at the highest resolution with all the eye candy on full but we have over half a gigabyte of downloadable High Definition content for you to look at. If your internet connectioncan handle it.”

SteelSeries SteelSound 4H Headset 
techPowerUp! :: Wednesday, January 24, 2007
The SteelSeries SteelSound 4H is a headset made specifically for gamers. Like its big brother, the 5H, it is designed to give you an advantage in games by making sure you hear all the little details like footsteps. The SteelSound 4H offers great wearing comfort even when used for gaming sessions of several hours.

Connect3D x1950XTX Review
XS Reviews :: Wednesday, January 24, 2007
“Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) have come on leaps and bounds in the last year as we saw the two graphics giants, ATI and Nvidia, battling it out for the performance crown. Unfortunately for the ATI fan boys Nvidia stormed ahead with the release of their 8800 range of cards. However, all is not lost as ATI’s hard hitting x1950 series of cards comes with a brand new cooler, DDR4 and claims of excellent image quality. Today we have Connect3D’s x1950XTX, read on to see what we thought.”

Saitek A-100 My Spkr Ipod Speaker System Review 
Tweaknews :: Wednesday, January 24, 2007
“I always like a product that does what it says it will and does it well. Saitek has such a product in the A-100 My Spkr. This simple yet elegant device belts out the tunes with impressive clarity and the bass response is really amazing for its size. Small light and portable, the A-100 may find a large audience.”

NGO NVIDIA Optimized Driver v1.9792
NGO HQ :: Monday, January 22, 2007
“The NGO NVIDIA Optimized Driver is a modified version of the NVIDIA ForceWare driver. The main purpose is to satisfy the users with better performance, image quality and compatibility. The NGO NVIDIA Optimized Driver can enhance your experience in games, multimedia and general usage. This project is especially suited for enthusiasts and gamers that want to have the best gaming experience. This driver includes NVIDIA’s old Control Panel. We’ve preferred to include the old Control Panel over the new one due to flexibility and performance reasons. The Driver has support for all GeForce/Quadro cards – including mobile series (Go) as well. This driver has a special compatibility mode option that provides better stability, and workaround for some known bugs.”

Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500 MCE Review 
Virtual Hideout :: Monday, January 22, 2007
“With all that being said, I would feel confident in anyone using the WinTV-PVR-500 MCE who wants to build a HTPC system, or for the user who may have a dual monitor setup and wants to have live TV on the second monitor. The ease of setup and use through MCE also makes getting the WinTV-PVR-500 MCE a plus.”

Oppo Digital DV-981HD Upscaling DVD Player
Missing Remote :: Monday, January 22, 2007
The output of the Oppo is generally nothing short of spectacular, with a recent well mastered DVD one really can sit back and almost forget that this isn’t actually high definition, just a good fakery. 1080p native upconversion is a boon to all the influx of new 1080p TV owners that are sure to come as the prices plummet during 2007. The fact that the player can play just about any optical media (short of the next gen formats) is a major plus for anyone looking to unify their various devices. The only negative is the macroblocking issue. However, this is dependant on the content and even the calibration of the display being used. Most people wouldn’t even notice it.

Logitech Harmony 720 Universal Remote
OCIA :: Monday, January 22, 2007
“Simple and easy to understand commands make programming the unit a breeze. For those users who require more complex commands, you have the ability to adjust even the smallest factors such as delay time between macro commands. Logitech has an extensive database that should cover most any brand and model of equipment that you may own. The Harmony 720 can accommodate up to 12 different devices (far more than the average user would have).”

Logitech FreePulse Wireless Headphones
Modders Inc. :: Monday, January 22, 2007
One of the main issues a person will find with an MP3 / iPod® player is the cord that always finds a way to get caught on something. With the latest headphone from Logitech that is no longer an issue. The Logitech FreePulse Wireless Headphones allow you to have even more flexibility with a range of up to 33 feet and battery life that lasts up to 6 hours.