Audio Video News March 2009

Street Fighter HD Movie Review

Tweak Town :: Monday, March 30, 2009
“Horrible video game to movie adaptations are nothing new; notable mentions are Mortal Kombat, Doom and Bloodrayne. However, now 15 years old, Street Fighter was only the second one, following 1993’s Super Mario Brothers.

So I guess the first question is; has the passage of time been kind to the film? – The answer is a definitive “No”. Now it’s even more of a corny, early 90’s hack job. Despite this, it can fit squarely in the ‘so bad, it’s good’ category.”

Marantz SR6003 A/V Receiver Review 
Digital Trends :: Friday, March 27, 2009
“Uncompromising sound requires the best audiophile-quality gear. But in this current digital age, you never know which sound source you might want to use for an evening of entertainment. You might watch Blu-Ray movies on a 1080p HDTV; prefer the uncompressed audio files obtained from a CD and loaded onto your iPod; and play games on both an Xbox 360 and a Sony PlayStation 3. Connecting them all together – and still maintaining near perfect audio quality – is a challenge.”

Hi-Den Vision HDMI 1080p Digital Photo and Video Viewer Review
Futurelooks :: Friday, March 27, 2009
Capitalizing on our increasing interest to enjoy our digital content in our living rooms is the Hi-Den Vision HDMI 1080p Digital Photo Viewer (HD-0310). Although the product name points toward a focus on digital pictures, this small set-top box is also capable of playing your music files and video files as well. In fact, the level of file format support is quite impressive, rivaling the multimedia capabilities of something like the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. Does the performance stand up though? Let’s find out.

10 DIY Home Theater Tips 
Digital Trends :: Thursday, March 26, 2009
“When you have your first child, people seem to come out of the woodwork with all kinds of advice. There are endless unsolicited tips on diapering, feeding and sleep schedules. Well, to many, a home theater is like a baby, and with its birth comes a lot of opinion. Everyone and their installer has ideas, tweaks, products and plenty of other info. After all, there are endless audio and video products, as well as spaces, setups and resources. We asked 10 do-it-yourselfers to throw out the best advice for your growing baby. Here’s what they had to share.”

Antec Fusion Remote Max Review 
Tech Reviews :: Wednesday, March 25, 2009
It’s been nearly a year since we reviewed Antec’s Fusion 430 – a similar HTPC case to this – which proved a very worthy HTPC enclosure. Since that case, Antec have improved on their Fusion range massively. For a good reason too, with more and more people purchasing LCD or Plasma TV’s, many people too are buying HTPC’s to go with their shiny bit of tech. So, is the Antec Fusion Max a good HTPC solution? Well we’re about to find out…

Creative Labs Continues To Shaft Linux 
Phoronix :: Wednesday, March 25, 2009
“It has been a while since last mentioning the Creative X-Fi sound cards at Phoronix, but it’s not because the Linux support is all nice and working now that Creative open-sourced their X-Fi driver, but rather things have stalled. The X-Fi sound cards still are a sore spot on Linux and there isn’t “out of the box” support in major Linux distributions.”

AVerMedia AVerTV Box W7 Lite
Hardware Bistro :: Tuesday, March 24, 2009
“Today we are glad to introduce you a new brand that arrived on our door step; AVerMedia. AVerMedia is not a new brand and indeed it was founded in 1990. Our first review sample from AVerMedia is AVerTV Box W7 Lite which delivers fantastic TV enjoyment and HD quality to users. Let us have a deep dive on this interesting product.”

Logitech QuickCam Communicate Deluxe
Phoronix :: Tuesday, March 24, 2009
“While a relatively simple device, web-cameras are still an area on Linux that can be problematic when it comes to compatibility and the device functioning properly. The level of Linux support for USB web-cameras has improved quite a bit in recent years, and for many devices it is now a plug-and-play experience, but that is not the case for all devices. In this article we are taking a brief look at the Logitech QuickCam Communicate Deluxe. The QuickCam Communicate Deluxe has a 1.3 mega-pixel sensor with the capabilities to capture video up to a resolution of 1280 x 1024 at 30 frames per second.”

Pioneer BDR-203BK Blu-Ray Drive Review
IT Reviewed :: Tuesday, March 24, 2009
“Due to the limitations of current Blu-ray media you won’t be able to push the BDR-203BK’s BD-R facilities to its rated specification, but you can rest assured that its performance and reliability is amongst the best out there. If you’re a movie junkie or backup a lot of data to disc, the BDR-203BK is one of the best optical drives you can get. CyberLinks’ Blu-Ray Disc Suite 6 is also a joy to use.”

Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player
Tech Report :: Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Could Western Digital’s new digital media player be the ideal companion for the company’s external hard drives? And does it belong in your entertainment center?

The Future of Television and HDTV 
Digital Trends :: Monday, March 23, 2009
“Though many think of the 1950s as the decade TV began, the very first television technology was in development as far back as the late 1800s. The so-called “electromechanical” technique made use of a rapidly spinning, perforated wheel to produce images no larger than a wallet – a similar approach is used to produce colors in some modern DLP (Digital Light Processing) sets. The technology used to replace this crude method – the cathode ray tube – had its beginnings before World War I, even though the first commercially available CRT set wasn’t released until the 1930s. It seriously makes you wonder what new TV concept is already in the works, doesn’t it?”

Choosing a Subwoofer 
Digital Trends :: Saturday, March 21, 2009
Imagine Die Hard without explosions, Bond without the bullets, or The Matrix without kung-fu. Translation: Speakers are nice. However, if you’re serious about sound, you may want to include a subwoofer in your home setup. To put it simply, the subwoofer is the heart of the system when it comes to low-frequency sounds. While the sub may not look as cool as the other speakers in your home theater readout (although certain models can!), this is the unit that can put you in the middle of the concert or the action, all from your living room couch. It makes music and movies (especially action scenes) seem that much more arresting and lifelike. The typical human hearing range is about 20 to 20,000 Hertz (Hz). A subwoofer handles the low end of that range, providing the smashes, crashes and thumps. This type of sound requires its own, fairly large driver. The average sub includes a woofer somewhere from 5 to 18 inches in diameter. That’s kind of a large spectrum, however. So how to decide which subwoofer is right for your room?”

DVR Xpander Review 
Geek Invaders :: Friday, March 20, 2009
“The DVR Xpander does exactly what its name implies, it instantly expands the number of television shows, movies and sporting events you can store on your DVR. The Digital Video Recorder (DVR) has changed the way you watch TV, putting you in complete control of when and how you watch the programs you love. Unfortunately there is never enough space on the DVR hard drive to record everything you want to watch, especially if you are recording it in high definition. When the hard drive is full you must delete shows to free up space for the new programs you want to watch.”

Wedding Crashers HD Movie Review
Tweak Town :: Thursday, March 19, 2009
“John Bekwith (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy Gray (Vince Vaughn) are divorce mediators by day, but by night they take on the role of crashing random peoples weddings by adopting alternate personas to take advantage of free-flowing booze and love vulnerable bridesmaids. All is well with their scheme, until one woman (Isla Fisher) takes a particular stalker-esque interest in Jeremy, which may make it hard for him to keep up the program in the future.

Wedding Crashers had come fairly highly recommended to me and I must admit I had a very enjoyable time viewing. Wilson and particularly Vaughn have a roguish quality to them which allows them to pull off their characters very well. There are a few dips in the comedy, particularly in the middle of the film, but there is enough goodwill generated by previous scenes to overcome this. Wedding Crashers is a perfect Friday night flick which guys and girls alike will enjoy.”

Vizio VSB210WS Soundbar Review 
Digital Trends :: Wednesday, March 18, 2009
“Everything’s high definition now – from TVs to women’s make-up (no kidding). HDTVs have been around for a decade, and now manufacturers are pushing high-def sound big time, too. We’ve always been fans of true 5.1-speaker surround sound systems, but they’re expensive and a hassle to install. That’s why most people (over 60 percent, according to surveys) use built-in television speakers alone for shows and movies. A good middle ground are “sound bars,” which are basically thin, narrow rectangles that fit neatly under flat-panel HDTVs. Pioneered by Yamaha, this single component has built-in amps, speakers and DSP circuitry to create a 5.1-system feel without the need to run wires everywhere, or break the bank. Top flat-panel seller Vizio is now branching out with its first sound bar. Is it high-definition sound? Let’s settle in and find out.”

GLOW Audio Amp One Review 
Madshrimps :: Monday, March 16, 2009
Glow Audio’s Amp One reflects what many industry professionals see as the future of home entertainment. The role of the Personal Computer as a multi-media center. Apple has been on top of this for sometime but even Apple doesn’t build sound systems per se. So what does the GLOW Amp One offer.

Pioneer Elite SC-07 Receiver Review 
Digital Trends :: Saturday, March 14, 2009
“With that new Blu-ray player and library of accompanying discs, you might find that you also need a new receiver to reap all the benefits that the high-definition format has to offer. After all, without HDMI connections and the ability to decode the latest high-resolution surround sound formats, what’s the point of getting a new Blu-ray player in the first place? For this reason, receivers are making a comeback in what has been, as of late, a video-centric world. Pioneer, calls it the “SBL” era: The era of sexy blue lights. On a positive note, the company’s new Elite SC-07 7.1-channel receiver is the perfect specimen for this epoch. The average Joe might be intimidated by the SC-07, however. Take a look at the back panel, and you’ll see why. It’s absolutely jam-packed with every I/O under the sun, including four HDMI inputs and two outputs. But if you take a little time to get to know it, you’ll find that the SC-07 is really quite approachable. And, mercifully, the front panel is much easier on the eyes. In fact, Pioneer has taken special care not to clutter the SC-07 with logos and buttons. Critical functions are hidden behind a drop down panel, and branding is, thankfully, nearly absent from the panel’s front. Still, while the receiver’s gorgeous styling is definitely noteworthy, it’s nothing compared with the technology contained within.”

How to design and build a high-end subwoofer
Meku Mods :: Thursday, March 12, 2009
“I have a pair of Genelec 8030 speakers. They are good but bass reaches only 55 hz. Music sounds great but movies lack a bit of depth. This subwoofer project is based on 10″ subwoofer driver made by Norwegian Seas and Hypex subwoofer amplifier.”

10 Best Ways to Convert Photos, Records, Videos and Tapes 
Digital Trends :: Thursday, March 12, 2009
It’s a digital world, but most of us are still holding on to a lot of analog media. There are the vinyl records we couldn’t bear to part with; the home movies shot with an analog camcorder; the lovingly-created mixtapes on cassette; and, of course, the photographic prints and 35mm slides from holidays, vacations and family gatherings of yesteryear. Service bureaus are getting rich charging exorbitant fees to bring these analog memories into the digital realm, but there are plenty of good tools available for anyone who’s interested in taking the do-it-yourself approach. Here are some the best.”

Planet Terror HD Movie Review
Tweak Town :: Monday, March 09, 2009
Planet Terror is Robert Rodriguez’s tribute to B-grade zombie horror. It’s full of gratuitous gore, sex and violence. Every frame has simulated wear and tear. The acting is hammy and the plot is threadbare and silly. But my, what fun it is. Essentially the plot consists of a zombie takeover of Austin, Texas, following the desperate plight of a rag tag group of survivors, led by an ex-stripper whom has a machine gun for a leg. Did I mention it’s not serious at all; it’s just entertainment at its cheesiest best.

It’s extremely hard to review a movie such as this, which was made with the clear intent of looking and sounding like a world worn, vintage film. Everything I would normally mark down a transfer for is here and accounted for; colour bleed, print artifacts and overt grain. Of course, this is the aim of the movie and as a reflection of the movie makers intent; this is actually a wonderfully accurate presentation.”