Audio Video News November 2008

Pioneer Elite Kuro Pro-111FD Review
Digital Trends :: Friday, November 21, 2008
“We get bleary-eyed checking out all the new HDTVs. Bigger, better and cheaper are this year’s watchwords in a nutshell. And yet, if you walk into a decent retailer (i.e. Magnolia in your local Best Buy) and gaze over a wide expanse of higher-end flat panels, one series always stands out: Pioneer’s Kuro plasma HDTV line. Consistently rated by everyone with 20/20 vision as the best available, we couldn’t wait to put the new Elite Pro-111FD through its paces. Although wonderful, though, one huge drawback for the product family is the simple fact that featured selections are wildly-expensive compared to plasma market-share leader Panasonic’s offerings. For example: A top-end (and very good) 1080p 50-inch Panasonic TH-50PZ850U is $2,999 and the entry-level 1080p TH-50PZ80U is $2000 (it’s not too shabby either). The same-sized Kuro? Try $5,000 for a top-end Elite or “only” $4,000 for a plain vanilla Pioneer. And this, before we even consider manufacturers like Vizio, who offer similar-sized models for around $1,500. But hey, what can we say: Even in this horrible economic environment, it’s still nice to dream of have the scratch to purchase a luxury HDTV. Hit the jump to see how well this new set fared.”

Sanyo R227 Internet Radio Review 
Digital Trends :: Thursday, November 20, 2008
“It goes without saying: Internet radio is cool, and so are Internet radios. Don’t comprehend the distinction? Head to your local CE retailer and lay your hands on sweet devices like the Sanyo R227. It looks like a tabletop radio because, well it is. But the device is also Ethernet-enabled, so you can tune into thousands of Internet radio stations just as you would through your desktop browser. Or rather, it’s almost that easy – but we’ll get to that story in just a minute.”

COMPRO Vista U890F USB TV Stick Review
Futurelooks :: Wednesday, November 19, 2008
When you are stuffed into cramped quarters, there’s a good chance that your computer also has to pull double duty as your television. Naturally, not all computers come with a built-in TV tuner, so you may have to consider external options like the recently released COMPRO Vista U890F TV Stick.

HTPC Howto
OC Inside :: Tuesday, November 18, 2008
For the recently published Silverstone La Scala SST LC02B HTPC enclosure review, it is now time for a HTPC guide, which explains step by step how to build a living room PC. This beginners guide shows how easy it can be to build a PC for the living room. If you have a few hardware components, for example from your last PC upgrade and like to tinker a HTPC, then you should not miss this guide.

Sitecom Wireless Audio Transmitter (WL-060) Reviewed
IT Reviewed :: Wednesday, November 12, 2008
“Sitecom’s Wireless Audio Transmitter is a no-frills approach to wireless music. While it does let you play audio files stored on your computer, it takes a rather rudimentary approach. By this we mean that you still have to take control of your audio files from your computer – there’s no remote control or media management software supplied. So, whatever you’re running on your computer, that is then mirrored on your stereo. While this solution may be exactly what you’re looking for, others may not want to boot and operate their PCs in order to listen to music in another room. On the plus side, it avoids the problem of playing back DRM audio file formats and navigating Internet radio, podcasts, and premium online music services from a remote control. Furthermore, it transmits audio in lossless 44.1kHz, 16-bit format (the same quality as an audio CD), which is fine for all but the most discerning of listerners. Sadly, the WL-060 isn’t expandable to multiple rooms – you’ll have to buy another unit. Simple but effective, the WL-060 is probably the easiest and most economical way to send music from your PC or laptop to your hi-fi.”

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull HD Movie
Tweak Town :: Tuesday, November 11, 2008
“The franchise, created by powerhouse team Steven Spielberg and George Lucas harkens back to films of the early 1930s and 40s and evoke memories of daring-do and classic Hollywood. The first film, (later re-titled for video) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark was a major success, so a sequel; Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was fast tracked. The latter was far more violent than the first (culminating in a scene where a cult leader rips a guys heart from his chest, while it continues to beat!), and divided opinions quite heavily. Five years later Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade hit theaters, and saw a return to the more ‘fun’ aspects of the first film and wrapped up the trilogy in a nice way.

However, as is the nature of Hollywood and fickle audiences, nearly twenty years later we have Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It’s a film that didn’t need to be made and after watching it, probably didn’t deserve to be. Its biggest flaw is that after twenty years, innumerable story treatments and script re-writes, this is what we got. A half-baked and yet convoluted story, a Frankenstein-like creation that clearly plays out as a culmination of ideas from script #1, script #2 and so on.”

Aiptek PocketCinema V10 Mini Projector review
Metku Mods :: Monday, November 10, 2008
“Projectors are nothing new but the ones that you could carry inside your pockets are. Aiptek is one of the first to introduce this new technology that utilizes LED light to shrink the dimensions of the projector.”

Asus My Cinema-PHC3-100/NAQ/FM/AV/RC TV Tuner Review 
Overclockers Club :: Wednesday, November 05, 2008
“The ASUS My Cinema TV Tuner card has proved to be part awesome and part let-down. The software included with the card was the main disappointment and cast a shadow on a card that otherwise shined. With the ability to pull down clear signals on analog cable and FM radio, the thing that really matters, the hardware itself, really stood out. There are plenty of inputs, and the ability to receive both digital and analog TV signals which will be very important once the FCC mandated switch occurs.”

Slacker G2 Review 
Digital Trends :: Tuesday, November 04, 2008
“After racking up generally positive reviews for its first-generation portable Internet radio player, but getting dinged on size by just about everyone, Slacker has tried to recreate the functionality of the original in a much smaller package with the Slacker G2. Promising a continuous feed of fresh music without the effort of selecting it yourself, the G2 delivers on bringing the online Slacker experience mobile, and in a much more reasonable size, but suffers from a terribly clunky input wheel, a sluggish interface, and pricing that makes Apple’s boutique product line look cheap.”