Audio Video News October 2010

Guide to Properly Calibrating your Display – Part I 
Missing Remote :: Thursday, October 28, 2010
Last week, we polled MissingRemote readers regarding the calibration status of their displays and here are the results. While the majority of you have calibrated your displays to some degree or another, roughly 25% have not and approximately 25% of you have either calibrated by viewing content or using settings found online. Almost 40% of you have calibrated with test patterns by eye and about 10% have gone all the way and either hired a pro or used a meter to calibrate. Whether you have calibrated your display or not, please read on where we will guide you step-by-step through the calibration process and explain exactly what it is all those controls in your display do to help you obtain optimal picture quality.

Warpia Wireless USB PC to TV Audio / Video Display Adapter Review 
Think Computers :: Tuesday, October 26, 2010
“Have you ever been watching something on your laptop and thought, “Hey this would be awesome if I could watch this on my TV”. Well many people spend a lot of money on home theater PC systems when all they need is a simple device that we are reviewing today. The Warpia Wireless USB PC to TV Audio / Video Display Adapter allows you to easily stream what you are viewing on your laptop or PC to any TV or projector. Let’s check it out and see if it’s worth getting over a HTPC system.”

Apple TV (2010) 2.0 Media Player
Tweak Town :: Tuesday, October 26, 2010
“The Apple TV (somewhat rebranded now as iTV, but still being sold under that moniker) first arrived in home cinemas over three years ago, a curious oddity in a market torn between competing HD standards (Blu-ray and HD DVD). It had no support for either of the optical formats, and instead relied on an internal hard drive and streaming from a home PC running iTunes. Unlike the optical disc formats, the Apple TV was limited to the barest minimum of HD resolution; 720p. It was also very stringent on what types of digital media it would support (essentially, if you can’t play it natively on an iPod, iTouch, or in iTunes, it won’t play on the Apple TV either). Even with these limitations, the device sold very well and encouraged Apple to radically revamp the design in certain ways for its next generation release.

Apple TV 2.0 drops the internal hard drive (which ran as high as 160GB in size) in favor of 8GB of internal memory for buffering purposes. In return, the device is much smaller, about the size of a paperback book (though about a third shorter). While the original Apple TV had component and analog outputs, this new model gives you a HDMI port and optical out. That’s it. Personally, I think that’s a good move on Apple’s part, but if you’re (for some reason) still interested in component/analog connections, you won’t want to upgrade.”

Vidabox vCase 3 HTPC Case Review
Missing Remote :: Monday, October 25, 2010
Vidabox is developer of digital entertainment, home automation, and system control solutions. The company was founded in 2005 with custom Media Center PCs and rapidly expanded their product offering from there. Today they provide solutions across the entire spectrum of digital home entertainment to include Media Center PCs, Media Servers, Multizone Audio, Home Automation, Media Extenders, Software, and Accessories.

In today’s review we are going to take a look at the Vidabox vCase3 Home Theater PC Case. The vCase3 is a high quality, low profile HTPC case targeted at the enthusiast market who cares about having both a fully functional and visually appealing computer case in their family room or home theater. Let’s start with taking a look at what comes inside the box and then later we will look a little closer at all the details of the case. I’m not going to do a full build log with the case today, but we’ll bring that to you in a few weeks and take a look at all the considerations of building a Home Theater PC in a low profile case.

Music Master to offer MP3 downloads for Dhs3 
t-break :: Sunday, October 24, 2010

Soniq QPB302B Blu-ray Player
Tweak Town :: Saturday, October 23, 2010
“Today we’re looking at the QPB302B from Soniq which is a Blu-ray player that comes with a very attractive $99 AUD price tag. At that price tag it’s not much of a surprise that once we open the box we’re only greeted with the player itself, remote, composite cables and some paperwork.

Feature wise the QPB302B is packing standard features like Blu-ray, DVD (Up scaled), MP3, WMA, CD Playback, BD Live, Dolby Digital, Digital Plus and TrueHD which are all present. What is also included that we wouldn’t expect on such a cheap player is Dolby and DTS HD Master Audio, DivX support and DivX Plus HD which are H.264 and MKV packaged files.”

Xtreamer Pro Media Player Review
CDR Info :: Friday, October 22, 2010
With so many media players available today at the market, most users are seeking for a device that actually offers an easy and complete user interface, wide media compatibility and also a stable operation. The Xtreamer Pro the media player that we will test today is probably such a solution. The device is not a new proposal for this market, but the latest firmware (Ver.2.4.2) released for the device has made the device even more appealing, especially to power users.

The Xtreamer pro player is based on company’s smaller model, the Xtreamer, which allows you to stream HD (MKV H.264) movies or your home-made videos, listen to high-quality digital music and show high-resolution side shows photos on your TV. The Pro is offering a gigantic 4GB storagecapacity, double the memory of its smaller brother, it supports 7.1 CH digital audio and has an ultra-fast eSATA interface. Xtreamer’s developers have also designed an artistic GUI with animated HD menus, which can be enjoyed on your TV screen using your iPhone or the included remote control.

AKAI AD173X HD Set Top with DVD and PVR
Tweak Town :: Friday, October 22, 2010
The AD173X looks to be a bit of jack of all trades. The question is, can it be the master of any of them? The AD173X is a HD Set Top Box with PVR functionality and DVD support. Feature wise it doesn’t look too bad. We’ve got a Full HD TV Tuner; with the help of some USB storage we’ve got PVR function which lets us pause live TV and record shows. There’s a full EPG making scheduling shows and viewing what’s on easy.

Opening up the package, you’ve got the player itself along with remote, composite cables, paperwork and surprisingly a HDMI cable, too. Pulling the AD173X out of the box, there’s nothing too flashy about the device on a whole and while I would describe the overall look of the unit as quite plain, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing as it can sit in a cabinet with complete innocence.”

Diamond HD Mini Media Player Review
Missing Remote :: Friday, October 22, 2010
The Diamond HD Mini Media Player is a great little unit (I mean that literally) for what you pay. As of this writing the Diamond player is available from Amazon for $24. For $24 and change for the shipping, the Diamond HD Mini Media Player is a great little unit, especially for those who travel a lot or find the need to have a small form factor digital media player on hand that is easy to use and easy to setup. While this unit won’t be used for every day use in a home theater setup, I will have no issues having this on hand to throw into my backpack on those days I am on the road, or for a nice little setup in my family vehicle for those long road trips that last longer than a DVD. In the end it’s not the most feature rich player, but what can you expect from a $24 digital media player?

Swann RemoteCam DVR-410 Review 
XS Reviews :: Friday, October 22, 2010
“One of the advantages of being quite a long running review site (check out our 5 year anniversary in January) is that often times you don’t need to contact companies to get products to review; they come to you. However this doesn’t just limit itself to your usual reviewing fare of memory, HDDs, graphics cards and CPUs; we also get to take a look at some interesting gadgets too.

Today is one such device. Swann Security Remote Cam DVR-410 is the name, and stealthy video and picture taking is its game. Let’s try this bad boy out.”