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Recent AV Gadget Reviews

Russound DMS-3.1 Digital Media Streamer Preview

Russound DMS-3.1 Digital Media Streamer Preview

Russound debuted their new DMS-3.1 Digital Media Streamer, which is part of their C-Series line of multiroom audio products. It's not inexpensive, coming in at around $2,100 (MAP). The new media server will deliver up to 3 digital audio streams for whole home audio systems and installations. The sources for these three audio signals may be from the Internet or from music files on connected storage devices. A fourth simultaneous signal is available from the DMS-3.1’s built-in AM/FM stereo tuner. The server is one rack unit (1U) tall and features three pairs of stereo audio output jacks for each of the audio streams plus another pair for the tuner. A Source ID Switch lets each stream identify itself easily within the system. The new DMS-3.1 is designed to work with Russound C-Series controllers and multiroom audio systems. The DMS-3.1 connects to the controller via an Ethernet LAN (wired RJ45) home network connection. The DMS-3.1 can also play back audio files on LAN-connected DLNA devices, such as network drives, which may be located in various rooms throughout the home.

Russound debuted their new DMS-3.1 Digital Media Streamer, which is part of their C-Series line of multiroom audio products. It's not inexpensive, coming in at around $2,100 (MAP).

— October 14, 2011 06:30 in AV Gadget Reviews

Altec inMotion iMT630 Classic and Sport Speaker Preview

Altec inMotion iMT630 Classic and Sport Speaker Preview

Altec Lansing just introduced its new inMotion iMT630 Classic and Sport speaker systems for iPhone and iPod. The inMotion iMT630 Classic and Sport speakers are designed to be ultra-portable audio solutions. With a rechargeable battery, the iMT630is quite portable, putting out sound through a pair of 2-inch stereo drivers. The iMT630 has a pretty unique style, and features fluid aesthetics with rounded corners. The Classic is available in Black, while the Sport model can be purchased in Teal and Red and closely resembles a clutch purse when carried in the hand (good for girls... not so hot for guys).

Altec Lansing just introduced its new inMotion iMT630 Classic and Sport Speaker systems for iPhone and iPod. The inMotion iMT630 Classic and Sport speakers are designed to be ultra-portable and fun.

— October 04, 2011 03:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

Denon DNP-720AE Network Audio Player Preview

Denon DNP-720AE Network Audio Player Preview

Who is the target audience for the Denon DNP-720AE Networkd Audio Player? Obviously custom installers but we think there are quite a few others that will be interested. With Apple's AirPlay on board, you have just about all the advanced network features available on the market without having to upgrade your receiver. Of course, for a couple hundred over the $500 price point of the DNP-720AE, you could upgrade your receiver. But if you really love your current equipment but want to add networking, the DNP-720AE could be the box for you.

With Apple's AirPlay on board plus DLNA/Windows 7 and other streaming, the Denon DNP-720AE has just about all the network features available on the market without having to upgrade your receiver.

— September 26, 2011 00:35 in AV Gadget Reviews

Velodyne WiConnect Wireless System Preview

Velodyne WiConnect Wireless System Preview

It seems like all the big A/V players are coming out with wireless subwoofer devices. Velodyne is no different with their new WiConnect System which is a high speed wireless receiver and transmitter kit that enables subwoofers of any size to wirelessly connect to an entertainment system. Designed by Velodyne engineers, the wireless Velodyne WiConnect System will deliver the full range of bass performance at up to 50 feet, giving users a wide range of set-up flexibility. There is NO excuse now for those pondering a multiple subwoofer system lacking the ability to run cable across the room. Now you can have your bass and enjoy it too!

Velodyne's new WiConnect wireless connection system allows an end user to wirelessly connect up to 4 subwoofers.

— September 15, 2011 21:05 in AV Gadget Reviews

Sony SMP-N200 Streaming Player Preview

Sony SMP-N200 Streaming Player Preview

At CEDIA 2011 this year, we got a glimpse of Sony Electronics' new SMP-N200 Streaming Player. What sets this apart is that it adds 3D streaming capability (for compatible movies) in addition to streaming content from Netflix, YouTube, Amazon on Demand, Pandora, Hulu Plus, Video Unlimited, VUDU and more. You can connect the box to your television via HDMI or component and, if you are living in the stone ages: composite. The SMP-N200 includes 802.11n WiFi, so you don't have to rush out and buy a new TV just to get the latest streaming media sources - just connect this to your existing set. Best yet, the SMP-N200 hits the shelves in the U.S. in October for around $99.99. It's only problem is that the latest Roku is smaller and less expensive. Sony is banking that advertising 3D - and supporting the latest streaming movies services (nearly all of them, in fact) will save the day.

At CEDIA 2011 this year, we got a glimpse of Sony Electronics' new SMP-N200 Streaming Player. What sets this apart is that it adds 3D streaming capability (for compatible movies) and TONS of streaming

— September 15, 2011 11:40 in AV Gadget Reviews

Aperion Audio Zona Home Audio Link (HAL) Preview

Aperion Audio Zona Home Audio Link (HAL) Preview

We spend a lot of time encouraging people to use multiple subwoofers, but rarely explain just how that might be made easier in homes where running wires is cumbersome or near-impossible due to the layout of the room. Aperion Audio seems to have recognized this and is providing a solution with the Zona Home Audio Link (HAL). Aperion is pitching this affordable $149 solution to those for whom running wires across a room is going to present a significant detriment to buying surrounds or a subwoofer. The Aperion HAL system works via a separate Send and Receive unit. The Send unit transmits high quality uncompressed audio up to 100 feet. Now this can be your surround channels, or just some music from your PC or any other audio source. This means you can stream music from your computer, your home theater, your MP3 player or any other audio source to almost any speaker system in your home!

Aperion is pitching the affordable $149 Zona Home Audio Link (HAL) solution to those for whom running wires across a room is going to present a significant detriment to buying surrounds or a subwoofer

— September 14, 2011 20:50 in AV Gadget Reviews

DISH Tailgater Portable Satellite Antenna Preview

DISH Tailgater Portable Satellite Antenna Preview

DISH Network had their new Tailgater on-hand, which is essentially a VuCube (but far cheaper) that is designed to seamlessly and easily integrate with the DISH ViP211k satellite receiver. In this way you can have a very portable, very lightweight and compact system for tailgating parties or whatever outdoor television watching needs you might have. The Tailgater automatically locates DISH Network's satellites and connects quickly to a TV and the ViP 211k set-top box. DISH also provides a pay-as-you-go programming plan, so you can really get a lot of use out of this system without having to already be a DISH subscriber - it really works well for anybody.

DISH Network had their new Tailgater on-hand, which is essentially a VuCube (but far cheaper) that is designed to seamlessly and easily integrate with the DISH ViP211k satellite receiver.

— September 10, 2011 09:25 in AV Gadget Reviews

Accell UltraCat HDBaseT Extenders Preview

Accell UltraCat HDBaseT Extenders Preview

We're big fans of HDBaseT, having covered the technology in depth since its debut and cheering it on to take on a greater role in finally "networking" home theater components. Now, Accell has shown off a new and innovative Cat6e/6-based "UltraCat HD Extender" based on the HDBaseT standard. It provides HDMI over a single Cat5e/6 cable and does it for long runs of up to 328 feet (100 meters). In fact, it does more than just HDMI. The system transmits and receives uncompressed full HD digital video, uncompressed 7.1 audio, 100BaseT Ethernet, RS232C control signal and even infrared control signals over a single Cat5e/6 cable! That is nothing short of amazing. And it's not a minimum supporter of HD either, it can send and receive full 1080p, 4K and even 3D signals.

Accell has shown off a new and innovative Cat6e/6-based "UltraCat HD Extender" based on the HDBaseT standard. It provides HDMI over a single Cat5e/6 cable and does it for long runs of up to 328 feet!

— September 08, 2011 05:40 in AV Gadget Reviews

Accell AVGrip Pro Locking HDMI Cable Preview

Accell AVGrip Pro Locking HDMI Cable Preview

Accell is a cable and A/V switching company that bombards us with every new thing that the company puts out - and they put out a lot of products. This week, the company got our attention with a new type of HDMI cable designed to prevent the cables from falling out - a common issue with HDMI, particularly with heavier gauge cables. The new cable is called the AVGrip Pro Locking High Speed HDMI Cable. It's available in nearly any length imaginable - provided your imagination stops at 1 foot. While it's particularly suited for rack mount installations, the 1-foot limitation leaves us wanting more... more length options.

Accell released a new locking HDMI cable called the AVGrip Pro Locking High Speed HDMI Cable. It's available in nearly any length imaginable - provided your imagination stops at 3 feet.

— September 08, 2011 05:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

Dymo Rhino 4200 Label Printer Preview

Dymo Rhino 4200 Label Printer Preview

Affordability and usability are, apparently, no longer mutually exclusive with respect to pro-quality label printers. Dymo Industrial has just introduced its newest Rhino 4200 labeling tool. This one s a compact, easy-to-use professional label printer that comes in at an almost unbelievable $79.99 price point. The Dymo Rhino 4200 is built purposefully for the professional electrician, custom installer, or tradesman who needs to prints labels up to 3/4" wide in a variety of materials and colors. It can even print directly onto heat-shrink tubing - which si very cool if you're looking to do two things at once or want top brand your own cables or installation job. We reviewed the Dymo Rhino Pro 5200 and 6000 label printers before and the 4200 also includes many of the same features, like one-touch “Hot Keys” that quickly create and format wire/cable wraps, flags, fixed-length labels and more. A "Favorites" key delivers single-key access to your most commonly used labels and you can even save settings for individual label formats to custom keys. Reproducibility is not a problem with the 4200.

Affordability and usability are, apparently, no longer mutually exclusive with respect to pro-quality label printers. Dymo Industrial has just introduced its newest Rhino 4200 labeling tool.

— September 07, 2011 19:40 in AV Gadget Reviews

Zoom H4n Handy Recorder Review

Zoom H4n Handy Recorder Review

A tool like the Zoom H4n Handy Recorder is a really amazing little box that has so many features we can't even get into all of them now. I mean it's a guitar and bass tuner, a metronome. It's a universal remote control... not really, but that would be so COOL. Anyway, the H4n is a true workhorse and a dream machine for anyone who needs to capture good quality audio. Every now and again we'll cross over into another area that fascinates us as audioholics - this time it's production audio. Of course, even this video requires that we capture audio in a way that delivers good quality sound so we can edit without worrying whether everything is audible. On top of that, we need a solution that's better than the microphone found on most cameras.

The Zoom H4n Handy Recorder is a really amazing little box that can take both XLR and 1/4" mics and line level inputs. Also, the preamp on this thing is excellent and it records at up to 24bit/96kHz.

— September 07, 2011 08:05 in AV Gadget Reviews

Sony Tablets S and P Preview

Sony Tablets S and P Preview

Can Sony take on Apple's iPad? The company today announced pre-sale of two new Sony Tablet devices (incidentally, Sony trademarked the "Tablet" name, which just goes to show how much the patent and trademark offices need to be utterly reformed). The new tablets will ship with the Android 3.2 "Honeycomb" OS and have some very unique styling that aims to improve on ergonomics and the way people utilize touchscreen devices. The Sony Tablet S looks like a notebook with its cover folded back on itself, and its 9.4" multi-touch display seems to directly take on the iPad. The Tablet S uses the brand new NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, which is designed specifically for mobile applications. Weighing around 1.3 lbs., the Tablet S should be very portable and we really like the styling to be honest. Sony is hoping that its new Tablet tablets (they deserve that, after all they named it!) will be recognized for having optimally designed hardware and software, excellent touchscreen response, solid network entertainment features and the ability to work well with other devices like PCs, smart phones and even Sony televisions.

Can Sony take on Apple's iPad? The company today announced pre-sale of two new Sony Tablet devices (incidentally, Sony trademarked the "Tablet" name, which just goes to show how much the patent and

— September 02, 2011 03:30 in AV Gadget Reviews

Concord Keystone ECO NautiCase iPhone 4 Case Review

Concord Keystone ECO NautiCase iPhone 4 Case Review

When we got wind that a new iPhone 4 case was coming to market we said we'd give it a try. Trouble is, the company that brought it to bear, Concord Keystone, must have missed a few memos regarding how to make a successful iPhone 4 case and, as a result, they made some mistakes that render us unable to recommend the product as it currently stands. Starting with the good, the NautiCase is IP54-rated which is to say it's well-shielded (and certified) against dust and water spray - that's more than we can say for a majority of cases on the market today. While they may keep your iPhone 4 from cracking when dropped, get caught in the rain and you may find your device totaled in a short amount of time.

When we got wind that a new iPhone 4 case was coming to market we said we'd give it a try. Trouble is, Concord Keystone, must have missed a few memos regarding how to make an effective iPhone 4 case.

— September 01, 2011 09:10 in AV Gadget Reviews

NAD C 446 Digital Media Player Preview

NAD C 446 Digital Media Player Preview

The NAD C 446 looks to pick up the streaming ball dropped by some of their recent receiver offerings. With on board FM/AM tuner (with optimized performance and transcoding to optical digital output), UPnP and DLNA compatibility, Last.fm and vTuner support, the C 446 is a good start. Unfortunately, that's all it has. With manufacturers offering receivers at around the same price as the NAD C 446 ($800 MSRP) with better streaming options and a full receiver to boot, it's hard to see how consumers are supposed to get excited by this offering.

The NAD C 446 has an on board FM/AM tuner (with optimized performance and transcoding to optical digital output), UPnP and DLNA compatibility, Last.fm and vTuner support, the C 446 is a good start.

— August 17, 2011 04:50 in AV Gadget Reviews