“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

Recent AV Gadget Reviews

Rocketfish WirelessHD Adapter Preview

Rocketfish WirelessHD Adapter Preview

Rocketfish has released through Best Buy their new wireless HDMI solution called WirelessHD. The WirelessHD Adaptors consists of two boxes (a sending a receiving unit), two 4 foot HDMI cables, two mounting brackets, and two AC adapters all for $600. According to Rocketfish, the WirelessHD Adapters can send a single 1080p HDMI source wirelessly up to 32-7/8' and supports 120Hz refresh rate, Deep Color, and 7.1 audio (specified as Dolby TrueHD and DRT-HD which is probably supposed to be DTS-HD).

Rocketfish has released their new WirelessHD Adapters which consists of two boxes (a sending a receiving unit), two 4 foot HDMI cables, two mounting brackets, and two AC adapters all for $600.

— December 07, 2009 02:25 in AV Gadget Reviews

Altec Lansing MIX Digital Boombox Review

Altec Lansing MIX Digital Boombox Review

The idea of another device aimed at amplifying sound from an iPod or iPhone wasn’t all that appealing. But when I realized that it wasn’t your typical amplification device and that it was made by Altec Lansing, I decided that it was worth a shot. Altec Lansing has been a well-known name in the audio arena for many years now, so when I had the opportunity to take the MIX Digital Boombox for a spin, I was intrigued to see how they would distinguish themselves from the competition. They were not only able to set themselves apart with superior sound quality, but also with a unique design. They were able to cater to the retro in all of us by bringing back the boombox that was so popular in the 80’s, while at the same time giving it a modern makeover. The result? An appealing blend of old and new that even the most trendy won’t be embarrassed to carry around.

Altec Lansing has been a well-known name in the audio arena for many years now, so when I had the opportunity to take the MIX Digital Boombox for a spin, I was intrigued to say the least.

— November 28, 2009 15:45 in AV Gadget Reviews

Olive Opus 4HD Hi-Fi Music Server Preview

Olive Opus 4HD Hi-Fi Music Server Preview

The Olive Opus 4HD is the top of the line offering from Olive. This product is encased in a stylish aluminum case with a slated front in either black or silver. With Texas Instruments' 192khz/24-bit Burr-Brown PCM1792A DACs and 2TB of storage - it has everything you need. It seems that every new device on the market either has an Ethernet port or has wireless connectivity. This is bringing services like Netflix and Amazon OnDemand into the living room. It is also allowing streaming from networked computers. Newer receiver and display products are coming with this and more.But do you need it?

The Olive Opus 4HD is the top of the line offering from Olive. With Texas Instruments' 192khz/24--bit Burr-Brown PCM1792A DACs and 2TB of storage - it has everything you need. But do you need it?

— November 26, 2009 01:45 in AV Gadget Reviews

Sanus Elements ELM805 PowerBridge Preview

Sanus Elements ELM805 PowerBridge Preview

When I see all those lovely installs of flatscreens on HGTV or DIY Network usually two things come to mind - first, where are the speakers and second, how did they run the power. For those that want to install a flatpanel like a pro, the Sanus ELM805 PowerBridge might be the product for you. Like other in-wall power solutions, this is basically an in-wall extension cord that is up to code and won't burn your house down. The Sanus ELM805 PowerBridge comes with two faceplates and a 6 foot extension cord. The faceplates come in white or black and feature power connection (male on one, female on the other) and an open channel for running your video/audio connections.

The Sanus ELM805 PowerBridge iss basically an in-wall extension cord that is up to code and won't burn your house down. The Sanus ELM805 PowerBridge comes with two faceplates and a 6' extension cord.

— November 17, 2009 01:15 in AV Gadget Reviews

Eviant T7 Portable 7" LCD TV Review

Eviant T7 Portable 7" LCD TV Review

Very few of the portable LCD TVs available on the market are from what we would refer to as mainstream manufacturers. As a result, we are greeted with an influx of new names with which to familiarize ourselves. Eviant is a name I had not been familiar with, and indeed the company only seems to make two portable LCD TV products – the T7 7" and T4 4.3" models. That's a considerable amount of specialization and, with the wide product availability we've seen in many retailers, products need to stand out in order to be selected from the sea of available models.

Eviant is a name you may not be familiar with, but they built some excellent features into the T7 that differ it from the competition and help make it a decent choice amongst its competition.

— October 15, 2009 04:15 in AV Gadget Reviews

Panamax-Furman MIW-XT Remote Power Review

Panamax-Furman MIW-XT Remote Power Review

If you want a flat panel to "float" on a wall, you're going to need to run power to it without risking burning down the house. The Panamax-Furman MIW-XT is an all-in-one solution that might just fit your needs. With a dedicated power run and a space for a Decora-style insert, adaptor for keystone inserts, or a rubber grommet passthrough, the Panamax-Furman MIW-XT can accommodate your power and cabling needs.

The Panamax-Furman MIW-XT is an all-in-one solution that allows you to conveniently and safely run power from one location to another. It also includes a plate for passing through HDMI and data.

— September 23, 2009 05:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

Pioneer Phones Home with new ETAP Networking Product

Pioneer Phones Home with new ETAP Networking Product

Pioneers new magic "ET" box they demoed at CEDIA was out of this world. Pioneer's ETAP focus is downloading, streaming and storage of personal media with a home theater approach to delivering networked media in the living room. Think Media PC without the PC. The ability to copy what they refer to as “content managed Blu-ray discs” is pretty awesome. The Pioneer reps also talked about the ability of stacking up to 14 hard drives for an almost limitless data storage and streaming solution. During the demo, we watched Blu-ray discs streamed to an iPhone which was icing on this dream cake we are all wanting to take a bite from. Best of all, it seems the retail price is targeted to be less than their flagship Blu-ray player (around $1500-$2k). Availability is uncertain, but you can expect consumers lining up to the door when they start shipping.

Pioneers new ET Media Box, is capable of downloading, streaming and storage of personal media with a home theater approach to delivering networked media in the living room. Think Media PC sans the PC.

— September 21, 2009 15:43 in AV Gadget Reviews

Gefen HDMI v1.3 CAT-5/6 ELR Future Proof Extender Preview

Gefen HDMI v1.3 CAT-5/6 ELR Future Proof Extender Preview

For some technical or licensing reason, Gefen cannot apparently call this an HDMI 1.4 product, likely due to the fact that it wasn't certified as such when it headed into final production. They do, however call it an HDMI 1.3 product that is "Future-Proof" with support for HDMI 1.4, allowing Ethernet support and the return audio channel functionality. The HDMI v1.3 CAT-5 Extra Long Range (ELR) Extender allows installers, with just one CAT-5e or CAT-6 cable, to carry the 1080p full HD resolutions of HDMI with Ethernet and IR back channel up to 330 feet (100m) in distance.

The Gefen HDMI v1.3 CAT-5/6 ELR Future Proof Extender can't be called HDMI 1.4 compatible, allowing Ethernet support and the return audio channel functionality. But it is. Trust us.

— September 11, 2009 19:30 in AV Gadget Reviews

Preview: Dish Network One-Ups CableCARD with USB and Microsoft

Preview: Dish Network One-Ups CableCARD with USB and Microsoft

We don't have a ton of info on this, but DISH Network was demoing a cool new technology that made use of Windows 7 Media Center and integrates Dual HD Tuners via USB. What's so interesting about this is that it bypasses the ridiculous CableCARD format in favor of using the existing USB standard. What? Bypass an all-but-failed CableCARD format for a standard already used and which takes up less space and can be more easily integrated into existing equipment? That's preposterous. Apparently, someone over at DISH Network (and Microsoft) are putting on their thinking caps and doing some real innovation in terms of bringing DISH to Windows Media Center.

We don't have a ton of info on this, but DISH Network was demoing a cool new technology that made use of Windows 7 Media Center and integrates Dual HD Tuners via USB. This is very cool.

— September 11, 2009 16:50 in AV Gadget Reviews

IOGEAR HDMI Control Center Preview

IOGEAR HDMI Control Center Preview

Listen up control freaks! IOGEAR has your number. As long as that number is no more than four, because that’s the number of ports on IOGEAR’s HDMI Control Center - their latest effort to bring unity to your HDMI based A/V system. It’s an interesting product already dropping out of the CEDIA 2009 Expo: IOGEAR HDMI Control Center, and it looks like the complete solution if you find yourself in need of a few HDMI ports. But be warned, it ain’t your father’s 4-port-HDMI switch.

The IOGEAR HDMI Control Center ain’t your father’s 4-port-HDMI switch. It supports a wireless keyboard with a trackball for HTPC control. Who is it for? We're not really sure.

— September 09, 2009 13:35 in AV Gadget Reviews

Audio Authority Cat5e Component Video/Digital Audio Extender Preview

Audio Authority Cat5e Component Video/Digital Audio Extender Preview

Distributed audio may not be the sexiest of AV topics, but when you need it, you really need it. Ram Electronics is now offering Audio Authority Component Video and Digital Audio extenders that can send signals up to 700 feet over Cat5e unpowered, or up to 1000 feet by providing power. When you start pricing preterminated cables, you'll quickly find that the SCP-11 baluns represent quite a value even for much shorter than their maximum distances.

Audio Authority Component Video and Digital Audio extenders can send signals up to 700 feet over Cat5e unpowered, or up to 1000 feet by providing power. Ram Electronic is shipping these now.

— August 09, 2009 21:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

Atlona Technologies HDAiR USB to HDMI Wirelessly Preview

Atlona Technologies HDAiR USB to HDMI Wirelessly Preview

The Atlona Technologies HDAiR is a wireless USB to HDMI or VGA adapter designed to bring your computer content directly to your home theater without the hassle of wires. The HDAiR is capable of transmitting up to 720p resolutions 30 ft via a UWB signal. The downside? No audio. The most obvious application of this device is in a professional setting for presentation purposes. As both HDMI and VGA ports are active simultaneously, you could theoretically feed two different displays at the same time. In an HTPC setup where you are using either a laptop or an older PC (not too old with the system requirements) you could maybe use this if conditions were just right.

The Atlona Technologies HDAiR is a wireless USB to HDMI or VGA adapter designed to bring your computer content directly to your home theater without the hassle of wires.

— July 17, 2009 02:55 in AV Gadget Reviews

Monoprice Component & S/PDIF Digital Coax/Optical Toslink Audio to HDMI Converter Review

Monoprice Component & S/PDIF Digital Coax/Optical Toslink Audio to HDMI Converter Review

With changing technology, people often come up with problems that require very specialized solutions. If you need a product like the Monoprice Component & S/PDIF Digital Coax/Optical Toslink Audio to HDMI Converter, you really need it. While the unit isn't without its quirks, it does perform (mostly) as advertised. If you're tired of having to switch inputs on your display but don't want to upgrade your TV/receiver, the Component & S/PDIF Digital Coax/Optical Toslink Audio to HDMI Converter might be just what you're looking for.

Monoprice Component & S/PDIF Digital Coax/Optical Toslink Audio to HDMI Converter does what it says. While it isn't without its quirks, it does work. Mostly.

— July 15, 2009 02:20 in AV Gadget Reviews

Marantz SA-KI Pearl SACD Player Preview

Marantz SA-KI Pearl SACD Player Preview

Marantz's high end offerings have impressed us in the past. The new line gets away from the unique gold styling that so caught our eye for the more traditional black with blue lights that has been adopted by just about everyone. According to Marantz, they have a "silk-black" finish but that may not be enough to have this gear stand out. The SA-KI Pearl SACD Player is a $3,000 unit that can play stereo SACDs, CD, and CD-R/RW and is compatible with CD-DA, MP3, and WMA files. Of course, the unit is completely overbuilt but is it enough to justify the cost?

The Marantz SA-KI Pearl SACD Player is an audiophile SACD/CD player at a more down to earth price not out of reach of those most passionate about the hobby.

— July 01, 2009 03:50 in AV Gadget Reviews