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Recent AV Gadget Reviews

Yamaha MusicCAST2 Preview

Yamaha MusicCAST2 Preview

The new MusicCAST2 introduces a completely new MusicCAST system redesigned from the ground up. The system consists of three different products, the MCX-RC100 Network Music Commander remote, the MCX-P200 Pre-amp Network Music Player, and the MCX-A300 Amplified Network Music Player. It gives you access to Rhapsody, Internet radio, or tracks stored on your computer (up to 16 on a network), USB sticks, and Bluetooth devices (with additional BlueTooth receiver). iTunes is supported as well as MP3, WMA (no lossless or PRO), AAC (no Apple lossless or FairPlay DRM), FLAC and WAV audio files.

The Yamaha MusicCAST2 consists of three different products, the MCX-RC100 Network Music Commander remote, the MCX-P200 Pre-amp Network Music Player, and the MCX-A300 Amplified Network Music Player.

— June 26, 2009 02:20 in AV Gadget Reviews

GefenTV Wireless HDMI Extender 5 GHz Review

GefenTV Wireless HDMI Extender 5 GHz Review

GefenTV uses wireless 802.11n to do its thing and operates in the unlicensed 5GHz band to transmit HDTV. For sure the GefenTV isn't for everyone; if your HDTV isn't wall mounted or your A/V components aren't separated away from the display, there's little need to pay this price just to hide the cables. But if you're looking to cut loose without giving up on HD, it sure beats running cables under carpets or along baseboards, or poking holes in walls or ceilings. So while it might be called a "one-trick pony", it's fair to say that the GefenTV does a competent job of delivering high-definition video and multichannel audio through the airwaves.

GefenTV uses wireless 802.11n to do its thing and operates in the unlicensed 5GHz band to transmit HDTV. At $900 it isn't cheap but it works!

— June 18, 2009 05:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

Monster "Super Thin" HDMI Cables Preview

Monster "Super Thin" HDMI Cables Preview

Monster Cable has come out with what looks to be a truly innovative product. We've seen fat cables and flat cables, cables of all colors, finishes, and lengths. We've tested cables, we've reviewed cables, and we've talked about them to no end. But, for the first time, at least since VizionWire went belly-up, we're seeing a truly thin HDMI cable. At only 3.5mm in diameter (the size of the jack on your headphones), it really is significantly thinner than everything else out there. Monster says it is around 65% thinner than normal HDMI cables! Now that's thin!

Monster Cable has come out with a their Super Thin HDMI cable. At only 3.5mm in diameter (the size of the jack on your headphones), it really is significantly thinner than everything else out there.

— June 11, 2009 08:20 in AV Gadget Reviews

Roundup of Portable Travel Speakers

Roundup of Portable Travel Speakers

With summer here, many of us will find ourselves on the road. Lately I have been spending countless nights in hotels, so I thought it was time to bring you a roundup of portable travel speakers for your laptop, iPod, iPhone, or other MP3 player. There are a wide range of choices that include tiny solutions that sound tiny, as well as some pricey options that are well worth every penny. Most of the speakers I tested fit easily into a backpack or small suitcase. From this roundup, you are sure to find a good fit for your needs.

With summer here, many of us will find ourselves on the road. Lately I have been spending countless nights in hotels, so I thought it was time to bring you a roundup of portable travel speakers for

— June 09, 2009 00:05 in AV Gadget Reviews

Ram Electronics HS Speaker Cable Review

Ram Electronics HS Speaker Cable Review

The Ram Electronics HS series of cables is built on the tried but true Canare 4S11 cable. Since before working for Audioholics the Canare 4S11 cables have been my preferred choice for speaker cables. They may not be the best choice for tight spaces or in-wall runs but they look a lot better than the Belden alternative and generally have a lot of weight and heft to them. They just feel like quality. Ram Electronics is giving you access to these cables with top of the line termination options. While you can find some brands for cheaper, if you're looking for the best construction, looks, and components, the HS cables are for you.

The Ram Electronics HS series of cables is built on the tried but true Canare 4S11 cable. If you're looking for the best construction, looks, and components, the HS cables are for you.

— May 28, 2009 07:25 in AV Gadget Reviews

Atlona Tech AT-HD570 HDMI (1.3) Audio De-Embedder Preview

Atlona Tech AT-HD570 HDMI (1.3) Audio De-Embedder Preview

The AT-HD570 HDMI Audio De-Embedder works with HDMI 1.3 and will strip the audio portion off while maintaining the video. You can output the audio either via TOSLink or analogue while sending the video to your display via the included HDMI output. The technology isn't without its limitations, however. The optical output only supports Dolby Digital 5.1/2 or LPCM 2.0. No word yet on if DTS is supported but we're guessing it isn't. Through the analogue outputs you can get the whole she-bang - as long as you are decoding at the source and sending 7.1 LPCM.

The AT-HD570 HDMI Audio De-Embedder works with HDMI 1.3 and will strip the audio portion off while maintaining the video. You can output the audio either via TOSLink or analogue and video over HDMI.

— May 20, 2009 23:30 in AV Gadget Reviews

Kimber Kable 4PR & 8PR Speaker Cable Review

Kimber Kable 4PR & 8PR Speaker Cable Review

I am a big fan of the Kimber 8PR speaker cables. I fell in love with their banana terminations and the quality of materials used in this product. If you are on the market for high end exotic cables and your goal is transparency over glorified tone controls, then I highly recommend the Kimber 8PR speaker cables. It’s refreshing to find an exotic cable vendor that discloses all performance metrics of their products, doesn’t wrap them in snake oil and delivers a reference level performing product that scores high in pride of ownership.

I am a big fan of the Kimber 8PR speaker cables. I fell in love with their banana terminations and the quality of materials used in this product.

— May 19, 2009 21:35 in AV Gadget Reviews

Cables To Go TruLink Wireless USB to VGA Adapter Kit Review

Cables To Go TruLink Wireless USB to VGA Adapter Kit Review

USB has highly impacted our way of interacting with computer devices. With the modern wireless craze, it was only a matter of time before we’d be streaming our video without the need of obtrusive cables. The Cables to Go TruLink™ USB to VGA Adaptor kit provides a solution which can eliminate annoying computer cables. It relies on a wired USB to VGA adapter, factory-coupled to a wireless USB adapter. Can this be the answer for your wireless streaming needs? Read the review to find out.

USB has highly impacted our way of interacting with computer devices. With the modern wireless craze, it was only a matter of time before we’d be streaming our video without the need of obtrusive

Samir Lissa — April 22, 2009 19:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

Planet Waves ZM Series Cables & Custom Installation Kit Review

Planet Waves ZM Series Cables & Custom Installation Kit Review

The Planet Waves Custom Installation Tool Kit comes with a Planet Waves Triple Cutter and a Screwdriver. The Triple Cutter is designed to cut single, dual and triple coax runs and is designed to fit comfortably in the hand and be used safely. Planet Waves has also put out a new line of high-end connectors, dubbed the ZM Series which are actually two-parts: a base which fastens to the coaxial cable and a "tip" which screws onto the base. If you're jumping ahead, you've probably figured out what took me only 10 short seconds to realize - the tips are interchangeable. This is a one-two punch that is revolutionizing the way we handle making custom interconnects.

The Planet Waves Custom Installation Tool Kit is revolutionizing the way we handle making custom interconnects. If you want to make your own cables, you'll want to read on.

— April 21, 2009 03:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

HD-Products PowerBridge Total Solution Slim-Line In-wall Power Kit Review

HD-Products PowerBridge Total Solution Slim-Line In-wall Power Kit Review

The HD-Products PowerBridge Total Solution Slim-Line In-Wall Power Extension and Cable Kit is a complete and very satisfying product. After working as an electrician for 30 years at Pennsylvania's Bethlehem Steel, and owning my own Home Improvement business, I was pleasantly surprised at the ease of installation and the quality of this product. The process left me wondering why more people don't hide away their cables and mount their flat panels on the wall. I would highly recommend this product to both individuals and custom installers because of its versatility, ease of installation, and the quality of construction. It's simply a solid solution for a common installation situation.

The HD-Products PowerBridge Total Solution Slim-Line In-Wall Power Extension and Cable Kit is easy to install and very high quality. Recommended.

William N. Snyder — April 20, 2009 07:35 in AV Gadget Reviews

Linksys by Cisco Premier Kit Wireless Music System Review

Linksys by Cisco Premier Kit Wireless Music System Review

Cisco seems to understand the need to expand and grow. Needs change; we are not the same person we were 10 years ago, or even last year. If I want a house be full of music one day, and the next, I just want to listen to music on my headphones, then so be it. That progressive adaptability is what the Linksys Wireless Music System provides. Linksys takes some of the latest wireless technology, asks you where you want music, and then responds, "I can do that."

Progressive adaptability is what the Linksys Wireless Music System provides. Linksys takes some of the latest wireless technology, asks you where you want music, and then responds, "I can do that."

Aaron Howard — April 03, 2009 12:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

Ram Electronics I-Extreme iPod Cable Review

Ram Electronics I-Extreme iPod Cable Review

The Ram Electronics I-Extreme Cables connect to your iDevice and have a variety of connection types. They are covered in a deep blue texflex covering with light blue accents. The ends are terminated with black hardware. There is an RCA version and two 3.5mm versions - one straight and one with a right angle. All the conductors are silver plated Teflon insulated and the wires are dual twisted. These cables have the highest build quality of any cable in its price point. The only similarly constructed cables are double the price or more than the Ram offerings.

The Ram Electronics I-Extreme Cables connect to your iDevice and have a variety of connection types. The only similarly constructed cables are double the price or more than the Ram offerings.

— March 17, 2009 08:40 in AV Gadget Reviews

Skooba Design Checkthrough Brief Laptop Bag Review

Skooba Design Checkthrough Brief Laptop Bag Review

We do a lot of travel, and stopping to remove a laptop from your carry-on luggage is one of the things that, like removing your shoes, slows down the boarding process more than all other inconveniences combined. Skooba Design has produced the new Checkthrough Brief with TSA approval that allows you to split the bag in half and feed it through the x-ray machine without any need to remove your laptop computer. It's convenient, it's easy, and it works.

We do a lot of travel, and stopping to remove a laptop from your carry-on luggage is one of the things that, like removing your shoes, slows down the boarding process more than all other

— March 15, 2009 19:35 in AV Gadget Reviews

DISH Network ViP 722 Receiver/DVR Review

DISH Network ViP 722 Receiver/DVR Review

DISH Network brings an interesting take on the DVR with the ViP 722 satellite receiver. This DVR is a dual-tuner, two-TV receiver that allows 55 hours of high definition record time, or 350 hours of standard definition (or a combination of both). What's helpful about this receiver is that it comes with an RF remote control that enables non-line-of-sight control of the unit from other rooms. This means that while the HD tuner is used in one room, the system can be controlled elsewhere - like in a bedroom.

The DISH Network ViP 722 satellite receiver is a dual-tuner DVR, two-TV receiver that allows 55 hours of high definition record time, or 350 hours of standard definition that comes with an RF remote.

— March 13, 2009 06:20 in AV Gadget Reviews