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Recent AV Gadget Reviews

Escient FireBall DVDM-300 Review

Escient FireBall DVDM-300 Review

HTPCs have made some headway moving from the den into the living room in recent years. Many who have created their own movie management system understand the difficulties inherent in integrating a functional movie/music management system, much less a user friendly one. Oodles of wires, keyboards, hours organizing and managing the system are all common occurrences. Enter the Escient FireBall DVDM-300. An "all in one"movie and music management/storage solution designed to take the headaches out of the HTPC and create a functional, user friendly environment that EVERYONE in the family can enjoy.

The Escient FireBall DVDM-300 pairs with a Sony 400 DVD changer to bring you state of the art (and legal) management system that makes you feel like you are living in a hotel.

— November 24, 2005 18:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

Motorola homesight Home Monitoring and Security System Review

Motorola homesight Home Monitoring and Security System Review

Motorola is not a name traditionally associated with custom home installation products. However, a company well-known for its networking and communications hardware & software is more suited for this market than people may think. When I first heard of the Motorola homesight system I was hit by the overall impression - "well that makes a lot of sense." I mean, why should a company so good at making network hardware not apply that knowledge towards home monitoring and control?

The Motorola homesight system is designed to secure your home and allow both local and remote monitoring as well as system status and activity recording. It works with an existing broadband connection

— October 19, 2005 19:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

River Cable Flexygy 8 Speaker Cable Review

River Cable Flexygy 8 Speaker Cable Review

The River Cable Flexygy 8 flat speaker cable doesn't fall under the "poorly designed" category by any means. It's a superbly built product that provides higher installation flexibility because of its flat design and ultra low capacitance and resistance. It's well thought out in that you can order it from the manufacturer terminated either for low inductance or low capacitance to better suit your needs. At $373.69 for a 3 meter pair, the Flexygy 8 came in at a 90% cost premium to my favorite cable in their product line. Is it worth it? You decide.

The River Cable Flexygy 8 flat speaker cable is a superbly built product that provides higher installation flexibility because of its flat design and ultra low capacitance and resistance.

— September 20, 2005 19:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

CyberLink PowerDVD 6 Deluxe Software Review

CyberLink PowerDVD 6 Deluxe Software Review

PowerDVD 6 Deluxe is an application that is simple to use and has a well-thought out and flexible interface. There have been some significant upgrades since Version 5 includng Dolby Pro Logic IIx support and Smart adaptive video deinterlacing.

PowerDVD 6 Deluxe is an application that is simple to use and has a well-thought out and flexible interface. There have been some significant upgrades since Version 5 includng Dolby Pro Logic IIx

— September 15, 2005 20:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

WinDVD 7 Platinum DVD Player Software Review

WinDVD 7 Platinum DVD Player Software Review

WinDVD 7 Platinum is designed for movie nuts, bleeding-edge technology aficionados and even has some excellent features optimized for business travelers. There is a host of new features in version 7 including UPnP player, H.264 support, brand new interface design & controls, and external subtitiles control.

WinDVD 7 Platinum is designed for movie nuts, bleeding-edge technology aficionados and even has some excellent features optimized for business travelers. There is a host of new features in version 7

— August 31, 2005 20:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

Memina Pocket Rocket 2GB USB Drive Review

Memina Pocket Rocket 2GB USB Drive Review

With lower prices comes a market targeting better ergonomics, higher performance, and larger storage options. Memina stepped up to the plate with their Pocket Rocket series which is available in 512MB, 1GB and 2GB sizes (and they are currently readying a 4GB model for release this year). Like most of these style of USB dives, the Pocket Rocket is small, weighing in at only 0.3 ounces. This makes it the same weight as my wedding band, and lighter than many mainstream competing drives. It can connect directly to any computer with a USB port, and while it is USB 1.1 compatible - if you're paying the premium for speed make sure you have USB 2.0. It comes with both a USB extension cable and a custom Dock-IT, which gives you a fixed place to quickly attach/detach any portable USB peripherals (not just the Pocket Rocket.

With lower prices comes a market targeting better ergonomics, higher performance, and larger storage options. Memina stepped up to the plate with their Pocket Rocket series which is available in

— August 09, 2005 20:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

Slim Devices Squeezebox v2 Review

Slim Devices Squeezebox v2 Review

Since the introduction of their SLIMP3 system in 2001, Slim Devices has captured the hearts of audio enthusiasts everywhere by producing affordable, scalable solutions that focus solely on audio. Their newest development, the Squeezebox v2, is the next product from a company that appears to be focused on continually improving its product platform. The Squeezebox2 is not a video server, it doesn't display your photos or have TV outputs for on-screen display. It focuses solely on serving audio to an external powered system, whether located in your office, bedroom, or home theater. In addition, the Squeezebox v2 seems dedicated to maximizing audio quality and providing a flexible interface that has room to grow and adapt to new formats.

The Slim Devices Squeezebox v2 focuses solely on serving audio to an external powered system, whether located in your office, bedroom, or home theater and is dedicated to maximizing audio quality.

— July 05, 2005 19:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

Sonos Digital Music System Review

Sonos Digital Music System Review

The Sonos Digital Music System stands out from the vast landscape of digital music systems for good reason. Its uniqueness and attention to detail earns it a place at what should be the top of everyone's shopping list. The Sonos LCD Controller is the icing on what is a very robust cake, taking a well-thought-out music system and making it excellent. I actually had fun reviewing this product and, in fact, couldn't stop talking about all of the features and conveniences offered by the system and the wireless Controller. This is a statement piece that brings together the best of whole house audio and your portable media music collection.

The Sonos Digital Music System stands out from the vast landscape of digital music systems for good reason. Its uniqueness and attention to detail will surely make the Sonos a very popular choice.

— June 21, 2005 19:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

Speaker Cable Faceoff 3 - The DIY Shootout

Speaker Cable Faceoff 3 - The DIY Shootout

This effort is an offshoot of my search for a decent performing large OD cable, which will be used for my DIY speaker cables. When I bought my first really good pair of speakers, the salesman sort of talked me into a set of Monster MCX-1S cables. I had been/ am a zip cord type of guy and did not know any better. Well, after purchasing those particular cables, and speakers, I had a bit of buyers remorse. Not over the $1400 pair of speakers, but the $75 pair of cables. Ever wonder how DIY speaker cables compare to the name brands? Wonder no more. We have the definitive guide.

In this review, we tell you how to make DIY speaker cables. Ever wonder how DIY speaker cables compare to the name brands? Wonder no more. We have the definitive guide.

Thomas Goldsworthy — April 30, 2005 19:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

ADSTech Instant DVD+DV Review

ADSTech Instant DVD+DV Review

ADS Tech is a worldwide company specializing in USB and IEEE-1394/FireWire solutions for the personal computer. Since the company's inception in 1992, the cornerstone of the company's success has been to introduce niche or high-end technologies to the consumer marketplace with quality devices sold at a reasonable cost. Over the years, ADS Technologies, Inc. has brought a wide range of products to market including VGA-to-TV scan converters, video capture and TV Tuner cards, which enabled ADS Technologies to sustain steady growth and sales during the mid-1990's. They have only continued in growth and now manufacture higher end products marketed under the “PYRO” brand in addition to their more consumer-oriented products.

ADS Tech is a worldwide company specializing in USB and IEEE-1394/FireWire solutions for the personal computer. Since the company's inception in 1992, the cornerstone of the company's success has

— April 24, 2005 20:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

Ready to Play CD Ripping Service

Ready to Play CD Ripping Service

We hear from a lot of custom installers at Audioholics. This may be due in part to our coverage of trade shows and it might be due to the many articles we have written on select CEDIA classes. In either case, there is a common issue that needs to be dealt with when installing the ever-more-popular music server systems: getting the music onto the hard drives for playback. While a majority of these systems feature easy loading and digitization procedures, the simple fact remains that neither the client nor the installer wants to go through the hassle of encoding hundreds of CDs. Enter ReadyToPlay. Founded in 2003, this Silicon Valley company saw a growing need for digitization services to help a rapidly-expanding market for home audio distribution and music server systems.

We hear from a lot of custom installers at Audioholics. This may be due in part to our coverage of trade shows and it might be due to the many articles we have written on select CEDIA classes. In

— April 18, 2005 20:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

Impact Acoustics SonicWave Subwoofer Cable Review

Impact Acoustics SonicWave Subwoofer Cable Review

The Impact Acoustics SonicWave Subwoofer cable will transport content from your receiver to your subwoofer without alteration and without inducing such nasties as RFI/EMI (radio frequency interference and electromagnetic interference). You won't find any wimpy, ineffective spiral shields on this cable. Instead you will find a good, old-fashioned, double OFC braided shield and 100% foil combination that provides a great deal of noise immunity into the far reaches of the audio and video bandwidths. I found the termination and solder joints to be top notch. The dielectric and conductor spacing appeared to maintain a true 75-ohm characteristic impedance. Highly Recommended!

The Impact Acoustics SonicWave Subwoofer cable will transport content from your receiver to your subwoofer without alteration and without inducing such nasties as RFI/EMI. What more do you need?

— February 02, 2005 18:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

Yamaha MusicCAST MCX-2000 Preview

Yamaha MusicCAST MCX-2000 Preview

In the digital age we live in, where we have wireless growing out our noses, it was only a matter of time before manufacturers started to produce wireless music server systems to distribute whole house audio. While the Yamaha MusicCAST MCX-2000 system isn’t the first to step up to the plate, Yamaha has added unique feature sets currently not found on other product solutions. In preparation for our detailed review, we conducted a mini First Look / FAQ article to whet your appetite.

In preparation for our detailed review of the Yamaha MusicCAST MCX-2000, we conducted a mini First Look / FAQ article to whet your appetite.

— January 02, 2005 18:00 in AV Gadget Reviews

E.Sound E3 CD Player Review

E.Sound E3 CD Player Review

Trekking a long on my series of disc player reviews, I stumbled a cross a Chinese unit. In a conversation with Mark Levine of Allied TV & Sound (the North American importer), I first heard of this brand. He raved about this unit. My cynical nature and desensitization to the enthusiasm of manufacturers/distributors has resulted in me being almost completely immune to the over-the-top pitches reviewers are commonly subjected to. But with Mark, I had to give his words a lot more credence, since his thoughts on the Cayin 265Ai integrated were on the mark (no pun intended).

Trekking a long on my series of disc player reviews, I stumbled a cross a Chinese unit. In a conversation with Mark Levine of Allied TV & Sound (the North American importer), I first heard of this

Arvind Kohli — December 13, 2004 19:00 in AV Gadget Reviews