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Ed Selley  |  May 28, 2011  |  0 comments
Terrestrial Terminator Martin Pipe tries the world’s first PC tuner to support DVB-T2

Until now all of the digital terrestrial tuners sold for use with PCs complied to the old DVB-T standard. But all HDTV transmissions employ the newer and more efficient DVB-T2. The T2 290e, a tiny and stylish USB 2.0 dongle, is the first to be compatible with both. It can be used with notebooks or installed on desktop machines.

Ed Selley  |  May 28, 2011  |  0 comments
Player courts the net Martin Pipe likes Sony’s first standalone networkable multimedia player

There must be plenty of readers who have spent the best part of a grand on a cutting-edge full HD TV, only to discover that its replacement model is ‘network-enabled’. Increasingly popular, this feature enables you to stream video from various websites, install widgets and play video content, music or photos stored on devices connected to your home network.

Ed Selley  |  May 28, 2011  |  0 comments
Well served for little outlay Martin Pipe builds a media server and has change from £100

Networked-attached storage (NAS) is damn useful. In addition to providing a convenient means of backing up important data stored on your computers, today’s consumer-orientated models typically incorporate a DLNA media server.

Ed Selley  |  May 28, 2011  |  0 comments
3D home thin-ema Steve May looks for substance behind the style of Sharp’s first 3D spinner  

Sharp’s first 3D player elicits gasps when you unpack it. The wafer-thin design, with black top-plate and gunmetal trim, is certainly dramatic. You can even choose how you want to use it: flat or vertical (a plastic stand is included).

Danny Phillips  |  May 28, 2011  |  0 comments
Yeehaw! Big sound is over here Danny Phillips gets to grips with some giant US-made cabinets

US brand EMP Tek was founded as recently as 2007, but was set up by audio boffins with over 30 years’ experience, designing speakers for esteemed names such as ParaSound, McIntosh and JBL. They’ve been brought to the UK by distributor Aldous Systems, which has set the ball rolling with the Impression series. Although this range includes four off-the-peg packages, this 7.1-channel system has been pieced together from the individual components. The tower speakers used for the front and rear channels are the E55Ti, a slightly taller version of the E5Ti towers, but offering greater power handling than their shorter siblings.

Ed Selley  |  May 28, 2011  |  0 comments
Squeal of approval Adam Rayner worships at the church of THX and the surround sound spec that’s become the gold standard for serious speakers

To be fully THX approved, every single aspect of the system that plays a movie has to meet the THX criteria – and pay a fee to wear the coveted badge. The certification on the Jamo D500/D500 SUR speakers is proudly reproduced in their printed manuals. It’s THX Select2, signalling they are a bit less intense than Ultra2 and designed to better suit European living spaces.

Ed Selley  |  May 28, 2011  |  0 comments
Razor-sharp networker Sony’s upscale Network range is the place to be if picture clarity is your bag. Steve May is wowed by the resolution-busting NX713

Sony’s Network (NX) range is not only drop-dead gorgeous, but the models are also decked out with all the latest features, including 3D, network streaming, online content and LED backlighting. But you may wonder why there are multiple versions of the same screen size. The model reviewed here features the brand’s uprated PRO version of its Motionflow 100Hz picture processor and high-end Dynamic Edge LED backlighting. The latter is superior to regular Edge LED backlighting, though perhaps not as accomplished as Full Array. Imagine a halfway house that gives you the benefit of an ultra-slim cabinet (just 320mm thin) with some approximation of local dimming – for better contrast – and you’ll see the attraction.

Ed Selley  |  May 28, 2011  |  0 comments
Bright young thing Kevin Gallucci auditions an affordable projector that loves living rooms

Epson is one of the leading projector manufacturers in the world today and offers a five-strong home cinema lineup. The EH-TW3600 is its newest entry-level model, and some way off the flagship RH4000 in terms of specs. For instance, the brand’s Reflective LCD technology is missing here. Still, at only £1,300, this PJ will certainly attract a few buyers.

Ed Selley  |  May 28, 2011  |  0 comments
5.1-bung jumper adds bounce Adam Rayner reveres Scandinavian engineering and tweaks a-plenty

I was once lucky enough to go to Sweden to make a TV show about tractor pulling. Blokes go along, eat smoked eels, get drunk with true determination, then hoot and holler while mad tractors fling mud around, and some announcer shouts: ‘Fuuuull Puuuull!'

Ed Selley  |  May 28, 2011  |  0 comments
Denon bites Apple’s Airplay Music streaming to the AVR-4311 opens up all sorts of possibilities for getting audio entertainment flowing around the house

Denon’s AVR-4311 is the first serious AV receiver to feature Apple’s AirPlay media streaming technology. The latter was part of Apple’s iOS 4.2 launch last November and is essentially a new version of AirTunes for Apple’s AirPort Express wireless network system. The difference this time is that AirPlay has a much wider remit, with the capability of wireless media streaming to and from any current iOS4.2 device or to any AirPlay-enabled third party electronics. If that sounds a little familiar, this is just what DLNA promised and has thus far only half-heartedly delivered.

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