Get your TV on USB

Subject: Systems | June 8, 2011 - 03:33 PM |
Tagged: htpc, elgato eyetv, usb, tv tuner

The Elgato EyeTV Hybrid is a USB 2.0 device that sports an antenna input, (MCX and an F connector), s-video, composite plus stereo audio and even an IR remote control sensor.  You don't need to crack open your case to install it, you can watch TV right away as the drivers are contained within the EyeTV, much like a USB headset.  Missing Remote tried it out and found it worked wonderfully by its self on both PCs and Macs.  They did mention that integration with popular software like SageTV for Mac, Plex and XBMC would make this device even better.

MR_EyeTV.jpg

"When home theater computers first came to market almost 10 years ago, the television tuners that were available were few and far between, all internal, and featured a whopping single tuner. How times have changed. Now, dual tuners are a given and hybrid tuners seek to accomplish the duty of one-size-fits-all for all customers. The Elgato EyeTV Hybrid is one of those that within its tiny dongle of a body contains an NTSC, ATSC and DVB-T tuner for $129, and works with both Windows and Mac computers. With competition so steep in the tuner world however, how does it match up in a real world evaluation?"

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HTPC

Foxconn NT-A3500, AMD's Fusion E-350 is kicking Atom where it hurts

Subject: Systems | June 1, 2011 - 05:30 PM |
Tagged: nettop, e-350, amd

When it comes to tiny systems such as nettops, AMD's E-350 Fusion is doing what the Atom and ION combo can do, only faster, cooler and quieter.  While this is upsetting for NVIDIA and Intel, the consumer benefits almost as much as AMD does. techPowerUp just finished a review of a Foxconn product that demonstrates the abilities of the Fusion platform, the Netbox NT-A3500.  It is not for sale yet in North America but when it does hit the market you can expect around a $200 pricetag, plus RAM and a storage drive.  For that price you get the AMD E-350 and Radeon HD 6310 as well as Realtek ALC888S audio.  Wireless and wired LAN, four USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports, optical audio and analog audio, and DVI and HDMI outputs.  techPowerUp covers the rest of the features in their full review.

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"Foxconn has made some waves with their compact but very capable ION based NT-330I Netbox back in 2010. Now, almost a year later the market has evolved and Foxconn is sending their newest version into the race. The NT-A3500 is based on the AMD Fusion platform, aiming to be faster, cooler and quieter."

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Source: TechPowerUp

Asus Announces New MeeGo Netbook, Ultralight Laptop, and Padfone

Subject: Systems, Mobile | May 31, 2011 - 12:06 AM |
Tagged: ultraportable, padfone, meego, computex, asus, Android

Asus is starting their Computex 2011 showing off strong with a bevy of product announcements. Most of their new products fall into their mobile lineup. The new mobile devices include a thin MeeGo OS powered Netbook, an ultralight Core i7 laptop, a new 3D Eee Pad, the MeMO 3D, and a phone-docking tablet dubbed the “Padfone.” Beyond the mobile market, the company has further announced a home entertainment media hub, and an All-In-One ET2700XVT desktop computer.

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On the mobile front, and notebooks specifically, Asus has announced new N and UX series notebooks. The N series notebooks focus on incorporating higher fidelity speakers into a laptop chassis than is standard. The latest N models include a dedicated and external subwoofer to bring “deep bass extension that would otherwise be possible,” according to Asus. The audio technology in question has been developed by Asus and David Lewis has been dubbed SonicMaster. This same audio technology is also integrated into their new AIO desktop, which you can read about below.

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The UX series is Asus’ ultraportable laptop lineup. Measuring 17mm at its thickest point, 2.4 pound aluminum ally body houses a Sandy Bridge Intel Core i7 processor and a SATA 6 Gb/s SSD. Asus further claims that the laptop features an “Instant On” feature that is capable of resuming the laptop from sleep states in seconds. The newest UX21 model is a silver colored aluminum body housing a glossy display, large track pad, two USB 3.0 ports, a headphone jack, and likely a non-user replaceable battery. The device is very slim and appears to be very competitive against Apple’s MacBook Air.

The last addition to their mobile lineup is a MeeGo powered Eee PC X101 netbook. Powered by an Intel Atom N435 at 1.33GHz, the 10.1” netbook comes equipped with the Intel-backed MeeGo operating system. The Eee PC X101H is another such model with the option for MeeGo or Microsoft Windows 7 operating system in addition to the choice between a hybrid hard drive or solid state drive. At 17.6mm thick, and weighing under 950g, the netbook is fairly small. IO (input/output) on the device(s) include 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, USB, and a headphone jack.

Aside from notebooks, Asus showed off a tablet-docking concept phone and a 3D tablet. The Padfone is basically a larger screen and extra battery for your smartphone. Once your smartphone is connected inside the case and hidden, the tablet becomes a larger display and battery charger. The phone in turn, is able to share its 3G and Wi-Fi connections with the tablet.

The MeMO 3D tablet, on the other hand, is a 7” tablet with a 3D display at a resolution of 1024x600 pixels. The portrait device supports both multi-touch and capacitive stylus input. Android Honeycomb is the operating system of choice that powers the glasses-free 3D IPS display.

Asus has also announced a desktop All-In-One computer called the ET2700XVT which is 27” display coupled with a PC. Capabilities of the AIO include a digital TV tuner, HDMI-in, SyncMaster audio speakers, and optional 10-point multi-touch input.

In addition, the WAVI Xtion is 3D motion sensing technology much like that of Microsoft's Kinect.  Asus hopes to combine this technology with computers and media centers.  The Xtion Portal is a wireless home entertainment center for the living room. The device functions as a media playback box, web browser, app store, and game console. The game bundle includes MayaFit, Beat Booster, and DanceWall.  Both the games and the interface is controlled via Kinect-like gestures.

Computex 2011 Coverage brought to you by MSI Computer and Antec

 

Source: www.asus.com

Get most of an HTPC for under $100 with the KWorld M210 Network Media Player

Subject: Systems | May 25, 2011 - 04:45 PM |
Tagged: htpc, media player, kworld

It is hard to spot the functional difference between the KWorld M210 Network Media Player and a full on HTPC.  It sports a removable hard drive, handles YouTube, Picasa and BitTorrent downloads and can play back just about any media file.  High def is available on HDMI, component and composite outputs, USB ports and eSATA ensure removeable media is covered.  It is, as the name implies, able to connect to a network with wires and with a WiFi dongle you can have wireless as well.  The remote control will let you control the various menus, so the only real difference is that you cannot record TV.  Hardware Bistro found it almost perfect; they would have preferred built in WiFi but found no other faults.

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"If home theatre system is over budget then you may consider a media player which allows users to run certain of multimedia applications on a TV; this is even better if it is a network media player. KWorld M210 Network Media player is a newly launched network media player which costs less than 100USD with features of full 1080p HD movies, internal storage, Internet streaming programs, support multiple of video codecs & formats and so on."

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Cray Announces AMD Bulldozer CPU and NVIDIA Tesla GPU Supercomputer Capable of 50 Petaflops

Subject: Systems | May 24, 2011 - 09:07 PM |
Tagged: tesla, supercomputer, petaflop, HPC, bulldozer

 Cray has been a huge name in the supercomputer market for years, and with the new XK6 they are promising to deliver a supercomputer capable of 50 Thousand Trillion operations per second. Powered by AMD Operton CPUs and NVIDIA GPUs, each XK6 blade is comprised of 2 Gemini interconnects pairing four AMD Opteron CPUs with four NVIDIA Tesla X2090 embedded graphics cards. The graphics cards in each blade have access to 6GB of GDDR5 memory, and are connected via PCI-E 2.0 links to the Opteron processors. The CPUS have access to four DDR3 memory slots “running at 1.6GHz for every G34 socket,” according to The Register. This amounts to 32GB per two-socket node when using 4GB sticks.

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Cray plans to wait until AMD releases the 16 core 32nm Opteron CPUs in Q3, dubbed the Opteron 6200s. The Register quotes AMD’s CEO Thomas Siefert as promising the processors are based on the new Bulldozer cores (and would be compatible with the current G34 sockets) “would ship by summer.”

Further, they claim that Cray’s goal with the XK6 was to keep the new blades within the same thermal boundaries as its predecessor, despite the inclusion of GPUs into the mix. Cray has indicated that, due to their success in remaining within the thermal envelope, their customers will be able to use XE6 and XK6 blades interchangeably and will allow them to customize their supercomputer load-out to meet the demands of their specific computing workloads.

XK6_Blade.PNG

Each cabinet is capable of storing up to 24 blades, and can deliver up to 50 kilowatts of power. Each of the Tesla X2090 GPUS are capable of 665 gigaflops during double-precision floating point operations, something that GPUs excel at. As each XK6 blade contains 4 GPUS, and each cabinet can hold 24 blades, customers are looking at 63.8 teraflops of computing power solely from the graphics cards. On the CPU side of things, Cray is not able to release specifications on the processors as AMD has yet to deliver the chips in question. The Register estimates that each XK6 blade will provide 3.5 teraflops of floating point computing power, which amounts to approximately 84 teraflops per cabinet.

With a claimed capability to utilize up to 300 cabinets full of XK6 blades, customers are looking at approximately 44 petaflops of computing horsepower, with GPUs delivering 19.14 petaflops, and the CPUs estimated to provide 25.2 petaflops of floating point computational power.

The first customer of this system will be the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre. According to the Seattle Times, the center’s director Professor Thomas Schulthess stated that they chose the Cray XK6 based supercomputer not for it’s raw performance, but because “the Cray XK6 promises to be the first general-purpose supercomputer based on GPU technology, and we are very much looking forward to exploring its performance and productivity on real applications relevant to our scientists.”

Source: The Register

Xi3 Announces The First Chrome OS Based Desktop PC

Subject: Systems | May 24, 2011 - 01:21 PM |
Tagged: Xi3, SFF, PC, ChromeOS

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Xi3, the makers of a series of small form factor module based computers, is launching a Chrome OS based desktop computer which they have dubbed the ChromiumPC. The ChromiumPC will be based on similar "module" technology to that in their current Xi3 computers. They have broken the traditional motherboard down into three parts and fitted them into an aluminum chasis measuring "4.0- x 3.656- x 3.656-inches." The PC will use either a single or dual core 64-bit, x86 based CPU. The device is slated for a July 4th, 2011 release, and will be generally available in the second half of the year.

If this small form factor PC is priced right, it may prove to be a popular option for schools, businesses, and people wanting a second PC.  Are you interested in desktop PCs running cloud based operating systems?

Source: Xi3

ECS Reveals Computex 2011 Hardware Lineup

Subject: Motherboards, Systems, Mobile | May 21, 2011 - 03:11 AM |
Tagged: hardware, ECS, computex

 

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ECS (Elitegroup Computer Systems) will be attending this years Computex 2011 convention, and they plan to unveil a slew of new hardware.  During the week, they will be showing off new motherboards, a new graphics card, four All-In-One PCs, two tablets, two notebooks, and an eBook reader of all things.

For the DIY enthusiasts, ECS will be showing off a AMD 990FX chipset motherboard, which will support AMD's Bulldozer processors, as well as a new series of motherboards "for cloud computing, home server, (and) work station."  While they were not willing to give out details at this time, they will have live high end gaming setups for attendees to demo at the show.  Further, ECS is releasing a NVIDIA GeForce 560 graphics card.  Again, they did not share any specifications, they claim that their card is 40% faster than its 460 predecessor.

All-In-One PCs will also be receiving a large showing at the ECS booth, with three SKUs of their "PC—G11" touch screen computer with wireless connectivity.  The DS110, MS300, and MS150 specifically will provide different levels of performance thanks to three differing levels of hardware (they mention CPUs and chipsets).

On the mobile front, ECS is unveiling two tablets.  The S10 is a 10.1" Atom Z670 tablet with a resolution of 1366x768 and HDMI out along with 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, and "3G or GPS."  The V07 is a 7" tablet based on similar specifications that will be released in August 2011.  The MB40 and MB50 are 14" and 15" Sandy Bridge powered notebooks with LED displays at 1366x768 and featuring a 6-in-1 card reader.  Further, ECS is debuting a 6" and 8" touch screen eBook reader with WiFi, Bluetooth, and 3G.  The eBook reader will feature either a monochrome or multicolor display, and will run the Android mobile operating system.

Source: ECS

Sapphire's snappy ION 2 powered Edge HD

Subject: Processors, Chipsets, Systems | May 19, 2011 - 06:10 PM |
Tagged: sapphire, ion 2, htpc

At an estimated $450, the Sapphire Edge HD mini PC, powered by a dual core Atom D510 1.66 GHz with ION 2 graphics is a pretty good deal for those looking for a nettop.  With only 250GB of storage you will probably want this connected to a large storage device either over ethernet or USB, though with services like Google Music Beta, Wolfgang's Vault and YouTube that might not be a problem.  From InsideHW's testing you certainly won't have to worry about videos skipping just because your email is open.

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"A dual-core CPU that won’t be stricken down by several programs running at the same time, GeForce that chews on any video that you put in front of it, sufficient RAM to make Windows 7 jump around, complete support for all types of video/audio formats and subtitles, and all this for a price of a good Blu-ray player - what else could you wish for?"

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Systems

Source: InsideHW

MSI Gearing Up For Large Computex Release

Subject: General Tech, Systems, Mobile, Shows and Expos | May 12, 2011 - 05:00 PM |
Tagged: tablet, notebook, msi, computex

VR-Zone reports that MSI is gearing up for a large Computex showing, and will unveil 5 new mobile products to it's existing platforms. 

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Among the rumored launches are two tablets and three notebooks.  On the tablet side of things, both a Tegra 2 and AMD Brazos powered tablet are in the works.  The WindPad 100A will be powered by a Tegra 2 SoC and will run Android 2.3 in lieu of Honeycomb due to rumored hardware compatibilities.  The AMD Brazos platform brings AMD's fusion processor and graphics to the mobile space.  The WindPad 110W, the follow up to the Intel Atom powered 100W, will utilize the Brazos SoC running Windows 7.

As far as notebooks, the gaming lineup, C series, and X series will all see a refresh.  The GT683 will be a 15" gaming notebook.  The CX480 will update the C series with a rumored 14" form factor.  Finally, MSI's thin and light notebook lineup will receive the X460.

VR-Zone further states that "MSI is also said to be losing interest in netbooks due to declining demand and is refocusing on its notebook products as the company is expecting a 10 to 15 percent growth in notebook shipments this year, not taking tablets into account."

Source: VR-Zone

DigitalStorm Enix doubles as a TARDIS, there is a lot more inside that it appears

Subject: Systems | May 12, 2011 - 01:05 PM |
Tagged: digitalstorm, enix, SilverStone FT03

The SilverStone FT03 that the DigitalStorm Enix is crammed inside is 11.18" x 9.25" x 19.17", limiting you to mATX and mITX boards though allowing the use of a full sized PSU.  DigitalStorm ran with that and shoved a SilverStone 1000W PSU inside, neccesary due to their other hardware which includes an i7 2600K overclocked to 4.7GHz, a pair of GTX 580s and 8GB of DDR3-1600.  It will probably come as no surprise that a Corsair H70 cools the CPUs, though the NVIDIA card's heatsinks have been left alone.  AnandTech saw high temperatures from those cards, well within the limit of the silicon and not terrible unexpected; they were more concerned with the VCore spike during boot.  Thankfully the warranties from boutique shops cover their own overclocks.

AAT_Enix.jpg

"Just recently we had a chance to lay hands on SilverStone's FT03 enclosure, and it was impressive enough to earn a Bronze Editors' Choice award. It wasn't the quietest case we've ever reviewed, but it had strong thermal qualities and a slick-looking design. Now DigitalStorm has taken SilverStone's eye-catching little number, custom-painted the grills, and turned it into a double-shoebox-sized monster. The Enix we're looking at today boasts the highest overclock on an Intel Core i7-2600K we've yet seen and pairs it with not one but two EVGA GeForce GTX 580's."

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Source: AnandTech

Ceton's InfiniTV Network Tuner Wizard makes it easy for everyone to watch what they want

Subject: Systems | May 10, 2011 - 05:26 PM |
Tagged: htpc, tv, tuner, ceton

One drawback of using an HTPC is that you can only watch one thing at a time, which sounds odd unless you consider multiple person households.  In order to dump your cableboxes in favour of an HTPC you need to be able to send different signals to different TVs, laptops and monitors.  The InfiniTV Wizard allows you to bind a specific TV Tuner to a specific client's IP address allowing each user to watch what they want, as long as you have enough TV Tuner cards installed in the main HTPC.  Check out how easy multiple tuners can be used over at Missing Remote.

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"One of our most popular guides in the past several months has been Michael Welter’s guide and tool for configuring the InfiniTV for use by multiple PCs. Now, Ceton has released the InfiniTV Network Tuner Wizard to provide an easy way to configure and officially support the InfiniTV when used by multiple PCs. We’ve had the opportunity to use the wizard and produce a guide to help you learn what it does and how to use it."

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Ultra-cheap PC for education: 25$ gets you a very smart USB stick.

Subject: General Tech, Systems, Mobile | May 5, 2011 - 10:37 PM |
Tagged: usb computer, Education

In case you did not get enough solder for one day: you are in luck! David Braben, previously known for his work developing such games as Rollercoaster Tycoon, Thrillville, and Kinectimals, created an extremely low cost PC for educational use. His goal is ultimately to have computers like the one he created be accessible such that there would be functionally zero barriers to entry for students to pursue studying computing. A charity was created, the Raspberry Pi Foundation, under these beliefs to distribute this device hopefully sometime within the next 12 months.

Am I the only one who finds it weird that an affordable PC uses HDMI?

Given our demographic it would be blasphemous to not relay the specifications of the PC he created. The PC itself is slightly larger than a USB key in size and runs Ubuntu as its operating system though other distributions are likely possible. The processor is an ARM11 clocked at 700 MHz supported by 128MB of RAM and a GPU which supports OpenGL ES2.0 outputting at least 1080p resolutions. For connectivity it has USB port to attach to a keyboard and an HDMI port to attach to a monitor or flat screen TV. Storage is handled for by an SD card and other accessories are mountable such as the demonstrated 12 MP camera. While not explicitly listed on their site it appears as if connectivity is achieved wired via Ethernet through USB.
 
While this is obviously a low powered device its cost is only around 25$ and should be powerful enough to handle website interaction, scripting, and other educational applications. This PC and others like it should hopefully ensure that everyone has access to the internet and all of its educational, professional, and employment benefits.
Source: Geek.com

What is AIDA64 Extreme Edition? Only the new improved replacement for the Everest benchmarking tool

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Systems, Storage | May 4, 2011 - 06:43 PM |
Tagged: ssd, everest, benchmarking, benchmark, aida64, aida

BUDAPEST, Hungary - May 04, 2011 - FinalWire Ltd. today announced the immediate availability of AIDA64 Extreme Edition 1.70 software, a streamlined diagnostic and benchmarking tool for home users; and the immediate availability of AIDA64 Business Edition 1.70 software, an essential network management solution for small and medium scale enterprises.

aida64.jpg

The new AIDA64 release further strengthens its solid-state drive health and temperature monitoring capabilities, and implements support for the latest graphics processors from both AMD and nVIDIA.

New features & improvements

  • LGA1155 B3 stepping motherboards support
  • Preliminary support for AMD “Bulldozer” and “Llano” processors
  • Intel 320, Intel 510, OCZ Vertex 3, Samsung PM810 SSD support
  • GPU details for AMD Radeon HD 6770M, Radeon HD 6790
  • GPU details for nVIDIA GeForce GT 520, GT 520M, GT 550M, GT 555M, GTX 550 Ti, GTX 590

Pricing and Availability
AIDA64 Extreme Edition and AIDA64 Business Edition are available now at www.aida64.com/online-store. Additional information on product features, system requirements, and language versions is available at www.aida64.com/products. Join our Discussion Forum at forums.aida64.com.

AIDA64 license renewal is now available. For more information, visit www.aida64.com/aida64-renewal.
A migration program is available for all EVEREST customers at www.aida64.com/everest-upgrade.

Source: AIDA

Atom versus Zacate, a nettop showdown

Subject: Systems | May 4, 2011 - 06:33 PM |
Tagged: htpc, atom, ion, ion 2, nettop

Pairing an Intel Atom processor with an NVIDIA Ion2 GPU has become a popular way to power an inexpensive and low powered PC, often an HTPC.  That changed when AMD finally managed to get the Zacate APU into the market and manufacturers like Zotac were suddenly given a choice as to which company they used to build their nettops and HTPCs.  Zotac's ZBOX AD02-Plus U is based around the E350 APU and Bjorn3D pits it against the Sapphire Edge HD Intel D510.  Check out the performance comparison here.

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With computer components being integrated, systems are getting smaller, yet the performance is getting better. Both Intel and AMD integrated memory controllers onto the CPU die, and the latest Intel Sandy Bridge comes with native on-die integrated graphics. The need for a large system with various chips is no longer needed--small and integrated is definitely the trend.

Intel spearheaded the Atom platform where a very small processor is powerful enough compare to a desktop processor from 3-4 years ago, yet consumes only a fraction of the power. AMD’s latest Zacate APU is their answer to the Intel Atom platform. Like the Atom processor, the Zacate APU is designed for low power consumption with decent performance. The Zotac ZBOX retails for $339.99 on Newegg."

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Systems

Source: Bjorn3D

Xeon powered 2U server room beauty

Subject: Systems | April 25, 2011 - 02:29 PM |
Tagged: xeon, octocore, nehalem, 8 core

 When The Tech Report were asked to review the new Dell R810 2U server they jumped at the chance.  Inside lies dual octocore Xeon X7560s, 128GB of DDR3  (of a maximum 500GB), four SAS 6Gbps drives (which they swapped for Vertex EX SSDs) and a pair of 1100W PSUs.  It is impressive to see all that shoved into a 2U rack but Dell went further with internal SD card readers for easy HyperVisor use, external LCDs to display realtime hardware and software data and a casing much more attractive that you usually see in a server room.  The performance compared to a dual X5670 system varied so you should probably read the review before you go spending $23,000 on the server.

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"Intel's eight-core Nehalem-EX processor and Dell's R810 chassis combine to form a new class of 2P server, with huge memory capacity at a lower price point."

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Systems

 

Just Delivered: Rii Mini wireless USB HTPC Remote

Subject: General Tech, Systems | April 21, 2011 - 02:56 PM |
Tagged: remote, htpc

Just Delivered is a new section of PC Perspective where we share some of the goodies that pass through our labs that may or may not see a review, but are pretty cool none the less.

Every once in a while I get a wild desire to buy some junk from Amazon.  Actually, it's more like every day.  This time though, the item that I got in actually seems to be somewhat reasonable in terms of price, function and quality.  

One of the biggest headaches for HTPC (home theater PC) users is that controlling the PC remotely with any kind of precision is hard to do.  There are TONS of remotes and wireless keyboard/mouse combinations on the market but I happened to come across one called the "Rii Mini" on Amazon that only cost $35 and seemed to be a perfect, yet simple solution.

rii1.jpg

Yes, it is a cheap Chinese knock-off on the Logitech coloring and branding, but that isn't our problem.  The unit combines a keyboard, touchpad and laser pointer (what??) in a small form factor with some impressive features that have made it useful in my limited testing time thus far.

More photos and details after the break!

Hauppauge's new high powered capture card

Subject: Systems | April 20, 2011 - 01:01 PM |
Tagged: pvr, htpc, hdmi

At AnandTech you can take a look at Hauppauge's new HD PVR cable card dubbed the Colossus. Input-wise you get HDMI, two breakout connectors for component connections and a pair of TOSLINK connectors so you really are not going to have any problem getting a signal into the card though it does not meet HDCP.  Check out the full review.

AAT_colossus.jpg

"When Hauppauge introduced the original HD PVR in 2008 its component plus TOSLINK (optical S/PDIF) capture of 5.1 Dolby Digital and up to 1080i analog video was a revolutionary, and long overdue, shift for the home theater PC (HTPC) based digital video recorder (DVR). Finally there was a viable option for recording DRM-free high definition (HD) content. The device was far from perfect however, suffering from stability (I RMA’d four personally); furthermore, as a large external USB device, it didn’t provide the most appealing form factor for many installations. Today we’re looking at Hauppauge’s second iteration of the HD PVR concept, this time as a standard height PCIe x1 device dubbed Colossus. It offers all of the previous capture options while adding HDMI input to the feature list."

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HTPC

Source: AnandTech

Spring cleaning your PC components, out with the old and in with the new

Subject: Systems | April 14, 2011 - 01:01 PM |
Tagged:

The Tech Report finished off their Spring update to their systems guide, partly to take advantage of the change in season and partly to allow the channel to fill with a certain chipset's B3 revision.  There are four different levels of systems, a $600 Econobox, a $900 Utility Box, the $1,500 Sweeter Spot, and the Double Stuff workstation that is around $3,000.  They finish up with a look at the peripherals you are likely to want and some recommendations on which to get

"For months, we've held back on a full update to our system guide while waiting for B3- revision Sandy Bridge motherboards. They've arrived, and so has the spring edition of our guide."

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Systems

 

What Gaming Components Do You Really Need?

Subject: Systems | April 12, 2011 - 01:20 PM |
Tagged:

Gaming computers have been pushing the limits of processing power for years, but just because you’re a serious gamer does not necessarily mean you need the ultimate, top-of-the-line computer to enjoy your favorite games. At the same time, you don’t want the frame rate to lag, the system to freeze, or the competition to get the drop on you.
 
Building or customizing your own gaming PC requires certain components, but the level of power and speed will depend on your budget, gaming style, and how competitive you want to be. When you put together your own computer, you need to consider a range of individual components for the audio, video, processor, memory, motherboard and cooling systems.

ASRock powers up the HTPC with their Vision 3D

Subject: Systems | April 11, 2011 - 02:45 PM |
Tagged:

If you have a desire for an HTPC and no desire to build one, for just over $1000 you can pick up the Asrock Vision 3D HTPC.  With a Core i3 processor and NVIDIA's GT 425M you will end up with a PC much more powerful than an Atom based system, meaning you can use the HTPC for more than just showing HD video.  Drop by TechPowerUp to see the machine in action.

"The Asrock Vision 3D HTPC was designed to deliver cutting edge home theater technology in a compact form factor. The Asrock Vision 3D HTPC uses an Intel “Arrandale” mobile processor, paired with an NVIDIA GT 425M GPU, instead of the typical Intel Atom processor found in most pre-built HTPCs. The components of the Asrock Vision 3D HTPC are compactly housed inside a thick, heavy, anodized aluminum enclosure. A slot-loading Blu-ray or DVD drive can also be found inside, with a 2.5” 7200rpm HDD for storage and 4GB of DDR3 SO-DIMM memory, upgradeable to 8GB. The Asrock Vision 3D HTPC is not only capable of 3D media playback with 7.1 HD audio support over HDMI 1.4a, but users can also enjoy media encoding and even 3D Vision video gameplay."

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