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Subject: Systems | November 30, 2009 - 03:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
A Swedish company called Fractal Design offers custom systems with some interesting features. Their
ships with a feature called ModuVent, which are pieces of bitumen in either 120mm or 140mm squares which you can install into unused fan holes to both reduce noise and stop dust from coming into your system. Since you can fit up to 7 fans in the system you can choose to make it either very quiet or fill all the holes and get a ton of airflow. You may not get out to Sweden often,
Subject: Systems | November 26, 2009 - 12:38 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The return of the tube amp is something that many wish for, but there is a lot of legacy components that
really do not belong in a modern stereo system, especially if you are using it in conjunction with an HTPC. There is little point in picking up a sound card that provides HD audio if you are hooking it up to an amp that has played a Velvet Underground album on the day it came out. Digital Trends takes a look at the modern A/V receiver and explains what the best features are, along with hints on price points for certain features.
Subject: Systems | November 19, 2009 - 03:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The Popcorn Hour C200 bills its self as a Network Media Tan, theoretically able to manage anything you could accomplish by building your own HTPC, but without needing to set it up. Once you strip off the marketing speak, what you are left with is a NAS optimized for local networked media sources as well as YouTube, Blip.tv, Revision 3
and the like. The list of supported formats and sources on the second page of the Techware Labs review is impressive and you can catch a video of
Subject: Systems | November 13, 2009 - 01:01 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Leadtek has an interesting new product, the PxVC1100 MPEG-2/H.264 Transcoding card based around the Toshiba SpursEngine BXA32110
chipset. It is designed specifically to provide Inter-transcoding between H.264 and MPEG-2 and up-convert SD/DVD video to HD like quality. Legit Reviews testing showed
Subject: Systems | November 9, 2009 - 02:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Apart from the obvious lack of Apple Genii, TechReviewSource has spotted a different reason to visit one of the two stores that opened in the USA. Microsoft sells Signature Series computers that come with a minimum of preinstalled bloatware. Bing is probably the most offensive thing on the computer, they don't even load it with trial MS Office software, according to the information on the link. Microsoft might not be the first brand to come to your mind when buying a new system, but maybe they s
Subject: Systems | November 4, 2009 - 03:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
If you have yet to play with recording and playing TV via a TV tuner card on a PC, perhaps the Haupauge HVR-1800 TV Tuner Card might change your mind. For ~$90 you will get a TV Tuner card that can handle ATSC HD (the over the air HDTV standard in North America), clear braodcasted QAM digital TV channels if you are lucky enough to live in an area where they are broadcast and a 125 channel cable ready TV tuner built-
Subject: Systems | October 28, 2009 - 03:29 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
If the PC Perspective Hardware Leaderboard doesn't quite meet your standards or if you are simply looking for a second opinion on recommendation, The Tech Report has just updated their system setups, specifically for Windows 7. You will notice several similarities, especially in the graphics subsystem, though their top of the line rig doesn't sport three HD 5870s. Check out the systems, peripherals and alternatives.
Subject: Systems | October 27, 2009 - 12:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
A.C. Ryan might not be the first name you think about when you are looking for a DVR but perhaps it should be. They have made HDD cages for a while now and branched out from that with the PlayOn! DVR TV. USB 2.0 and HDMI as well as as wireless or wired network connectivity offer a range of ways to get media on or off of the HDD as well as capturing live broadcast TV. Read on at techPowerUp to see if A.C. Ryan has found a sweet spot between HTPCs and a NAS device.
Subject: Systems | October 15, 2009 - 12:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The colour scheme is a little off and it is unlikely to pick up a warhorse or any other type of mount in the near future, what the iBUYPOWER Gamer Paladin E870 i7 PC does do is hit 20,533 in 3dMark06. Think Computers liked a lot of things about this prebuilt system but perhaps one of the best features was the extra software that came with the PC; there was almost no bloatware whatsoever. Do keep in mind the price, while the basic rig is $1739, the one that Think Computers tested runs you $26
Subject: Systems | October 5, 2009 - 05:38 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
It looks just like just a touchscreen LCD, but hidden behind that screen is a fairly powerful desktop system. The overall power and heat limitations that an all-in-one system imposes have been avoided thanks to the usage of a dual core 1.6GHz Atom 330 and the onboard Intel GMA 950 GPU. Think Computers were impressed by the power offered, HD movie playback was good at the worst but they were disappointed that Shuttle did not take advantage of the touchscreen, there was no custom software inst
Subject: Systems | September 24, 2009 - 02:09 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The Tech Report has revisited their line up of recommended system builds, thanks to the new season's processors. AMD still rules their Econobox, with the highly overclockable
Phenom II X3 720 BE and the HD4850. The Utility Player gets an update with a nice Lynnfield processor on a Gigabyte GA-P55-UD3R while the Sweeter Spots uses a Gigabyte GA-P55-UD4P and a faster Lynnfield CPU. The Double Stuff system is of course the most impressive build, 12GB of DDR3-1600 along with a few other twinned components will
Subject: Systems | September 22, 2009 - 11:18 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Taipei, Taiwan, September 22, 2009 - VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator of power efficient x86 processor platforms, today announced the first ever Mini-ITX board to feature a dedicated on-board graphics processor and dual HDMI ports. The VIA VB8003 is ideally suited for a range of advanced digital media applications, supporting the latest advanced HD codecs and DX10.1 graphics.
Subject: Systems | September 18, 2009 - 05:31 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
ASUS bills their M4A78-HTPC/RC HTPC motherboard as a basis for which to build a Dream HTPC. It's a well laid out 780G based mATX board that comes with a remote plus a USB IR-receiver. Four DDR2 slots with dual channel capability, 5 SATA channels, a single IDE as well as the ability to provide your sound card with a separate power supply to reduce noise. Drop by Bjorn3D for a look at what features should not be left off of an HTPC motherboard.
Subject: Systems | September 15, 2009 - 05:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
MSI has broken away from the netbook market long enough to create an all in one desktop PC. The MSI Wind Top AE2010 AIO looks to be a 19" 1600x900 TFT touchscreen LCD at first glance, but hidden inside is a full PC. An AMD Athlon X2 Dual Core 3250e powers it, with 4GB DDRII @ 533MHz
on the board its self, no memory upgrades for this machine. Graphics are handled by the AMD RS780G and SB710, the HD3200 gets 128MB of Side Port DDR3 to help it out. Benchmark Reviews tried it against Atoms and Ions and even a Dell to see how its performance measured up,
Subject: Systems | September 15, 2009 - 11:17 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Taipei, Taiwan, September 15, 2009 - VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator of power efficient x86 processor platforms, today announced the VIA EPIA-P720 Pico-ITX board, which takes advantage of the latest VIA VX855 media system processor to deliver stunningly smooth playback of the latest HD video formats for next-generation digital interactive devices.
"VIA continually strives to offer customers compelling product designs that open up new worlds
Subject: Systems | September 11, 2009 - 05:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The ASUS O!Play HDP-R1 is a tiny little Linux based HD Media Player, with both eSATA and USB as well as a network connection available for you to provide the media by. Outputs include HDMI, composite AV and S/PDIF optical to give you a choice in how you connect the device into your AV setup. The list of supported codecs is impressively long; InsideHW could not find anything it would not play. Engadget found one for sale in Taiwan for $169, but is hard to guess what price we will see
Subject: Systems | September 4, 2009 - 01:16 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
A small brushed aluminium box that resembles a high end receiver hides inside of it just enough space for an HTPC. The Luxa LM100 has a simple front panel with a small LCD display and a cover hiding firewire and other connectors. Cooling comes in the form of several 50mm fans and any CPU heatsink you desire, as long as it is shorter than 10.2cm. Check out SPCR's final v
Subject: Systems | September 2, 2009 - 01:56 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The ASUS AT3N7A-I is Inspiring Innovation, Persistent Perfection and will Perfectly suit your digital lifestyle. It is also an Atom based system with 8 USB ports,1 PS2 port, HDMI and VGA out, coax/optical out, eSATA, Ethernet and has six 1/8” jacks for analog audio out. ASRock also has as new Ion machine out, a complete system with a mini-ITX case, power supply, 2GB of memory, DVD drive and a 320GB hard drive. Find out how they compare to each other, as well as a Zotac unit over at AnandTe
Subject: Systems | August 24, 2009 - 02:06 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
At first glance, the HP Pavilion Slimline s5160f seems like an HTPC system; small and slim build, Blu-ray drive, TV tuner and a wireless mouse and keyboard combo. Inside the machine you find a Core2 Quad Q8200 and 6GB of DDR3-1066 which offers a bit more power than you might expect, making word processing and surfing a strong possiblity. The main downfall of the system is the NVIDIA GeForce G210 graphics card, you won't be gaming on the Slimline but you'll have no problem with streaming video. If you are looking for a machine powerful enough for a machine used productively wi