nVidia Shield TV Revisited (part 1)

I wound up my 5 part review of the nVidia Shield TV at the beginning of this year. But it was clear at the time that this useful device would be a key player in living room entertainment, and if nVidia had any sense we’d see further developments. The Shield I’d been reviewing was running Android Lollipop. But no sooner had I (sadly) sent the machine back to the PR company than nVidia issued an upgrade… Now read on…

Optoma GT5000 UST Projector

I’ve shied away from ultra short throw projectors in the past: I’ve found the optics fiddly to set up, unless you’re making a permanent installation, and these devices tend to come at a premium over equivalent standard throw projectors. But there’s another side to this argument. To balance things up I’ve spent the past couple of weeks exploring Optoma’s GT5000. Let’s check out the benefits… THE GT5000 CAN PRODUCE A BRIGHT PICTURE of up to… Now read on…

Skullcandy Grind Wireless Headphones

I was somewhat dismissive of headphones in my review of the room-filling Yamaha RX-V679. My point being that rather than using music to open up new worlds to us, we tend these days to pipe music direct into our ears to shut out the world when we travel and when we work. But I do use headphones, particularly at home at night to avoid disturbing the family. Wireless headphones, when they’re good, are my preference. And… Now read on…

BenQ W2000 Projector

Why has it taken me so long to put together this review of BenQ’s sub-£800 projector?  It’s been on the go here at Bidmead Towers since before Christmas. Could it be that I’ve been enjoying it so much I’m reluctant to return this review sample to the manufacturer? Perhaps. My official reason is that its excellence (for a remarkably low price) is subtle. Not easy to put into words. And I want to do it… Now read on…

QNAP TS-451 NAS Server Part 4

With the raw mechanics of RAID out of the way, we’re now ready to get some fun out of this QNAP TS-451 NAS. You’ll have realised by now that it’s a lot more than a chunk of  11TB of storage on my LAN. The daemons we talked about in part 1 can be set to work behind the scenes whipping up all kinds of magic. FOR THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS the QNAP TS-451 has been working… Now read on…

nVidia Shield TV (part 5)

Last time I said we’d be talking about the non-game uses for the nVidia Shield TV. As it’s an Android device (and, unlike the Amazon Fire Stick and Box, fully Google compliant) the Shield gives you access to a subset of the Google Play Store, although not all the apps there will be appropriate to its function. Let’s take a look at some that are… THE NVIDIA SHIELD TV IS A SLICK launch pad for… Now read on…

nVidia Shield TV (part 4)

nVidia launched the Shield Android TV here in the UK on September the 30th last year. Normally, journalists expect review samples to be available either at the launch itself, or very shortly after. With the Shield it took three months and a dozen or so email exchanges with nVidia’s hard-pressed PR rep, Ben Fletcher, before I could lay my hands on it. And even then—as you’ll have gathered from the story so far—that was only… Now read on…

nVidia Shield TV (part 3)

Winding up the previous part of this nVidia Shield review I wrote “So now, I think, we’re at last ready to get on with Part 3—the actual review!” We aren’t.   WE’RE WAITING FOR THE GAMES CONTROLLER to be FedExed back from the nVidia European base in Holland, where it’s been on a hospital visit to get one of its buttons repaired. Well, of course, I won’t get back the one I sent; the RMA (Return… Now read on…

Yamaha RX-V679 AV Receiver (part 6)

I ended the last part by failing to lament the absence of DAB on the Yamaha RX-V679 Receiver. What the device does have wireless-wise—not counting the wireless network capability we’ve already discussed—are Bluetooth and (a limited version of) Apple’s Airplay. I wind up the adventure with this useful extra connectivity. Bluetooth and Airplay THE RX-V679 IMPROVES ON THE RX-V677 model it replaces with the welcome addition of Bluetooth. (A plug-in Bluetooth accessory was available for… Now read on…

nVidia Shield TV (part 2)

Ok, so the Shield and I got off to a bad start. A bit like those Hollywood romcoms where in act one the boy and girl can’t stand the sight of each other. And then the love affair begins. I feel act two coming on. But before we get into that, let’s see if we can throw a little light on what went wrong. The worst thing, to my mind, wasn’t the bug itself. These… Now read on…