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…

Yamaha RX-V679 AV Receiver (part 5)

The DSP Programs I talked about last time are at the core of the RX-V679. This is where Yamaha’s expertise really shines. But to get to this functionality you need to go through the device’s user interface (UI). Weakness in this part of the design isn’t unique to Yamaha—it seems to be endemic across mid-range audio products. With that caveat, I promised earlier I’d say something about the RX-V679’s remote control. So here goes… The… Now read on…

nVidia Shield TV (Part 1)

When a newly acquired gadget goes wrong, the first thing any inquisitive user will do is scour the Web for disgruntled fellow-sufferers. And of course will always find them. The next step might be to tweet, or otherwise publicly complain: “Product X is a load of shite. Everybody’s had this same problem.” Watch out for this, because you’ve now fallen into a logical trap. Yes, there are several others out there who’ve run into the… Now read on…

Optoma HD28DSE Projector with DARBEE

The entry level of the home entertainment projector market has become savagely competitive of late. Yes, there’s a race to the bottom price-wise. But there’s also a compulsion among the more reputable manufacturers to do better, to offer improvements not only over their rivals but also over the products in last year’s catalogue. It’s big win for customers. Nearly all the entry level projectors are based on the same core technology, a range of  digital light… Now read on…

nVidia Shield TV Revisited (part 3)

In Part 2 of this nVidia Shield follow-up I detailed installing the Toshiba Exceria Pro SD card as adoptable memory. I also related the somewhat hairy adventure of switching this card for a PNY microSD. Now read on… Fast and Faster The PNY microSD card is rated as Class 10, which is fast. Plug in anything slower than this and the Shield will let you adopt it, but warn you you’re in for a bumpy… Now read on…

QNAP TS-451 NAS Server Part 3

Last time I talked about QNAP updates and promised to say more about the 6 GB Red drives that Western Digital has supplied to help me through this NAS Server review. The NAS updates have galloped forwards since then, and we’re now on a major update version of the QTS operating system, version 4.2. A lot has changed, including the look and feel, so some of the earlier screenshots I’ve included here are out of date. Luckily,… Now read on…

Viewsonic LightStream PJD7830HDL Home Entertainment Projector

Earlier this year I reviewed the PJD6352, a mostly business-oriented budget projector in Viewsonic’s new LightStream series. Although its XGA resolution and 4:3 format was clearly directed towards Powerpoint presentations, I found to be surprisingly good for home movies. With the LightStream series, Viewsonic is moving away from its earlier distinctly austere boxy design, introducing a gentler, curved outline. But the developments aren’t merely cosmetic. The new casing makes a much better job of containing… Now read on…

Yamaha RX-V679 AV Receiver (part 4)

The previous episode got us started on the Scene buttons before I allowed myself to be sidetracked into a lengthy discussion about Internet radio (because it sounds so damn good on the RX-V679). I mentioned that the Scene buttons tie together particular physical inputs with whatever DSP Program you care to attach to them, so it’s probably time now to explain what DSP Programs are. The DSP Programs MUCH OF THE TIME WHAT pours into… Now read on…

Wileyfox Swift Android Phone

The Google guy who showed me my first Android phone some six years ago was very keen on the flexibility of the new operating system. “Look,” he said, “see how screen rotates from portrait to landscape when you turn the phone round!” I said that seemed like an intelligent feature, but then Google was clearly an intelligent company. “What happens,” I asked, “if you rotate it now through 180 degrees to the upside-down landscape mode?… Now read on…

BenQ W1070+ Projector

I still think the future of projectors lies with the cooler illumination technologies, LED and laser. But the hot lamp isn’t going anywhere any time soon: at the low end, prices for this class of DLP projector are coming down, while picture quality is quite visibly improving. BenQ, an old hand in this sector of the market, is currently offering a model that’s a notch or two up on the now discontinued W1070, which was very… Now read on…