Home Theater

Today Amazon released a refresh of its Fire TV media player and mini-console. The original device was unveiled in April 2014 and the 2015 version sees some upgrades in the internal components and connectivity. The biggest change is the upgrade from the original Snapdragon 600 to MediaTek's new MT8173 SoC. The MT8173 was originally announced at MWC this year and surprised a lot of people as the Taiwanese semiconductor vendor was the first to show off working prototypes with ARM's new Cortex A72 CPU core, and it seems the Fire TV is the first device to ship with the new SoC and CPU architecture. Fire TV (2014) Fire TV (2015) SoC Qualcomm APQ8064 Snapdragon 600 4x Krait 300 @ 1.7GHz Adreno 320 @ 400MHz MediaTek MT8173C 2x Cortex A72 @...

Apple Announces The New Apple TV

Along with new iPhones and new iPads, today's Apple event came with the launch of the long rumored update to Apple TV. It's almost incorrect to call this an...

37 by Brandon Chester on 9/9/2015

The NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV Review: A Premium 4K Set Top Box

The battle for the living room is heating up with forays from multiple vendors. As the cord-cutting trend gains momentum, the time seems to be right for disruption. Coinciding...

160 by Ganesh T S on 5/28/2015

CyberLink Launches PowerDVD 14 with HEVC Support

A couple of years back, we reviewed CyberLink's PowerDVD 12 in detail. At that time, support for the mobile ecosystem was one of the most important targets for CyberLink...

37 by Ganesh T S on 4/8/2014

Roku 3 Media Streamer Launches for $99

We have reviewed the Roku devices before, and the last major hardware refresh (if you discount the MHL-equipped streaming stick) was the Roku 2 XS which we evaluated in...

33 by Ganesh T S on 3/6/2013

QNAP Introduces XBMC App for TS-x69 Pro / L Series NAS Units

The Atom D2700 series CPUs have proved quite popular in the SMB / SOHO NAS market. We saw vendors introduce models with HDMI outputs as early as December 2011...

7 by Ganesh T S on 2/7/2013

Arctic Introduces OpenELEC-based MC001-XBMC HTPC

Arctic announced the availability of their MC001-XBMC passive HTPC today. Based on the Intel Atom D525 and the AMD Mobility Radeon HD 5430, the unit comes with OpenELEC pre-installed...

17 by Ganesh T S on 2/5/2013

Getting the Best out of an Ivy Bridge HTPC: Windows 8, madVR and More..

The build process and thermal performance of a fanless Ivy Bridge HTPC was covered in detail last month. I had indicated that the piece would be the first of...

138 by Ganesh T S on 1/20/2013

ASRock Vision HT: Ivy Bridge Carries the SFF HTPC Forward

The small form factor (SFF) HTPC market has been steadily growing over the last few years. As mobile processors become more and more powerful, it is becoming easier for...

40 by Ganesh T S on 11/12/2012

Netgear Updates Entertainment Lineup with Push2TV 3000 and NeoTV 300 Series

Netgear has been at the forefront in supporting Intel's WiDi initiative on the receiver side. In fact, they had an exclusive on the first WiDi receiver (Push2TV 1000) for...

32 by Ganesh T S on 9/20/2012

Vizio Co-Star Pre-Orders Open: $100 for the Next-Gen Google TV

The Vizio Co-Star VAP430 made a big splash when it was unveiled to the public during the 2012 CES. With the buzz around the VAP430 having been maintained right...

17 by Ganesh T S on 7/24/2012

Replacing my HTPC with a mini ITX System

Free time is hard to come by these days. Since the beginning of the year I've hit Vegas, Barcelona, Santa Clara, New York, Santa Clara (again), Austin, Seattle, Chicago...

56 by Anand Lal Shimpi on 5/24/2012

ASRock's High-End Vision 3D 252B HTPC Review

In late 2010, we reviewed the ASRock Vision 3D, and declared it to be the best pre-built SFF (small form factor) HTPC we had reviewed. ASRock duly updated the...

61 by Ganesh T S on 5/7/2012

Intel's Ivy Bridge: An HTPC Perspective

Towards the end of June 2011, we saw AMD trying to create a HTPC friendly solution in the Llano series. By pairing a GPU with the CPU in the...

70 by Ganesh T S on 4/23/2012

Zotac ZBOX Nano XS AD11 Plus: Redefining the Small Form Factor PC

Small Form Factor (SFF) PCs are becoming quite popular as processors become more and more power efficient. Over the last few years, we have had a slew of budget...

44 by Ganesh T S on 4/11/2012

Pulse-Eight Motorola NYXboard Hybrid Remote Review

Pulse-Eight is one of the companies tracing its roots to XBMC, and it is no wonder they have a host of interesting products in the HTPC space. We have...

23 by Ganesh T S on 4/5/2012

Cinavia DRM: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Blu-ray’s Self-Destruction

DRM (Digital Rights Management) is intended to protect media from being played in an unauthorized manner. However, more often than not, it fails to serve the purpose. Today, we...

118 by Ganesh T S on 3/21/2012

CyberLink PowerDVD 12: Complementing Your Mobile Lifestyle

Software Blu-ray / DVD players are bundled with almost all OEM PCs and a necessity for consumers who want to enjoy their commercial optical media in the most legal...

42 by Ganesh T S on 1/31/2012

Pulse-Eight USB CEC Adapter Review

Pulse-Eight is one of the commercial vendors tracing their roots to XBMC. Boxee is another company with XBMC roots, but, unlike Boxee, Pulse-Eight concentrates more on the hardware aspects...

22 by Ganesh T S on 1/24/2012

VLC 'Hack' for Encrypted Blu-ray Playback Capability

VLC is one of the most widely used media players. It was one of the first open source media players to get encrypted DVD playback capability, and now, it...

27 by Ganesh T S on 1/23/2012

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