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Harman Kardon HKTS 20 and HKTS 30 5.1 speaker systems drop

Posted in Home Theater by Shane McGlaun on March 24th, 2010

I have used lots of products from Harman Kardon over the years as well as the firms sister company JBL. Harman Kardon makes all sorts of speakers ranging for computer speakers to home theater gear. Most of the stuff tends to be high-end, which means expensive.

Harman Kardon has unveiled a couple new surround sound home theater speaker systems. The new systems include the HKTS 20 and the HKTS 30. The speaker systems are almost identical with lots of the same features including a 200W powered 8-inch subwoofer.

Gluvi – a condom for your remote

Posted in Accessories by Shane McGlaun on March 24th, 2010

Any parent will tell you that with kids around you are going to end up cleaning goo off the strangest places. I have had to clean peanut butter off the back of the refrigerator (don’t ask) and have spent more time than I care to talk about with a tooth pick and a paper towel trying to get chocolate out of the crevices of my Harmony One remote control.

A company called Gluvi has a new sanitary solution for remote controls that looks to me like a condom for your remote. The thing has an open end and slips over the remote to protect the keys from germs. I bet it works pretty well for keeping chocolate fingers away too.

Versus network comes back to DirecTV

Posted in Home Theater by Shane McGlaun on March 16th, 2010

Last summer I was all set to watch some MMA fights on the Versus network on my DirecTV service. When I went to watch the fights Versus had been pulled from DirecTV and in its place was a page that said Versus wanted too much money and DirecTV pulled the station.

I was not happy. If you were in the same boat, Versus is coming back to DirecTV. DirecTV and Versus have announced that the two firms have settled their differences and the Versus station will come back to all DirecTV packages that had the station before.

Logitech adds low cost Harmony 600 and 650 universal remotes to line

Posted in Logitech by Shane McGlaun on March 2nd, 2010

Logitech has been peddling its line of Harmony universal remote controls for a while now. The line has some of the best universal remotes around. I am particularly fond of the Harmony One and use it in my living room.

Logitech has added a pair of low cost universal remotes to the Harmony line including the 600 and 650. The remotes are very similar with the same basic shape and differ in the screens used. The 600 has a monochrome screen and the 650 has a color screen.

Zvox adds digital inputs to new sound bars

Posted in Home Theater by Shane McGlaun on January 27th, 2010

I am a big movie and home theater fan. If I could find a way to get surround sound speakers in the back of my room without causing a divorce I would. For some of us real surround sound just isn’t an option for many reasons. Thankfully, we can at least get sound bars to get better sound that what the TV offers.

Zvox has a line of sound bars that it has been offering for a while now. The company announced today that it has updated three of its sound bars with digital inputs. The Zvox 575 HSD, 550 HSD, and 430 HSD have all been updated with optical and coaxial digital inputs.

Aperion Home Audio Link breaks cover

Posted in Home Theater by Shane McGlaun on January 19th, 2010

Getting music from you computer in one room to your home theater or stereo in another can be a challenge. You can carry your notebook into the other room and connect it up some times, but for the most part, you need something wireless for the task.

Aperion Audio has announced a new device called the Home Audio Link system that can stream music from your PC to a home theater system wirelessly. The system plugs into the USB port of your computer on the transmitter end and the receiver plugs into your audio system with RCA cables.

Boxetti transforming home theater: A big box of ugly

Posted in Home Theater by Conner Flynn on January 17th, 2010

We love home theater systems. The large sound and movie experience is awesome. But it can be challenging setting up all of the speakers and the rest of it. The Boxetti Thrill might make things easier, keeping it all in one place. It’s a home theater cabinet from Lithuanian designer Rolands Landsbergs.

When not in use, it looks like an ugly piece of furniture, a washer maybe, but when it’s movie time, it opens up Transformers style to reveal a full home theater rig including speakers and a flat screen TV on a motorized lift. There’s even hidden storage area for your DVDs and Blu-Rays. Problem is it doesn’t get any less fugly.

Air Keyboard is an awesome HTPC keyboard

Posted in Home Theater by Conner Flynn on January 10th, 2010

In the world of HTPC keyboards, this one is surely one of the best. It’s the latest version of Cideko’s Air Keyboard and it’s barely larger than your palm, but still gives you full keyboard and mouse control of your home theater PC. It also gives you transport controls for all of your media and the motion sensor moves the mouse cursor as you tilt.

Right now it’s just a prototype. According to Dvice the new rounded styling feels good in the hand and it has convenient earphone and microphone ports. It ships this summer for an unknown price.

Sherwood unveils RD-7505N AV receiver with internet connectivity

Posted in Home Theater by Shane McGlaun on January 5th, 2010

I would like to watch internet content on the TV in my living room, but I don’t want to clutter the space with a PC. I would also like to upgrade my AV receiver to one supporting the HD sound formats the PS3 is capable of. Sherwood has unveiled a new AV receiver that supports HD sound and internet connectivity with no PC.

The device is called the RD-7505N and is compliant with HDMI 1.4 and 7.1 surround sound. The receiver is ready for 3D content, the device has internet connectivity, and users can surf the web using the receivers remote control.

Best Buy unveils Rocketfish WirelessHD kit

Posted in Best Buy by Shane McGlaun on December 1st, 2009

bbrocketfishwirlesshdmiI once tried to wire a projector up in my living room only to give up when I realized what a huge pain it was going to be to run an HDMI cable from the TV up the wall and across the ceiling. If I was trying the same thing today, I would be able to use wireless connectivity to connect the projector to my DVR like the new Rocketfish WirelessHD Adapter.

The adapter includes a transmitter and a receiver that can send 1080p HD programming at 60 fps up to 10 meters away. That means you can connect TVs and projectors to your DVR or Blu-ray player without needing wires between the two.

JVC SP-FT 31mm thin home theater speaker system

Posted in Speakers by Conner Flynn on October 14th, 2009

JVC SP-FT 31mm thin home theater speaker systemThe problem with super thin HDTVs is that your bulky speakers tend to stand out like a sore thumb. Well, JVC has the cure with the above pair of 31mm thin speaker satellites. The SP-FT1 comes in black and the SP-FT2 in white with the AX-FT amplifier in the middle.

The amp delivers 80W of total output over 4 independent channels, and supports Dolby Digital, DTS and AAC formats. Expect to pay around ¥24,000 (or $267) for the amp and ¥20,000 (or $223) for the speakers when the black versions hit Japan later this month. The white ones will be available in November.

Hands on: Logitech Speaker System Z323

Posted in Review by Conner Flynn on September 21st, 2009

Hands on: Logitech Speaker System Z323Good speaker systems are hard to find. Especially if you want a small form, with big sound. And bass is usually disappointing in these small systems. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been disappointed with speakers that don’t deliver. So I decided to give Logitech’s Z323 a try.

These speakers are acoustically engineered to project audio evenly in all directions, not just one. The idea is that you hear the full range of sound throughout a room. Another interesting feature is the down-firing woofer designed to deliver rich, deep bass. The two satellite speakers claim to produce warm mid-range tones and crisp high notes. You can plug in your Logitech Squeezebox, gaming console, iPod or DVD player. So what did we think of the Z323? Read on.

LG unveils two wireless HDTVs

Posted in LG by Shane McGlaun on September 10th, 2009

lgwirelsshdtvThe worst thing about home theater gear and HDTVs is that there are lots of wires. Wires don’t look good and if your wife is a wire hater like mine, you end up catching lots of grief. LG has announced a couple new HDTVs that are wireless.

The two new sets include the LG 55LHX and the LH85. The TVs use a media box to transmit uncompressed full 1080p signals with “virtually” no interference directly to the TV. The TV can pick up the wireless signals from up to 30 feet away.

Zvox unveils IncrediBase 575 home theater

Posted in Home Theater by Shane McGlaun on September 9th, 2009

zvoxbase-sbI like home theater systems, but I am not a fan of all the wires that go along with them. Wireless systems are available, but the speakers still typically need to be plugged into an AC outlet creating issues of their own.

Zvox has announced a new IncrediBase cabinet that offers a simulated surround sound experience with all the speakers needed for the system crammed into one cabinet that sits under your TV. The IncrediBase 575 has a 133-watt amp, dual 6.5-inch long-extrusion subs, and five full range speakers in one cabinet.

Optoma announces HD20 projector

Posted in Projectors by Conner Flynn on August 9th, 2009

Optoma announces HD20 projectorOptoma has announced a brand spanking new projector that hovers below the $1,000 price point. Barely. The HD20 is a DLP-based front projector featuring a 1080p resolution and is aimed squarely at computer and home theater users. You can take the image all the way up to 120-inches and it has a contrast ratio of 4,000:1, with 1,700 lumens of brightness.

Some other features include two HDMI ports and a VGA connection. Some analog connectors are also included like RCA and component. No release date yet, but the $999 price tag sure makes it tempting.