Except for its lack of Blu-ray, the Epson Ensemble HD Home Cinema System may be the closest thing to a complete packaged solution that covers just about every nut and bolt for big-screen home entertainment. It comprises a full-HD or 720p projector, motorized 100-inch screen, 5.1-channel surround sound system, DVD media player, universal remote controller, and all relevant accessories such as cables and brackets.
The system is designed to simplify installation and minimize clutter, partly by integrating various components. A projection screen comes with a built-in SoundBar for the front audio channels, and there's a rounded projector ceiling … Read more
Plat'Home, a Linux company from Japan that specializes in combining eco-friendly, small, tough hardware with their own version of Linux, is announcing another in their series of MicroServers. Kanshi BlockS Pro, made to monitor servers and various network applications, is now available in North America.
This is a great example of applying technology where it's needed. A large percentage of IT budgets are spent on infrastructure monitoring and management. Up-time can be anywhere from just important to mission-critical. The problem for many companies, however, is that the medicine is worse than the disease. Implementing expensive, complex monitoring solutions … Read more
A few weeks ago, I wrote a column for a different publication about a small, yet well-known company. In that article, I discussed why it's wrong on so many fronts and lacks many of the attributes we should expect from a well-run tech organization: solid products, strong management, and cost competitiveness. Unfortunately, this particular company lacked all three.
About two hours after I wrote the column, I received an email from the company's PR team asking me to discuss my beliefs with its co-founder. After telling him that he has left the company in bad hands and he needs to turn things around as soon as possible, or else become a guaranteed failure, he understood where I was coming from and told his attack dogs to back off.
And although I haven't heard anything from the company since, it had me thinking: why does the truth hurt so much?
Of course, the answer quickly came: it isn't the truth that really hurts these companies, it's the fact that someone is willing to say it.… Read more
I recently purchased a universal remote control to replace the three other remotes that littered our living room. Both the remotes for the Comcast cable box and Marantz AV receiver were theoretically universal, but none really functioned as such as they were too hard to set up and too hard to use. So my wife and I did the familiar remote juggle.
Hoping to fix this I selected the Logitech Harmony One for various reasons which I'll go into. (I should also note that Logitech is a client of Frog Design, where I work, but I'm writing this … Read more
One of the most punishing strikes against Microsoft's Zune MP3 player is that it's just not fun to shop for. iPod owners can drive themselves into the poorhouse buying up "Made for iPod" speaker docks, video goggles, workout accessories, voice recorders, and at least a few gazillion cases. For Zune owners, I was able to round up six worthy accessories. That's right--six!
The motivation behind this Zune accessory round-up is iHome's latest ZN9 clock radio, which landed on my desk last week and impressed me with its solid design and extensive features. With so … Read more
The Gateway notebook roll-out is official. Sony's is not. Gateway Computer announced three lines of notebook PCs on Monday with 64-bit Windows, while Circuit City prematurely posted images of upcoming Sony notebooks.
Gateway rolled out three notebooks targeted at students. The P series desktop replacement comes with a 17-inch widescreen, the M series with a 15.4-inch screen, and the T series uses a 14.1-inch screen.
All systems come with 64-bit Windows Vista Home Premium and pack 4GB of memory--the minimum for acceptable performance in 64-bit Windows.
The 15-inch "… Read more
As home phones are continually threatened with extinction, manufacturers have tried to add functions that appear to bring them closer to their mobile counterparts. But perhaps there's a much simpler tactic: paint them in bright colors.
Following a trend that's become commonplace for most mobile handset makers, GE has introduced the "Ultra Slim Cordless Phone" from its Designer Series in candy-apple red, according to SlashGear. (Not exactly our taste, but it could always be worse.)
Other than the shiny finish, the $70 phone has standard functions including a small LCD, caller ID, and a digital answering … Read more
As we all know high-end speakers are really expensive, some cost as much as a nice car. But high-end headphones, even the very best ones are within reach of anybody who loves great sound.
A while back I tested three of the top contenders for Home Entertainment magazine: AKG's K 701, Grado's RS-1, and Sennheiser's HD 650. Each is, in its own way, remarkable. You can read the complete review here.
The AKG K 701 is a very large over-the ear headphone. Its remarkably open sound will be hugely appealing for those of you who use headphones while watching DVDs. I find the K 701 produces a less in your head, more speaker-like sound than the Grado or Sennheiser. As big as they are, the K 701's creamy soft ear pads are so darn comfy it is easy to forget I'm wearing headphones. No wonder some headphone addicts lauded the K 701 as the best there is. The K 701 will continue, but the K 702 will debut in August.… Read more