Category Archives: LivingRoom

Home theater, speaker, amp, av component and TV technology news and reviews.

The Streaming Showdown: Foxtel Now versus Netflix versus Stan…

No longer must Australians settle for the rubbish free to air television over the holiday season. Now with a wealth of streaming options available all that is required is a fast internet connection for the holiday season ratings hiatus to be a thing of the past.

With many of the new breed of TV streaming services offering a free trial period there has never been a better time to switch remote controls and get a solid binge watch under your belt. It is time to break the couch.

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Microsoft Holoportation, the Holodeck Comes To Life.

Microsoft’s augmented reality (AR) headset HoloLens is becoming more useful every day and it hasn’t even been released yet, the developers edition is due next month. The latest mind blowing use for the Buck Rogers helmet (headset) is teleportation, or rather holoportation. A name that unintentionally blends holodeck (and HoloLens too) with teleportation, two of our favorite Star Trek technologies. Luckily it’s also a very accurate description of the technology.

Through the magic of technology Holoportation allows two disparate people to share their presence, to communicate. Sending your live image (avatar) instantly over vast distances you can now appear to be in the room with your friends and visa versa, as long as you are all wearing HoloLens AR headsets.

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Colin Furze and his Apocalypse Bunker, Man Cave Madness.

That mechanical maniac Colin Furze has recently completed his most ambitious project yet, a backyard apocalypse bunker that will withstand everything from a nuclear attack to zombie invasion. As with all Furze madness it isn’t enough to build any ordinary bunker, no all Furze projects have to turn it up to 11 and see what happens. In this case Colin has managed to build one hell of a bunker then turned it up to 11 by converting the bunker into one spectacular man cave. With tons of steel and yards of cement carefully arranged and poured the Furze Bunker isn’t mucking around either, this is an Abrams Tank built 3 meters underground.

Presented for your viewing pleasure is the making of video (short version) for the underground bunker generating man cave jealousy around the world. Kudos to Colin for maintaining the madness. Sit back relax and prepare to be surprised by how cool a hole in the ground can be.

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Android TV and Kodi, 2015’s Ultimate Home Theater Streamer on a Budget.

A TV revolution is well underway, no longer are our viewing habits a prisoner to Free To Air, Network or Cable TV. Netflix, Hulu and other streaming services are tuning us into this revolution and streaming devices are key to unlocking the stream. Serving all of your modern media needs streamers are the set top box of the future ready to stream today. Combine these modern streamers with Kodi and you have an affordable way to access unbelievable amounts of content at the click of a button.

This does leave the tricky question of which streamer to hook up to that flat panel display? If like us you use Kodi (formerly XBMC) to stream media on a daily basis then the question becomes a little more complicated and then a lot simpler. The following is our journey of discovery to find the perfect Kodi streamer for around $200.

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3D Projecting Stadiums: The Toronto Maple Leafs versus the Atlanta Hawks…

If you see Romeo versus Juliet a thousand times it turns out the same each time but sport is different, sports is a night out with a surprising finish every time. A form of entertainment that is as popular as ever. While the games might stay pretty much the same the stadiums are evolving fast. Forget safety or lavatories the latest mind blowing addition to any great stadium is 3D Projection, a new talent that brings the court or rink to life in spectacular fashion.

Many stadiums throughout the US and Canada are being upgraded with projection capabilities, the start of 2015 saw nearly 50 in the US alone. The Atlanta Hawks home the Philips Arena and The Toronto Maple Leafs home the Air Canada Centre are two of the best examples of this technology executed spectacularly. Which is the best is hard to say, watch both videos and you decide.

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The Mars Levitating Speaker, Making Waves While Floating on Air…

Making waves in the tech world during the throng of CES, sound waves especially, is no easy feat but the Mars levitating Bluetooth speaker seems to be doing just that. Raising its voice and levitating above the myriad of new gadgets Mars is capturing attention through incredible amounts of cool, Bluetooth speakers are now a dime a dozen after all.

Mind you the Mars speaker isn’t simply using levitation just because levitation makes everything cooler, no; instead it has been put to use taking away any directionality of the speaker. A design intended to seamlessly produce 360-degree sound giving everyone around the room clear audio.

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The Pyro Board, Audio and Fire Mixed at Just the Right Ratio…

The Pyro Board is audio on fire, burning flammable gas to any beat supplied. An incredible fusion of music mixed with the flames of combustion. Real fire really is the greatest music visualization.

Developed by Rubens Tube enthusiasts Fysokshow the hypnotic flames of the Pyro Board dance to the beat of pressure changes caused by sound waves. The sound waves are transmitted through the flammable gas that is being fed into the 2,500 burners on top of the Pyro Board. The resulting pressure patterns in the flowing gas cause the flames to react, changing to the beat or tone sent through the gas.

Presented for your viewing pleasure is the visually stunning and most incredible Pyro Board. Keep the volume down for the first half of each clip, the squeal could pop an ear drum. Sit back, relax and remember not to try this at home, fire is always trying to kill us.

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Samantha West, the Voice of the Next Generation Robot or Synthetic Telemarketer?…..

Her name was Samantha and her chirpy mid-west tones have set the internet alight. I gladly hang on her every word. She would call trying to sell me insurance but I only heard a voice that made me want to know more. Samantha you see is a robot, the stuff of electric dreams.

Samantha it seems has mastered the dual arts of listening and speech, and yes the first robots voice is incredible. Quickly getting the internet talking Samantha is also a mystery girl, the exact technology and amount of human involvement in her dialog remain a mystery.

Often late at night her bubbly voice would be at the other end of the line, her synthetic nature hidden by tyranny of distance. Does the day of the robot fast approach?

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Audio for the People: Caustic 2, Windows and Android Music Production Made Easy…

The touchy feely tablet revolution is spawning a new wave of audio applications, putting the power to make music in every tablet owner’s hands. Single Cell Software are riding this wave of change with Caustic 2, bringing affordable music production to Android tablets and Window PC’s everywhere.

Caustic 2 is far more than a virtual synthesizer or rack-mount simulation, with its touch screen interface and affordable price tag ($10) it is the gateway to success, add talent and time for best results.

Highpants in-house audio expert ‘Norbut Verse the World’ has put on his headphones and dived head first into a tablet full of Caustic. Turning out the tunes with a swish and a tap here is his take on this audio app.

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The Return of the Mehdi, How Not to make an Electric Guitar…

Mehdi Sadaghdar returns to YouTube’s hallowed halls once again to educate and entertain us all. With his eyebrow at the ready Mehdi prepares to take a 110 volt hit for our amusement, you have to respect someone willing to go this far for a laugh.

On this death defying journey to educate Mehdi sets out to build his own electric guitar, the rock star within must be heard. Theoretically not the most dangerous of task, that is unless you do it the Mehdi way.

Put your laughing pants on people this one will shock you with how amusing taking a hit of the AC/DC juice can be. With your stretchy pants on, sit back, relax and hit the play button for today’s lesson in pain.

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