Archive for June, 2006

Mac mini as a media center

Mac Mini Mac Mini is one of the best Apple products. Incontestable proof of it is a bunch of interesting installations of Mini. This howto from Engadget explains how to create a home media center on Mac Mini. It describes how to extend a storage using external Firewire driver, setup audio, video (HDTV as well) and DVR. Also, you can find there receipt how to controlling your Mac mini remotelly.

Well, I’m thinkg more and more about Mac mini as a home PC 🙂

The Next Generation X10

Next Generation X10

Using X10 devices is the most appropriate solution for budget home automation. They can be installed and configured by homeowner without any problems and after that they can be controlled via PC or remote (sure, you still can switch on/off light manually). But X10 devices suffer from disadvantage as well. For example, the 2-ways devices (they can receive commands and send events) are too expensive. You can choose 1-way X10 but when you change their status manually your automation system won’t know about it.

Another a considerable disadvantage of X10 is a possibility to control your devices from outside your home. X10 signals travel through your electical lines and can pass from one house to another if you do not have the signals filtered by adding additional hardware.

The new generation of X10 devices have built-in noise filter and more pleasing aesthetic design. Also, they have higher power handling and remember last brightness level. So, let’s see how the second generation of X10 will work on practice.

200Mbps Powerline HD solution

Netgear and DS2’s announced a 200Mbps Powerline HD solution. This amazing speed is caused by rapid growth of HD TV. More and more home entertaiment devices support it and it time to broadcast HD content through a building’s existing electrical wiring omitting cables.

The new HD ethernet adapter (HDX101) and networking kit (HDXB101) are selling for $129.99 and $249.99 respectively.

200Mbps Powerline

via Engaget]

Budget SLA 5520 Streamium

Phillips has well known family of music streamers – Streamium. They are good and expensive. But a new streamer – SLA 5520 changed this situation. It has only a small two-toned screen, and no video support or extra functionality other than PlaysForSure but the price of the SLA 5520 is just US$99! So, it’s very reasonable for smarthome owners who like music.

Absolutely noiseless MiniPC’s ED612E

MiniPC's ED612E
Yet another mini PC from MiniPC – ED612E. It doesn’t seem very power – 1.2GHz VIA Eden proc, 256MB (1GB max) DDR2 memory, a 40GB SATA disk, VIA CN700 graphics chipset, 4 x USB 2.0, Firewire, S/PDIF/composite video out, and even a couple of PS/2 jacks. The dimensions are 20.6 x 19.0 x 7.3 cm. A subtle difference of ED612E is absolutely noiseless. Maybe it can be a reasont to pay about $679 green when the ED612E drops later this month in Japan. But taking into account that Mac Mini Core Duo price is US$778 and possibility to install Linux or Windows as second OS I’m not sure that ED612E will be very popular.

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