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Matthew B.

Matthew B.

Joined on 03/05/04

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 9
Most Favorable Review

Good indoor antenna

Mediasonic HomeWorX HW210AN Ultra Thin Indoor Digital HD TV antenna
Mediasonic HomeWorX HW210AN Ultra Thin Indoor Digital HD TV antenna

Pros: Good antenna for the price. Convenient form factor.

Cons: Not truly non-directional, but there's really no such thing for a UHF antenna.

Overall Review: One thing I've learned through research and experience - there's no such thing as a "miracle antenna". There are certain basic principles they all conform to. Having said that, this one isn't bad. Look carefully and you'll see that this is a standard double "bow tie" UHF antenna, conveniently encased in flexible plastic. That makes it reasonably nice looking and able to be mounted flat to a wall or window. A window is better. It's not truly non-directional but close enough that you'll probably get good service at one 90° angle (if it doesn't work on one wall, put it on another that is 90° to the first.). It's a true UHF antenna, and the claimed 35 mile range is good for UHF band channels if mounted as described below. Some stations broadcast in VHF high band. RF channel 13 or below (go to antennaweb.org to check for your area). For these the range seems to be only 7 - 10 miles. Mounting recommendations: Mount against an exterior wall or, ideally, a window. Mounting options are up to you. I used suction cup hooks through the two small holes at the top to stick it on a window. Put it about 4' below the ceiling. That way the signals are not obstructed by your roofing material. If that's not satisfactory, try it on another wall or window at 90° to the first.

Most Critical Review

Rebate is Bogus

Transcend 4GB Secure Digital (SD) Flash Card Model TS4GSD150
Transcend 4GB Secure Digital (SD) Flash Card Model TS4GSD150

Pros: The card itself works very well

Cons: Rebate was denied because not received within 14 days. Well, let's see: It took 3 days to arrive after order. I sent in the rebate 2 days later. Say 5 days by USMail. That only leaves 4 days of slack. So whether the timing is real or not it's obvious Transcend goes out of their way to make it difficult, if not impossible, to get your money.

Overall Review: It's a good card, but don't count on that cash back!

Not quite as described

Dell Desktop PC
Dell Desktop PC

Pros: At the current sale price it's a good deal. Got it to use as a media center PC. Comes with Windows 7 Home Premium which includes Media Center. Add a cheap video card with HDMI out, a USB TV tuner and a wireless keyboard, and you're good to go.

Cons: Didn't get what I thought I was ordering. Description says "slim/small form factor" It's actually "desktop" form factor. That's good or bad depending on what you want. The picture does show the desktop form factor. However it shows it with a riser card which convert the the PCI express and one PCI slot to full height. The other PCI stays half height. No riser card was supplied. You still get the same 3 slots but they are all half height. Supplied keyboard and mouse are low grade generic. Windows 7 is supplied on the HDD. No recovery disk. So back up the disk as soon as you get it running.

Overall Review: I wouldn't buy this at the normal price. At the sale price it's a 4 egg deal. However I don't like vendors lying to me about what I get so I downgraded to 3 stars.

Works fine

SYBA USB 3.0 (3+1) PCI-e Controller Card, Etron Chipset, Molex (IDE HD 4-pin) Built-in Model SY-PEX20135
SYBA USB 3.0 (3+1) PCI-e Controller Card, Etron Chipset, Molex (IDE HD 4-pin) Built-in Model SY-PEX20135

Pros: Includes internal USB 3.0 port and power connector. Included CD had lastest drivers so it worked fine straight out of the box.

Cons: None

Overall Review: Got this along with a front panel card reader that had a USB 3.0 port. Plugged its connector into the internal USB3.0 port on the card and it works fine. The card reader portion uses a USB 2.0 connector. I plugged it into one of the backplane USB 3.0 ports on this card and it reads cards noticeably faster than when plugged into a USB 2.0 connector - go figure.

Slow for large files

PQI U822V 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Model 6822-032GR1XXX
PQI U822V 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Model 6822-032GR1XXX

Pros: Bought on shell shocker for about the same price as a 32Gb usb 2.0 flash drive.

Cons: About the same speed as a USB 2.0 flash drive.

Overall Review: Bought this to transfer media files > 4.0 Gb in size. Comes formatted FAT 32, and with a copy of Norton Internet Security 2009 (How long has this been on the shelf?) Reformatted to NTFS. Tried transferring a 5 GB file. 1st 500 MB or so transfers very fast, > 150 MB/s. Remaining amount slows down to USB 2.0 speeds, ≈ 20 MB/s. Too slow for it's intended purpose.

12/23/2012

Works well but somewhat limited

Seagate FreeAgent Theater+ USB 2.0 / Ethernet HD Media Player Only STCEA201-RK
Seagate FreeAgent Theater+ USB 2.0 / Ethernet HD Media Player Only STCEA201-RK

Pros: What it does, it does well. Netflix and Youtube streaming: good quality and easy navigation. Playback of photos, videos, music from attached hard drive are smooth and easy with good FF and Rew operation for skipping commercials. Playback over network from NAS is OK. A little jumpy on the FF and Rew, but as good as my WDTV live.

Cons: Lacks useful features: I use my computer as a DVR and then transfer the shows to my living room on a portable hard drive. The FAT+ lacks several useful convenience features that the WDTV live in my den has. 1. No preview on videos (ability to see first minute or so by clicking on the thumbnail). Must actually start a video to determine if you've already watched it. 2. Adding thumbnails to videos is a laborious manual task. WDTV does it automatically. 3. No ability to delete files from the unit. Must take the hard drive back to the computer to do this. I'd like to be able to delete shows right after I watch them. This seems like such an obviously useful function that I'm mystified as to why it's not there.

Overall Review: In fairness, the FAT+ has been much less troublesome than the WDTV Live. It started up on the first try and has run trouble free ever since. The WDTV needed numerous firmware updates to get everything working right. Even now it periodically locks up and has to be manually reset. Then I have to go back in and change all of the settings from factory default back to my preferences. So on balance this is not a bad unit, if you don't mind the limitations.

11/11/2010