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Richard B.

Richard B.

Joined on 03/21/05

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 4
Most Favorable Review

Cannot praise highly enough

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3EG HD203WI 2TB 5400 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3EG HD203WI 2TB 5400 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive

Pros: Very quiet, very cool, work in RAID (not all 2TB drives do, especially other "green" [hint hint] drives). Slow RPM + high data density = fast data flow and cool and quiet (with theoretically tiny hit on seek times, nothing I've noticed).

Cons: Zip. Zilch. Nada.

Overall Review: Do be advised that Windows XP and 32-bit versions of Vista and Win7 will NOT span these or any 2TB drive (RAID0), not will any external enclosure not running a sophisticated (expensive) 65-bit O/S of its own. I needed 4TB on-line for HD recording so I had to invent my own poor-man's RAID (if interested visit TheGreenButton and search for "JFSA") but that's a limitation of Windows, not this drive. Speaking of which, I just bought two more from NewEgg for a 2TB mirrored Public drive - that's how highly I recommend these.

Most Critical Review

Inconsistent RAID1, not for large drives

KINGWIN KM-TB235 Front & Rear Panel: Plastic Outer Case: Aluminum 3.5" SATA USB 2.0 & eSATA External Enclosure
KINGWIN KM-TB235 Front & Rear Panel: Plastic Outer Case: Aluminum 3.5" SATA USB 2.0 & eSATA External Enclosure

Pros: Excellent JBOD performance across USB. Does both RAID0 and BIG (spanned) (althoug manual never explains the practical difference). Both USB and eSATA connectors, but I have't tried eSATA yet.

Cons: WILL NOT WORK WITH 2TB drives, or probably 1.5TB, in anything other than JBOD (good luck figuring that out from NewEgg's description, or the manual for that matter). Could not get RAID1 to work with (2) 1TB WDs, period, despite two days of trying. I know drives are good because I can get through the process of "SAFE33," which is part BIG and part RAID1. Used DISKPART to "clean" the drives, tried setting them up JBOD & then switching to RAID1, tried switching positions (the one on the bottom is the Master), tried formatting both of them first ect. Gets 90% of the way through and bombs. As mentioned, the manual is downright laughable - except you need it, especially if you're setting up RAID. Since you will not be able to tell the difference between a blue LED blinking red and a red LED blinking blue (and I suppose that in Chinese the words "flash" and blink" have obviously distinct meanings), install the Manager software on the CD (also not mentioned in the manual!)

Overall Review: I kept it because I could possibly use a JBOD or single drive with eSATA and USB capability. Might come in handy some day. Make sure you set those jumpers first, power up, and hit that reset button. There are jumpers not described in the manual and they appear to be associated with Management software functions (i.e. manually forcing rebuilds or verifies instead of having the drive do it automatically), but I did not experiment with them. I leave you with this following gem form the manual: when rebuilding or verifying a mirror, the Blue LED is ON and the Red LED is "Flash (On) Will Appear As On." If you can understand that, get yourself a KingWin. P.S. Speaking of KingWin, I tried another unit of theirs from NewEgg whose entry seemed to imply that it would RAID 2TB drives - nope, RMA'd. Hopefully NewEgg has corrected its description text by the time you read this.

Fantastic

Ceton InfiniTV 4 USB: Quad-tuner external device for Watching Digital Cable TV on the PC, USB 2.0 Interface 5102-DCT04EX-USB
Ceton InfiniTV 4 USB: Quad-tuner external device for Watching Digital Cable TV on the PC, USB 2.0 Interface 5102-DCT04EX-USB

Pros: Works. Four channels off one M-cable card, wow! Incredibly easy and smooth setup. Terrific built-in diagnostics in both regular Windows and within Media Center. "Supposedly" allows sharing of tuners (and recorded TV?) across networks with other Windows 7 computers...but I haven't tried that.

Cons: Continuous "No Tuner" errors. Fixed by updating firmware, which was very easy once you know how (Start, all programs, Centon, Update) but oddly the update tab within Media Center, where you'd expect this, has the ability to see the installed version and the latest version on Ceton's web site but frustratingly no ability to do anything about it.

Overall Review: Long time owner of an ATI TV Wonder, both internal and then (after I fried it) USB. The ATI is extremely cable company friendly and user hostile (and of course only one channel). Everything about the ATI was secretive and difficult requiring special knowledge ATI won't part with to troubleshoot. The Ceton takes the opposite approach with easy, no fuss installation and boatloads of information screens. Most importantly, the ATI was designed for Vista and it's oppressively draconian Digital Rights Medium rules whereas the Ceton works with the more liberal Windows 7 - meaning few (if any) shows missed because a signal was weak or you turned off the monitor at the wrong time and the tuner decided you're trying to illegally copy "Mad Men." And of course, unlike the ATI the Ceton does not require support built into the BIOS of your PC, meannig it can be installed on any halfway decent computer running Windows 7 rather than having to be installed only by the OEM.

A few bugs, great value

Westinghouse 40" 1080p 120Hz LED-LCD HDTV LD-4080
Westinghouse 40" 1080p 120Hz LED-LCD HDTV LD-4080

Pros: Generally excellent picture, multiple HDMI connections, amazing price.

Cons: Poor stand and sound (already beaten to death by other reviewers), loses all settings when power is lost, VERY POOR COMPUTER PICTURE QUALITY AND NO DVI INPUT - but see Other Thoughts on both.

Overall Review: Terrible, grainy picture from computer via HDMI. Unlike every other monitor I know of - including other Westys - no way to force monitor timing for PC. Other monitors have one HDMI input dedicated for PC, or allow pixel-by-pixel mapping to override television overscan, or have a dropdown to choose the type of input. Since this is fed from my HDPC this was a showstopper. You could use the VGA connector, but you lose HDCP (meaning, no BluRay, no restricted content Media Center television etc etc.) You could use DVI, but there's no DVI input. I just hit on the solution: I connected a cheap little DVI-to-HDMI adapter (you probably have one sitting around somewhere or they're just a few bucks) to the DVI output of the PC, then plugged the HDMI cable into that and then into the Westy. Although I lost sound (no great loss on this monitor anyway), the picture was instantly perfect. Too bad the manual doesn't mention this workaround - or simply provide a PC input in the first place.

12/14/2011