Hardware

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Sony LF-V30 LocationFree Base Station

Which consumer product first enabled any PC with an Internet connection to remotely control a set-top box or DVR and stream live or pre-recorded television to it? If you answered “Slingbox,” you’re mistaken. It was actually Sony’s LocationFree TV.

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3DConnexion SpaceNavigator Personal Edition

Quick, call Maxwell Smart. We’ve identified a KAOS plot aimed at destroying American worker productivity. Now thanks to 3DConnexion, that evil plot to have 90 percent of Americans flying all over the globe using Google Earth—instead of working — just got easier, and thus more KAOtic.

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Netgear Digital Entertainer HD EVA8000

We like Netgear’s EVA8000—a lot. Its industrial design fits in with the rest of our AV gear, its user interface is as elegant and polished as it is easy to use, it supports resolutions up to 1080p with an HDMI port, and that’s just the beginning. But if you buy one, make sure it has the latest firmware update before you do anything else. We couldn’t configure our review unit at all until we updated the software. With that housekeeping accomplished, we were on our way to streaming bliss. Although the EVA8000 has dual antennas, it’s still limited to 802.11g speeds and cannot reliably stream high-definition video content without a wire, but it delivered excellent image and audio quality.

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MediaGate MG-350HD

We found some innovative ideas inside the MediaGate MG-350HD, but this streamer’s shortcomings far outweigh its assets.
Designing the shell to accommodate an optional 3.5-inch hard drive, for instance, is brilliant; ditto for including logic enabling it to operate as a USB 2.0 host. This means it can not only behave as a NAS box but also copy images off your digital camera without you having to first fire up your PC. But we’re less enthused about having to do a reach-around to access the USB port, and the hard-drive interface is old-school IDE.

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Stanton T.90 USB Turntable

We received a ton of feedback on our reviews of Audio-Technica’s AT-PL50 and Ion Audio’s ITTUSB turntables in our May 2007 issue, but since we concluded that neither of those products was fabulous, we brought in this more upscale Stanton model for a look.

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