Review: Gefen High Resolution USB to Analog and Digital Audio Decoder


I’m an audiophile, but I’m a frugal audiophile. As delightful as big-ticket stereo equipment is, my Scots heritage and its accompanying frugality informs my preferences. In short, I get thrilled by equipment that delivers best bang for the buck. Gefen is best known as a maker of video dongles for a variety of streaming and […]

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What Are The Advantages Of Buying From Distributors?


Regardless of whether you’re a residential or commercial AV company your clients needs products, and you need to get them from somewhere. Broadly speaking, your two most common options are to deal directly with the manufacturer, or a distributor. Since nothing in this business is ever simple, some manufacturers only sell to dealers directly, others […]

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A Review of SurgeX SEQ Power Bank and Envision PCS Remote Diagnostic Unit


Serendipity strikes at opportune times. A couple of months back the eleven year old power conditioner connected to the system in my media room died. Shortly after I had blogged at rAVe about the troubleshooting exercise I treated it as, sharing with readers the apathy of the vendor’s help desk towards such an old product, […]

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Product Review: 3-in1 Thunderbolt Adapter


Right up front I’m going to admit that I have a soft spot for widgets and dongles. I blame it on my borderline-obsessive fascination with troubleshooting and problem-solving. If there’s a problem, there needs to be a solution. This is where various widgets and adapters come into play, specifically adapters.’s new 3-in-1 Adapter lets […]

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Weekly Wrap-Up | August 29, 2014


For those of you who don’t know, every Friday we post our Weekly Wrap-Up featuring the top stories from the week. These are the stories we think deserve a second look or a third. This week we are featuring Almo’s E4 AV Tour fall stops in Boston and Washington D.C., a road warrior’s blog post […]

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Lifts And Let Downs


If there has ever been an AV product category that I’ve maintained a love/hate relationship with, it’s motorized TV lifts and mounts. On the plus side of the equation, there are few things cooler than a concealed installation where a flat panel display or projector rises from a tabletop or descends from the ceiling. But […]

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Remote Power Management


What matters most to all those expensive black boxes neatly connected and stitched up in the rack, connected via other expensive black boxes to displays throughout the project aren’t buzzwords like resolution or bit-rate but one single, simple thing: electricity. As even small (fewer than ten rooms or displays) systems depend on more sophisticated technology […]

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Warranties Redux?


In order to differentiate themselves from the big box stores on the one side and the trunk-slammers on the other AV pros set themselves up as systems specialists. They present themselves to clients as consultants who will deliver a complete solution. People who just want to watch TV can go to a big box store […]

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