Hands On Review

December 1, 2011

Accell PowerSquid Surge Protector - Plug In Everything with No Fuss


We received the Accell PowerSquid Surge Protector to review over the past several weeks and our verdict. Perfect. There is always this feeling that you can't plug in an adaptor, then an iPod charging cord, then your 3 other devices that need power and make the puzzle work on a power strip. With the Power Squid you simply can plug in everything because each plug works like it's own extension cord end. It also helps eliminate having to do the "power plug no-nos" where you crimp the back of an adaptor plug to make it fit a power strip.


Here's our Power Squid in action.
Plenty of room to plugthings in.

The entry level surge protector equipped model is equipped with 540 Joules of surge protection in addition to its trademark tentacled design. Premium power filters clean up dirty power, and there's even $75,000 Equipment insurance all for $24.95.

Here's what you get:

  • 5 Flexible grounded outlets
  • 3 Foot power cord
  • 15 Amp breaker switch
  • ETL Listed
  • Lifetime warranty

We highly recommend you check out the Accell PowerSquid Surge Protector. You'll be less frustrated and feel good about plugging things in again. You can buy an Accell Powersquid at Amazon.com.

Jay Brewer at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 16, 2009

Freakin' Friday! Terk HDTVa Antenna


We finally caved and bought an indoor antenna to replace the one the cat ate. We admit we are a slave to "Hell's Kitchen" and haven't been able to get Fox since the digital crossover. We did some homework first, then settled on the Terk HDTVa because frankly, we not only liked its looks, we liked the way it could be positioned. We definitely approve of its reception, a gazillion times better than the one we got from the dollar store.

The HDTVa has a high gain amp for better reception and can receive UHF and VHF channels 2 - 69. The receiving element can be placed vertically or horizontally as can the antenna, and the dipoles can also be adjusted. We no longer have to constantly turn the thing after finding the best position. The only thing we don't like about it is that we still cannot get Fox and Chef Ramsey.

Via Terk

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 20, 2009

Review: OrigAudio Portable Speaker System

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We mentioned OrigAudio's Portable Speaker System last week, so when they kindly sent me a pair of them I couldn't wait to put them to the test. The speakers, and outer wrapper are made of recycled pizza boxes, newspaper, phone books, etc. They come flat-packed and you put them together. The cord is long enough to spread out a bit and can connect to any device with a mini-headphone jack.

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I admit I am not the most agile, but I got the 3" Flowers Cubes put together in only a few minutes. They seem so eco-friendly and the design is quite artsy. The material is heavy cardboard but is not as delicate as they appear. I hooked up my iPod and noted that I had to turn up the volume. I was pleasantly surprised by the sound quality and lack of snap, crackle or pop.

The downfall of earlier iPods is the lack of speakers and the earbuds are so uncomfortable. These speakers have now taken permanent residence on my workdesk, which means that my iPod can come back out of the closet permanently.

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The speakers are portable and can be refolded for travel, a good thing if you are moving, not so good if you travel constantly. They are cardboard, after all.

The only drawbacks I can see is remembering not to leave them out in the rain and constant folding that would result in a weakness. But hey, at a mere $16.00 for a pair, you could always recycle those order another set. Maybe OrigAudio can come up with a set that you can only need to re-order the outer box.

In the meantime, order a pair in one of 5 limited edition designs or get the "Canvas" that you can design yourself. The OrigAudio Cubes are proof positive that you can help save the planet and play your tunes with a pair of speakers that look good, sound good, and don't cost a fortune. Check out our test drive after the break.

(Thanks, Teryl)

Via OrigAudio

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

August 1, 2009

Hands On Review: MG-M²TV


MediaGate was kind enough to send us their latest gadget, the M2TV, aka the MG-M²TV. The next generation of the MG-800HD can receive images, video and audio via an external hard drive, video card or USB source and playback in the highest quality HDTV display or home theater with almost any A/V file supported. I hooked it up and found it to be easy to connect, mostly simple to work and fun to play with.

On my USB flash memory drive I had downloaded some images from artist Mike Wrathell, a video from Robot Snob and some music from Jamendo (thanks to amelie's tune "Do it Over") so that I could run the full gamut.

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Connection is super simple and you are given HDMI and RCA cords so it's not necessary to buy anything further. Even the remote battery is included. The M2TV is very small and sleek and will fit in the smallest of areas.


I always figure if you need extensive usage of the guide that comes with something, it's much too complicated. Thankfully, this is not the case here. After connection, the M2TV loads up very quickly. The main menu gives you a choice between movies, music, photo, settings and file copy.


Selecting movies shows what's in there and can be run in preview or full screen. Both video and sound were extremely impressive. The remote includes the ability to play in slo-mo, zoom, repeat, ff/rew, instant replay and more. Subtitles can be added in several languages.

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When viewing images, you can select one at a time or build a slideshow with a timing of 2 seconds to 2 minutes, music background and transition effects in the Setup portion. Another fun trick is the ability to turn your images 360º and you can adjust the contrast, brightness, aspect ratio, etc. When playing music, you again can adjust by remote as you do with video.

The M2TV also allows for updating. Visit the site to download the latest version.


If you are the type that makes slideshows or likes to watch downloaded content without using up your hard drive, this is the device for you. We have reviewed electronic gadgets that need extra parts, will not compensate if you do not have HD or have other issues, but frankly about the only aspects we didn't like were very small lettering and the noise it made. We know, picky picky, but here's hoping the next model, which may feature WiFi, is quieter and doesn't need a magnifying glass to read the photo details.

(Thanks, Tony)

Via MediaGate

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 24, 2009

Freakin' Friday! Netgear Wireless USB Adapter


We recently purchased a Netgear WG111US Wireless G USB Adapter. While it was created for USB 2.0, it works fine with our ancient 1.1. The 3.72 x 0.6 x 1.19" mini-device is almost effortless when it comes to installing with accompanying software. It is both backwards and forward compatible with 802.11b and supports 128-bit WEP. We did have some initial trouble getting it to stay connected for a time, but after allowing Windows to find a preferred wireless network instead of Netgear, that little blue light just keeps going and going and...

Via Netgear

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

February 25, 2008

Hands On With the Networked Media Tank From Popcorn Hour

We have had the Networked Media Tank( NMT ) from Popcorn hour in the office for about a month now and we wanted to share with you our findings. We have been waiting for this device to become available for a long time now and we can't tell you how excited we are to finally have it at the office. So after about a month of testing we can say that this is one of the better streamers we have had the opportunity to test out. One of the main draws of the NMT is its ability to playback just about any format you can throw at it. Other then a few audio formats it played back everything that we tried. To many streamers focus on a few formats and leave out so many of the really popular ones. The people at Popcorn Hour must have realized that there really weren't that many streamers that could just play everything so they threw it all in the NMT.

Another huge feature where the NMT rises above the crowd is its ability to grab media in so many different ways. You can add an internal hard drive and just playback from that, or you can connect to devices on your network via Samba or NFS. Additionally it will pick up UPnP and HTTP media servers. This is probably the most full featured streamer we have come across to date in terms of how it can access your media. It just packs so many options in there that it has been hard for us to figure out something else we would want.

Check out after the jump for our detailed look into how this beast of a media streamer performs when we put it to the test.

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David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (26) | social bookmarking

February 21, 2008

Hands On With The HAVA Titanium HD WIFI Place-Shifting Streamer Part 1

We have had the HAVA Titanium HD WIFI device in the office for awhile now and we wanted to report back with our thoughts. We have had the HAVA Wireless HD as our main TV-Streamer for a few months and while we have enjoyed it a ton it just never felt as polished as some of its mature competitors. Well now with the Titanium HD we feel that they have broken through their beginning stage and should be considered a serious option for anyone looking to get a place-shifting device for their home. One of the main issues we had with the Wireless HD was it dropped frames a lot so that in our office we sometimes had an issue with streaming over a wireless hop. There would be some jerkiness and a non-smooth stream. The Titanium HD seems to have fixed all of this and the best part is that from the way it was designed it will be getting a lot better,

ArrowContinue reading: "Hands On With The HAVA Titanium HD WIFI Place-Shifting Streamer Part 1"

David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (4) | social bookmarking

February 18, 2008

D-Link DSM-320 Network Media Streamer: Hands on Review

dsm-320.jpg We have had the D-Link DSM-320 in the office for far too long without doing an in depth review, so we thought it was time to just gather all of our information and share with you our thoughts. How does it stack up to the rest of the market? How does it handle all the new media types? These are questions we have been playing around with and hopeful we will answer them to you satisfaction. We knew going into this that the device had been out for awhile so it wasn't going to be as cutting edge as some of the devices we have seen recently. The DSM-320 is one of D-Links first attempts at a full featured media streamer and for a first attempt they got a lot right. We have been toying with this device for awhile now and if we'll share our thoughts after the jump.

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David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 31, 2008

EZFetch Media Streamer: Hands On Review


We have had the EZ-Fetch Networked Media Streamer for almost a month now and we have had time to run it through our paces and see what it had to offer. We tested it out with a variety of different types of media to see what it could handle. We wanted to see if this little streamer had what it took to be ranked with the more seasoned companies and the products that they had produced. Check out what are thoughts are after the jump.

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David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

May 30, 2007

MvixUSA 760-HD Wireless Media Center Hands on Review


Well we have had some time to play around with our shiny new 760HD and we can only say, WOW! Sure its not the most creative description of our thoughts, but we were so blown away with everything this thing can do that we are left speechless.

We were expecting the typical streaming device that worked, but left us with that, meh, feeling. From the minute we plugged this sucker in we knew that there was more to this then just your run of the mill device. We had been reading up on and writing about the 760 for awhile now so we had a basic understanding of what it should be able to do, but we were excited to see how well it actually did them.

ArrowContinue reading: "MvixUSA 760-HD Wireless Media Center Hands on Review"

David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

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