The Sony STR-DA550ES is a 7.1 channel home theatre receiver with Ethernet connectivity for Internet radio access and DLNA media streaming. It's got a plethora of video and audio inputs and plenty of audio oomph for connecting surround sound speakers.
The Pioneer VSX-LX52 is a high-end home theatre receiver with support for 7.1 discrete audio channels. Its total power output of 1050W RMS is split equally between the seven satellite audio channels, with the capability to minutely adjust almost every audio aspect of each speaker. More video and audio inputs than the average user is ever likely to need mean that whatever you throw at this receiver, it will handle it admirably.
Arcam’s Solo Mini music system follows the tide of other hi-fi companies entering the digital age by embracing USB and iPod connectivity. To the Solo Mini’s credit, these additions work well and do not detract from the high standard of CD and radio reproduction.
The Arcam Solo Movie 5.1 is a one-piece home cinema system aimed at serious audio/visual enthusiasts. It combines a universal disc player with a five-channel Class G amplifier and throws in an AM-FM radio to boot.
Sony’s line-up of A/V receivers has been bolstered by the STRDA2400ES, which offers 100 Watts of power through seven channels as well as a full range of video switching and up-scaling. It’ll do almost everything you could wish for, but might prove to be a difficult beast to set up if you have a lot of equipment.
Pioneer's VSX817S is an entry-level 7.1 channel A/V receiver that does a good job considering its low price-point. It doesn't support high-definition audio formats like Dolby TrueHD and doesn't have any HDMI capability. However, it has a plethora of other features that make it a solid option for anyone considering creating a home theatre.
The first home-theatre receiver to decode DTS Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD from Blu-ray movies produces phenomenal sound.
Pioneer's VSX-LX60 is their new, high-end AV receiver, designed primarily to take advantage of the new age of high definition. Sporting HDMI 1.3, 1080p upscaling, and full support for the new high definition audio formats, the LX60 is supremely 'future-proof'. In addition to this, it also boasts excellent audio and video quality, and is Air Studios tuned and THX Select2 certified. It does come at a price, however, and like the rest of Pioneer's LX range, it's aimed specifically at high-end enthusiasts.
Harman Kardon's AVR 245 is one of their entry level amplifier/receivers. It's important to note, however, that for a brand like Harman Kardon, 'entry level' is still built to a very high standard. The amp is capable of 50W per channel at 8 ohms, driven through up to 8 channels. A huge range of connections spans the back panel, including HDMI, and of course the audio quality is excellent. The 245 boasts several highly useful features as well as plentiful customisation options.
The Pioneer A6 analogue audio amplifier is the little brother of the [[prodid:3560]]. Slightly smaller and lighter, and with less power output, the two amps are very similar to one another, the major difference being that the A6 doesn't provide a lot of support for lossy audio formats.
Singing praises about a device that literally ‘sings’ – find out what this is all about.
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PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
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