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Best Digital Media Adapters 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated February 1, 2019
Best Digital Media Adapters of 2018
I review the three best digital media adapters on the market at the moment. I am going to specify each good-to-buy feature as much as possible for your references. I must say I am quite a fan of digital media adapters, so when the question “What are the best digital media adapters available on the market?” came to my mind, I excitedly started gathering information together with personal experience to write this article in the hope that it may help you find the suitable digital media adapters. Welcome to my website! If you plan to buy digital media adapters and looking for some recommendations, you have come to the right place.
Test Results and Ratings
|Ease of use||
Why did this digital media adapters win the first place?
I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! I also liked the delivery service that was fast and quick to react. It was delivered on the third day. The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack.
Why did this digital media adapters come in second place?
Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture. I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice.
№3 – HDMI Media Player
Why did this digital media adapters take third place?
I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. The material is incredibly nice to the touch. It has a great color, which will suit any wallpapers. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built.
Digital Media Adapters Buyer’s Guide
These are single networking hardware units that are suitable for homes of around 2,500 square feet or less, though you can always extend Wi-Fi via additional access points (recommended for best performance) or extenders (easier, but slow in speed.) Setups like these are ideal for those who want to get the most out of their home network, including the best security, most features, total control and fastest speed.
Despite the unassuming design, the Synology RT2600ac is one of the best routers on the market.
Wi-Fi systems, also known as home mesh systems, are sets of multiple hardware units that works together wirelessly to increase Wi-Fi coverage over a wide area. Wi-Fi systems generally can cover some 4000 square feet or more and are typically very easy to use. They are great for novice users who just want to get online quickly and conveniently. In return, they have limited features/settings and are expensive. I don’t use a Wi-Fi system in my home, but these two are my favorite nonetheless.
Who it’s good for: Anyone who wants to have an easy Wi-Fi network without compromising the local coverage range and fast broadband speed.
Who this is for
A streaming box can also give you easy access to the content you already own and play it on any TV in your house. You can access and play media stored on your home network (either on a computer or on a NAS) without needing to hook a PC up to your display. And Apple users have few other options besides Apple TV if they hope to watch iTunes purchases.
Some streaming devices also offer exclusive features that typically aren’t built into TVs, such as AirPlay or Google Cast, or the ability to play games or use apps. But typically these are more “nice to have” than the major reason to get one.
How we picked and tested
The Roku Sticks are much smaller than the Apple TV or Shield TV to easily take them with you. Photo: Kyle Fitzgerald
The single most important thing any streaming device must do is play back your content. If you get most of your content from a source that a particular streamer doesn’t support (such as iTunes on a Roku), that device will not work for you. A streamer with a wide selection of content sources will be a better choice for most people than one that has a limited selection.
If you recently bought a 4K TV or plan to buy one in the next couple of years, it will likely be compatible with 4K, HDR, and WCG formats, so your streaming box should be too.
We tested the media streamers in a basic system with only a TV, and in a complete home theater system with a receiver. All were tested over Wi-Fi, and Ethernet was also used if available in the dedicated home theater system. Both TVs used support 4K HDR to take full advantage of the streamers, and one TV is compatible with Dolby Vision as well.
The new Roku remote has TV power and volume controls on it. Photo: Kyle Fitzgerald
There are volume up and down keys, but no mute button. Photo: Kyle Fitzgerald
Roku added useful new features to the Streaming Stick+ remote. The remote still uses RF to communicate with the Roku Stick (which means it works through walls and furniture), but it adds an IR output for controlling power and volume on your TV or projector. During setup, the Streaming Stick+ will determine the model of TV (by reading the HDMI port) and automatically program the buttons for you. This worked perfectly on all the TVs we tested and we didn’t have to look up codes. On a projector it didn’t detect it automatically, but once we told the Roku who made the projector, it tried codes until it worked correctly and we still didn’t need to reference a manual. These controls work great, though adding a Mute button to go with Volume Up and Volume Down would be nice for next year. If your TV uses HDMI CEC it will automatically change to the Roku input, but if it doesn’t you’ll have to use the TV remote to do this.
Search on the Roku shows the available streaming, rental, and purchase options and puts the cheapest result first. Photo: Chris Heinonen
The Roku Streaming Stick+ also has a private listening feature that allows you to listen to shows and movies using headphones. But the remote lacks a headphone jack so you have to use the iOS or Android smartphone apps. In some cases this will be better, especially if your headphones don’t have a 3.mm jack, but some people will dislike having to use their smartphone for this. If you’re using Bluetooth headphones with your smartphone you may have lag between the video and audio, but we didn’t with wired headphones.
The tiny size of the Streaming Stick+ makes it easy to plug into a side HDMI port without being seen, even on a wall-mounted TV. Because USB powers the stick, you can run it directly from the USB ports that almost all TVs and projectors have today. Although this means it will turn off when the TV does, it completely boots in about to 1seconds. In our testing we found that one TV and one projector were not able to provide it enough power, so we had to use the included USB power adapter for it to run reliably. The stick’s small size also makes it easy to pack and take with you, and Roku lets you log in to Wi-Fi through captive portals, such as in a hotel. If the size of the stick is too large for your TV’s HDMI inputs, Roku offers a free HDMI extender on its website to fix the issue.
The Roku Streaming Stick+ also supports screen streaming or mirroring from supported devices, but currently just a limited selection of Android and Windows Phone models, so no iOS support. However, if you have one of the supported devices, the mirroring works well if you want to show your tablet screen on your TV. This also means if a streaming service you want isn’t offered on the Roku, you can stream it from your tablet instead. The result isn’t as good as native streaming from the Roku device, but the arrangement might work in a pinch.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
Roku lacks access to iTunes and Google Play Music. If you use either of those services extensively, you should probably choose either an Apple TV or a Chromecast. However, Movies Anywhere mostly negates this issue if you’re willing to sign up for it. Most titles you purchase on these services will be shared automatically with the Movies Anywhere app along with Vudu.
Part and parcel with the HDMI-stick design is that it’s HDMI-only. So you’re out of luck if you own an older TV with only component video. If that’s you, the older, slower, and cheaper Roku Express+ with composite video might be for you.
The user interface design on some of the Roku apps isn’t as current as it could be. For example, the Roku version of the Netflix app is the most current design, but HBO Now on Roku is clunkier than on Android. The same content is available on Roku, but the interface could use improvement.
The Roku interface is easy to use, but every channel lives in a sandbox that is isolated from every other channel. Apple is trying to move past this with its TV app, which lets you add different shows from different apps into a single location. Samsung TVs now let you browse shows from different apps without having to launch them, and LG lets you add your favorite shows to a quick-launch area as well. Roku is great at getting you easy access to all those channels but doesn’t provide quick access to shows or movies inside those channels from a unified location.
The Roku Streaming Stick doesn’t do well with local media playback, and the Streaming Stick has completely dropped the local USB port (the built-in USB port is for power only). You can use the USB port on the Roku Ultra for some media, but it doesn’t support a huge variety of file types. A much better option is to use Plex on a computer or NAS device along with the Plex app on the Roku. This arrangement lets you play back far more content than the Roku can on its own. Plex also offers apps for iOS and Android that let you stream your local content to any device in the house. This setup requires you to leave a computer or NAS powered on and running Plex, so it isn’t for everyone.
Using the Roku Media app, you can play back files from a DLNA server over your network. The interface isn’t as nice as that of Plex, and the media format support isn’t as extensive. For viewing photos or playing music over the network, it should work fine, but it can’t handle as many kinds of video files.
The Roku stick also lacks AirPlay, the streaming protocol that the Apple TV (see below) uses. This means you can’t mirror your iOS screen onto the Roku box as you can with an Apple TV, nor can you stream your iTunes library directly to your Roku. If you need either of those features, you should get the Apple TV instead.
The Chromecast Ultra adds support for UltraHD resolution, including HDRand Dolby Vision. Unlike prior Chromecast models, it can’t run off a USB port and requires a power outlet, but the included adapter has an Ethernet port on it as well. Everything we’ve said about the regular Chromecast applies here with the only differences being the ones we just mentioned.
Gaming systems and built-in TV apps
The Xbox 360 or Xbox One/One S, PlayStation or PlayStation 4/Pro, connected Blu-ray player, or smart TV you already own probably streams Netflix and plays some local files, too. These devices are just as capable and offer a lot of the same content as most streaming devices. However, most of these also lack the extensive selection of content that dedicated streaming boxes offer and lack cross-app searching. So they’re fine, but for most people, a streaming device offers more.
Certified Ultra HD
TVs with the Certified Ultra HD or 4K HDR Ultra HD logos offer the ‘true’ Ultra HD experience. Certified Ultra HD is the logo used by Digital Europe, representatives of the digital technology industry in Europe, to guarantee that a TV has genuine 4K quality.
High Dynamic Range
Also known as HDR, High Dynamic Range combines enhanced brightness and enhanced colours to create an incredibly vivid and vibrant picture. With a higher pixel count and higher pixel quality, HDR lets images appear realistic and lifelike, and will particularly improve a gaming experience.
Shop LED TVs
OLED is a TV technology used by LG and instead of using a backlight, the screen pixels create their own light. This controls light levels better than other screens and offers deep colours, smooth visuals and a more vibrant picture.
Curved TVs offer an immersive display if you are sitting close, as well as greater field of view and more sense of depth.
Unfettered File Access From Anywhere
In this age of high-resolution photos and near-constant video capture, the storage space in your PCs and mobile devices fills up faster than ever. While you can certainly use an external hard drive for offloading and backing up files from your PC (and by extension, your phone), if you disconnect the hard drive and leave it in your office, you won’t be able to get to those files from home, and neither will anyone else. There are ways to allow other users to access the files on your hard drive, but they may be challenging to implement, or carry security risks. Instead, consider a good network-attached storage (NAS) device. As its name implies, a NAS is high-capacity storage that connects to your home or office network so that you and other users you designate can access your files from mobile devices and PCs without plugging in to the drive. Here’s what you need to know to choose the right NAS.
Like a PC, a NAS device has a CPU and memory, as well as an operating system (usually a proprietary Unix or Linux OS). A model with 512MB of system memory and a dual-core processor is certainly sufficient for a family with a half-dozen devices total, but you may want to look for a NAS with at least 2GB to 8GB of memory and a quad-core CPU for your office workgroup. Most NAS units will have energy-saving processors based on ARM or Intel Atom CPUs, but if you need to support multiple devices for more than just daily backups, then a NAS with a more powerful chip and more memory will help out in the long run. This is especially true if you’re serving 1080p HD and 4K video to your laptops and mobile devices.
Software and Setup
All NAS devices come with an operating system, but it’s not like the operating system on your PC. For one thing, PC operating systems like Windows let you run any compatible software, from Web browsers to accounting programs. NAS operating systems whittle the functionality down to file storage, file transfer, user access, and keeping the NAS running efficiently.
A NAS device intended for home or small office use is designed to be easy for you to secure and administer. Every NAS we’ve reviewed uses standard logins with username and password combinations, and you can set up group permissions on your folders, so, for example, your kids can access your stored movies, but not your financial files. Most devices will ask you to run an installer from a CD or DVD, or alternately set up the NAS from a website. The latter can also help you set up remote access from the Internet. Just follow the prompts, and you’ll have a multi-terabyte storage unit ready to go in a half-hour or so.
The table above shows you the best Android TV boxes today. We hope it can help you in choosing the best Android TV Box for your needs and budget. We will now move on and briefly introduce Android TV to you so that you can get a better understanding of what it is.
Android TV isn’t just a novel entertainment device. In a broader sense, it’s an ambitious scheme to put the content of all types from anywhere onto your TV. An update of the earlier Google TV system, the budding platform is designed to better integrate Android-based content and apps across more than just phones.
Google’s designers think of the new platform as recharging their effort to bring to TVs and consoles the same content streaming features that conventional Android mobiles already have. That’s why Android TV has been showing up in different smart TV as well as set-top versions over the last year or two. Although Google has stopped selling its Nexus Player, the company is still working to expand its presence beyond mobile ecosystems and recast its brand at the center of everyone’s living rooms and collaborated with Xiaomi to launch their new Mi Box.
In many ways, this specialized TV-oriented platform is competing directly with other pervasive computing schemes from Google, such as its Google Cast wireless streaming adapters, as well as boxes running (mostly) plain-vanilla Android OS. The models we reviewed here have met the majority of our criteria for a good Android TV or a similar regular Android OS entertainment experience, which we list as follows. Best Budget Android TV Box
China’s Xiaomi has just started marketing their own take on Android TV in their new Mi Box, apparently as a partner of Google. It has the latest Android TV features and apps, including video and music sources from streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, and Google Play.
This is actually the first device marketed directly by the tech giant in the U.S., and it is relatively unusual for it displays 4K HDR video. Its specifications include the new Amlogic S905X-H quad-core 2GHz ARM processor (Cortex-A53), 2GB RAM, 8GB flash-based storage, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0, plus a default Android 6.0 installation (Marshmallow).
At the rear of its small casing are just a few standard ports, aside from a jack for the provided power adapter, comprising one each of HDMI 2.0, USB 2.0, and 3.5mm audio. There is, however, no micro-USB port that you can use for powering the Mi, using either a regular USB charger or else a spare USB port on your TV as is usually done with many Chromecast-like devices. It’s great that the Mi Box’s included Bluetooth remote does not have an old-school interface full of buttons and is easy enough to learn.
On the voice-enabled remote are the standard power, home, and back buttons, along with a d-pad with the usual controller-style select button in the center. There are additional volume up and down controls as well as a key for activating the voice-command system. It worked fine when we first set up the Mi Box, and continued to connect without issue or interference afterward. An HDMI cable is packaged as well.
This model supports the newest USH playback standards, including H.26HEVC MP-(level 5.1) format in 4K resolutions at 60fps, VPProfile 2, HDR(without Dolby Vision). If you have the appropriate subscriptions, you will be able to access just about every digital media file and streaming format available to consumers.
The system in facts mostly refers to paid apps and other items found in the Play store. This happens even when the movie or music title you’re searching for is already available at lower cost or even for free on cloud services such as Netflix. Now, of course, Google is in business to push its own or its partners’ content whenever possible. But the problem is that this particular iteration of Android TV allows you limited ways of searching for and pulling in selections according to preferences that you can set.
That said, DIY users could always try technical methods for unofficially installing regular Play Store apps or even stuff unapproved by either Google or Xiaomi. The APK file of an app if available can be copied to a remote share or folder like that on USB flash drives, for sideloading in the Android TV filesystem as it’s usually done on rootable Android devices. Users who are already invested in Android’s mobile ecosystem will likely be tempted by its ability to duplicate on their TV screens much of the experience they’re already familiar with on their Android phones and tablets.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Android TV itself as a subset of Google’s mobile ecosystem has its usual mix of issues. The Mi Box’s UI and search functions mostly prioritize first party or Google partner content from the Play Store by generally ranking them at the top of most result tables. Its section for recommendations rarely suggests the content of much relevance to what you’re currently experiencing, although the app recommendations can be more useful.
This model can also act as a Google Cast receiver, enabling it to work with applications that support Cast but not Android TV standalone boxes. Compared to Google’s similarly-priced Chromecast Ultra, standalone media players like this have the advantage as they can duplicate the majority of the Ultra’s Cast functions with the addition of Android TV’s richer UI and universal search and streaming features.
Android TV and Media
This is far from the only set-top device to be deficient in certain services. What makes things seem worse than they are is that its content recommendations aren’t too useful for finding new media of the kinds you prefer. The clean but spare menus have the effect of making the limited catalog of apps appear smaller than it already is.
Still, Android TV is the first entertainment ecosystem to provide info on movies and shows currently playing in real time. The system already offers particularly good search for associated information from IMDB that many times can result in unexpectedly pleasing options that you’d have never found otherwise. To help tide you over the relative lack of good native apps, you will be able to cast to your TV the screens of the majority of Android and iOS apps that are compatible with Google Cast, particularly the critical everyday services for which native apps aren’t yet available.
TV remote not included
The Fire TV’s minimalist case houses a quad-core MediaTek CPU that’s said to perform 75% faster than the earlier model. A PowerVR GX6250 graphics card along with 2GB of system RAM provides the system with hybrid media and gaming capability. A good 8GB of internal storage is standard, which can be expanded via microSD to a maximum of 128GB of flash storage. Gigabit LAN provides for the best possible Ultra HD streaming in tandem with dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
Media and Gaming
The animated tutorial that runs upon first use to list the main features is a good idea. It immediately makes the system more welcoming and accessible and we wish this would appear on more media players. The FireOS UI is uncluttered and easy to use and the large graphics and dark scheme of its screens should not give you trouble, as they are readily viewable from several feet away under most indoor lighting conditions.
The Fire TV enjoys a further advantage in its highly efficient codec, as it is also effective at streaming lower-resolution Full HD content. This Android TV box can efficiently stream 1080p at the half the data transmission rates that normally obtain over most network connections. Full HD videos load faster and render seamlessly and with less lag on slower internet connections, a performance feature that has no real downside any way you look at it.
Software and operation
Kodi is justifiably famous for letting its users access streams from ‘unofficial’ sites and pulling all in through a relatively easy-to-use UI. Buyers who are not familiar with the app and its suite of add-ons should research on online. There’s a slight learning curve, and you may have to tweak the default settings with the help of expert forum advice in order to have all video types to play with the issue.
As a result of the way Kodi works in retrieving some types of online content, access to certain channels may not be reliable or even feasible at times. Some could be dubious sites that ISPs in their commercial wisdom have decided to block or reduce bandwidth to, i.e. torrential sources of content and other DCMA-unfriendly IPs. Nevertheless, once you get things right and put it through its paces, it will open up your TV experiences like nothing else.
The hardware is capable of flawlessly rendering content encoded in H.26HEVC MP-(level 5.1) format in 4K resolutions at 60fps, which is impressive enough for a standalone player and streamer. It can channel DRM-protected according to the HDMI 2.0 and HDCP2.standards. Average in-game framerates peaked in the 35-3FPS range, which is decent enough for 1080p scenes. For those who are technically-focused, the T95Z attained Geekbench scoring of around 2090, while wireless bandwidth testing reported downlink speeds of about 3Mbps Down and uplinks of 1Mbps.
The T95Z performed very well with locally streamed 1080p and 4K video, using Kodi and its capable add-ons. Its powerful cortex-A5processor and graphics along with its plentiful RAM afford it huge advantages over previous boxes based on earlier ARM designs.
Android for your TV and what they can do together
Android TV and regular Android media boxes are basically small computers that run Google’s ubiquitous mobile OS as content hubs, pulling media files and streams from external sources. You can view these as standalone players and streamers that happen to run differing versions of the Android OS and access different subsets of its Play Store ecosystem.
The software side is much the same as that found on the vast majority of phones, tablets, and other mobiles worldwide. It’s usually based on an Android version that’s a generation behind that found on the latest phones, such as Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or6.0 (Marshmallow). The good news is that if you’re already familiar with Google’s mobile OS on your phone, you should have no trouble learning to use and exploit most apps that can run on your particular box.
One thing though, a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard will afford better ease-of-use with many apps aside from the Kodi or Plex apps, which are useable enough with regular Android remotes. A mouse/keyboard setup can be a necessity in anything involving configuration, search, and installation and operation of numerous native apps.
That’s because you will be using what is basically a touchscreen version of the OS that’s been repurposed for HTPC use. As many Android input elements and prompts were originally designed for touchscreen manipulation, a mouse can be handy for doing things faster and more simply. Since conventional Android media boxes do not offer the full Android TV scheme, your experiences with these will likely not be as polished, especially when compared to that of the latest Google-powered Smart TVs.
Android TV boxes, regular set-top boxes (STB), and ‘Kodi’ boxes
There are many terms that may be new to you that are mentioned on various Android sites and forums, and you’ll need to figure out which are important. Whether it’s called a TV box or streaming set-top box, or else a Kodi box, these all tend to work much the same outside of their custom home screens and launcher modules.
Don’t let the terminology confuse you, these things similarly designed to find and pull in free or paid content from shares on your local network or from streaming sites for display on your TV. This guide presents enough details so that you can learn the essentials and start searching for a model that meets your needs for entertainment and information.
Device and software integration
To be clear, the model that’s best for you is basically the one that enables access to the streaming media sources you care most about and can afford. If you’re planning to use it mainly with Kodi or Plex applications, then there’s a wider array of models open to you as many newer conventional boxes can easily handle their server requirements. However, if you’re hoping to stream much of the content you’re looking for, you must take note of the channels and sites that are made officially available through the built-in software and the various app stores.
DRM on different media platforms
It’s a fact that Digital Rights Management (DRM) schemes are here to stay. How these are implemented in various commercial services can limit the types and quality of content that they specifically make available to various Android and iOS devices. What system you choose and how you update and configure your accounts on it will determine whether you will be able to enjoy low-definition but mostly free content, or else UHD versions of popular shows and movies that will bring the cinematic experience into your living room.
For Android TV boxes to be capable of streaming 4K Ultra-HD content from commercial services, they require not just certification from Netflix but also Widevine Level licenses from Google in order to play DRM-protected 4K as well as 1080p streaming movies and TV shows. HBO Now also requires Microsoft’s Playready licensing in addition. In other words, you’ll have to choose the right hardware/software package if you want to access more than just standard-definition and/or free content from the major services.
Features to look for at a minimum
Certain minimum features are must-haves for a next-generation Android TV device, and we list these in accordance to both users’ needs as well as market availability. The models we reviewed should have each met all or most, and we had made sure to point to any item that a model failed to support or that the manufacturer has not yet made available.
What goes into an Android TV box or conventional Android media box
In answer to the question, you’re probably asking, of what makes a box an Android TV device, well here’s our take. Manufacturers design unique launchers and implement proprietary skins and UI elements, providing their own models with a custom look and feel that’s different from that of other Android TV or conventional Android devices. All hope to provide a pleasing experience with their set up while you’re lounging in your living room and facing your big TV from several feet away.
The bigger brands tend to follow Netflix’s screen and operating schemes as these are already widely used, given that Netflix currently hosts the most popular and streaming media services in the world. It makes sense for its rivals to mimic Netflix’s UIs, as new users of their models will then find it easier to learn the built-in functions and specialized apps.
But if you don’t care for the launcher and screens that your new box implements, you can usually find ways to improve the experience. Android is a highly modifiable operating platform, and you can usually find and install another compatible launcher and use that in place of the default. Just remember that there are functional differences between Android TV integrated into a Smart TV and an Android TV player as well as a regular Android media box that you can buy separately, particularly in terms of the available OS updates and the selection of apps.
Most converters come with their own specialized software that offers a good suite of functions like editing tools to trim away unwanted footage or for adding transitions and effects. There are also some converters that are more basic and don’t come with dedicated software, but you can get a free program on the Internet like Audacity which should work just as well. If you’re interested in getting a more intuitive and advanced software, it’s worth paying attention to this aspect when you’re shopping for a VHS to DVD converter.
A good converter should successfully digitize an old VHS tape and retain the same qualities of the audio and video of the source tape. This is a bit more difficult to assess unless you actually check out the video details like pixelation for example. Regarding the output, VHS converters burn DVD discs at different speeds so be sure to get one that’s capable of saving some time with this process.
So there you have it, these represent the main factors that come into play when searching for a VHS to DVD converter. Armed with this knowledge, it is time to look over the best products found on the market. In this article, you can also check out the individual reviews for the best-rated converters which represent the most cost-effective options.
UCEC USB 2.0 Video Audio Capture Card Device Adapter
Is there a better way out there to recover your old videos from an outdated technology like VHS than by choosing a reliable converter? This one provided by UCEC functions well and is compatible with multiple interfaces to enable you the ability to digitize your favorite VHS tapes.
This video grabber can efficiently collect data from the original VHS source, like a VCR, and display it on a computer where you can do whatever you want with the video files including playing, sharing, and burning them to a DVD.
What’s great about this little device is how simple it is to use. Nothing complicated like installing drivers is required. Just plug and play. You will have to get the Honestech software included but this is easy to do even for novice users. Just make sure that you correctly insert the printed product key from the mini CD.
As this model can connect to lots of analog devices, it should be able to connect to any VHS player and old camcorder and get important files converted to a digital format. If you are too busy to enjoy sports games or shows, it can also capture them from a TV.
If you check the price of this converter you will definitely be surprised considering how low it is. What’s the catch then? Well, this device is not working well on later editions of Windows and Mac as the software has some driver incompatibilities. Although a software is provided, you’re probably better off without using it as it has limited functionality. There may be better alternatives out there but this converter deserves a spot on this list considering that it offers decent performance for the price.
It’s Time to Change Your Old Analog and ISDNPhone Lines –Optus
A terminal adapter (TA) is a hardware interface between a computer and an Integrated Services Digital Network line. It’s what replaces a modem when you are using an ISDN connection. Unlike “plain old telephone service,” which carries signal in analog (voice) form between your computer and the telephone company’s office, ISDN carries signals in digital form so there is no need to modulate and demodulate between analog and digital signals. The terminal adapter is what you have to install on a computer so that data can be fed directly into the ISDN line in digital form. Since ISDN service is not available from telephone companies in all areas, the terminal adapter is not usually built into a computer. You purchase and install it when you sign up for ISDN service.
The virtualized network poses challenges to network management systems — and as more hardware components become virtualized, that challenge becomes even greater. This handbook discusses the steps IT must take to both build and corral their virtualized infrastructure.
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A £SD card from a supermarket will give you the same results as using the latest generation of card from Lexar, SanDisk or Samsung. The difference, however, is that the cheaper card may do it much more slowly, be less reliable, have fewer backup measures, different components, and, in terms of memory card data recovery, may not be such a wise choice if things go wrong and your images go missing.
From time to time it is considered good housekeeping to format your card and this can help increase its write speed. In most digital cameras you are able to format your card in the menu. This wipes all the images on the card, freeing up storage and clearing minor problems that may have developed on the card. Just make sure you have your images saved elsewhere before formatting!
You can sometimes help increase the read speed of your card to your computer if you are using a USB or FireWire accessory such as the Lexar UDMA Dual Slot (CF and SD) model or the SanDisk ImageMate Multi-Card USB 2.0 Reader.
From the Samsung Pro line, this card offers quick speeds of 80MB/s, and at 16GB you can save plenty of photos and HD videos, plus use it as storage to transfer files to different devices. With a very reasonable price this ticks all the boxes.
Find the best deals for the Samsung Pro MB-SGAGB 16GB SDHC
Obviously not quite as convenient as a macro lens
Getting close to your subjects doesn’t have to mean you need to buy a macro lens, which is usually a hefty investment. This longstanding alternative from Kenko, which is available for Canon, Sony and Nikon users, increases the distance between the camera and lens, which forces the latter to focus closer for increased magnification.
Super cheap but super useful for getting those horizons level
Not ideal for lenses with very small barrel diameters
Hands up anyone who’s ever lost a lens cap? This clever accessory attaches the cap to the barrel through a length of elastic so you’ll never lose it again. The keeper’s attachment is universal and is designed to fit any DSLR or CSC, although it works better with wider lenses where it can get more purchase.
Cokin Gradual ND Kit with Holder
This bargain filter and holder collection is ideal for balancing landscapes
Contents: Gradual NDfilter (P121L) with hard-edged transition; Gradual NDfilter (P121M) with hard-edged transition; Gradual NDfilter (P121S) with soft-edged transition; P-Series filter holder (M size)
Not the cheapest but you’re getting what you pay for
If you need to edit your images you need to know what you’re working on looks as it should, and the iDisplay Pro makes sure this is the case. It profiles your equipment before performing any necessary calibration to make output completely accurate, and it will even take ambient light into consideration too. The wizard-based interface means it’s usable by anyone too.
Use this clever cube at the start of your shoot to save you processing time later
Features: Black trap, chrome ball, black side, white side and 18% grey panel
Huge time saver for many images captured in the same conditions
A cheaper grey card can be used if you only need white balance measurement
Pop the SpyderCube in your frame and you’ll be given a reference for a whole lot more than just white balance. The chrome ball provides a catchlight for overexposed areas, while the black trap defines absolute black, and the white and black sides respectively provide shadow and highlight references in relation to these. Add to that an 18% grey patch, and you have everything you need for perfect, pain-free white balance and exposure adjustment.
Alesis MultiMix USB FX Audio Mixer
This fits your.
to make sure this fits.
4-channel mixer with stereo (2) 1/4″ inputs and stereo (2) 1/4″ outputs; 16-bit, 44.1/4kHz signal stereo in …
Focusrite Scarlett Solo Compact (1st GENERATION) USB Audio Interface • CHECK OUT THE NEW 2ND GENERATION MODEL BELOW
• Precision digital converters capture performance with studio-quality 24-bit resolution at sample rates of …
TASCAM US-364-In/6-Out or 6-In/4-Out USB Audio Interface • High-Quality HDDA (High Definition Discrete Architecture) Mic Pre-amps
• Up to 24bit/192kHz Recording Supported
• Two XLR/TRS (MIC/LINE) Inputs with Full …
Yamaha MG06X 6-Input Compact Stereo Mixer with Effects • “D-PRE” Mic preamps with an inverted Darlington circuit
• Metal chassis with XLR balanced outputs
• Built-in SPX digital effects
QSC TouchMix-Compact Digital Mixer with Bag • 1Full Function Inputs: Mic, Mic/Line (XLR/TRS Combo), Stereo line (TRS), USB 2-track
• Outputs: Aux (XLR), Stereo (TRS), Main R/L (XLR), …
Rolls MX4Stereo Mini Mixer
Mackie ProFX1Compact 4-Bus Mixer with USB & Effects • low-noise, high-headroom Mackie mic preamps with +50dB gain range
• Dedicated inline compression for critical inputs (Ch. 5-8)
• 32-bit RMFX processor …
Mackie Mix Series Mix5-Channel Mixer • 5‐channel compact mixer with proven high headroom
• mic/line input with studio‐level audio quality
• Dedicated stereo RCA inputs/outputs for playback or …
Mackie Mix Series Mix8-Channel Mixer • 8-channel compact mixer with proven high-headroom, low-noise performance
• mic/line inputs with studio-level audio quality, pan, level and overload …
Pyle PMX7BU Bluetooth 3-Channel DJ MPMixer, Mic-Talkover, USB Flash Reader, Dual RCA & Microphone Inputs, Headphone Jack • Built-in Bluetooth for Wireless Music Streaming, Works with All of Your Favorite Devices
• Works with iPhone, Android, Smartphones, iPad, Tablet, PC, …
Nady MM-24Stereo / Mono Channel Mini Mixer with mono/stereo mode, ¼” Inputs and outputs – battery powered, or use optional AC adapter • Eight mono ¼” inputs with individual volume control and two ¼” outputs with Master Volume Controls.
• Two modes of operation: In stereo mode, inputs …
BEHRINGER XENYX 50• Premium ultra-low noise, high headroom analog mixer
• State-of-the-art, phantom powered XENYX Mic Preamp comparable to stand-alone boutique …
Pyle 5-CHANNEL professional compact audio mixer with USB interface • 5-Channel DJ Console Controller Mixer with Audio USB Interface
• Built-in Rechargeable Battery – Independent Channel 2-Band Audio EQ & …
Choosing a Recorder
You have a number of options for how you approach recording audio, and each has its own advantages. For many, a computer-based recording setup using audio software is the most versatile and convenient solution. Others like the physical control offered by hardware. We will take a look at these different approaches and walk you through the buying considerations for each.
These days, most home-based recordings are made using a computer or iOS device rather than hardware-based recording consoles or tabletop recorders. Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software offers features and capabilities that would otherwise be quite expensive in a hardware-based setup.
Now, you most likely already have a desktop or laptop computer that you have thought of using for your recordings. However, you’ll want to take note of some specs that are important when it comes to deciding whether your computer can handle the job.
The computer’s central processing unit (CPU) is the component that processes instructions sent from your computer programs. How quickly and efficiently a computer can do this is determined by its clock rate (measured in GHz), and the number of processing cores it has. Since you will be plugging in a number of peripheral devices and layering multiple tracks, it’s important to have plenty of processing power. That means you’ll want a minimum of two cores (preferably four) running at a minimum of 2GHz.
Random access memory (RAM) is a type of memory that programs use to perform audio processing tasks. Typically, audio software and the devices you plug into your audio workstation will require a lot of this type of memory, so more is better. For your recording setup to run smoothly, you’ll want a computer with a minimum of 4GB of RAM, and preferably more for complex recordings. Look for a computer that offers plenty of RAM expansion capability.
The audio files you’ll be creating are quite large, taking up roughly 800MB per 80 minutes of recorded audio. To store all this, you will want a hard drive with a minimum of 1TB of storage. You can also purchase high-speed external hard drives designed to work well with your audio files.
The Glyph StudioRAID mini offers compact and reliable external storage of your audio files with capacities ranging from 1–4TB.
Mobile recording with iOS
An alternative approach to mobile recording that can yield excellent results is to use your iPad or iPhone with peripherals designed for the job. You’ll see a range of options available on the Musician’s Friend site to turn your iOS device into a miniature recording studio on the go. With hundreds of recording, mastering, and effects apps to choose from, the sky’s the limit in terms of of iOS-based recording possibilities.
IK Multimedia’s iRig Pro Duo Studio Suite Deluxe comes with all the hardware you need to produce greatgreat iOS recordings. Even better, it’s compatible with Mac/PC and Android.
The rapid development of musician-friendly apps on the iOS platform has led to the introduction of lots of iOS-enabled gear. These days, your iPhone or iPad can be transformed into the command center for all your audio productions. Harnessing the iOS-aware microphones, mixers, interfaces, and controllers found in the Musician’s Friend iOS Store is a highly portable and affordable way to develop your music production skills while creating projects that can rival professional work.
The Shure Motiv MV5large-diaghragm condenser mic connects directly to your Lightning-equipped mobile devices plus Mac and PCs and produces astoundingly detailed recordings with plug ’n’ play simplicity.
If you opt to go for dedicated hardware for your recording rather than a computer-based system, there are a number of options. One of their greatest advantages are dedicated physical knobs, buttons, and faders that can be much easier to use than delving through the often complex multi-layered menus of computer-based software.
When you’re choosing a multitrack recorder, pay attention to how many tracks you get: audio, MIDI, actual and virtual, as well as how many you can record and play back simultaneously. All but the most basic multi-trackers should give you some editing and mixing features to polish your recordings.
A great option to wading through software menus, the Tascam DP-32SD Portastudio offers real hands-on control of all major functions and up to 3tracks of simultaneous playback.
While you’re browsing the selection and kicking the tires, here are some additional specifications to pay attention to:
Some computer interfaces include hardware controls, some have software controls, and some have both. They also often include mixer software to handle routing of the I/O and level meters.
The Mackie Big Knob Studio Monitor Controller Interface features dual Onyx preamps, up to 192kHz/24-bit recording and playback and offers plenty of monitoringchoices.
All computer audio interfaces have some latency, or delay, but very good ones have so little you don’t notice it. Most good computer audio interfaces will provide a way of measuring and controlling latency. Some provide a workaround, such as hardware signal monitoring. An interface with too much latency makes it nearly impossible to perform normal multitrack operations like overdubbing or real-time monitoring. A slower computer will contribute to latency.
Without audio software, computers would not be the music production powerhouses they are today. And there are plenty of software options capable of handling your audio production at every point from start to finish: recording, mixing, editing, mastering, duplicating, and in some cases even songwriting.
An industry standard software suite you will see in most modern recording studios is Avid’s Pro Tools. With lots of professional-grade features and plug-ins, Pro Tools is an excellent choice for those seeking the highest quality audio possible and nearly unlimited sound processing options. However, Pro Tools is a relatively complex program for novice users and involves a steep learning curve.
Pro Tools is the de facto DAW choice of many world-class studios thanks to its sterling sound, amazing plug-ins and capabilities that will let you conquer the most elaborate audio production challenges.
Explore the capabilities of Pro Tools 12—arguably the most advanced DAW software available today.
For those looking for lots of tools to help create music, in addition to recording and editing it, Propellerhead’s Reason is a very popular choice. With a sequencer loaded with synths, samplers and other music creation tools, it’s easy to produce music from start to finish. There’s a Reason version to match most needs and budgets.
Reason is a favorite among producers thanks to its huge set of drums, synths, and effects wrapped up in an intuitive DAW interface.
We’ve just touched on a few of the most popular audio production applications. Explore our huge selection of music software for more great choices.
Choosing Recording Microphones
To get your music into your recording setup, you’ll need at least one good microphone, and probably several. The main types to consider are condenser, dynamic, and ribbon microphones. Each type has different sound characteristics and is used for recording in different situations.
The large-diaphragm MXL 990 Condenser Microphone is very modestly priced, yet captures highly detailed sound from voices and instruments.
Choosing Audio Monitors
Listening to the playback is an important part of the recording process, and you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the right kind of speakers to handle the job. Here, we’ll take a closer look at what makes a good set of studio monitors and cover some concepts to keep in mind when you’re making your selection.
Studio monitors are critical to good recordings. Intended to provide you with an accurate picture of the audio you are recording, overdubbing, mixing, editing and mastering, they are your first defense against bad sound. Most monitors used for recording today in homes and studios are near-field monitors. A near-field monitor is small enough that you will primarily hear sound coming directly from it—not sound reflecting off of the studio walls. When considering monitors, look at the frequency response and THD specs to get an idea of the monitor’s accuracy.
The biamped M-Audio BXCarbon is a trusted monitor in countless home studios due to its flat frequency response and accurate stereo sound field.
For connections, monitors usually have 1/4”, XLR, RCA or S/PDIF jacks. Some offer only unbalanced or balanced I/O, and some have both.
If you record beat and bass-heavy music or TV and movie soundtrack material, a subwoofer or surround setup will be helpful in monitoring the extended low-frequencies and extra channels necessary in those types of music.
The ADAM Audio Subhas a compact footprint, yet can reproduce frequencies down to 50Hz. Motorized controls allow easy frequency tweaks and wireless remote control.
In addition to your monitors, you might want to include some decent-quality, consumer audio speakers to get an idea of how your recording will sound on consumer devices. If you need some speakers designed for that job, take a look at the Musician’s Friend selection of audio playback equipment.
Listening using consumer-market headphones also can give you valuable insight about how your mix will sound on headphones that are voiced for the listening pleasure of the average music fan rather than 100% accurate sound as day-to-day recording and mixing headphones require.
Audio-Technica’s ATH-M50x headphones are a great choice for studio headphones. In addition to offering studio quality sound, these headphones are incredibly popular on the consumer market, making them a perfect choice to audition your mixes on.
Headphones are generally used for monitoring during recording and overdubbing, but high-quality headphones can be used for nearly everything, including critical listening and mixing. When considering headphones, look at the frequency response and THD specs to get an idea of their accuracy. Driver size will also affect how accurately a speaker can reproduce audio, since larger drivers can reproduce low frequencies more accurately. For recording, be sure to get at least one pair of closed-back headphones, which have better acoustic isolation that open-back models. This design prevents sound from the headphones from “bleeding” into the microphones.Listening using consumer-market headphones also can give you valuable insight about how your mix will sound on headphones that are EQd for pleasing rather than accurate sound.
Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO-80 Headphones have a closed-back design and deliver highly accurate sound reproduction making them a popular choice among recording and mixing pros.
Read Can I Record & Mix Music Just Using Headphones?
Headphones use either an 1/8” jack or a stereo 1/4” jack, and usually include an adapter for convenience when plugging into equipment that has one, but not the other.
Choosing a CD Duplicator
Between the writable CD-ROM drives available in many computers, and the proliferation of digital media, you might not have considered specialized equipment for duplicating CDs. However, there still is a demand for the CD format, and discs still are a great way to distribute demos and recordings locally.
If you will be making lots of CD copies, you may want to invest in a tool that will make it quick and easy. At Musician’s Friend you will find a range of CD/DVD duplicators that can quickly make multiple discs at once from a single source.
Choosing Recording Accessories
Some accessories are really necessities, and some simply make recording a little easier. You might need monitor stands, a recording desk, a patchbay, acoustic room treatment materials, a power conditioner, or a rack for your processors. You most likely will also need cables, mic stands, and recording media and extra storage for recorded digital audio.
At Musician’s Friend you can buy all the recording accessories you’ll need to have a great audio studio setup. And if you’d like to get a complete package to get you started, Musician’s Friend has a range of options available on our recording packages page. These packages take the guesswork out of putting together a recording rig since all components are carefully selected for compatibility with each other.
We carry multitrack recorders, computer audio interfaces, computer hardware, computer software, microphones, preamps, signal processors, mixers, headphones, and monitors from great brands like TASCAM, Fostex, Roland, Yamaha, Korg, Presonus, Digidesign, M-Audio, E-MU, MOTU, Cakewalk, Alesis, Apple, Steinberg, Sony, BIAS, Event, JBL, Mackie, AKG, Shure, RøDE, MXL, Audio-Technica, TC Helicon, ART, Avalon, Lexicon, Universal Audio, Allen & Heath and many more.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Digital Media Adapters wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Digital Media Adapters
- №1 — VPRAWLS Type-C to Hdmi/Usb 3.1 4K Multiport Adapter
- №2 — Reshow Travel Cassette Adapter for Cars Listen to iPods
- №3 — HDMI Media Player