Neil’s Messy Basement 39: Review of the Sound Blaster X3

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Arguably one of the most innovative audio devices I’ve seen in a long time, Creative Labs Sound Blaster X3 delivers contemporary sound card benefits along with new Super-XFI technology for headphones users.  This is also the first entry I’ve worked with that supports PC as well as games console and Mac.  There are caveats, but well worth checking out.

The full review goes in-depth on several fronts: music, games, virtual reality, and special headphones surround sound testing.

More videos to share in 2021.  Happy New Year everyone!

Neil’s Messy Basement 38: The Surround Sound Base, Onkyo TX-NR595 Review

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Neil’s journey continues towards making the PC the ultimate media and entertainment center and saving big dough in the process.

While the audio video receiver (AVR) is the required base for the Dolby Atmos and DTS-X surround sound experiences we all crave, they have really come a long way from just being the box that you connect to your speakers.

With the framework of an Onkyo TX-NR595 product review, Neil gives an indepth look at the receiver’s features, explains some of the most confusing audiophile lingo, and gives some setup advice so that your audio results sound great the first time.  Clearly, receivers have come a long way in just a few short years.

Here is the program’s table of contents:

Specs / Features
Choosing the Right Speakers
How Speaker Setup is Done
Audio Customizations
How Does it Sound?
Virtual Height Speakers
Network Stream Services
Special Compatibility Features
Final Scoring
OK!  What’s Next?

Catch the full Neil’s Messy Basement series here!

Neil’s Messy Basement 37: How to Downscale 4K to 1080P and Why

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Neil’s Messy Basement has been building a series of programs all about turning your PC into the ultimate media center by showcasing methods to enable premium experiences on existing hardware without breaking wallets in the process.  A full explanation of why Neil has gone down this path can be found here.

In this episode, Neil talks about the visual benefits of downscaling 4K resolution to 1080P displays and gives a rundown of how to do it on both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards.  He also reviews inexpensive HDMI downscalers by Easycoolav (the EZCOO 1X2 version) and Gofanco (the Prophecy 1X2 version).  A byproduct of this is Neil also discovered a way to save on expensive projector bulb life by taking advantage of these techniques.

There is much more to come in this series!  Be sure to share your experiences below.  Here is the index of the 36 minute segment:

Benefits of Downscaling 4K to 1080P
How to Downscale 4K to 1080P on an AMD Graphics Card
How to Downscale 4K to 1080P on an Nvidia Graphics Card
A Better Way to Downscale
Review: Easycoolav EZCOO HDMI 2.0 Splitter 1X2
Review: Gofanco Prophecy 4K-HDR 1X2 Splitter
Which HDMI Splitter Would Neil Choose?
Important Bonus For Projector Users
So What’s Next?


Neil’s Messy Basement 36: Exemplifying How Entertainment is Way Too Fragmented For Consumers

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In an earlier episode, Neil talked about doing a series of programs about being able to achieve more with the equipment we already own.  However, as Neil moved ahead with the process, more and more discoveries were made along the way that really expanded his thinking.  In reboot fashion, he’s going to treat THIS as the first episode in the series, and will use this time to explain the challenges that consumers are facing today with their modern entertainment experiences.

With TV cable, movie theaters, streaming services, and Blu-ray as backdrop examples, Neil demonstrates several hurdles that consumers face today when it comes to getting their premium services to work, and how the next few episodes of Neil’s Messy Basement will help overcome them – inexpensively!

By the time Neil is complete, it’s hoped that consumers will be able to conveniently enjoy the latest stuff; often on equipment they already own!

Sample topics covered include Dolby Atmos, DTS-X, 4K displays, Blu-ray, HDR, movie theaters, compatibility, and more!

Do you agree with Neil’s stance on modern entertainment? Share your thoughts below!