Lindy HD Enclosure - Save yourself some cash

If you need to add extra storage to your computer an external hard drive is the easy and relatively cheap option, with large hard drives available at really good prices. However, if you already have an old IDE hard drive, it would be a shame to waste it, when it could be put to good use. Also, bare IDE hard drives are so cheap nowadays that the product I am looking at today could be right up your street.

The Lindy USB2 & FireWire Combo Hard Disk Box is an enclosure that is styled to match the Apple Mac Mini. It is made of plastic, that is sprayed silver, with an internal metal shielding that is coated with white plastic on the top. It really does look like a Mac Mini and would be ideal for stacking. The front of the casing sports a small activity LED and round the back there is two FireWire 400 ports and a USB 2.0 port, as well as the on/off switch and power connector.

Inside there is a standard molex power connector and an IDE cable and plug. The plastic mounting sled can accommodate a 3.5-inch IDE hard drive, which can be picked up for bargain prices if you shop around. Mounting screws are provided and within about five minutes I had a drive installed, the enclosure casing back together and was plugged in to my Mac. Performance is certainly on par with a other external hard drive of this nature and I personally think that the plastic construction helps dampen the hard drive noise, so it is nice and quiet. Their is no fan in the enclosure, so cooling is purely achieved via the vents on the back and underside.

Although this case is obviously designed for Mac Mini users, due to the standard FireWire and USB connectivity, it can be used with any PC or Mac. It looks nice and swish, so it wouldn't look out of place on any desk. The Lindy USB2 & FireWire Combo Hard Disk Box is well constructed, easy to set-up and offers great value for money. It'll give you a sense of achievement if you re-use an old hard drive. Even you if buy one just to put in this enclosure, you will be happy that you saved some pennies.

Product: Lindy USB2 & FireWire Combo Hard Disk Box
Price: £39.99
Supplied by: Lindy UK
Contact: +44 (0) 1642 754000

Lindy Premium Gold Flat Scart Cable Review

The Lindy Premium Gold Flat SCART cable promises to deliver a "Superior quality connection for your Home Cinema equipment", well it certainly is a unique looking cable, so let's take a look at what you get for your hard earned money…

To kick things off, if you have plenty of cables and things are maybe looking a bit messy, you know the normal spaghetti junction, then this flat design may well help things out. It can easily be routed through tight spaces, even underneath equipment if that makes it easier to hide things.
The gold plated connectors are absolutely fantastic, some of the best quality I have experienced. When inserting into the back of equipment, I found the connection to be very easy and more importantly secure.

I tested the Premium Gold Flat Scart Cable with two different devices. A Pioneer DV454 DVD player and a Panasonic DMR-EX85 HDD recorder. The Pioneer showed the biggest improvement over the standard supplied scart cable. The easiest way to describe it in layman terms is that there was less interference and the picture picked up a definite sharpness (whilst still looking very natural). The Panasonic delivered a good picture anyway, but I still saw a slight improvement in detail.

This cable from Lindy UK is available in a variety of lengths, with the 1m version on test costing £21.99. For this very reasonable amount you get a really high quality scart cable. A lot of people shun spending money on things like this, but if you put this up against the scart cable that came with your kit, you will be amazed. If you are just starting out, then put aside £40 or £50 at least for a couple of these, you will not regret it.

Product: Lindy Premium Gold Flat SCART Cable (1m)
Price: £21.99
Supplied by: Lindy UK
Contact: +44 (0) 1642 754000

Lindy Premium Gold HDMI Cable Review

If you have found yourself investing in new HD technology lately, then you best treat yourself (and your kit) to something that will give you the best out of your investment. Everything is moving into the High Definition age, and connections are changing. Scart is out and even component video connections, which for a long time were considered to give the best picture available, are being replaced by HDMI.

In the same vein that a scart cable bundled with a DVD player was pretty useless, this new HD kit either comes with a very flimsy cheap HDMI cable, or more often than not, none at all. The Premium Gold HDMI cable from Lindy UK offers a really robust looking cable, with some high quality construction, without asking ridiculous prices…

The cable is of a striking blue colour, it is triple shielded and comes with 24K gold plated connectors. The connector on each end is of a unique RF-BLOK patented design, which provides increased EMC shielding and reduces interference. Now, whilst I could not test for this interference in my set-up, I should add that the clarity of image delivered by the Lindy cable over the one bundled with the Toshiba HD-A1 HD DVD player was nothing short of phenomenal. The colours were vibrant, there was no fringing and just the overall feel of the cable construction oozed quality.

The two metre cable we tested here costs £48.99, which is not cheap, but you will be hard pushed to pick up this length and quality of HDMI cable anywhere else. You can buy the Premium Gold HDMI Cable direct from Lindy UK in lengths from 0.5m to 15m, and you get a 25 year warranty thrown in for good measure. Remember to add one of these to your 2007 High Def shopping list.

Product: Lindy Premium Gold 2m HDMI Cable
Price: £48.99
Supplied by: Lindy UK
Contact: +44 (0) 1642 754000

Lindy HDMI Switch Review - Bargain Price !

The Lindy HDMI Switch solves a problem that many of us face over the next few years. It took a long time for manufacturers to give us enough SCART sockets on the back of TV sets, but now, with the advent for High Definition, there is a new socket in town... HDMI.

People seem to be flocking to the stores lately, picking up large LCD and plasma screens to view their DVD's and digital TV on. When they realise just how bad standard definition sources look, it is not long before they are wanting SKY HD or perhaps an upscaling DVD player. Add the forthcoming PS3 into the equation, and to get the best from your set-up you suddenly need three HDMI sockets. With most screens coming with one HDMI socket, at the most two, this is a problem.

One option is to purchase an AV amplifier or receiver which has HDMI switching, but this is an expensive move. The minimum you are really looking at spending is £500 which may get you one extra input. For those who are already happy with their sound set-up or do not want to spend that sort of cash, the only other option is a switch.

Gone are the days of those clunky push-button SCART switches, with the Lindy UK offering of a remote control HDMI switch. This neat little box of tricks offers a very smart solution, with three HDMI inputs and one output (which goes to your screen). The box is an all-metal affair, not particularly pretty to look at, but the understated design looks nice and techy. The rear of the units has the power supply input and HDMI sockets. The front sports the IR receiver (for the remote control), some status lights, input button, and an image enhancer button. The remote control supplied is very small and flat, with a power button and number buttons for selecting the desired input…

Set-up is very easy, just plug in your sources, connect the HDMI output into your screen, switch on and you are good to go. For our tests we used a Lindy's Premium Gold HDMI cables, which are very reasonably priced. It is important to remember when buying any switch to budget for an extra cable. Once everything was powered on it was nice to see that there was absolutely no degradation in quality at all. Switching between inputs was faultless, with the remote being very responsive and the LED status lights on the front showing the selected input. The image enhancement circuitry made no noticeable difference to the clarity of the picture in our tests, but I really think this will come into play if you are using long HDMI runs of ten meters of more.

Picture quality from out Toshiba HD-A1 HD-DVD player was exceptional, the clarity was pin-sharp and colours remained unchanged with the switch in place. We also tested a Panasonic DMR-EX85, which is a hard disk drive recorder, with an upscaling DVD player. Again the picture quality was brilliant, though we did need to disconnect the SCART cable to obtain a stable picture. This is not a problem though, as the whole idea of this new technology is to ditch your old SCART connections in favour of the much superior HDMI.

A quick note about the Lindy Premium Gold HDMI cable which was very impressive. The build quality was spot on, and the 24K gold plated connectors ensure the highest possible signal transfer. We compared this cable to the standard one supplied with the Toshiba HD-A1 HD-DVD player and the picture certainly seemed more vibrant. Keep an eye out on Geekanoids for a full review of this cable very soon.

The Lindy HDMI Switch supports HDTV resolutions up to 1080P and is fully HDCP compliant, so you should not run into any problems in the future. You also get a generous two year warranty. For £119 it offers great value for money, with some switches on the market costing a lot more. It may be a budget price, but it certainly delivers great performance, with that all important transparency to your home cinema set-up.

Product: Lindy HDMI Switch Remote
Price: £119.00
Supplied by: Lindy UK
Contact: +44 (0) 1642 754000

Product: Lindy Premium Gold HDMI Cable (2m)
Price: £48.99