OTHER TECH

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Gary Dell'Abate  |  Sep 09, 2010  |  0 comments

Sony calls the Dash a “personal Internet viewer,” but I’m not sure that’s a fully accurate description. Truth be told, I’m not sure exactly how to describe this device since it does so many things: It can serve as your alarm clock, you can watch movies on it, peruse one of 1,500-plus widgets, watch Netflix and YouTube. . . the list goes on and on.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 08, 2010  |  0 comments
All for 1.4, and 1.4 for All?

In 2002, the video world was just getting comfortable with component analog video. HDTV and DVD were only starting to acquire mass-market status. We were using three separate video cables to connect our shiny new HDTVs to our best sources. Add to that up to six audio cables to our A/V receivers. This forest of cables wasn’t heaven (except to cable vendors), but it worked, and it provided most viewers with their first real taste of high-quality video. We also had DVI, a standard for digital video borrowed from the computer world. But because its clunky connector only carried video and not audio as well, it never achieved critical mass.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 03, 2010  |  0 comments
With all the fuss about the great images on HDTVs, particularly from Blu-ray, it’s easy to forget that sound is half the experience—maybe even more. Blu-ray offers more than just great video. By making use of its generous data-storage capacity and new ways to encode audio, it offers an audio experience that’s a significant step beyond the digital movie sound formats we’ve lived with. In fact, it’s arguably equivalent to the sound the engineers and filmmakers heard during the mastering session.
Gary Dell'Abate  |  Jul 23, 2010  |  0 comments

A s many of you know, I built a house a little over 3 years ago and wired it to the hilt. I thought I had my future-proof bases well covered, but 3 years is a lifetime in today's techie world. When we first moved in there, my sons were 12 and 8 years old. They liked music to some degree, but since it wasn't a prioirty for them, I didn't bother to wire their rooms for speakers. Fast forward: My kids are now veterans in using iPods, iPod touches, and the Sonos wireless multiroom music system. It's no surprise, then, that my iTunes bill is through the roof.

Daniel Kumin  |  Jul 09, 2010  |  0 comments

It has long been axiomatic that Apple changed the world forever when it unveiled the iTunes online Music Store. (At least the computer-savvy, mainstream music-listening, iPod-toting part of it.) But where does that leave the rest of us-the freaks, geeks, and old-folks who still rely on to physical media, because it just doesn't feel right to drive an expensive audio system, replete with digital processing power greater than the Apollo moon lander's and speaker cables as wide as a fire hose, via a toy-like portable device?

Grant Clauser  |  Jun 18, 2010  |  0 comments

Logitech's latest addition to its Squeezebox family of network music players is the Touch, a small LCD touchpad that taps into your wired Ethernet or 802.11b/g Wi-Fi network and connects to your audio receiver. It resembles the company's Harmony 1100 remote and, like the remote, brings multiple systems, or in this case multiple services, easily under your control. 

Mike Mettler  |  May 31, 2010  |  0 comments

Here's the thing about Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' stunning new album, Mojo: While you've never quite heard the band play this way before on record, the songs sound like you've known them all your life.

Michael Trei  |  Apr 15, 2010  |  0 comments

Most of the big recent news in audio has involved a seemingly endless stream of new surround sound formats. First came uncompressed multichannel Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks on Blu-ray Disc. Then last year the listening experience reached new heights as Dolby ProLogic IIz and Audyssey DSX processing brought the vertical axis of our home theaters into play. Now it looks like the surround folks are finally taking a breather, which means we can swing the spotlight back over to stereo, where some big changes have been taking place.

Al Griffin  |  Apr 09, 2010  |  0 comments
Features
TV PARTY -- Plenty of new TVs feature a Yahoo! widgets bar, which now includes social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Some new services even let you create custom widgets that can be picked up by any TV outfitted with the Yahoo! widgets engine.

TELEPHONE -- Tired of watching TV?

 |  Apr 09, 2010  |  0 comments

How many times has this happened to you? Irrepressible engineers invent a terrific piece of new hardware, but you can't find any content to play on it. the sampler that came in the box is awesome, but after playing it a thousand times, it's getting a little old.

Al Griffin  |  Apr 08, 2010  |  0 comments

Just days before boarding a plane in January for the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, I made a point of doing something that many other folks the world over had been doing in droves: I watched Avatar at my local IMAX 3D theater. And I don’t think I’m alone in saying that it was the most involving 3D movie I’d ever seen. The distinct illusion of depth conveyed by the image projected on that massive IMAX screen was an entirely new sensation. In many ways, Avatar was the greatest movie experience I’d ever sat through.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Mar 29, 2010  |  0 comments

You've probably seen them outside the supermarket. You know - those big red vending machines. But instead of a soda for $1.25, you get a movie. For $1. Swipe your credit/debit card, and the disc is all yours for the night. That's Redbox, and the machines are popping up everywhere, ready to supply the masses with low-commitment, impulse-rental DVDs. With 20,000 machines, each holding about 500 discs, Redbox is making tons of money. And some Hollywood studios are going ballistic.

Mike Mettler  |  Mar 29, 2010  |  0 comments

To disregard the hi-fi end of what we do is wrong,” says Tom Petty of his decision to include a Blu-ray Disc with 62 live tracks mixed in 5.1 as part of the Deluxe Edition of his career-spanning boxed set with the Heartbreakers, The Live Anthology (Reprise). That edition, is impressive indeed. Besides the Blu-ray, it comprises five live CDs, two DVDs with two previously unreleased shows, one vinyl LP, a book, lithographs, and other goodies.

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