OTHER TECH

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Michael Gaughn  |  Jul 15, 2001  |  0 comments

Perfect sound forever. Well, some people will tell you that the compact disc doesn't offer either. Diehard audiophiles complained from the day the CD was first introduced that it sounded cold, metallic, and sterile compared with the LP. And the discs can deteriorate over time, if ever so slowly.

SV Staff  |  Jul 11, 2001  |  0 comments

Do I get letters? You bet I do! Everyone has a question for the Gear Guy. I get letters from people who want to buy high-definition TVs, minisystems, exotic speakers - you name it. I also get lots of eviction notices, subpoenas, and an occasional letter bomb. But that's another story.

Ken Richardson  |  Jul 10, 2001  |  0 comments

It seems like yesterday that the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference and Festival began as a local gathering in Austin, Texas. But it's actually been 15 years - and today, what is simply known as SXSW has morphed into the American music industry's largest event.

Jeffrey Spaulding  |  Jul 09, 2001  |  0 comments

Cool began with jazz - be-bop in particular, which still is cool. In the '60s, it meant stuff like bell-bottoms - which aren't cool anymore, unless a girl's wearing them. A guy wearing them as a joke could be cool, I guess, but the lines are kind of fuzzy there. Afros definitely aren't cool anymore, at least not on white guys - or at least not at the moment.

Chris Lewis  |  Jul 02, 2001  |  First Published: Jul 03, 2001  |  0 comments
Part two in our high-resolution-audio series introduces SACD and DSD. The CD is dead. Long live the super CD.

You must allow me a bit of hyperbole for the sake of a powerful opening statement (which, as I assume they say in journalism school, is important). The truth is, the CD is about as dead as the analog television, which means it's alive and kicking just as it has always been. Still, the writing is on the wall for both formats. While the CD can at least take consolation in the fact that it doesn't have government mandates guaranteeing its demise, the future of audio has most definitely arrived (as with television) in the form of high-resolution. Let's not forget multichannel, either. While the hard-core music lovers are salivating over the potential of high-resolution, most are well aware that popular acceptance in America usually requires the new and different to be as big and flashy as possible. On many systems, the multichannel format is undoubtedly going to represent a more-noticeable change in the way people listen to music.

Mike Wood  |  Jul 02, 2001  |  First Published: Jul 03, 2001  |  0 comments
Feeding the Beast and Chasing Its Gremlins : A basic guide for harnessing AC power.

There's absolutely nothing worse than putting together an awesome home theater system that's starved for power or buzzing with ground loops. We often take electricity for granted, assuming it will be there when we need it. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. You don't necessarily need an electrician just to connect your audio and video system, but you may need to check out your electrical system before you spend hours, if not days, connecting all your components. The two things you should consider are whether your system is getting enough power and if your components are connected to that power system correctly.

Josef Krebs  |  Jun 26, 2001  |  0 comments

Besides Superman, director Richard Donner's films include the Lethal Weapon series, Scrooged, and The Omen.

Michael Antonoff  |  Jun 12, 2001  |  0 comments
Stroll through any large store that sells audio and video equipment, and it's mind-numbing how similar the products in each category look. If you close your eyes, point to any receiver or DVD player, and guess "black and boxy," you'll almost certainly be right.

Conventional wisdom dictates that there are good reasons why A/V design is so homogeneous.

Michael Antonoff  |  Jun 11, 2001  |  0 comments

Backward-compatibility can come at the expense of innovation, as we learned from the failure of the Digital Compact Cassette in the early '90s. The DCC format enabled a new generation of hardware both to record digital tape cassettes and to play standard analog cassettes.

Frank Doris  |  Jun 06, 2001  |  0 comments

You probably already know that good speakers are essential to putting together a high-quality stereo or multichannel music system or home theater. You can invest several months' mortgage payments in first-rate audio/video components, but without good speakers you're simply not going to hear your system's full potential.

Mike Wood  |  May 02, 2001  |  First Published: May 03, 2001  |  0 comments
The truth behind progressive-scan DVD players.

Conspiracy theories are like computer problems—almost everyone has one. From JFK's assassination to the demise of TWA flight 800, it's rare that everyone will accept the simplest explanation as the truth. Consumer electronics has its fair share of conspiracy theories, as well. They may not be as complex as a Louisiana district attorney's triangulated-bullet-trajectory theory, but they exist, nonetheless. What do you expect to happen when a large number of obsessive-compulsive personalities have too much free time and join a chat room?

Mike Wood  |  Feb 28, 2001  |  First Published: Mar 01, 2001  |  0 comments
The world's most complete guide to DVD-player features.

If you're thinking of buying a DVD player, the number of features most players offer might overwhelm you. Sure, you know the basics: DVD is the hottest thing since the first time man invented something round. It consists of a disc the size of an audio CD but with 10 to 15 times more storage capacity. The disc has enough room to store a full-length motion picture with a digital picture that's better than that of laserdisc or satellite broadcasts. A progressive-scan DVD player connected to a widescreen TV can even approach the quality of high-definition television. The digital audio can include up to five full-range, discrete (meaning separate) channels with one LFE, or low-frequency-effects (aka the .1), channel for impact. The best part is that DVD players and movies should be compatible with your current system, no matter how archaic it is. You can buy a DVD player now and almost certainly enjoy the benefits right away, and you can upgrade various parts of your system and glean even more performance from the DVD software that you'll undoubtedly start collecting. What you really want to know, though, is what features to look for in your first/next DVD-player purchase. As usual, we're here to explain them to you. We've also included a couple of tips on how you can take your DVD/home theater experience to the next level.

Mike McGann  |  Feb 28, 2000  |  First Published: Feb 29, 2000  |  0 comments
Editor makes stupid grounding mistakes and pays with fried gear.

Those of you who have installed your own satellite systems have seen RG-6 coaxial cable with a second wire attached to the outside. I can't speak for the rest of you, but I know I never paid a whole lot of attention to that second wire. Sure, it was handy for tying the cable to stuff and so on, but, frankly, who really gives it a whole lot of thought? Even our detail-oriented (PC for anal retentive) technical editor Mike Wood admits he's never found much need for it, either. That is, until he heard my tale of woe.

David Ranada  |  Jan 31, 1999  |  0 comments
I felt as stupid as Dorothy must have felt near the end of The Wizard of Oz when Glinda, the Witch of the North, tells her that she always had the power to get back to Kansas.

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