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Lauren Dragan Posted: May 01, 2015 0 comments
The weather is warmer, and you can’t wait to pull your trusty 2-wheeler out of the garage. Or maybe you’re a dedicated bike commuter, saving the planet and burning off your morning donut on the way to work. The thing is, unless you live the country life, it can be a real (urban) jungle out there. Dodging traffic, animals, and other cyclists can be a bit nerve wracking. And, sadly, hit and runs happen. More and more motorcyclists have started wearing rear-facing cameras on their bikes or helmets, so why shouldn’t the pedal pushers of the world have their own solution? Enter Fly6, a rear facing HD camera and bike light that not only sees, but helps you be seen. I took one for a spin, and came back convinced. Read on to find out why.
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Chris Chiarella Posted: May 01, 2015 0 comments
Doing its part to make sure you never have to be without object-based audio, Dolby is dropping its newest format, Dolby Atmos Mobile. Like Dolby Atmos for the home and for the cinema, this portable version aims to render a more detailed, more lifelike soundfield from specially mixed/encoded software. Unlike the previous versions, Dolby Atmos Mobile does not require a specially wired theater, or newfangled or additional loudspeakers. Instead, it’s designed to work with any headphones. The technology relies on Head-Related Transfer Functions, taking advantage of the fixed positions of the stereo drivers left and right as they expand the soundtrack’s spatial information. For this reason, a wired or Bluetooth speaker cannot reproduce the Atmos Mobile effect.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: May 01, 2015 1 comments
I recently spent a few weeks exhaustively reviewing five headphone DAC-amps. They included the Schiit Fulla ($79), AudioQuest DragonFly v1.2 ($149), Oppo HA-2 ($299), Celsus Companion One ($595), and Sony PHA-3 ($1,000). Of course anyone who buys one of these products will find that the listening experience depends heavily on the headphones used with it, and there's no predicting which headphones an individual buyer may use, so I chose a varied selection: the Oppo PM-2 ($699), Sennheiser HD600 ($400), and Sony MDR-V6 ($110). Then I had to choose the demo music. That was fun—anyone who says a job like mine isn't fun should find another job—but it took some care and forethought. Just as associated gear affects perception of an audio product, so too does the music.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: May 01, 2015 0 comments
Screen Innovation says its new Slate .8 projection screen features the company’s most versatile ambient-light-rejecting technology to date.
Barb Gonzalez Posted: May 01, 2015 0 comments


Easy installation in any HDMI port
Straightforward, simple menus
ASAP technology loads full resolution videos instantly
Plenty of free content for Amazon Prime members
Missing some major apps including Vudu and M-Go
Global search favors Amazon results
Remote app is inconsistent and voice search may not work

A great streaming choice for Amazon Prime members, particularly those who travel.

In case the 3-inch-square Fire TV was too big for you, Amazon has released its follow-up to that high-performing streaming media player. Along with reducing size to fit on an HDMI dongle, Amazon has also reduced the price—to $39, versus $99 for the full-size Fire TV. While the Stick comes without the original’s built-in remote control microphone for voice search (a mic remote is an option) and uses a dual-core processor rather than a quad-core processor, the differences are hardly noticeable in use. Both Fire TVs make it easy for Amazon Prime members to stream over 40,000 free movies and millions of songs as well as access an unlimited number of personal photos stored in the Amazon Cloud. And the Stick’s small size and weight should make it perfect for tossing in your luggage for streaming in hotel rooms while traveling (assuming, of course, suitable Wi-Fi access).

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Apr 30, 2015 1 comments
The music industry has the Grammys to recognize outstanding contributions to the art of song composition. The Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association, aka CEDIA, which you might know from our coverage of the annual CEDIA Expo, has the Electronic Lifestyles Awards to honor the creativity and technical skill behind some of the most advanced home entertainment and home automation systems on the planet. Here we profile two of the 14 home theaters that made the cut in 2014.
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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Apr 29, 2015 0 comments
Hulu announced that it has licensed all 180 episodes of Seinfeld in an exclusive Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) streaming deal. The news was presented at the annual Hulu UpFront event for potential advertisers. Along with the Seinfeld deal, Hulu unveiled its new lineup of original content and another exclusive deal with AMC for future shows.
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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 29, 2015 2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at

Q I am looking for a standalone headphone surround sound processor that handles both Dolby Digital and DTS and lets me use my own headphones. Does such a product exist? —Anthony Aurigemma

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Mike Mettler Posted: Apr 29, 2015 0 comments
Tori Amos has always been an artist who knows what she wants, and knows how to get it. “Music was always first,” she says. “The records you hear, whether you like them or not, you can blame me for, because I was fighting all the time that the songs were represented in the right way.” For Tori, the “right way” meant staying true to the core of her quite personal songwriting, piano-driven arrangements, and unique vocal character, all of which are on fine display on the just-issued two-disc Deluxe Editions of 1992’s Little Earthquakes (1992) and 1994’s Under the Pink (both on Rhino). “I’ve taken a pretty firm stand about being a woman in control of my destiny — for good or ill, you know?” she admits. “People know that I fight for the art, and the music. I’m not going to back down.” Here, Amos, 51, and I discuss the hard-fought genesis of Earthquakes and Pink, how her sound-quality goals shifted in the transition from the ’80s to the ’90s, and how she forged her artistic identity.
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Guido Henkel Posted: Apr 29, 2015 0 comments
By their very nature, biopics are a mixed bag. On the one hand, they tell the story of a person in the limelight with achievements viewers are familiar with, while on the other, they explore sides of the person that have typically escaped the public eye. Striking the right balance between the two is the key. Get on Up takes a look at the life of James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, a man whose musical legacy can be heard and felt in almost every bit of popular music today. The film jumps liberally between different periods of Brown’s life in anecdotal form, covering his childhood, his meteoric rise to stardom, the fall, the comeback, and everything in between. While it feels a bit disjointed at times, the film nonetheless manages to draw a portrait of Brown and what drove him to become one of the most recognizable names in music.


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