OTHER TECH

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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Aug 07, 2015 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics

PRICE $130

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Three bands with automatic switching for greater dedicated bandwidth to individual devices
Fast, reliable streaming throughout home network
Two USB ports make hard drives accessible within home and remotely
Minus
Dashboard makes it hard to customize some settings
Automated band switching and QoS remove options to change settings to suit your needs
No backup or media management software

THE VERDICT
A speedy, reliable router that’s great if you accept its automatic settings.

As I’ve taken to streaming as much 4K video as I can from Netflix and Amazon, it was important to get the fastest router. Perhaps there’s something psychological about the candy-apple red glossy exterior that reminds me of a cross between a drag racer and a spaceship, or perhaps it was its impressive specs, but either way, I was inspired to try out D-Link’s DIR890L/R top-of-the-line tri-band router.

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Rob Sabin Posted: Jul 10, 2015 0 comments
What's an "integrated amplifier/asynchronous digital-to-analog converter combo" (a.k.a. amp/DAC)? Editor-in-Chief Rob Sabin explains and presents an overview of the PS Audio Sprout and Teac AI-301DA reviewed by Dan Kumin.

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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 21, 2015 16 comments
The difference between regular and high-definition video is something that most folks will immediately recognize when they see it. But what about high-resolution audio? Unlike HDTV, which caught on fairly quickly and enjoyed a broad base of support from program providers and hardware manufacturers, hi-res audio or HRA, (now an industry-sanctioned term) has struggled to move out of its audiophile niche since downloadable content first came online back in 2008.
Daniel Kumin Posted: Nov 19, 2014 1 comments
Dolby Atmos, the latest, “object-oriented” surround sound solution magicked up by the San Francisco technologists, has earned enough ink here and elsewhere that many of us are passingly familiar with it already. Briefly, then, object-oriented means that instead of panning discrete effects or overall mixes to left, center, right, or various surround channels, sound designers and producers can now direct sounds through a virtual listening space, letting the computer work out the details. Ultimately, of course, whether at the theater or at home, sounds still emanate from physical loudspeakers driven by physical amplifier channels, so there’s a certain amount of semantics at play here. But Atmos is scalable: A commercial theater can have as many as 64 discrete, individually addressable loudspeakers, including multiple “height” speakers in the ceiling.
Bob Ankosko Posted: Aug 27, 2014 1 comments
The Pace of Change Shows No Signs of Letting Up.

The road to driverless cars is lined with technology we couldn’t have imagined a few years ago. From auto parking and rich head-up displays to cutting-edge “infotainment” features, dashboard tech is right up there with horsepower/performance, handling, and other traditional car buying metrics. And the pace of change we’ve seen over the past decade shows no signs of letting up—if anything, it’s accelerating now that technology has become an integral part of the shopping experience.

Bob Ankosko Posted: Aug 11, 2014 3 comments
In preparation for the launch of the first wave of Dolby Atmos-enabled products, Dolby is conducting press demos in New York and Los Angeles this week. Stay tuned for our reports later in the week. In the meantime, we touched base with Brett Crockett, director of sound research at Dolby Labs, to learn more about Atmos and its promise of taking home theater to new heights.

S&V: Why does the world need another surround format? What does Atmos bring to the home theater experience?
Brett Crockett: Dolby Atmos moves beyond the paradigm of channel-based audio, which has gone as far as it can in the home. Captivating sound surrounds you from all directions, including overhead, filling the room with astonishing clarity, richness, detail, and depth. The specific sounds of people, music, and things move all around you in multidimensional space, so you feel like you are inside the action.

S&V: How does the “object-based” Atmos system compare with the familiar channel-based system?
BC: Until now, cinema sound designers have had to mix independent sounds together into channels for soundtrack creation. A discrete sound, such as a helicopter, has been assigned to an individual channel rather than precisely to where it would occur naturally in the scene. While a sound can move across channels, there’s no height dimension. For example, you might hear the helicopter from a side channel (and speaker array) but not above you. This approach limits your audio experience because it can’t come close to matching the way you hear in real life, with sounds coming from every direction.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jul 09, 2014 0 comments
It’s no secret that prolonged exposure to loud music can lead to tinnitus (constant ringing in the ears) and permanent hearing loss. Any number of famous rock musicians have acknowledged having hearing problems. Hitting closer to home, the Hearing Health Foundation reports that 50 million Americans live with hearing loss, a staggering statistic that includes one in five teens, whose hearing problems are largely attributed to listening to music through headphones—especially earbuds—at high volumes for an extended period.
Kris Deering Posted: Dec 02, 2013 1 comments
This year’s CEDIA convention had a lot of high profile products that generated a lot of buzz. One of the companies that caught my eye was Vicoustic, whose booth featured an assortment of acoustic panels that looked nothing like the boring rectangles and squares we typically associate with room treatments; instead, they looked like something you’d find in the lobby of an upscale office or hotel.
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SV Staff Posted: Nov 12, 2013 0 comments
Michael Lavorgna’s “Getting Started in Computer Audio,” which appeared in the October print edition of Sound & Vision, is now available online here.
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Michael Antonoff Posted: Feb 21, 2013 0 comments
So desperate are the networks to keep you cuffed to their shows that they’ve been launching apps for the second screen. Made for the tablets and smartphones to which viewers’ eyes keep darting—often at the expense of the TV screen—these apps are intended to boost fan loyalty.
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Dec 07, 2012 2 comments
What do you get for the home theater buff who has everything…even if that home theater buff is you? We’ve uncovered an assortment of add-ons, doodads, and whatnot that will raise the bar on your audio/video rig and beyond.
John Sciacca Posted: Nov 20, 2012 0 comments

For want of a smart control, the table was cluttered with remotes. For want of the right remote, the A/V receiver was turned to the wrong input. For lack of the right input, the audio and video signals were lost. For failure of the A/V signal, the movie could not be watched. For lack of the movie, the party was ruined.

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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Nov 12, 2012 0 comments
Ever try to stream a video from your library only to find that it won't play it—or find that certain files don’t appear on your media player when you browse the folders where they are saved? The problem could be that your media player doesn’t recognize those file formats.
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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Oct 24, 2012 0 comments
Digital media streaming has exploded in recent years. It’s everywhere—from sharing digital photos (does anyone print photos anymore?), to streaming a missed TV show on Hulu Plus, to watching high-definition movies on Vudu. Internet and router speeds have increased to accommodate streaming high-quality audio and video. Find out what DLNA certification means and why it's important.
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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Oct 11, 2012 0 comments
Media renderer is another Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) certification that is part of the home network streaming experience. It can play videos, photos and music that are sent to it from a media controller. I know of no devices that are exclusively media renderers. Typically the ability to accept media files is a feature of media streaming device.

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