TECH2

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Nov 18, 2011 0 comments

 

I'll be honest, I can think of few things less sexy to review than an antenna. This isn't because they're not useful, it's just without a lot of specialized equipment, there isn't much I can say about them.

I live in The Valley, with a direct line of sight to the HDTV transmitters that cover all of Los Angeles. On the clear day each year, I can see Mt. Wilson from my front door. TV reception is so good, I could stick my finger in a TV's antenna input and my dome could probably pull in a signal. Picture that for a second.

But The Leaf by Mohu is actually kinda cool, and looks very different from any antenna I've seen.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Nov 16, 2011 0 comments

They say that when everyone’s hip to a trend, it’s no longer hip.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Nov 14, 2011 0 comments

Hanging out at the recent Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, I listened in on a conversation that S+V writer Mike Trei was having with an audio manufacturer who's getting into the headphone biz.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Nov 11, 2011 0 comments

Panasonic had an event yesterday where they showed off some of the new apps available for their VIERA Connect web-streaming platform.

On the surface, it was merely an update of the platform with some new content providers. But what those providers were offering was interesting. Very interesting indeed.

Potentially. . . it's the future.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Nov 08, 2011 0 comments

The "Bass Management Boot Camp" article about subwoofer setup that I wrote for the November S+V inspired an in-turn inspiring e-mail from reader Bruce Erwin. Bruce recalled his days setting up sound systems when he'd use a 1.5-volt battery to test subwoofer phase. If the sub and main speakers were in phase, he'd hear a single thump when he connected the battery to the wires leading to the sub's terminals. If they were out of phase, he'd hear a double thump.

That's with passive subwoofers, though. Almost all of today's subs have built-in amps, so this method wouldn't quite work with them. Still, it got me wondering if I could come up with a simpler phase check than the ones I suggested in the article, which required either measurement or careful listening. My e-mail convo with Bruce gave me some ideas and, ultimately, a method that's simpler than my original. And all you need to do it is a piece of free software and a meter you've either already got or can get for nothing.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Nov 04, 2011 0 comments

One of the most popular - and in truth, most valid - ways of comparing two products is to, well, directly compare two products. A battle royale, two-enter-one-leaves style of head-to-head competition where it's clear which product is the victor.

Done correctly, direct A/B comparisons are by far the most accurate ways of determining product superiority.

The problem is, they're often not done correctly. Sometimes, they can't be done correctly. In those cases, the results couldn't be further from accurate.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Nov 02, 2011 0 comments

I predict that 2011 will be for audio what 1962 was for the art world. In 1962, Andy Warhol's first solo shows in Los Angeles and New York swept away the prevailing aesthetic ethos of the era, demonstrating to the world that a Brillo pad box could be a work of art.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Oct 31, 2011 0 comments

I had an ear-opening experience when I got to do a blind listening test of some vintage turntables at Vancouver, BC vintage audio dealer Innovative Audio this past summer.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Oct 27, 2011 0 comments

I am not a woman. This may come as a shock, given my sleek and slickly stylish dome and ratty Scottish-highland-wannabe beard. 

However, I am lucky enough to know many intelligent and erudite people who happen to be women. 

My question to them, as folks of the female persuasion, was if the simplistic marketing tactic of "It's pink, women will buy it!" annoyed them as much as it annoyed me. 

Turns out it did, sort of.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Oct 24, 2011 0 comments

Sleep is not a topic much discussed around these parts. After all, "Sound" and "Vision" are two things not usually conducive to slumber. 

But the company AcousticSheep has come up with an interesting product: SleepPhones, a soft fleece headband with embedded headphones, meant for comfortable listening while slumbering.

With the above picture in mind, how could we not review?

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Oct 21, 2011 0 comments

Paradigm isn't a big company, only 250 people or so. It doesn't have the immense marketing budget to assault the airwaves like Bose, or the R&D budget to make every manner of gadget like Sony.

These are good things, because instead this Canadian company goes about making some solid products, loved by reviewers, and beloved by customers.

Invited to check out their factory just outside Toronto, I dusted off my American Flag jacket, trucker hat, "W" belt buckle, and headed north of the border.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Oct 18, 2011 0 comments

While the image quality of video streaming services has been improving, audio has lagged behind. But it looks like it’s catching up.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Oct 17, 2011 0 comments

Visitors to the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest that ended yesterday got to see two shows in one.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Oct 14, 2011 0 comments

Like every other Sound+Vision writer, I’ve seen a lot of 3D TV. But I never saw so much 3D TV as I did last night, when I walked into South, Los Angeles’ first 3D sports bar. Everywhere I looked, I could see a Vizio flat-panel TV showing 3D programming—sports mostly, of course, but also games and a couple of Blu-ray Discs.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Oct 11, 2011 0 comments

I gave in. Battlefield 3 had reduced my HTPC to a smoldering, weeping mess that begged me to put it out of its misery.

Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology.

And to that end, I started with, well the anthropomorphic spin kinda fails here. It's a new video card, that's what I'm getting at.

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