TECH2

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jun 27, 2012 0 comments

Music sales aren't the only part of the music biz that's hurting these days. With recent cutbacks in government funding for the arts-not just in the U.S. but all around the world-some great performance spaces are having major problems paying the bills. One is La Fenice, the famous Venice opera house that dates back to 1792.

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Posted: Jun 25, 2012 0 comments

The annoying thing about Internet-connected smart TVs? Accessing the smarts usually costs you bucks. Probably 95% of the streaming Internet video I watch on my Samsung flat-panel is Netflix ($7.99 a month) or Vudu (usually $4.99 per movie for 720p high-def).

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jun 22, 2012 0 comments

To a surprising amount of excitement, Microsoft announced the a pair of new tablets this week. Web reactions to the new Surface — as you’d expect — were split down party lines: “It’s not an iPad! It’s stupid!” and “It’s not an iPad! It’s the second coming!”

Reality, as usual, is somewhere in the middle. It’s possible the Surface is a worthy iPad competitor something that, so far, we have not seen.

It all comes down to one, seemingly simple, thing...

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jun 18, 2012 0 comments

I recently got back from three weeks camping/backpacking in South Africa. For anyone who knows me, my using those verbs in the same sentence as “I” will be rather shocking.

Only sporadically near power, and often on the go, I was, with some careful preparation (and ongoing trial and error), able to use my iPod, watch TV shows and videos, and take over 2,000 photos, all without tech incident.

So with the summer travel season upon us, follow these tips and don’t miss a photo, track, or clip.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jun 15, 2012 0 comments

A few days ago, via Twitter, S+V EiC Mike Mettler posed a question on behalf of his nephew (allegedly) asking what was my favorite game of all time. I couldn’t pick just one, so I rattled off a few of my favorites.

But the creation of that short list got me thinking: Why were these games my favorites? What about them has stood the test of time (in my mind) over countless other titles over the years?

In other words, what makes a great game immortal?

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jun 13, 2012 0 comments

If what I heard today is any indication, Kodak’s decline may be Hollywood’s gain. When Kodak dropped the naming rights to the famous theater used to host the Academy Awards, Dolby picked them up — and gave the theater a first-class technical makeover.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jun 11, 2012 0 comments

I’ve been frustrated with acoustic treatment products since 1995, the year I first read F. Alton Everest’s Master Handbook of Acoustics.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jun 08, 2012 0 comments

I was testing some subwoofers the other day when something wonderful dawned on me. I realized that at long last, we have an easy way to separate the serious subwoofer manufacturers from the not-so-serious.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jun 04, 2012 0 comments

Brick-and-mortar audio retailing is in decline, but fortunately there’s another way to hear the best new sound gear: Attend one of the growing number of regional audio shows. Last year saw the first Los Angeles-area show in years, T.H.E. Show Newport, which took over much of the Hilton Hotel near the Orange County Airport.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jun 01, 2012 0 comments

In the last year, we’ve seen lots of super-compact audio systems that sound surprisingly good: the Jawbone Jambox, the Q2 Internet Radio, and the Soundmatters FoxLv2 are three great examples. But the NuForce Cube comes in at just a fraction of their size: The enclosure measures less than 2.5 inches on all its sides. One look at the Cube and it’s hard to imagine you’d want to listen to it for long.

But behind the Cube’s grille hides what may be the most serious attempt at a 1-inch full-range driver I’ve ever seen.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: May 30, 2012 0 comments

Denon’s been to headphones what the Rolling Stones have been to rock: Both enjoy an unassailable reputation even though they haven’t done anything significant for a long time. I’m betting the Stones stick to that plan, but as of yesterday, Denon’s back in play with a new line of 11 headphones — plus a couple of cool new AirPlay/DLNA speakers, too.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: May 25, 2012 0 comments

If I were forced to choose between the $20K worth of audio test gear I own or the demo CD that cost me probably 20 cents to make, I’d take the latter without hesitation. Test gear is great for telling me how well an audio product is engineered. But when I want to find out what an audio product does — i.e., how a listener will perceive its sound — the demo CD is a much better tool.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: May 23, 2012 0 comments

Falling Skies, the TNT Network sci-fi series that debuted in summer 2011, is certainly one of the creepiest shows on TV right now. It’s creepy because of its grotesque, mysterious alien protagonists. And they’re creepy in large part because of the way they sound.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: May 18, 2012 0 comments

Carmakers have a problem. OK, I’m sure they have a lot of problems, but as this one has to do with sound, it’s relevant to us here at S+V.

As cars have gotten quieter, and as turbocharging finds its way onto more vehicles, we’re losing the sonorous soundtrack of the engines themselves.

So the engineering wizards are using technology to combat the progression of... technology?

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: May 17, 2012 0 comments

Announced today, Dolby has added a new trick to their TrueHD encoding. It allows studios and authoring houses a way to upconvert standard 48 kHz content (the sampling rate of most movies) to 96 kHz for Blu-ray.

At an event at Dolby headquarters in San Francisco, I got a chance to hear the results. Interestingly, it was quite... interesting.

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