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Al Griffin Posted: Feb 06, 2014 8 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’d like to know if it would be a waste to use a power amplifier connected to the preamp outputs of an AV receiver with the same rated power. The AV receiver I have in mind is the Denon AVR-3313CI.—Morris Barber / via e-mail

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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Feb 05, 2014 0 comments
The so-called smart home is built on a foundation of three pillars. As with the architecture of a real home, each pillar must be equally as strong, or you run the risk of the entire structure collapsing. Fortunately, the virtual-world failure of a smart home system is nowhere near as likely to result in physical injury as is the falling ceiling and walls of a real-world building. Obviously, though, having a smart home that doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do is a waste of money. Having a system that only works some of the time is even worse because there’s a period of intense frustration before the homeowner finally gives up and quits using the system entirely.

The three pillars of the smart home are...

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Shane Buettner Posted: Feb 05, 2014 0 comments
Picture
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Interactivity
Widely credited as the first “slasher” movie, 1978’s Halloween is a horror trailblazer and a modern classic. It was a highly successful independent film prior to people knowing the term; and before Jason and Freddy could turn horror schlock into movie franchises (or vice versa), the genre’s way was paved by writer/director John Carpenter’s boogeyman, Michael Myers. The story is deceptively simple with fictional Haddonfield, Illinois, terrorized on two Halloween nights 15 years apart.
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Fred Kaplan Posted: Feb 05, 2014 0 comments
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Sound
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Interactivity
Before Midnight is the unplanned Part 3 of what may turn out to be a lifetime series—one episode every nine years, so far—following the romance of Jesse and Céline. Before Sunrise (1995) had them, at 23, meeting on a train in Europe, getting off together in Vienna, walking and talking all day and night, and making love at dawn. Before Sunset (2004) found Jesse, author of a best-selling novel about that brief affair, running into Céline at a reading in Paris, resuming their walking and talking through the winding streets, and ending in her apartment on an ambiguous note: Will he catch his plane back to Chicago, returning to his wife and child, or stay with Céline, for whom he’s been pining all these years?
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Feb 04, 2014 10 comments

Audio Performance
Video Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $6,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Rail-switching amplifiers
Muscular dynamics
Smooth, not sizzly
Minus
Extra-cost wireless
Vertigo-inducing price

THE VERDICT
This British audiophile receiver is steeply priced but worth every ha’penny, and its rail-switching amplifier is among the best there is.

The Arcam AVR600 blew my socks off when I reviewed it in 2009. I’ll discuss how it sounded later&mdashbut for the moment, I want to tell you how it made me feel:: pleased, then surprised, then amazed, grateful, stimulated, intrigued, and determined to play as much of my music library as time would permit before the review sample was pried out of my covetous hands. Only the price kept me from adopting it as my new reference receiver. But just because I have to live within fiscal limits doesn’t mean you should. I want you to have as much fun as you can afford.

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Steve Guttenberg Posted: Feb 04, 2014 0 comments
Performance
Build Quality
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $150

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Dynamic and balanced armature drivers
All-metal earpieces
Tangle-free, flat cable
Minus
Zippy highs
May not suit audiophile tastes

THE VERDICT
The Om Audio InEarPeace may stray too far from neutrality for some, but it’s definitely not boring!

Om Audio is the recent brainchild of a select group of consumer electronics, audio, and technology professionals, including former staff members from Dolby, Velodyne, and Gracenote. While Om’s InEarPeace in-ear monitor looks pretty standard, it features a rather unusual two-way driver complement, with a 10mm bass driver and a midrange/tweeter balanced armature driver in each all-metal earpiece. Nice!

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Feb 04, 2014 0 comments
One of the most promising new stars in audio-for-video technology has unexpectedly left the stage. AudioXperts, founded by Harman International veteran Eli Harary, specialized in luxury-level TV consoles and bamboo-sheathed Bluetooth speakers. Its first products were just about to hit the street when the lead investor pulled the plug. Delays in bringing products to market were blamed. We’re mentioning this because some of the products may eventually be sold through other channels. One of those 4TV smoked-glass soundbar consoles might be just the thing to spruce up your flat-panel TV—not to mention that it’s now a collector’s item. Harary has made arrangements to service products already purchased.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Feb 04, 2014 0 comments
Why does the Kindle Fire HDX have that blue tint around the edges of the touchscreen? Amazon says it’s actually to improve overall color: “Most LCD displays use white LEDs, and then apply filters to extract the desired color. The result is oftentimes a compromise to tone and color accuracy, or—if attempting to address these compromises—an increase in battery consumption and, thus, device weight. We’ve taken a different approach. To achieve perfect color accuracy on the Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch at the lowest possible battery consumption and weight, we used blue, not white, LEDs. Blue LEDs allow for a much more accurate and rich representation of color and result in an up to 20 percent improvement in power efficiency.” Amazon was selling the device for $229 at press time.
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SV Staff Posted: Feb 04, 2014 0 comments
Control4, a leading provider of home automation and control solutions, today announced that it has been selected by the national builder Toll Brothers to provide smart home technology options to new-home buyers.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Feb 03, 2014 3 comments
Some people watch the Super Bowl to see some football. Some just want to see the commercials. I tune into the Super Bowl to hear the music. Unlike the game, this year didn’t disappoint. I was blown away by an opera singer selling nothing, and a folk singer selling his soul.

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