<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/headshot150.mf.jpg" WIDTH=150 HEIGHT=180 HSPACE=6 VSPACE=4 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>A <I>Wall Street Journal</I> exposé last April on television "tech gurus" who are paid by manufacturers to show products on the air caught the attention of many media watchdogs. The story, by James Bandler, also caught a buzz among working journalists, including those of us at <I>Stereophile</I> and <I>UAV</I>, since the story's main focus was on former <I>Stereophile</I> writer and current <I>Today Show</I> tech editor Corey Greenberg.
Late last week, D&M Holdings and Boston Acoustics announced that they have signed a definitive merger agreement in which D&M will purchase Boston Acoustics for $17.50 per share in cash for a total of approximately $76 million. The deal adds Boston Acoustics' premium speaker line (along with the Snell brand, which BA acquired within the last couple of years) to D&M's already impressive portfolio, including Denon, Marantz, and McIntosh, as well as the D&M Professional, ReplayTV, Rio, and Escient brands.
Computers have never really been my thing. I like them and have owned one since I was 8, starting with the incredibly unpowerful Atari 400. But I'd always considered them just the next step toward a better videogaming experience. And while I love gaming, plunking down $2,000 for something I'd use almost exclusively as a gaming rig seemed a little excessive.
The early-middle months of the year are like Christmas (Hanukkah, Kwanza, Winter Solstice, take your pick) for home entertainment lovers because so many manufacturers of HDTVs, surround sound receivers, DVD players, and rechargeable batteries announce all the new gear they'll be bringing out just in time for the holiday buying season. (Wow, what a coincidence!) It allows us to drool for three, four, sometimes even five or six months over the thoughts of shiny new gadgets and gizmos and other cool things that are probably too big to fit in our stockings (hung by the chimney with care) or under the tree - but don't worry about that, we still want them, anyway.
A new study by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) reveals that only 33.6 million (12%) of the 285 million television sets in the United States are used to watch over-the-air (OTA) programming. CEA issued its data in a letter delivered to the leadership of the Senate and House Commerce Committees to assist them in "their deliberations on how to ensure the needs of all Americans are addressed when analog broadcasting ceases." The House Commerce Committee is preparing to consider legislation currently under development by Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX) that will set a hard cutoff date for analog broadcasts. The Senate Commerce Committee is poised to release draft DTV legislation later this month.