Q It looks like the high data rate (up to 48Gbps) of the forthcoming HDMI 2.1 standard will create headaches for the consumer electronics industry, especially the cable manufacturers. Here’s my question: Why does decompression of video data happen in the disc player or streaming box instead of the TV? If the situation were reversed, then there would be no need for new, 48G HDMI cables. —Dave Ings / Toronto, Canada
AT A GLANCE Plus
Powerful bass for a compact sub
Performs extremely well with music and movies
Lacks last half-octave of deep bass you can get from larger subs
If you’re limited on space but have adequate funding, this is the strongest-performing compact sub I’ve auditioned.
It’s another American business success story. A couple of kids, Jim Birch and Lucio Proni, begin building home loudspeakers during summer break in 1975. More than 40 years later, Jim and Lucio are still going strong, having seen JL Audio become one of the most respected consumer electronics brands in the world, branching out from the home to mobile and marine applications. I’ve experienced their products at some custom shops and have read glowing reviews of their subwoofers over the years. My favorite review was by my colleague Darryl Wilkinson, who said the company’s Fathom f212 sub could play a 20-hertz test tone loud enough to liquefy his bowels! High praise, indeed.
MQA and Universal Music Group (UMG) today announced a multi-year agreement under which UMG will use MQA’s encoding technology to make its extensive catalog of master recordings available for high-resolution streaming.
Radio may be considered passé by some but it has been a staple in the lives of Americans for nearly 100 years and will be around for many years to come. Ninety-three years ago this month, on the night of February 8, 1924, AT&T made history when it conducted the first coast-to-coast radio broadcast from a banquet hall in Chicago’s Congress Hotel.
The honeymoon is over. Best Buy is closing 200 of its Oculus Rift demo stations less than six months after announcing plans to feature the virtual reality headset in 500 stores in time for the 2016 holiday season.
It’s hard to believe that we once drove to big-box stores unarmed: no smartphone in hand; no Wi-Fi for the taking. A recent trip to The Home Depot reminded me how power in the power tool kingdom has shifted from merchant to shopper.
AT A GLANCE Plus
Small-footprint amp and speakers
No analog line input
No S/PDIF input
No sub output
The Sony CAS-1 is a sleek and simple desktop system, optimized for input from computers and mobile devices, with sweetly addictive near-field imaging.
It’s been 21 years since the MP3 audio file format made its debut, 17 years since Napster revolutionized the distribution of digital music, 15 years since the iPod brought that music to a pocketable device, and 13 years since Apple made downloads legit with the iTunes music store. Computerized audio is now enjoying a vigorous middle age—old enough to support lots of audio products and system configurations, young enough for some of those products to be innovative. Outfitting your desktop with an audio system can cost as little as $13.99 for a pair of AmazonBasics powered speakers or as much as several thousand dollars for the highest-end speakers and integrated amps recommended by our sister site AudioStream.com.
Amid the usual flurry of TV-related news at last month's CES—including word that Sony is getting back into the OLED game—almost everyone missed a potentially big part of Sony’s TV announcement: That its 2017 Android-powered 4K TVs will be the first televisions to support Google Assistant, Google’s answer to Amazon’s Alexa.
Sony has announced that the high dynamic range (HDR)-enabled 4K/Ultra HD TVs it introduced at CES will be available in March at prices starting at $1,000 for a 43-inch model and scaling up to $7,500 for a 75-inch set.