LATEST ADDITIONS

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Steve Guttenberg Posted: Apr 11, 2014 0 comments

Performance
Features
Comfort
Value
PRICE $400

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Bowers & Wilkins’ first over-the-ear headphone
Unique styling
Lavish build quality
Minus
Not quite as graceful looking as B&W’s onear models

THE VERDICT
The Bowers & Wilkins P7 continues B&W’s evolution as a world-class headphone manufacturer.

Over the last few years, we’ve seen quite a few speaker companies dip their toes into the headphone market, with inconsistent results. Sure, it’s easy to slap your logo on a pair of generic headphones, but Bowers & Wilkins didn’t do that. Their elegant design sense was immediately apparent with their very first headphone—the P5—and the sound was what you’d expect from Bowers & Wilkins. No wonder that headphone attracted a sizable cognoscenti following and turned on countless newbies to the glories of audiophile headphone sound.

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Josef Krebs Posted: Apr 11, 2014 2 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Interactivity
In a museum of the Old West, a boy experiences an ancient noble savage figure in an exhibit coming to life and telling him about his times with the Lone Ranger. As was the case in Little Big Man, the character is an unreliable witness due to a mixture of his bullshit artistry and mental problems—and the whole incident is probably going on in the imagination of the kid, anyway. So the filmmaker has a lot of leeway for unlikely and implausible events, and he takes this artistic license to the limit.
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Lauren Dragan Posted: Apr 10, 2014 0 comments
The latest release from V-MODA, the XS are designed to be on-the-go headphones for the person who dislikes in-ears. They’re ultra-compact on-ears, and V-MODA have streamlined the shape of the earcups and headband to lay as close to the skull as possible. You have to give V-MODA credit: they are impressively small. The included case is barely taller than an iPhone. The XS are hinged and collapse down to about 4.5”x 5”x 2.5”. But are they more than just teeny tiny?
Mike Mettler Posted: Apr 10, 2014 0 comments
Performance
Sound
“Best guitar player I ever heard.” Some hip muso waxing on about the next Hendrix? Nope, that’s Bob Dylan on the late Michael Bloomfield, and the Bard’s ears are some damn fine arbiters. This three-CD/one-DVD Bloomfield box set reclaims a master guitarist’s legacy that’s as deep as the Delta, by way of the Windy City and the City by the Bay. Disc 1, subtitled Roots, sets the tap. The instrumental take on Dylan’s iconic “Like a Rolling Stone” is revelatory, keeping the focus on the as-it’s-happening creation of the now-familiar melody via Bloomfield’s chiming Telecaster riffs intermingling with Al Kooper’s wheedling Hammond B3.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Apr 10, 2014 1 comments
414blackout.promo250.jpgWhen cable operators and networks can’t agree on retransmission fees, cable viewers may suddenly see blackouts of broadcast and other channels. Such blackouts set a record in 2013, according to the American Television Alliance. Now legislation has been introduced in Congress that would prevent viewers from missing their favorite shows.
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Josef Krebs Posted: Apr 10, 2014 0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Interactivity
Screenwriter-director Woody Allen serves up a delicious modern variation on Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire filled with humor, tragedy, and great performances. Leading the cast is a towering Cate Blanchett as Jasmine, a former New York socialite whose life has fallen to pieces. The story is told by flashing back and forth between her old life of luxury and glamour in her 5th Avenue, Manhattan mansion (and summer house in the Hamptons) and her new humble and humbling existence living with her working-class sister (Sally Hawkins) in San Francisco after Jasmine’s successful businessman husband (Alec Baldwin) is sent to prison for fraud and all their funds seized.
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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 09, 2014 Published: Apr 10, 2014 1 comments
Q I used Windows Media Player to rip and archive my collection of roughly 2,000 CDs in WMA Lossless format. I chose that format because I believed it would capture a bit-perfect copy of my CD as well as retain important metadata like album and song titles.

Here's my dilemma: I am learning the hard way that WMA-L does not enjoy widespread support. I recently returned a NAD network player because, while it did play the lossless WAV files in my collection, it down-rezzed WMA-L ones to 192 kbps. Now here’s my question: Is there a way to convert my files to a different format while preserving the lossless audio quality and metadata, or have I made a terrible mistake in wasting countless hours ripping so many CDs to a useless format? —Carlos Lobo / Hawthorn Woods, IL

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Apr 09, 2014 3 comments
I have to admit, I don’t really understand TVs. Sure, I review them, and through various trade shows and articles, see dozens every year, but I don’t get it. Why would you want something so tiny? A 50-inch TV is a postage stamp.

The new 70- and 80-inch models are barely better, and they’re expensive. These days, for less than $1,000, you can get a decent-looking Full HD “TV” that’s over 100 inches diagonal.

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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Apr 09, 2014 0 comments
D-Link's newest portable router is easy to use and finally makes it easy to stream to a Chromecast dongle, Roku HDMI, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV or other media player. It also secures your connection to Wi-Fi.
Barb Gonzalez Posted: Apr 08, 2014 1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $99

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Effective voice search function
Powerful quad-core processor
ASAP feature loads movies for instant playback
HDMI CEC functionality
Minus
Voice search and watchlists not functional for all services
Limited on-demand video apps

THE VERDICT
Fire TV is a solid performer, but it needs more content and services, and a global search option, to make it a hit.

Amazon surprised the world last week by announcing the details of its new standalone media player, the Amazon Fire TV, on the very same day it was released for sale. Priced at $99, Fire TV is positioned to compete with the top-selling Apple TV and Roku 3 box.

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