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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Mar 20, 2015 Published: Mar 18, 2015 2 comments
As promised, the HBO standalone subscription service will be available in April to Apple customers. Unlike HBO Go, the service will not require that viewers authenticate by also subscribing to HBO on cable or satellite. Find out how to get HBO NOW in April.
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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 19, 2015 1 comments
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I own a vintage 1974 Fisher solid-state stereo receiver. The left channel is fading in-and-out—at first weak, now almost totally dead.  Do you think the receiver is worth fixing, or should I just replace it? —Michael McCully

Mark Fleischmann Posted: Mar 18, 2015 0 comments

PRICE $699

PC-worthy USB DAC
iOS-worthy rear USB input
Coaxial, optical inputs
No headphone amp

About the size of a thick paperback, the Arcam irDAC is a USB DAC that will make your audio files—from lossless to lossy—sound great.

The USB DAC is the missing piece in many of today’s audio systems. Most AV receivers have iOS-friendly USB inputs, but few have the PC-friendly kind. If you want to connect a computer’s USB output to your system, you probably need something like the Arcam irDAC to mediate between computer and system.

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Josef Krebs Posted: Mar 18, 2015 0 comments
A modernist masterpiece as revolutionary as Picasso’s Demoiselles d’Avignon made in a time when film was important, L’Avventura tells the story—or anti-story—of a wealthy young woman on a boating trip who disappears off an island. After a search of the barren rock, her fiancé and best friend set off to find her, investigating sites where she’s supposedly been seen. Over the course of their travels, they become involved and gradually forget about what they’re searching for. L’Avventura is a whodunit without a who, a mystery without a solution, a dislocation of the already dislocated. In the process, director Michelangelo Antonioni peels away the skin of society as characters play at love without enthusiasm, sincerity, or context in ennui of unaware existential numbness. As in Blow Up and other Antonionis, L’Avventura is about absence—feelings are forgotten, meaning and purpose are misplaced, and “words are more and more pointless.”
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David Vaughn Posted: Mar 18, 2015 0 comments
Wallace has not been lucky in love. He dumped his last girlfriend when he caught her cheating on him and was so dejected he ended up dropping out of medical school and moving in with his sister and her young son. Shut away from the world for almost a year, he decides to attend his ex-college roommate’s party where he meets the perfect girl and gets her phone number right before she drops the bombshell that her boyfriend is waiting for her at home—some guys can’t catch a break. After Wallace’s previous relationship, he doesn’t want to be “that kind of guy” and discards her number. As luck would have it, he runs into her a few weeks later at the movies and the pair decide to just be friends—but what if something more develops?
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Mar 17, 2015 0 comments
Remote controls suck. Even the best remote controls, such as the Harmony Ultimate Home, suffer from issues that are inextricable parts of what make a remote control a remote control. For instance, there are buttons to press. They’ll either be too small for some people, or the layout won’t be ideal for others. Then there’s the fact that it’s easy to misplace a remote control. Some wind up in between the cushions on the couch. Others—and this happens more often than you would think—have been known to mysteriously make their way inside the kitchen refrigerator. Those are just two of the many problems associated with remote controls for the average person. Now think about that remote control from the standpoint of someone who is up in years and is perhaps suffering from arthritis and/or poor eyesight. For the elderly, remote controls don’t just suck, they’re often impossible to use...
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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 17, 2015 1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at

Q I have a home theater system powered by an AV receiver for watching movies, but I also want to connect a turntable and separate stereo amp to the system’s front speakers for listening to music. If a speaker has biamp connections, can you connect two separate sources to it? I want to connect the stereo amp to the top jacks on my speakers and my AV receiver to the lower jacks. Will that work? Clint Yarborough / via e-mail

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Mar 16, 2015 1 comments
It’s Saturday night! And you know what that means! Once again, you can be the life of the party, creating killer mashups from your killer playlist. The problem, of course, is Ted, who delusionally thinks his killer mashups are more killer than yours. But now you can resolve that issue once and for all. You can whip out your Braven Fuse portable mixer and show him who’s da bomb.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Mar 16, 2015 7 comments
Plasma may be dead but it’s not buried. In response to last week’s poll question—What kind of TV do you plan to buy next?—just over a third of the respondents indicated that they plan to hold onto currently owned plasma TVs for the foreseeable future.
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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Mar 15, 2015 3 comments
It is rare that a successful company, and a publicly traded one at that, can miss the mark so epically, so blindly, like NVIDIA just did with the Shield Console (also called the Shield TV).

Ridiculous isn’t even an adequate word for something so mind-bogglingly useless.

Behold, the awfulness.


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