‘Super Tickets’ for New Hobbit On Sale Today
Advance ticket buyers also receive digital HD version of the movie
Regal Entertainment announced that Super Tickets go on sale today for director Peter Jackson’s highly anticipated The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which opens in theaters on December 13.
Active Versus Passive Viewing: When You Watch TV Are You Really Paying Attention?
Back when I was a kid, I took my TV watching very
seriously. It was an active event that demanded laser-like, sugar-fueled focus. I mean, just one glance away from those glowing cathode rays could result in missing some crucial Scooby Doo
or Brady Bunch
plot twist, possibly resulting in years of wondering what exactly happened to Marsha’s nose.
Reaching back into the days before DVR, DVD-R, or even VCR, you basically got one shot at watching something. And that meant TV viewers had some serious skin in the game when watching a show that was important to them. There were no pausing, no on-demand, and no Web streaming alternatives.
Factory Tour: Behind the Scenes at Paradigm
In a recent Ask S&V column, I answered a reader question about North American-made audio: Does anybody make audio gear over here anymore? One name I listed in my response was Canadian speaker-maker Paradigm, a company that manufacturers a wide range of speaker models, subwoofers, and audio electronics in a 225,000 square-foot facility located in Mississaugua, Ontario. Sound & Vision has rarely met a Paradigm speaker or electronics component from Paradigm’s sister-brand Anthem that it didn’t like, so the company is obviously doing something right. To get an overview of just what is happening under the roof of that 225,000-square foot facility, Paradigm’s marketing dept. invited me up for a day to check things out. Ready for a tour? Let’s go!
Hey You Kids! Get Off My Lawn!
For the last few months I’ve thought a lot about the health of the audio/video industry. I worried that the success of smartphones and tablets was irreparably overwhelming traditional consumer-electronics technologies like audio/video. I tried to convince myself that smartphone mania would taper off and the mass market will rediscover big stereos and big TVs. I desperately wanted to evangelize for the profound pleasure that a kick-ass home theater can bring. But lately I’ve changed my mind. I have a new message for everyone glued to their phone: drop dead.
SV Poll Results: Top 3 Biggest AVR Deal Breakers
For last week’s SV Poll we asked you to pick your ultimate AVR Deal breaker from a list of nine choices. The number one deal breaker? “Not enough power,” which claimed more than a third of the votes. Finishing strong in the number two and three spots were “ineffective room correction/EQ” and “overly complicated operation” with 21 and 18 percent, respectively. Combine low power and lackluster room correction/EQ with complicated operation and you have three super AVR dealbreakers that together account for three quarters of the votes. Trailing at number four and five were “too few features” and “too many features.” Wireless features such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth were met with a shrug. Here’s the complete breakdown…
Cool new gear to check out: Severtson’s curved 3D projection screen, Thiel’s latest speaker, BDI’s soundbar-ready AV cabinet, and more
Astell & Kern AK100 Music Player Specs
Astell & Kern AK100 Music Player
AT A GLANCE
Supports lossless formats
Great-sounding headphone out
May be used as standalone DAC with a PC
Rudimentary touchscreen DAC use limited to 96-kHz or lesser files.
The AK100 successfully ventures beyond the iTunes universe to open a world of high-resolution portable playback.
Is Apple the biggest obstacle to progress in portable audio? The iPod has been around a full dozen years, and the iPhone for half that, yet even today the Apple ecosystem fails to support 24-bit audio file formats. All Apple-supported file formats—even the best of them, Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV—are limited in iOS to 16 bits. That’s not high rez, that’s mid rez. Forget about playing your growing library of 24-bit FLACs. Leaving the Apple ecosystem can be painful because the company’s touchscreen and clickwheel devices are so ingratiating. But leave you must if you want better sound in your pocket, and the Astell & Kern AK100 may be on your list of destinations.
Eco-Friendly Headphones that Are Good For the Planet... and the Soul
A few headphone manufacturers are challenging the status-quo and showing us there is another way to approach technology. Five "good karma" cans made with sustainable, recycled materials.
Can I Play Videogames in THX Movie Mode?
Can a videogame be played on a TV that’s set to the THX Movie mode rather than Game mode? What’s the difference? —Michael McGehee / Macon, Georgia
A The THX Movie mode on THX Certified displays is, in the company’s own words, a preset with “specific settings for gamma, color point, luminance, overscan, and other settings...intended to provide the optimum settings for playback of movie titles, but can be used for viewing other content as well.” In case there’s any lingering question here, “other content” would include videogames. But before you grab your controller, let’s review the pros and cons of using a TV’s Game mode.