TECH2

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Aug 29, 2015 5 comments
For as long as there have been movies, there have been movie critics. I’m sure 100 years ago there was some proto-Ebert giving a thumbs up to A Fool There Was and a thumbs down to The Cheat, angering fans of both in equal measure.

Art, especially when offered for sale, begets criticism. Such is the nature of the world. As much as I eschew, and actively dislike, traditional movie reviews, I can see their place.

But what you can’t do, as a creator, is attack your critics. Trust me, you want to, but you can’t.

It’s especially bad when your spouse does it. Which is exactly what happened between a fellow reviewer and the spouse of the writer of, I’m not kidding, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.

Let the fireworks begin. This will be amusing.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jul 27, 2012 0 comments

I have been a vocal hater of the "free" music service Spotify. The infinitesimal amount they paid for each song, to me, was a slap in the face to musicians everywhere. You can read my original rant on why I think Spotify is unfair, and the follow up where I recant slightly and recognize Spotify has some redeeming qualities.

Not that I ever expected it to go away, but far too many people love the service, including musicians. So I give up.

Sort of.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Aug 31, 2011 0 comments

I just finished a plasma TV review for an upcoming issue of S+V. As I was writing up its brightness and contrast ratios, I realized there could be some confusion about the numbers.

If you measure the contrast ratio of plasmas (all plasmas, not just this one) the same way you do other types of televisions - namely LCDs and projectors - they post poorer numbers than other technologies.

This isn't a performance issue as much as it's a measurement issue. And why that is . . . that's kinda interesting.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jul 28, 2011 0 comments

I've got LG's new 50PZ950 plasma in my lab for an upcoming review in the magazine. The set had some cool features I didn't have space to mention, so I figured I could talk about them here instead.

The short version? It has some of the most extensive calibration settings I've ever seen on a TV.

And yet, they're not enough.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jul 06, 2011 0 comments

I am not a luddite. In fact, barring cybernetic augmentations (bring 'em on), I'd say I'm about as far from a luddite as one could be. I love technology. Thanks to my job, I'm often the first of my circle to have the latest gadget. I've got tons of Apple iStuff, a beloved Android phone, an oversized HDTV, 18MP DSLR, and yadda yadda.

Yet, I still buy CDs.

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Lauren Dragan Posted: Mar 20, 2015 5 comments
To enjoy their gear, high end audio enthusiasts have generally been trapped at home. From speakers, to receivers and amplifiers, none of the means of reproducing quality sound were exactly portable. Even the enthusiast-level headphones that have arrived on the scene over the last few years are large, unwieldy, unfashionable, and require at minimum a decent headphone amp to function. (See: most Audeze, Oppo HA-1, HiFi Man, etc.)

In addition, most planar magnetic headphones are open-backed, which means listening in less-than-quiet or public situations can be a challenge. Well, my fellow audio recluses, the PM-3 by Oppo aims to change all that.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Nov 14, 2011 0 comments

Hanging out at the recent Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, I listened in on a conversation that S+V writer Mike Trei was having with an audio manufacturer who's getting into the headphone biz.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: May 29, 2016 2 comments
Blizzard has finally released their long-awaited online first-person shooter, Overwatch. It looks like a highly-stylized cross between a FPS and a MOBA (think Dota 2 or Heroes of the Storm).

We’ve been teased with screenshots and videos for what seems like ages.

So it’s finally here. Is it worth the $40?

Well, it’s Blizzard, so…

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Nov 08, 2013 0 comments
Above the streets of Hollywood, at the top of the swanky W Hotel, Panasonic held a party to show off their upcoming 4K tablet.

That’s right, a tablet with 4K resolution.

What I wasn’t expecting is that it’s huge. I guess it’s still technically a tablet with a 20-inch 15:10 screen, but wow.

They also had their new 4K LCD. Fellow S&Ver Lauren Dragan and I headed to Hollywood and Vine to check it out (that’s where the hotel is, not just some random location we wandered by).

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Feb 26, 2013 0 comments

I am a vocal and unrepentant projector fanatic. I think projectors represent the best value in home entertainment, and wish more people would embrace the awesome as I have (for over 10 years now).

However, projectors aren’t without drawbacks, and the UHP lamps in nearly all of them are a big one. Hot, expensive, and not particularly long lasting, UHP lamp replacement is often cited as one of the biggest annoyances of projector ownership. The alternative, LED lighting, has mostly just been found in uber-high-end projectors, and inexpensive wee little projectors.

But not anymore.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Sep 04, 2013 0 comments
Aimin’ to take a beatin’
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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Oct 21, 2011 0 comments

Paradigm isn't a big company, only 250 people or so. It doesn't have the immense marketing budget to assault the airwaves like Bose, or the R&D budget to make every manner of gadget like Sony.

These are good things, because instead this Canadian company goes about making some solid products, loved by reviewers, and beloved by customers.

Invited to check out their factory just outside Toronto, I dusted off my American Flag jacket, trucker hat, "W" belt buckle, and headed north of the border.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Apr 16, 2013 0 comments

I love my car. My car is old. Eleven years old this week, actually. When I bought it, in-dash cassette players were on their way out, and CD players were all but standard. Mine even had the upgraded "Audiophile" system, which had an in-dash 6-disc changer.

The stupidity of a in-dash CD changer aside, the one thing my car didn't have was any ability to add an external source. None. So imagine my annoyance, my near-decade-long annoyance at not being able to play my iPod in my car.

Well with one fell swoop, not only can I play my iPod, I can voice dial, hands free talk, stream music from my phone, navigate via GPS, and do all the other fancy things people who buy new cars can do. I got (Asteroid) Smart.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Apr 19, 2013 0 comments

Things we learned in Part 1: My car is old. It only played CDs. Angle grinder use on dashboards is best left to professionals. The Parrot Asteroid Smart seems to do a lot of cool stuff.

And that’s the thing, right? It seems to do a lot of cool stuff, but there was no way of knowing how cool, or not, until it was installed (quite expertly by Mobile Fantasy).

This is called “a gamble.”

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Lauren Dragan Posted: Nov 21, 2014 1 comments
I am not a luddite. I love buttons that make things happen. I love touch screens, I love customization, I love the newest thing. So it would only seem natural that I would love the newest addition to the Parrot family, the Zik 2.0 headphones. They are a tinkerer’s headphone. Touchpad earcups, customizable sound, active noise cancellation, Bluetooth… if there’s a headphone feature available, the Zik 2.0 have it. And yet, despite all of these wonderful features, I can’t recommend them. And it breaks my heart.

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