SIGNALS

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Oct 19, 2011 0 comments

The iPhone 4S was released last week. Of course, people were camping out at Apple stores to buy it. Of course, Apple sold a zillion of them in the first five minutes. Of course, you already have one, and you're probably reading this blog on it.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Dec 31, 2013 10 comments
Attention all you early adopters: It may be time to pull the trigger on a 4K Ultra HD TV. If you act now, you can still hold the coveted title of First On Your Block. If you wait, you’ll have only yourself to blame. 2014 may be the break-out year for the new TV format.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Oct 21, 2014 2 comments
Congratulations! You, the president of a multinational audio technology company, are a man among boys. You are a captain of industry, a titan of corporate prowess. Under your command, your dozens of factories and thousands of employees toil to bring forth wondrous new products. And what wonders they are—your portable CD players are the best of the best. People line up to buy your cutting edge in-dash head units. In a few months, your keynote will blow away the 1987 Consumer Electronics Show. Then you wake up, alarm buzzing. It's 2014. Hitting the snooze button isn't an option.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Feb 11, 2014 3 comments
Video streaming company Aereo is fascinating from a technological standpoint. The legal questions it raises are equally intriguing. They will determine whether Aereo proceeds on its merry way or whether it will be shut down. There’s only one way to decide, and that’s to ask the Justices. Yep—another big AV case is heading to the Supreme Court.
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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Oct 15, 2013 10 comments
A screen of infinite beauty, of most excellent fancy. He hath shone on me a thousand times. And now, how abhorred he is. Where be your hues now? Your wider viewing angle? Your deeper blacks? Your brightness that was wont to set the room on a roar? Now get you to my lady’s chamber, and let her paint a screen an inch thick. Make her look at that.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Oct 13, 2015 1 comments
You might recall a recent Signals column about a Google patent application that described an anthropomorphic entertainment controller. The microphones/ears and cameras/eyes of the proposed Chucky-like device really creeped me out. Then a reader alerted me to an Amazon product that has similar functionality. It's not a document in the Patent Office; it's a real thing keeping tabs on people in their homes.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Jul 21, 2011 0 comments

Attention all you iPhone weenies: Brace yourself for a dose of reality.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Mar 31, 2015 6 comments
I’m shopping for a new TV. Should I buy an older technology that performs well and costs very little, or a newer technology that is better but costs more? Specifically, I’m trying to decide which LCD to buy—HD or 4K? Two angels have landed on my shoulders. As you might expect, they have very different points of view...
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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Nov 02, 2011 0 comments

Clearly, everything is spinning out of control. More specifically, the End of Days has finally arrived. Exactly as predicted in the Bible, we're seeing foul and loathsome sores, water turned to blood, scorching sun and intense heat, total darkness and great pain, and preparations for the final battle between good and evil.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Mar 04, 2014 3 comments
Apple has announced that it is bringing its iOS to a dashboard near you. The CarPlay system will link your iPhone 5S, 5C or 5 to the vehicle’s in-dash controls and display. Think of the phone as the brains of the operation, and the car as the touchscreen, and speakers. With CarPlay, you’ll be able to access the phone’s maps, traffic information, music, and messages. For music streaming, CarPlay will support iHeartRadio and Spotify. Also, as you might expect, Siri will be on board.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Jan 08, 2016 0 comments
ARCHT Audio (pronounced “ark” as in “architecture”) arrived on the audio scene last year with its ARCHT One wireless speaker, following its Kickstarter campaign in 2014 that raised $242,000 from over 500 backers. Following on that success, ARCHT is debuting the Mini speaker.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Nov 17, 2015 4 comments
Remember when flat-screen TVs first appeared? Whoa! That was the coolest thing ever! They were so flat! And so big! We couldn't get rid of our CRT TVs fast enough. We all bought them. Then when the prices dropped, we upgraded to bigger and better ones. Now we all have really nice TVs. So, are you planning to buy yet another new TV this holiday season?
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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Apr 14, 2015 22 comments
So anyway, I was standing in line at my local FedEx store. I’m there quite a bit, returning review products from whence they came. A nice lady comes up behind me with a box measuring about 12 x 12 x 12. It looks heavy, so I offer to hold it for her. “I hope it’s not too heavy,” she says. “It’s my old records—for my 16-year-old nephew. He loves records.” Hmm, I think to myself. Is this an omen—has she handed me some kind of business opportunity?
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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Oct 14, 2014 0 comments
I am excited. I am thrilled. I am checking my credit-card balance to make sure I can afford an upgrade to the audio side of my home theater. When Leslie Shapiro and I reviewed the theatrical release of the Atmos mix of Oblivion in April, 2013 at soundandvision.com, we were blown away. We wrote, “If you wisely see this film in Atmos, you will experience true state-of-the-art sound design and theatrical playback. It’s an open secret that Dolby will roll out Atmos to home theaters. When will that day come?” That day has come. Hallelujah.
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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Aug 19, 2014 4 comments
I am a huge fan of Dolby Atmos in commercial movie theaters. I routinely specifically choose to see movies in theaters that are Atmos-equipped, and will gladly pay a little extra if necessary. The immersion provided by Atmos playback, particularly from the array of ceiling speakers, is remarkable and in my opinion measurably improves the movie experience.

Thus I was overjoyed when the rumors of Atmos at home came true. The prospect of hearing Atmos soundtracks in my home theater suddenly made me excited about home-theater audio again. I could hardly wait for the specifications to be released, so I could install the necessary speakers, and buy whatever gear I would need. Now, comments from a Dolby heavyweight have made me a little nervous.

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