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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Sep 18, 2012 0 comments

"One size fits all" surround is dying. It's time for us all to consider a whole new dimension. First, a parallel to impart from the annals of tech history. In the earliest days of photography, the emulsions and lenses were extremely "slow." Even in bright sunlight, a plate might require hours of exposure time. As technology improved, exposure times decreased to a minute or so.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Nov 05, 2013 3 comments
The wildly popular Google Chromecast just got even better. It has added Pandora Radio and Hulu Plus to its list of supported content. And, the best may be yet to come.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Sep 23, 2013 0 comments
So far, this has been a pretty good year for moviegoers. The Hollywood dream machine has cranked out a steady stream of big-budget movies with colossal production values. If you enjoy getting your eyeballs fried by flying fireballs or your ears rocked by rampaging robots, the multiplex has been very, very good to you. But how will these screen gems look from your Lay-Z-Boy? After our reviews of the theatrical releases, I asked colleague Leslie Shapiro (our Grace Notes blogger) to join me in eagerly anticipating their Blu-ray releases.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Feb 13, 2013 0 comments

I travel. A lot. Hotel rooms are not my home away from home — they are my home. As such, most of my TV viewing is done in hotel rooms. Thanks to the miracle of jet lag, I know the late-night schedule everywhere around the world. I’ve watched Wheel of Fortune in 53 different languages, and counting.

I’m also familiar with every brand of flat-panel TV. Samsung, LG, Vizio, Panasonic, Hitachi, Philips, Magnavox, Toshiba, JVC, Sanyo, Sharp, Sony: I’ve seen them all. And I know I’m in a faraway place when I’m staring at a Kogan or a Vestel. It doesn’t make any difference. They all have one thing in common: All of these TVs sound terrible.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Jan 26, 2011 0 comments

Ah, the remote control. The gizmo that gets no respect. Lost under the sofa cushions, berated when its batteries are dead, made into a chew toy by the dog, cursed at for having too many buttons, cursed at for having too few. And now the poor thing seems destined to become yet another fine piece of technological roadkill.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Feb 15, 2012 0 comments

The Wall Street Journal is reporting this week on the future plans of two corporations. As with any corporate news, there is a certain dry and brittle quality to it; most WSJ readers really only care how news will affect share prices. But there's also high drama playing out. Right before our eyes, one company is withering away, while the other soars higher and higher.

Filed under
Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Oct 16, 2012 0 comments

Q: How much did you spend on your headphones?

A: Not enough.

I don’t know much. But I do know a few things:?

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: May 22, 2013 0 comments

Sometimes, even during the most secret of covert ops, you need to unwind a little. You know - put your weapons aside (but still placed within easy reach) and relax with The Duffel Blog. But what kind of music playback system is best? You sure can’t pack a big boombox into your knapsack, and when the batteries run out, where are you going to find a Radio Shack in Tora Bora? What you need is a small, rugged music player that can recharge on solar power. With carabiner attach points, of course. What you need is an Eton Rugged Rukus.

Filed under
Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Nov 10, 2011 0 comments

What do TVs and music sales have in common? They are both big businesses, and both markets are rapidly shifting the money from Old Business companies and business models to New Business companies and business models. And some major players are getting left behind.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Nov 16, 2011 0 comments

They are not so common any more, but I'm sure you remember used record & CD shops. Now imagine them without the bricks and mortar. Or the bins. Or the records and CDs. Say what? Welcome to the biggest music-industry brouhaha since Napster.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Sep 30, 2011 0 comments

It seems simple enough. You wait in line, pay $15, put on the dorky 3D glasses, and watch the 3D movie. Popcorn costs extra. What you might not realize is the titanic struggle going on around you. And I’m not talking about the action on the screen. I’m talking about the theater owner who’s mad as hell at the movie studio.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Mar 19, 2013 0 comments

Streaming is hot. Outfits like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and HBO Go are jamming the internet with data and putting the hurt on DVD and even Blu-ray. Last time I checked, smart phones, tablets, and ultrabooks lacked optical disc drives. Besides, do you really want to mess with disc-based playback on the train to work? Streaming is entering the hockey stick part of its growth curve.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Dec 25, 2012 0 comments

So you’re a committed audiophile. You used a laser to precisely toe in your front loudspeakers. You lie awake at night worrying about that 2-dB dip at 9 kHz in your room’s frequency response. You hire Mike Mettler to hand-deliver every issue of S+V. [I aim to please —Ed.] Well, that’s great.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Dec 03, 2013 0 comments
David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” is one of the most memorable songs of the late 60s. Its release on July 11, 1969 not coincidentally coincided with the Apollo 11 moon landing. The single reached #5 on the British charts and later in his career Bowie revisited the theme several times. This odd song about an astronaut drifting in space is simply iconic. Now, audiences are discovering a uniquely new version of Space Oddity.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Sep 15, 2011 0 comments

Well, it's official: the 1.65 million students of the high-school class of '11 have set a new record. They collectively racked up the lowest SAT reading scores ever. Moreover, their score compared to the '10 score represented one of the biggest declines in 20 years. So not only are today's kids terrible readers, they are rapidly getting more terrible.

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