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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: Jul 14, 2015 1 comments
If you have a home theater, it's easy to see that commercial movie theaters are both your friends, and your enemies. On one hand, without them and the billions of dollars they generate, movie studios would never spend the hundreds of millions of dollars required to make a movie. We owe the content we watch at home to the commercial theaters. On the other hand, adversarially, these theaters get first dibs on all content, and we must impatiently wait for home media to eventually appear. Don't like waiting? Well, if things work out, you soon might be able to cut in line.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Nov 04, 2014 3 comments
As you know, LG is pulling the plug on its plasma production. Over time, LG expects that OLED will become the dominant TV technology. But, that time isn't quite here yet, mainly because OLED isn't entirely affordable for everyone. But with plasma going, going, gone, what technology is best suited for lower-cost LG screens? Enter the dots.

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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: Sep 02, 2014 2 comments
I am not a cheapskate. I am, however, very careful with my money. Okay, actually I am a cheapskate. In my weak defense, I work hard for the money, and I feel bad, real bad, when I underutilize its value. The continual drip, drip, drip of monthly fees particularly drives me nuts. Thus cord-cutting greatly interests me. Aereo was shining bright on my radar until the Supreme Court shot it out of the sky. Hmm, how can I get a cable experience with an antenna? Enter the TiVo Roamio OTA.

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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.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Jul 28, 2015 0 comments
Some people think that digital audio is cold. That's debatable. But it's almost universally accepted that analog audio is cool. It is also funky, weird and apparently makes people say and do strange things. Digital audio comprises binary data offering relatively few opportunities for freakish mischief. Analog audio, on the other hand, offers endless possibilities. For example, I am sure you have noticed that flour tortillas fit nicely on a turntable platter.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Oct 06, 2015 0 comments
Everyone is familiar with virus attacks on PCs and Macs. We take precautions to minimize the risk - making sure the firewall is up, keeping our antivirus software up to date, and not clicking on scary attachments. We are perhaps less vigilant with virus attacks on our phones. Of course, the danger is just as scary. Adding even more anxiety is a new virus called Stagefright that can be embedded in MP3 and MP4 files.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Jun 02, 2014 2 comments
I am so very, very, very disappointed in you. You recycle. You installed solar panels on your roof. You put up a wind turbine. You voted for Al Gore. You phased out incandescents. You bring your own hemp bags to the grocery store. You compost. You ride a bicycle to work. You water your xeriscape with gray water. You have a Greenpeace bumper sticker on your Prius. And then you have to go and ruin it all. You play a DVD. You traitor. I hate you.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: May 06, 2014 4 comments
The decades-long transition from home loudspeakers to earbuds as the preferred listening technology is well documented. Now we have another data point to help us examine the question of whether the same downward spiral is happening to television screens. The short answer is: Yes. The long answer is: Yes, and quickly.

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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.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Jun 10, 2014 5 comments
It’s often said that generals fight the last war. If the previous war was fought in trenches, you train and equip your armies for that kind of conflict. Then the enemy drives its fast-moving tanks around the ends of your fortified line, and before you know it, is eating croissants in Paris. So you re-equip and retrain for massive tank battles in the hedgerows of Europe, and suddenly you’re wading knee-deep in rice paddies in Vietnam. It’s tough on us troops.

The same could be said of the record and movie industries...

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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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