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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 09, 2013 0 comments
Audio quality in streaming video has taken another step forward with the news that the Best Buy–owned CinemaNow service is adopting DTS-HD. Despite the moniker, it is not the same lossless DTS-HD Master Audio that appears on 80 percent of Blu-ray Discs—it’s a slimmed-down streaming-friendly DTS Express codec that delivers 5.1 channels at data rates up to 512 kilobits per second. Consumers will access encoded content through Rovi-powered storefronts that will operate through Samsung’s 2013 smart TVs and Blu-ray players and their ARC-enabled HDMI or optical outputs. DTS-HD is not the only surround game in streaming town: Dolby Digital Plus is in use by Netflix, Vudu, and Amazon Instant Video.
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HT Staff Posted: Jul 08, 2013 0 comments
3D was largely shrugged off in last week’s Home Theater poll. In response to the question “What’s your take on 3DTV,” more than half of respondents (61%) selected “I don’t care about 3D one way or the other” (45%) or “I couldn’t care less…” (12% for owners of active 3D TVs and 4% for owners of passive 3D TVs). Only 13% reported “loving” 3D, while 20% said they watch 3D programs occasionally. Wearing glasses is apparently not an issue for those who like 3D: Only 5% of respondents chose “3D glasses drive me crazy.” And if you're on the fence and looking for a 3D movie to check out, Oz the Great and Powerful was singled out as an exemplary example of 3D in action. Here’s a complete breakdown of the survey results...
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HT Staff Posted: Jul 08, 2013 0 comments
Inaugural Product Connects Handheld Devices to Any Audio System

Canadian high-tech startup Mass Fidelity has introduced its first product—the $199 Relay wireless hi-fi receiver.

The receiver streams music wirelessly from any Bluetooth-enabled device to any audio system and is said to deliver audiophile-grade performance thanks to proprietary topography and firmware and the use of premium components such as a Burr-Brown digital-to-audio converter.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jul 03, 2013 0 comments
Ah, summertime. The smell of lavender wafts through the air. A warm breeze rustles through the trees while you kick back on the patio and savor the latest craft beer. It’s almost time to head inside to watch the Yankees take on Detroit. If only you could watch the game outside… Well, you can. In honor of America’s favorite season, we present 10 products that will add pleasure to your backyard experience. Read on, and you may soon be the envy of the neighborhood.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 01, 2013 0 comments
Online streaming outfits are turning themselves into studios, bankrolling movies and TV series. Before you scoff, did you watch Netflix’s House of Cards? We did, blasting through all 13 episodes in the first month of availability. The series, with Kevin Spacey as a Machiavellian congressman, has made 86 percent of Netflix subscribers less likely to cancel, says a Cowen and Co. survey. We can’t wait for the second “season.”
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HT Staff Posted: Jun 27, 2013 1 comments
Yamaha today announced the addition of two flagship A/V separates to its upscale Aventage line, which until now had been reserved for receivers. The CX-A5000 11.2 channel A/V preamplifier and MX-A5000 11-channel power amplifier will each carry a suggested retail price of $3,000 when they become available in August.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jun 26, 2013 0 comments
It’s not every day you come across an equipment rack made of concrete, but if you’re into industrial design, the stark, angular look of the Thorax Lowboard might be just the ticket. Made by Thorax of Bochum, Germany, the rack is modular and comprises a series of 3-inch-wide concrete squares held together by screws and 1- to 2-inch-wide stainless steel or aluminum brackets; each square weighs about 33 pounds and measures 20.4 x 20.4 inches with a thickness of 1.5 inches.
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HT Staff Posted: Jun 26, 2013 3 comments
Sharp Electronics today unveiled its first Ultra HD TV, the 70-inch AQUOS LC-70UD1U LED-based LCD TV, which will sell for $8,000 when it hits stores in mid-August. Hailed as the company’s “finest television ever,” the set has four times the resolution of standard high-definition and is the first Ultra HD TV to receive THX 4K certification.
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HT Staff Posted: Jun 26, 2013 0 comments
Pioneer Electronics today unveiled a soundbar/subwoofer system designed by noted speaker engineer Andrew Jones who has a track record of designing affordable speaker packages that compete with systems that sell for much more.
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HT Staff Posted: Jun 19, 2013 2 comments
The results of last week’s survey are in. We asked what type of demo material you use to impress unsuspecting friends and family and action/adventure movies were the runaway winner capturing more than half of the votes. Computer animated movies were a distant second with 22 percent of the votes, followed by concert videos with 10 percent and current hit TV shows with 8 percent. Read on to see a list of demo recommendations from fellow enthusiasts with links to our reviews.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jun 18, 2013 3 comments
Hailed as a sleek “zero-glare” alternative to flat-panel TVs, the Black Diamond Motorized projection screen is ideal for minimalist décors and spaces that simply don’t have room for a huge screen. Hit a wall switch and, like magic, a slender tube descends from the ceiling and the screen unfurls, suspended from ultra-slim aircraft cable.
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HT Staff Posted: Jun 14, 2013 0 comments
Tablets Owners in Particular Show Stronger Ownership/Uusage for Just About Every Type of Tech

The technological world moves incredibly fast, with cutting edge trends sometimes getting pushed to the edge of the information and entertainment superhighway almost before the digital ink of their announcements has dried. Netbooks, for example, seemed to be the next big thing for a short time until falling victim to their own limited capabilities. E-readers have faced speculation that they may follow a similar trend, though the jury is still out on this category, with 17 percent of U.S. adults owning one.

In fact, adopters of new technology appear reluctant to let go of the old technology their new devices threaten to replace.

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HT Staff Posted: Jun 14, 2013 11 comments
Is 3D dead? That’s the question being asked in the wake of news that ESPN plans to close its ESPN 3D cable channel by the end of the year due to low demand—so low that audience ratings were below Nielsen's measurable threshold, according to a StarTribune report.

Voices throughout the industry are questioning whether 3D will ever take off or remain as a little used TV feature that will eventually wither away.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jun 13, 2013 0 comments
The war against Hopper—Dish Network’s zippy ad-skipping DVR—has taken a couple of new tacks. TV networks hate it because it enables viewers to breeze through brain-damaging ads. They’ve made their displeasure known by fighting Hopper’s AutoHop and PrimeTime Anytime features in court on flimsy copyright-violation grounds, apparently unaware that the Supreme Court sanctioned home time-shift recording in 1984’s Betamax Decision.
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HT Staff Posted: Jun 13, 2013 2 comments
Vizio today introduced its largest HDTV to date, the M801d 80-inch Razor LED Smart TV featuring a new Apps Plus platform and a competitive $4,000 price, the lowest list price for a TV of its size on the market.


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