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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 21, 2014 0 comments
Several major labels have sued Pandora for streaming pre-1972 music without paying for it. Why would Pandora even attempt such a thing? Well, federal copyright law extends only that far back. However, copyrights can still be protected at the state level, so Vivendi, Sony, Warner, and ABKCO are suing in New York state courts. They point out that their music enables Pandora to rake in subscription fees and ad revenues, yet “it refuses to obtain required licenses or pay for its commercial and profitable exploitation of plaintiffs’ valuable property.” Pandora retorts that “the time, effort, and cost of securing such licenses could be significant,” while removing the pre-1972 music “could harm our ability to attract and retain users.”
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 16, 2014 0 comments
Does the world need another optical disc format in this download-oriented era? Sony and Panasonic think so, though they’re positioning the Archival Disc for professional use in the movie industry and in cloud-based data centers. The format holds 300 gigabytes on a double-sided disc with three layers per side. It is said to be resistant to dust, shock, and extreme temperatures compared with hard disks, the data-storage workhorses of today. Initial pro-level hardware is predicted to arrive in summer 2015. No plans have been announced to turn the Archival Disc into a consumer-level format.
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SV Staff Posted: Jul 16, 2014 6 comments
Yamaha has announced that its new top-of-the-line Aventage series AV receivers will be upgradeable to Dolby Atmos via a firmware update this fall.

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SV Staff Posted: Jul 15, 2014 0 comments
Essence Electrostatic has announced that its new line of floor standing electrostatic speakers is now available.
Leslie Shapiro Posted: Jul 14, 2014 2 comments
If you love something, set it free. It’s time to love T-Mobile for setting music free. T-Mobile users can stream all the music they want, free from the fear of hitting their data limits. While the Music Freedom news was announced a few weeks ago, the airwaves have just lit up with new ads touting T-Mobile’s new music streaming plan. Sound too good to be true?

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SV Staff Posted: Jul 07, 2014 3 comments
Dolby Atmos holds great promise for taking the home theater experience to new heights but is it audio’s Next Big Thing?

In the wake of announcements that the commercial surround technology is making its way to home gear, we asked readers if they would upgrade to Atmos. Nearly a third (30 percent) said they would have to wait to hear a demo and read reviews before deciding, while one in five indicated that they would upgrade to an Atmos setup but only with properly installed ceiling speakers.

Another third dismissed Atmos as either too much of a hassle to install or too expensive. Only 6 percent of survey respondents said they would upgrade to Atmos with speakers designed to reflect sound off the ceiling—a percentage that we expect to grow once people hear live demonstrations.

Here’s the complete breakdown of the results:

Rob Sabin Posted: Jun 27, 2014 Published: Jun 28, 2014 13 comments
The Dolby Atmos surround-sound format for home theaters made its debut this week with product announcements from several manufacturers and live demos in New York City at the Consumer Electronics Association's CE Week trade show. The technology that Dolby first introduced to theaters in 2012 offers the potential for a far more immersive audio experience than the traditional 5.1- and 7.1-channel systems that are still mostly employed today, and having experienced Atmos in the cinema, I admit I was pretty pumped heading into the demos.

And I wasn't let down. Atmos in the home environment seems to work—surprisingly well, in fact. Caveats? Yeah, there are a few worth watching out for that I'll get to later. But overall, I'll go on record that this is probably the most discernable advance in home theater sound since the introduction of lossless digital audio in the Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio formats on Blu-ray. And it's one that leaves all the pre-existing height- and width-channel surround formats— including Dolby Pro Logic IIz and DTS Neo:X—in the dust. Finally, this may be one that will truly make it worth the trouble of adding those extra speakers. Maybe...

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SV Staff Posted: Jun 27, 2014 0 comments
Pioneer showthcased Dolby Atmos-enabled Elite Series receivers and speakers at the CE Week trade show held in New York City.
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SV Staff Posted: Jun 25, 2014 0 comments
The Supreme Court ruled yesterday in a 6-3 decision that the Aereo TV streaming service, which distributes broadcast TV to subscribers over the Internet and provides cloud-based DVR storage for a fee, violates the Copyright Act of 1976.
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SV Staff Posted: Jun 23, 2014 7 comments
Onkyo, Integra and Pioneer Announce Atmos-Equipped Products

If you haven’t heard of Dolby Atmos—Hollywood’s attempt at delivering a “powerful new listening experience” that’s more enveloping than the best of today’s Dolby Surround 7.1 theaters—you might want to find an Atmos-equipped theater near you and see (actually hear) what it’s all about now that Atmos is heading home.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jun 19, 2014 0 comments
Consumer desire for home automation is rising, with 48 percent of those surveyed by the NPD Group “extremely” or “somewhat interested” in buying home automation products. The use of smartphones and tablets to control systems is driving the interest. And it’s not just the wealthy who are interested. A whopping 37 percent of automation-happy homeowners have incomes of less than $75,000.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jun 17, 2014 2 comments
Tom Nousaine, former contributing technical editor and columnist for Sound & Vision, died June 8, 2014 in Pinckney, MI. He was 69.

A life-long audio enthusiast, Tom’s work appeared in numerous publications, including Stereo Review (predecessor to S&V, Audio, Sound & Image, Video, Car Stereo Review, Mobile Entertainment, Road Gear, Audio/Video International, The Audio Critic, The $ensible Sound, and Telephony.

Tom was a long time member of the Southeastern Michigan Woofer and Tweeter Marching Society (SWTMS) and served as regional vice president of the Audio Engineering Society and chairman of the AES Chicago Section. He founded the Prairie State Audio Construction Society and the Society for Depreciation Professionals while employed as director of capital recovery for Ameritech, one of the seven regional “Baby Bell” companies that arose out of AT&T’s 1984 divestiture.

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SV Staff Posted: Jun 16, 2014 0 comments
Madison Fielding, maker of high-end outdoor speakers that masquerade as planters, has introduced the Flagstone PlanterSpeaker series. The lineup comprises three “fully weatherproof” models made of UV-rated industrial-grade poly resin, each featuring a planting tray for flowers or plants.

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SV Staff Posted: Jun 12, 2014 1 comments
The Digital Entertainment Group (DEG), in cooperation with the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and The Recording Academy, announced today the results of their efforts to create a formal definition for High Resolution Audio, in partnership with Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jun 12, 2014 1 comments
Disney Movies Anywhere is the studio’s foray into cloud-based content distribution. Buy a Disney movie title on iTunes, and you can enjoy it on multiple platforms—for starters, iOS devices, Apple TV, and major Web browsers, with others to follow. The digital rights management scheme is Disney’s own long-rumored KeyChest, a notable departure from the UltraViolet cloud DRM supported by other major studios. DMA is launching with 400 titles to start, including Frozen. Those who activate DMA and connect it to an iTunes account get a free digital copy of The Incredibles. If you’ve bought a Disney title on Blu-ray or DVD over the past six years, your disc may include a code for cloud access on the DMA platform.


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