Here's the thing about Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' stunning new album, Mojo: While you've never quite heard the band play this way before on record, the songs sound like you've known them all your life.
This issue was long on whole-house audio solutions. The Netstreams DigiLinx system and Polk IP speakers we reviewed were remarkable for their cutting-edge technology and high performance, but their lofty prices make them difficult to recommend for now. On the other hand, the three streaming music systems in our Spotlight report proved equally remarkable for their elegance and value.
Audio buffs have been known to lock horns over all kinds of things - CDs vs. vinyl, Dolby Digital vs. DTS, tubes vs. solid-state, DVD-Audio vs. Super Audio CD, and on and on. But one of the hottest debates of recent years has been over which kind of speakers work best for the rearward surround channels in a multichannel setup: monopole (a.k.a. direct-radiating) or dipole?
Evolutionary, not revolutionary. That's how a good number of attendees characterized the vast array of products on display at this year's Consumer Electronics Show. And this did ring true for the HDTVs unveiled, which tended to be thinner, sexier, and outfitted with a wider range of picture-improving features than that of last year's models.
Perfect sound forever. Well, some people will tell you that the compact disc doesn't offer either. Diehard audiophiles complained from the day the CD was first introduced that it sounded cold, metallic, and sterile compared with the LP. And the discs can deteriorate over time, if ever so slowly.
The insanity begins at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Thursday, January 8, Day 1 of the International Consumer Electronics Show, when the doors open to the public - tens of thousands of dealers, installers, and just plain folks eager to see, hear, and get their hands on the latest high-tech wonders.
The transition to high-definition television really picked up steam this fall as ABC, CBS, NBC, and the WB filled their 2003-04 prime-time schedules with more hours of HDTV programming than ever before. During an entire week, these networks are offering some 70 hours of HDTV.
Most folks shopping for a home theater receiver or amplifier are bound to have their eyes peeled for a single number: the power rating. Ideally, this spec will tell you how much juice a particular amp can deliver to a given set of speakers under normal conditions.
They say memories are precious. Well, if that's the case, why do so many of us have years of treasured moments captured on videotapes gathering dust in closets? Recordable DVDs would make a better resting place for your home videos.
In-wall speakers have come a long way since the first models, which were essentially re-purposed car-stereo speakers. That dramatic improvement over the past decade is due largely to the boom in "architectural" audio products driven by the advent of flat-panel TVs, any-room home theater systems, and whole-house audio.