TECH2

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Aug 28, 2013 0 comments

We’ve reviewed a bunch of Epson projectors over the past year or so. The 5020, for example, was an excellent projector. Lots of light output, decent contrast ratio.

The 750HD, on the other hand, offered ridiculous light output (and a not-so-great contrast ratio).

Two new models, just announced, aim to fill some gaps in the sub-$1,000 price range.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Sep 17, 2012 0 comments

Whenever I'm in the Pacific Northwest, I like to stop by Vancouver's Innovative Audio and visit my friend Gordon Sauck, one of the true gurus of vintage audio gear.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Feb 17, 2012 0 comments

Ford has built a mobile recording studio into a 2012 Focus with the help of legendary producer Don Was, engineer Krish Sharma, and car customizer “Mad” Mike Martin.

At the LA unveiling, I got to see the studio in action: recording a band and playing back the mix. As an added bonus I got to talk to Was and Sharma about how dynamic range compression/limiting is ruining modern music.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Aug 02, 2011 0 comments

In the late 1990s, a product manager from Zenith brought me the company's first HDTV set for review. After an afternoon spent checking out the TV - an engineering marvel for its time - I told him how impressed I was with it. "Yeah, we'd sell a ton of them if it said 'Sony' on the front," he wisecracked.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jan 21, 2013 0 comments

The town of Baker sits like a wart on the side of the I-15, somewhere in the desolation between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. A bizarre bastion of fast-food consumerism and price-gouged gasoline, it exists only as a way station for those optimistically heading to the City of Sin, or disillusioned, returning to the City of Angles.

Most years, it's my one and only stop, a quick tank top-off before the final push. This year, it's my third. One of the stops was a nap. I am not well.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: May 02, 2012 0 comments

The ability of a display to upconvert standard definition content (like a DVD, or many cable/satellite channels) was once a key component of its overall performance.

But now, most TVs do a reasonable job, and more important, I don’t think most people actually have any SD content.

Should we bother to continue testing it?

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Apr 25, 2013 0 comments

With no small amount of irony, about a week after I installed the ultra-high-tech Parrot Asteroid Smart, my SVT lit its engine warning light.

I know the sound and feel of my car really well, and it sounded and felt fine. Since a dealer would want $75 just to tell me what's wrong, I figured it was time to invest in an OBD II scanner. This device plugs into the OBD II port that every post-1996 car has, and gives you a code to tell you what's wrong (along with a lot of other data).

But wait! Now you can get a "scanner" that talks to your tablet or smartphone via Bluetooth! Now that's some app awesomeness.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jun 22, 2012 0 comments

To a surprising amount of excitement, Microsoft announced the a pair of new tablets this week. Web reactions to the new Surface — as you’d expect — were split down party lines: “It’s not an iPad! It’s stupid!” and “It’s not an iPad! It’s the second coming!”

Reality, as usual, is somewhere in the middle. It’s possible the Surface is a worthy iPad competitor something that, so far, we have not seen.

It all comes down to one, seemingly simple, thing...

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Nov 08, 2011 0 comments

The "Bass Management Boot Camp" article about subwoofer setup that I wrote for the November S+V inspired an in-turn inspiring e-mail from reader Bruce Erwin. Bruce recalled his days setting up sound systems when he'd use a 1.5-volt battery to test subwoofer phase. If the sub and main speakers were in phase, he'd hear a single thump when he connected the battery to the wires leading to the sub's terminals. If they were out of phase, he'd hear a double thump.

That's with passive subwoofers, though. Almost all of today's subs have built-in amps, so this method wouldn't quite work with them. Still, it got me wondering if I could come up with a simpler phase check than the ones I suggested in the article, which required either measurement or careful listening. My e-mail convo with Bruce gave me some ideas and, ultimately, a method that's simpler than my original. And all you need to do it is a piece of free software and a meter you've either already got or can get for nothing.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Oct 17, 2012 0 comments

As I said in Monday’s coverage of headphones and Wednesday’s coverage of speakers, Denver’s Rocky Mountain Audio Fest is the biggest, most exciting, and most important of the regional hi-fi shows that have sprung up all over the U.S. and Canada.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Mar 27, 2012 0 comments

I took a mini-vacation a few weeks ago to Venice, Florida. My Dad had rented a house for a month and, figuring I could use a few days off, I went to visit. Now first of all, I was the youngest person in the zipcode by half. I've never seen such a concentration of gray hairs.

While there, I was volunteered to do some pro bono work helping diagnose a home theater system that had never worked properly, despite "professional" installation.

What I discovered seriously pissed me off.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Sep 09, 2011 0 comments

The CEDIA Expo focuses on home theater sound, home automation, high-end video projection, and all sorts of toys for rich guys’ mansions. So I’m surprised to say that the first report I’m filing from the Expo is about headphones — a product that few custom installers even sell.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jul 23, 2013 0 comments

The CEA-2010 subwoofer output measurement lets us separate the great subwoofers from the merely good ones, in a way that’s more reliable and repeatable than traditional measurements or listening tests. However, it’s still not widely used.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Aug 27, 2012 0 comments

I'm ashamed. I must embarrassingly hand in my nerd card.

This month, for only the second time in my adult life, I purchased a computer. No longer can I haughtily proclaim "well, I build my own PCs." Gone is the geek-cred I felt enshrined me as an elitist in the elitist world of PC gaming. But it had to be done, and I'll tell you, it's awesome.

So let me save you some money, and go through the various bits of the PC I bought, so you know where to spend your money on a PC you might buy, or want to build yourself.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 23, 2012 0 comments

Think of tech products that are easy to use, and you’ll almost certainly think of Apple. But a new product called the Q2 Internet Radio makes the iPhone look as user-friendly as ENIAC.

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