TECH2

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Mar 05, 2012 0 comments

You have at least two listening rooms. Even if you live in a studio apartment, you have at least two listening rooms. Well, in a sense. Every listening room is, in essence, two listening rooms when you look at it from the perspective of sound.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Aug 07, 2011 0 comments

I'm writing this from my sofa. In my lap is a keyboard. MS Word is part of a 50-inch tall image that also includes Netflix playing an episode of Sports Night, and Steam downloading Portal 2.

That, and much more, is the promise of a home theater PC. But in this age of ultra-cheap everything, is the complexity of an HTPC worth it? Well, I'm about to find out. Again.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Feb 01, 2013 0 comments

Today was supposed to be "Objectify a Male Tech Writer Day." A clever and amusing way to point out how differently our culture treats female tech writers compared to their male peers.

Earlier this week, though, the creator of the idea called it off, fearing a misunderstanding of the intent.

Her idea, though, is worth discussing, for many, many reasons.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: May 18, 2012 0 comments

Carmakers have a problem. OK, I’m sure they have a lot of problems, but as this one has to do with sound, it’s relevant to us here at S+V.

As cars have gotten quieter, and as turbocharging finds its way onto more vehicles, we’re losing the sonorous soundtrack of the engines themselves.

So the engineering wizards are using technology to combat the progression of... technology?

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Sep 28, 2011 0 comments

I'd expected a kind of This Is Your Life thing, where partygoers would be "treated" to a recitation of five decades of milestones. But the 50th anniversary party for speaker manufacturer KEF at the British Consulate in Manhattan was anything but a long look backward.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jun 25, 2013 0 comments

Most video games, especially the big-name, high-budget ones, are created by a huge team of people. Some are in charge of how the game plays, others design the levels, others still do the sound.

Before the nuts and bytes get tightened, most games start with an idea. To give the entire team a visual representation of what the "look" of the game is going to be, most companies hire a concept artist, just like movies do.

This concept art can give the game a direction, but on their own, they can be fascinating visual adventures in their own right. Here's some brilliant art from some recent games, and some info on the incredibly talented artists behind them.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jul 19, 2012 0 comments

I recently completed a review of the TC-P55VT50 from Panasonic, look for it in an upcoming issue. Performance wise, it was damn near incredible: One of the best contrast ratios I’ve ever measured, accurate color, and deep blacks.

However, there was one “feature” that really pissed me off.

Advertising.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Nov 28, 2011 0 comments

We tend to think of speakers as devices that blast sound at us. But they actually blast sound in every direction, and that's a good thing. In fact, if they don't blast sound in every direction, it can be a problem.

A speaker's characteristic sound projection pattern, broad or narrow, is referred to as "dispersion."

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jul 11, 2011 0 comments

Sitting beside my laptop computer is the coolest portable TV I have ever used. But the question I’m trying to answer is whether anyone’s going to want it.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Nov 16, 2012 0 comments

It seems the latest trend in gaming is a lengthy open beta, where interested players can experience the game during the development process. Ideally, their voices and opinions are heard by the developers in a way that benefits the final product. Final, in these days of ongoing updates, being a relative term.

So with other open betas recently I’ve been cautiously optimistic, careful not to judge rough edges but take look for the inevitable potential.

With MechWarrior Online, I’m still looking.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: May 09, 2012 0 comments

It is the job of every generation to complain that the younger generations are inferior, or headed for destruction, or whatever the latest cause célèbre is. Even in the lifetimes of those reading this blog, it's easy to point to the mass hysteria surrounding rock and roll, then heavy metal, then rap, then video games, as examples of one generation making mindless accusations about another.

In the audio world this is just as common, it's ongoing, and Harman has released a study that shows that the old people need to shut the hell up (I'm paraphrasing).

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Nov 16, 2011 0 comments

They say that when everyone’s hip to a trend, it’s no longer hip.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Oct 01, 2012 0 comments

With so many audio connection technologies available now, it's gotta be tough to be an audio product manager. Smartphone fans want to connect via Bluetooth. iTunes enthusiasts want AirPlay. Computer audio nuts expect a USB connection. A few old-schoolers demand a hardware dock for an iPod. And there's that one guy who still owns a Zune and needs an analog input.

What to do? If you're Samsung and you're trying to make a "statement" product, you throw it all in. The $699 DA-E750 includes all of the above technologies - plus DLNA, plus a fold-out "dual dock" that works with Samsung Galaxy phones as well as iPhones, iPads, and iPods.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Feb 15, 2012 0 comments

One of the best weekends of my life involved a train trip to visit a new, out-of-state girlfriend. I barely remember my time with her, but I vividly remember what I read on the way: Vance Dickason’s Loudspeaker Design Cookbook.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Aug 01, 2011 0 comments

We all know what distortion sounds like. We've heard it in heavy metal tunes, cheap iPod docks and the crummy speakers at Taco Bell drive-thrus. And we've all read distortion specs on things like receivers and subwoofers. But other than a general understanding that distortion isn't something we want in home audio gear, most people really don't know what it is.

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