SIGNALS

Sort By: Post Date | Title | Publish Date
Filed under
Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Dec 16, 2014 0 comments
The plunging, fiery death of plasma TVs, the mind bendingly questionable benefits of curved TVs, the looks-awesome-up-close-and-personal 4K TVs, the ridiculously low prices on ridiculously big TVs, the intriguing new investments in quantum-dot TV manufacturing plants—the wide world of televisions is lively with fast and furious developments. But there is one development in particular that, I think, will overshadow all the others.

Filed under
Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Dec 02, 2014 1 comments
It is the patriotic duty of every American man, woman, and child to go shopping for a TV on Black Friday. After spending most of Thursday up-armoring me and my vehicle, I went to a Best Buy on Friday morning. Two observations: First, I lived to tell about it. Second, it takes about 20 minutes for the ambulance to drive from the Best Buy to the nearest ER.

Filed under
Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Nov 18, 2014 4 comments
You remember Gravity, right? Outer space, pulverized space ships, Sandra Bullock floating weightlessly, heavy breathing—pretty good film from both a technical and narrative standpoint. You might already have a copy on Blu-ray. But I'd like to give you two reasons to consider buying it again. A new "Diamond Luxe Edition" Blu-ray due in February promises to be very interesting for both film aficionados and home-theater enthusiasts. Doubly interesting if you are both.

Filed under
Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Nov 11, 2014 4 comments
Spinal Tap band member Nigel Tufnel is showing his equipment to director Marty DiBergi and points out that the volume controls on his Marshall guitar amp go to 11. “It’s one louder,” he helpfully explains. DiBergi asks why not just make a “10” setting louder. A confused Tufnel replies, “These go to 11.”

The scene is renowned and has entered the popular culture as a way to point out needless excess, and particularly excess that demonstrates confusion, or otherwise serves no purpose. It’s my opinion that some audio technology now has knobs that go to 11.

Filed under
Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Nov 04, 2014 3 comments
As you know, LG is pulling the plug on its plasma production. Over time, LG expects that OLED will become the dominant TV technology. But, that time isn't quite here yet, mainly because OLED isn't entirely affordable for everyone. But with plasma going, going, gone, what technology is best suited for lower-cost LG screens? Enter the dots.

Filed under
Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Oct 21, 2014 2 comments
Congratulations! You, the president of a multinational audio technology company, are a man among boys. You are a captain of industry, a titan of corporate prowess. Under your command, your dozens of factories and thousands of employees toil to bring forth wondrous new products. And what wonders they are—your portable CD players are the best of the best. People line up to buy your cutting edge in-dash head units. In a few months, your keynote will blow away the 1987 Consumer Electronics Show. Then you wake up, alarm buzzing. It's 2014. Hitting the snooze button isn't an option.

Filed under
Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Oct 14, 2014 0 comments
I am excited. I am thrilled. I am checking my credit-card balance to make sure I can afford an upgrade to the audio side of my home theater. When Leslie Shapiro and I reviewed the theatrical release of the Atmos mix of Oblivion in April, 2013 at soundandvision.com, we were blown away. We wrote, “If you wisely see this film in Atmos, you will experience true state-of-the-art sound design and theatrical playback. It’s an open secret that Dolby will roll out Atmos to home theaters. When will that day come?” That day has come. Hallelujah.
Filed under
Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Oct 07, 2014 4 comments
We loved them. We cherished them. We truly believed that we had purchased the last TV we would ever need to purchase. That's because picture quality could never get any better. Plasma was awesome! Wow! Look at those black levels.

Then, as they say, time marched on. Technology improved. Market sentiment shifted; people wanted something newer and cooler. Much like the dinosaurs, plasma TVs looked up in the sky and wondered—what's the deal with that huge flaming mass of asteroid hurtling down at me?

Filed under
Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Sep 16, 2014 4 comments
When I reviewed the original Charge last year, I wrote, “Long playback time, decent sound quality, compact size, and last but not least – the ability to keep your phone charged - the Charge does it all. Amid a sea of small speakers, this one merits a look and a listen.” Apparently millions of people, well, thousands, or perhaps hundreds, or at least more than a handful, agreed. That prompted JBL to capitalize on the success of the original to bring out a successor, the Charge 2. JBL is of the opinion that it is new and improved. I agree that it is new, but is it improved?

Filed under
Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Sep 09, 2014 15 comments
Boy, oh boy, do I feel like an idiot. I read a news item this morning, and it unleashed a series of tremendously brilliant insights that rocketed through my brain . Surely, no one else had ever so deeply penetrated into the nature of the truth of things. Now, it occurs to me that in fact, everyone else had realized all this long ago. Captain Obvious had struck again.
Filed under
Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Sep 02, 2014 2 comments
I am not a cheapskate. I am, however, very careful with my money. Okay, actually I am a cheapskate. In my weak defense, I work hard for the money, and I feel bad, real bad, when I underutilize its value. The continual drip, drip, drip of monthly fees particularly drives me nuts. Thus cord-cutting greatly interests me. Aereo was shining bright on my radar until the Supreme Court shot it out of the sky. Hmm, how can I get a cable experience with an antenna? Enter the TiVo Roamio OTA.

Filed under
Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Aug 19, 2014 4 comments
I am a huge fan of Dolby Atmos in commercial movie theaters. I routinely specifically choose to see movies in theaters that are Atmos-equipped, and will gladly pay a little extra if necessary. The immersion provided by Atmos playback, particularly from the array of ceiling speakers, is remarkable and in my opinion measurably improves the movie experience.

Thus I was overjoyed when the rumors of Atmos at home came true. The prospect of hearing Atmos soundtracks in my home theater suddenly made me excited about home-theater audio again. I could hardly wait for the specifications to be released, so I could install the necessary speakers, and buy whatever gear I would need. Now, comments from a Dolby heavyweight have made me a little nervous.

Filed under
Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Aug 12, 2014 2 comments
You probably read about it in the news. Some filmmakers were making a documentary on the history of Atari, and they became intrigued by an urban legend of lost video games. To solve the mystery, they brought in heavy equipment and dug into a concrete-covered grave.
Filed under
Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Aug 05, 2014 3 comments
Although MP3 files may not entirely deserve all the scorn heaped on them, it is widely accepted that it was the proliferation of those files that put the whammy on high-end audio. Despite the availability of higher quality formats like CD, SACD and DVD-Audio, conventional wisdom says the convenience of MP3 led consumers to dumb down their audio expectations. Now, is it possible that an old-school audio company and a brand name largely associated with cassettes could lead the way back to high audio quality?

Filed under
Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Jul 15, 2014 1 comments
It comes as no surprise to you that smartphones are taking over the world. Alexander Graham Bell’s invention is swiftly achieving total domination, 138 years after its invention. Of course, today’s smartphones are a far cry from “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you.” But I digress.

I offer you a data point demonstrating how firmly smartphones are in charge: Specifically, I offer the premise that smartphones will be a primary factor that drives adoption of 4K televisions. That’s right - your phone will persuade you to buy a new TV.

Pages

X
Enter your Sound & Vision username.
Enter the password that accompanies your username.
Loading