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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 09, 2009 0 comments
A company best known for architectural speakers moves into multizone technology with a vengeance. Nirv is the name the tattooed folks at Speakercraft have given to a system that operates with the 10-button remote pictured here. The remote's got a mic built into it, for home intercom use, and that barely scratches the surface. The concept is to use a single Cat5 cable to send HD video, HD audio, control, data, paging, and voice anywhere in the home. Any zone can be turned into a home theater and grab content from any source in any other zone. The system learns how you use it. Settings follow users from room to room, including parental controls, indicating unseen depths of moral fiber in people with multiple pieces of body art, or maybe it's just Metamucil. An installer can walk the user through setup, and when that's done, an easy repeatable interface takes over. Dealer cost 10 grand. In addition to the Ruckus speakers already reported on, Speakercraft also announced several new in-wall and in-ceiling models, including the AIM 10, a three-way, 10-inch pivoting unit selling for $8250-1125. Oh, and a debut surround receiver was also announced -- the Vital 910 ($1125). This company was always interesting. Now it's fascinating.
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 17, 2012 3 comments
Audio is not supposed to be fun. That’s why outdoor speakers are a terrible idea. Music is meant to be enjoyed in an acoustically perfect room by a single person sitting in the sweet spot. While you listen, it might be permissible to reverently handle a gatefold album jacket or dutifully edit metadata to make it absolutely perfect. But it is not permissible to swim, soak up the sun, watch the kids play with the dog, pour daiquiris from a pitcher, or hobnob with neighbors. Above all, it is never socially acceptable to barbecue while listening to music. If you are a morally upright audiophile, you may safely assume the rest of this story will be in the same vein. Go now. Retreat to your music library while I discipline the riffraff.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 07, 2017 0 comments
SPL's Phonitor X headphone amp includes a crossfeed mode designed to keep the soundstage in front of you, rather than in your head.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 16, 2010 0 comments
Would you like your streamed movies to include 5.1-channel sound? One way you may get it is through SRS, which is providing its surround technology to the Microsoft Silverlight streaming platform.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 12, 2010 0 comments
The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem--a group of studios, cable companies, and other partners--has set the standard for a Common File Format that will allow a/v software consumers the convenience of "buy once, play anywhere."
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Mar 14, 2011 0 comments
There isn't a unified standard for 3D glasses. That's a problem for consumers and the Consumer Electronics Association is looking for a solution.

CEA has started the process of building a standard for 3D eyewear. Interested parties are invited to make their initial proposals by March 31, 2011.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Oct 01, 2010 0 comments
Inspired by Avatar, George Lucas is preparing to give the 3D treatment to the six films in the Star Wars series for theatrical re-release.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 26, 2013 0 comments
Its 0.75-inch-thick granite enclosure makes the Status Element monitor unique. The enclosure of the 53-pound speaker has four additional layers: elastomer, aluminum, silicon, and foam. Under the hood are a one-inch fabric tweeter and 6.5-inch beryllium alloy woofer. Your $15,000/pair can buy any of several colors of granite of which our favorite (though not pictured) is cactus green. It looked great on the spokesperson's iPhone. This product was born in the U.S.A.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Mar 21, 2007 2 comments
A watermarking technology used to trace pirated movies back to the source will soon be built into set-top boxes. Thomson developed NexGuard to trace pirate masters back to the theaters where they were stolen with camcorders or to DVDs distributed to reviewers and awards juries. Soon chips will be built into STBs to read watermarks in MPEG-2, MPEG-4 AVC, and VC-1 formats. The technology might be applicable to cable, satellite, or any other kind of STB. So if a piece of copyrighted material enters your home through the box, and ends up being pirated or file-shared, it will bear an individual watermark leading the copyright holder back to you. Should you worry? Said a Thomson executive: "The idea is to slow down piracy without limiting the use of the consumer. They should not be upset about this unless they are widely redistributing content." Of course, if you loan an archival video to someone who does file sharing, the copyright holder might become upset, and the copyright holder's attorney might make you very upset.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2015 0 comments
If you buy a whole system from Steinway & Sons, you'll have access to the P200 pre-pro, which handles every conceivable height-enhanced surround format.