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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 05, 2008 5 comments
Remember, the Sherwood R-972 receiver with Trinnov room correction? It's now scheduled to arrive in December for $1800, and is probably worth the wait, judging from the demo. Despite deliberately misplaced speakers -- center too low and to the right, others too high -- it generated a warm and rich soundfield that was surprisingly vivid and involving. And it did so in two locations, the first with an orthodox seven-speaker array, and the second using only the right side-surround and right rear-surround. The idea is that you may want to listen in different locations, a good idea for rooms with more than one piece of furniture, right? The setup mic is an unusual four-part object. Of the three parts of the room-EQ process (measurement, analysis, correction) it's the analysis that's special, as Trinnov founder Arnaud Laborie explained while showing the professional version of the product. It's pictured. Notice the two color-coded speaker sets: one showing the front speakers where they ought to be, and the other one showing where they actually are.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 26, 2009 0 comments
Are you ready for the second generation of digital cable readiness? Cable operators are saying yes and TV makers are saying no.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 10, 2009 3 comments
Trufig is a new brand from the founders of Sonance. Its job is to make touchscreens, lightswitches, and other custom installable goodies practically disappear into the wall, as you can see in the pic -- old-style fixtures at right, disappearing ones at left. It was inspired by the after-the-fact design process that's been taking place when Sonance's architectural speakers come up against the wishes of architects and interior designers. The things being made to disappear are not actually Sonance or Trufig products but things like Crestron touchscreens and Lutron light fixtures. Starting at $300 for a single-gang fixture, Trufig is not cheap, but it will presumably find its way into the high-end custom install market.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Oct 22, 2007 0 comments
In the beginning, there was Napster, and it was good, albeit illegal. Over the years the file-sharing pioneer went legit and became a subscription service. Now Napster is looking to improve its game by untethering its 770,000 subscribers from its proprietary software. Soon Napsterites will be able to access a library of five million tracks from any net-connected computer without downloading the Napster application itself. Welcome to Napster 4.0.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: May 23, 2008 0 comments
Direct-view sets have supplanted plasmas as the second most popular television category in North America, according to DisplaySearch sales figures quoted by The New York Times.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: May 16, 2007 0 comments
One of the cool things about digital television is the potential for creativity on the subchannels. Case in point: The Tube. It's carried in many markets by DTV stations owned by Raycom, Sinclair, Tribune, and others; and by Comcast, Time Warner, and other cable systems. The independently owned channel delivers nonstop rock and pop music videos with minimal channel IDs and no commercials. Programming races back and forth in time, from the 1960s to the present, mixing raw live footage with conventional promo music videos. Some items in heavy rotation are surprising--I would never have gone out of my way to add Queen concerts to my DVD stash, but wow, Freddie rocks! My only complaint is that heavy audio compression results in harsh, grainy sound with virtually no dynamic range. Even so, it's a great place to surf during commercial breaks on other channels, and repays longer spells of attention with a wide and ever-changing array of music. Check the Wiki to see if The Tube is available in your area. The channel also has an official site, an unofficial site, and a myspace presence.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Mar 19, 2007 7 comments
Like Poe's purloined letter, some stories lay in plain sight, unnoticed. On rooftops, no less. I'm talking about the return of the humble TV antenna in the age of HDTV. As Newsweek's Johnnie L. Roberts says so eloquently: "The irony is marvelous. Pushed into obsolescence by the technological advances of cable and satellite, antennas are re-emerging thanks to one of the most promising high-tech services of the digital age. High-def channels can be plucked out of thin air by antennas just like regular broadcast signals--no cable, no satellite dish, no monthly bill, no waiting for the cable man." OK, if you've got a Jon Stewart addiction, the dear old antenna will do nothing to help. But how many such addictions do you really have? If the answer is just one or two, try this exercise: Get your cable or satellite bill. Multiply what you're paying for television by 12. That's what you're spending every year for Jon Stewart. Still think it's worth it? Then multiply the figure by 10--that's the amount of cash you could have put in your retirement fund over a decade. And what with cable's constant rate hikes, the final figure will be considerably larger than this simple calculation. If free TV seems like a good idea after all, the Consumer Electronics Association maintains an antennaweb site expressly to help people like you save money every month. Consumer hints: All HDTV channels live in the UHF band, so make sure your antenna works well at those frequencies (like the Terk indoor model shown here). You'll need a TV, set-top box, or DVR with an ATSC (meaning digital) tuner. But the results are worth it. Broadcast HDTV operates at a higher data rate than cable or (especially) satellite. So over-the-air HD picture quality is more than competitive. Salut!
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Oct 04, 2010 0 comments
Are you tired of TV ads blaring at what seems like a much higher level than the program you actually want to watch? Relief is coming thanks to the CALM Act.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Mar 16, 2011 0 comments
The yellow energy efficiency label already decorating store displays of air conditioners and refrigerators will also be required for TVs and cable/satellite boxes starting this year.

The familiar EnergyGuide label includes model, estimated yearly cost compared to similar models, and estimated energy usage for the particular model on display.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jun 07, 2010 0 comments
TVs sold faster in the first quarter of this year, reports DisplaySearch. And no wonder--prices are plummeting.

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