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Shane Buettner

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Shane Buettner Posted: Sep 22, 2008 1 comments
Worthy of a sequel.

When we first reviewed Anthem’s Statement D2 in the December 2006 issue, HDMI switching was just emerging. But it wasn’t as crucial as it is today, now that next-gen audio and video applications are firmly established. There’s a story to be told in how the Statement D2 increased its utility in the connectivity tumult of these last two years. And there’s another story in its ability to stand tall even now, as onboard decoding of the advanced audio formats is now emerging in AVRs and pre/pros. The Statement D2 has adapted to the evolving standards and features that HDMI carries. Now at $7,499, the Statement D2 offers an advanced auto-setup and room-calibration system that furthers its value. It’s worth a fresh look.

Shane Buettner Posted: Jun 02, 2006 1 comments

Internet-direct speaker manufacturer Aperion Audio won some street cred from me by building a demo in which the picture didn't take a backseat to the sound.

Shane Buettner Posted: Nov 30, 2007 24 comments

Way back when, say July of this year, the holiday shopping season seemed poised to be make or break time for the format war, and HD DVD in particular. Blu-ray was rolling along, outselling HD DVD handily in software, and looking to a holiday season with a broad number of exclusive to the format titles that would mop the floor with poor HD DVD, and leave it in the scrap heap next to the BetaMax.

Shane Buettner Posted: May 24, 2011 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $9,950 At A Glance: Breathtaking picture and sound with all 5-inch silver discs • State-of-the-art audio performance with USB audio • No 3D

The Last Great Silver Disc Player?

The era of 5-inch silver disc players began in the 1980s, and it isn’t over yet. But even quality-driven, Blu-ray- and CD-playing dinosaurs like me are compelled to admit that there are fewer days ahead for the disc player than there are behind it. The Ayre Acoustics DX-5 Universal A/V Engine ($9,950) builds a bridge between yesterday and tomorrow. The DX-5 is a universal disc player. It plays CD, SACD, DVD-Video/Audio, and Blu-ray Discs. But it’s also a cutting-edge digital-to-analog converter for digital audio files from a variety of sources, up to 24-bit/192-kilohertz. Its supertrick analog audio outputs are stereo only, so the only people who need apply are extreme videophiles and two-channel audiophiles who want a reference-quality universal Blu-ray player and state-of-the-art playback of digital audio files. The DX-5 is loaded with crucial and daring proprietary technology, and it’s the best-sounding, most versatile digital source component I’ve had in my system. The price tag? Who cares. Don’t you want to know more?

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Shane Buettner Posted: Feb 14, 2007 0 comments

It would take a much better film writer than I to do justice to this film, so I'll limit the damage by being brief. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's <I>Babel</I> brilliantly intertleaves the lives of four families across three continents, and links them in way that are mostly believeable and emotionally captivating and compelling from beginning to end. Almost like Jim Jarmusch meeting Robert Altman in the Int'l terminal.

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Shane Buettner Posted: Oct 16, 2008 83 comments
After many months and much gnashing of teeth online and print, Home Theater's ratings are in fact returning starting to product reviews with the January issue being assembled now. The ratings are not only coming back, we think the more streamlined version we've come up with is actually better than what we had before.
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Shane Buettner Posted: Jan 13, 2009 11 comments
A number of things have dovetailed into this Blog in the last week and a half. A NY Times article landed downplaying the success Blu-ray is having thus far and its future prospects, and, IMO, vastly overrating the current and future prospects of movie streaming and downloads. A massive wave of CE products launched at CES that connect to Internet-driven content, adding some fuel to this fire, and well, NPR called me in the middle of the show to get my take on this, which you can read and listen to here.
Shane Buettner Posted: Feb 24, 2007 0 comments

It might surprise you to know I read the Best buy pullout in every weekend's Sunday paper (which now arrives on Saturday for reasons I can't discern). I'm primarily interested in seeing what's being pushed on the mass market and how.

Shane Buettner Posted: Jan 08, 2007 2 comments

People keep asking me, now that HD is here, what comes next? Higher definition HD! Sharp was showing a prototype of a 64" LCD flat panel with 4K resolution, which equates to around 4000 pixels across and 2000 vertical. That adds up to nearly <I>nine million</I> pixels!

Shane Buettner Posted: Sep 05, 2007 1 comments

Before introducing its new D-ILA front projectors JVC offered a fascinating glimpse of what's beyond HD. It showed some flight simulation clips and some native 4K movie material (from and odd movie called <I>The Trident</I>) on its 4k x 2k D-ILA system in a movie theater-sized venue, on a screen not quite movie sized. This is far more pixel density than current 1920x1080 HD, and the depth and dimensionality of the image quickly demosntrated why I believe digital cinema in theaters needs 4K to take off.

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