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Rob Sabin

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Rob Sabin Posted: Oct 31, 2013 1 comments
With the introduction this week of the BeoLab 17 compact speaker, BeoLab 18 column speaker, and the BeoLab 19 powered subwoofer, luxury A/V manufacturer Bang & Olufsen has begun marketing its first component-quality wireless music system and the first wireless system from anyone to offer WiSA certification.

Rob Sabin Posted: Oct 02, 2011 0 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $600 At A Glance: Excellent tonality • Good imaging • Cumbersome WiFi setup

I've never been a big fan of paying for brand names for their own sake. Build quality? Yes. Performance? Absolutely. Aesthetics? Sure. Ease of use? Certainly. Each of those has value, and it often makes sense to pay more, even a lot more, for any one of them. But sometimes, in the course of shopping for whatever, you encounter an entry from a well-respected or even elite brand that at first glance seems so outlandishly priced you have stop and wonder: what am I really paying for here?

Suffice to say that was me when Bowers & Wilkins first suggested I take a little ride with the Zeppelin Air, the company's $600 iPod dock...

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Rob Sabin Posted: Aug 25, 2011 4 comments
Have you been throttled lately? If you have, Home Theater wants to hear about it.

Okay, I'll explain.

In this brave new world where streaming media from the likes of Netflix, Vudu, and Hulu have virtually eliminated video rental stores and threaten to carry away our beloved reference-qualty Blu-rays on a river of rushing bits, the notion of "internet access" takes on new meaning. The capacity of the data pipeline running into our homes affects both the quality and quantity of the video content we can download, not to mention our ability to upload, store, and share our personal media in the Cloud.

And on this front, I'm afraid all is not well in Streamville...

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Rob Sabin Posted: Feb 10, 2013 0 comments
Thanks to a kind invitation from The Recording Academy’s Producers & Engineers Wing, I was lucky enough this week to get a backstage tour of the Staples Center in Los Angeles just as rehearsals for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards were getting underway. This was Thursday afternoon around 2pm, a little more than three days before tonight’s broadcast of what’s become known as “Music’s Biggest Night.”

It was quite the scene over there and the energy level was already pretty high...

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Rob Sabin Posted: Mar 06, 2006 0 comments

March 6 - Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) now says it will release its first Blu-ray high-definition discs on May 23 - the same day the first Blu-ray player goes on sale.

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Rob Sabin Posted: Oct 04, 2006 0 comments

Noise-canceling headphones - once a luxury reserved for hard-core business travelers living on jets - have gone mainstream. Though fancy models still cost north of $200, today you'll find name-brand phones for as little as $50. That's clearly within reach of iPod-toting everyday Joes.

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Rob Sabin Posted: Sep 11, 2011 Published: Sep 12, 2011 0 comments
Canadian audio manufacturer Bryston Ltd. was showing off its soon to be released SP3 surround processor at CEDIA 2011. Taking a purist approach, there's no video processing to potentially muck up the audio signal, but the unit provides convenient HDMI v1.4 video pass through from each of seven HDMI inputs, and should a higher HDMI version ever be required, modular construction insures that a factory upgrade can do the trick. The prototype on display was a 7.1-channel model that decodes all the latest Blu-ray codecs and steers the audio to either balanced or RCA outputs. There's also a pair of AES/EBU inputs and a USB input along with the usual mix of analog and digital stereo inputs. Bryston sales VP James Tanner said the SP3 uses all discreet Class A circuitry in its analog stages for optimal sound quality, and great care was taken in the circuit topology to keep incoming video signals away from the audio, including dedicated power supplies for the video and audio circuits with no shared common grounds. Price is expected to be $9,500 when the SP3 ships at the end of September.

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Rob Sabin Posted: Dec 16, 2013 16 comments
I had the unexpected and unexpectedly pleasant experience recently of viewing the 3D version of the theatrical blockbuster Gravity in what proved to be a perfectly competent RealD (i.e., not IMAX) presentation. I say unexpected because I’d actually recommended that our group that day skip the 3D entirely and just watch the (undoubtedly brighter) 2D version—such has my need for theatrical and at-home 3D dropped off the cliff. I only walked into the theater reservedly after a mishap in which the wrong tickets got purchased online in advance of our arrival.
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Rob Sabin Posted: Sep 14, 2006 0 comments
It all began with my obsession with snakes. Not the slithering, on-a-plane type; I mean the kind that pull wires through walls. What is it about hidden cables that so impresses people? As A/V buffs, we conquer the imposing web behind our racks with hardly a bored yawn from our wives or girlfriends.
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Rob Sabin Posted: Oct 11, 2007 0 comments

Although I'm a little embarrassed to admit it, I was a high-school A/V geek. Some kids go out for track or baseball, others for student theater. But I, along with my (still) best friend Burt, found my haven in a small interior office full of rolling TV carts and overhead projectors.

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