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Bob Ankosko

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Bob Ankosko Posted: May 16, 2013 0 comments
If you want to create digital copies of Blu-ray and DVD gems you own so you can watch your favorite flicks wherever you happen to be, you won’t have to schlep into Walmart with a bag of discs anymore (“UltraViolet: Building a Movie Library in the Cloud,” October 2012). Walmart is expanding its Disc-to-Digital service so discs you own can be registered for digital conversion on your home PC. Once the discs are authenticated and you’ve paid to acquire the digital copies, movie files are stored in the cloud.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jan 07, 2013 0 comments
Dish, the satellite TV provider that pleased TV viewers and upset broadcasters last year with the introduction of the Hopper DVR that automatically skips commercials on recorded prime-time shows, today introduced a second-generation Hopper with built-in Sling capability. The upgraded box lets users watch and control live TV and DVR recordings from smartphones, tablets and PCs, essentially replicating the living room TV experience wherever they go, and has built-in Wi-Fi for accessing a home network. Dish also upgraded processor speed to 1.3 GHz, which is said to deliver the fastest guide scrolling in the pay-TV industry.

Dish officials said the new Hopper, which has a 2-terabyte hard drive that holds more than 500 hours of high-def programming, will be offered to new customers at the same price as its predecessor with no monthly fee for the Sling functionality.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jan 09, 2014 0 comments
Let’s face it, square and rectangular speakers are boring. You’ve seen one, you’ve seen ‘em all, which is why I did a double take as I walked past the Edifier booth and spotted a row of colorful and stylish e25 Luna Eclipse speakers. How refreshing, though I had to admit the Luna reminded me of one of those egg chairs from the’60s, and in a setting right out of 2001: A Space Odyssey to boot.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: May 21, 2014 0 comments
In the world of home entertainment, prized possessions run the gamut from media players and perfectly calibrated HDTVs to sophisticated processors and hulking power amplifiers to AV receivers and cable boxes to speakers of different shapes and sizes—all stuff that needs a proper home. You do have a proper home for your AV treasures, don’t you? A home that provides unbending support (think sturdy shelves that don’t sag) and thoughtful features like casters, cable management, and ventilation.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Sep 04, 2013 0 comments
Energy today introduced the Energy Power Base soundbar, which is available on Amazon.com for $399 now and will roll out to retail stores in October.

Bob Ankosko Posted: Aug 11, 2014 3 comments
In preparation for the launch of the first wave of Dolby Atmos-enabled products, Dolby is conducting press demos in New York and Los Angeles this week. Stay tuned for our reports later in the week. In the meantime, we touched base with Brett Crockett, director of sound research at Dolby Labs, to learn more about Atmos and its promise of taking home theater to new heights.

S&V: Why does the world need another surround format? What does Atmos bring to the home theater experience?
Brett Crockett: Dolby Atmos moves beyond the paradigm of channel-based audio, which has gone as far as it can in the home. Captivating sound surrounds you from all directions, including overhead, filling the room with astonishing clarity, richness, detail, and depth. The specific sounds of people, music, and things move all around you in multidimensional space, so you feel like you are inside the action.

S&V: How does the “object-based” Atmos system compare with the familiar channel-based system?
BC: Until now, cinema sound designers have had to mix independent sounds together into channels for soundtrack creation. A discrete sound, such as a helicopter, has been assigned to an individual channel rather than precisely to where it would occur naturally in the scene. While a sound can move across channels, there’s no height dimension. For example, you might hear the helicopter from a side channel (and speaker array) but not above you. This approach limits your audio experience because it can’t come close to matching the way you hear in real life, with sounds coming from every direction.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Dec 18, 2003 0 comments

Julian Hirsch was a celebrity, but you would never have known it if you'd met him. He'd have been the first person to shrug off any kind of special status. Yet he was special.

Bob Ankosko Posted: Aug 20, 2014 1 comments
Alfred Vassilkov’s latest sonic creation looks more like a sculpture than a speaker, which is why you can’t help but do a double take. But beyond its stunning looks are several unexpected—and highly practical—surprises. We asked Estelon partner Alissa Vassilkov, who also happens to be Alfred’s daughter, to tell us the story behind this unique, $239,000/pair speaker.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Sep 27, 2013 0 comments
If the bright red leather and distinctive stitching reminds you of an exotic car, it’s no accident. First Impressions Theme Theaters, the Miami-based architectural design firm specializing in home theater, custom built the $3,500 theater seat for the owner of one of the most stunning cars on the planet, the Ferrari 458 Italia. Note the carbon-fiber cup holders. Oh, and around back there’s even a tool pouch.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Feb 13, 2012 14 comments
The road to A/V perfection is littered with formats and products that didn’t make it for one reason or another. Some were technically sound but ahead of their time or poorly marketed. Some were victims of bad timing, unforeseen circumstances, or uninspired design. Others were just plain curious in a “what the heck were they thinking?” kind of way. And then there are the tweak formats and technologies—embraced by enthusiasts and ignored by the masses—that refuse to go away. Here, we remember A/V formats, products, and technologies that are gone but (mostly) not forgotten.

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