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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: Feb 03, 2015 0 comments
A swiveling TV pedestal, stand-alone Atmos-enabled speaker, tiny subwoofer, and more...
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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: Jul 29, 2015 1 comments
You’ve heard it on THX-certified DVDs and Blu-ray Discs and in THX theaters. It’s the perfect crescendo, that indescribably fantastic swell of sound that’s been wowing movie-goers for more than three decades. We recently spoke with Dr. James “Andy” Moorer, composer of the “THX Logo Theme,” to get the story behind the iconic flourish, which debuted in the THX trailer Wings, shown before the 1983 premiere of a movie you might remember—Star Wars: Episode VI-Return of the Jedi.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Feb 11, 2016 1 comments
Way back in 1958 when stereo was a novelty, the comedy duo Bob Elliot and Ray Goulding released Bob And Ray Throw A Stereo Spectacular, a whimsical LP showcasing the marvels of two-channel sound.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Dec 24, 2015 0 comments
Our assessment of Digital TV’s first year was not all rosy as you can see from the Digital TV Report Card published in the December 1999 issue.
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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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