Question: I’m in the market for a Blu-ray player and A/V receiver, but I’d like the system to play 96-kHz/24-bit high-rez music downloads as well. The info I’ve found on manufacturer Web sites simply indicates whether or not the equipment supports Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, but not if the DACs support 96/24 decoding. Since many players and AVRs have a USB port, can this be used as an input for sending 96/24 files from my PC? Joe Massey, Exeter, NH
Just how slim can speakers get? It's a question I find myself pondering these days as wave after wave of skinny speakers arrives on my doorstep for testing. Looking over the elegant, metal-clad CS-System 3 speakers from British newcomer Audica - a company of audio veterans who previously did time at established UK speaker outfits like Mission - the answer is: remarkably slim.
Any apprehension I may have had about buying speakers off the Internet faded a few years back when I scored some great-sounding bookshelf speakers from a Web-only audio company. Those remain in use today, and I'd be game to match them up performance-wise against any current model in their price range.
The BeoVision 14, a new Series of Ultra HDTVs unveiled by Danish manufacturer Bang & Olufsen today at its CEDIA press event, up the ante on the aesthetics front by providing an element not often seen in modern TV design: wood.
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Q I have a legacy AV receiver (Integra DTR-7) and am considering replacing it with a separate preamp/processor and amplifier. I’ve noticed that some preamps only have RCA outputs, while other, more expensive preamps also have balanced XLR outputs. Is there a noticeable difference in the sound quality when using balanced XLR cables versus unbalanced cables? The length of the cables needed to connect the two units would only be 1 meter. —Ed Mendelson / via e-mail
When the Blu-ray Disc format was first announced, a feature that industry execs liked to pimp in their PowerPoint presentations was BD-Live. With your player plugged into a home network, we were told, a BD-Live-enabled disc could access all manner of wonders by way of the Internet -things like games and extra scenes and commentaries not included on the original disc.
Thor, as we all know, is the hammer-wielding god from Norse mythology. Thor is also the name of Barco’s Residential’s flagship 4K projector, a refrigerator-size 4K DLP model that sells for nearly $400,000. Why would anyone pay that much for a video projector? Maybe you want the image in your home theater to not only match, but exceed the quality of your local cinema, even those RPX and ETX ones they charge a premium ticket price for.