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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jun 28, 2016 0 comments
Look out, cable ISPs. You’ve got another competitor to worry about in addition to Google Fiber: GigaMonster.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jun 21, 2016 0 comments
AT&T-owned DirecTV is launching its own video streaming service. It will use both home and mobile broadband networks to reach smart TVs, tablets, phones, PCs, and streaming devices. Unlike DirecTV satellite service, it won’t require an annual contract, set-top box, or dish installation.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jun 16, 2016 0 comments

Performance
Build Quality
Comfort
Value
PRICE $1,799

AT A GLANCE
Plus
High resolution and sensitivity
Ultra-thin planar diaphragms
Snazzy cosmetics
Minus
No friend to dirty amps
Can sometimes sound over-etched

THE VERDICT
The HiFiMan Edition X are high-resolution headphones that tell an emotionally fulfilling and balanced version of the truth about your music files.

Head-fi is somehow more personal than hi-fi or home theater. I may love my loudspeakers, but I don’t wear them on my head. Speakers bring music into my room; headphones bring music into my head, and voices in my head are the very definition of personal. So if the sound of my fairly stable main system is aesthetically consequential, the sound of my constantly rotating head-fi system is emotionally charged. That may explain the intensity of my bond with the HiFiMan Edition X headphones. The look pushes my bling buttons, and the sound brings me closer to music—close to what I love, to my original motive for getting into audiophilia in the first place.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jun 16, 2016 9 comments
First 3D was the next big thing in television. Then it was a feature, not a category. Now it may be turning into an absent feature and a dead category.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jun 09, 2016 0 comments
News from around the world of mobile/home entertainment: THX Live! debuts, YouTube offers subscription TV, researchers discover an easier way to do 8K video, and more.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jun 03, 2016 2 comments
The audiocassette killed the LP. The Compact Disc killed the audiocassette. Downloads have all but killed the CD. And it looks increasingly as if streaming is killing downloads. Yet vinyl resurges, confounding the wing of audio punditry that has long asserted its flaws ought to make it stay dead. Me, I love good analog as much as I love good digital, and I also love the tactile experience of handling LPs. Once in a while I pick one off the shelf and marvel at what a beautiful artifact it is. Following are some of my favorite LP artifacts, with emphasis on unusual design and manufacturing gimmicks that make them especially pleasing as physical art objects.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: May 31, 2016 0 comments
What hackers can do to your computer, they can do to any connected device. They can kill your lighting system by turning it on and off 10 times per second, unlock and start your car, access your baby monitor, even tamper with the drug-infusion pump next to your hospital bed. But it would take some pretty slick moves for a hacker to find these devices on the Internet, right?
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: May 19, 2016 19 comments

Audio Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $2,999

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Gobs of power for almost any situation
Audyssey MultEQ XT32
Atmos, DTS:X, and Auro 3D
ISF certified
Minus
Daunting price

THE VERDICT
The Denon AVR-X7200W is pricey, but this flagship is loaded with power, features, and performance.

Ticking off all the feature checkboxes does not automatically confer popularity on a flagship audio/video receiver. Some prospective buyers will look at the four-figure price tag of the Denon AVR-X7200W and just say, no, sorry, not for me—despite the fact that many other high-end audio products, and luxury products in general, sell for far more. The AVR category is the spiritual home of those who love to get more for less. Why, asks the hardheaded audio buff, do I need to pay three grand for all those features, all those jacks—all that stuff I’ll never need? The answer is that the features you do need may be worth the price. If your speakers are a little more demanding than the home theater norm or you have a large room, you’ll want as much power as possible, and this receiver is Denon’s best shot.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: May 18, 2016 10 comments
If you groan every time you pay your pay-TV bill, consider that the most expensive item bundled into it is Disney’s ESPN, which adds $8/month to the average bill. Can ESPN survive in the dawning age of skinnier cable bundles? Most pay-TV viewers would dump it like a sack of dirt, according to a study by marketing company Civic Service commissioned by financial services company BTIG.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: May 16, 2016 0 comments
Don’t you just hate it when Netflix freezes? Acutely aware of how Internet speeds affect perception of its service, Netflix regularly ranks ISPs. In the November 2015 ranking, Grande Communications was the winner at 3.90 Mbps. The small outfit outpaced a bunch of big guys including Verizon (3.86), Cox (3.76), Bright House/Cablevision (3.74), Comcast (3.69), and Time Warner (3.65). These numbers are for Netflix performance only, not overall data performance.

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