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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jun 20, 2007 2 comments
In a Diablog about my pianistic hero Sviatoslav Richter, I ended by wishing aloud for the re-release of an 18-disc boxed set Philips originally issued about 15 years ago. Following up with an email, I got this response from Ken of the Decca Music Group: "I'm happy to confirm that all Decca and Philips's Richter recordings are due to be re-released over the coming months, and you'll be able to read about them, with US release date information, on the iClassics site." The first three freshly released two-disc sets entitled Richter: The Master celebrate his command of Beethoven and Mozart, with a third volume of Scriabin, Prokoviev, and Shostakovich and presumably more on the way. The packaging is nothing special but it's great to see this material becoming widely available again. The reissue series will cover both the Philips and Decca catalogues, including (I hope) Richter's late-in-life examinations of Haydn. And it will give a new generation of listeners a chance to buy recordings sold until now only in used form by ripoff artists. Some of the Philips "authorized recordings" titles, issued separately from the box, command secondhand prices as high as $60--and the box itself goes for up to $2000. Me happy boy.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jun 19, 2007 0 comments
Whatever the HD DVD people are doing with their voodoo dolls, it seems to be working. Blu-ray is enduring its first defective-product scandal, with discs breaking out in spots.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jun 18, 2007 0 comments
Blockbuster Entertainment has picked a winner in the in the struggle of the high-def discs, choosing Blu-ray over HD DVD. Could this be the decisive moment in the format war?
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 16, 2007 Published: Jun 16, 2007 0 comments
Fussy in the front; pragmatic in the back.

Three identical stand-mounted speakers in front, two on-wall speakers in back—that's the unusual configuration I used in this review of the Canton GLE Series. Now I've got some explaining to do.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jun 14, 2007 0 comments
Cablevision's appeal of the court ruling that killed its network DVR is gaining some powerful supporters, including the telcos, media activists, libraries, and academics.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jun 13, 2007 2 comments
The iPod has a way of erasing all boundaries between itself and the rest of your life. Why shouldn't you be able to listen to it through your home theater system? After all, some people do use their iPods more than their whirring disc players--though as an audio snob, I'm obligated to point out that uncompressed CDs sound better than compressed file formats (and SACDs can sound better than CDs). To test the product, I found another use for it. Still, the iPod has become the way many people organize their music consumption, and the people's voice must be heard. That's why some surround receivers have optional iPod docks. And for those that don't, there's a veritable army of docking devices like DLO's Homedock Deluxe.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jun 11, 2007 0 comments
Want to test video displays like the pros? Then get your hands on the HD HQV Benchmark test disc. Our buddies at UltimateAV will help you buy it for five bucks off the regular price.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jun 08, 2007 0 comments
The boundary between television and the internet blurred a little further on Monday, when Hearst-Argyle Television and YouTube announced a deal that would bring local news to the popular video-sharing service.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jun 07, 2007 0 comments
The bitterly contested race between rival high-def disc formats has heated up with the announcement of the lowest-priced Blu-ray player yet, the Sony BDP-S300 for $499. Though the PS3 had hit the same price, this is a new low for a standalone Blu-ray player.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jun 06, 2007 59 comments
Recently I've begun configuring some review systems to eliminate the horizontal center speaker in favor of a matching left/center/right array. The specific weakness of horizontal centers lies in their dual woofers. They bring on an effect called lobing--that is, sum-and-cancellation effects that cause uneven response at the listening position. However, my preference for identically matched speakers across the front is causing consternation to some readers, especially concerning placement.

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