Mark Fleischmann

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Feb 06, 2015 15 comments
First there was mono. Then there was stereo. And then things got complicated. Surround sound has been a restless medium ever since it first snuck into movie theaters and home theaters. Encoding methods and formats have proliferated but standards have been elusive. Where multiplexes are concerned, that doesn't affect the consumer much. Most moviegoers are content to leave the technical details to the theater owners (except our readers, of course). But at home, where consumers are investing their own money in the home theater experience, many would like to have a fixed idea of what surround sound is at heart, something as close as possible to a stable minimum standard. And until now that standard has been 5.1. But in the dawning age of Dolby Atmos, is 5.1 obsolete?

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Feb 03, 2015 5 comments
Until now, strong tablet sales and weak TV sales have suggested a massive shift from TVs to tablets. But a slowdown in tablet sales may bring the two categories into a different balance.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 22, 2015 0 comments
No, you can’t get Ultra HD via antenna yet, but the technology has just gotten its first successful test broadcast in Baltimore. The test used Technicolor’s ATSC 3.0 test platform to send UHDTV through an experimental transmission system from Sinclair Broadcast Group, owner of more than a hundred U.S. TV stations. The platform is based on open standards including SHVC video compression, MPEG-H audio, and MPEG-MMT signal transport. It is designed for phones and tablets as well as traditional antenna-TV reception.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 21, 2015 7 comments

Audio Performance
Video Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $899

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Wi-Fi, AirPlay, Bluetooth built in Analog multichannel ins and outs
Minus
No HDCP 2.2

THE VERDICT
Though it lacks the latest UHD video future-proofing, this mid-line Marantz delivered great sound and solid value.

D+M has a leading role in the audio/video receiver market. It’s actually an amalgamation of two former companies with markedly different (though both distinguished) histories. Denon, born in 1910 and known for a time as Nippon Columbia, was originally a manufacturer of gramophones and discs in Japan. Marantz, in contrast, was born in the U.S.A. in the early 1950s when Saul Marantz of Kew Gardens, New York, started building preamps in his home.

After numerous corporate permutations (which included a three-decade relationship between Marantz and Philips), Marantz and Denon merged in 2002 into what is now called the D+M Group. In 2014, the pro divisions of both brands were acquired by inMusic Brands, a maker of DJ equipment. However, the consumer divisions continue to market A/V receivers and other audio products under the D+M umbrella.

Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 13, 2015 1 comments

Infinity Reference R162 Speaker System
Performance
Build Quality
Value

Infinity Reference SUB R12 Subwoofer
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $2,100

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Detailed high frequencies
Proprietary drivers
Curved enclosure
Minus
Can be too revealing
More finishes needed

THE VERDICT
The new Infinity Reference series has superb top-end transient detail and a commendably subtle sub, turning even familiar material into a fresh experience.

“Attention to detail.” That was my mantra when I hired and trained people to write product descriptions for an e-commerce site. It’s a pretty good rule to live by in general, and I try my imperfect best to practice it myself, both personally and professionally. It came back to me when I pulled the grille off the Infinity R162, part of the big brand’s new Reference series. When I saw a tweeter waveguide unlike any I’d previously seen, I knew I was communing with a kindred spirit, a lover of detail—though one with access to far greater resources than I command as a mere reviewer. Infinity’s parent corporation, Harman International Industries, has the kind of facilities and personnel that many speaker companies can only dream of. Harman pays a whole lot of talented people to attend to detail.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2015 0 comments
While Emotiva's powered speakers and pre-pro aren't new, they did combine to provide one of the few surround demos at the Venetian.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2015 0 comments
The Bryston BDA3 DAC has four HDMI ins and one out, bridging the gap between high-end two-channel systems and high-res goodness available on Blu-ray.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2015 1 comments
Without a doubt the most mind-blowing surround demo at CES combined Auro-3D height-enhanced surround technology with gear from CAT, ATI, and Theta.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2015 0 comments
The first thing we noticed about Arcam's Solo Movie, a combo AVR and Blu-ray player, was that it was cute.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2015 0 comments
If adding a USB DAC to your system would be one box too many, Creek offers one with a CD slot, so you might eliminate the disc player.

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