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Mark Fleischmann

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Apr 10, 2014 1 comments
414blackout.promo250.jpgWhen cable operators and networks can’t agree on retransmission fees, cable viewers may suddenly see blackouts of broadcast and other channels. Such blackouts set a record in 2013, according to the American Television Alliance. Now legislation has been introduced in Congress that would prevent viewers from missing their favorite shows.
Filed under
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Apr 04, 2014 4 comments
The Universal Music Group is taking a new kind of plunge into the Blu-ray disc format. Already the videophile's go-to format for movies and concert videos, Blu-ray now bids to conquer audiophiles. At least, that's the plan. Whether it goes anywhere is a different question.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Apr 01, 2014 0 comments
Now that 4K TVs are hitting the stores, what’s the outlook for 4K sporting events? Among pros surveyed by Miranda Sports Productions, 33.5 percent said HD 1080p would be their first pick for outfitting production trucks three years from now. 4K was their second choice at 28.6 percent, and HD 1080i came in third at 24.4 percent. Lagging far behind were IPTV (4.4 percent), 8K (3.7 percent), 720p (2.6 percent), 3D (1.9 percent), and SD (0.9 percent). Currently the top format in sports production is 1080i at 54.4 percent, followed by 720p and SD, tied at 18.1 percent, and 1080p at 7 percent.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Mar 25, 2014 5 comments
In a surprise announcement, Pioneer revealed that it will re-enter the TV manufacturing arena. No, it won’t resume building its world-beating Kuro plasmas. But it will make LED-backlit, 1080p, Wi-Fi streaming sets of 55, 46, and 40 inches. Dixons Retail has an exclusive agreement to develop and sell Pioneer TVs in European markets through Currys & PC World stores. No word on whether Pioneer would resume making TVs for North America and other markets. Pioneer quit the television business in 2009 and licensed its Elite TV brand to Sharp in 2011.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Mar 20, 2014 0 comments
Prescient Audio’s Paul Niedermann scowled at the trunk of his car. The supplied loudspeaker system took up too much space. He thought about it and came up with a solution: Prescient’s ThinDriver Technology, which fits a 12-inch subwoofer driver into an enclosure about one-third the conventional size.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Mar 07, 2014 4 comments
My moment of immortality in the Pazz & Jop Poll, the annual music critic's poll that runs in The Village Voice, came when I confessed my craving for classical music, not a popular genre at the Voice. I mentioned how much I loved gorging on $2 used LPs at the now-gone Tower Annex in Lower Manhattan, buying "as much dead white boy music as I can carry to the bus." My ballot comment ran in the paper, which was a great honor. That was sometime in the early 1990s, during the golden age of cheap vinyl, before the current vinyl resurgence. Folks were dumping LPs for CDs and even an impecunious collector could make out like a bandit. Today vinyl isn't as cheap as it once was; those 180-gram virgin-vinyl reissues cost a bundle, as do vintage pressings of Beatles and Pink Floyd albums. Yet even today I continue to collect loads of used classical vinyl. Most of it is still cheap and it's one of the few forms of high-res audio an inkstained wretch can afford to buy in large quantities.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Mar 05, 2014 2 comments
The venerable Miller & Kreisel loudspeaker brand is making a comeback. When a Danish company bought the brand in 2007, it was forced to take the name MK Sound. But new products being released for the 40th anniversary will wear the M&K (as opposed to MK) badge. These THX Ultra2–certified products include the S-300 monitor ($3,500/each), MP-300 on-wall speaker ($3,350/each), and S-300T on-wall tripole speaker ($4,000/pair).
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Feb 27, 2014 1 comments

Audio Performance
Video Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $850

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Wi-Fi adapter supplied
AirPlay built in
iOS-USB and MHL-HDMI
Minus
Bluetooth adapter is optional

THE VERDICT
Great sound and no-extra-charge Wi-Fi functionality for well under a thousand bucks.

“There may be said to be two classes of people in the world; those who constantly divide the people of the world into two classes, and those who do not.” Robert Benchley’s Law of Distinction might also apply to audio/video receivers as they vie for the attention of two warring tribes, the Apple tribe and the anything-but-Apple tribe. For Apple loyalists, the Yamaha RX-V775WA offers AirPlay wireless connectivity, a front-panel USB jack into which you can plug any recent iOS device, and an iOS-speaking control app.

Filed under
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Feb 20, 2014 0 comments

Performance
Build Quality
Comfort
Value
PRICE $300

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Sweet mids, solid bass
Super comfortable
Sporty look
Minus
Reticent highs
Plastic construction

THE VERDICT
These full-size headphones are comfortable, sweet sounding, and suitable for portable signal sources.

Some companies jump into the now-trendy headphone category on a wing and a prayer. Sony, on the other hand, is the steward of Sony Music and the master of numerous audio product categories, including a long history in headphones. So a set of midpriced ’phones from Sony raises high hopes. With the MDR-1R, they are largely fulfilled. I like these headphones, not because they’re perfect, but because they feel right.

Filed under
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Feb 19, 2014 22 comments

Audio Performance
Video Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Efficient D3 amplification
AirPlay and iOS savvy
Dynamic, smooth, clean sound
Minus
Labyrinthine ergonomics
No multichannel ins or outs

THE VERDICT
Pioneer is the only AVR maker replacing Class AB amps with Class D on a large scale, and the results are excellent.

Add a feature, drop a feature—usually, that’s how the story goes for a new AV receiver. But features aren’t the whole story, or even the part of the story most readers want to hear. We found that out when we ran a poll at our website SoundandVision.com asking, “What’s your AVR deal-breaker?” The top two complaints were “not enough power” at 35 percent and “ineffective room correction” at 21 percent. “Too few features” and “too many features” got just seven points each, and trendy features like AirPlay, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi scored in even lower single digits.

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