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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Aug 25, 2008 5 comments
Surround sound—friend or faux?

When Definitive Technology originally introduced its Mythos line of speakers, the slender, curved, aluminum-cabinet tower models were matched by equally svelte, under-5-inch-deep on-wall and center-channel models using the same form and style turned horizontally. A while ago, the company literally expanded the Mythos center-channel speakers by packing the front LCR speakers

Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jul 27, 2008 0 comments
Taking the shortcut home.

Some people would call it cheating. Others might be less pejorative and consider it a shortcut. Either way, setting a rectangular box on top of your TV, plugging in an analog stereo RCA cable, finding an outlet for a single AC power cord, and pressing the power button isn’t what God intended when he gave us home theater. No, a real man’s home theater demands a separate processor and amplifiers, multiple speakers, many long runs of speaker wire, and an inconvenient place to put a subwoofer. It should take real work to set the whole thing up—and more than a sporting chance to wire something incorrectly.

Darryl Wilkinson Posted: May 04, 2008 0 comments
The fine art of disguise.

No one likes to look at speakers. (You and I don’t count.) Thus the quest by many manufacturers to find the Holy Grail of speakers: the totally invisible wall-o’-sound. Unfortunately, the invisible stuff I’ve seen so far has been pretty uninspiring and by no means anything you could call close to high performance. At present, short of an acoustic miracle, we’re stuck with speakers that are going to be seen, be they in-wall, on-wall, floorstanding, or whatever.

Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Feb 26, 2008 0 comments
Hide your credit cards now before it's too late.

My son, Nick, recently attended an engineering weekend for high-school seniors at a nearby university. After splitting into teams, the attendees competed in several engineering challenges, one of which was to build a contraption made from a meager assortment of supplied materials (including an Alka-Seltzer tablet) that would move a small toy car across a pan of water.

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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Feb 19, 2008 Published: Feb 20, 2008 0 comments
Depth charged.

Last year, my family and I moved from our little house near a noisy city airport to a more pastoral setting where, aside from a nearby neighbor who likes to bulldoze anything with leaves on it, the loudest thing is an old four-wheel-drive F250 pickup we bought for hauling things (including our butts) around the farm. Although it's in surprisingly good shape, some things don't always work, like the original factory radio, for instance.

Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 11, 2008 0 comments
Screen Excellence showed a new LED light kit for use with their screens that provides a 6500 K ambient light glow around the screen frame. I had them turn the lights way up for purposes of taking the picture, but when set at the recommended level it helped make the picture of the $13,500 CineVersum projector used in the demo even more stunning.
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 11, 2008 0 comments
Do we really have any choice?
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 11, 2008 0 comments
For one of my last demos of CES2008, I stopped by the Definitive Technology room in the Venetian. There, in addition to showing off the newest Mythos ST speakers, they were putting on demos of the company’s new Solo Surround Array speakers. The SSAs join the growing number of single speaker simul-surround thingees that reduce the multiple speakers of the traditional surround system to one slim one. Of all the slender systems I’ve heard, the Definitive SSA-50 is by far the most impressive, the most surrounding, and the most amazing. Regardless of whether I was standing in the back of the room or in the middle of the room’s “sweet spot”, the effect was stunningly immersive. It certainly won’t replace a full-blown 5.1-channel system, but for the rear-speaker challenged, wire-averse, or stubbornly dcor-driven, this is a single-speaker solution that will make you sit up and listen.
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 10, 2008 1 comments
This is going to be the year of 3D. I know it’s been said before, but this time it’s really going to happen. More studios are producing more 3D films, and there is more 3D hardware than ever. Most importantly, the quality of the 3D experience is the best that it’s ever been. Look for lots of HDTVs with built-in 3D capabilities. 3D leader Sensio announced that they are now part of the HDMI spec, which means that – in the future – when you put a Sensio-encoded disc in your hi-def player, your HDTV and associated hardware will know that it’s a 3D movie and automatically switch into 3D mode. Simple is always better. In this case, it’s 3X simpler.
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 10, 2008 0 comments
Sure, he looks cute, but beneath that plushy exterior lies a soul-eating pusher of 24/7 communication. You think methamphetamine is bad? Take a Blackberry away from someone and you’ll see the kind of behavior that’ll make Britney’s antics seem as benign as a day on the set of High School Musical II.