Darryl Wilkinson

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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 04, 2007 0 comments
What is an HTiB?
What exactly is a Home Theater in a Box, or, as those of us who prefer to use acronyms rather than real words call it, an HTiB? Before you guffaw and wonder what kind of an idiot put this bit of advice together, give this question a chance to sink in. Now let's consider just how difficult a creature this HTiB thing is to pin down.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 04, 2007 0 comments
Several years ago I was just setting up my current home theater room. While it was not scheduled to be equipped with multi-tiered stadium seating, faux art deco design, and a popcorn machine, I did have the luxury of setting it up strictly for movie and music listening. It didn't need to be compromised to serve any other purpose.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 04, 2007 0 comments
Wireless transmission of data may look like the wave of the future, but it's a lot further along in the computer world than in the traditional AV environment. Yes, manufacturers are undoubtedly burning the midnight oil in hopes of becoming the first to develop a wireless standard for high quality transmission of audio and video programming inside the home. But for now, good old hard wiring is the only way to go.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 04, 2007 0 comments
So you've walked into an electronics store or decided to find a system online, and now you're confronted with scores of HTiB choices. Now what? Well, remember that HTiBs exist for two basic reasons. The first is cost; the other is convenience. If cost is your only concern, find the least expensive system that looks the coolest for the money (just stay away from the guys selling them out of the backs of white vans). The entire experience will be painless, mindless, although it might leave you feeling cheap and dirty – not to mention the fact that you run a high chance that it will sound like pig doo-doo on a swelteringly hot day.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Aug 06, 2007 0 comments
For years, Onkyo has been known for decent, dependable gear – nothing super fancy, mind you, just good, respectable, hardworking stuff. That's not to say Onkyo's AV receivers are plain-Jane, stripped-down jobs, however. The company's newest introduction, the $599 TX-SR605, is a perfect illustration of how the opposite is true. Sure, it sports a faceplate that, after you get past the various logos and (thankfully removable) stickers splashed across it, is not much different – and often less exciting – than that which you'll find on any of a hundred other receivers. But, as the logos and marketing stickers attest, behind the average-looking façade lies a feature and performance package that should put the TX-SR605 on the short list of anyone who's currently in the market for a mid-priced AV receiver.
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jun 30, 2007 0 comments
Multiple sweet spots from one sweet system.

It's hard to get too excited about most inexpensive HTiBs. That's not to say a system has to cost a lot to be a great value. In fact, there are plenty of one-box-fits-all systems that pack a lot of punch for what you pay. But there's usually so much emphasis on quantity of features that the quality often suffers. In some cases, the system is a hodgepodge of gear thrown together by a manufacturer that sees how popular HTiBs are with the general public and doesn't want to miss out on grabbing its share of the pie.

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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jul 16, 2007 Published: Jun 16, 2007 0 comments
An affordable speaker system you just might take a shine to.

My daughter has been coming home recently with holes in her slacks—and, no, they aren't the holes she puts her legs through, as she wryly pointed out the other day. (That's what I get for raising a family full of wiseacres.) The cause of these holes is a bit of a mystery, seeing as how they appear and reappear at the same spots on each leg at random times. I've toyed with the idea of treating them as the fashion equivalent of crop circles or the result of an obsessive-compulsive moth, but these are, as you might conclude, unfulfilling answers. None of her peers have similar apparel problems, so it appears to be an extremely localized phenomenon. It remains an enigma.

Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jun 05, 2007 Published: Jun 06, 2007 0 comments
This Sony HTiB does the listening for you.

Sony may not have invented the Home Theater in a Box, but it's certainly gone a long way in perfecting the concept. Where most companies make just a couple of HTiBs, Sony has close to a dozen ranging from a cute "1000-Watt" system with a five-disc changer and bookshelf speakers costing $299 all the way up to a 780-Watt $1,999 package that includes floorstanding front speakers, wireless rear speakers, and a DVD/ CD/SACD player. With so many choices, we wondered, what could we get from Sony for five hundred bucks? They answered the question by sending us the DAV-HDX500 BRAVIA Theater System.

Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jul 02, 2007 Published: Jun 02, 2007 0 comments
Wash, rinse, condition, repeat.

I don't personally believe in fairies, nymphs, leprechauns, or even the boogeyman. In a rational, engineering-driven world, there's little room for such simpleminded fantasies. Reason, and reason alone, can explain the universe at large. Logic isn't only for Vulcans (now there's something I can believe in); it makes our part of the galaxy go around, too. That being said, I'm beginning to grudgingly accept the existence of gremlins—gear gremlins—as I don't have any other explanation for the last two months of nothing but misfortune and malfunction when it's come to anything electronic in my home.

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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jul 02, 2007 Published: Jun 02, 2007 0 comments
Mythos the magnificent.

It's not often that I find something to complain about when it comes to Definitive Technology, but, lately, I have cause. Every year, during each of the two major consumer electronics trade shows, CES and CEDIA, I (and plenty of other journalists, dealers, and a few hangers-on who shouldn't have been let in to begin with) have made the traditional pilgrimage to the Def Tech booth. We go there, drawn like corn-bread muffins to butter, to hear the latest Def Tech incarnation, thanks to the genius of head honcho Sandy Gross and company. As you would expect, some of these speaker introductions have been more exciting than others—the unveiling of the first Mythos speakers being one of the extra-special highlights in recent memory. Regardless, the Definitive Technology booth never disappoints.

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