Mark Fleischmann

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Aug 22, 2013 0 comments
The Watch ABC app is the first from a major broadcast network to allow streaming of live TV, including network, local, and syndicated programming. Viewers may also get on-demand content in the ABC Full-Episode Player and app. Watch ABC was up and running at press time in New York and Philadelphia for subscribers of several major cable operators. ABC is not inexperienced with apps, having rolled them out in 2012 for the Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, and WatchESPN. Look out for a Watch ABC Family app early next year.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Aug 15, 2013 0 comments

Audio Performance
Video Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $600 At A Glance: MHL, HTC, iOS phone links • 4K scaling and passthrough • Solid performance for price

Despite some price overlap, Pioneer’s two receiver lines hew to different sets of values. Its Elite line offers more custom-install features, comes with a two-year warranty, and is sold through different distribution, primarily brick-and-mortar stores. The just-plain-Pioneer line, on the other hand, has more features per buck, offers a one-year warranty, and is sold both in stores and online. Scrutinize both lines closely, and you’ll find several cheap-and-cheerful-Pioneer models that are close equivalents of higher-priced Elite models. The just-call-me-Pioneer VSX-1123 ($600), reviewed here, has the same rated power and nearly all the same features as the Elite VSX-70 ($700)—including some brand-new features that will interest the smartphone-centric. If a price differential of more than a hundred bucks looks large in your household budget, read on.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Aug 09, 2013 0 comments
The Sony HT-ST7 is the first product to use Sony's "Sense of Quartz" design imperative, which I first saw in an embargoed product showing in Tokyo a few months ago. I subsequently heard the production version and it sounded even better than it looks.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Aug 02, 2013 0 comments
Review samples traipse through my 5.1-channel home theater system in a constant procession. A smaller number get hooked up to my 2.1-channel desktop system. But very few make it into the bedroom to serve me before I drift off to sleep. A speaker named The ONE, from a company named Audience, is one of the rare exceptions. What follows is not an orthodox review. It's just a story about how a distinctive product was able to fit briefly into my life.

Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 26, 2013 0 comments

Ultra Speaker System
Performance
Build Quality
Value

SB12-NSD Subwoofer
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
Price: $3,348 At A Glance: Distinctive enclosure shapes • Strong build quality • Satisfying, balanced sound

The debut of the SVS Ultra speaker line prompts me to reconsider a question that’s been lurking at the back of my mind for years: Is SVS one of the great American speaker brands?

As a company founded in Ohio and initially operated out of a garage, SVS has all the right narrative elements of a great speaker brand. The company has built a reputation for making brilliantly unorthodox subwoofers and pretty good speakers—versus the scads of respectable brands that put most of their brilliance into speakers and treat subs as an afterthought. In the past few years, the story has added a few new chapters, with new heavy-hitter personnel in management and product design and a manufacturing move from Ohio to (where else?) China.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 26, 2013 3 comments
Remember the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC)? They’re the folks who spent years hammering out the digital broadcast television standard that has brought high def and standard def to antenna-loving TV addicts around the nation. Now the standard-setting body is seeking proposals to replace the core transmission system for ATSC broadcasting. The ATSC 3.0 standard will use the latest in compression and transmission technologies to accommodate ultra-def video, mobile video reception, and greater efficiency in spectrum use. The process is just getting under way with a call for proposals, and several years will probably pass before the new standard emerges in final form.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 18, 2013 0 comments
7113ama.jpgLongtime Amazon customers may already be surprised to find CD purchases from years and years ago appearing in their Amazon Cloud Players. Their eyebrows are set to move even higher now that Amazon is extending the courtesy to LP purchases. Buy an AutoRip-eligible disc—analog or digital—from the online retailer, boot up the Cloud Player, and there it is. If your computer or tablet of choice lacks a disc drive, as increasingly many do, you’re also free to download a free 256-kbps AutoRipped copy. The feature is available to U.S. customers only, for titles displaying the AutoRip logo.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 09, 2013 0 comments
Audio quality in streaming video has taken another step forward with the news that the Best Buy–owned CinemaNow service is adopting DTS-HD. Despite the moniker, it is not the same lossless DTS-HD Master Audio that appears on 80 percent of Blu-ray Discs—it’s a slimmed-down streaming-friendly DTS Express codec that delivers 5.1 channels at data rates up to 512 kilobits per second. Consumers will access encoded content through Rovi-powered storefronts that will operate through Samsung’s 2013 smart TVs and Blu-ray players and their ARC-enabled HDMI or optical outputs. DTS-HD is not the only surround game in streaming town: Dolby Digital Plus is in use by Netflix, Vudu, and Amazon Instant Video.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 09, 2013 0 comments
If you like the effect of Audyssey room correction in your home theater system, would you like to apply it to your headphones? That may happen if headphone makers embrace Audyssey’s ExpertFit Partner Program. Audyssey wants participating manufacturers to create a profile for each model using an ExpertFit measurement program and new algorithms based on existing MultEQ and Dynamic EQ, until now best known for their use in audio/video receivers.
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 05, 2013 8 comments

Quintet Speakers
Performance
Build Quality
Value
SW-100 Subwoofer
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
Price: $1,050 At A Glance: Molded reinforced polymer enclosure • Vertically expanded Tractrix horn • Conventional sub

Compact satellite/subwoofer sets are often affordable, mate well with budget receivers, allow more speaker-placement width than soundbars, lend themselves to wall mounting—and best of all, they don’t hog the room, even if you place them on stands (which would usually produce the best sonic results). What Justice Anthony Kennedy’s swing vote is to the Supreme Court, the spouse acceptance factor is to loudspeaker genres, and the elegant compactness of a sat/sub set just may be the tiebreaker, the factor that makes the difference between having or not having a surround system. Sat/sub sets continue to be the most underrated product category in home theater.

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