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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Nov 20, 2015 2 comments

PRICE $599

Dolby Atmos and DTS:X on board
HDMI 2.0a with HDR video
Audyssey MultEQ XT room correction
Like other seven-channel AVRs, just two Atmos height channels
Remote volume keys undernourished

Triple wireless connectivity and excellent room correction may lure more listeners to this top-performing budget receiver than its limited 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos and DTS:X capabilities will.

The Denon AVR-X1200W is among a growing trickle of receivers that name-check DTS:X surround sound. By the time you read this, it might even be operational.

For every one of Dolby’s home surround standards, there has been a DTS equivalent. The competition began in the mid 1990s, when Dolby Digital and DTS first went head to head on laserdisc, with DVD following soon after. Dolby then added back-surround channels for Dolby Digital EX; DTS responded with DTS-ES. Dolby upgraded to lossless encoding with Dolby TrueHD; DTS shot back with DTS-HD Master Audio. Object-oriented surround—which uses metadata to map objects in a dome-shaped soundfield—is no different. In response to Dolby Atmos, which has just begun infiltrating surround receivers, DTS offers DTS:X. This is a transitional time, and you’ll find some models supporting Atmos without supporting DTS’s answer. Others are “DTS:X ready,” but not yet functional as they await the release of new firmware.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Nov 19, 2015 0 comments
One-third of viewers casting around for something to watch still make live TV their first port of call, said a Hub Entertainment study. However, that’s down from 50 percent in 2013, and Netflix is making inroads among younger viewers. Millennials prefer live TV to Netflix by just 33 to 31 percent. And those 16 to 24 prefer Netflix over live TV by 40 to 26 percent.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Nov 10, 2015 0 comments
Look out, Dolby Atmos. Another object-oriented surround sound system is coming to town.

The DTS:X system hit Carmike Cinemas-owned theaters in September with Lionsgate titles American Ultra and Sicario and in November with Mockingjay: Part 2. Carmike upgraded seven theaters in Georgia, Colorado, Illinois, Tennessee, California, and Alabama.

DTS:X and Atmos both enable soundtrack mixes to use metadata to steer objects around a three-dimensional soundfield. In addition to its theatrical debut, DTS:X is also following Atmos into home theaters with compatible A/V receivers and Blu-ray Disc releases.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Nov 06, 2015 4 comments
It's been 30 years since I bought my first Compact Disc player and first CDs. With the CD format in a death spiral, the LP recovering nicely, high-resolution downloads on the rise, and streaming capturing a new generation of listeners, defending the CD at this moment in history may seem like pure contrarianism. That alone is reason enough to reevaluate the CD—even if it seemingly contradicts things I myself have written in the recent past. But let's make it clear that if I am about to find a few kind words to say about the dear old shiny disc, it doesn't mean I don't love my vinyl and FLACs any less. It's just that my music library has room for more than one format. I still buy CDs, but I collect LPs and high-res audio too.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Nov 04, 2015 0 comments
Second-screen use is “creating a generation of kids for whom TV is punishment,” says Miner & Co. Studio.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Oct 20, 2015 1 comments
Yes, you read that right—Sears. The iconic (and stodgy) retailer has opened a Connected Solutions store-within-a store in San Bruno, California.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Oct 19, 2015 0 comments
KEF's October 16 press event at CEDIA 2015 firmed up its already formidable loudspeaker lines with new in-walls and in-ceilings, some of them THX certified, as well as refinements of existing products and new portable audio goodies.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Oct 16, 2015 2 comments
Perfectionist speaker brand Revel is taking a good-better-best approach to marketing, with the new Concerta 2 occupying the entry-level part of the spectrum, joining the step-up Performa 3 and step-way-up Salon.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Oct 16, 2015 0 comments
Atlantic's 3.1 HSB H-PAS soundbase may be making waves but the company is not neglecting the soundbar, conventional speaker, and in-wall categories.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Oct 16, 2015 0 comments
NAD is filling a rack with streaming joy.