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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 25, 2007 0 comments
A lawsuit filed in a Los Angeles federal court demands that the cable and satellite industries offer channels individually, not in tiers.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 24, 2007 0 comments
Less than a month after withdrawing from iTunes, NBC has announced it will begin allowing time-limited free downloads of popular shows from its website.
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 23, 2007 0 comments
Little big man.

Why do people who spend for- tunes on their cars look askance at high-end audio equipment? They wouldn't be seen dead backing a budget SUV out of their driveways. But, when they choose the gear that mediates their relationship with music and movies, they condemn themselves to poverty. Audio systems are shadows to them. They're all the same, so why pay more? These sad people drive their $70,000 cars to Circuit City and pay three figures for a mediocre HTIB. I once wrote about portable audio for an outdoorsy men's magazine. When I suggested that high-end headphones are as valid as high-end hiking gear, the editor gave me a perplexed and somewhat dirty look.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 21, 2007 0 comments
Would you like to rent a movie from Apple? The company is in "advanced talks" with studios over a new scheme that would offer 30-day download rentals for $2.99 via iTunes, according to the Financial Times.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 20, 2007 0 comments
Why should blue lasers have all the fun? HD DVD and Blu-ray will get some competition next month when New Media Enterprises drops its first red-laser-driven HD VMD players and titles on an unsuspecting world.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 19, 2007 113 comments
Is less of a good thing better? You're about to find out as Audioengine returns to these webpages with a smaller version of the previously reviewed Audioengine 5 powered speaker system. The new Audioengine 2 scales down the formidably chunky form factor of its larger sibling into something that won't dwarf your video monitor or earn dirty looks from boss or spouse.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 18, 2007 0 comments
Until now concerns over the transition to digital television, scheduled for 2009, have centered on broadcast-dependent viewers. But satellite viewers may be in for trouble too.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 13, 2007 0 comments
Here's the deal. The music industry wants to sell you a CD single with three songs and a ringtone. Are you ready to "ringle"? Yes, that is indeed the name.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 12, 2007 3 comments
The last blog detailed the Pioneer BDP-HD1 Blu-ray player's surround properties. What about the Toshiba HD-A2? Dolby's Craig Eggers kindly explained that the player does feature both lossless Dolby TrueHD and lossy Dolby Digital Plus decoding and playback. They are exported through the HDMI jacks as PCM, not as a bitstream, so decoding cannot be done in a surround receiver even if it does have a decoder. But the PCM should still sound good. If you were thinking of using analog jacks to feed surround to an HDMI-less legacy receiver, you're out of luck. The HD-A2 does not have a full set of surround analog outs (just a stereo pair) so it can't export the signal that way. But the translated-to-PCM signal is re-encoded as DTS and sent through the optical output, which also of course handles regular Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1. On the DTS side, the news is not as good. The Toshiba site cites "Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD and DTS support for up to 5.1 channels (DTS HD support for DTS core only)." So full 7.1-channel goodness is not available for Dolby's two new babies. And DTS's two new babies are reduced to the resolution of old-style DTS.
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 10, 2007 Published: Aug 10, 2007 0 comments
CD and radio in a box—iPod out back.

More than half a century of audio evolution has produced this modest box. Its grandparents are the high-end radios of the 1950s. Its parents are of the CD generation, a 1980s format increasingly viewed as archaic by the latest generation of listeners. And it accommodates the iPod, although it keeps the latest audio revolution literally at arm's length, in a separate docking device that plugs into the back of the system. The retrofit brings an already successful product family closer to being up to date.

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