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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 27, 2007 0 comments
More than half of cable subscribers will have digital video recorders by 2010, according to a (rather expensive) study by the Carmel Group.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 26, 2007 0 comments
Though Denon's receiver line has long been one of the industry's strongest, it's also suffered from the same ossified in-the-black-box thinking that plagues all receivers. That's changed in a big way with the 2007 models unveiled at a Tuesday press event.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 25, 2007 5 comments
What size would you like your iPod-compatible speakers to be? Do you want Baby Bear, Mama Bear, or Papa Bear? Sierra Sound's iN STUDIO 5.0 fits into the middle category, as a monitor-sized pair of speakers with an iPod dock atop the left one. The review sample came in festive high-gloss Ferrari red, pleasing me no end, though you can have basic black or boring old traditional iPod white if you prefer.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 24, 2007 0 comments
THX is about to take its home theater involvement to a new level with a new program whose working name is Blackbird. If the THX folks pull it off, Blackbird could resolve several issues that plague home theater buffs.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 23, 2007 0 comments
This story would be hilarious if it weren't for the pain and suffering inflicted on a hapless jogger toting an iPod. Caught in a thunderstorm, the Vancouver resident was struck by lightning and sustained serious injuries when the iPod and its cables conducted current into his body.
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 23, 2007 0 comments
The inverted bottle meets the custom virtuoso.

At some point in the evolution of home theater, someone noticed that the phrase includes the word home. At that point, weird and wonderful things began to happen. Speakers morphed into smaller, more rounded, and occasionally more imaginative shapes. The surround receivers that fed them maintained their black-box identities but moved discreetly into closets. Back panels began to sprout extra jacks, the better to interact with touchscreen interfaces, second zones, and other niceties that have become staples of the connected home.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 20, 2007 0 comments
In an attempt to reverse declining CD sales, one label has settled on the novel idea of actually offering consumers more for their money. Disney's Hollywood Records will soon take the wraps off a new CDVU+ format with an initial release by the Jonas Brothers.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 19, 2007 0 comments
Sony BMG is suing one of two developers of digital rights management schemes that spooked consumers, compromised the security of their PCs, and forced the music label to pay settlements in numerous lawsuits.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 18, 2007 2 comments
Are Apple's new higher-fidelity downloads worth their premium prices? No, says a recording engineer writing for the Sci Fi Tech blog. Critic Leslie Shapiro downloaded 20 songs from iTunes Plus at 256 kilobits per second and compared them to 128kbps versions (both using Apple's favored AAC codec). "I bought into the idea that the difference would be drastic, or at least noticeable," Shapiro writes. "I spent hours listening, switching from 128 to 256 and back, straining to hear something--anything--different about the tracks. My critical listening skills are pretty good, but this was pushing the limit. To be fair, there were differences, but they were subtle. For example, on David Bowie's 'Space Oddity,' the high-end clarity was a bit more pronounced on the 256-kbps version, and on KT Tunstell's 'Other Side of The World,' the guitars were slightly more detailed. It would've been extremely hard to distinguish had I not been switching instantly from one format to the other." True, Shapiro might have reached different conclusions if comparing MP3s at the same data rate--or compressed files to lossless ones. But considering what Apple's charging for these higher-bit-rate downloads, the winner (at least for people who care about sound quality) may be the dear old CD. After all, you can rip it to any codec you like, and even change your mind in the future. Mmmm, my bulging CD shelves are sure lookin' good!
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 17, 2007 0 comments
Samsung plasma DTVs are going wireless.

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