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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 04, 2008 7 comments
Let’s say you have a nice home theater system in one end of the room and a powered subwoofer in the other. Everything sounds nice until you plug the subwoofer into the AC outlet next to it, and, viola, your system is now humming a new tune. Unfortunately, it’s not humming the tune you wanted it to.
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 04, 2008 0 comments
Not really, but two new power conditioners from PS Audio could keep your electricity from being at fault when it comes to better sound and picture. Sure, you might think AC is just AC, but if you’ve ever been to my house you’d know that minor fluctuations (not to mention major ones) can do some insidious things to electronics gear. PS Audio’s PowerPlay conditioners clean up your power company’s act – and they also are fully configurable, programmable, and controllable over the Internet. The web interface can show you cool stuff like the fluctuations in voltage and noise in the current. They can also let you know of unfortunate electrical goings-on in your home if you’re away. Ideal for the installer crowd here is the fact that the installer can also be notified of problems that might be fixed by accessing the PowerPlay conditioner over the web – instead of making a long, gas guzzling service call. Plan on spending $2,000 or $1,000, and then maybe another $1,000 for the controllable UPS. Shockingly expensive, you say? Not if you consider the sonic and visual benefits plus the long-term reliability and security aspects. I used to dismiss power conditioning as voodoo, but now that I’ve seen how a bad electric mojo can mess with your stuff I’m a believer.
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 04, 2008 0 comments
You’ll find more rock-like speakers here at CEDIA than anywhere else in the world. A new one from an old company caught my eye as I was moving through the crowds to get to my next appointment. StereoStone’s Fountain Speaker has a real working water fountain, submersible low-voltage lighting, and an 8” woofer with left and right tweeters. The whole thing ships completely assembled in a single box – without the water, I assume – and sells for $599.95.
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 03, 2008 1 comments
If you look closely in this picture of the chaos that immediately followed the Sony press conference, you’ll see…chaos. If you look a little closer, you’ll see some pencil-thin speakers (actually, I think the term they used was “the width of a finger” but I may have been in the middle of a mile-high altitude-induced alcohol-enhanced stupor at the time so it might as easily have been “the width of a fingerling potato”) on display here as part of the BDV-IT1000ES - Sony’s first ES HTiB that includes an integrated Blu-ray Disc player. The main speakers each measure approximately .75-inch wide by 22 inches long, and they’ll come with the rest of the system when it ships in October and you fork over the required $1,999.
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 03, 2008 0 comments
Oh, yeah, and the new SpeakerCraft Rox outdoor rock speakers look “more like rocks”.
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 03, 2008 0 comments
Bringing back fond memories of the one misdirected year (1998) when CEDIA held its convention in New Orleans (just after another near-miss storm) and not many conventioneers (including me) made it to many of their appointments or meetings, SpeakerCraft enlisted the aid of some scantily clad acrobatic dancers to catch the attention of the press folks who didn’t go to the Toshiba press conference. (It worked.)
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 03, 2008 0 comments
LG and Netflix announced the fruits of a previously inked partnership: the new LG BD300 Network Blu-ray Disc Player that’s the world’s first Blu-ray disc player to be able to instantly stream movies and TV episodes from Netflix (if you have a Netflix subscription).
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 03, 2008 0 comments
I arrive in Denver, Colorado – the city still awash with Democratic campaign paraphernalia (much of it for sale in a tent outside the convention center) – to attend the umpteenth CEDIA convention in my long and storied career. I came with visions of large, flat-panel HDTVs hanging everywhere, including in my hotel room as befits such an esteemed member of the press as I. But, alas, all I found waiting for me in the Sheraton was this lowly Philips 27 (or thereabouts)-inch, definitely low-def, analog TV sporting a CRT that’s almost as curved as my stomach after a late-night drink-laden press dinner. The only consolation is that at least there are plenty of channels for me not to watch since I’ll only see this room for maybe six hours a night (well, “see” the room is a generous term).
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Aug 25, 2008 0 comments
Surround sound—friend or faux?

When Definitive Technology originally introduced its Mythos line of speakers, the slender, curved, aluminum-cabinet tower models were matched by equally svelte, under-5-inch-deep on-wall and center-channel models using the same form and style turned horizontally. A while ago, the company literally expanded the Mythos center-channel speakers by packing the front LCR speakers

Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jul 27, 2008 0 comments
Taking the shortcut home.

Some people would call it cheating. Others might be less pejorative and consider it a shortcut. Either way, setting a rectangular box on top of your TV, plugging in an analog stereo RCA cable, finding an outlet for a single AC power cord, and pressing the power button isn’t what God intended when he gave us home theater. No, a real man’s home theater demands a separate processor and amplifiers, multiple speakers, many long runs of speaker wire, and an inconvenient place to put a subwoofer. It should take real work to set the whole thing up—and more than a sporting chance to wire something incorrectly.


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