Bob Ankosko

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Sep 11, 2014 2 comments
Left to right: AVS Forum’s Scott Wilkinson moderated a panel discussion with Greg Russell, re-recording mixer who worked on Transformers: Age of Extinction, Onkyo’s Paul Wasek, Jeff Cowan of Denon/Marantz, Pioneer’s Andrew Jones, Definitive Technology’s Joel Sietsema, and Dolby’s Brett Crockett.

At a pre-show press conference, Dolby rallied the AV/home entertainment industry around the new Dolby Atmos surround-sound platform, calling it the most significant advancement in home theater in 20 years.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Sep 11, 2014 Published: Sep 10, 2014 0 comments
DarbeeVision introduced a follow-up to its popular Darblet video enhancer at a Media Preview gathering on the eve of the CEDIA Expo 2014.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Sep 10, 2014 0 comments
Steinway Lyngdorf, the Danish company that teamed with Steinway & Sons in 2005 to design, develop, and manufacture fine audio gear, offered a sneak peek of the P200 “three-dimensional surround sound processor” it plans to start selling in early 2015 for $18,000. (No, that’s not a typo.)

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Sep 10, 2014 0 comments
Bulgaria’s Everything But The Box (gotta love that name) previewed a series of high style cast-aluminum speakers, available in a wide range of high-gloss and metallic finishes.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Sep 10, 2014 0 comments
Indy Audio Labs is putting the finishing touches on the long-awaited Acurus Act 4 AV preamp-processor, which is slated to launch in February 2015 for $6,000, according to Rick Santiago, CEO of Indy Audio Labs.

Now in beta, the 11.3-channel pre-pro will be equipped with Dolby Atmos processing. “We think Dolby has come out with a great platform to take surround to the next level,” Santiago said. “It’s been tested in professional cinemas so to be able to get it in the home is really exciting.

“The Act 4 is a great centerpiece for a high-performance Atmos home theater,” he continued. “It’s got all the I/O connectivity you need, including the latest HDMI and connectivity with your network, balanced outputs, a phono premp, icon-driven menus, and a beautiful 7-inch touch-panel display that translates to mobile devices very simply so you can control the processor from anywhere in your home.”

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Sep 10, 2014 0 comments
Snowsound USA previewed a patented, variable density acoustic panel that eliminates echos and selectively absorbs low-, mid-, and high-frequency sounds to optimize room acoustics. Inspired by nature, the panels are intended to create a “more peaceful environment” by mimicking the sound absorbing properties of freshly fallen snow. (Everybody’s got an angle…)
Bob Ankosko Posted: Sep 05, 2014 2 comments
Note to readers: See Clarification at the end of this article for an update.

Weeks before Onkyo and Pioneer announced the first Dolby Atmos-equipped AV receivers, we received a press release touting the “first ever immersive sound receiver”—the Auro-3D Auriga from Belgium-based Auro Technlogies. Intrigued by its high-end looks—and $16,700 price—we reached out to CEO and Auro-3D inventor Wilfried Van Baelen to learn more about the product and the Auro 3D surround-sound format at its core. Auro 11.1, which adds height and overhead channels to an existing 5.1 surround-sound setup, debuted in theaters in 2011 and today supports almost 500 screens worldwide, according to the company. Recent movies mixed in Auro 11.1 include Oculus, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, How to Train Your Dragon 2, and a number of foreign films.

Bob Ankosko Posted: Aug 27, 2014 1 comments
The Pace of Change Shows No Signs of Letting Up.

The road to driverless cars is lined with technology we couldn’t have imagined a few years ago. From auto parking and rich head-up displays to cutting-edge “infotainment” features, dashboard tech is right up there with horsepower/performance, handling, and other traditional car buying metrics. And the pace of change we’ve seen over the past decade shows no signs of letting up—if anything, it’s accelerating now that technology has become an integral part of the shopping experience.

Bob Ankosko Posted: Aug 20, 2014 1 comments
Alfred Vassilkov’s latest sonic creation looks more like a sculpture than a speaker, which is why you can’t help but do a double take. But beyond its stunning looks are several unexpected—and highly practical—surprises. We asked Estelon partner Alissa Vassilkov, who also happens to be Alfred’s daughter, to tell us the story behind this unique, $239,000/pair speaker.
Bob Ankosko Posted: Aug 11, 2014 3 comments
In preparation for the launch of the first wave of Dolby Atmos-enabled products, Dolby is conducting press demos in New York and Los Angeles this week. Stay tuned for our reports later in the week. In the meantime, we touched base with Brett Crockett, director of sound research at Dolby Labs, to learn more about Atmos and its promise of taking home theater to new heights.

S&V: Why does the world need another surround format? What does Atmos bring to the home theater experience?
Brett Crockett: Dolby Atmos moves beyond the paradigm of channel-based audio, which has gone as far as it can in the home. Captivating sound surrounds you from all directions, including overhead, filling the room with astonishing clarity, richness, detail, and depth. The specific sounds of people, music, and things move all around you in multidimensional space, so you feel like you are inside the action.

S&V: How does the “object-based” Atmos system compare with the familiar channel-based system?
BC: Until now, cinema sound designers have had to mix independent sounds together into channels for soundtrack creation. A discrete sound, such as a helicopter, has been assigned to an individual channel rather than precisely to where it would occur naturally in the scene. While a sound can move across channels, there’s no height dimension. For example, you might hear the helicopter from a side channel (and speaker array) but not above you. This approach limits your audio experience because it can’t come close to matching the way you hear in real life, with sounds coming from every direction.

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