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Bob Ankosko

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Nov 27, 2012 4 comments
Barrister-turned-speaker-maker David Hart had the human ear in mind when he designed this unique speaker—but I see a giant molar turned on its side. I’ll let you decide what to make of it and whether it’s worth the asking price of $64,000 per pair in bronze, $300,000 in silver, or upwards of $5 million in gold (shown). Why so expensive? Remarkably, the 28-inch-tall cabinet is cast in solid bronze, silver, or gold, which explains the 110-pound weight (in bronze). Add to that the 200 hours it takes to cast and hand-finish each pair at Hart’s factory on Isle of Wight.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Nov 19, 2012 5 comments
OK, you can stop drooling now. We know you can’t wait to get your hands on the world’s first TV capable of displaying 8 million pixels of luscious detail—four times the resolution of 1080p. (We can’t, either.) Sony’s 84-inch XBR-84X900 4K LCD HDTV is one of the first 4K TVs to reach a handful of stores across the country. The heart of the set is a new chip that analyzes images with resolutions of 1080p or lower and upscales them to 4K. How well the chip performs that task is vitally important since 4K content for home viewing is not likely to be available for some time, even though Sony says 10,000 U.S. movie theaters are already using 4K projectors, and a growing number of theatrical movies are being shot in 4K.
Bob Ankosko Posted: Nov 12, 2012 0 comments
When we home theater enthusiasts dream about automation, we envision pushing a button and sinking into the sofa, beer in hand: The lights dim, a huge screen descends from the ceiling, and a magnificent picture magically appears onscreen as your speakers come to life. But why stop there? With Somfy’s TaHomA system (and the help of a professional installer), you can bring window shades, drapes or blinds, and climate control into the fold and create automated scenes for a single room or the entire house.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Oct 24, 2012 0 comments
This may well be the most regal headphone amp you’ll ever lay eyes on. Make that amps, as in a pair of Class A monoblocks—one per channel—which is how the WA-234 is sold. But its majestic looks and meticulous industrial design (60 sheets of aluminum are used to create those wavy side panels) tell only part of the story.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Oct 16, 2012 4 comments
Chesky Records aims to re-create the experience of listening to live music from the best seat in the house with its new Binaural+ Series of high-resolution 24-bit/192-kilohertz recordings. Specially calibrated microphones implanted in the ear canals of a dummy head are used to capture a “stunningly accurate and realistic” 3D representation of the soundfield. With traditional binaural recordings, which have been around for decades, distinct left and right channels are recorded as they would be heard by a pair of human ears and played back through headphones—left channel to left ear, right channel to right ear—to create the illusion of a 360-degree soundstage.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Oct 08, 2012 0 comments
German designer Helmut Brinkmann is on a never-ending quest for audio perfection, in this case with perhaps the most imperfect of music playback devices—the turntable. As he explains on the Brinkmann Audio Website, “Vinyl record playback is an exceedingly delicate and massively complex undertaking”—one he tackles with mastery in the flagship Balance turntable, which has undergone constant refinement since it was introduced 28 years ago. The goal is to achieve true high fidelity and come as close as possible to attaining the illusion of a live performance.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Oct 02, 2012 0 comments
Ever wish you could connect your smartphone to the TV in your living room while you’re lounging around so you could browse your apps on the big screen or watch that hilarious video you shot of your buddy impersonating Mitt Romney? Or maybe you’re on the road and want to kick back and stream a movie or watch a couple of crazy YouTube videos on the TV in your hotel room (assuming you’re not staying in a ’60s-era motel complete with the vintage Philco set). Or just think how cool it would be if instead of lugging your laptop to the boardroom, you could jack into the projector and run a PowerPoint presentation from your phone. If nothing else, you’d certainly impress the boss.
Bob Ankosko Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10 comments
It’s 11:00 on a Sunday night. Your honey just went up to bed and you can’t wait to crank up your latest Blu-ray acquisition: Jimi Plays Berkeley, a long-forgotten 1970 documentary that has been restored and remixed in 5.1 surround. Seconds after Hendrix rips into the first number, the dreaded foot stomping from above begins. The party’s over before it even starts. Last time it was a cataclysmic crescendo from Inception that did you in. Frustrated, you vow to remedy the situation and, once and for all, soundproof the family room that doubles as your home theater.
Bob Ankosko Posted: Sep 24, 2012 4 comments
I half expected an ordeal as I walked into Walmart carrying a small shopping bag with several movies, ready to take the new Disc-to-Digital service for a spin. I was directed to the electronics department where I was greeted by a large placard that read: “Access your movie collection. Any time. Any place. 3 Easy Steps...” Offered in Walmart stores across the country, the service is operated through the chain’s online streaming service, Vudu, and is intended to provide an easy way to set up a cloud-based digital movie library with DVDs and Blu-ray Discs you already own.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Sep 17, 2012 0 comments
We tend to think of high-end video projection as the cornerstone of a larger-than-life home theater experience—you know, the kind that puts the local cinema to shame—rather than a source of creative lighting or fine art. But for SIM2 Multimedia, the Italian company known for high-style/high-performance projectors, the M.150 represents the intersection of home entertainment and interior design.

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