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Michael Antonoff Posted: Feb 15, 2017 0 comments
It’s hard to believe that we once drove to big-box stores unarmed: no smartphone in hand; no Wi-Fi for the taking. A recent trip to The Home Depot reminded me how power in the power tool kingdom has shifted from merchant to shopper.
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Michael Antonoff Posted: Nov 21, 2016 0 comments
There are two types of runners: serious and casual. As the latter, I jog weekends outside or on a treadmill to remedy overeating and in pursuit of the elusive runner’s high. A serious runner, on the other hand, is an athlete with charts.
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Michael Antonoff Posted: Oct 31, 2016 0 comments
As one place we could count on for quiet contemplation, the bathroom has largely been electronics-free. But serenity has its challenges. Natural reverb was destined to make the bathroom the go-to spot for singing. Ever since the SoundBlaster add-in card legitimized “bathroom” ambience as a musical effect, the porcelain palace has become everyone’s in-home performance space.
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Michael Antonoff Posted: Sep 28, 2016 0 comments
With time- and place-shifting now entitlements of our on-demand culture, it’s no surprise that cable companies have been countering cord-cutters by extending the viewing rights of subscribers to their phones and tablets.
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Michael Antonoff Posted: Aug 29, 2016 0 comments
Maybe it’s because the broadcast networks crave turning the clock back to when they were dominant that the new season is dominated by series about time travel.
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Michael Antonoff Posted: Jul 26, 2016 1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $50

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Private listening via mobile device
Voice search via Roku Mobile App
Quad-core processor
Minus
No motion control for games
No 4K Ultra HD support

THE VERDICT
Roku Streaming Stick offers a glut of net-sourced channels enhanced by rapid performance and tight integration with the Roku mobile app.

Roku media receivers continue to ride the tsunami of internet-delivered movies, videos, and TV channels but with fewer company-owned turfs to protect than competing products from Apple, Amazon, or Google. In so doing, Roku’s users now have more than 3,000 channel choices. Its latest device, a finger-sized Wi-Fi receiver that juts out of an input on your TV or A/V receiver, largely solves two problems that have plagued the stick-it-in-HDMI category compared with tabletop streamers—lower performance and inferior interface.

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Michael Antonoff Posted: Jul 22, 2016 0 comments
You’d think that a company that started out in 1998, four years before the iPod, selling a dedicated audio player and a small library of spoken-word books would be out of business by now. Yet thanks to the rise of smartphones and a timely acquisition in 2008 by Amazon, Audible has become the leading provider of digital audio books.

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Michael Antonoff Posted: Jul 05, 2016 1 comments
It's hard to miss the variety and depth of live entertainment streaming into the home, some you pay for, some you don't. On the last night of June I paid $9.99 to "attend" She Loves Me, an as-slick-as-they come Broadway musical performed by the Roundabout Theatre Company at Studio 54. Minutes before the 8 p.m. curtain I typed my credit card info into BroadwayHD.com and ended up having a rip-roaring time. Put in the form of a pull quote: "The best musical I ever saw in my underwear!"
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Michael Antonoff Posted: Jun 15, 2016 0 comments
Now that we never need to dismount from the barstool to drop quarters in the jukebox, it just seems wrong to call TouchTunes a mobile app. Pushing through a crowd to reach an illuminated cabinet required actual mobility, also called walking. But that was then. Today no one with a smartphone is budging. In the battle of the bulge, beer wins, waistline loses.
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Michael Antonoff Posted: May 26, 2016 1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $300 (500 GB), $400 (1 TB)

AT A GLANCE
Plus
One-touch leapfrogging of any size commercial block
Four tuners
Can play shows 30 percent faster
Mobile device transfer
Integrated search functions
4K UHD compatible
Minus
On-demand cable may not be available
No component video output
No clock on front panel

THE VERDICT
TiVo Bolt is an indispensable tool for TV-obsessed viewers who hate commercials and value the ease of managing all their cable, online, and local-network-stored entertainment from one smartly designed receiver/recorder.

With 412 scripted TV series originating on broadcast, cable, and online channels last year, viewers face the twin challenges of finding shows that appeal to them and having enough waking hours to watch them. TiVo’s new flagship digital video recorder, Bolt, purports to help solve both problems. An admitted TV addict, I bolted for a Bolt to see if it could rekindle the excitement I felt when TiVo debuted in 1999.

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