Wide Angle

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Al Griffin  |  Nov 02, 2011  |  0 comments

It’s that time of year again when the undead walk the earth. But along with ghosts, vampires, and zombies, another partially animated entity haunts us: Blu-ray players in need of a firmware update.

Al Griffin  |  Sep 27, 2011  |  0 comments

As an A/V connection standard, HDMI has its downsides: limited cable length, glitches, slow switching, and version upgrades that make new gear incompatible with old stuff — the list goes on. But a major upside is that one interconnect can handle the jobs previously carried out by a thick wad of cables. In its most current version, HDMI 1.4, a single link will convey high-def video/multichannel audio, link devices to a local network (HDMI Ethernet Channel), and route audio signals from a TV back out to an A/V receiver  (Audio Return Channel). Sweet!

But any TV making the hook-up also needs to be plugged into a power socket. That means an additional wire, plus the logistical problem of locating a TV near an AC outlet — or, for a wall-mounted installation, of embedding one within the wall (a task that generally requires the services of an electrician). Wouldn’t it be great if HDMI also carried power?

HDMI can’t. But HDBaseT can.

Al Griffin  |  Aug 01, 2011  |  0 comments

Collecting records is an activity linked in most folks’ minds with combing through dusty stacks in cramped storefronts or at garage sales. But there’s an alternative way to check out vintage vinyl, and I don’t mean record fairs (though those are cool, too). I’m talking about YouTube.

Al Griffin  |  Jul 19, 2011  |  0 comments

Sometimes the mere fact of something being inaccessible can enhance its value — a lot. Take Spotify, for example. For years we’ve wondered when music labels would finally allow the European online music service to make its supposed 15 million-track library available here. That day has finally arrived.

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