LATEST ADDITIONS

Mark Fleischmann  |  Feb 07, 2006  |  2 comments
What major U.S. retailer is offering free streaming music videos recorded in its own studios? Nope, I'm not going to make it easy for you by running the company logo as artwork of the day. Hint: It's the same company that's forced the music industry to market censored versions of hit CDs. Still in the dark? It's also the same retailer that accounts for two percent of the U.S. economy, according to NPR Marketplace. I'm talking about Wal-Mart, of course. Check out Soundcheck on the company's homepage. The young and photogenic artist currently featured is Yellowcard (yup, that's them in the pic). Switchfoot has already been featured and Miranda Lambert is coming up. It's all a come-on for Wal-Mart's download service which offers WMA files at 128kbps (with DRM, of course) at a competitive 88 cents per track. iPod owners should note that while iTunes will convert WMA files to AAC, it will not convert WMA-DRM. Oh, and you Firefox and Safari users will have to swallow your pride for a few minutes and use Internet Explorer. That's what you get for making deals with the devil.
Peter Pachal  |  Feb 06, 2006  |  0 comments

Artison is all about melding speakers with home décor. No surprise, then, that it's now offering an in-wall surround speaker, the LRS-IW ($700 a pair). But this model has a couple of notable twists. First, it has a speaker enclosure that mounts inside the wall, so the wall cavity won't screw up its sound.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Feb 06, 2006  |  1 comments
I love Leo Kottke's virtuoso guitar playing. Still, I hesitated to buy his album Sixty Six Steps, with bassist Mike Gordon, when Amazon specifically warned: "This Sony CD includes SunnComm MediaMax Version 5 content protection software that may expose security vulnerability when played on PCs." I don't love anyone quite enough to put a MediaMax-tainted CD into my PC. And when I rip a new CD for use in my iPod, I prefer a nice clean MP3 to the WMA-DRM format dictated by MediaMax. The iPod doesn't accept WMA files with DRM.
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Feb 05, 2006  |  0 comments

From the vantage point of Sony BMG'S corporate headquarters, it probably seemed like a good idea at the time. With music piracy up and profits down, it made complete sense to add some get-tough digital-rights management (DRM) to certain CDs. But what seemed smart in the corporate world led to a royal debacle in the real world.

Peter Pachal  |  Feb 05, 2006  |  0 comments

Good size, good price - what more could you ask for in a TV? Okay, yeah, high-definition would be nice, and Vizio's 37-inch L37 LCD set ($1,500) has that covered, too, sporting a screen with 1,366 x 768-pixel resolution.

Peter Pachal  |  Feb 05, 2006  |  0 comments

There's something for everybody in Outlaw Audio's 7.1-channel Model 1070 receiver ($899 via Web only): Video fans will like its DVI connectors (compatible with HDMI jacks using optional adapters) that keep HDTV signals in digital form all the way to your TV.

Peter Pachal  |  Feb 05, 2006  |  0 comments

Even if you don't see the dock connector on the side, one look at the gloss-white finish of Kensington's SX 2000 speaker ($160) will tell you that it has to be an iPod something or other. Fitting any iPod with a dock connector, the 16-inch-wide transportable speaker uses NXT SurfaceSound technology, which produces sound by vibrating a flat panel.

Lawrence E. Ullman  |  Feb 05, 2006  |  0 comments

The Mitsubishi WD-52628 is one of the best-looking RPTVs I've seen, with a bright, detailed, three-dimensional picture, deep blacks, and vivid yet natural colors. It also happens to be one of a new crop DLP rear-projection TVs on the market that use TI's new 1080p DLP chip.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Feb 05, 2006  |  0 comments

Power amps get little respect in the home theater world. They're the heavy, black (or silver) boxes that sit somewhere in the dark, serving your speakers with a generous supply of power.

 |  Feb 05, 2006  |  0 comments

If you've been reading <I>UAV's</I> reviews you know that while 1080p displays are proliferating, the ability of these displays to actually accept a 1080p native signal is a rarity. And if you've been following our coverage of the next-gen disc formats you also know that DTS and Dolby have cooked up new audio formats that aren't based on the lossy compression schemes we've been living with on DVD for years. All of these developments are intertwined with the HDMI specs, as HDMI will be the carrier for both 1080p video and the new audio codecs. Here's the latest on what it all means.

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