Signals

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Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jul 14, 2015  |  2 comments
If you have a home theater, it's easy to see that commercial movie theaters are both your friends, and your enemies. On one hand, without them and the billions of dollars they generate, movie studios would never spend the hundreds of millions of dollars required to make a movie. We owe the content we watch at home to the commercial theaters. On the other hand, adversarially, these theaters get first dibs on all content, and we must impatiently wait for home media to eventually appear. Don't like waiting? Well, if things work out, you soon might be able to cut in line.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Nov 04, 2014  |  3 comments
As you know, LG is pulling the plug on its plasma production. Over time, LG expects that OLED will become the dominant TV technology. But, that time isn't quite here yet, mainly because OLED isn't entirely affordable for everyone. But with plasma going, going, gone, what technology is best suited for lower-cost LG screens? Enter the dots.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Feb 13, 2013  |  0 comments

I travel. A lot. Hotel rooms are not my home away from home — they are my home. As such, most of my TV viewing is done in hotel rooms. Thanks to the miracle of jet lag, I know the late-night schedule everywhere around the world. I’ve watched Wheel of Fortune in 53 different languages, and counting.

I’m also familiar with every brand of flat-panel TV. Samsung, LG, Vizio, Panasonic, Hitachi, Philips, Magnavox, Toshiba, JVC, Sanyo, Sharp, Sony: I’ve seen them all. And I know I’m in a faraway place when I’m staring at a Kogan or a Vestel. It doesn’t make any difference. They all have one thing in common: All of these TVs sound terrible.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Feb 05, 2019  |  1 comments
"Of all creatures that can feel and think, we women are the worst treated things alive. Medea, Euripides, 431 BC.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Sep 02, 2014  |  2 comments
I am not a cheapskate. I am, however, very careful with my money. Okay, actually I am a cheapskate. In my weak defense, I work hard for the money, and I feel bad, real bad, when I underutilize its value. The continual drip, drip, drip of monthly fees particularly drives me nuts. Thus cord-cutting greatly interests me. Aereo was shining bright on my radar until the Supreme Court shot it out of the sky. Hmm, how can I get a cable experience with an antenna? Enter the TiVo Roamio OTA.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Mar 01, 2021  |  4 comments
First, congratulations on your company's many successes, including your recent decisions that helped you to weather the lock-down storm. You strike me as a company that is well-run, and I hope you will agree that every well-run company listens to its customers. So, on behalf of audio/videophiles everywhere, I am asking you – begging you – to take into account one very special need of our community.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jan 26, 2011  |  0 comments

Ah, the remote control. The gizmo that gets no respect. Lost under the sofa cushions, berated when its batteries are dead, made into a chew toy by the dog, cursed at for having too many buttons, cursed at for having too few. And now the poor thing seems destined to become yet another fine piece of technological roadkill.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jun 28, 2016  |  8 comments
Your daily driver is a Bugatti. Your "casual" wristwatch is an Audemars Piguet. (Note: Rolexes are for tourists.) Your third home is in Jackson Hole. I hate to break the news to you, but you are a 1 percenter. Fortunately, now you can drown out the cries of the masses with a superb new loudspeaker from Devialet.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Feb 15, 2012  |  0 comments

The Wall Street Journal is reporting this week on the future plans of two corporations. As with any corporate news, there is a certain dry and brittle quality to it; most WSJ readers really only care how news will affect share prices. But there's also high drama playing out. Right before our eyes, one company is withering away, while the other soars higher and higher.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jul 03, 2018  |  22 comments
There are things we know to be true. Sometimes we don't want to admit they are true. Sometimes we just don't get around to admitting them and instead carry them around as unspoken truths. But when I read the Grace Notes blog yesterday, a truth dawned on me, and now I'm ready to admit it.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jul 28, 2015  |  0 comments
Some people think that digital audio is cold. That's debatable. But it's almost universally accepted that analog audio is cool. It is also funky, weird and apparently makes people say and do strange things. Digital audio comprises binary data offering relatively few opportunities for freakish mischief. Analog audio, on the other hand, offers endless possibilities. For example, I am sure you have noticed that flour tortillas fit nicely on a turntable platter.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Oct 06, 2015  |  0 comments
Everyone is familiar with virus attacks on PCs and Macs. We take precautions to minimize the risk - making sure the firewall is up, keeping our antivirus software up to date, and not clicking on scary attachments. We are perhaps less vigilant with virus attacks on our phones. Of course, the danger is just as scary. Adding even more anxiety is a new virus called Stagefright that can be embedded in MP3 and MP4 files.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jun 06, 2019  |  2 comments
Apple has a long history of creating compelling advertising like the legendary “1984” commercial that contrasted its maverick standing with the conformity of its competitors. In January Apple rented a billboard to deliver a message to attendees of the annual CES trade show: “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone.”
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Apr 13, 2020  |  0 comments
You are probably familiar with the Chinese proverb: “May you live in interesting times.” One could debate the meaning of that expression; it may well be intended as a subtle curse. Certainly, no one can dispute that we are now living in interesting times. Maybe topsy-turvy times is a better way to describe it. Things that formerly were good (hugging) are now bad, and bad things (wearing a mask in a bank) are now good. Similarly, people are wondering if formerly sturdy business models are now shaky. Which brings us to Quibi.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jul 25, 2017  |  0 comments
I've owned my fair share of jalopies. Cranky starters, wheezing engines, recalcitrant gearboxes, vague steering, indifferent brakes — I've had it all. And let's not forget everyone's favorite — plastic interior trim pieces that create an unholy symphony of buzzy vibrations. But now, German automobile parts supplier Continental thinks that's a good thing.

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